Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

September 23, 2002

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 September 23, 2002 meeting of the Board, covers the period of July 30, 2002, through September 22, 2002.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report
All vacancies cancelled per OPM letter dated 6/18/02.

Positions Filled Since Last Report

State Librarian's Report

The final blow to the State Library budget came at the end of the Special Session with the passage of the bond authorizations. The $2.5 million in FY03 for Public Library Construction was rescinded. The only money available for new construction projects will come from monies returned from projects that were approved earlier. While the loss of money for this program is a concern, the fact remains that projects previously approved by the Board have not been placed on the Bond Commission agenda. I am hopeful that we make some headway in getting those projects moving.

Unless some action is forthcoming, the 34% reduction in the State Library's book budget will result in the cancellation of 579 titles. Board member Bob Harris was able to arrange a meeting with Pam Law, Deputy Secretary, Office of Policy and Management, and staff from the Budget and Financial Management Division to discuss ways in which we might be able to make up for some of the book budget reductions. We have responded to follow-up information requests and are awaiting word from them.

I have been working with the Connecticut Library Association's Legislative Committee to develop their legislative agenda for next year. Public libraries are very concerned about the reductions in state aid and many libraries have raised particular concern over the reductions in Connecticard reimbursements. These issues need to be discussed widely in the library community. Simply requesting more money for either or both programs may not be the most effective measure, particularly at a time of greatly reduced state revenues. The question I keep coming back to is "how can we best affect positive change in library service through state funding?"

Cooperative Library Service Units
Because of the importance that I place on the need to revamp the current system of Cooperative Library Service Units, I have been actively participating in the planning process for the reorganization/reconstitution of the CLSUs. (See the Division of Library Development report below for more details.) In particular I have worked with the subcommittee on governance to develop the basic structure of a new organization. The State Library's role in this process is advisory and any changes will have to be agreed upon by the CLSU boards. Although the matter will not come before the State Library Board for action, it is a matter that the Board needs to stay abreast of.

Commission on Education Technology (CET)
You will see below that I have been attending a number of meetings of the CET. This is a particularly critical time for the Commission as it moves forward to connect schools, libraries and higher education institutions to a high speed, high bandwidth network. Much has been accomplished in the role out of the physical network this summer. Funding for this year was approved in the bond package, but additional capital funds will be needed next year as well as ongoing operating expenses. This will be a real challenge. Included in the cost of the network is the funding we will need to keep iCONN going. Support for the network will have to come from libraries, k-12 and higher education. I find that Barbara Gibson, the CLA representative, and I have to continually remind the Commission about libraries and the role they play in the education network. The success of iCONN has certainly raised our visibility, but we have much more to do.

Meetings Attended
Advisory Council of Library Planning and Development (ACLPD), Connecticut Coordinating Committee for the Promotion of History (CCCPH), Connecticut Digital Library Advisory Board (CDLAB), Connecticut Library Association Executive Board (CLA), CLA Legislative Committee, CET, Commission on Educational Technology (CET), CET Finance, CET Strategic Planning, CLSU Planning, CONSULS, Nelinet Board of Directors, SCSU Library School Curriculum Committee.

I also attended and gave remarks at the Grant Reception for Historic Documents Preservation Grants and the reception for Connecticut's recipients of the American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarships.

Information Services Division

Reference Services
The Virtual Reference pilot project, LibraryLawLine, officially began on Sept. 3rd. The service is available Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Staff from twenty New England law libraries provide the online service, including the CSL Law/Legislative Reference unit staff for 2 hours each on Wednesday and Friday. The project is accessed via the LibraryLawLine logo on the 'New & Noteworthy' and 'Law & Legislation' webpages on the CSL website.

After a test period last spring, the State of Connecticut website is now referring all non-technical questions to the State Library's email reference service. The Department of Information Technology (DOIT) is handling the technical questions. As the repository for state agency publications and with our expertise in government, legal, and historical information, most Reference questions referred to ISRef mailbox are quickly answered by library staff; if necessary, the question is referred on to the appropriate agency.

