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Meeting Minutes

Lincoln, Nebraska

September 9, 1994

Present: Dr. E. Baker, M. Battistella, V. Bialac, J. Birnie, P. Brunken, D. Crews, E. Epp, S. Mason, G. Mier, P. Sheridan, C. Speicher, S. Wiegert, S. Wise.

Staff: J. Budler, J. Minges, D. Oertli, Mary Jo Ryan, S. Snyder, A. Sternberg, E. Van Waart, R. Wagner.

The meeting of the State Advisory Council on Libraries was convened at 10:00 a.m. by Rod Wagner. Phyllis Brunken volunteered to chair the meeting. Introductions of all present were given.

Dr. Baker moved, and Sharon Wiegert seconded, the agenda be approved as received. The motion carried. Carol Speicher noted a correction for the June 10, 1994 minutes. A statement about the Northeast Library System, on page seven, the correction is that a much smaller number of public libraries in that System actually have modems. Carol Speicher moved, and Pat Sheridan seconded, the minutes of the June 10, 1994 meeting be approved as corrected. The motion carried.

New NLC staff

Rod Wagner stated that at the last meeting interest was expressed in meeting Library Commission staff members. Rod introduced Annie Sternburg, Online Services Librarian, and Jo Budler, Network Services Director, both started their positions at the Library Commission on July 1. Joanne Corson, Desktop Publishing Designer, will stop by the meeting later today. Jo Budler noted the Commission staff is working on conducting a technology assessment to identify needs and current status of all types of libraries in the state. Jo asked Council members to talk with her if anyone had ideas about the assessment or other technology issues. Annie Sternburg noted she is primarily working with the Internet, training Library Commission staff at this point, and searching the Internet for information. She invited Council members to communicate with her. Annie will conduct Internet training for librarians after the first of the year. She also expressed interest in visiting libraries in the state and meeting librarians.

Council Roundtable Presentations on Information Technology

Rod Wagner stated that interest was also expressed at the last meeting to have time on the agenda for members to inform the Council about what is happening in their part of the state concerning technology and other issues.

Dena Crews noted that Chadron Public Library is involved in a massive computer conversion to the very latest upgrade, Follet software. Unfortunately, the software has some major glitches to be corrected. Follet is correcting the problems but it has been a headache for Chadron. Chadron developed a community technology planning group with the help of Chris Hoy. The town is involved in a CWEIS (Community-Wide Education and Information Service) grant and is eager to see what will be happening with it. The library also uses NEON, Nebraska Online, and accesses the Internet through Western Nebraska Community College.

Ella Epp noted that Henderson Community School uses a Winnebago product and it appears to be particularly suited to the small library. They receive upgrades every year and they have always worked well.

Maureen Battistella updated Council members on activities at Wayne State College. The library staff just completed training 600 new freshmen to use the campus computer system. The college also provides free community access to the Internet using telnet only. The library's online catalog is available through the Internet. Recently patron initiated interlibrary loan was established through the Innovative Interfaces system. It appears to be working well. They are looking at extending this service to include CARD libraries, as a regional outreach service. Document delivery requests may be placed with Wayne State College via e-mail. The Internet address is: for those with Internet access. The library staff delivers campus Internet training and has recently offered an information literacy class and an Internet for Educators class.

Sharon Wiegert, Papillion Public Library, distributed a brochure on Papillion Community Link, a multi-user Electronic Bulletin Board System. The system contains information and schedules from local groups, clubs, organizations, churches, schools and others. It also has an e-mail system for local government officials, public interest forums for discussions, and the public library's online catalog. Started on June 17, there are now 711 people signed up, and 7,985 phone calls to the system as of yesterday. There are four ports available for simultaneous use. The library catalog on the system allows people to reserve books from a distant location. The teleconference section is very popular and now children are asking for a teleconference section set up for only children to use. There have been very few problems so far with the system and it was simple for staff to learn and tell others how to connect to it. There will be Internet access in near future. A nominal fee will be charged to Papillion residents for Internet access, and a higher fee for those outside the city limits. Ellen Van Waart and Jo Budler visited Papillion and met with Tim Willett, the programmer, and are very excited about the system and what it offers the community. Tim gives presentations to groups to let them know what is available and how to access it. The library will soon have terminals for public to use to access the Papillion Community Link.

