Connecticut State Library with state seal
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State Librarian's Report

January 29, 2007


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 29, 2007 meeting of the Board, covers the period of November 28, 2006 through January 28, 2007.


Attached to this report.


Vacancies (State Funded)

Secretary 1 – Part Time (Fiscal)  recruitment pending

Data Processing Technical Specialist 2 -  Full Time (Automation) recruitment in process

Library Aide – Part Time (LBPH)  recruitment in process

Vacancies (Federal Funds)


Vacancies (Other)



Library Aide – Part time  (Archives)


Accomplishments/Division News

Law Reading Room

Installation of cork flooring at the entrance to the Law Reading Room, the final step in completing the renovation, has been done. Planning for other renovations may include refurbishment of the Balcony. The most complex future project will be redesign and renovation of the History and Genealogy Reading Room and the Probate Annex. 

Library for the Blind

The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped was chosen by the National Library Service for the Blind and Handicapped to participate in a second round of accessibility testing of the new digital talking book machine. The design of the new machine has been completed and patented; production will begin this year and distribution will begin in 2008.

William Webb

History and Genealogy Reference Librarian Jeannie Sherman created a new online exhibit entitled The Life and Times of William Webb: An African-American Civil War Soldier from Connecticut, http:/ Based on the portrayal performances of History and Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson as William Webb, the exhibit also provides additional visual and documentary resources about Webb.  A new ‘William Webb’ blog,, offers another perspective on the life of William Webb, including announcements of Mr. Johnson’s performances, and responses to them from the audiences.  On January 11, Mr. Johnson gave his 300th presentation of William Webb at a celebratory reception in the Museum of Connecticut History.


CSL loaned two U.S. House and Senate Journals volumes to Readex Corp. for a Series 1, 1789- digitization project. In exchange, Readex has waived the initial fee for CSL.  We will have access to this online resource beginning in January.

Two copies of New England Court Records: A Research Guide for Genealogists were donated to the Library by the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council in memory of Genealogist, Donna Siemiatkoski. 

Trinity College has offered CSL a large number of U.S. Congressional Appropriation Committee Hearings.  Because our collection lacks the Appropriations hearings for the 1930-1950 time period, this acquisition will fill an important gap. Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso is working with Trinity to affect the transfer.

Digital Collections

The 1934 aerial survey digitization project is now complete. We are working with the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Information Technology to acquire existing digital versions of the 1965 aerials, which will be processed and made publicly available by CSL in the same manner as the 1934 aerials.

The Journal of the 1965 Constitutional Convention has been digitized and placed in the Connecticut Digital Archive; it is available through the catalog entry, .

Digitization of the General Assembly Hearings and Proceedings transcripts has begun with volumes from the 1970s which were printed on poor quality onion skin paper.  The first two volumes are now available.

Digital Collections Projects are selected and managed by the Digital Collection Committee.  With representation from the Archives, the Museum, and the Library, the Committee provides oversight and direction, and encourages use of collection materials from all three areas.


H&G Office Assistant Kevin Johnson performed as William Webb at the Bridgeport Public Library on November 1; in Bridgeport on December 14, and at a reception celebrating his 300th performance on January 11 in the Museum of Connecticut History.

Mr. Johnson performed as Jordan Freeman on November 14 for the Nathan Hale Chapter, DAR, Old Lyme.

Nancy Peluso gave a presentation on CSL resources to Department of Economic and Community Development staff at Van Block on November 9.

History and Genealogy Unit Head Richard Roberts gave a presentation to the Connecticut Professional Genealogists Council on December 7.


Bibliographic Information Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky taught “Cataloging, MARC Records and Beyond” at MLSC on November. 29.

Law/legislative Reference Unit Head Denise Jernigan taught a section of Advanced Legal Research at UConn Law School on November 9.

Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane spoke with Town Clerks on December 7 on Preservation Basics.

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Director Carol Taylor gave a presentation to the Windsor Locks Lions Club on December 20.


