Drawing of State Library BuildingConnecticut State Library Home

Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
March 19, 2003


Members present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones; CSL, Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Richard Kingston, CSL; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association; Cynthia Ladwig, Stonington Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk.

Members absent: Terri Krawczyk, Newington Town Clerk; Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk.

Others present: Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk; LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant.

I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:08 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed the board members to the meeting.

III. There were no introductions as Terri Krawczyk, the newest member, was unable to attend the meeting.

IV. The minutes of January 15, 2003 were approved.

V. Fiscal Report

A. Richard Kingston passed out a budget fact sheet that included more detail. Fee collections have not dropped off as thought in January. Figures demonstrate that the money is breaking out into the 70/30 percent split as set up in the law.

B. The State Librarian will be meeting with the Office of Policy and Management [OPM] to hire back the staff funded by grant program that were laid off. The staff has also begun budgeting for big projects to earmark the funding. The Library has lost 13% of its staff through layoffs. The Early Retirement Incentive Program [ERIP] is now underway. Forty-four staff members are eligible for the program. The State Librarian estimates that ten individuals will take early retirement. The Library needs to prepare a plan for replacing the retirees by April 1 but there will not be a one-to-one rehire. The State Librarian expressed concern that if ERIP fails to meet its objectives, there may be more layoffs. The Library fared fairly well in the general budget.

VI. Old Business

A. Workshops and Training
1. The location for the upcoming workshop on June 11th is still uncertain because the Holiday Inn has not submitted the paper work to be on State contract. LeAnn Johnson passed around a copy of the handouts provided by Dr. Mark Langemo for the workshop for the town clerk's to examine.

2. The staff has contacted NEDCC concerning having a wet materials workshop as a follow-up to last years disaster recovery workshop. Lori Foley provided LeAnn Johnson with information that she shared with the Advisory Committee. The workshop would have to be limited to 30 participants. The town clerks thought that this would be so beneficial that it might be good to offer two sessions. The staff will continue to research the possibilities.

B. State Library Projects
1. The Records of the State of Connecticut and the Constitution of 1818 publication projects are on target.

2. The brochure and bookmark are ready and were included in the meeting folders. The Public Records Administrator will distribute these to the Town Clerks at their spring conference in April.

C. Grants.
1. FY 2003 Grants: 20 Final Expenditure/Evaluation Reports have been received to date.

2. FY 2004 Grants

a. The guidelines and all forms have been posted on the State Library website.

b. Nineteen towns have submitted applications totaling $148,000. There was press coverage concerning applications from East Haven and Plymouth.

c. Eligible expenses

1) ClerkBaseTM Retrieval Systems has asked to be placed on the vendor list. This is a software program for indexing minutes and is one of several products used by town clerks, and does not require approval by the Public Records Administrator.

2) Some town clerks again raised the issue of having current part-time employees be paid out of grant funds for this grant year. Because salaries were not listed as an eligible expense in the guidelines for this year, it will not be allowed. The Public Records Administrator and the staff are exploring the possibility of funding the base salary for grant projects. Fringe benefits and overtime would be the town's responsibility.

D. The grant staff contacted the Vermont State Archives about the Historical Records Advisory Board book and document care poster. The State Library will purchase the poster and distribute it to the town clerks at next month's conference.

E. Contract Purchases
1. The process of placing archival supplies on State contact is proving more complicated than the staff originally thought. The staff needs to develop a list of supplies and suppliers such as University Products, Hollinger and Gaylord.

2. Lizette Pelletier contacted University Products and Gaylord about a bulk purchase of the REACTPAKsTM. Even with the discounts, the cost would be too prohibitive for the State Library to purchase one per town. The staff will look into including the packs on any contract lists.

Jane Cullinane distributed a list of suggested disaster supplies that an office should have on hand. Many items are probably already on site. The town clerks suggested that Jane present a session at the fall Town Clerk's School in Storrs on September 18th. It was also suggested that a REACTPAKTM be raffled off to those who attend as a way to publicize them.

F. There was no other old business.

VIII. New Business

A. Sandra Hutton reported on the special meeting held with the Town Clerk Executive Committee on February 10, 2003 at the Van Block Facility. The town clerks felt that the meeting was very productive in addressing town clerk's concerns.

B. A survey has been distributed to the town clerks with their conference packet. Some surveys have been returned to LeAnn but the rest will be collected at the conference.

C. Other

1. The Town Clerks will be hosting a grant-writing workshop in New Britain on August 28, 2003. LeAnn Johnson and Lizette Pelletier will be attending grant training in the fall held by the New York state program to help develop Connecticut's training. Mary Louise Jensen will conduct a facilitated session with the committee in the future using the survey data to help develop the competitive grants.

2. Mark Jones provided information on the National Association of Government Archivists and Records Administrators [NAGARA] meeting in Providence RI, July 9-12, 2003.

3. Ken Wiggin will be speaking about the legislative history of the grant program at the New England Archivist's meeting.

4. LeAnn Johnson distributed a copy of a news article about East Haven's grant and a letter of support.

5. The FOI conference re email and voice mail is on Monday March 24, 2003.

6. Legislative updates

a. Representative Steve Fontana is working on standardizing land record margins.

b. The Public Records Administrator testified before the General Assembly concerning voice mail, electronic records, and state agency databases and commercial vendors.

c. FOI rules and photocopy fees continue to be an issue. The town clerks hope that this will become a non-issue because it has a major impact on town clerks' funding.

d. The Public Records Administrator reported that the Electronic Recording Committee has sent two members to be part of the national Uniform Law Committee concerning this issue.

e. Lisa Valenti mentioned a problem with researchers from the Department of Environmental Protection that were using a desktop scanner, not a hand-held scanner as required by law. She counseled the town clerks to inspect the scanners prior to admitting the researchers to the vault.

IX. The next meeting is May 21, 2003 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

X. The meeting adjourned at 2:29 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
March 19, 2003