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Meeting Minutes

Edith Abbott Memorial Library, Grand Island, Nebraska
November 16, 2007

State Advisory Council members present: Jan Boyer , Kathy Ellerton , Nancy Escamilla , Steve Fosselman , Joan Giesecke , Cindy Gitt , Pat Gross , Gretchen Healy , Theresa Jehlik , Diana Johnson , Scott Kinney , Becky Pasco , and MeMe Smith . Guests: Brenda Ealey and Lisa Voss .

Commission Staff: Maria Medrano-Nehls , Rod Wagner , Laura Johnson , and Shannon White .

Welcome and Introductions

Becky Pasco welcomed everyone to the Grand Island public library and thanked Steve Fosselman for the use of his library and the library tour. Becky Pasco introduced Brenda Ealey , Southeast Library System Administrator and Lisa Voss , Library Science student.

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

Approval of Minutes (July 27, 2007): A motion was made by Pat Gross and seconded by Steve Fosselman to approve the minutes. Motion approved.


Library Services and Technology Act and LSTA Five-Year Plan Update - Rod Wagner reported that that Laurie Brooks , IMLS Senior Program Officer, recently visited the Commission office. Laurie visited with us about the program as well a visited the Grand Island public library, Lincoln City Libraries, Polley Music, and the Southeast Library System Administrator ' s office. Visiting these sites allowed Laurie to see how LSTA funds are being used.

Rod stated that the five-year long range plan was submitted and approved. We did have to make a few changes. IMLS has focused on the six purposes of the LSTA and have questioned the use of funds used by the states. IMLS has taken the position that among the six purposes there is nothing specifically related to continuing education, therefore questioning the states use of LSTA funds to fund projects that are continuing education unless they are specifically linked to one of the six purposes. The discussion is now that when LSTA comes up again for reauthorization it is likely that this will one of the changes proposed. There is recognition in funding for continuing education. We had to write a policy statement into our five-year plan about funding continuing education projects. There other thing about the Library Commission five-year plan is that it mixes in state funded projects.

Rod stated that the major activities this year that the Council has helped us with is the five-year program report, and your help to the Commission by making recommendations on how we went about collecting public input for the long-range plan.

Rod stated that Congress has approved funding that increased the LSTA appropriations to the level that states could receive their base allotments that were allowed under the reauthorization process five years ago. Unfortunately the appropriations bill was vetoed. This current year funding has stayed at the same level as the past fiscal year.

Thinking Outside the Borders - Laura Johnson reported that Illinois State Library approached Nebraska and Arizona to assist with this program. The project was to bring librarians from foreign countries to develop a module that the ' Morton ' Center could take to various places and use and to show the visiting librarians how libraries work in the U.S. and tell them about library leadership. This was an experiment for us so our goal was to make this a very Nebraska experience for the visitors, allow them to interact and share experiences and talk about library leadership in the world. The visiting librarians were from Central and South America. We also had 10 Nebraska librarians who participated in the program. We planned an interesting week long program that was full but not so much that people didn ' t have time to do networking. Southeast Library System held a nice dinner on the first night and Joan Giesecke hosted a reception at UNL Library one day. We had speakers who presented on leadership, leadership characteristics, and library 2.0. We also took the whole group to Kearney to attend the NLA/NEMA conference where the group of visiting librarians presented a program. The group also visited ' Boys Town and Stuhr Museum.

NLC Technology Based Services and Initiatives NebraskAccess - Shannon White distribute a handout which showed the priorities and statistics related to NebraskAccess. One of the things the Commission has been trying to do every couple of years on our budget cycle is to ask the Governor to increase the level of funding to add more resources to the NebraskAccess program. We haven ' t been able to make any changes to this program for quite awhile. We did add one Heritage Quest database which is federal census records and other genealogy material.

One of the things we are thinking about even if we don ' t have any additional funding is what can we do to improve the resources we currently have. One of the obstacles we face is that e-Library is not offered statewide. This database is not offered to K-8 schools; it is only available to public and academic libraries. The program was set up this way 8-years ago because the database was too expensive to include the schools. We still haven ' t included the schools because our budget doesn ' t allow us to purchase the database for schools. When we first started building this program we were able to get pricing then we are now. We have looked at dropping another database to help fund e-Library but even if we dropped a database it would not provide us with enough money.

