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Meeting Minutes

Raymond A. Whitwer Tilden Public Library, Tilden, Nebraska

September 20, 2002

State Advisory Council members present: John Dale; Steve Davis; Karen Drevo; Nancy Escamilla; Stan Gardner; Jeff Gilderson-Duwe; Maggie Harding; Mo Khamouna; Kay Schmid; Tom Schmitz; Ruth Seward; John Seyfarth; and Jane Wall.

Commission members present: Velma Sims-Shipley and Kristen Rogge. Commission staff members present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch, Richard Miller, and Maria Medrano-Nehls.

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Karen Drevo called the meeting to order at 9:34 a.m.

Dixie Kucera, Director of the Tilden Public Library, welcomed the group. Introductions were made around the room.


A motion to approve the agenda was made by Ruth Seward, seconded by Mo Khamouna. Motion approved.


John Seyfarth moved approval of the June 21, 2002, meeting minutes. Motion seconded by Ruth Seward. Motion approved.


State Budget

- Rod Wagner reported that the Nebraska Library Commission survived the special session with a modest state funds reduction. The Library Commission's budget reduction for the special session was limited to $31,000 in "carry over" funds from the prior fiscal year. The reduction does not reduce the Commission's base budget. When the Legislature convenes next January, the understanding is that further cuts will be made in the state's budget.

Tom Schmitz reported that HHSS library services were not cut. Mo Khamouna stated that the College of Technical Agriculture lost the Mechanic Department, and had some layoffs. Stan Gardner stated that Wayne State did not suffer much this time due to cash reserves, but expects significant reductions in the next budget. Steve Davis stated that Kearney schools were not significantly affected this year.

Nancy Escamilla said that Gering schools were not hurt, but the Alliance school district had to give back $4 million, then received a further cut of $1.9 million. State money is now being distributed quarterly rather than in one lump sum, forcing some smaller school districts to borrow. Issues related to school fees are causing difficulty in some schools as well (the result of a court case out of Omaha).

2003 - 2005 Biennium Budget Request

- Information on the biennium budget request was mailed in the packet. Nancy Busch stated that due to budget concerns 3 FTE positions have not been filled. The Library Commission reduced its library materials budget, and reduced state aid to libraries by 8% in all categories. Nancy also reviewed the 90% budget scenario that state agencies are required to submit with the budget requests. In past years, this was a 95% budget exercise. To reduce state general funds by 10 percent, the Commission will need to eliminate several staff positions as well as reduce state aid to libraries. Many factors could affect this, and affect the priority order of the specified cuts.

Gates Foundation Library Project

- Richard Miller stated that Pam Scott is currently involved in "Before Your Computer Arrives" training across the state. There are 3and 1/2 tiers to the Gates project. Tier 1 is "Before Your Computer Arrives", Tier 2 will be held 4-6 weeks later and is "How to Order Computers", Tier 3 is "How to Use the Software", and Tier 3and 1/2 is for content servers, training for this will only be held in Lincoln. There are several other grants available, Connectivity to Internet grant, Upgrade grant, Training Sustainability, and Tech Support Sustainability grant. The Nebraska Library Commission has applied for all four grants.

Federal Library Programs and Issues

-- Rod Wagner reported that LSTA is down to about its last 10 days of life. While there is some concern, Congress has processes in place to allow for continuing the program. Both the House and Senate have LSTA funding in their budgets. An additional $14 million in the program would allow an increase in the base funding level for each state. This action would be of greatest benefit to smaller states, but this increase is unlikely. Congress will likely allow continued funding to carry through to the November elections. On December 11, 2002, from 11 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (CST) a teleconference on the USA PATRIOT Act will be aired; Pam Scott is looking into possible sites in Nebraska for this teleconference.

Nebraska Library Commission Grant Programs and Schedules

- Richard Miller distributed handouts listing grants available, date due and date of grant awards.

Nebraska Plan for Library & Information Services (2003 - 2007)

- Nancy Busch reviewed the new 5-year long-range plan submitted to IMLS. Input came from meetings around the state, the Making a Difference visits, etc. It was decided to reduce the goals from five to four (as in the previous long-range plan). The first goal relates to personnel; Goal 2 is a catch all for development activities; Goal 3 includes technology enhancements; and Goal 4 is for Talking Book and Braille Services. Lead staff will be designated for each of the sub-goals. Strategic action plans will be developed for each activity. Record keeping for these activities will be automated.

