Spring Meeting Minutes (Approved) February 24, 2004 Seattle, Washington

Members present: Lesley Boughton, Wyoming; Karen Strege, Montana; Sara Jones, Nevada; Catherine Helmick, Continuum of Library Education; Jack Mulkey, Arkansas; Rod Wagner, Nebraska; Diana Paque, California; Suzanne Miller, South Dakota; Richard Akeroyd, New Mexico; Doris Ott, North Dakota; Jan Walsh, Washington; Nancy Bolt, Colorado; Donna Jones Morris, Utah; Jane Kolbe, Arizona; Denise Davis, Oregon; Ann Joslin, Idaho; Mary Wegner, Iowa; JoAnn Schindler, Hawaii; Marilyn Johnson, Texas; Susan Malbin, IMLS; Margaret Whitehead, Texas; and Susan McVey, Oklahoma.

Lesley Boughton, Western Council president, called the meeting to order at 8:35 a.m. Lesley went over the agenda. Jack Mulkey moved adoption of minutes as corrected and Sara Jones seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Karen Strege, Western Council treasurer, distributed the treasurer's report. She indicated that the 2003 staff exchanges have to be used by June 30th. The Western Council dues of $3,000 include one staff exchange. Member states can purchase additional staff exchanges in the amount of $1,000. Members can also donate staff exchanges for our match to the Continuum of Library Education grant. Karen went over the proposed 2005 budget. Jack Mulkey moved adoption of the budget and Suzanne Miller seconded. The budget was adopted.

Old Business

Suzanne reported on the Fall 2004 COSLA meeting. It will be held October 17-19th. The Western Council meeting will be held the morning of October 20th. The Mountain Plains Library Association meeting will begin on October 21st. The COSLA meeting for Fall 2005 will be in Salem, Oregon. The group decided to have the Fall 2005 Western Council meeting in Jackson, Wyoming on October 12, 2005. The Spring Western Council in 2005 will be in Colorado.

COSLA reminders: Saturday, May 1st will be a legislative retreat from 2 to 5 p.m. The Spring COSLA meeting will be on Sunday, May 2nd. The summer meeting will be Friday, June 25th in Orlando, Florida. The OCLC meeting for state librarians will be held from noon of Monday, March 29th through noon Tuesday, March 30th.

Statute exchange list. Lesley passed around the statute exchange contact list for members to review their state's listing. Jane Kolbe indicated that Arizona may opt of the project due to cost.

Election of Western Council Vice President 2004-2006. Sara Jones was elected by acclamation. The term is Fall 2004 to Spring 2006.

Continuum of Library Education grant. Charlie Bolles was not able to attend because of health reasons but he has agreed to chair the implementation committee. Implementation committee members are Charlie, Sara Jones, Amy Owen, Keith Swiggert of Texas Women's University, and Dave Brunnel of BCR. The committee has met once and will meet again probably in April. Catherine Helmick, the grant coordinator, was introduced to the group. She has worked in five states and began work on the grant on November 1st. Presentations on the grant have been made at the Nevada/MPLA joint conference and at the Arizona state library association. There is interest and desire to get training they need close to where they live and work. The group has defined library practitioner as a library director without a Masters level degree. The practitioner is the target audience for the grant. Another group will be the action team which will compose of continuing education specialists. For the action group, no one has been contacted yet. The core competencies are established and agreed upon and will form the foundation of the project. The focus will be to identify gaps in existing courses. There are six states in Western Council with existing certification programs. Plan is to complement existing certification programs. There will be a web site which will be a portal to this project. BCR is designing, hosting and maintaining the portal. In April, a basic web site may be available for comment. Catherine has been to outcomes based training in D.C. and Arizona. She was asked to find out what ALA is doing. They have no active interest in non-MLS library workers. Their focus is on MLS or post-MLS. Our program seems to be unique. IMLS did a survey last summer. The survey results are expected out next month. It has a database of all the training programs they contacted. Marilyn Mason of WebJunction is interested in coordinating classes. A registry of certified practitioners is an outcome for the grant. Right now Catherine is reading web sites of state libraries and going over the budget of the grant. Paraprofessional staff is not the focus of this project. Richard Akeroyd asked if all Western Council members could receive a copy of the latest version of the grant. At this point, we don't know how and when curriculum for certification will be delivered. Lots of questions but core competencies have to be clearly defined first. Lesley suggested that we ask and answer these questions on the Western Council list so that all can benefit. Core competencies are being developed separate from existing continuing education. It was suggested that eastern continuing education programs might have ability to fill some of the gaps.

