Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

July 23, 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 July 23, 2001 meeting of the Board, covers the period of May 22, 2001, through July 22, 2001.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report

  1. Public Records Grant Program Specialist - Interviews conducted.
  2. Maintainer (C-Car) - Recruitment in Process.
  3. Material Storage Supervisor 1(Public Records) - Subject to OPM hiring freeze.
  4. Library Technician (BIS) Subject to OPM hiring freeze.
  5. Secretary 1 (Admn Serv.) -ERIP/Hold.
  6. Fiscal Administrative Manager 1 (Admn Serv.) To be reclassified.
  7. Lead Hand Bookbinder and Restorer (Conservation Lab) - On hold.
  8. Systems Developer 3 (Library Development) - Request to establish denied by OPM.
  9. Administrative Assistant - Request for refill denied by OPM.

Vacancies (Federal Funds)

  1. Library Technical Assistant (LBPH) - Interviews conducted.
  2. Messenger and Supply Clerk (LBPH) - On Hold.
  3. Clerk (LBPH) - On hold.

Positions Filled Since Last Report


State Librarian's Report

Van Block Facility
After several years of effort the State Library has acquired an off site storage facility for archival, library and museum collections. The Attorney General signed the lease for 75 Van Block on Thursday, May 24th. The landlord has up to 90 days to prepare the building for our occupancy. Rich Kingston, Director of Administrative Services, is coordinating the move to Van Block. Shelving layouts and specifications have been done. Specifications for moving materials from 80 Washington Street, the Willimantic Library Service Center, and the State Library are being developed. Materials will be moved both from the State Library to Van Block as well within the State Library building.

In addition to being used for remote storage, the Van Block facility will be outfitted with a computer training lab. There will also be meeting space available. Funding for the move and outfitting of the building was provided for in the new budget.

Connecticut Car (CCAR)
The budget provides for the privatization of the CCAR operation. The budget has been structured in such a way that we can continue to operate CCAR in its present mode until a contract with a vendor can be signed. I anticipate that it will take at least six months to make the transition to a private vendor. We will issue a request for proposals (RFP) this summer. To insure a complete understanding of CCAR by companies interesting in bidding on the service, we will hold a vendor conference after the RFP is issued. There will be a bid evaluation process followed by a period of contract negotiations. Throughout this process we will work within the spirit of the contract for the affected employees. Inevitably there will be layoffs. While I regret the necessity of layoffs, I believe it is time to hand this important service over to the private sector. Our goal is to provide reliable, frequent and expanded delivery to libraries statewide.

Extended Hours
I am pleased to report that the Division of Information Services will begin offering expanded hours at the end of July. Beginning July 28th, 2001 Library hours will include Saturdays and Thursday evenings. The new public hours will be:

Mon., Tues., Wed. and Fri.: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.,
Thurs.: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., and
Sat. 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Connecticut Heritage Foundation
The Connecticut Heritage Foundation and Geno Auriemma hosted a Corporate Partners Breakfast at the State Library on Wednesday, May 30, 2001. The Breakfast provided an opportunity to introduce History on the Move, an educational outreach effort of the Museum of Connecticut History to the possible funders in the corporate community.

Employee Recognition
A reception for State Library and Commission on the Arts staff receiving longevity awards was held in Memorial Hall on June 11th. The following employees were recognized:

10 Years
Timothy Boland
Sharon Brettschneider
Jennifer Cotter
Jenifer Miller
Donald Pallanck
Bradley Tenan
Vernalyn Thomas-Green

15 Years
Jane Beaudoin
Judith Borre
Albert Deyorio
Sylvia Gaber
Ellen Morrison
Fabiola Proulx
Charles Yaeger

20 Years
Joan Connelly
Kristina Golden

25 Years
Richard Kingston
Cheryl Schutt

30 Years
Claire Young

30+ Years
Beverly Naylor

Professional Activities
I was asked to serve on the Early Childhood Task Force. This multidisciplinary group has been called together by the Child Health and Development Institute and charged with formulating strategies to build a comprehensive, proactive system of supports and services for young children and their families. I am co-chairing the Family Support and Education subcommittee. The Task Force will be making a report to the Institute in early Fall. They are particularly interested in the work we are doing with the greatkidsCT website and see that as an important element in addressing statewide parent education efforts. They are also interested in role libraries play in parent education.

On July 14th I traveled to Washington, D.C. where I served as a member of a review panel for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) National Leadership Grant proposals. I reviewed 8 proposals and presented one of the proposals.

