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Meeting Minutes


September 11, 1998

State Advisory Council Members Present: Susan Baird, auneil Bennett, Joan Birnie, John Dale, Stan Gardner, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Sylvia Person, Sandra Riley, Jeanne Saathoff, Tom Schmitz, Kathy Tooker, Richard Voeltz, Jane Wall, Sharon Wiegert and Sally Wise.

Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Richard Miller, Sally Snyder, Ellen Van Waart and Mary Jackson.

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandra Riley at 10:02 a.m. Introductions were given among those present.

Approval of Agenda: Richard Voeltz moved and Michael LaCroix seconded the motion to approve the agenda. Motion carried.

Approval of Minutes of June 12, 1998: Richard Voeltz moved and Tom Schmitz seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Library Commission Report

LSTA Grants Program Update -- Richard Miller: Richard Miller reported on the applications received for the LSTA grant program. A list of applicants was included in the mailing to Council members. The grant amounts requested ranged from $1,776 to $20,981. The total project costs ranged from $2,368 to $41,453. A 25% cash match is required. The projects are primarily technology related and include: Internet access, CD-ROM capabilities, fax machines, and T-1 lines. The Library Commission also received several planning grant requests. One application is for reference collection development. There is $250,000 available for this grant program. It is roughly divided as follows: $100,000 for mini grants and $150,000 for major grants. The Commission received 25 applications for mini grants and 19 applications for major grants. The total requested was $315,899.

The next LSTA grant cycle will begin in January of 1999. The application packet is scheduled to be mailed on January 2, 1999. The web page will also contain application information on January 2, 1999. Applications will be due to the Library Commission on March 1, 1999. Grant awards will be announced by May 1, 1999.

1999-2001 Biennium Budget Request -- Nancy Busch: Nancy Busch reported on the biennium budget request. A six page summary was included in the mailing to the Council. The Library Commission's budget request will be submitted Tuesday, September 15. The budget hearing is usually held sometime in February.

The first section, the Continuation Budget Request, contains requests for additional funding needed to maintain current services. This includes additional funding for employer retirement contribution, rent increase, increased microfilming costs, and replacing the Commission's DataTrek automation system.

The Libraries for the 21st Century section is a new funding request in the amount of $5 million. The State Advisory Council on Libraries was the initiator of the Libraries for the 21st Century campaign. It includes three areas as building blocks for libraries. The Legislature may become more interested in one area than another.

The first area, Priority 1, includes increased state aid to accredited public libraries and increased lender compensation for interlibrary loan.

The second area, Priority 2, involves improving access to information resources. This includes an additional $600,000 for state access to databases. It also includes funding to assist libraries in upgrading or purchasing automated systems, computers, and other technology. In addition, funding for training and continuing education for librarians is included in this priority.

The third area, Priority 3, involves encouraging new and innovative library and information service arrangements. It will provide incentive grants for inter-local library service arrangements that encourage local cooperation, service effectiveness, and efficiencies.

State budget policies also require each agency to submit a modification plan specifying how agency's would reduce services and activities if their budget was reduced by 10%. This is the final section of the summary document.

Rod Wagner noted that one of the first tasks for the new Governor will be to make recommendations for the state budget. Nebraska Library Association (Maggie Harding) has arranged meetings with the two candidates for Governor. NLA and Nebraska Library Commission representatives have met with Bill Hoppner. He is concerned about state and local governments' ability to provide good service under the proposed constitutional lid on tax collections. Both candidates are invited to attend the NLA/NEMA convention in October. It is not known if either will be able to actually attend.

The Council commended Nancy Busch for the fine job of putting this information together in an understandable way.

Certification/Basic Skills Program Evaluation Update -- Richard Miller: Richard Miller noted that five of the six system administrators are involved with this evaluation. Ellen Van Waart is the Library Commission's lead person on this project. Ellen Van Waart stated the Library Commission is in the process of putting together a contract with Debra Wilcox Johnson. Dr. Johnson evaluated Iowa's program about 10 years ago, and has extensive experience in planning and program evaluation. She is nationally recognized for her work in library science education. Nebraska's program is based on the one in Iowa. The purpose of the evaluation is to assure that our program meets the needs of Nebraska librarians. There will be more information on this at the next Council meeting. The plan is to complete the evaluation in about one year.

"Tool Kit" of Library Resources -- Richard Miller: Richard Miller reminded the Council that this topic refers to the idea of providing information on options possible for local libraries and towns looking at partnerships or other cooperative approaches to library service. It could coincide with the new and innovative funding portion of the biennium budget request. Ellen suggested we put the information on our web site. It could be added to as needed, and people could respond to the information and let us know if it was helpful. As an example: Grattan Township library has changed its status and is now O'Neill Public Library. The process they went through would be helpful to others in the same situation. It was recommended this topic be renamed; so those who need the information will know they have found it.

