Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

May 19, 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 May 19, 2003 meeting of the Board, covers the period of March 25, 2003, through May 18, 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
Legislative Session
A lot of my activities since the last report have evolved around the current legislative session. We had a very productive work session with the Elementary and Secondary Education Sub-committee of the Appropriations Committee. The three main issues were funding for iCONN, the Cooperative Library Service Units (CLSUs) and the State Library's book budget. We also reviewed the progress we are making with CCAR. The Connecticut Library Association, Friends of Connecticut Libraries, and Association of Connecticut Library Boards hosted a very successful Pot Luck Supper at the State Library. Eighteen legislators attended. Legislative breakfasts continued in various parts of the state. I attended the one held in East Hartford. The Appropriations Committee adopted the recommendations of the Elementary and Secondary Education Sub-committee restoring $450,000 for the CLSUs. The Committee's budget also includes language directing that $500,000 of capital equipment bond funds be used to supplement the $250,000 of general fund monies that appear in the budget for the State Library's book budget.

Commissioner Val Lewis, Department of Higher Education, and I had a meeting with Lt. Governor Rell to brief her on iCONN. We have supplied the Lt. Governor with a variety of materials to help her in her advocacy efforts. I had a meeting with Rep. Boukus, co-chair of the Bonding Sub-Committee, to discuss both the book budget situation and funding for public library construction. Keeping the program alive is our short-term goal. I will be having further discussions with her over future strategies to insure that we have a viable public library construction program in this state.

There has been little legislative activity (other than the budget) that we have been involved with. Many of the bills we were originally tracking have gone nowhere. We have been involved in discussion relating to the transcription of voice mail (SB 828). Although we don't think that the bill is necessary, we are ok with the current language. Another public records related bill that we opposed as being unnecessary (HB 6367 AN ACT CONCERNING STORAGE OF ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS BY MUNICIPALITIES) has been sent to committee. We testified for HB 6611, AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN INTERAGENCY TASK FORCE ON LITERACY, requesting that a representative from the State Library and the library community be added on the task force. The bill is moving forward without these changes. Should the task force every come about, we will follow its work and find other ways to be included.

Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC)
Sharon Brettschneider and I continue to devote considerable time to the merger of the CLSUs into the proposed CLC. We visited the offices of the Southern Connecticut Library Council (SCLC) to look at the space they occupy, talk with the staff, and get a better idea of how public programming, their major program, operates. Sharon and I attended a planning day for the members of Eastern Connecticut Libraries (ECL). ECL members are particularly concerned about their media circuits (videos, recorded books and other AV materials are purchased, packets created, then the packets are passed from one library to another where they supplement local collections for a period of time) and in maintaining a regional presence. This reflects a concern that small libraries won't be heard in a large statewide organization. Sharon and I addressed these and many other issues. We have also continued to meet with the Directors of the CLSU to figure out how to best move forward with the recommendations that are coming out of the Planning Committee. Legal Counsel has been retained to help with the legal issues that this merger entails. The Office of Policy and Management released the 4th Quarter payments for the CLSUs. This has allowed us to plan a three month transition period beginning in July. The transition period will allow for services that are being changed or eliminated to be done so in an orderly way. It is also buying some time to more humanely deal with the reduction in staff that will be necessary.

Connecticut History Online
As I have reported before, the State Library is a partner in a National Leadership Grant to expand the Connecticut History Online project begun by the University of Connecticut, Connecticut Historical Society and Mystic Seaport . As part of the projects management team I have been involved in the hiring of a project manager. The State Library will be adding photographs from the Mills Photograph Collection and World War I soldier surveys to the Connecticut History Online site. I have also been working with Mark Jones, State Archivist, to complete the first phase of our work, which is the selection of materials and their preparation for imaging. That work has been completed and the imaging will begin in mid-May. The cataloging of the material, which is the next phase of the project, will begin this summer.

2003 Connecticut Excellence in Public Library Service Award
Each year the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut State Library present awards to recognize excellence in Connecticut public libraries. The Friends of Connecticut Libraries and the Association of Connecticut Library Boards are partners with CLA and the State Library in this venture. In 2003 fourteen libraries were nominated for this award. They were judged on:

A panel of 5 judges from outside Connecticut reviewed these impressive nominations. Enfield Public Library, Simsbury Public Library and Woodbridge Town Library where this year's winners. In addition to making the presentations at the Connecticut Library Association's Annual Conference, I also attended events at each library where I again presented the award.

