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 September 25, 2006 meeting of the Board, covers the period of May 16, 2006, through September 24, 2006
Attached to this report.
Vacancies (State Funded)
Data Processing Tech Analyst 2 – (Automation) Recruitment in process.
Administrative Assistant – Full-time (Public Records).
Vacancies (Federal Funds)
POSITIONS FILLED SINCE LAST REPORT
Library Technical Assistant - Part-time (Collections)
Following the decision of the Board, I arranged for the transfer of three WWII items to Mr. DiGalbo. He was pleased to have them back and indicated that he will be using them in his visits to schools in West Hartford. I also asked him to consider donating them back to the Museum in the future.
At the invitation of Senator Dodd, I represented the State Library at the September 12th dedication of a scion of the original Charter Oak on the east front grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Following the tree ceremony, a mural depicting a pivotal moment in the drafting of the U.S. Constitution: the creation of the Connecticut Compromise was dedicated in the Senate Reception Room of the Capitol. Pictured in the mural by artist Bradley Stevens, Connecticut native, are former Connecticut Senators Roger Sherman and Oliver Ellsworth. Sherman and Ellsworth are the eighth and ninth senators to be portrayed on the room’s walls.
Recognizing certain records to be confidential in nature, a Privacy Committee as been established to advise and make recommendations to the State Library's Executive Committee in: 1) Drafting/revising and implementing Connecticut State Library policies on confidentiality of records 2) Development of procedures and guidelines for implementing these policies, to include 3) Reviewing laws, ethics codes, etc. and advocating and introducing legislation to reinforce the above-mentioned policies and procedures on a statewide basis. (Conn Gen Statutes Section 11-25 currently only provides protection for circulation records.) and 4) Developing curriculum and training materials for professional development and staff training, and serving as a resource for staff training in issues related to access to personal information.
CONSULS, the State Library’s catalog, was unavailable for parts of the day on August 2 and August 9 in order for software upgrades and migration to a new server to be completed. Fortunately patrons and staff are able to access material through WorldCat via FirstSearch and also through reQuest via iCONN when CONSULS is down.
Fourteen boxes of Civil War materials were recently donated to the Library by the University of Hartford. Some are Connecticut regimental volumes which will be going to Special Collections. Others will fill gaps in our collection.
Another major mold outbreak occurred on Level One of the stacks near the vents. Humidity in the stacks was up to 70%. The equipment that monitors and manages the humidity will be checked and recalibrated by the service provider. All staff, including Maintenance and Security, have been reminded that stack doors must be kept closed to prevent mold outbreaks. Humidity control is only available in the stacks, not in any other part of the building. Factors that may have contributed to the mold outbreak are 1) stack doors on Levels One and Three had been open for extended periods over a number of days for a painting project in July, and 2) the door on Level One from the stacks to the northeast corner was sticking so badly it could not be closed. Plant Facilities has worked on this door in two previous summers, but because it is a metal door hitting a concrete floor, has indicated little else can be done.
The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH) also had a significant mold outbreak. The HVAC system at that building has no humidity control. Since it is not in Hartford, the building is not managed by the Dept. of Public Works. Since Plant Facilities was transferred to the Judicial Dept., the Library no longer has skilled maintenance staff to assign to projects at our outlying buildings. We also have not been successful in getting funding in our operating budget to support regular building maintenance tasks, and have no funds to address the current mold situation or to implement an HVAC system upgrade/replacement as a long term solution.
Intellectual Property Update:
We sent a “Notice of Claimed Infringement” to E-Bay concerning the sale of books and CDs which contain information from our Barbour Collection. Copyrighted information from our web site was used verbatim in the advertising and in the books/CDs offered for sale. As a result, E-Bay halted all 44 auctions involved.
OCLC now provides free access to its worldwide database of library holdings, called WorldCat, at http://www.worldcat.org. It offers keyword searching only. We also subscribe to a licensed version of FirstSearch WorldCat which provides more sophisticated searching tools for researchers here at the Library. Links to, and descriptions of, both databases are on the list of CSL subscription databases at www.cslib.org/subscrindex.htm.
Patrons now have remote access to the Historical Hartford Courant 1923-1984, a paid subscription database that updates the Historical Hartford Courant 1764-1922 available through iCONN. Using their State Library library card, CT residents and CT State employees can connect to this product from the subscription database list.
