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Meeting Minutes

September 17, 1999
Alliance, Nebraska


State Advisory Council Members Present: Susan Baird, John Dale, Stan Gardner, Michael Herbison, Mo Khomouno, Michael LaCroix, Mary Nash, Sylvia Person, Jeanne Saathoff, Tom Schmitz, Ruth Seward, Richard Voeltz and Sharon Wiegert.

Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Rod Wagner, Sally Snyder and Maria Medrano-Nehls.

Guests Present: Commissioner Wally Seiler, Commissioner Kristen Rogge, Mavis McLean, Alliance Public Library Director; Pam Becker, Alliance Public Library Board; Lee Mason, Chair of Alliance Public Library Board; Dixie Bloom, Children's Programs; Leanna Mathis, Library Secretary; Tom Palmer, Alliance City Manager.

Welcome and Introductions

Wally Seiler welcomed the Council to Alliance and introduced staff and board members present. Tom Palmer, Alliance City Manager, welcomed the Council to Alliance.

The meeting was called to order at 9:05 a.m. on September 17, 1999. Council Chair Susan Baird welcomed the Council to Alliance, and introductions followed.

A motion was made by Ruth Seward to approve the agenda with an addition of a building tour at 9:50 a.m., seconded by Jeanne Saathoff. Motion approved.

A motion was made by Ruth Seward to approve the agenda with an addition of a building tour at 9:50 a.m., seconded by Jeanne Saathoff. Motion approved.

Michael LaCroix mentioned a correction to be made in the June 18 minutes. Instead of Boys Town closing its library, it should be Boys Town Research Hospital Library. A motion was made by Dick Voltz to accept the June 18 minutes with corrections, seconded by Tom Schmitz.

Rod Wagner announced there were new notebooks and information sheets for Council members.

Panhandle Libraries and Issues

Pam Scott, Panhandle Library System Administrator, welcomed everyone to Alliance and gave an overview of the Panhandle Libraries. Alliance will host the 1898 Trans Mississippi Exposition celebration.

Gordon: They are an original Microsoft grant library and also received an LSTA grant to become Y2K compliant. They will also network four computers and add a new one.

Chadron: Lightning Bugs (choral group) will sing at the library. They received a 1999 LSTA grant to upgrade technology in their Young Adults room and First Search. Chadron also received a Grant for Excellence to provide programming that will draw young adults..

Crawford: Will be updating their automation to be Y2K compliant. They are also hoping to network with the school.

Morrill: They are also an original Microsoft grant library. They Expanded their first floor for the children's programs and made a meeting room in the basement. Favorite books of teachers when young are hanging on cards from the ceiling.

Kimball: Will receive Keno funds to purchase two computers and increase Internet access. They are also planning an upgrade of their circulation system.

Goodall City Library: Received a 1998 LSTA grant to provide Internet access to the visually impaired. The Foundation will host a book sale on September 16 and 17, and will be active during the Indian Summer Rendezvous Days.

Paxton: Received Keno funds for a computer and Internet access. This is Paxton's first computer with Internet access. They are preparing for the increased demand.

Grant County Library: Willa Cather will make an appearance on September 24.

Oshkosh: They are holding book chats in which they invite local authors and authors from other areas to speak to the community. They are using empty storefronts for displays. They received a new OCLC workstation; this workstation allows them to have public Internet access. October 8 will be their bake and book sale.

Several libraries (8-9) in the Panhandle system have applied for E-Rate funds. Funds range from $200 - $1,700. Funds are appreciated.

Pam Scott is still encouraging libraries to get out and communicate with their community.

Library Commission Report Public Finance Task Force

The Public Finance Task Force was originated during the 1999 Legislative session. Some issues reviewed by the Task Force are the NebrasKard and local funding issues. The next and last meeting will pull together thoughts and ideas and make recommendations that will then go to the Nebraska Library Commission. Issues to be forwarded will be policies, legislative and budget initiatives.

Steve Schafer, State of Nebraska's Chief Information Officer; Bill Lock, researcher for the Legislature's Revenue Committee and a tax expert; and Lynn Ziegenbein, Executive Director of the Peter Keiwitt Foundation, met with the Task Force. One of the products of the Task Force is a set of principles. They will be reformatted based upon the input that was received.

Library Advocacy Project

This is a new project this year. Nebraska is one of eight states selected to participate in this program. There are over 20 Nebraska communities involved on the local level. Bellevue and South Sioux City were selected for additional assistance through the project. Workshops have been held in York and Lincoln. During the Lincoln meeting, Senator LaVon Crosby and Senator Nancy Thompson gave helpful ideas and advice on working with the Legislature.

Public Library Certification

Dr. Debra Johnson has had some health problems, which have delayed her project report. During the next several weeks, portions of the report will be delivered. It is expected that the complete report will be available by early October. The report will highlight the things being doing well through the certification program and things to improve or abandon. It will be published and distributed, as well as placed on the Commission's website. Two revised Basic Skills courses have been offered recently.