Library Advocacy Program -- Ellen Van Waart: Ellen Van Waart updated the Council on the Library Advocacy program. She distributed an eight-page handout and four individual handouts to Council members. The Library Advocacy Program is sponsored by Libraries for the Future (LFF) and Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA). Funding for the program comes from the Viburnum Foundation. The goal of the program is to build citizen advocacy for the library.

Eight states, including Nebraska, received grants. A grassroots advocacy effort in four communities in each state. The program has a number of guidelines but there is also a lot of freedom to design programs for our state.

The Commission is now in the process of looking for four communities for this program. They will be selected by September 30. The program goals are listed on the first page of the packet of information. The two activities also listed on that page will be undertaken by Nebraska's four communities. We hope the project will spread to other communities after this cycle is complete. Randy Moody will record a video tape presentation on legal issues, explaining lobbying and what librarians can and can't do.

The community site selection guidelines are from Libraries for the Future. The eight-page handout contains statistics on the public libraries in the state and is pulled from the 1996-1997 information on the Library Commission's home page. To be selected for this project, the community's per capita expenditures should be under $19. Other criteria will also be considered. A few libraries so far have expressed an interest in participating. Ellen asked the Council members to encourage libraries to be involved and to talk to Ellen about ideas for the program. All materials distributed today are in draft form, so let her know of suggested changes or additions.

The Community-Library Advocacy Project sheet is an outline for planning.

Council Roundtable - News and Views from Council Members on Library Related Issues Around the State

John Dale, Lincoln City Libraries: A bond issue was authorized for two new branch libraries to be built on park sites which will be part of the November election. Omaha Public Library has a new director, Ronald R. Heezen. Lincoln City Libraries is looking forward to working with him.

Joan Birnie, Broken Bow Public Library: The budget situation has improved, the town cut only $400 from the library's budget. It is reassuring to see that they did value the library as an important community service. Broken Bow received a Children's Grant for Excellence from the Library Commission for their "Little House Club," it will start next week.

Jane Wall, Grand Island Public Schools: She is now media coordinator for Grand Island Public Schools. Media specialists and media aids are assuming the roles of technology experts. The school system is looking at the expectations for these people and will determine what they want them to do. A copyright workshop for media personnel and the principals of each individual school building is scheduled for October, Ellen Van Waart will be teaching. They are also trying to get FirstSearch in all their buildings. An issue to consider for future database contracts is: that the elementary school level is currently not being served by the databases.

Kathy Tooker, Eastern Library System: A multi-state meeting including state library and library system/network participants was held in Council Bluffs the last two days. A total of 80 people from six states attended the conference. A "Bricks and Boards" workshop on library building construction was held in August. Architects gave the presentations and it was very informative and helpful. Fifteen communities were represented and it was requested that the workshop be held again in two years.

Fauneil Bennett, Wayne Middle School: The High School principal announced a 15 minute reading time each day. It is great when it comes from the principal. They are in the process of developing a bond issue for a new middle school. They want a new building so the library can be in the center of the school.

Sylvia Person, Holdrege Middle School: First commended the Library Commission staff for excellent training on FirstSearch. It is going to be a fantastic resource for middle and high school. A new public library director has been hired, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe. The school had to cut the reading specialist teacher this year, who is now at Omaha Westside. Sylvia inherited the accelerated reading collection and is now in the process of identifying the collection for the use of students and teachers.

Mo Khomouna, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture: is in Curtis, about 40 miles south of North Platte. The library move to the conservation building has been accepted. It will give twice the current space for the library, the building is being remodeled right now. They have been working on bringing the web page up to a more visible site on the Internet. They are also looking for a new system for library automation. Mo has been attending library workshops and computer classes.

Richard Voeltz, Nursing Liaison and Chemistry Library, UNL: The University of Nebraska - Lincoln received a $125 million endowment. Some of the funds will be used for an addition to Love Library. A renovation project for Love Library is currently underway. They are planning now for renovation construction to begin on June 1, 1999. The technical services staff will be moved out of the building during construction. Information Resources is moving from a database network to a combination database and web network. It is hard to keep track of what is on the web sites. The operating budget for the library is stable, for now.

