Spring 2009 Meeting March 31, 2009 Witchita, KS

Members present:
AK – Linda Thibodeau
AR - Carolyn Ashcraft
CA – Staci Aldrich
CO – Gene Hainer
ID – Ann Joslin
KS – Christie Brandau
MO – Margaret Conroy
NE – Rod Wagner
NM – Susan Oberlander
OK – Susan McVey
TX – Deborah Littrell
UT – Donna Jones Morris
WY – Lesley Boughton

Members joining via conference call:
IA- Mary Wegner (partial)
OR- Jim Scheppke (full day)
SD - Dan Siebersma (partial)
WA – Jan Walsh (partial)

Vice President Ann Joslin called the meeting to order at 8:55.

Consent Agenda
She presented the agenda and requested that Agenda Item 11 (Library Support Staff Certification Program) be moved to follow Agenda Item 6 (BCR Proposal for Support of Library Practitioner Certificate Program). Susan McVey made the motion, which was seconded by Susan Oberlander. The agenda was adopted by acclamation.

Minutes of the Fall 2008 meeting
There was one correction to the minutes and one addition. Secretary Darlene Staffeldt has already asked BCR to correct the date she prepared the minutes. Since the election of the officers was held at the fall 2008 meeting rather than the spring meeting, it was suggested that the term end date for each officer should be documented in the minutes:
President, term ending 2010
Vice President, term ending 2010
Secretary, term ending 2011
Treasurer, term ending 2011

The approval of the minutes as amended was moved by Susan McVey and seconded by Susan Oberlander. The motion carried.

Treasurer’s report

  • The current fiscal situation is satisfactory. WC is meeting its obligations and should run some surplus over projected budget expenses for the year.
  • An additional drawdown of $118,347.81 will be made, probably in April, for the remainder of the Tribal Conference funds. This will increase the revenue shown on the Budget Status Report, but will be offset by expenses paid in the coming months in relation to the Tribal Conference.
  • Expenses for the fall meeting came in a little under budget. The spring 2009 meeting in Wichita will also likely come in under budget.
  • Contract wages to cover work associated with the Practitioner program have to date been only $400 of the $4800 budgeted. Unless additional work is assigned or remaining to be completed and billed, the balance of that budgeted will remain unspent.
  • A clerical error noted after the meeting resulted in a revised Budget Status Report being provided, amending one number on the Practitioner Cert. Admin. line (attached; replaces 2ndQtr report page with same title).

Susan McVey suggested that the IMLS grant money might be clearer if it was shown separately on the treasurer’s report.

Grants have paid for the web hosting to date but when the grant money goes away, a website will still be needed. Susan McVey moved to continue paying the web hosting when the grant concludes. Susan Oberlander seconded; motion carried.

The approval of the Treasurer’s Report was moved by Susan McVey and seconded by Susan Oberlander. The motion carried.

Staff Exchanges
Gene Hainer reported on the Staff Exchanges Program. The written report he presented summarized the deposits through March 26 of 2009. $91,000 had been banked and $17,000 used, leaving a balance of $74,000.

The program is on Western Council’s July-June fiscal year. BCR will work with the payments and invoices for the program and send email updates as they are available. Gene added that two people can share one staff exchange but a request form does need to be submitted for each individual.

Changes to Form 990
Gene Hainer reported on changes to Form 990 that are summarized in the following handout:

Part VI, Section A, line 10 of the new Form 990 asks: “Was a copy of the Form 990 provided to the organization’s governing body before it was filed? All organizations must describe in Schedule O the process, if any, the organization uses to review the Form 990.”

The instructions suggest that, so long as the voting members of your Executive Committee receive a paper or electronic copy of the Form 990 prior to filing—even if they choose not to review the document—they may answer “yes” to the question on line 10.

Although this hurdle seems small and does not require you to adopt any specific policy, it does require a detailed description of the review process.

For some organizations, providing an advance copy of the Form 990 for review and approval to the full Executive Committee will simply be an impossible task.