Professional Activities
Attended meetings of the Advisory Council on Library Planning and Development, Commission on Educational Technology, Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board, Connecticut History Online Project Management Committee, Connecticut Library Association Executive Board, Connecticut Library Association Legislative Committee, GreatKidsCT Project Team and Historic Documents Advisory Committee,

I spoke about the Patriot Act and its affects on libraries in Connecticut at the CLA Preconference Patrons, Privacy and the War on Terrorism. I spoke on the current budget situation and other State Library developments at the "State Library Confidential" session during the Connecticut Library Association's Annual Meeting. I was a panelist at the Annual Meeting of the New England Archivists Association. My presentation, Historic Documents Preservation Program: From Idea to Reality, focused on advocacy strategies. I read the Robert Frost poem On A Tree Fallen Across The Road at National Poetry Month program, Poets and Politicians, held at the Derby Neck Library.

I attended a meeting of the New England State Librarians hosted by NELINET to discuss what was happening in each state and how NELINET's services could assist us. I also attended the annual meeting of NELINET. My term on the Board of Directors will end in June. I have served on the Board for six years. I attended the 30th Anniversary celebration of the Northeast Document Conservation Center. In honor of the milestone, an afternoon conference and reception was held at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Keynote speakers were: Marc J. Patcher of the National Portrait Gallery, Anne R. Kenney of Cornell University, Keith Michael Fiels of the American Library Association, Michele Cloonan of Simmons College, and Wes Boomgaarden of Ohio State University. 

I attended the first annual After School Day at the State Capitol. Representatives Boukus and Tercyak hosted this event in conjunction with the Connecticut AfterSchool Alliance. The State Library is a member of the Alliance and has been involved in the development of a position paper on after school programs in Connecticut. I also attended the second day of the Town Clerks Associations spring meeting.

Information Services Division
Reference Services
The Division lost three reference librarians due to the layoffs and the freeze on refilling vacancies, and has now lost a fourth in the Early Retirement Incentive Program (ERIP) In the hope that some positions can be restored as a result of the ERIP, a temporary response has been to reduce staffing in Government Information and Law/Legislative Reference to just one Librarian at certain times during the workweek. Saturday coverage in these two reading rooms has also been reduced to one librarian, although this can only be temporary since there is no coverage for lunch and breaks. In both situations, staff are experiencing difficulty in serving patrons without back up.

A new three-year contract to provide public use photocopiers and vendacard/coin acceptors for photocopiers, microfilm reader printers, and computer printouts was awarded to MacGray/Copico after a bid process. Under the contract, new photocopiers have been installed by Copico in the three reference areas and in the Newspaper Room, L112. The new copiers can make 11x17 copies and at least one copier in each reference area has a "binder minder" to protect book bindings during copying.

The Newspaper Room, previously only one-half open, has been completely opened to public use, allowing consolidation of all forms of newspapers in one place. Currently received hard copy newspapers, the newspaper clipping files, and the newspaper indexes are now in the same room as the newspaper microfilms. A new reader printer and a photocopier have been installed in the room to provide patrons with self-service copies.

LibraryLawLine, the New England Law Library Consortium (NELLCO) Virtual Reference pilot project, will be ending at the end of May. The NELLCO Virtual Reference Taskforce has decided to continue the project as a regular service. The Law/Legislative Reference Unit will not be continuing to provide the service due to the staff shortages mentioned above, as well as concern with the effectiveness of the software and the efficacy of a virtual law reference process. When staff constraints ease and the software improves, we will consider rejoining this project or participating in a virtual reference effort by all three Division reference units.

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) Unit Head Carol Taylor gave presentations on LBPH services to the Board of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) Senior Grant Program in Waterbury on March 25, and to thirty Bureau of Rehabilitation Service counselors in Hartford on April 10. On April 14, Mrs. Taylor and LBPH volunteer Tom Grossi gave a presentation to the Manchester Vision Support Group. Mrs. Taylor and Mr. Grossi were also guest speakers for the Tunxis Community College Special Education class on state services for the blind on April 14.

