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Meeting Minutes

March 11&12,1999

State Advisory Council Members Present: Stan Gardner, Kathy Lute, Mary Nash, Tom Schmitz, Susan Baird, Jane Wall, Ruth Seward, Richard Voeltz, Mo Khamouna, Kathy Tooker, Michael LaCroix, Michael Herbison, Sharon Wiegert, and Ken Oyer Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Sally Snyder, Nancy Busch, Richard Miller, Kit Keller and Maria Medrano-Nehls.

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting called to order at 1:00 p.m. on March 11,1998 Welcomes were given by Commission Chair Karen Warner and by Council Chair Susan Baird. Introduction were given around the room.

Ice Breaker: Richard Miller conducted a role play exercise as an ice breaker.

Announcements and Other Meeting Details: Sally Snyder explained the expense reimbursement document.

Who, What, Why? -- The Library Commission and the SACL


Rod Wagner explained the respective roles of the Nebraska Library Commission and the State Advisory Council on Libraries. The Library Commission is a state government agency and part of the executive branch of Nebraska 's state government. The Library Commission is governed by a six-member body. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor for a three-year term, and may be appointed for a second term. The State Advisory Council consist of 20 members with two of those members being ex-officio members. Council members are appointed by the Library Commission, to serve a three-year term and may be appointed for a second term.


The Library Commission members serve as the governing board and oversee the work, policies, etc. for the state agency. By statute the Library Commission is responsible for statewide promotion, development, and coordination of library services. It is also the designated state agency to receive and administer federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds. The State Advisory Council on Libraries is appointed to help the Library Commission through an advisory role. It gives advice on various issues, strategies and plans for the state of Nebraska Library Service.


The Library Commission was created in 1901 to address library service needs in the state. The State Advisory Council was created in 1970 as a result of changes in the Federal Library Services and Construction Act. The amendments to LSCA required states for the first time to have a long-range plan, to submit an annual program plan for the use of federal funds and to have a State Advisory Council representative of libraries and the the public. States no longer must have an advisory council, unless they wish to do so. Nebraska has decided to ratain it 's Advisory Council.

Nebraska Community Foundation and 21st Century Library Development - Jeff Yost

Jeff Yost spoke on the purpose of the Nebraska Community Foundation, what is happening to local government finance, alternative methods of finance and examples of projects. Yost mentioned that everybody sees a building, everyone knows it has a purpose, but people know very little about the details associated with the building. What you might think about as you 're doing system development work is to remember that people do not know the details of your business. People want to understand the tangible benefits of where their public dollars are being invested. The Nebraska Community Foundation is a non-profit statewide organization that specifically helps to determine ways to mobilize charitable giving for community betterment. The Foundation acts as a financial manager of funds, trains people to achieve their plans and offers consulting services. Yost noted that it is important to understand "devolution", which is the process by which programs are devolved down to the next level of government. If a program is given away, it is never given away with the same amount of money. In local governments, where the majority of public library service exist, they see and feel the direct impact of devolution. The late Senator Jerome Warner felt that what we had to do was put a greater set of constraints on local government finances. He felt this was important to control spending and to diversify revenue sources that local governments were using. State and local government are typically dealing with four different sources of income: State income tax, sales tax (both state and local option), fees for services (state and local) and property taxes.
In 1996, there were several bills introduced to the Legislature including LB1114, which put a series of levy limits on local governments. There was a concern that these bills would lead to a lot of local governments eliminating or prioritizing services instead of innovating and restructuring the local government, and this is what is happening. Local governments are keeping the services they absolutely have to keep such as public health and safety services, and the quality of life services are getting the short end of the stick. There are alternatives to this situation. One is the idea of shared services, and another is the idea of building public/private partnerships. Libraries are further ahead in the game of public/private partnerships then most. What is meant by public/private partnership is that you have public monies and private donations. Fundraising is an art. Most people assume that you need to know a lot about how tax law works, what the project is and what it can do and all the details of it. In reality fundraising is about one thing: it is about relationships. We need to train people at the local level to understand that the reason people give money to projects is not because it is a good project, but because it is a good project to which a person they have a trusting relationship with has asked them to donate. Library Board members need to learn that in order to be the best advocate for their library, they need to understand the art of fundraising. It is encouraged that there be a strong and diverse board for libraries.

