Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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January 24, 2000
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 January 24, 2000 meeting of the Board, covers the period of November 23, 1999, through January 21, 2000.
Attached to this report.
Vacancies (Federal Funds)
Positions Filled Since Last Report
State Librarian's Report
We expect to see the hiring freeze continued into the next fiscal year. We are already seeing the effects of this and the situation will only worsen since in most cases we do not have the staff to cover vacancies as they occur, particularly for the long haul.
The rollover to January 1, 2000 went smoothly. Computer staff was on hand over the weekend at 231 Capitol to monitor computer systems. The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the Library Service Centers in Willimantic and Middletown, and the State Records Center were all checked by supervisors on January 1st to insure that all systems were operational. By that evening we were able to determine that we would be able to open for business as usual on Monday, January 3rd. I wish to thank all managers and supervisors for their cooperation in planning and carrying out our Y2K business contingency plan. Much of the work that went into preparing our response plan will be useful to us in the future since it wasn't limited to just computer failures.
Off-Site Shelving Facility
Final sign off on plans for the leasing of our preferred site on Van Block Street has been stalled by an assertion by the Department of Public Health that they need 4,000 square feet of the total space to accommodate vital records. We had only planned on providing 1,500 square feet to store the records that they currently have at 80 Washington Street. It has always been understood that the vital records stored at 80 Washington Street would accompany the move of our material from 80 Washington Street. In dispute is the amount of space and the requirements for that space. A meeting has been scheduled with Dept. of Public Health officials and State Library staff on January 19th to try and resolve the issue.
Education Network/Digital Library
On November 29, 1999 Lt. Governor Jodi Rell forwarded to Governor John Rowland the results of her three-month study on computer readiness in Connecticut's schools and libraries. The Lt. Governor's report makes nineteen recommendations to ensure Connecticut's students and teachers are prepared to meet the information technology needs of the next century.
According to a statement issued by the Governor's Office, the recommendations have been accepted by Governor Rowland and will be incorporated in his budget and legislative package for the next session of the General Assembly.
The Lt. Governor's recommendations affecting library service in Connecticut are:
That the state Department of Information Technology (DOIT) develop a plan, by June 1, 2000, for implementation by January 1, 2003, of a Connecticut Education Network (CEN). CEN will allow for the connection of all Connecticut colleges and universities, libraries and elementary and secondary schools to a statewide high speed, flexible network providing video, voice and data transmissions. Funding totaling $20 to $25 million will be needed over the next four years, with an initial investment of $5 million in each of the next two years.
That a new independent authority be established, via legislation, to manage, plan and advocate for a statewide high speed, flexible, robust network known as the Connecticut Education Network, as well as a Digital Library, in order to provide reliable universal communication links to Connecticut schools, libraries and institutions of higher education with sufficient capacity to deliver state-of-the-art access to education, training, and electronic information.
The authority, which should fall within the purview of DOIT for administrative purposes, should oversee the development and operation of the Connecticut Education Network and Digital Library, as well as set broad operating policy, undertake planning services and identify and coordinate all necessary fiscal needs. Authority membership should reflect public and private constituencies with a direct interest in meeting the goals outlined above.
That a Connecticut Digital Library be established as a component of the Connecticut Education Network to ensure online access by all students and citizens to essential library and information resources. The keystone of the library would be a collection of on-line electronic full-text databases, a statewide electronic catalog and interlibrary loan system and the electronic and physical delivery of library resources. The Connecticut Digital Library shall include elements specifically designed to meet the educational and research needs of the general public, higher education students and faculty and K-12 students and teachers. $2 million each year for the next 3 years would be provided for funding the Connecticut Digital Library.
Connecticut Heritage Foundation
Fred Petersen, Chairman of the Connecticut Heritage Foundation made the following appointments at the December 3, 1999 meeting:
Nominating Committee - Phil James, Mollie Keller
Development Committee - Dorothy Willett, Art Mulligan, Marie Dowling
Finance & Audit Committee - James Milson, Ken Wiggin
Executive Committee - It was decided that Fred Petersen would hold off on appointments to the Executive Committee at this time.
