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Meeting Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska
November 8 and 9, 2001

State Advisory Council Members Present: Jim Bothmer, John Dale, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Stan Gardner, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, Maggie Harding, Michael Herbison, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Tom Schmitz, Ruth Seward, and John Seyfarth.

Commission members present:  Robert King, Richard Jussel, Karen Warner, Velma Sims, Wally Seiler, Kristen Rogge.  Commission staff members present:  Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, Sally Snyder, Richard Miller, Mary Jo Ryan and Kit Keller. 

Guest:  Jay Wozny

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Tom Schmitz called the meeting to order at 1:35 p.m


A motion to approve the agenda was made by Michael LaCroix , seconded by Mike Herbison. Motion approved.


A motion to approve the September 2001 minutes was made by Michael LaCroix , seconded by Mike Herbison. Motion approved.

Rod Wagner introduced Jay Wozny, the new Panhandle Library System Administrator.  Introductions were made around the table.

Federal Library issues and Actions

LSTA Reauthorization & FY 2002 - Rod Wagner stated that he expected LSTA reauthorization legislation to be introduced in Congress this coming year. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization is still not completed, and may not be for a time. LSTA reauthorization will follow ESEA reauthorization. The American Library Association (ALA) has initiated a project to collect success stories related to use of LSTA funds.  The ALA Washington Office website includes stories and a downloadable electronic brochure (included in the mailing).

Unless reauthorized, LSTA will expire on September 30, 2002.  The LSTA coalition is advocating fine-tuning the act, with the major emphasis on increasing the funding authorization level from the current $168 million to $500 million.  Another recommendation is to increase the base level for state allocations. This increase would benefit smaller states like Nebraska. Rod Wagner suggested the Council help put together a promotional piece to use for the 2002 National Legislative Day to be held in May 2002. 

Elementary and Secondary Education Act Reauthorization

Rod Wagner stated that one section of the act is especially important to school libraries. It provides, in part, funding for school library media programs for purchase of school library materials, and training for school library personnel.  The funding level for the school library program in the Senate budget is only $25 million.  The original amount requested was $250 million.

IMLS Nation Leadership Grant - Rod Wagner stated that Nebraska is included in a multi-state regional grant program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services under its National Leadership Grants program. Nancy Busch distributed a document with information from the IMLS website that gives a summary of two grants. The grant will allow the grant partners to locate and digitize images of items that relate to western trails, and make these resources available on a multi-state website.  States involved in the grant project are Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Nebraska.

Anti-Terrorism Legislation and Library Records - Anti-Terrorism Legislation and Library Records - Also known as the USA Patriot Act, this new law includes provisions allowing federal agencies rapid access to library records, such as circulation records. With a search warrant, federal officers would have access to library records and library staff would not be allowed to report or give any recognition that a search warrant had been issued for those records. Library staff would have access to legal counsel if needed.  The American Library Association has indicated that legal counsel could be obtained through the Freedom to Read Foundation.

Another facet of this new legislation is its effect on federal depository library collections.  There have been instructions to depository libraries to remove certain items from depository collections.  Removal of some information from federal agency websites has occurred.

State Legislative Issues and Actions

Biennium Budget Update -Biennium Budget Update - Nancy Busch distributed a document outlining the state budget reductions for the Library Commission. The Legislature's special session concludes today and the budget reductions have been enacted.  The Library Commission will leave open two current position vacancies in order to reduce expenses to meet the reduced funding levels.  The Commission's library materials budget will also be reduced, and state aid programs will be reduced across-the-board. 

Library Commission members will discuss the cuts to state aid tomorrow morning during the Commission meeting. There may be further budget cuts during the 2002 legislative session.

Communities and Libraries Project - Richard Miller stated that the Community - Library Advocacy Project was launched in October 1998.  The program was started for the purpose of establishing library advocacy models in communities with low funding levels, but high potential of community support. The first workshop was a two-day event held in York in March 1999. Four workshops were held in September 1999 and in January 2000,

"Building Great Libraries One Person at a Time " workshops were held in North Platte and Columbus. In addition, Ellen Miller from Kansas did a very good job presenting an NLA-NEMA preconference program in October.