Joan Birnie reported Broken Bow Public Library has Nebraska Online and Internet. The library received a grant from the Library Commission for a downlink satellite connection. They hope to have it up and running in October. A student navigator on the Internet for the summer was provided via funding from a local group and from the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED). The student toured and visited communities in the county and showed people what the Internet was all about. His headquarters were in the public library, which created a great deal of good PR for the library. It was a good learning year for the project, The town of Grant also had a student Internet navigator for the summer. The Broken Bow student accomplished his goals and received a positive response from communities visited.

Sharon Mason, Calvin T. Ryan Library at the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), brought some articles on Kearney Public Library. The first article indicated their Dynix system will be up in the beginning of 1995. A second article promoted their new Technology Learning Center for patrons, it officially opened Tuesday with the target group being the business community. UNK students are staffing it for college credit or for student pay. One of the library's goals is to provide access to the Internet in the near future. Jim Minges noted some Library Commission staff visited the Technology Learning Center on Tuesday. They have IBM and MacIntosh computers available, some of them are on loan from vendors. There is also a variety of business application software for patrons to use. A grant provides funding for a full time coordinator for two years. Another goal is to assist those in a lower economic group to use the technology and eventually improve their employment situation.

Sharon Mason noted a number of activities at UNK as well. Kearney has Innovative Interfaces, the same system as Wayne State College and Chadron State College. The software has many facets. The menu contains a gateway option which provides a connection to other libraries via the Internet. The next software release will offer a PIN number option to allow students to check their circulation records and see what they have checked out. The CD-ROM magazine indexes are networked. Upgrading CD-Rom products to offer via Gateway option, licensing will be a consideration. The new Chancellor will be installed next week and the Library will hold an Internet Open House as part of the celebration. The Universities, in connection with the Library Commission, have sent in a grant application for client/server software for students (and more) for a type of OHIO-Link to get into each others systems. Rod Wagner noted it is a National Science Foundation grant application, and is likely to be funded. The project is an outgrowth of Senator Kerrey's concept of the electronic library. The project will involve a number of libraries of various types as it evolves, and a good deal of needs assessment. Joan Geisecke and Nancy Busch are the principal researchers for the project. We will soon learn whether the funding was approved. (It was funded.)

Lupe Mier stated Bellevue Public Library is preparing for their Dynix system to go up at the end of September or early October. Currently they have all reserves on Dynix as a starting point to using the system. The library also has public access for Nebraska Online, for CD-ROM computers, one for children games, and one for magazine access.

Dr. Elmer Baker noted that as a Trustee his concern is about obtaining funding. York Public Library has had funding problems recently. York has used Dynix for a year and are very happy with it, few complaints.

Phyllis Brunken reported that all the Educational Service Units (ESU) are up and running on the Internet. Schools are being connected in different ways at different ESUs. Many teachers, secretaries, media specialists, media aides, all people interested, are being trained across the state. Public librarians have attended training, and are welcome to attend in the future. A four year study with UNO is underway to see what impact the Internet project has. Chris Hoy will be visiting Columbus soon for a showcase of how information technology is used and what is available. This August Phyllis attended a demonstration of a CD-ROM server on Apple and there was no discernable slowing of speed when all were running. It was much better than cd towers.

Nebraska's Community Teleliteracy Initiative - Chris Hoy, Special Projects Director, Department of Economic Development

Rod Wagner introduced Chris Hoy, Special Projects Director, Department of Economic Development. Chris Hoy distributed a map of Nebraska which indicates the communities that are participating in community planning for telecommunications and information technology. He assists communities in forming information technology task force volunteer groups to help the community know what is happening and get prepared.

The task force should have a representative slice of the community as members for sharing knowledge and information and responsibility. The team should number eight to ten, and have a representative from the health, local government, business, and education areas. Chris advised to get the most influential person you can from each group, for example: the hospital director, the mayor, and the superintendent of schools. In addition, he always suggests the librarian, a couple of students, and a technology wizard be members of the team.

