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Meeting Minutes


June 1, 2001
Game and Parks Convention Center,
Ogallala, Nebraska


State Advisory Council Members Present: Jim Bothmer, John Dale, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Stan Gardner, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, Maggie Harding, Michael Herbison, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Ken Oyer, Tom Schmitz, Ruth Seward, and John Seyfarth. Nebraska Library Commission Members Present: Wally Seiler, Kris Rogge, Karen Warner, and Richard Jussel. Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Nancy Busch, Sally Snyder and Rod Wagner. Guests Present: Charlotte Kumor, Director, Goodall City Library, Diane Armour, Board Member and Beverly Pollock, Library Foundation.

Welcome and Introductions

Council Chair Tom Schmitz called the meeting to order at 8:45 a.m. Schmitz welcomed everyone and introductions were made of all present.


Agenda approved by acclamation.


A motion was made to approve the March 22 and 23, 2001 minutes. Motion was voted and approved.


Library Commission 2001-2003 Biennium Budget Actions

The Nebraska Legislature's final day was May 31. The Appropriations Committee recommended additional funding for the Library Commission. The full amount recommended by the committee was in the bill approved by the Legislature. However, Governor reduced the increase by half. As a result, the Commission will receive an additional $87,000 in the 1st year of the biennium budget, and $99,000 in the second year.

If the Commission had received the full amount requested, the funds would have been used for interface software for database access, library personnel training, acquisition of technology, and additional direct state aid to public libraries.

The new funding includes amounts needed for the library systems budgets. Rod Wagner asked the Council for recommendations on the best use of the remaining new funds.

Council members made the following comments and recommendations:

* Discounted prices for database access, this service is usually not affordable for small libraries.

* Recommend making databases available to all libraries for no fee to the library.

* Is it possible to return to the Legislature next year with a request for specific services of value to all libraries?

* School viewpoint: look for a database that focuses on children's use (Grolier's encyclopedia - it covers the spectrum of 3-12).

* The consistency of the databases has been valuable; use is taught in school and children can use them at the public library.

* Many smaller libraries are struggling with library automation systems. Consider creating a statewide electronic computer system (ONE library example). The technical portion would be managed for them and they would only deal with the records from their library.

* A survey of the successes of the databases to date would be a good information tool for the Legislature.

* EBSCO Host is suggested as a possibility for a second tier of database access.


The Commission is planning a July 1, 2001 introduction of the NebrasKard. A library mailing will be sent to public, college and university libraries. The program was introduced at the NLA Spring Meetings (public library section). A copy of the NebrasKard library agreement was distributed there and some libraries have already returned it. A suggestion was made to develop a press release for local libraries to use with their local media.

LSTA reauthorization

There has been little action since the last Council meeting. Legislation is expected to be introduced at some point during this Congressional session.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) also directly funds National Leadership Grants. The categories are: education and training; digitization and preservation and research and demonstration. The IMLS has received fewer applications each year since the beginning of the National Leadership grants were first offered four years ago.

Nancy Busch noted the Nebraska Library Commission is part of a cooperative IMLS grant application submitted for a digitization project. Several states have partnered for this cooperative grant application. An announcement concerning these grants is expected sometime in September. This project will relate to Trails (e.g. Mormon Trail, Oregon Trail). The project will allow photo and map collections to be digitized. Funding would help local institutions have a certain number of items digitized and provide access to them.

Elementary and Secondary Education Act

Reauthorization of the ESEA is currently before the Congress. An amendment has been approved to provide funding for school libraries for library materials, database subscriptions, and training for school librarians.


More public libraries participated this year than in the past.

Children's Internet Protection Act

This act affects every library that participates in the E-rate telecommunications services discount program. The most recent information states that beginning July 1, libraries should be involved in a process to determine actions necessary to comply with the CIPA. By October 28, they must certify compliance with the CIPA.

At this time, it is prudent for libraries to proceed as if the law will be in effect. It is unclear how or when the lawsuits will be decided.

Libraries of Promise/Service Learning

Sally Snyder noted that several meetings with Julie Allen of the Student Involvement office at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln have been held. Julie works with several programs that involve college students throughout Nebraska in Service Learning projects. Service Learning is described as an organized program that allows students to get hands-on experience in the real world while also making a difference for a community or in people's lives. Service Learning students are not paid in cash, but are paid in vouchers that go toward college tuition.

Mary Jackson, Richard Miller, and Sally Snyder have met with Julie Allen to discuss ways college students could provide assistance to public libraries, connecting the Libraries of Promise campaign with Service Learning. Librarians will be given the opportunity to request a student to help the library reach a goal or provide a program connected with Libraries of Promise. A grant application to the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission for an AmeriCorps grant was written and submitted by Julie Allen. If received, this grant will provide for the vouchers students receive after participating in the program. We expect to hear sometime later in June if the application is accepted.

A meeting was held May 11 with some public librarians, children's librarians, college students and other members of the Service Learning office. Librarians were asked how they might use a Service Learning student at their library, and what steps should be taken to move the program forward. Planning for the next steps continues while we wait to hear if the grant application is funded.

