Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

March 25, 2002

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 March 25, 2002 meeting of the Board, covers the period of January 28, 2002, through March 24, 2002.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report

  1. Local Government Records Archivist (Public Records) - Position advertised.
  2. Library Technician (BIS) - Approved for refill by OPM.
  3. Library Technician (Coll. Mgmt.) - Approved for refill by OPM.
  4. Librarian (Coll. Mgmt.) - On hold.
  5. Material Storage Supervisor 1(Public Records) - Subject to OPM hiring freeze
  6. Secretary 1 (Admn Serv.) -ERIP/Hold.
  7. Fiscal Administrative Manager 1 (Admn Serv.) - To be reclassified.
  8. Lead Hand Bookbinder and Restorer (Conservation Lab) - On hold.
  9. Systems Developer 3 (Library Development) - Request to establish denied by OPM.
  10. Administrative Assistant (ISD) - Request for refill denied by OPM.

Vacancies (Federal Funds)

  1. Messenger and Supply Clerk (LBPH) - On hold.
  2. Clerk (LBPH) - On hold.
  3. Secretary 1 (Preservation) - On hold.

Positions Filled Since Last Report

  1. Supervisor-Records Services for State Agencies (Public Records).

State Librarian's Report

Van Block Facility
The outfitting and move to the Van Block Facility is moving apace. The State Library awarded the contract for moving the archives and library collections to William B. Meyer, a library relocation firm. Approximately 10.3 miles of shelving have been installed at Van Block. Because of the need to insure that materials make it safely from their locations to Van Block, it was necessary to close the Archives during the move.

Rich Kingston, Director of Administrative Services, and I met with our Budget Analysts from the Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to discuss a variety of issues. Chief among them was the library materials budget. We provided them with details on the effect the current funding level is having on our collections. We also provided them with a tour of the State Library.

Board member Larry Kibner arranged for a member of the Finance Committee to meet with he and I at the State Library to discuss the library materials budget and other budgetary issues. This was followed by a tour of the State Library and Museum.

Mr. Kibner also arranged for Eunice DiBella, Public Records Administrator, and me to meet with Representative Abrams to discuss an amendment to the proposed Connecticut Uniform Electronic Transactions Act. This bill came up in the last session, but didn't pass. Our only concern with the proposed bill has to do with retention of electronic records.

Several bills affecting public records have emerged. Of particular concern is Raised Bill 512, "AN ACT CONCERNING THE ELECTRONIC SCANNING OF CERTAIN PUBLIC RECORDS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT". The proposed legislation would allow any individual appearing at a public agency in person to copy any public record through the use of a hand-held scanner. As used in this section, "hand-held scanner" means a battery operated electronic scanning device, the use of which (1) leaves no mark or impression on the public record, and (2) does not unreasonably interfere with the operation of the public agency. We are opposed to the bill for preservation and security reasons.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)
Legislation to reauthorize LSTA was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 27, as H.R. 3784 the Museum of Library and Services Act of 2002. The bill appears to have good bi-partisan support. The biggest unresolved issues in the legislation have to do with funding. Many of us have been advocating for an increase in the basic grant that each state gets and an overall increase in the appropriations level. Connecticut currently receives $1,900,321 in federal LSTA funding.

We submitted a grant application for a 2002 Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant requesting $243,894 for the GreatKidsCT website project. The grant would enable us to improve the search capability, allow for personalization of the site, link to iCONN and make other technological improvements to the site.

A grant application for the 2002 Museum Assessment Program has also been submitted to IMLS. This grant would fund an institutional assessment of the Museum of Connecticut History.

I am also working with the University of Connecticut, the Connecticut Historical Society (CHS), Mystic Seaport and the New Haven Colony Historical Society on a grant application for a 2002 IMLS National Leadership Grant for Library-Museum Collaborations. This grant would fund phase II of the Connecticut History Online website. The State Library and New Haven Colony Historical Society are new partners in this grant and some of the funding would enable the State Library and New Haven to add collections to the website. Connecticut History Online was originally funded by an IMLS grant to UConn, CHS, and Mystic.

