Skip To Talking Book & Braille Service Content Skip Navigation

Meeting Minutes


September 22, 2000
Western Nebraska Community College in Sidney, Nebraska


State Advisory Council Members Present: Susan Baird, Jim Bothmer, John Dale, Karen Drevo, Jeff Gilderson-Duwe, Michael Herbison, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Kathy Lute, Sylvia Person, Jeanne Saathoff, Tom Schmitz, Ruth Seward, Richard Voeltz and Jane Wall.

Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, and Pam Scott.

Welcome and Introductions

Michael LaCroix welcomed everyone to Sidney and to Western Nebraska Community College and thanked Marcia and Susie for their hospitality.


A motion was made by Richard Voeltz to approve the agenda, seconded by Mike Herbison. Motion approved.


A motion was made by Richard Voeltz to approve the minutes from the June 9, 2000 meeting, and seconded by Susie Baird. Motion approved.


Michael LaCroix stated that at the last meeting he was asked to write to Nebraska's Congressional delegation asking them to support the Federal Depository Library Program. The letters were sent and two of the three representatives have responded.

Michael LaCroix also stated that he sent a letter to the Nebraska Library Commission members on behalf of the State Advisory Council urging support for the NebrasKard. A letter was received from Commission Chair Wally Seiler thanking the State Advisory Council for being supportive of the NebrasKard and stating that the Council's support has made a difference.

Rod Wagner mentioned that he received a news release from Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office. The press release mentions that they are holding a public hearing on October 2nd to discuss areas without public library services. Nebraska is not alone in having areas of our state that lack locally supported public library service. Rod also mentioned that the U.S. Senate has announced October as Children's Internet Safety month. A newspaper clipping regarding the Kearney Public Library and Information Center's NetLIBRARY project was passed around for all to see.

Rod Wagner reported that Becky Pasco, UNO, is working with Emporia State University on a joint MLS program proposal with UNO. This kind of an arrangement would allow some of the courses to be offered at UNO, and would allow the program to be shortened, allowing up to 12 hours to be taken at UNO. Another advantage for Nebraska students is that they would be paying Nebraska resident tuition. ESU/SLIM wants to form an advisory group for the Nebraska based MLS program. No agreement has been made concerning the program proposal at this time.

Panhandle Library System - Susan Baird, Administrator

Susie Baird mentioned that the Panhandle Library System is sponsoring authors Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, September 26,27 and 28, in Alliance, Ogallala, and Gering. The Gear's are award-winning archaeologists and best selling authors.

The Panhandle Library System has sponsored several programs including a Safety Security, Policy workshop, Stress workshop, Audio Visual: hands on repair. Pat Wagner presented a Trustee Training program that was well attended

Susie mentioned that the region participates in a program named "Jobs Alike" where people with the same jobs (science teachers, art teachers, etc.) get together and discuss concerns and issues. Public librarians were the only ones still using this program and now the Media Specialist are also participating in the program.

The Panhandle Library System has a unique program in that the Scottsbluff Public Library has a Juvenile Resource Center, she believes it is the only one (remaining) in the state; it is used frequently by many children librarians.

Reports - Commission Staff and Council Members

Library Commission 2001-2003 Biennium Budget Request

Rod Wagner stated that the Library Commission's biennium budget request had been submitted to the State Budget Office on September 15. Rod discussed the components of the proposal. Federal LSTA funds have remained flat for most of the past decade, and are included in the budget as estimated funds. A big part of any budget is personnel costs. The amount included in the NLC budget will depend on the outcome of collective bargaining and pay policies determined by the Governor and Legislature. The continuation budget request is funds requested to support programs at current activity levels. The NLC has asked for increased funding for travel expenses, library system staff salaries and benefits, and a percentage increase for library system operating expenses. The main emphasis of the budget request, as has been the case for the past four years, is the Libraries for the 21st Century funding initiative. The long-term goal is an increased level of state aid funding of $4 million. The state aid funding request for the upcoming year is an increase of $800,000 over the current level.

The budget request includes funds for additional libraries to acquire the OCLC CatExpress product. Priority two is for "infrastructure," funds that would be used for grants to libraries for purchase and installation of library automated systems, upgrading or replacing current automated systems, adding or upgrading public access computers, telecommunications, and other library technology purposes. These funds would supplement federal LSTA funds. The third funding request is for training, and especially training related to library technology. This past year additional funds were appropriated and allocated for continuing education and training. These funds allow support for programs that would not be possible with existing funds from individual libraries or from library organizations. Libraries and library organizations may apply for these funds.