Making a Difference Project

Nancy Busch distributed a one-page handout. A website has been created and it will be continuously changing. To date, 46 sites have been scheduled for visits, with 20 staff members involved. Staff members meet every Thursday morning for discussion of visits.

Visits have been successful, with stories of successes and challenges the local library has experienced. Dialogue sessions cover future library service needs; involving the librarian and any others they wish to invite: board members, community members, etc. The information from the library visits and dialogue sessions is being collected and will be analyzed for reporting to the Institute of Museum and Library Services and for use in preparing a new long range plan.

A suggestion was made that the Library Commission should contact Nebraska Public Radio about this project for additional publicity of this project.

Library Staffing: Recruitment, Retention, Education and Training, Financial Aid Discussion:

* It was suggested a school model might work.

* An endowment might work. The example of a church experience was given. It is a self-help/can-do model. This model might be received more positively by the state (or other funding sources) if libraries are bringing some funds to the table.

* Public funding for public institutions is an issue, if an endowment is used for some of the annual expenses.

* Another suggestion is the medical example: pay for the education of an individual who serves the community for an agreed to number of years as payback. Salaries and benefits need to be raised to peak interest.

* Education is another issue. Becky Pasco's advisory group is addressing it;

* Financial aid for students is also important. Existing scholarships are available but still affect just a few people a year.

Action recommended by SACL members:

* Change your comparability for salary data.

* Could the Commission put out a suggested salary schedule for different levels of librarians? - Rod stated we could look into what other states have done in regards to salary issues.

* Some Nebraska communities need to do a comparability study on a regular basis (Florida has a recent statewide project).

* Invite Bob Grover, Emporia State University, to meet with Council members to discuss availability of graduates.

* Another aspect is the teacher shortage in Nebraska; which also means there is a shortage of media specialists.

* Early childhood education and enrichment is an important piece. Libraries provide many opportunities for this and need to let government officials know how important it is.

* Success stories - one-page summaries that can be shared with many different groups.

Council Roundtable

Ruth Seward: received an LSTA grant and thanked the Commission. Her grant will purchase Bi-Fokal kits, multi-sensory kits to use at intergenerational gatherings. This is a cooperative project with the Grand Generation Center in Lexington. Lexington Public Library has a new web page .

Ruth met with the summer school coordinator last week. They will have 390 Pre-Kindergarten - 2nd grade children attend the library once a week. That means programs of 20-minute increments on four days a week. The fifth day is the Summer Reading program activity day.

Lexington Public Library is going to enter into a 3-year research project with the National Science and Computer Foundation in San Diego. There will be some reporting to do in connection with it. They are one of 30 sites in the U.S.

Sally Payne: Introduced herself as the NLA representative to the Council. She has been focusing on the Fall Conference. The program and forms will be included in the NLAQ and NEMA News this summer. Toni Reese, is the new Children's Librarian at the Sump Memorial Library and is doing a great job.

Jeff Yost: stated he enjoys learning about libraries.

John Dale: Lincoln City Libraries also received an LSTA grant. New library buildings are on schedule for February 2002. Branch supervisors are the first staff they will bring on board, the library is conducting the search right now. New staff will increase the library staff by 25%. This is the fifth or sixth year the library has cooperated with Lincoln Public Schools for the summer reading program. This has increased the program from about 5,000 annually to about 8,000 kids annually.

Karen Drevo: Attended the Cooperative Summer Library program in Boise, Idaho. The 2002 theme is "Join the Reader's Circle @ your library", 2003 theme will be a comedy base, 2004, anniversary of Lewis and Clark, with "Trail Of Discovery @ Your Library". Summer reading program, already have many children signed up. Asking people to send postcards to the library from trips, and photos of people reading in different places. The library will be hosting special programs for migrant children. July 28 is the Literature Festival.

Kay Schmid: Hruska Memorial Library hosted one of the NLA Spring meetings. Approximately 60 librarians attended. The library recently received an LSTA grant. Rural schools are excited about the library's catalog being available on the web. An alumni art exhibit from the class of 1961 was displayed in the library. One piece was donated to the library. This is the 5th year of the new building and the 110th year of library service. So, as a fund-raiser, for $110 a person can buy a chance to win the painting.

Jane Wall: Media centers are being changed quite a bit this year. In Grand Island, Media Specialists are now called Integration Specialists. The name change also brought added responsibilities such as being in charge of technology, media integrations, and the program for gifted students. This change will be implemented next year in the elementary schools, later to the middle and high schools.

Steve Davis: The school received five applications for one position. One of the middle schools will be open one afternoon a week for the students. An Open House for National Library Week will be held at Horizon Middle School. A mural around the top of the media center at Horizon Middle School is being designed and sketched by the UNK students, and local youth will paint it. NEMA also is preparing for the fall conference.

John Seyfarth: Sump Memorial Library is installing a Spanish language computer; it will be interesting to see how it is used.

Jim Bothmer: The School of Pharmacy is starting a distance program in the fall. McGoogan lost the regional medical library contract to Utah.

