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Meeting Minutes

Western Nebraska Community College, Scottsbluff, NE
July 15, 2005

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

Commission members: Jean Ahrens, John Dale, Velma Sims-Shipley, and Carol Spencer.  Commission staff:  Maria Medrano-Nehls and Rod Wagner. Guests: Cherie Longmuir, Panhandle Library System, Diane Downer, Gering public library, Sherry Houston, Republican Valley Library System, Judy Oltmanns, Scottsbluff public library, Carolyn Brown, Kimball, and Nadine DiBacco. 

Welcome and Introductions

Chair Nancy Escamilla welcomed everyone to Scottsbluff and thanked WNCC for the use of the facility.  

Dr. John N. Harms, President of Western Nebraska Community College, welcomed everyone to Scottsbluff and to WNCC.  Dr. Harms stated that he believes that the library is the center and the heartbeat of the community. He also stated that the work that is done by this group is very important and they should continue to make the libraries in our communities the center of the community.  

Senator Adrian Smith welcomed everyone to western Nebraska. Senator Smith stated that he is having the opportunity to visit many Nebraska towns and to see the libraries in those communities because often they are the center of the community. He thanked the group for the work they do to maintain the libraries as the center of the community. Senator Smith said that it is important to maintain the balance of the written book and technology and not be resistant to change.     

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

Approval of Minutes (March 11, 2005): A motion was made and seconded to approve the minutes. Motion approved. 


Nebraska Legislature - Library Related Actions - Rod Wagner stated that the legislative bill introduced to authorize inclusion of regional library system employees in the state employees ' insurance benefit program did not advance during the session and will carry over to the 2006 session. Legislative Bill 645 regarding bond financing of joint capital purchases - technology and facilities by local government entities was approved. There are provisions included in the bill that pertain to financing library technology. A bill that would authorize municipalities to choose whether they would have a library governing board or advisory board was killed in committee.  

Budget - Rod Wagner stated that state appropriations made for the 2005 - 2007 biennium budget did not include any significant funding increases in the state aid to libraries program. The Commission had requested additional state funds for state aid to public libraries, regional library systems and database licensing.  The Commission did receive a funding increase to cover database fee increases anticipated for the biennium. Since the Commission did not receive the requested funds for database licenses, the Commission will not be able to extend the eLibrary subscription to schools. The appropriations committee considered additional funds for database licensing, but decided not to include the added funds in their budget recommendations to the Legislature.  

Federal Library Related Legislation and Issues - Rod Wagner stated that the House and Senate are working on LSTA funding for FY 2007 (which begins October 1, 2005) and it is possible that there will be an increase in LSTA funding for the coming year. 

Libraries for the 21st Century Project - "Recruiting the Next Generation of Librarians "

Rod Wagner stated that one of the pieces of the project is production of a video that can be used as a movie trailer and for use in libraries and other places as a recruitment resource. The Commission is working with Ann Seidl, producer of the Hollywood Librarian, to produce the recruitment video. Ms. Seidl has agreed to present a program on her project and research at a NLA - NEMA pre-conference in 2006. Use of funds for internships was considered but hasn 't been further pursued due to the cost and limited number of internships that could be funded. A scaled down internship program is under consideration that could provide stipends for part-time youth workers.

Gates Foundation Global Libraries Program Initiatives - The Gates Foundation has provided additional grant funds to conduct further training for rural library personnel. The training will be held the first quarter of 2006. The Gates Foundation plans to provide funds for urban libraries at a later time. Another Gates Foundation project will address the needs and services for the Spanish speaking population. Nebraska will participate in that project in 2007. The Rural Library Sustainability project seeks participation of representatives from at least 80% of public libraries. Project funds include coverage of expenses for participant travel to the site.  

Consumer Health Information Services - Marty Magee stated that last year the University of Nebraska Medical Center Library of Medicine received a Consumer Health Information Services Award from the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. The Nebraska Library Commission, University of Nebraska Medical Center, National Network of Medicine and Nebraska Health & Human Services will pool resources (both financial and expertise) to support projects across Nebraska in which public libraries, hospitals, public health departments and other community organizations work together to develop a community health information project. 

