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State Librarian's Report

March 26, 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

March 26, 2007 meeting of the Board, covers the period of January 30, 2007 through March 23, 2007.

FINANCIAL REPORT

Attached to this report.

PERSONNEL REPORT

Vacancies (State Funded)

Library Aide – Part Time (LBPH)  recruitment in process

Librarian 1, Full-Time  (Archives)

User Support Specialist – Part-Time  (Automation)  recruitment in process

Vacancies (Federal Funds)

None

Vacancies (Other)

None

POSITIONS FILLED SINCE LAST REPORT

Data Processing Technical Specialist 2 -  Full Time (Automation)

Secretary 1 – Part Time (Fiscal)

STATE LIBRARIAN

On February 27th, 2007 the State of Connecticut conducted a statewide test of agency Continuity of Operations Plans (COOP) for a simulated pandemic influenza outbreak.  This exercise tested each agency’s ability to continue functioning during a pandemic influenza emergency in accordance with their plan.  The duration of the exercise was from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with the simulation covering events unfolding over a series of weeks.  We successfully received reports from fifty-nine state agency/location incident management teams participating in this exercise.  The exercise also tested a new communications system intended to provide the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and Governor Rell with accurate and actionable information concerning agency functionality as state employees and contractors became affected by the pandemic. 

The State Library’s COOP Incident Management Team that day consisted of:

Richard Kingston,  Deputy Incident Commander; Stephen Slovasky, Planning Section Chief; Sharon Brettschneider, Deputy Operations Section Chief; Louise Carey, Human Resources Officer; Jane Beaudoin, Public Information Officer; and Lynette Baisden, Deputy EOC Liaison Officer.

By the end of the simulation the State Library had closed to the public everywhere while maintaining telephone and e-mail services, and had suspended C-CAR.  The Team responded to a help request by offering State Library vehicles and C-CAR drivers to the general resource pool.  The Team had done a good job prioritizing agency functions and determining agency staffing thresholds and was able to respond appropriately to SEOC requests and directives.  The State Library reported the overall agency status at the end as "YELLOW".  This meant that the agency was experiencing abnormal conditions: higher than normal absenteeism, problems with suppliers or service providers or release of normal resources to other Agencies for COOP purposes.   All priority 1 functions were being delivered at normal service levels and one or more priority 2 or 3 functions were not meeting acceptable service levels.

On February 15 the Web Presence Committee of the State Library presented a presentation on Web 2.0.  The presentation was open to all and over 30 staff members from all areas of the agency attended.  The 2 sessions were conducted by Maura Deedy, a recent graduate of Simmons and a Reference Librarian at Ferguson Library in Stamford, CT.  Web 2.0 is a  phrase coined by O'Reilly Media in 2004, and refers to a perceived second generation of web-based services—such as social networking sites, wikis, communication tools, and folksonomies—that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users.

INFORMATION SERVICES DIVISION

Withdrawals. The Division routinely withdraws duplicates and outdated items from its collections. We offer these books, serials and documents as donations to other Connecticut state agencies and institutions to help them meet their research needs. To facilitate efficient dispersal of materials, we now post an Offers List by subject group on the Web site. Emails are sent to repositories that may be interested, and we send the materials to them “first-come, first-serve”.

Catalog Location Codes. In order to avoid confusion about locations in the catalog shared with the Connecticut State University libraries, the code ‘SL’ that was used for State Library locations has been changed to ‘StLib’.  ‘C’, ‘E’, ‘S’, and ‘W’ respectively have been changed to ‘CCSU’, ‘ECSU’, ‘SCSU’, and ‘WCSU”.

Reference Answers. Each reference unit has long maintained an ‘Uncommon Knowledge’ database in order to share difficult or time-consuming questions and their answers with all three reference areas.  Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso has now created a blog for reference librarians to share current information, and questions.

Supreme Court tours. The Judicial Department is now providing audio tours of the Supreme Court. Patrons may borrow a Walkman from the Security staff in the front lobby. 

