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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 11, 2007

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 11, 2007, at the Nebraska Library Commission. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission website. 

Chair John Dale called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, John Dale, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, Velma Sims-Shipley, and Carol Spencer. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Shannon White. Guests: Jenni Puchalla, Southeast Library System, Becky Baker, Seward Public Library, and Glenda Willnerd, Lincoln Public Schools. 

Approval of Agenda:  A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jean Ahrens - aye; John Dale - aye; Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Carol Spencer. Motion approved. 

Approval of the Minutes (January 12, 2007 and March 9, 2007): A motion was made and seconded to approve the January and March 2007 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: John Dale - aye; Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer -aye; and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved. 


Jenni Puchalla stated that Becky Baker, Glenda Willnerd and she were in attendance to represent the Southeast Library System board and to show interest and support for the One Book One Nebraska project.  

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner stated he had no correspondence to present. 

Chair 's Report and Commissioners ' Comments 

Chair John Dale reported that he attended the Library Commission 's budget hearing on March 13. He felt that the hearing went well and that the Commission got a fair hearing from the appropriations committee. John also attended the National Library Legislative Day, May 1&2 in Washington D.C. John stated that Thomas Blanton was one of the speakers at the Legislative Day briefing. Mr. Blanton is the Director for the National Security Archive at George Washington University. Mr. Blanton spoke about the moral aspect of information preservation. Mr. Blankton stated that information preservation is what the library profession is all about. John stated he will be speaking at the Rotary Club in Fremont on May 18. 

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that the Fremont public library recently held its annual book sale and took in $15,444. After covering expenses, their total was $13.500. Velma stated that she 's sure someone from the Fremont public library would be glad to speak with others about how they run their book sale.  

Carol Spencer reported that the Broken Bow library is now automated. The library is gearing up for the summer reading program. Author Irene Brand, a Broken Bow resident who now lives in West Virginia, will be in town for a book signing. The library is closing one day a month from 2-4 p.m. to host their teen 's program.   

Patrick Gross reported that Wayne public library held its book sale and took in $2,000. Wayne public library will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in its current building. Patrick recently visited the Tekamah public library. 

Jean Ahrens reported that the Scottsbluff public library hasn 't started fundraising for the library building expansion. The library is gearing up for the summer reading program. Each summer the library holds a battle of the bands. Jean reported that she and Mary Nelson attend the FOLUSA workshop in North Platte. Jean stated that she enjoyed listening to Sally Reed and came away with lots of good information.   

Mary Nelson reported that she also enjoyed listening to Sally Reed. The Holdrege public library is preparing for its summer reading program. The teen group is developing nicely. The teen group meets one night a week for popcorn, movies and discussions. The library will hold its book sale during Swedish Days. Mary stated that she is pleased that the Library Commission has arranged a 20% discount for Playaway Audiobook purchases ordered through the Commission.  

Director 's Report

Personnel - Rod Wagner reported that Cherie Longmuir retired at the end of April. Rod attended a reception held for Cherie and hosted by the Panhandle Library System board on April 26. Recruitment is underway for the PLS coordinator position. One person has been interviewed by phone and in person.  

State Biennium Budget - Rod Wagner reported that the mainline appropriations bill has advanced to final reading. It must be approved by the Legislature before it moves to the Governor for approval. The committee did restore the money we needed to sustain current staff. The committee included funds for a 2.5% pay increase. The Commission will have the opportunity later this year to request funds for some items not included in the biennium budget.  

Shannon White reported that her team is working on a couple of new projects. The Commission is working with OverDrive, a library media services company, in an effort to provide reasonable cost for audio books. The Commission will subsidize the creation of a website that makes downloadable audio books available. Costs for participating libraries will include a yearly maintenance fee divided equally among all participating libraries, as well as yearly costs for collection development. The Nebraska Library Commission currently provides discount prices for Playaway audio books.  

