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Meeting Minutes

Lincoln, Nebraska

March 11,1994 Minutes

Present: Dr. E. Baker, M. Battistella, V. Bialac, J. Birnie, P. Brunken, D. Crews, L. Cundiff, K. Hughes, J. Leader, S. Mason, G. Mier, P. Sheridan, C. Speicher, S. Wiegert, S. Wise.

Commissioners: M. Curtiss, T. Harvey, Dr. R. McPherson, R. Norman, J. Sanders, M. Vollbrecht.

Staff: N. Busch, B. Goble, M. Jackson, B. Johnson, E. Miller, J. Minges, S. Snyder, E. Van Waart, R. Wagner.

Visitors: K. Marek, S. Ooton, K. Tooker, D. Yost.

The joint meeting of the State Advisory Council on Libraries and the Commissioners was convened at 10:03 am by Council Chair, Jeanne Leader. Welcome was given by Rod Wagner. Introductions of all present were given.

NLC Report

Proposed Issues for 1994 Council Consideration:

Rod Wagner reported the Commissioners at their last meeting selected some issues for the State Advisory Council for discussion recommendations throughout 1994. These issues are: Federal and State legislation, Federal and State telecommunications, and information technology. The Council will discuss these issues and how to address them during the year at their separate meeting this afternoon.

Governor's Information Technology Conference:

Rod Wagner noted that several people at the meeting today had participated in the Governor's Information Technology Conference held Monday and Tuesday, March 7 and 8. Approximately 400 people in all attended the conference. It was organized by the newly created Information Technology Commission. This Commission is looking for ideas from a broad spectrum of people for recommendations they will put together and present this fall to the Governor and the Legislature.

Nancy Busch, a facilitator of one discussion group, stated the groups met in the morning and then were reconfigured for the afternoon discussion group. Jack McBride was the Information Technology Commission representative in her group. There were some similarities with the 1991 Nebraska Information Partnerships meeting as far as topics and partnerships discussed. There was a better mix from the private sector at this meeting. One of the main values of the group was the sharing of what was happening in different parts of the state and the people involved in the projects.

Kathy Tooker stated she had a similar experience at the conference. People were referring to libraries as places that are and that could provide information technology. Her afternoon group were all looking to libraries for providing information via technology. Some of her group members had not considered partnerships before, but once they got started they couldn't stop.

Kate Marek commented that those of us in the library field think of information technology as "our" issue, this conference was organized by non-library people. All the people who attended were interested in information technology and were knowledgeable about what is going on. Kate also stated Bob Manley spoke to the group on Monday and he was excellent. Nancy Busch mentioned the sessions were taped and it is expected a transcript will be sent to the participants. Kate stated one focus of the conference was to get Nebraskans involved economically with information technology. Bob Manley's point was it must come from within communities rather than from outside in order for it to be successful.

Phyllis Brunken commented it is in our own best interest for Nebraska citizenry to become involved, if not decisions will be made for them. It is better to be part of the process. There is willingness to form partnerships, but legislation is a roadblock we need to address. Phyllis also stated one of the representatives from U.S. West reminded the group that Internet is just one little step of sharing information, it is a dirt road and in the future we will have a true super highway.

Jim Minges commented that the people attending the conference were very open to the role of libraries in information technology. One issue is whether librarians throughout the state are alert to their potential role and are prepared to be an active part of partnerships and to be informed on the issues. The role is open to librarians if they choose to take it. Another issue is the high emphasis upon entertainment and the cable TV aspect and how big that is going to be. A recent article in Business Week magazine discusses that is where corporate money is going.

Phyllis Brunken stated a service in Omaha has been announced to begin in the fall. Our task is to sensitize Omaha so demands will be for other aspects besides entertainment and home shopping. We also need to keep aware of the legislation and rules and regulations so cable will continue to comply with requirements.

Joan Birnie commented that she came away from conference with the realization they are on the right track in her county, having established partnerships in the area. The conference confirmed that they are doing the right things to be prepared. It was also good to learn what the state is doing so locally they will not duplicate what is there but plug in to what is available.

