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

April Baker April.M.Baker at state.or.us
Fri Oct 30 14:17:29 PDT 2009

Letter To Libraries Online
An Electronic Newsletter from the Oregon State Library.......Volume 19, Issue 11, November 2009
Library Board News


At the October 19th meeting of the State Library Board of Trustees, the Board heard recommendations from the Library Services and Technology Act Advisory Council about the LSTA program in 2010. The Board agreed with the Council that LSTA funds should provide a 100% subsidy for Gale databases in 2010, given the low cost that the Library was able to negotiate. They also agreed, after some discussion, that the Library would not seek partial support payments from public and academic libraries for L-net e-reference services in 2010-11. Had the Board wanted to do this, they would have had to adopt a temporary Oregon Administrative Rule in December. Instead they passed a motion to set the partial support payments at $0 in 2010-11. They do plan to revise the Administrative Rule next year so that partial support payments may be levied in the future, if the Board were to decide to do so. In other business the Board awarded competitive LSTA grants to 16 applicants. The 2010 grant awards totaled $921,270. The Board also approved goals for the State Librarian in 2009-10 and authorized funding for the Horner Library Staff Exchange project in 2010. The next meeting of the Board will take place on December 3rd and 4th at the State Library in Salem. The meeting on December 3rd will be the Board's biennial planning retreat.


At their October 19th meeting the State Library Board of Trustees awarded the following LSTA competitive grants for 2010:

Oregon State University Libraries, Oregon Digital Library Project $69,373

Tigard Public Library, Bridging the Gap: Gaming for All Ages through the Public Library $5,525

Eastern Oregon University of behalf of Sage Library System of Eastern Oregon, Test and Implement an Open Source Integrated Library System $102,359

Deschutes Public Library District Library, Linx; Bringing the Public Library to Schools $36,380

Oregon Council of County Law Libraries, Oregon County Law Library Consultant Grant $72,880

Lewis and Clark College, Oregon Poetic Voices $34,150

University of Oregon Libraries, Oregon Digital Newspaper Project $90,880

Multnomah County Library, Preparing Black Children for Kindergarten: A Library Planning Grant $45,901

Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Healing Through Collaboration $58,362

Multnomah County Library, Kaboom! Knowledgeable and Active Boomers $52,793

Western Oregon University, Cooperative Library Instruction Project 2 $95,629

Portland Community College, Expanding Library Continuing Education Opportunities for All of Oregon $66,297

Hannon Library, Southern Oregon University, Images and Education: A Southern Oregon Perspective $69,163

Shaw Historical Library at Oregon Institute of Technology, Seniors to Seniors: Creating Local History $32,587

Tualatin Public Library, Creating Civic Engagement Through Volunteerism $11,440

Oregon Council of Teachers of English, Libraries as Community Research Centers $77,554

State Library News

On October 19-22 about 550 librarians, archivists, museum professionals and others gathered at the Red Lion on the River in Portland for the fourth National Conference of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums. The conference was co-hosted by the Tamastslikt Cultural Institute of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla and the Oregon State Library, and sponsored by the Western Council of State Libraries through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Tribes from all across the U.S. were represented. The conference combined inspirational keynote speakers like Russell Means, leader of the American Indian Movement, with many workshop sessions where participants learned how to preserve their heritage and lifeways. A focus of the conference was on preserving tribal languages, many of which are endangered. Experts like Professor Phillip Cash Cash from the University of Arizona demonstrated the use of new technologies to revitalize the use of tribal languages. In the closing session Russell Means made a plea for "total immersion" education programs to teach tribal children their language. MaryKay Dahlgreen from the State Library worked with Malissa Minthorn Winks from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla for the past year to plan and present the national conference in Portland.
On October 15th, 15 members of the Oregon National Guard came to the State Library to load nearly 1,000 boxes of surplus library books into a 40 foot ocean-going container. The State Library and the International Relations Roundtable of the Oregon Library Association have been collecting the books from libraries, companies and individuals since the beginning of the year. The books will travel to the port of Xiamen in Oregon's sister province of Fujian, China. The Xiamen University Library will receive the books and distribute them to libraries throughout the province. "I want to thank all of the Oregon libraries that answered the call and donated books for this worthwhile effort," said State Librarian Jim Scheppke. The project was motivated by Xiamen University Library Director Dehong Xiao, who traveled to Oregon last fall and encouraged the donation project. Because of the millions of English-language learners in Fujian there is a severe shortage of English-language books in Fujian libraries.
The State Library has developed a new online Oregon Library Directory. The old dowloadable library directories were not searchable and there were three separate directories. They were difficult to use to create address labels for mailings, and were only updated quarterly. The new online directory is searchable and includes all types of libraries. You can update your library's information online so it will be updated continuously, you can create customized contact lists, and more easily create address labels for mailings for libraries on your customized lists. Please check out the Oregon Library Directory and make sure your library information is up-to-date. We hope this will be a more effective tool for you and your colleagues.
The "Library Futures: Staying Ahead of the Curve 2010" webcast series will begin in November. All webcasts will be from 9:00a - 10:30 PT.
November 13. 2009: Millennials in the Library 
January 29, 2010: Making the Best of a Shrinking Budget: Creative in a New Economy 
February 19, 2010: Cataloging: Where Are We Now? Where Are We Going? 
March 12, 2010: Information Literacy Education: A National Overview 
April 9, 2010: Technology Trends in Libraries: Tools, Skills, Staffing, Training 

