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Meeting Minutes


Central Community College, Kearney, NE

March 11, 2005


State Advisory Council members present: Jim Bothmer, Patty Birch, Janice Boyer, Nancy Cantin, Steve Davis, Karen Drevo, Nancy Escamilla, Joan Giesecke, Patricia Gross, Maggie Harding, Theresa Jehlik, Diana Johnson, Marty Magee, Sharon Osenga, John Seyfarth, and MeMe Smith.

Commission members: Jean Ahrens, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, Velma Sims-Shipley, and Carol Spencer. Commission staff: Maria Medrano-Nehls, Richard Miller, and Rod Wagner. Guests: Kathy Tooker, Eastern Library System and Mary Jo Gross.

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Nancy Escamilla welcomed everyone to the first SACL meeting of 2005. Nancy introduced new SACL members Patty Birch, Marty Magee, and Joan Giesecke. A special thank you was given to Sharon Osenga, Meridian Library System, for hosting the meeting. Sharon welcomed everyone to Kearney. Introductions were given around the room.

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

Approval of Minutes (November 19, 2004) - Diana Johnson asked for a correction on page 6, last sentence, to say "Swedish King and Queen", not "Swedish Cleaning Queen". Nancy Escamilla stated that page 7 should not state that she reported for Pat Gross, only that she used Pat's time. A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes as corrected. Motion approved.


State Legislation and Issues - Rod Wagner stated that the 2005 legislature convened in January. The session appears to be going smoothly thus far. Term limits have led to changes in the legislature. Though the newer senators lack experience, at this point, they are assuming leadership and demonstrating effectiveness in the legislative process.

2005-2007 State Biennium Budget - Rod Wagner stated that the good news is the increase in tax revenues. The Library Commission is not expecting any budget cuts this year and hopes to have funds added to its budget. The Library Commission has three new major funding requests included in its proposed budget. The proposals include an additional $250,000 in state aid funds for public libraries to be used as incentives for public library accreditation; an additional $60,000 for Regional Library Systems; and $500,000 for additional electronic database subscriptions.

Rod Wagner expressed thanks to Patty Birch, Rivka Sass and Sally Payne for testifying at the Commission's budget hearing. Rod also said that state agency budget increases may be minimal, with some exceptions, since the appropriations committee may recommend that the low-level nuclear waste lawsuit settlement be paid in full.

Kathy Tooker thanked everyone who came to Legislative Day and said there was around 175 people in attendance. Kathy stated that LB217, the infrastructure bill for technology, made it to select file. The library systems' employees' access to state benefits bill is still alive and Senator Kruse is working on it but the bill is still in committee. LB599, to remove library board authority, was killed in committee.

Rod Wagner stated that the E-rate was given a temporary provision allowing funds to be released for libraries and schools to receive telecommunication services fee discounts. There is a bill in the Senate to provide a permanent fix for E-rate funding. Many federal programs are in jeopardy because the President's recommended budget would eliminate them. The President's budget proposal includes increased funding for LSTA for FY 2006.

Libraries for the 21st Century Project - Rod Wagner stated that this project is a result of recommendations from the State Advisory Council on Libraries a few years ago. The Council held discussions on library workforce needs. At the recommendation of the Council, a library workforce recruitment and retention taskforce was created. From the taskforce came the recommendation to apply for an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant. Last November, a Librarians for the 21st Century grant was awarded to the Library Commission. The taskforce is an advisory group that will work with the Library Commission during the project's three year funding period. The Commission recently posted an ad for a Research Assistant. This will be a full-time temporary position to provide staff assistance during the three-year grant funding period. There are three major project components - the first is development of marketing resources including a movie trailer, packets of information to be distributed to school guidance counselors, library media specialists, librarians, and colleges. There is also an element for recruiting, training and supporting mentors. The third project component is financial aid for community college library technical assistant courses and graduate level library science courses.

Library Technology Support Task - This taskforce was formed in September 2004 in response to a Council recommendation. The taskforce next met in February and discussed several library technology issues and strategies. Of Nebraska's 275 public libraries, 155 are currently using some type of broadband access to the Internet; 15 have dial-up only and there is no information for 7 libraries. It was recommended that a technology consultant be hired. Other recommendations included technology support assistance for smaller libraries to become self sufficient, addressing opportunities for working with higher education to get under-graduate technology students to work as part of a technology corps via internships, work with ESU's, and a basic skills session on technology. As part of the Gates Staying Connected grant, $60,000 will be used to hire a technology position. The Commission will attempt to retain this position beyond the Gates Foundation grant by using state or federal funds, or a combination of both.

Nebraska Library Association - Theresa Jehlik reported that the NLA board met last Friday and announced that a conference coordinator was hired. Because the fall conference will be held earlier then usual, people are planning both spring conference and fall conference sessions at the same time. The board is still working on the fiscal year change. The board also discussed ideas to improve participation on Friday afternoon during conference because vendors pack up and leave early.

Nebraska Education Media Association - Steve Davis reported that the NEMA board held its most recent meeting in January. Due to weather there was low attendance. A report was made on the conference.

