Connecticut State Library with state seal


January 30, 2006

This report is prepared bi-monthly in conjunction with the regular meetings of the Connecticut State Library Board. Items to be routinely covered include the following: the significant activities of the State Librarian and the staff, significant administrative decisions affecting the operation of the Library, status reports regarding in-progress activities, information regarding external events having an impact on the Library, media coverage of the Library, and information of general interest to the members of the Board.

The following report by the State Librarian, which will be included in the minutes of the January 30, 2006 meeting of the Board, covers the period of November 29, 2005, through January 22, 2006.

Attached to this report.

Vacancies (State Funded)

Vacancies (Federal Funds)



Hartford Courant Digitization Project
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving has awarded the State Library a $50,000 grant to support the Historical Hartford Courant digitization project. The grant from the Hartford Foundation represents a major milestone in the Library’s fundraising efforts for this important project. Letters were also mailed to the superintendents of all the state’s school districts seeking support for the project. Responses have been so in coming.

Chief Court Administrator
Chief Justice William J. Sullivan has appointed the Honorable William J. Lavery, chief judge of the Appellate Court, to succeed Judge Pellegrino as Chief Court Administrator. Judge Pellegrino will take senior judge status, effective Feb. 1, 2006. Judge Pellegrino will reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 in June 2006. Prior to reaching age 70, judges may elect senior judge status. Judge Pellegrino will hear Appellate Court cases as a senior judge, as he also is a judge of the Appellate Court.

Judge Lavery, 67, was appointed a Superior Court judge in 1981. He served as presiding judge in the Danbury Judicial District and chief administrative judge in Waterbury prior to his appointment to the Appellate Court in 1989. In March 2000, retired Chief Justice McDonald appointed Judge Lavery as chief judge of the Appellate Court. A native of Bridgeport, Judge Lavery graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1955 and, then in 1959 from Fairfield University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and philosophy. Judge Lavery received his law degree from Fordham Law School in 1964. He was in private practice in Connecticut for 17 years. He currently is the president of C.H. Booth Library of Newtown.

Building Renovations
The new mailroom and cafeteria are now open. The former mailroom and State Library storage room were renovated into new office space for the Judiciary. One half of the old cafeteria was converted into a new mailroom and the remaining section of the cafeteria was renovated. Judicial purchased new storage cabinets for State Library use and lined them along the corridor leading to the new mailroom.

New granite signs are being installed in front of the State Library/Supreme Court building. Replacing the sign at the corner of Capitol and Lafayette Street that said “State Library Supreme Court” will be a sign saying “State Library, Archives, Museum”. A sign (matching in style) will be placed at the corner of Capitol and Oak Street that says “Supreme Court”. The signs will have engraved lettering that is painted black.

Bomb Threat
On Friday, December 2, five bomb threats to several state agencies triggered the closing of all courthouses in the state. Since the State Library is located in a courthouse, it was evacuated and all employees sent home for the day. While we have procedures in place and have practiced for a bomb threat, this was handled as a “closing” which led to a lot of confusion. Rich Kingston and I are members of the Security Committee for the building. Library Staff have raised a lot of questions that I will bring to the Committee. Hopefully this situation will not be repeated in the future.

Hartford Courant
iCONN users can now search portions of the Historical Hartford Courant. The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving awarded the State Library a $50,000 grant to support the Historical Hartford Courant digitization project. With this grant, fundraising efforts for the project moved close enough to the goal that the State Library was able to reach an agreement with ProQuest to proceed with the project. The State Library is just $57,000 shy of its $375,000 goal. Letters have been mailed to the superintendents all the state’s school districts seeking support for the project. Responses have been slow in coming.

The Historical Hartford Courant database will include full-page coverage from issue 1, volume 1 of the newspaper starting in 1764 with coverage to December 31, 1922. This searchable digital archive of more than 280,000 pages of important historical content will offer article-level search results, article zoning and edited metadata, including headlines, bylines and first paragraphs. All academic libraries, all public libraries and branches, historical society libraries, and all schools will have statewide access, as well as any Connecticut government department. There will be remote access for anyone with a public library card.

Longevity Awards
The following service awardees were inadvertently left out of the last report.