Mrs. Taylor hosted a Library Technical Assistant student from Three Rivers Community College using the Library for the Blind in a cataloging project.

Mrs. Taylor was interviewed about LBPH services by Dave Scott of WJMJ, Bloomfield. The taped interview was aired on April 11 at 2:00 p.m.

Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz and Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky gave a presentation on the Connecticut Digital Archive (CDA) at the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) Annual Conference held at the Mystic Marriott April 7 through April 9. Ms. Schwartz and Mr. Slovasky also presented the CSL experience with the Digital Archive at the OCLC Digital Cooperative Participants Conference in Dublin, Ohio on May 6 and 7. They were invited to speak along with staff from the Library of Congress, Oxford University (England), and other illustrious libraries.

Law/Legislative Reference Unit Head Denise Jernigan was part of a panel discussion on licensing of electronic resources at the Southern New England Law Librarians Association (SNELLA) program on April 14.

History & Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson gave a Jordan Freeman presentation for the Children of the American Revolution (CAR) in Milford on Saturday, April 5, and at UConn West Hartford on April 17. Mr. Johnson also performed as William Webb for Troop 888, Enfield on April 24.

Government Information Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort, Government Information Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso, History & Genealogy Reference Librarians Jeannie Sherman and Mel Smith, and Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz participated in giving Library tours to approximately 130 visitors from more than nine state agencies on Take your Daughters & Sons to Work day on April 24.

Often patrons who cannot visit CSL for reasons of distance, etc. ask for referrals to professional genealogists who can do research for them. Candidates for the CSL referral list take an intensive tour and within two weeks of the tour must take the CSL "researchers' exam." The most recent tour of the History & Genealogy Unit was given on April 23. Those who subsequently pass the exam will be added to the CSL list of "Professional Genealogists Familiar With Connecticut State Library Collections", available as a handout and on the Webpage.

Although CSL was unable to assign staff to attend this year, History & Genealogy Unit Head Richard Roberts provided handouts and other material for a display of CSL resources at the Connecticut Gravestone Network's Gravestone & Cemetery Symposium in South Windsor on April 26.

Federal Document Depository
As more and more federal government documents are being published in electronic format only, the number of printed documents received from the Federal Documents Depository program has been decreasing significantly. Although this shift presents long term concerns regarding the continued access to electronic documents and their long term preservation, in the short term it has helped the Division cope with the loss in the layoffs of all of the Government Information staff who processed received documents. Collection Management and Bibliographic Services staff have had to incorporate the federal document processing into their workflows; resulting in slower processing of all newly received materials.

The Division's allocated space at the Van Block Offsite Storage Facility will be close to full after the current transfer of material that no longer can be housed at 231 Capitol Avenue. A regional storage facility in operation under the auspices of Nelinet may need to be used when our needs exceed the storage capacity at Van Block.

The Index to CT Special Acts 1971-1987, compiled by Law/Legislative Reference Librarian/Indexer Cheryl Fox, has been printed. Copies were distributed free of charge to 94 libraries; additional copies are being sold for $50.00 each to help recover the cost of printing and mailing. Ms. Fox is working on the 1946-1965 compilation; the 1988-2002 compilation is completed but not printed yet. These are valuable resources for legal research as many subjects of general interest, such as water utilities, etc., are addressed in the Special Acts. Special Acts do not appear in the general statutes, and therefore can be especially difficult to research.

The first of a number of items bequeathed to the Library in the will of Raymond D. Cable were received and are being reviewed for addition to the collections by Information Services Division Director Lynne Newell, Museum Director Dean Nelson, and History & Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts.

Library Automation
The "ask a question" link on the new state homepage, now connects directly to the ISref email box, and has resulted in a significant increase in the number of questions directed to the State Library.

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
The staff of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) toured the Jocelyn Diabetic Center and the Lions Low Vision Clinic located in New Britain General Hospital as part of their ongoing training program.

The Sensory Garden at the LBPH in Rocky Hill is in bloom with spring flowers. Cheshire Correctional facility inmates are making a Braille sign for the Sensory Garden.