Another budget item is aid to public libraries, with emphasis on children's and youth services. This budget item related to Governor Johanns priorities in regard to children and youth.

Nebraska Telecommunications Services Initiative

Rod Wagner reported on the State Department of Administrative Services initiative to provide broadband services for public entities. This initiative follows the TINA project (Telecommunications Infrastructure Needs Assessment). It is expected that a Request for Proposals be issued before the end of 2000 and that a prime contractor be in place to begin offering selected services, including broadband, by December 1, 2001. The intent is for a prime contractor to sub-contract with telecommunications services providers and that a catalog of services would be offered to public entities (state and local). Not all services and not all areas would be available on the start date. As for many major projects, this project would be phased in.

The advantages of this program would be uniform prices for government entities, and perhaps a simpler and uniform mechanism for schools and libraries to participate in the e-Rate.

Nebraska Information Technology Commission

Jeanne Saathoff reported on the NITC Community Council. One of their greatest concerns is the economy of Nebraska. The League of Municipalities will be doing a pre-session for the October 4 meeting. They will speak on community vision and mission, mobilizing the community, assessing your community, inventory community assets and set and prioritize goals and objectives. NITC is building clearinghouses for the state, education, and community councils. Jeanne encouraged everyone to sign up for the NITC newsletter.

John Dale reported that the State Records Board exists to manage Nebrask@ Online. It receives some revenues from Nebrask@ Online, which is used to provide grants. These grants are primarily for state agencies to make their information more readily available to the public. John mentioned the new homepage for the State of Nebraska. It was mentioned that Nebraska is the only state with the "Ask a Librarian" feature. This feature links to the Nebraska Library Commission's reference staff.

The second E-Government Conference will be held Oct. 5 and 6. The conference is basically for state agencies with the purpose being to encourage state agencies to provide information and services electronically.

Nebraska Library Commission Centennial

Rod Wagner stated that a handout with information on the upcoming centennial program had been included in the meeting packet. Rod also mentioned that Maggie Harding has been researching the Library Commission's history and that historical information is being placed on the Nebraska Library Commission's website. Over the last several years the Library Commission and the State Advisory Council on Libraries have met together in mid-March. The Library Commission proposes that for 2001 the joint meeting be held in the latter part of March to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the creation of the Nebraska Library Commission. Special activities being planned for 2001 include a proclamation from the Governor and legislative resolution (to be requested), special speakers and programs, a photo exhibit, and more.


Rod Wagner reported that during the June State Advisory Council meeting the Council strongly encouraged the Nebraska Library Commission to proceed with the implementation of the NebrasKard. During the Library Commission July meeting, Commission members passed a motion to move forward with the implementation of the NebrasKard, with the idea that staff will continue to work with library representatives on policy, procedure and implementation issues.

The NebrasKard Advisory Committee recently met and discussed policies and procedures. A third draft of a policies and procedures manual has been prepared. The committee discussed a uniform $15 annual fee to issue a NebrasKard. At the October tri-conference there is a program scheduled for Friday afternoon on the NebrasKard. The plan is to provide background information on the NebrasKard project, and have table discussions for input.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe stated that now that the NebrasKard is deemed as a voluntary program, he hopes we can get beyond the what if, and get on to the how are we going to accomplish this project.

The question was asked as to who would collect the $15 annual fee and would there be a statewide database of NebrasKard users. Rod responded that the library issuing the NebrasKard would collect the $15 fee and that it would be up to each library to keep track of their NebrasKard users. There is no plan, at this time, to create a central database of NebrasKard registered users. The Library Commission will post a list of NebrasKard participating libraries on its website.

Jeanne Saathoff said she felt a set proposal is needed and then tell participants that this is how we are proposing to start out. She mentioned that she did not feel people would commit until they see the proposal in writing. Rod mentioned that is the purpose of the policy and procedures manual.

Ruth Seward stated that UPS drivers check out audiotapes from the Lexington Public Library and pass them on to other drivers and they are always returned and have never been late. These audiotapes are reaching 8 different states. Kathy Lute stated that she felt the NebrasKard would be good for people in western Nebraska who do a lot of traveling to receive services.

