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Meeting Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska
March 14, 2003

State Advisory Council members present: Susan Baird; Jim Bothmer, John Dale; Steve Davis; Karen Drevo; Nancy Escamilla; Stan Gardner; Jeff Gilderson-Duwe; Maggie Harding; Mo Khamouna; Ken Oyer; Tom Schmitz; Ruth Seward; John Seyfarth; and Jane Wall.

 Commission members present:  Richard Jussel and Kristen Rogge. Commission staff members present:  Maria Medrano-Nehls, Mary Jo Ryan, and Rod Wagner. Guest: Kathy Tooker.

Welcome and Introductions

Rod Wagner welcomed everyone on behalf of Chair John Seyfarth, who was unable to attend. Rod welcomed the new SACL members: Janice Boyer, Theresa Jehlik, Sharon Osenga and Becky Pasco. Introductions were made around the table.


A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion approved.


Approval of Minutes (December 13, 2002:  A request was made for a correction in John Dale 's report to state Clark Enerson Partners (not Clark Anderson & Partners).  Ruth Seward asked that the minutes be corrected to indicate that in her report, the reference is to the library foundation and not the library friends.  A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes of the December 13, 2002 meeting as corrected.  Motion approved.


LSTA Re-authorization and Funding: Rod Wagner requested that a letter of appreciation from the State Advisory Council be sent to Congressional Representatives Bereuter, Osborne and Terry, who all voted in favor of the LSTA reauthorization bill. Osborne and Bereuter were co-sponsors of the LSTA bill. The Senate has just started work on their version of the legislation.  The Senate bill is expected to be similar to the House bill. 

State Budget Outlook and State Legislative Issues: Rod Wagner reported that the Governor 's budget proposes a 10% state fund reduction for the Library Commission.  The reduction applies to both the Commission 's operating budget and state aid funds.  The Library Commission budget hearing was held on March 4.  The Nebraska Library Association Legislative Committee helped arrange testimony for the hearing.  Those testifying included Brenda Ealey, Verda Bialac, Mary Reiman, Lauran Lofgren, and John Seyfarth.  

LSTA Project Grants (2003) -   Rod Wagner stated that the Nebraska Library Commission recently awarded project grants totaling about $250,000.  Rod stated that for a number of years grant funds have been available to support a broad range of applications. Most of the applications have been for technology projects. A recommendation was made this past year to target LSTA funds for specific projects.  The Commission wishes to raise the issue that for the next year priority be given to funding creation of a state digital library, digitization projects, and support for projects that support English language learners.  Other applications would not be ruled out, but priority would be given to these uses.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that he has been an advocate for a state digital library project for a long while.  The digital library could be a one-stop Nebraska library services portal that would have an image, a brand and possibility to be marketed across the state. Nebraskans could access the library for subsidized magazine databases and would allow them to search a virtual library catalog. The virtual library catalog would allow searching of multiple web based library catalogs at one time. It will also allow for viewing of digitization projects. A good example is the Colorado Virtual Library.

Mary Jo Ryan stated that Nebraska Online (NOL) is opening up portals for particular groups:  citizens, education, business, state employees.  NOL will be marketing government information to specific target groups. 

Sharon Osenga asked how many LSTA grant applications were for services. Rod responded that only a few applications were received for service projects.  Sharon indicated that not enough emphasis was placed on the fact that some of this money can be used for services.  Sharon noted concern for services to the Spanish-English community.

Library Skills Education Programs - Rod Wagner stated that an initiative involving the development of library skills education through Nebraska community colleges is underway.  The community colleges would offer courses leading to a certificate or associate 's degree, and could be the basis for moving on to a four-year program and beyond.  The community college courses will offer training beyond the basic skills classes currently offered through the Library Commission. A planning group is developing a curriculum and course content. 

Gates Foundation -   Rod Wagner reported that Gates Foundation representatives are involved in training and installation of public access computers in Nebraska public libraries.  Reports from participants indicate that installations are going well.  The Gates personnel are currently in south-central Nebraska and will finish in eastern Nebraska.

Library Workforce Recruitment and Retention Task Force - Rod Wagner reported that the task force met yesterday and discussed an IMLS grant program, Recruiting and Educating Librarians for the 21st Century.  The IMLS has $10 million available for grant projects.  The Task Force encouraged the Library Commission to apply for a grant.  One of the projects discussed was development of a short video to promote library service careers. The video would be targeted to the younger generation. The project would also develop resources that could be used by libraries, local communities, media, and by theaters as a pre-movie advertisement.  

Marketing @ your libraryâ„¢  - Mary Jo Ryan stated that the Library Commission sent a marketing packet to every library; she hopes the libraries will use them to market their library. Tom Schmitz stated that they have used the logo on bookmarks for special libraries; Becky Pasco stated her Public Administration class must use the logo in a class project.  Nancy Escamilla said the Scottsbluff public library uses the logo for its summer reading program.  Karen Warner said she notices the logo in every library she visits.

Lunch & Discussions 

Council Roundtable 

Jeff Yost reported that the Nebraska Community Foundation has seen tremendous activity on behalf of libraries. In the last year, the Foundation had a donor create an expectancy gift written into her will for a $1 million dollar fund to go out in competitive grants to libraries in very small communities with populations of 3,000 or less. The Foundation has been helping a number of libraries with capital campaigns and building endowments. Jackie Nicholson left all of her memorial donations to the Wymore library endowment. There is a possible $50,000 scholarship for the visually impaired and blind.  The Foundation is currently working with the attorney and the family to broaden the description to education need and scholarships.

Diana Johnson reported that the Stromsburg Public Library recently finished its brown bag lunch program. The library received a grant for a computer and Web Collection Plus. The library has 12,000 classical music audio tapes that will be cataloged.

