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Meeting Minutes

Millard Branch Library, Omaha, NE
March 12, 2004

State Advisory Council members present: Jim Bothmer, Janice Boyer, Nancy Cantin, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Brenda Ealey, Nancy Escamilla, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, Pat Gross, Maggie Harding, Gretchen Healy, Theresa Jehlik, Diana Johnson, Kathy Lute, Sharon Osenga, Rebecca Pasco, Ruth Seward, John Seyfarth, and Mary Anne Smith. 

Commission members: Richard Jussel, Mary Nelson, Kristen Rogge, and Wally Seiler.  Commission staff:  Kit Keller, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, Sally Snyder, and Rod Wagner. Guests: Kathy Tooker, Eastern Library System and Marty Magee, National Library of Medicine. 

Welcome and Introductions 

Approval of the Agenda: A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion approved. 

Approval of Minutes (November 14, 2003): Brenda Ealey asked that the minutes show she attended the November meeting. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. Motion approved. 


State Biennium Budget update - In January, the Governor proposed a budget recommendation for most state agencies that would reduce most state agency operating budget by 2.5% and state aid funds by 1% reduction (for those agencies that have state aid appropriations). The Legislature's Appropriations Committee has recommended that agency appropriations for operations be reduced by 1% and state aid funds be reduced by .5%.  

LB 784 - Rod Wagner stated that this bill includes provisions for financing joint facilities and other capital projects, including technology. The bill would allow local government entities to finance capital projects by issuing bonds. This would permit long term debt financing for buildings and major technology purchases. The bill has advanced from general file and has been designated as a priority bill. 

LSTA Reauthorization and Federal Library Program Appropriations - Rod Wagner reported that the appropriations bill that includes LSTA funds was enacted and includes a 10% increase for LSTA. The funds for the IMLS Librarians for the 21st Century grant program were increased from $10 million to $20 million. The Librarians for the 21st Century grant program provides funding for scholarships and library science education programs (recruitment and retention). Last year, the Nebraska Library Commission submitted an application for funds from this new IMLS program. The project was not funded, but the application received favorable comments and a recommendation for funding from the reviewers. The Library Commission has submitted another application this year for a similar project. An announcement concerning grant awards is expected by September. 

Rod Wagner also stated that $32 million was appropriated for what is labeled Congressional directed grants. These are funds that individual Senators and Representatives get added to appropriations bills for home-state projects. Nebraska does not have any of its Congressional delegation members on appropriations committees. Rod also stated that the LSTA base allotment for states has been the same for many years. The recent LSTA reauthorization allowed for an increase in the state base allotment. Nebraska will receive an increase of $138,000. Nebraska's current LSTA allotment is $1.1 million. Rod stated there is a web site to get information on federal grant programs and includes a capability to apply for grants on-line; the web site is <>. 

Nebraska Public Guidelines Revision Project - Kit Keller reported that a revised set of guidelines will be implemented this summer. Kit stated that she researched and gathered input from across the state. The guidelines will, as proposed, be changed to a tier approach. As proposed, the guidelines will be flexible, allowing adjustments based on changing economics and the library environment. The public library guideline revision recommendations will be presented for Library Commission approval at the Commission's May meeting.  Kit encouraged everyone to continue to send in their input. 

LSTA Grants - Kit Keller stated that the Commission recently completed the annual LSTA competitive grant awards. Fifteen grant applications were received. On March 8, twelve of the fifteen were awarded. Two of the grants have revisions so the total amount awarded by the Commission can not yet be given. In conjunction with those applicants who applied for funding for digitization projects a second round of "Introduction to Digitization" training will be offered on April 14. The workshop will be open to others beyond grant recipient representatives.  

Library Technical Assistant Program - Richard Miller stated that there is a gap in library science education between the basic skills training provided by the Library Commission and courses offered as part of a bachelor's or master's degree program at the postsecondary level. Commission staff, regional system administrators, community college representatives, and Becky Pasco (University of Nebraska at Omaha) have been working on a project to provide community college library science courses. The group has worked for over a year to develop eight courses that would be offered through Nebraska community colleges. Becky Pasco will teach the first course. The course will be offered by Metropolitan Community College.  Each of the community colleges has been asked to develop and offer one or more of the courses. 

Western Council of State Libraries Continuum of Library Education Program - Richard Miller stated that the Western Council of State Libraries is a membership organization of eighteen state library agencies. The Nebraska Library Commission is a member. The Western Council applied for and received a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to administer the three year project. The grant project is intended to develop partnership arrangements for cooperative training of library personnel. Katherine Helmick has been hired as the project director. The Western Council hopes to develop a certified library practitioner program. 

