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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center
September 26, 2001


Members Present
Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Barbara Tarbox, Groton Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones; CSL, Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk.

Members Absent
Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk, Grants Management Specialist LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant.

Others Present
Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant

  1. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:11 p.m.

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

  3. The State Librarian introduced LeAnn Johnson who has been hired to administer the grant program. The Public Records Administrator introduced Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk and Chair of the Town Clerk Association's Education Committee.

  4. The minutes of July 25, 2001 were approved with minor corrections.

  5. State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston provided the committee with a fiscal report showing that the grant program has collected $1,622,190 to date. It has expended $393,643. The current balance is $1,228,542.

  6. Old Business

    1. The NEDCC workshop on Preservation Technologies to be held on Oct 10th currently has 60 registrants. The State Library staff will be distributing additional pamphlets at the Town Clerks Conference on Oct 4th. This workshop will meet the training requirement for microfilm grants. The IIMC credits will be 2.5 credits for the MMC or 1 credit for the CMC.

    2. The Public Records Administrator estimates that there will be approximately 25 grant applications for the second cycle. Therefore, approximately 40 towns did not apply. The committee members asked for a list of those towns. The staff will send the list with the draft minutes of this meeting. A number of the pending applications have serious problems that the staff will try to work with the towns to resolve. The first two grant cycles revealed that four out of five applications needed extra help to be minimally acceptable. The Public Records Administrator hopes that the training workshop at the up-coming Town Clerks Conference as well as sample documents in the revised manual for the FY 2003 grants will help improve the quality of the next round of grants.

    3. The advisory committee discussed the grants categories for the next fiscal year.

      1. The staff proposed adding non-routine microfilm projects and index re-creation. The dollar amounts will increase but the Public Record Administrator does not want to overwhelm the vendors. The committee briefly discussed having different amounts for different categories, but decided that it would be too confusing at this time.

      2. The Public Administrator stated that she will try to get the grant checks out on July 1st to allow maximum time to complete the work. She will also speak with the State Library's Attorney General concerning the time frames. The applications and manuals for FY2003 grants will probably be out February 1, 2002 rather than January 1.

      3. The new microfilm category does not include digitization. If the towns want to digitize when microfilming, they must use their own money. Applications for microfilming grants must include a vendor certification that they meet criteria established in General Letter 96-2. The State Archivist related problems with microfilm done by a vendor for a probate court. The vendor did not do the necessary pre-filming tests and the film was illegible. Most commercial vendors are not used to "preservation level" filming. The Public Records Administrator said that towns will be able to use grant money to purchase microfilm readers for their offices. The staff will develop other eligible microfilm expenses. The State Library may add money to any grant from which it wishes to receive a microfilm copy of the records.

      4. The microfilming grants will have a training pre-requisite. Town Clerks must attend an approved workshop prior to the grant award date. The State Library will work with the Town Clerks Association to provide a session at the spring conference. The State Library will also post other available workshops and classes in its newsletter and on the website.

    4. The town clerks really enjoyed the awards reception. Everyone received his or her photographs. Some photographs got in local papers. The town clerks asked if their local libraries could receive copies of the "CONNservator".

    5. There was no other old business.

  7. New Business.

    1. Lizette Pelletier spoke about the training session on grant applications. Sheila Mosman and she will explain the changes to the application form as well as provide samples.

    2. The committee returned to a discussion of FY 2003 grant amounts. There are 5 large cities, 34 medium towns and 130 small towns. The town clerks want to maintain proportionality. Depending on the fund totals, the grants will be a minimum of $3,000, $6,000, and $9,000. It could be as high as $5,000, $10,000, and $15,000. The committee also discussed the possibility of creating a pool from the previous year's unexpended monies for competitive grants.

    3. Eunice asked Betsy M. Barrett as Chair of the Town Clerks Association Education Committee, to attend the meeting to help the committee find creative suggestions on how the towns can spend their portion of the money.

      1. The State Library has been spending its portion of the preservation fund on training and workshops but now needs to focus on the care and preservation of its own records as provided for in the legislation. The State Librarian would like to explore the possibility of pass through grants for education. Individual towns would host workshops on behalf of the Town Clerks Association. The Attorney General's Office would have to approve. There might be town charter issues as well.

      2. Town funded projects need creativity. The towns are unaccustomed to having money available for their needs. The CSL staff would like occasional reports on how towns are spending their monies to highlight in the newsletter.

    4. The Public Records Administrator announced the posting of the Supervisor of Record Services for State Agencies and distributed the information to the town clerks.

    5. Ed Friedeberg and Eunice DiBella will be participating in a panel discussion at the Digital Future Conference on October 26th. The organizers will waive the registration fee for Connecticut Town Clerks. The use of digital technology is an issue that the towns will have to address in the near future.

    6. The Town Clerks will host a Legislative Issue Workshop on October 24, 2001.

  8. The next meeting will be November 28, 2001.

  9. The meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder
September 26, 2001