Richard stated that the question now is how to invigorate and reinvigorate library trustees.  They are a potentially strong advocacy group. It is slow going but the number of trustees involved has increased and we need to keep providing training. There is a need to strategize about our next steps. One idea is to have a person work with the NLA Trustees group to help with changes from year to year.

Nebraska Information Technology Commission (NITC) grant - Richard Miller stated that the Nebraska Library Commission applied for and received a grant to place children and young adult book reviews on-line. Twice a year, book reviews are videotaped and distributed statewide as requested. People found them useful, but would like a way to access the reviews by individual title. The NITC grant will provide 75% of the cost to make the reviews available on the web as a value added service, in addition to the videotapes. The NLC library development and computer staff and Nebraska Educational  Telecommunications staff will work together on this project. It was suggested that we may want to look into DVD as a format and we might list the libraries willing to lend the item under its entry.  The plan is to have a picture of the book cover and some internal pages for each book. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated he did not know we provided the reviews and said thanks for the information and service.


Nebraska Community Foundation - Jeff Yost reported on recent activities of the Nebraska Community Foundation. The Foundation recently held its annual meeting and banquet in Nebraska City. The Outstanding Project Affiliated Fund went to Wymore Public Library. They are an example of public-private partnerships, something the Foundation is doing more and more. If you couple the public-private partnerships with the "transfer of wealth " that is happening in Nebraska and elsewhere, the wealth adds up to $250 million.  In the next 50 years that equates to $150 thousand per person. Reasons to live in rural Nebraska: job opportunity, want to live close to friends and family, and want the quality of life.  Jeff spoke of endowments that allow gifts to go on and provide continuing support for projects chosen, or for communities.

The Foundation is trying to form a coalition of thousands of people to say, "Yes, let's do this. " A number of expatriates still have close ties to their hometowns; we need to build on this so that these people can "build a legacy. "

Nebraska Library Initiatives - Updates and Discussion

@ Your library Campaign (from the Campaign for America's Libraries) - Mary Jo Ryan noted the folder she distributed to everyone; it serves as a summary of what has been completed during the first year of the campaign. The Nebraska Library Commission had representatives at the annual meeting and board meetings of all Systems, as well as at meetings of 7 or 8 other groups. They helped facilitate a marketing session at one of the pre-conferences for the NLA/NEMA conference this year. The Nebraska Library Commission media list was also updated; there was lots of new information and changes that needed to be made, and incorporating the new media into the list.

Negotiations have begun with the ALA for a statewide media purchase for the ALA campaign. ALA has been unwilling to permit us to use one video PSA master and produce multiple copies; it insists that these items must be purchased individually through ALA.

We have had the opportunity to work with the National Library of Congress Talking Book campaign and put it together with the @ Your Library Campaign to get the word out that they can get talking books. We are trying to fit this project in with several other projects in hopes that the libraries might see how it can fit in with their customers. Next year it is hoped that we will be integrating the @ your library brand into new activities as well as our existing activities, we will be using the 3 core campaign messages as much as possible. The 3 core campaign messages are: libraries are changing in dynamic places; libraries are places of opportunities; and libraries are where you find the tools to bring the world to you. 

Mary Jo Ryan asked the SACL members what kind of implementation they would like to see the Nebraska Library Commission consider for year two of this plan. It was suggested that the Commission share the media information with libraries so that they may use them locally. Examples suggested were putting fact sheets above public access terminals, using the brand, but customizing it to fit your particular customers, CE and Training grants; Libraries of Promise brochures and other PR. Developing a core message that can be used by advocates. Richard Miller recommended using "the library as place. " Jeff Yost supported this idea. Nancy Busch suggested "Leave your legacy @your library. " Jeff Yost stated that libraries as "safe places " for children and we could use that as a theme.