However, such organizations may consider allowing a smaller subset of its board have the ability to review and approve the form, such as an executive committee or an audit committee.

Policies to be adopted

  • Conflict of Interest
  • Whistleblower (2 examples provided)
  • Document Retention and Destruction
  • Compensation Determination
  • Joint Ventures
Procedures still to be reviewed Action needed
1. Making governing documents available to Policy, or statement of how
2. Number of volunteers used during the year Uncertain
3. Assuring no one was paid over $10,000/year Provide an assurance to auditor
4. Audit committee and review process Statement deferring to BCR
5. Records of grant awards and assistance Provide records to BCR
6. Authenticate grant awards to relatives or members Statement if yes or no to BCR
7. Reimbursement policy for travel Confirm current policy
8. Making 990 form available to public Provide via GuideStar and BCR

The CPA for BCR has prepared a checklist, including the sample policies. The Executive Committee of Western Council will review the documents and they will be approved at the fall Western Council meeting.

Ann Joslin commented that these changes do not have to be in place until 2010. Susan McVey pointed out that Form 990 has to be available on demand. BCR will retain this as the fiscal agent for Western Council.

Agenda Item #6 - Review of BCR proposal for Support of Library Practitioner Certificate Program
Brenda Bailey Hainer joined the group by telephone to report on BCR’s support of the Library Practitioner Certificate Program.

Last year, the program had 10 certified students and 15 organizations were certified as providers. The students are mostly from Texas and Arizona because those state library agencies have promoted the program.

BCR has been processing applications from students and providers. For the services connected with this program, BCR has charged $4000 plus a fee for each student and provider. Brenda proposed that for the same annual services, the fee could be reduced from $4000 to $2500 for the next fiscal year.

As an alternative, Brenda proposed keeping the fee at $4000 with BCR adding two supporting services: a marketing campaign and mapping courses to the competencies that would make planning easier for students.

Gene asked what the extra marketing would look like. Answer: BCR already attends 32 state and regional conferences but they would be able to do more marketing of the program through the electronic newsletter and the Free Friday Forums. They would also be able to do more interaction directly with the states. It should certainly be marketed as a good program for people in rural libraries who don’t have access to an MLS program.

Christie Brandau commented that Kansas has its own program, although it borrows heavily from the Western Council competencies. The $300 fee is a serious barrier when Kansans have so many resources that are free or low cost.

Mary Wegner added that Iowa had a longstanding and successful certification program.

Susan McVey said that Oklahoma also has a successful program and that the Western Council Program has received a lukewarm reception, partly because the high number of contact hours is an obstacle. The Western Council Program requires twice the hours that the Oklahoma program does.

The state librarians from Colorado and Alaska commented that they have no programs in place but there is confusion about the Western Council Program and more clarification is needed.

The point was added that only about half the states have certification programs and the whole campaign was intended to be a combination of local and national programs.

Margaret Conroy pointed out that the wider credential doesn’t have a lot of appeal to a population of rural librarians who are largely non-mobile and tied by various commitments to their home communities.

Lesley Boughton pointed out that there is also confusion between the Western Council program and the plans that ALA has. It might make sense to combine them at a later date.

Students who have gone through the program might need some help in transitioning to whatever is decided on but this needs more discussion.

The present contract for BCR support will end on October 31, 2009. Susan Oberlander moved that Western Council accept BCR’s lower price of $2500 until some of the decisions about the certification programs can be made. Christie Brandau seconded and the motion was carried.

Ann will ask WC President Peggy Rudd to write to BCR requesting the amendment to the contract and requesting that Western Council should receive an invoice for the new amount. (See Agenda Item #11 under New Business for subsequent actions.)

Agenda Item #7 - Western Council Bylaws
The revised Western Council Bylaws were presented by the Bylaws Committee (Peggy Rudd, Ann Joslin and Margaret Conroy).

A few additional changes were made at the meeting:

The Western Council of State Librarians is now Western Council throughout the document.

The term “Resource Sharing” was changed to the more specific term “Collaboration.”