Information Services Division

Reference Services
The Division has begun a review of patron use during the first six-month of the extended Saturday and Thursday evening hours.

A notice about the closing of parts of the Collection as the move to the Van Block storage area progresses has been posted on the Internet. The notice is frequently updated to reflect the status of various collections. Although the move has just begun, to this point it seems not to have caused undue hardship for patrons.

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) Director Carol Taylor gave a LBPH presentation at the Town of Windsor Senior Center, and gave a tour of LBPH to Margaret Mair, Library and Historical Research Consultant.

Government Information Reference Librarians Nancy Peluso and Nancy Lieffort, Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz, and General Worker Steve Rice gave a tour of the three reference units to 46 8th graders from Bethel Middle School. History & Genealogy Reference Librarian Carolyn Picciano and Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz spoke to the group.

History & Genealogy Reference Librarian Carolyn Picciano and Government Information Reference Librarians Nancy Lieffort and Nancy Peluso assisted students from Southbury Middle School with their History Day projects.

Law/Legislative Unit Head Denise Jernigan, Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz, Government Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso, and Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz gave a tour and orientation to approximately 100 Legislative Interns in January and February.

History & Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson performed as William Webb at the Park St. Branch of the Hartford Public Library on February 5, the Noah Webster School on February 7, the Groton Sub Base on February 8 and 20, the Vernon Middle School on February 13, the Blue Hills Branch of the Hartford Public Library on February 21, and as part of the Liberty Christian Black History Program on February 23.

The 14th Annual History and Genealogy Researchers Appreciation Luncheon was held on February 14, in Ken Wiggin's office. Information Services Division Director Lynne Newell, Library Development Division Director Sharon Brettschneider, and Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella each briefly addressed the group. Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane then gave a presentation on Preservation.

Articles about Kevin Johnson's William Webb presentations at the Sub Base in Groton for African American History Month appeared in the New London Day on February 9 and in the Groton Sub Base newspaper, The Dolphin, on February 14.

Bibliographic Services Librarian Carolyn Giliberto has completed barcoding and relabeling all of the Connecticut newspaper microfilm. 37 thousand reels are now classified, cataloged, labeled, and barcoded. The use of the microfilms is increasing steadily due to this project's having made them more accessible, and more available through the online catalog.

Library Automation
The State of Connecticut website, ConneCT will be changed to portal presentation. Ken Wiggin, Lynne Newell, Julie Schwartz, and Government Information Reference Librarian Al Palko all have been active in the planning and designing of the revised website. CSL staff proposed indexing of substantive webpages and suggested the use of AIRS (Alliance of Information and Referral Services) thesaurus terms. The Dept. of Information Technology has agreed and will embed AIRS headings in the portal management software. As a pilot to test the effectiveness of the indexing for retrieval by users, Infoline staff will apply the thesaurus terms to 1,000 sites.

The State Library staff has created a new resource designed to save research time, while maintaining the ability to have timely information available on issues currently under consideration in state government. Current Issues is a changing series of research guides to electronically available information on topics of interest to the General Assembly, their staff, state agencies and the general public. Smart growth, teacher recruitment, electricity restructuring, and Connecticut statistics are just a few of the featured topics so far. Government Information Reference librarians compile the guides by carefully selecting reports from Connecticut state agencies and the Legislative Staff Offices, as well as information from the federal and other states' governments. Special effort is made to include items that compare and contrast multiple states' responses to an issue. Current Issues are available online.

History & Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts attended the Gentech, 2002 Conference "Family History at the Speed of Light" from January 24-26, in Boston.

Information Services Director Lynne Newell attended an IMLS Conference on Outcome Based Evaluation in Washington, D.C. with Division of Library Development Director Sharon Brettschneider and Digital Library Interlibrary Loan Coordinator Steve Cauffman on February 11 and 12. The goal was to train a team of staff from each State Library who could then work together to implement outcome-based evaluation for Library Services and Technology Act programs.

