Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

March 24, 2003

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 24, 2003 meeting of the Board, covers the period of January 27, 2003, through March 23, 2003.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report
All vacancies cancelled per OPM letter dated 6/18/02.

Positions Filled Since Last Report

State Librarian's Report

The United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 13, the Museum and Library Services Act of 2003, which includes the Library Services and Technology Act Reauthorization, by an overwhelming vote of 416 to 2. All five Connecticut Representatives voted in favor. The Senate is now working on a similar bill and it is my understanding that Senator Dodd has signed onto that. Thank you to all Board members who contacted members of Congress about this important issue.

LSTA Maintenance of Effort (MOE)
As I have previously reported to the Board, the current State Library general fund budget drops us below our required MOE. While attending the American Library Association winter meeting, I and several other state librarians who face a similar situation had a very productive meeting with officials from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. It was made clear to us at the meeting and subsequently confirmed in a letter from the Associate Deputy Director that when "a state is unable to maintain its contribution as established in the MOE requirement, and reports such in the annual report to IMLS, the state's next grant award is proportionally reduced and the remaining funds are redistributed to the other states." As the long-term funding for iCONN becomes more of a reality, we can consider adjusting our MOE to include at least a portion of the iCONN funding that was appropriated for the current year. That should insure that we don't lose any federal funds next year.

Patriot Act
On February 13, 2003, the Executive Board of the Connecticut Library Association passed a resolution regarding the USA PATRIOT Act.

On March 6, United States Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced the "Freedom to Read Protection Act" - HR 1157. This legislation would return the standards for the FBI to obtain FISA court orders and warrants to investigate library patrons and bookstore customers to the pre-PATRIOT Act standards. Under this legislation, the FBI would still have access to these records with a court-ordered search warrant but some type of reasonable cause would be required not the lower standard created by the USA PATRIOT Act. HR 1157 also calls for public reporting to determine how provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act are being implemented in order to better assess civil liberties implications.

CLSU Planning Process
Sharon Brettschneider and I continue to be involved in the planning process for the Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC), the proposed successor to the CLSUs. While neither of us have been directly involved in the work of the planning committee, we have been working with the CLSU directors on current budget issues, transition issues and alike. We hope to make a full report to the Board in May on the outcome of the process.

Legislative Activities
I testified at the Bonding Subcommittee hearing on our bond allocation balances and the Governor's bond recommendation. This is the first year since I have been here that we didn't have unallocated balances in the Public Library Construction program. The Governor did not propose funding Public Library Construction for the next two years, but I did speak to the need for continued funding.

I also testified at the Appropriations Committee hearing on the proposed biennial budget. Our work session with the Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee is scheduled for March 28.

Professional Activities
Attended meetings of the Commission on Educational Technology, CONSULS, Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Committee, Connecticut History Online Project Management Committee, Connecticut Library Association Executive Board, Historic Documents Advisory Committee, Nelinet Bylaws Committee, and the SCSU Library School Curriculum Committee.

Attended the American Library Association Midwinter Conference and the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) meeting held in conjunction with ALA.

Participated in the Museum Advisory Board's Museum Assessment Project and the Friends of Connecticut Library's Strategic Planning Session. Presented greetings to those attending the 29th Regiment Infantry Day in Hartford held in Memorial Hall as part of Black History Month. Guest lectured for the Public Library Course at Southern Connecticut State University Library School.

Information Services Division

Reference Services
The Government Information Unit has provisionally cut back from two staff to a single person on the reference desk for the 9-11 and 3-5 shifts. The Law/Legislative Reference Unit has also cut back to one reference person from 9-11 and has cut back to one staff on Saturdays. The History & Genealogy Unit remains at two staff coverage at all times.

Bibliographic Information Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky gave a presentation on the Connecticut Digital Archive to the Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board on January 8 at the Middletown Library Service Center.

Mr. Slovasky and Government Information Reference Unit Head Julie Schwartz gave a presentation on the Connecticut Digital Archive as part of an OCLC program called "Do Your Digital Collections have an Archive in Their Future? Issues, Standards and Implementation" at the ALA Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia on January 26.

Government Information Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort gave a tour to the West Hartford Federated Women's Club on January 4. Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz and History & Genealogy Reference Librarian Mel Smith assisted with the tour.

Mrs. Lefkowitz also spoke with four groups of Legislative Interns touring the Library on January 22, 23, 28, and 30. Government Information Services staff assisted with the tours.

History & Genealogy Reference Librarian Carolyn Picciano and Archivist Mark Jones gave a tour to an Archives group from St. Joseph's College on January 23.

History & Genealogy Reference Librarian Bonnie Linck gave a presentation on Governor Robert Treat to the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark on January 27.

Students from Rocheambeau Junior High School were here on February 26 and 27 to work on their History Day projects.

History & Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson completed his 200th performance as William Webb.

