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Nebraska Library Commission - Minutes

Nebraska Library Commission
September 21, 2007

The Nebraska Library Commission held its regular meeting Friday, September 21, 2007, at the Nebraska Library Commission, Lincoln, NE. Notice of the meeting was submitted to local newspapers (Lincoln Journal Star, Omaha World Herald), and posted on the Nebraska Library Commission Web site.

Chair John Dale called the meeting to order at 9:35 a.m. Members present: Jean Ahrens, John Dale, Patrick Gross, Mary Nelson, Velma Sims-Shipley, and Carol Spencer. Staff present: Rod Wagner, Maria Medrano-Nehls, Dave Oertli, and Shannon White.

Approval of Agenda

A motion was made and seconded to approve the agenda. Motion carried on roll call vote: Jean Ahrens - aye; John Dale - aye; Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; and Carol Spencer. Motion approved.

Approval of the Minutes (July 13, 2007):

A motion was made and seconded to approve the July 13, 2007 meeting minutes. Motion carried on roll call vote: John Dale - aye; Pat Gross - aye; Mary Nelson - aye; Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer -aye; and Jean Ahrens - aye. Motion approved.


No public in attendance.

Correspondence and Communication

Rod Wagner stated that did not have any correspondence to report. Rod said that he recently received information regarding an upcoming event to recognize Bill Kloefkorn for his 25th year as a Nebraska State Poet. A dinner and program will be held on October 6 to recognize Mr. Kloefkorn.

Chair's Report and Commissioners' Comments

John Dale reported that he and his wife visited all three Nebraska state colleges and looked at the building projects going on at the campuses. John visited with Milton Wolf, Chadron State College Library Director, on the visit to the Chadron State campus. Milton is working on making the library a place for students to congregate instead of only visiting when they need materials for assignments.

Mary Nelson reported that she entertained the Republican Valley Library System board at her house. The Hastings public library recently held its book sale and netted $20,000. Rescue Josh McGuire by Ben Mikaelsen, was chosen as the One Book for Nebraska Kids. Ben will be visiting several Nebraska communities, including Hastings and either Holdrege or Hildreth. North Platte public library was recently remodeled its building.

Carol Spencer reported that Broken Bow public library held a week long celebration of the library building's 35th anniversary. Dr. Susanne George Bloomfield from the University of Nebraska at Kearney did a presentation on Native American authors. The Custer County Historical Museum is presenting the Smithsonian exhibit Between Fences.

Pat Gross reported that the Wayne public library recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in its new building. The Wayne public library had great summer reading program attendance.

Jean Ahrens - Scottsbluff public library sponsored the Battle of the Bands again this summer. The program is for teens only and had 500 teens in attendance. There were so many bands that wanted to participate that they had to turn some of them down due to time factors. The band members must be teens in order for the band to enter. Jean stated that she has been attending story time at the library with her granddaughter. Jean has always tried to attend story time at least once a year because she teaches a children's literature class and encourages her class to attend. Scottsbluff is finally kicking off their library fund raising efforts for the building addition. The Meet Me at the Park event will be held Sunday. The public library recently held its book sale and raised close to $2,000.

Velma Sims-Shipley reported that Snyder recently remodeled its public library and hosted an open house last Friday. The Omaha public library has announced the winners of the Omaha Reads selection. The winner for the children's selection is Charlotte's Web. Winner of the adult section is The Singing and Dancing Daughters of God by Omaha author, Timothy Schaffert. Velma stated that Southeast Library System and Eastern Library System will host a fall colloquium on November 29, with Michael Stephens presenting on Library 2.0.

Director's Report

Talking Book and Braille Services - Dave Oertli reported that National Library Service (NLS) is part of the Library of Congress and is the parent organization to the Talking Book Network and Nebraska is part of the network. The plan is to start a conversion from audio tapes to a digital format. The planning process has been in effect for 12-13 years. To make the transition in four-years, $19.1 million dollars is needed. After debates from both the House of Representatives and Senate, the FY 2008 appropriation for the digital book conversion is $12.5 million. Final action has not been taken on the appropriation. Due to the cut in dollars it will take six-years to make the transition. There is still hope that the Senate will restore the amount to the $19.1 million request amount. Dave stated that the digital players are to be funded with 2007 funds and will be ready for distribution in 2008 but there is not money for the digital talking books. The Nebraska Library Commission expects to receive several hundred digital players in 2008.