When considering fundraising, remember the Donor Pyramid.
1. The top level is the Planned gift donor - personal contact only
2. the Capital donor - personal contact only
3. the Special/major donor - personal contact/letter/phone call
4. the Renewal/Upgrade donor - personal contact/letter/phone call
5. the First Time donor (media, door to door, telemarketing and direct mail)
6. Universe of Suspects/Prospects.

Cultivation of donors is extremely important. Successful fundraising elements are: Awareness, Confidence, and Interest. Lifestages of donors are:

* Distribute funds - age 70
* Conserve funds - age 60
* Acquire funds - ages 18-59

Toolbox for 21st Century Library Development

Richard Miller explained that the vision the Commission has of the toolbox is an on-line, subject-searchable database of resources which can be used by anyone. Someone using the toolbox would search the resource either by going to the appropriate section of it, or via a subject search.

The following sections for the toolbox or toolkit were tentatively identified:

  • State Statues related to the establishment of libraries
  • Model Libraries in Nebraska
  • Model Libraries Elsewhere
  • Link to Public Library Profile (library statistics)
  • Link to Regional Library Systems in Nebraska
  • Link to Library Development Section of Nebraska Library Commission
  • Link to Nebraska Community Foundation
  • Link to Community and Economic Development
Input from Council and Commission:
  • If you do not have electronic access to this information, what do you do?
  • Section on establishing library foundations, and related laws
  • Accreditation and certification section
  • A friendly front page is important
  • Is the main purpose to inform?
  • A case study section
  • An e-mail link to ask questions, get additional information; or a hot link to other sites
  • An example of an interlocal agreement would be helpful
  • 7 roles of public libraries
  • Explanation of the Commission and the Council
  • Differences between the types of libraries, and their general purposes

Library Development: Improving Library and Information Services for Nebraskans

Kit Keller noted that the goal of this initiative is for all Nebraska public libraries to have the necessary tools to be viable in the 21st century. Commission and system staff will focus on working with providers of public library service to achieve a level of service consistent with the growing citizen demands for access to information and in keeping with the proliferation of delivery options. In a world where "information is power," communities disconnected from information resources are increasingly disadvantaged. The Commission hopes to eliminate some of the barriers to information access through this program of community assessment, strategic planning, and Commission assistance. Commission staff will consult with public libraries, and offer basic skills classes and workshops tailored to meet staff development needs in order to prepare library staff throughout the state to better serve their communities of users in the next millennium.

There are five phases to the initiative:

Phase I
* Evaluate computer competencies of accredited libraries to determine areas of need for computer equipment and funding for Internet access.
* Develop criteria to determine each library 's capacity to use this increased access as a wedge to develop and improve community library services.
* Develop list of eligible libraries, contact directors, contact area Internet Service Providers, make computer purchase recommendations.

Phase II
* Evaluate activities of first group of libraries, including database use and participation in workshops and outreach programs.
* Facilitate access to Internet and registration for available databases.
* Consult with library staff about training and outreach assistance needs; assist library staff with E-Rate application.

Phase III
* Evaluate activities of first group of libraries, including database use and participation in workshops and outreach programs.
* Assist library staff with community impact assessment.
* Consult with libraries on use of E-Rate funds for additional technology needs.

Phase IV
* Identify second group of eligible libraries for computer hardware and funding for Internet access.
* Contact directors, contact local Internet Service Providers, make computer purchase recommendations.

Phase V
* Evaluate level of computer competency achieved statewide. * Determine access to databases as a result of the project, contact participants in both groups about on-going training needs, interest in other electronic information, and on-going outreach needs.

Library Services and Technology Act Update

Sally Snyder noted that LSTA grant applications were due to the Commission by March 5. Award announcements should be made by May 3. A team of seven staff members will review and decide on the grant recipients. A handout was distributed listing the libraries which submitted grant applications.

Meeting was recessed at 4:45 p.m. until March 12.