Network Service staff have had discussions with school media specialist to see what we can do for the K-8 age group because the resource we have now in the program aren ' t really serving the K-8 age group. We attempted to get extra funding for online encyclopedia but that wasn ' t approved. Shannon stated she was looking for feedback about changes that could be made. Theresa Jehlik stated that e-Library is unique in that they provide radio/TV transcripts. Becky Pasco stated she would not call this a K-8 resource because it ' s not an age issue but a literacy issue which is different then a grade level. It also has to do with our constituents and their literary needs. We should not look at this as what we can do for the schools but what can we do for the people in our community who need information in a simplistic manner. Becky asked if it were possible for the Commission to get some kind of a grant for early literacy.

Nebraska Memories - Shannon White reported that there is over 3,000 items in the database. There are thirteen participants which are listed on the Nebraska Memories web page. Many of the projects are collaborative projects with a public library and a historical society. We were able to offer library improvement grants to libraries who participated in the project.

Basically the reason we started Nebraska Memories and housed it at the Nebraska Library Commission because we could do a lot of the work that little libraries couldn ' t. We are available to help interested people in participating in the program by providing training, offering grants to purchase equipment, or to out source the project. Another way libraries can participate in the project is by letting the Commission scan their materials or they can come and use the scan center. Another option is to have Commission staff go to the library and scan materials onsite.We have also worked with Becky Pasco to use her library students to assist us with projects.

Shannon reported that the Commission has a new idea for a WiFi project. This project would not take a lot of money and Michael Sauers is interested in helping libraries add wifi as one of their services. We have been doing training to show libraries how it works. Shannon stated the service is quite cheap and thinks the Commission will be able to use some state monies to purchase routers and do a simple grant to which libraries can apply for a router. We can then pull several libraries together and provide them with training, simple policies, and sample FAQ ' s.

2007 National Conference - Guardians of Language, Memory and Lifeways: Tribal Archive, Libraries, and Museums - Gretchen Healy

Rod Wagner stated that this conference was IMLS funded and another example of LSTA monies being used. Gretchen Healy stated this is the third such conference with this one being sponsored by the Oklahoma State Library. Gretchen stated that in 2005, 280 persons attended the conference, this year there were 550 persons in attendance and many people were turned away. Representatives from many tribes in both the U.S. and Canada were in attendance. Gretchen provided a power point presentation of materials distributed at the conference. Some of the programs were Native American protocols, library archive information, building the American Native press archives, Native music, collection management, collection development of children ' s books, depository libraries, and a poster presentation. Gretchen stated that every recipient of a grant had to present a poster presentation about their project. Gretchen stated her library received a grant for early child literacy so she presented on the programs funded with the grant. Gretchen stated that a draft of a tribal library procedures manual was distributed. American Indians and Libraries: Understanding the Context was an excellent session which focused on understanding that Native Americans come from an oral tradition and that they don ' t have to give up their oral tradition, and services and resources offered to tribal libraries by state library agencies. Gretchen stated that she felt that one of the things the group could talk about would be how the Nebraska ' s Library Commission could incorporate some services directly to the tribes.

Nebraska Library Association -

Jan Boyer reported that there were more people at the Kearney conference this year then any other year they ' ve held the conference in Kearney .

There were three pre-conferences which were well attended. Thursday and Friday were packed with sessions. The Trustee ' s, Users, and Friends group merged with the Public Library section. Bylaw changes were made at the NLA lunch meeting, electronic voting will be permitted next year, the Young Adult Round Table was created, and the Editorial Committee changed their name to Publications Committee.

Visits to Vendor booths were increased due to the Scavenger Hunt sponsored by the Paraprofessional section. Locating the " Hawaiian " themed items in each participating booth was fun and beneficial to the vendors. It is hoped that the Paraprofessional Section will do something similar next year. The " Happy Trails Saloon " held on Thursday evening raised close to $300 for the Legacy Fund. The 2008 conference will be held in Lincoln and 2009 conference will be held at the new convention center in La Vista.