People generally are poorly informed about the possibilities of technology. No one has the responsibility of teaching the average citizen about technology. The task force should first learn about information technology and arrange to share the information with all (or as many as possible) in the community. The results are: 1) a demand for access to the technology, and 2) the task force is able to identify others in the community who are interested and connect with them in future projects, activities, etc.

For example, Chris Hoy and Mary Jo Ryan are attending a technology fair in West Point, Ne. The purpose of the fair is to educate the community about technology and information. The Wall Street Journal is covering it. Bob Kerrey is planning to attend either in person or via technology. The host institution gets good PR for such an event. Libraries are a good choice for host institution, it is an opportunity to redefine itself in the community as source of information. The library is seen as center for information and technology.

He perceives funds will be flowing over state borders and Nebraska will get its share if we are ready for it. Those communities who are prepared will be more likely to receive funding from the federal government and/or from foundations.

Plans are underway to build an electronic newspaper on Nebraska Online, with information for all communities to access about the best thinking re: community technology planning. McCook citizens asked for a single point of access of information at a meeting with Rod Armstrong. Nebraska Online can provide it. Sections of the newspaper will include: frequently asked questions, resources section, and sharing of information.

The library can be seen by the community as the place to go for technology and information. It is great PR. Chris Hoy offered to visit communities and help get things started. Call him and he will visit and talk with whoever is interested in setting up a task force.

The Council recessed for lunch at 11:40 a.m. The meeting reconvened at 1:05 p.m.

NLC Report

Legislative Update

Rod Wagner updated the Council on state legislative matters. The proposed revision of the public library laws was held in committee during the last session of the Legislature. Concern was expressed by some cities and the League of Municipalities about public library districts and local governance. We have been working on a new bill this summer. It is very similar to the last one with a few changes: 1) it will not include a limit on terms for public library board members; 2) public library districts, the transfer of library assets to the district will be a matter of local negotiation; 3) public library districts will have an appointed board, and local governments will have a means of participating in the selection of board members; 4) the ballot to establish a library district will include a levy amount with a lid for future revenue for the district; and 5) includes provision to retain advisory boards in communities that currently have an advisory board rather than a governing board.

Rod Wagner updated the Council on federal legislative matters. There is an acceptance of compromise for a program to follow the current Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) program. A fragile coalition is now in place. One exception is the objection to some goals in the original proposal, some goals will be rewritten. Rod will draft goals relating to technology. The idea is to write something comparable, in form, to the National Education Goals. One suggestion is to call it the "Library Services and Technology Act". In other news, the reauthorization of the Elementary/Secondary Education Act contains funds for libraries in schools, a specific amount has been set aside.

State Information Technology Activities

Rod Wagner reported the Library Commission is close to having a request for proposal for Nebraska Online Tier II, a fee-based service beyond what is currently in Nebraska Online. This service will contain the type of records you now go to the county seat and pay a fee for a record. Information such as motor vehicle records, state court records, and UCC filings are possibilities for this service.

Rod also stated that of the $700,000 grant from the Small Business Administration to the Department of Economic Development, the Library Commission has $130,000 to employ two positions and for other expenses. One is a librarian position to work with electronic information sources to find information and repackage it for the electronic newspaper, as well as other aspects of Nebraska Online. The other is a technician position to staff the help desk for Nebraska Online. We hope both these positions will eventually be permanent. They are part of the Library Commission's next budget request to the state.

The Community-Wide Education and Information Service (CWEIS) project is administered from the NETV offices. The Library Commission and several other agencies are partners in it. The cities of Chadron, Cambridge, and Lincoln are also involved. Part of the purpose is to pull together different online service information: Nebraska Online and UNL information, for example. This statewide project is still under development and is in the process of hiring a coordinator. A companion project is to create an Omaha Freenet. Twelve grants were awarded nationally and Nebraska received two.

Rod Wagner reported on the NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) grant applications. It appears at least one grant application has a good chance of being funded. As a statewide planning grant, it will pull together people and organizations. It is expected the planning grant would lead to an implementation grant.

