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Meeting Minutes

Kearney, Nebraska
March 14, 2008

State Advisory Council members present: Patty Birch, Jan Boyer, Deb Carlson, Steve Fosselman, Patricia Gross, Theresa Jehlik, Scott Kinney, Marty Magee, and Becky Pasco. Nebraska Library Commissioner 's: Jean Ahrens, John Dale, Mary Nelson, and Carol Spencer. Commission Staff: Kit Keller, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, and Rod Wagner. Guest Jim Connor

Welcome and Introductions

State Advisory Council on Libraries Chair, Marty Magee, welcomed everyone to the meeting. Marty stated that this year 's theme is Library Advocacy which includes marketing, accessing your population, and getting out and spreading the word about your library.

NLC Commission Chair, John Dale, welcomed everyone and stated that the Commissioners enjoy attending the State Advisory Council on Libraries meetings because they always get some great information about library related issues.

Approval of the Agenda: A motion was made by Scott Kinney and seconded by Jan Boyer to approve the agenda. Motion approved.

Approval of Minutes (November 16, 2007): A motion was made by Steve Fosselman and seconded by Patricia Gross to approve the minutes. Motion approved.

2008 Council Priority Topics

Rod Wagner stated that he and a few staff members met with Marty Magee to discuss the council activities for the year. Two things that were observed this past year in the public meetings the Commission held talking to people about the new 5-year plan, were the issues of marketing and customer service. In conjunction with Marty Magee 's suggestions for library advocacy it was decided that the Council would address these topics during the course of the year.


Nebraska Library Commission Reports
Federal Library Programs Update - Rod Wagner reported that the increase  in Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds were looking pretty good last time the Council met. We were hopeful that Congress was moving toward an appropriation that would finally implement the full base state allotment for all states under the LSTA. The current state allotment has not been changed in decades. The remainder of the LSTA monies above the base state allotments is apportioned based on a state 's population. Nebraska, being one of the smaller states received increases that were pretty minimal.  Several years ago during the reauthorization process, the larger states agreed to increase base allotments for smaller states as long as it did not affect their funding.  

Rod stated he believes that we are at the end of our opportunity to receiving the extra monies. Despite the fact that the House and Senate did pass appropriation bills that would have allowed for full base allotment when the President vetoed the larger appropriation that this bill was part of; Congress had to go back and work on a new appropriations bill and somehow the LSTA ended up being cut. It was not funded at the level the President had asked for and not at the level the House and the Senate had included in the original appropriations bill. There is a $10 million cut in the state programs part in LSTA. The result for Nebraska is about a $60,000 lost in LSTA funds this year. Congress is now working on a new federal budget and it would be great if Congress would enact a new appropriations bill before the elections. If this doesn 't happen, the prospects of increased funds are slim. LSTA has another year before its authorization expires. 

The other concern that has been raised about LSTA is that the people who administer the program at IMLS have taken a more restrictive use of funds by the states for LSTA. Some projects and services we have done for many years are now under scrutiny. There is a question about using LSTA funds for general library development, activities such as continuing education, and to some extent advocacy and marketing.  We have some latitude because in some areas we are able to use state monies in place of federal funds by changing the funding source. We treat the state and federal funds interchangeably for quite a few of our activities.

2008 Nebraska Legislative Session Update - Rod Wagner reported that the State Revenue Forecasting Board lowered their estimates for state tax collections over the next couple of years. This affects the amount of money the Governor and Legislature has to work with and the lower numbers might make state budget changes necessary. There are no appropriations in the Legislature related to the Nebraska Library Commission. The colleges, universities, and public schools will probably be affected by the state revenue change.  Due to the change in estimated revenue the Governor and Legislature are considering a reduction in school aid distributed this year. Nothing has been said about cutting the current or the coming fiscal year funding.

Rod reported there were some legislative bills related to libraries. After several years there is a good possibility that bill LB572 that would allow the regional libraries system employees to participate in the state insurance program might get approved.  LB 768 is a bill that would allow sanitary improvement districts to contract for library services.  Sanitary improvement districts are usually in the metro areas, this bill will be especially helpful in Sarpy County. LB760 refers to a study of recommendations to the Nebraska State Law Library. The library is housed on the 4th floor of the State Capitol. The library is in very bad shape. The bill would develop a task force to make recommendations to address the problems of the library.  Nebraska Library Commission was identified as one of the organizations to have representation on the task force.      

