Skip To Talking Book & Braille Service Content Skip Navigation

Meeting Minutes

December 3,1999
Ralston, Nebraska


State Advisory Council Members Present: Fauneil Bennett, John Dale, Stan Gardner, Michael Herbison, Mo Khamouna, Michael LaCroix, Kathy Lute, Mary Nash, Sylvia Person, Sandra Riley, Jeanne Saathoff, Ruth Seward, Kathy Tooker, Richard Voeltz, Jane Wall, Sharon Wiegert.

Nebraska Library Commission Staff Present: Nancy Busch, Richard Miller, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Sally Snyder and Rod Wagner. Commissioners: Kristen Rogge, Velma Sims, Karen Warner.

Welcome and Introductions

Vice-Chair Michael LaCroix called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. and welcomed everyone to Ralston. Jan Gorman, Baright Public Library Director, welcomed everyone and invited everyone to tour the library. Jan noted that the library décor was created based on a tree and leaf theme.

The agenda was approved as presented.

Dick Voeltz noted two corrections to the September minutes; on the second page Voeltz was misspelled, and in the announcement section it should say Technical Services, not Technology Services.

A motion was made by Mike Herbison to accept the September minutes with corrections, seconded by Stan Gardner. Motion approved.


Rod Wagner stated that he hoped everyone would take some time to explore the new library, and expressed appreciation to Jan Gorman, library director, for hosting the Council meeting.

Mary Nash stated that she had researched the Latin phrase at Carhenge in Alliance (as a result of the September meeting) and found that it translates "To speak plainly is to be found out."


Eastern Library System

 Kathy Tooker, Eastern Library System Administrator and Council member, reported on Eastern Library System activities. Kathy stated the Regional library systems and the Nebraska Library Commission recently held workshops on two related topics in several places throughout the state. ,P.Library friends groups was the subject of the first workshop and public library fund-raising was the subject of the second workshop. Since July 1, the Eastern Library System has provided 30 hours of continuing education as either sponsor or co-sponsor. A survey distributed through the system newsletter to help determine training needs revealed that libraries need continuing education in numerous areas. The Eastern Library System board charged the continuing education committee to develop a plan for mentors to help library staff with electronic databases. The Eastern Library System has recently submitted some grant applications, one to the Kiewitt Foundation on behalf of a group of seven libraries from four counties to receive audio-books to share. The libraries themselves raised some of the funds. Kathy Tooker stated that she has been working with the ICON group (health sciences consortium libraries) that has applied to the National Library of Medicine for a $40,000 grant to develop a consumer health website. Becky Pasco is now an assistant professor in the Library Science Education Department at UNO. Kathy has discussed with Becky the training needs of media specialists in private and parochial schools. A full day of training will be offered in March or April. The Southeast Library System will be included in this training since the southeast regional also has many private and parochial school library media centers. The Saunders County Library Cooperative has been working together for three years. With a grant from the Library Commission they have started an automation project. The cooperative libraries are bar-coding and have begun to enter electronic records. Because of the automation project, one library was recently accredited and another expects to achieve accreditation next year. LaVista opened its new library last week and the dedication will be held January 29, 2000. Springfield is currently raising funds for a new library.


Rod Wagner stated that LSTA funding is caught up in the end of the Congressional session budget dealings and no announcement has been made yet on the outcome. LSTA funding is expected at about the same level as this past fiscal year. Increases in LSTA funding have tended to be for pet projects that members of Congress have managed to include during the appropriations process. So an increase in the LSTA appropriation does not necessarily mean an increase in LSTA state allotments.

State Aid Distribution

Rod Wagner stated that due to the additional $150,000 in state aid funds appropriated for this fiscal year and next, the regional library systems received an additional $22,500. Of the remaining $127,500, an amount of $75,000 will be added for direct state aid to public libraries, allowing an increase in the base grant amount from $600 to $750 (for libraries serving populations under 5,000). In addition, public libraries in communities under 5,000 populations will receive 18 cents per capita. In communities with population above 5,000, libraries will receive a per capita amount of 24 cents. Nearly every eligible public library will receive a funding increase, with a few receiving the same amount as this past year. Public libraries that receive funding from the county will receive an additional allotment equaling 1% of that figure.

