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Meeting Minutes

State Advisory Council on Libraries
September 19, 1997


Present: Devra Dragos, Sally Wise, Laura Cundiff, Sylvia Person, Stan Gardner, Michael LaCroix, Ken Oyer, Phyllis Brunken, Sandra Riley, Richard Voeltz, Sharon Wiegert Susan Baird, Jeanne Saathoff and Donna Peterson.

Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Nancy Busch and Richard Miller.

Welcome and Introductions

The meeting was called to order by Chair Jeanne Saathoff at 10:00 a.m. Introductions were given around the table. Ken Oyer moved and Phyllis Brunken seconded the motion that the agenda be approved. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Phyllis Brunken moved and Richard Voeltz seconded the motion that the minutes of the June 13, 1997 meeting be approved. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Announcements: State Advisory Council members were invited to take a tour of Gere Branch Library. Jeanne Saathoff noted that appreciation goes to Sally Snyder for her work and organization of the State Advisory Council meetings.


Library Services and Technology Act

Rod Wagner reported on the Library Services and Technology Act. Both the House and Senate are finalizing their versions of appropriation bills for LSTA funding for the coming fiscal year. Nebraska may receive a slight increase in funding. The two main features of LSTA are:

1) technology: funding to help provide electronic access to information, provide assistance to libraries to acquire computer technology to access information, and cooperative arrangements among libraries to use electronic information; and 2) outreach that addresses the needs of groups that are identified as needing some special attention. The Federal Government has enacted a "Government Performance Review Act" that requires Federal Agencies to submit strategic plans describing how they will measure and identify the outcomes of their programs. States are not obligated to supply evaluation information until end of the duration of the five year plan. The Institute of Museums and Libraries' representatives need annual information on the impact and results of the funding as they go to Congress and request funding for the next fiscal year. Questions they ask are: What difference did the funding make and how did it help people? The emphasis is on a state's ability to provide information about the results of the funding that is received.

Universal Service Fund Telecommunications Discounts

Rod Wagner reported on the Universal Service Fund Telecommunications Discounts. The funds should be available by January 1998. Preceding the availability of those funds is the requirement for schools and libraries to prepare and submit applications. The latest estimate is that the application procedures and forums will be available in November. Consideration is being given to preparing a consortia type application, in which the Library Commission would submit an application on behalf of the state's libraries instead of each library submitting a separate application. The Library Commission, Department of Education and the Educational Service Units have collaborated to maintain a web site for information regarding the discounts.

The Federal Communications Commission is inviting comments regarding the approach of giving the funds on a first come, first served basis. Comments should be submitted by September 25, 1997. It is unknown whether the funding set aside will be enough to cover all applications.

Jim Lukech, State Department of Education, is setting up training for the state on the Universal Service Fund. Bill Miller at the State Division of Communications is checking with the Governor's office to see if the Governor would issue an executive order to designate the Department of Education as the agency to receive and handle the school plans and the Library Commission to handle the public library plans.

Legislature's Interim Study re Public Libraries

Rod Wagner reported on the Legislature's Interim Study regarding public libraries. One action of the legislature was to adopt a resolution to conduct an interim study that will focus on public library governance and plans of the recent legislative enactments concerning property taxes and budgets. The Legislature's General Affairs Committee will conduct the study as they have over the last several years concerning public library legislation that has been introduced.. This will give the Library Commission an opportunity to compile information and recommendations to present through the General Affairs Committee. A hearing will probably be held in November. The Council needs to identify representatives from different size libraries to be part of that hearing. Each representative will report on his/her community: local budgets, their part in that process, what constraints there are if any and how it is affecting their library services.

Township Libraries should have a representative for them. Some township libraries in the Northeast have not made arrangements for funding after July 1, 1998. There are approximately 24 township Libraries in the state. Until recently the Township Libraries had their own levy authority. With a statutory change a year ago, Township Libraries now have to go to the county for funding along with other county entities such as rural fire districts.

The legislative bill that Senator Crosby introduced is still alive. A decision needs to be made if we are going to go back into the 1998 legislature and renew that request and take it before the appropriations' committee. NLA had a key role in working with Senator Crosby to get this bill introduced. What other states are doing to fund projects for electronic access could be shared with the appropriations' committee and the entire Legislature.

Stan Gardner noted two important areas to examine: 1) increasing levy limits; and 2) defining public libraries as educational institutions to allow for them to use the services of Educational Service Units for Internet access rather than using a commercial outlet.

Phyllis Brunken noted the need for evaluating legislation to: provide additional money for training; and for connectivity to school resources.

The meeting recessed at 12:00 p.m. for lunch

The meeting reconvened at 1:15 p.m.

Libraries for the 21st Century -- Long Range Plan

Council Roles re Implementation and Assessment:

The State Advisory Council needs to address its role in working with the Library Commission and Nebraska Libraries in implementing the Long Range Plan and in addressing the goals and objectives of the Plan. Ideas are needed from the Council on how to approach assessment of the needs and the outcomes in the use of LSCA, LSTA and state funding.

Input and Discussion from Library Systems Board Retreat

At the Regional Library Systems' Retreat in August the Long Range Plan (LRP)was the focus of discussion. A way needs to be found for the systems to become major partners in the implementation and assessment of the Long Range Plan. The LRP lists suggested partners need to be working with and other organizations in developing assessments and evaluations

Phyllis Brunken stated that Educational Service Units should be involved in Goals 2 and 4 and sub goal 5C of the Long Range plan.

A web page has been set up for the Long Range Plan, with the intent that the plan would be a developing document.

