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Meeting Minutes

Lexington Public Library, Lexington, NE
March 10, 2006

State Advisory Council members present: Patty Birch, Janice Boyer, Nancy Cantin, Nancy Escamilla, Joan Giesecke, Cindy Gitt, Patricia Gross, Maggie Harding, Gretchen Healy, Theresa Jehlik, Diana Johnson, Marty Magee, Becky Pasco, Kristen Rogge, John Seyfarth, and MeMe Smith.

Commissioners: John Dale, Mary Nelson, Carol Spencer and Velma Sims-Shipley. Commission Staff: Maria Medrano-Nehls, Rod Wagner. Guest: Matthew Williams, Kearney Public Library Director.

Welcome and Introductions

Toné Mendoza, Director of the Lexington public library, welcomed everyone to Lexington. Chair Jan Boyer welcomed everyone and introductions were made around the table.

Approval of the Agenda: A motion was made with an addition and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion approved.

Approval of Minutes (November 18, 2005): A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes. Motion approved.

Nebraska Library Commission - Rod Wagner

Library Services and Technology Act - Rod Wagner reported that the LSTA reauthorization is due in 2008. The Nebraska Library Commission 's long range plan will be due in March 2007. For the last five-year evaluation, The Commission sent staff to visit every public library in Nebraska. It has not yet been determined how the Commission will carry out the next five-year evaluation for the state 's LSTA program. The Long Range Plan will be based, in part, on the Commission 's biennium budget request due September, 2006.

Library Commission 's Mid-Biennium Budget Request - The Nebraska Library Commission requested $325,000 for licensing an online encyclopedia and companion online resources that would be available to all state residents. It would have a specific benefit to Nebraska schools. The Nebraska Department of Education requires schools to have encyclopedias with copyrights dated within the past five years. A rule change will permit schools to meet this requirement by having online access to an encyclopedia. The Commission 's funding request addresses that provision and would also make the encyclopedia available to every school, library and home in Nebraska. The request has been submitted to the Governor and the Legislature. The Legislature 's Appropriations Committee supports the request and has included it in the committee 's recommendations sent to the full Legislature. The Omaha World Herald had an editorial comment implying that the funds were not needed since encyclopedia information can be obtained without cost via the Internet. It was suggested that a resolution from the State Advisory Council on Libraries supporting the funding request should be sent to the Governor. 

2006 Projects and Initiatives - Rod Wagner reported that there are lots of projects and activities going on or planned across the state including numerous training events, NLA spring meetings, the Commission 's recruitment and retention project (scholarships, mentoring project and movie trailer), and the Hollywood Librarian preconference.   

Jan Boyer asked council members to consider ideas and suggestions about the process for the LSTA five-year evaluation and long-range plan. Rod suggested this be a major topic at the July meeting.

Nebraska Library Association

Maggie Harding reported that NLA supports the Commission 's budget request. Nebraska Library Legislative Day was very successful with 145 library supporters and 35 Senators attending. The Trustee 's Handbook is being revised using suggestions and outcomes from the trustee survey completed last year. The NLA currently has 705 paid members and 2 corporate members. The NLA spring meetings are being held by various sections, roundtables and committees. The spring meetings are being held in several locations with various topics.

Nebraska Educational Media Association

Becky Pasco reported that NEMA is focusing on professional development by collaborating with the regional library systems to hold workshops in region. NEMA has 316 paid members. NEMA has liaisons that work with various organizations such as the Talking Book and Braille Service, Read Aloud Nebraska, NLA and Nebraska Department of Education.

Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources - OCLC Report - Chair Jan Boyer referred to the OCLC document that was included in meeting packets. The actual report is 290 pages which can be purchased or downloaded from the OCLC website (as noted on the summary document). This report ties into an exercise the council did a year ago on visioning the future of the library.

Jan stated the report said libraries are still being branded as being the book place. This still tends to be a misconception from the public. Joan Giesecke stated she didn 't think it was a bad thing to be looked at as a book place. Joan said we need to continue to change the mindset of the public. The College of DuPage offers teleconferences on relevant topics that would be worth viewing.