Karen Strege distributed information to members on the grant. One handout showed the budget for the IMLS grant with matching and in-kind funds by state. Other handouts were forms on how to record and document in-kind match for the grant. We cannot use federal funds to match this grant and we cannot use same money twice as match. In other words, state funds used towards a state's maintenance of effort for LSTA cannot be counted also as a match for this grant. We will use the Western Council list to clarify staff exchange and program funds. Karen will complete the in-kind form for Western Council meetings where the grant is discussed. Members should use the form when they or their staff works on the grant. Filing the forms often is preferred. Susan Malbin, IMLS program officer for this grant, suggested that we send in new budget information.

The meeting was adjourned for a short break from 10:07 to 10:30.

The meeting reconvened at 10:35 by Lesley Boughton. Nancy Bolt states that she thinks it is really exciting to see Western Council take this on and she believes if we're successful at this, she doesn't see why we couldn't apply for additional grants in the future to extend this work. Lesley reminded everyone to provide Catherine with our continuing education and fiscal contacts for the grant. Catherine agreed to send out the latest grant documents information to members by March 15th.

New Business

Diana Paque passed out information on a grant for digitization. It is based on the U.S. Newspaper Project concept. She has been talking to someone at the Huntington Library regarding the idea. Diana and Ken Wiggin have been working together on this. She would like to bring it to COSLA in May so she would appreciate our comments to flesh out the document and to give her the names of our staff that might be helpful. Online encyclopedias have been done in some states and might be important contributors.

The travel reimbursement form for Fall 2005 was the next item of discussion. Karen Strege moved that we adopt items 1-3 on the Spring 2004 travel reimbursement form for use in Fall 2005. Sara Jones seconded the motion. The motion carries. Jack Mulkey stated that he understands the expenses.

Member reports

North Dakota. Doris Ott reported that a statewide filter for use in public libraries has been adopted. The product selected was Websense which runs on the state backbone. They did not have a legislative session this year.

Washington. Jan Walsh reported that their budget is stable. Turnover among staff is down. The state library is doing public events once a month and are having about 150 people attend. They are focusing on digitizing. They have used volunteers for a big project which is available on their web site. The state library did training on filters and offered $1,500 grants to public libraries for filtering technology. They are looking at a centralized proxy server for small libraries. They are seeing a loss of credibility and support for public libraries because of pornography is libraries based on her visits with Washington state legislators.

Colorado. Nancy Bolt reported that they have a state filtering bill. The librarians worked to amend the law so that they were able to turn off for minors whose parents supervises their computer use or gives prior consent. The bill was amended to say that libraries cannot filter out scientific or medical information. Libraries that don't take e-rate funds do not have to filter. The severe budget crisis in Colorado has resulted in only one independent library cooperative surviving. She is advertising for the head of their library for the blind and would appreciate good candidates if we know of any. Denver University is up for reaccreditation. The state library recently funded a virtual library project with an expected outcome of 10,000 questions answered. In five months, they have already answered 8,000.

Utah. Donna Jones Morris said she has been there less than a month. They also have a filtering bill. It promises that you won't be exposed to inappropriate material and that it can be turned on and off for adults. She is interested in how we have changed conservative legislators' views. Libraries will receive no state funds if they don't comply with bill. They have an online reference which has been very popular although it is not 24/7. There are a lot of retirements at the Utah state library including Jerry Buttars and she encouraged those who knew him to send him a card. The state library is part of the economic development cabinet so she is interested in how libraries are helping with economic development.

Arizona. Jane Kolbe reported that their legislative session is underway. The new archives building appears to be on again. The state library budget is stable and there is a chance for new money for staff. They received an IMLS leadership grant for tribal libraries with Oregon. As part of the grant, they will be hosting a national meeting in 2005 so she wanted to give other states with tribal libraries advance notice.

