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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 13, 2005

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 13, 2005, at the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Web site.

Chair Kristen Rogge called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, Velma Sims-Shipley, Carol Spencer and Kristen Rogge. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Shannon Behrhorst and Beth Goble. Guests: Kathy Tooker. 

Approval of Agenda:  A motion was made to approve the agenda. Rod Wagner asked that the state employee pay policy be added to the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jean Ahrens - aye; Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Carol Spencer. Motion approved. 

Approval of the Minutes (March 11, 2005): A motion was made to approve the March 2005 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved.  


Kathy Tooker reported that the regional library systems will host a Bricks and Boards workshop on June 13 in Seward and that the Nebraska Library Leadership Institute will be held July 25-29. There are 31 applicants for the Leadership Institute. Regional library systems are planning their annual meetings. There are two new library directors in the eastern library system:  Francine Canfield at the Ralston public library and Jennifer Jaznyka at the Gretna public library.  

Kathy Tooker added that there is a new library to be built in Waterloo as a gift from Ed and Donna Robinson. The Robinsons are including funds for an endowment, not enough to support the library but enough to provide extra things. They are also attempting to stipulate in a foundation that they are setting up for the library that the city must support the library at an adequate funding level or the city won 't receive funds from the endowment.  Wahoo is in the process of raising money for a new library. Wahoo received a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture loan. A planning workshop was recently held and 11 of the 32 libraries in the eastern library system represented at the workshop mentioned building, remodeling or expansion. 

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner shared a thank you note from Sherry Hausmann for the MLS scholarship she received. Rod noted a letter sent to Senator Flood for his efforts on LB217.  LB217 will allow local government units to partner in bond financing for capital projects such as facilities and information technology. Public libraries are included as eligible entities. Rod mentioned that Sally Snyder received a message from Kim Bolan Taney; the Teen Spaces workshop presenter at last year 's NLA spring meetings. The Commission had a great response to the program from public and school librarians. Sally shared responses with Kim. Kim is including Nebraska Teen Space project examples in an article she is writing for the School Library Journal. 

Chair 's Report and Commissioners ' Comments 

Mary Nelson reported that Holdrege public library has a new Director - Pam Sortee from Loveland, CO. The Republican Valley Library System has hired Sherry Houston as the new System Administrator. Mary attended the Public Library/TUFS spring meeting in North Platte and said it was one of the best that she has attended.  

Carol Spencer reported that she will be attending the Meridian Library System annual meeting in June. The meeting will be in Red Cloud and will include a guided tour of Willa Cather 's Red Cloud. The Nebraska Humanities Council is sponsoring a program called Key Ingredients which will be hosted at the Broken Bow museum. The library will host programs related to the display. 

Jean Ahrens reported that libraries are gearing up for summer reading programs; the Scottsbluff public library had a ribbon cutting event to celebrate its new teen spaces area. The Scottsbluff public library is in the beginning stages of an expansion project. 

Pat Gross reported that Wayne public library has a new teen space area with incredible art work that the youth have made. The display has garnered quite a bit of attention.  

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that the Fremont public library has lost several key library employees but there are some good applicants. Fremont held a One Book - One State book discussion. Fremont held its annual book sale and made over $14,000.  

Kris Rogge stated that the Brownville book festival was a great success. Kris mentioned that Brownsville would like to partner with the Auburn public library to digitize historical items. Kris said her time serving as a Commissioner has been a wonderful experience. She has learned a lot and has met wonderful people.  

Director 's Report

Personnel - Rod Wagner reported that Michael Norval recently left his position in TBBS to work for the Nebraska Department of Corrections. Traci Robison will replace Michael.  Scott Sholz was recently hired to fill the vacant Talking Book and Braille Service circulation coordinator position; this position has been vacant since Cherie Longmuir left to become the Panhandle Library System Coordinator. The Research Assistant position for the IMLS grant project was offered to one of the applicants. The individual accepted, but withdrew soon after as a result of another offer. The position was then offered to one of the other candidates. She has accepted the position and will begin work in June. Applications have also been received for the Library Technology Consultant position. The next step will be to go through the applications and arrange interviews. 

