Connecticut State Library with state seal


March 22, 2004

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 March 22, 2004 meeting of the Board, covers the period of January 27, 2004, through March 21, 2004.

Attached to this report.

Vacancies (State Funded)

  1. Office Assistant (part-time) – Van Block Facility. – Position approved. Refill in progress.
  2. Office Assistant (part-time) – Law/Leg Ref. – Position approved. Refill in progress.
  3. Clerk Typist (part-time) Records Center (PRA) – 1/9/04 Request for refill at OPM
Vacancies (Federal Funds)


It’s that time of year again that has me busy monitoring legislation and spending time talking with legislators. Rich Kingston, Director of Administration, presented information regarding our budget to the Elementary and Secondary Education subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee at what is called a work session. I was away on vacation and the meeting could not be rescheduled. I submitted testimony regarding Raised Bill 530. A copy of the testimony is included in your packet. There have been several other bills relating to libraries filed, but to date none have made it out of committee. The major funding issues continue to be the library materials account, the Connecticut Library Consortium, and bonding for library construction projects.

Senate Bill 584 is of interest because of our public records role. It is a reaction to hearings that the Freedom of Information Commission has held on a proposed declaratory ruling relating to email and voicemail. Eunice DiBella, Public Records Administrator, testified at length at the hearings. Basically, we do not see the need for the Commission to issue a ruling in this matter. Further, we feel that the Commission is overstepping its bounds. The proposed legislation is aimed at countering the ruling that everyone expects the Commission to issue.

Plans for various 150th Anniversary activities are being developed. The SLIC (the State Library Image Committee) has been working on many of the marketing pieces relating to the celebration. One of their efforts is a banner for the wall at the corner of Washington and Capitol Streets which was purchased with funds from the Connecticut Heritage Foundation. The banner is up this month and will be up as often as possible throughout the year. The January issue of the CONNector is out and includes many articles relating to the history of the Library. An exhibit of six enlarged photos offering several views of the State Library and of staff has been placed in Memorial Hall. We have submitted a request for funds to be added to the budget to help defray some costs. It looks like we will end up with a very modest appropriation of $25,000. This will help cover the cost of publishing a commemorative edition of our biennial report. The report would be distributed to legislators, libraries, historical societies and others. Additionally we are proposing designing and printing a general brochure about the Library and some advertisements in publications such as the Connecticut Magazine. The Foundation has approached two major corporations to be underwriters for a fundraising gala tentatively planned for the Fall of this year. They are also soliciting a media sponsor for the event. Judge Hennessy approached Chief Justice Sullivan to see if he would allow wine to be served if the gala were held in Memorial Hall. The request was denied. The Foundation is now looking for other sites for the gala.

Task Force on Library Service to Older Adults
The major work of the Task Force over the past two months has been to conduct a survey of public libraries. The Task Force developed 48 questions and Doug Lord, who serves as liaison from Library Development to the Task Force, was able to produce a web-based version of the survey. The link to the survey was sent to all libraries. 114 libraries completed the survey. The results will be used by the Task Force to direct their work. Part of the work of the Task Force is to identify model programs. The Westfield (MA) Athenaeum has a very large outreach program for older adults. I recently met with the director and the staff person responsible for the program in order to learn more about its operation, lessons learned, and efforts they are making to connect to community agencies that serve older adults.

As a result of the meetings with the Department of Public Health (DPH) that I previously reported on, DPH has agreed to fund the production and placement of a new series of commercials promoting greatkidsCT. We have also received $11,500 from the Traveler’s Foundation to fund the production of bookmarks, posters, and brochures promoting the site.

Connecticut History Online
The partners in the Connecticut History Online project (the Connecticut Historical Society, the Connecticut State Library, the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut, Mystic Seaport, and the New Haven Colony Historical Society) are developing a grant proposal to submit to the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the National Leadership grant competition. The grant would fund the development of new tools for the website.

