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Meeting Minutes

March 9&10, 2000
Kearney, Nebraska

State Advisory Council Members Present: Fauneil Bennett, John Dale, Stan Gardner, Michael Herbison, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Kathy Lute, Mary Nash, Sylvia Person, Sandra Riley, Jeanne Saathoff, Ruth Seward, Kathy Tooker, Richard Voeltz, Jane Wall, Sharon Wiegert.

Nebraska Library Commission Members Present: Richard Jussel, Robert King, Kristen Rogge, Wally Seiler, Velma Sims, Karen Warner.

Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Nancy Busch, Richard Miller, Sally Snyder, Rod Wagner.

Welcome and Introductions

Wally Seiler, Commission Chair, called the joint meeting of the Nebraska Library Commission and the State Advisory Council on Libraries to order at 1:00 p.m. Introductions of those present followed.

Rod Wagner invited all to attend the evening meal in Room A..

Who, What, Why? -- The Library Commission and the SACL

The first meeting of the year is held in March. It gives us an opportunity to talk about the relationship between Nebraska Library Commission and the State Advisory Council on Libraries, and to consider current and future issues for attention of the Council and the Commission.

The Library Commission was created in 1901, and is governed by six members appointed by the Governor to serve a three-year term. Commission members can serve two consecutive terms. The State Advisory Council was created in 1970 as a result of amendments to the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA). At that time, the legislation required that one third of the Council membership be representatives of the public. That requirement was later dropped. The Council was first formed to advise the Library Commission on the federal library program. The Commission has typically sought the Council advice on a broader range of issues (e.g. "Libraries for the 21st Century").

When LSCA became the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) a few years ago, a number of changes occurred. LSTA does not require advisory councils. However, the Library Commission has chosen to continue the advisory council. Last year was the first year in a long time that all Advisory Council meetings were held outside Lincoln.

Rod asked for questions or comments regarding the Council or Commission. He noted Steve Davis is the NEMA ex-officio member of the Council. He also noted the several representatives from NLA.

Libraries for the 21st Century and Library Advocacy Initiatives - Maggie Harding

Maggie Harding, Libraries for the 21st Century Coordinator, noted the Libraries for the 21st Century initiative formally started around 1996 and 1997. "Speak-outs" were held around the state leading up to this effort. A brochure and set of cards, "The 12 Ways Libraries are Good for Nebraska", were developed and delivered to state senators prior to the annual library legislative day. The initiative has been successful in obtaining some additional funding. Annual state funding, through the Library Commission, has been increased by $550,000. Aside from funding, the initiative has also raised awareness among state senators as to libraries and their services as well as needs. She showed the brochure and the cards, Real People, Real Libraries from 1998 and 1999. This was the first time the "NebrasKard" concept was mentioned. It is still being talked about; there is much to be done to accomplish that concept.

Workshops on advocacy were held, Nancy Schwede at spring meetings; and Pat Wagner for another workshop. In 1998-99 there were 14 cards. There were 14 cards again in 1999-2000. During this past year we have initiated the Community-Library Advocacy Project, and some really good success stories were used on the cards this year. She was pleased with the responses of those that attended the Advocacy sessions. People really did use what they heard at the Advocacy sessions and made things happen in many of their communities.

Maggie reviewed the update of the "Libraries for the 21st Century - Campaign for Improved Library Services for Nebraskans"(an insert for the larger brochure). It is a report on the Community-Library Advocacy Project. Nebraska was one of eight states that the Libraries for the Future (LFF) organization worked with this past year. We hope to be involved with LFF again this year; they plan to work with four states this time around.

This is an ongoing project. Some of our goals for the coming year: would like the senators to become more aware of the information needs of the community. They are beginning to realize libraries are more than a nice frill for the community. The library is really important to the life of the community. Another goal is to point out the value of using the existing structure. Our role and our duties have always been one of service. We want to emphasize the fact that this service needs dollars to function. It isn't really free; people pay for it through taxes. The service doesn't come cheap; it requires ongoing support. It is a matter of education for funders and supporters. Also want to point out some things can be accomplished on a statewide level to improve services at less cost, without jeopardizing local control. It is important for the library people to become partners with others in the community - don't always be the asker; the library can help others in the community.