Biennium Budget and Legislative Issues - Rod Wagner noted the budget information included in the meeting packets. The spreadsheet provides details of the Appropriation Committee 's recommendations for the Nebraska Library Commission. The committee included additional funds for library materials, additional funds for Department of Administrative Services ' fees and additional funds to cover database license fee increases. State aid funds were not increased in the biennium appropriation. There are three weeks left in the legislative session. Most of the time will be taken up with the state budget and priority bills. 

LB 645 - This legislative bill concerns telecommunication services companies, Nebraska public utilities and local governments and provision of telecommunication services by public entities. The bill would preclude local government entities from providing telecommunication services. This might affect the Papillion public library. The Papillion library provides community internet services. The bill may not pass this session. If not, it will carry over to the next session beginning in 2006.  

Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse - Beth Goble reported that the Nebraska Library Commission is one of fourteen federal depositories in the state. The Commission operates the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse (state publications depository). The Federal Depository Library Program is managed by the US Government Printing Office (GPO). The GPO is in its eighth year of transition from print distribution to a digital documents program. The GPO estimates that 95% of government publications are now online. The GPO is planning to go strictly to digital and will undertake a comprehensive harvesting program with software that will harvest publications off other federal agencies websites. The GPO would then archive and catalog the publications and create a national collection of US government publications consisting of a digital library available on the internet. The GPO would also retrospectively scan federal publications since the beginning of the republic. The GPO will also have a dark archive that will house all the print materials.  

This project is causing some anxiety for large academic libraries that are designated regional depository libraries. The regional depositories receive GPO distributed publications and keep them in perpetuity. Under consideration is an allowance to depositories for print-in demand. Inevitably, we are looking at very few print items to be distributed. The GPO will expect depositories to access the GPO online catalog or add reference to our own catalog for public use. A couple of years ago, the Library Commission reduced its selection of GPO publications down below two percent of the documents available through the depository system. This choice was based on use patterns and needs, and the close-by availability of the regional depository at UNL Love Library. The GPO 's plans should not have much effect on the Library Commission. Commission staff has weeded the federal documents collection extensively and will have an OCLC catalog reference for every federal document still in the collection.  

The Commission is also responsible for Nebraska state documents - a very popular program. Transitions similar to federal documents are occurring at the state level. Bonnie Henzel, State Documents Librarian, just claimed over 200 publications on the internet that had never been sent to the Commission in print. State agencies that post on the web are supposed to send the Commission publications in hard-copy format. The Commission receives about 4000 documents a year in print. About 10% of these are filmed on microfiche and sent to the fourteen state depository libraries. The camera at the State Records Management Office broke and has not been repaired. The SRMO has indicated that the camera will not be repaired. Thus, the Publications Clearinghouse has discontinued sending microfiche to depository libraries. The Commission will continue to have a single microfiche made for archival purposes. The SRMO has the capability to receive digital files. We plan to download state documents that would have been microfilmed to a Commission server and add stable URLs that won 't change. This will provide a permanent address that will be incorporated into the OCLC cataloging records. The state document depositories will receive a monthly electronic alert with a list of new titles received.  

Beth Goble reported that the Publications Clearinghouse is currently involved in an interesting digitization initiative - the Nebraska Public Documents Digitization project. The Commission has a collection of old Nebraska documents starting in the 1870 's. It includes a collection of official reports of Nebraska 's new government. The documents librarian from the University of Nebraska at Omaha is spearheading a project to digitize the collection. The New York public library has a set of the documents on microfiche. The Nebraska State Historical Society received a grant from the Library Commission to purchase the microfilm from New York, with permission to digitize records from the microfilm. UNL Love library staff will digitize the records host a website and provide a searchable collection. The Commission has also given a grant to UNL Love library to pay for half of the digitization cost for the microfilm. The microfilm doesn 't start until 1890. Those agencies, including NLC, with older documents will inventory what we have and seek a grant to have them digitized.     