Electronic Access to State Government Information:

Rod Wagner noted there have been several articles recently in the Omaha and Lincoln papers about electronic access to state government information. A few weeks ago some Library Commission staff members and some representatives of other state government agencies made a trip to Topeka to see the Information Network of Kansas. The Kansas model is very different from the one in Nebraska. They have created a state board which contracts with a private entity to supply computer access to a variety of state government information. It is operated through revenues received from subscribers and user of the network. We wanted to look at the applications they are using and to hear from some of the agencies involved in it to learn what their experience with the network has been. Attending from Nebraska were representatives from the state Central Data Processing Division, the state court system, and the Department of Economic Development. One of the appealing aspects was a recent arrangement whereby libraries can use the service for a fixed cost of $15 per month. Other subscribers pay about 40 cents per minute for access plus a possible per record charge. Nebraska has some agencies, such as the Secretary of State's Office and the Department of Motor Vehicles, which may offer access to records they have through computer access. These services are not currently available. A citizen wanting information has to contact the agency directly and probably pay a fee of some kind for a paper copy of the document(s). Lawyers, insurance agents, bankers, and other people find electronic access to those records to be very efficient and are willing to pay a fee for the service. It will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to set up for those kinds of services. Through Nebraska Online we have been trying to identify and make available a variety of state government information and we plan to continue to provide access to certain information. There are some records and databases a fee service would help assure availability to those who are interested. At this point we are just asking people for input and ideas for a Nebraska version. No decisions have been made. Senator Priester and some other Senators have promoting legislation that would made the Legislature's databases available through the Internet and by other means. This could improve access for Nebraskans if it is implemented as indicated.

Nebraska's Regional Library Systems

Kathy Tooker, Administrator of the Eastern Library System, presented statistics and demographics about the Library Systems. The Library Systems were formed over ten years ago. There are some similarities and some differences among and between the services provided by the six systems. A one-page handout was distributed which contained a map of the systems and listed each system's population, square miles, and number of libraries.

Northeast Library System contains: 13% of population, 17% of area, 20 counties
Eastern Library System contains: almost 40% of pop., 4% of area, 7 counties
Southeast Library System contains: 24% of population, 11% of area, 15 counties
Meridian Library System contains: 10% of population, 25% of area, 17 counties
Republican Valley Library System: 9% of population, 20% of area, 20 counties
Panhandle Library System contains: 6% of population, 22% of area, 14 counties

The number of libraries in each system listed on the map refers to all types of libraries: public, academic, special, and school districts (not individual schools).

Kate Marek, Administrator of the Southeast Library System, presented the history of library systems in Nebraska. Cooperation has not always been a part of library thinking. In the 1960s and 1970s a trend developed toward cooperative library efforts and resource sharing. Regional Library Networks were established in Nebraska as a result of this trend. The Networks were led by regional

coordinators who were state employees based in different parts of the state. The Networks had some weaknesses. Three major weaknesses were: a lack of autonomy since the coordinators were state employees, and the boards of directors were advisory, and the focus was on public libraries rather than all types of libraries.

In 1983 the Library Systems were established. In 1984 the Library Systems began to receive funding from the state. The six systems are separate and independent but the missions are uniform: "To improve library services to citizens of Nebraska through improving libraries." Key points about library systems are:

- They work to improve library service
- They are funded by the Library Commission for long-term stability
- The funding is about 2/3 state funds and 1/3 federal funds
- They have a multitype focus, working with all types and sizes of libraries
- They have governing boards elected from the membership
- Each system has a full time administrator to administer programs, provide leadership, and help set policy

The Library Systems were developed because there was a need for library development based in the regions of the state.

Dee Yost, Administrator of the Republican Valley Library System, presented information on continuing education provided by the systems. In the last year the systems collectively provided over 250 hours of continuing education events. Continuing education is offered in a variety of formats and on a variety of topics. Formats included brunches, retreats, institutes, half day or one day workshops, evening or pre-conference events. Over 800 librarians, media specialists, trustees, friends of libraries, paraprofessionals took advantage of the courses. Topics included image, children's services, CD-ROM resources, helping teachers teach, Internet, storytelling, long range planning, censorship, marketing the public library, marketing the school media center, customer service, Americans with Disabilities Act, copyright, legal and medical reference, book repairs, staff evaluation, opportunities on-line, summer reading program, collection development, MARC records, cross-culture communication, whole language in the library, and grant writing.

Professional collections are also housed in each library system and are available for loan to librarians in the system area. The collections include videos for staff development, software demonstrations, and print materials. Most of the 250 hours offered counted toward public librarian certification and library board certification. All of the system administrators have served as instructors and/or facilitators for the Basic Skills Courses. The amount of continuing education events has increased in the last years. This gives new librarians and people who had greater distances to travel more opportunity to attend events. Part of this is because of the new technology which allows satellite programs and video-conferencing. The system review verified that the systems are doing an excellent job of providing continuing education opportunities for member libraries and librarians are very appreciative.