The Council meeting was called to order by Susan Baird at 9:02 a.m. on March 12, 1999.

Nebraska Library Commission Reports and Discussion
Legislation and Biennium Budget: Rod Wagner reported that LB362 was up for final reading yesterday . LB362 is a bill that makes provision in state statutes for forming multi-community library federations. In the biennium budget request five million dollars in additional annual state funding is requested for each of the fiscal years 2000 and 2001. The Library Commission 's budget hearing was March 2; testimony was also given by representatives of the Nebraska Library Association. Priorities for the budget request were determined by discussion with public and staff.

Advocacy Program: Richard Miller noted that there will be a Library Advocacy Seminar on March 30 & 31, at the York Public Library. This is an attempt to help establish models of public library advocacy programs on the local level. People should leave the seminar with a plan for local advocacy. An agenda for the event was distributed.

E-Rate: Richard Miller noted that Universal Services fund monies were made available. It is the goal of the administration in Washington to have all public libraries, schools and health facilities on-line by the year 2000. Individual public libraries can receive as much as a 90% discount on cost of telephone service, Internet connections, internal connections for libraries. The discount is based upon the percentage of children that qualify for the subsidized lunch program in the schools

Public Library Finance Task Force: Rod Wagner noted that a couple of months ago this task force was initiated to look at issues, and make recommendations to the Library Commission. This may lead to some further legislative activity, or perhaps some additional strategies for supporting the state aid budget request. The task force has meet once and was scheduled to meet again later this month.

One of the significant issues that arose was the statewide library card that has been part of the Library for the 21st Century initiative over the last couple of years. Discussion has indicated some reservations about the idea. The Commission hopes the task force can address these reservations and use the card as an idea that could be promotional, as well as something that will have a benefit to the public. The card is thought of as a reciprocal borrowing card that libraries would be asked to support, and issue in their communities. People who have occasion to use more than one library could do so with this card.

Public Librarian Certification and Basic Skills Evaluation:
Richard Miller noted that the certification program is ten years old. The Public Librarian Certification program was originally aimed at Public Library Directors, but participants now includes other library staff and some non-public libraries. The service and programs have been delivered in various ways such as classes, satellite, and videos. A consultant has been hired and has began the process of evaluating the program. The consultant will be holding several focus groups in the near future.

1999 Issues and Priorities:
  • Be advisory to the Nebraska Library Commission.
  • Monitor and advise on library censorship issues.
  • Advocate as a priority that all accredited libraries have Internet access.
  • Support funding for Nebraska libraries through the "Libraries for the 21st Century" Intitative".
  • Address school and public library merger issues.
  • Advise on the creation and implementation of a statewide library card program (NebrasKard).
  • Explore preservation and archival issues related to electronic records.
  • Receive progress reports regarding the basic skills educational program evaluation.

The Challenges and Issues are:

  • Recruitment and retention -- finding and keeping qualified personnel, attaining competitive compensation (all types of libraries).
  • Professional education, basic training, continuing education -- coordinating and providing for multiple levels, formal and informal.
  • Trustees, Users and Friends -- building on articulate and effective coalition of library service supporters (Community - Library Advocacy initiative).

  • Rural - urban - demographics (population, age, cultural, income, distribution, growing and declining communities).
  • Agricultural economy -- impact of production and commodity pricing, policies, markets.
  • Information technology and Networking:
  • Library technology -- tech planning, purchasing, effectively using, and maintaining.
  • Telecommunications -- networked connections, access to electronic resources.
  • The virtual library -- information access, organization, content development..
  • Information policies -- privacy, censorship, preservation.
  • New Governor/New Administration/Different People (smaller government, less spending, changing priorities and policies).
  • Legislature -- Long session, biennium budget, legislative priorities. Leadership.
  • Competition (collaboration?) from/with other interest groups.
  • Nebraska Library Commission biennium budget request (Libraries for the 21st Century funding), strategies.
  • Policy development related to state and local taxes, state aid, priorities…
  • Aftermath of measure 413 …(state spending cap).
Library Service Governance
  • Developing multi-community, county, or library district service arrangements -- planning, promoting, facilitating local initiatives.
  • Library districts -- building on the county legislation enacted in 1997 to provide a framework for multi-county library services and LB 362 providing for the creation of public library federations (currently before the Legislature on final reading).
  • Evaluating new library service models -- public/school libraries, public/community college.
Additional suggestions from the Council were guidelines for Children 's Services and agricultural issues.

