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Meeting Minutes

March 22 and 23, 2001
Nebraska Library Commission in Lincoln, Nebraska

State Advisory Council Members Present: Susan Baird, Jim Bothmer, John Dale, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Stan Gardner, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, Maggie Harding, Michael Herbison, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Kathy Lute, Ken Oyer, Kay Schmid, Tom Schmitz, Ruth Seward, John Seyfarth, Jeff Yost, and Jane Wall. Nebraska Library Commission Members Present: Wally Seiler, Kris Rogge, Karen Warner, and Velma Sims. Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Richard Miller, Nancy Busch, Sally Snyder, Pam Scott, Mary Jo Ryan, and Maria Medrano-Nehls Guests: Brenda Ealey, Ken Winston.

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by Commission Chair Wally Seiler at 1:17 p.m. Library Commissioners introduced themselves. Council Chair Tom Schmitz welcomed everyone and introductions of Council members were made.


Agenda approved by acclamation.


John Dale asked for a correction in the December minutes. In the roundtable, he stated that he said "fund" not "find". A motion was made by Ken Oyer to approve the minutes with the correction from the December 1, 2000 meeting, and seconded by Susan Baird. Motion approved.

Who, What, and Why?

Rod Wagner mentioned the Nebraska Library Commission received a card from the Nebraska Historical Society congratulating the Commission on its first one-hundred years. Rod welcomed new State Advisory Council members: Jeff Yost, Maggie Harding, Kay Schmid, and John Seyfarth.

A handout was distributed providing a brief description of the relationship between the Library Commission and the State Advisory Council. Rod provided information about the Commission, Commission staff, Commissioners and State Advisory Council on Libraries. Rod stated the Commission looks to the State Advisory Council for ideas, advice, and recommendations on library service related issues, trends, policies and the things that we should do or could do better.

State Advisory Council on Libraries - Review of Council's 2000 Priority Issues

Federal Library Issues - The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) is coming up for re-authorization and should be introduced in Congress some time this year. It is expected that the bill that will come before Congress probably will not change the law very much; the real emphasis will be on increasing the funding level.

Children's Internet Protection Act - This legislation requires schools and libraries receiving e-rate funds to restrict Internet access for children; and also if schools and libraries receive LSTA funds used for purchase of computer equipment for Internet access or to pay for Internet connection time. The Nebraska Library Commission has been asked if LSTA grants for filtering will be funded. The Library Commission has not provided funding for purchase of filtering software in the past. However, that issue is open for consideration. This is an appropriate issue for Council input.

Ideas from Council:

  • Wait to see the FCC's regulations then go from there
  • Timelines are confusing: Sept. or Oct. of 2001, given some leeway if your are working on it Grant awards at this point should meet the requirements of CIPA
  • If the Library Commission recommends filtering software, what are the implications
  • Better to provide a list of possible software for purchase
  • School experience is that it is not difficult for kids to circumvent filters; also filters cannot deal with other languages so no sites are blocked
  • Year 2 of e-rate was over $6 million in NE and year 3 was more than that Impact is the amount of funding directly received for Internet access, would not lose voice line funding if choose not to filter
  • Decision to filter should be made at the local level
  • The Library Commission position to date is that we do not support filtering, it is a local decision
  • Those most affected are those without access at home
  • Filtering is text-based to this point, and CIPA specifically states blocking access to visuals.

State Legislative Issues and Actions

Ken Winston, NLA lobbyist; and Brenda Ealey, chair of the NLA Legislative Committee presented information. Ken stated that LB 223, which would allow bonded indebtedness for library technology financing, was recently heard by the Revenue Committee. The bill was killed by the committee the following day.

Ken mentioned that the Library Commission biennium budget request hearing went well. He also said that the State spends $800 million a year on K-12 education and that only 38% of homes in Nebraska have Internet access, libraries provide access for many of the rest.

Brenda Ealey stated that 31 districts were represented at NLA Legislative Day with 165 people registered for the day.

Nebraska Library Initiatives-Updates and Discussion

Nebraska Libraries for the Centuries - Nancy Busch informed the group of the upcoming Nebraska Library Commission's Centennial events. These events and information on the Library Commission can be found on the Commission's homepage <>. Tonight's event will be held at the Embassy Suites. It was mentioned that Maggie Harding spent two years putting together the Library Commission archive.

Making A Difference - Twenty Nebraska Library Commission staff will go in teams of two to visit every public library in the state. The visits have two purposes, one is to find out what differences grants from the Nebraska Library Commission made in the local library; and two is to allow the library to invite whomever they wish to attend the planning session to look to the future. The information from these visits will provide information for the next long range plan.

