Spring Meeting Minutes (Approved) April 17-19, 2005 Hot Springs Lodge & Resort Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Attendees: Kay Shelton - Alaska; Richard Akeroyd - New Mexico; Rod Wagner - Nebraska; Donna Jones Morris - Utah; Dorothy Liegl - South Dakota; Susan McVey - Oklahoma; Mary Wegner - Iowa; Nancy Bolt - Colorado; Jane Kolbe - Arizona; Eugene Hainer - Colorado; Ann Joslin - Idaho; Peggy Rudd - Texas; Jan Walsh - Washington; Karen Strege - Western Council; Darrell Vigil - BCR; Jeff Kintop - Nevada; Lesley Boughton - Wyoming.

President Lesley Boughton called the meeting to order at 8 a.m. She asked for discussion of the agenda. The agenda was approved as distributed.

Next item of business was approval of the minutes of the fall meeting of Western Council held in Rapid City, South Dakota. Susan McVey, Secretary, distributed copies of the minutes for review. She noted that the minutes had also been distributed to the list. A few corrections were noted. Susan McVey moved and Mary Wegner seconded adoption of the minutes as corrected. The motion carried. Susan McVey also distributed handouts to the group which included the most recent version of the Western Council Constitution and Bylaws (May, 2003), a directory of the 21 member states in Western Council with contact information, a travel reimbursement form, and an updated Staff Exchange Policy. Susan said that she wasn't able to fully update the handbooks last distributed in 2001 but will work with the new secretary to update the remaining material. Material distributed at today's meeting will be sent to all states not in attendance. A completely up-to-date handbook will be reissued with a new cover and sent to all members before the fall meeting.

Lesley recognized Karen Strege, former Montana state librarian and now project director for Western Council's Continuum of Library Education grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Karen distributed packets with a copy of her PowerPoint presentation; a report from Catherine Helmick, former project director, dated January 31, 2005 and covering the period from August, 2004 through January, 2005; a Cash Match report; an In-Kind Match for the Grant by Western Council; a proposed funds revision to the IMLS grant; a Progress Report from Karen through March, 2005; and, a Proposed Timeline for the Continuum of Library Education. As Lesley noted, several Western Council members were not involved in the grant application or its progress so Karen gave an overview of the project to those present. After this, Karen circulated a copy of the Core Competencies document that has just been produced. Copies of this report have been mailed to Western Council.

Nancy Bolt, one of the Western Council members who wrote the original grant proposal, talked about the origins of the project. Leading up to the grant application was about a five year period in which Duane Johnson, former Kansas state librarian and other colleagues wrote a provocative piece about the current state of library education that was circulated widely. Western Council hosted a meeting on the topic and invited library school deans from all library schools in the West. At the time a number of states had certification programs but with no reciprocity outside of the issuing state. At the meeting it was stated that this was only going to work if state libraries endorsed it, supported it and pushed it.

A number of parallel efforts in library education/certification have occurred. The Gates Foundation and OCLC have funded WebJunction for non-degree education. The American Library Association has begun work on a national certification program. Nancy Bolt is working with the ALA initiative.

An outcome of the grant has been the use of the core competencies. Jane Kolbe said that Arizona has used the competencies to build courses in their summer institute classes. Arizona will be doing two competencies each summer with a three year rotation to complete all competencies. She believes it has strengthened their program which is now probably more rigorous than before. Jane also mentioned that Mesa Community College also matched its course offerings for library courses to the competencies. Nebraska also adopted a new Library Technical Assistant program based on the competencies.

Karen appreciated the feedback from the group and asked the states to send her information on certification. States interested in participating in a case study for the evaluation phase of the grant include Arizona, Iowa, Idaho, Alaska, Nebraska, Utah, and South Dakota.

An issue about which Karen is concerned is the In-Kind match portion requirement of the grant. She asked members to be sure to complete the In-Kind match form on the Western Council web site as their staff or partner organizations (e.g., Mesa Community College) devote staff time or resources towards the grant.

Lesley recognized Peggy Rudd to discuss the next two items on the agenda. Peggy stated that she believes the State Library Agency survey is going to be improved for the next round. She and Suzanne Miller serve on the State Agency Library Survey Steering Committee. One issue on the survey is the section on policies. The policies listed are out of date but the steering committee didn't wish to change them before getting input from other state libraries. Peggy will post a list of proposed policy areas to the COSLA and Western Council discussion lists for our response. There would be only two or three areas in the revised list. Peggy also mentioned the importance of seeking to restore funding to the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. There will be an important Congressional hearing on April 26th and Peggy would like to see Western Council support restoring funding to the NHPRC. Richard Akeroyd moved and Jan Walsh seconded a motion that Western Council draft a letter in support of restoring funding for NHPRC. The motion carried. Peggy agreed to draft a letter and will post it to the list for review before Lesley signs it.