Federal Document Depository
The United States Government Publications Office has advised the Library that their information is being disseminated more and more through electronic format. This trend is expected to increase in the future and raises questions about the future of the Depository program.

A newly acquired Index Master product provides Tables of Contents and indexes to many of the law related titles that we own.

The Connecticut History Online Project (CHO) has received a new IMLS grant that includes the Connecticut State Library. The project currently contains images contributed by the Connecticut Historical Society, UConn, and Mystic Seaport. To be included from our Library will be images chosen from the Lewis Sprague Mills Collection; a collection featuring nineteenth-century school (and other) buildings; and questionnaires completed by Connecticut participants in World War. Bibliographic Information Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky is on the CHO2 Technical Committee, which is charged with coordinating the digital processing and cataloging of these documents. The New Haven Colony Historical Society is another new CHO partner.

Library Automation
The "Current Issues" pathfinder has been completely updated by Governmental Information Staff. It was listed in the Legislative Bulletin. The staff is also revising the CT Statistics Pathfinders.

Library For the Blind and Physically Handicapped
Library for Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) Director Carol Taylor hosted the LBPH Advisory Committee meeting on January 10.

Carol Taylor attended a Board of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) Stakeholders meeting on Children's Services on January 19 and also a Connecticut Radio Information System (CRIS) Board Meeting on January 26.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarians Hilary Frye, Cheryl Schutt, and Louise Tucker attended the NELLCO Reference Librarians' meeting on the Virtual Reference Project at Quinnipiac Law School on January 31.

The layoffs have affected the Division in many ways. The Library will now be closed on Thursday evenings as of February 20. Saturday hours will continue for now but with less reference staff and without circulation staff.

Gratien Meda came to CSL from Western Connecticut State University. Mr. Meda is assigned to Collection Management as a Library Technical Assistant, doing serials check-in, circulation desk coverage, and claims.

Office Assistant Gary Klein began a new position in Collection Management.

Office Assistant Jose Martinez moved from the Law/Legislative Unit to the Archives on January 21.

Librarian Gail Hurley, formerly with the Division of Library Development, joined the Law/Legislative Reference Unit as of February 24.

Library Technician Jin Chih-Chang left Collection Management on January 30 to work at CCSU, and Library Technician Gertrude Owusu left on January 23 to work at ECSU.

Office Assistant S'Jean Cohen's last day in Bibliographic Services and Reference Librarian Kris Abery's last day in Government Information Reference was Friday, January 17.

Division Of Library Development

On February 3, Susan Cormier, Children's Consultant, presented a program on the Mother Goose Family Literacy Project for the Capitol Region Library Council Children's Round Table.

The State Library sponsored workshops on A Research-Based Approach to Supporting Preschool Language and Literacy in Public Libraries on February 11, February 25, and March 11. These workshops were developed by Dr. Anne Fowler, Senior Scientist at the Haskins Laboratory and presented under her direction by Dr. Julia Irwin, Haskins Laboratory, and Susan Cormier. Ninety-three librarians attended the workshops. Two more sessions of this workshop are being planned to meet demand. The goal of the workshop is to present research that will enable librarians to:

These workshops are the first step in a statewide program of training, publicity and incentive grants to increase libraries role in preschool literacy titled Connecticut Libraries . . . It's Never Too Early.

Linda Williams, Children's Librarian, and Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center are presenting five workshops in February, March and April on evaluating library collections. The workshops are entitled Weeding in the Garden of Good and Evil. The workshops give participants guidance on how to weed their collections and then some hands on practice weeding the hosting library's collection.

Linda Williams and Sharon Brettschneider presented a program on the upcoming Emergent Literacy Training and the Connecticut Libraries . . . It's Never Too Early project at the Fairfield County Children's Librarians Roundtable on February 3, at the Ridgefield Public Library.

Tom Newman of the Middletown Library Service Center and Sharon Brettschneider attended the Bill and Melinda Gates Library Foundation Before Your Computer Arrives training on February 13 and 14. The training was given for all the 30 libraries participating in the State Partnership Grant Program. Eighteen of these libraries are receiving free computers, software, training and support. Twelve libraries have purchased computers but receive free software, training and support. The Middletown Library Service Center has been granted a free computer in order for Tom Newman to provide help to libraries installing and using the computers. The State Library has set up a listserv for libraries participating in the program so that they may share ideas, and discuss issues related to public access computing. Tom Newman is the list administrator.

The Willimantic Library Service Center hosted twelve events including Book SWAP, Eastern Connecticut Libraries Audio Visual Swaps, a Book Discussion and Examination Day, the Public Librarians Roundtable, the Children's Services Roundtable and School Media Specialist Roundtable.

Joanne Turschman, State Data Coordinator, has coordinated the submission of Connecticut's State Library Agency to the National Center for Education Statistics & National Commission on Libraries and Information Sciences before the deadline, and will qualify for the John G. Lorenz Award for timely and accurate submission.

