[Libs-Or] Letter to Libraries Online - March 2009

April Baker baker_april_m at oslmac.osl.state.or.us
Fri Feb 27 08:43:04 PST 2009

Letter To Libraries Online
An Electronic Newsletter from the Oregon State Library.......Volume 19, Issue 3, March 2009
Library Board News

At their meeting on February 20th, the State Library Board unanimously adopted a revision to the Oregon Administrative Rules that will allow the Board, in the future, to collect funds from larger public and academic libraries to partially support the L-net e-reference service. In adopting the rule the Board decided to delay implementing it until the 2010-11 fiscal year. The delay will address the difficulties some libraries face in the current recession and the uncertainties that all libraries are facing. The Board will decide in October how much funding to seek from public and academic libraries in 2010-11. Before making their decision, the Board heard the results of a survey that Library staff sent to all public and academic library directors in the state. The survey showed that 51% of the respondents moderately or strongly supported the plan to recover some costs of L-net and 49% opposed the plan. Academic libraries showed more support for the plan than public libraries in the survey. Only 27% of academic library respondents did not support the plan, as compared to 56% of public libraries. The Board also received many written comments from the survey and written testimony in response to the public hearing. In the Board's deliberation on the rule revision, they discussed the value in having L-net not be totally dependent on LSTA funding in the future. They also believe that libraries will value L-net more, and promote its use more effectively, if they are asked to partially support it.
House Bill 2586 received a unanimous endorsement by the State Library Board at their February 20th meeting. The bill was introduced by State Representative Peter Buckley of Ashland at the urging of constituent Anne Billeter, a past-president of OLA. Buckley's staff worked with Portland school librarian Nancy Sullivan who leads an effort called "Fund our Future Oregon" to improve school libraries in the state. The bill is also endorsed by the Oregon Association of School Libraries and the Oregon Library Association. OLA lobbyist Nan Heim worked with Representative Buckley's office to get 22 co-sponsors from both political parties in the House and the Senate. The bill would add school libraries as potential beneficiaries of an existing Oregon Department of Education grant program that supports improved student achievement. It would also require all school districts to adopt plans for a strong school library program. It's expected that the fiscal impact of the bill will be negligible, and for this reason it might have a good chance of passing, even in a difficult budget year. The bill will have its first hearing in the House Education Committee, chaired by Representative Sara Gelser of Corvallis. At press time a hearing had not been scheduled.
State Library News

