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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
August 1, 2003

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, August 1, 2003 at 9:30 a.m., at the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.


Chair Richard Jussel called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Wally Seiler, Velma Sims-Shipley; and Pat Gross. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Pam Scott, Kit Keller and Shannon Behrhorst. Guests: Kathy Tooker and Brenda Ealey. 

Approval of Agenda:  A motion was made to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote:  Gross - aye; Jussel - aye; Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; and Sims-Shipley - aye. Motion approved. 

Approval of the Minutes (May 9, 2003):  A motion was made to approve the May 2003 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jussel -aye; Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; and Gross - aye. Motion approved. 

Correspondence and Communication 

Rod Wagner reported that John Seyfarth, Chair of the State Advisory Council on Libraries, sent letters to state senators on behalf of the Council expressing appreciation to senators for supporting the Legislature's version of the biennium budget.  John Seyfarth also sent a letter to Pam Scott with a recommendation to include children and young adult services in the community college library science course offerings that are being developed.  Both letters were the result of the July 18th State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting. 

Chairs Report and Commissioners' Comments   

Chair Jussel reported that he recently returned from a Lewis & Clark expedition tour. The tour was very informative and he would recommend others to experience the tour. 

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that Fremont will be holding a summer program in which Amy Moset will portray Sacagawea. Amy will hold two performances on September 18, first performance is at 4:00 p.m. and the second at 7:00 p.m. The Fremont summer reading program had 1,150 participants. The library is starting a book club at the retirement home. The first book will be Plainsong

Kristen Rogge reported that she was a mentor at the 2003 Nebraska Library Leadership Institute and felt it was the most powerful thing she has ever participated in. The transformation of the participants in five days was great. The group developed a powerful vision statement which captures the essence of libraries. Kristen also reported that she attended the SACL meeting in Curtis. She enjoys attending the SACL meetings because she learns so much from the group and because it's such a good forum with very talented people. The Auburn Public Library received a substantial bequest and is hiring architects and developing the plans for an expansion of the library. 

Wally Seiler reported that he recently met with Cherie Longmuir, Panhandle Library System Coordinator, and discussed the needs of the area. Paxton has a new library and Cherie attended a recent event there.  The library staff was thrilled to have her in attendance. Wally attended the annual Panhandle Library System meeting in Alliance and the SACL meeting in Curtis. Wally worked with several other Alliance library board members to get a sculpture for the library grounds. They met with George Lundeen and chose one of his sculptures. The board asked the city for a donation and received $30,000; the board will raise the remaining $10,000. The sculpture is two children holding cages of doves which are being released.  

Pat Gross reported that Wayne has a combination public library and senior citizen center.  The building was built during his years on the library board.  The Wayne Public Library is celebrating its centennial year.  Pat has talked with Randolph and Chadron public library boards about their library building plans, sharing experience from Wayne's library building project. 

Director's Report 

Personnel - Rod Wagner reported that Kathy Dukes has returned to work full-time after a serious injury last year. Julie Pinnell has been named the Library Commission's 2003 Employee of the Year. Nancy Busch will be leaving the Commission to take the position of Associate Dean and Professor of UNL Libraries. An open-house for Nancy will be held August 15 from 2-4 p.m. An invitation to the open house has been issued along with a request for letters, cards, and notes to include in a memory book for Nancy.  Rod indicated that he would address personnel issues and options at the September Commission meeting, especially in regard to the position vacancy resulting from Nancy Busch's departure.   

ALA Conference - Rod Wagner reported that the American Library Association Conference in Toronto included many good programs.  Attendance and exhibits were less than the Atlanta conference last year.  Even so, the drop-off didn't appear significant.  There were a number of Nebraska librarians at the conference.  

Supreme Court ruling re Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) - Pam Scott distributed a spreadsheet that showed the current e-rate funding for this year.  The spreadsheet listed the libraries, regional library systems and the Library Commission's telecommunication services discounts.  Pam provided an overview of the e-rate program. There are currently 125 Nebraska public libraries participating in the e-rate program, with approximately 70 getting discounted fees for both telephone and Internet services.   

The CIPA law contains three elements that affect libraries that receive either e-rate discounts or LSTA grants for purchasing hardware or software for Internet access. The three CIPA elements are (1) a revised or a new internet use policy (public board meeting may be used); (2) internet use policy must be discussed and approved at a public meeting; and (3) filtering device.  Pam stressed that if an adult asks for the filter to be disabled the librarian must disable it immediately. Libraries will have a year to comply with the CIPA ruling.   

IMLS Recruitment and Education Grant Application - Rod Wagner reported that the Commission has applied for an IMLS recruitment and education grant. The IMLS will distribute approximately $9 million for grants under this new program. Grant applications were due mid-April and 76 applications were been submitted for the grant monies. The program includes four priority areas (1) supporting master's degree level education; (2) supporting the doctoral level for library science education; (3) pre-profession level (this is the category the Commission falls into, though the Commission's application also includes scholarship assistance for master's degree programs); and (4) research projects. Grant awards will be announced in mid-October.  Rod Wagner was on the IMLS grants panel that reviewed and made recommendations to the IMLS on applications in the master's degree programs.   