The survey says that people go to search engines first to search topics. How do we get people to think library first? John Seyfarth said that libraries don 't advertise themselves or the services they provide. Joan Giesecke said that we spend so much time thinking of ways to teach people how to search when all they really want to do is find information. We should be teaching people how to find information as opposed to how to be a junior librarian. We need to focus on marketing, marketing to different generations as well as where we market to the public. Nancy Escamilla felt the report clumped all the libraries together when in reality each library is different. Public libraries focus on the community needs whereas academic libraries focus on college students and staff. Joan Giesecke stated that the summery does seem to clump the libraries but the actual report does separate them. The report does have lots of useful information.    

Unfinished Business

USA PATRIOT Act - Rod Wagner stated that at the November meeting the State Advisory Council on Libraries adopted a resolution regarding the USA PATRIOT Act. The reauthorization of the act was signed yesterday. Included in the meeting packets is a copy of a reply letter from Senator Nelson stating action of the act and his views. Senator Hagel was instrumental in negotiations that led to compromise and that made modest accommodations that led to the Senate 's approval of the legislation.


Jan Boyer reported that Ella Jane Bailey is retiring on April 4 with a reception scheduled for March 23.

MeMe Smith reported that she is recruiting to fill a staff position. The library is currently struggling to keep their story hour and story programs going and have found that they have better luck doing outreach programs rather then having the kids come to the library. They are reading to three different Head Start programs, daycares, and nursing homes. MeMe has submitted articles to the Spanish newspaper, Hispanos Unidos and both were printed.

Kris Rogge reported that the Brownville Lyceum is open. The Lyceum includes a large used book store, meeting space and a café.

Nancy Cantin reported the state institutional librarians will meet on March 31. The group meets quarterly. The Hastings Regional Center library was reduced by half and moved to another building. The library will move from adult services to youth services. The name of the facility might be changed to Nebraska Youth Center.

Joan Gieske distributed a brochure concerning the Elizabeth I: Ruler and Legend exhibit currently at the UNL Love Library. The exhibit has been very well attended. Joan also distributed a spring break advertisement campaign flyer. The headline says "Get it done at UNL Library." The idea is to get students to use the library. Table tents were set out at the Student Union that said "I got all my work done so I 'm enjoying my break".

Matt Williams (guest) reported that Kearney continues to move forward on the idea of a library building project. His staff has made the transition to his new job easy.  

Marty Magee reported that the UNMC Library of Medicine is working with the Nebraska Library Commission to promote health information partnerships across the state. The Nebraska Library Commission has grant funds to help fund community partner health projects. Meetings have been held with consumer health advocates in Hastings, Grand Island and Lexington. Public librarians and hospital librarians have been asked to initiate networking and seek partners to partner in a community project. The CHIRS program is celebrating its 20th year. In April, CHIRS staff will visit as many public libraries as possible to promote their services. Nebraska has chosen UNMC to be the project center for GO LOCAL. When you visit MedLine Plus there will be a GO LOCAL link. Marty said that when you visit the site it will ask you to choose the medical information you are looking for and the location (state and county). The request will result in a display of the names of doctors, clinics, hospitals and available support groups. Marty will be the instructor for the LTA course - Introduction to Library Services.

Patty Birch reported that her library is one of the libraries on the library visit circuit. NEMA will be meeting in North Platte. The North Platte public library recently held a Jigsaw Puzzle tournament which raised $3,200. Cecilia Lawrence, the North Platte public library director, is running for a position on the Mid-Plains Community College board. Patty is also teaching an LTA course. 

John Seyfarth reported that his library recently held a father/child program which was well attended.

Diane Johnson reported that the Stromsburg public library is celebrating its 5th year in their new building. They will hold an open house and Oliver Pollak will speak.

Gretchen Healey reported that her library passed all its inspections. Gretchen has lost her children 's librarian. The library has started a gamers ' night. Statistics are up this year compared to last. The library completed a survey that showed little increase in the number of children being read to, but an increase in the amount of time that parents read to their children. The library applied for and received federal government document depository status. The Winnebago library continues to seek grant support for their programs and services.

Cindy Gitt reported that the Holdrege library has a new staff computer and the old computer will be for patron Internet use. The library is offering e-books and has several titles available. They have a new projector which can be checked out by patrons and will be used to show children movies at the library.