The budget for the State Library in 2009-11 recommended by Governor Kulongoski was heard in the Education Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee on February 3rd and 4th. The Governor is supporting the current programs and staffing at the Library, including continuing to fund the Ready to Read Grant program at $1 per child per year. The Governor's budget also would fund more positions in Library Development Services with state funds, shifting the funding from Library Services and Technology Act funds. This is necessary to come into compliance with limitations on the use of LSTA funds for administrative costs. Currently only one of six positions in Library Development Services is funded with state funds. The Governor's budget funds 2.5 positions with state funds to comply with federal law. Much of the testimony at the hearing dealt with the effectiveness of the Ready to Read Grant program. State Librarian Jim Scheppke testified that participation in summer reading programs increased dramatically in 2008, due in part to more Ready to Ready Grant funding of these programs around the state. On the second day of the hearing OLA Lobbyist Nan Heim and three youth services librarians gave strong testimony on the need to continue funding Ready to Read grants at $1 per child. Deeda Chamberlain (Woodburn Public Library), Pam Pugsley (Stayton Public Library) and Heather McNeil (Deschutes Public Library) gave compelling testimony on the effectiveness of the program in promoting early literacy and summer reading. The Subcommittee adjourned the hearing after two days and does not plan to call a work session to deliberate on the Library's budget for several months.
Willamette Valley Genealogical Society and the State Library have a long history of working together to provide Oregon citizens with research support in the area of genealogy and state history. Now WVGS volunteers Evelyn Gatlin and Sandy Graham have compiled a bibliography of resources, from the State Library collection, that contain names and personal accounts of the thousands of emigrants who traveled the Oregon Trail. This resource will be very helpful to anyone who is researching Oregon history or genealogy. The bibliography lists 160 resources and includes manuscripts, journals, diaries, interviews, family histories and other resources. Check the online catalog of the State Library for availability of any the resources. Items that circulate can be ordered via interlibrary loan.
Got a great idea for a collaborative automation project? Outreach program? An innovative application of technology? The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant program may be for you! The application packet for FY2010 grant proposals is available on the web through the LSTA Competitive Grant Program page. The LSTA program uses a two-step grant process. Short proposals are due April 10. Ideas need to support the Oregon Library Services and Technology Act Five-Year State Plan 2008-2012. Feel free to check out the proposals from past years, as there may be a project you wish to replicate! We welcome calls to talk over grant ideas, or find out about similar grants that may have been made in previous years. Contact Ann Reed at (503) 378-5027.
Patrons of the State Library have a new collection to browse when they visit the second floor Reference Room. In addition to genealogy resources, newspapers from across the state, the Oregon Poetry Collection and current periodicals there is now an Oregon History & Culture Collection. This collection, created in honor of Oregon's 150 birthday celebration, brings a small fraction of the library's Oregon books from behind closed stacks into a space where visitors can browse the shelves. Topics include state and county histories, local art and architecture, ethnic groups, travel and photography. The next time you visit the State Library, please stop by the Reference Room and browse the new circulating collection.
Talking Book and Braille Services, along with libraries across the state, are heading into the final months of the Oregon Reads 2009 community reading project. So far, TBABS has been able to satisfy nearly 700 requests for Stubborn Twig, Bat 6 or Apples to Oregon in Braille or cassette format for print-disabled Oregonians throughout the state. As you start planning for your next local community reading program, please add TBABS to your resource checklist. TBABS can help your library by serving the print-disabled people in your community and ease the burden on your audio book resources. For more information, contact Elke Bruton in TBABS. 
Other Library News

Of the 85 schools in Portland Public School District, only 27 have a certified librarian, and eight have no library staff at all, including two high schools. Some of PPS's librarians decided to take action to improve that situation. Representing the group, Susan Stone met with the newly appointed Superintendent, Carole Smith, in January 2008. Next they rallied the support of school board member, Ruth Adkins. After hearing research on how school librarians positively affect student learning, the Board created a position to assess the library situation and make recommendations on improving it. Susan Stone was hired in August 2008 as a TOSA, or teacher on special assignment, to lead the investigation. In the fall of 2008, Suzie Baier, an assistant superintendent who supports this cause, presented to the Board a memo which became the 21st Century School Library Initiative. Its two primary goals are preparing students for postsecondary education by developing information literacy skills and fostering an appreciation of reading. The focus is on creating information literacy standards for the district, getting the proper staffing in libraries, and building solid collections. Their 5-year plan begins in 2009-10 and aims to have all schools meeting library standards, as defined in the plan, by 2015. There was a public hearing on the plan in January and another school board presentation in February. Currently the plan is being evaluated by a budgeting subcommittee of the school board. For more information, contact Jennifer Maurer at (503) 378-5011, or Susan Stone. 
In a new assessment of public library performance, the Multnomah County Library earned a five star rating, along with four other major urban libraries in Columbus and Cleveland (OH), Charlotte (NC), and Hennepin County (MN). The LJ Index of Public Library Service used national public library data from 2006 to determine the top performers in four categories of library output measures. Libraries were assessed against their peers in categories determined by the level of library expenditures. The output measures were library circulation per capita, visits per capita, program attendance per capita, and Internet computer use per capita. Library output measures for every library were compared to the average for their peer group and awarded scores. In the top category that Multnomah County Library competed in, five stars were given to the top five libraries, four stars to the next five and three stars to the next five. In the lower expenditure categories five stars were awarded to the top ten, and likewise for the next two groups of ten. No other Oregon libraries came close to earning stars. Not all Oregon libraries were assessed, because some Oregon libraries do not collect all four performance measurements. Library Journal plans to continue to publish the LJ Index of Public Library Service annually as national data on public libraries is released by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which collects the data from Oregon and other states and the District of Columbia.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services has awarded 23 statewide planning grants, including one to Oregon, to be used to create statewide conservation plans for collections held in libraries, museums and archives. The $39,000 Oregon grant was awarded to the Oregon Museums Association which is collaboratively working on the project with the Library Preservation Round Table of the Oregon Library Association, Northwest Archivists, the Oregon Heritage Commission, the Oregon Historical Society, the Oregon State Archives, the Oregon State Library, Tamastslikt Cultural Institute, and other partners. The grant is part of an IMLS initiative, Connecting to Collections: A Call to Action. IMLS launched the initiative in response to the 2005 Heritage Health Index report on the dire state of the nation's collections. According to the report by Heritage Preservation, approximately 190 million objects could be lost in just a few short years without immediate attention. The report also found that 65 percent of collecting institutions report damage to collections due to improper storage and 80 percent did not have an emergency plan for their collections or trained staff to carry it out.
P.S. (From the State Librarian)

