Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

September 25, 2000

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 September 25, 2000 meeting of the Board, covers the period of July 25, 2000, through September 24, 2000.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report

  1. Librarian 2 (Gov. Info. Serv.) - Position announced.
  2. Librarian 2 (H&G) - Position announced.
  3. Librarian 2 (Law/Leg. Ref) - Position announced.
  4. Maintainer (C-Car) - To be refilled.
  5. Material Storage Supervisor 1(Public Records) - Subject to OPM hiring freeze.
  6. Library Technician (BIS) Subject to OPM hiring freeze.
  7. Secretary 1 (Admn Serv.) -ERIP/Hold.
  8. Fiscal Administrative Manager 1 (Admn Serv.) To be reclassified.
  9. Lead Hand Bookbinder and Restorer (Conservation Lab) - On hold.
  10. Systems Developer 3 (Library Development) - Request to establish denied by OPM.
  11. Administrative Assistant - Request for refill denied by OPM.

Vacancies (Federal Funds)

  1. Messenger and Supply Clerk (LBPH) - On Hold.
  2. Clerk (LBPH) - On hold.

Positions Filled Since Last Report

  1. Librarian (Biblio Info. Serv.)
  2. Senior Program Assoc. (Arts)
  3. Library Specialist (Div. Lib. Dev.)

State Librarian's Report

Connecticut Digital Library
After several months of dialogue with the Department of Information Technology (DoIT), the Request for Proposal (RFP) for the Digital Library has been released. Responses are due by October 20, 2000. Proposal evaluations are expected to be completed on or about November 9 and implementation on or about November 17.

Remote Storage
The lease has been reviewed by the Attorney General's Office. The Department of Public Works and the landlord are in the process of responding to questions raised by the attorney. None of the issues appear to be serious. Although the process is out of our hands, we have been doing what we can to nudge it along.

Library Advocacy
We have received very good feedback about the Lottery advertisements. The Museum has been included in Mark Twain's Hartford: a Guide to Connecticut's Capital. We are working on a new brochure for the Museum.

Gates Library Foundation
Sharon Brettschneider and I attended a meeting at the Gates Library Foundation's offices in Seattle, Washington, to learn about the State Partnership Program grant application. Connecticut is one of the final 14 states to participate in the last round of these grants. The State Library has to submit a grant application to the Foundation by the end of this November. Awards will be made in early 2001. Implementation in Connecticut will not take place until 2002 or later. Because of the greater number of residents living above the poverty level in Connecticut, the number of libraries receiving actual cash grants will be less than in the first three rounds of states. However, the grant program will still make a significant contribution to our efforts to bridge the digital divide here in Connecticut.

Connecticut Heritage Foundation
The Heritage Foundation meeting was rescheduled because of a conflict with my schedule. I have been following up on several of the items brought up by the Connecticut Heritage Foundation's Development Committee.

After some delay, I am pleased to report that progress is being made to establish a web portal for Connecticut parents. A consultant has been hired to create the site. This project was originally called the Connecticut Information Connection about Children (CICC) and is being funded by grants from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund and the Children's Fund. The site should be live by February 2001.

Museum Tours
With the expanded hours, the Judicial Branch has become interested in adding the Supreme Court Room to the Museum tour. We have had a meeting with the League of Women voters to discuss the possibility and cost of expanding their tours to this building.

Historic Document Preservation Account Advisory Committee
The first meeting of this new committee was held on September 13 at the Middletown Library Service Center. The committee will assist the State Librarian in the implementation of Public Act 146, assist the State Librarian in developing regulations to carry out the provisions of Public Act 146, and advise on any other issues pertaining to the Act. The committee is made up of representatives from small, medium, and large municipalities as is representative of the all the geographic regions of the state. The committee also includes staff from the State Library.

In accordance with the new Act, we will award the first round of grants by July 31, 2001 and the second round by December 31, 2001. It is our intent to award grants to all towns that apply in the first year.

The State Library has signed an agreement with the State Treasurer to allow the State Library to collect the fee proscribed in PA 146. The Division of Administrative Services is handling the collection of the funds. They are going into a non-lapsing, interest bearing account.

Professional Activity
Organization and Committee meetings quieted down over the summer, however I did attend a variety of receptions and events. Reception for Jim Welborne, Director of the New Haven Public Library. Dedication of the 2000 Register and Manual. Harriet Beecher Stowe Homestead event. Dedication of the Arnold Bernhard Library at Quinnipiac University.

I've also been involved with the After School Collaboration. This a wide ranging group of state agencies, community organizations, non-for-profits and others involved in out of school or after school youth programs which has been brought together by the Commission on Children. We are looking at a variety of policy and funding issues surrounding the whole after school issue.

The Commission on Educational Technology held its first meeting on August 22 following a ceremonial bill signing in the Governor's Office. Judith B. Greiman

President of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges was elected chair of the Commission. The Commission will be meeting quarterly beginning in October.

In August I hosted a one-day visit by Gladys Ann Wells, Arizona State Librarian. Ms. Wells met with Eunice DiBella, Public Record Administrator, and me to discuss issues relating to electronic records and other record and archives issues.

