[Libs-Or] Letter To Lirbaries Online - June 2010

April Baker april.m.baker at state.or.us
Tue Jun 1 08:21:27 PDT 2010

Letter To Libraries Online

An Electronic Newsletter from the Oregon State Library.......Volume 20, Issue 6, June 2010

Library Board News


On May 25th the State Economist delivered the bad news that the state budget for the 2009-11 biennium was out of balance by about $560 million in the General Fund. In response to this Governor Kulongoski immediately ordered a 4.5% across the board reduction in all General Fund budgets in all agencies. At the State Library we use General Funds for Talking Book and Braille Services, the Ready to Read Grant program, and for positions in Library Development Services and Library Administration. The Library's share of the reduction is about $152,000. At press time the staff was developing a plan to present to the State Library Board at their meeting on June 11th at the Seaside Public Library. The State Librarian has sent a message to public library directors warning them that significant reductions to the Ready to Read Grant program are likely, depending on Board action on June 11th.


Governor Kulongoski has appointed Aletha Bonebrake of Baker City to the State Library Board of Trustees. She will replace Doug Henrichs of Milton-Freewater who will retire from the Board in July after serving two four-year terms. Bonebrake is a retired librarian who has been a leader in the Oregon library community for many years. She was the highly-successful director of the Baker County Library District from 1985 to 2007. The Library was recently named a runner-up for the Library Journal Best Small Library in the U.S. award. She also served as President of the Oregon Library Association in 2006-07, and is still active in OLA as a member of the Legislative Committee. In 2007 she was elected to the City Council in Baker City. Bonebrake holds an MLS degree from the University of Wisconsin. "We are grateful that the Governor choose such a highly-qualified Oregonian to serve on the State Library Board," commented State Librarian Jim Scheppke. "Our Board will certainly benefit from Aletha's experience, commitment and knowledge of Oregon libraries and their needs."


The State Library Board will meet on June 11th at the Seaside Public Library in Seaside. The Board will hear recommendations from the Library Services and Technology Act Advisory Council on inviting libraries to submit full competitive grant applications for projects in 2011. The Board will also hear recommendations from the Board Budget Committee on the Agency Request Budget for the 2011-13 biennium. The Committee has developed a draft of the Budget that will be presented to the Board for their consideration. The Talking Book and Braille Services Advisory Council will also be making recommendations, including a plan to expend donation funds for 2010-11. An "Open Forum" will be held at 11:30 a.m. Anyone may address the Board at the Open Forum on any topic.


The State Library Board's Budget Committee has held three meetings, beginning in February, and has developed a proposed budget for the 2011-13 biennium that will be presented to the full Board on June 11th. Given the projected $2.5 billion shortfall of General Funds in the next biennium, the Committee took a very conservative approach in developing the budget. Overall the proposal is only 2.2% higher than the budget for the current biennium. The $15.6 million budget includes $1,448,693 for the Ready to Read Grant program. This amount is only $1,251 more than the budget for 2009-11. It is equivalent to about 94¢ per child per year, the same funding per child as this biennium. The only new initiative in the Budget Committee's proposal is a two-year project to perform conservation work on about 7,500 historical documents and other items in the Library's special collections that are most at-risk of loss in the next ten years. The Library recently had a conservator assess the collection and the project will follow her recommendations for proper stewardship of the library's rare and unique historical materials.
State Library News