The $52,500 remaining from the $150,000 in new state funds will be available to support continuing education activities and planning grants for inter-local library services. Details are still to be worked out on these latter grants and the State Advisory Council could be very helpful in making recommendations on how these funds should be used.

Federal Legislation

Rod Wagner stated there has been no final Congressional action this session requiring software filtering for Internet access as a prerequisite for receipt of universal service e-rate funding by schools and libraries. These requirements will most certainly be re-introduced in the 2000 Congressional session.

There was discussion at the last State Advisory on Libraries meeting concerning compilation of an information packet concerning Internet access and software filters. This has not been done. However, the American Library Association is creating a toolkit that will provide information on filtering software, with sample policy documents. These toolkits are expected to be introduced at the ALA Midwinter meeting in San Antonio in January 2000.

LSTA Grants Process

Richard Miller stated that he and Sally Snyder have been working on the LSTA grant calendar. The dates will be early January for announcements, applications due early March and announcement of recipients in early May.

A training session will be held in Hastings. The training session will be videotaped and will be made available through the regional library systems and the Library Commission.


Richard Miller reported that Pam Scott is working primarily on e-rate due to the timeliness of the e-rate application schedule. Pam is also working part-time with the Talking Book & Braille Service and volunteer recruitment. Information on the e-rate form 470 has been distributed to libraries. A second distribution will be issued with information on form 471. Kathy Tooker stated that she would like to thank Pam for doing a great job.

Honor Roll for Library Advocates

Rod Wagner reported that there will be a special activity at the July 2000 American Library Association annual conference 2000 in Chicago. This activity will honor and recognize outstanding library advocates from across the country. Each state has been asked to submit names for the honor roll. States can identify five individuals or organizations; and can also give recognition of persons no longer living. Details for nominations are on the Nebraska Library Commission website and in the December NLCommunicator. Nominations are due by December 15, and Maria will collect them.

Public Library Certification and Basic Skills Evaluation

There is no additional news on the evaluation of the Public Library Certification and Basic Skills program. The project consultant, Debra Johnson has delivered four chapters of the report but the remaining two chapters have not been delivered. Commission staff is trying to determine when the final chapters will be delivered.

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

Biennium Budget

Rod Wagner stated that the Library Commission submitted a budget request for a $5 million increase in funding for library services. Annual appropriations have been increased by $550,000 as a result of this campaign. The new funding has been allocated for online database licenses, additional direct aid to public libraries, continuing education and planning grants. Senator LaVon Crosby, the primary library funding advocate in the legislature, will retire at the end of the upcoming legislative session. She has been a strong advocate of libraries and is willing to support the funding campaign again this coming legislative session. We must decide what to focus on and what pieces of the original package we want to promote.

It will, of course, be up to Senator Crosby to decide what aspect she wishes to promote. State tax revenues are coming in at higher levels than anticipated. The Governor wants these surplus funds to be used to reduce property taxes. The education community is interested in extra funds for state aid to schools; other groups are interested as well. Governor Johanns has said that he does not want the funds spent for new programs.

Another idea discussed at the last State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting is building the "Nebraska Digital Library." This activity would package services that are already being provided, as well as add new components (e.g., searching of Nebraska library online catalogs, etc.).

Brenda Ealey, Chair of the NLA Legislative Committee, is working to put the details together for the Association's strategies for the upcoming legislative session. Today is a good time to explore what the Council might like to recommend.

Library Technology Planning

SACL discussion topics/recommendations:

* Nebraska Electronic Encyclopedia - central place that provides the search engine and access capability to access the electronic information of various state agencies. This would be one index or search engine capable of pulling information from all the different agencies.