Lisa Olivigni is the new NLA President and Pam Bohmfalk is the Vice-President/President-Elect. NLA will be hosting the NEMA web site which will be beneficial to both organizations.

Nebraska Educational Media Association - Becky Pasco reported that the conference was not attended well by school media staff due to ASL and a national conference occurring at the same time. Becky stated that she heard great things about this year ' s conference. NEMA has worked to update their bylaws and they will be voted on in the spring. NEMA has hired a new web master and working with Scott Childers in order to have the NEMA web site hosted by the NLA server account.

The new 21st Century Teaching Learning Standards have came out and approved at the ASL conference. There will be a group that will present a proposal to the NEMA meeting in January and decide how to disseminate the new standards. Due to the changes a new Nebraska guide will be written and published by Libraries Unlimited making it a national publication.

Council Roundtable

Theresa Jehlik reported that the Omaha public library has completed their Omaha READS program and this year they included a children ' s book. OPL received a big READS grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and they are going to run that in conjunction with the book club that runs in January and February. The book will be Call of the Wild and the library will be partnering with the Omaha Doorly Zoo. The challenge for the Omaha libraries is the budget.

Gretchen Healy reported that she survived the transition of a new president for the college. The library is the only department at the college who didn ' t get a budget cut.

Cindy Gitt reported that the library has been blessed with community support. Every Friday businesses have been hosting coffee and have a good turnout. Cindy says that the libraries challenge is that something needs to be done with the building because they have outgrown the space. The library board is discussing the building situation.

Diane Johnson reported that a film maker is doing a documentary about Doctor George Griffin , the only African-American buried in the Stromsburg cemetery. The library is assisting by providing a file of information on the doctor. Dr. George played football for the UNL football team and during the time he was on the team, Missouri refused to play Nebraska because they had an African-American on their team. The people of Stromsburg loved the doctor but past editorials from the World Herald wrote nasty things about him. The libraries challenge is the budget.

Jean Giesecke reported that her library has pruned about 20 - 30 percent of their collection. Joan also reported that the university will be collaborating with the Chinese government to offer a center for Chinese language and culture classes that will be available to the UNL and Lincoln communities alike. The institute will feature at least one Chinese professor sent to Lincoln courtesy of the Chinese government. It will include language classes for UNL and the city ' s K-12 schools, lessons in culture and resources for local businesses wishing to expand to China. UNL will be one of twenty U.S. universities to offer this program. In addition to the faculty member, China is giving UNL a $100,000 grant and 3,000 language books to help get the institute off the ground. The UNL library has reached their third millionth volume, the book is Walt Whitman ' s Leaves of Grass, which was published in 1855 and is one of fewer than 200 copies that still survive.

Steve Fosselman reported that he was very pleased with the building effort. Steve stated that the library is getting a lot of use by the community; he especially likes to see the large number of families coming to use the library. The challenge is that the library is full service but not future service. This is something they will be working on in the near future.

Kathy Ellerton reported that Northeast Library System is seeing some changes in small libraries.

Brenda Ealey reported that Southeast Library System is having a challenge keeping track of the small, one person libraries. In order to address this challenge some of the board members will team up with these libraries directors and provide encouragement and assistance. Brenda said the success is that she works with a really great board.

Lisa Voss reported that she current works at Lincoln City Libraries and is working on her Bachelors on Library Science and once completed will work on her Masters. She is doing her practicum with Brenda Ealey at the Southeast Library System. She currently transferred from the Gere branch library to Bennett Martin library. Lincoln City Libraries is undergoing some changes in customer service and using the team approach.

MeMe Smith reported that she has sent out RFP ' s to architects. The challenge is they still don ' t know what they are doing. MeMe stated that the Schuyler library joined the One Consortium and found out that they have duplicate bar codes with Wayne public library. There is a possibility that they will have to rebar code their whole library.