How were the cards received this year? Very well - interest has built up over time. If you miss someone, they let us know they didn't get the card the previous day. The cards are distributed during the week before NLA Legislative Day. One Senator's staff member mentioned being shocked at the low salaries of librarians

Have you had success stories from the libraries this year? Yes, they are represented in the cards distributed this year. Ruth Seward from Lexington said she wanted her library included because she knew her library would be involved in a building project during the next few years. She wanted people to hear what the library really means to our community and all the assets the library provides. In addition to the building project, she chose to develop services for the Hispanic community. The library formed a library story hour for Hispanic children. A volunteer provides the story hour once a month. One problem is the lack of public transportation in the town. The volunteer has been picking up the kids at their homes and bringing them to the story hour. The story hour was an idea that came from the Advocacy Project workshop. In Lexington about 50% of the citizens are Hispanic; and many are library users. From 6 to 9 p.m., 90% of the library patrons are Hispanic. Through a collaborative project with Dawson County Extension Agency, the library offers Internet classes in Spanish for no charge. The extension liaison prepares the materials in Spanish and conducts the classes. As a result of that project, there is now an ESL (English as Second Language) class coming to the library every day. The students are not qualified to take keyboarding class at the middle school because they are in an ESL class and do not get into the mainstream school. They would miss out on this skill without the class at the library. We hope the library can remain at the same location with the new building. It is one block from the middle school and two blocks from two elementary schools, on either side of the library.

Maggie pointed out this is a perfect example of grassroots advocacy in your community.

State Legislative Issues and Actions - Brenda Ealey

Brenda Ealey, Chair of the NLA Legislative Committee, distributed some information from the System newsletter. The first lists the text of all 14 cards that were used this year. The second page is the report on Legislative Day 2000. It was very successful. There were others besides librarians there to talk about libraries, including mayors, council members, and board members. A total of 29 legislative districts represented; 80 library supporters were present; and 27 communities represented. In the afternoon, Lynn Ziegenbein and Ken Winston gave presentations to 68 people about some of the funding issues libraries are facing. The update section of the page is from Ken Winston. The Appropriations Committee did put in additional $150,000 in for state aid to libraries.

Two very positive hearings were held on proposed legislation. LB 1134, introduced by Senator Tyson, would allow for bonded indebtedness for libraries to upgrade technology. Senator Tyson's testimony was very moving. Mike Nolan, city manager of Norfolk, gave a powerful presentation using Power Point. Mary Nash brought a letter of support from NLA, also testifying were Steve Fosselman and Rod Wagner. Donna Peterson from Lincoln Public Schools testified on LB 1224, Senator Crosby's bill for additional state aid. The Nebraska Information Technology Commission (NITC) also lent their support to both bills. The NLA Publicity Committee helped this year with Legislative Day. They were able to get some media attention for the event. The March 12 edition of the Lincoln Journal-Star is supposed to include a wrap-up featuring Legislative Day.

Brenda's biggest disappointment relates to NebrasKard - we seem to be hung up on discussing why this would not work rather than trying to find ways to make it work.

Brenda, and others, will attend National Library Legislative Day 2000 on May 1 and 2 in Washington, D.C. Their theme this year is "Tell your library story, make new friends for libraries."

Nebraska's National Advocacy Honor Roll Honorees are Senator LaVon Crosby, Maggie Harding, Laureen Riedesel, the Libraries for the 21st Century Coalition, and the South Sioux City Public Library Planning Team. Jane Geske was selected for posthumous recognition. The Advocacy Honor Roll is an initiative of the American Library Association's Association for Library Trustees and Advocates Division. The Honor Roll designees will be recognized at a banquet on July 7th prior to the American Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago.

The Legislative Day theme this year: "Libraries and Beyond" was to communicate libraries have gone far beyond books, far beyond walls. The newsletter article sums it up. We want people to know what is going on in our libraries. Senators often do not. She mentioned about her experience with Gary Hill at Contact Center, Inc. He gave her the message that they'll remember you if you're positive, and if you leave some kind of a trail. Brenda left each person a button to wear.

Questions and comments:
What programs seemed to appeal to the Senators the most? The NebrasKard has definitely stayed with them. The technology issue is having some impact; this is an area of increased interest. Access to the statewide databases is also catching on.

There probably isn't another Senator who spends more time in the library than Sen. Tyson. He also has a huge personal library. He is a good library advocate, and might be our next "champion."

Lynn Rex, Executive Director of the Nebraska League of Municipalities gave testimony on LB 1134. She testified as a neutral witness, but her comments were all very positive. This legislative proposal will reappear next year, perhaps with some revisions. This year, some senators were concerned about funding being allowed for bonds that didn't come before the public for a vote; the "out from under the lid" issue; and how important libraries are compared to other city services.

Federal Library Programs and Issues - Rod Wagner


Rod Wagner thanked NLA for all the hard work on state legislative issues. When over two thirds of members of the Legislature take time away from very busy schedules to attend; it is really a success. Rod commented that Lynn Rex testified in a neutral capacity on Senator Tyson's bill because the League didn't receive the bill early enough to take a position on it. The bill should have been in the Revenue Committee rather than Government Committee. In the former, we will need to work with Senator Wickersham. As a new bill, introduced during the short session and without priority status, it was not likely to advance. It is most often the case that legislative initiatives take more than one session to succeed.

Rod then noted that federal funding used to be the major funding for the Commission; it was probably about 75% federal and 25% state. The funding from the federal government has remained flat over the last decade, so it now is about 25% of the Commission's total budget.