After several months' hiatus, taped closing messages to alert patrons that the Library is closing are being played at the end of each day. This is extremely helpful in giving patrons advance notice to begin preparing to leave, and facilitates the closing routines.

Government Information Reference Librarians Nancy Lieffort and Nancy Peluso gave a Census presentation to the EQUAL (Educational Quality through Understanding and Learning) group on July 23, 2002. Twenty-seven students and 3 teachers attended. This is the 4th year we have hosted this group.

History & Genealogy Office Assistant Kevin Johnson gave William Webb presentations at the New London Family Center on August 16, and at the Martin Kellogg School in Newington on September 5. Mr. Johnson gave a Jordan Freeman presentation in Winchester on August 24.

Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Unit Head Carol Taylor made presentations on LBPH services to Vision Support Groups in Hamden on September 4, and at Ashlar Village Masonic Center in Wallingford on September 6.

Law/Legislative Unit Head Denise Jernigan gave the annual orientation on Connecticut legal resources and the Library's services to the new Supreme and Appellate Court Law Clerks on September 3.

Law/Legislative Reference Library Janis Lefkowitz gave a tour to Danielle O'Connell, a new 'Fellow' at the Office of Legislative Research.

Press Mentions
An article about the LBPH Sensory Garden was published in the August 13th Hartford Courant. Reporter Joanne Mechlinski, an intern in the features section of the Hartford Courant, interviewed some of the LBPH staff and volunteers for the article.

Federal Document Depository
Federal Documents Librarian Nancy Peluso made an on-site visit to the federal depository at Silas Bronson Library in Waterbury on July 26, 2002.

Nancy Peluso and General Worker Eric Paiva are working on the final adjustment and integration of Federal Documents on level 5 into the space freed up in the last move. So far, 566 linear feet of Federal Documents have been shifted.

Law/Legislative Office Assistant Jose Martinez has begun integrating other states Statutes and Case Laws on level 4 to place these materials in proper classification order for the first time ever. This will assist patrons and staff to more readily locate needed items.

The recent budget cuts reduced the Library's book budget to $500,000. To maintain the serial titles alone in FY03 would cost $789,000; therefore, over 579 serial titles have been cancelled. The cancellations include:

The complete list of cancelled titles will be made available to all staff on the Intranet.

The newspaper microfilm collection and the newspaper clipping files in the Newspaper Room were reopened to patrons on July 30th after installation and labeling of compact storage microfilm cabinets. The collection now has storage room for at least ten years of growth. The next step in the consolidation of the newspaper collection into the Newspaper Room will be to move the current newspapers into the room. Comfortable seating and work tables for patrons, a catalog computer, and a staff desk will be installed in the room.

In the History & Genealogy reading room, the vital records, land records, and probate records, formerly divided into pre 1850 and post 1850 groups, have been integrated into one sequence to facilitate patron and staff use of these items.

The Library has access to over 15,000 full-text electronic journals (e-journals) via subscriptions. An index to the titles and the services which provide them is now available on the CSL website from the Web References Resources page. E-Journal articles can be located by keyword, author, date, subject, or other parameters.

Information Services Division Director Lynne Newell, History & Genealogy Unit Head Richard Roberts, and Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane attended a meeting with staff of the Dept. of Environmental Protection, the Dept. of Transportation, and the University of Connecticut Map Library concerning preservation and access of Aerial Photos. All of the agencies have an interest in preserving the photos for future uses and in providing electronic access with proper geo-referencing to allow for overlaying of multiple types of geographical information such as U.S. Geological Survey maps, highway maps, wetland maps, etc. A Kodak representative presented some of the latest options in the field, and will respond to specific questions raised by the group.

Library Automation
As part of the Digital Archive Pilot Project, 15 items, including the Governor's Press Releases, have been harvested and ingested and incorporated into the archives. Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz and Bibliographic Services Unit Head Stephen Slovasky continue to work with the U.S. Government Printing Office, the Ohio Supercomputing Center, the Arizona State Library, the Ohio State Library, and OCLC on this project.

