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Historic Documents Preservation Account Advisory Committee

Van Block Facility
October 19, 2005


Members Present: State Librarian Kendall Wiggin, Public Records Administrator Eunice DiBella, CSL; Director, Grants Manager Sheila Mosman, CSL; Building Consultant Mary Louise Jensen, CSL; Preservation Librarian Jane Cullinane, CSL; State Archivist Mark H. Jones; Joyce P. Mascena, Glastonbury Town Clerk; Theresa Pac, Bristol Town Clerk; Carla Pomprowicz, Hebron Town Clerk; Catherine S. Nurmi, Sterling Town Clerk; Patti Strauss, Westport Town Clerk

Members Absent: Administrative Services Richard Kingston, CSL; Sandra Hutton, Middletown Town Clerk; Karen L. Marsden, Clinton Town Clerk; Lisa Valenti, North Branford Town Clerk

Others Present: LeAnn Johnson, CSL; Bruce Stark, CSL, Lizette Pelletier, Archival Consultant; Kathryn Makover, CSL; Paul Baran, CSL


I. The State Librarian called the meeting to order at 1:03 p.m.

II. The State Librarian welcomed everyone to the meeting. He stated he would have to leave the meeting at 2:00 due to another commitment. There were no introductions.

III. The minutes of the April 20th meeting were approved as written.

IV. Fiscal Report: Richard Kingston is out on medical leave so there was no updated fiscal report for the meeting.

V. Old Business

A. Grants

1. LeAnn reported that there were 46 grant applications for Cycle 2. The total number of applications for FY2006 is 154, which is one more than last year. She distributed lists of grantees from Cycle 1, applicants from Cycle 2 and a list of towns that did not apply this year. Every town has applied for and received at least one grant. The list of non-applicants, with a few exceptions, changes each year. She also distributed a report of the number of projects by category for the past five years.

The committee discussed potential projects for towns where the clerk has completed conserving most of his/her office records. The Public Records Administrator recommended applying for a preservation or records management survey if one had not yet been completed. The survey would recommend other activities that would benefit the office or the town as a whole. Another option is to encourage other offices or departments to apply for a targeted grant through the town clerk or the municipal chief executive officer. The Public Records Administrator would also be willing to investigate the possibility of grants for public records held by the local public library or historical societies that maintained public records in a town owned facility.

2. FY2007 Grants

a. Lizette Pelletier reported that there would only be minor changes to the targeted grants for the coming fiscal year. The program seems to have found a good balance of categories and projects.

b. The grant staff encourages any town hoping to upgrade its vault or HVAC system as recommended in many preservation surveys to begin an extensive environmental monitoring program. One year’s worth of data and analysis by a certified engineer or systems specialist will be required for any future grants. Money is available through the targeted grants. The grant staff has located a vendor, Image Permanence Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology, which provides a comprehensive environmental analysis service at a very reasonable cost. IPI is highly regarded. The staff will add it to the FY2007 vendors list. The town clerks asked that the information be emailed to them or posted on their website.

c. The staff has implemented a new procedure for approving grant vendors. Vendors will receive preliminary approval to provide services to one town. Once the staff has reviewed the vendor’s completed work for that grant, it will decide whether or not to add the vendor to the list.

3. Competitive Grants:

a. The staff distributed the updated draft competitive guidelines, application form and review sheet to the members. The guidelines and forms are very similar to the targeted grant materials in form and presentation. Towns should receive the materials no later than January 1st. If possible, the competitive grant packets will be available earlier. Next year, the Public Records Administrator hopes to have the competitive materials distributed much earlier to give the towns as much lead-time as possible to develop their projects. [The State Librarian turned the meeting over to the Public Records Administrator at 2:00 p.m.]

b. All grant applicants will be required to attend competitive grant training during January 2006 at the Van Block facility. The times and dates will be announced as soon as possible. Attendees will review the guidelines and forms as well as begin drafting an application.

c. The Public Records Administrator reviewed the competitive grant criteria and the review process. Members of the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) who are not State Library staff will review the applications and rate the applications on a numeric scale. Reviewers’ comments will be available to grant applicants upon request. The other members of the State Library staff will be available to the towns for advice as well as the grant staff. The State Archivist and the Assistant State Archivist have a great deal of experience with grant writing.

d. The governor has issued a new executive order regarding contracts and gifts that must be added to the grant contract. Grants Manager Sheila Mosman will provide the wording to the grant staff.

e. The staff is looking for an eligible town to serve as a test applicant before it sends the materials to the printer. Patty Strauss expressed an interest in doing this.

B. Workshops: The committee discussed possible workshops for next spring. The town clerks expressed a strong interest in a preservation workshop to educate them on setting priorities as well as determining the proper methods for treating their records. Environmental monitoring would be another topic of interest. Kathy Makover will develop the session with assistance from Jane Cullinane.

C. Committee Membership: Barbara Boer, Goshen Town Clerk, submitted her formal resignation. Darlene Brady, Kent Town Clerk and Joe Quartiero, Torrington Town Clerk were mentioned as possible replacements for Barbara. Nancy Bray, Colchester Town Clerk, would be interested in serving on the committee. However, she is from New London County not Litchfield County.

D. Vault regulations: The National Fire Protection Association is in the process of issuing revisions to Standard 232 upon which Connecticut’s regulations depend heavily. The new regulations will not be issued until mid or late 2006. The staff will update the draft with the proposed changes for the town clerks to review at the next meeting.

E. The Public Records Administrator distributed an Executive Summary of State Library Preservation Activities.

VI. The committee needs to set meeting dates for 2006. February 8th will be the next meeting. The Public Records Administrator will consult with the Town Clerks Association to schedule the other two meetings so avoid conflict with any of its meetings. She will email the dates and location as soon as possible.

VII. The Public Records Administrator adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.

VIII. The next meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2006 at the Middletown Library Service Center.

Respectfully submitted,

Lizette Pelletier, Recorder

October 19, 2005