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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
September 10, 2004

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, September 10, 2004, beginning at 9:30 a.m., at the Nebraska Library Commission. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Web site. 

Chair Kristen Rogge called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, Kristen Rogge, Velma Sims-Shipley and Carol Spencer. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Richard Miller. 

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

Approval of the Minutes (July 9, 2004): A motion was made to approve the July 2004 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Patrick Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Kristen Rogge - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved. 


No public present.  


Rod Wagner reported that he received a letter from Governor Johanns concerning the award given to the University of Nebraska Medical Center's McGoogan Library of Medicine in recognition of the Library's Consumer Health Information Resource Service (CHIRS). Plans are in the works for an award presentation event to be held October 22 at the McGoogan Library of Medicine in Omaha.  


Chair Kristen Rogge reported that she attended the regional library systems' board training in Kearney. Kristen stated that she noticed differences among the systems and their projects. System board members shared information and ideas about policies and projects.  

Mary Nelson reported that she also attended the regional library systems' board training. She also attended the Republican Valley Library System board meeting prior to the board training. The Republican Valley Library System is currently seeking applications for a system administrator. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe has resigned from his position as the Holdrege public library director. The library will begin a search for a new director.  

Jean Ahrens reported that she also attended the regional library systems' board training event in Kearney. She appreciated learning about the variety of library system projects.  Jean said that the Scottsbluff Public Library is sponsoring author Carol Nelson Douglas this fall; Carol writes mysteries as well as other things.  

Pat Gross reported that he attended the Pender public library's 100th birthday anniversary. A member of the House family was present at the celebration. Pat also visited with Kathy Bretschneider, Battle Creek public library director, about a new library the Battle Creek community wishes to build. Pat shared fundraising ideas and experiences the Wayne public library had during Wayne's public library building project.  

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that in Fremont today, Hazel Keene will auction off thousands of acres of land. The proceeds will go to charitable organizations. The Keene family was a large contributor to the Keene Memorial library so the library may receive some of the proceeds from the sale. The Fremont public library is holding the PAWS for Reading program. The program has a dog and trainer come to the library and children read to the dog. The program is sponsored by the Delta Society. For more information on the program visit  


Personnel - Rod Wagner reported on two personnel changes. Robert Schafer, TBBS circulation clerk, left in August. Robert has been replaced by Michael Norval. Jodene Glaesemann, Administrative Assistant, left the Commission to begin a librarian position with the Lincoln City Libraries. Jodene has been replaced by Sue Biltoft. Sue is returning to the Library Commission following positions with the Rural Development Commission and the Nebraska Health and Human Services System. 

IMLS Librarians for the 21st Century Grant - Rod Wagner reported on the Nebraska Library Commission's IMLS Librarians for the 21st Century grant award. The grant is for a three year period. This grant includes a financial aid component for Nebraska students taking community college library courses or master's degree in library science courses. The grant project also includes a marketing component to develop programs and resources to promote library service careers. One of the marketing resources will be production of a movie trailer for use in movie theaters.  The project started with the State Advisory Council on Libraries and the Council's interest in librarian recruitment and retention. Council discussions led to the creation of a task force made up of representatives from the Nebraska Library Commission, Nebraska Library Association, Nebraska Educational Media Association, State Advisory Council, and different types of libraries. The task force will continue to be involved in the project. The grant funding period begins in November.

The Smartest Card @ your libraryâ„¢ - Rod Wagner stated that the Governor will hold a press conference on September 15 at Lincoln's Eiseley Branch Library to promote library card sign-up month and sign a proclamation. The Governor will be presented with a large library card. Following the press conference, the Governor will read to children. Mary Nelson stated that the Holdrege public library presented new library cards to Phelps County Commissioners.  

Library Technical Assistant Courses - Richard Miller reported that the LTA program started its first class, Introduction to Library and Information Services, with 25 students on August 25.  LTA students are now eligible to apply for Nebraska Library Commission scholarship funds. Richard stated that the Western Council of State Libraries is currently involved in an IMLS funded grant project related to training library practitioners. Nebraska is a Western Council member.   

Music CD Distribution to Schools and Libraries - Rod Wagner stated that according to representatives of the Nebraska Attorney General, Nebraska schools and libraries will receive music CDs in the next few weeks. The music CDs are the result of a lawsuit settlement filed by state attorney generals. Stories from other states indicate that music companies are clearing their warehouses with low interest CDs. Nebraska's distribution has been delayed as a result of Attorney General Bruning's decision to send a portion of the CDs to Nebraska National Guard troops serving in Iraq.  

Encyclopedia of the Great Plains - Rod Wagner passed around the newly published Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. David Wishart is the editor. The Library Commission is assisting the University of Nebraska Press in publicizing the encyclopedia in Nebraska and other states within the Great Plains region. Rod stated that he co-signed a letter that went to the other state libraries within the Great Plains. The University of Nebraska Press is offering libraries a 40% discount.  

Nebraska Book Festival - Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Book Festival will be held next weekend, September 17-19, at the University of Nebraska - Kearney. Friday is devoted to programs for high school students. Nebraska Library Commission staff is heavily involved in the Nebraska Book Awards competition. There are some outstanding books that will be honored at the festival. The winners of the book awards are Children: The Ring Bear by N.L. Sharp; Young Adult: Free to Drink the Wind by Ruth Foreman; Fiction: Acts of Love on Indigo Road by Jonis Agee; Cover Design/Illustration: Road Trip: Conversations With Writers by Shelly Clark and Marjorie Saiser; Non-fiction: Restoring the Burnt Child: A Primer by William Kloefkorn; Anthology: Road Trip Conversations With Writers by Shelly Clark and Marjorie Saiser; and Poetry: Potato Soup by Twyla Hansen. The 2005 festival will be held in Lincoln.   