Stan Gardner, Wayne State College, Conn Library: A new roof was put on the south portion of the building. Connell Hall is being gutted and renovated. The staff from there is now housed in the library building. Conn Library is now on the list for renovation. The FirstSearch training went well, two sessions were filled. Another one is scheduled for September 23. The Library system and computers were upgraded. There is a free database for music tunes, a digital music library, ask if you would like the address, it will be on their web site soon. Next week is the Nebraska Literature Festival at Wayne State College, an agenda is available. The library budget for this year is basically the same as last year. The book examination center for children's books has circulated about 4,000 items this past year and reviews are up on web site which have about 2,000 titles, but only 800 reviews so far. Books will be loaned to anyone interested. Government documents are being added to the automated system. There are about 26,000 in the system so far. All new items are put in the system upon receipt. A basic research skills course is scheduled for students for the spring semester and for all semesters after that. At the August meeting of WHCLIST (White House Conference on Libraries and Information Services Taskforce) the members voted to hold their annual conference in Nebraska in the year 2000. The theme is Rural Libraries.

Michael LaCroix, Creighton University, Reinert/Alumni Memorial Library: Thank-you to the Library Commission for the database project. They are now using off site storage for some archives due to space needs. At the freshman seminar for all freshman, the library presented Library Jeopardy this year which has been very successful. They also gave every freshman a mug with the library web address on it. The mug can be used in the library and is extremely popular. The Law Library completed its renovation and expansion. The dedication will be held on October 2. Reinert/Alumni Memorial Library has upgraded the student workstations, all are now Pentium and all staff has Pentium, also. The Reference desk was moved forward several feet and is now much more visible and used more.

Susan Baird, Gering Public Library: They were asked to cut 10% as part of the budget process. They think a lot has been restored but will know more later. The town is limiting all raises to 2.5%. Lots of students have been in the library since the school was closing at 1:00 p.m. due to the heat. The Panhandle Library System is sponsoring Pat Wagner this month at Gering Public Library. The school system has hired a high school media specialist this year. One person traveled between the high school and middle school last year which was a difficult task. Scottsbluff is building a nice new park and the Scottsbluff Public Library is planning to use it a lot for summer activities. The new Alliance library building had vandalism which set back the construction. New shelving for the library will also be delayed.

Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library and Information Center: Year 2000 issues are being addressed at the library. A resource group is working on renewing the contract with Ameritect for the automation system. The building next to the library is up for sale and the town is considering buying it. The computer lab remains incredibly busy. The University of Nebraska at Kearney is very busy also.

Sandra Riley, Columbus: An important issue in Columbus this year is the bookmobile used to serve Platte County. The county board decided to reduce bookmobile support last year, which has been a big issue this year. The city and county have reached a compromise. A tremendous amount of support for the service came from the county citizens.

Tom Schmitz, Lincoln Regional Center: A satellite library was set up for patients in the forensics building. Now that patient access is restricted, they are trying to move the library into a room in the building so patients can once again use it. The Health and Human Services (HHS) librarians met several times in May and June to write an application for an LSTA planning grant for the libraries. They will hire Martha Gadberry if they receive a grant. Tom was elected president of NAIL (Nebraska Association of Institutional Libraries) this last summer. They are encouraging members to attend the NLA preconference on One Person Libraries. Tom also attends meetings of the Lincoln Health Sciences Group. Harris Labs changed owners in the last two years and the new owners discontinued the library. Lincoln General and Bryan hospitals have combined. The two medical libraries are working on a plan for each to specialize in certain areas and allow both to continue to exist.

Rod Wagner, Library Commission: Noted an E-Rate satellite conference will be held on 9/28, 12:30-2:30 p.m. Central Time.

Sharon Wiegert, Sump Memorial Library, Papillion: The number of children completing the summer reading program doubled this year. Sharon asked for help for next summer and the director has approved the request. Salaries are being increased by quite a bit by the city in order to retain staff. Sharon attended the Midwest Internet Institute. The Library Commission needs to attend it and present information on FirstSearch and maybe some other topics. It will be held during the first week of August, 1999 in Lincoln. The accelerated reader program is becoming a big thing. The library has a notebook and has color coded all the books for it. The Catholic school is using it at this time.

Sally Wise, Law Library, UNL: They have experienced lots of staff turnover recently. A renovation and building project has been approved by the Regents. No date for construction has been set.

Fostering Community Partnerships - Joint Session with Youth Advisory Board

Members of the Youth Advisory Board joined the State Advisory Council for a joint session during the meeting. Introductions were given around the room of the Youth Advisory Board, the State Advisory Council on Libraries and the Library Commission staff. Mary Jackson updated the Council and the Youth Advisory Board on the background of the Youth Improvement Plan.

