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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
September 9, 2005

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, September 9, 2005, 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. 

Vice-Chair Mary Nelson called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, John Dale, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, and Carol Spencer. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Mary Jo Ryan, Kit Keller and Pam Scott.  

Approval of Agenda:  Jean Ahrens asked to have an item placed on the agenda. A motion was made to approve the amended agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jean Ahrens - aye; John Dale - aye; Patrick Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; and Carol Spencer - aye; Motion approved. 

Approval of the Minutes (July 15, 2005): A motion was made to approve the July 2005 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: John Dale - aye, Patrick Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved.  


There was no public comment. 

Correspondence and Communication 

Rod Wagner reported that he received a letter from Jack Crowley, Executive Director of Central Community College Foundation, thanking the Commission for the scholarships provided to several of their students. Rod said that it is nice to get recognition of the value of the Commission's efforts to support library science education.  

Chair's Report and Commissioners' Comments   

Jean Ahrens reported that the architectural plan for the expansion of the Scottsbluff public library has been accepted. If the building is expanded by 2007, the project will cost $6.8 million. The city is considering hiring a professional fundraiser. Jean attended the Job-a-Like program in which public, college and school librarians get together to share ideas and programs.  

Carol Spencer reported that the Broken Bow public library had $7,000 restored to its budget.

John Dale reported that Lincoln City Libraries fiscal year began the 1st of September. The budget was not looking good but after a few internal changes the library has the funds needed to operate as they are currently.

Mary Nelson reported that Imperial's library building project is just about completed. The Lexington public library is installing new carpeting as its project moves toward completion. The Holdrege Public Library System has a new Director, Pam Soreide.   

Patrick Gross reported that Wayne's library director, Lauran Lofgren, is very innovative and great at her job. Pat passed around an article from the Wayne Herald saying that the Commission and the Kiewit Foundation had provided money to allow the Wayne and South Sioux City public libraries to join the One Library Consortium. The consortium allows participating libraries to have access to the holdings of all of the consortium member libraries and the best software that would have been too expensive for individual libraries on their own. 

Director's Report

Personnel -Rod Wagner reported that Cherie Longmuir, Panhandle Library System Coordinator, was recently recognized with the Panhandle Library System Distinguished Service Award.  

Recruitment and Retention Project - Librarians for the 21st Century - Mary Jo Ryan and Kit Keller presented a report on the library workforce recruitment and retention project. They stated that the project came about as a result of the Commission's long range plan. They begin to look at national and local information about the availability of library workers and future projections indicating that increasing numbers of library workers will soon reach retirement age. A task force was formed to explore library workforce retention and recruitment trends and needs, and to make recommendations on how to recruit a new generation of librarians. One of the recommendations was a multimedia marketing campaign to promote librarianship as a positive career choice. Other suggestions included providing funds for scholarships and mentors. An IMLS grant application was submitted but not funded the first time.  A subsequent application was sent the next year and a three-year $300,000 grant was awarded.

A research assistant was hired to help with project. A structure was then developed to implement all of the actions listed in the grant application. The marketing campaign will include a movie trailer because research has shown that young people are susceptible to information received at movie theaters.  Staff became aware of Ann Seidl, a librarian who is researching the image of librarians. Ms. Seidl has produced a film titled The Hollywood Librarian. Her research is on movie clips and includes depictions of librarians in movie clips. She is a librarian turned film maker. The Commission has contracted with Ms. Seidl to produce the movie trailer.  A demo tape was viewed showing Ms. Seidl's work in producing The Hollywood Librarian. In addition to the movie trailer, the marketing campaign will include bookmarks and brochures. The movie trailer will be used to develop a DVD and display that can be used by librarians and school counselors.

The grant will also provide scholarships to Nebraskans pursuing MLS degrees or taking Library Technical Assistant course work. A mentoring program and a Web site for recruitment and retention are part of the project. The Web site will allow the movie trailer to be available for download. The Web site will also have information on recruitment, retention and employment.  

The project has also resulted in a contract with the University of Nebraska at Omaha to publish a brochure explaining the different library science education options in Nebraska. The brochure includes quotes from Nebraska librarians from different types of libraries.  

An NLA - NEMA pre-conference program is being planned for 2006 in conjunction with the NLA Paraprofessional section, Diversity Committee, New Member's Roundtable, and the Trustee, Users and Friends section. The pre-conference program will be presented by Ann Seidl who will encourage people to get involved in mentoring and to increase their educational options.  

Consumer Health Symposium - Mary Jo Ryan reported that last year the Nebraska Library Commission nominated the UNMC McGoogan Library of Medicine for the 2004 NCLIS Blue Ribbon Consumer Health Information Recognition Award for their Consumer Health Information Resource Service (CHIRS). Health information is the single most sought after information on the Web. CHIRS allows people from Nebraska to phone or e-mail requests for health information. CHIRS librarians are experienced and skilled in finding relevant health information. An outcome of the consumer health information award was the beginning of discussions with the UNMC Library of Medicine staff about ways to publicize and promote this great service. A project idea emerged to support several local community health information resource teams. On November 10, the Library Commission, UNMC Library of Medicine, and the Nebraska Health and Human Services System will co-host a symposium in North Platte to enable teams from several Nebraska communities to explore needs and opportunities for team building and planning for local community health information activities. Community projects will publicize and promote the information resources and services of public libraries, medical centers, and other community organizations. The symposium will include teams from the Gering/Scottsbluff, Grand Island, Hastings, Lincoln, Norfolk, North Platte, Ogallala and Omaha.  