Collection Management Unit Head Diane Pizzo and Library Technician Jin-Chih Chang attended a NELLCO Interlibrary Loan meeting at Harvard Law School on February 4 and a CONSULS ILL meeting at CCSU on February 7.

LBPH Unit Head Carol Taylor attended a Connecticut Radio Information System Board Meeting in Windsor on February 21.

Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky participated in a telephone conference with the Digital Archive Subcommittee from OCLC on February 13 and February 22.

All of the Information Services Division staff have attended Diversity Training or will be going within the next few months.

Division Of Library Development
Beginning in April 2002, public libraries will begin reporting their Connecticard statistics online. The Division has made a web accessible reporting form available on the State Library's website. Statistics necessary for the Connecticard reimbursement program will now be compiled automatically.

The Division has announced the availability of Library Service and Construction Act grants to Connecticut libraries. Libraries may submit grants for adaptive technology, technology for resource sharing, outreach to children, outreach to older adults, programs and services to non-English speaking populations, long range planning and children in poverty. Grants are due to the State Library by May 3, 2002.

Joanne Turschman, State Data Coordinator has completed the Federal FY2001 submission of Connecticut's Pubic Library Statistics. The Connecticut State Library will receive the Keppel Award for timely submission.

The Connecticut Public Library Statistical Profile for the Fiscal Year 2000-2001 is now available in print and web versions. [Link no longer live, removed as of 08/18/06 by webmaster. The URL was formerly found at] 

The Division of Library Development has announced the availability of a grant program for public libraries for the purchase and installation of public information kiosks. In support of this grant an E-Branch Kiosk Workshop, was held on February 26. Fred E. Goodman, President, Public Information Kiosk, Inc., presented a program on public information kiosks. Mary Louise Jensen discussed the grant application procedures.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) for the outsourcing of the statewide delivery service (C-Car) was released by the Department of Administrative Services on behalf of the State Library on February 22, 2002. A mandatory vendor conference was held on March 8, 2002, at the Middletown Library Service Center. Responses to the RFP are due on April 12, 2002.

Sharon Brettschneider, Mary Louise Jensen and Mary Engels attended the Public Library Association Conference in Phoenix on March 12-16.

Sharon Brettschneider spoke about iCONN the Connecticut Digital Library at the Eastern Connecticut Libraries Legislative Breakfast on February 26.

Stephen Cauffman and Sharon Brettschneider attended the Managing Program Outcomes Training Workshop sponsored by The Institute of Museum and Library Services on February 11-12, in Washington, D.C.

Continuing Education
Continuing Education Consultant Barry Woods reports that the response to winter and spring Division of Library Development workshops has been overwhelming. The "hot" workshop this year is a two-day class called "PC Survival" with Professor Wayne Spies. Survival II classes will start this summer.

Multiple sessions of Microsoft applications workshops, such as Word: Beyond the Basics, Introduction to Access, the Complete Excel and FrontPage, have been arranged in Middletown and registrations for all workshops are full. New this spring are "Exploring the Palm Pilot" and "Using Excel as a Database" with instructor Diane McKeever.

More Division of Library Development workshops are being taken on the road this year in an effort to provide training to those who find it difficult or inconvenient to travel to State Library facilities. The "Introduction to Genealogical and Family History Research" with Dr. Robert Rafford is being presented in public libraries in Winsted, Danielson, Guilford and Newtown. "Getting Started with Windows/Word" and "Word: Beyond the Basics" will be given for the first time in May and June at the new Technology Foundation Center at the Darien Public Library.