Mary noted that the first two solutions listed on page two of the Plan, are considered by the Goal 5C Committee to have the most potential for improving library service to children at risk. These are:

a. Work with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a plan whereby local HHS and library teams would collaborate to deliver readiness/survival services to at-risk children, to identify children with critical needs and to support one another's efforts.

b. Emphasize child development stages as part of training for all librarians.

Council and Youth Advisory Board discussion of the Youth Improvement Plan:

What are "readiness/survival services" for at-risk children? -- It is intervention to break the cycle of poverty.

How early in a child's life? -- WIC programs work with expectant and new mothers, so it could start there.

Children's Grants for Excellence, for children's services, Joan Chesley received one to put a book collection at their WIC center.

Have you talked with HHS, what do they say? -- they are willing to talk more.

Are there privacy issues concerning solution "a."? -- yes, it is a consideration. The services will need to be offered without knowing specific names.

Is funding available? -- We will ask for funds as projects are developed.

Richard Miller gave the example of the Hallmark cards being mailed to all new parents congratulating them and encouraging them to get vaccinations for their children. The Library Commission asked that the parents also be encouraged to get a library card for their child. It is possible this will be added to the message when it is reprinted with the new Governor's signature. We will continue to work toward that end. This is an example of the Commission staff are striving to learn what others are doing in order to piggyback on their efforts and also to avoid duplication. We also will reciprocate and allow other agencies to piggyback on our efforts, as it is appropriate.

Mary briefly talked about the planning meeting yesterday for training of Americorps volunteers. Prior to our involvement, libraries were not on the agenda.

It is possible for libraries to take a program to HHS as a way to provide services? -- Yes, it is something to work on.

Immunization clinics are a time you can catch people while they wait, Kearney is looking at working with them.

Is it wiser to start on a local level and work up or on state level and work down? -- both are effective.

Buses are available to transport ESL kids in Grand Island, there is potential for some type of cooperation with them.

Also in Grand Island, retired teachers came to school and rocked and read to children.

Head Start is just down the street from the library. Could hold a weekly story time for them at the library.

Explain solution "b." - the training for all librarians would not be a college level course, but more of a basic skills course approach.

A lot of front line work is done by paraprofessionals who have not had that type of training.

There is a tremendous desire in Lincoln to provide Lincoln youth library services to help with reading skills etc. It is suggested we emphasize primary service to kids (solutions "c." through "k."). It is easy to get lost in HHS. The other things listed would definitely affect kids, they will have the most direct and immediate impact. Lincoln is getting good results from those sorts of things.

How can academic libraries help? They have strong teacher programs, Wayne State College will loan children's materials to anyone, do others?

It was suggested including the education on child development stages in the basic skills classes. Since the program is being evaluated, this is a good time to consider including it.

Solution "i." is also important, parents need training on services to children.

Mary Jackson introduced Neil Powell from the "See to Learn" program, and explained the partnership between that group and the Library Commission. Three single-page handouts were distributed to assist members in listing and considering potential partnerships for libraries with all types of entities and with individuals. This exercise was inspired by the book Building Communities From the Inside Out by John P. Kretzmann and John L. McKnight. This title is available for loan from the Library Commission.

Ideas and information shared from the Partnership sheets:

Service Clubs: could fund programs for libraries

Youth: volunteer work at library gives programs for them

The school has computer lab public library could use problem is in staffing the lab.

Cooperative Extension Service: will provide programs on all types of topics and the library will provide a meeting space.

Home school associations in communities: also PTAs and PTOs.

Target (stores) award grants (as an example of business grants) the library gives them some advertising

newspaper gave article space: Sharon volunteered at their picnic

YMCA, girl and boy scouts etc.

private family resource centers, provide a variety of help to families as preventive to keep from falling into need (have parenting classes, etc.)

English as a Second Language (ESL) adult classes: library provides the facilities

literacy programs

The Youth Advisory Board left to conduct their own meeting.

$400,000 State Appropriation for Library Services - Update and Discussion

Rod Wagner noted an additional $600,000 for commercial online databases licensing is in the Library Commission's budget request for the next biennium. Up to $250,000 of this year's funding of $400,000 was reserved for the FirstSearch package and for additional database licenses. Currently, 560 libraries are signed up to use the databases.