Library For the Blind and Physically Handicapped (LBPH)
Library Technical Assistant Mary Minow and Librarian Gordon Reddick gave a tour of LBPH facilities, including the Sensory Garden, to 8 students and 3 adults from a BESB (Board of Education and Services for the Blind) summer program.

David Whittall, Network Consultant with NLS (National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped), Washington, D.C., visited LBPH for the official review of the program and to meet with staff. He also met with Information Services Director Lynne Newell and Ken Wiggin. He will report on the library's status in meeting the recommended national service guidelines.

The Mystic Seaport Pass program, sponsored by the National Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the Seaport, resumed after a hiatus in July and August. The program continues to attract many LBPH patrons.

Staff from ING and Travelers participated in the annual "Day of Caring" volunteer effort on September 5th. The volunteers prepared and mailed catalog packets for new patrons, inspected tapes, and assisted in other library tasks. They also spread mulch and planted bulbs to prepare the Sensory Garden for next season.

Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz attended a meeting of the Child DataCONNections Steering Committee at the Department of Social Services on July 18, 2002.

LBPH Director Carol Taylor attended:

Law/Legislative Librarian Hilary Frye attended a special SNELLA (Southern New England Law Librarians Association) meeting for new members, and Law/Legislative Reference Librarian Louise Tucker attended the SNELLA Executive Board meeting.

Information Services Division Director Lynne Newell, Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz, Webmaster Chris Hickey, and Connecticut Documents Librarian Al Palko attended the final CMAC (ConneCT Management Advisory Committee) meeting on August 1. Al Palko updated the group on the progress for the Taxonomy Subcommittee, which he chairs. The committee's activities will be continued by a new DOIT advisory group, CPAG (Connecticut Portal Advisory Group).

LBPH staff toured the Van Block facility and the U.S. Post Office on Weston Street in Hartford as part of their ongoing training.

Government Information Reference Librarian Camille Moore's last day at CSL was August 22. Ms. Moore accepted a position at Eastern Connecticut State University Library.

Due to the Governor's directive to eliminate all vacant positions, the Division will be unable to fill necessary positions.

Division Of Library Development

Gates Foundation
Connecticut has begun implementation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation State Partnership Grant program. The Connecticut State Library is partnering with the Foundation in a program to provide public access computers to public libraries in Connecticut. Libraries with 10% or more of their service population in poverty are eligible to apply for funds for the purchase of computers, printers, switches, and wiring. Some libraries may also be eligible for funds for networking equipment and charges. In addition, each library system with at least one library building qualifying for a grant may apply for funds for a content server. Libraries also will receive technical support, training, publications covering computer administration, application and Internet information as well as office, reference and children's titles. The Connecticut State Library will also receive one of the Gates computers in order to provide technical assistance to libraries. This computer will be placed at the Middletown Library Service Center.

Libraries serving communities with less than 10% of their population living in poverty qualify for a Purchase Option Grant, which allows libraries to use their own funds to purchase the same Gates Library Computers and content servers that are available to Eligible Library Building Grant recipients. These libraries would receive the same training, technical support, publications and software as eligible libraries.

In addition Connecticut will be able to place 11-station training labs in five eligible public libraries. At their last meeting the Advisory Council on Library Planning and Development voted to offer these labs to Bridgeport, Hartford, New Britain, New Haven and Waterbury. The Connecticut State Library must also submit a grant application in support of the training lab grants.

Workshops and Visits
Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant and Board member of the Americans with Disabilities Act Coalition of Connecticut, attended "They Can't Take That Away From Me", a day of celebration and mobilization for civil rights sponsored by the American with Disabilities Act Coalition of Connecticut on July 27, 2002.

Libratect Seminar, a workshop sponsored by the Connecticut State Library attended by architects, librarians, and library board members, was held at the Stafford Library on September 5, with an attendance of twenty-eight, to discuss the new library.

Sharon Brettschneider participated in a retreat for the Norfolk Library on September 14. Ms. Brettschneider spoke on current issues facing libraries and board development. She also co-facilitated a discussion of a shared vision for the library.