Library Technical Assistant Education Program - Richard Miller distributed documents about the LTA program, including courses, dates and NLC scholarships. Some of the LTA courses can be used in place of the basic skills courses offered by the Commission for librarian certification requirements. There are currently 63 students enrolled in three of the courses. Richard stated that the Library Commission offers scholarships to LTA students covering half of the course costs.

LSTA Grant Awards - Rod Wagner reported that LSTA grant awards were recently awarded to several libraries. The Commission will post grant award information on the NLC website. Rod stated that not all the grant funds were used; the Commission may offer a special round of grants to allow libraries to apply for grant monies, or initiate projects to support Commission services and priorities.

Nebraska Library Service Trends and Issues, 2005 - 2007

Council members divided into four groups to discuss and list library service trends and issues foreseen in the future. The discussion groups reported the following topics and issues:

Trustee education and education for school administrators

Library service for the mentally challenged, visually impaired and disadvantaged

Expand NebraskAcess


Serving minorities

Education for librarians

Cooperation among all types of libraries

Intellectual freedom and censorship

Technology support staff with library knowledge

Copyrights in the digital age

Public library salary

Youth services and programs

Community faith in libraries

Technology training for librarians

Retention of librarians

Changing old attitudes, bringing librarians into the 21st century

Encourage NLC and State Legislators to fund state databases

Concept of library as a community place (including academic libraries)

Organize censorship groups

School and public library collaborations (especially in consolidated schools)

Public training on electronic databases

Increased funding for the Nebraska Library Commission

Multilingual information and resources

Teen issues

Visual learners

Technology security issues

Recruitment and retention

Reaching our diverse community as population changes across Nebraska

Reaching the next generation (computer and consumer oriented)

Educate public on why they need libraries

Lobbying and monitoring the federal and state legislation

No Child Left Behind

Privacy act

Support curriculum

Customize services to fit the patrons needs with a face - if you liked reading this you'll like that

Partnerships with other agencies

Consumer health information to rural populations

Council Roundtable 

Sharon Osenga - Sharon is vice-president/president-elect of MPLA and co-chair of this year's MPLA conference. This year's theme is Beyond Borders: Imagination, Innovation and Inspiration. The conference will be held in Jackson Hole, WY, October 12-15. The Nebraska regional library systems will be sponsoring the Bricks & Boards workshop at Concordia College on June 13. The Library Leadership Institute will be held again this summer. Information can be found on the systems' websites. Kearney and Grand Island public libraries are planning library expansions.

John Seyfarth - John will be teaching a class for the Eastern Library System on Microsoft Visual Image Tools. He has also been involved in lobbying the legislature on behalf of NLA.

Steve Davis - Kearney is planning an addition to its library building. The city will not be able to move on the project this year. The City Council supports the project but there is not enough community support. Good Samaritan Hospital is planning a health library.

Jim Bothmer - Creighton University has had a good budget year. The CU Health Sciences Library received an increase in operating funds and salaries. Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, Health Sciences Library staff member, was recognized among Library Journal's 2005 "Movers & Shakers." Creighton University received a $50,000 anonymous gift.

Janice Boyer - The University of Nebraska at Omaha will hold a Willa Cather night on April 22. The new Dean of Libraries will start on May 23.

Joan Giesecke - The University of Nebraska - Lincoln Libraries had a good year with no budget cuts. The UNL Libraries conducted a collaborative project with the rural initiative on campus and created a database with multi-search capabilities. This database includes agricultural databases, databases offered by the Library Commission as well as databases provided by UNL. The database is available to the public. Next month the UNL Libraries will make available its institutional depository, an electronic archive for faculty publications. The UNL Libraries is building a high density storage facility on campus. The facility should be completed in June. There will be tours of the building during NLA/NEMA conference.  

Patricia Gross - Gering high school taught 75 students to use online databases. The school's budget has not increased in the last four years and will not increase next year. Pat stated that she uses E-books heavily so that children who go on to college know how to use them. Pat encourages her students to use NebraskAcess at both school and home. On April 7, there will be training on academic integrity in schools. On the same day, there will be a computer media workshop for both public and school librarians. There will be a Job-A-Like gathering on March 29; this is a gathering of public, school, and academic librarians. They will have a One Book - One State book discussion. Cherie Longmuir, Panhandle System Coordinator, will be giving a library safety and security workshop on March 29. NEMA will host an institute training session on August 2nd focusing on continuing the @ your library campaign and a session on copyright and plagiarism. Gering public library received a grant from the Commission for a Teen Space project. The Sylvan Learning Center has committed $100 a month for the Teen Spaces project.

Jean Ahrens -Scottsbluff will be hosting several gatherings for the One Book - One State program. Several English professors at WNCC have worked My Antonia into their curriculum.

Carol Spencer - The Broken Bow public library received a grant from the Library Commission for a Teen Space project. Carol attended Legislative Day. Carol said that she was glad that LB599 was killed.

