Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

September 24, 2001

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 24, 2001 meeting of the Board, covers the period of July 24, 2001, through September 23, 2001.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report

  1. Librarian 2 (Gov Info Svcs) - Interviews conducted.
  2. Supervisor-Records Services for State Agencies (Public Records) - Examination process initiated.
  3. Library Technician (Coll Mgmt) - Request to refill in process.
  4. Material Storage Supervisor 1 (Public Records) - Subject to OPM hiring freeze
  5. Secretary 1 (Admn Serv.) - ERIP/Hold.
  6. Fiscal Administrative Manager 1 (Admn Serv.) To be reclassified.
  7. Lead Hand Bookbinder and Restorer (Conservation Lab) - On hold.
  8. Systems Developer 3 (Library Development) - Request to establish denied by OPM.
  9. 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.

Positions Filled Since Last Report

  1. Library Technical Assistant (LBPH)
  2. Public Records Grant Program Specialist - (Public Records).
  3. Maintainer (C-Car)

State Librarian's Report

World Trade Center
The State Library closed all of its facilities at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 11, 2001 and sent all employees home per instructions from the Governor. All facilities were reopened on Wednesday.

Van Block Facility
After a few last minute snags, it is expected that the building owner will receive a certificate of occupancy (CO) from the City of Hartford. A "CO" is required before the State can assume the lease and State Library can take occupancy. The shelving for the Archives has arrived and will be installed shortly after the State Library takes occupancy. The Department of Public Works is planning and installing a new security system. Other systems have been (or are in the process of being) ordered. The Request for Proposal for the actual move is being prepared. Rich Kingston, Director of Administrative Services for the State Library is coordinating the outfitting and move to the Van Block Facility.

Connecticut Heritage Foundation
The Connecticut Heritage Foundation has been busy with fund raising. In addition to securing funding for the educational outreach program History on the Move, the Foundation is also seeking funds to place ads on CPTV during the upcoming UConn Women's Basketball season. On September 7th, the Foundation and the State Library co-sponsored a program with AT&T Broadband, at the Noah Webster School in Hartford. The event was in relation to First Lady Laura Bush's National Book Festival. Geno Auriemma and Lt. Governor Jodi Rell stressed the importance of reading to the more than 80 4th graders who participated in the program. I spoke about the State Library and the Museum and introduced them to the History on the Move project.

Museum Curator Dave Corrigan showed the children some items from the Museum's collections, mostly toys that were manufactured by Connecticut companies. Kevin Johnson reprieved his role as Pvt. William Webb. On behalf of the Foundation and the State Library we presented the media center with a selection of children's books that had been donated by the David M. Hunt Library in Falls Village and Edward Hamilton Bookseller, also in Falls Village.

The State Library has received a $77,500 grant from the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund to support continued work on a parenting website we have developed. We have also submitted a grant to the Council on Developmental Disabilities for

Professional Activities
Attended the regular meetings of: Association of Connecticut Library Boards (ACLB), Commission on Educational Technology, Connecticut Heritage Foundation, Connecticut Library Network (CLN) Board, Early Childhood Task Force, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) Advisory Committee.

Attended a meeting of the New England State Librarians with the management of Nelinet. NELINET is a non-profit membership cooperative of more than 660 academic, public and special libraries in the six New England states. Nelinet promotes the advancement of libraries and the advancement and dissemination of knowledge and information; facilitates the sharing of library and information resources and services, and promotes the rapid and efficient access to and delivery of information and library resources. The CT State Library is an individual and consortial member of Nelinet. The purpose of the meeting was to help Nelinet understand the issues facing each of the states, explore possible collaborations, and to address any specific issues the State Libraries have with Nelinet. Major areas for collaboration that emerged were training, digital library initiatives, and grant opportunities.

I am heading up an effort to greatly improve the content of the web site for the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA). I attended a meeting of my committee and the staff of our secretariat in Kentucky. While there I spent a day touring the State Library and Archives, one of their records centers and the state's new history center.

Information Services Division

Reference Services
Signs were posted throughout the building and press releases sent out notifying patrons of the Library's new extended hours schedule, which began Saturday, July 28. Attendance is being monitored and initial response from patrons has been very good.

Remote access to iCONN is now available to all patrons using any Connecticut Library card, including the State Library's library card.

History and Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts gave an H&G presentation at the Foote Family Reunion on Saturday, July 14.

History and Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts and History & Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson participated in Donna Siemiatkoski's funeral. Donna was a professional genealogist who did research in H&G, was active in many genealogical associations, and was a leading advocate for the Library with the legislature.

History & Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson performed as Civil War soldier William Webb at the Harriet Beecher Stowe House on August 11.

Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky and Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz gave a presentation to CMAC (ConneCT Management Advisory Committee) about CORC and the digital archiving project on July 25.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Hilary Frye was a guest lecturer for a paralegal class at the Hartford College for Women on August 7.

Government Information Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort worked with youth participating in a summer program called Equal, sponsored by the town of Manchester.

OCLC, the national bibliographic utility, has asked permission for CSL to be a feature Library in their 2001-2002 annual report. They will send a photographer here in September and will print the report in November.

The Division's Move Task Force, chaired by Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky, has measured items slated for the new offsite storage facility, including titles in the LC classified stacks, the U.S. Supreme Court Records and Briefs on Level 7, titles at the existing offsite storage (80 Washington St.), attic newspapers, and the large bibliographic set entitled the National Union Catalog. The materials selected and measured will almost completely fill the Library's allocated space at Van Block.

The Task Force has drafted specifications for the library move. These will be combined with the Archives specifications into one RFP to be released to specialized library and archive moving companies.

An order for shelving for the offsite facility has been placed. The shelving includes compact shelving to accommodate the original newspapers. The first move phase will be moving items offsite to the new facility. A second phase, shifts within the Library, will be undertaken after the Archives move which will free up space on level 7 for Library collections.

Room L112 on the lower level is currently configured as part public space holding microfilm newspapers and part staff space. It will be reconfigured to house all the current newspapers as well and the entire room will be open to the public.

The Preservation Unit has begun using a Colibri book covering system to preserve the covers of many books in the Library. The system uses a type of plastic approved for preservation applications, and customizes the covers to fit the individual book. The plastic (polyethylene LDPE) has been evaluated by the Canadian Conservation Institute and found suitable for use with old and new books. It has the advantage over Mylar (the rival product) of being more porous (more "breathable") and less inclined to static (a danger to materials that are flaking apart).

An inventory of the 1934 Aerial photographs has been completed preparatory to planning a preservation project to protect this unique and heavily used collection.

The remaining portions of the public card catalog have been moved from the Law Reading Room to the public part of the Administrative hallway. With the majority of the collections now represented in the online catalog, the old card catalog is being used less and less. The space freed up in the Reading Room will be used for additional public PCs to meet the growing demand for Internet and electronic product use by patrons.

Library Automation
Phase 1 of the Web Document Digital Archiving Pilot project, which Government Services Unit Head Julie Schwartz and Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky are managing for CSL, will run from September 2001 to February 2002. CSL, the Ohio State Library, the Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio SuperComputing Center, and the U.S. Government Printing Office are working together under OCLC's leadership to evaluate preservation metadata elements required for digital archiving. Phase II of the project will apply the metadata developed in Phase I to the archiving of Web documents.

Law/Legislative Unit Head Denise Jernigan is creating a CORC pathfinder for CT State Agency Regulations on the Web. Locating state regulations is one of the more difficult searches on the web, and this resource will greatly assist patrons in their search.

Library For the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
LBPH Unit Head Carol Taylor gave LBPH presentations for the Board of Education Services for the Blind (BESB) Senior Grant Program in Bloomfield and Norwich, for the Crescent Point Retirement Home in Niantic, the Fairfield Senior Center Vision Support Group, and the Bolton Senior Center.

Carol Taylor gave LBPH overviews and building tours to a student from the University of Hartford, and to West Hartford author, Spring Hermann, whose book Seeing Lessons, has been recorded by the National Library Service (NLS).

Carol Taylor and LBPH volunteer Tom Grossi taped WDRC's Hot Seat radio show with Dan Lovallo. It aired on Sunday, September 2 at 8:00 a.m.

The installation of compact shelving at LBPH has been completed. Staff are now shifting the entire collection of books on tape to utilize the additional space.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Hilary Frye attended the AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) meeting in Minneapolis from July 14 to July 19.

Government Information Reference Librarian Al Palko is chairing the CMAC Taxonomy Subcommittee and participating on the CMAC Design Subcommittee. The two subcommittees operate under the CMAC Change Management Committee chaired by Kendall Wiggin. A major effort is underway to replace the state web site with a new portal site.

Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane attended a focus group meeting at NEDCC on August 10th.

Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky attended the ALA ALCTS meeting on Metadata in Natick, MA on August 16 and 17.

Information Services Director Lynne Newell and State Librarian Ken Wiggin met with Mark Bannon from the Department of Information Technology (DOIT) to discuss DOIT's role in the Library's digital archiving plans.

Division staff members Lynne Newell, Government Information Librarian Nancy Lieffort, History & Genealogy Librarian Carol Ganz, and Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz are members of the newly created State Library Image Committee (SLIC). The Committee is charged with coordinating the Library's outreach activities, including preparing a list of agency equipment and supplies available for exhibits, listing functions at which the Library should have a presence, and creating and recommending a Library logo, standard fonts, and procedures for press releases. The Committee's first effort is planning and implementing the Library's exhibit at the Big E.

