Fall Meeting Minutes (Approved) October 20, 2004 Rapid City Public Library

Members present: Susan McVey, Oklahoma; Charles Bolles, Idaho; Jim Scheppke, Oregon; Jan Walsh, Washington; Mark Galbreath, Kansas; Lesley Boughton, Wyoming; Rod Wagner, Nebraska; Dorothy Liegl, South Dakota; Donna Jones Morris, Utah; Jack Mulkey, Arkansas; Darlene Staffeldt, Montana; Mary Wegner, Iowa; JoAnn Schindler, Hawaii; Susan Hildreth, California; Deborah Littrell, Texas; George Smith, Alaska; Catherine Helmick, Continuum of Library Education grant; Sara Jones, Nevada; Nancy Bolt, Colorado; and Richard Akeroyd, New Mexico.

Lesley Boughton, Western Council president called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. sharp. Lesley recognized Dorothy Liegl, South Dakota state librarian, as our host and Dorothy introduced Greta Chapman, Rapid City public library director. Greta will do a tour of the library at 10 a.m. Greta spoke briefly about the library and its services.

Lesley, in light of the new members present, went over the Western Council structure briefly. She is serving as president, Susan McVey is secretary, Vice-President/President-Elect is Sara Jones, and Charlie Bolles will be filling out Karen Streghe's term as treasurer. All offices have a two-year term except for treasurer which is a three-year term.

The first order of business was to adopt the agenda. Jack Mulkey moved and Susan Hildreth moved adoption of the agenda. The motion carried.

Old Business

Susan McVey distributed the minutes of the previous meeting. A few members had corrections to the minutes that were distributed and either provided them to her or said they would send them to her. Sara Jones moved and Jack Mulkey seconded a motion to approve the minutes as corrected. The motion carried.

Charlie Bolles distributed the treasurer's report. Charlie explained that Western Council has a contract with BCR to handle our finances. Darrell Vigil is the fiscal officer for Western Council. Charlie went over the financial handout. Charlie noted that the IMLS Continuum grant is not included in this budget/financial information. Most of the program reserve is for our match to the Continuum grant.

Charlie went over the staff exchange guidelines. He told the group that $1,000 of Western Council dues is for a staff exchange that is valued at $1,000. It is also possible for a state to increase their payment to Western Council to purchase additional staff exchanges. Charlie also noted that unused staff exchanges are credited to the program reserve account and that some states had donated staff exchanges in order to help meet the Continuum grant match but that this is no longer necessary. When a state decides to use a staff exchange, the chief officer should contact the treasurer to notify him. An e-mail to that effect is sufficient. The point is to do this notification in advance. Another use of staff exchanges is to send additional staff to a Western Council workshop besides the ones covered in the budget. The staff exchange is not like a bank account where a number of charges against the $1,000 are deducted but rather one event which would be expected to be less than the $1,000.

Travel reimbursement forms were distributed next by the treasurer. These expenses are approved at the meeting prior to the current meeting. Charlie asked how many had driven to the meeting so he could let our fiscal person know what to expect. The mileage reimbursement is the same as allowed by the IRS but will not be greater than the cost of a round trip coach air fare. If you want mileage reimbursement for driving, be sure to include the cost of the airfare estimate you received. No receipts are required for meals but are needed for other expenses. Copies of receipts are acceptable but note on the form that they are copies. There usually is no more than a two week turn around for processing the travel claims. Let Charlie know if you haven't received your reimbursement within three weeks of submitting your claim and he'll follow up.

The next item of business was the formation of the nomination committee. The immediate past president is on the committee so GladysAnn is automatically on the committee. Lesley asked for two volunteers and Rod Wagner and Jim Scheppke agreed to serve. The open offices will be secretary and treasurer. Lesley reminded the committee to be sure to let the nominees know that the treasurer is a three-year commitment.