Building Maintenance.  Plant Facilities staff have been diligently working on various cleaning and maintenance projects throughout the building. They are installing new ceiling tile wherever necessary, cleaning and updating lighting fixtures, washing windows, tabletops, and index drawers.  Staff and patrons have commented on the sparkling ‘new’ appearance.

Connecticut Documents. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated staff, the first phase of the project to move copy 1 ‘best copy’ ConnDocs to the secured collections cage has been completed. About 11,000 items were moved, and their location updated in the catalog.  The proposed ConnDoc Inventory / Cataloging / Preservation project will continue this effort, and eventually process the remaining 45,000 items.

Aerial photos. The Department of Environmental Protection has obtained digital copies of the 1965 Aerial photos from the Department of Information Technology and provided them to CSL.  We will process and publish them as we did with the 1934 Aerials. Oblique aerials photos taken following the 1938 hurricane are being digitized and will be published as well.

Photolog. Staff met with the Department of Transportation about the ‘Photolog’ resource that allows a user to ‘drive’ down Connecticut state highways through a quickly changing series of digital photos. Viewing a series of years clearly shows changes over time. Photolog was provided to CSL several years ago but it has not been updated recently. DOT will now provide us with an external hard drive to give us networked access to 3 separate years, including the most recent.  DOT is also interested in working with us on digitally archiving the files, using our techniques and their funds to pay for the file storage.

Digital Collections. Standardized procedures for production of digital collections are being developed and implemented. The judicial and civil history of Connecticut. Ed. by Hon. Dwight Loomis was digitized and published in searchable PDF format. 

Workshops/Events.

H&G Office Assistant Kevin Johnson gave his 301st presentation at the Winthrop Middle School in Bridgeport on January 16. Since his anniversary celebration on January 11, Mr. Johnson continues to receive requests for presentations of William Webb and Jordan Freeman.

Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso gave training on State Library electronic resources to the African American Affairs Commission on January 29.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Janis Lefkowitz, History and Genealogy Reference Librarian Mel Smith, and Ms. Peluso gave introductory orientation sessions and Library tours to Legislative interns on January 24, 25, 30, and February 1.

LBPH hosted the Windsor Lions Club with dinner, a presentation, and a tour on February 27th.

Several Reference Librarians gave a tour to the Greater New Haven Leadership Council participants on February 28.

New England Regional Genealogical Conference will be held at the Hartford Convention Center from April 26-29. On April 25, H&G will be open until 8:00 p.m. to accommodate visitors to the Conference. Light refreshments will be served.

DIVISION OF LIBRARY DEVELOPMENT

iCONN

Today, iCONN provides an extensive set of information resources available for all Connecticut citizens.  With the state’s $1.9 million annual investment, schools, libraries and colleges save the over $33 million it would cost if they were to purchase these databases individually.  In response to a legislator’s inquiry we calculated what this means to the average school, public and academic library in Connecticut. 

The average cost savings for each school is $15,060.

The average cost savings for each public library is $47,276.

The average cost savings for each academic library is $92,073.

In 2005, the State Library commissioned the UCONN Center for Survey Research and Analysis to survey residents concerning their awareness and use of iCONN.  The results were published at http://www.iconn.org/iConnMarketingSurveyReport.aspx

 In 2007, the State Library commissioned the UCONN Center for Survey Research and Analysis to update seven key questions in that study in order to gauge the effectiveness of our marketing efforts since 2005, and especially over the last six months.  A few of the key findings from the survey update are listed below.  The complete results are also published at http://www.iconn.org/iConnMarketingSurveyReport.aspx .  Overall, we are encouraged by these results:

Awareness and Usage - Overall Increase

-  Twice as many people indicated they have used reQuest

-  About the same number of people indicated they know what reQuest is

-  The number of people who indicated they have used iCONN increased from 36% to 57% - a 58% increase

-  The number of people aware of iCONN increased slightly from 14% to 18% - a 29% increase

Non-Awareness and Non-Usage - Overall Decrease

-  The number of people indicating they have “not used” iCONN decreased from 64% to 39%

-  The number of people indicating they are “not familiar at all” with iCONN decreased from 29% to 20%

The annual mailing to all legislators was completed on February 9.  The mailing included an iCONN library card and the latest issue of the iCONN Times.