Mike Herbison made a motion stating that the Nebraska State Advisory Council on Libraries oppose the imposition of any borrowers fee involved with patrons or usage of the NebrasKard. Ruth Seward seconded the motion. Jeff Gilderson-Duwe asked what funds were going to be used for replacement of lost books. Rod Wagner responded that other states with a reciprocal borrowing card program have found that very few libraries report lost books, but that the Library Commission would commit to reimbursement for lost books (expecting that the number would be low). Motion was voted on with 11 ayes, 1 sustain and 3 nays. Motion approved.

Lunch Break

Adjourned at 12:00 p.m., resumed at 12:45 p.m.

State Funded Continuing Education Grants Program

Rod Wagner reported that this program is made possible from additional state funds that were appropriated last year. Of the $50,000 appropriated for the CE grant program, the Library Commission has used $43,000 for grant projects. The balance will be included for 2000 - 2001 projects.

Gates Library Initiative

Nebraska is among 16 states that are scheduled to participate in Phase 4, the final group of states. An advantage for Nebraska is that by now the Gates Foundation staff has lots of experience which should provide for more effective training and work with libraries.

Phase 4 states must submit their applications by November 30. One or the expectations for participation is that a leadership group of public library representatives be formed to help advise on the state project. It will be 2002-2003 before computers are delivered and installed.

This program is based on economic factors. It is expected that two-thirds of our public libraries will qualify for a computer, or computers. The number of computers that a community will be eligible for is determined by the service area population. Each eligible library will receive at least one public access computer. A library may also request a second computer that has a Spanish language program software. All libraries regardless of the economic criteria can participate in the programs training and support. If they do not meet the requirements for a grant for the computer, they may purchase computers that are loaded with Microsoft software.

The Gates Library Initiative representatives have stated that the heart of their program is the training they provide. The program does not stop with installation of the computers, it continues with technical support. The Gates Foundation would like libraries to attract other contributions. Later on, individual libraries will have to submit applications to receive computers and software.


Jim Bothmer- Creighton University installed a new president, Father Schlagel; he comes from the University of San Francisco. The Health Sciences Library recently purchased the Ideal System, the price is based on subscriptions, and by paying this, you get access to their entire collection electronically. You have the option after the first year of continuing their print subscription base at about a 75% discount or dropping them all together and paying for only what you print. The Health Sciences Library will drop the print subscription and go with the on-line.

Mike Herbison- The University of Nebraska at Kearney's Director group is putting together a report for internal use that looks at how much is being saved by participating in consortium purchasing of databases. This years project is to build a computer lab. The lab will be a dual instruction general use lab. Information literacy is being attacked from two different areas, it is felt that there is a general component information literacy that all students should have and we think are making progress in this area. The College of Education is revising their whole curriculum and the library staff is trying to work with them to get information literacy incorporated into the curriculum two different ways.

Kathy Lute- Ogallala was very busy this summer. The Great American Road Race stopped there and the library received a television and video. The usage of the library has increased since the school year began. The Library Board is going to have a feasibility study conducted and then determine if a new library should be built or add to the existing building. Kathy stated that she will no longer be a member of the Library Board but will be a member of the Library Foundation.

Jane Wall- Grand Island schools is rewriting their media guidelines and aligning them with state and national standards. Last year they won a concession to have district in-service meetings that media staff could pull out and do their own in-services. The Nebraska Library Commission will be sending speakers out to speak about H.W. Wilson and FirstSearch online databases.

Karen Drevo- The Columbus Public Library, Northeast Community College, and Norfolk Public Library are considering vendors for their cooperative library automation project. Norfolk had 1,500 children for Summer Reading program, they had a greater percentage of children who signed up for the program and followed thru to the end. Norfolk held their 6th Annual Literature Festival in July and had their biggest box office. In conjunction with the festival, they started an OLEO the evening before the festival, OLEO allows anyone who wishes to tell a story, recite a poem or prose. The Norfolk Public Library got a funding increase for the 7th Annual Literature Festival.

Karen thanked the Nebraska Library Commission for awarding her a grant to attend the REFORMA conference. The conference was very enlightening; the session gave her a better handle on Latino authors. It also made Karen feel very good about what Nebraska libraries are doing to serve Latino's. She also mentioned that September is National Library Card Sign-up month. The library is targeting kindergarten thru 4th grade; they are also working on Teen Read Week and Children's Book Week The local radio stations have allowed them to do book reviews and push young adult reading during Teen Read Week. The Dial-a-Story is a great success and the Kiwanis's group has offered to buy a new system and donate 150 more stories.