NLA/NEMA Conference - Rod Wagner noted that the NLA/NEMA conference will be held October 6-8 in Grand Island. The Library Commission is heavily involved in the pre-conference and conference - exhibit, staff presentations, program sponsorships, and sponsorship of Mary Pipher, keynote speaker. 

2005 One Book/One State Project - Rod Wagner reported that a Nebraska "One Book/One State program" is being planned for next year. The Willa Cather Foundation initiated the project and has sought involvement from other state organizations. Libraries are seen as key partners in the project. The Cather Foundation selected My Antonia for the project. The project is part of the Cather Foundation's 50th anniversary activities and events. 

Library Technology Support Task Force - Rod Wagner reported that the State Advisory Council on Libraries recommended creation of a library technology support task force. The task force will be asked to address library technology support needs and develop recommendations to address these needs. Rod Wagner, Kristen Rogge and Brenda Ealey recently met to discuss how the Commission, regional library systems, and the Nebraska Library Association might move forward on this issue. Individuals to serve on the task force were identified. The persons recommended for the task force are skilled and knowledgeable in technical support. The task force's first meeting will be September 28 at the Eiseley branch library in Lincoln. Mary Nelson stated the issue was discussed at the Republic Valley Library System meeting and they were concerned about the travel expense to have someone come to the library to handle technology problems. They felt perhaps this could be done with community college computer science students.  

State Advisory Council on Libraries Meeting - The next SACL meeting will be held November 19 at the Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago.  


Rod Wagner stated that Doreen Kuhlmann, Business Manager, and he recently met with William Scheideler, DAS Budget Analyst (the Library Commission is one of his agencies) and Gerry Oligmueller, State Budget Administrator. Mr. Oligmueller said that he had instructed his budget analysts to review state agency carry-over funds (from the first year of the biennium) to determine funds that could be rescinded. We have finished the first year of the biennium appropriation period. Funds not spent by the end of the first year of the biennium carry over to the second year. Agencies have been asked to provide a detailed list of how carry over funds will be spent. 




2005-2007 Biennium Budget Request - Rod Wagner reported that there are three major pieces to the budget request. The first piece is the "continuation budget" - a request for funds based on current activities. The continuation budget request assumes the agency will continue the services it currently provides, and what it will cost to carry out the activities over the next two years. The budget request includes expenditures for such costs as rent, office equipment, publishing and printing, accounting services, data processing, communications, travel, and workers compensation, and many other line items. The agency strategy is to anticipate expenditure increases and include them in the request. For example, a 10% increase for library materials, books and periodicals is included based on average publishing industry cost trends.  

The Commission's appropriations are made in two programs - agency operations and state aid to libraries. The operations program includes Library Commission personnel (salaries and benefits), operating expenses, travel, and capital purchases. The state aid to libraries program includes grants and contracts. Funds cannot be transferred between programs. 

Under the "new or expanded" (budget adjustments) category, a state funds increase is requested for aid to public libraries, aid to regional library systems, and statewide database licensing. The public library aid increase is based on providing incentives for the revised public library accreditation guidelines. An amount of $250,000 is requested for aid to public libraries. Incentive funds would be used for libraries that meet requirements for the enhanced or excellent categories (accreditation). Incentive funds would also allow the Commission to provide incentives to libraries that receive county funds in addition to their main source (municipal). In the Commission's operations budget request, additional funds are sought for a staff position.   

An amount of $500,000 is recommended for licensing an additional major online package of databases. An amount of $60,000 is recommended for regional library systems above the continuation budget level to restore state funding to FY 2002 appropriation levels. 

A staff position (administrative assistant) is included in the request to restore a position that has remained vacant for the past two years. An administrative assistant position provides flexibility in recruiting for the skills needed for a variety of agency initiatives and projects. The Commission does have federal LSTA funds that can be used to refill a position that has been held vacant.  

The budget modification is the budget section that requires agencies to specify what would be eliminated if the agency's state funds are reduced by 5% (based on current year state fund appropriation levels). The 95% budget applies to both agency programs - operations and state aid. In operations, staff positions would be eliminated if state funds are reduced by 5%. Specific positions are not identified. If a 5%, or other, state funds reduction results from state appropriations enacted by the Legislature, then the Commission would institute a reduction-in-force policy subject to state personnel rules and regulations and the State of Nebraska - NAPE/AFSCME labor agreement. In the state aid program, a 5% state funds reduction would be applied across-the-board to each of the categories within the program - public library aid, regional library systems, interlibrary loan compensation, CE grants and scholarships, and young and adult library services project grants.  

A motion was made to prioritize the state aid budget request. State aid to public libraries will be the first priority, second is library system funding and third will be databases. Motion was carried on roll call vote: Nelson - aye; Rogge - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; Spencer - aye; Ahrens - aye; and Gross - aye. Motion approved.  

A motion was made to approve the 2005-2007 biennium budget request summary as presented with priority changes. Motion was carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; Sims-Shipley - aye; Spencer - aye; Ahrens - aye; Gross - aye; and Nelson - aye. Motion approved.    


Rod Wagner requested permission to attend the COSLA and Western Council of State Libraries meetings in Rapid City, South Dakota from October 17-20, 2004. A motion was made to approve Rod Wagner's travel request. Sims-Shipley - aye; Spencer - aye; Ahrens - aye; Gross - aye; Nelson - aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.  


Chair Rogge adjourned the meeting at 12:05 p.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.