Meetings attended included the Advisory Council for Library Planning and Development (ACLPD), Connecticut Library Association (CLA), CLA Legislative Committee, Connecticut Library Network Board (CLN), CONSULS Directors, Commission on Educational Technology (CET), ConneCT Management Advisory Committee (CMAC) and the CMAC Change Management Subcommittee, greatKidsCT Website Advisory Committee, Museum Advisory Board, National Crime Prevention Council, Nelinet, and the Southern Connecticut Library Council (SCLC) Annual Meeting.

I attended the American Library Association's Annual Conference in San Francisco. While there, I also attended the summer meeting of the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) and the Board meeting for Libraries for the Future (LFF). I also attended the Technology in Connecticut's Classrooms Conference.

I spoke at Western Connecticut Library Council's annual meeting and at the presentation of the Connecticut Award for Excellence in Public Library Service to the Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, CT.

Division Of Library Development
The Connecticut Library Association's Joint Children's Roundtable meeting was held at the Wallingford Public Library on June 4th. Susan Cormier gave her annual State Library update and presented a program on the greatkidsCT website. Sharon Brettschneider demonstrated iCONN as one of the roundtable sessions in the afternoon.

Susan Cormier conducted greatkidsCT demonstrations at the Children's First Project in Danbury, a Family Resource Center in Bristol and the Regional Interagency Coordinating Council in Hartford.

Susan Cormier conducted a workshop at the Middletown Library Service Center on the Public Library Association's Early Literacy Initiative on May 25th. Ms. Cormier repeated this workshop for the Book Discussion and Evaluation Day at the Willimantic Library Service Center on May 22nd. Linda Williams organized the Book Discussion Day, attended by 40 librarians.

On May 30th, Susan Cormier organized training on the Athena Library System for the service centers and other libraries using the software in Connecticut.

Sharon Brettschneider attended the American Library Association Conference in San Francisco on June 16th through the 19th.

Linda Williams has been elected co-chair of the Connecticut Library Association's Young Adult Section beginning in August 2001. Ms. Williams will begin service as Chair of the Selection Committee of the Nutmeg Children's Book Award in October.

The Gunn Memorial Library in Washington, Connecticut, was the winner of the Excellence in Public Library Service Award in the under 25,000 population category presented by the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut State Library. The Association of Connecticut Library Boards and the Friends of Connecticut Libraries were partners in the award. A reception for the Gunn Library was held on June 22nd. Kendall Wiggin, Mary Engels and Mary Louise Jensen attended the reception. The Hartford Public Library received an award in the over 25,000 population category.

The professional staff of the Middletown and Willimantic Library Service Centers are updating the collection development policy for the service centers. This activity is being undertaken as part of Strategic Planning process that the Division has been undergoing for the last three years.

The Friends of Connecticut Libraries held their annual meeting on June 2nd at the Meriden Public Library. Awards were given to Friends groups in Simsbury, Meriden, Guilford, Voluntown, Newtown and Lebanon. Mary Engels, Director of the Middletown Library Service Center is the State Library liaison to the Friends.

Mary Engels is working with the Archival Education Grant Committee on organizing a workshop on Archives Administration and Preservation Planning for public libraries to be held on September 11, 2001, at the Farmington Library.

Bill Sullivan gave an overview of the Connecticut Digital Library at the annual joint conference ("Using Technology to Improve Teaching and Learning") of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) on May 9, 2001, at the Farmington Marriott Hotel in Farmington. Also participating in the session was Brian Risse of The Gale Group.

Gail Hurley attended a CIMI Institute forum at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on June 21, 2001. The forum topic was "Update on the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI)." Stuart Weibel, the Director of the DCMI, was the guest speaker.

Steve Cauffman attended the National Online Meeting on May 15-17, in New York City.

Steve Cauffman attended the NELINET ILL Spring Meeting on May 30-31, in Bristol, Rhode Island.

Steve Cauffman attended an "e-Branch" presentation by 3M on June 12, at New Haven Public Library.

Thirty new databases have been added to the Connecticut Digital Library. The selection of databases was based on ballots cast at the iCONN kickoff meeting, input from subsequent trials and recommendations from the Council of Connecticut Academic Library Directors and the Department of Higher Education.

For K-12 schools and public libraries these were:

The new databases for academic libraries were:

From Congressional Information Service, Inc.:

From EBSCO Publishing:

From ProQuest Information and Learning Company:

iCONN also recently created a linkage between over 2,000 titles listed in the Connecticut Union List of Serials (CULS), which is part of the reQuest statewide library catalog, and full-text titles in InfoTrac OneFile, the largest Gale periodical database.