Library Technical Assistant Claire Murphy began working in Collection Management on August 7. Claire will be the Circulation Assistant for the evening and Saturday hours.

Library Technical Assistant Paula McLean began working at LBPH on August 15.

Government Information Reference Librarian Joy Floyd retired on August 24.

Three very long time staff members will be retiring this fall: Collection Management Librarian Nancy Blount will be retiring on October 1 after almost 35 years of service; Collection Management Librarian Joe Starkowski and Bibliographic Services Librarian Beverly Naylor will be retiring on November 1 after 37 years of service each.

Division Of Library Development

The Connecticut Library Association confirmed the Presidency of Mary Engels at its August meeting. Ms. Engels will serve as President until June 2002. Ms. Engels stepped into the position due to the illness of Karen McNulty.

Gail Hurley, Statewide Catalog Coordinator for iCONN, will co-chair the Connecticut Library Association Conference in 2003 with Bridget Quinn-Carey, Director, Essex Library Association.

Mary Engels helped the Friends of Connecticut Libraries (FOCL) organize a workshop on October 17th at the Simsbury Public Library at 6:30 p.m., Insight into Web Sites, a panel discussion on developing an effective web page for a Friends group.

Linda Williams, Children's Consultant, developed a brochure Children's Books Set in Connecticut. A more complete listing of titles is maintained on the State Library homepage. A copy was distributed to the State Library Board in their packets. Ms Williams also maintains a list of Connecticut children's authors and illustrators ( [Link no longer live, removed by webmaster, 08/18/06]

Continuing Education
Mary Engels attended the New England Library Association (NELA) Leadership Conference July 26 and 27 at Connecticut College in New London. The conference attendees from all the state library associations in New England focused on development of the next generation of leaders for the associations.

Gail Hurley attended the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) 2001 in Boston on August 18-23. Ms Hurley is a member of ALA's International Relations Round Table's Continuing Education Committee. Ms Hurley and the Committee Chair arranged a full day orientation program on American Librarianship for the foreign delegates.

Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant, attended the groundbreaking ceremony at the Plainville Public Library on July 19th.

A Libratect Seminar, a workshop sponsored by the Connecticut State Library and attended by architects, librarians, and library board members, was held at the Chaplin Public Library on July 19th with an attendance of nineteen to discuss the renovated library. Mary Louise Jensen coordinated this workshop.

Mary Louise Jensen attended a course on Public Library Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design from July 25-27, 2001.

The Connecticut State Library sponsored a workshop on Alternatives to Conventional Library Construction and New Digital ID Systems on September 11th. Mary Louise Jensen coordinated the workshop, which had an attendance of twenty-five people.

Mary Engels worked with Mark Jones, Barbara Austen and Bruce Stark and the Connecticut Historical Records Advisory Board to organize a workshop You Mean I'm an Archivist, Too? an overview of archives administration and preservation planning for public libraries. The workshop was held at the Farmington Public Library on September 11th and was attended by 42 public librarians.

Susan Cormier, Director of the Willimantic Library Service Center and Linda Williams, Children's Librarian Consultant, presented a Collection Development workshop for children's librarians in Middlebury on September 7th.

Barry Woods coordinated the following technology training sessions. All were held at the Middletown Library Service Center unless indicated otherwise:

iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library
reQuest, the Statewide Library Catalog, will migrate to a new version with a significantly improved user interface on Monday, October 22, 2001, at 8:00 am. On October 8th Auto Graphics will freeze the bibliographic databases. Libraries will not be able to add, change, or delete bibliographic records until after October 22. On October 19 Auto Graphics will freeze all ILL transactions. On Monday, October 22, the new version of reQuest will be live. All ILL transactions, scoping, passwords, etc. will have been migrated from the previous version to the new version. All URLS from the previous version will be automatically "redirected" to the new version. A new institutional database providing online access to detailed interlibrary loan policies, will be part of the new system.

All current reQuest Basic and ILL participants have been invited to attend four re-training demo sessions for the new version of reQuest. The training will be held at the Middletown Library Service Center.

The iCONN home page was enhanced to provide easier access to the databases and to information useful to library staff and teachers, including a detailed guide to iCONN Technical Support and Application Support for Library Staff and Teachers, and a guide to Who Can Access iCONN Databases.

Sharon Brettschneider coordinated an information session for public libraries in the Capital Region Library Council (CRLC) on the Department of Information Technology's plans for the Connecticut Education Network at the CRLC offices on September 27th.

ICONN staff are working with the Regional Educational Service Centers to provide training to Connecticut teachers and school media specialists. Additional training on the new databases will be set up in the fall for public and academic librarians.