Nebraska Library Association (NLA)

 - Becky Baker reported that NLA is looking for a new web master. Scott Childers has resigned his position as the current web master effective at the end of the year. The NLA/NEMA conference will be held October 15-17, 2008 in Lincoln. The 2009 conference will be held at the new facility in LaVista on October 28-30, and the 2010 conference will be held in Grand Island on October 13-15.  The NLA Publications Committee is formatting a survey to ask the members about the possibility of changing the format of NLAQ to online. Jenny Puchalla will represent NLA at the National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C.

Nebraska Educational Media Association (NEMA)

 - Becky Pasco reported that NEMA is dedicated to providing high quality professional development across the state. They are working closely with the Library Systems and ESU 's (Educational Service Units), to make sure this is being accomplished. The ASL standards are pushing NEMA to review their own standards. The new additions and revisions to the bylaws were just approved.

Assessment - Marketing - Customer Service - Kit Keller reported that marketing is sometimes misunderstood. Marketing is part of a process and a planned process that starts with assessment and with evaluation.

The marketing process starts with assessment and moves to outcome evaluation and enables library staff and reporters to spend their energy on something that is customer focused and finish with an evaluation.  When doing marketing you are always in a cycle which includes:

  • Knowing your community - know your customers, staff, and library needs. How are you addressing the needs of your customers? Do an assessment of the needs.  
  • Know your library - Kit describes this process like a map, you know where you want to be, know where you are; know what you already have, and how to get where you want to get.
  • Implementation - involve other people, outline plan, write plan, resource tools and techniques.
  • Communication - need to reach people, learn new tools of communication
  • Evaluation - outcomes (how does the program change someone 's life or affects the community). 

Sharing Survey Results (Council Member Survey)

Chair Marty Magee sent out a survey to State Advisory Council on Libraries members prior to the meeting.

  • The Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries is established by the Nebraska Library Commission to advise the Commission on statewide library development and planning.  How do you feel you are best able to meet these expectations?
  • •       State Advisory Council on Libraries members should participate in the training/programs offered by NLC - share the knowledge and encourage participation of online training, training/programs offered by NLC

    •       Definition and direction for NLC and State Advisory Council on Libraries

    •       Focus on good topics

    •       NLC should share what they have accomplished each quarter (disseminate NLC goals and objectives)

    •       Proactive not reactive

  • In the past, the State Advisory Council on Libraries has: shared challenges and successes from each of our libraries; learned about current Nebraska Library Commission initiatives; heard reports from representatives of the Nebraska Library Association and the Nebraska Educational Media Association; reviewed documents such as the Nebraska Library Commission LSTA (Library Services and Technology Act) Five-Year Plan.

    Please comment on what you may have found helpful. This might also include activities in which you 've participated, or meetings that were particularly beneficial.  
  • •       Shaping discussion for benefit/improvement and action by NLC

    •       Connect with Commissioners, NLC staff and each other as leaders

    •       Targeting feedback on meeting focus

    •       Relate to LSTA goals

    •       Advisory not bulletin board

  • What might be the best ways to communicate our experiences and learning 's back to our library communities?
  • •       E-mail with summary of State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting - Marty will do summary

    •       Minutes on listserv - use link to minutes - title should be catchy

    •       List of contact information for State Advisory Council on Libraries and Commission members

    •       Develop and respond on blog

    •       Professionalize State Advisory Council on Libraries, impact on local libraries, liaison with NLA and NEMA

    •       Listening post, we are here for you

    •       Speak and listen

    Council Roundtable

    Patty Birch reported that she is focusing on integrating technology in student 's lives. Patty 's challenge is providing technology support to the teachers.

    Becky Pasco reported that UNO Library Science programs are now nationally recognized by the American Association of School Librarians as of February, 2008. Becky stated they are adding a second library science faculty member. Her challenge is her new program in Chadron. It 's a growing program and she 's sure word will spread and it will become a great program.

    Becky Baker reported that Seward public library building is paid in full. The mortgage will be burned during National Library Week.

    Marjorie Harrison stated she has visited most of the libraries in the Panhandle Regional Library System. Marjorie stated it is a challenge to visit every library and get involved in different organizations.

    Patricia Gross reported that she is thankful that Marjorie Harrison is their System Coordinator.  Pat stated her challenge is working and training her new teachers.

    Jan Boyer said her challenge is that they are still in the middle of their renovation.

    Theresa Jehlik reported that Omaha Public Library is finishing up their big READ project. The book chosen was Call of the Wild. This was the time that the zoo collaborated on a project with the library. Omaha may be building a new baseball facility which will affect the city funding.

    Carol Spencer reported that she enjoys the State Advisory Council on Libraries meetings and enjoys hearing about what is going on in libraries across the state.