Scenarios for Future State and Federal Aid for Library Services

In a recent meeting, the Governor expressed his view that there is enough state aid already appropriated for libraries. The Governor believes that the Commission should be talking with the State Department of Education, because public libraries and schools should be sharing facilities and working together.

A meeting has been arranged for next week with Lt. Governor Kim Robak on how she might be able to help. The Library Commission contributed submitted three pages to the Governor's office for the Success 2000 document on how libraries relate to the each of the initiative.

When talking about providing and improving services to children and youth, clear delineation is needed between public library and school library service to children and youth. The opinion by those who make decisions is that schools and public libraries do the same thing. The Nebraska Department of Education does not even have a media consultant. The Department of Education does not represent school libraries. Help for school libraries come through consultants in the Educational Service Units.

People ask "Why are a school library and public library both needed" In the City of Lincoln there are 10 locations of City libraries and 50 school libraries. The City of Lincoln has children who can't walk to many of those, because they do not live within walking distance. School libraries do not work with children under 5 years old or children that are disabled who live at home. Public School libraries do not work with the 5,000 parochial schools, home schoolers or adults. Public Libraries work with this clientele. If the roles of school libraries and public libraries were clearly defined, it would help in the funding of public libraries.

As federal funds and state funds are used, what difference do they make to any one child or adult in Nebraska communities? How do these funds benefit these people?

Council Roundtable (member reports)

Devra Dagros: Beatrice State Developmental Center has approval for an automated library system. I am working on a project for the Health and Human Services Agency to organize libraries and their scattered collections. Others involved in the project are Tom Schmitz, Lincoln Regional Center; Burns Davis, Nebraska Library Commission; Susan Koklhof, Norfolk Regional Center.

Sharon Wiegert, Papillion Public Library: LaVista has started the ground work on their new library with Metro. I have been working with the Department of Commerce on a grant project called "The Ideas". The grant is for foster families and families of adopted children with special needs to be able to access the Internet web pages concerning the needs of these types of families. Computers have been placed at various locations in Omaha. A press conference will be held October 7, 1:30 p.m., at Sump Memorial Library in Papillion with Lt. Governor Kim Robak attending. The next State Advisory Council meeting will be held in Papillion on December 5th.

Laura Cundiff: Clay Center Public Library had a very successful summer reading program; 45 children attended. The library received a matching grant from the Republican Valley Library System to make kits for child care providers. The kits include: audio tapes, puppets, video tapes and books for different age groups.

Sylvia Person, Holdrege Middle School: The job of Media Specialist is totally different now than it was ten years ago. The duties now are 90% technology.

Stan Gardner: Wayne State College has had a slight increase in its material budget. The first two weeks of September 2,500 students were provided with e-mail training. The government documents position at Conn Library is still open. The library automation system is being upgraded. The Northeast Library System and Conn Library are working together to investigate the possibility of developing a lease-purchase option for audio books and best sellers. UNO and Conn Library are working jointly to set up a media specialist certification program. Local newspapers from 80 different communities in northeast Nebraska are received at the library.

Michael LaCroix, Reinert/Alumni Memorial Library, Creighton: The Library has added four computer workstations to the reference area, for a total of 16 computer workstations. A reference/documents position is open at the library. Creighton University has its third largest enrollment ever. The Law School Library is presently being renovated to double its size. The renovation should be completed in late December, 1997. Michael LaCroix expressed his fratitude to Jo Budler for the Commission's work on statewide databases.

Ken Oyer, Bergan Mercy Medical Center Library: The library has added three new computers with Windows 95 installed. The Consumer Health Library is open three days a week. The new Ralston Library will be located across the street from City Hall.

Phyllis Brunken, Educational Service Unit #7, Columbus: The ESU had two robberies and a fire recently. ESU #7 is the homesite for Nebraska Future's Conference on October 8. A total of 16 downlink sites is available for the Conference. The <website is

Sandra Riley: "The Public Image" of libraries begins when people walk in the front door of the library, and we need to remember this.

Richard Voeltz, Nursing Liaison & Chemistry Library, University of Nebraska - Lincoln: The University is still into the learning organization process. The card catalog is being discontinued.

Several computer labs are being built, one at East Campus in C. Y. Thompson Library and the other at Love Library.

Sally Wise, Schmid Law Library: We are working on stepping up our renovation and addition program at the Law Library.

Susan Baird, Gering Public Library: Thank you to the Library Commission for sponsoring the Share Fair in Ogallala. The Panhandle Library System sponsored an Author Tour. The annual meeting of the Panhandle Library System is October 10. A Bus Trip is being organized for the Rocky Mountain Book Festival for November 2. Gering Public Library is working with the junior high school, doing book talks and taking books from the public library to the school to be checked out by students.

Jeanne Saathoff, Kearney Public Library: A new children's librarian has joined the staff at Kearney Public Library, Shawna Lindner. The Summer Reading Program had approximately 1,300 children involved. In the Technology Learning Center we are training people to use all the software programs: Windows 95, Excel, work processing, and providing Internet training. Next month for the first time we are going to do Evaluating Internet Resources for the public.

Libraries, the Internet, Censorship

NLC Internet Policy Statement (discussion)

Stan Gardner moved and Richard Voeltz seconded the motion to adopt the Internet Policy Statement. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Council Bylaws Revisions

Phyllis Brunken moved and Sally Wise seconded the motion to approve the Council Bylaws

Revisions. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Meeting Wrap-Up and Adjournment

Phyllis Brunken moved and Richard Voelz seconded the motion to adjourn at 3:30 p.m. Motion was approved by acclamation.

Respectfully submitted

Elaine Miller

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.