@ your libraryTM Marketing Campaign - Mary Jo Ryan stated that she had items available for purchase. She gave a brief history of the campaign. ALA will be creating broadcast quality PSA's for television. The ALA web site has download-able graphics and ideas to use. It was suggested that there be an archival collection of things done throughout the state for others to see and borrow ideas.

NebrasKard Program Implementation Plan - Rod Wagner stated that Ted Smith would be conducting sessions at Spring Meetings to talk about implementation of the project. The web version of the policies and procedures is not yet active. State Library Card programs in Alabama and Kansas have been looked at recently as these states use their card for remote patron authentication for access to their state licensed databases.

Nebraska e-Library - Rod Wagner stated that there was a description in the budget request explanation card.

LSTA Grants Program Schedule - Richard Miller stated that the LSTA training session was held March 9, taped copies are available for loan. Libraries can submit their application on-line this year. The total amount available for LSTA grants is $250,000.

Gates Foundation Library Initiative - Richard Miller gave a brief description of the initiative. He stated that on February 2, 2001 the Library Commission received notification that Nebraska's application was approved by the Gates Foundation. Nebraska's first training for the Gates library program is scheduled for June 2002.

Continuing Education Grants Program - A list of libraries awarded a grant was distributed. Richard Miller provided information on award process.

Recess at 4:15 p.m.

The meeting reconvened at 9:10 a.m. on March 23, 2001, and was called to order by Michael LaCroix (immediate past Chair) in Tom Schmitz's absence.

Library Professional and Continuing Education - Nancy Busch distributed two handouts and gave a brief history of Emporia State University School of Library and Information Management programs in Nebraska. Emporia's program is designed so that all participants start the class at the same time and end together. You cannot join the program after it has started.

The University of Missouri - Columbia has also showed interest in bringing a program to Nebraska. Missouri's program follows a different approach and students can enter the program at any time. A benefit of the Missouri program is that Nebraska residents pay the same tuition as Missouri residents. This is based on a long standing arrangement between the University of Missouri and the University of Nebraska.

An advisory group is looking at the library and information science program options. The Library Commission agreed to be the host for the programs. The approximate date to start the program is Spring 2002. Class sites have not yet been determined. Both groups will bring faculty to Nebraska and use technology for courses. Both schools will be present at the NLA-NEMA convention this year.

Personnel Recruitment and Retention: Discussion - John Dale stated that Lincoln would be adding about 26 FTE for the new branches and six of these would be MLS positions.

Steve Davis stated that Kearney had a very hard time filling two elementary media positions last year. Jane Wall commented that people have said they would rather go to work at McDonalds rather than work for the school at the wages paid. Peru State has had two professional librarian positions open for over two years.

ALA Mid-Winter convention had over 500 positions advertised and only 200 applicants. ALA has been conducting research, which indicates our anecdotal information is right on target.

Jeff Yost said the question is what is going to happen in the next 5,10, 15 years.

  • How many people are likely to retire?
  • How many people are likely to go to the private sector?

We then need to use that information to advocate. It might help to agree to assist with education expenses if person agrees to work for you a certain number of years in return.

Kathy Lute stated that Ogallala just completed a two-year study and found that the library pay was way below the city government pay. The library employees' pay was increased and they now make more then the school.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that he took a pay cut in salary to come to Nebraska, he felt the small town life, good neighbors, and no commuting was worth it.

We should use the quality of life issues in Nebraska as good arguments for recruiting people to Nebraska. Jeff asked if the NLC Web site posted job openings. It was noted that both local and out of state positions are listed.

Stan Gardner asked what are the alternatives. What are some ways to help increase salaries? What would it take to develop a program based on the school model to provide additional funding for staff? Do we want to try? Is it possible it will be funded at some point?

Kathy Tooker stated that NLA has a scholarship fund. It was mentioned that all scholarship information should be posted on a Web site. It needs to be available to people who are not currently library-savvy. Kathy added that everyone needs to attend the "Spring Fling" because the profits go to the scholarship committee.

Council Roundtable

Mo Khamouna - Just received the Follett automation software and is adding some items manually because they did not transfer. The old buildings on campus are looking at going wireless. Mo is looking at ways to put specialized collection of agricultural items on the web. The college will build a facility to be used as a student lounge and computer lab.

Kathy Lute - A feasibility study was recently completed and it was determined the library needed more space. Some citizens love the existing building and do not want to give it up. Next step is to look for funding. The library foundation is going to put out a brochure to let citizens know about them.

Jeff Yost - pleased to be invited to serve on Council. Has learned a lot about libraries in the last two years. Jeff suggested that libraries develop a plan and use advocacy to promote it.