Carol Speicher, Administrator of the Northeast Library System, presented information on resource sharing among Nebraska libraries. Because many small libraries cannot share their holdings and don't know the holdings of other libraries, the systems have set up resource centers. Libraries can contact the resource center to obtain information on interlibrary loan materials and to borrow materials. The resource centers also answer reference questions and subject requests. In Nebraska, the systems contract with libraries to provide the resource center services. Many of Nebraska's libraries are now using NEON, the Nebraska specific OCLC database. Libraries are encouraged to use NEON, they are then more self-sufficient and service is faster. Libraries are also using Union CD-ROM, it contains holdings of participating libraries. The librarian can make a loan request directly from the lender library. There are fewer reference and subject requests now than there were in the past. Part of that is due to additional continuing education training. Librarians are using their own resources to answer more reference questions. Nebraska Online and its resources are another reason librarians are better able to answer questions at their library.

Steve Ooton, Administrator of the Panhandle Library System, set up a computer demonstration and presented information on technology and consulting. System administrators consult with librarians on a number of topics. As an example, in the last ten days Steve Ooton answered questions on: fixed fields and MARC records, layout for an elementary school media center, Friends of the Library organizations, Internet access, microfilm periodicals for public library, circulation and catalog software upgrades, CD-ROM specifications for grants and for budget process for libraries, barcoding and data entry and staying sane, custody and control of public library's accounts, personnel, community ad hoc meeting on multi-function building to include the public library, locating a used card catalog for a small library.

The library systems have been very involved with technology in libraries also. Recently they have been trying to make a real integration of all the new technologies into what the local libraries are doing. The four areas of most activity are: general library automation, resource sharing, internal resources, external resources. Library automation includes administration and management; display, publicity items; circulation systems, and online catalogs. Resource sharing includes NEON and OCLC; Union CD project; fax machines, modems, etc. The Union CD-ROM pilot project includes 17 libraries and almost 250,000 items. The systems have also provided minigrants for purchase of fax machines and modems. Internal resources include CD ROM products such as electronic encyclopedia and magazine indexes. The next challenge will be multi-media resources, particularly since they are very equipment intensive. External resources include Nebraska Online, and Internet which involves learning the system; planning and promoting; getting connections for all; building user skills.

Nebraska Internet Applications - Jim Emal, IANR Communications and Computing Services

Rod Wagner introduced Jim Emal, University of Nebraska -Lincoln Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, presented information he has collected on the use of Internet in Nebraska. Jim placed a large length of paper on the wall, attached to it were sticky notes representing the many people and agencies involved in Internet and how they connected with each other. He started this project trying to represent to the decision makers at UNL and to others that there are lots of players and people involved with Internet. The poster paper allows managers and supervisors to get an overview of who is involved and what they are doing.

People and Agencies listed on the chart included:

Department of Economic Development (DED) project of global community

DED student navigator project (college students train people to use Internet)

telecomputing project with Educational Service Units (ESU)

ESU full motion video project

College Park, Institute of Agriculture -- numerous agencies involved

ETV proposal to Corporation for Public Broadcasting to provide local community network for access to Internet

N atural Resources Commission, planning to network all the NRDs in the state and provide walk in service to the local customer

Nebraska Online

Public Libraries -- Internet access

Rod Armstrong, technology effort of the Governor, chair of GIS Commission, trying to coordinate the distribution of huge natural resources information surveys

NU Frontiers (UNL), connect students and others to a communications system Internet (2 months old)

I nstitute of Agriculture gopher, tied to all state extension gophers, link for people to Internet

DED gopher system, use to find information on Museums (e.g.), and other topics, in Nebraska. The goal is to provide a vehicle for people to find and use information available via Internet -- state colleges, connection to Internet for students and faculty

Community colleges have the same dreams

Nebraska Department of Education has six or eight projects. 3500 teachers are linked to Internet now. They just ran out of money for the toll free number. There is now legislation to provide funding for it.

There are probably 50 or 60 more projects underway that are not listed on the poster.