Division Of Library Development

CLSU Planning
Sharon Brettschneider and Mary Engels have been working with the CLSU Planning Committee to develop the best method of carrying out the CLSU planning process that is called for in the Division of Library Development's (DLD) long range plan. As a result of this work, a request for proposal was issued to hire a consultant to study and evaluate the present structures and services of the State Library's Division of Library Development and the Cooperating Library Service Units (regional multi-type library cooperatives) as well as the relationship between DLD and the CLSUs. The consultant will issue a report based on this analysis and suggest ways to be more efficient in delivering services and possible scenarios for changes in structure and funding. The Consultant firm of Himmel and Wilson has been chosen to lead this project. They are scheduled to complete their work in February 2001.

Children's Services
Susan Cormier, Children's Consultant, recently distributed an Internet Emergency Toolkit to Connecticut's public libraries. The Toolkit is designed to assist librarians with issues related to the Internet. It includes information on filtering, on writing Acceptable Use policies, children and the Internet, and dealing with the press. A copy will be distributed to the Board members at the September meeting. The Toolkit is also available on the State Library web site.

Susan Cormier and Linda Williams have been working with Fleet Bank on Fleet Cheers for Reading; a program to encourage Fleet employees to volunteer to read to children in day care centers across the state. Ms. Cormier and Ms. Williams will be providing training to the volunteers at three sites during the week of September 18. The training will provide an overview of the best techniques for reading aloud to young children and guidance on how to choose age appropriate materials. They will also be encouraging the volunteers to make connections with the public library in their town.

Susan Cormier has also distributed a survey to Connecticut children's librarians to determine their training needs. The survey was based on the children's core competencies adopted by the State Library and the Connecticut Library Association. The results of the survey will be used to determine priorities for training in the coming year.

Linda Williams attended a kick off for the Early Reading Success Institute that was a result of the work of the Department of Education's Early Reading Success Panel. Linda has served as a member of this panel that will be recommending best practices for reading instruction in Connecticut schools.

Work has begun on the development of the Great Kids Connecticut website. Linda Braun, a children's librarian and web developer from Maine is working under contract with the State Library to develop this website that will offer parents and caregivers information on the health, development and education of young children.

Sharon Brettschneider issued a Request for Information in July to private courier and delivery services to verify the costs associated with possible outsourcing of the statewide library delivery service. In 1999 a consultant recommended that the state would realize substantial savings if the service was outsourced. The responses have been received and are currently being analyzed.

Public Library Awards
Mary Louise Jensen, Sharon Brettschneider and Mary Engels are members of a combined State Library and Connecticut Library Association Public Library Award Committee that has designed two award programs. One is the Connecticut Award for Excellence in Public Library Architecture. The objective of this award is to encourage excellence in the architectural design and functional planning of Connecticut public library buildings. Mary Louise Jensen chaired the subcommittee that organized this award and facilitated the jury that selected the Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury as the 2000 winner. The Douglas Library in Hebron and the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford were awarded honorable mentions. The second award category that will honor two Connecticut public libraries that most profoundly demonstrate outstanding community service is being developed. Nominations will be judged based on service to the community, creativity and innovation in developing community programs or a dramatic increase in library usage, leadership in creating programs that can be emulated by other libraries, and a program of service which will affect the future of the library and its community. All elements will be reviewed in the context of individual library budgets, so virtually every public library is eligible. One award will be given to a library in a community of less than 25,000 people and another to a library in a community of more than 25,000 people. Mary Engels will be coordinating this award.

Connecticut Digital Library
The RFP has been issued! The Connecticut Digital Library RFP was posted to the Web on September 11, 2000. Potential vendors are being notified by phone and by certified letter. A vendor conference will be held on September 21, 2000. RFP vendor responses are due back on October 20, 2000. The evaluation process is scheduled to be completed by November 9, 2000.

In an effort to keep the reQuest statewide library catalog rich and current, the following projects have been undertaken in the past month:

A document entitled "Contributing Your Library's Holdings to reQuest" is being made available to libraries in the state that wish to start contributing their holdings to reQuest. This document has hyperlinks to all referenced documents and will be made available on the reQuest home page shortly. We hope this encourages libraries in the state that have not contributed in the past to do so now, using the instructions in this document. Our goal is to have all libraries in Connecticut represented in the statewide catalog.

We have begun to contact all current contributing libraries in order to update their holdings in reQuest and to establish a process to ensure that updates from local or regional systems are contributed on a monthly basis. Many libraries are already contributing to reQuest on a daily basis through the daily OCLC FTP service or by using reQuest's online cataloging services. reQuest staff are available to meet individually with library staff who wish to discuss options on how to get their records into reQuest so that the citizens of the State may benefit from their collections. We especially encourage libraries with unique collections to take advantage of our help. As a result of recent discussions with the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center Library, we anticipate significantly expanding that library's holdings in reQuest.

The following libraries were recently added to the list of 161 libraries who are now trained and activated to provide reQuest interlibrary loan services: Beardsley & Memorial Library, Connecticut State Library, Eastford Public Library, U.S. Naval Submarine Base Library, and Torrington Library Association.