A question was asked about what will happen to graduates of these educational programs when they go back home. Will there be some kind of economic incentive, a salary ladder to climb or what will be the benefit beyond the additional knowledge gained? Kit Keller stated that the program will provide them with credentials. Kit further stated that the guidelines are something that can be looked to for guidance, but if a minimal salary level is set then if the library can't meet that requirement a domino effect can result because the library would lose its accreditation, lose its state aid and the ability to apply for grants.  

It was suggested that the Commission develop a position paper on wages on what is fair and equitable pay based on data. Wally Seiler stated that perhaps the way for the Commission to help is to develop educational programs to help librarians to be their own best advocates within their own communities. Rod Wagner stated that the Vermont Library Association recently published a document on library worker salaries. Some other states have also conducted salary studies (e.g., Kansas).  Kit Keller stated that another good resource related to salary and wage issues and data is the Library Mosaic publication for library paraprofessionals.  

Gates Foundation Library Program - Richard Miller reported that the Commission received a $67,000 grant from the Gates Foundation to be used for technology related training. The Commission turned in a plan but will be making some changes due to the fact that the Commission won't be purchasing programs from OCLC as originally planned. The Gates Foundation has contracted with OCLC to create the WebJunction portal. Richard also stated that he and Pam Scott will be doing a presentation on Copyright for the Municipal Clerk Institute. City clerks must be certified every three years. The University of Nebraska at Omaha conducts the clerk's training program.

Nebraska Virtual Library Project - Rod Wagner stated that NebraskAccess was introduced statewide in January. Shannon Behrhorst and her staff will be making presentations and providing demonstrations. Project marketing materials are available on-line.  

EndowNebraska and LB 879 - Rod Wagner reported that Jeff Yost could not attend today's Council meeting. Rod reported that EndowNebraska is a legislative initiative seeking tax incentives for contributions to Nebraska non-profit organizations. The initiative is building a coalition of organizations. The bill has been advanced out of committee and is on general file. The bill may not advance this session due to the short session and number of other bills under consideration. The State Advisory Council may want to consider endorsing the bill.  

Eastern Library System - Kathy Tooker stated that she is the Eastern Library System Administrator. Her system is the smallest system geographically, but includes 40% of the state's population. The region includes 32 public libraries and with Omaha public library 41 library buildings. There are 90 school districts with 275 school buildings and 32 special libraries. The system is run by a governing board. Nancy Meyer is the Administrative Assistant for the Eastern Library System. Kathy is pleased with the DIRECT group - library directors who meet every other month. There is also a CLICK group (children's librarians) that meets quarterly. The ELS has an active continuing education committee that plans workshops, and a technology committee that plans and provides training. The ELS annual meeting will be held June 4 at the LaVista public library. The annual meeting will be held in conjunction with NEMA. The ELS board is hosting a wine tasting fund raiser with music by Ken Oyer on April 16. The System Administrators will be hosting a "50s sock-hop at the NLA/NEMA conference. This event will be in conjunction with the NLA banquet.  

Omaha Public Library - Rivkah Sass, Director - Rivkah Sass stated that she has been the Omaha Public Library Director for six months. Rivka stated that 34% of the people in Omaha have a library card. She hopes to make the library a virtual library, would like staff to reflect the community, be more responsive to the needs of the community, make available electronic outreach and make it easier to pay fines. Rivkah has been speaking to community groups asking them to help her and the staff by telling them what they need to do to reach the community. She sees a lot of changes that need to be made in the libraries to become more relevant to the community. Rivkah would like to find a way for the libraries, especially the downtown library, to serve the needs of the homeless, new English speakers and the business community population and do it with a little more grace. The Washington branch which serves north Omaha will soon be renovated and use the concept of one service desk. The library will have self service checkout, snack and drink vending machines. The Omaha Public Library has signed an interlocal agreement with Metropolitan Community College to build a joint youth facility in south Omaha, and the main library is being re-organized.  

Council Roundtable 

Becky Pasco - Becky stated that a couple of exciting things have occurred in the midst of library education in the state. The UNO library science program includes a service learning component. Service learning means that the student must conduct a project that assists a library or community organization. Examples of projects are digitizing the Omaha Habitat for Humanities archives; a grant application allowed for the purchase of an automated system for Family Services which has a small library in the community center. The students weeded, cataloged and upgraded the library. UNO students cataloged a specialized collection of books on antique and rare dolls; books for University Art Center in Lincoln, NE.   In another project, UNO students
put together a brochure for Omaha homeless shelters which listed free or
inexpensive things that families in shelters could do with their children.

Sharon Osenga - Sharon said that the regional library systems are bringing in Pat Wagner for a Marketing & Advocacy workshop. The workshop will be held at six different sites. The regional systems received an LSTA grant written on behalf of ten libraries to conduct multicultural programming and purchase library materials. The new administrator for the Northeast Library System is Kathy Ellerton; she will begin on March 15. Kevin Leapley, RVLS administrator, has turned in his resignation. Kearney and Grand Island public libraries are moving forward on building expansion projects.  

