Preserving the Past, Informing the Future
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January 22, 2001
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 22, 2001 meeting of the Board, covers the period of November 28, 2000, through January 21, 2001.
Attached to this report.
Vacancies (Federal Funds)
Positions Filled Since Last Report
State Librarian's Report
The 2001 Legislative session is underway. I have begun to have meetings with legislative leaders. This will not be a year of major new initiatives for the State Library. Instead I will be trying to solidify the gains we made in the last session. The Commission for Educational Technology has agreed to my recommendation that the legislation relating to the Connecticut Digital Library be repealed. This will be submitted as part of their legislative agenda. Legislation relating to cultural heritage tourism will be introduced again this year. It is my understanding that it will contain funding for a grant program to be administered by the State Library.
Federal Budget/ Legislation
A new federal law requiring libraries and schools that receive federal funding for Internet access to install filtering software was included in the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4577) passed by Congress December 15, 2000. (This is the bill that includes funding for the Library Services and Technology Act.) The legislation mandates a "technology protection measure" to block online access to visual depictions that are obscene, child pornography, or harmful to minors. A provision allows administrators or supervisors to disable the filter for adults conducting "bone fide research or other lawful purposes." The legislation also requires libraries to have an Internet-use policy and hold at least one public hearing on the policy. Although the appropriation for LSTA was increased, the number of "special projects" also increased from last year and we have yet to learn what our final allotment will be.
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters has submitted a proposal to provide tours of the Museum and the Supreme Courtroom as an extension to their tour program of the State Capitol. Under the proposal they would recruit, train, and schedule a corps of tour guides for the Museum and Courtroom. The League would cover all of the hours we are open including the weekends. The estimated cost is $125,000 per year. I am working with the Judicial Department to see how we should proceed with this.
Connecticut Heritage Foundation
Paul Mayer, Executive Director of the Greater Hartford Tourism District, has completed the Public Service Announcement for the State Library and Museum featuring Geno Auriemma, Coach of the UConn Women's basketball team. Coach Auriemma has approved the final version and Connecticut Heritage Foundation Board member Art Mulligan has begun contacting television stations to see if they will run the PSA. Coach Auriemma has also agreed to a "black tie" wine and cheese fundraiser in Memorial Hall. The date of this event has not been finalized at this time.
We still do not have a signed lease for the property on Van Block Street. The results of the environmental tests ordered by the Department of Public Works (DPW) resulted in some positive findings with the water system. Mr. Kingston and I met with representatives from the landlord, DPW, and the environmental testing company to discuss their report. A remediation plan was agreed to. The lease is being amended to take this plan into account. The requirement for cleaning the air ducts is also being modified to reflect a more stringent requirement suggested by the environmental consultants. I continue to be frustrated by this protracted process.
As reported later in this report, great progress has been made on the Digital Library. Sharon Brettschneider, Bill Sullivan, and Jane Emerson are to be commended for the extraordinary work they have put into this project. I am also grateful to the many librarians who spent endless hours evaluating the various proposals. I am also pleased to report that our partnership with the Department of Higher Education in administering the Digital Library is going very well. If the negotiations with the Gale Group are successful, we will still have funds available to add additional databases to our initial Digital Library collection.
We have had a very informative meeting with representatives from the Office of Labor Relations and the Administrative & Residual Employees Union regarding the hours for Saturday and Thursday evening. We are proposing to open Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. and Thursdays until 7:00 p.m. Lynne Newell has developed a plan for staffing Saturdays and Thursday evenings and the Office of Labor Relations has reviewed that plan. We are currently waiting for instructions from OLR on how to proceed with implementation of the plan.
Alternative Work Schedules
The managers and I have developed a menu of alternative work schedules and an overall plan for the State Library. We will be submitting the plan to the Alternative Work Schedule Committee for their approval. This flexible schedule program should be in place later this winter.
Rich Kingston and I had a follow up meeting with Tom Siconolfi, Executive Director of Administrative Services at the Judicial Department. We have not had any further instances of late openings of the Museum, but we still have some other outstanding issues relating to opening and closing procedures for the Library in general. We will continue to work on this.
At the request of the Connecticut State Police we have supplied additional information concerning retention schedules, applicable statues, etc. I have received a progress briefing from the investigating officer.
