Minutes Maine Library Commission Minutes, January 25, 2010
Next Commission Meeting March 15, 2010, Maine State Library, 1:00- 3:30
The Maine Library Commission met at the Maine State Library on Monday, January 25, 2009 at 1:00 PM.
Members present: Debe Averill, Charlie Campo, Beth Edmonds, Inese Gruber, Molly Larson, Barbara McDade, Jamie Ritter, Joyce Rumery, Mike Kennedy and Art Turley.
Members absent: Steve Podgajny.
Also present: Anna Carr, Helen Fogler, James Jackson Sanborn, Linda Lord, Peggy O’Kane, Valerie Osborne, Susan Preece, Susan Trent, Mamie Nye, Ellen Wood and Stephanie Zurinski.
Minutes of the Oct. 13, 2009 Commission meeting were unanimously approved following a motion by Art Turley and a second by Inese Gruber.
State Librarian’s Report
The state requested another round of budget cuts the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. The State Library’s share was $62,980 to be spread over FY10 and FY1 and the following cuts were made:
Book budget - $31,490 FY 10;
Book budget - $23,510 FY 11
Databases - $ 7,980 FY 11
We had previously been required to cut $127,601 from FY11 and $124,310 from FY 2010
The mandated cuts have decimated the book budget and eliminated a position that has always existed at MSL.
Paperwork was submitted to the Department of Administration and Financial Services in Aug. requesting permission to fill the position of Southern Maine Library District Consultant. We are still waiting for word on this critical position.
This bill provides for further implementation of recommendations contained in the State Controller's audit of the Maine State Library, the Maine Arts Commission, the Maine State Museum Commission and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to provide greater accountability and transparency in the conduct of the work of those agencies. The bill directs the cultural agencies to recommend legislation to modernize the laws related to those agencies. The bill directs the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over education and cultural affairs to work with the agencies, the Department of Education and the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to determine whether to establish a new position of deputy commissioner for cultural affairs within the Department of Education and place the cultural agencies under the jurisdiction of that department. The bill also makes changes to the appointment process for certain members overseeing the agencies, specifies the terms for members of and permissible reappointments for certain commissions and strengthens public access to records of the commissions.
After a great deal of work by members of the Cultural Affairs Council, the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee voted unanimously “out not to pass”. The L.D. is dead. Commission Vice Chair Beth Edmonds played a critical role for all cultural agencies in this process
Peggy O’Kane, head of reference services, reviewed key results of an MSL patron survey conducted by the circulation and reference staff in January. A few of the results she shared are that most patrons are here for personal use and that many of our patrons live in towns that do not have local libraries. State employees tend to use MSL for audio books and personal reading. When asked what surprised her in the survey results, Peggy responded that 71% of MSL users said this is the only library they use. Art Turley requested data on the number of patrons per week; morning and afternoon use, and use by day of the week. He also wants to know where these patrons live. Peggy will provide this. When questioned about what she might have asked and didn’t, Peggy said she would get more into depth about why people are using MSL rather than another library.
Snapshot Day Report
Stephanie Zurinski explained the purpose and procedures in collecting data from all Maine libraries on one day. This was done in the last week of Sept. 2009. Data from Snapshot Day and from the Public Library Annual reports was compiled into a booklet. Two of these booklets were sent to each public library in Maine with a request that the second booklet be reviewed with and given to the city or town manager and/or the Board of Selectmen. The letter also suggested talking points to review with funding officials. The feedback from libraries regarding this project was terrific. One town manager has called and libraries have requested more booklets which we were not able to fund. The Commission school librarian representative strongly urged as much emphasis in the future on school libraries as were placed on public this year. It was suggested that the Commission and MSL staff work together to design a Snapshot format for next year. Since no one in state government currently collects data on school libraries.
- Library Makeovers will be carried out this year thanks to a grant received by the two regional consultants.
- Noted international speaker and library technology guru Stephen Abrams will be the key note speaker at each regional Spring Council meeting in March.
- Susan Preece, Chair of the tri-district District Liaison Committee (DLC) reported on the work of that Committee. This work includes:
- The standardization of by-laws for all three Maine regional library districts.
- The DLC goal of being the communications vehicle between libraries and the Commission and among districts.
- The possibility that the DLC and Maine Library Commission work in groups to meet with legislators and to highlight the work of Maine libraries
Molly asked about the potential for consortia purchasing of e-books. Timing will be right at some point.
Cultivating New Commission Members
No specific outcomes from this discussion.
- Jamie asked, “Who do we serve?” The answer to that question should be the most important part of the mission statement. Jamie referred to an article “What are the top 10 things that Libraries Need to Know?”
Art mentioned that we have to know what the needs of all libraries are by category and plan to meet those needs – or, if we can’t, make that a deliberate decision.
Interaction with State Agencies is still critical
- The Commission will spend the entire day of Feb. 11 working on the Strategic Plan.
- As part of her work on the Maine Justice Action Group Committee, Barbara explained the “Access to Justice in Public Libraries” program. She recently attended a conference in Austin along with representatives from 14 other states. The project’s purpose is in using public libraries as people’s first interaction with the law. The intent is not to give legal advice but to give legal information.
- Debe showed the new School Librarians’ Handbook.
- The importance of each library completing the Public Library Annual report was discussed.
Linda H. Lord
Maine State Librarian