Joanne Turschman, State Library Data Coordinator, submitted the Connecticut State Library Agency’s FY 2006 survey to the National Center for Education Statistics. For the thirteenth consecutive year it was submitted before the deadline in December making it eligible again for the John Lorenz Award for timely and accurate data submission.  The data and subsequent published report provides information on the roles of State Library agencies in the U.S. 

State Library membership in WebJunction now includes three new services.  Library Development staff are currently being trained on the use of Wimba, a web conferencing tool that will allow the Division to hold meetings and workshops via the web.  Also, WebJunction membership now covers the cost of the Division’s Evanced registration and calendaring tool which is used for the advertising and registration of continuing education workshops.  Finally, Library Development has replaced its monthly newsletter on WebJunction with a blog.  Check out for the latest news from the Division. 

WebJunction Connecticut is undergoing a complete “face lift” and reorganization in early February.  Check out after February 15th for the new look.

iCONN Awareness Initiatives

Banner ads for iCONN started appearing on the Hartford Courant’s websites at and on December 1 and will run through June 30, 2007.  The ads are animated and when you click on the ad, it takes you directly to iCONN.  The ads have also been posted to the iCONN website at  We have encouraged libraries to download the ads for use on their website in order to promote awareness of iCONN. 

Given the results of a statewide survey which indicated that many library media specialists are unaware of reQuest, an invitation packet to promote awareness of and encourage participation in reQuest was sent to over 670 public school library media centers in mid-December.

iCONN Database Additions

The following databases will be added to iCONN (at no additional cost) for all library types in January:  Thomson Gale’s LegalTrac and Academic OneFile, and OCLC’s WorldCat.

Budget Option Request

To support the request for additional funds for iCONN, the database committee of the Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board conducted a survey of libraries to determine their needs for additional resources.  iCONN has been level-funded for the past several years, yet our records indicate that usage of iCONN has spiraled since its inception, and we have projected that this $2 million/year expenditure saves libraries throughout the state over $20 million/year.  We have requested a budget increase of $1 million which would allow the following content to be added and the following additional savings to be generated:

Current Issues resources:  Estimated cost:  $250,000, estimated savings:  $855,000  

General Reference resources:  Estimated cost:   $200,000 – $250,000, estimated savings:  $650,000 – $1 million

Literature resources:  Estimated cost: $250,000 – $350,000, estimated savings:  $1.4 million

Historical Hartford Courant, 1923-1984:  Estimated cost:   $165,000, estimated savings:  $564,000

Career & Testing resources for Public Libraries:  Estimated Cost:  $75,000 – $150,000, estimated Savings:  $750,000 - $825,000

Science resources:  Estimated Cost:  $160,000 - $250,000, estimated savings:  $2.2 million


reQuest Interlibrary Loan System Migration

The reQuest Interlibrary Loan (ILL) system will be transitioning to an ISO (International Organization for Standardization)-compliant system in January.  By becoming ISO compliant, the reQuest interlibrary loan system will become interoperable with other vendors' interlibrary loan systems.  This will allow interlibrary loan requests to be sent electronically from one system to another. ISO ILL is a standards-based ILL system that allows two disparate ILL systems to communicate with each other.  For example, UCONN and CCSU will be able to use their Clio ILL Management systems (and ultimately OCLC ILL system) to respond to ILL requests from reQuest, thereby streamlining the ILL process.  For this reason in particular, an ISO-compliant reQuest may be more attractive to libraries that do not currently participate in reQuest ILL.  Accordingly, we plan to market these features to libraries using other ISO-compliant systems, particularly libraries using OCLC.  Stephen Cauffman is coordinating this project.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA)

Douglas Lord completed the annual State Program Report to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) in December.  The report details the accomplishments of Library Services and Technology Act funds in Connecticut during the last federal fiscal year.  If any Board member wishes to receive a copy of the 72 page report, email Doug Lord at

