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Meeting Minutes

Lincoln, Nebraska

June 10, 1994

Present: B. Baker, Dr. E. Baker, B. Behsman, V. Bialac, D. Crews, L. Cundiff, E. Epp, J. Leader, S. Mason, P. Sheridan, C. Speicher, S. Wiegert.

Staff: J. Minges, S. Snyder, R. Wagner.

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

Verda Bialac moved, and Brenda Behsman seconded, the agenda be approved as received. The motion carried. Dr. Elmer Baker moved, and Laura Cundiff seconded, the minutes of the March 11, 1994 meeting be approved as received. The motion carried.

NLC Report

Rod Wagner noted some staffing matters to the Council. Annie Sternburg will begin July first as Online Services Librarian at the Commission. She was most recently at Emporia State University. Internet training and consulting will be a large part of her job at NLC. Rod also noted the last interview will be held next week for the Network Services Director position. We hope to make the appointment sometime next week.

Saturday, June 11, is the graduation ceremony for the Emporia students enrolled in the Nebraska program. Approximately fifty people are graduating.


Rod Wagner disbursed a document from ALA titled "Reinventing the Library Services and Construction Act" (LSCA). A number of organizations have been working on proposals to replace LSCA when it expires this year. There has been interest in introducing new features as well as continuing some features of the current legislation. The Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) was the first to put a proposal together, other groups have developed proposals as well. There has been some disagreement of what should be included in the new legislation. A breakthrough came in late April when groups came together and reached agreement. This document contains most of the COSLA proposal and incorporates a piece from Urban Libraries Council concerning funding for children in poverty. This program is state based: states develop a plan and use the funds to address issues in their state based on the plan. This document will be discussed extensively at the ALA conference in Miami later this month. There is a strong desire to leave the conference with a clear indication of support for this or an amended proposal. This gives states a good deal more flexibility in use of the federal funds, and also addresses current issues such as technology, children in poverty, etc. The proposal calls for significantly more funding than the current LSCA. The legislation sets a maximum amount that can be appropriated. The actual appropriation can be less. Congress will develop its own program for LSCA. Still, a common position from the library world is important message to sent to Congress.

Rod Wagner also updated Council members on activities of the state Legislature. The Legislature closed without advancing the bill revising public library laws. The Legislature did adopt a resolution calling for an interim study. The General Affairs Committee will assign staff to work on public library legislation and try to resolve some differences that were expressed during the past session. This gives librarians a chance to rethink the legislation, perhaps make some changes, and come back with legislation for next session. Randy Moody and Ken Winston have met to plan the interim study. The NLA/NEMA conference this fall will have a session on legislation where librarians can discuss and contribute ideas for the public library laws. It is a time to add features or make some changes to the legislation.

Telecommunications update:

Telecommunications is both a state and federal issue. There has been a good deal of publicity about it lately. The Library Commission is dealing more and more with technology issues.

The State Information Technology Commission was formed to provide recommendations to the Governor and the Legislature after the first of the new calendar year. NLC has been working with them on grant applications for the Department of Commerce NTIA funds. One project is to complete a needs assessment on technology for libraries and state government. An implementation grant from NTIA funds, initiated by UNO, includes funds for Nebraska Online and technology assistance for some demonstration libraries to install Internet access. Even with 1300 applications submitted Nebraska has a good chance to be funded. Between October and December work would take place to identify the library piece of the project. An implementation plan for the project could also be prepared for the new round of NTIA funds. It is anticipated there will be three times as much funds available next year. Libraries are identified as one of seven areas for involvement for funding.

The Library Commission is also working with a group of state agencies, including the Secretary of State, Department of Motor Vehicles, State Courts Administration, and the Department of Administrative Services to develop a request for proposals for service to provide access to state government records.

