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Meeting Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, NE
July 16, 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, Mary Anne Smith, and Jeff Yost.

Commission members: Kristen Rogge. Guests: Marty Magee, National Library of Medicine. Commission staff: Shannon Behrhorst, Jacque Crocker, Kit Keller, Richard Miller, Mary Jo Ryan and Rod Wagner.

Welcome and Introductions

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

Approval of Minutes (March 12, 2004): A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. Motion approved.


Gates Foundation Library Program - Richard Miller reported the Gates Foundation Library Program has given the Commission a training grant for $67,200. No match was needed. The Commission is working with regional library system administrators to schedule dates for computer workshops which will be presented at five venues across the state. The programs most requested by librarians were troubleshooting, Frontpage, Web development, PowerPoint presentation, and teaching internet to patrons. Attendance is expected to be 35 to 40 per site. Bids were solicited to conduct the program. Bids were received in the amounts of $75,000 and $43,000. Solinet is the vendor the Commission is considering with the bid of $43,000. The Gates Foundation will award four Stay Connected grants to the Nebraska Library Commission. The Gates Foundation will be gradually decreasing its activities over a few years but is committed to keeping an ongoing relationship with public libraries. Kit Keller distributed a handout that quoted remarks made by libraries that received Gates computers.

National Library Legislative Day - Jim Bothmer stated that National Library Legislative Day was held in May in Washington, D.C. Ten people from Nebraska attended the event. They had the opportunity to visit with Congressmen Lee Terry. For other visits, the Nebraska library representatives met with Congressional staff.

The library group provided comments on current legislative issues of special interest to Nebraska (LSTA, ESEA, E-rate, the GPO library program, digital rights management, etc.). Brenda Ealey said that each Congressman's and Senator's office received cards with a message and pictures of libraries across the state. The cards were adapted from those used for Nebraska Library Legislative Day. Sharon Anderson, a school media specialist, was a member of the Nebraska group and she was able to address their specific concerns.

Community College Library Science Education Program - Richard Miller stated that he recently spoke with the group that has been working on a Library Technical Assistant educational program. The first course, LIBR 101, Introduction to Library and Information Services, will be offered this fall. Each of the community colleges will offer a course. Central Community College will offer Reference the fall of 2005. Joie Taylor, Columbus Community College, will teach Youth Services in the fall of 2005; Sharon Mason will teach Introduction to Technical Services - Cataloging; Carol Speicher, Northeast Community College, will teach Administration of Library and Information Environments; Holly Paxton, SECC, will teach Public Services; and Patty Birch, Mid- Plains Community College, will offer Collection Management.

The beginning course for the LTA program will require four face-to-face meetings and the rest of the course will be online. Richard Miller gave Deb Robertson credit for encouraging an LTA community college based program. It was noted that students that take LTA courses will not need to take the basic skills courses offered by the Library Commission in order to be certified.

Personnel Workshop - Richard Miller stated that the Nebraska Library Commission and Regional Library System Administrators are providing a personnel workshop at four locations across the state. The registrations show a great response. Attorneys with personnel law expertise will conduct the workshops.

Motion Picture License - The Nebraska Library Commission has resumed providing motion picture licenses for public libraries. These licenses allow the libraries to show movies covered by this license. Many librarians have written, sent e-mail or called to thank the Commission for resuming this service.