Lunch & Discussions

Council Roundtable

Steve Davis - Steve mentioned the article in the latest NITA newsletter on "No Child Left Behind," specifically the innovative resources that Steve has used for library resources. He mentioned that NEMA put on its first ever leadership training workshop in Aurora. Kearney Public Schools now has a union catalog up on the web; not promoted yet. The website address is

John Seyfarth - John mentioned that he has been waiting for a new browser for some time; he recently received Netscape 7.0, John provided information about Mozilla (which allows eliminating automatic pop-up windows), Open Office Org is a Windows version; and they will soon have a Mac version available. John distributed disks with a free CD and slides from a recent presentation on a productivity suite. Follett recently handed out modification of the Apache software although it is not supported by Follett.

Ruth Seward - Ruth Seward stated that the Lexington Public Library recently received a Kiewit grant and was able to purchase young adult "butterfly" chairs, and software, as part of their challenge grant. Local children raised about $10,000 to match the Kiewit grant. The library also received a KM for Kids grant; KM is a regional energy company. A new children's librarian was recently hired and they are expanding their YA students in English class from one night per week. The Lexington Public Library is also adding a science and math night. No report on building project pending some property purchase.

Tom Schmitz - Tom reported on the HHSS LSTA grant. All materials have been received and bar-coded. The Lincoln Health Sciences Library Group is planning a discussion joint meeting with ICON. A NLA/NEMA pre-conference event with ICON (speaker from National Library of Medicine) will be held in October.

Mo Khamouna - Mo stated the college is having budget problems; they are expecting more cuts in January. Due to budget cuts the college lost their Mechanics Department. Some professors have resigned. According to the Dean, the library budget is too double. The budget increase for the library is in response to the Accreditation team that indicated the need to significantly increase the collection size.

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe - Jeff reported that the color copying service is doing well; they also added a leased B&W machine. The copiers have helped the cash flow from $600 to $900 per month. Holdrege is losing a lot of their small businesses like the Hallmark store, copy store, etc., because of a downturn in the economy. The Library received a significant budget increase from the city; however, one County Commissioner questioned the need for a library at all, and it was reported in the newspaper. There was a good response from supporters.

The library is currently having a used book sale. The Library Board passed a 3-year strategic plan this last July; Jeff stated the Making a Difference @ your library visit fed into the process. The strategic plan is available to view on the web site. Jeff is going to review progress on the goals of this plan every six months rather than waiting three years. A stripped-down public web browser is available (called Public Web Browser) for those who don't want all the "bells and whistles".

John Dale - John reported that the Gates computer lab will be on second floor of Bennet Martin Library, and Internet services will be moved up to second floor as well. Lincoln City Libraries (LCL) recently received phone calls from Mayor Heckman of Hickman and the City of Waverly with interest in forming libraries in these communities. These communities have contracted with Lincoln City libraries since 1974. Lincoln City is anxious to work with them, and for them to work with the Commission. A feasibility study for the main library has begun and will decide whether to renovate or build a new library but it will probably be another 10 to 12 years before any work will begin. John stated that he recently completed his second term on the State Records Board. Laureen Riedesel will be appointed to serve as a library representative on the State Records Board. The LCL Board has passed a policy on Internet access stating no one under 18 will be allowed to use library computers for Internet access without parent approval. The One City- One Book survey chose Kent Haruf's Plainsong.

Karen Drevo - Karen reported that Norfolk Public Library now has a complete 1930 Census for all of Nebraska. The Summer Reading program had 2,000 kids participating, more than 300 over last highest number. Interest from the Carson endowment was used to purchase really great materials for the program. The 2003 Summer Reading theme will be "Laugh It Up @ Your Library". During Teen Read Week the library received many requests to speak to various groups. The Literature Festival went really well. More staff will be attending the NLA/NEMA conference this year. Karen recently challenged local students to hula hoop and read aloud at the same time; one girl did this over three hours. The winner received an autographed picture of Eric Crouch with the Heisman Trophy.

Maggie Harding - Maggie reported that there will be a new Senator to replace George Coordsen, who is retiring. The NLA Membership Committee has been working hard developing a new corporate category for membership. Membership dues increased this year. A new brochure with the "10 reasons to join NLA," is now on the NLA website. The Membership Committee has also been working on benefits for its members; more information can be found on the NLA website.

Nancy Escamilla - Nancy reported that the Panhandle Board voted to partner with NLC and make the System Administrator position a state position. The job announcement will be advertised by the end of September. The Library "job alike" program has 25 - 30 librarians signed up for this program of speakers, visits, etc. PLS group received $5,000 to sponsor a traveling theater group to 20 locations.