Maggie Harding: NLA membership committee is looking at change in the association dues structure. Everyone will automatically be added to the listserv; you will be able to take yourself off. Some e-mail addresses are not current; please let Maggie know if you have a new e-mail address. Let Maggie know if you do not receive your NLAQ, which will be mailed soon. Centennial Project for the Library Commission, there is lots of interesting information on the home page.

Charlotte Kumor: Thanks for coming to Ogallala. Ogallala also hosted one of the NLA Spring meetings and 55 people attended. Goodall City Library also received an LSTA grant. Last Wednesday was the start of the Summer Reading program and many children attended. The library had a study done on the feasibility of adding on to the library; the Library Board is working on the building issue.

Susan Baird: Will become Executive Director of the Box Butte Development Corporation beginning July 1. The Systems sent in an LSTA grant application for digital cameras and scanners for each System Office for libraries to use. Pat Wagner will be here in August for Budget and Priority training. The Leadership Institute project deadline has been extended; please contact the System Office if are interested. It will also be in August, a date has not yet been set.

Michael LaCroix: Each student at Creighton is required to pay a technology fee; this supports technology for the campus. The libraries can apply for funds for technology. Some wireless computers are being installed for Internet access. Also will be a few NIX units students can check out and use with their own laptops. External antennas will also be installed for students to work outside as well. Creighton's 125th anniversary will be in 2003 and a team is working on researching information in preparation for a celebration. Databases are a growing expense for the libraries; book funds are shrinking in order to cover the costs. There is a demand from students and faculty for the electronic databases.

Mike Herbison: UNK is applying for the Arbuthnot lectureship. To date they have received 25 letters of support for it. The Lectureship has been awarded only once in the Midwest to date. UNK will hear soon after the ALA conference this summer. The library met with 50-60 different high school classes to introduce them to the web. This was the first year for a program bringing new students from Japan. Sixty students attended this year. Once again, the library received no increase in acquisitions funds. The University of Nebraska - Lincoln is spending over $500,000 on electronic databases this year.

Stan Gardner: Distributed two brochures to Council Members. Goal is to be able to go anywhere on campus and connect, wireless, to the campus system. They are putting together a list of space consultants and are planning to bring someone in to evaluate space use and how best to use it. They may need to consider adding to the building. They are establishing a Friends of the Library this summer. The support staff are undergoing a review of their positions. The computer information systems faculty is moving into the older section of the library basement. Duct work and air conditioning for that area will be added. They are planning to review the materials in the book exam center, if the material is four years old or older it will be removed and placed in the K-12 library or given to the public or school library. Have about 1,000 items to review this year. About 6,000 items in the collection. Northeast System Summer Institute is next week at Wayne State College. Internet Research Skills is a new class on the web starting next week. Is a 3-month time period, continuous enrollment.

Mo Khamouna: New courses will be offered this fall: Information Technology, Agricultural Journalism, Critical Thinking, and Golf Course Management. Sports Turf Management is a new approach for the former Turf Management program. Student surveys state that some materials are too old, and more computers are needed. They received a $7,500 grant from the Bernard K. and F. Norma Heurmann Foundation. The Library Team was voted Management Team of the Year.

Tom Schmitz: HHSS Library Technology Consortium received an LSTA grant. Interconnectivity is Phase III (WebCollection Plus) of their plan. Tom, and others, will give a panel presentation at NLA/NEMA next fall concerning their consortium work and approach to technology advancement. NAIL was working on a separate Institutional Librarians certification program for Basic Skills, but they are now considering using the Public Library Basic Skills courses.

Unfinished Business

Nebraska Income Tax

Rod Wagner commented that legislation would be needed in order to include a check-off box on the Nebraska state income tax form for voluntary contributions to a library fund. The Game and Parks Commission receives approximately $60,000-$70,000 a year from their check-off box. There is some concern that Senators may consider the check-off box as adequate and substitute source of funds for Nebraska library aid and choose not to appropriate additional state funds through the appropriations process. It was asked if this matter be reviewed with the Legislature's Revenue Committee. A further question was whether voluntary contributions collected through an income tax form check-off be earmarked for a specific use?

Recommendations and Resolutions:

An effort should be made to obtain additional funding for financial aid for scholarships for Nebraska MLS students. A question was raised whether the Continuing Education grants fit in this category? - a reply to this question was "yes" the educational grants funds could be a source for scholarship assistance.

A motion was made by Mo Khamouna to recommend to the Nebraska Library Commission that Continuing Education grant funds be used for scholarships for Nebraska MLS students; Susie Baird seconded motion. Motion voted on and approved

It was recommended that a thank-you letter be sent to the Appropriations Committee from the Council.

The Council expressed appreciation and thanks to Kathy Lute for her work in providing for meals, facilities, and other activities for the Council.

Next Meetings

September 7 in Norfolk, meeting will be held at the Norfolk Public Library. November 8 and 9 in Lincoln, meeting will be held November 8 at the Nebraska Library Commission.


Meeting adjourned at 1:16 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.