Nebraska Educational Media Association - Steve Davis reported that the NEMA board is holding its annual retreat in Aurora today. The Meridian Library System and NEMA recently held a joint day long program. NEMA is working on plans and programs for the fall joint-conference with NLA. 

Nebraska Library Association - Theresa Jehlik reported that the fall NLA - NEMA conference will be held September 28-30 in Lincoln and that early bird registration ends on August 31. There will be three pre-conference programs this year. The NLA fiscal year change is officially dead. The NLA board has been discussing the possibility of adding a recruitment webpage to their website.  

The Panhandle Library Scene

Cherie Longmuir reported that the Panhandle Library System includes 14 counties, 30 public libraries, 90 school libraries, 4 college libraries, and several special libraries. Cherie highlighted some of the activities and events taking place in public libraries and schools.  

Carolyn Brown, Kimball public library director, reported that Kimball received an LSTA grant for an "English as a Learned Language " project. They purchased both adult and children 's books in Spanish and bilingual formats. The library held a Cinco de Mayo celebration and introduced the collection at the celebration. Kimball applied for a LIBRA grant with matching funds from their Friends group and they were awarded 68 books worth over $1000. They are currently hosting a Smithsonian Institution exhibit, Key Ingredients: America By Food.   

Judy Oltmanns, Scottsbluff public library, reported that she is an instructor for the LTA program offered at WNCC. Judy reported that her class will begin on August 22. There are 6 or 7 people registered at this time. The class will be offered online.  

Nebraska Library Service Trends and Issues, 2005-2007

Rod Wagner distributed a document listing trends and issues related to library services. He asked for ideas on how to use this information. One thought was to ask Council members to volunteer to work with a group to discuss/work on any topic or topics they might like to explore. The information from the discussions would be helpful to the Commission for future planning activities.   

Council Roundtable

Becky Pasco - Becky described her responsibilities and activities in library science education. Becky asked that librarians remember her students for part-time positions.  

Sharon Osenga - Ord public library has a new Director. Sally Wagner, former director, retired after 19 years at the library. Tone Mendoza has been hired as Lexington 's public library director. Valentine is seeking a director. Sharon noted that the Nebraska Library Commission provided funds to pay for a bus to transport Nebraska librarians to the MPLA conference to be held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in October. The regional library systems are sponsoring a literary Ireland trip in July 2006.  

Nancy Cantin - Nancy stated it was great to have Sherry Houston on board as Administrator of the Republican Valley Library System. 

Sherry Houston - Sherry stated that Holdrege has a new library director, Pam Soreide. Ms. Soreide will begin her new position in Holdrege on August 1.  

Pat Gross stated that the Panhandle Library System recently held a Job-a-Like meeting. Pat noted that the Commission 's Database Roadshow was held on June 30 and was well attended.  PLS/NEMA will host a joint workshop on August 2.   

Gretchen Healey reported that the Winnebago library had a great summer reading program. The library offered two computer workshops, keyboarding and computer and Internet games as well as reading. They have applied for another IMLS Enhancement grant for $140,000 to be used to translate two stories by Oliver LaMere into preschool language and make two children 's stories into multimedia presentations with Winnebago language translation. They will also digitize the local Winnebago Indian News newspaper as well as the county paper. The Winnebago library is considering partnering with the local school on a reading program. The library provides various reading programs for children such as reading-on-request, summer reading and read-to-me night with county officials, and tribal members reading to the children. They are also hoping to use some of the grant monies on the GEARUP program which stands for gaining early awareness and readiness for undergraduate programs. The Winnebago library received books from the LIBRA foundation.  

Jan Boyer reported that the University of Nebraska at Omaha had a visit from President Karzai of Afghanistan on June 25. The library is building an addition on its north side.  

Steve Davis reported that Kearney public schools are upgrading to Sagebrush 's new product InfoCenter.  

John Dale stated that he is very glad to serve on the Nebraska Library Commission. He is pleased to bring his past work experience and his time as a State Advisory Council on Libraries member to serve all libraries across the state by serving as a Commissioner.   