Becky Baker suggested we tie in with the national campaign and place this on local TV, radio, etc. Ruth Seward suggested Mary Jo should go ahead with the public service announcements by seeking grants to purchase them and to get these on local stations.

Becky Baker suggested we appeal to library friends groups to fund these. Jeff Yost stated that there is foundation funding that could help with this project.

Jay Wozny asked questions about why ALA is reluctant to allow "licensing " rather than wanting to "sell us stuff. " Mary Jo stated we would need from $5,000 to $10,000 to provide the PSA to all the state's TV, radio, and cable stations. Jeff Yost suggested we get local people on the morning shows to get them interviewed and air the PSA; it would make the project real for stations and the public.

Mary Jo showed the PSA video featuring Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, among others. John Seyfarth suggested that the ALA materials should be placed on CD-ROM for greater accessibility.

Making a Difference Project - Nancy Busch distributed a handout showing that NLC staff have visited 157 of the 274 Nebraska public libraries. The goal is to complete the library visits by April 2002.

Libraries that have received federal funding have been visited first. Nancy Busch and Kit Keller demonstrated the website developed for this project.  They discussed the maps available to graphically show the progress of the visits.

Nancy also reviewed the set of questions sent to libraries prior to their visit.  The Library Commission provides a summary of notes that are shared with libraries after each visit. Kit Keller demonstrated the data that is kept for each visit.

Nancy distributed a summary report of the Making a Difference project that Rod Wagner recently presented at a national conference. Some of the items expressed to staff members while visiting libraries are: building concerns; vitality of the community; people are the key to success of local library service; the need of collaboration with others in the community; governance issues; need for gender balance on library boards, and on city boards; need for education and training for staff; more diversity needed to reflect the changing communities; marketing and communication; and raising expectations on the part of the board for what is their role.

Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Library Commission meeting is at 8:00 AM tomorrow morning; and invited any Council members who would like to attend to do so. The Council will resume their meeting at 9:15 AM.

The meeting recessed at 4:22 PM.

The State Advisory Council reconvened their meeting at 9:15 am, November 9, 2001.

Council Roundtable

John Seyfarth: John stated that he is currently teaching a class on how to use the Internet, use an e-mail account, how to put together a resume, searching for a job, and how to apply for a job on-line. He is also teaching a class on hardware and software, similar to the presentation he gave at the NLA/NEMA conference. The Papillion children's librarian is providing a Saturday program for kids to come in with their dads.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe: Jeff stated that the Holdrege library raised $18,000 during April-October to purchase a color copier. After looking at several copiers, they selected a Cannon machine from Modern Methods, Inc. The library will charge $1 per copy for color, and 15 cents per copy for black and white. They are also going to enter into a rental agreement for a new black and white copier that will be much better than current one.

John Dale: John said he was misquoted in today's paper (Lincoln Journal Star).  He never said that one-half of the library materials budget is on hold. The library has a general fund budget for materials of approximately $718,000.  On top of that they receive $370,000 in Keno funds if approved by the City Council. Keno funds are designated by the City Council; the Mayor has no control over them. 

Lincoln's new branch libraries should get shelving next week. Materials are due to arrive on November 27 for the Walt branch; materials were purchased from Baker & Taylor. Library staff members have been training a group of volunteers to help with shelving.. 

Ruth Seward: Ruth reported that the Lexington City Council gave the Library Board approval to proceed with the building project in the park as planned.  A meeting will be held with the architect on November 28th to see a model of the new building and the revised floor plan. 

Michael La Croix: Michael reported that the Creighton Alumni/Memorial Library has a full staff for the first time in several months. They have a new color laser printer in the library.  There is a charge of 25 cents per page, and regular laser copies are 10 cents per page. The library will be signing up with DocuTech for Electronic reserve service.

Tom Schmitz:  Tom reported that the Consortium (state institutional libraries) is in the third phase of its LSTA grant. Computers have arrived but are sitting on the dock at the Nebraska State Office Building awaiting delivery later this week.  The NLA Special & Institutional section held three successful program sessions at the NLA-NEMA conference. 

