Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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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 July 25, 2005 meeting of the Board, covers the period of July 26, 2005, through September 25, 2005.
Attached to this report.
Vacancies (State Funded)
Vacancies (Federal Funds)
Positions Filled Since Last Report
OFFICE OF THE STATE LIBRARIAN
First, I would like to recognize the State Library staff for so generously responding to the Governor’s call for donations to support the relief efforts in the Gulf Coast. Collection Management Office Assistant Rose Hill-Berrios and Library Technician Laura Klojzy organized collection efforts at the main library and at 18-20 Trinity.
Libraries in the path of the Hurricane were both victims of the storm and sources of help for those displaced by Katrina. Libraries that were able to open after the storm provided public Internet access for those needing to fill out FEMA forms, search for lost loved ones, and access other important information. Libraries in communities hosting evacuees provided reading material to those living in shelters and extended other services to evacuees.
Many librarians and archivists have contacted the state library about ways in which libraries can help aid the libraries in the affected area. Various websites are being set up for those wanting to make financial donations. The longer term needs will involve rebuilding buildings, collections, and conserving damage archives and rare books. As these efforts take shape, the State Library will make the information available to the library and archive community in Connecticut.
As the liaison from the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, I helped facilitate discussion between the library community (especially the libraries in the Gulf Coast) and the Foundation on ways in which the Foundation could help in both the short and long term.
Historical Hartford Courant Project
The Connecticut State Library in partnership with the Connecticut school, public and academic library and heritage community proposes digitizing The Hartford Courant for the out-of-copyright years (1764-1922), an estimated 280,000 pages, using the ProQuest Historical Newspaper™ platform. This searchable digital archive will offer article-level search results, article zoning and edited metadata, including headlines, bylines and first paragraphs. The accuracy of the OCR would be 99.6%. The Hartford Courant will be digitized in the same manner as The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and the other major national newspapers in the ProQuest Historical Newspaper™ platform. It will also be cross-searchable with all of the newspapers on their platform and will be incorporated into the suite of iCONN databases. All academic libraries, all main public libraries and branches, and all school libraries would have statewide access, as well as any Connecticut government department. The Hartford Courant will be a unique, cross disciplinary research tool with more than 280,000 pages of important historical content over the years from 1764 through 1922. The Hartford Courant database would include full page coverage from issue 1, volume 1 of the newspaper starting in 1764 with coverage to December 31, 1922. Under this program, the State Library and contributing libraries would be purchasing a perpetual license to the content currently in the public domain (1764-1922). The cost to purchase this portion of the database would be a one-time license fee of $500,000. Under the licensing agreement the State Library will own a license to the content in perpetuity. We will also receive royalties for any sales outside of Connecticut. Annual access to the database would be funded through iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library.
A considerable amount of time has been spent seeking financial support for the project. Pledges of support continue to roll in. To date $182,250 has been pledged toward our $500,000 goal. Several libraries need to wait for Board meetings and at least one major foundation will be making a decision later this month, the deadline for receiving pledges has been extended until the end of September.
I have also continued to refine the proposal from ProQuest, the company that will do the digitization and have negotiated a greater share of the costs come from the company.
ACLU Vs. Gonzales
In August the American Civil Liberties Union disclosed that the FBI used a controversial Patriot Act provision that authorizes the FBI to demand records without judicial review. In this case the FBI used a National Security Letter to demand records from an organization that possesses "a wide array of sensitive information about library patrons, including information about the reading materials borrowed by library patrons and about Internet usage by library patrons." The FBI demand was disclosed in a lawsuit filed in Connecticut, which remains under a heavy FBI gag order. The ACLU sought an emergency court order to lift the gag so that its client could participate in the public debate about the Patriot Act as Congress prepares to reauthorize or amend it in September. While the gag order prevented anyone from knowing even the identity of the library, the assumption has been that it is a Connecticut public library.
On September 9, U.S. District Court Judge Janet Hall ruled that the FBI must lift the gag order. The decision, which has been stayed until September 20 to allow the government to appeal, held that the “John Doe” organization has a First Amendment right to engage in the “current and lively debate in this country over the renewal of the PATRIOT Act.”
INFORMATION SERVICES DIVISION
The Library Line program that has not been actively promoted for several years is now considered officially ended. The phone line is being removed. Reference librarians will write a history of the program for the archives. A committee that worked over the last year to develop a uniform Serials Holdings Standard for the Division completed its work, and the Division has now formally adopted the Standard.
JSTOR (The Scholarly Journal Archive) has reclassified State Libraries to the same level as small public libraries. This provides CSL access to all of JSTOR ‘s online journals for no additional cost. We will add the additional titles provided to our Electronic serials collection list.
A mold outbreak occurred in the Library from approximately August 23 to September 2. Over 600 volumes developed active mold and had to be taken outside and dried, cleaned, and vacuumed. A frequent occurrence prior to installation of humidity control in the stacks, mold outbreaks such as this are due to the high humidity in the stacks, caused by staff leaving doors to the stacks open and outside windows open. Health concerns about the mold have been addressed. The mold was tested previously and found not to be harmful. Several members of the Division worked quickly and effectively to correct the problem.