Nebraska Information Technology Commission (Community Council)

Jeanne Saathoff distributed documents that outline the Community Council's action plan. $200,000 is available to reach some of the goals listed on their action plan. Two of the goals are directly related to libraries. Four members on the Council are library representatives. The Council has decided to collect information on availability and use of resources currently available.

Gates Library Initiative

Rod Wagner announced that Nebraska will be participating in the Gates Library Initiative in 2001. Details on the program should be coming within the coming year. The GLI gives priority to low income areas, and this is a factor in the grant program. This program provides computer technology to public libraries. There is a separate initiative for schools.


Tour of the Alliance Public Library

Council Goals and Priorities

Two of the Council's goals and priorities relate to the NebrasKard and Internet filtering software (censorship). Rod stated that the reciprocal library borrowing card would not be pursued without a significant increase in state aid funding for library services. That has not happened. Rod also noted that included in the packet mailed to Council members was a handout concerning censorship issues, an update on Congressional legislation on e-rate and Internet filtering software. The House and the Senate have different versions of legislation concerning the e-rate and filtering software. The House has passed a bill; the Senate is still considering the issues prior to a vote. Nebraska does not have a representative on either of the Congressional committees working on this issue. The American Library Association position has been that Internet access is an issue to be decided at the local level.

Pam Scott stated that she is receiving calls from librarians stating they are getting phone calls form vendors encouraging them to install filters now. Pam is encouraging them to wait.

Jeanne Saathoff stated that she agrees with ALA's statement. The final decision should be at the local level.

The Council recommended that NLC put together information packets in regards to Internet access and filtering and to point to the various sources of information already available concerning these issues. There will be three sessions on this topic at NLA/NEMA convention this year.

Jeanne Saathoff moved that the Council send a message to Nebraska's Congressional delegation letting them know our stance on this issue, that control should be left to the local community, and also emphasizing parental responsibility and how libraries can support the parent. The motion was seconded and approved. Send a copy to Jeanne to share with the Community Council.

Nebraska Reciprocal Borrowing Card (NebrasKard

Stan Gardner asked if the council could receive a description of how the card would work. Rod explained that the libraries would choose whether to participate or not. The card concept is more accurately thought of as a reciprocal borrowing card.

It was suggested that a questionnaire be placed in the NLA/NEMA program packets to ask libraries to indicate if they would be interested in participating or not. The information would indicate who is interested and who is not.

At least a $2 million increase for state aid was considered the minimum level of funding support needed to initiate implementation of the NebrasKard, as well as other programs. There is no exact amount for the NebrasKard program.

Rod Wagner reported that Mary Lankford met with representatives from the South Sioux City and Bellevue public libraries. South Sioux City held a vote for a new library and lost by less then 10 votes a few years ago. They plan to renew their effort for a new library facility.

The Library Commission will send to Council members a description of how the program could work, and information from other states that have a reciprocal library borrowing card program.

Libraries for the 21st Century - Year 2000 Plans and Strategies

Larger units of service should again be addressed. Provide information on how libraries can combine services and resources. Provide training sessions or information packets on the different options, and the advantages and disadvantages of each. This would be very helpful to a number of smaller libraries. Not closing the libraries, but combining administrative functions to provide better overall service.

Funding could be set aside for this project

Look at resource sharing via OCLC.

A need for technology assistance for libraries throughout the state.

Some libraries have worked out a local agreement for technology assistance and troubleshooting.

A centralized network for a group of libraries; it may be more cost effective. Possible state funding for such a program.

Legislative Strategies for the Future

Senator Crosby has indicated her willingness to introduce legislation for additional library funding.

The Nebraska Library Association has contracted with Ken Winston for legislative representation with the Nebraska Unicameral. Ken used to be the Legal Counsel for Legislature's General Affairs Committee.

Council Roundtable

Mo Khamouna: Mo is preparing for the move of the library. $25,000 was set aside for remodeling but the cost was closer to $60,000. They are also building a state of the art Teaching Center.

Richard Voeltz: UNL is working on a renovation project of the Love Library original building. The Technology Services Unit will be moved to a building on 17th street. The beginning of the renovation is set for early October 1999. There is a $20 million reallocation project for UNO.

John Dale: Two new branches will be built in Lincoln. Interior designs should be completed this month. Clark Enerson is the architectural firm. Omaha Public Library is considering placement of a new South Branch library in collaboration with the Metropolitan Community College. Lincoln's last building project was the Gere branch library addition. The consultant on that project said they would reach 1 million circulations by 2000; the day before the fiscal year ended they did break the million circulation level. Gere branch now has about 44% of the total system circulation. The main library circulates around 660,000. It is hoped that the new branches will relieve Gere somewhat. John was re-appointed to the State Records Board. There will be a book sale September 30 - October 3 at the State Fair Grounds.