Scottsbluff no longer serves as the Juvenile Resource Center for the PLS. The Scottsbluff Summer Reading program had 1,231 children, and 154 young adults and adults; a total of 29,000 items were checked out during the program. Scottsbluff rejuvenated its Hispanic collection. Nancy recently provided a program at Roosevelt School, which is about 90% Hispanic, in which programming was provided for Hispanic parents. The library is now putting their literature in Spanish.

Nancy stated that she would like to see a program that would bring someone in to teach basic Spanish, such as the program in Wyoming. A local group offered to replace signage in the library, the current signage is dated. CyberPatrol has been placed on two new Internet terminals.

Marybeth Sancomb-Moran is the new Director at the Sidney Public Library. The Sidney library is also working with architects to plan a building addition. Gering Public Library began their toddler library program last week. A new logo for the library was designed by a local student. WNCC student numbers are up; and the library is very busy, especially for Internet access. Gering Public Schools had to add four new modular buildings to three elementary schools; they also added technology centers with 24 computers in each center in every elementary school.

Morrill Public Schools exceeded state writing skills standards; they were the highest in the Panhandle. The teachers said they could not have done it without the presence of the local public library. This is a good example of collaboration between the schools and the library.

Jane Wall - Jane reported that she retired from teaching last spring. Having recently moved to Lincoln, she is touring the public library branches. Jane will be teaching one English class at Southeast Community College.

Stan Gardner -Stan reported that enrollment is down this year, but freshman enrollment is up. Stan reported that the State College Board approved an incentive program to entice out-of-state students with better grades to the state college system by offering in-state tuition. Wayne State is offering research skill courses; two of them are on-line which were made available by funding from Nebraska Library Commission. Stan has made efforts to get faculty into the library to use databases and to realize how things have changed. The younger faculty is especially interested in the databases and encourages their classes to use the library. Reference statistics have grown rapidly. The average number of students in the library has jumped from 900 to 1400 per day. Because ESU's have set up filters and firewalls, teachers cannot get to Wayne State's OPAC. Stan has asked the ESU's to allow access to OPAC as one of allowed sites. Bulk loans to schools and public libraries have increased.

Wayne State has received two grants one is a traveling exhibit from Smithsonian "Yesterday's Tomorrows" showing March 25 - April 19, 2002; it shows how people viewed the 20th century years ago; and the second is "Research Revolution: From the Lab to the Home" from ALA. Wayne State also received a series of 6 videotapes that discuss the importance of science over the last few centuries that have developed to the lifestyle we have come to expect. The library now has 20 laptop computers in the library; waiting for antennae's to allow their use.

There will be readings during "Banned Books Week," it is sure to offend somebody. Classes have volunteered to do the readings. There is a shuttle bus from the college to the community and back, on the hour.

The library replaced all their public terminals with Linux workstations; this prevents students from messing around with the settings, screen savers, etc. A rock sculpture garden behind the library replaced a former parking lot; unfortunately the design allowed flooding in the basement of the library this last spring. The Library is working on developing a copyright booklet; they are copying excerpts (with permission) of University of Texas' handbook. The copyright booklet will explain the copyright liability issue as it relates to informing the staff and public about copyright; this is part of why they are doing the booklet. Stan has finally, after years, received permission to form Friends of the Library. Each fall the library published a copy of the entire periodical they hold or have access to (whether paper, microfilm, on-line); but they found out that LEXIS-NEXUS changes their list of titles online daily. They have cancelled about 50 titles of periodicals in paper, based on use statistics; faculty asked that 3 titles be reconsidered, and they were retained. They have redesigned the library web pages offering pull-down menus to allow faster access. Library staff recently had an all-staff meeting with academic counterparts in Vermillion, SD. The library received $24,000 worth of shelving free from Bellevue University.

Library Personnel Recruitment, Retention, Re-Training

Task Force Formation and Charge - Rod Wagner offered an update on the work of this task force, reflective of a motion made by the Advisory Council. Recently NLC staff, representatives of NLA, NEMA, and SACL met on this topic, it was agreed to move forward to identify specific people to serve on a task force; it was also agreed to continue to meet together and act as a steering group. The task force will present their recommendations to the Advisory Council at the 2003 June or September Council meeting. Rod invited anyone interested in staying following adjournment to watch the 10-minute video from the Ohio Library Council, Me! A Librarian.

Adoption of Resolutions, Action Items (if any)*

Jeff Gilderson-Duwe requested that a courtesy resolution be approved and given to Dixie Kucera for hosting the meeting and congratulating Tilden on their wonderful new library. The motion was approved by consensus.


A motion was made by Mo Khamouna to adjourn the meeting, seconded by Steve Davis. Motion approved.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be Friday, December 13, 2002 at the Lexington Public Library.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.