I attended the regular meetings of the After School Collaboration, Commission on Education Technology (CET) Network Committee, Connecticut Library Association (CLA), Connecticut Digital Library (reQuest), CONSULS, Historic Records Advisory Board and the Fairfield Library Administrator's Group (FLAG).
I attended a meeting of the Library and Public Access Advisory Committee of the Gates Foundation in Seattle. I felt very privileged to attend this meeting. The Foundation brought in three nationally respected consultants on Library technology and Clifford Lynch the Executive Director of the Coalition on Networked Information. Probably one of the greatest minds on the subject, Mr. Lynch spent a day and a half with us. Key staffers at the Foundation also joined us. Our charge was to discern the issues facing libraries and recommend future directions or initiatives for the Gates Foundation as it relates to Libraries.
I was a presenter at a symposium sponsored by the Technical and Community College Librarians. I presented a speech on the future of libraries as the closing program of the University of Hartford Library's celebration of the Bicentennial of the Library of Congress.
Division Of Library Development
On November 1 & 2, 2000, Continuing Education Consultant, Barry Woods, attended the New York State Library Association's Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs. One of the presenters at the conference was Polly-Alida Farrington, a private consultant from the Albany area who specializes in Internet training and website development. Ms. Farrington has accepted an invitation to bring some of her training programs to the Computer Training Center in Middletown in 2001. Ms. Farrington will be here in February and April to teach "Free Features to Enhance Your Library's Website", "Teaching Skills for Internet Trainers" and "Internet Search Tool Update."
The "Resources on the Internet Series" of workshops started in 1998 continue to be very popular in the library community. This past fall, three new workshops were introduced: "Science and Technology Resources on the Internet", "Travel Resources on the Internet & on Paper", and "Investment Resources on the Internet". Since there are waiting lists for all three workshops, they will be repeated in the first half of 2001. In addition, "Family Law Resources on the Internet" and "Business Resources on the Internet" were both repeated for the third time in October and November.
The library community continues to show its strongest interest in Microsoft applications training. These include Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, FrontPage, Access, Mail Merge, etc. Librarians request this training at the Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced levels on a recurring basis. Half of the Microsoft applications training workshops scheduled through May, 2001 are already full.
The popular three-day workshop "PC Repair & Maintenance", first offered to the library community in 1996, has been repeated five times in 1999 and is scheduled again for April, 2001. The new two-day workshop, "Introduction to Networking with Windows NT" was offered for the first time in October. It will be repeated in January, February and May of 2001. Registrations for the January and February sessions are completely full.
On November 20, 2000, thirteen librarians attended a "Weeding Workshop" given by Susan Cormier and Mary Engels at the Willimantic Library Service Center.
Susan Cormier and Linda Williams, of the Willimantic Library Service Center, organized a Book Examination and Discussion Day on December 6, for 41 librarians featuring professional materials available at the Service Centers. Virginia Mathews made a presentation on publishing professional books for librarians.
Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center, is working with a committee from the Archives Advisory Board on a project to develop courses for public library staff in order to help them manage, care for, and use local history materials
Mary Engels, along with Patty LaTerza of the North Haven Public Library, is co-chairing the Connecticut Library Association's Publicity Committee. The Committee has taken over responsibility for National Library Week celebrations. The celebrations will include an exciting photo display of every Connecticut public library. The display will be in the corridor of the Legislative Office Building during the month of April. They will be using the ALA theme "@ your library" for the display. The theme may be used with a variety of activities that take place in libraries. For example: Read, succeed, grow, celebrate, connect, explore, learn or get ahead. The pictures will illustrate these themes.
Mary Engels is also chair of the subcommittee of the Public Library Awards Committee for the Excellence in Public Library Service Awards. Nominations for these awards are due on January 16. The nominations will be judged in February by a team of out-of-state librarians, trustees and friends. The award will be presented at the CLA conference in April.
Susan Cormier has been appointed to the Statewide Family Literacy Consortium.
Pictures of the Board reception honoring the Minor Memorial Library (Roxbury) as the winner of the Connecticut Award for Excellence in Public Library Architecture have been posted. Minor Memorial Library received this award on November 27, 2000.
