Connecticut State Library with state seal

State Librarian's Report

September 27, 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 September 27, 2004 meeting of the Board, covers the period of July 26, 2004, through September 26, 2004.

Financial Report
Attached to this report.

Personnel Report
Vacancies (State Funded)
Vacancies (Federal Funds)
Positions Filled Since Last Report


Office Of The State Librarian
Note: Beginning with this report you will find a more streamlined effort to keep you informed of any major/significant:

What won't be included are listings of all professional activities, personnel changes and staff outreach activities.

Longevity Awards Ceremony
After a 2 year lapse the State Library held an awards ceremony to honor employees who had reached their 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 year anniversaries of state service. The event was held in Memorial Hall on August 16, 2004. Honorees were joined by colleagues from throughout the State Library. A list of honorees is amended to this report.

Information Services Division
Network Consultant David Whittall from the Library of Congress' National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) visited the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped from July 7-9. He met with LBPH staff and with Mr. Wiggin, and spoke to the Advisory Committee. Mr. Whittall will issue a status report on LBPH's achievement of national goals.

Author Kevin Murphy donated a copy of his new book, Water for Hartford, a history of the Metropolitan District Commission, to the Library. Mr. Murphy, a frequent researcher, acknowledges the staff assistance and rich resources of the History and Genealogy unit in his book.

A new electronic reference subscription, CT Grantmakers Online, is now available to patrons in the Library.

With the hiring of a replacement staff member, daily retrievals of offsite material began again on September 1. Due to the vacancy, only weekly retrievals had been done.

1965 State Constitution
Law/Legislative Reference Unit Head Denise Jernigan is working with State Librarian Ken Wiggin, State Archivist Mark Jones, and Museum Curator Dave Corrigan to plan a commemoration in honor of the 40th Anniversary of the 1965 State Constitution. Other constituent institutions may be asked to join them in the planning of this event. Objectives include digitizing of the Constitution Convention proceedings, a new case for the documents, and perhaps a permanent exhibit in the Museum.

Committee of Inquiry (Impeachment)
Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz, Denise Jernigan, and Mark Jones met with the attorneys for the House Democrats and the House Republicans to review and discuss 330 boxes of records subpoenaed by the Committee of Inquiry from state agencies and 50-75 boxes of records from the Dept. of Transportation. These records will be transferred to the Library along with sets of the redacted and non-redacted records on CD-ROM, videos of the public hearings, and transcripts and videos of depositions. The records are being indexed by agency of origin and by Bates numbers. The group also discussed receiving the administrative files, including agendas, minutes, subpoenas, and contracts, and discussed the public records status of some emails and the Committee's responsibility to provide printouts of those items.

1934 Aerial Survey Photographs
An RFP has been issued for bids to create new negatives, copy prints, and digital copies of the 1934 Aerial Survey photographs. The Library's set of prints are the only existing set, as the negatives and other prints were destroyed by the original company many years ago. Mosaic copies assembling groups of the photos are now online through the UConn MAGIC Website and are available for in-house researchers through the normal retrieval process while the original prints are being duplicated. A Research Guide to Aerial Photographs at the Connecticut State Library describing all major CSL aerial collections and describing how to access the 1934 mosaics online has been added to the Library's website.

Connecticut Documents
Government Information Unit Head Julie Schwartz met with University Archivist Betsy Pittman at the Dodd Center at UConn to discuss their respective responsibilities for the collection and preservation of Connecticut state agency publications (ConnDocs).
To preserve and maintain a comprehensive collection of ConnDocs at CSL for both current and future users, a project to transfer the best copy ConnDocs from the open stacks to the secured Cage is underway. Approximately 4,000 items have been moved to the Cage with about 8,000 more to be moved.

A conservator from the New England Document Conservation Center (NEDCC) has evaluated parts of the map collection in order to provide recommendations and price estimates for conservation treatment. Many of the maps reviewed have been heavily varnished and then rolled, resulting in their being unusable. The conservation treatment will restore them to usable condition and provide continued preservation.

Interlibrary Loan/ Cataloging
In the past, one OCLC code was used for both the Library and the Service Centers. To ascertain the actual location of a title, library staff had to use the catalogs of the centers and the library. The combined code resulted in, among other confusions, a misdirection of interlibrary loan requests and subsequent investment of ILL staff time to determine the appropriate location. To resolve this, Bibliographic Information Unit Head Stephen Slovasky undertook a project to delete holdings from the OCLC WorldCat for items that belong to the Library Service Centers. Of some 40,000 titles that were incorrectly coded as State Library holdings, only about 150 titles are left to be deleted.

Approximately 132 items that have been on hold since last fiscal year due to lack of funding in the OE budget are now being prepared to be sent for binding. Funding for binding comes from both the regular division Other Expenses allocation and the Historic Document Fund.