Dave mentioned the Library Commission's budget request for $32,500 to purchase cartridges that are compatible to new digital players so Nebraska's collection of our own studio books and magazines could be in the new format. The funding request was not approved. Dave Oertli stated that he felt we should wait until the next budget cycle to request funds for this transition.

Dave stated that he and his staff have been busy promoting TBBS services by having a display at the diabetes seminar in Omaha and Holdrege, provided information to an Easter Seals program for disabled farmers, sent packets to the Polo Survivor Organization, present to several BIF chapters, placed articles in NLA and NEMA news, contact United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska, articles in the Library System newsletters, packets to Multiple Sclerosis support letters, packets to rheumatologist and arthritis specialist, packets to Muscular Dystrophy Association, packets to Nebraska social workers, display at Plattsmouth high school, hand delivered 25 applications to Eye Care Associates, and presented to the University of Nebraska Consortium of Libraries. Dave stated that he and his staff spend many hours mailing information on the services available.

Network Services Update - Shannon White reported on the OverDrive downloadable audio-book service. Omaha and Lincoln libraries are OverDrive customers. For many libraries, the cost of Over Drive is too high. The Nebraska Public Resource Library Group is interested in a group purchase for this service. Twelve other libraries are interested in a group purchase with the PRLG for the OverDrive service. Shannon said the service cost includes $25,000 to setup the website. Books are purchased at an average cost of about $40. OverDrive also offers e-books, videos, games and music. The NLC will subsidize the group purchase to cover the cost of the annual maintenance fee, develop the website and a portion of the start-up book purchases. The participating libraries will be responsible for the annual fee. Borrowers must be authenticated as a user of one of the participating libraries to check-out books. Since some small libraries don't have authentication systems the Commission will handle the authentication for them. The NLC will operate a database server and libraries will provide the NLC with the patron information for authentication.

Shannon distributed information on Web 2.0 tools that small libraries can take advantage of. Shannon stated that her staff has been providing training over the past year on these Web 2.0 tools. Shannon stated that the tools are free and allow users to develop content with little technical expertise and technical knowledge. Libraries can use these tools to develop their own websites.

Shannon stated that blogs are easy to set-up and use. The blog software can be used in many ways; for example Bennington library uses blog software for its website. The software is easily downloaded and templates are provided to develop web pages. Online forms allow for easy updating.

LibraryThing is a program for cataloging books. Smaller libraries may be interested in using this resource to catalogue their collections. LibraryThing provides for online searching. If the library catalogues more the 200 books there is a $25 cost. A hand held device can be used to scan items for $15. The hand held device allows scanning of ISBN numbers and cataloging books. Book information can be readily obtained from or the Library of Congress.

Delicious is a tool to mark websites and blogs along with descriptive information about them. Instead of creating a favorites list on a computer, Delicious can be used to save favorites online so they can be accessed online from any computer. Some libraries are using this to highlight reference sources.

Twitter is a "micro-blogging" tool. The Library Commission is one of the state libraries using Twitter. As an example, NLC reference staff post selected reference questions to indicate the kind and scope of questions asked.

Flickr is a site that allows uploading digital photos. Staff members use the program to post photos of Commission events and activities. The Lincoln City libraries and Scribner public library are a couple of libraries that hold classes on how to use Flickr. Shannon stated that she and her staff have been teaching classes on all of these Web 2.0 tools.

Personnel - Rod Wagner reported that Dave Eckmann moved from the Talking Book and Braille Service to the reference and interlibrary loan unit following Belinda Fanning's departure. Jenna Smith was hired to replace Dave Eckmann in the TBBS.

Wagner reported that a resolution was achieved on the state employees' salary matter. State employees should receive their pay raise and back pay at the end of the month. Calculating pay changes for personnel affected by the labor agreement was complicated due to the pay range differences among positions. Doreen Kuhlmann and Sue Biltoft have been working hard to make the necessary changes for the end-of-month payroll.