John Dale - Lincoln City Libraries new branch libraries are going up; they hope to have everything enclosed by the time it snows. The library has applied for a Nebraska environmental grant. Lincoln won the best lunch stop for the Great American Road Race and received $5,000 which was given to the library. Lincoln City Libraries co-sponsored the Nebraska Literature Festival (along with the Beatrice Public Library).

Jeanne Saathoff - Kearney Public Library recently updated their website, had new windows installed, the restrooms remodeled, and hired an IT person. They are currently looking for a new computer person. The library purchased Rocket E-Books. Kearney did very well on its budget request.

Ruth Seward - Attended the REFORMA conference. There were very good vendors to purchase resource materials for the library. One of the exhibitors was a company named Litram that would do a library profile and look at collection development. The pre-conference was about Spanish resources on the Internet. Ruth thanked the Nebraska Library Commission for the opportunity to attend the conference. Ruth stated that she will be attending the LAMA conference, November 30 - December 2. One of the tracts is "Infrastructure: to build or not to build that is the question. Fifty children attended the summer reading program. These numbers are down from previous years, possibly because the school held summer school at the same time.

The library will be providing free Internet classes. Two of the classes will be held in September and will be in provided in Spanish. One class in English will be held in October. Two middle school teachers have asked to bring students to the library during school hours. ESL will be bringing their students to the library everyday. The Extension Service is willing to donate computers but the library has no room for them.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe - Holdrege has upgraded its Internet connection to a T-1 and has installed a web server and web OPAC. They are about to start circulation of the e-book. The summer reading program was down a little, but the library did have 10-12 young adult readers assisting with the program. The library is working on an alternative school project in an effort to get kids who dropped out of school to return to school and get them through to their diploma. This program will be held off-site of the school. The library is going to develop a classroom/ training room that will house 1 computer teacher and 6 computers, after school that room will be used for staff training and computer classes for the public.

Susie Baird - Susie announced that she and her husband will move to Alliance after the 1st of the year. [see Susie's Panhandle Library System report]

Richard Voeltz - Construction is still going on at the UNL Love Library and the project is on schedule. The university is requiring that all students must complete the Library Instruction 110 class before graduating.

Sylvia Person - Holdrege Public Schools bought a new iMAC lab that is dedicated to the Joslyn program. Sylvia stated that she lost her library media aide of 5 years and has hired a new aide. Holdrege has a new business named The Connection. This is an inbound telemarketing company. Because the company pays $7.50 an hour, the school has lost their custodian and half of the Special Ed aides. Sylvia wrote an Arts Reach Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to hire a part-time Project Director. They received the grant.

Mo Khamouna - The Ag College library finally got its software going. Mo thanked the Nebraska Library Commission for helping with the project. Student enrollment is down.

Tom Schmitz - The Lincoln Regional Center will be celebrating its 130th anniversary and will be having a big celebration. Jim McKee will be a guest speaker and they will be giving tours. As for the library, they are in phase 2 of their LSTA grant project. Most of the Institutional libraries are completed with cataloging and are starting on circulation. The last phase will be interconnecting with HHS libraries. Tom is working with Ellen Van Waart and John Arnold on specialized basic skills for institution librarians. This program will be the first in the nation.

Michael LaCroix - The Creighton University libraries went live on June 26 with CLIC. CLIC stands for Creighton Library Information Cataloging. The site for CLIC is Creighton University is part of the T-3 line that also connects UNO and UNL. ILL activity is almost two times more than this time last year.

Pam Scott - The E-rate form 470 is ready and will be mailed out soon. Pam will be attending a conference in Washington D.C. to discuss and learn more about the E-rate program. The NLC Library Development staff is working on bringing back the CLIP program. CLIP stands for Continuous Library Improvement Program. Richard Miller, Mary Jackson and Pam are working on revising the manual and will be adding a technology component to the manual.

Library Advocacy and Marketing Video

A video on library services produced for the State of Florida was shown as an example of one state's effort to provide public information regarding library services. Library marketing will be a future SACL topic.

Next Meeting

The December 1 meeting will be held in Lincoln at the Nebraska Library Commission. Kathy Lute invited the Council to hold its June, 2001, meeting in Ogallala.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m. MST.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.