Lesley next addressed the Western Council notebook. She held one up and asked how many of the new people had seen one before. Lesley said that a former member had volunteered to handle the distribution in the past but that the executive board had decided that this should be formalized and assigned to the Western Council secretary's duties. All members will be provided with an inventory of what are the most recent versions of the Western Council documents in the near future and copies will be provided by the secretary to those who need them. Lesley informed the new members that Western Council is incorporated in Nevada. We will archive our records there. Sara Jones from Nevada will bring a records retention schedule to our next meeting.

Lesley also mentioned that Western Council has a list serve maintained at the Oregon State Library. Jim Scheppke is the list owner.

The Western Council spring 2005 meeting will be in Glenwood, Colorado. The meeting will be at the Hotel Colorado. You can fly into Denver and rent a car. It is approximately a three hour drive from Denver or you can fly into Aspen. Two dates were suggested and the choice was April 17-19th. The plan is for members to arrive on Sunday. Monday will be the continuing education day, and Tuesday morning will be the business meeting. Nancy suggested a couple of topics for the continuing education event and the group decided on digitization, an update on WebJunction from state libraries which are involved, and perhaps something on the statewide virtual reference project (Ask Colorado). Richard Akeroyd moved and Jack Mulkey seconded approval of airfare, two nights lodging, meals, rental car expenses, and airport parking or shuttle for the spring meeting member expenses.

The fall 2005 Western Council meeting will be in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Members would fly in on Tuesday and our meeting will be on Wednesday, October 12th. We won't need a rental car. Lesley is planning a special get together on Tuesday evening. The Mountain Plains Library Association begins on Wednesday afternoon so no continuing education will be planned for Western Council. The MPLA conference hotel is the Snow King and Western Council will use the same hotel. Rates will be $89 per night.

Lesley asked for a report on the Continuum of Library Education grant. Charlie Bolles is the chair of the Implementation Committee. Other members of the committee are Amy Owen, Keith Swiggert of Texas Women's University, and Sara Jones. The Implementation Committee has met several times. The Action Team is made up of the continuing education staff person from each state library in Western Council. This group met in Las Vegas in May 2004. Fourteen states were represented. A major focus of the work of the grant has been on developing core competencies. Cathy Helmich, Continuum grant project manager, developed a list of core competencies from states with existing certification programs which the Action Team refined, this draft was edited by the Implementation Committee and this draft was then distributed widely through the states with a rating sheet. Keith Swiggert has done tremendous work on these competencies and is currently analyzing the responses. Initial processing indicates that the 220 rating sheets validated rather strongly the draft competencies. Six months has been spent on these core competencies. The next step will be to identify education and training providers who will match their offerings with core competencies. Another important step will be to work with individual state continuing education coordinators to sign up learners in the Western Council certification program. Another focus will be to examine existing certification programs and how to mesh them with the Western Council certification project. A Request for Proposal went out in April to help with the evaluation. That is still in process. Cathy encouraged members to go to the Western Council web site. The comments on the survey are up. The Implementation Committee will be discussing what should be consistent across the region and what could vary in individual states. The plan is to have a meeting over the summer with state librarians and continuing education staff from each Western Council state to discuss the project. It was suggested that the meeting would be held at a library school who is a partner in the grant and a time after the ALA annual meeting was recommended.

The members then asked some questions about the project. Nancy Bolt asked how it will be determined when an individual has achieved a competency. Will there be assessment tools created? Could an individual test out? Another question was how will learners record their achievements and who will assess their complete achievement of the core competencies? Mary Wegner also asked about how existing programs will be integrated into the Western Council certification. Nancy also asked about pre-assessment issues. Sara Jones stated that she thinks this will be very important.

The meeting broke at 10 a.m. for a tour of the Rapid City public library and resumed meeting at 10:33 a.m.

Charlie Bolles moved adoption of the core competencies and Richard Akeroyd seconded the motion. The motion carried and the competencies were adopted unanimously.