Ms Turschman has also submitted Connecticut's Public Libraries Survey FY 2002 to the National Center for Education Statistics. Because the submission was completed before the deadline, the State Library will be eligible to receive the Keppel Award, presented annually to the respective State Data Coordinators at their annual conference in November.

Winners of the Connecticut Excellence in Public Library Service Awards have been chosen. They are:

Judges from outside Connecticut reviewed fourteen nominations. The awards will be presented April 8 at the Connecticut Library Association's Annual Conference. Each library will also be hosting local celebrations. The State Library, the Connecticut Library Association (CLA), Friends of Connecticut Libraries (FOCL) and Association of Connecticut Library Boards sponsor the awards program. Mary Engels coordinates this program for the State Library.

Another joint project of CLA and the State Library is the annual library photograph display at the Legislative Office Building. Hundreds of library photographs will be on display in the concourse from April 1 to 15, 2003. This year's exhibit includes photos from public, school, academic and corporate libraries. Mary Engels is coordinating the exhibit as a member of the CLA Publicity Committee.

In honor of the thousands of volunteers who, as library Friends, give of their time and talents to enhance library capabilities and services in Connecticut, April is being celebrated as Friends of the Library Month in Connecticut. In support of the observance, sponsored by FOCL, award winning poet, playwright and author of more than 35 books for children, Mary Ann Hoberman has been named as honorary spokesperson. Kendall Wiggin has issued an official statement encouraging libraries to celebrate April as Friends of the Library Month.

Precipitated by the recent layoffs and bumping, Gail Hurley, our statewide library catalog coordinator since June 2000, transferred to Law/Legislative Reference on February 24, 2003. Ms. Hurleyl was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation that recognized her many valuable contributions to improving the statewide library catalog service, and her reputation for outstanding customer service and professionalism. On March 3, 2003, Bruce Stark from the State Archives joined the iCONN staff as her replacement. Until Bruce becomes acclimated to his new responsibilities, Bill Sullivan, as Administrator, will assume the responsibilities of statewide library catalog.

A press release on iCONN with accompanying materials was distributed to all legislators at the end of January. In addition, the Connecticut Library Association distributed iCONN library cards to all new legislators (the same cards that were distributed to all legislators last year).

iCONN made's list of the top 100 websites in Connecticut. It is listed in both Education and Government categories. To increase the visibility of this listing, we posted a link to the list at the main iCONN home page. For information about how this list is compiled, see (select "About the Web 100"). This listing should help to increase the awareness of iCONN in Connecticut. The State Library's website also made the list.

ICONN continues to receive new testimonials and, in order to further increase their visibility to the public, a new link to the testimonials was created from the main iCONN page.

Five iCONN training sessions were attended by a total of 45 public and academic librarians on January 28, 29 and 30. Stacey Knibloe from Gale and Jane Emerson from iCONN provided the training. The sessions were coordinated by Anita Barney, Western Connecticut Library Council. On January 30, Nelinet provided two reQuest training sessions: six librarians attended the session on the Public Access Catalog with administration functions, and six librarians attended the session on the Interlibrary Loan module.

Due to significant product changes, Jane Emerson rewrote the section in the iCONN Training Manual on Wilson Biographies. The revised manual may be downloaded from the iCONN home page.

iCONN has been upgraded to include Kid's InfoBits, a new K-5 database from the Gale Group that will replace InfoTrac Kid's Edition on July 1, 2003. Until then, both the new and previous versions of this resource for K-5 students will be available. Kids InfoBits targets the research needs of students in kindergarten through grade five. It features a developmentally appropriate and visual graphic interface, a subject-based topic tree search and full-text, age-appropriate, curriculum-related magazine and additional reference content.

Cooperating Library Service Units (CLSUs)
Planning for the combining of the four CLSUs into one statewide organization is progressing. The Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC) Planning Committee has held several all-day planning sessions at the State Library's Van Block facility. By July 1 they hope to have a broad outline of major program and service areas, a transfer of incorporation to CLC, by-laws developed and approved and staffing levels defined along with a position description for an Executive Director. They also plan on presenting the new governing Board with the outline of an operating plan and implementation schedule. Twenty librarians representing the four regions are members of this planning committee. Diane Baden of Nelinet is facilitating the process. The committee is aware of the serious cut in funding proposed by the Governor and is taking this into consideration in their planning.

Public Records Administration

State Archives
On February 8, Mark Jones gave a tour of the Van Block Facility to 20 students from Trinity College. On February 14, the Annual History and Genealogy/State Archives Researcher Valentines' Day Luncheon was held at the Van Block facility. Mark Jones gave a tour of the facility to approximately 10 guests. On February 24, Mr. Jones gave a tour of Van Block to Dr. William. Frank Mitchell, an African - American Historian and member of the CT State Historical Records Advisory Board.

On Saturday, March 8, Mr. Jones gave a tour of the Connecticut State Library and its historical research resources to two introductions to History classes (20 persons) from Trinity College.