Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

May 23, 2005

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 23, 2005 meeting of the Board, covers the period of March 28, 2005, through May 22, 2005.

Attached to this report.

Vacancies (State Funded)
  1. User Support Specialist - (P-T) (Automation) Recruitment in process
  2. Office Assistant - (P-T) (Law/Legislative Reference) Recruitment in process
Vacancies (Federal Funds)
Positions Filled Since Last report


Meeting with new DOIT Commissioner
Information Services Division Director Lynne Newell and I met with the new Commissioner of DOIT, Diane Wallace, on April 15. We provided Ms. Wallace an overview of the CSL mission and activities; the specialized nature of library software, such as OCLC, CONSULS, etc.; and the e-government initiatives and concerns involving the CT Digital Archive and the NDIIPP grant. An information forum for Commissioners and Governor Rell about capturing and preserving electronic information may be planned by CSL and DOIT in the future.

The State Library has experienced a series of problems affecting email services. The problems, which have began in April, spiraled into a complete loss of email for a period of time. The web site was also affected. The IT staff has expended significant time trying to restore full email services. I will be initiating a process to look at both short and long term options to insuring greater stability for our web site and email. Both have become a business imperative for all divisions of the State Library.

The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities approved the State Library's Affirmative Action Plan. This was the first plan developed by Louise Carey, since becoming the State Library's Human Resources and Affirmative Action Program Manager. Ms. Carey is to be congratulated for the sincere effort and energy she put into the plan.

Pursuant to Public Act 03-151, I have been named as the "person designated to represent their state agency before the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities" by the Attorney General's office. I have completed the required two day Affirmative Action Investigation training.

Since the last report I have been busy attending and/or speaking at a variety of library events, conferences, workshops and meetings.

I was recently elected as one of the five NELINET representatives to the OCLC Members Council. There are 60 Members Council delegates (and six international transitional delegates) who are elected by and represent the OCLC member libraries in their respective regions. Council meets three times a year. These meetings, which are attended by OCLC management and members of the OCLC Board of Trustees, serve as a forum for exchanging ideas and raising issues. NELINET is a member-owned, member-governed cooperative of more than 600 academic, public, and special libraries in the six New England states. NELINET's primary aim is to promote the advancement of libraries and to facilitate the ongoing sharing of library and information resources and services. The State Library is an active member of NELINET. Founded in 1967, OCLC Online Computer Library Center is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world's information and reducing information costs. More than 53,548 libraries in 96 countries and territories around the world use OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend and preserve library materials.

Accomplishments/Division News
Reading Room Renovations
The new shelving and furniture for the Main Reading Room have been selected and ordered. Delivery and installation is expected in about four months. Once Judicial re-approves funds for replacement carpeting and flooring, those items will also be ordered.

Publications and Publicity

Web Page Updates
he Library has a 79 volume set of biographical pamphlets including sermons, discourses, biographies, memoirs, etc. that were bound together many years ago. The only access to the contents of the Biographical Sketches set has been a paper Index created by a staff member. To facilitate discovery and access, the index has been posted on the CSL website at .

Probate Annex
A proposal to move the History and Genealogy Unit's Archives/Secured Collections Research Area and many maps into the Probate Annex has been approved. Plans concerning the doorways, lighting, and other issues related to making the Annex available as public space will be developed in the near future.

1934 Aerials Project
The 1934 Aerials project is now expected to last until June 2006. The first batch has been filmed and returned and is available for public use. Staff is now investigating methods to mount and display the digital images for the public.

Newspaper Microfilming
CSL now has a preservation microfilming contract that allows us to resume newspaper microfilming, as a successor to the completion of the National Endowment for the Humanities grant funded Connecticut Newspaper Project. The first paper to be filmed is the New Haven Times-Leader from 1916-1926. Yale University is partnering with us, both as a provider of papers to be filmed and as a funder. Both institutions will receive copies of the resulting film for patron use.

The Library of Congress (LC) has approved our application for associate membership in the CONSER authentication program. An LC cataloger will visit the Library to provide training to Bibliographic Information Librarian Glynis Georgie.