Sylvia Person: Holdrege held its dedication and first performance in the new Performing Arts Center. The Performing Arts Center was built with donations and given to the school district. Sylvia is on a committee to look at how they will use the facility in the future. The Holdrege Public library is planning to work on funds for a future construction project. The land has been donated.

Michael LaCroix: Creighton enrollment is at its third largest in history. Father Morrison, the President of the University, will be resigning as of June 30, 2000. Creighton has decided to centralize purchasing of PC's; they will buy at least 600 for the entire University at an extremely good price. Staff and students can get in on the deal.

Mary Nash: Creighton will soon be back to full staff in the reference department. They are current working on their 2nd year of library orientation for freshman. The orientation is a very successful program and the students learn a lot and have fun, too. NLA Convention News: The NLC Leadership Development speaker is featured in the September issue of American Libraries. The new webmaster for NLA is Scott Childers of UNL.

Pam Scott: The Panhandle Library System is sponsoring some workshops. The Friends workshop is next week in Gering, and a Fundraising workshop on October 6 in Bridgeport. Pam Scott announced her resignation as Panhandle Library System administrator; her last day will be October 26. Pam will be moving to Lincoln.

Jeanne Saathoff: Kearney is re-carpeting the library. Kearney is installing a drive-thru window, upgrading their automated library system and are also having fiber optics installed into the building. Jeanne mentioned that the city government is encouraging partnerships on any big projects.

Tom Schmitz: The Lincoln Regional Center is part of the HHS Library Consortium and received a 1999 LSTA grant. Their Follett system connects all 6 corrections libraries. They are currently getting shelf lists in order.

Ruth Seward: Lexington's Friends held an Scholastic book fair at the end of the summer reading program. It didn't go as well as they had hoped, but they will try again next year. They trained 63 people this summer on computers. Ruth did a presentation to the Hispanic Leadership; this is a group of Hispanic people who are learning about the City and County government, and schools. Their purpose is to get Hispanic people involved in government and to serve on Boards and Commissions.

Mike Herbison: UNK went through the reallocation process and the library suffered a net cash lost of $18,000. This loss, combined with the increased journal costs, has had an impact. There is $30 million in construction going on or planned on campus. They will know in a few weeks if they will receive $100,000 given by donor to be used on the library lab. UNK has decided to lease computers for all public access equipment. Statistics for the library show that building use is up moderately, circulation is moderately down, and access assistance is up through the ceiling.

Sharon Wiegert: Sharon will be attending the Children's Services Institute sponsored by the Eastern and Southeast Library Systems. The Papillion (Sump) Public Library upgraded to their Follett software and the card catalog is again online. They are one of the first places with Follett to have the public library and the school library linked for access to the library card catalog. The library filtered the 4 computers by the circulation desk. The computer lab is not filtered, but users must be 18 years of age to use the computer lab or must have a parent sign a cyber card for use of the lab. No complaints have been made about the filters.

Susan Baird: Susie has been busy on a project to expand the Family Health Resource Center. A $350,000 Community Development Block grant was received; Susan now needs to come up with $1.5 million in project funding. The Gering Public Library decided to contribute this years building money allocation to help the city. The AmeriCorps Volunteer program is providing reading to children in doctor's waiting rooms.

Wally Seiler: Wally again thanked everyone for visiting Alliance. As a Commissioner, Wally indicated his appreciation for the Council's input. He will try to have a Commissioner at every State Advisory Council meeting.

Stan Gardner: Wayne State has noticed their circulation is down also. In-house usage is up considerably. Interlibrary loan usage is down, but electronic database usage is up over 40%. The library is currently exceeding T1 line capacity. The proxy server is up and ready to use but can't be used because it would crash the system. The renovation of Conell Hall is about completed. This summer, the library staff offered Basic Research Skills workshops that were very successful; they will offer these mini workshops again this spring.

Lee Mason: Lee mentioned that brown bag luncheons are held every Friday through the fall and winter months. The program is usually a book review or some other presentation of interest. Wally Seiler is the next featured guest speaker. Wally will review a book by Julia Child and will cook a gourmet meal.

Resolutions and Recommendations

It was asked if a thank you was ever sent to Legislature and the Governor for the additional state funds appropriated for the coming biennium. It was the sense of the Council that this had not been done by the Council as a whole. Susan Baird will send a thank you to the Appropriations Committee members and to Governor Johanns to express our commitment to working with them in the next session.

Next Meeting Date

Susie Baird announced that the next meeting will be held December 3 at the Baright Public Library in Ralston.


Dick Voeltz made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Michael LaCroix. Motion passed. Meeting adjourned at 12:24 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.