Rod requested input on the best use of the remainder of the funds, approximately $150,000. Since this is the first year with a new procedure for LSTA applications, Commission staff did not know the amount of funding that might be requested. Some of these funds could be used to supplement LSTA grant funding if consistent with the intended use of the new state aid funding. Another possibility, is support for first year use of OCLC's new web based cataloging service for small libraries. Nebraska and Missouri are the two states selected to conduct a trial of this service. It will tie together cataloging, interlibrary loan, book reviews and other services. The trial will take place in October and November and will involve the 31 libraries that participated in batch load of records to the OCLC Online Union Catalog (World Cat). Library budgets are already set for the year, there are no local funds appropriated for this. The Library Commission could allocate a portion of the $150,000 for this project. Pricing is not yet available for this service.

SACL discussion of remainder of funds:

libraries are often the first line of training for the public to use the Internet, anything to assist libraries in providing this in a better way would be helpful

a children's database (as mentioned by Jane Wall earlier) the database package needs a component for the elementary level and adults would use it too, when they want simple basic information

Grolier's has different levels for different ages, EBSCO also has different levels

patrons may log on to FirstSearch from their homes, so something to educate the home computer user and then tell the Legislature the number of people benefiting from this service

bring your Legislators in to see First Search and let them know what it is, how to use it, and that they can access it from home… also your city council, mayor, county boards, etc as well

training beyond a single workshop, multiple workshops are needed for some topics (e.g. basic reference work) it takes time to build the skills

an Internet browsing workshop is held once a month at Sump Memorial Library, some people attend it several times

online classes are a possibility

full-text databases are great and are the most useful for many libraries

get FirstSearch into homes by having it as a community education class

set up a proxy server for FirstSearch to make access easier for the individual

need to teach some in-depth online searching, getting into FirstSearch is only the beginning, it will take time and more than one session to teach this

need a variety of approaches to allow people to choose the best one for them

time to attend training is an issue

library training day in Nebraska: every library close for one day of training statewide, it might be easier to implement if is a statewide designated day

scholarships from library systems for training are helpful, maybe an incentive match program would work

The NebrasKard (Statewide Library Card) Idea - Update and Discussion

Council discussion of the NebrasKard:

It gives something back to every individual in the state. Other states' experiences show no real problems for any one library.

Control is a big issue for many, if they loan a title to someone, they need to know where that item is

the main objection heard so far is the concern of additional demands on staff and collections that are already stretched to the maximum

kids suffer the most because they are not getting library service and they don't have a choice about it

the biggest benefit is political good will

would it work to start out with designated libraries, and have a five year plan to develop?

that is essentially the plan, no library would be forced to participate, it is voluntary hopefully as the program is successful, other libraries will choose to participate.

the cards would be good at all participating libraries

the patron would need to have a library card from some library in the state in order to get and use the NebrasKard

other states have set funds aside to reimburse libraries for extra losses beyond the standard

we need to write specific proposed guidelines for the card to help people understand how it will work, it has been too vague for people to be supportive

pool of funds for postage costs, could be reimbursed by the number of transactions like lender compensation is

some basic details for how it would work have been developed and could be shared at NLA/NEMA convention

it is good for every type of library, we are in it together and need to work together

the card will work if there is a significant increase in state aid to provide benefits to the libraries

it could be a separate NebrasKard, or a sticker to put on existing cards, not determined yet just how it will be designed

currently Lincoln and Omaha have a reciprocal borrowing agreement, the library card just has another bar code on it, could also have a NebrasKard bar code on the same card

school students do not have to pay a fee for a school library card, so they could get NebrasKard for no fee

the purpose of the card is to share materials from any public funded libraries, it doesn't matter if the borrow pays a fee

people will have to abide by the lending library's policies, not by their home library policies

an FAQ about the NebrasKard to share with everyone would be helpful

Nancy Bolt of Colorado will talk about their experience with a statewide library card, as well as other topics at the NLA/NEMA convention. More information about her session is available on the NLA and the NEMA home pages.


Wendall H. Ford Government Publications Reform Act of 1998: It was moved by Michael LaCroix and seconded by Richard Voeltz, that the Council support the resolution regarding "S.2288, The Wendell H. Ford Government Publications Reform Act of 1998, as introduced on July 19, 1998" as received in the mailing to the Council. The motion carried.

It was moved by Richard Voeltz and seconded by John Dale, that the Council support the resolution recognizing Sally Payne as an MCI 1998 Cybrarian of the Year, as received at the meeting this morning. The motion was amended to add the word "Papillion" after Sump Memorial Library in the resolution. The motion carried.

December 4th Council meeting plans

The Council was invited by Wally Seiler to meet in Alliance for the December meeting. The Library Commission will arrange transportation for those interested in traveling together. Mo Khoumona invited the Council to meet in Curtis for a future meeting.


Richard Voeltz moved and Stan Gardner seconded the meeting adjourn. The motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 3:05 p.m.


For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.