In late April, the Oregon State Library Board approved adding Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center (OVRC) to the suite of Gale products offered statewide, and as of May 14th, libraries can add this popular resource to their websites. To access your library-specific URL and the database icon, go to the relevant Gale support site for libraries -academic<http://galesupport.com/oregonacad/> or public & tribal<http://galesupport.com/oregon/> - and enter or click on your institution's name. For training materials, click on the big OVRC bubble in the top right corner of either support site. Opposing Viewpoints is also available to K12 students and educators via OSLIS<http://secondary.oslis.org/find-information>. By early June, Gale plans to update the Opposing Viewpoints interface to a platform called Think. Because of that impending change and the fact that some librarians are on vacation in the summer, we will go light on the webinar trainings in June (16th & 17th) and offer multiple sessions in August (24th & 26th) and in late September or early October. Watch the listservs for times and the fall dates. If your library already subscribes to OVRC, a Gale rep will contact you about a credit. Caroline Drexler<mailto:caroline.drexler at cengage.com> (800-877-4253 ext 8471) is handling credits for academic libraries, and Lindsay Smith<mailto:Lindsay.smith at cengage.com> (800-877-4253 ext 8374) is doing the same for public and tribal libraries. Questions? Contact MaryKay Dahlgreen<mailto:marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us> or Jennifer Maurer<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us> in Library Development.


Talking Book and Braille Services (TBABS) has recently received newly designed brochures and posters. The brochures and posters share a design and color scheme that features mountain peaks, tree silhouettes, and even some ocean waves-showing some of Oregon's regional diversity. The text on the new design reads: "A World of Reading Awaits You" in order to promote reading as a lifestyle that can be made possible for print-disabled Oregonians through TBABS. If your library or outreach services department is interested in receiving some brochures and/or posters, please contact Elke Bruton, Public Services Librarian, at 503-378-5455. The posters are 11" x 22" so that they can be easily displayed on a community events or message board.
Other Library News


The Hood River County Library may become the third Oregon county library to close in recent years after voters defeated a library district proposal in May. The county libraries in Jackson and Josephine Counties have reopened, but plans are to close the Hood River County Library in Hood River and its two branches in Parkdale and Cascade Locks July 1 because the county can no longer fund the library. The Library was attempting to pass a special library district with a permanent tax rate of 70¢ per $1,000 of assessed valuation. This amount of funding would have restored the library budget to what it was in 2008-09, before a 30% cut that went into effect this year that cut library hours and services. The vote in Hood River County on the library district proposal was 46% in favor of the measure and 54% opposed.

The two measures that passed in May were a five-year local option levy for the Sweet Home Public Library and an annexation measure for the part of Tualatin that is in Clackamas County. The Sweet Home Public Library levy passed with 56% in favor. The Library has been supported by a local option levy for the past 24 years. The measure will increase the current levy by 20¢ per $1,000 to 82¢ per $1,000. The residents of the portion of Tualatin that is in Clackamas County voted by a 52% majority to join the Clackamas County Library Services District. They had been left out of the district when it was formed in 2008. They will now pay about 40¢ per $1,000 to the district and thereby be entitled to library borrowing privileges at any Clackamas County Library and throughout the Metro area.


In May the Oregon Department of Education released statistics on Oregon public schools for 2008-09 as part of the Oregon School Directory<http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=227>. The number of "library/media specialists" was down by 17% from the prior year to only 376. The number of school librarians is the lowest it has been in decades. In 1980 there were 818 school librarians working in Oregon public schools. The number for 2008-09 is equivalent to only one librarian for every 1,500 students in Oregon schools, and only .29 librarians per school. Hopefully, House Bill 2586 which passed the Legislature in 2009 will help begin to turn things around. It requires every school district, beginning this year, to plan for a "strong school library program." The Oregon Association of School Libraries is working with the Oregon Department of Education to develop Oregon Administrative Rules to implement HB 2586.


The Nike Employee Grant Fund<http://www.oregoncf.org/Templates/media/files/grants/nike_grant_guidelines.pdf> has been established at The Oregon Community Foundation. Through this fund, Nike employees will work with the foundation to award $500,000 per year to nonprofits. This is Nike's "backyard" program, engaging employees in aiding nonprofits in communities where local Nike employees live - Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington and Yamhill counties in Oregon and Clark County in Washington. Grants will be one-year awards, generally between $5,000 and $20,000. Most grants will be awarded through the lens of sport, for projects that use sport or physical activity to leverage other community benefits, but some grants will be awarded for projects that address broader family and children's issues. The first applications are due June 15.