Nancy Escamilla reported that the Scottsbluff public library nominated their teen advisory council for an award from the Nebraska Community Improvement. The teen advisory group won the Nebraska Youth Development award. Nancy stated that she will be one of the trainers for the Gates Foundation /Web Junction Latino Outreach trainers. The program is not just for Latinos but marketing your library to every body. Nancy encouraged librarians and library staff to attend the training when it becomes available in their area.  The challenge is fund raising for the building project. The fund raising effort is not going as well as they thought it would.

Pat Gross reported the school put a computer lab next door to her library. She has computers in her library and the lab has 25 computers that are to be used for testing which frees up the library computers for research and class assignments. Pat stated she is responsible for four computer labs. Pat stated the book club she started last year at her school is coming along. The challenge is that the bond issue failed which would have helped different parts of their building. The school is busting at the seams because they are gaining students. The administration is going to try the bond issue again with a different approach.

Jan Boyer reported that her library is still undergoing renovation and expect another two years of renovation. In May, they took their bound periodicals as well as back issues of periodicals on microform and moved them off site. They thought the move was for a short term but learned it will at least another year before they will be able to bring the periodicals back onsite. They will be changing the catalogue to reflect the fact. The library purchased new products like Refwork, ICTCR, and new resources. Also, UNO is the only university in the state teaching Arabic and will be having an Arabic language programming. The library offers SCOLA which allows students and staff to list to news, and programs in different languages.

Scott Kinney reported that he has made it through his first year at Chadron public library. The library has moved from the essential level of accreditation to the excellent level. They have added some new databases and will be part of the new Overdrive cooperative purchase. Scott finished their statistical report and the gate count showed 52,000 people came thru the library. The numbers of people using the computers and attending programs has increased significantly. Thanks to a grant from NLC the library has completely remodeled their Teen Space which has increased the amount of children and young adult ' s usage of the library and has increased circulation. The challenge is a building project. Leg work is completed for building plans and now working with a library planner in order to move on to the next step.    

Becky Pasco reported that the UNO Library Science Education programs received a Chancellors Strategic Plan award for 2007. The first library class, a reference class, will be taught at Chadron State College.  They will have students from Western Nebraska and surrounding states. UNO will add additional library science faculty. Rod Wagner and Becky have been speaking to the LTA folks and are going to centralize the course work. The colleges are willing to do it because of the success at each of the individual campuses. Becky ' s challenge is she has longer waiting list then some people have programs.  

New Business

Recommendations and Resolutions - Jan Boyer recommended that handouts from State Advisory Council on Libraries meetings be mailed to person who didn ' t attend and that minutes or a draft of minutes be sent out within a month.

Gretchen Healy recommended that the Nebraska Library Commission make a study as to what other state libraries are doing for their tribes and tribal libraries. Rod stated we could contact all state libraries and asked Gretchen if she could supply the Commission with her contacts from tribal colleges and libraries.

Pat Gross recommended that the Nebraska Library Commission continue to seek ways to get databases for literacy and encourage the Nebraska Library Commission to seek grants to accomplish this request.

2008 Meeting Schedule - Rod Wagner stated that the NLC Commission meeting will be held on March 14and that the State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting has always been a joint meeting with the Commission meeting. The Council agreed to have a joint meeting on March 14 in Kearney . The July meeting will be held July 18 in Chadron at Chadron State College and the November 21 meeting will be held at the Omaha Benson branch library.

Special Recognition - Rod Wagner stated that Nancy Escamilla is completing her second and final term with the State Advisory Council on Libraries. Rod presented Nancy Escamilla with a State of Nebraska Admiralship and a certificate of Appreciation from the Nebraska Library Commission. Rod also thanked Becky Pasco for serving as the Chair for the State Advisory Council on Libraries. Marty Magee is the incoming chair. Rod also thanked Steve Fosselman for hosting the group at his library.


A motion was made by Nancy Escamilla and seconded by Jan Boyer to adjourn the meeting. Motion approved. Chair Becky Pasco adjourned the meeting at 1:52 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.