The State Library’s thoroughly revised Public Policy web pages, http://www.cslib.org/pathfinders/publicpolicy.htm, provide quality information on issues facing the state. Property tax relief, alternative fuels, air quality, school finance, eminent domain, ethics in government, I-95 and the Merritt Parkway, and others will be issues for the election season and the upcoming legislative session. Prepared and frequently updated by the State Library’s subject specialists with the government and citizen researcher in mind, each in-depth research page links directly to full-text documents on the topic, subject searches of the Library’s catalog (providing access to a wealth of public policy materials), electronic journals, databases, and more.
A tutorial about the legislative process entitled ‘How a Bill becomes a Law in Connecticut’ was posted at http://www.cslib.org/legtutorial/index.htm. The tutorial was prepared by our 2006 sessional Legislative Aide, J. Michael Green.
CSL Digital Collections are digital copies of items in the Library, Museum, or Archives collections. Using CONTENTdm digital collection management software, two major digital collections are being posted, the WPA Architectural Survey project, and the 1934 Aerial Survey Photographs. When completed the Architectural Survey project will contain over 5,000 photographs of historic buildings and houses arranged by town. The 1934 Aerial Survey project will contain over 9,000 aerial photographs, and a variety of index maps for location specific photos. CSL Digital Collections are available at www.cslib.cdmhost.com.
LBPH was chosen as the only library in the country to have patrons test the functional prototype of the new digital book player. LBPH Director Carol Taylor recruited 26 people to participate in the testing the week of September 11-15.
Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso has been giving workshop on CSL Reference Resources to staff of State agencies. She gave presentations to the Department of Public Health staff at Van Block on July 14, 21, and 25, and to Office of Policy Management staff on September 9, 18, and 22. Ms. Peluso also gave a presentation on federal bill tracking to Trinity College librarians on August 3.
Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz participated in a panel presentation about digital publications and records at the Joint Annual meeting of NAGARA (National Association of Government Archives and Records Administration, COSA (The Council of State Archivists) and SAA (Society of American Archivists) on August 4.
History & Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts attended the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference in Boston August 29 through September 2 and gave a presentation on CSL resources.
Susan Cormier was able to be an information clearinghouse for libraries when some of the summer toys sold as part of the 2006 summer’s reading program were recalled by the distributor. She was in contact with the Department of Consumer Protection, the vendor, other State Libraries and public libraries to get out as much information as possible. Information was also distributed via the listservs and WebJunction. Now the materials for the 2007 Collaborative Summer Library Program, Get a Clue @ Your Library are available for order. Next year’s theme revolves around mysteries, detectives, puzzles and codes. Art work for the children's program was done by Mark Teague, author of more than 20 picture books including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer, and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers and the best-selling books by Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight and How Do Dinosaurs Get Well Soon.
The Young Adult summer reading program, YNK - You Never Know @ Your Library was illustrated by artist Russell Walks. Mr. Walks has worked for a variety of clients including Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Dark Horse Comics, Golden Books, Amazing Stories, Lucas Film LTD, McGraw Hill, Spider, Star Wars INsider, Topps Company and Warner Books.
Auto-Graphics, working with Quova, completed development of the capability that will allow Connecticut users to access iCONN from outside the library using their computer’s IP address. We are currently testing this capability and, if the test is successful, plan to make it available by October 1.
Auto-Graphics is in the process of changing the logo and color scheme of the site in accordance with a series of design templates prepared by Miranda Creative in consultation with iCONN staff. We anticipate that the new site will go live concurrent with going live with the geo-location authentication service.
iCONN’s displays for conferences and conventions have been completely redesigned by Miranda Graphics and will premier at the Durham Fair on September 22- 25. The attached screenshots give a flavor of the redesign: the 3 banners together will span 10’ wide and 80” high.
In accordance with the recommendations of the database committee, The Boston Globe has been added to iCONN. It is now available statewide as part of the national newspaper collection.
Continuing Education Programs
In October, November and December, the Connecticut State Library will present a series of workshops for Young Adult Librarians. Beth Galloway, consultant for the Massachusetts Metrowest Regional Library System will present workshops on Hands On Podcasting, Teen Programming, Graphic Novels for Children and Teens, Internet Safety & MySpace, Book Reviewing & Annotating, Running a YA Book Discussion Group, and Teen Library Behavior 101: Subduing the Swarm. Linda Williams, children’s consultant and Kris Abery, Continuing Education Coordinator coordinated the workshops based on an interest survey of librarians who serve teens.