Some items prepared by ALA were included in the mailing to Commissioners and Council members. These items may also be found on the ALA Washington, D.C. office web site. There are no expectations of significant changes in funding for federal library programs. The Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization underway may have an impact on our school libraries; we are not sure. A model piece of legislation is being introduced in many state legislatures concerning computer software licensing provisions. The proposal is intended to establish uniform state laws regarding software licensing (Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, commonly called UCITA. From the consumer perspective, it will be more restrictive in how software is used. We need to be aware of this legislation and be prepared to participate when it comes before the Nebraska Unicameral. It has been reported that 26 of the state Attorney Generals across the country have taken a stance opposing this legislation. We've not checked to determine whether Mr. Stenberg is among this group. The earliest UCITA would be introduced in Nebraska is 2001.

There is not as much opposition in Congress to the E-rate now as there was previously. This year Nebraska libraries will receive about $150,000 in benefits from this program. One issue of concern is legislation that would require schools and public libraries to install filtering software for Internet connections. Congress has received the message that this is and should be a local issue with decisions on Internet use made at the local level.

A new activity being promoted by ALA is a "Thank-You Day" on April 11. The ALA has put together a "Thank-You Day" kit. It can be downloaded from the ALA Washington Office web site.

Richard Miller referred to the Libraries of Promise information distributed in the meeting packet. This is a serendipitous situation for us. Libraries of Promise was developed by the Florida State Library based on Colin Powell's national program "Promise for Youth."

Governor Johanns has said children and youth will be a priority interest in his administration. Rod attended a banquet a couple of nights ago at which the Governor spoke. Rod felt about 50% of the Governor's comments were aimed at that theme. The editorial from the Omaha World-Herald also mentions the importance the Governor places on youth. It states he feels our future is in our children.

Nebraska could emulate Florida's program and set up a Libraries of Promise for Nebraska public libraries. Public libraries sign a pledge about how they might offer support to youth in five areas: mentor, protect, nurture, teach, and serve. A decal could be designed for placement in participating libraries' windows. Another possibility is the Governor attending a ceremony at a public library recognizing their promise to youth. Libraries are already doing some of these things. It is a good opportunity for libraries to connect with Governor Johanns. It also is an opportunity to connect with local officials and state legislators.

Mary Jackson presented this idea to the Youth Advisory Board at their meeting of March 3rd. The initial reaction was cool, but after discussion one member stated it is an opportunity to get the word out about what libraries are doing. Mary Jackson is working on an explanatory piece for public library directors and system administrators. Richard has talked with the Governor's public information officer about a process we could follow to get this idea to the Governor.


  • Sarah Long, the current ALA president, recently mentioned an initiative she is promoting an award or honor to libraries that offer a sustained after school program in partnership with other agencies in the community. This is a point could be made to the Governor.
  • Senator Suttle may also be very interested in this.<
  • It was noted the Governor asked to have a piece of legislation about mentoring introduced, LB 1160.<
  • Tom Osborne might be available to discuss with us; or perhaps his wife, Nancy, in regard to their TeamMates mentoring program.
  • Legislative Bill 1162 is the School to Career Act. The Governor also asked to have this introduced.<
  • Mike Herbison noted the University of Nebraska has a Service Learning program that could connect with mentoring programs. A relationship with could be developed between the University of Nebraska and public libraries.

The Commissioners and Council members watched a video titled "Libraries: Reach for the Future." It is a six minute video produced in cooperation with the New York Library Association as part of "The Future's in the Balance: A Toolkit for Libraries and Communities in the Digital Age." The Library Commission has permission to copy it for any library that wishes to use it in an educational setting.

Sally Snyder distributed a list of LSTA grant applicants for the year 2000. Total funds requested was $434,539 out of a total projects cost of $840,036. Grant awards will be announced by May 5. A committee of Commission staff will read the applications and make recommendations for awards. Prior to the first committee meeting, Sally will review the applications and contact people for any additional information needed. There is about $270,000 available for grant awards.

Richard Miller distributed a list of libraries applying for Children's Grants for Excellence funds. A total of $15,000 is available. One application is missing from the list distributed at the meeting. Grant awards will be announced by March 20. He also noted the Commission will not have these two grant applications due on the same date ever again.

Richard distributed a handout concerning state aid to public libraries printed from the Commission home page. He noted there are changes in state aid distribution this year. The service population formula has been changed. Previously, the formula involved the county population. For example, a county with four public libraries would involve subtracting the total community populations from the county population. The population remaining in the county would then be divided among the four communities. That figure is the service population. This year the Commission used the population of the community only to determine the service population. Communities up to 5,000 population will be paid 18 cents per capita. Communities over 5,000 population will be paid 24 cents per capita. An exception is libraries receiving a significant amount of money to serve the county population, for example Lincoln City Libraries. The Commission uses the entire county population as the service population for those libraries.