Telling the People’s Story
Diana Paque, Chief of the California State Library’s Library Development Services Bureau, and I have developed a proposal to initiate a new federal funding stream for all states to help them identify, preserve and provide access to historical materials available in libraries and museums throughout the country. We have developed this in response to the increased demand for money to digitize collections and our belief that there is a federal role in supporting full scale “production level” digitization of important historical materials. We will be meeting with the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) at the end of April to discuss the proposal. We will also be bringing it before the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) at their Spring meeting.

On February 3rd, Dean Nelson, Museum Administrator, and I participated in meetings, tours, and a luncheon as part of the initial visit by the National Parks Service as part of the feasibility study for a Coltsville National Park. A follow-up visit is planned for March 30th.

Professional Activities
Attended meetings of the Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board (CDLAB), Connecticut History Online Project Management Committee, Connecticut Library Association Executive Board, Connecticut Library Association Legislative Committee, COSLA Network Committee, DataConnections, and the greatkidsCT Steering Committee,

Doug Lord and I have been attending meetings of a group of people interested in forming a coalition of organizations and agencies interested in issues relating to our aging population and the opportunities to better serve this population and for encouraging civic engagement by older adults.

I have been continuing my meetings with the various units of the State Library as a follow up to the Staff Development Day. The staff members that I have spoken with are to be commended for the sincerity they have brought to the meetings and the efforts they have made to cope with the impacts of the budget reductions, layoffs and retirements. Clearly, we are changing the way we do business.

I was a guest reader at the Vance School in New Britain for Read Across America Day celebrating Dr. Seuss’ 100th birthday. Governor Rowland was among the dozen or so other guest readers.

April is Friends of the Library Month and this year I am serving as spokesperson for the Friends of Connecticut Libraries (FOCL). In my capacity as State Librarian, I also issued an Official Statement encouraging libraries to celebrate the Month of April as Friends of the Library Month.

Reference Services
The aerial photos sets for the years 1980,1985,1990, and 1995 that were recently received from the Dept. of Environmental Protection are being used very frequently. Fifty-two photos were retrieved on one afternoon, making it necessary to have 2 retrievers.

All of the Reference services areas have been busy this month, in part due to college student activity.

We have asked for updated signs at the front and back entrances to assist patrons in knowing how to enter the building on Saturdays; this has been an ongoing problem since Security changed which door is open when. We will try to again to use the ‘Open’ flag at the South door entrance to help patrons. Notification about access to the Library during the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade will be made to patrons and staff.

History and Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson gave a William Webb presentation at Alcorn School in Enfield on January 15, at St. Anthony in Bristol on January 23, in Glastonbury on January 27, and in North Haven on Saturday, Feb. 14. Mr. Johnson also gave a Jordan Freeman presentation at Christ Temple Church, Bloomfield, on Feb. 11.

Mr. Johnson was heard as William Webb on radio station WAPJ, 89.9, Torrington on Thursday, Feb. 5.

Law/Legislative Reference and Government Information staff members Janis Lefkowitz, Denise Jernigan, Cheryl Schutt, Nancy Peluso, and Julie Schwartz participated in legislative intern tours on January 29, February 2, February 3, and February 5. A film of the State Library was also shown.

Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz coordinated tours on March 10 for the Leadership Greater New Haven (LGNH) class of 2004 with Law Librarian Janis Lefkowitz, History & Genealogy Librarian Carolyn Picciano, and Government Information Librarians Nancy Peluso and Marcia Matika. Various services and collections of the Library were presented. LGNH is a ten-month program to develop community leaders from business, government, academia, and non-profit organizations.

Staff has reported seeing a television ad for the Judicial Department that mentions the State Library and Museum.

Press mentions
A film crew from the British firm,, doing a piece on vampires for National Geographic, filmed State Archaeologist Nick Bellantoni in the Newspaper Room on Friday, Feb. 13. An article about the production, mentioning the State Library, appeared in the Hartford Courant on Saturday, Feb. 14.