As part of the NDIIPP (National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program) grant, Bibliographic Information Unit Head Stephen Slovasky and Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz attended a project meeting at OCLC in Dublin, OH on March 30-April 1 about the ECHO-DEPository project. Participants in this project (OCLC, the University of Illinois, and five State Libraries) were represented at the meeting. Along with product developers, the group worked together reviewing software that will capture Web content through harvesting and archiving data including serials archival information. In May, the product developers will be issuing prototype software that we will test using State Agency data. Mr. Slovasky gave a presentation on how we handle digital serials here at CSL. Mrs. Schwartz attended the Government Depository Library Council meeting in Albuquerque, N.M. from April 18 - April 20. The Government Printing Office (GPO) had previously indicated that they would stop printing all but a very few federal documents, providing electronic versions only. This concerned libraries and in particular, law libraries. At the meeting, GPO reassured attendees that they would print all material that librarians wish to access in a tangible format. The IT Director for GPO spoke about their planning project for a digital archive.

Connecticut Library Association Conference
Library Development staff coordinated or spoke at several programs at the annual conference of the Connecticut Library Association in April.

Connecticut Education Network (CEN)
Kendall Wiggin and Sharon Brettschneider met with a subcommittee of the Commission for Educational Technology (CET), consisting of representatives of the State Library, the library networks, stand-alone libraries and the CET on February 17th to draft guidelines and policies for connecting libraries to the CEN. The guidelines were adopted by the CET at its March meeting. The State Library will be conducting informational sessions for public libraries with representatives of the Department of Information Technology and the library networks on June 1st, 15th, and 21st.

Public Library Statistics
The Connecticut Public Library Statistical Profile 2003/4 was printed and sent to every public library in March. The Profile is also available online at:

An updated version of Connecticut Libraries: The Facts, based on information from the Statistical Profile is being distributed with this report. Copies are also available online at:

For the period of March 2004 through February 2005, Connecticut public libraries lent 4,654,118 items to non-residents. This is a slight increase from last year's figure of 4,651,057. The Connecticard reimbursement payments were sent to public libraries in April. Along with the payments, Joanne Turschman, State Data Coordinator, sent each library a full report on their loans and borrows. A report of the net loans, is online at: Westport Public Library continues to be the heaviest net lender at 285,307!

Summer Reading Challenge Partnership Awards
On March 24th, Governor M. Jodi Rell joined State Librarian Kendall Wiggin and State Education Commissioner Betty J. Sternberg in presenting the 2004 Governor's Summer Reading Challenge Partnership Awards to library programs in Lyme, Farmington and Clinton. The awards, designed to build upon and link the efforts of school and public library reading programs and send a clear message about the importance of reading to students and parents alike, were presented to the Lyme Public Library and Consolidated Schools; the Farmington Library Council; and the Henry Carter Hull Library and Clinton Public Schools. The awards were presented by the Governor in cooperation with the State Department of Education and the Connecticut State Library.

In congratulating the winners, Governor Rell said, "There is a clear correlation between strong reading skills and good grades, and there is nothing more important to the educational development of our children than learning - and loving - to read."

Gates Staying Connected Grant
The first round of technical training being funded with a Staying Connected grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has been completed. Staff from 27 eligible libraries received 2 days of training designed to give them in-house skills to maintain their public access computers. Douglas Lord, LSTA Program Assistant, coordinated the program with Bibliomation, Inc.

Forum on CT.Webjunction
Douglas Lord has begun an online discussion forum for librarians to discuss programs, challenges and solutions to accommodate a growing population of retirees and an ongoing need for adult education. The forum can be found at:

New Resources in iCONN
Gale is making available the following licensed resources to libraries, schools and colleges at no additional charge.

iCONN Enhancements
Based on a careful review of comments made by librarians and patrons using the system since February 7, a series of enhancements have been identified which will ease the transition to the new system. The enhancements, which will be part of the next software release on June 1st, include the ability to access a reQuest only link, a clear display of databases and a new and more comprehensible keyword search screen with direct links to frequently-used resources within iCONN.

Public Awareness
150,000 of a designed iCONN bookmark shown in pdf format at will be made available to libraries and schools participating in reQuest. 75,000 will be distributed to all state employees along with their paychecks in June.

On May 10, Eunice DiBella, LeAnn Johnson and Don Ballinger visited the York Correctional Facility in Niantic, Connecticut to inspect DataCon, a digital imaging operation that is part of Correctional Industries. Several state agencies have been using this service although it had not been approved by the Public Records office.

State Archives
Bruce Stark completed the "Final Report on Improving the Management of Connecticut's Historical Judicial Records: A Preservation/Access Project." The completion of this report and its submission to the National Historic and Preservation Commission marked the official conclusion of the court records project. Numerous finding aids to the collection as well as databases were completed as part of this project.