Public Library Trustee Education Project - Pam Scott reported that the trustee survey results will be distributed to public library trustees at the NLA/NEMA conference. Based upon the survey responses, Commission staff, regional library system administrators, and NLA TUFS representatives will begin designing a continuing education program for library trustees.  The plan is to focus on grants and grant writing, fundraising, Friends of the Library and information on 501(C)(3) organizations, planning and evaluation during the first year.

The second year focus will be on policies. The third year will address fiscal responsibilities, copyright and intellectual freedom. The fourth year will focus on public relations skills, library advocacy, verbal and written presentation skills, and board management. Different delivery approaches will be used to present this information (on-site training, on-site consultation, on-line, and recordings).  

Library Commission staff members are working with the University of North Texas School of Library and Information Sciences to create an online course on library board orientation. The public library trustee handbook is also being revised with the goal of having it available for distribution at the 2006 NLA - NEMA conference.  

Continuing Education Grants - Pam Scott stated that a list of grant awards was included in the meeting packets. The document lists grant recipients, a short description of their project and the grant amount. There was a good variety of applications. There will be another round of grants offered in October for librarians to attend the ALA Public Library Association conference in March, 2006.  

2005 Nebraska Library Leadership Institute - Rod Wagner stated that he and John Dale were among thirty some participants and mentors who attended the Library Leadership Institute at the St. Benedict Center near Schuyler. This was the third institute, held once each two years. The institute is planned and arranged by the Nebraska regional library systems and supported financially by the Library Commission, with additional contributions by some other organizations. The institute is led by John Shannon and Becky Schreiber - two highly skilled, knowledgeable and effective leader/trainers. 

One Book - One Nebraska - Rod Wagner reported that the One Book - One Nebraska statewide book discussion project was well received. Recently, the Nebraska Library Commission and the Nebraska Humanities Council co-hosted a lunch meeting with persons who have been involved in the project over the past year to thank the Cather Foundation for its work, initiative and leadership and to share ideas about a future One Book - One Nebraska project. The Cather Foundation initiated the statewide project as part of the Foundation's fiftieth anniversary celebration and sought partnerships with other Nebraska organizations. The Mari Sandoz Society is interested in leading the project in 2007, possibly using Mari Sandoz's book Crazy Horse for reading and discussion. One of the suggestions for 2006 is another Willa Cather book.   

Nebraska Book Festival - Rod Wagner reported that the Nebraska Book Festival, "Local Wonders", will be held October 7-8 at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln. There will be events both downtown and on the Wesleyan campus. The keynote speaker will be U.S. Poet Laureate and 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner, Ted Kooser. William Kloefkorn will be honored at the festival as the recipient of the Mildred Bennett Award. Mr. Kloefkorn will also be the luncheon speaker. Winners of the Nebraska Book Award competition will be honored at the festival. Several of the book award authors will be present. 

NLA/NEMA Conference - The conference will be held September 29-30. The Commission is sponsoring Martha Choe as a keynote speaker. Ms. Choe is Executive Director of the Gates Foundation Global Library Program. 

Financial Report

The financial report was included in the meeting packets. Rod Wagner stated that some expenses are paid at the start of the fiscal year and cover the whole fiscal year. These expenses include such items as subscriptions and licensing fees. The Commission is on target for this stage of the fiscal year. 

Unfinished Business

There was no unfinished business. 

New Business

Jean Ahrens stated that she received an e-mail message from Cherie Longmuir stating that the State of New York issues library license plates ("Love your Library"). The proceeds from sales are used to purchase summer reading program materials. Jean asked if this is something Nebraska would consider pursuing. Rod Wagner stated that a library license plate would need to be authorized by legislation. Rod will seek information from the Department of Motor Vehicles about specialty license plates. 

21st Century Librarian Scholarship Program - Rod Wagner introduced a staff recommendation to change the amount of the MLS scholarships from $1000 to $2500. Also recommended was a change in the name of the scholarships to the 21st Century Librarian Scholarships.  A motion was made to approve the recommended changes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Patrick Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; Jean Ahrens - aye; and John Dale - aye. Motion approved.  

Public Librarian Certification - Reciprocity - Rod Wagner introduced a staff recommendation to adopt a policy that permits the Nebraska Library Commission to waive requirements for a public librarian certificate if a library worker who has certification from another state moves to Nebraska and applies for public librarian certification. Waiver would depend on the individual providing documentation that is substantially comparable to Nebraska certification requirements. A motion was made to approve the recommended change to the Public Librarian Certification program policies.  Motion carried on roll call vote: Mary Nelson - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; Jean Ahrens - aye; and John Dale - aye; Patrick Gross - aye. Motion approved. 

Next Meeting - Then next meeting will be held November 4 at the Nebraska Library Commission.  


Vice-Chair Mary Nelson adjourned the meeting at 11:45 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.