The group took a brief break to allow members to check out of the hotel.

The meeting resumed with member report from Utah because of Donna's early departure. Donna informed the group that the State Library is part of division reorganization. The new division will be the Department of Economic and Community Development. As of July 1st the State Library will be part of the Community Development structure. The new structure is taking shape and they are learning more about how the change will affect the State Library. The State Library is currently part of the Department of Community and Culture. The budget for the State Library includes an increase of $200,000 for library development. Donna has to leave early because of a dinner being held in their building which involves the governor and forty legislators.

Lesley recognized Nancy Bolt to discuss an action of the American Library Association's Committee on Legislation. The Committee has sent a letter to each state librarian and president and executive director of the state library association requesting that an individual be named who will be the coordinator for national legislation in that state. Nancy said in Colorado that she is that individual. She has recruited two other groups to help in the effort. One group will be the subject experts who will draft letters in specific areas such as copyright or e-rate. The other group will be the Congressional contacts who will sign the letters, forward them to the Congressional offices, and do follow up contacts. The ALA outcome is to see that each state does a better job of grass roots support for important issues to the state's Congressional delegation. Each state was asked to reply to ALA with the name of their state coordinator. Nancy will ask ALA to publish the list of state coordinators so state libraries will know who it is in their state. Nancy encouraged us to be sure our state had complied.

Lesley gave the treasurer's report. With Charlie Bolles' retirement from the state librarian's position in Idaho, he was no longer eligible to serve as treasurer of Western Council. Since elections were only a few months away, Lesley assumed the responsibilities of treasurer for the remainder of Charlie's term. Lesley distributed the treasurer's report and asked Darrell Vigil, the fiscal agent from BCR which is handling Western Council's finances, to discuss some recent accounting changes. Darrell told the group that he felt it would be a good idea to show the IMLS grant differently. It was shown as a reduction of expense only and Darrell felt it should be shown as revenue. He checked with the auditor who agreed so that change is reflected in this report. Lesley reminded the group that Western Council is on a three-year audit cycle which coincides with the change in the treasurer. Lesley also informed the group that all expenses from April 1st to June 30th will be coming out of program reserves.

Staff exchanges require approval by the treasurer prior to the event. Send an e-mail to the treasurer who will copy Darrell with her approval of the request. This gives a paper trail to these expenditures. In response to a question, Lesley stated that the transition to new officers occurs at the conclusion of the Western Council spring meeting.

Lesley distributed the draft budget for FY06. The $7,400 amount from program reserve will show in the treasurer's report as a loss instead of as revenue because of accounting policies. Jan Walsh moved and Peggy Rudd seconded the motion to approve the proposed budget. The motion carried.

Richard Akeroyd gave the nominating committee report. Richard, Jim Scheppke, and GladysAnn Wells were the committee members. Richard moved the adoption of the slate of officers-Darlene Staffeldt as Secretary and Dorothy Liegl as Treasurer. Sara Jones is the Vice-President/President-Elect. Lesley asked for nominations from the floor. There were none. The motion to adopt the nominating committee's slate of officers was passed unanimously.

Lesley next addressed the Western Council fall meeting. The meeting will be held in conjunction with the Mountain Plains Library Association and Wyoming Library Association. The Western Council fall meeting will be on Wednesday, October 12th at the National Museum of Wildlife Art outside of Jackson. Tuesday evening Lesley will have a ranch barbecue dinner. The business meeting will be in the morning with a discussion of the Continuum grant in the afternoon. Lesley distributed a handout with information about the hotel, Snow King Resort. The room blocks are open for reservations now; be sure to mention MPLA to get the best rate. The rates are good for three days before and three days after the MPLA conference which is October 12-15th. Nancy Bolt moved and Ann Joslin seconded a motion on the fall meeting expenses: Western Council will pay airfare, mileage to the airport, parking at the airport, two nights lodging (with exceptions for Alaska and Hawaii as necessary) and per diem (except for meals provided by Western Council during meeting), costs of a rental car, and up to $100 for registration at the MPLA/WLA conference. The motion was approved unanimously. Lesley stated that you can get air service into Jackson.

Member Reports

Washington. Jan Walsh reported that they have finished two years of stability in funding. They will probably lose one FTE and a small amount of funding in the coming year. The state library is becoming more visible. They have a request in for a new building. Another priority is the passage of a legislation dealing with electronic state publications. Jan has a hearing when she gets back to work.

Texas. The state library has asked for bond authority to modernize and renovate their current building. The State of Texas does sunset review on all agencies every twelve years and the state library will be up for review in 2007. In the coming year they will review public library systems which are funded entirely by federal funds. The Bedford Public Library in Texas is the first public library since 1989 to close. It may re-open in October with twenty hours a week of public service thanks to donations.