Archives and Public Records:
10 YEARS, LeAnn Johnson, Public Records Government Program Specialist

Public Records:
20 YEARS, Charles (Doug) Yaeger, Storekeeper, State Records Center

Accomplishments/Division News
An IS Division meeting was held on December 8 in the Attorneys’ Conference Room. Recognition certificates were awarded to Division members in a variety of categories. The primary discussion topic was “Who are the primary patrons of this Library?” Answers and information on this topic will help inform strategic and marketing plans.

Law/Legislative Reference Unit Office Assistant Ruth Shapleigh-Brown received a “Distinguished Advocates Award” on November 16th from the Commission on Culture and Tourism for her work to preserve history through preserving records and artwork of Connecticut’s old burial grounds.

A Public Trust at Risk: The Heritage Health Index Report on the State of America’s Collections has been published. The report documents the condition and preservation needs of the nation’s collections, including some of its most priceless treasures. The Index is a project of Heritage Preservation, a non-profit organization, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Museum Director Dean Nelson, Archivist Mark Jones and Information Services Director Lynne Newell participated in the survey by answering questions about the Library, the Museum and the Archives. A summary informational flyer is in your packets and is available at the reference Units. A copy of the report will be cataloged for the collection. Full data from the survey is available online at

As part of our activity on the NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program; Library of Congress) grant, Government Information staff are testing new project software (Web Archives Workbench Properties Tool) to select items for the Digital Archive and identify domains to harvest from state agencies. Staff will be identifying 20+ major agencies and creating Properties records for them, using the CSL thesaurus of Legislative terms.

With the funds for new titles, four new subscription e-resources were added to the CSL Subscription Databases list, including: The first of the Connecticut Television Network (CTN) DVDs have been cataloged and will be available in the Newspaper Room. Patrons can view them on a public access PC or borrow them through circulation.

The Division of Information Services hosted a CT GODORT (Government Documents Round Table) meeting at Van Block on November 9. A Journal-Inquirer reporter gave a presentation on how he uses state documents in his work.

Government Information Services convened a meeting of State Depository Documents Librarians on November 9 at Van Block. Government Information Services Unit Head Julie Schwartz gave a presentation on the Connecticut Digital Archive, and the group discussed possible changes in the Connecticut Document Depository system as state agencies shift to electronic publishing.

In the first four months of Fiscal 2006, 20,269 reference questions were answered, either in person, by phone, or by email. Over 23,000 patrons visited the Library to use its collections and services.

Statistical Report
All of Connecticut's principal public libraries successfully locked in their data for the State Library Annual Statistical Report by the statutory deadline of November 15th. This is the fourth year that they have been able to submit their data through an online form through the vendor Bibliostat Collect. This data is used to calculate the State Aid to principal public libraries, compile the State Library's Statistical Profile, and to participate in the annual U.S. Dept of Education's Public Library Survey data collection. In addition to the 164 principal libraries, 18 non-principal libraries submitted data.

Joanne Turschman, State Library Data Coordinator attended a three day annual conference in Washington D.C. for State Data Coordinators to learn the new web based submission procedure of Connecticut's public library data to the U.S. Dept of Education in 2006. Ms. Turschman received the 2004 Keppler Award for timely and accurate submission of data.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
The State Program Report for the FY 2004 LSTA funds was completed in December. The report details the use of funds in Connecticut over a two-year period. The narrative portion, over 100 pages in length, was completed by Douglas Lord.

Willimantic Library Service Center Moves!!
The Willimantic Library Service Center has moved to its new location: 1320 Main Street, Suite 25, part of the Tyler Square Plaza in Willimantic. They were closed starting January 3rd and reopened in their new location on January 17th. Their phone and fax numbers will stay the same.

New Continuing Education Calendar
A new version of the Connecticut Library Continuing Education Calendar is available at All library CE opportunities from the State Library, the Connecticut Library Consortium, the Connecticut Library Association and Capitol Community College are listed here. The new calendar allows online registration.

Friends of Connecticut Libraries
The Friends of Connecticut Libraries has chosen the consulting firm of RPA, Inc. of Williamsport, PA to research and write a handbook for Connecticut library Friends groups. The handbook will contain essential information and best practices for library Friends groups. The State Library is providing LSTA funds to support this work. Anne Farrow, from the Features Department of the Hartford Courant and author of Complicity will serve as Champion of Friends of Libraries Month in April 2006. The Governor declares each April as Friends of Libraries Month and the Friends of Connecticut Libraries promotes its activities during the month distributing information on Friends to all Connecticut libraries.