A letter to all library media specialists, informing them of the new online training resources site at http://www.iconn.org/staff/OnlineTrainingPublicSchool.aspx, was mailed on March 1.  The letter was also posted on the CEMA site at http://www.ctcema.org/Letter_to_Library_Media_Specialists.pdf.  The mailing was needed to reach the vast majority of library media specialists who are not on either the CEMA or iCONN lists.  The letter also encouraged media specialists to sign up for these lists.

Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA).

The Division has been very involved in the development of a new Five Year Plan for LSTA.  A blog (lstaplan.wordpress.com) has been set up to gather input from the library community.  Board members are invited to visit the blog to read and post comments.  In addition, two focus groups with the library community were held in February at the Southbury Public Library and the Willimantic Library Service Center.  A report of the comments from these focus groups has been posted to the blog.  Members of the Planning 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 staff on the committee.  The Plan must be submitted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) by June 30th.

Douglas Lord, LSTA Program Assistant, has developed a Success Stories page on CT.WebJunction.org to provide the details of successful past LSTA grant projects.  There you can read about recent projects as well as some highlights from years back.  For example, learn how the Hartford Public Library helps newcomer refugees, how the Raising a Reader project worked out at the Booth & Dimock Library in Coventry, and some of the adaptive technology that the Russell Public Library in Middletown implemented.

The Annual State Program Report on use of LSTA funds in Connecticut was approved by the Institute of Museum and Library Services on February 1st.

IMLS requires states to use outcome based evaluation techniques to demonstrate the impact of LSTA dollars.  As part of the effort, during the first 9 month of this fiscal year, the Division has measured 38 continuing education course offerings.  Results so far demonstrate improvements of attendees' skill and/or knowledge levels of over 100%.

Statistics. The Public Library Survey for Connecticut has been submitted to the National Center for Education Statistics for FY 2006.  All of the Public Library and State Library Statistics programs will, as of Oct. 1, 2007 be consolidated into the Institute of Museum and Library Services.  IMLS has indicated all statistics, surveys, products and timetables will remain uninterrupted.  With the agency's enhanced role in public library and state library data collection, this will establish IMLS as the key federal agency with responsibility for library and information policy.

Presentations.

William Sullivan, Administrator for iCONN, gave a presentation on recent developments on iCONN at the Northwest Public Library Director’s Roundtable on March 14th

Tom Newman, Assistant Director of the Middletown Library Service Center, authored an article in the February 2007 issue of Connecticut Libraries.  The article on the Ramsay Research Library at the New England Air Museum is part of the Treasures series highlighting interesting and less well-known collections in Connecticut libraries.  The article is included in your packet.

Celebrating our Community’s Diversity – Library Services to Newcomer Families.

Providing library services to newcomer (immigrant) families has become increasingly important in Connecticut.  In order to help libraries with these services the State Library is presenting a workshop on May 7th at the Farmington Library highlighting groundbreaking programs of the Hamilton Ontario Public Library, which has made celebrating the community’s diversity a strategic priority.  Newcomer families in Hamilton are participating in two innovative family literacy projects: the Multicultural Early Learning Development project and Family Language Kit initiative. With the support of many partners, the library promotes reading, language development and library use.  Attendees will learn about the kits, the programs, the collections, and the partnerships and why these dual language outreach initiatives have been so successful.  Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center is coordinating the program.

EqualAccess Libraries

The Division of Library Development has begun a grant funded program EqualAccess Libraries, a professional development program that helps public librarians assess and, in collaboration with local organizations, address their community’s most pressing needs.  EqualAccess focuses on building librarians’ outreach and community programming skills, expertise in health, lifelong, or youth programming, and ability to use technology to expand and enhance programming and services.  Funded in large part by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, and Langeloth Foundation, EqualAccess was launched in 2003 to address the barriers preventing libraries from fully meeting the information and education needs of their communities in the digital age.  EqualAccess specifically focuses on the opportunities and challenges facing health consumers, baby boomers and older adults, and youth.  For more information about EqualAccess, visit the program’s national site at EA.WebJunction.org.