Theresa Jehlik reported that Omaha Public Library is working on the annual budget. Ground was broke this spring for the joint South Branch/Metro Community College library building. The building is expected to be completed in January 2007. Omaha libraries are gearing up for Omaha Reads 2006. The OPL was approved for second round funding for their Librarians for the 21st Century grant. They will use these funds to focus on other forms of library education rather then the MLS. 

MeMe Smith reported on a staff changes at the Schuyler Public Library. One of the banks in town was recently renovated. When the bank undertakes a project it likes to give something back to the community. This time the bank donated $7,500 to the library.   

Karen Drevo reported that the City of Norfolk instituted a hiring freeze. The library will be losing their pages and will not be able to replace them. They are having a great summer reading program and will hold a renaissance fair next week. The Norfolk Literature Festival will be held the end of the month. Karen attended the CSLP meeting in April and she has received some e-mails expressing concern with the theme. Central Community College - Grand Island, Wayne public library, Wayne State College and South Sioux City public library are joining the One Library Consortium. Karen attended the Every Child Ready to Read program in Kearney.  

Jim Bothmer reported that Creighton University is hosting a Midwest users group for SIRSI. The Creighton University Health Sciences Library received an award from Health Futures Foundation, a Creighton Medical Center foundation. Siobhan Champ-Blackwell received recognition as a "Mover & Shaker " from Library Journal.  

Marty Magee reported that many things are going on with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Marty attended the ALA annual conference and worked at the NNLM booth. Marty mentioned the Caring for the Mind @ your library™ pre-conference program to be held prior to the NLA/NEMA conference. Marty is working on a video project targeted toward minorities which will provide information on physician appointments and where to look for medical information. These videos are available in English, Spanish and Sudanese. The video will be distributed for free. NNLM will be sponsoring a symposium prior to the MPLA conference. The symposium is an outreach project based on diverse, ethnic, minorities, and special populations. If interested contact Marty and she can nominate you to NNLM to receive help to attend the symposium.  They are also working with Nebraska Educational Telecommunications on a series called Remaking American Medicine. 

Patty Birch reported that nine people completed their LTA Collection Development course last semester. North Platte High School hosted a Database Roadshow. North Platte 's summer reading program is up 15%. The North Platte Library Foundation will host its 3rd annual garden tour, Garden 7 Gables, to raise money for a new building.       

Maggie Harding reported that NLA currently has 755 paid members. There are also 29 subscriptions, 8 institutional members and 5 corporations. The ballots for NLA officers will go out soon. The Nixon scholarship fund is in good condition. The scholarship committee had sufficient funds available to give two scholarships. John Seyfarth is making membership directories on CD which will be distributed at the fall conference.  

Maggie reported that she will be next year 's Chair for the NLA Trustees, Users and Friends Section. The section received a grant from the Library Commission to update the library trustee manual. An ad hoc committee was formed to take the information and recommendations from the trustee survey and develop a four year program in which each year they will concentrate on one area that was identified as a need. The fifth year will include a program evaluation. The goal is to have something ready to discuss at NLA spring meetings and to have focus group discussions. TUFS will hold a program session on ethics at the fall conference. 

John Seyfarth reported that he has been collaborating with Becky Pasco and some of her library science students on a Nebraska Memories project.  

Jean Ahrens introduced Valetta Schneider, Information Services Director at Western Nebraska Community College.  

Nancy Escamilla reported that the Scottsbluff public library had 1359 children participate in its summer reading program and 1006 of them completed the program. The library will finish the program with a professional puppeteer. The library had 186 teens who attended the teen summer reading program. The teen group will host their 2nd Battle of the Band on August 11. Scottsbluff has hired a professional fundraiser to help with their library building project. They need to raise about three million dollars. The Panhandle will host another Prime Time Family Reading program this fall. 

Recognitions, Recommendations and Resolutions

A recommendation was made to send a letter to state senators regarding increased funding for subscription databases. It was also recommended that a letter be sent to the Nebraska Department of Education and NEMA asking them to send letters to senators supporting database funding. A suggestion was made that the Commission purchase a database called Ethnic NewsWatch.  

November Council Meeting 

The next State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting will be held November 18 in Lincoln at the Nebraska Library Commission. 


Chair Escamilla adjourned the meeting at 1:55 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.