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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
May 8, 1998

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, May 8, 1998, 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.


Chair Karen Warner called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Jean Sanders, Ron Norman, Karen Warner, Katherine Fletcher and Frances Lovell. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Elaine Miller.

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

Approval of the Minutes of the March 20, 1998 meeting: It was moved by Ron Norman and seconded by Frances Lovell to approve the minutes of the March 20, 1998 meeting. Motion carried on roll call vote: Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye; Lovell-aye; King-absent; Sanders-aye.


No guests were present.


A letter was received from two board members of the Neligh Public Library (the President and the Secretary). The letter was in support of the librarian certification program and basic skills program. The Library Commission is presently evaluating the certification and basic skills program.

A letter was to sent Governor Nelson requesting his support for the appropriation of $500,000. Governor Nelson did veto a portion of funds but left $400,000.

A letter to Gary Marron of Pacific Realty is in response to the different options the Library Commission has concerning the repair work to address the water problem in the lower level of the Library Commission.

A letter went out to Nebraska Libraries concerning the Online Service Contract with OCLC for FirstSearch and the different databases that would be available.


Karen Warner was unable to give her PowerPoint presentation. Karen reported that the building consultant at Northeast Community College Library in Norfolk will have a report ready to go out next week. During this summer the building consultant will help library staff to look at the present facility, the addition and recommendations that have been made by the committee. The timeline shows groundbreaking in about a year with completion in 2000.

The Chair then asked each commissioner to give a report from their area of the state.

Jean Sanders reported that the Exon Library was one of the libraries that helped sponsor the Humanities Council sponsored program on Choices for the 21st Century. The program was very successful.

Frances Lovell reported she is a regular library user. She goes to the library two to three times a week.

Katherine Fletcher reported that the Washington Branch Library in Omaha is having difficulty with being a baby sitting service. People are dropping off their children at the library while they attend to other things.

Ron Norman reported that the Archway over I-80 at Kearney will be built. Sixty million dollars in bonds were sold in 3 hours. Ron stated that he is also an avid library user.


Personnel Update: Annie Sternburg, Internet Services Librarian, has resigned and will be moving with her family to South Dakota. Annie's position will be updated and then recruiting will begin. Angela Ames has resigned her position as Circulation Clerk in the Talking Book and Braille Service to attend the master's degree program at the University of Wisconsin - Madison School of Library and Information Studies. One of the Library Commission's part-time staff will be moving into Angela's full time position and a half-time position will be open in the Talking Book and Braille Service area.

Renee Ryan has joined the Library Commission staff as the Government Documents assistant and also as part-time receptionist. Two positions are now vacant at the Library Commission.

Burns Davis has moved from her Information Resources Coordinator position to become part of the library development staff. This will allow Burns to help with consulting and training activities. Burns is a co-author of a book titled Using the Conspectus Method: A Collection Assessment Handbook that has become an academic libraries best seller.

State Librarian's Meeting at Online Computer Library Center (OCLC): Several State Librarians were invited to a meeting held at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio, on April 17. State librarians from Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New Hampshire were in attendance. The Library Commission has a special interest in OCLC's development of services that would be a benefit to smaller libraries (both public and school). OCLC is on the verge of committing to a product and a set of services that would be targeted toward smaller libraries. The program would have access to OCLC's union catalog (WorldCat), a simplified cataloging service, interlibrary loan, reference services, and selection tools and the Library Commission's State Union Catalog (if the Library Commission chooses to add that to the databases with OCLC). The critical item at this time is price, the program has to be priced so it will not be out of reach by smaller libraries. Nebraska is either first or second on the list to introduce this new program.

Certification Program and Basic Skills Courses Evaluation: Commission staff and library system administrators are developing an evaluation process for the librarian certification and basic skills program. The committee is working on an arrangement with Debra Wilcox-Johnson to undertake the evaluation of librarian certification and the basic skills program. Debra is highly regarded and experienced in this area and has done a lot of similar work in other states. Debra Johnson conducted an evaluation of the Iowa program that the Library Commission's program is modeled on.

1998 State Legislation and Appropriations Actions:
Library Technology Funds ($400,000): A large part of these funds will be used to purchase online database services for Nebraska libraries including the OCLC FirstSearch reference service. So far 250 libraries have sent back replies to provide public access to FirstSearch. This includes school, public, academic, and special libraries. Plans are being made to conduct presentations and training in each of the regional system areas, Lincoln and Omaha, concerning FirstSearch. Currently about 60 libraries use OCLC services and after July 1, hundreds of Nebraska libraries will be using this service.