Library Commission Biennium Budget Request - Rod Wagner stated that he hopes that we are seeing some stability and recovery in the state economy. The state finished the recent fiscal year about $110 million above projected revenues. State agency budget requests are due mid-September. The prospects for significant budget growth are not good but the NLC will include some new proposals in the budget request. Rod stated that the Library Commission board will meet before the September 15 budget submission date and will discuss the budget request. State aid funds will again be emphasized in the budget request. In the 1990s, the Commission received state funding to provide online database licensing. The NLC is looking at adding licenses that will help all types of libraries. A possibility for the state-aid request could be related to the revised public library guidelines for accreditation program. The program is now includes three categories - essential, enhanced, and excellent. Additional state funds would be awarded based on meeting the requirements for enhanced and excellent categories. A suggestion was made that some time in the future it would be helpful to have a full-time technology person working for the System Administrators who could travel to libraries in their system and assist with computer technical problems. Rod stated that the concept is a good one but he doesn't see this being a possibility as long as the state continues to cut state agency budgets. A suggestion was made that the Systems might look at contracting with a technical person to provide services to the libraries out of the Systems budget and charge the library for services provided to them. Another suggestion was made that libraries include technical support into their budgets. It was also suggested that libraries might work with their local governments or schools for technical support.

Librarians for the 21st Century Grant Program - Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Library Commission recently received word from the Institute for Museum and Library Services that the Commission's application was funded for $343,682 to be disbursed over a three year period. The money will be used to market awareness for library service careers by encouraging high school and college students to pursue library science education programs. A movie trailer will be produced to be aired before movies at the theaters. There are also funds for student financial aid.

Nebraska Community Foundation - Jeff Yost stated that the foundation is working on a project called Online Giving. Lincoln Public Schools has done well with this project. Jeff feels that this type of program will work for libraries also. Libraries could put together a prioritized list of needs and someone could go online and purchase all or part of the list through a basic shopping cart function. The Nebraska Community Foundation has seen an increase in donors in the last five years. They also have noticed that community donors are embracing this concept so they are seeing more community based endowments. When the Foundation gets the online giving up and running they will inform everyone. Mary Jo Ryan asked how many of the affiliate funds are library related and Jeff responded that four libraries are affiliates.

EndowNebraska Initiative - Jeff Yost, Nebraska Community Foundation, stated that research led to the creation of the EndowNebraska Initiative. The initiative was introduced as LB 879 during the last legislative session. EndowNebraska is a legislative initiative seeking tax incentives for contributions to Nebraska non-profit organizations. The initiative would accelerate conversations concerning endowments and create an incentive for charitable giving by granting a charitable tax credit. LB 879 advanced from committee, but was not advanced due to the short session and time devoted to priority legislation.

"Smartest Card @ your library"® Campaign

Mary Jo Ryan said this is a public library campaign built on the ALA @ your library™ campaign. The @ your library™ campaign will be around for a long time. The goal of this campaign came from Laura Bush who said that the library card was the most valuable card in her wallet. The ALA decided to focus on making the library card the most valued and used card in every wallet.

This September, which is library card sign-up month, the NLC will be working with public libraries across the state to get the library cards into peoples' wallets and add value to them. Mary Jo stated that she sent information to all public library directors and systems administrators about the campaign. There are key external audiences to target with this campaign. Currently the campaign is focusing on policy makers and opinion leaders. But we also want to focus on families as library patrons or customer base and our internal library staff to make every single staff person a spokesperson for the library. Suggestions were made such as signing people up for library cards at school functions, and promote outside of the library to the community such as the mall, fair, and community activities. Sharon Osenga suggested a kit to carry to sign-up places and a list of possible places to sign up new library users would both be helpful for librarians.

Sharon also stated that library boards should become active in promoting this campaign. They need to be more informed and encouraged to participate. Mary Jo stated that the Commission could put the information in newsletters and e-mails. The Commission can also make stickers with a slogan.

Consumer Health Information

Marty McGee, National Network/Libraries of Medicine, Education and Nebraska Liaison, stated that she wanted to remind everyone that if you are not currently an affiliate member of the National Network Library of Medicine she would encourage you to do so, the benefit to members is that they can order promotional materials such as Medline Plus bookmarks and pens. Both are free of cost to members. You would also receive information on grants that are available. Marty stated that she always advocates Medline Plus as your number one resource for consumer health information; it has health topics, drug information, medical encyclopedia, dictionary and interactive tutorial on some procedures. Marty stated that she has a counterpart with the National Network Library of Medicine -- Shiobhan Champ-Blackwell. Siobhan's emphasis is on minority populations, and minority community health. Siobhan has a weblog which has information on populations, grants, or scholarships available for those populations. Siobhan has a site on the mid-continent region site called intercity community health and there are brochures that are just consumer health information for minority populations. These can be printed and distributed to minority patrons.