The LBPH Advisory Committee met on April 11 at LBPH. Plans were developed for an Open House for patrons and guests to be held on July 12. The committee was also able to hear the broadcast of the WJMJ interview with Mrs. Taylor.

Mrs. Taylor attended the Connecticut Radio Information System Board Meeting on March 27, and attended a workshop, "Introduction to State Ethics Law," at the State Office Building on March 18.

Ms. Jernigan attended the NELLCO Director's Spring Meeting, and the Spring Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) meeting on "Digital Libraries: Myths and Misconceptions" on March 28.

Ms. Julie Schwartz and Mr. Stephen Slovasky attended a workshop, "Emerging Metadata Standards" at the Dodd Center at UConn on March 20.

Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane attended the National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) Conference in New York City on April 8, and the New England Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) Advisory Committee meeting and 30th Anniversary reception at the JFK Library in Boston on April 15.

Ms. Newell and Ms. Schwartz attended the Connecticut Portal Advisory Group (CPAG) meeting on May 1. The Group advises the Department of Information Technology (DOIT) on the development and presentation of the new state website, .

Division Director Lynne Newell, Division Unit Heads, and Administrative Assistant Ursula Hunt have begun attending the CoreCT training sessions, and will attend more in preparation for the changeover to the new system on July 1.

Talking Book Repair Specialist Luis Paiva will retire from the Library for Blind and Physically Handicapped as of June 1.

Law/Legislative Reference Office Assistant John Siswick will retire as of June 1.

Bibliographic Information Services Librarian Carolyn Giliberto will retire as of June 1.

Requests for replacement of retirees have been submitted to OPM.

Division of Library Development
Connecticut Library Association Conference
Kendall Wiggin, Julie Schwartz and Stephen Slovasky presented at the CSL Confidential program and the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) Annual Conference on April 8th. Sharon Brettschneider was the reporter for the program. The report is available on the CLA website at

Stephen Cauffman was the reporter for Open Source Software: Not Just for the Server Room Anymore! which David Bretthauer presented at the Conference. The report is available at

Bill Sullivan and Steve Cauffman staffed the iCONN booth at the CLA Conference on April 8 - 9. Jane Emerson and Bruce Stark assisted on April 8.

Mary Louise Jensen was the moderator for Connecticut Award for Excellence in Public Library Architecture 2003 on April 8th at the Connecticut Library Association's Annual Conference.

Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center, coordinated and moderated the program Award Winning Library Service on April 8th at the conference. This program featured the winners of the Excellence in Public Library Service Awards, the Enfield Public Library, the Simsbury Public Library and the Woodbridge Town Library.

Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant, was the speaker for the Library Space Planning Guide workshops on March 27th at the Middletown Library Service Center Training Lab. Ten people attended.

The Libratect Seminar, a workshop sponsored by the Connecticut State Library and coordinated by Ms. Jensen was held at the Cragin Memorial Library (Colchester) on April 3rd with an attendance of thirty-two architects, librarians, and library board members to discuss the new library.

Mary Louise Jensen also spoke at the Acton Memorial Library (Old Saybrook) dedication on April 6, 2003 and attended the dedication of the renovated door and celebration of the 80th anniversary of Terryville Public Library on April 27, 2003.

Public Library Construction Grant workshops conducted by Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant, and attended by architects, librarians, and library board members were held at Middletown Library Service Center on April 29th and May 6th with the total attendance of both workshops of 10 people.

Sharon Brettschneider and Tom Newman of the Middletown Library Service Center (MLSC), attended a four-day training session at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offices in Seattle from April 28th through May 1st. Ms. Brettschneider's training focused on statewide technology training and methods to help libraries "stay connected." Mr. Newman's training focused on the technical aspects of the computers that public libraries will be receiving. MLSC received one Gates Library computer as part of the State Library Partnership program. Twenty-four public libraries have received either four or six computers. In addition, five of these communities received a 10-station technology-training lab. The total cash value of the grant was $683,130. In addition, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be providing training, publications and technical support.

Bruce Stark, reQuest Statewide Catalog Coordinator and formerly Assistant State Archivist, received the New England Archivists (NEA) Distinguished Service Award on April 12, "in recognition of his contributions to the profession, NEA and the archival community in New England."