    Mary Nelson reported that the Holdrege library has found that collaboration is very important to their library. They are currently doing a Phelps County READ program with the community college, and museum. They have also borrowed books from the Lincoln City Libraries to conduct the program because their library did not have the funds to buy all the books required. Lincoln City Libraries graciously sent their books and some books on tape. With their help the library is having a very successful program. Their challenge is that they have outgrown their library.

    John Dale reported that he is a retired minister of a Christian church and was recently called on to meet with a group regarding distance learning opportunities. John stated that his church denomination provides Laymen serial training for those who have a call to ministry but not on a professional level or have an interest in seminary level training. John felt it would be a benefit to provide this training and continuing education for ministers by distance learning. At the meeting John was asked what kind of library resources would there be if there was a distance learning program. John see 's three things that might assist this program; use of both UNL and UNO library, public libraries can provide interlibrary loan services, and training to the program participants on what resources are available in your library to assist them.

    Jean Ahrens reported that she is very pleased that Deb Carlson is serving on the State Advisory Council on Libraries.

    Deb Carlson reported that she was delighted to be serving on the Council. Deb is the Children 's Librarian at the Scottsbluff public library.  The Scottsbluff library is in desperate need of an addition and need $4.1 million to complete the addition. The library has a very large amount of community support for the project. They have submitted and application for a Kiewit Foundation grant and hopefully that will come through. Deb wanted the children to become involved in the raising of money for the library so they encourage each school to do a project to raise money for the library. The school children from a near-by grade school collected $1,000 in pennies for their Paving by Pennies project. The pennies were taken to the library where the children paved the floor of the meeting room. The projects are getting great media attention.

    Maria Medrano reported she is almost completed with her LTA program and her challenge was completing Patty Birch 's, Collection Development class.

    Steve Fosselman reported that due to the renovation and expansion of the library they have had an increase in their usage and while it is a good thing they have issued themselves a window of opportunity to inform the public of more of the library services. Their greatest success in the last month is they have been in the local newspaper 's Saturday Salute three times for services. In the last week the library has been in the paper five out of six days all for different things. Steve stated that there will be highway construction in front of the library until November which will make marketing the library a challenge.

    Scott Kinney reported that the Chadron library received a grant from NLC last year to remodel their teen room. Since the remodel young adult circulation has increased, last month 's young adult circulation was up 266%. The library also was awarded at the excellence level this year for accreditation. Scott stated he see 's challenges as opportunities to overcome.

    Kit Keller reported that NLC approved 26 improvement grants for some really good projects. Data collection is now complete and the challenge is finishing up the last of the IMLS grant which is very activity driven.

    Jim Connor - stated he is celebrating being back in Nebraska.

    Marty Magee handed out a new Homework Help brochure listing multiple health resources, targeted at high school students.   It 's available online at:  All of the resources are free and students as well as patrons should be encouraged to use these resources.

    Marty stated her challenge is that she also teaches an LTA online class and the server at the community college has been down which slowed down student contact.

    New Business

    Election of Council Vice-Chair -

    Becky Pasco and Deb Carlson nominated Patricia Gross as vice-chair. The nomination was accepted and approved by verbal vote and approval.

    Professional Development Group -

    Marty Magee reported that Kathy Tooker, Richard Miller and Laura Johnson realized there is a gap in terms of what we are letting people in the state know about in terms of continuing education. The Nebraska Library Commission calendar lists all of their workshop and programs but does not always know of other CE trainings/workshops going on across the state. The group decided it would be nice to have one calendar of events so a subcommittee has been developed to outline what is needed in the database to add to the calendar.

    Future Search Conference -

    Rod Wagner reported that the Future Search Conference will be held in Schuyler on June 9 & 10. The idea for this conference came up at the last Leadership Institute. The two facilitators at the institute are also facilitators for the Future Search process and they agreed to facilitate for a conference in Nebraska. A planning group was formed and they came up with a list of names of people to be invited to participate. The idea is that hundreds of people could be invited but we don 't have the facilities or the capacity to involve more than 80-90. People were chosen to represent diversity across the state, representatives of all types of libraries, people serving in public offices, educators, organizations, and others who could be helpful in coming up with ideas and actions that would be of value to Nebraskans.

    Recommendation and Resolutions -

    No recommendations or resolutions were stated.

    July and November Meetings-

    Dates and Locations - Marty Magee stated that the July meeting will be held July 18 in Chadron at the CSC campus and November 21 at the Benson branch library in Omaha.

    Adjournment - A motion was made by Jan Boyer and seconded by Theresa Jehlik to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved. Meeting adjourned at 12:45 p.m.

    For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.