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Meeting Minutes

State Advisory Council on Libraries
June 13, 1997


Present: Joan Birnie, Phyllis Brunken, John Dale, Susan Baird, Stan Gardner, Michael LaCroix, Ken Oyer, Donna Peterson, Jeanne Saathoff, Troy Strom, Kathy Tooker, Richard Voeltz, Sharon Wiegert and Sally Wise.

Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, Sally Snyder and Annie Sternburg.

Guests Present: Maggie Harding and Pam Scott.

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by Chair, Jeanne Saathoff at 10:05 a.m.. Introductions were given around the table.

Ken Oyer moved and Richard Voeltz seconded the motion that the agenda be approved with the change of lunch at 11:30. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Richard Voeltz moved and Michael LaCroix seconded the motion that the minutes of the March 13 and 14 meeting be approved. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Announcements: Stan Gardner invited the State Advisory Council on Libraries members to visit the Wayne State College, Conn Library. Stan Gardner also encouraged the Council members to visit the Public Library and new construction, 1 block west of existing library building.1


Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA):

A discussion on the Library Services and Technology Act will be held later in the meeting.

Universal Service Fund Telecommunications Discounts

Rod Wagner updated the Council on the potential telecommunication discounts for libraries and schools. The Federal Communications Commission issued their report on May 8. The FCC tightened up a few areas and changed the focus to public libraries and K-12 schools. The federal telecommunications law enacted in 1996 provided that eligibility would be the same as the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), which included virtually any library. The FCC decided to tighten these requirements, a library now has to be a separate budgeting entity.

The Federal school lunch program will be used to determine at what level (from 20 to 90%) the discount for libraries and schools will be. The Nebraska Library Commission's web site has a matrix table that will show the level for communities in Nebraska.

Each library and school must have a technology plan prior to qualifying for the discount: mailings included a worksheet to assist in developing the technology plan. For public libraries, the Library Commission will be the agency to certify that each library has a technology plan and qualifies for the discount. The Nebraska Department of Education will certify schools. The application form, to be completed by each library and school, will be a approximately two pages.

Included in the discounts will be internal wiring, equipment (such as servers), business lines, Internet connections, upgrade or install a dedicated line. We want to be sure schools and libraries are ready to apply for these discounts. There will be a $2.25 billion annual cap, on a first come, first serve basis for the whole country. Education Service Units (ESUs) will be actively involved as well. A meeting will be held in Kearney in mid-July. The earliest date to apply is July 1, 1997. Application forms are not available yet, possibly by late summer or early fall. Existing contracts will also qualify. Discounts can be for existing services, as well as new services.

The Library Commission home page has a section on the Universal Services Fund. It also links the use to other sites, such as the American Library Association home page, with information. The address for the information on the Library Commission home page is: /nsf/universal.html

For the Universal Services Fund as it applies to Nebraska, "rural" is defined as every place outside Lincoln and Omaha.

It was noted that libraries should be alerted to talk to schools to form a consortium. Lottery grants could be a part of the team plan.

State Legislation

Rod Wagner reported on public library legislation. LB 250 passed this year. Changes were made in the statutes to make it easier for citizen initiatives to get a public library issue on a county ballot. LB 250 creates a way for communities within a county to join a county system and makes it more flexible for local governments to add representation to a library board. The bill also allows for determination of personnel issues involved in a municipality joining a county library system.

Phyllis Brunken reported that LB 806 and LB 180 passed. LB 806 was designed to correct some problems created by legislation passed in the 1996 session. The school budget year has a zero budget increase for the upcoming year. The following year school budgets are to be at $1.10 per 1000. This limit will affect some communities and not others. There is a formula based on urban, rural, sparsity, and cultural needs that allows additional funds. The ESUs have a zero budget increase for next year, and take a 50% cut the following year. Beginning in 1998-99, the ESUs will have $9.1 million in a trust fund to support staff development, technology, and instructional resources as care services. This is three million less than the amount currently budgeted for ESUs.

Troy Strom reported on a bill to allow citizens to pay for city services with credit card. A bill passed for contracts to be let out for bid if the contract is over $20,000 (up from $10,000). The property tax issue is still in committee, it would have allowed up to 70 cents rather than keeping it at the 45 cents level.

Biennium Budget

Rod Wagner reported the Legislature did appropriate in their budget $500,000 a year for each year of the biennium. The Governor vetoed the entire amount. The Legislature did not choose to over-ride that part of the veto. The Governor is willing to meet with some library representatives, probably in July.

Council members need to bring their legislator into their library during the summer, fall, or early winter, to let him or her know what the library has, and doesn't have.

Libraries for the 21st Century - - Long Range Plan (discussion)

Where are we, and where do we go from here?

Nancy Busch gave some background information on the development of the draft Long Range Plan. A copy was disseminated to the Council. Members were directed to page seven, to look at Nebraska Library Commission: Priority Goal Areas. Discussion was held on these six areas, and Council members were asked to note any important items that were missing.