UNO Medical Center has a consumer health information service which they have had for almost 20 years. They recently brought under their wing a resource called HealthHQ. This site identifies all the support groups in Nebraska. They also have a reference department which you can call or e-mail and they will put together a packet of information for you. They also have a collection of 500-700 books which can be checked out with a Nebraska driver's license.

Marty stated that at the NLA conference, Evelyn Dingle, Omaha public library, and Marty will be doing a presentation. The focus will be not only traditional resources but complimentary and alternative medical resources. They included complimentary and alternative medicine because it is coming to the forefront and more recognized by the medical community.

Council Roundtable

Jim Bothmer said that Creighton University is using a module of SIRSI named Hyperion which is not OAI compliant. It was used to digitize the 100 year history of the School of Medicine. Creighton University received a Center for Excellence grant to develop a collection of resources of curriculum and educational opportunities for minority populations particularly to encourage them to go into the health profession.

Brenda Ealey stated that the NLA/NEMA conference is October 6-8 in Grand Island. It will have 56 sessions and 2 preconferences that are also advertised on the NLA website. NLA has a proposal for bid for a conference executive secretary.

Meme Smith stated that the Schuyler Public Library's summer reading program doubled this year. It drew children from outlying school districts. The library is also targeting rural school districts to promote the databases. The library will be increasing the number of computer classes and community people teach classes.

Theresa Jehlik stated the Omaha public library is doing a One Book One City project which has narrowed the title field to Fahrenheit 451, Land of Dreams and The Watson's Go to Bohemia.

John Seyfarth stated that the Sump Memorial Library put in wireless service.

Sharon Osenga stated that the regional library systems received a grant from the Commission which will allow 10 public libraries to develop multicultural programs. Part of the grant required a person from the library to attend the Hispanic Voices @ your library preconference. The systems are also working with Brenda Ealey and Gail Formanack to host the banquet and awards as well as a sock hop on Thursday night of the conference.

Kristen Rogge stated that she is always appreciative of the SACL meetings because there is so much information shared.

Nancy Cantin stated that the Hastings Regional Center still is uncertain of its future.

Maggie Harding stated that NLA has 727 paid members plus 30 subscriptions, including a few corporate members. Three Nixon scholarships will be given this year. A trustee survey will soon be sent to each trustee in Nebraska.

Steve Davis stated that NEMA held its annual planning meeting a week ago. They will have a professional development program this year. Training will be held in each of the six library regions dealing with advocacy at the local level and good ways to use the @ your library™ campaign. There will also be programs at the NLA/NEMA conference.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that the Holdrege public library launched a redesigned website this spring and new domain name, The website offers a readers corner page which provides links to other area library catalogs of library sites and book review sites. They are currently working on their annual revision of their strategic plan.

Pat Gross stated that Gering public schools are placing new technology in the high school. Pat attended the NEMA annual meeting and one of the things they will focus on this year is teaching youth to be better patrons in public situations with academic integrity. Pat said plagiarism is a problem with students able to purchase their papers off the internet. They will also work on copyright issues. In Alliance, on August 2, NEMA and the Panhandle Library System will hold a Library System Training Institute. The institute was very successful last year.

Nancy Escamilla stated that in September, author Carole Nelson Douglas will tour the panhandle area. Nancy distributed fliers with information on the Hispanic Voices @ your library pre-conference to be held on October 6. Nancy distributed a sheet which listed things going on in the libraries from Panhandle System region.

Nancy stated that Nadine DiBacco recently had a mild stroke. She is slowly recovering and it would be nice if she heard from people. Nadine was recently informed by the city that 10 departments of the city were going to be combined into 4 departments; the library became part of the administrative department which changed the board from a governing board to an advisory board. The Gering library also lost their technology person to another city.