On March 25th thirty-four librarians attended the fourth session of A Research-Based Approach to Supporting Preschool Language and Literacy in Public Libraries. A fifth session, held on May 15th, had thirty-five attendees. Dr. Julia Irwin, from the Haskins Lab at Yale University, and Susan Cormier, Children's Consultant, presented the program.

On March 31st, Susan Cormier presented a program on The Mother Goose Family Literacy Project for the Western Connecticut Library Council Children's Round Table.

On May 10th Sharon Brettschneider facilitated a Board of Trustee meeting on board development and planning for the James Blackstone Library in Branford.

On March 31st, Susan Cormier presented a program on The Mother Goose Family Literacy Project for the Western Connecticut Library Council Children's Round Table.

State Aid and Connecticard Payments
Joanne Turschman, State Data Coordinator, issued $347,109 in State Aid payments to 158 public libraries. Of the 164 principal public libraries, four did not qualify because of failure to meet maintenance of effort requirements and two were not eligible because they charged borrowers fees. Ms. Turschman also issued $676,028 in Connecticard reimbursements to 173 public libraries in April.

Connecticut Library Consortium
Progress has been made in the planning process to combine the four current Cooperating Library Service Units into the Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC). The final planning session of the CLC Planning Committee was held on April 29th. The Committee developed by-laws, a mission statement, a plan of service and an outline to transition the four organizations. Nominations are being solicited for the new CLC governing board. For more details, see SLB DOC 03-3.

On June 1st the State Library will begin a partial outsourcing of the ConnectiCar statewide delivery service. 81 libraries will begin receiving delivery from BeavEx, a North Haven Company. Due to the early retirement of two drivers, another 37 libraries will be switched to BeavEx delivery on a month-by-month basis until those positions can be refilled. The ConnectiCar service will be moving to the Van Block facility in Hartford as part of these changes. See the attached ConnectiCar Update that was distributed to libraries at the CLA Annual Conference in April.

Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA)
At their April 16th meeting, the Advisory Council on Library Planning and Development approved a revised LSTA Five Year Plan. The plan was revised based on feedback from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The plan is available at:

On March 31st the State Library received the official allocation of LSTA funds for the federal fiscal year 2003. Connecticut will receive $1,905,106. Connecticut received $1,900,321 in FY 2002.

The April 2003 issue of iCONN Times is now available at It is also included in your packet.

iCONN Statistics - Approaching 9 Million Searches Since 7/1/2001

Users conducted a total of 8,958,144 searches in iCONN from July 1, 2001 through March 31, 2003. The breakdown is:

iCONN Testimonials & Cost Savings
The library at Quinnipiac University estimated that if iCONN were not available, the library would have to "identify approximately $77,000 to re-subscribe to lost databases." Quinnipiac's report has been posted to the iCONN home page at . We have asked libraries throughout the state to contribute their cost savings reports for posting on the iCONN home page.

ABI Inform - Upgraded
The ABI Inform database available to Connecticut colleges and universities was recently upgraded from ABI/Inform Global to ABI/Inform Complete - at no additional cost to iCONN. The upgraded database includes:

Jane Emerson coordinated presentations from two vendors (EBSCO and ProQuest) on business information database products at the May 2nd meeting of the Council of Connecticut Academic Library Directors. Their products - EBSCO's Business Source Premier and ProQuest's ABI Inform Complete - are currently being evaluated by a number of CCALD libraries in a pilot that will provide feedback to the Connecticut Digital Library Database Selection Committee. iCONN currently provides access to ProQuest ABI Inform Complete.

Stephen Cauffman demonstrated the Z39.50 capabilities of reQuest at the Western Connecticut Library Council Interlibrary Loan Roundtable on March 20th at the Middletown Library Service Center.

Bill Sullivan conducted a focus group session on iCONN databases at the Western Connecticut Library Council Reference Roundtable on March 12 at C.H. Booth Library in Newtown.

Bruce Stark attended training on reQuest and on Introduction to MARC at Nelinet in Southborough, MA on March 11 and 12. He also attended Introduction to Access on March 3 and March 17, Getting Started with Windows and Word on March 28, and Introduction to Publisher on April 15.