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Meeting Minutes

Lincoln, Nebraska

March 16-17, 1995

Present: B. Baker, Dr. E. Baker, M. Battistella, V. Bialac, J. Birnie, P. Brunken, D. Crews, L. Cundiff, S. Davis, D. Dragos, J. Leader, K. Marek, G. Mier, S. Person, J. Saathoff, T. Strom, K. Tooker, R. Voeltz, S. Wiegert, S. Wise.

Commissioners: R. Norman, M. Vollbrecht.

Staff: J. Budler, N. Busch, A. Garwood, C. Hickey, J. Minges, D. Oertli, M. J. Ryan, S. Snyder, A. Sternburg, E. Van Waart, R. Wagner.

The meeting of the State Advisory Council on Libraries convened on March 16 at 12:00 noon. The first item on the agenda was the two hour satellite conference "Capitalizing on the Internet--Program 1: A Business Guide to the Internet."

Welcome and Introductions

Welcome and introductions were given. Sally Snyder gave a brief history of the State Advisory Council on Libraries. A copy of the goals and challenge statement written by the 1994 Council was distributed and discussed. Jim Minges updated the Council on the challenge grant proposal recommended by the 1994 Council. A total of $15,000 is available for grants. The grant program is simple and open-ended for libraries to tell the Commission what they would like to do. There is no established financial match required, but that will be looked at as part of the criteria for awarding funds. Any type of library can apply if they are part of a joint project. Applications will be due by June 1 and grants will be allocated by the end of June, 1995. Funds must be expended by end of June 1996. Application packets will be sent to those who request an application. An article announcing this grant program was in the March NLCommunicator.

The procedures of the Council were outlined by Sally Snyder. The Council considers issues and topics brought to it by the Commissioners and the library community. The Council gives recommendations on these issues to the Commissioners, and any other involved group or organization.

Who's Who and What's What at NLC

Jim Minges presented information on the Library Development Team's major initiatives.

The Continuous Library Improvement Program is known as CLIP. The goal is to focus attention on local community determination of what the library needs and bring the community into the planning and development for the library. Several follow-up meetings were held recently. One or two libraries at each meeting brought lots of enthusiasm for the process and for what they are accomplishing with it. The manual for the program was developed by the Heartland Center.

The public librarian certification courses are being redone. The next course will be "Public Services" offered at the end of May and beginning of June this year. Two new additional courses are being prepared. A children's and young adult services institute will be offered April 21-22. A technology course is being designed and will be offered perhaps in 1996.

The process in place to redo the Public Library Guidelines. A new committee has been formed to rewrite them. Members of the committee are listed on the sheet distributed to Council members.

There has been significant change in working with institutional libraries since last May. They are taking over leadership of their group. The Commission will continue to offer the federal grant program and consulting as needed.

The Commission is requesting additional state funding for aid to public libraries in this budget cycle in two areas: 1) incentive grants for county library service and 2) additional funding for public libraries having undertaken a planning process. Federal LSCA (Library Services and Construction Act) Title II funds may be in jeopardy, both the 1995 and 1996 amounts.

The Nebraska Library Trustees Handbook 1990 is now out of date. The Commission will ask the Trustees group of the Nebraska Library Association (NLA) to work with us to revise some sections.

Library Development staff includes: Barbara Johnson: statistical data, administration of public library accreditation and the state aid process; Mary Jackson: children's and young adult services; Ellen Van Waart: continuing education coordinator, and copyright issues; Kit Keller: support services and an excellent addition to the staff; Jim Minges: library systems and consulting with public libraries.

Jo Budler, Director of Network Services, presented information to the Council including a definition of network services: To promote and support libraries in their cooperative efforts to share resources and information. Network Services will: assist librarians in delivering information to Nebraska citizens through electronic exchange; develop and support access to state government information resources and to national and international communications networks; introduce and promote new products that assist member libraries to use information technologies; provide cost-effective, innovative training to strengthen libraries in the use of information technologies; support and enhance member library programs which promote regional cooperation and resource sharing. Jo would like to broaden Network Services so non-OCLC members could take advantage of services and opportunities. Other networks offer services other than OCLC and she hopes Nebraska will offer more database opportunities to Nebraska libraries.

The Commission is introducing a new publication which will include not only NEBASE News but also other Network Services information such as Internet, reference and government information sources. The new publication is called Nebraska Library Commission Network Services News, or N3 (pronounced N-cubed). Please let Jo know what you think of it and any ideas you have for improvement.

Amy Garwood gave an update on the National Telecommunications and Information Assistance (NTIA) project. The Nebraska Statewide Telecommunications Infrastructure Planning Process is a comprehensive effort to identify needs across a broad spectrum of telecommunications users, conduct an inventory of existing infrastructure directed toward meeting those needs, and develop a phased statewide plan to put in place the infrastructure necessary to meet future demands.