Oregon. Denise Davis reported that they are fully staffed for the first time in a while. They are expecting additional budget cuts however. There are limitations on out of state travel. The funding for their Ready to Read grant program was cut by about $200,000. State workers have had frozen salaries for two years. Their constitution rules filtering to be unconstitutional. The state library has raised $100,000 for automation of talking book libraries.

Idaho. Ann Joslin reported no filtering bills. In the last two years six of their larger public libraries have new directors. There is a proposal to add $40,000 to the state library budget for capital expenses. There is also a proposal for 2% salary funding for merit. The budget situation could be dire next year, however.

Iowa. Mary Wegner reported that their cuts are not continuing. There are no legislative efforts on filtering. They have the "Ask a Librarian" button on the state portal. They have a fourth edition of library standards. The most interesting public policy is who pays for library service.

Hawaii. JoAnn Schindler reported that their staff vacancies amount to 1/5 of their total staff. Succession management is a focus for them. Their state personnel officer has developed recruitment materials for the state library system to use which is a very useful partnership. The state library system is thinking of hosting digitization workshops.

Texas. The public library development survey is underway. The final report will be submitted in mid-March. Standards for public libraries are being developed. There is no filtering requirement in state. There was a significant loss of funds in TexShare. They hope to get the money back. They have had 12% across the board cuts. There is no out of state travel.

New Mexico. Richard Akeroyd reported that he is experiencing his first legislative session in New Mexico. The state library came out with some bond funds. The state library will split $320,000 with another library. The request for $41 million in bond funds was reduced to $16.1 million. There is no filtering bill. The state library has a stable budget. Cultural affairs was approved as a cabinet and the state library is included. They are doing lots of cooperative projects with museums. The state library is actively implementing the Gates Staying Connected grants. They have funded six technical support staff in six regions for tribes and public libraries.

South Dakota. Suzanne Miller reported that filtering is a local issue in South Dakota. The state library got a Braille bill to compel publishers who produce textbooks to provide electronic files for production in Braille. This bill significantly raised the visibility of the state library. The state library got a materials increase of $100,000 with $80,000 going to databases possible. There are five days left in their legislative session.

California. Diana Paque reported that there was no money available for any projects. In the third round of their library construction grants the state library received applications totaling over $500 million for an available $90 in awards. They have a friendly legislator who wants to introduce a new $2 billion bond project. Their head of talking books is retiring. The state library is 58% of where they were last year.

Nebraska. Rob Wagner reported that Nebraska and Colorado had partnered on a Western Trails project and gained experience in digitization. On the budget, they had a 15% cut. It is possible that next year will be a stable budget. The Nebraska Community Foundation has done lots of outreach in Nebraska about planned giving and libraries have been included in their programming. There are no filtering bills. Term limits have started to kick in. He expects that lobbyists will have a lot more clout. The state library has reworked their web site for access to database licenses. They are using authentication based on driver's license.

Arkansas. Jack Mulkey reported that filtering is required in school libraries. Some state aid funds have been restored and the staff are getting 2.6% salary increases. In the last legislative session, $400 million in new taxes were raised for common education. Public school funding is the first priority.

Nevada. Sara Jones reported some good news. Their staff vacancies amounting to 20% have now been filled. They are renewing databases and using a federated search engine. Joan Kerschner, former Nevada state librarian, is retiring in March. She is the COSLA representative for standards for services to the blind. Nevada got IMLS funds for recruitment.

Montana. Karen Strege said they had no legislative session this year. They received funding for six scholarships for library education from IMLS. Dr. Mary Busing did a survey for their state government customers. James Billington, Librarian of Congress, will be coming to Montana and they hope to have him come to the state library while there.

Wyoming. Lesley Boughton reported that the state budget was approved in 11 days. The state library received additional funds for databases. Their databases are funded solely by state dollars. Their Center for the Book has created an anthology with essays on "Deep West" which has several noted authors.

Oklahoma. Susan McVey reported that there was a filtering bill which would apply to academic, special, school and public libraries that receive public funds. A poll of public libraries indicates that because of e-rate, the percentage of libraries using filters will expand from 30% to 90%. The budget has been stable this year. The main database license is up for renewal and we expect to have it finalized this spring.

Lesley announced that the straw poll on the design for the Western Council logo to appear on the web site for Western Council will be design #3.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:10 p.m.