Mo Khamouna: Mo reported that the NCA accreditation team visited during the last week of October. During the exit meeting the team expressed their concerns.  The team re-certified the college for accreditation.  Another team will visit in two years and then another in five years. The computer system people are exploring how we can use computers throughout the campus. Last year the college started using a GPS/GIS program.  The program has been very successful.  Funding is being sought from Monsanto and Cargill for systems students can use in the field. 

Jim Bothmer: Jim reported that the Creighton University Health Sciences Library is also fully staffed. He participated in the School of Medicine's strategic planning process; the library was designated as one area that needs prime support. 

Maggie Harding: Maggie reported that NLA dues will be increased for 2003. Dues notices will be mailed out in December. The NLA membership committee will identify those members who did not renew this year and send a special note to them. The ad hoc committee will go forward with a proposal for a corporate member category. They will expand the top end of the salary level since there is a cluster of people that fit in this group. It has been over ten years since the dues were last increased. The Legislative Committee is gearing up for the new year. Brenda Ealey has been the Chair the last couple of years and did a wonderful job. Tentative dates for Legislative Day are February 22 or 27.

Karen Warner: Karen reported that she attended three library conferences in four weeks; they were in Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska. Nebraska's was by far the best in terms of quality of programs, etc. The silent auction sponsored by the NLA Scholarship Committee made over $1500.

Jane Wall: Jane reported that the Central City girl's volleyball team is in town today defending their title. Grand Island public schools have had a difficult but interesting year. The schools are combining gifted program staff with media staff. At some schools, the gifted staff is also the media staff. The high school still has media staff and is doing all they can to make it the best program possible. The high school has a school store operated by the special education department; the store is named Hula's. Hula's and the media center have forged a partnership and are sponsoring gift certificates for coming into the library and checking out a book. A random number is picked each week to give away the certificate. The company said they could give away as many certificates as they want. The gift certificates are valued from $1 up to $12. A picture is taken of the winner and posted. They are now thinking about putting some things at Hula's to remind them of the library. 

Steve Davis: Steve reported that his schools did not have any budget cuts this year.  If schools get hit in the next round, the only places they could cut would be support staff, supplies and materials. Kearney has a new Technology Coordinator; this position will affect the media specialists because they are the technology specialist in the schools.  Steve hopes the hard work put in over the last two years will allow them to spend more time on media services. The state assessments and "state report card " are also going to affect the media programs.

Stan Gardner: Stan reported that Wayne State College has three different color copying processes. Cost to the college is 71 cents per copy; they charge 75 cents. The Wayne State College Community bulletin board is now run by the library. 

The college is looking at a 10-year master plan; Stan is trying to get the library included for renovation. The technology system is suffering with the NIMDA virus; students were downloading videos, which made them "servers " so that others could use the college's system for their purposes. The library has 25 new public access machines; these were not affected by the viruses, which attacked Windows machines. The library is beginning to update serials holdings records; this has not been done in about 15 years.

Stan completed a study of comparable colleges and found Wayne State is at the bottom of the list in materials expenditures; support staff is about $4,000 below average; about third in databases. The library has a large ultrafiche holding that can not be used because a former director threw away the ultrafiche machine. Only the Ford Motor Company and the CIA still use ultrafiche. Another issue is the downloading of videos, music, etc.

There is a lack of knowledge regarding copyright laws.  This spring, Stan is planning a series of copyright seminars. He has held a number of workshops on databases and has reached about 1/3 of the faculty. Stan thanked the Commission for providing the databases.

Michael Herbison: Mike reported that UNK was correctly quoted in the local newspaper, but the Administrator was incorrect in what he said. He believes the college will be able to survive this round of cuts, except for maybe the medical school. The University of Nebraska consortium is now trying to determine whether to maintain its common interface. The library is looking at OCLC's Web Express. UNK is gearing up to search for a new Chancellor.