Richard also stated he neglected to mention earlier the Books for Babies program, that has not yet been implemented. Books for Babies is a program that provides families of newborns a packet of information including a certificate to get a free book (to keep) at the library. The Commission has funded $5,000 for it. This program will probably be subsumed under the Libraries Of Promise program.

Council Issues for 2000 (Discussion)

The Commissioners and Council divided into four groups to discuss potential issues for Council consideration this year. Ideas were written on flip chart paper. The members reconvened at 4:18 to report on the activities of the groups. At the Friday morning session, the members will have a list of issues from those suggested and vote on the ones that are most important/highest priority.

Group 1: Jeff Gilderson-Duwe reported

  • Statewide institute (1 week) for library personnel
  • State income tax form check off box for library support (petition drive for support in the libraries)
  • Technology training for library staff (see #1)· Recruitment and retention of library staff; salaries and benefits
  • Telecommunications - access to rural areas
  • State library card
  • Nebraska online encyclopedia
  • Promise to Youth
  • Library Administration Planning support
  • Multi-library coordination (centralized ordering, e.g. county library systems)
  • Volume buying discounts through groups

Group 2: Michael LaCroix reported

  • NebrasKard
  • Technology Issues (LB 1134, etc. intellectual property rights)
  • Training assistance (technological help)
  • PR blitz
  • Largest library (one library)
  • Look at operating structure of NLC and systems
  • Partnerships (ESUs/Ed/Libraries)
  • CE at all levels (CE, professional development)
  • Retention/recruitment of library staff at all levels
  • Pay issues (salaries and benefits)
  • Address digital divide (haves, have nots, have mores)
  • More funding from the Legislature
  • Library Ed Funding/Value the degree/value the profession
  • Electronic books
  • Bus people to Legislative Day
  • LSTA funds to be used for one big project (ONE Library) one card/one library
  • Address the school/public library issue - be proactive
  • Address censorship/filtering issue
  • All libraries in on OCLC
  • Larger units of service, even across county lines
  • More state historical materials available (Make more of the Historical Library holdings available online)
  • Fund technology person/ and ce person for systems
  • Recruit specific Legislators as advocates
  • Partner with the League of Municipalities

Group 3: Nancy Busch reported

  • Salaries and benefits
  • NebrasKard
  • Libraries of Promise (youth services)
  • Continuing education and staff development
  • Database contracts, continue and expand the databases
  • Support for Web Z (OCLC) product
  • Library Service Development issues/strategies in declining areas (declining population)
  • Investigate increasing surcharges to databases / Web Z
  • SACL as a group to help prioritize for existing and new funding
  • Continue to promote legislative agenda for libraries
  • Collaboration between and among communities and types of libraries
  • Public library statistics: standardize definitions, add new data on technology and electronic access
  • Archiving and digitizing information

Group 4

  • Funding for youth databases
  • Needs and usage survey assessment (how are we using what we have?)
  • Collaboration - shared resources (subscription costs) (NoveList, a reader's advisory database)
  • Advocacy for Youth - Libraries of Promise
  • Promote public awareness of all library services, e.g. video (PR blitz)
  • Clarify what funds are exempt from the funding lid
  • Change the term from "merger" to "collaboration"

The meeting recessed at 4:40 p.m.

Michael LaCroix called the joint meeting back to order at 9:10 a.m.

Library Training and Technology Support (Discussion

Rod Wagner noted that library training and technology support have become critical to everything libraries do. The Commission would especially like the Council's input. How are you doing it? What is needed regionally and statewide? Discussion:

  • Workshops and training for databases from NLC is very good, please continue, what is missing are people go out one-on-one and work with libraries. One strategy would be to contract within each system to provide a trainer to do the one-on-one. Workshops do not address all the needs.
  • Echo the above. Papillion's computer lab is good and many attend training there. A person to do site visit would be extremely valuable. The University has an entire technology department. Also each of the libraries at Creighton has a staff member who is full-time pc support person (loading software, troubleshooting, etc). They did not have that person five years ago and everyone struggled.
  • Technology shifts workloads; it does not eliminate work but shifts what is needed.
  • Many small rural libraries have only one librarian. It is difficult for that person to travel and difficult to take time for training.
  • Also, some librarians don't want to go to Omaha for training.
  • One staff person cannot provide one-on-one support for an entire system. One library may need/want a weekly support session.
  • Iowa library systems have asked their Legislature for full-time tech support staff. Three starting in this year and a total of seven next year. They are planning to pay these individuals $57,500. The request is pending.
  • Would a person available over the telephone be good enough?
  • No, already have that to a certain extent at the Commission. Probably more calls to the system offices rather than the Commission.
  • Vern Buis (NLC Computer Services Director) used to spend hours on the phone trying to troubleshoot problems for library personnel. It is best if there is a local solution. Where do people with home computers, self-employed, small businesses go for technology support? Can they afford to bring someone in for a troubleshooting house call?
  • Alliance has a technology position at the library. It was a case of shifting responsibilities around. The bank has a system that is interconnected so a technology person in Arizona can repair a computer difficulty in Alliance, NE.
  • It takes time to develop a local technology support person, either a volunteer from community or a staff member.
  • Librarians refuse the technology because they are not paid enough to justify the time and effort involved in technology. If they have a person to call for a site visit, they will be more likely to try it. There will be lots of demand on that person initially.
  • Three systems are considering sending Frank Vrba for Follett training since he provides a great deal of service in those areas.
  • There is a proliferation of databases and a lack of knowledge of how to use them. Maybe we should look at aggressively providing a common interface to simplify and reduce the problems.
  • There are two issues here 1) database training, 2) hardware and software troubleshooting. Everyone needs to have a certain level of expertise. It is unrealistic to expect a 20-30 hour per week librarian to ever be able to run some of the systems we are discussing.
  • Do have to limit the one-on-one troubleshooting. It should be for basic things: being sure the system is set up correctly, the configuration is right, etc. Anything beyond that the library should get the computer to a repair shop. They also should hire their networking setup done.
  • Local technology support could be accessed from the schools. They are already teaching the students. Could contract on a town-by-town basis to provide that expertise to the local library. It might be the computer teacher, the media specialist, or someone else. It is likely a person lives in that town, uses the public library, and could provide the support.
  • Basic training is also necessary and could be given one-on-one. Basic things could be done at the local level.
  • Possible sources: Community colleges, universities, high schools, ESUs.
  • Basic PC troubleshooting, maybe need to pay for librarians to attend this type of training. Commercial products and businesses may be a good source for this; maybe we should pay for people to attend.
  • Educators have a list of technology skills that are expected. These are local expectations.
  • Need to delineate the skills needed to keep systems running.
  • Incentives for a small public library to purchase a certain type of system so troubleshooter will be working with a familiar system. Some type of compatibility standards would help.
  • There is some responsibility on the part of the local entity to get the training for the librarian(s). This is difficult to do on $5.15 an hour, and total library budget is $15,000.
  • Model to watch is the Columbus/Norfolk shared service. A mix of library types can work. Maintenance from a remote site is possible.
  • The PICKLE group is using one server. There are challenges, but it works.
  • The Commission encourages libraries applying for LSTA technology grants to include training and support as part of their projects. Must look at what a community is able to support and what level the library is willing to reach.
  • Need to be able to supply training one-on-one at that library's site so they can see how it works in their library. Also will keep them using it and working to keep things running. (In addition to workshops.)
  • A combination of things is needed. Some will learn what they need in a workshop; others will need one-on-one to learn what they need to know.

Council Roundtable

Dick Voeltz - The library renovation is going very well. It began the end of December 1999. They are building a penthouse on the roof which involves strengthening the support of the building. New elevator shafts will also be installed. Eventually, the entire inside of the building will be renovated, except maybe the windows of the south building. The addition to the north side of the building has been put on hold. Reclamation from the flood on December 22, 1998 in the Biological Sciences Library has been almost completed. They are almost finished restoring the damaged books. Some of the periodicals were badly damaged and will need to be replaced.

Michael Herbison - More and more library users are coming from outside the campus. The library provides a weekly primer on the campus e-mail system explaining how to use different databases or services. So once every week on every machine on campus that is on the network receives a message from the library. They send gifts out every National Library Week to campus faculty and staff. The gifts remind them that the library is there. They also have purchased ads in the student newsletter. There is some evidence that these methods work. The faculty senate advisory committee on reallocation has recommended the library be excluded from the reduction. Michael was part of the accreditation team that reviewed the Western Governor's University application for accreditation. It was a fascinating experience in a new form of education, and has an exciting future.

Susan Baird - March 1 was the first day of her new job as administrator of the Panhandle Library System. She is in the process of making contact with the libraries of the system. A board meeting has already been held.

Sylvia Person - Sylvia thanked Wally Seiler for his letter after the board meeting in Alliance, and stated how nice it is to receive a real written letter. The Holdrege community is very excited about the opening of the new Performance Center, which has become a very important part of the community. The library received a budget cut this year. Three years ago they had a 10 % cut, two years ago a 15 % cut, and this year another 5%. Cumulatively, that is a 30% decrease in the spendable budget. The budget is the same as when she started 11 years ago and there is more to provide, including online database service and support for the catalog system. They cut 17 magazines last year and 9 this year. There is still some cutting to be done. The public needs to know, it is not just the schools but also the city, everybody will be involved in cuts. They have just started a new program in her building to emphasize reading. It was purchased with a grant. They also have a grant for computers, but not sure where the school will put them.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe - In 1999 at the Holdrege Public Library System they replaced 15 computers, added a new local area network, pulled data cable, and replaced the catalog system. They spent approximately $41,000 on those upgrades, $5,500 came from the library operating budget the rest came from grants. Now they are trying to consolidate their knowledge about what technology is in the building, and training for the staff. They have supportive media in Holdrege. The Holdrege Daily Citizen, Bob King's newspaper, is very positive. People say they didn't know everything the library is doing and offering. To make the building more welcoming, a six by eight foot mural will go over the circulation desk. Jeff is working with the commercial art class at the high school for the design. One of his board members stated that technology is important but the soft touch things are needed as well. The Friends group re-skinned the 21 foot stuffed dragon in children's room of the library, he is called Smiling Sam Smoke. The original artist returned from England to airbrush paint him last September.