Rod Wagner noted that the General Affairs Committee has an interim study resolution that will look at the effect of budget and property tax lids on public libraries sometime this summer and fall.

Discussion included:

Goal Area 1: concerning Resource Sharing, statewide contracts for electronic databases are a high priority item. There is lots of interest across the state for this type of program.

Goal Area 2: are there any plans for a statewide public relations campaign promoting library services?

If public libraries position themselves as the source for reading at home, that would be a positive image which could be a promotion campaign point.

How would it be paid for? NLA?

Are you considering it as an individual effort?

All radio and TV stations play public service announcements.

We need a clear understanding of what the priorities are before a statewide promotion is undertaken.

There may be a role in it for the Council.

Goal Area 3: concerning technology development, we need to focus on how to help libraries prepare themselves for Universal Services funds and Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) opportunities.

Goal Area 4: we need to raise continuing education to new level.

Goal Area 5: concerning populations, a state level needs assessment on a non-English speaking people, to assess needs and develop options to assist.

The meeting recessed at 11:30 a.m. for lunch

The meeting reconvened at 12:40 p.m.

Discussion Continued

Goal Area 2: The design team concept is to bring together different perspectives to look at possible mechanisms for innovative and effective library service, and also look at how the accreditation and certification processes relate to the whole issue.

It is time to start building scenarios as examples of possible mechanisms for this goal area.

Goal Area 3: Technological Development, a brief discussion was held concerning past construction grant requests and the possible future, or lack of, for it.

It is possible to require libraries under a certain size to be part of a larger planning group in order to qualify for a technology grant

Goal Area 3 and 2 are essential partnerships for the future.

The Microsoft grant application required the applicants to seek partners and tell what they were going to do together. It was a good requirement.

Once the new priorities are set, let people know exactly what they are and stick to them.

Goal Area 4: We want the continuing education and training to focus on our priority goal areas.

Goal Area 5: Let us know if you think non-English speaking populations are an important area for service.

Goal Area 6: We should be involved with the Information Technology Committee of Kim Robak.

Nebraska Library Commission Web Site Evaluation (Annie Sternburg):

Annie Sternburg distributed a handout reproducing the Nebraska Library Commission home page sections. A discussion was held on the items available and the design of the home page. Council members gave Annie suggestions and comments concerning the home page.

Council Roundtable (member reports)

Ken Oyer: County integration is continuing. Bergan Mercy Medical Center is acquiring Midlands Hospital.

Phyllis Brunken: Educational Service Unit 7 is updating their web site and putting the media catalog up on the web site. This summer the Midwest Internet Institute will be held in Lincoln on Aug. 11 & 12 A web page is available concerning the Institute.

Joan Birnie: The summer reading program is underway, the theme is good and easy to work with. Budget planning for the Broken Bow Public Library is also underway. The library has been told their will be no increase in spending. A Friends Group is being started. The Eagle scout troop has taken on the library lawn as a project and is working on landscape planning at the present time.

Pam Scott: Panhandle Library System is gearing up for the summer theater session. Officially called the Panhandle Library System Summer Theater program with WNCC Theater West, it is performed at 19 accredited libraries or nearby parks in those communities. It will be held June 16 through the 30, and is titled "Magic Tree." We are presently looking for a mystery author to come to the Panhandle in August. Two libraries in the Panhandle Library System received Microsoft grants and are very excited.

Susie Baird: The Summer Reading Program has just been completed. The program was done in cooperation between the Gering and Scottsbluff's Public Libraries. Gering and Scottsbluff are also planning together. As part of the joint planning process, a survey was recently sent to the public, and a focus group will meet soon. The information gathered has been very interesting. Using the CLIP plan, the Gering Public Library is working toward a building expansion.

Rod Wagner: Thank you to Stan Gardner for hosting the State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting today.

Richard Voeltz: The University of Nebraska - Lincoln academic year has been completed. The library is continuing to turn itself into a learning organization. The card catalog will disappear soon. The library is completing retrospective conversion, weeding the collection, and updating computer software.

Sally Snyder: distributed a list of all libraries that have applied for Title II grants for construction or technology from 1991-1997. The list also indicates which libraries received a grant. A separate document was distributed that lists only the recipients of a 1997 Title II construction or technology grant.

Sally Wise: The University of Nebraska - Lincoln Schmid Law Library has been working on a web site. The Law Library is also developing an institute, for lawyers, on the use of technology in the practice of law. A survey will be sent out this summer or fall to all attorneys to learn what they will need at the law library.

John Dale: Lincoln City Libraries is cautiously optimistic about city budget this year. The library has been working on in-house LAN and will have more to set up. The 5th and 6th 3M self-checkout units have been installed. About 22-30% of the checkouts are going through the unit. The library is hoping to have some certainty on the Northwest site selection for a branch library. The site will be selected by the library board. The Summer Reading Program is also in progress. Staff has introduced the Summer Reading Program to 6,650 kids prior to start of summer.

