Skip To Talking Book & Braille Service Content Skip Navigation

Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 9, 1997

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 9, 1997, at 9:30 a.m. at the Nebraska Library Commission, The Atrium, 1200 "N" Street, Suite 120, Lincoln, Nebraska. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on Nebrask@ Online.


Chairman Ron Norman called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. Members present: Ron Norman, Karen Warner, Frances Lovell and Katherine Fletcher. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Elaine Miller.

Approval of Agenda: It was moved by Karen Warner and seconded by Katherine Fletcher to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Lovell-aye; Sanders-absent; Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye.

Approval of the Minutes of the March 14, 1997 meeting: It was moved by Frances Lovell and seconded by Karen Warner to approve the minutes of the March 14, 1997 meeting. Motion carried on roll call vote: Lovell-aye; Sanders-absent; Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye.


No guests were present.


A letter of resignation from the Nebraska Library Commission was received from Dr. Robert McPherson. The resignation is effective immediately. In his letter, Dr. McPherson referred to his residence in Florida and partial year return residence in Nebraska. It was noted that Dr. McPherson is just a month short of completing his second term on the Commission. (Attachment I)

Several letters and messages of appreciation to the Library Commission and staff received were distributed to Commissioners. Karen Warner commended the work that has been done by Library Commission staff on the trial online databases.


Ron Norman reported that he had attended the Public Forum on Nebraskan's Library & Information Service Needs in Kearney on April 16.


National Legislative Day (Wagner and Warner): On Monday, May 5, Rod Wagner, Kathy Tooker and Karen Warner attended briefings on various federal legislative issues of interest to libraries. Laureen Riedesel, Beatrice Public Library Director and Vice-Chair of the Nebraska Center for the Book, attended the Annual Meeting of the Library of Congress Center for the Book. On Tuesday, May 6, Karen Warner, Kathy Tooker, Laureen Riedesel and Rod Wagner attended the Nebraska Congressional Breakfast and then participated in National Legislative Day activities in Washington, D.C. The Nebraska Congressional Delegation is the only delegation that has a breakfast for its constituents. The breakfast is held every Tuesday morning when the Congress is in session. The group met with Congressional staff who work most closely with the issues of interest to libraries.

Karen Warner reported that it worked very well with each person attending bringing their own perspective to the forums. Kathy Tooker told how the LSCA programs have been beneficial to libraries, Laureen Riedesel discussed literacy issues and how libraries are very involved in literacy. Karen Warner discussed the America Reads Program and how important the program is for children and how Community Colleges could become involved in the program. Rod Wagner discussed the transition to the new Library Services and Technology Act, universal service issues related to the federal telecommunications legislation, and budget needs of the federal documents program.

Status of Personnel Reclassifications: The Department of Administrative Services - State Personnel Division has approved the proposal (with some modifications in specifications and pay grades) for new positions and specifications to replace current Commission librarian related positions. The new positions, Librarian and Senior Librarian will replace the Librarian I, II, and III level positions. The Librarian position will be the beginning level professional position (master's level degree from an American Library Association accredited library school). New positions within the Talking Book and Braille Service remain for completion.

Position Vacancies and Recruitment: Rod Wagner announced that Richard Miller has been appointed to the Director of Library Development position. Vickie Beaver, State Documents Assistant, will be resigning from her position at the Library Commission, effective in early June. The position of catalog librarian at the Library Commission is under recruitment.

Farmer's Mutual Lawsuit: Final oral arguments were made on Monday, May 5. The judge is currently reviewing testimony, evidence, and legal issues and will be making a ruling in the near future. Rod Wagner reviewed the circumstances that prompted the litigation.

1997/99 Biennium Budget Status: The Appropriations Committee has introduced their budget bills. For the Library Commission, the Appropriations Committee did approve the additional funds needed to pay for the additional lease costs through the biennium. An additional $500,000, in response to the campaign for the Libraries for the 21st Century, to the Library Commission in ongoing funding for each year of the biennium. This increase would be the single largest increase the Library Commission has ever received in state funding. Decisions on how the funds would be spent is part of the Library Commission's Long Range Plan and the State Advisory Council will be involved in recommending how these funds will be used if appropriated. The budget bills await approval of the Legislature and Governor. The Governor may veto all or part of any appropriation.

Library and NLC Related State Legislation: LB 590 is the bill that relates to Nebrask@ Online. There are also various property tax related bills that will make adjustments to last year's legislation that is significant for Nebraska public and school libraries. As of May 1, the Library Commission's Web page has an update on LB 660 and LB 686 (state telecommunications legislation related to universal service). LB 660 and LB 686 are the bills that state the layout of guidelines and authority for the Nebraska Universal Service Fund. The bill would also put in place a continued group that currently exists as the Nebraska Universal Service Task Force, that Rod Wagner is currently serving on, and would create an ongoing advisory body. The task force has been amended so that there would not be a majority of telecommunications industry representatives on the advisory board. The task force is presently made up of approximately 75% industry representatives. LB 250 was passed several weeks ago (regarding public library laws). The Governor has signed the bill so it is now law.

Long Range Plan Development (Public Forums, etc): A new long range plan has to be submitted for the new federal library program. A preliminary plan has already been submitted. At the same time staff have been addressing the new state monies that the Library Commission may receive and how that money would be used in Nebraska.

Public Forums: Nancy Busch facilitated the first three public forums in Scottsbluff, North Platte and Kearney. Rod Wagner facilitated the last three public forums in Columbus, Papillion and Lincoln. Attendance was less than hoped for. However, the discussions were good and lots of input was received on library and information service needs and priorities. Staff have also been receiving comment cards which were distributed to libraries for input.


March and April Expenditure and Financial Reports: The March and April 1997 Expenditure and Financial Reports were received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachments II and III.)


There was no unfinished business.


NLC Contracts in Effect (as of May, 1997): A list of current contracts in effect as of May 1, 1997 for the Nebraska Library Commission were received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachment IV.)

Grants Issued During FY 1996/97: A report on grant funding for both state and federal funding was handed out to the Commissioners. (Attachment V.)

Commission Members' Travel Policy: It was moved by Karen Warner and seconded by Frances Lovell to approve the Commission Member Travel Policy. (Attachment VI.)Motion carried on roll call vote: Lovell-aye; Sanders-absent; Norman-aye; Warner-aye and Fletcher-aye.

Out-Of-State Travel Request: It was moved by Karen Warner and seconded by Katherine Fletcher to approve the out-of-state travel request for Rod Wagner to attend the Western Council of State Libraries, Chief Officers of State Library Agencies, and the American Library Association Annual Conference to be held June 26-30, 1997, in San Francisco. Motion carried on roll call vote: Lovell-aye; Sanders-absent; Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye.

Recognition for Dr. McPherson: Commission members requested that Rod Wagner look into different ways of recognition for outgoing Commission members that can be carried out for Dr. McPherson and future retiring Commission members. Action will be taken at the next meeting on what type of recognition for retiring Commission members. Commission members requested that Rod Wagner write a thank you letter to Dr. McPherson for his years of service as a Commission member.


It was moved by Karen Warner and seconded by Frances Lovell to adjourn the meeting at 11:03 a.m. Motion carried on roll call vote: Lovell-aye; Sanders-absent; Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye.

________________________ Elaine Miller, Secretary

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

Attachment I - Letter from Dr. Robert McPherson

Attachment II - March Expenditure and Financial Report

Attachment III - April Expenditure and Financial Report

Attachment IV - NLC Contracts in effect as of May, 1997

Attachment V - Grants Issued during FY 1996/97

Attachment VI - Commission Members' Travel Policy

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.