Thinking Outside the Borders - The institute will be held October 22-26. The participants include eight librarians from foreign countries, presenters, a group of Nebraska librarians, some Commission staff, and representatives from the Mortenson Center for International Librarianship located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The participants will spend a few days in Lincoln before traveling on to the NLA - NEMA conference in Kearney.

Office Space Lease Renewal - Rod Wagner stated that staff members are working with the Department of Administrative Services Building Division and Atrium building management on the renewal and extension of the office space lease. Several meetings have been held with the building owner representatives and their architect to discuss space improvements and updating. The improvements are under discussion to be incorporated in recognition of extending the lease up to ten years.

One Book One Nebraska Program - Rod Wagner stated that the University of Nebraska Press will be involved in planning and promoting Bill Kloefkorn's book, Restoring the Burnt Child. The UNP is the book publisher.

Nebraska Book Festival - Rod Wagner reported that the festival will be held the last weekend of October, beginning on October 26. The festival activities will be held in several downtown area facilities including the State Capitol. The Nebraska Book Awards will be presented during the festival in a session at the Capitol building. The Mildred Bennett award will be presented during the festival luncheon.

IMLS visit to Nebraska Library Commission - Rod Wagner reported that Laurie Brooks, Institute of Museum and Library Services Senior Program Officer, visited this week. One day was spent visiting with Library Commission staff about federal library programs and visiting Polley Music Library at Lincoln City Libraries. Polley Music Library was instrumental in helping to develop the Nebraska Memories digital library. Rod also traveled with Laurie Brooks to the Southeast Library System office, the Grand Island Public Library and the York Public Library. These site visits represented LSTA funded projects. The Grand Island Public Library has received a number of LSTA and state grants. A current grant is funding a RFID (radio frequency identification) project to manage the library collection, track inventory, and track checkouts. The York public library recently completed a re-design of their space for a teen area through a Library Commission grant.

State Advisory Council on Libraries - Rod Wagner reported that the State Advisory Council on Libraries met in July at the University of Nebraska at Omaha Alumni Center. The meeting included a discussion on the LSTA long-range plan regional meetings and some of the common issues brought up at the public meetings. The meeting included a tour of the recently expanded UNO library and renovation work underway on the original building. The next State Advisory Council on Libraries meeting will be held on November 16 at the Grand Island public library.


The July and August financial reports were included in the meeting packet. Rod Wagner stated that some expenditures are made early in the year for the full year (e.g., subscriptions, memberships) and indicate a high percentage of category expenditure in comparison to the percentage of the fiscal year completed.


Library Services and Technology Long Range Plan - Rod Wagner reported edit changes are being made to the plan due to an e-mail message received from IMLS about the use of LSTA monies for educational activities. The IMLS has decided that LSTA funds used for educational activities must be tied to one or more of the six LSTA purposes. The NLC five-year plan included a separate goal for education. Educational activities were reviewed and re-located under the two remaining goals. Other state library agencies have also had to revise their plans based on this requirement. A suggestion offered by the IMLS is to include a statement acknowledging that some activities in the plan are paid for from state funds. That is the case in Nebraska's plan and should satisfy IMLS requirements for the five-year plan.


Deficiency Budget Request - Rod Wagner stated he listed this item on the agenda as a possible funding request for flash memory cartridges for TBBS. Given the timetable for the digital talking book program, the funding request can be deferred for consideration in the 2009 - 2011 biennium budget request.

NLA/NEMA Conference - Rod Wagner reported that the NLA/NEMA conference will be held October 24-26 in Kearney.

Travel Request - Rod Wagner requested permission to attend a meeting sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services from October 30 through November 2, 2008, in Washington D.C. This meeting will update state library agency personnel on the LSTA state programs administration. A motion and second was made to approve Rod Wagner's travel request. Motion carried on roll call vote: Velma Sims-Shipley - aye; Carol Spencer - aye; Jean Ahrens - aye; John Dale - aye; Patrick Gross - aye; and Mary Nelson - aye.


Chair John Dale adjourned the meeting at 12:15 p.m.

Maria Medrano-Nehls, Secretary

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.