All train-the-trainer training of public, academic and public school trainers has been completed. Training of public school library media specialists, teachers and administrators has been scheduled for 7 sessions during July and August. 40 additional training sessions are planned for throughout the school year. Bill Sullivan provided an overview of iCONN and reQuest for the Regional Educational Service Center Technology Coordinators on June 14, 18 and 20.

A Request for Comments document (320kb) was posted to the iCONN Home Page. The document describes the current thinking about future directions of the reQuest Statewide Library Catalog and associated services. The RFC is intended to provide a framework and a catalyst for discussions with potential suppliers and with the library community about next-generation reQuest services. This document will change over time as it reflects the discussions about both what is desirable as well as what can realistically be achieved, given the current state of technology and will eventually provide the framework for a formal statement of requirements when the State Library is ready to begin the process of procuring these services.
(This file is provided in Portable Document Format (PDF) and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. If you can not access it, please email the webmaster for an alternate version.)

The CatExpress pilot project has been completed and was very successful. Ten participants consisting of public and school libraries used this OCLC product from January through June 2001. Following a positive spring evaluation of this product, the Connecticut State Library became a Nelinet consortial sponsor in order to be able to offer this product to other libraries in Connecticut. As of July 1, 2001, libraries with a minimum of a basic reQuest membership may order this additional service through the Connecticut Digital Library. 45 libraries elected to try this product for FY 2001/2002 and have begun to use it. This is an affordable alternative to original cataloging and we encourage other libraries to sign up at any time during the fiscal year.

The first issue (July 2001) of The iCONN Times was distributed to all reQuest participating libraries and will be posted shortly online  under the "News" heading. This issue is primarily oriented to reQuest and contains information about reQuest membership, CatExpress, new staff links, a section about contributing holdings to reQuest, electronic discussion lists, training, statistics, and the future look of reQuest. This bulletin will be issued on a quarterly basis via the iCONN home page. A copy is included in the State Library Board packet.

Information Services Division

Reference Services
The opening of the Library for extended hours including Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 7:00 p.m. will begin on July 28, pending hiring of the last two necessary staff, a Circulation Desk LTA and an Office Assistant for retrievals. Signs are being posted in the building, notices are being sent to newsletters and ListServs, and press releases will be issued just prior to the first day.

H&G Office Assistant Kevin Johnson continues to represent the Library and the Museum with his presentations as black Civil War soldier William Webb. Kevin recently gave presentations to schools in Hartford, South Windsor, Milford, Portland, Burlington, Torrington, and Bristol; to the McLean Home in Simsbury; and at Manchester Heritage Day.

H&G Unit Head Dick Roberts gave a presentation to Dennis House of Channel 3 News about the Matthew Grant Diary. It may air in the near future.

A Move Task Force has been formed to organize and prepare for the move of material to the offsite storage facility. Activities include finalizing selection and measurement of material for transfer, specifying and bidding move plans and shelving requirements, updating check-in and catalog records to reflect new locations, using preservation techniques on damaged material before moving, planning for construction of a cage on level 7 to house the Special Collections, and planning for collection reorganization after the move.

The Library has a unique index to the Connecticut Courant, 1764-1799. The index is in slip form and only accessible to onsite researchers. As part of the plan to make more Library resources available electronically, the index is being transcribed into a database. H&G volunteers have now begun assisting in this project, and are regularly working on the data entry of the index.

A correction to the online catalog, CONSULS, now allows mathematical information about maps such as scale, coordinates, and meridians to display for the public. The Library has been working to add more maps to the catalog, and this data will be of great assistance to users.

Library Automation
New electronic products include Davis Bacon Wage Determinations, Index Master, and Genealogy and Local History Online. These resources, plus LOISLAW, LegalTrac, and iCONN, have been added to the Web Reference Resources page for easy access by patrons.

For the first time, one of our licensed electronic resources has been made available to patrons not physically at the State Library. Remote access to Reference USA is now available via login with a State Library card number.

The Connecticut State Library will participate in an OCLC Digital Archiving Pilot Project beginning on July 1. Other participants include the Government Printing Office, the State Library of Ohio, the Ohio Historical Society, and the Arizona State Library. The project will identify procedures, workflows, and technical specifications for developing and maintaining digital archives, including methods of access for patrons. The Library will work with state agencies to focus on agency publications as candidates for archiving.

CORC pathfinders, or research guides, for Newspapers and Native Americans have been added to the About CT page of our Website. The use of all pathfinders has increased greatly over the past month.