Connecticut Digital Library / Connecticut Digital Library
The Connecticut Digital Library has selected the Gale Group as the best qualified vendor to provide the General Periodicals, Enhanced Business, and Enhanced Health databases for the Connecticut Digital Library. Contract negotiations with Gale will begin immediately. When the contract is signed, the State Library will begin connecting schools and libraries to the Digital Library server.
The set of Gale Group databases under negotiation includes:
Full descriptions of these databases are available.
A kick-off event with a full day of training activities for iConn will be held on March 26, 2001 at the Radisson Hotel in Cromwell.
Gail Hurley, of the Connecticut Digital Library (reQuest), is coordinating a six-month pilot in ten reQuest participating libraries, starting January 2, 2001. The ten libraries are: Babcock Library (Ashford), Canterbury Public Library, Douglas Library (Hebron), Easton Public Library, Hamden Library, Jonathan Trumbull Library (Lebanon), Lyme Public Library, Preston Public Library, Saxton B. Little Library (Columbia), and West Hartford Public Schools. The pilot will test a three-tiered cataloging system model for small to medium sized libraries that do not already use OCLC cataloging. The three tiers consist of WebCAT (providing copy cataloging access to reQuest with 3.5 million records), CatExpress (providing copy cataloging access to OCLC with 45 million records), and using a library's own local system for original cataloging. Any records cataloged in CatExpress would be automatically downloaded into reQuest on a daily basis. This model could obviate the need for using Auto-Graphic's full cataloging module (at $350/year/workstation), which now provides access to a total of 11 million records and is used by 62 libraries, and could provide an effective statewide solution for retrospective conversion.
reQuest Interlibrary Loan Statistics for Calendar Year 2000
ILL Coordinator Steve Cauffman reports that statistics for the Interlibrary Loan (ILL) subsystem of the statewide reQuest catalog show that libraries filled 34,033 requests for originals and 409 requests for copies for a grand total of 34,442 filled requests between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2000. The statistics also indicate that the response rate has increased from 72% to 86%. The response rate comes from comparing the number of lending requests that the library responds to, either as "filled" or "unfilled", with the number of requests to which they do not respond. This positive trend through the past year suggests that library staff have become more familiar and comfortable with the system and have become more adept at responding to lending requests in a timely manner. This is the first time reQuest has been able to collect data for an entire year and it will be interesting to note the trends that develop by comparing monthly and yearly data in the coming years.
Information Services Division
H & G Office Assistant Kevin Johnson gave William Webb presentations at the YWCA of Hartford, the First Congregational Church of West Hartford, the Old North Cemetery in Hartford, The Daughters of the American Revolution in Simsbury, and the Wintonbury Public Library. Kevin's presentation at the Old North Cemetery appeared on the Channel 61 news.
History and Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts gave a talk on CSL services at the Wintonbury Public Library and the Mystic/Noank Library.
Government Information Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort gave a class for media specialist and teachers from the Waterford School district. Staff from Preservation, the Bill Room, the Museum, and the Law/Legislative Reference Unit contributed to the class.
Law/Legislative Reference Unit Head Denise Jernigan and Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz provided a tour for new Office of Legislative Research staff. Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz assisted.
Denise Jernigan also taught a class at UConn Law School on Advanced Legal Research.
Federal Document Depository
Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso attended the Government Publications Librarians of New England meeting on November 3.
Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
LBPH Unit Head Carol Taylor made presentations as follows:
Carol Taylor and Library Technical Assistant Kathy Hotchkiss attended the Connecticut Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped (CVSBH) Board meeting in Litchfield on December 1.
Carol Taylor, Electronic Technician Gary Conway, and Assistant Director Gordon Reddick visited the Telephone Pioneer Repair Shop in Branford on November 14. Refreshments and gifts were given to each volunteer in recognition of their work of repairing program playback equipment used by patrons.
Collection Management Unit Head Diane Pizzo attended the Charleston, South Carolina, Conference, "Issues in Book and Serial Acquisition" from November 2 through November 4.
Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky and Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz plus several staff members from both units attended the Nelinet workshop, "Metadata and CORC", at the College of the Holy Cross. Several State Libraries from the region were represented
Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane attended the NEDCC Advisory Committee meeting on November 18.
Serials Librarian Carol Trinchitella attended the Association of Research Libraries Advanced Licensing Workshop in New Haven from November 17-18.
Carol Trinchitella and Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Hilary Frye attended a videoconference presentation on the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) and its implications for libraries.