Mary Nelson - The Holdrege public library is also involved in a Teen Space project. There was a recent article in the McCook newspaper about the McCook community college library and the laptop computers used in the library. The project will be expanded to include the McCook public library.

Velma Sims-Shipley - Betty Jean Steinshouer recently gave a presentation on Willa Cather in Fremont.

Nancy Cantin - Nancy distributed a survey concerning a 2005 NLA - NEMA pre-conference program, Caring for the Mind @ your library, sponsored by the Special & Institutional, Paraprofessional and Public Library sections of NLA. The Hasting Regional Center clients started a client newsletter and it has done very well. This has taught them about copyright issues. There are two senators who have asked for copies of the newsletter. The Regional Center will be getting two more computers for the computer lab. They are working with the Literacy Council to provide client education.

Diana Johnson - The Stromsburg library held brown bag lunch discussions during the winter and has extended them to include one on Willa Cather. The second weekend in March the granddaughter of Antonia will make a presentation. The regular book club will discuss My Antonia in an open forum. Next week a woman from Milford will speak about the characters that Cather used in her books. The Stromsburg library recently had a 10th grade girl who sews historical costumes do a presentation on the civil war era. Stromsburg is also involved in a Teen Space project.

Maggie Harding - The Nebraska Library Association Trustees, Users and Friends Section is planning and arranging programs for the NLA - NEMA annual conference. There are currently 730 plus NLA members. This number is a little higher than this time last year.

Marty Magee - Marty is working with the Nebraska Library Commission and the UNMC Library of Medicine to develop pilot projects including public and hospital libraries working together to provide consumer health information. President Bush has made this one of his priorities. Marty is involved in the planning for the mental health pre-conference. Last week, Becky Pasco brought 36 UNO students to the UNMC. Three people from the medical center, Marty and the librarian from the Bioterrorism education unit gave presentations to the students. The National Network Library of Medicine had a national symposium on diversity. A regional symposium with MPLA is under consideration for this fall. Marty is looking at this on a Nebraska level. Marty is working with the UNMC on a project to promote health education for diverse populations. The UNMC received a $25,000 grant for the project. A video will be produced to provide information about how to go to the doctor and how to find health information. The video will show a child and a parent making a doctor appointment, going to the doctor visit, showing what happens at the doctor visit and then going to the library and asking for health information. The video will be produced in English first then Spanish. If funds are sufficient, the video will be translated to Sudanese.

Patty Birch - Patty invited anyone traveling through North Platte to stop and visit the North Platte high school library. The public library has a fabulous young adult librarian who visits the schools and developed new and fun programs. Overall circulation has gone up over 6,000 items from this time last year. It is believed the circulation is up due to the increase in population.

Karen Drevo - The 11th Annual Norfolk Literature festival will be held July 30. SCYP members will get free admission. There will be three nationally known authors at the festival. All three authors have books nominated for the Nebraska Golden Sower award. There has been great public response in Norfolk to HeritageQuest, recently added to NebraskAcess. Betty Jean Steinshouer did a Willa Cather program and the room was standing room only. On March 29, there will be a discussion of My Antonia. Karen Warner started a brown bag lunch series and had one on quilts and their significance to the Underground Railroad. Karen Drevo will be attending the Cooperative Summer Library Reading Program meeting in April; this group plans the summer reading program themes and manuals. Two reference assistant positions that will be opening.

MeMe Smith - Schuyler public library is working on its Teen Space project. The library has run out of room and has purchased land for a new library.

Theresa Jehlik - Omaha broke ground for the new Washington branch. The OPL recently launched debt collect to collect on fines. The OPL will be offering downloadable digital audio books. The library received part of an IMLS library grant from the Urban Libraries Council. The OPL will be applying for a round two grant and hopes to use it to encourage paraprofessional staff to pursue bachelors' degrees. The main library is being reorganized and will be reduced from four floors to three floors.

Nancy Escamilla - Scottsbluff hired an architect to conduct a feasibility study for a new library. Options include building a new library on the current site, adding to the current building or building at a new site. At this time, it appears that Scottsbluff will renovate and add to its current building. A new teen area was created and everything was donated. The Sylvan Learning Center is donating $100 a month. Nancy is a member of the new NLA diversity committee. Gering Friends of the Library paid for author Dr. Nolan Carlson to visit every elementary school in Gering and a public appearance at the library in the evening.

Election of Vice-Chair -Nancy Escamilla, Council chair, asked for nominations for the vice-chair position. Theresa Jehlik nominated Marty Magee. Jim Bothmer nominated Janice Boyer. Patricia Gross nominated Diana Johnson. Voting was conducted by ballot. There was a tie between Marty Magee and Jan Boyer. There was a second ballot vote in which Jan Boyer was announced the new vice-chair.

 Adoption of Resolution - Rod Wagner thanked Sharon Osenga for hosting the meeting.

2005 Council Meeting Schedule and Plans - The next meeting will be July 15 in Scottsbluff. The November meeting will be in Lincoln.

Adjournment - A motion and second were made to adjourn the meeting. The meeting was adjourned at 1:45 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.