The Commission is also working with OCLC to offer 200 eAudiobook titles in a shared group purchase. Shannon mentioned that the Commission recently hosted the 2nd annual Vendor 's Day in which various vendors were invited to give presentations and show their products and services. Commission Network Services staff have been conducting a lot of training sessions on technology and databases.   

Rod Wagner stated that the Gates Foundation has renewed its program to provide public access computers to public libraries. Nebraska is slated to be among states in 2008 to participate in the program. The Gates Foundation will use similar criteria used previously to determine library eligibility. One difference will be that funds will be paid directly to the Library Commission rather than to individual libraries. The grant will support the purchase of public computer workstations.   

Maximizing Friends Workshop - Rod Wagner reported that Sally Reed, a native Nebraskan, conducted two well attended and helpful workshops (North Platte and Fremont). The workshops were included as part of the statewide FOLUSA membership package.  

National Library Legislative Day - Rod Wagner reported that the Nebraska group consisted of John Dale, Beth Goble (NLA President), Pam Springer (NEMA president), and Rod Wagner. They attended the Nebraska congressional breakfast and saw all of Nebraska 's congressional delegates.  Following the Nebraska congressional delegation hosted breakfast, the group visited each of the Nebraska delegation offices and met with legislative staff. Some of the topics discussed were Library Services and Technology Act and Elementary and Secondary Education Act funding, telecommunications, copyright, and privacy issues. Also during this time states had representatives in Washington for the annual Idea Exchange hosted by Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. Michael Cartwright, Director of the Nebraska Book Festival, represented the Nebraska Center for the Book. 

Five-Year LSTA Program Evaluation Report - Rod Wagner reported that the five-year LSTA program evaluation was completed and sent to the Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C.  

Long Range Plan Public Meetings - Rod Wagner reported that several public meetings have been arranged to discuss ideas for Nebraska 's Library Services and Technology Act Long Range Plan. The first meeting was held on April 18 in Alliance; the meeting was scheduled early so that Cherie Longmuir could participate. The other public meetings are scheduled for May 17, Grand Island; May 23, North Platte; May 24, Fremont; May 30, Tilden; and May 31, Beatrice.  

Thinking Outside the Borders Institute - Rod Wagner reported that the Commission might not know who the institute participants from foreign libraries will be until late September or early October. Arrangements and program planning are under way.   

One Book One Nebraska Program - Rod Wagner reported that the Mari Sandoz Society is the sponsoring organization this year. Inquiries are being made about plans for 2008 and beyond. The Nebraska Center for the Book programs and projects committee is working on plans for the future. The committee is planning to invite representatives from various state organizations to become members of a One Book One Nebraska committee to book selections, promote the program and coordinate activities for future years. Rod thanked the Southeast Library System for its creativity, leadership and efforts in coordinating and promoting the 2006 program.  


March and April financial reports were included in the meeting packet.  


Libraries with Storm Damage and Expenses - Rod Wagner referred to the document, prepared by Richard Miller, which was included in the meeting packet with information on the libraries that suffered damage in the January storm. Holdrege is one of the libraries that will receive a special grant to assist with storm damage related expenses that have not been paid from other sources. 


Out-of-State Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested approval to attend a COSLA board meeting and the American Library Association annual conference in Washington D.C., June 21-26, 2007. A motion was made to approve the Director 's out-of-state travel requests. Motion carried on roll call vote: Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; Jean Ahrens - aye; John Dale - aye; and Patrick Gross - aye. Motion approved.  

July and September Meeting Dates and Locations - Rod Wagner stated that the next meeting is scheduled for July 13. There is an invitation from the Regional Library System Administrators to Commissioners to attend the ceremony at the end of the Library Leadership Institute scheduled for the same day. Rod stated that the Commission could hold its business meeting at the St. Benedict Center near Schuyler on the morning of the 13th and attend the closing session of the institute. The Commissioners agreed to hold the July meeting at the St. Benedict Center.  

The September 14 meeting will be held in Lincoln.  

Adjournment - Chair John Dale adjourned the meeting at 11:45 a.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.