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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Middletown Library Service Center

January 15, 2003


Members present: Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, CSL; Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; State Archivist Mark Jones; CSL, Grants Manager Sheila K. Mosman, CSL; Grants Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Ed Friedeberg, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Karen Lee Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Patricia H. Strauss, Westport Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk.

Members absent: Richard Kingston, CSL; Lisa A Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk; Joyce P. Mascena, Vernon Town Clerk; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk/Representative Town Clerks' Association; Barbara Allen, Goshen Town Clerk; Joan Gerdsen, Mansfield Town Clerk; Cynthia Ladwig, Stonington Town Clerk; Therese Pac, Bristol Town and City Clerk.

Others present: Betsy M. Barrett, Lisbon Town Clerk; LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant.

I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:05 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed the board members to the meeting. He spoke on the budget impact on the grant program. The Court Records Project staff and the Government Records Archivist received layoff notices because they were either provisional staff or still in a working test period. The Assistant State Archivist, who was project director for the Court Records Project, also had his position eliminated. This will jeopardize the federal grant from the National Historical Publications Commission. The State Librarian is unsure how long this situation will last. It is his intent that once things settle down, he will work to restore the positions since the funding has no impact on the state's general fund.

III. There were no introductions.

IV. In the minutes of November 20, 2002, there were some minor wording changes for clarification. The minutes were approved as corrected.

V. Fiscal Report

A. LeAnn Johnson presented the fiscal report for State Library Fiscal Officer Richard Kingston. Monthly filings continue to run ahead of last year. The town clerks believe the filing rush has peaked. The handout provided does not include the $100,000 set aside by the committee at the last meeting for disaster recovery grants. The current account balance is $2.7 million.

LeAnn Johnson also stated that the program had awarded $1.4 million during the first two years. This coming year, if every town applies for the full amount available to them, the program will award $1.4 million.

B. The staff presented a proposal to the committee to set aside $150,000 for future competitive grants. Ed Friedeberg made the motion and Karen Marsden seconded to create a line item in the budget to this effect. The motion passed.

VI. Old Business

A. The date for the upcoming workshop on implementing a successful records management program has been changed to June 11th because the Holiday Inn was not available for the 10th. LeAnn Johnson had a copy of Dr. Mark Langemo's most recent book available for the town clerks to examine.

B. State Library Projects

1. The preservation program poster has been distributed to town clerk offices and public libraries.

2. The State Archivist presented the 4th edition of the Guide to the State Archives. The last edition was issued 21 years ago. The guide has been well received by the archival community. The State Archivist thanked the committee for providing the funding to publish the guide. He wanted to recognize Bruce Stark, Nancy Shader and Lizette Pelletier for their work on the guide, which he believes, will lead to greater use and awareness of the State Archives and the importance of its collections.

3. The Public Records Administrator informed the committee that the staff is working with Cummings and Good to produce a brochure and bookmark for the preservation program. She will distribute these when they are available.

4. The court records projects and processing of the local government records in the State Library collections is currently on hold due to the recent staff layoffs. The federal grant money will not need to be returned immediately but if the State Library cannot find a way to complete the project, the money will need to be returned.

C. Grants.

1. FY 2003 Grants: Checks to 55 towns for $327,570 have been distributed.

2. FY 2004 Grants

a. The Guidelines have been printed. They will be mailed to the towns next week.

b. Lizette Pelletier and LeAnn Johnson have revised the vendors list to include consultants for records management surveys. The list includes a variety of companies and individuals. It is up to the towns to negotiate a contract with the vendor. The Public Records Administrator informed the committee that NEDCC has hired another staff person to handle preservation surveys to avoid the problems encountered last year.

D. The Public Records Administrator will look into acquiring the Vermont Historical Records Advisory Committee book and document care poster for distribution.

E. There was no other old business.

VIII. New Business

A. The State Librarian announced that Ed Friedeberg is retiring. He thanked Ed for his efforts on behalf of the grant program and his service on the board. The committee discussed possible candidates to replace Ed on the board. The staff will contact these individuals.

B. Jane Cullinane provided the Public Records Administrator with information on two products, the REACTPACKTM and the RescubeTM, which contains basic materials for use in the event of a small disaster. The staff will investigate the possibility of purchasing one kit for each town. If the towns desire additional kits they could purchase them from their funds.

C. The State Librarian informed the committee that towns may be able to purchase archival supplies from the State vendors at the lower bulk price. The staff will provide the towns with this information.

D. Jane also raised the possibility of having NEDCC present a workshop that provides a hands-on experience on dealing with wet materials. The staff will investigate this with NEDCC.

IX. The next meeting is March 19, 2003 at 12:30 p.m. at the Middletown Library Service Center.

X. The meeting adjourned at 1:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder

January 15, 2003