Data gathered about the information technology needs of Nebraska libraries includes: 68% of public libraries in Nebraska have a computer and 50% use CD-ROM technology. According to a recent article in USA Today, less than 20% of the people in the nation have access to online services. In Nebraska 40% of public libraries have access to online services.

Fourteen libraries (6%) use the Internet in Nebraska. It is our next challenge. The biggest barrier to Internet access for Nebraska libraries is long distance charges. The state needs a mechanism for libraries to access Internet. There is also a need for cooperative projects within communities. A third need is for centralized training and technical troubleshooting assistance.

What's New in Online Services

Annie Sternburg gave an Internet demonstration. Netscape is the name of the browser used at the Commission to access Internet locations. The Council saw home pages for the St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana; Boulder County, Colorado; Sharon Public Library; and Santa Fe Public Library. One location the Council found especially interesting is ference.html

Delaware Public Library compiled a list of reference resources available on the Internet. The list is available at the above location.

Rod Wagner gave an update on Nebrask@ Online. The Commission has a three year contract with a private company to provide network management services as well as additional services. The company is setting up its office across the street from the Commission. One of the new services will be to provide batch and interactive access to driver's license information in cooperation with the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. They plan to begin providing service next week. Charges for access to the driver's license information will subsidize other aspects of Nebrask@ Online.

Cindi Hickey, Information Technology Librarian, presented an overview of the cooperative project between the Commission and the Nebraska Department of Economic Development ("DED"). Cindi works with Chris Hoy, Special Projects Director for DED, to support community information technology planning committees.

Chris Hoy asserts that only 10% of Nebraska's citizens are teleliterate. Communities benefit by helping their citizens become teleliterate which leads to 1) reduced telecommunication costs, 2) improved communication infrastructures, and 3) local innovation. Increased teleliteracy in the community also particularly benefits rural communities by diminishing the distance penalty, increasing educational opportunities, and improving healthcare options.

Nebraska's Information Technology Committees are ideally comprised of representatives from the library, business, education, health, government, as well as a student, and a senior citizen. Hoy stresses five "immutable" goals for these committees: 1) awareness of information technology, 2) access to information technology, 3) training, 4) partnerships, and 5) planning. Committees create bottoms-up strategic planning for the information technology needed by their communities.

The Commission's role in the project stems from a view of the public library as an "information utility". Titled "NEED ==> IT!", the Commission's project involves three target areas: 1) development of information resources for the Committees and 2) collaboration with the community's librarian to provide demonstrations, support, and training related to the Information Technology needs of the community.

Nebrask@ Online has many new additions specifically designed for the benefit of the Information Technology Committees. The first issue of the Commission's newsletter "NEED == IT!" highlights these additions, including Success Stories, Discussion Groups, Reference Resources and more. To request a copy of this newsletter contact Cindi Hickey at (402)471-3217 or (800)307-2665.

The February 1995 Nebraska Online usage report was disseminated to the Council.

The meeting recessed at 4:43 p.m.

The joint State Advisory Council on Libraries and Nebraska Library Commission meeting was reconvened at 9:00 a.m. by Rod Wagner. Rod updated the Council and Commissioners on the Library Commission's biennium budget request for state funds.

Federal Library Programs Update

Rod Wagner reported on the status of the proposal to replace the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA). The new program proposal has been developed through collaboration of major library constituent groups. The new Congress will require new strategies to secure continued federal support for library services. A new threat is revision of current year appropriations for LSCA Title II, with those states not having allocated funds standing the prospect of losing their 1995 allotment.

Nebraska Long Range Plan for Library and Information Services

Council members and Library Commissioners divided into three groups to discuss issues highlighted on the Review and Discussion sheet distributed at the meeting.

The meeting reconvened for reports from each of the groups.

Recommendations from the groups include the following:

Question about what "technical assistance" means in the first role statement on page 3, is it used in a broad or narrow sense?

"Services to Special Populations" on page 4 make sure it includes all groups and uses the current terminology.

First paragraph under "Relationships..." needs some rewording, page 5.

Under "Public Libraries" make sure refer to public librarian certification, public library accreditation and library board certification as part of the process

"Libraries, information centers, lrcs...etc" there may be other terms to be added to include all types, page 5, first paragraph under "Relationships..."

Should we add ESUs as a separate entry on pages 5 and 6 under "Relationships..."

Why is the word "special" used in the paragraph on public libraries and the one on institutional libraries on pages 5 and 6, is it due to funding?

