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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
July 14, 2000

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, July 14, 2000 at 9:30 a.m., at the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, Nebraska.. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal-Star, Omaha World Herald, and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Homepage.


Chair Wally Seiler called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. Members present: Robert King (late), Richard Jussel, Kristen Rogge, Wally Seiler, Velma Sims, and Karen Warner. Staff present: Rod Wagner, and Maria Medrano-Nehls.

Approval of Agenda: A motion was made to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.

Approval of the Minutes (May 12, 2000): ): A motion was made to approve the minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; Sims - aye; Warner -aye; and Rogge - aye. Motion approved.


There were no public representatives present.


Rod Wagner referred to the letter sent by Michael LaCroix, Chair of the State Advisory Council, to Wally Seiler supporting the NebrasKard project.


Wally Seiler reported that Alliance has completed their building project and are now asking the County Commissioners for assistance in the cost of running the library

Kristen Rogge reported on her attendance at the Southeast Library System Board meeting in Nebraska City. Frank Vrba provides computer assistance to libraries and is planning a website with technical assistance which would provide visual aids. Librarians attending the meeting were very enthusiastic about this website. There is still a search under way for a Director for the Auburn Library.

Kristen also mentioned an article in ZDNet, in which James Billington, the Librarian of Congress, was interviewed and another article about university research libraries making the transition to electronic publications.

Richard Jussel reported that he recently returned from a visit to Alaska. The Kearney Public Library and Information Center is involved in updating their automated library system. The Kearney Public Library's website will be completed soon.

Velma Sims reported that the town of Valley has a new Director, Nina Little. Last year there were no children at the Summer Reading Program and this year there were 70. The Sarpy County libraries met to discuss a Sarpy County Federation with their County Commissioner. The Omaha public library is sponsoring an on-line book club called A Chapter A Day. The Eastern Library System has placed disposable cameras in six libraries and the staff members have been asked to take pictures of children and young people, they hope to use the pictures for promotion of the Libraries for the 21st Century campaign. The Fremont Library Friends group is sponsoring a Lemonade on the Lawn at the John C. Fremont Days this weekend.

Robert King reported that the Holdrege library has a new mural. The Holdrege High Industrial Arts class built it. Holdrege held Swedish Days in June. A musical of Tom Sawyer was preformed and Wally Seiler preformed as Mark Twain. Bob handed out copies of the news article featuring Wally.

Karen Warner reported that on June 1st, she was a speaker at the Northeast Library System Board Annual meeting. Her program was "Karen Warner and Libraries: Past and Future". The automation program that Northeast is working on with Columbus and Norfolk is in the RFP stage. They have passed the first hurdle with the Peter Kiewit Foundation and will not know the final decision until September. Karen attended the State Advisory Council meeting on June 9 in Curtis. Karen also went to Chicago for the American Library Association Annual Conference.


Rod Wagner noted Governor Johanns's reappointment of Karen Warner and Robert King, and expressed thanks for their willingness to serve another term on the Commission.

The Library Commission's centennial year is coming up soon. The Library Commission's website now has a special section for the Centennial. The site has a lot of centennial related material. Each month a separate piece of history of the Commission will be added. There are also links to various publications or graphics.

LSTA Reauthorization

Rod reported that the Friday before the ALA conference, he attended a COSLA meeting. One of the major concerns of the state libraries is the up-coming LSTA reauthorization. Work is underway to plan strategy and work on getting the federal program reauthorized. The Institute of Museum and Library Services has put together in conjunction with state libraries a plan and process to develop a five-year evaluation for LSTA.

There was mention of the electronic book, reading books and material via the Internet or downloading via the Internet. COSLA made a decision to be a member of the Open E-book Forum, which is a national organization involved in developing standards and policies for the emerging electronic book industry.

ALA Conference

Rod reported that he just completed a term on the board of the ALA Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies. Maggie Harding and Rod attended a meeting that included representatives from the eight states that are part of the second phase of the Library for the Future's Community-Library Advocacy program.

Personnel Updates

Rod reported that Jodeen Glaesmann has been hire as an administrative assistant to work with Doreen Kuhlmann. Jodeen replaces Sue Biltoft who is now working with the Rural Development Commission. Annette Hall recently joined the staff as Volunteer Services Coordinator in a half time position. Kimberly Shelley has moved over to the Lincoln City libraries as the Circulation Librarian, and Jo Budler will be leaving in August to be the Deputy State Librarian in Michigan.

State Advisory Council

Rod reported that at the State Advisory Council meeting held in Curtis, they were wonderfully hosted by Mo Khamouna and the College. There were good discussions with the NebrasKard being a major discussion topic. The Council gave its enthusiastic endorsement of the NebrasKard (as noted in Michael LaCroix's letter to Wally Seiler).


Rod reminded everyone of the upcoming NLA/NEMA/MPLA conference which will be held in Omaha during the month of October.