Kathy Lute - The Ogallala library is looking at what they can do to expand. City and private funds purchased two buildings across street from the library and will put in parking. It will help the library and the city. It is possible the library could be part of a group building project. Plans were drawn for adding on to the rec center. They want to add a weight room, some exercise areas, day care, and, potentially, the library. The library is looking into this but will also continue to consider possibilities for the library alone. The city council was disappointed they voted to stay a governing board. Support from the Library Commission and from citizens assisted. They now have two Internet computers for children, and four upstairs for adults. Ogallala's busy time is from spring to fall. People vacationing at the lake come in to read e-mail and use the Internet.

Mary Nash - Mary is happy to still be on the Council. NLA held their budget meeting in January. The Legislative Committee has been very exciting to work with. Legislative Day was great. Spring meetings are being planned. The Information Technology and Access Roundtable (ITART) and Technical Services Roundtable (TSRT) are co-sponsoring a meeting on E-journals. The Public Library Section is also planning spring meetings. There will be two topics: the one-person library, and school/public library cooperation. The College and University Section is inviting papers on special collections. The Publicity Committee has been very active this year. Visit the NLA web site, it is improved. NLAQ's next issue will be out soon.

Jeanne Saathoff - The new Internet server is up and running, it is very fast on computers that can handle it. They upgraded their automation system, going from a Unix platform to an NT. The next step is to get a graphical interface for the public - then WebPac, which will bring better access to the schools and the university. The Friends are busy trying to get a drive-through window for the library. They are looking at providing delivery service for the homebound. There is new carpet and 14 new computers at the library. All the dumb terminals were discarded when they changed to the new system.

Kathy Tooker - The combined library conference will be in Omaha in October. Mary Nash had made arrangements with to provide a speaker; they backed out. They are now looking for another speaker. Program proposals are coming in for the conference. The Library System received a small Kiewit grant for the World Class Libraries in Nebraska Group, a consortium of seven libraries from four counties. It started when they met a year and a half ago for a "Coffee and Conversation" meeting. They decided they wanted to do a project together. They wanted to buy more audio books to share among the libraries. The libraries raised the matching 50% of the funds needed for the project. Ann Stephens was very supportive and worked hard on this project. The Systems will provide a Preconference on ethics with Florence Mason. They are also applying for a training grant to bring Pat Wagner from Denver for trustee training at six sites in six days in August. They will work on this in cooperation with TUFs from NLA and the Libraries for the Future Nebraska advocacy project. Kathy is planning to attend the PLA conference at the end of March in Charlotte, NC.

Verda Bialac - Omaha is in a building boom. The Millard and Benson Branches were tripled in size during 1997 and 1998. The Millard branch has the highest circulation in the system. Currently they are remodeling the main floor of the main library. Future plans call for all floors to eventually be remodeled. In 2002 they are scheduled to remodel two other branches. The South Branch will be a cooperative project with the Metropolitan Community College, their south campus library and the city's branch library will be in one building. The staff and collections will be co-mingled. The Washington Branch will be totally redone and include an addition. In Omaha, the library is mentioned along with fire and police as an important service. Gate counts are in all library buildings now to count the number of people entering the libraries; but they don't have a benchmark number yet. Omaha Public Library received a Gates grant for four computers in four branches plus the training center in main library. The grant pays for the equipment and the library pays for everything else (cabling, tables, and a staff person). They have moved from Dynix to Horizon, and have conducted lots of training for the staff. The company is phasing out Dynix. Horizon is the replacement system. It is a Windows based system now. They are fortunate to have a technology office that is run by a librarian. Their automation support person is a librarian. They recently hired a network support person.

Jim Bothmer - Creighton will change to a new library system, Sirsi Unicorn, and have not yet chosen a name for it. The libraries did not have a budget cut; they received a 7.5% increase in materials budget. The library's purchase of electronic journals continues to grow. They have jointly purchased with the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) a system from Elsevier. It is a good system and the joint purchase provided a price break. Cooperative collection development now has some real potential. The system provides full-text access of journals you subscribe to in print and table of contents access to all other of the 1,100 journals in the system. A set allotment of downloads for each year provides full-text access to the other journals. The joint purchase allows Creighton to drop titles UNMC has and subscribe to something else, and vice versa. Each has full access to the other library's holdings. Creighton's Health Sciences Library and Reinert Library jointly purchased the Academic Press Ideal System, a full-text system of 174 academic press titles. They are discussing whether to drop the print copies completely.

