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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission

September 24, 1999


The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, September 17, 1999, 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 the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.


Chair Wally Seiler called the meeting to order at 9:35. a.m. Members Present: Karen Warner, Wally Seiler, Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, and Robert King. Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Maria Medrano-Nehls. Guest: Dee Yost.

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

Approval of the Minutes (July 9, 1999): A motion was made to approve the May minutes. Motion carried on roll call votes: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel aye; and Warner - aye.

II.Public Forum

Chair Wally Seiler welcomed all present. Introductions were made


Rod Wagner mentioned a letter received from Sara Long, President of the American Library Association. The letter introduces and promotes her theme and outlines several projects for her presidential year. A couple of the projects will be appropriate for Nebraska library purposes. Celebrate Trustees and Advocates -- since this is currently an area of special emphasis, and Connect for Kids. Rod noted that the 2000 ALA annual conference will be in Chicago. The conference will include a celebration of library trustees and advocates. This would be a good opportunity to encourage Nebraska library trustees and friends to attend the conference.


Chair Seiler stated that Alliance was delighted to host the State Advisory Council on Libraries on September 17. Chair Seiler thanked Commissioner Rogge for attending the State Advisory Council in Alliance.

Richard Jussel noted that the Kearney Public Library and Information Center is actively involved in several projects.

Kristen Rogge reported that finishing touches are being placed on the Tecumseh Library; and the Seward Public Library is raffling a Winchester rifle that is a Tom Osborne commemorative.

Robert King reported that Holdrege held a re-dedication of the children's library reading dragon. The woman who designed the dragon now lives in England and returned to Holdrege this month to add some touches to the 21-foot long dragon.

Karen Wagner reported that the children's librarians and the Norfolk Library initiated a Story Tellers group and a Northeast area Story Telling Association. They have met three times. Norfolk's Library is extremely busy; they are averaging around 500 students a day.


Library Commission Centennial (2001) Plans and Preparation - Nancy Busch reported that planning for the Commission's centennial began a couple of years ago. Maggie Harding was hired last year to help organize the archives. A centennial web site will be launched this fall with information and photographs describing the early years of the Nebraska Library Commission. Centennial plans under discussion include a series of special speakers during the next two years, a photographic exhibit, and promotional activities with other Nebraska libraries.

It is hoped that Nebraska libraries will participate in the centennial project by putting together local library history projects. We are also planning to tie into the Bicentennial Celebration activities that the Library of Congress will be sponsoring in the year 2000.

Personnel - Rod Wagner stated that the Commission has one vacant position. The application deadline has passed and applicants are being reviewed for interview.

State Advisory Council - The Council met in Alliance on September 17, with most members present. A tour of the new Alliance library was included on the agenda. Commissioners Seiler and Rogge attended the meeting. One of the topics discussed was the Internet filtering legislation in the U.S. Congress. The Council's stance is to support the position that Internet access remain a local decision. The reciprocal library card (NebrasKard) was also discussed. The Council indicated their support for the NebrasKard and asked that information be provided concerning how the borrowing card might be administered. The Council will meet next on December 3 in Ralston

Wally Seiler noted previous discussion concerning attendance of Commission members at State Advisory Council meetings, and that at least one Commissioner should attend to show support for the Council's work. Karen Warner agreed to attend the next meeting in Ralston. Commissioners Seiler and Rogge stated that the Council is an impressive group. Commission members are encouraged to attend Council meetings and other library events whenever their schedules permit.

Public Library Finance Task Force - Rod Wagner reported that the task force will meet for its final meeting on October 6. The Task Force will prepare its recommendations concerning public library finance issues.

Library Advocacy and Legislative Initiatives - Rod reported that he had attended a meeting with Senator LaVon Crosby along with Nebraska Library Association representatives. Senator Crosby indicated that she is willing to continue to support the request for additional funding for libraries. She intends to introduce a legislative bill and a companion appropriation measure. She asked library representatives to help identify and get co-sponsors for the bill. Senator Crosby is willing to request the 5 million dollar funding amount that was the requested amount in the Commission's biennium budget request. She has suggested that we review our two-page budget outline document and give some very specific examples of how the funds will be used. The Library Commission and the Library Association are working on cards that will be delivered to the Senators. This coming year, the cards will emphasize facts about libraries. Governor Johanns and his staff must be briefed on the funding initiative along with members of the Legislature.

Rod Wagner mentioned the NLA/NEMA conference in October, upcoming Continuing Education programs, the ALA conference next summer, the fall 2000 convention in Omaha and that the Nebraska Library Commission will be audited in October.

Continuing Education Program - Rod Wagner reported that Debra Johnson had sent an update on her evaluation project report. Debra has had some continuing health problems, which has delayed completion of the project. However, staff received the overview of the certification program and study and she has indicated her commitment to completing the project. Dr. Johnson will send sections according to the dates indicated in her recent letter. Commission staff members have been discussing methods for dissemination of the report. The report will be available on the Commission's website.

Karen Warner stated that she would like to commend Jo Budler and her staff for their Database Road Show, which was excellent. Rod Wagner mentioned that the Basic Skills sessions have also been going on in a renewed effort to provide basic skills training. Workshops concerning fund raising and library friends groups are also underway in collaboration with the regional library systems.


Rod Wagner reported that state auditors will be at the Commission to begin audit work in early October.


There was no unfinished business.


State Aid to Public Libraries Allocation for FY 2000 -- $150,000 in additional state aid funding was appropriated each year for the current biennium. A portion of this amount has been used for the Regional Library System budgets. The remainder, over $120,000 remains for state aid purposes. Input is being sought on use of these funds, within the purposes set forth in the biennium budget request. Recommendations will be prepared for a decision by Commission members at the November Commission meeting.

Review of Library Commission's Role in Support of the Nebraska Center for the Book - Dee Yost, President of the Nebraska Center for the Book, thanked the Nebraska Library Commission for its support of the Nebraska Center for the Book. The Nebraska Literature Festival, an event sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, was held this past weekend at Chadron State College. The festival was well attended. The Center's annual meeting will be held in Red Cloud. Grant funding has been received to underwrite costs for the annual program. The program will feature photographer Kerri Evans. Evans has published a book of photographs of the plains. The program will also include the designation of Willa Cather's home territory (the Nebraska plains) as a literary landmark.

A motion was made to continue support for the Nebraska Center for the Book. Motion carried on roll call vote: King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussell - aye; Warner - aye; and Rogge - aye.


Rod Wagner presented a request to attend the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, from October 23 - 26, 1999. A motion was made to approve the travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jussell - aye; Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; King -aye; and Seiler - aye.


Chair Seiler adjourned the meeting at 11:15 a.m. A reminder that the next Nebraska Library Commission meeting will be held November 12, 1999.

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.