"Needs" on page 7 should have a statement about the need for education and training for librarians as well as customers and the Commission's role in it. Discussed information literacy, uses of new technologies and how people are not prepared for that type of information. Need assistance to get information and also in how to use the information and how to judge it. Also discussed technology connectivity to online service provider(s). Under Needs, add the following:

information illiterate - not prepared to use the information sources and technology

distance (from resources) or technology connectivity to information utility

education and training for librarians and customers

Goal 1: be sure to state at the beginning that it is Nebraska statutes.

Goal 2: discussed how training could be delivered and the Commission's role in it. College credit classes should be listed as a training source. Encourage in-state higher education institutions to offer such courses both onsite and through distance education delivery. Objective 2.10 B, use the term "to all areas of the state" rather than "distant locations." Also noted that traditional delivery methods were not stated.

Goal 4: Needs a sentence stating the Commission provides information about the Library Commission, and a second sentence stating the Commission provides general publicity about Nebraska's libraries. Change through to from in goal statement.

Goal 5: be sure the terminology regarding handicapped and disabled is inclusive, and uses current terminology.

Goal 6: remove the reference to a subcommittee of State Advisory Council in the needs statement. Under evaluation, could it be more specific about how will evaluate the goal? Objective 6.3, for example, the staff performance appraisal program could be the evaluation for this objective.

Mission statement, there was discussion among people involved in the planning on the meaning of library and information services, what is the difference between library services and information services?

Under "Roles," the "regardless of" statement does not include religion, is there a reason for that or is it an oversight?

More emphasis on leadership under the first Role is desirable, perhaps make leadership a separate role statement.

The "Primary Functions..." paragraph on Communication needs a #5 added or as a new #1 and move the other items to 2-5. The new #1 (or #5) should be: provision of information on emerging issues and trends in library and information services.

Page seven needs a new title, the information contained on the page doesn't really reflect projected library needs, it contains background information.

Would appreciate one page listing all the goal statements just prior to the goals text section.

Goal 1: phrase "library, reference and information services" why include reference here when it is not in the phrase in the previous section?

To make the document more readable, indent the "evaluation" section and bold the Objective numbers.

Appendices, page 38, regarding the distribution of LSCA funds, with so much emphasis on technology, waiting a year in between times to apply for grant money seems a long delay particularly since things change so quickly in the technology area. Recommend a grant program at least twice a year.

Goal 3: need to add an Objective 3.6 "The Commission takes a proactive role in providing/exploring emerging trends in technology and library issues and finding a way to communicate these to the library field." Make greater use of Nebraska Online for more library specific discussion on some of these broader topics once the information has been shared.

Condense the document into an executive summary of one or two pages and distribute across the state to the entire library community by including it in N-Compass.

Discussed the name of the Nebraska Library Commission and that perhaps a name change should be considered to better reflect what the Commission actually does. One suggestion was Nebraska Library and Information Services Commission.

Under Mission: the roles section should have a separate sentence that focuses on leadership.

Under "Relationships..." may want to add something more dynamic about the Commission's leadership role concerning technology, including the Challenge statement written by the 1994 Council.

More emphasis on projected needs on page 7, for example working with larger units of service.

Goal 6: we no longer have a subcommittee of the Council to discuss and review the Long Range Plan.

Other suggestions:

send a press release now announcing the new State Advisory Council, their function, and the challenge to libraries from the Council, also send to Council members and librarians in the state in order for them to encourage their local press to run the article

The Council and Commissioners meeting recessed for lunch.

The State Advisory Council on Libraries reconvened at 1:00 p.m.

Sue Biltoft, Administrative Assistant, gave information on completing the expense document forms.

Election of 1995 Council Chair

Joan Birnie nominated Sally Wise to serve as Chair. Devra Dragos seconded the nomination. Sally Wise was elected unanimously.

Sharon Wiegert nominated Lupe Mier as Chair-Elect. Kathy Tooker seconded the nomination. Lupe Mier was elected unanimously.

Meeting Critique / 1995 Council Agenda Planning / Schedule

The next meeting of the State Advisory Council will held be Friday, June 30. The third meeting of the Council will be held September 15th. Phyllis Brunken, moved that we have a teleconference rather than meet in Lincoln on December 8th. The date will be reserved.

Dena Crews moved, and Verda Bialac seconded, the minutes be approved. The motion carried.

Meeting Critique

Richard Voeltz thought orientation was an excellent idea.

Dr. Elmer Baker suggested that reimbursement be explained at each orientation, and maybe at each meeting.

Phyllis Brunken thought it was good to have the Commission staff tell Council members what they are doing.

Troy Strom requested a tour of the Commission facilities.

We need to have a list of nearby places for lunch. Verda suggested that we give this job to Nancy Busch.

September agenda

The Library Commission Goals - Strategic Plan. The way we did it this time was a good way to do strategic planning, the questions were excellent.