* Funding in each system to: 1) Provide technology trainer on staff in each library system, 2) Offer a shared or consortium library automation system. Smaller libraries would not have to deal with setting up and running a system, someone on system staff would do that.

* Library Systems to apply for a LSTA grant for technology trainers, systems need a person who can handle the software and the hardware.

* Every library in state have online catalog that is accessible by every other library in the state.

* Tie into the Governor's interests and capitalize on them.

Rod Wagner stated that a meeting was held earlier this week in which the Commission invited Steve Schafer, the state's Chief Information Officer; Rod Armstrong, General Manager of Nebraska Online; Bill Ptacek, Director of the Secretary of State's Records Management Division; Dick Brown, Deputy Clerk of the Nebraska Legislature, and representatives from the State Historical Society. All of these agencies, including NLC, have an interest in providing electronic access to Nebraska State Government information. Among the discussion issues was the prospect of a symposium on improved access to government information. This project is largely a matter of cooperation, more so than funds. A suggestion was made to apply to the State Records Board for a grant to finance a symposium.

Nancy Busch mentioned that she recently attended a LITA conference; the pre-conference program was on metadata. A current and on-going issue is development of standards for metadata.

Jeanne Saathoff stated that she would like to commend the Nebraska Library Commission for the role they are taking with information technology.

Jeanne Saathoff stated that she would like to commend the Nebraska Library Commission for the role they are taking with information technology.

Council Goals and Priorities

Preservation of Electronic Records was a SACL priority issue for this year. There is a concern that information stored only in electronic form may not be retained and available in the future. The Library Commission has a special interest in this issue, not only due to the public interest in preservation of information but due to the Commission's role, since 1972, as the designated State Publications Clearinghouse. The Publications Clearinghouse collects published information from state agencies. As agencies discontinue print publications and make them available only on-line there is a concern that information that should be available over a long period of time may not be.

SACL concerns:

*The issue is where do you get a handle on it? Where do you start? How will electronic records evolve and how to keep up?

* There will be a conference near the end of September primarily for state agencies, at which the State Records Board will announce funds and authority to award grants.

* Is there a model on the federal level? GPO may have addressed this issue several years ago. We may want to follow up and find out what has been done on the federal level.

* What are other states doing?

* Records retention and preservation are linked but are also separate issues.

* Access issues go hand in hand. If preserved, records must be accessible to be useful.

* Issues of software changes are vital. Fifty years from now it is possible no one will have a CD-ROM reader, let alone the code to get to the information.

* There is an issue of digitizing photos and documents and then destroying the paper copy.

* Data collected from year to year needs to be collected in a similar process or there is no way to compare the information.

* Building awareness of the need to preserve the information in a useable form.

* Collaboration of library programs.

* Issue of people believing that a library is not needed when information is readily available on-line. We need to educate people about this issue.

* We need to be proactive. Do some statewide marketing of library services.

SACL recommendations:

* Keep the Nebraska Library Commission advised of what SACL is planning so that they can be prepared and keep others informed.

* Identify all the groups being referred to today on the NLC webpage and link to their site.

* Would like to see the word "collaboration" rather than using the term "merge when referring to cooperation between/among libraries (e.g., school and public).

* Pursue the licensing of databases, but eliminate duplication.

* Encourage teachers to use the public libraries more often.

Jeanne Saathoff stated that she felt the Council had a successful year because after looking at the Goals & Issues, she felt many of them have been addressed and that there has been movement on a number of these issues.

Sylvia Person stated that she is concerned about the basic skill levels of school media staff vs. public libraries.

The Council broke for lunch at 12:00 noon and reconvened at 1:09 p.m.

Stan Gardner asked about the accreditation and the service population issue. Rod Wagner responded that we are pretty much committed to using the population of the primary service area for the current fiscal year, but expect to change the procedure for calculating service population for accreditation and aid purposes in FY 2001. Stan also asked if there has been an increase in the number of libraries seeking accreditation. Nancy Busch responded that approximately 166 to 170 out of some 250 public libraries are accredited and that this remains fairly stable. It was mentioned that some libraries do not have adequate funding to meet the accreditation guidelines.