A recent development is a proposal for a Nebraska Information Network. The concept was initiated by some of the telephone companies, to work with state government to build and strengthen a Nebraska state infrastructure so libraries and others have a state of the art telecommunications network in place. Cable companies may also be involved with the project. 80% of phone companies in Nebraska have agreed to provide funding to the non-profit organization to run the project. A state government task force has been formed to determine how to work with this idea. Rod Wagner is a member of the task force.

Resource Sharing Advisory Committee:

Rod Wagner reported the Library Commission has not as yet worked on the recommendations received from the Resource Sharing Advisory Committee. One of the tasks of the new Network Services Director will be to help address this issue.

State Advisory Council on Libraries: Vision, Mission, Goals

Rod Wagner gave a brief history of the State Advisory Council. The 1972 amendments to the Library Services and Construction Act (LSCA) required each state to form a state advisory council. States have and do use their advisory council in different ways. In some states the council approves grant requests, in other states the council only meets once a year. The Library Commission, over time, has used the Council in a broad way: to advise on a variety of library needs, representing libraries of all types. The Council Bylaws state it is organized to provide advice to the Library Commission on the Long Range Plan and to advise the Commission on issues as assigned. The Council is the formal body organized to make recommendations to the NLC. Any resolutions or recommendations the Council adopts are presented to the Commissioners. Special committees are formed as needed to discuss specific issues. The Talking Book and Braille Service has a separate Advisory Committee.

How might the Council contribute to library development in the state? Council members agreed to brainstorm first, then develop consensus on the Council, and finally set goals for the remainder of the year.

new members to the Council meet with Commission staff an hour before or after the first meeting, NLC staff would describe the Library Commission and Council responsibilities.

Education about what other types of libraries are doing, e.g. what are colleges doing with technology; K-12 schools & technology, etc.

Standing committees on certain topics, updated on issues between meetings, so could have input on those issues.

Subcommittees, members would be assigned the responsibility of reporting to the group and then to the entire Council on what's happening in the state on that topic.

Report back to the Council about what people did with recommendations, or ideas discussed at meetings. (What were the results of the Council forming recommendations and resolutions.)

Information on training and continuing education available.

NLC staff come to Council meetings and inform on what they are doing re: technology etc. The state will have informed Council members.

Possible meeting parameters: committee would get report rather than the entire Council.

What will be most helpful to NLC? Bring ideas in, react to items, help communicate back to others? Rod stated it is helpful for Council members to communicate to others what the Council and NLC are doing and bring those peoples' ideas to the meetings, provide two-way communication. It is also helpful for Council members to research information, etc. to be prepared for the meetings.

The minutes need to come out soon after the meeting. The are helpful for sharing information about the Council.

Place a form in the NLCommunicator for librarians to fill out and return for the Council to discuss. The form could contain the opportunity to list concerns, ideas, etc. Also let the state know who is on the Council so librarians know who to talk to. Forward the information gathered to Council members in that area. Other methods of information exchange: Nebraska Online, Internet...


new members understand the function of the Council. (Do we need manual for members as a starting point for them?)

Likes the fact that the Council changes from year to year, allows for change in how the Council addresses issues etc.

Hearing about what the Council has done in the past helps give a basis for new members to understand its function and possibilities for future meetings.

The Council needs to choose an area or areas to focus on for the year. The technology emphasis this year may contribute to the vagueness of Council goals due to the rapid change and activity in the area. The Council, for one topic, can choose to track national legislation for this year and wait for state legislation until next year. NLC looks to the Council for ideas and advice, and a two-way exchange of information and ideas.

Legislation is an important issue and more concrete than technology is right now. The ADA may need to be addressed also by the Council. Legislation and technology can mesh re: legislation is needed to provide technology: e.g. what is free and what isn't.

Another value of the Council is in bringing issues and information to NLC from others in the state. We may want to schedule meeting time for each member to bring such information to the meeting. Need to advertise who is on the Council in order to collect information from others. A booth at NLA/NEMA saying who is on the Council and that they want information from others. Could put a page in the information packet at NLA/NEMA for people to learn about the Council and respond with ideas. Overtones in past has run information on the Council and listed members. A story could also be placed in NLAQ and the System newsletters.

