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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
September 1, 2000

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, September 1, 2000 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 Wally Seiler called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. Members present: Karen Warner, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Wally Seiler, Robert King (late) and Velma Sims. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, and Maria Medrano-Nehls. Guests Present: Brenda Ealey and Kathy Tooker.

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

Approval of the Minutes (July 14, 2000): A motion was made to approve the May minutes. Motion carried on roll call votes: Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; Warner -aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.


There were no public representatives present.


Chair Seiler noted the copy of his letter sent to Michael LaCroix, Chair of the State Advisory Council, in answer to the letter previously received from Michael in regard to the NebrasKard. Rod Wagner distributed a copy of a letter received from Bonnie Hathaway informing the Commission of the projects her library was able to complete with an LSTA grant awarded to her library.


Chair Seiler reported that he attended two recent library related events - a public forum held by Nancy Busch on the Library Commission's biennium budget request in Scottsbluff and the library trustee training conducted by Pat Wagner.

Kristen Rogge reported that the Auburn public library has hired a Director. Kristen also reported that she had attended a recent Southeast Library System Board meeting.

Velma Sims reported that the Fremont public library is using LSTA grant funds awarded by the Library Commission to place computers in the Senior Center and provide training. Velma also attended the Pat Wagner's Library Trustee Training program.

Richard Jussel reported that the Kearney public library is refurbishing its building and has added to their computer lab. The Lexington public library is doing a lot of work with children's services and serving a lot more Latino's in that community.

Karen Warner reported that she is working with the Norfolk public library foundation on a dinner and program they are hosting.

Wally Seiler reported that Susie Baird, the Panhandle Library System Administrator, is moving to Alliance. Susie's husband has accepted the position of City Manager for Alliance.

Robert King reported that Holdrege's library director requested an 8% increase in the library budget and was awarded 7%. The Grand Island library has hired the same architectural firm that worked on Love Library at UNL. They would like a 20,000 square foot addition to the G.I. library.



Rod Wagner reported that the Commission is in the recruitment phase for the Network Services Director position. There will be no applications available until September 15.

Recruitment is underway to refill the OCLC coordinator position that became available when Devra Dragos moved to the cataloger position.

The documents assistant position has closed for applications. A temporary employee is currently filling this position due to Renee Ryan's military leave of absence. Renee recently accepted a permanent full-time position with the Nebraska Military Department.

The Talking Book and Braille Service has a clerical position opening. This position has closed for applications.

State Advisory Council on Libraries

This meeting will be held September 22nd in Sidney. The agenda will include an update on the Commission's budget request, a report on the state telecommunications project, a report on Panhandle Library System, a report on the Library Commission's centennial year activities, the NebrasKard, LSTA grants, and the Continuing Educations Grants program.


A second draft of the policy and procedure manual has been distributed to the advisory committee members for comments. An advisory committee meeting is planned for mid-September. At a recent Public Resource Library Group retreat, the NebrasKard was discussed and some concerns were voiced. The NebrasKard Advisory Committee will address concerns brought to their attention. Karen Warner asked for a copy of the second NebrasKard policy and procedure manual draft.

It was asked if we had any information on what happened with other states that have a program like NebrasKard. Rod mentioned that he had no documentation but states like Colorado and Michigan have reported good success with their programs. It was also asked if concerns were coming from all parts of the state. Rod stated that concerns have been expressed by some of the larger public libraries. Concerns have been primarily in regard to funding and service equity issues. Rod mentioned that library participation is voluntary. Colorado representatives have said they did have some of the same concerns being expressed here but have not had any significant problems surface.

October Tri-conference (Omaha)

Rod asked if everyone had received the information for the Tri-conference and informed the Commissioners reminded that the Commission will pay for registration and expenses to attend the conference.

Gates Library Initiative

Rod Wagner and Richard Miller will be traveling to Seattle on September 6 to attend the Gates Library Initiative training. Nebraska will be participating in phrase four. Those attending the Gates meeting will learn the requirements for state participation. Nebraska will be scheduled for computer installations in 2002/2003. Karen Warner asked if libraries need to apply individually. Rod responded that a state application is required and individual libraries will need to apply as well (at a later date).

Trustee Training

Rod mentioned that he attended Pat Wagner's Trustee Training program and found it an excellent program. Pat Wagner has done other training for the Commission and always does an excellent job.

State Government Homepage

Rod noted the State Government homepage, the official website for the State of Nebraska hosted by Nebraska Online. A new website design was presented a few weeks ago at a press conference. There is feature on the homepage for "Ask A Librarian" which links to the Nebraska Library Commission's reference desk. This feature existed on the previous Nebraska Online website but was not as prominent. Commission reference staff members say that they are receiving about the same number of questions but they are different and more complex questions. Rod stated that Nebraska may be the only state homepage that features "Ask A Librarian".


September is the beginning of the fall season and lots of training will be offered. Allana Novotny and Susan Knisely will be offering the Database Roadshow. Basic Skills training sessions will be conducted.

Nebraska Information Technology Commission/State Government Council

The Council has been working on a planning document that will be used as guide to reviewing technology project requests that come from state agencies.


There were no questions or comments.


There was no unfinished business.


2001-2002 Budget Request

Nancy Busch reported on the biennium budget request. This request is similar to last time; there are a few minor adjustments. Based on the increased necessity for training and other travel, an increase in travel and lodging costs is included in the budget request.

Under government aid, a funding request is included that relates to the regional Library Systems. It is presented in to two areas - personnel and operating costs. The proposal calls for an increase for library system personnel salaries and benefits. A 5% increase for salaries and benefits and a 2% increase for operating costs are included. Salaries and benefits for Commission staff will be determined based on the collective bargaining process and by decisions of the Governor and Legislature setting overall state employee salary and benefit expenditure policies.

The budget request includes proposals for the technology related part of the budget. We are submitting two separate proposals to the NITC. Kit Keller assisted in putting together an overview and graph.

In terms of the modification component of the budget request, in program 252 the first priority would be the non-contract salaries, which will happen in January, the second priority would be the Talking Book and Braille Service. The third priority would be the new funding with increased travel. In government aid, the proposed first priority is the request for Library Systems. Distribution of aid would be a 5% decrease across the board. The second priority would be to add this back in, and the additional state aid funds would be the third priority.

A motion was made to approve the 2001-2003 Biennium Budget Request. Motion carried on roll call vote: King - aye; Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.

Out-of-State Travel Request

Rod Wagner asked approval to travel to Aspen, Colorado, September 27-29 to attend the regional meeting for State Library Agency and Library System / Network representatives. The second request is to attend the OCLC Network Directors Advisory Council (RONDAC) meeting in early October.

A motion was made to approve the travel requests. Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; Warner - aye; and King - aye. Motion approved.

Next Commission Meeting

The next Commission meeting will be held November 3, 2000


The meeting was adjourned at 11:00 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.