Jane Emerson, the Electronic Resources Coordinator at iCONN is retiring in January. Please give her your best wishes and thanks for all her contributions to making iCONN a success. In honor of her many years of superb service and contributions to the Digital Library program, Ms. Emerson received a special resolution from the Advisory Board at its December 7 meeting. Joining our staff starting December 30th is Lorraine (Lorri) Huddy, former Electronic Resources Coordinator at Trinity College.

New health resources were added to the academic and public resource menus and their associated classic menus. For public libraries, we added: MedlinePlus (also included in federated searching); 2-1-1 Community Resources Directory; Connecticut Consumer Health Information; and Connecticut Physician Profiles. For college libraries, we added PubMed (also included in federated searching).

Results of the iCONN public awareness survey that was performed by the UCONN Center for Survey Research & Analysis were presented by UCONN at the December Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board (CDLAB) meeting. The complete report is available at The study showed that iCONN and reQuest users are highly satisfied with iCONN and reQuest. It also confirmed that the vast majority of Connecticut residents are not aware of these services. Considerable room for growth was reflected in the high level of interest among survey-takers who were not previously aware of the service. The study further concluded that significant benefit will accrue to the state if we can increase public familiarity with iCONN to the point of critical mass – when word-of-mouth can have a “substantial impact.” Currently, approximately 5% of the public is either somewhat or very familiar with iCONN. To achieve a critical mass, this percentage needs to increase to 30% – 35%). Our initial goal is to increase this percentage to 10% by the end of 2006, and to measure results with a follow-up survey at the end of 2006.

A promotional package on iCONN is being mailed to approximately 280 associations in Connecticut that produce newsletters. The package includes an insert about iCONN for the newsletter.

A link to the new iCONN brochure for educators is now on the Connecticut Education Association's (CEA) website at - in "What's New" and "Education Resources/Online & Interactive Resources". We have also submitted an article about iCONN for publication in the next CEA and American Federation of Teachers (AFT)-CT's member newsletters, which are mailed to the homes of 35,000 CEA members and 26,000 AFT members. We believe these two newsletters are an excellent way to increase awareness of iCONN among K-12 teachers in Connecticut.

The Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board voted to elected four new members pending approval of the State Library Board: Nicholas Eshelman, University of Connecticut Storrs, academic librarian; Irene Iwan, Hartford Public Library, public librarian; Carolyn Marcato, Fairfield Warde High School, school librarian; and Anne-Marie Kaminsky, Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, Business Community User. Alana Meloni completed her term on the Board as a parent of K-12 Student. At its December 7 meeting, Alfred Hopkins received a well-deserved proclamation from the Governor for his many years of service as the first Chair of the Advisory Board. The Advisory Board will elect a new Chair and Vice Chair and its next meeting on February 1.

In December 2005, the State Library awarded 46 historic document preservation grants for Cycle 2 for a total of $354,861. For FY 2006 (Cycle 1 and 2 combined) the State Library awarded 153 grants for a total $1,293,861

On December 1, Eunice DiBella and Kathryn Makover conducted an on site visit to the Hartford Town Clerk’s office to inspect new construction in the vault and report on violations and recommendations.

The Application and Guidelines for the Historic Documents Preservation Grant Program were distributed to Connecticut Towns and Municipalities January 1, 2006. The competitive grants will augment the targeted grant program that has been in place since the legislation establishing the Historic Documents Preservation Account was passed in 2000.

State Archives
State Archives Accessions Impeachment Committee Records
On Friday, January 6, the State Archives received 315 boxes of records of the Select Committee of Inquiry to Recommend Whether Sufficient Grounds Exist for the House of Representatives to Impeach Governor John G. Rowland. A large part of the accession consists of copies of documents subpoenaed by the committee from state agencies. Also included are summonses, subpoenas, transcripts and video tapes of all depositions conducted by the committee, videos of committee hearings, all administrative records, including rules adopted by the Committee, agendas and minutes of all committee hearings, exhibits prepared by the committee, copies of materials received by the committee with appropriate redactions pursuant to State and Federal laws and regulations, and copies of all complaints, answers, briefs, motions and documents received by or filed by the committee in connections with any lawsuit to which the committee was a party.