The CSL Research Resources webpage continues to be reviewed and revised to make information more accessible to patrons. New Research Guides on Aerial Surveys, Elections, Grants and Giving, History of Industry and Commerce, and Superior Court Dockets have been added. The Native American Research Guide and the Census Guide have been updated, and the database of legislative histories has been updated to include the 2002 and 2003 legislative sessions.

Connecticut Digital Archive
On the recommendation of CSL, OCLC has revised wording of the Digital Archive Copyright Statement to omit the word `legal'. The statement now reads "Material available through this link may be copyrighted or have other restrictions on use. Please contact your librarian if you have questions on the legal uses of this material" The changed statement is associated with documents in the CT Digital Archive.

LBPH Digital Collection Initiative
LBPH Director Carol Taylor met with Peggy Reventlow and Charlotte Organschi of the CT Volunteer Services for the Blind and Handicapped (CVSBH) to discuss the National Library Service (NLS) initiative to change from tape to digital talking books. The CVSBH records books not available through the NLS, particularly those with a Connecticut focus, and currently uses tape technology.

Collection space is again an issue for the Division. The Division's space at the Van Block facility is now completely filled, and the stacks at 231 are again becoming overfilled, particularly in the Law collection. Use of compact shelving at Van Block to double or more the current capacity is being investigated as a three to five year solution. A long term solution, either major renovation or a new building, will be required in the next five to ten years.

Division Of Library Development
Kendall Wiggin, State Librarian, and Mary Louise Jensen, Building Consultant, attended the groundbreaking ceremony on August 11th at the Bristol Public Library. Bristol Public Library has a $500,000 State Public Library Construction Grant. Mary Louise Jensen and Sharon Brettschneider attended the opening of the new Plainville Public Library on September 19th. Plainville also received a $500,000 grant.

Workshops and Continuing Education Sponsored by the State Library

Summer Reading
The State Library has joined the Collaborative Summer Library Program The Collaborative is a group of approximately 30 state and regional libraries working together to produce a summer program. Products include a manual for a children's program and a young adult program (available in print and on CD), as well as reading records, bookmarks, posters, certificates, and a host of other incentives and awards. The theme for summer 2005 is Dragons, Dreams and Daring Deeds. The artist is Steven Kellogg. For the first year of this program, the State Library will do an advance order of 125 program manuals, and distribute them free on a first come first serve basis. These manuals and the order forms for the rest of the program materials will be available at the end of September. Libraries will also be able to order their own summer reading materials online at the Collaborative's website.

Connecticard Task Force
The Task Force has contracted with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) to conduct the cost study of nonresident loans. Mary Jackson of ARL is the Principal Investigator. Ms Jackson met with the Task Force on August 10th to review the methodology for the study. The State Library then sought libraries to participate in a one week cost study. They were asked to collect data on staff, supplies, and other costs associated with circulation. A meeting was held on September 14th at the Wallingford Library to review the data collection forms and methodology. Data will be due back to Mary Jackson by October 15th. A final report will be released to the library community in late November and a public presentation on the draft report will be held on December 3rd at the Legislative Office Building.

The July 2004 issue of iCONN Times has been posted at [Link no longer live - removed 08/18/06 by webmaster - new link for iCONN Times =

Three Public Service Announcements (PSAs) promoting public libraries and iCONN were distributed to over 90 radio stations in Connecticut with a cover letter from Kendall Wiggin. The PSAs were generously prepared and distributed at no charge by AccuWeather, the supplier of Associated Press Photos in iCONN, using scripts provided by the State Library. The PSAs have also been posted to the iCONN website in both mp3 (audio) and html forms at - under "Public Service Announcements" - and announced to the library community.

iCONN now includes full text of the New York Times from 1/1/1995 - four full years of additional coverage.

During its third full year of operation, Connecticut residents and students searched iCONN 8.6 million times, a 33 percent increase over the previous fiscal year. Since July 1991, Connecticut residents and students have searched iCONN over 19 million times.

reQuest was searched 1.5 million times and residents successfully used this service to borrow 76,326 books and other items from libraries around the State in FY2004, a 27 percent increase over the previous year.

Public Records Administration
Public Records Grant Program Specialist LeAnn Johnson presented a PowerPoint slideshow at the Connecticut Town Clerk's Association luncheon on Thursday, September 16th at the Stamford Marriott. The slideshow consisted of photos from the Town Clerk's Association's Spring Conference, vault inspections (Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Avon, Barkhamsted, and West Hartford), and photos that represented improvements to Town Clerk's offices across the State as a result of the Historic Document Preservation program.

Assistant State Archivist Bruce Stark attended the annual meeting of Society of American Archivists (SAA) in Boston, MA, August 3-8, in his capacity as member of the SAA 2004 Program Committee and member of SAA Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct.

Archivist Debra Pond attended a two-day workshop entitled "Access for Non-Programmers", September 14 and September 21 in Middletown, CT.