A question was asked about how close we are to having all libraries hooked up to the Internet. Rod Wagner responded that the Commission has collected information from libraries concerning Internet access, and that we will need to check that information to determine the number of libraries with Internet connections. The other issue is the quality of the connection and whether Internet access is available to the public through the library or if access is for staff only. Another question raised was local Internet access through an Internet Service Provider.

Rod Wagner stated that it was his understanding that nearly all Nebraska communities have a local Internet Service Provider, for example through their local telephone company. Rod Wagner also said that Roger Hahn, Executive Director of the Nebraska Information Network, would likely have the best information on local Internet access. Kathy Tooker suggested that we ask Roger Hahn to attend a Council meeting and talk with the Council about Nebraska telecommunication issues. Some of the issues preventing libraries from providing Internet access are cost and limited providers in their area. Rod Wagner mentioned that one of the purposes of the Gates Foundation grants is to provide Internet access to public libraries. Commission staff can tell us the number of libraries using databases and e-rate.

Council Roundtable

Kathy Lute - The Ogallala public library has expanded its public service hours to meet accreditation. Pam Scott gave a presentation to the library board before she left the Panhandle. The City Council tried to make the Library Board advisory rather than a governing board. The library increased Internet access for the children's section. The Internet terminals are in constant use. The library has filtered the children's Internet terminals, but not the adults'.

Sharon Wiegert - The Papillion public library has moved from 10,000 registered readers to 19,000 in three years. The computer room is in constant use. Lab users appear to be migrating to become general library users. There are about 40 to 50 unattended school kids in the library from after school to about 5 p.m. The library is working with the City Recreation department and YMCA to come up with a collaborative program.

Richard Voeltz - The complete renovation of the UNL library is finally underway. The UNL library has moved part of its collection out to remote storage near the fairgrounds for temporary storage until permanent storage is found. The renovation project should be completed in three years. The garden area was not totally eliminated because of complaints of their plan.

Mo Khamouna - Mo has been working on his new building. The college purchased new shelves and will start moving the book collection next week. Mo hopes the move will be complete by mid-January. The library is sharing the building with the computer lab, which will eventually be moved to a new building; then the library will expand to both sides of the building.

Mary Nash - The NLA conference is over and was well represented by this group. Finances are still being looked at; but do not look very good. Jeanne Saathoff brought the NebrasKard issue to the NLA Board for approval. Topics currently under consideration are compensation of paid staff and site selection for annual conferences.

Mary will be attending the ALA Midwinter meeting for chapter relations events to see what other state organizations are doing. Mary noted that John Bernardi, the new NLAQ editor, is doing a good job and is off to a good start. Ken Winston is the new lobbyist for NLA. The new board started their duties on November 13.

John Dale - 3-D models of the two new library branches will be presented to the Library Board and the Mayor. An open house event will be held in each part of the city for the public to see the models and ask questions. Lincoln City Libraries is about to sign a new contract with Dynix. The library is also getting a new server. The system and server will be sized to account for the new branches. Technical Processing is temporarily housed on the 4th floor because the carpet is being replaced in their area. Lincoln is about to see the rebirth of the Lincoln City Libraries' Foundation partially due to the recent bequest of $1.2 million.

The Foundation is planning to use the funds the first couple of years to increase the endowment. The new Mayor has appointed Carol Connor, Director of Lincoln City Libraries, to chair a committee, which will pull together information on the ways in which the city of Lincoln can collaborate with the school system. The school budget is around $300 million and the city budget is about $90 million.

Ruth Seward - Lexington's City Manager will retire the first of June. Three major department heads have also announced that they will retire within the next year. The library has formed a Building Committee of 30 community members. On Monday they will interview architects to find out what kind of possibilities they have. The Building Committee mailed out disposable cameras to newly built libraries in the state and asked them to take pictures of both the interior and exterior of their buildings. They will use these photos for ideas in planning Lexington's library. December 4 will be the first day of Spanish Story Hour. Ruth is hoping for a good turnout.