Karen Drevo - Karen stated that the Norfolk public library is upgrading the library's exterior with landscaping and additional outdoor lighting. The library is adding adult programming. A building assessment is also being considered.  The 10th Annual Literature Festival is coming soon. Karen stated the library received a grant from Target and is using the grant funds to provide an after-school make-n-take program. Karen will be handling the summer reading program workshop this year. She has invited Patty Sinclair, the editor of this year's summer reading program, to present a three hour workshop on crafts and activities. Platte community college, and possibly Columbus public schools, will join the Northeast Library System. Karen will be attending the Cooperative Summer Library Program in April with Sally Snyder. There are now 27 states in the cooperative. Norfolk received a Children's Services grant from the Commission this year and is using the grant to introduce Spanish language experiences into their lapsit, story times and toddler times. The grant has assisted with purchasing materials. Two weeks ago, staff started to include songs, fingerplays, and stories in English and Spanish in the storytimes. There has been a wonderful response to the program.  

Nancy Escamilla - Nancy stated that the Scottsbluff public library is also considering an expansion or a new library facility. The library board has met with the City Council concerning library facility needs. The community has expressed support for a building expansion. Pat Wagner will be meeting with the library board and community members on March16 to discuss marketing strategies for a library building project. Bev Russell, Scottsbluff public library director, recently attended Gates Foundation training in Seattle. Bev Russell said the training was a valuable experience and she returned with an action plan for the library. Bev also attended the PLA conference while in Seattle and attended many workshops on buildings and marketing. The Panhandle Library System has booked Carol Nelson Douglas, an author, for a fall tour.  

Nancy Escamilla stated that one of the NLA preconference programs this year is called Hispanic Voices @ your library. Sessions at the preconference are: Spanish That Works, by Elizabeth Ahlman; Yolanda Cuesta, multi-cultural consultant, Luis Rodriguez, author; and Francisco Jimenez, author. Nancy stated she and Bev Russell are very excited to be on the preconference committee and both are thrilled to be involved in this event because this is something that is very much needed in western Nebraska with their high percentage of Latino population. Nancy stated that Maria has done so much on this committee and thanked her. Karen Drevo said the committee is very organized.  

Pat Gross - Pat stated she was new to the group and represents Gering High School. In her area, the public library and school library share resources. They have a group made up of librarians, paraprofessionals and media specialist who meet every two months during the school year to discuss issues and share ideas. Recently, school and public librarians attended a Follett workshop and a digital camera workshop. Pat is a member of the Panhandle Library System board and stated that Cherie Longmuir is wonderful.   

Gretchen Healy - Gretchen stated that the library at Little Priest Community College recently moved into a new building. Funds for the building came from the Lily Foundation and the Department of Agriculture. Gretchen will attend an American Indian Higher Education Consortium Library workshop. The library received a $141,000 IMLS grant to develop a community technology center and to hire an assistant librarian. The public is finding out the library has space so community groups are asking to use it. Gretchen is hoping to get the librarians in Thurston county together to see if there is a way to work together cooperatively on projects. Gretchen stated that tribal children come from an oral tradition so the library is doing a "Read to Me" night. Parents will read to the children and then will be given a book when they leave. The library is also conducting a prenatal program to encourage mothers to read to their unborn child.

MeMe Smith - MeMe stated that Schuyler is offering computer classes; they are planning a prime time reading program and conversational English/Spanish club. MeMe stated that she participated in the PLA conference and attended programs on diversity and marketing. She is training her staff on the use of NebraskAccess.  

Diana Johnson - Diana stated that the Stromsburg public library catalog is on the web. The library has just finished brown bag sessions. The library also received a Children's Services grant to purchase theme based discovery packs. The library will be taking story time to the daycare centers. The library foundation is finishing the basement. The project will result in a large meeting room. The four libraries in Polk County are working together on a One Book/One County project.  

Kathy Lute - Kathy stated that Ogallala public library director Charlotte Kumor has retired. A new library director has been hired.  

Steve Davis - Steve stated that Kearney public library building plans are proceeding. The city hopes to purchase the whole block in order to expand their existing site. The Kearney public school district is planning to upgrade computers in two of the middle schools.  

Nancy Cantin - Nancy stated that the plans are still to close the Norfolk and Hastings Regional Centers. The NAIL group continues to work on library guidelines.  

Ruth Seward - Ruth stated that Lexington passed a bond issue to build a new library. The library board purchased half of the block across from the current library building. The library received a Children's Service grant to bring in Antonio Sacre, the author of The Barking Mouse, on April 13. Antonio will present at both the school and public library. The public library is still seeking a director. The public school had Gary Soto, bilingual author, present to the elementary school children during Dr. Seuss's 100th birthday anniversary celebration. Ruth received several thousand dollars for collection development in the school media centers.  