Charlie mentioned that some aspects of the grant (e.g., clearinghouse of continuing education) might be contracted out to WebJunction or the American Library Association. Cathy said she has talked to WebJunction and they have agreed to cooperate. Cathy will send all members a list of the approved core competencies. Richard Akeroyd suggested that one of the Gates surveys be filled out on behalf of Western Council. Charlie and Sara agreed this was a good idea and will handle. Lesley suggested that the Implementation Committee consider developing a business plan for this project. Contact Cathy with any ideas about the business plan. Lesley reminded everyone to fill out the in-kind contribution forms for the grant for any activities in support of the grant including reading information about the grant. The forms are available on the Western Council web site. The expenses for this meeting will be used as a cash match.

New Business

Lesley said that we need to be thinking about a location for our Spring 2006 meeting. Susan Hildrith said she would check to see if the Cerritos Public Library in California might be willing to host us. It is said to be "pushing the envelope" in public library service and could be very interesting to our group.

Sara Jones informed the group that she had received a LSTA grant proposal that would involve sending some urban public library staff to visit vanguard public libraries in the Western Council states. She would like feedback from us if any of our public libraries would be interested in hosting these visitors. Sara will send a copy of the grant if you are interested in seeing it.

Susan McVey suggested posting draft minutes of the meetings. This would allow members to check on approved travel expenses and other actions of interest. The group felt this would be of value.

Jim Scheppke informed the group of a pilot digital talking book project. Four states (Mid-Illinois, Colorado, Oregon, and New Hampshire) are purchasing a shared collection of audio books from Overdrive. There is a possibility that two more states could participate if you're interested. The cost would be $8,600. Let Jim know if you're interested but he needs to know soon. Each state would need to have 25 users participate.

Jim also had another opportunity to share. It is an open source tool kit to build a web site. It is more than a template. There would not be a cost. Jim will be having a web broadcast about the project in either December or January and will announce it on the Western Council list.

Member Forum
Wyoming. Lesley had copies of their new publication Roundup. This will be a quarterly magazine with a theme for each issue. The first issue was on children's services and was distributed to all of the usual library audiences and Wyoming legislators but went as well to every day care provider, every pediatrician's office, and every school board member in Wyoming. Every fall will be on Wyoming authors and will be distributed to all bookstores. Each issue will have a targeted distribution list according to the theme.

Nevada. A library license plate has been approved by the legislature. The Library Association promoted it and the funds raised will go to funding library school scholarships and the Summer Reading Program.

Alaska. The state library received special funding to digitize material. Two themes that have been completed are the march to statehood and native issues. VILDA is the web site where you can view the materials but it's also available from the state library web site. Economic conditions are difficult in Alaska. The state library has lost about 25% of its operating budget in the last two years.

Texas. The state library continues to face budget issues. Next year's budget will be 5% less than the current year. Texas also has a library license plate fund and receives about $15,000 from it. A large group of academic libraries in Texas are discussing digitization issues. There are government reorganization talks going on and the state library might be merged into an Arts/Historical/Cultural cabinet.

California. They are looking at a stable budget for the coming year. They are down about 1/3 of their previous operating funds. Their state is also in a review of the organizational structure of state government. The governor has signed another bond bill to be submitted to a vote of the people in June 2006. If approved, this would provide $600 million in new funds for library construction. Their last review cycle libraries had $550 million in construction needs but the state library only had $70 million in funds to award. If the new bond bill is approved, this will help.

Hawaii. The state library system is facing real problems with staff vacancies. They currently have 135 vacancies out of 560 positions. Filling those vacancies is their most pressing need. They have finally opened their 51st public library branch after three years struggle. The state library has sponsored a copyright workshop which was attended by librarians of all types. The workshop is the precursor to digitization efforts in Hawaii.