I hope it has come to your attention that we are once again collecting surplus books from Oregon libraries to send to our sister province in China. We did this once before in 1993 and had a lot of fun with it. I'll never forget the 20-foot ocean-going container parked right outside the front entrance to the State Library loaded with boxes of books we received from about 100 libraries, large and small, throughout the state. Amazingly, we had just about exactly the right number of boxes to fill the container right to the brim.
The official sponsors of what we are calling the Books-for-China Project this year are the State Library and the International Relations Roundtable of OLA. Included are a number of librarians like Frances Lau and Rosalind Wang who were involved with our previous effort. 
The primary motivation for this year's collection drive came, however, from the "coolest librarian in Fujian." I am quoting Teresa Landers, one of the Oregon librarians who went on the Horner Library Staff Exchange in 2007. That's her description of Dehong Xiao who is the Director of the Xiamen University Library, the largest and best university library in our sister province of Fujian. Dehong made a visit to Oregon last fall and spent several days visiting libraries here. He met with Deborah Carver to begin to work out a sister library relationship between UO Libraries and his library. We all found him to be a very cool guy indeed - energetic and gregarious and humorous and full of ideas about how we might strengthen our ties with libraries in Fujian.
He talked to a number of us about a second book donation effort and we were all very taken by his enthusiasm for the project. When he got back to China he began to work to receive special permission to be able to waive the usual customs processes so that our books could be shipped directly to his library without the need for us to make an item-by-item inventory. His library will distribute the books to libraries throughout Fujian It took several months to work this out, but now he has, and we are ready to begin the project. I hope your library is planning to contribute at least a few boxes of surplus books to the effort.
One more thing about Dehong: he's a big NBA basketball fan. When he was here, as luck would have it, the Blazers were playing the Houston Rockets whose star center is Yao Ming, the best NBA player yet to have come from China. Several of us took Dehong to the game. At the end of the game it looked like Yao had hit the game-winning basket. I kidded Dehong about bringing Yao good luck. But then Brandon Roy hit a long three-pointer with one second left to win the game. Dehong was not disappointed. He went crazy like the rest of the Rose Garden. He's a very cool guy. - Jim Scheppke 

Contacts at the Oregon State Library

Technical Assistance: 503-932-1004.

Library Development: 503-378-2525, MaryKay Dahlgreen, Mary Mayberry, Darci Hanning, Ann Reed, Jennifer Maurer, Katie Anderson.

Talking Book and Braille Services: 503-378-5389, Susan Westin.

Government Research and Electronic Services: 503-378-5030, Robert Hulshof-Schmidt.

State Librarian: 503-378-4367, Jim Scheppke.

LTLO Editor: 503-378-2464, April Baker
Letter to Libraries Online is published monthly by the Oregon State Library. Editorial office: LTLO, Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301-3950, 503-378-2464, editor: April Baker
Letter to Libraries Online is available free of charge and is available only in electronic form on the publications page at the Oregon State Library's homepage: http://www.oregon.gov/OSL. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Oregon State Library. News items or articles should be sent to April Baker, or mailed to LTLO, Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301-3950.
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