Federal Document Depository
Government Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso attended CRIARL (a Rhode Island Government Documents group) meetings on January 21 and February 8, and made a federal depository visit to Roger Williams University.

Ms. Peluso attended a CT GODORT (Government Documents Round Table) meeting in Danbury on January 23.

A bound volume, Hartford times, March 17-27, 1936, the flood week, containing a unique compilation of issues of the Hartford Times with a few issues of the Hartford Courant covering the 1936 flood has been inventoried, re-cataloged, and, according to our practice for fragile originals, placed in an acid-free box, shelved in SpecColl, and its bibliographic record suppressed from public view. This practice allows us to protect a brittle item from further damage while awaiting funds to restore it and return it to public use.

Space for collections is again becoming a critical issue. The Division’s space at the Van Block facility is almost full. Several areas of the 231 stacks are again approaching maximum capacity. Additional compact shelving at Van Block or other offsite storage, and ideally, a major expansion/ renovation of 231 or a new building needs to be planned and acquired in the next few years.

Library Automation
The Connecticut State Library’s (CSL) Website has a new Resources for Research page, intended to make access to CSL supplied resources more efficient for patrons and staff. The page provides links to CSL Research Resources, including a section of Answers to the most frequently asked questions about CONNECTICUT, by subject; links to subscription databases and e-journals; and a section linking to State Library Databases, Collections, and Research Guides, by subject. Issues of current interest to the Connecticut General Assembly, state agencies and the general public are included under the Current Issues topic. Links to information by and about Government are now subdivided by Connecticut, Municipal, and United States. The new page will be publicized in the Legislative Bulletin and through press releases.

Other recent additions to the CSL website include the 2003 Index to Public & Special Acts, a Research Guide to Connecticut Probate Districts, November State Library Board Minutes, the January 2004 issue of The CONNector, biographies of Governors Roger Wolcott and William Pitkin, a Research Guide to the Connecticut Circus Fire, Guidelines and Applications for the 2004 Historic Documents Preservation Grants, and the Historic Document Preservation Advisory Committee November minutes.

Pat McGlamery from the UConn Map Library unveiled the new online version of the CSL owned mosaics of the 1934 aerial survey at the recent Historic Documents Preservation Advisory Committee meeting. Students used geo-referencing and Mr. Sid software to create the exhibit. CSL will create an introduction to aerial surveys webpage, including instructions for use of the online mosaics, and a pathfinder to aerials survey and map resources at CSL. Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane has written an article for the CONNservator about the project and will also write an article for The CONNector.

Library For the Blind and Physically Handicapped
LBPH Director Carol Taylor staffed an LBPH display on February 26 at the Wallingford Masonic Healthcare Center Open House for 2004 National Low Vision Week.

Ms. Taylor attended CRIS (Connecticut Radio Information System) Board Meeting in Windsor on Tuesday, February 24.

Ms. Taylor participated in a discussion on “Library Services to Non-English Speaking” at the New Britain Public Library on Tuesday, March 2.

Ms. Taylor and Library Technical Assistant Paula McLean staffed a LBPH exhibit at the CT Society of Eye Physicians Conference at the Aqua Turf on January 16.

F. Kurt Cylke, Director of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, visited LBPH to discuss digital development on January 21. He met with Ms. Taylor, Ken Wiggin, and Librarian Gordon Reddick.

Government Information Reference Librarian Nancy Lieffort attended a meeting of the ConnectKids Committee, of which she is a member, on January 15.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Hilary Frye attended a SNELLA (Southern New England Law Librarians Association) meeting on March 19.

Law/Legislative Reference Unit Head Denise Jernigan attended a Lexis/Nexis update seminar on February 23.

Ms. Newell, Mr. Slovasky, History and Genealogy Unit Head Dick Roberts, and History and Genealogy Reference Librarian Carolyn Picciano attended the Historic Documents Preservation Advisory Committee meeting on February 25 at Van Block as guests; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane attended as a member.