The Association of Connecticut Library Boards, the Connecticut State Library, and the Connecticut Library Association are sponsoring the third annual Connecticut Library Leadership Conference "Intellectual Freedom In a Time of War" on October 10, at the Water's Edge Inn and Resort in Westbrook. Nancy Kranich, former President of the American Library Association; Margo Crist, Director of the Library at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Nat Hentoff, Author, are among the speakers. Kendall Wiggin will lead a panel discussion on library policies.

In August and September, Barry Woods coordinated the following technology training sessions for Connecticut librarians at the Middletown Library Service Center: PC Survival I and II, two sessions of MS Access, Getting Started with Windows and Word, Introduction to Dreamweaver, two sessions of Creating Webpages in HTML, Free Features to Enhance your Website, two sessions of Introduction to Graphics on the Web, Introduction to MS Frontpage and MS Frontpage: Part II.

Joanne Turschman, State Data Coordinator, conducted three training sessions for libraries on the new web collection method for submission of the Connecticut Public Library Annual Report and Application for State Grant. Public libraries must complete the survey by November 15.

Mary Engels and Linda Williams presented a workshop on weeding collections for children's librarians at the Preston Public Library on August 20i

CLSU Planning
The Cooperating Library Service Unit Planning Committee has been meeting over the summer to complete the planning process begun with the Himmel and Wilson study "How Can We Do It Right." This year's drastic budget reduction spurred the committee to move more quickly. The committee will be presenting their proposal for reorganization to the four CLSU Boards in the coming month. The proposal calls for a merging of all regions into a new Connecticut Library Consortium (CLC). The new Consortium will have an Executive Director and support staff based in a centrally located office with regional services provided out of offices in the eastern and western parts of the state. Planning is underway to collocate the eastern office with the Willimantic Library Service Center. The plan for the western area is to look for space that will include offices, a training lab and meeting rooms. The new CLC will not necessarily reduce costs, but will allow the use of existing funding to meet new needs. It is hoped that time spent on administrative tasks will be freed for direct library contact and special projects.

iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library
During the fiscal year July 1, 2001 - June 30, 2002, 4.7 million searches were conducted on iCONN. 40% of the searches were from academic libraries, 31% from school libraries and 29% from public libraries. The detailed stats can be viewed online.

Statistics for reQuest, the statewide catalog.

Description FY 2002 FY 2001 % Change

Logins to reQuest/WebPAC

290,527* 131,972 120%

Searches on reQuest/WebPAC

921,061* 948,867 - 3%

Interlibrary Loan Requests Filled

48,613 41,136 18%

Libraries offering reQuest/ILL

184 171 8%

Records in reQuest/Main

3,654,054 3,595,671 2%

Holdings in reQuest/Main

17,793,520 16,959,272 5%

Records in reQuest/Serials

70,214 67,116 5%

Holdings in reQuest/Serials

194,919 195,568 - 0.3%

Libraries with holdings in reQuest/Main Catalog

363 335 8%

Libraries with holdings in reQuest/Serials Catalog

465 438 6%

Training sessions for reQuest

(3 PAC, 3 ILL, 2 WebCAT, 2 CAT, 4 Migration)
(7 PAC, 7 ILL, 6 WebCAT, 6 CAT)
- 46%

The July 2002 issue of iCONN Times is now available online.

Gail Hurley compiled information on the currency of holdings in the reQuest main catalog. The report indicates that 44% of the holdings are updated daily, 21% are updated monthly, 26% are updated annually, and 9% are updated in other time intervals. Accordingly, 65% of the holdings in reQuest are updated at least monthly, which is up from 48% in September 2001.

reQuest Telecommunications Service
The reQuest Telecommunications Service, which currently serves 18 public libraries, was transferred from the Connecticut State University Systems Office to the Department of Information Technology on July 25. Telecommunication costs have been transferred from the State Library to the Connecticut Education Network. CSU will continue to host and maintain all Web servers associated with iCONN and reQuest, as well as the post office and e-mail service for these 18 libraries.

reQuest - Next Generation Service and Library Portal
The Request for Comments for the next generation of reQuest was substantially expanded to include requirements for a comprehensive library portal, a standards-compliant interlibrary loan system and complying with accessibility standards. They can be viewed online. (320kb) A formal Request For Proposal will be issued in January 2003 in order to have the new system in place by July 2004. (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.)