Kristen Rogge, Commission, Johnson - The Economic Development Alliance for Nemaha County has a grant for comprehensive technology planning for the county. They are about halfway through the process. One of the priorities that has emerged is the creation of a countywide technology resource and training center. She met with the board of the Auburn library a few weeks ago and suggested they become that technology center. They were very enthusiastic. It could be an interesting partnership. Auburn Public Library receives a great deal of technology support from the ESU. The library is inundated with kids when school gets out. It is a great thing to see. There is a small regional high school in the southern end of county that serves part of Richardson County and part of Nemaha County. They submitted an application for a grant to create a consortium of technology resources putting computers in all the town libraries and would be linked to the Southeast High School. The Nemaha library, which currently is privately funded, is beginning the process to become a public library, and are excited about joining the network of libraries in the counties.

Ruth Seward - Lexington is still working on the library building project. They have retained an architect and have held two public forums. Now they are waiting on the site selection committee to negotiate for more land by the current site or start to look elsewhere. The Meridian Library System and Republican Valley Library System are jointly sponsoring an April workshop with Martha Gadberry. She will talk about marketing and advocacy for your library. It will be held April 7 at the Wilson Public Library in Cozad. Three of Ruth's five board members signed up to attend. Their interest is partly a result of the advocacy project Maggie Harding talked about yesterday. The public library has a good working relationship with the editor of the Lexington paper. They are very good about taking pictures of activities at the library and putting information in the paper. One middle school class attends the library every day to use the computers for English as Second Language (ESL) students. In February 1999, they had 1,100 people in the library and 328 hours of computer use. In February 2000, they had 1,350 users in the building and 675 hours of computer use. Circulation is dropping, but they are not yet sure how the usage is changing. Checkout time for materials was increased from two to four weeks that could be part of the change.


Tom Schmitz - The HHS consortium is working on connecting the six different libraries. Beatrice, Kearney and Hastings are done. Lincoln is half completed. Norfolk and Grand Island will be next. The Consortium received an LSTA grant for the hardware and software for automating the catalogs. They are applying again this year for the circulation component. Tom Merchant, with Follett, will provide training. The shelf list of MARC records will be sent in, and they will have to convert the rest themselves. The goal is to share resources among the libraries. The Lincoln Health Sciences Library Group meets quarterly. The group is looking at ways to collaborate with Wesleyan; they are considering adding a Masters in Nursing.

Richard Jussel, Commission, Kearney - Thanks to the Council, the Commissioners appreciate attending this meeting.

Steve Davis - Over the last four years, Kearney Public Schools has renovated and added on to one elementary school and built a new elementary school over the last four years. They also have remodeled all the elementary schools. All but one has included an expanded, renovated media center. The ninth elementary school was completed last November. They upgraded the Winnebago circulation and catalog system they have had for the last several years. They last three elementary schools will be switched to the Winnebago Spectrum program in the near future. The next step will be online catalogs. The technology the district has been putting in is swallowing up the building people's time; it is hard to balance with traditional library media services.

Wally Seiler, Commission, Alliance - The nicest thing lately in the Panhandle is Susan Baird as the new System Administrator. Wally serves on the Alliance library board. Cosmetic touches are now being done for new building, such as hanging artwork. They have an active Friends group. There is a great place in the basement for a book sale, and they are holding them more frequently now. A private rose garden will be built on back of the library using Friends funds. The building is up for a national architectural award; he does not yet know the outcome.

Velma Sims - The Fremont public library director, Ann Stephens, is a firm believer in service to community. Both Velma and Ann spoke with their state senator, Ray Janssen, at Legislative Day. He has a business in Hooper. He mentioned what a fine job was happening in the Hooper library, and he said the director is his cousin. In the afternoon, , Lynn Ziegenbein's presentation about Kiewit funds available for grants was useful and impressive. Fremont's Hispanic population is rather centrally located. Velma and Ann began talking about applying for a grant to serve them. The Friends group organizes an annual book sale that lasts several days. They are planning for it now.

Mo Khamouna - Follett software was supposed to have arrived by the third week of February, but it was delayed. He is expecting it next week. Finally the library has moved to new its location, at a cost of about $30,000-$35,000 to refurbish the building. One-half of the building is library; the other half is the computer center. The library budget was cut again by 10%. The library has new shelves; they are very nice. It cost $14,000-$15,000 for them. He is looking forward to hosting the June 9th Council meeting.