It was also requested the time be scheduled at meetings for NLC staff to inform members about what is happening in the state, e.g. the Plattsmouth situation, new projects, etc., so members can be informed when others talk to them.

Next meeting:

- overview of state projects (what's happening in state)

- roundtable of issues members bring to meeting

- committees meet, as needed

Jeanne Leader, Carol Speicher and Dena Crews will synthesize the ideas written on the paper by Verda Bialac.

National Information Infrastructure (NII): A Discussion of the Department of Commerce Report

Discussion was held on the 36 page item from Ron Brown included in the packet mailed to Council members prior to the meeting. The national task force welcomes comments and ideas concerning a national information infrastructure. The Council response to Ron Brown: (what the Council advocates for Nebraska libraries)

- biggest challenge is training the people, and getting them to use it.

- NLC train librarians

- coordination of educational opportunities: NLC, Systems, Education facilities -- need to hear where and when it time to attend. those without computers some are still attending information session about technology, including training. need to communicate w/ them in print.

- basic skills courses could include technology

- ex. Spring meetings. Internet or other adult level sessions are scheduled against children's services issues. need to be able to attend both.

- educate librarians on why need Internet, what will do for them.

National Goal:

- Nebraska needs to create a feeling of need across the state so librarians will take it to their boards and communicate the needs and benefits of connection.

- A personal connection can make the difference, for example: Seward went to Milford and demonstrated Nebraska Online, now Milford uses it all the time.

- Chadron and Papillion are planning within their respective communities for Internet. Seward has a committee just developed to address Internet access. Omaha is also meeting & discussing.

- Suggestions for the new NLC staff person, what are the most important things for next year:

- talk to Chris Hoy re: what things are happening in many Nebraska communities.

- ways to access Internet

- something specific re: why libraries should have Internet, examples of specific benefits.

- visit some small libraries to see where people are, do this early to get feel a for Nebraska and libraries in the state

- expertise to evaluate where a particular library is, and recommend what to do next to move to next step

- way for neighbors to share experience and expertise (Seward example from above)

- workshops to train and/or get information to librarians

Comments to Ron Brown on the Report (in packet, same as above):

Go to the Commerce Department re: the issue of government information sold to private organizations who charge big fees for that same information. Affordable access to information is an issue. (see p. 24)

Assure that the Library of Congress is given sufficient funding to continue to provide electronic information, e.g. cataloging of materials, so the information is available electronically.

No real library can be without a computer and telecommunications access.

Issue is funding for small libraries. There is also must educate city governments about the need for telecommunications in libraries.

The meeting recessed for lunch at 12:10, and reconvened at 1:40 p.m.

Jim Minges updated the Council on the Continuous Library Improvement Program (CLIP). A planning model has been developed and NLC is taking some steps to encourage libraries to do planning. NLC staff are working with the Heartland Center on this program. A notebook has been developed and four workshops have been held on how to use a planning process. Approximately 200 people attended, representing 70 libraries. System Administrators and NLC staff will offer support for libraries requesting it. We are also planning opportunities for participants to get together and discuss how its going. Beginning in 1997, the state aid program will be structured so a portion goes to all accredited public libraries and a portion to those who have completed a planning process. Our goal was to present a process sufficiently simplified so it can be done on a continuous basis from year to year. A planning process offers the opportunity for a community to address some of the issues we have discussed in our meeting today. Libraries and communities are not required to use a particular process, different planning processes are accepted.

Libraries and Library Media Centers: Information Technology Applications

Rod Wagner reminded the Council of the morning's discussions. That the State Advisory Council wants to be seen as a strong library advocate, more directly involved in communicating with NLC and librarians in the state, and being visible in terms of its function and roles. The Council can be very active in promoting Nebraska libraries and their needs. Jim Minges suggested the Council consider recommendations or challenges, from the Council to Nebraska libraries and librarians related to a national and a Nebraska information infrastructure. The Council can write some clear goals or challenges for libraries in the state, and think about what the Council can do to further libraries toward this goal or goals.