ReQuest Interlibrary Loan Users Group Meetings will be held on September 19, 21 and 22 in various locations. The reQuest Cataloging Users Group will meet on October 5. The purpose of the users groups is twofold: to identify how the products can be improved to make them more useful to library staff and patrons; and to discuss and resolve any recurring usage issues that go beyond the kinds of questions that Auto-Graphics can resolve daily through their help desk service, including the need for additional training, as well as feedback on how well Auto-Graphics' help desk is meeting library needs (timeliness, effectiveness).

reQuest will be an exhibitor at the upcoming New England Library Association (NELA) and Connecticut Educational Media Association (CEMA) conferences on October 1 -3 in Worcester, MA, and November 2 - 3 in Cromwell.

Steve Cauffman, Jane Emerson, Gail Hurley and Bill Sullivan will be presenting an introduction to reQuest services and the CT Digital Library at the CT Library Association Support Staff conference on Friday, October 27, 2000.

Steve Cauffman moderated a discussion called "ILL Cybrarians: Forms, E-journals, Full-text, and Other Effective Uses of the Web" at the New England Library Information Network (NELINET) Interlibrary Loan Spring Meeting on June 8, 2000.

The following are FY2000 statistics for reQuest:

3.4 million records
16 million holdings
200,042 logins to reQuest/WebPAC
688,864 searches on reQuest/WebPAC
156 libraries successfully loaned 20,059 items using reQuest/ILL (from a low of 120 in August 1999 to a high of 3,012 in March 2000)

156 libraries were trained and activated to provide interlibrary loan services
107 libraries were trained to use cataloging services
187 libraries were trained to use and customize reQuest/WebPAC

Bill Sullivan arranged for the Hartford Courant website, CTNow, to include a link from their book section to the reQuest database. It may be seen at, then click on the "books" link.

Continuing Education
Barry Woods has coordinated training sessions for Connecticut librarians on PowerPoint, Excel, Access and Access II, PC Repair, Family Law Resources on the Internet, Visual Images on the Web, Using Macros, Styles and Templates in Word, Word Mail Merge, and Science and Technology Resources on the Internet.

Kris Golden of Willimantic Library Service Center, is the chair of the Connecticut Library Association Support Staff section. She is organizing their fall conference that will be held at Housatonic Community College in October.

Information Services Division

Outreach: Visitors, tours, presentations
Students from the EQUAL Summer Magnet School (Education Quality through Understanding and Learning) visited the Library as part of a summer program for 5th through 9th grades from 25 communities in the Greater Hartford area. Government Services Reference Librarians Nancy Lieffort and Nancy Peluso gave presentations that focused on Hartford's changing neighborhoods and introduced the children to a variety of library and archival resources. This State Library session was part of a learning module on Our Hartford Roots, an in-depth study of Greater Hartford racial and ethnic groups.

A library school student from Syracuse University used the Library as a model for an assignment on reference work. She shadowed, and then interviewed, Government Information Reference Librarian Marcia Matika.

Information Services Director Lynne Newell gave a presentation on the Library's continuing work on the CORC (Cooperative Online Resources Catalog) project to the ConneCT Management Advisory Committee (CMAC).

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Denise Jernigan gave an orientation session for new Law Clerks on September 1.

Government Services Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort gave residents of Avery Heights a tour of the Library on September 6.

Meetings, Workshops, Training
Collection Management Unit Head Diane Pizzo and Librarian Joe Starkowski attended the reQuest ILL training at MLSC. The Library will now become a member of the reQuest Interlibrary Loan system.

Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky attended the CONSULS Catalogers Database Access (CDA) committee meeting at Connecticut State University on August 30 and assisted Sheila Edwards from NELINET with a CORC presentation.

Heavy rains on July 27 caused a substantial leak in the high attic. Preservation, Collection Management, and Archives staff members did an excellent job rescuing the affected collections and cleaning up. No permanent damage was sustained by the collections, and the ongoing roofing project will correct the problem.

The Connecticut Newspaper Project microfilming contract has been awarded to New England Micrographics.

Library Automation
On September 1, the newly revised State Library Web Page was launched.

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
LBPH Unit Head, Carol Taylor presented two workshops for public librarians to acquaint them with LBPH services. The workshops were sponsored by the Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development (ACLPD).

The LBPH Advisory Committee met on July 18 at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

Ms. Taylor gave LBPH presentations at the Farmington Public Library, at the Connecticut Association of Day Care Centers in Meriden, and to the Board of Education Services for the Blind Senior Grant Programs in Bloomfield and Fairfield.

On August 21-23, Library of Congress National Library Service (NLS) consultant, David Whittal, visited LBPH to make an inspection. His report will note achievements and recommendations for the LBPH to pursue.

Government Information Library Technician Gertrude Owusu had a baby boy on July 18th.

Beverly Naylor has returned from union leave to work as a Librarian in the Bibliographic Services Unit.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Steve Mirsky attended the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) July 17-20 in Philadelphia.

Bibliographic Services Librarian Shaozhong Ma attended a NELINET Serials Cataloging Workshop at the University of Hartford July 24 and 25.