Sharon Brettschneider gave a presentation on RFPs, Contracting and Start-up Considerations at the Moving Mountains: A Symposium Exploring Library Courier Services in Denver, Colorado on September 15th.
Douglas Lord, LSTA Program Assistant, published two articles for Connecticut Libraries on successful projects funded by Library Services and Technology Act grants. Workshop Offers Tips on “Decluttering” appeared in the September 2006 issue. Hartford PL Welcomes & Helps New Immigrants appeared in the July/August 2006 issue. Tom Newman, Assistant Director of the Middletown Library Service Center published a Treasures feature on the Mashantucket Pequot Museum & Research Center, also in the July/August issue. All three articles are included in your board packet.
Since the last State Librarian’s report, the Public Records Archivist completed work on the general retention schedule S-8, “Correctional Facilities Records,” which has been distributed to the Department of Correction and posted on the State Library website in PDF form. In addition, a number of smaller departmental schedules were updated for the Department of Administrative Services and Southern Connecticut State University.
On August 15th, Field Archivist Kathy Makover made a site visit to the Ledyard Town Clerk's Office. Ms. Makover inspected the vault and land recordings, reviewed past projects funded by the grant program, and recommended specific projects for the future. Ledyard has not applied for grants in the past several years, and the visit was intended to assist the town clerk with applying and using the funds for important preservation projects.
Public Record Administrator Eunice DiBella and State Library Chair Mollie Keller attended a joint meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA), the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators (NAGARA) and the Council of State Archivists (CoSA) on August 1- 5 in Washington DC. They presented a panel on August 4 entitled “Sex, Lies and Audiotapes.” Mollie Keller delivered a paper entitled, “Bridgeport, Before and After the Fall.” Mark Jones was unable to attend. Eunice read his paper entitled “The Song of Rowland,” and chaired the session. Betsey Pittman, Archivist at the University of Connecticut, also participated on the panel. The session was broadcast live on C-Span.
Staff of the State Archives processed 57 cubic feet of the records of Governor Lowell P. Weicker and 24 cubic feet of William Siering, an Executive Clerk who served many governors. This is part of an ongoing project to update the Governor’s finding aid and provide improved access to researchers.
The museum hosted the quarterly meeting of the New England Antiques Arms Society the evening of July 11. 30 participants heard a one-hour powerpoint presentation on “Connecticut Civil War Contract Rifle Muskets” by David Naumec, who prepared a 100-page manuscript on that topic as a 1999 summer employee of the museum. The museum laid out twenty examples of these contract arms for guests to examine and discuss. Seven Connecticut manufacturers… Eli Whitney of Hamden, William Muir & Company of Windsor Locks, Parker & Snow Company of Meriden, Savage Revolving Fire Arms Company of Middletown, W. W. Welch of Norfolk, Norwich Arms Company and Colt’s… made a total of more than 150,000 contract percussion rifle-muskets, about one-third of the total bought by the U. S. government from private contractors. They were the epitome of mass-produced, precision, interchangeable parts weaponry, a manufacturing process brought to perfection in the Connecticut River Valley and known around the world as the "American System".
This summer Patrick Smith, the museum’s newest Curator, piloted a new outreach education program titled ”Connecticut Invents!” gauged to children in grades 4, 5, and 6. It is a 90-minute, hands-on, multidisciplinary experience that introduces children to some famous and not-so-famous Connecticut inventors and inventions and allows them to become inventors themselves. The program was developed using the museum’s Connecticut Patent database and other museum and library resources and was presented 19 times at 19 different libraries throughout the state. Host sites included Berlin, Canton, Easton, East Hartford, New Fairfield, Oxford, Plainville, Shelton, Tolland, Wallingford and Willimantic. 385 children participated, an average of 20 per event. Local newspapers covered several presentations, with articles appearing in the New Britain Herald, Connecticut Post and others. Overall the program was a great success and many of the libraries are eager to do it again in the future. The Museum of Connecticut History is now creating a classroom in part of the South Gallery to offer this educational program and others to school groups and others.