Idaho. The state library has a couple of planning processes underway. The recent budget failures caused them to narrow their mission which limits them to library development. There is an advisory group from the Talking Library for the Blind (TLB) which is helping local libraries learn how to serve this clientele letter. They also want to reshape the state documents department this way as well. They plan to add a school library consultant who will focus on planning and statistics. They are planning a futures conference with three science fiction authors. In preparation, all participants are to read Tomorrow Now by Bruce Sterling. The second day of the conference will be what libraries in Idaho will look like in 2020. They are expecting a slight increase in their budget. They are trying to get rid of an offsite storage building but it is not proving easy to determine ownership of land and an exit strategy.

Colorado. Nancy Bolt reported that the state library is issuing public library standards (essential, enhanced, and comprehensive). The new state librarian has not been named yet but is expected to be announced very soon. They are writing a new strategic plan for library development. It will drive the use of LSTA funds. They have an emerging literacy program. They are giving four scholarships for a Masters in Library and Information Science to each of the library schools offering a program in Colorado. The students represent ethnic and disabled minorities. The current budget situation is interesting. A constitutional amendment will be presented to a vote of the people which if passed could increase funding. Nancy made a few observations to the group about Western Council. She will be doing facilitating and consulting and is developing workshops on leadership and teamwork. She would love to be invited to our states. Her honorarium is the price of a booth at the conference. She will be doing programs at MPLA, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio, and Missouri's library associations. In addition she will continue to be active in ALA and will be in D.C. for national library day.

Arizona. Jane Kolbe reported that GladysAnn will be in charge of planning the Arizona centennial. The second national Indian tribal librarians conference will be in Mesa, Arizona May 24-26th. All are invited. The University of Arizona library school is up for re-accreditation. Janet Bradley from Syracuse is the new director. The program and curriculum have changed. GladysAnn is serving on the IMLS workforce study task force.

Alaska. Kay Shelton said that George left at the end of January for his new position as head of LSTA at IMLS. Kay was appointed acting interim director at the beginning of February. She wrote a job description for the position of state librarian and sent it to the Deputy Commissioner for approval. They are expecting to have $125,000 to $200,000 restored to their budget in the current legislative session. They also are planning for a new building.

Iowa. Mary Wegner said that the state library budget is level with cuts from three years ago. They are trying to survey school libraries. Ten years ago the requirement for a masters level school librarian disappeared. Currently they believe that one hundred schools have no library. They would like to look at test scores in buildings with no librarians to see if there are some interesting results. They are struggling with an OCLC group services bid. They have a state interlibrary loan system. She has put together an advisory group to look at the bid. Inequities in public library funding is getting to be a topic of discussion since libraries are required to provide service to all residents of the county so smart consumers are taking their business to the better funded libraries.

Oklahoma. Susan McVey reported that their budget is level since their budget cuts but they are hoping to get an increase in funding for state aid. Another challenge will be that Oklahoma will take a reduction in federal funds in FFY2006 due to a failure to meet MOE.

New Mexico. Richard Akeroyd says they are tentatively looking at statewide resource sharing. The legislature went home in mid-March. No cuts but spending power is eroding due to a static budget. In 2004 the New Mexico approved bonding for books. The state library received $132,000 from the last bond. The legislature invited libraries to come back in 2006 to get another bond approval. At the state library salaries are a huge issue for recruitment. They are expanding partnerships with the literacy community. Richard distributed a bookmark in four languages including Braille promoting the Summer Reading Program. Their tribal libraries program is working well. The New Mexico and Arizona state libraries working with the Navajo Nation in a PLA Planning for Results process. Richard thought it went very well and they plan to explore other efforts as well. Richard distributed a flyer about the Telling Our Stories web site on native languages and says that they hope to include oral histories so he particularly appreciated the continuing education program on digitization of audio files.

South Dakota. Dorothy Liegl reported that they sent a new staff member in Talking Books to the Utah State Library on a Western Council staff exchange and found it very helpful. The budget in this year's legislature is status quo but she now has actual library furniture rather than cast offs from other areas. They have received a small increase to pay for technology service provided by the state. The state library pays $500,000 for space. She said that there is also a new directive from the governor that no state personnel can communicate with members of the South Dakota Congressional delegation without prior approval of the governor. School libraries is a focus in South Dakota as well. They have written information literacy standards which have been adopted by the State Board of Education, the State Library Board, and the State Library association. They are also trying to recruit staff.

Nevada. Jeff Kintop gave the Nevada report. Jeff reported that the state library license plates have been designed and proceeds will be used to fund library school scholarships and the Summer Reading Program. The legislature is in session. The state library has a flat budget. They are amending their statutes to include electronic publications. The state library now has a conservation lab which is equipped and furnished. They are holding workshops to make it visible and it has been successful. They are getting calls from the press when news is slow.

Wyoming. Lesley reported that everything in Wyoming is good.

The meeting was adjourned at 12 noon.