Iowa. The state agencies in Iowa were told to submit budgets with zero increases but now seem to be more flexible. New developments are allowing them to position public libraries as important in economic development. They have a multi-type taskforce evaluating a bid to provide OCLC group services.

Montana. A new library building in Darby was opened which was funded through private funding. The state library is remodeling. The collection will be on the first floor with staff offices on the second floor. They have seven positions open which is 25% of their staff. They will be working to change some laws in the coming session.

Arkansas. No budget cuts last year or the current year. The state library is asking to restore state aid levels for next year. The state is moving to performance based budgeting.

Utah. The state library board was transitioned to a paperless operation. Board members were issued laptop computers and all documents are distributed electronically. A library advocacy network is beginning to be developed. The state library is asking for new money. The state library is working with the state on search engines for government information.

South Dakota. Last year they were in a sunset review, the governor challenged content on their web site, and 6 positions (40% of staff) have been in place six months or less. The search engine they have been using has been recognized by the state as superior to what was being used by the state and will now be the search engine for state government information.

Nebraska. Rod was very pleased to learn that Librarian of Congress James H. Billington has announced the appointment of Ted Kooser to be the 13th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. The Nebraska State Library was awarded an IMLS grant for librarians of the 21st century. The grant has funds for a marketing piece to use with libraries to promote library science careers, financial aid funding, and a community college program for library technician level training. All community colleges have agreed to participate in project. There is a mentoring component in grant as well. The state budget picture is improved.

Kansas. The budget in Kansas is looking better as well. The state library has been involved in a born digital project with the Kansas Historical Society called KSpace because they are using DSpace software. They received a $60,000 grant to purchase equipment for the project. They have put together some working groups to work on the project. They are focusing on 20 documents that will no longer be available in print.

Washington. Revenues are up but so are caseloads in corrections and human services. A new building is being discussed that would combine the state library and state archives in one space. The state library would like to restore staffing in institutional libraries to two staff for safety reasons. They have a marketing initiative on all types of libraries underway. The project is funded at $450,000.

Oregon. The state library is in the budget preparation stage; they expect another tough session because the Oregon economy has not come back as fast as other states. The state library has been building an endowment for talking books and they currently have $500,000. This year they will begin to use the interest to fund projects. The state library is negotiating contracts for statewide databases and is picking up the cost for schools. The Oregon State Department of Education has agreed to fund about 1/3 of the school library costs. There are approximately 12 library measures on the ballot in November.

New Mexico. The state library has received a library-museum collaboration grant from IMLS for $425,000. The state library will be working with the Palace of Governors museum on the history of printing. The state library has not worked very closely with museums in the past so this is a big achievement. Richard would be very interested in hearing from any of us who are using the D�a de los Ni�os / D�a de los Libros theme. They have been in contact with the El Paso Public Library which is a leader in the area but would like our input. The state library is working on creating a Native American language web site. The Navajo and Mescalero Apache are involved in the project. Richard will let us know when the web site is available. The state library is heavily involved in the OCLC digital archives for state and federal fugitive documents. The federal documents of interest are those with a focus on the Southwest.

Idaho. The graying of the profession is hitting Idaho hard. Three of the four directors of large academic libraries are leaving. These libraries are the core of Idaho resource sharing. The economy in Idaho is improving. The state library will probably be flat funded for the next two years. They are signing a contract with OCLC for group services.

Oklahoma. The state library's responsibilities include archives and records so we were very pleased to receive a grant from the National Historical Records and Preservation Commission. This grant allowed us to re-grant funds to 15 museums/historical societies and provide 5 workshops on conservation and preservation. We hope that we will be able to apply for additional funding to give grants to more groups with historical records. The economy in Oklahoma is also improving. There will be a major funding increase in state aid for public libraries sought in the upcoming legislative session.

A motion to adjourn was made by Jack Mulkey and seconded by Richard Akeroyd. The motion passed unanimously and the meeting was adjourned at 11:50 a.m.