The Division of Library Development and the Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development has begun a process for development of the next Five Year Plan required by IMLS.  The committee will hold focus groups, conduct an online survey, start a blog and hold a public information meeting in order to solicit input from the library community.  Members of the committee are Barbara Leonard, Friends of the Avon Public Library; Carl Nawrocki, Friends of the Salem Public Library; Candice Brown, Director of the New Britain Public Library; Mary Davis, library user from Branford; Faith Davison, Archivist at the Mohegan Tribe Historic Preservation Department; Marion Sheehan, Director of the Canterbury Public Library and Jean Lowery, school library media specialist at the Bishop Woods Elementary School in New Haven.  Douglas Lord and Sharon Brettschneider represent the State Library on the committee as staff.


Lorraine Huddy, Database Coordinator, and Gail Hurley, Catalog Coordinator, made a presentation, iCONN 2.0: Five Years Young and Looking Forward at the Council of Librarians Annual Conference at Housatonic Community College on January 12th.

Douglas Lord, LSTA Program Assistant, presented seven LSTA Grant workshops for libraries wishing to apply for this year’s grants.  63 librarians attended the workshops.

Sharon Brettschneider and Stephen Cauffman, ILL Coordinator, presented six Ccar School sessions around the state to introduce new packing and routing procedures for the statewide delivery service.  Over 240 attended the workshops.


Historic Documents Preservation Grant Program Awards

On December 8, 2006 the Connecticut State Library awarded 48 Cycle 2 targeted grants for a total of $381,000; 100 grants were awarded in Cycle 1 for a total of $1,094,670.  A total of 148 grants amounting to $1,475,670 were awarded in FY2007.  Since the inception of the grant program, we have awarded $6,868,727. 

Conferences, Workshops and Meetings

December 7, 2006 Public Records and Archives staff along with Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, presented a full day workshop on records management for town clerks at the Town Clerks' School, held at the Institute of Technology and Business Development at Central Connecticut University (ITBD) in New Britain, CT

January 11 and 18, 2007  Public Records and Archives staff presented two half-day grant application training workshops for town clerks, held at the Van Block Facility in Hartford.  These workshops covered a new application process for both targeted and competitive grants and offered instruction in developing a successful competitive grant application.

Site Visits

On November 15, 2006 Kathy Makover made a site visit to Columbia in response to the town clerk's concerns regarding vault space and an upcoming town hall renovation project.  The visit included inspection of the clerk's two vaults.  The town received a report of the findings and recommendations.

Retention Schedules

General Schedule S5: Student Records Maintained by Connecticut State Institutions of Higher Learning State Colleges and Universities has been updated and is posted to the State Library website.

New Accessions

  • Office of Family Support, 2001-2004.  Established by Governor John Rowland to assist survivors and families of deceased victims of 9/11 attacks.
  • correspondence of Governor Frank B. Weeks, 1908-1910.  Purchased by State Archivist off eBay.
  • Files of Legal Counsel to the Speaker of the House, Connecticut General Assembly, 1998-2004.
  • Files of Senator George L. “Doc” Gunther, 1968-2006.  Senator Gunther from Stratford began serving in the State Senate in 1967, making him the longest serving legislator in Connecticut History.  Files show his activity on behalf of environmental issues as well as other issues.
  • Records of the North Lyme Baptist Church, 1885-1915; Records of the Town of Lyme, 1820-1860.  Both of these sets were donated by Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark. 
  • Constituent Services Records, Governor M. Jodi Rell, 2004-2006, 125 cubic feet.  Mostly E-mail communications; these are records from the years in which she served out the term of former Governor John G, Rowland.

Processing Jobs Completed

The following finding aids have been completed by Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark: New London County, County Court Files, 1691-1855, RG 003, 73 pages, Preston Town Records, 1750-1936, RG 062, 11 pages, Montville-Mohegan Tribe Records, RG 062, 4 pages.

Archivist Paul Baran completed encoding 25 State Archives finding aids for posting on the CSL/State Archives Web Page.