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Meeting Minutes

University of Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Curtis, Nebraska

July 18, 2003 Minutes

State Advisory Council members present: Tracy Bicknell-Holmes, Jim Bothmer, Janice Boyer, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Nancy Escamilla, Maggie Harding, Theresa Jehlik, Diana Johnson, Mo Khamouna, Sharon Osenga, Ruth Seward, and John Seyfarth.

Commissioners: Kristen Rogge, Wally Seiler, and Velma Sims-Shipley.

Staff: Maria Medrano-Nehls, Cherie Longmuir, Pam Scott, and Rod Wagner. Guest: Kevin Leapley

Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Don Woodburn, Dean of the College of Technical Agriculture, welcomed the group. Dr. Woodburn noted the accreditation process and plans for library improvements. The Regents have approved $50,000 to increase the library collection. This will increase the library budget to $100,000 a year. The computer lab that shares space with the library will be moving to a new building and the library will expand to fill the space.

Approval of the Agenda: A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion approved.

Approval of Minutes (March 14, 2003). Sharon Osenga asked for a correction on page 3, the name should read David Patneaude. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. Motion approved.


LSTA Reauthorization and Funding - There are many reasons to be optimistic that the reauthorization bill will pass. It has solid support in the House of Representatives. The bill was passed with only two dissenting votes. Reauthorization legislation has been introduced in the Senate. Fifty Senators have signed on as co-sponsors. The legislation includes a provision to increase the base allotment for each state. However, the appropriation level must be sufficient to permit the higher base grant amount.

Several Nebraska library representatives attended National Library Legislative Day in Washington, D.C. in May. They met with staff of the Nebraska Congressional delegation and spoke to them about LSTA, ESEA, E-rate and other issues. If the Library Commission's budget allows, it would be good to include a State Advisory Council representative in Legislative Day activities next year.

Literacy Through School Libraries Act (ESEA) - Rod Wagner reported that the target is to increase the funding nationally to $100 million. That amount would allow each state an allocation from the appropriation. Currently, grants are made at the national level on a competitive basis and not every state receives funds.

State Budget Outlook and State Legislative Issues - Rod Wagner reported that in January the Governor proposed a 10% budget cut for most state agencies to balance the state budget. The Legislature took a different approach and combined budget cuts with tax increases. The final budget followed the Legislature's actions. Initially, the appropriations committee followed the Governor's recommendation for the Library Commission's operating budget. Later, the committee added back about $89,000 for the Talking Book and Braille Service. The Library Commission's operating budget will be reduced by $134,000 as a result of the biennium appropriation actions. The appropriations committee followed the Governor's recommendation in regard to the Library Commission's state aid appropriation. State aid funds were reduced by 10%. State aid fund reductions have been applied across-the-board and include reductions for the state aid to public libraries grants, interlibrary loan compensation, regional library systems, continuing education grants, children and youth services grants, and on-line database licenses.

Library Skills Education Programs - Pam Scott reported that Deb Robertson, Northeast Community College Library Services Director, had approached the Library Commission with the idea for a college program for persons who didn't want a master's degree in library science but wanted more intense training than the basic library skills courses offered by the Library Commission. Several meetings have been held including representatives from community colleges, Library Commission, regional library systems, and the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Project participants have developed an outline of proposed courses that could lead to a certificate, or a two year associate's degree. All of Nebraska's community colleges have been invited to participate, with the hope that a library associate program will be a cooperative program among the community colleges. A program outline will be submitted to college officials for consideration with the goal to offer a course or courses beginning in the fall 2004.

Gates Foundation - Pam Scott reported that the program to provide public access computers, software, and training is reaching its conclusion. The training was very good and convenient for the librarians. The Commission is now providing training for the Gates computers. Gates Foundation staff will offer grants to State Library Agencies for computer updating and technical support. The Nebraska Library Commission will apply for the grants.

Implications of Supreme Court Ruling re Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) - Pam Scott reported that the Supreme Court has upheld the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Public libraries receiving e-rate telecommunication services discounts or receiving LSTA grants to purchase internet access computers or use the monies for internet access will be affected by the CIPA filtering stipulation. There is still a question of what constitutes "filtering" and Pam is recommending that libraries not do anything about filtering until the word "filter" is defined.

Public libraries must be working on or have in place an Internet use policy that covers the five areas stated in CIPA. The policy must be discussed in a public meeting. A board meeting is acceptable in meeting this requirement as long as it was open to the public. Adults may ask for the filter to be disabled.