2001 ALA Annual Conference

Rod urged Commission members to consider attending the 2001 ALA annual conference in San Francisco. The ALA annual conference offers programs on hundreds of issues and is a good continuing education opportunity.


Rod reported that one of the handouts was for the month of June and which covers the first fiscal year of the biennium. Due to some position vacancies the Commission's personal services budget (salaries and benefits) was under budget. Funds remaining in this area can be allocated to other operating expenditure needs. The Commission came in slightly under budget for the year. Remaining funds carry over for the next half of the biennium.

Rod referred to the cash account summary and called attention to the NEBASE distributive fund. These are monies are collected from Nebraska libraries, largely for OCLC and other billed services. As an affiliated OCLC network, the Commission passes through billings for OCLC products and services. The libraries then pay for these billings through the Library Commission. The fund is large because libraries are allowed to deposit money into their account in order to cover the cost of their bills and avoid having to pay from monthly invoices. Libraries are allowed a discount for pre-payment. The Commission earns interest on fund balances that are deposited with the State Investment Council.


NebrasKard - Wally Seiler reported that the State Advisory Council really wants to go forward with this project.

A motion was made to accept the program concept with the intention to move forward after working out the operational details and to appoint members of the NebrasKard ad hoc committee to serve as the NebrasKard Advisory Committee.

Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; King - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.

Karen Warner suggested that the Chair send a letter to Michael LaCroix, the State Advisory Chair, notifying him of the Commission's action.


2001 -2002 Biennium Budget Process and Issues - Rod Wagner referred to Nancy Busch's memo regarding the biennium budget request and strategies. At the September Commission meeting, staff will present recommendations for Commission approval. In The budget request is due on September 15. State agencies are also required to submit a plan for a 5% reduction in operational and aid funds calculated based on current state fund appropriation levels.

Rod mentioned that any two or more libraries can start a reciprocal borrowing program. The advantage of a state approach is a common set of policies and procedures, and promotional materials for participating libraries. The college and university libraries currently have a reciprocal borrowing program.

Nancy has indicated that for the last couple of budget proposals we have included the operating funds of the Talking Book and Braille service as the modification. The reason for doing this is because it is a very distinct service offered by the Commission and cost is very identifiable. In regard to our operating expenses, a very large part of our operating expenses are rent cost. Nancy noted that the Commission will have some short fall in the next biennium that will have be part of our budget request.

Budget items where there have been cost increases will also be considered to determine the amount of funding will be required in the next biennium (e.g., airfare rates, energy costs, lodging, publishing, contract services, etc.). The real priority is in the Government aid area. Nancy provided a one-page outline representing the approach being considered for the state aid funding request.

Training is still an area we want to build on and have had a lot of interest in this area. Another area to look at is the need for library technology assistance. There are people who work in Nebraska libraries who have special skills in library applications. It was suggested that we develop a certification program for library information technology, and through this program identify people to work with and make them available to help other libraries who need assistance.

There is a continuing need for an increase in the state aid that goes to public libraries. The aid amount was increased this year for the first time in the past decade. Staff is considering a proposal to increase state aid to public libraries over several years.

Priority Goals for 2000 - 2001

Rod distributed a hand-out listing major goals and priorities. For most of the year, we will be in the biennium budget process.

Personnel recruitment is an immediate priority. Other projects listed are Centennial activities and events, Community Library Advocacy, Gates Library Initiative, Electronic Based Library Services, Continuous Library Improvement Program, NebrasKard, LSTA and State Grants programs, Libraries of Promise, and Nebraska Center for the Book.

Election of Commission Chair

Chair Seiler asked for nominations. A motion was made to re-elect Wally Seiler as Commission Chair for the 2000-2001 term. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jussel - aye; Warner - aye; Rogge - aye; King - aye; and Seiler - abstain. Motion approved.

Election of Commission Vice-Chair

Chair Seiler asked for nominations. A motion was made to elect Kristen Rogge as Commission Vice-Chair for the 2000-2001 term. Motion carried on roll call vote: Warner - aye; Rogge - abstain; King - aye; Seiler - aye; and Jussel - aye. Motion approved.

Meeting Schedule for 2000 - 2001

Chair Seiler asked if the dates listed on the proposed Planning Calendar would work. The proposed meeting dates were approved by consensus.

Director's Salary

A motion was made to increase the Director's salary by 2%. Motion carried on roll call vote: Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.

Out-of-State Travel Request

Rod Wagner asked for approval to attend the Western Council of State Libraries meeting in Santa Fe, October 11-13, and the Fall Chief Officers of State Libraries Agencies meeting in Springfield, Illinois on October 23-25.

A motion was made to approve the travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: : Rogge - aye; King - aye; Seiler - aye; Jussel - aye; and Warner - aye. Motion approved.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:3 a.m.

All attachments are available upon request. If you would like a copy, please contact Sue Biltoft at the Nebraska Library Commission, 800-307-2665 or 402-471-2045.

For more information, contact Sue Biltoft.