Library Updates

Micheal Herbison: U.N.K. is looking at a three-quarter of a million dollar budget cut. The library will probably experience a 2% cut, with total net loss of $75,000. They are installing a new system which will take care of the Y2k problem. ILL survery had about a 65% response rate.

Sharon Wiegert: LaVista 's library is coming along very well. Ralston library should be able to move into their facility the first of May.

Jeanne Saathoff: The orange walls have been painted white and the orange carpet will be replaced. LSTA money will pay for the Internet connection.

Ken Oyer: The National Library week group week in Omaha has put together another meeting for April 16. The topic will be Copy Rights. Jennifer Hall from the General Councils Office of the U.S. Copy Rights, will be the key speaker.

Susan Baird: There will be open houses during National Library Week. The open houses will feature tours and internet classes.

John Dale: Lincoln 's request for proposals to architectural firms are out and the board should be awaiting that contract on April 20. Visited the Benson & Millard library branches in Omaha and the Council Bluffs library. Lincoln will have a new Mayor and two new City Council members after the May elections.

Mo Khamouna: The Curtis Agriculture college will be moving to a new building after they figure out how to make the building ADA compliant. There is need for a new automation system because the current one is being discontinued.

Tom Schmitz: The Regional Center utst passed accreditation last week. The HHS consortium has meet with Marth Gadberry four times, the next meeting will be the 19th.

Mary Nash: The 1999 NLA-NEMA convention has two key speakers, a representative from and David Shenk. The 2000 Tri-conference will be in Omaha.

Stan Gardner: Wayne State college is offering a Library Reference course in conjunciton with Chadron by teleconference; this event will be held in June. Basic Research Skill class will be on the Internet this summer. Currently reviewing the periodicals, with expectations of reducing the holdings. Have recently aded 60,000 volumes from government documents to the library automation system. The book exam center is now bulk loaning to other libraries to supplement their collection.

Ruth Seward: Last October the Lexington Public Library received a $1,000 grant for the Day of Caring event. The Points of Light Foundation notified them that they will receive an additional $2,000. They will use the additional funds to purchase Hispanic materials. They also applied for a grant from U.. West called Bridging the Technology. Four people attended a week long training event in Denver on networking computers and teaching people to use them. The library will now offer basic computer classes in English and Spanish.

Richard Voeltz: UN-L will begin their library renovation in July; the cost of this project will be $12 million. They are looking at an addition to the main library that would cost approximately $18 million and probably will not happen for 5-8 years.

Wally Seiler: The tables and chairs for the new library have arrived.. A PBS television program featured the Alliance library.

Kathy Lute: Ogallala 's library is in the process of looking at different possibilites for more space, they will also be installing a larger screen on their computer for use of visually impaired.

Michael LaCroix: A new online system is being considered for the three Creighton University libraries, anticipating installation in the summer of 2000.

Rod Wagner announced that Jay Jordan, OCLC Chief Executive Office and President, will be in Lincoln April 8. A brochure was distributed.

Meeting Schedule (dates and places): The upcoming meeting schedule:
  • June 18, 1999 -Gering
  • September 17, 1999 - Alliance
  • December 3, 1999 - Omaha

Election of Vice-Chair:
Michael LaCroix was elected to the position of Vice-Chair

Details -- Communications, Expense Reimbursements: Sally Snyder noted that reimbursement forms were available, which can either be completed now or mailed to the office.

Verne Haselwood is retiring; he is the head of the Library/Media program at UNO. A motion was made that the Council pass a resolution recognizing him for his years of service. The motion was approved.

A motion was made that the State Advisory Council send a letter to the Legislative Appropriation Committee expressing their support for the Libraries for the 21st Century funding request. The motion was approved.

Adjournment The meeting was adjourned at 11:32 a.m

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.