ARTICLE III, Section 1, General Membership:
A sentence was added to the definition of Western Council Membership. “Members in good standing are those who are current in the payment of dues.”

ARTICLE VI, Section 3, Special Meetings
The call for a special meeting was revised to “shall specify exact time, place, cost, and purpose of the special meeting.”

ARTICLE VIII, Section 1, Election Process:
This sentence was removed: “The term of each newly elected officer shall begin and the close at the annual meeting at which the officer was elected.”

Section 2, Vacancies:
The end of the first sentence was changed from “next annual meeting” to “end of the term of office.”

The sentence was added: “If the offices of President and President-Elect are vacant, the Executive Committee shall call a special election to fill the office of President.”

ARTICLE IX, Section 3, Nominating Committee:
The language was changed to read: “. . . the President shall appoint two members to a Nominating Committee chaired by the Immediate Past President, or the President’s designee, who shall nominate to the membership one or more persons for the office to be filled”.

Section 4, Executive Committee:
A sentence was added to read: “The Executive Committee shall function as the Board of Trustees as proscribed by the organization’s Articles of Incorporation.”

“An audit of all accounts or a limited engagement report shall be made upon the election, (replacing “change”) of the Treasurer.”

The revised Bylaws were approved by the membership and will be distributed to the full Western Council and put on the Western Council website.

Discussion of Article XI dealing with the Western Council Archives and office of record resulted in questions about who is responsible for getting documents to the Archives at the Nevada State Library, and who is responsible for getting the latest versions of operating documents on the Western Council website. Susan McVey moved that the latest versions of operating documents of the organization be maintained on the Western Council website, to be made available to current members. Jan Walsh seconded; motion carried.

It was further agreed that the Executive Committee should develop a process for both of the above. If those responsibilities fall to specific officers, those should be added to the officers’ descriptions in the Bylaws.

Agenda Item #8 - Cooperative Agreement Between Library of Congress and State Library Agencies Concerning the Provision of Library Services for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Jim Scheppke presented the latest draft of the Memorandum of Understanding. The original draft went to the Library of Congress attorney and come back with a lot of changes that made it basically a new document. A committee of COSLA responded. The present version has gone back to the Library of Congress. Their response may be received by the May COSLA meeting and can be discussed there.

The Library of Congress does support a Memorandum of Understanding as a model that each state could modify to meet its needs.

Margaret Conroy thanked Jim and the other members who have been working on this.

Agenda Item #9 - Position of Western Council on future director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services
At the recent COSLINE meeting, state librarians from northeastern states discussed the possibility of COSLA making recommendations to the Obama administration about the next IMLS director. Scheppke suggested that Western Council might need to have a discussion of this in preparation for the May COSLA meeting, where it may come up.

The Western Council discussion focused on the need for an individual who is willing to collaborate and who understands the role of LSTA and federal funding in libraries. The individual should also have some understanding of the national museum community.

It was suggested that Western Council might develop a list of skills and attributes for this position, as archivists did for the director of the National Archives. Western Council members seemed to prefer this approach, as opposed to forwarding names of preferred candidates.

Christie Brandau moved that Western Council recommend to COSLA that a list of desirable attributes be sent to the Obama administration. Susan Oberlander seconded the motion and it was carried.

It was agreed that Susan McVey would forward the list that the archivists prepared and that Margaret Conroy would check on the end of the current IMLS director’s term.

Agenda Item #10 - Update on 2009 Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums National Conference in Portland
Jim Scheppke reported on Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums National Conference. It will be held October 18-22 in Portland, Oregon. The Memorandum of Agreement has been signed. The request for proposals received good response. There are 97 proposals for 56 slots. The exhibitors are also signing up. Russell Means may be a speaker. Registration for the conference will open in mid-May.

Agenda Item #12 – Western Council Fall 2009 Meeting
The Western Council Fall meeting will be in conjunction with the COSLA Fall meeting scheduled for October 26-28 at Incline Village in Nevada. Both the previous Sunday, October 25, and the following Thursday, October 29, are possible dates for the Western Council meeting. Western Council will wait to see the COSLA agenda before formally scheduling the Fall meeting date.