New additions to the CSL Web page include:
The 1934 aerial survey project continues successfully. One quarter of the photos have come back and been quality checked. Division members are evaluating how to best display the digital images. Librarians reported having over 100 requests for the photos in just one morning.
Nancy Peluso gave two workshops on Searching for Federal Information on the Internet at MLSC and WLSC on July 12 and 15.
Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Denise Jernigan gave the annual orientation to new Appellate and Supreme Court Law Clerks in the Attorneys’ Conference room on September 1.
DIVISION OF LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT
LSTA State Programs Office Visit
Laurie Brooks, the State Program Officer for Connecticut from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, visited Connecticut from August 30th through September 1st. The Institute of Museum and Library Services, an independent Federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners by helping libraries and museums serve their communities provides the federal Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA) funds to Connecticut.
The purpose of Ms. Brook's visit was to review our internal procedures for administering the LSTA program and to see first hand some of the libraries in Connecticut. She particularly wanted to see some libraries that have benefited from LSTA funds. Thanks to the libraries that took time from their busy schedules to visit with us. Mansfield Public Library discussed their Chinese language collections and services and gave a tour of their new library. Hartford Public gave an overview of the many programs they have supported with LSTA funds including This American Place and their work with the city's Early Learning Centers. They also gave a tour of their new library space. New Haven Free Public Library gave a tour of the library and services including their new Transition Center for adults over 50. They had a town official on hand to testify to the importance of the library to the city of New Haven. Cora Belden Library in Rocky Hill gave a tour of their wonderful library and services as well. On the final day we went to Fairfield Public Library to see their newly renovated and expanded building including their innovative children's room. Finally, Danbury wowed Ms Brooks with a demonstration of their English as a Second Language (ESL) lab, including testimonials from patrons who have benefited from this service. Ms. Brooks was very impressed with the range of services offered in Connecticut's public libraries.
The Middletown and Willimantic Library Service Centers have completed a Request for Proposal process to replace their Athena integrated library system (ILS). They will be upgrading their system to include a web-accessible ILS with Sirsi-Dynix.
Mary Louise Jensen and Sheila Mosman attended Willington's Public Library groundbreaking ceremony for a new library building on September 7th. Willington Public Library received a $500,000 State Public Library Construction grant.
Sharon Brettschneider attended the kick-off of the Buy-a-Brick fundraising drive to raise money for the renovations at the South Norwalk Public Library. A brick thanking the State Library Board for the $500,000 public library construction grant was presented.
Douglas Lord gave short presentations on the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) at four library Roundtables. The presentations were aimed at giving a brief introduction to LSTA and encourage librarians to apply in the next grant round.
Douglas Lord coordinated a meeting of the new Services to Older Adults Roundtable on September 13th at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH). Carol Taylor gave a tour of the library, Bruce Stovall, Director of the NEAT Marketplace (a program of Oak Hill) in Hartford spoke to the group about NEAT's library that loans assistive technology devices to its members and the public; Stephen Thal spoke about Fidelco’s guide dog program and how to interact with guide dogs and other kinds of animals that help people. The group also had a video presentation on interacting with blind people and Douglas Lord gave a presentation on LSTA. LBPH is featured this month on the front page of Connecticut WebJunction at http://ct.webjunction.org
Spanish Language Outreach Program
The Connecticut State Library will be participating with WebJunction in a Spanish Language Outreach Program that is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program will involve training Connecticut library staff to increase their knowledge and skills to better reach out to the Spanish speaking individuals in their local communities. The long term goal of the program is to increase the number of Spanish speaking individuals participating in computer training programs and using public access computers in public libraries. It will also involve an online community of interest with best practices for outreach to Spanish speaking individuals and discussion boards for sharing among participating libraries and trainers.
Sharon Clapp was hired as the Outreach Coordinator for iCONN in a consulting capacity. Sharon has created a blog to document her ongoing efforts to create more public awareness of iCONN. It is located at http://iconnoutreach.blogspot.com
The annual update on iCONN including special iCONN library cards was distributed to legislators on September 6th. The update included a press release that is located at http://www.iconn.org/PressRelease.aspx
Distributing an iCONN bookmark directly to Connecticut residents - at the rate of 50,000 per month - will commence this month through the Department of Motor Vehicles office in Wethersfield. In addition, the initial supply of 75,000 bookmarks that was reserved for distribution to patrons through their libraries has already been exhausted and replaced with a new stock of 75,000 bookmarks.
The State Library contracted with UCONN’s Center for Survey Research & Analysis to conduct a public awareness survey of iCONN. Results are expected back by the end of October.
A detailed description of all iCONN resources, along with the Top 10 Reasons to Use iCONN, was published in the September 2005 issue of the Connecticut PTA Bulletin, which is available at http://www.ctpta.org/bulletin/Sep-2005.pdf. The Bulletin is distributed to approximately 1,000 PTA members and supporters statewide.
For the 2nd year, iCONN will be exhibited at the Durham Fair September 23 – 25. iCONN staff and volunteers from the library community will staff the booth. Last year’s Durham Fair attendance was over 230,000.