Training for library staff is more important than ever, especially when that training is affordable and accessible. The Northwest Central<www.nwcentral.org> website is a gateway for locating free webinars, tutorials, and other learning tools. Use the Events listings (available in list or calendar view) to find training opportunities in your region or online. Use the Resources listings to find handouts, presentations, weblinks and other learning tools for your type of library job. Please support strong libraries by sharing your training resources on Northwest Central.
P.S. (From the State Librarian)

We are nearing the end of a decade of investment by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in building the public access computing capacity of Oregon public libraries. What a tremendous payoff we have seen from that investment!

A decade ago Oregon public libraries and public libraries across the U.S. were mostly wary of the idea of jumping into public access computing with both feet. The Internet and the World Wide Web were still kind of a new thing. Maybe they weren't for everyone. Maybe everybody that needed access would have access in a few years anyway. What about thorny issues like filtering and privacy? What about having the staff to manage the service and the space to accommodate it?

All of these doubts and reservations were pretty much swept away when the Gates Foundation decided to launch what they called the State Partnership Program in all 50 states beginning in 1998. Oregon's turn came in 2001. The Foundation invested $2.2 million in 2001 and 2002. A total of 581 public access computers were put into 180 public library facilities in Oregon. For a number of libraries, it was their first public access computer connected to the Internet.

The State Partnership Program was not the end of the Gates Foundation's investment. In 2005-06 the Staying Connected Grant Program purchased an additional 223 computers to help libraries that needed help in sustaining their public access computing program. This was a matching grant program and many libraries turned to their Friends and Foundations to provide the match.

The third and final investment came in a new matching grant program in 2008 called Opportunity Online. When this program ends this year, another 604 computers will have been provided to 57 Oregon libraries.

In our latest count of public access computers in Oregon public libraries, made last fall, there were a total of 2,544 computers in about 215 libraries and branches. There were nearly 5 million users of public access computers in Oregon public libraries last year. That's an average of about 13,500 users every day.

Public access computing has become as important a library service as book and media circulation and reading programs for children. We know from the latest Oregon Population Survey<http://www.oregon.gov/DAS/OEA/popsurvey.shtml> that about one out of every three Oregonians (29%) does not have high speed Internet access at home. In the past decade Internet access has gone from a "nice to have" to being essential for living. Without access to the Internet students cannot complete their assignments, the unemployed cannot apply for jobs, and people can't secure government services. This will become even more true in the future.

The Internet has made public libraries an "essential service" in every community. We owe a big debt of gratitude to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for envisioning this future for public libraries over a decade ago and investing so much to make it happen. - Jim Scheppke
Contacts at the Oregon State Library

Library Development: 503-378-2525, MaryKay Dahlgreen<mailto:marykay.dahlgreen at state.or.us>, Mary Mayberry<mailto:mary.l.mayberry at state.or.us>, Darci Hanning<mailto:darci.hanning at state.or.us>, Ann Reed<mailto:ann.reed at state.or.us>, Jennifer Maurer<mailto:jennifer.maurer at state.or.us>, Katie Anderson<mailto:katie.anderson at state.or.us>.

Talking Book and Braille Services: 503-378-5389, Susan Westin<mailto:susan.b.westin at state.or.us>.

Government Research Services: 503-378-5030, Robert Hulshof-Schmidt<mailto:robert.hulshof-schmidt at state.or.us>.

State Librarian: 503-378-4367, Jim Scheppke<mailto:jim.b.scheppke at state.or.us>.

LTLO Editor: 503-378-2464, April Baker<mailto:april.m.baker at state.or.us>. 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<mailto:april.m.baker at state.or.us>. 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<mailto:april.m.baker at state.or.us>, or mailed to LTLO, Oregon State Library, 250 Winter St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301-3950.

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