Patricia Gross reported that the Scottsbluff public library will host the next Job-a-Like. A Web page design workshop for librarians was held o March 3. Spring meetings are coming up and she encouraged everyone to attend at least one. In August there will be a NEMA/PLS Institute with six sessions offered. Diane Downer is the new Director of the Gering public Library.

Nancy Escamilla reported that the Scottsbluff public library has formed a foundation for fund-raising. They are starting with selecting a theme and a logo and asked for staff involvement. The fundraising events and activities will begin in the fall, although foundation representatives have started to seek major donors and have been educating the public on why a larger library is needed. The teen group has started to raise funds to cover the cost of their teen area.

The library has two adult reading programs a year. The current reading program has 221 adults registered. The teen area is starting a photography contest; every teen involved will be given a disposable camera. The person in the winning photo will win the identical prize as the photographer. During National Library Week, the teen advisory group will hold a low rider car and bicycles show, they will have a DJ play hip-hop music. Nancy will be taking 12-15 teens on a book buying trip to Denver. The teen group has raised enough money to purchase gas for 3 vans to take the group on their buying trip. The library has hired another student page who was a member of the teen advisory council.

The library celebrated Dr. Seuss 's birthday with a party. During National Library Week, local author Kimberly Carlton Grams signed books at the library. Kimberly Carlton Grams has a new book about teddy bears called Smedley and the Sprinkle Machine. At legislative day, a Scottsbluff student was recognized for her work at the library. The newspaper took pictures of the student who was happy and honored to be chosen. Nancy Escamilla and Deb Carlson received an award from the local teachers and students for their work on diversity on Martin Luther King Day.

Teresa Jehlik reported that the Omaha Public Library is currently involved in a controversy regarding the prospect of online book sales. The board financing committee is looking at generating some additional revenue because the library budget continues to be cut. This was just one of several suggestions made at a budget meeting but the one the media picked up.

Becky Pasco reported that library science education is going very well. Becky stated that there are currently five LTA students doing their practicum and finishing the program.

Lexington Public Library and Lexington Public Schools Technology Initiatives  

Toné Mendoza and Kristi Jergensen spoke about the public library and schools technology initiative. The library, school and other city organizations have developed a partnership and collaborated to make things better for the community.

The initiative will help them determine where they are at with technology, what they want for the future in technology and how to achieve their goals. They would like something that serves all of Dawson County. They put together the Library Technology Assessment Community (LTAC) and showed it to the City Council and community organization and through that they received a lot of good information from the community.

The community is very supportive of the library and what they can do as a community to make services available. The community is also very diverse and some of the resources are not readily available to everyone. With the community being 65% Hispanic the library is developing programs to assist them as well as include the Sudanese and Somalian community. One of the goals of this initiative is to make the resources available to everyone. The hope is that technology will assist to achieve their goals such as health, small business and economic development. They hope to also work with libraries in the surrounding areas to assist in their goals. They are working on aligning the school computers with the library 's computers so students without home computers can still do their homework at the library. 

They will also work with the Dawson County Area Development. As in many rural areas, Lexington and Dawson County are losing their young adults to bigger cities. Through the Dawson County Area Development a Technical Education Director will he hired to work with the libraries and schools and businesses to see what skills are needed so that the schools and libraries can offer the skills and compare the students. Some businesses will offer incentives such as college tuition if the student will come back to and work in the community for a set number of years. The hope is that they will resettle into the community. 

New Business

Election of Vice-Chair - Marty Magee nominated Becky Pasco for the vice-chair position. The nomination was seconded and approved.

Adoption of Resolution

The State Advisory Council on Libraries recommends the Nebraska Legislature approve the $325,000 requested by the Nebraska Library Commission for an online encyclopedia to assist in promoting information literacy and access to information for all Nebraskans.

The State Advisory Council on Libraries supports the proposal to create a joint Regional Federal Documents Depository collection with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Kansas, and Kansas State University, with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln continuing to provide regional services to Nebraska libraries.

2006 Council Meeting Schedule

The July meeting will be held on Monday, July 10th at the North Platte High School Media Center. The November meeting will be held on Friday, November 3 on the UNL campus. Exact location will be announced at a later date.  

Adjournment - A motion and second were made to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m. 

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.