Sharon Clapp, assisted by Stephen Cauffman, exhibited iCONN at the Small & Minority Business Showcase sponsored by the Secretary of State’s office.
Barnes& Noble CT Library Appreciation Day
On Dec. 2 & 3, a book fair to support Connecticut libraries will be held at eleven Connecticut Barnes & Noble locations. 15-25% of the proceeds from sales made with special Connecticut Library vouchers will be donated to iCONN. Programs coordinated by Connecticut librarians (to be held at Barnes & Noble stores), “Connecticut librarians recommend…” exhibits, and book wish lists for various libraries will be part of the two-day event. Vouchers will be distributed to patrons by libraries and will be made available on library websites for printing. Customers who have forgotten their vouchers on the days of the event can request vouchers from the Barnes & Noble staff. The State Library is partnering with the Connecticut Library Consortium and the Connecticut Library Association on this event.
The Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board is seeking nominations for membership on the Board beginning in January 2006. Membership categories for these nominations are: Academic librarian, public librarian, school librarian, teacher in a Connecticut school or college, business representative or library user, parent of a K-12 student, and student of a school or college. Applications for membership are due by October 21, 2005. The application form is available at : http://www.iconn.org/DigitalLibraryAdvisoryBoard.aspx
Enhancements have been implemented to allow phrase searching in reQuest. Patrons also can now view the “shelf status” of items in most public libraries in the state. 413 libraries now contribute their holdings to the statewide catalog, an increase from 403 in 2004.
PUBLIC RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
State Archivist Mark Jones and Public Records Administrator Eunice G. DiBella attended a joint meeting of the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators (NAGARA) and the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) in Richmond Virginia, July 21 to July 23. Dr. Mollie Keller, State Library Board Chair and Archivist/Records Manager for the City of Bridgeport also attended this meeting.
NAGARA consists of government archivists and records managers from local, state and federal governments. The Council of State Archivists works with the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) of the National Archives to administer its historical records grants program in every state and all territories. At this joint meeting, attendees heard from the new Archivist of the United States, Dr. Allen Weinstein, who spoke on greater cooperation between the National Archives and State government records programs. Sessions also covered a new archival teaching package for volunteers, the national initiative for state based funding of records programs through NHPRC, electronic records initiatives at the National Archives, planning for the joint meeting in Washington, D.C. in 2006 of the NAGARA, Council of State Archives, and the Society of American Archivists. Also discussed were state approaches to custodial digital archives.
The Historic Preservation Grant Program has reached its five-year anniversary. We are about to enter a new phase of the program to include a completive grants program along with the targeted grants now offered. On August 24, the State Librarian and Public Records Administrator chaired a strategic planning meeting with State Library staff involved with this program at the Van Block Facility. Staff members in attendance were Mark Jones, Bruce Stark, Paul Baran, LeAnn Johnson, Kathryn Makover, Archival Consultant Lizette Pelletier, Mary Louise Jensen, and Sheila Mosman. The grant staff will be working on the development of long-term goals and objectives for the program.
The State Historic Records Advisory Board, chaired by Mark Jones met on August 26 at the Van Block Facility. State Library Archives and Public Record staff attended this meeting. Mark reported on the NAGARA meeting and reviewed information that he obtained relating to potential grants that will be given to the states by the federal government for historic projects.
On August 31, Elizabeth Frugale, State Registrar of Vital Statistics met with members of the Archives and Public Records staff along with Dick Roberts, Head of the History and Genealogy Unit, to update us on the on the State Department of Public Health’s project to microfilm the State’s vital records. Another topic discussed was the index to vital records for the period of 1897 to the present. Genealogists have expressed interest in the State Library obtaining a copy of this information. At this point, we do not anticipate receiving this index because of technological and legal concerns.
LeAnn Johnson and Kathy Makover attended the monthly meeting of the Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators on September 13 at the Marriott Courtyard in Cromwell, CT. The topic covered was “Using Business Process Management within Records Management.”
On September 1, we hosted a Filenet Records Manager Webinar at the Van Block Facility. In addition to Public Records Staff, representatives of the State Department of Corrections also attended.
On September 8, Eunice DiBella presented three consecutive sessions on records retention of election records to the Connecticut Registrars of Voters at their annual meeting at the Grand Hotel in Waterbury, Connecticut. LeAnn Johnson attended the meeting.
On August 9, Eunice DiBella, LeAnn Johnson, Kathy Makover and Jane Cullinane made a site visit to Guilford, and August 30, site visits to Newtown and Danbury. We advised on various preservation issues relating to grant applications.
On September 12, a tour of the Van Block facility for staff of Department of Mental Retardation was conducted by Mark Jones. LeAnn Johnson and Kathy Makover also participated.
A visit to the Department of Special Revenue was made on September 14 by Eunice DiBella to discuss optical imaging. This was a follow-up to a visit to a meeting that took place at the State Library on August 19 with representatives from Special Revenue with Eunice DiBella, Donald Ballinger and Mark Jones.