Sharon Wiegert: The Summer Reading Program has 275 enrolled. It is a tight fit in the meeting room for all the children enrolled in the program. The library has put children's CD-ROM items on computers for children. Six computers are available all day long. An hour limit per person has been placed on the computers.

Troy Strom: Ashland received a Microsoft computer grant. The community is really using it and a time limit has been placed on the computer. A volunteer is automating the library's card catalog system. A new water sprinkler system has been acquired for the library. Also, Ashland is one of the public libraries involved in developing a county-wide plan for Saunders County.

Michael LaCroix: The health science library's hot water heater leaked over the unbound periodicals. They were frozen and then shipped to Texas for freeze-drying. The turn around time will be at least three months due to flooding in Minnesota, etc. Having a disaster plan really made a difference. Every library should have one. Other news is that the library is discarding the shelf list, it will all be electronic now.

Stan Gardner: The Northeast Library System's Institute was held at Wayne State College last week. This is the 14th year it has been held here. The library is now going through the conspectus for collection management and they are learning some interesting facts. A lot of weeding needs to be done. Also, document delivery service to extended campus students has increased 300%.

Jeanne Saathoff: The Summer Reading Program is also underway at Kearney. In addition, the library's budget process has begun. The long range goals have been submitted to the city council. Any cuts to the library budget will be known by next Tuesday. Kearney Tomorrow, the future of Internet, Windows, Excel and etc. classes for the public are very popular. The library has had an overwhelming response from citizens. Presently the library is reworking the home page.

Donna Peterson: The Lincoln Public Schools are bringing schools onto the Dynix system. A district wide network will reach all schools by August 1998. The Library Power project has just completed its 4th year. All 51 sites have now been updated. There has been a 50% turnover rate in media staff in the past few years. The Lincoln school system is looking to collaborate with the city library on several projects.

Kathy Tooker: The Eastern Library System meeting last week was attended by 75. The Children's Librarians Retreat for September will be held at Camp Carol Joy Holling. Douglas county librarians are meeting to discuss how to provide service to all citizens of the county. Current plans are to use the mail.

Maggie Harding: Will begin her first term as the president of Southeast Library System. in July. Richard Miller, Southeast Library System Administrator is leaving for a position at the Library Commission. Southeast Library System's office has to move from Union College. The Library System is currently looking at a site near 57th & R Street in Lincoln. Maggie is also on the Friends board in Crete, the group recently held an ice cream social to raise funds for the summer reading program. The Community technology group in Crete has had one meeting recently.

NLC Internet Policy Statement (discussion)

It was noted a hot link to the Nebraska Intellectual Freedom Handbook needs to be added on the Internet Use Policy page. Phyllis Brunken moved, Ken Oyer seconded the motion to table discussion of the NLC Internet Policy Statement until the September Council meeting. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Council Goals and Organization (discussion)

Bylaws Revisions:

The sub-committee formed at the last Council meeting held a telephone conference call on June 4, 1997. The recommendations for Bylaws changes came from this meeting. Discussion was held on the suggested changes. Two additional changes were recommended by the Council as a whole. The revised draft of Bylaws changes will be distributed to the Council at least ten days prior to the September meeting to meet the requirement of written notice prior to adopting amended Bylaws.

1997 Priority Issues and Agenda

Discussion items for the priority issues and agenda for the Council for 1997 included.

Where can libraries get funding for the projects they want to do? Back to Legislature, is there anywhere else?

Keno funds are used for community betterment projects. Are other town/city councils receptive to the use of funds for library needs. Good source of additional funding in communities with Keno.

Is the Council willing to continue to consider Libraries for the 21st Century a priority?

The Council needs to take an active and positive role to bring all librarians into supporting Libraries for the 21st Century. Universal support is needed to be successful.

An outside observer noted that the Lincoln City Libraries stated that 85% of the respondents said children and youth are most important. Libraries for the 21st Century materials do not mention children. This is a mistake. Everywhere children and youth are considered extremely important. It isn't just Lincoln.

The Art of the long View by Peter Schwartz -- talks about "Global Teenagers"

Be sure to request enough money to accomplish the goals.

Evaluate what we did during this last campaign, and plan for the next.

Should the NLA/NEMA convention include a session on Libraries for the 21st Century? Yes we need to keep it going.


Donna Peterson moved, and Richard Voeltz seconded, that the Council send a letter requesting to have an active role in the technology planning initiative recommended at the Governor's Technology Conference held in Kearney in May. The letter should list all individual Council member names and libraries. The motion carried.

Stan Gardner moved, and Joan Birnie seconded that: the focus of the State Advisory Council on Libraries will continue to be support for Libraries for 21st Century. The motion carried.

Meeting Wrap-Up and Adjournment

Kathy Tooker moved and Stan Gardner seconded the motion to adjourn at 3:15 p.m. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Respectfully submitted

Maria Medrano-Nehls

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.