Karen Drevo: Karen reported that Kearney hosted a nice convention. The Kearney kids who came to participate in the Bubba the Cowboy King were great. James Warhol stated that his next book, to be titled Visiting Uncle Andy, will be about visiting his uncle Andy Warhol. Karen said she had the opportunity to meet former Governor Morrison who was "holding fort " in the food court at the Arch.

The new SIRSI circulation system claims were "pretty bogus, " so they have started going on Ingram's I-Page. Karen and another staff person attended a children's book presentation in Iowa.

Karen stated she enjoyed the Making a Difference visit with Nancy Busch and Devra Dragos. Library staff members are going to take part in the local mall's "reading to your children " activity. They will also be involved in a culture diversity activity.

Jay Wozny: Jay stated he was impressed with the meeting.  Jay mentioned the disc he produced from the pictures he took at the NLA/NEMA conference. When finished it will be available copyright free to Systems, libraries, and the Commission for use by non-profit groups.

Library Personnel - Staffing and Educational Needs for Nebraska
Western Council of State Libraries project
American Library Association:

Rod Wagner reported on a project initiated by the Western Council of State Libraries to coordinate educational programs utilizing existing programs within the region. The Council plans to submit a grant application to the Institute of Museum and Library Services for funding to initiate this project in the twenty state members of the Western Council.  Some good research is being done on what state library agencies, colleges, and library schools are doing to address continuing education and practitioner education. Rod will share the document with the Advisory Council when it emerges.

Mitch Freedman, president-elect of ALA, will emphasize librarian salaries when he becomes president in 2002.

Stan Gardner asked if there is anything going on in the state that could serve as a model related to funding? Rod said he did not know of one. Stan asked if we could set up some sort of partnership to demonstrate how such cooperation could work. Rod stated it would take something like that to show what could be done. Richard Miller mentioned the possibility of a part-time librarian working in more than one small public library instead of having to find other work to supplement their income.

Library personnel salaries were discussed.  Salaries are being determined by comparability studies and if the majority of salaries in other communities are low, this keeps the librarians' salaries low. Much of the problem is the lack of understanding what the job entails. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe suggested that if we get another chance to speak to the League of Municipalities, we should discuss salaries. Richard Miller talked about the "shadowing " article that Deb Levitov gave him a few days ago. The local librarian or board member who "is willing to be political " can do more to bring about change than any outside entity attempting to impose change from the outside.

Adoption of Resolutions, Action Items

Anti -Terrorism issue - Should warnings be posted letting people know that their correspondence might be read by others? It might be a good idea to post the federal code that applies. Jay Wozny asked if anyone else is of two minds on this issue. Others stated that this is the case. Brenda Ealey stated that libraries are not in the business of "catching wrong doers. " Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that the best thing we can do is to have a records retention process that will delete the identifiable records as soon as is practicably possible. Jane Wall asked whether this was wise from a PR perspective.

Rod Wagner stated this legislation has been enacted; people need to be aware of this. Prior to this, a subpoena was required to give up records, now it just requires a search warrant. Rod stated that the ALA is working on this issue. John Dale suggested that we put something in the NLCommunicator to inform people about this legislation change. 

Mike Herbison asked for a resolution praising the Nebraska Library Commission for putting together the Making a Difference process; it is bringing together libraries in our state. In particular, it is making smaller libraries feel that they are a part of the rest of the libraries in the state. Motion moved and approved.

2002 Meeting Schedule

The group voted to meet in March either in Kearney or Grand Island. The latter was preferred since people were just in Kearney for the NLA/NEMA conference. It will be a joint Advisory Council and Commission meeting. Other meetings will be in June (Curtis), September (venue unknown) and December (venue unknown).

Special Recognition

Several Council members completed terms and were presented with a Certificate of Appreciation: Mike Herbison, Kathy Lute and Ruth Seward completed their first term; and Michael LaCroix completed his second term. Michael stated he is going to miss the group. Sally Payne was recognized for completing her term as the NLA representative. Becky Baker will be replacing Sally Payne as the NLA representative.


Meeting adjourned at 11:45.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.