Information Services Division Director Lynne Newell, State Library Board Chair Ann Clark and Executive Secretary Jane Beaudoin attended the Greater Hartford Tourism district meeting on December 5.
Interviews are being conducted for additional reference librarians and technical assistants for the Library's extended hour schedule on Thursday evenings and Saturday.
Public Records Administration
Public Records Administrator Eunice G. DiBella and Supervisor of Records Services LeAnn Johnson attend the 45th Annual Conference of Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) International in Las Vegas Nevada, Oct 23-Oct 26, 2000.
Public Records Administrator Eunice G. DiBella moderated a panel discussion at the Town Clerk's Conference on Sept. 22, 2000, concerning the implementation of PA-00-146 "An Act Concerning the Preservation of Historic Documents". Members of the panel included Mark Jones, State Archivist, Richard Kingston, Director of Administrative Services, Edward Friedeberg, Town Clerk of Glastonbury, and State Representative Steve Fontana, 87th District. Ms. DiBella was guest speaker at the October 17 meeting of the Hartford/Springfield chapter of ARMA International. She and Thomas O'Connor, Corporate Records Administrator for MassMutual Life Insurance Company spoke about "E-Mail: Asset or Deficit?" The session included a discussion of the general issues, polices produced and record retention issues in support of corporate and state government issues.
Ms. DiBella coordinated a joint meeting of the Hartford and Litchfield County Tax Collectors, which was held on October 17, 2000. This meeting included a tour of the State Library. Ms. DiBella addressed the group at lunch and spoke about issues regarding the retention, management and disposition of municipal tax records.
On November 22, Ms. DiBella spoke at the Capitol Region Council of Governments educational session for municipal purchasing agents. The subject of this talk was "Understanding Records Retention/Disposition Policies."
The Office of the Public Records Administrator has issued a newsletter entitled "The CONNservator." This newsletter has been developed as part of the implementation effort for PA-00-146. It is a bi-monthly publication that keeps town clerks informed of activities relating to the Historic Documents Preservation Account.
On January 1, "Archival Education for Connecticut's Public Librarians" began. This is a ten - month grant to the State Library from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The Library is serving as the grantee for the Connecticut State Historical Records Advisory Board. The purpose of the grant is to survey the "critical records needs" of public libraries administering "local historical collections," to compile "best practices" materials that address these needs, and to run a pilot workshop using the "best practices" as curriculum. The Board is working with Mary Engels of the Division of Library Development to complete this grant. Members of the project advisory committee are Mary Engels, Mark Jones, Chair of the board and Project Director, Lee Flanagan, Director of the Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury and Board member, Barbara Austen, Archivist with the O'Neill Project and Board member, and Cynthia Swank, Archival Consultant who is being paid with project funds. Previously Ms. Swank worked with the Board on a similar project for the Connecticut Town Clerk's Association and the Connecticut League of History Organizations.
On December 14, 2000, State Archivist Mark Jones attended a meeting of the Hartford Studies Project Steering Committee at Trinity College. The Project encourages the historical study of Hartford's history.
Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark attended the following meetings:
Bruce Stark had the following article published: "Article Certification: A Ten Year Retrospective," NEA Newsletter 27 (Oct. 2000).
Archivist Nancy Shader attended the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Annual Meeting in Denver, CO (August 28 - September 3, 2000). Ms. Shader also attended a two-day pre-conference workshop entitled Assessing and Establishing Photographic and Digital Copying Services.
Project Archivist Barbara Austen attended two sessions of Access 1 held at the MLSC on October 5 and 12, and two sessions of Access II on November 7 and 14. Ms. Austen also attended a reception for major donors to the O'Neill project at the Governor's residence on October 18.
Barbara Austen's activities with the New England Archivists include teaching an introductory workshop, "Caring for Historical Records" on October 20 at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, and serving as co-chair of Program Committee for NEA's Fall 2002 meeting.
In addition, Ms. Austen co-authored two articles that appeared in the Fall 2000 (vol. 39, no. 2) issue of Connecticut History, entitled "On the 'Front Lines' of the Civil War Home Front: The Morehouse Family Experiences the New York City Draft Riots, July 1863" and "'Write about the onions and every thing at home': The Civil War Era Correspondence of Samuel and Angeline Morehouse."