Sylvia Person - Sylvia extended a compliment to Devra Dragos for her OCLC First Search training. Sylvia stated that the presentation was good and the e-mail updates were appreciated. They are hoping for new computers for the school lab. They are going on their 4th year with the computers purchased with an education grant. The Holdrege Media Center is the home of Holdrege's first ESL class. The ESL class had up to eleven adults attend some of who also brought their children along. The Church is planning a 125th celebration and all the old records are in Swedish; they have had to hire a translator.

Jeanne Saathoff - The Kearney Public Library and Information Center has installed a 10NB line, and it is working great. New carpet has been installed. Kearney is also looking at space problems. They are just in the first stages of looking at needs and possibilities. They also have two new staff members. The NITC Community Council will soon have a grant program available. As soon as the guidelines are set, Jeanne will pass them on to the Nebraska Library Commission so that they may distribute them to libraries across the state.

Jane Wall - Jane stated that Grand Island is appreciative of Nebraska Library Commission's services. A copyright workshop was offered by Ellen Van Waart to Grand Island school administrators and then one to staff members. Jane mentioned that she uses the Electronic Library on the NLC home page quite frequently.

The Grand Island schools are collaborating with the public library. A consultant was hired by the public library to look at their needs; he also visited the schools to find out what schools would like from the public library. Both the schools and public library are looking at automated systems; perhaps some collaboration will be pursued.

Fauneil Bennett - Wayne had a school bond issue to cover many things. The elementary school was brought up to code. The high school will build an addition. The Middle school had moved in to ten pods because the building had so many things wrong with it. A bond issue to renovate the old building passed. The teachers were asked to help design the building with help from the architect.

Stan Gardner - Conell Hall (the social sciences building) renovation is completed. Some of the faculty were in the basement of the library and are now moving back to their building. The Northeast Library System is building a database of large print books so all in the system will know who owns what and will be able to borrow them. The library has been very busy with tours; presentations have doubled from last year. All the government documents are now in the electronic catalog. They have seen an increase in their usage. The library is working more with web pages and links.

Kristen Rogge - Kristen stated that she appreciates being able to attend the SACL meetings. She is learning a lot from attending the meetings.

Michael LaCroix - Creighton has a new president coming in July. Three libraries on campus have received budget increases for materials including electronic resources for the past few years. Forty percent of all alumni have their diplomas signed by the current President. All the private colleges in Nebraska are up and running on the SIRSI system.

Sandra Riley - Columbus is working to revitalize the downtown. Columbus public library did their part by pulling out all the overgrown plantings, and it looks great. Sandra now has e-mail.

Karen Warner - Karen is a member of the Norfolk Public Library Foundation, which has created a video and is distributing it to community groups. They are also trying to build an endowment for the library.

Northeast Community College will have one-third of their faculty and administrators retire in the next five years. Karen announced her retirement at the end of this year.

Kathy Tooker - Omaha Public library is remodeling their downtown library; they are also going to share a new library with Metro Community College (South Branch).

Council Resolutions and Recommendations


Special Recognition

Rod Wagner thanked everyone for their year of commitment to the State Advisory Council on Libraries. Certificates of Appreciation were presented to those completing terms. Those awarded a certificate were: Sharon Wiegert completing her 2nd term. Sandra Riley completing her 1st term, but not seeking re-appointment. Susan Baird, Ken Oyer, Stan Gardner, and John Dale are completing a 1st tem and will serve a second.

Michael LaCroix thanked the Nebraska Library Commission staff for organization and information distributed for the meetings.

Next Meeting

The joint SACL/NLC Commission meeting will be held March 9 & 10 in Kearney. Mo Khamouna invited the SACL to hold its June meeting in Curtis.


The meeting was adjourned at 2:26 p.m.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.