These webcasts will give library staff a solid framework for problem-solving in today's complex library environment. They are cost-effective ways for staff to stay current and informed on libraries' use of technology. You and your staff can maximize these opportunities by bringing a group of interested staff together to watch, organize discussions about the impact of the shows' content on your library, and brainstorm follow-up actions suitable for your library environment.
Register now for one or more webcasts by completing BCR's online registration form. This series of webcasts is being made available free of charge to staff from Oregon libraries through a statewide membership to BCR, paid for by the Oregon State Library with LSTA funds. Also, DVDs of previous webcasts are available via ILL from the Oregon State Library.
Talking Book and Braille Services has more than 75% of the books for 2010's Battle of the Books on recorded cassette. Some titles are even available in Braille format. We have copies on hand and ready to loan to registered patrons so call to reserve your student's books today. You can reach us Monday through Friday at 800-452-0292. A friendly Reader's Advisor is on hand now waiting to take your book order. If your student isn't registered yet for Talking Books, download an application and mail in the original. We'll process the application and get materials in your student's hands within a few days. If you have any questions call or leave a message at 800-452-0292.
Oregon Health Go Local is coordinated by the Oregon Health & Science University Library. It's an online directory of health service providers throughout Oregon. Users can browse by health topics, health providers, or location to find the services they need. As part of MedlinePlus Go Local, the Oregon Health Go Local database is integrated with the National Library of Medicine's MedlinePlus database. From MedlinePlus users will be able to find health service providers in Oregon based on specific health topics. 

Other Library News

Multnomah County Library has been named one of five library recipients of the 2009 National Medal for Museum and Library Service, the nation's highest honor for museums and libraries. The annual award, made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental or economic contributions to their communities. Multnomah County Library will receive the National Medal at a ceremony held later in Washington, D.C., and a $10,000 award in recognition of its extraordinary contributions. Each day more than 13,000 people visit the library, library staff answer more than 2,100 inquiries, and patrons check out or renew 57,000 books and other materials. In response to changing demographics, Multnomah County Library has established programs, services and outreach to Spanish, Russian, Vietnamese and Chinese speakers and increased the collection of books and materials in these languages. The library has also increased the diversity of its staff to better reflect and serve the community. Multnomah County Library is also a leader in the area of early childhood services. "We have known for years that Oregon's oldest and largest public library was among the best in the U.S.," said State Librarian Jim Scheppke. "This award from the IMLS really validates that."
The Oregon Reads Committee of the Oregon Library Association issued a final report showing that the project involved more Oregonians than any other Sesquicentennial event held this year. The Committee estimates that at least 80,000 Oregonians of all ages, and in every county of the state, participated in the project. At least 40,000 people read the Oregon Reads adult book selection, Stubborn Twig by Lauren Kessler and another 10,000 read the junior book selections Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff and Apples to Oregon by Deborah Hopkinson. Oregon Reads related programs in libraries totaled 473 with over 34,000 attending. Over 10,000 copies of Stubborn Twig were available for check out from Oregon libraries and circulation is estimated at 25,000. Leah Griffith, Director of the Newberg Public Library, made the final report on Oregon Reads to the Oregon 150 Board of Directors at the end of September. 

P.S. (From the State Librarian)

This year I will have been a practicing librarian for 30 years. And in all those years, mostly spent working in state libraries in Texas and Oregon, I can't remember a time when public libraries nationwide were under more stress. You can't pick up a Library Journal or American Libraries these days without reading about funding cuts, branch closures, layoffs and furlough weeks, or serious threats of these from powerful elected officials. 
At the same time the demand for public library services is greater than it's ever been since public libraries began in this country more than a century and a half ago. My heart goes out to dedicated public library staff that are faced with this situation, and I hope we can come out of it soon. The only silver lining I can see is that no one seems to be talking anymore about how public libraries have been made unnecessary by the Internet. Public libraries have proven themselves to be one of the most important public services we have in this recession.
But the odd thing about this is that despite the terrible national news, Oregon public libraries seem to be holding their own. With just a few exceptions, Oregon public libraries have not experienced cutbacks and closures in the current recession. One exception is the Hood River County Library which has taken a 30% budget cut this year, due to the county's reliance on timber revenue from county forests that has nearly dried up. This is an unusual case since most libraries don't rely on this funding source. Another exception is the Josephine County Library which is still trying to bring back services by relying on donations in the absence of ongoing county funding. But aside from these two libraries, most Oregon public libraries have been able to maintain their funding pretty well.
There are two reasons for this that occur to me. One is that we now have 24 public library taxing districts with permanent tax rates. When I came to work at the State Library at the beginning of 1986 there were only six districts in the state. Several of these districts fund multiple libraries in a county (e.g., Coos, Umatilla, Clackamas) so the impact in providing stable funding for many Oregon libraries is even greater than it may seem.
A second reason is the effect of property tax limitation measures that were passed by Oregon voters in the 1990's. Measure 50, in particular, resulted in property taxes being levied on an artificially low assessed value, not the higher real market value. On page six of the latest Oregon Property Tax Statistics report there is a graph that shows the significant difference between assessed value and real market value in 2008-09. I believe that in other states library funding has been reduced due to falling property values, but in Oregon, our libraries have been shielded from this so far because real market values still have not fallen below assessed values. 
So even though Measure 50 was opposed by most librarians, and had some bad effects on library funding back in the 1990's, today it is helping to sustain library funding. This just goes to show you, if you didn't already know, that public policy changes often have unintended consequences. - Jim Scheppke

Contacts at the Oregon State Library

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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