Public Library Construction. The Board may be interested to hear about the impact of the public library construction grants they approve.  Roberta Passardi from the Willington Public Library reports that her circulation has quadrupled since they opened the doors on their beautiful new library on December 11th, 2006.  Mary Louise Jensen and Sharon Brettschneider attended the opening of the new Edith Wheeler Memorial Library in Monroe (the former Monroe Public Library) on March 4th.  A few days later the director, Robert Simon, called to report that the place was busier than ever.  They issued 30 new library cards within 2 hours!

PUBLIC RECORDS ADMINISTRATION

Historic Documents Preservation Grant Program. The Office of the Public Records Administrator published the latest edition of The CONNservator for distribution to the towns the first week of March.

Presentations/Workshops.

State Archivist Mark Jones chaired a meeting of the Connecticut State Historical Records Advisory Board (SCHRAB).  Subjects discussed included National Historical Publications and Records Commission funding, evaluating NHPRC grants, status of the Historical Documents Preservation Program, and the importance and challenges facing small libraries in Connecticut that take care of historical records. Public Records and Archives staff and the State Librarian attended this meeting on February 9.

LeAnn Power attended a meeting of the Connecticut Chapter of the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell. The meeting topic was “Show me the Money! – A Cost Benefit Analysis Approach to Implementing Records Management Systems” on February 13. 

On March 15 Mark Jones attended a meeting in Litchfield with Linda Hocking, Archivist, Litchfield Historical Society and Walt Woodward, State Historian to discuss plans for Archives Month. 

Bruce Stark attended a meeting of the Editorial Board of the Association for the Study of Connecticut History at Central Connecticut State University on March 16. 

Eunice DiBella and LeAnn Power presented a records retention training session for the Town of Wallingford on February 27.

On February 28, 2007 Eunice DiBella attended a meeting of the new Registrars of Voters at the State Armory in Hartford. Ms. DiBella spoke about the retention and disposition of election records.

Eunice DiBella presented a records retention training session for the Office of Policy and Management in Hartford. Public Records Archivist Lizette Pelletier also attended the session. Eunice reviewed state agency records retention and disposition policies and procedures for state agencies on March 1. 

Eunice DiBella presented a training session on the retention and disposition of education records for the Connecticut Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) at the Hawthorne Inn in Berlin, Connecticut on March 2. 

Site Visits.

Eunice DiBella, LeAnn Power and Kathryn Makover went to the City of Waterbury to review plans for the temporary vault to be used during the City Hall renovation.  They met with Waterbury’s City Clerk, Chief of Staff, project managers and architect on January 24. 

On February 5 Kathy Makover visited the East Hartford Town Clerk’s Office to review the records and building conditions related to the town’s disaster recovery application. The application was made following a water leak which damaged vital records in the town clerk’s vault. 

Kathy Makover made site visits to Plymouth and Beacon Falls.  She met with the town clerk of each town to review the Historic Documents Grant Program and recommend projects for which they might apply.  She also inspected the vaults and land records. March 8. 

Retention Schedules. Lizette Pelletier, Public Records Archivist has been working with a number of state agencies on updating or creating retention schedules including the Department of Environmental Protection, Motor Vehicles, Transportation, and Social Services. She updated form RC-078 for the appointment of agency Records Management Liaison Officers and posted the updated version on the unit’s webpage.

Eunice DiBella and Lizette Pelletier met with the Elections Division staff attorney at the Office of the Secretary of the State to review the current elections municipal retention schedules. Of particular concern are issues dealing with the retention of paper ballots utilized with the new voting machines in Connecticut.

New Accessions

  • RG 089:  Department of Transportation, Commissioner’s Records, 1998-2004.
  • RG 160:  Office of Family Support, 2001-2004. This agency was created by Governor John G. Rowland after 9/11 to aid families of victims.
  • RG 005:  Governor Frank B. Weeks, Letters, 1908-1910. These letters were purchased off eBay.
  • RG 62:  47 cubic feet of student files from William H. Hall High School, West Hartford.

Processing Jobs Completed

RG 62 Town Records: Lyme Connecticut (5 boxes), 1781-1910. Finding Aid completed by Assistant Archivist Bruce Stark.