The Scottsbluff public library had a record number of children attend the summer reading program this year. To this date 1,000 children have completed the program and there is still one and one-half weeks left of the program. The teen program has doubled the circulation. There are 186 teens in the summer program and 123 teens have completed the program. Nancy will end the teen summer program with a battle of the bands with 4 teenage bands competing.

Diana Johnson stated that Stromsburg recently held its Annual Swedish Festival. The library displayed Lewis & Clark materials that were borrowed from the Joslyn Art Museum. The museum has an outreach suitcase which they lend; the case includes buffalo skins, several different hides and feathers. Matthew Sitting Bear Jones gave a presentation. Lincoln Aging Services holds a photo contest and allows the library to display them. During summer reading, speaker Dale Clark did a presentation on Lewis & Clark and several men from the community who own muzzleloaders also did a presentation. During the county fair the Polk county libraries will have a booth.

Mary Jo Ryan spoke on several different projects. Mary Jo distributed a handout with information on the Western Trails project. The handout provided information on what a database search function should look like. We now need to develop ways to market and outreach this project.

Nebraska Book Festival will be held in Kearney on September 17 & 18. The 17th is a special day for teenage young writers to meet with authors and learn more about writing as well as practice writing. That evening the movie "Tully" which was made in Nebraska will be shown. A book from the UNL Press, A Different Plain will be featured.

The keynote speaker at the NLA/NEMA conference will be Mary Pipher, who wrote, among other books, In the Middle of Everywhere: The World's Refugees Come to Our Town.

In the Nebraska Library Commission's What's Up Doc newsletter, the Commission putting more resources into reference about library history.

Letters About Literature, a contest sponsored by the Nebraska Center for the Book, encourages a young person to write a letter to an author to tell how their book made a difference in their life. Jackson Fischer, a 4th grader from Nebraska, was a National Winner this year.

Kit Keller stated the revised Accreditation Guidelines are completed. Letters have been sent to libraries that are eligible to renew their accreditation status as well as eligible unaccredited libraries. The state-aid budget will be set by October.

Kathy Lute stated that the Children's Librarian in Ogallala is retiring. The library has a new librarian who has started a writing group, four book clubs, teen spaces group and did the summer reading program. The library logo signs were just distributed around town. The library signage has been changed; new lighting and seating in front of the library will be added soon. The library hosted Patty Bremer, an author. Ms. Bremer did a book signing event. Brandon Bremer, of Venango, and who is now 13, is taking a year off college to produce a CD. He was homeschooled and says "I'm still in the making" when asked what he wants to do.

Gretchen Healy stated that because of the grant money Little Priest Tribal College received they were able to hire two new staff. One is a children's librarian, Susan Skinner, who held the library's first summer reading program. There were 88 children registered and 33 finished their contract to read 10 books. There was also one child who read 373 books. The library also held a summer Read-to-Me night with 18 people in attendance. Everyone attending got a free book and a talk about the benefits of reading to children. It is hopeful that in a few years the new college students will have the English vocabulary needed to read at college level. The Winnebago language is also promoted because children who are bilingual will learn more and faster. The other new staff person is a technician who has began to put together the new community center which will hold 15 computers. The library also plans to teach digital photography and digital video. The staff will start offering workshops in September.

Janice Boyer stated that she will no longer be Library Dean at UNO but will return to the faculty. Dorothy Willis is the current Interim Dean while a search will be conducted. The plans for the library addition are on schedule and the 31,000 sq. ft. addition should be completed in the Spring of 2006.