Challenge to Ne Libraries and Librarians:

Librarians are encouraged to be assertive/aggressive for is difficult for librarians and for the public, a new image. Librarians must be taught to be assertive/aggressive and NOT back down. Must have the funding before can get the computer(s) etc.

There needs to be a point at which libraries are reading centers, or primarily for children, and some are information centers. Libraries must reach this conclusion themselves.

If a library defines itself as a reading room, it should receive no state aid. Funds must go to those who are using technology. Time will be needed to bring this about. NLC will feel the heat.

NLC can promote alternative ways for access to information in some communities, e.g. the next library down the road? the county agent?

Not always a matter of money for smaller communities, many small communities have computers and modems. Also many have funding but no computer.

In the Northeast Library System, approximately 95% of accredited libraries have computers and modems.

The Public Library Guidelines say computer access to Nebraska Online, NEON, circulation system, online catalog, etc. is all optional. None is required at this point. Should technology become a required guideline?

Are grants available for small libraries to acquire computers, etc? Those library directors and boards that are assertive/aggressive go out and get grants, they don't give up.

Libraries will provide access to the Internet for patrons by the year 2000. If not directly, then through a cooperative with another library or organization. Libraries in towns of a designated population size will meet goal by 1998 and others by year 2000.

Not realistic to expect all libraries to meet goal. May want to focus on accredited libraries and issue challenge to them.

If there is a site where this is already happening, use it as an example to encourage others. This will do more than any demand from NLC. Hyannis for example.

NLC has to keep talking about county and district libraries to keep the idea in librarians minds.

Challenge: Library\ies to serve as models to others in the state, and are willing to give training and mentoring to others. System Administrators may help identify libraries and librarians who could do this.

The first library to put together a county system should get reward. Holdrege is currently doing that. Recognize what they are doing and use them as demonstration site.

National Information Infrastructure:

Librarians/trustees will:

1995 -- Be a part of community planning or be a catalyst
1994 -- will be an advocate for technological access to information
1994 -- be aware of developments in technology and awareness of the benefits
1996 -- form partnerships to provide access to information via technology if not be one themselves
1994 -- know what is in their trust/memorial funds, encourage giving and using it
2000 -- have a foundation by year 2000
1996 and ongoing -- will be technologically literate

Libraries will:

1997, 1998 -- have access at library (1997) or at home (1998) to information geared to the individual (technology)
-- provide the above as a basic service
-- share their local resources
-- develop local partnerships (public and private organizations)
-- educate patrons as to resources available at "home" and "next door"

Governments will:

-- be a part of a library unit providing services to an entire district or county
-- provide the equitable means to have a statewide library card (through tax on dwellers outside municipal taxing district)

Becky Baker will edit the above challenges. Jeanne Leader and Sally Snyder will assist.

How does the Council want to use/communicate the above information?

put it with the purposes of the Council. generated these challenges. include with NLComunicator, NE Online, newsletters,...

Sharon Mason will write a brief history for NLAQ.

Next meeting agenda to include 1) a statewide overview of technology projects going on. 2) Invite Chris Hoy to attend, talk about telecommunication project in West Point. 3) Go around table about what is happening in your areas re: technology (a few minutes each). 4) Legislative update. 5) Challenge from SACL to libraries -- progress report. Look at what was written. 6) what's happening in other states, legislation, statewide library cards. 7) meet new NLC staff people.

Rod Wagner will check on a booth for the Council at NLA/NEMA. People willing to staff the booth during the conference will have a chance to volunteer. Identify Council members with an item on their name badges at the conference.

The next Council meetings are Sept 9 and Dec 2. The September meeting will start with coffee at 8:30, meeting at 9:00. Plan to meet until 3. The December meeting may be via two-way video.

There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 2:57 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Sally Snyder

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.