Janice Boyer reported that the March issue of Library Journal includes a special section titled "Movers and Shakers."  Mark Davis, technology specialist for UNO Library, is among those featured in the article.

Kathy Lute reported she is back on the Ogallala public library board. The damage from last summer 's storm is almost repaired. The Paxton public library is up and running nicely following its building project. 

Sharon Osenga reported that the Northeast and Meridian library systems will be holding a children 's services retreat in Aurora. Day two is for summer reading program topics.  The children 's services consultant from the South Dakota State Library will attend the retreat and will make a program presentation.  A Library Leadership Institute, hosted by the regional library systems, will be held this July 10-14, in Schuyler. 

Steve Davis reported that the Kearney public library is in the selection process for an architectural firm for an addition to Kearney 's library.  NEMA and NLA/SCYP are gearing up for their spring meetings. Kearney public schools will be hosting David Pecknow. Kearney will also be hosting the International Reading Conference in July.

Jane Wall reported that she is teaching English to at-risk students at Southeast Community College.

Ruth Seward reported that Lexington public library held a book-sale on March 3 & 4. The library also held an open-house on March 5 and gave demonstrations of the new Gates computers. The library was designated a large amount of money in an estate; the amount is in the range of $300,000-350,000. The library building bond failed at the last election.  Lexington currently has half the money needed for a new library.

Jim Bothmer reported that at the last meeting he said he was chair for the search committee to hire a new vice-president for information technology.  It has been a lot of work since there were over 100 candidates. The Creighton Health Sciences Library is coordinating an inter-professional education course.  Creighton University is tightening its budget, and the library is taking a 7% budget cut.

Nancy Escamilla reported that the Panhandle Library System has hired a new system coordinator.  Cherie Longmuir will start on April 1. The Panhandle region has three representatives on the Youth Advisory Board. A summer reading workshop is scheduled for April 4. Scottsbluff public library hosted a Read Across America workshop and had over 80 children participate. They will also be hosting the Listening to Your Prairie program, May 10-June 12; this program will only be held in 30 locations across America. The program will start with the ethnic food festival featuring products grown in Nebraska. Gering public schools have suffered two blows; one being the kidnapping and murder of a young girl and the second was the embezzlement of $400,000. The school is getting the money back which will help during the budget crunch.      

Tom Schmitz reported that the HHS Consortium has been making progress on its library automation project.  The libraries in the consortium are all set up for circulation and are now waiting for Internet connections.  The Consortium applied for an LSTA grant for Spanish and Vietnamese materials, but was denied. They will be providing Netlife training for state facility nurses.

Maggie Harding reported that NLA has 730 paid members, 81 of them are new members. Maggie has assigned each member a membership number. Library Legislative Day was well attended. Discussion has been held regarding an online membership directory. Crete public library received Gates computers. Doane College is hosting a week long seminar on Lewis & Clark.

Theresa Jehlik reported that the Omaha Public Library is seeking a new Director. The Omaha Public Library had a 9% budget cut in 2002 and a 4% cut in 2003. On May 6, The Book Guys will be broadcasting two shows at the W. Dale Clark Library. A current concern is the Douglas County/City of Omaha computer merger; it appears that the merger will cost the library three times more for technology services.

Kathy Tooker reported that the Eastern Library System and Southeast Library System are holding a Spring Fling social on April 11 at Mahoney State park. The Eastern Library System will host a media specialist training program on March 27 at UNO.  The System recently held a two day Web page academy class. 

Becky Pasco reported that the University of Nebraska at Omaha has 148 students involved in some level of library education. Her students frequently mention the warm reception they get when they make contacts with people in the library field. There are 33 students registered in the Missouri MLS program. Becky Pasco, Becky Baker and Karen Drevo will be traveling around the state speaking on youth services and libraries. NEMA representatives will be traveling around the state conducting technology institutes. 

Mo Khamouna reported that an accreditation team will be at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture next year. He has added LexisNexis services and has been increasing the library collection. The college is considering building a student union and moving the computer lab from the library to the student union.

Karen Drevo reported that Norfolk Public Library received an LSTA grant to purchase PC management software to be used on the Internet station. The library received a $1,000 literacy grant from Wal-Mart; the bulk of the money will be used to purchase ESL materials. During Teen Read week in October, Karen and Marci Retzlaff visited local middle school and high school English classes, led book talks on the young adult Golden Sower titles and passed out a reading survey. Norfolk has hired a security guard for Monday through Thursday evenings and on Sunday. Circulation is up and they are getting ready for the summer reading program. The Norfolk Public Library will hold its 9th annual literature festival on July 26.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe reported that he has read at the local schools the last four years for Read Across America. The library board is taking a hard look at library outreach services and is considering eliminating bookmobile service. They are looking for ways to continue to preserve relationships with card holders in the counties served by the bookmobile. Jeff is trying to convince neighboring county boards of supervisors to subsidize library card privileges.  The library friends group is purchasing an illuminated exterior sign. The library board recently reorganized the library policy manual.

Election of Council Vice-Chair

A motion to elect Jim Bothmer as Vice-Chair was made, seconded, and approved. 

Adoption of Resolutions, Action Items (if any)* 

It was suggested that the Chair send letters to Nebraska Congressional representatives thanking them for their support of LSTA.

2003 Council Meeting Schedule 

Rod Wagner recommended that the council meet three times a year instead of four times a year due to budget constraints. A motion was made and seconded to reduce the number of meetings to three times a year, with meetings to be held in July, November and March. The motion was approved.

The July 18 meeting will be held in Curtis at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.  The November 14 meeting will be held in Kearney.   


Meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.