"Attracting Opposites: Why Libraries Need Young Adults" was presented for the first time to a group of 25, at the Middletown Library Service Center, in November 2001. Instructor Amy Skolnik, Director of the Foster and Tyler Public Libraries in Rhode Island, gives the teenager's perspective on public library services in a unique and humorous presentation. Children's Librarian Anne Campbell of the Groton Public Library was so impressed with "Attracting Opposites"; she asked if we could repeat the program in southeastern Connecticut. There will be a repeat session of this workshop at Groton Public Library on May 17.

iCONN: the Connecticut Digital Library
The new Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board (CDLAB) was formed and met for the first time on February 6. The members of the Board and their membership categories are:

The Board elected Alfred Hopkins, Jr, and Jenifer O'Connor to be Chair and Vice Chair, respectively. Anita Barney (Executive Director, Western Connecticut Library Council) is serving as liaison between the CDLAB and CLSUs. The Board also established two subcommittees, one focused on Database Selection (coordinated by Sharon Brettschneider) and one focused on Public Awareness (coordinated by Bill Sullivan). The directory of CDLAB members, Bylaws and subcommittee members are located online. The next meeting of the Board will take place on Wednesday, May 1, 2002, at 1:00 p.m., at the Middletown Library Service Center.

iCONN - Training Manual for K-12 Schools
A 124-page iCONN Training Manual was completed and delivered to the Regional Educational Service Centers (RESC)for their use in providing train-the-trainer training to library media specialists from public K-12 schools. It was developed by Patricia Lord Clark (formerly, library director of Miss Porter's School) under contract with the State Library and pursuant to an agreement between the State Library and the Connecticut Alliance of Regional Educational Service Centers. The entire manual can be downloaded from iCONN. Also available from the same location is a brochure developed by Betty Goyette (State Department of Education) entitled, 10 Big Ideas for using iCONN to increase the challenge level for all students.

The RESC Spring training schedule and registration information has been posted online ("Statewide Training Program - Public Schools"), and was also published in the CLSU and CEMA monthly newsletters and CEMA-L listserv. Each class is open on a statewide basis. There is a nominal registration fee and Continuing Education Units are granted. A summary of the iCONN Training Workshops being offered from March - May is given below:

Location: ACES (Hamden)

March 12 and 14, 2002 (4:00 pm - 7:00 pm)
May 23, 2002 (9:00 am - 3:00 pm)

Location: CES (Trumbull)

May 29, 2002 (9:00 am - 3:00 pm)

Location: CREC (Hartford)

March 6, 2002 (9:00 am - Noon)
March 6, 2002 (12:30 pm - 3:30 pm)

Location: LEARN (Old Lyme)

March 9, 2002 (9:00 am - 2:30 pm)
May 9, 2002 (9:00 am - 2:30 pm)

Location: EASTCONN (Hampton)

April 1, 2002 (9:00 am - 3:00 pm)

iCONN Statistics
According to the latest statistics, there have been more than 2.6 million searches conducted in iCONN from July 2001 to January 2002.

iCONN - Testimonials and Cost Savings
Two sections have been created within the iCONN home page to publish testimonials and cost savings reports submitted by libraries. The testimonials site and the Cost Savings/Budget Impact site are online. These sites have been helpful in revealing how libraries and schools are using iCONN, and the impact of having iCONN.

Getting the Word Out
Articles published (or submitted for publication) about iCONN have been listed under "Articles" in About iCONN and in Support Materials. Among four articles listed are articles by library media specialists Muriel Gaynor and Janet Leonberger from West Hartford Public Schools and by library media specialist Jane Tonn from Middletown High School.

There are currently 60 schools participating in reQuest. A significant marketing initiative focused on increasing the number of high school libraries participating in reQuest is in the works. This will involve the development of reQuest brochures (PAC/CAT and ILL) designed specifically for school libraries and holding several regional information sessions on reQuest, some in conjunction with library media specialist roundtable meetings. This effort is being coordinated by Steve Cauffman and Gail Hurley.

Nelinet training on PAC/ILL functions (coordinated by Steve Cauffman) was held on February 6 and on WebCAT/Cataloging functions (coordinated by Gail Hurley) on February 21.

Jane Emerson conducted a workshop on iCONN for the Eastern Connecticut Libraries Library Assistants Roundtable on January 30, at the Middletown Library Service Center.