Karen Drevo - stated that she was on a committee to update library policies, which are now complete. The new Dial-A-Story equipment is working well. A huge weeding project was just completed in preparation for automation. The Norfolk Library Foundation recently received a $500,000 donation from Johnny Carson. The Summer Reading Program Consortium meeting will be held in April in Boise, Idaho. Karen distributed handouts regarding the Literature Festival to be held on July 28.

Mike Herbison - stated that every person is a potential donor. Program prioritization is underway. The University of Nebraska at Kearney has an instructional lab that also serves as student workplace when available. Currently conducting an inventory project that may lead to weeding.

Steve Davis - NEMA has been trying to get a library media consultant in the Department of Education. The Department of Education is conducting a study regarding library media programs.

John Dale - The construction of the two new branches is coming along well. There have been no construction delays this winter. The library is looking at August for completion.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe - stated that the Nebraska Library Commission's interlibrary loan service changes to be implemented in July 2001 will have a significant impact on staffing at the Holdrege library. The library did a bulk mailing to 620 people targeted in a campaign to build a Friends of the Library base and they had decent returns. The library is conducting a fundraiser to purchase a color photocopier. Holdrege is promoting their library Web site with a campaign "Open all night @ your library". They are also rewriting position descriptions and procedures.

Susan Baird - The Children's Internet Protection Act is generating lots of phone calls and conversations. Sidney has a new public library director who will start July 1. People are appreciative of the many opportunities for CE credits right now. The six System Administrators received a grant from the Nebraska Library Commission for a Library Leadership Institute. There will be an Information Literacy class beginning April 5. Follett training will be held across Nebraska.

Jane Wall - stated that the speech teacher recently gave an assignment to her freshman class in which they were to go to the media center and do research with out the use of a computer and students had to use books. The assignment went well.

Stan Gardner - On May 11, the NLA Spring Meeting of the College & University section will be held at Wayne State. The book examination center has had a lot of bulk loans to send out this year. Basic Research Skills are offered and will be available online continuously starting in June. History of the Wayne State College Library is now on the Web. During Wayne State's Open House, 500-600 people visited the campus.

Kathy Tooker - NLA has an ad-hoc committee looking at a publicity blitz on how to get "library" out to the most people in the state. There are many cooperative projects going on.

Kay Schmid - David City Library is gearing up to host the NLA Spring Meeting on May 4. Next week they will be hosting a meeting of the Really Great Library Group (medium sized libraries of NELS that get together to discuss issues).

Maggie Harding - Ellen Miller will give a preconference workshop at NLA convention. The preconference will be three hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. NLA is developing a listserv for members.

John Seyfarth - Toni Reese is Sump Memorial Library's new children's librarian. They are beginning to offer some evening programs for children.

Ken Oyer - ICON received a federal grant and now have a Web site under development.

Jim Bothmer - CU Health Service Library is dealing with how to manage electronic resources. They are looking at DocuTec and the Hyperion module of Sirsi. They are also adding three hospital collections to catalog.

Michael LaCroix - CU Rienert Library allows beverages in libraries in approved containers, hence the coffee mug they give to each new student. This is a popular gift and has resulted in cooperation with the rule. They are working on going wireless.

Issues Requested for Council Deliberation

Rod Wagner stated that he wanted to lift up some special projects for Council deliberation during the year. Would also like to share information and ask for Council input during the year.

The following issues will be prominent on the agendas of upcoming meetings:

  • Recruitment and retention of library personnel
  • Check-off box on Nebraska income tax forms
  • More choices for continuing education in central and western parts of the state
  • Evaluation project (Making A Difference)  Marketing of @ your libraryTM
  • Advocacy

Election of SACL Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect

Ken Oyer nominated Mo Khamouna, Karen Drevo seconded. Susie Baird nominated Karen Drevo and Michael Herbison seconded. Jim Bothmer moved nominations cease. Karen Drevo received majority of votes and was elected Council Vice-Chair for 2001.

Adoption of Resolutions

Council members requested that the Council Chair send a letter to the Legislature's appropriations committee indicating support of the Library Commission's budget request for additional funding. Jeff Yost made the motion and John Seyfarth seconded. Motion approved. It was asked that a copy of the letter be sent to each member of the Appropriation Committee and include a list of all Council members and their addresses. A motion was made that each Council member also send a letter to their Legislator.

Susie Baird made a motion to have the Council Chair send a letter to Emporia State University and the University of Missouri - Columbia supporting the MLS program, Key Oyer seconded the motion. Motion approved.

2001 Meeting Schedule Date and Location

June 1 - Ogallala

September 7 - Norfolk (Wayne State College as back-up) November 8 - Lincoln, Council meeting will be the afternoon of the 8th, Commission meeting will be held the morning of the 9th, Centennial event will be the afternoon of the 9th.


Meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.