The Library has complete legislative histories begin with acts passed in 1953, and transcripts for some earlier public hearings. A database listing the elements and pages of individual legislative histories is being created beginning with the 1999 legislative session. This database is available on the website.

Library For the Blind and Physically Handicapped
For his Eagle Scout Project, a Boy Scout designed, acquired the plantings and other fixtures required, and has installed a sensory garden at the LBPH. The garden is specifically designed to provide a garden experience for the visually impaired, blind, and handicapped patrons of the LBPH.

LBPH Librarian Gordon Reddick represented LBPH at the Northern Conference of Librarians Serving the Blind & Physically Handicapped, hosted by the West Virginia Regional Library in Charleston from May 2-May 4.

Evelyn Clark and Barbara Malcolm from Breakthrough to the Aging toured LBPH on June 19. This group can assist in the effort to reach more seniors who may now be eligible for LBPH services.

Compact Shelving is being installed at LBPH to alleviate the space shortage. Two installments of a multi-phase project have been funded and are being installed this year. The first phase, which will hold Braille books, has been completed, and the second phase is underway.

Meetings Attended
Bibliographic Information Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky attended the CORC Users Group meeting at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio on April 30 and May 1.

Connecticut Documents Librarian Al Palko and Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso attended the Government Publications Librarians of New England Conference on May 4, in Rhode Island. Al Palko also attended a CT Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) meeting at the Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury on May 18.

H&G Librarian Mel Smith attended 4 days of JAWS training at UConn. JAWS is adaptive technology software that translates electronic text into speech.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarians Hilary Frye and Louise Tucker attended the Hartford Area Law Librarians meeting on May 16.

Collection Management Unit Head Diane Pizzo and Serials Librarian Carol Trinchitella attended the Innovative Users Group Annual Conference in Santa Clara, CA, from May 19 -May 22. Carol Trinchitella also attended the North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG) Annual Conference in San Antonio, TX, from May 22-May 26.

Information Services Director Lynne Newell, Bibliographic Information Unit Head Stephen Slovasky, Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz, and Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane attended the ALA Conference in San Francisco between June 14 and June 20. Digital 'everything' was a main focus, including digitization of library collections, licensing and providing digital products, digital rights management, and digital information access via metadata, catalogs, web-bots, etc.

Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Hilary Frye attended the Computer Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) National Seminar in Boston on June 21. Topics included using search engines in legal research online.

Public Records Administration

Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella and State Archivist Mark Jones attended the opening of the Center for Public Policy and Practical Policies at Central Connecticut State University on May 31.

The Office of the Public Record Records Administrator hosted a workshop on June 6, 2001, entitled "Preservation 101, Principals and Practices for the Connecticut Town Clerks." The presenter was Karen E.K. Brown, and was funded by the Historic Documents Preservation account. Approximately 90 people attended the program, including 80 Connecticut town clerks, and 10 State Library staff.

State Archives
The State Library was awarded a $68,000 grant from the National Historic Publications Commission (NHPRC) to preserve and process historical court records. State Archivist Mark Jones and Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark prepared the application. The State Library is one of 8 applicants to receive a grant award in this very competitive grant cycle.

Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark conducted two staff archives tours (May 8th and June 4th). Mr. Stark served on the Move Task Force and the Intranet Committee.

Archivist Nancy Shader spoke at the Nathan Hale-Ray High School, Moodus on May 18. Ms. Shader installed an exhibit in the Museum at the beginning of July entitled "Return of When Laughter Turned to Tears: The Hartford Circus Fire Tragedy." This is the same exhibit that was on display last summer.

O'Neill Project
O'Neill project Archivist Barbara Austen and project assistant Ed Gutierrez developed and installed a temporary panel exhibit about the O'Neill Project for the May 16 Legislative reception at the State Capitol hosted by the Connecticut State Universities. They also developed and installed two temporary panel exhibits for the opening of the Center for Public Policy and Practical Politics at Central Connecticut State University, May 31, 2001. Ms. Austen and Mr. Gutierrez gave presentations about the O'Neill project at this event.

Barbara Austen attended the Police Memorial ceremony at the Police Academy in Meriden, an event faithfully attended by Governor O'Neill over the years. She also attended a board meeting of the Association for the Study of Connecticut History.

State Records Center
LeAnn Johnson received the Chapter Member of the Year Award for the Hartford/Springfield Chapter of ARMA International. This award is made in recognition of outstanding service to a member's local ARMA Chapter. In addition to the recognition that goes with it, Ms. Johnson will also receive a cash award of $1000.00 that is to be applied to her attendance at the Annual conference of ARMA International to be held this October in Montreal, Canada.