Nebraska Memories - Shannon Behrhorst reported that the Nebraska Memories project is proceeding nicely. The software is loaded and has been tested with Polley Music Library items at Lincoln City Libraries. Several libraries have received LSTA grants for their digitization projects. Some of the grants are collaborative, including organizations in partnership with a public library. Network Service staff have been visiting libraries that received LSTA digitization project grants to consult on how to proceed on projects, project timelines and training needs. Network Services staff members are currently providing metadata training and will provide digitization and scanning training on July 14 and 15 in Walton. The ContentDM software is being upgraded. Thus, staff has delayed customizing the software until the end of the month. Staff will provide training on the software at the end of the summer. Commission staff will also assist libraries that may have objects to include in Nebraska memories but too few to warrant adding the objects directly. In these situations, Commission staff will scan the objects. Library staff will only need to create catalog records for the items. It is hoped that by next spring several projects will be completed and successful. 

Special Grants and Projects - Rod Wagner distributed a document with budget information and a list of special projects staff are working on to complete the fiscal year. The list includes grants and contracts for public documents digitization, Dollars for Data, Nebraska Memories, and interlibrary loan grants. Also included is a demonstration project to document processes and experiences of two libraries that will move from stand-alone automated systems to the One Nebraska Library Consortium (managed by the Norfolk Public Library). A Consortium goal is to include additional libraries. Current participants include the Norfolk and Columbus public libraries, and the Northeast and Central Community college libraries. Grant funds will be provided to add the Wayne and South Sioux City public libraries in to the Consortium. Other projects include funds for an NET production of a poetry event held in Kearney involving Ted Kooser, Bill Kloefkorn and some newer Nebraska poets. This project will include production of DVDs and curriculum materials for use in schools and libraries. Funds are also being provided to revise and publish the Nebraska Public Library Trustee Manual. 

Gates Foundation Grants to State Library Agencies - Rod Wagner reported that WebJunction has received grants that will involve the Nebraska Library Commission and other state library agencies. WebJunction is a web-based service created by OCLC under contract with the Gates Foundation. WebJunction received an IMLS grant to create a national clearinghouse for education and training opportunities. The other WebJunction grants were awarded from the Gates Foundation to develop a rural library sustainability program and a Spanish language outreach program. The WebJunction staff wants to work with state library agencies to provide training for rural library staff in public access computing. The second activity is a Spanish language outreach program. This project is intended for libraries that serve Spanish speaking individuals. The programs will be carried out over the next couple of years. Nebraska will be among the first state library agencies to participate in the rural library sustainability program.

Western Council of State Libraries Meeting - Rod Wagner reported that Western Council meeting was held in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. The first day was devoted to presentations on digital library initiatives; Nebraska Memories was one of the presentations. The other part of the meeting was devoted to discussion of the Western Council 's three year Institute of Museum and Library Services grant - The Continuum of Library Education project targets library workers in the 21 western states. The emphasis is on providing education for the many library workers who do not have professional library science education. An aspect of the project is reciprocity among state library agencies in recognizing librarian certification. Nebraska has lot to offer other western states. Less than half of the western state library agencies have certification programs. Educational offerings in Nebraska, including the new library technical assistant courses, training provided by the Commission, regional library systems and the Nebraska Library Association all contribute to a variety of educational opportunities for library workers.

Chief Officer 's of State Library Agency Meeting - Rod Wagner reported that the meeting was held on May 2nd prior to National Legislative Day. Included were reports from the American Library Association, the Institute of Museum and Libraries Services, and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Dr. Robert Martin, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, is completing his term in July and cannot be re-appointed. His interim replacement will probably be Mary Chute, Deputy Director for Library Services.  

National Library Legislative Day - Rod Wagner stated that he, Velma Sims-Shipley, Kathy Tooker, Mary Reiman, and Brenda Ealey were Nebraska library representatives who attended National Legislative Day. Legislative Day activities included a full day briefing on issues including appropriations, intellectual property, the USA PATRIOT Act, government publications, and more. The Nebraska group visited with staff in each of the Nebraska Congressional offices.   

Community College: Library Technical Assistant Courses - Rod Wagner reported that Pam Scott has been visiting administrative staff at community colleges in western Nebraska regarding the LTA program. Jean Ahrens stated that WNCC will start a class this August.  

Brownville Book Festival - Rod Wagner observed that the Brownville festival, held April 22-23, was a great event. The festival includes a variety of presentations and activities celebrating writing, books and music.