Karen Drevo stated that the Norfolk public library has been very busy. Karen worked with the ESL Immigrant school program this summer. They beat last year's record number of participants for the summer reading program with this year's new record number of 2,350 participants. The library's philosophy is they want summer program readers from all ages. There oldest reader is 93 and the youngest is 6 months. The OLIO and 10th annual literature festival will be held this month. The OLIO is July 30 and the literature festival is July 31. The literature festival will have three authors appearing and are 2005 Nebraska Golden Sower award nominees. The authors are Robert J. Blake, Elisa Carbon, and Will Weaver. Matt Maulder, Library Sparks magazine editor, contacted Karen about doing an article for the magazine on the library offering Spanish language experiences in the young children programs. The article will appear in the November issue. The library will be replacing the carpet in the library. Karen attended the Cooperative Summer Library Program (CSLP) meeting in April. This group now has 29 states as members which is a great increase from when Nebraska joined.

Becky Pasco stated there are 342 library science students in some kind of library science education. We don't want this program to be a program where everyone gets a degree; we want to have high standards. There is a waiting list for every class offered this fall and one class had to be split into two sessions.

Ruth Seward stated that the Lexington public school system gave permission for four library paraprofessionals to attend the Nebraska Library Commission Basic Skills classes. Lexington public library will start construction this fall for the new library. Ellen Halms, the children's librarian, is leaving to work for the Elwood public schools.

Digitization Plans and Strategies

Shannon Behrhorst spoke about a digitization plans and strategies project sponsored by the Commission. Over the past few years the Commission has participated in the Western Trails project in which the Nebraska Library Commission was the lead Nebraska institution to pull participants together to learn about digitization and helping participants digitize their materials and create metadata to describe their materials. The Commission has also begun some in-house digitization of some historical documents. A Nebraska Virtual Library Task Force has been formed and they have discussed different needs. One of the needs is a digital depository of Nebraska historical documents. In June, the Nebraska Library Commission purchased ContentDM software which will allow the NLC to create the digital images depository. We will provide avenues, technology, and expertise. The license will allow us to offer 52 seats, and seats will rotate to new institutions from year to year. Libraries can apply for an LSTA grant to use the product.

The Commission's goal is to have the project begin spring of 2005. Lincoln City Libraries is the test case. The NLC is looking for ways to continue doing what we've done on Western Trails and probably will have advisory experts to help provide training so people learn about digitization and how to create metadata.

Shannon stated that at the NLA/NEMA conference they will hold a session on how the project will work and they will show a demo at the NEBASE Fall meeting. Sometime this fall, the NLC will hold a 2-day training event to show how the project would work, help people write a grant or how to be a project participant leader. In Spring 2005, we will begin to hand out seats and provide hands on training. The database will be set up before participants can enter. There is a yearly fee for ContentDM which allows us to place as many projects as we like. Issues that still need to be discussed are what the Commission will be responsible for, what the library will be responsible for, storage, and archiving.

"Trust and Terror: New Demands for Crisis Information Dissemination and Management"

A short video was shown on a program produced by the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. This program was developed after the terrorist attacks in 2001. It states that crisis information must come from reliable sources such as the library. There are 16,000 public libraries with an extensive network of resources that can be empowered to meet the need. All that is needed is to leverage it, engage it and empower it. The proposal of NCLIS is to expand the role of libraries as an essential component of U.S. crisis information dissemination and management. Additional information is available at

A CD-ROM (with brochure included) of this presentation is available free while supplies last by contacting the NCLIS office (email; telephone 202-606-9200). Brochures without the CD-ROM are also available free while supplies last.

Adoption of Resolutions

Jim Bothmer suggested thanking Deb Roberts for her help with the Library Technical Assistant program. Adopting a resolution was moved and seconded. A second resolution to thank Becky Pasco and Pam Scott for their work on the Library Technical Assistant Program was moved and seconded. The resolutions were approved.

It was moved and seconded to ask the Commission to form a Task Force to address the technology needs of public libraries.

November 2004 Meeting Plans

The next meeting will be held November 19 at Little Priest Tribal College in Winnebago. Rod Wagner mentioned the new public library in South Sioux City as a place to visit along with Winnebago. The meeting will be 9 am to 2 pm tentatively.