Up to $250,000 of the $400,000 in new state funding will be used for online database services. Not all of the $250,000 will go to OCLC FirstSearch, some money will be used to supplement some of the other online services. The remaining $150,000 will be used for technology training and support.

Rod Wagner, Dee Yost and Laureen Riedesel attended National Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. The E-Rate and Universal fund was one of the major issues in Washington and discussions COSLA Meeting and National Legislative Day Activities: Nebraska representatives Kathy Tooker, with congressional staff. Also discussed were copyright, software filtering legislation, and LSTA funding.

The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) had a joint meeting with the Urban Libraries Council. A presentation was give by Ira Fishman, CEO of the Schools and Libraries Corporation, who is administrating the application process for the telecommunications discounts. As of the deadline for the E-Rate applications there were thirty thousand applications received from schools and libraries across the country. The projected funding requirement to cover those applications was just over 2 billion dollars for 1998. Earlier the Federal Communication Corporation (FCC) had set an annual limit of 2.25 billion to cover the discounted services. However, a few months ago the FCC ordered the collections from the telecommunications companies be limited to 650 million dollars. Now it appears over 2 billion dollars will be required, so the FCC will need to determine how they are going to go about collecting the remainder to cover that for the full year. The FCC is now and has been handling the applications. At the meeting, State Library Agencies were asked to give libraries in each state help resolving any problems with their applications. Library Commission staff member Ellen Van Waart has prepared a one page questionnaire to go out to Nebraska libraries to gather information and ideas concerning administration of the application process.

Diane Frankel, Executive Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the agency that administers the LSTA, gave a report at the COSLA meeting. The next time Ms. Frankel goes before Congress to make her funding appeal for fiscal year 2000, she will need to present information that demonstrates the results of the LSTA funding. Ms. Frankel is working with state library agency representatives to develop some common measures that states can use to provide data on the results of these federal funds.

Facility Update: Nancy Busch gave an update on the work being done in the lower level of the Library Commission's Talking Book and Braille Service stack area that has had a continual water leakage problem. The temporary move of stacks to the first floor has been completed to allow work in the area where the leakage has occurred. Workers are putting up a ceiling drain pan system in the southeast basement. The work should be done by the end of May.

LSTA Grants Program: The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant program information was mailed recently. Commissioners also received copies. The Library Commission has scheduled some tele-video conference sessions for late May and early June at several sites around the state. The conferences will help library staff in preparing grant applications.

Library Commission Automation Planning:
DataTrek and Reads II: A committee of Commission staff will soon be involved in planning for internal automation changes. The Commission automated system, DataTrek, needs to be replaced. Reads, a special automated system for the Talking Book and Braille Service, also needs an upgrade.


March and April Financial Report: The March and April, 1998 Expenditure and Financial Reports were received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachments I and II.)


There was no unfinished business.


1997/98 Contracts Review: The 1997/98 Contracts Review were received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachment III.)

1997/98 Grants Review: The 1997/98 Grants Review was received and reviewed by the Commissioners. (Attachment IV.)

State Aid Allocations for 1998/99: It was moved by Ron Norman and seconded by Jean Sanders to adopt the same formula used last year for the State Aid Allocations for 1998/99. Motion carried on roll call vote: Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye; Lovell-aye; King-absent; Sanders-aye.

Biennium Budget Planning Process: The biennium budget request is due mid-September. The Commissioners will have two meetings before the budget request is submitted. At the July meeting there will be a discussion on the proposal and at the September meeting the Commissioners will be asked to review and approve the final budget proposal.

Out-Of-State Travel Request: It was moved by Ron Norman and seconded by Katherine Fletcher for Rod Wagner to attend the American Library Association Convention and Chief Officers of State Libraries Association Meeting in Washington, D.C. the end of June, 1998 Motion carried on roll call vote: Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye; Lovell-aye; King-absent; Sanders-aye.

Library Commission staff member Burns Davis was elected to complete a term on the executive committee of the State Library Agency section of the Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), an American Library Association division.

Recognition: Ron Norman and Frances Lovell are completing their second terms as Commissioners for the Nebraska Library Commission. Frances and Ron were recognized and given a thank you for their service to the Commission.


It was moved by Frances Lovell and seconded by Ron Norman to adjourn the meeting at 10:55 a.m. Motion carried on roll call vote: Norman-aye; Warner-aye; Fletcher-aye; Lovell-aye; King-absent; Sanders-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 - March, 1998 Expenditure and FinancialReports
Attachment II - April, 1998 Expenditure and Financial Reports
Attachment III - 1997/98 Contracts Review
Attachment IV - 1997/98 Grants Review

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.