The feeling was that the meeting always goes better if there are specific things which Council members are asked to consider. They do not want to just rubber stamp. Member requested that the Commission please be specific about what you want the Council to comment upon.

At the next meeting Commission staff will be able to tell the Council the biennium budget results. How it will affect the Commission, also an update on Public Library Laws.

Verda Bialac - please talk about, relationship between the Commission, Library Boards and local government. What kind of state laws apply?

A demonstration of Nebrask@ Online would be appreciated. Consider other demonstrations Commission staff could provide.

Some liked the idea of having educational teleconference/program meeting.

Talking Books & Braille Service tour/talk.

Children's Services - Mary Jackson.

It was recommended the Commission send a list of Appropriations Committee members to Council members.

Council Roundtable Presentations

Dr. Elmer Baker, York College, noted they established a Friends group last year. Dr. Baker is Vice President of TUFS (Trustees Users and Friends) section of NLA and they are now making a strong effort to contact all Trustees and all Friends organizations within the state to get a mailing list together to improve communication possibilities.

Dena Crews, Chadron Public Library, Chadron has a new city manager whose two favorite departments are the Library and Parks & Recreation. The CWEIS group is working on their home page, CWEIS had a name change and is now called NebraskaNet. NebraskaNet has been taken under the wing of Mr. Kramer, City Manager.

Devra Dragos, Beatrice State Developmental Center, is working on two projects: (1) NAIL - Nebraska Association of Institutional Libraries and (2) Updating the client collection.

Richard Voeltz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, stated a planned $350,000 periodical cut was delayed for one year. Automation is progressing at the University. Netscape is coming to EJO multimedia journals. He sees movement back into the online environment from CD-ROM.

Phyllis Brunken, Educational Service Unit (ESU) # 7, gave an update on Legislative Bills. The ESUs (Educational Service Units) have completed work on an electronic ESU catalog format. They will compare with NSF Grant results.

Kathy Tooker, Eastern Library System, mentioned five items. (1) The two-year biennium budgets and plans of each of the six Library Systems are complete. (2) Working on continuing education. (3) Internet connections and Internet training are prime concerns right now. (4) LSCA Title II technology grant application is being submitted. This is the fifth year for the systems to submit a joint grant application representing many libraries in Nebraska. To date, the systems have assisted 82 public libraries in the state to receive grants and procure various types of technology. (5) The Library Commission needs a mobile computer lab. That contains laptops, etc. for training.

Laura Cundiff, Clay Center Public Library, reported they are working on Summer Children's Reading Program. This year they plan to have a program for the entire summer and that will entail a lot of planning and work for the staff and volunteers.

Sylvia Person, Holdrege Middle School, is a member of the Information Technology Committee with Richard MacDonald, Director of Holdrege Public Library. The public library is undergoing renovation to make the basement space accessible for meetings. The schools are hoping to have fiber optic cable laid in the next week to provide direct connection with the ESU.

Troy Strom, Fullerton City Administrator, reported on the successful fund raising and renovation of the former hospital building into a beautiful public library. Still facing budget limitations within the county and city. One of the discussion issues at the meeting he attended on Wednesday was how to work with county officials to obtain county funding for the public library. Another topic was the possibility of reassigning some counties to different library systems to better balance the total and improve the effectiveness of the systems.

Steve Davis, President of the Nebraska Educational Media Association (NEMA), is working with the Nebraska Department of Education to rewrite certification standards for media centers. They are also, once again, working for the creation of the position of Director of Library Media Services at the state Department of Education.

Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library, reported their automation system and Technology Learning Center are up and running. Community Network Institute (CNI) will be putting their telephone lines and hardware in library for an electronic bulletin board. It will also provide intermittent Internet connection for community members and an e-mail service. The University of Nebraska - Kearney (UNK) has shut down their general access to Internet. A private company, Overnet, now offers Internet connections.

Joan Birnie, Broken Bow Public Library, reported they are finishing a survey as part of CLIP (Continuous Library Improvement Program) planning. The Information Technology Committee hopes to have an Internet connection through Lopernet and will be offering public access.

Becky Baker, Seward Public Library, stated the "Connect Seward" project is gearing up. The goal is to provide the community Internet access and a community bulletin board. Becky hopes to be able to demonstrate the system at the next Council meeting. Seward Public Library is providing interlibrary loan service for the Southeast Library System.

Jeanne Leader, Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, serves on the local Community Information Technology Committee. Working with the Chamber of Commerce and the public library, the community now has FreeNet access and gopher access. There is also a local service provider for those wishing to purchase access to the Internet. The community college is also working on providing adaptive technology in the computer labs.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:25 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Sally Snyder

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.