Library Workforce Recruitment and Retention Task Force - Rod Wagner reported that this group will meet on August 1. The most recent activity is the development of a grant application submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for a three year program to develop recruitment resources, construct an exhibit, and produce a video for use in movie theaters and other locations. Grant funds would be used for financial aid in support of community college library courses, MLS scholarships, and leadership training for mentors.

Republican Valley Library System - Kevin Leapley, Administrator

Kevin Leapley reported that Blue Hill has a new library. Susan Franklin, RVLS Administrative Assistant, is working on her MLS. Many RVLS libraries are purchasing Follett software and discussing computer security. The Holdrege bookmobile has been cancelled; this has affected the small communities surrounding Holdrege. The regional library systems have collaborated on a grant to purchase Webcollection.

Council Roundtable

Cherie Longmuir reported that the Timestep Players performed at 22 Panhandle libraries and 13,000 children attended the performances. The Panhandle Library System (PLS) purchased a one year subscription of Learn-A-Test. This database provides occupational and educational practice tests. Summer reading programs are experiencing large attendance. Lots of training is occurring this summer, such as E-rate, Gates Foundation, Database Roadshow, and NEMA's Technology Institute.

The PLS annual meeting included a program on how to develop a web site and a program on how to develop a stronger relationship with school library programs in the System. The Panhandle Library System has three school library media specialists on the board and that should help to develop relationships with the schools. Cherie has visited every public library in the PLS region and most of the academic and school libraries; she is also working on the PLS two-year plan.

Maggie Harding reported that the Nebraska Library Association has 736 paid members. Maggie is mailing "we miss you" notices to lapsed members. NLA is developing a Life Long Giving program. Information brochures will be mailed soon. NLA is revamping the mailing list. Since sections and committees seldom use the list, they will be consolidated into the all-list, with the subject line stating the group the message is intended for.

Tracy Bicknell-Holmes reported that the NLA membership is working hard on a variety of projects. The NLA - NEMA conference information is on the NLA web page. NLA has a new domain name

There is a proposal that is going to the membership this fall to change the NLA's fiscal year. Currently, there is no consistency in the change of officers, fiscal year, and membership. The proposal is to change everything over to a July to June fiscal year. The board will vote on the proposal at the summer meeting in 2004.

Tracy reported that the UNL Libraries staff has been busy finishing a serial prioritization project. They are attempting to get their depository retrieval center approved by the Regents. In the process of reducing the number of department chairs in the library, they have downsized from 7 to 4. Many faculty and staff retired this spring. Nancy Busch has been named the new Associate Dean and they have received permission to fill the head of technology services. The UNL Libraries budget hasn't been determined yet.

Jim Bothmer reported that Creighton University will host the mid-continental chapter of the Medical Library Association conference. The chapter includes seven states. Jim participated in the National Library of Medicine video conference on July 17. The Creighton Health Sciences Library is working with the Creighton University Medical Center to digitize patient information materials. Creighton University is beta testing a product from Stanford University, LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe). This product will preserve electronic content. Creighton has a record number of admissions. This year is Creighton's 125th anniversary. Many activities are planned to celebrate the anniversary.

Mo Khamouna reported that the College of Technical Agriculture's budget will be reduced. The extent of the budget reduction is not known at this time. Mo is researching schools to work on his master's degree in library science. He is planning to add CatExpress this year to support the library's technical service processes.

Ruth Seward reported that Lexington Public Library finished its summer reading program with a participant increase of 30%. The finale for the program was entertainment by BEAT, a group of honor students from Ainsworth. They are on the second leg of their Children's Excellence grant, and will be taking 8 children and 4 adults to the Norfolk literature festival. The first part of the grant was to take 8 children to the Willa Cather conference in Red Cloud and the last part of the grant will be to take 8 children to the literature festival in Seward.

Ruth Seward reported that during the month of June the library held tours for summer school students. This year Ruth held four tours every week and had 250 students. They had more students request library cards than in past years. Ruth announced that she will be making a job change this year; beginning August 1 she will be a media specialist for the Lexington public schools.

Pam Scott reported that the continuing education grants application acceptance period has closed. Grants will be announced on August 15. There is still a scholarship available to attend the Small and Rural Libraries Conference in Columbus, Ohio, September 29-October 1. Accreditation applications were mailed this past week.