New Business

Agenda Item #11 – Report on Library Support Staff Certification Program
The group discussed the potential for combining the Western Council Library Practitioners Program with the new ALA certification program for support staff. They agreed to sunset the Practitioners Program and accept no new applications. They also agreed to bring the Practitioner Program to a close at the end of the current contract period with BCR, with a refund of registration fees for anyone who has not completed the program.

Christie Brandau moved that, with grateful thanks to the members of Western Council who developed the core competencies, Western Council will retire the Library Practitioners Certificate Program and allow it to sunset as of April 1, 2009. Carolyn Ashcroft seconded the motion and it was carried.

Western Council also agreed to appoint a transition committee to close out the program. Susan McVey, Susan Oberlander and Margaret Conroy volunteered for that committee.

FY2010 Membership Dues
Annual dues for Western Council are currently $3000. The membership year begins on July 1. Membership includes one staff exchange. Gene Hainer moved to set dues for fiscal year 2010 at $3000 with the option of additional staff exchange purchases for $1000 each. Carolyn Ashcraft seconded the motion and it was carried.

Western Council Spring 2010 Meeting
Jim Scheppke offered to host the Spring 2010 Western Council meeting in Oregon. That meeting would be in conjunction with PLA, which will be held in Portland on March 23-27, 2010. Margaret Conroy moved to hold the Spring 2010 Western Council meeting in Portland. Gene Hainer seconded the motion and it was carried.

Western Council agreed that they will meet on March 23. Western Council will pay full expenses for three nights lodging, meals not included in conference, all transportation costs and registration for the PLA conference.

Margaret Conroy moved that Western Council cease the $35 per diem travel reimbursement and instead adopt the GSA-approved federal CONUS rates for travel. Donna Jones Morris seconded; motion carried. The new reimbursement rate will be effective with the Fall 2009 Western Council meeting.

Updates and Reports

Jim Scheppke reported that Oregon is looking at a substantial budget reduction. There are two interesting bills in the legislature. One would require every school district to plan for a strong school library program. The other involves the NFB, the public utility board and funding for Newsline.

Dan Siebersma said South Dakota is looking at substantial budget reductions. They are watching a legislative initiative that would require public libraries make all services available for free, including mailings. Remodeling of the State Library’s first floor is completed and work on the second floor will begin soon.

Rod Wagner said Nebraska is looking at a flat budget for the next two years, but the upcoming release of revenue projections could cause things to become worse. However, Nebraska has a good rainy day fund.

Stacey Aldrich said California had lost some staff over confusion regarding staffing and the budget crises. She indicated that the people will vote on a measure to help resolve the state’s budget issues. California will be implementing a new ILS system. It looks like Governor will soon appoint a new State Librarian.

Deborah Littrell reported that Texas is looking at a flat budget for the upcoming year.

Carolyn Ashcraft said Arkansas is not facing a budget crisis at this time. The State Library is actually looking at a 3% increase next year, most of which will go to finance the renovation of the State Library’s new home. Arkansas recently put up a new website.

Margaret Conroy said Missouri is not expecting a reduction in funding for upcoming year, but they have reduced out-of-state travel. Public library funding is flat and some funding for materials will be lost. A bill has been filed to allow public libraries to levy sales tax. It has passed the House. Legislation was introduced to require libraries to separate materials deemed harmful to minors, but legislation also allows libraries to opt out by posting a sign indicating materials that may be harmful to minors are included in the library.

Linda Thibodeau said the Alaska State Library budget is level, but there is actual budget cutting because a hiring freeze is in place.

Donna Morris said that Utah is looking at an 8.6% cut in the current year and an 11.2% cut for FY2010. The State Library has lost 2 FTE positions.

Lesley Boughton indicated that Wyoming is not experiencing a financial crisis at the moment. The Governor has asked agencies to prepare for 5% contingency reductions. The State Library has completed the first phase of a newspaper project that put a million pages of newspapers on the web. The use of the collection has increased significantly. The State Library is looking at all memberships and investments, including OCLC. They are also looking at biblios.net, by LibLime, as a replacement for OCLC. Biblios.net also brings social networking into cataloging.