Mr. Slovasky attended a CONSULS Catalogers’ Group meeting on February 4 at CCSU.

Ms Jernigan reported that she has written an article about Law/Leg Reference for a special edition of The Connector for the 150th Anniversary celebration.

Ms. Taylor attended an LSTA Grants workshop at the Middletown Library Service Center (MLSC) on January 22.

Bibliographic Information Library Technician Verna Thomas-Green returned from leave on Friday, February 13.

Connecticut Digital Library Office Assistant David Ohanesian began working part of his time in the Information Services Division on February 23, 2004. Mr. Ohanesian will be working on various projects such as judges’ biographies to be put on the Web and the index to Biographical Sketches.


Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center, is chair of the Excellence in Public Library Service Awards. Judging for the awards took place on February 12th. Five judges from outside Connecticut selected the following winners: Overall Service, Small Library – Lyme Public Library Overall Service, Large Library – Rockville Public Library Specific Service, Small Library – Woodbury Public Library for their program “Stories that Go Vvrroooomm” Specific Service, Large Library – Silas Bronson Library, Waterbury for their Information Technology Center These awards will be presented at the Connecticut Library Association (CLA) Annual Conference in April. The awards program is a joint project of the State Library and CLA.

Another joint project of the State Library and CLA is the upcoming exhibit of library photos at the Legislative Office Building. The exhibit will run from April 1 to 15, 2004. All types of libraries are represented in the exhibit and over 300 photos will be displayed this year. CLA’s legislative potluck supper will take place on the evening of April 7th to coincide with the exhibit.

April is Friends of the Library Month in Connecticut. This annual event sponsored by the Friends of Connecticut Libraries (FOCL), is intended to assist libraries in publicizing and promoting their services and their Friends group and to help recruit new members to the Friends. This year Kendall Wiggin serves as FOCL’s official spokesperson. FOCL appreciates the involvement of the State Library and the State Librarian in this outreach effort.

The Division of Library Development will be sponsoring workshops on May 13th and 14th on Outcomes Based Evaluation (OBE). OBE is an approach to evaluation that focuses on the impact that results from a service. Instead of asking "How much has the library / library program done?" OBE asks, "What impact did the library or program have on the participants?" or "How has the participant's life changed because of what the library provided?" The Institute of Museum and Library Services is now requiring this type of evaluation for programs it funds. Libraries receiving Library Service and Technology Act grants this year will be required to attend one of these workshops. Rhea Rubin, a nationally recognized expert on Outcomes Evaluation will present the workshops.

Joanne Turschman, State Data Coordinator attended the Annual Conference for State Data Coordinators from December 8th through the 10th.

Ms Turschman submitted the first online annual report for the Library Services and Technology Act program in January. Ms. Turschman also made an on-time submission of the annual Public Library Survey to the Census, on February 29th.

Linda Williams, children’s librarian at the Willimantic Library Service Center, is this year’s chair of the Nutmeg Children's Book Award. Ms. Williams was responsible for tabulating the votes from more than 300 schools and libraries and a total of 19,294 kids. The winning book was Babe and Me by Dan Gutman. Ms Williams also arranged for the winning author, Dan Gutman, to attend a program for 500 kids at a Torrington School on May 7th.

Sustaining Public Access Computing in Rural Libraries
Sharon Brettschneider from the State Library, Alice Freiler from Goshen Public Library and Amy Kennedy from the North Stonington Library attended a workshop on Sustaining Public Access Computing in Rural Libraries on February 23rd and 24th in Seattle. The workshop was sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The workshop focused on ways that rural libraries can assure continuing support for public access computing and how the State Library can be of assistance. While in Seattle, Ms Brettschneider also attended the Public Library Association Annual Conference, courtesy of the Foundation.