Link From GreatKidsCT to iCONN's Health & Wellness Database
With assistance from Gale, a link was created between the State Library's GreatKidsCT, web page and the Gale Health & Wellness health information database. The purpose of the link is to retrieve relevant information from Health & Wellness whenever performing keyword searches in GreatKidsCT. This may be seen by going to entering "nightmares" as a search term and selecting the last article retrieved.

Remote Access to Public/School iCONN Databases
The primary method used to access iCONN databases remotely has been revised to permit patrons to enter their barcodes only once while switching from database to database. The redesigned page and authentication method will make remote use more convenient and understandable. The new page may be viewed by going to and clicking on "Access From Home." Enter your public library card number.

The Request for Proposal for the Connecticar delivery service has been completed. BeavEx of North Haven has been awarded the contract. The State Library is now working on complying with employee contract issues before the outsourcing process can be completed.

Public Records Administration
On July 22, Don Ballinger, Eunice DiBella, and LeAnn Johnson made a site inspection of Sequedex Global Information Management Corporation. The inspection of this records storage facility was at the request of Sequedex in an effort to obtain state approval for the storage of state or town/municipal records

On July 24, a meeting of the Historic Preservation Grant Advisory Committee was held in Middletown Connecticut. Public Records and Archives staff attending the meeting were Eunice DiBella, LeAnn Johnson, Mark Jones, Barbara Austen, and Archival Consultant Lizette Pelletier.

On July 31, the Office of the Public Records Administrator awarded the 2003 Cycle 1 grant awards to 109 municipalities amounting to a total of $699,225. State Librarian Kendall Wiggin and Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella presented these awards to the town clerks or other town representatives at a morning reception held at the State Library's Van Block Facility. Checks were mailed out to those municipalities unable to send representatives. After the check presentations, State Archivist Mark Jones conducted a tour of the archival facility.

On August 12, Don Ballinger and Eunice DiBella met with Mary J. Healey, Consumer Counsel, Eugene M. Koss, Assistant to the Consumer Counsel, and Elizabeth Lepore, Executive Secretary of the Office of Consumer Counsel. The focus of the meeting was the establishment of a records program for that Office.

On August 20, Eunice DiBella, LeAnn Johnson and Mollie Keller met in Rocky Hill at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped to review and update the municipal retention schedules.

On August 27, Don Ballinger conducted a tour of the State Records Center for Andrew J Wagner and Kurt Hildebrandt of the Department of Mental Retardation.

On September 4, LeAnn Johnson and Eunice DiBella attended a Tolland County Town Clerk's meeting to discuss recent legislation affecting town clerks and issues regarding the Historic Preservation Grant Program.

Eunice DiBella attended two meetings of the Electronic Recording of Land Records Study Committee at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. These meetings took place on August 14 and September 5.

On September 12, Eunice DiBella attended an information policy meeting at the Freedom of Information Commission.

State Archives
On August 30, Mark Jones gave a tour of the State Library's Van Block facility for staff and volunteers of the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

On September 10, Mark Jones gave a tour of the Van Block facility to Andrew Walsh and Susan Pennybacker, two professors from Trinity College. On September 11, Mr. Jones gave a tour to students of Trinity College's Hartford History course and gave them advice about resources at the State Library that would pertain to their project topics.

On August 26, Mark Jones and Barbara Austen met with Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane to discuss potential archival microfilming projects that could be funded by the Historic Document Preservation Account.

On September 10, Barbara Austen attended a joint planning meeting of the New England Archivists and Mid Atlantic Regional Archives Conference in Hyde Park New York. The conference will be held in Poukeepsie N.Y., October 24 - 26, 2002. ms. Austen is the program Co-Chair for the conference.

On September 12, 2002, Barbara Austen and Court Records Project Archivist Debra Pond attended an Internship Fair at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science to meet with potential archival interns.