Stan Gardner - The Nebraska State College Board has requested the Coordinating Board for Postsecondary Education to redraw the service areas for the state college system. It was never done after Kearney became part of the University system. The college is still interviewing for vice-presidents, two positions are open. The college is starting a three year project to remodel all the dorms and the Ramsey Theater. Asbestos removal is involved, so they are requesting emergency funding from the state. The first week of June the Northeast Library System will hold it's annual institute. Wayne public schools are adding on to the high school, replaced the heating and cooling, are basically rebuilding the middle school, and put air conditioning in the elementary school. Wayne State College anticipates about a 4% decrease in students next year. Part of the reason is the demographics of high school graduates. In the Wayne area the number is down, although the number for the state as a whole is up. The college has had very large graduating classes for the last two years. This year is expected to exceed last year's record. Conn Library will offer a series of mini-workshops in May and June. They will include basic computer applications, Internet applications, Internet skills, government documents access through the Internet, and basic research through the Internet. The workshops will last eight weeks. There is a small charge for it this year. As the resource library for Northeast Nebraska, they are developing a database of large print books. It should be completed by June. The building use in the library is increased significantly. Reserve materials use is up, interlibrary loan is up, but the general circulation is down. Additionally, reference requests are up and bibliographic instruction requests are up by a third. They have added three new computer labs on campus. The library supervises all the computer labs and the staff is feeling the stretch. Usage of the book exam center has increased. A trend is usage from all over the state. Fremont Public Schools is big user (500 books this year). Last fall the library purchased two digital cameras and they are constantly being checked out. The new color laser printer does great job and has heavy usage. The contractor finally came this week and cleaned out the bat droppings. The roof still leaks, they have re-submitted a request for bids to re-roof the library. They have expanded the campus cable system to 59 channels. The library is in charge of the system. They established an emeritus office in the library for use of individuals with emeritus status. The weeding over the past three years will result in a gigantic weeklong book sale in September, with 15,000-20,000 volumes. The Wayne State College Science Fiction Fantasy Club will hold their annual WillyCon Y2K on March 24-26, 2000

Karen Drevo - The Norfolk Public Library's overall circulation is not growing, probably due to information being available from the databases. Circulation of youth books continues to grow slowly. The count of people in the building is up. The wonderful support from the city and the people has resulted in maintaining a good materials budget. They are starting to run out of room for materials and for programming, especially for youth. They have increased the number of sessions offered to keep up with demand. They dream about an addition or new building some day. The Foundation is getting ready to kick off a fund-raising campaign. The sixth annual Literature Festival will be held this summer. National Library week activities are also planned. Big issues right now at the library, this past winter they added public Internet access stations. They now are having a problem with individuals gambling and viewing pornography on the equipment. The issue is under discussion. The public library has a good relationship with the public school system. Public library staff provides services to the school, and the school has paid for storytellers and special programs from all over the county to the public library in conjunction with the summer reading program. The library has a new web page. They continue to build their Spanish language collection, with titles for the very young through adults, the collection is used quite heavily. Outreach librarian works half time and visits nursing homes and shut-ins. This service has been good for community, and made people aware of the library. There are now two active book discussion groups meeting at library. The library is looking at moving to a Windows based automation system. It's interesting to realize that four or five years ago the city had one computer person for the entire city government, now they have three and they are based at the library.

Michael LaCroix - As previously stated, the libraries at Creighton are replacing their PALS system with Sirsi. The system will go live in June. The new president is coming August 1st. Creighton's enrollment is up 5% over last year. Across town, UNO is now looking for a new Library Dean. The current Dean is retiring.

Adoption of Priority Issues for 2000

The Commissioners and Council agreed to list the common topics from yesterday on a poster page for consideration of the Council. The list includes:

  • Technology training and support
  • PR blitz and advocacy (including a library check off on the state income tax form)
  • Advocacy for youth programs (priority of Governor)
  • Retention, recruitment, pay issues
  • NebrasKard/ONE library
  • Partnerships and collaboration
  • Universal access (digital divide)
  • Online historical archives
  • Libraries for the 21st Century initiative
  • Looking at the operating structure of NLC and systems

Other Business

Richard Voeltz moved, Mike Herbison seconded, the minutes from the last meeting be approved as received. The motion carried.

Adoption of Resolutions, Action Items

It was suggested the Council send a letter of appreciation to Senator Crosby for her long-term support of libraries. It was also suggested the Council send a letter to the Governor asking him to support the Libraries for the 21st Century funding request.

It was suggested the Council send a thank-you letter to all the co-sponsors of the legislation.

Kathy Tooker moved, Stan Gardner seconded, the Council write a resolution recognizing Shirley Flack's contribution to Nebraska libraries. The motion carried.

Election of SACL Vice-Chair

Kathy Tooker nominated, and Jim Bothmer seconded, Tom Schmitz for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect.

Susan Baird nominated Ruth Seward, Ruth declined, Susan withdrew the nomination.

Tom Schmitz was elected Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect by acclamation.

2000 Meeting Schedule and Meeting Locations

Friday, June 9 - Curtis
Friday, September 22 - Sidney, Nebraska, volunteered by Susan Baird (will check on Literature Festival dates)
December 1 - Lincoln, at the Library Commission

Wally Seiler, on behalf of the Commission, noted appreciation for this opportunity to get together. Michael LaCroix expressed thanks to the Library Commission staff for all they do.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:54 a.m

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.