The people who are providing connectivity are the ones usually speaking up in meetings. Each group providing a connection are listed on the poster. These "hosts" include: US West, University Communication, Lincoln Telephone Company, MidNet, commercial ramps (such as Compuserve), ETV (planning to link ETV customers through the ETV system), Cox Cable (and other cable companies), satellite digital services (the 18" satellite dishes, Rural Electric A?, REA), FreeNet, and independent entrepreneurs.

Significant Interest Groups include: the committees, such as the Governor's Technology Council; State Advisory Council on Libraries; Library Commissioners; Senator Bob Kerrey; Department of Economic Development (DED), Maxine Moul, Director; UNL Information Technology Management Council; NETV committee and advisory group; Educational Technology Consortium advisory group; state Higher Education Coordinating Commission; Nebraska Education Technology Association (NETA) work with K-12; Steve Shafer, Nebraska State Intergovernment Communication Systems Director; Don Macke, Director Nebraska State Rural Development Commission; and INK - Information Network of Kansas.

The Independents are people who don't really need the rest of the poster, their audience and goals are different. Medical Center, state highway patrol, sheriff's office, Department of Transportation, Social Services, etc. Use a mainframe and have very specific audiences and responsibilities. Main item is they require security and are concerned about access by unauthorized persons.

All seeking to connect to the NII, National Information Infrastructure. Internet is just one part of it.

The Legislature is a key player but they are the hardest ones to get the time to meet with and for explain the situation. Advisory council members needs to connect with them and explain the needs of the community members. The state Legislators are hearing from lobbyists and are hearing things in sound bites. We need them to see the whole picture.

Jim Emal's poster is a good demonstration of how intertwined projects and agencies are in connecting to the Internet. A suggestion is now out that a single entity should provide the technology for access of information from the Internet so every agency doesn't have to have a technology expert to make information available.

The Internet is NOT free. Someone is paying the bill for communications charges. The information on the Internet is being provided by someone and eventually there will be charges for some of it. Subsidies will not last forever.

Rod Wagner thanked Jim Emal for his presentation. This afternoon asking Council to look at how to organize schedule for this year to disc and recommend ideas for Ne moving forward.

Lunch was served in meeting room at 12:00. The satellite program at 3:00 at NETV was announced. Council members and Commissioners viewed the video tape "Telecommunications works for Nebraska" during lunch.

The separate meeting of the Council was called to order by the chair, Jeanne Leader, at 1:10 pm. Additions were made to the agenda. Phyllis Brunken moved and Lupe Mier seconded the agenda be approved as amended, the motion passed. Verda Bialac moved and Laura Cundiff seconded, the minutes be approved as received, the motion passed.

Proposed Issues for 1994 Council Consideration

The Commissioners have proposed three topical area for the Council to discuss this year. The topics are: federal and state legislation, federal and state telecommunications issues, and information technology. Discussion was held on the three topics and related issues. The Council accepted the three topics as ones they will discuss during 1994.

Phyllis Brunken recommended that legislation be the issue for the June meeting and telecommunications for the September meeting. The Council should divide into sub-groups for discussion at the June meeting separate legislative issues into different groups. It is important the Council receive information prior to the meeting. Updates at each Council meeting should include any new information on legislation, as well.

The Council agreed the focus of June meeting will be Legislation. Also, everyone should come prepared to talk about what's happening in your area, both concerning the legislation topic and the telecommunications topic.

It was also suggested that Chris Hoy attend one Council meeting and give presentation about what he does. Other issues for meetings include information on the progress of the Resource Sharing Committee issues. Lupe Mier stated the Council should study this issue as well. There will be a report from the Resource Sharing Committee at the June Council meeting.

Strategies for 1994 Council Agenda

Small group discussions or discuss as a whole group, what is the preference of the Council? Sally Wise suggested we have one group look at legislation and list what is currently out there with a summary of content, then the group as a whole discuss issue. Copies of bills should be sent to all council members prior to meeting.

Election of Vice-Chair

Verda Bialac nominated Carol Speicher, Carol declined. Verda withdrew the nomination. Phyllis Brunken nominated Ken Hughes. Joan Birnie seconded. It was moved nominations cease. Ken Hughes was elected Vice-Chair by acclamation.

1994 Council Meeting Dates

The proposed meeting dates for the 1994 Council are:

June 10
Sept 9
Dec 2

The dates were approved as proposed. There is the possibility of using two-way video communication for one of the meetings. It might be best to use it for the December meeting.

Lupe Mier moved the meeting adjourn, Phyllis Brunken seconded, the motion carried. The meeting adjourned at 2:25 pm.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Snyder

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.