The NLC's network services staff will do a database "roadshow" to inform library staff of the different databases available. Scholarships are available for persons working on an MLS or PHD in library science.

Diana Johnson reported that Stromsburg held its Swedish festival. About 500 persons visited the library on the Saturday of the festival and there were 100 people who visited the library in three hours on Sunday. The library is completing its summer reading program. A local magician entertained the children at one of the SRP sessions. The library will hold an open house on July 28. Four Polk County libraries held a book fair at the county fair. The library received some Libra books; most of the books are for the 4-6 grade levels.

Sharon Osenga reported that the Oconto library will celebrate its re-opening on July 19. The Oconto library received thousands of donations from all over the world. The library received USDA funds and is now part of the community building. The Meridian Library System is struggling with budget cuts; there will be no more programs. The remaining funds will be used for operating expenses. Sharon attended the ALA conference in Toronto and felt it was a great conference. The Lexington and Gothenburg public libraries are seeking new directors. Sharon reported that the Library Leadership Institute had 26 participants. Sharon noted that the Institute participants created an inspiring vision statement.

Nancy Escamilla reported that the panhandle librarians were thrilled to have Cherie Longmuir as the Panhandle Library System Coordinator. The Scottsbluff library had a record number of children for the summer reading program. 1393 children attended the program and 893 children read 10 books or more. Every child who read 10 or more books got a ticket to the new water park. The Gates Foundation computers have increased the usage to 1,000 persons per month. The Library Board is planning to ask the City Council for a library expansion. Gering Public Library held an adult summer reading program. Last year 250 adults participated. This year 496 participated. Nancy distributed a hand-out which highlighted events of panhandle system area libraries.

Karen Drevo reported that Sally Snyder, Delores Feeken-Schmidt and she attended the CSLP in Reno, Nevada. Karen also attended the ALA conference in Toronto. The library had 2,000 in their summer reading program. Their SRP also included adults. The Norfolk school system received a grant to hold summer school for ESL students. The library did tours and programs for 600 kids attending the summer school program. Due to contributions from Johnny Carson, the library has been able to provide wonderful programs and invite authors, musicians, and storytellers. Some of these programs draw up to 100 people per program. Next week is Norfolk's 9th Annual Literature Festival. The library received no budget cuts and will be able to give staff pay raises. Karen is Chair of SCYP this year and announced the new SCYP web page located on the NLA web site.

Steve Davis reported that NEMA recently held a board retreat in Aurora. The Kearney public school district had no staff cuts. Libraries maintained their budget. The No Child Left Behind program begins this year. Federal funding for schools will be cut by 2/3 next year.

Janice Boyer reported that she hasn't heard yet what the UNO Library budget will be. She has three staff positions open. The UNO Library has a digitization project underway.

Theresa Jehlik reported that the Omaha Public Library's budget prospects are grim. The OPL has been asked to cut its budget by 10%. The library's budget was cut 9% two years ago and 4% last year. The OPL will have a new Director beginning in mid-September.

Kristen Rogge reported that Mr. Wells, also know as Mr. Book Town, plans to return to Brownville. Brownville is now a Book Town and plans to put a large bookstore in the town.

John Seyfarth stated that Consumer Reports recently reported that the best anti-spam product is SA Proxy and it is free. The software can be downloaded from their web site.

Rod Wagner reported that Nancy Busch has accepted the position of Associate Dean and Professor of Libraries at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Nebraska Library Commission will host a reception for Nancy on August 15, 2-4 pm.

Rod stated that LSTA grants will give priority to applications for digitization and English Language Learner projects; other project proposals will also be considered.

Making a Difference @ your library™ -- Communication and Promotion Strategies

Rod Wagner distributed some hand-outs and said the Library Commission staff is distributing information that shows how state aid funds are used. One of the handouts is a piece developed for legislative day; it will be revised soon due to the new budget. Rod asked for discussion on how to develop better understanding on how state funds are used and how they benefit libraries and library users in Nebraska. The other handout describes the electronic databases licensed and provided by the Nebraska Library Commission.

Adoption of Resolutions, Action Items

A motion was made and seconded to send a letter to State Senators thanking them for overriding the budget vetoes and retaining funds for the Talking Book and Braille Service. Motion approved.

A motion and second was made to send a letter to Pam Scott and the library associate degree program committee asking for the addition of a children and young adult service course. Motion approved.

The Council expressed appreciation to Mo Khamouna for hosting the meeting.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.