Mary Nelson - Mary stated she was thrilled to attend the SACL meeting. Holdrege public library held a Dr. Seuss birthday party and had over 300 children attend. 

Kristen Rogge - Kristen said she was thrilled to attend the SACL meetings. 

Wally Seiler - Wally stated that he will be completing his second term on the Library Commission in June. He has always been impressed with the SACL and has learned much from the group. 

Jim Bothmer - Jim stated that the Creighton University Health Sciences Library received a 15% capital funds increase for next year. Library staff recently had training on a streaming video project. A reference librarian was recently hired. The library has purchased Wired MD, a streaming video of patient education materials.  

Kit Keller - Kit stated that the distribution of 2004 state aid funds was over $328,000. That amount was reduced from last year due to the state aid funding reduction.  

Marty Magee - Marty stated that she is the new National Network for Medicine person. She hopes everyone will remember her as their health information resource.  Medline Plus is a health information link for consumers. To preview the web site go to Medline Plus is now available in Spanish and could be helpful for those libraries with large Hispanic populations. Marty stated that there are grant funds available from the National Library of Medicine. To apply, a library must be a full network member or an affiliate member. Any library can be an affiliate member. The grant is to improve access to electronic health information for groups or organizations with consumers who are underserved. The grant encourages organizations to work together to provide this service to the community. Go Local, is located on the Medline Plus web site and provides access to information resources available locally.  An "It's About Time, It's About Space" workshop will be offered in Omaha on April 23.  Presenter Lynne Fox will teach how to manage time and stay organized using electronic and paper tools. 

Brenda Ealey - Brenda stated that the NLA just finished a very successful Legislative Day. NLA sections are planning spring meetings. The Public Library section will hold its spring meeting on March 17, 19 and 20 at different locations. The topics will include:  "Being a Professional Person is not all About the Credentials," and "Teen Space: Capturing Teen Imagination in the Library." The NLA/NEMA conference will be held October 6-8 in Grand Island. The Southeast Library System is planning its summer reading program workshop on March 25. The system will hold a regional training event in Lincoln on May 7.  SELS and NEMA will jointly host an Institute on April 3 at Norris school. Lincoln City libraries did a One Book/One Kid program that targeted third graders. The selected book was Tales of a Third Grade Nothing.  

Maggie Harding - Maggie stated that the Nebraska Library Association currently has 700 paid members. The NLA Trustees, Users and Friends section is working with Lynn Bradman on a "What Trustees Should Know" program. Planned giving has reached their goal of $10,000 in pledges. That amount was set as a target goal to initiate the fund. Planned giving will be promoted for continued growth of the new NLA endowment fund. Maggie reminded everyone that the scholarship fund is also an important item to support.  

Jan Boyer - UNO- The University Library received a $1 million dollar gift. The library should have an addition in two years.  

Sally Snyder - Sally stated that the NLA Public Library section will hold its spring meetings in May and one of the topics is "Teen Spaces." Teen Spaces will be presented by Kimberly Bolan Taney, Network Administrator and Patron Services Librarian at the Webster Public Library in New York.  

Sally stated that she has held three video conferences on young adult services and will be holding a video conference on April 16 on Services for Hispanic youth. Karen Drevo will be presenting information on bilingual story time that she gathered when she attended the REFORMA conference. In addition, Pam Scott will present ideas from the PLA conference. Maria Medrano-Nehls and Sally Snyder will provide information on outreach, marketing and resources. Sally also stated that she will begin classes toward an MLS degree in May.  

2005-2007 State Biennium Budget Planning and Timetable - Rod Wagner stated that this is the year that state government agencies prepare their budget requests for the next biennium. The budget request is due by September 15. Further discussion of the biennium budget request will be included on the Council's July meeting agenda. 

Election of Vice-Chair -

Jim Bothmer, Council chair, asked for nominations for the vice-chair position. Ruth Seward nominated Nancy Escamilla. Karen Drevo seconded the nomination. No other nominations were made. A motion was made to accept Nancy Escamilla's nomination. The motion was voted on and approved.  

Adoption of Resolution -

Jim Bothmer stated that a resolution was needed to endorse EndowNebraska and LB879. A motion was made, seconded and approved to endorse the EndowNebraska initiative. A form will be completed and sent to the appropriate person. 

Meeting Dates and Locations -

he Council discussed future meeting dates and arrangements. It was suggested that the July 16th meeting be held at the Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago, from 9:30-2:30, and November 19 at the Nebraska Library Commission offices in Lincoln.  

Adjournment -

The meeting was adjourned at 2:01 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.