The National Science Foundations electronic library grant is also likely to be funded. The Library Commission will be involved as well as other agencies and organizations in the state.

News Group: the Library Commission has agreed to operate the machine. It has not been delivered yet. We are not under a tight time table to get it. Not deliver it until is operational. It is a news reader that allows access to the various news groups on the Internet. There are over 6,000 different news groups available. The system will get information closer to Nebraska and cut down on Internet travel drain.

Nebraska Information Technology Draft Report

Rod Wagner noted the charge to the Nebraska Information Technology Commission: to develop a statewide strategy for enhancing Nebraska's competitiveness through telecommunications and information technology. This involves an assessment of needs and making recommendations to the Governor and Legislature for public and private access to information in Nebraska. The report contains a number of references to libraries. The Commission was established for a limited time but the question was raised in the report whether the state needs to retain such a commission.

The Council was invited to respond to the report either individually or as a Council. Verda Bialac moved: "A commendation to the Nebraska Information Technology Commission from the State Advisory Council on Libraries for the work on the draft report document, and for recognizing the role of libraries in information technology." Dena Crews seconded the motion. The motion carried. All Council names will be placed on the document and sent to the appropriate address for the Information Technology Commission.

State Advisory Council on Libraries -- Challenge to Libraries

Becky Baker drafted a statement of challenge to Nebraska libraries and librarians. The draft was distributed to Council members. Discussion was held on the purpose of the statement: to give attention to the role of libraries as related to technology. The statement was rephrased as follows:

The Council challenges Nebraska libraries to link every citizen of the state with information technologies by becoming a catalyst for community planning and aggressively obtaining funding. Libraries are challenged to partner to accomplish the goal of information access. Librarians are challenged to increase their knowledge and ability to use information technologies to serve their communities.

Dr. Elmer Baker moved to adopt the statement as amended. Ella Epp seconded, the motion carried.

A copy of the State Advisory Council on Libraries mission statement and goals 1994 was sent with the mailing prior to the meeting. The Council agreed to change the order of the goals as stated. Goal 3 is now 5, Goal 4 is now 6, Goal 5 is now 3, and a new goal 4 has been added. It states: Communicate and promote the importance of information technologies to the Nebraska library community. Dena Crews moved to adopt the goals as amended. Sharon Mason seconded, the motion carried.

Discussion was held on the best way to share the challenge statement and the mission statement and goals with the library community. It was suggested at the previous meeting these items be included in the meeting packet at the NLA/NEMA conference. This is no longer feasible due to the time frame for the packets. It was suggested the challenge statement and the mission and goals statement be printed on one two-sided page and distributed from the Library Commission booth at the conference. Rod Wagner noted one of the Talk Table topics on Thursday afternoon (4:10-5:00) is on the State Advisory Council on Libraries and Jeanne Leader will host. Other Council members are invited to attend. In addition, the Council could sponsor a time at the Commission hospitality suite as a listening post, inviting librarians and media specialists to attend and discuss the statements as well as any issues of importance to them. Mary Jo Ryan will send a message via Nebraska Online to all Council members giving the date and time for the session. Council members will indicate to Mary Jo if they are able to attend and host the hospitality time.

Mary Jo Ryan introduced Joanne Corson, desktop publishing designer and newest Library Commission staff member.

Strategies for Input to State Advisory Council on Interests and Issues

Rod Wagner noted the activities of the Council at the NLA/NEMA conference will provide a good opportunity for input from the library community. In addition, Jeanne Leader is working on a feedback sheet to be mailed with the NLCommunicator.

A draft copy of the 1995-1997 Long Range Plan was distributed to the Council. It was suggested an interim meeting of the Council be held via telecommunications to discuss and give recommendations on the Long Range Plan. Written comments on the draft should be sent to Sally by October 1. The Library Commission will check on and schedule a video conference for discussion of the draft plan. Interested individuals, in addition to Council members, are welcome to attend the video conference.

The next meeting of the Council will be December 2, 1994.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 3:05 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Snyder

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.