Susan McVey said that Oklahoma had no recession yet, but potential for a 3 - 5% reduction next year. Most of that would come out of Archives. They will also freeze five positions. Oklahoma is working on digitizing historical documents, using CONTENTdm. Troubling legislation has been introduced to de-regulate programming, including school libraries. A reduction in food sales taxes will impact public libraries.

Gene Hainer said Colorado is facing a $900 million deficit. The State Library was asked to give back a large portion of statewide database money. Legislation has been introduced requiring libraries to prepare maps of library districts. Overlapping district boundaries were discovered. There is a movement among large metro libraries to work together on a common integrated library system.

Susan Oberlander reported that New Mexico is looking at a 5% cut for FY2010, but they also have an increase in state aid that more than doubled that funding. A Governor’s broadband initiative will include a grant request for federal stimulus dollars. The State Library will be invited to the table for broadband planning discussions.

Ann Joslin said Idaho is looking at a 6% budget cut this current year. The State Library was funded for five new positions last year, but had to leave 3 of them open. The Governor will use stimulus funding for K-12, roads and bridges. Legislation is expected to pass that will move the Commission for Libraries out from the umbrella of the State Board of Education and make it a self-governing agency with the commissioners appointed by the Governor.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00.

State/Librarian Attending in Person Teleconferencing
AL / Linda Thibodeau X
AZ / Gladys Ann Wells
AR / Carolyn Ashcraft X
CA / Stacey Aldrich X
CO / Gene Hainer X
HI / Richard Burns
ID / Ann Joslin X
IA / Mary Wegner X
KS / Christie Brandau X
MT / Darlene Staffeldt
MO / Margaret Conroy X
NE / Rod Wagner X
NV / Daphne DeLeon
NM / Susan Oberlander X
ND / Doris Ott
OK / Susan McVey X
OR / Jim Scheppke X
SD / Dan Siebersma X
TX / Deborah Littrell X
UT / Donna Morris X
WA / Jan Walsh X
WY / Lesley Boughton X
Guest: Brenda Bailey-Hainer, BCR X

Kansas State Library staff:
Shannon Roy
Marc Galbraith

Minutes prepared collaboratively by:
Shannon Roy
Marc Galbraith
Margaret Conroy
Ann Joslin

Western Council of State Libraries
Spring 2009 Meeting


  • Minutes of the Fall 2008 meeting approved as corrected
  • Motion to continue paying for the web hosting service after current grant funds are exhausted passed
  • Treasurer’s report accepted
  • Revised Bylaws approved
  • Motion to maintain the latest versions of WC operating documents on the website passed
  • Motion that WC recommend to COSLA that a list of desirable attributes for the next IMLS director be sent to the Obama administration passed
  • Motion to retire the Library Practitioners Certificate Program as of April 1, 2009 passed
  • FY2010 dues were set at $3,000
  • Spring 2010 meeting on March 23 in conjunction with PLA in Portland was approved; reimbursable expenses identified
  • Use of GSA-approved federal CONUS rates to replace the current $35 per diem rate for travel reimbursement was approved, effective with the Fall 2009 meeting


  • Secretary to make additions to the Fall 2008 meeting minutes
  • Executive Committee to review the Form 990 documents prior to the Fall meeting
  • Distribute revised Bylaws to membership and put on website
  • Executive Committee to identify responsibility and process for getting WC documents to the Archives and for getting current operating documents on the website; change Bylaws if applicable
  • Susan McVey to distribute list of archivists skills and attributes
  • Margaret to verify end of term for current IMLS director
  • Set Fall meeting date based on forthcoming COSLA agenda
  • President to notify BCR that contract for support of Practitioner Program will not be renewed for FY2010; program to be retired
  • President to formally appoint committee to close out the Practitioner Program (McVey, Oberlander, and Conroy volunteered)