Library Service and Technology Act (LSTA)Grants
Thirty-three LSTA grant applications were submitted to the State Library on March 5th. Libraries are requesting a total of $381,002 in grants. $200,000 was originally allocated to LSTA grants. However, the LSTA allocation for this year was higher than expected, making another $158,000 available. LSTA grants will be reviewed by staff of the Connecticut State Library and will be brought to the State Library Board for approval at the May 2004 meeting.

Library Services to Non-English Speakers
Mary Engels and Steve Cauffman convened a meeting of librarians providing service to Non-English Speakers on March 2nd at the New Britain Public Library. 25 librarians attended. Attendees shared what they currently do, what they’d like to do cooperatively and how the State Library could assist their work. One of the first things the State Library will be doing is a listserv for this community of librarians. It will be called Welcome! If anyone from your staff would like to sign up for the listserv or would like to attend their next meeting, email Mary at

Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge
Sharon Brettschneider and Susan Cormier have been working with Tom Murphy of the State Department of Education to facilitate better cooperation between the schools and public libraries with the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge. In February, the State Library and State Department of Education held a focus group of librarians and schools about summer reading concerns. The two agencies are now coordinating a mailing to schools and libraries. The mailing will include a “best practices” document for school/public library cooperation in summer reading as well as a copy of Linda William’s Creating Summer Reading Lists that is also available at: Two new features will be added to the Challenge this year: A new award category “Best First-Year Performance” to recognize schools that are participating for the first time this year; and an award to recognize “outstanding public library-school partnerships” that promote summer reading.

RFP Awarded to Auto-Graphics
ReQuest is in the process of migrating from its current platform to Auto-Graphics’ AGent product. The first phase of the migration, scheduled for the last weekend in March, will enable the reQuest Main and Serials catalogs to be searched simultaneously, along with several other library catalogs and other public domain databases, as shown in the screenshot below:

A series of nine training sessions have been set up for libraries to attend prior to the weekend of the migration. The next and by far the most complex phase of the migration will incorporate all the licensed iCONN databases within the federated search capability allowing users to search the reQuest catalog and all databases with one search. Planning is also underway to have Auto-Graphics perform all authentication (recognizing Internet Protocol addresses and library barcodes) as well as to host the iCONN home page (

iCONN distributed an updated informational packet about iCONN to all legislators on February 17th. The packet included:

iCONN new databases have been added to iCONN: AP PhotoArchive and HeritageQuest Online . AP PhotoArchive has been made available to public libraries, academic libraries and schools. HeritageQuest is available only for public libraries. The AP PhotoArchive license is for photos plus graphics, but individual libraries may purchase text and audio add?ons at a discounted rate.

HeritageQuest Online is designed specifically for patrons in public libraries who are either just beginning their family research or who after years of work are still uncovering their past. With over 25,000 books, the entire U.S. Federal Census, and other expanding collections, HeritageQuest Online gives libraries the chance to tap in to one of the largest collections of genealogy material in the country.

The AP PhotoArchive features two photo databases: an International photo archive and a Euro/Asian photo archive. The former features state, regional and national photos from North America, as well as the best of the international photo report. About 500 new photos a day move into this database. The latter features regional photos from Europe and Asia, some with foreign-language captions. There is a 48-hour delay in receiving current photographs.

In other database news, colleges and universities in Connecticut now have access to Pre-CINAHL, a companion database to CINAHL. This new EBSCO database allows users to access new article citations before CINAHL indexing is complete. This rotating file makes limited bibliographic information (no subject indexing) available while the articles are being assigned additional indexing. Once the bibliographic records are complete, they are added to the CINAHL database and removed from Pre-CINAHL.

Stephen Cauffman, Jane Emerson, Marisa Kalt and William Sullivan attended a two-day training session on Auto-Graphics’ AGent product at the Middletown Library Service Center on February 4th and 5th. Representatives from Nelinet also attended the first day so that they could prepare for delivering AGent training to libraries.

Marisa Kalt attended Word: Beyond the Basics at the Middletown Library Service Center on March 4, 2004.