National Library Legislative Day - Rod Wagner reported that Velma Sims-Shipley, Robert King, and he represented the Nebraska Library Commission at the annual National Library Legislative Day.  Kathy Tooker and Brenda Ealey represented the Nebraska Library Association.  Gail Formanack represented the Nebraska Educational Media Association, and Chuck Peek represented the Nebraska Center for the Book.  Velma's husband, Parker Shipley, joined the group for Congressional office visits and other Legislative Day activities. 

Library Services and Technology Act Reauthorization - The group attending the National Legislative Day visited with Nebraska congressional representatives or staff. Senator Nelson and Senator Hagel were asked to co-sponsor the LSTA reauthorization bill.  Senator Nelson agreed to become a co-sponsor.  Senator Hagel said he would consider the request, but has not been added as a co-sponsor.  

State Advisory Council on Libraries - Rod Wagner stated that the two letters mentioned in Correspondence and Communication were approved to be sent from the group.  The first letter was to state senators and the second was to Pam Scott to share with the library science course group. The Dean of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture stated (at the Council meeting) that the College would provide funding assistance for Mo Khamouna, librarian at the college, to obtain his master's degree in library science.   

Library Science Education at Nebraska Community Colleges - Pam Scott reported that the group has decided on the seven areas that will be offered for the program. Pam distributed a handout with a list of courses and objectives.  Next steps include securing approvals from the community colleges to begin offering library science courses beginning in the 2004 fall semester. 

National Book Festival - Rod Wagner reported that the National Book Festival will be held October 4 in Washington, D.C. The Institute of Museum and Library Services will again provide funds to state library agencies to have state exhibits at the festival. 

Financial Report 

May and June Budget Reports - Financial reports were included in the meeting packets.  

Unfinished Business 

There was no unfinished business. 

New Business 

Election of Chair - A motion was made to elect Kris Rogge as Chair. Motion carried on roll call vote:  Rogge - abstain; Seiler - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; Gross - aye; and Jussel - aye. Motion approved. 

Election of Vice-Chair - A motion was made to elect Velma Sims-Shipley as Vice-Chair. Motion carried on roll call vote: Seiler - aye; Sims-Shipley - abstain; Gross - aye; Jussel - aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved. 

Library Leadership Vision Statement - Kris Rogge asked that the Library Leadership Institute Vision Statement (Our Vision for Nebraska Library Leaders) be adopted.  This action would give credit to the group who developed it. This vision statement articulates what the role of libraries should be or aspire to be.  

A motion was made to rename the Leadership Institute Vision statement "Vision Statement for Nebraska Libraries" and adopt it as the vision for all Nebraska libraries.  Motion carried on roll call vote: Sims-Shipley - aye; Gross - aye; Jussel - aye; Rogge - aye; and Seiler - aye. Motion approved. 

FY 2004 State Aid to Public Libraries Grant Formula - Kit Keller reported that due to state budget reductions the state aid to public libraries formula must be changed. Kit stated that state aid appropriations were reduced by 10%.  There are 168 libraries that receive state aid.  Not all libraries are eligible to receive state aid because they must meet a set of criteria. Several years ago the formula was changed to add an incentive payment for public funds over and above what public libraries receive from their main funding source. The base payment for libraries serving less then 5,000 has been changed to $655.00 and a per capita amount of $0.10.  For those libraries serving populations of 5,000 and above, there is no base payment and the per capita dropped to $0.185 cents from $0.205.  

Public Library Accreditation Review Project - Kit Keller stated that the public library guidelines revision project comes from the Nebraska Library Commission's long range plan. The current guidelines have been in place since 1996. Kit stated that the current guidelines have hit a plateau.  The guidelines no longer serve as a growth or development tool.  

Kit has attended meetings and visited libraries across the state, met with library development and other Library Commission staff and also placed an article on the Library Commission Web site asking for comments on guidelines changes. A session on the guidelines will be held at the NLA - NEMA convention in October.  

A goal for the guidelines revision is to tie services to outcomes and find out what the outcomes are for the people of Nebraska.  

Out-of-State Travel Request -    Rod Wagner requested approval for out-of-state travel to attend the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meeting September 6 - 8 and the Western Council of State Libraries meeting on September 9, 2003, in Tucson, Arizona. Motion was made to approve the Director's out-of-state travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Gross - aye; Jussel - aye; Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; and Sims-Shipley - aye. Motion approved. 

Director's Salary - Motion was made to approve a 1.5% salary increase to the Director's salary. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jussel - aye; Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; and Gross - aye. Motion approved. 


The meeting was adjourned at 11:53 a.m.  

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.