On December 29th the Executive Committee and I met with Harvey Schorr of Providence Associates, Inc. and Tim Desroches from the Department of Public Works to discuss the draft update to the space study. We expressed our concerns over the conclusions that were drawn in the report and our confusion over the planning process that we should be following. Mr. Schorr agreed to discuss our issues with Dick Waters who had served as the building consultant for the project and to see if he wished to continue on the project. We expect a response from them shortly. My concern stems from my belief that the traditional facilities planning process, whereby one projects future population served and collection growth to determine building size, works in our case. We need to carefully consider what services we wish to provide and the interrelationships of our collections, etc. I don't feel that we have done that yet.
Staff Development Day
The Executive Committee reviewed the barriers that the various teams identified and we have begun addressing many of them. At the end of January, I will begin issuing a monthly update so that staff will be able to track our progress. One example of something that has developed out of Staff Development Day is that orientation tours of all functional work groups are being scheduled throughout the upcoming year.
I chaired the winter meeting of the Council of State Library Agencies in the Northeast (COSLINE). I attended the annual meeting of the Board of Directors of the Northeast Documentation Center and the Board Meeting of Libraries for the Future.
I will be attending the winter meeting of Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) in conjunction with the Midwinter meeting of the American Library Association.
I participated in a planning day for the Cooperating Library Service Units (CLSU's) as well as a strategic planning session for NELINET.
In addition, I attended the regular meetings of the Association of CT Library Boards, Advisory Council on Library Planning and Development, CT Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History, CT Library Association (CLA), CLA Legislative Committee, CT Library Network, the Hartford Cultural Leadership, Joint Commission on Educational Technology, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Advisory Committee, and School Readiness Task Force. I attended the Legislative Reception hosted by the Southern Connecticut Library Council, the annual meeting of the Fairfield Library Administrators group (FLAG) and LION. I have also been participating in an ad hoc group that is looking at the data needs of various organizations involved in children's issues.
Information Services Division
New electronic products available through the Reference Resource section of the State Library's web page are Ancestry.com, State Capitol Universe, Brands and Their Companies, and TIARA, listing all United States treaties in force, regardless of date.
The Law/Legislative Reference Unit has begun sending brochures to state agencies to notify them of the new bill tracking service that will be provided to agencies in the coming legislative session.
Bibliographic Services, Collection Management, and Law/Legislative Reference staff members attended the 6th Annual Meeting of the New England Innovative Law Users Group at the University of Connecticut School of Law.
The Adaptive Equipment Committee (LBPH Unit Head Carol Taylor, Government Information Services Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort, History & Genealogy Reference Librarian Mel Smith, and Webmaster Chris Hickey) visited the Comptrollers office to see a demonstration of JAWS, a synthesized voice system that helps make Internet access easier for people with disabilities. Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Joanne Turschman is also a member of this committee, but was unable to attend the demo.
Law/Legislative Unit Head Denise Jernigan gave a tour and orientation for Librarians from the University of Connecticut Law School.
Government Information Services Reference Librarian Nancy Peluso attended a Department of Labor Jobs Databank meeting.
An article by Stewart O'Nan about using the State Library appeared In the January issue of Connecticut Magazine
Enhancements at both the Connecticut State University System Office and at CSL have been installed. This has helped with the connectivity problems we have been experiencing with email, Internet access, and disconnects from CONSULS.
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
LBPH Unit Head Carol Taylor presented a display at the Rehabilitation Fair held at the Masonic Home in Wallingford. Ms. Taylor also gave an LBPH update to the Low Vision Group at the Elmwood Senior Center, and made an LBPH presentation for the Board of Education Services for the Blind Senior Grant Program in Norwich.
Carol Taylor attended a reception sponsored by the New Britain Museum of American Art honoring the Lions Club for their grant funding of a special talking tour for the blind. Ms. Taylor also attended a Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped Board Meeting in Litchfield.
Division Of Library Development
The Division of Library Development has begun visiting public libraries throughout the state. Each member of the professional staff will be visiting at least one library per month. We hope to achieve several things by these visits. First, we hope to learn about the programs, activities and services in libraries across the state. Secondly, these visits will give libraries an opportunity to share the challenges they are facing and any ideas they have about how DLD can assist them in meeting these challenges. Libraries visited include Beacon Falls, Enfield, Essex, Falls Village, Ivoryton, Jewett City, New Britain, New Milford, Norfolk, Oxford, Portland, Roxbury, Salisbury, Sprague, Stonington and Washington.