One Book - One State Project - Rod Wagner reported that the project appeared to be a success, at least for a number of communities that participated. The Cather Foundation did a great job preparing and providing resources. Project partners made significant contributions to the success of the program. Libraries that participated were praised for their creativity and efforts. The Library Commission has received encouragement to support future One Book - One State activities.  Rod said that he will be asking the Nebraska Humanities Council to join with the Library Commission to convene a meeting of representatives of the partner organizations to assess this year 's project and potential for future statewide book discussion activities. Jean Ahrens stated that Scottsbluff and Gering public libraries would like to do a one book - two towns project.  

2005 Nebraska Book Festival - Rod Wagner reported that the festival will be held October 7 & 8, and will be hosted by Nebraska Wesleyan University. Most of the activities will be held on the NWU campus. Some of the activities will be held in downtown Lincoln, including a festival reception and film showing. The theme for the festival is Local Wonders. Ted Kooser will be the keynote speaker and Bruce Cole, Chair for the National Endowment for the Humanities, has been invited to be the luncheon speaker. The Nebraska Book Awards will be presented.  

ALA/ALTA National Library Advocacy Honor Roll - Rod Wagner reported that state library agencies were asked to coordinate the selection of individuals or organizations that have been outstanding in their library advocacy efforts. Each state can select up to three individuals or groups for recognition. A committee consisting of Brenda Ealey (President, Nebraska Library Association), Maggie Harding (Executive Director, Nebraska Library Association) and Rod Wagner met and considered nominations. The Nebraska honorees selected include Wally Seiler (former member of the Nebraska Library Commission, State Advisory Council on Libraries, Alliance Library Board, and Alliance Library Foundation, and current chair of the NLA Intellectual Freedom Committee), Doug Roesemann (President, ReferenceUSA, and Vice-President/President-Elect of Friends of Libraries USA), and Kathy Tooker (Eastern Library System Administrator, chair of the NLA Legislative Committee and Nebraska Library Legislative Day, and a past president of the Nebraska Library Association). The advocacy honorees will be recognized at a banquet during the ALA conference in Chicago on June 24. 

Financial Report

Rod Wagner reported that expenditures are in line with budgeted amounts.  

Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business. 

New Business

July Meeting Plans - Jean Ahrens reported that the July meeting will be held in Scottsbluff at Western Nebraska Community College. Jean, Nancy Escamilla and Cherie Longmuir have planned a special dinner event for Thursday evening. Jean distributed information on places to visit and events while in western Nebraska. Jean provided information on Oregon Trail Days which will be going on the weekend of the Commission and Council meetings. Sleeping rooms have been reserved for both July 14 & 15. 

FY 2005 - 2006 State Employee Pay Policies - Rod Wagner reported that State of Nebraska pay policies for contract and non-contract employees provide for a 3% pay increase on July 1, 2005. Agency heads need approval of their appointing authorities to receive the pay increase. Rod requested a 3% pay increase effective July 1 consistent with state employee pay policies for FY 2005. A motion was made to approve a 3% pay increase effective July 1, 2005 for Rod Wagner. Motion carried on a roll call vote: Mary Nelson - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; Jean Ahrens - aye; and Patrick Gross - aye. Motion approved.  

Out-of-State Travel - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend a COSLA meeting on June 24 and the ALA annual conference July 24-27 in Chicago. A motion was made to approve the out-of-state travel request. Motion carried on a roll call vote: Kristen Rogge - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; Jean Ahrens - aye; Patrick Gross - aye; and Mary Nelson. Motion approved. 

Special Recognition - Rod Wagner thanked Kristen Rogge for her two terms on the Nebraska Library Commission. Rod stated that Kristen has been very positive, supportive, and interested in library issues. She has been a joy to work with and has been a great Commissioner.  Kris was presented with a Nebraska Admiralship and a plaque in recognition of her contributions on the Library Commission and service to the State of Nebraska. 


Chair Rogge adjourned the meeting at 12:10 p.m. 


Maria Medrano-Nehls, Secretary        

All attachments are available upon request. If you would like a copy, please contact Sue Biltoft at the Nebraska Library Commission, 800-307-2665 or 402-471-2045.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.