Barry Woods, Special Projects Consultant, has arranged for a series of technology training sessions to be held at the Technology Training Lab at the Middletown Library Service Center. These sessions are supported by LSTA funds. Introduction to Publisher will be held on January 2, two sessions of Intermediate Publisher will be held on February 24th and March 14th. Mr. Woods has also arranged for two half-day sessions of Creating Web Pages With Publisher 98 to be held on May 2nd and Creating Homepages in HTML to be held on March 8th, 15th and 22nd. The Complete Internet will be given on February 16th, 23rd and March 1st. A two-day workshop on MS Access: An Introduction will be held on April 5th & 12th. PC Repair & Maintenance will be held on April 26th, May 3rd and 10th.
Children's Consultant Linda Williams coordinated a workshop on December 3rd at the Willimantic Library Service Center on Multicultural Picture Books and How to Use Them in Children's Programming. Pat O'Malley, of the Hartford Public Library and Miguel Garcia-Colon, formerly of the Hartford Public Library spoke about good multicultural children's picture books. Forty librarians attended the event.
Susan Cormier, Director of the Willimantic Library Service Center, attended a day-long conference of the Tri-State Early Childhood Quality Improvement Network on December 2, 1999 entitled Supporting a High Quality Early Care Education Workforce.
Children's Consultant Linda Williams was interviewed on the local cable access program entitled On the Homefront on December 15th. Ms. Williams also attended the ALA preconference in San Antonio on January 13th and 14th on Selecting the Best Materials: Training in Leadership Skills. She was selected to attend this workshop by the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC). The workshop is designed to target new and emerging leaders in ALSC in order to enhance their skills in evaluating material; conducting effective group discussions on books, videos, and other audio-visual and electronic materials.
Connecticut Digital Library (reQuest)
As of January 1, 2000, 189 libraries have committed to participate in reQuest. This includes 112 public, 45 school, 20 academic and 12 special libraries. Services selected include: Inter Library Loan (152), WebCAT (101) and CAT (88).
145 libraries have been trained and activated to provide interlibrary loan service through reQuest. These libraries are listed online. Patrons of these libraries can search the statewide catalog, place requests for materials and track the status of those requests over the Web. Patrons and staff placed a total of 2,100 ILL requests during the month of December. 100 libraries have been trained to use cataloging services; WebCat allows libraries to use the statewide catalog to add, delete or update their holdings and download MARC records into their local automation system; CAT allows for full cataloging and MARC editing capability with access to 3.2 million records in the statewide catalog as well as 8 million records in the LC MARC catalog.
A dedicated telecommunications line was established between the Connecticut State University (CSU) and Auto-Graphics. This line enables the 17 public libraries participating in the telecommunications pilot to connect directly (i.e. off-Internet) to reQuest services. CSU also completed a smooth transition to a new Internet Service Provider which required IP address changes.
Sharon Brettschneider, Director of the Division of Library Development and Bill Sullivan, reQuest Poject Manager, conducted a demonstration of reQuest services at the Willimantic Library Service Center on January 14th for libraries in eastern Connecticut that have not yet signed up to participate.
The Advisory Council has formed three task forces to address the issues they identified at their October planning meeting. They are:
Funding for Public Libraries
To undertake a review of the current state funding programs for public libraries in Connecticut and recommend to ACLPD and the State Library Board any necessary amendments, additions or revisions to be completed by June 2000."
Library User Services
To undertake a review of statewide issues related to library user services and to make recommendations for action to ACLPD as necessary. Library user services would include but not be limited to delivery of materials, a statewide library card, services to the visually impaired, literacy, standardization of policies among libraries, and interlibrary loan.
Structure and Policy
To undertake a review of issues facing libraries in Connecticut and to make policy recommendations to ACLPD as necessary. Structure and Policy would include but not be limited to issues of Internet filtering, minimum library standards, and technology.
Kendall Wiggin, Sharon Brettschneider, Bill Sullivan and Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center, participated in a planning session on December 20th with representatives from the four Cooperating Library Service Units. This session began the process of coordinated planning between the Division of Library Development and the CLSUs.