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ODL Director's Report

Return to the February 23, 2001 ODL Board Meeting Minutes

The format of having a written report from the Director with the opportunity of follow up questions by Board members appeared to have worked well last time so I intend to continue the practice. Again using the same format, following my report you will find a report from each division at ODL giving the highlights of the activities in their area since we last met. Someone will be present from each division at our Board meeting on February 23rd, so if you want to ask questions about this material, we’ll be glad to tell you more about your area of interest. In addition, in this Board packet we also have a status report from Bob Clark, State Librarian Emeritus, on the progress of the Oklahoma Endowment for Literacy and Reading. He will be present at the Board meeting as well to answer any questions that ou may have on his activities.

The items that I want to highlight in my report are:

Federal law on filtering in public libraries. Congress passed the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Internet Protection Act (NCIPA) as part of a major spending bill (H.R. 4577) on December 15, 2000. The President signed the bill into law on December 21, 2000 (Public Law 106-554). The Acts place restrictions on the use of funding that is available through the Library Services and Technology Act, Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and on the Universal Service discount program known as the E-rate. These restrictions take the form of requirements for Internet safety policies and technology that blocks or filters certain material from being access through the Internet. The law will become effective during 2001.

The text of the bill follows the Director’s report. The law is essentially three separate pieces of legislation authored by different legislators that were combined in this rider to the Education appropriations bill. The last minute pressure of work means that the law is not well integrated and can be confusing. The Oklahoma Department of Libraries has been monitoring information about the law and will offer advice to public libraries to guide them to ensure compliance as the requirements become clear. 

The requirements of the law are tied to the source of funding and type of library. The most restrictions are imposed on those libraries that receive funds from the E-rate. The Federal Communications Commission that administers the E-rate program is required to have rules in place by April 20, 2001 that will specifically identify how the law will be implemented. It is the earliest effective date of any of the provisions of the law. We will also continue to provide information to the ODL Board about this process as it unfolds.

Proposed Oklahoma legislation affecting libraries in Oklahoma. You will find a list of the current introduced legislation that will affect ODL and libraries in the current legislative session following the text of the federal law. I have also included the part of the text of one of the bills, SB 396, because it directly affects the ODL Board. (Because this is a very long bill, I am only including the text that affects you.) This is the law that will determine how Board representation based on Congressional districts will be handled following the loss of a Congressional representative. If you have any concerns in this area, I would urge you to bring them to the meeting for discussion and possible action. The Legislature operates under a schedule in order to get their work done. The first deadline is on February 22nd when all introduced bills must be passed of the committee in their house of origin. Since this deadline will occur before our meeting, I am including the list of members and contact information for the committee that is reviewing SB 396. It would be appropriate to discuss any concerns that you have about this bill with members of the committee and with your representative and senator as well.

There are some individual pieces of legislation on the list that I wish to highlight.

  • ODL has nine appropriation bills introduced. This is a very high number. I certainly want the Legislature to have every opportunity to give us money but I doubt that all of these bills will make it past the first deadline.
  • Re-creation of the Archives and Records Commission. This Commission is composed of a citizen chair appointed by the governor and then designees from the Auditor’s Office, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office, the Treasurer’s Office, and the State Librarian. The Commission was created in 1937 and is charged with the orderly handling of the records created by state government. The sunset law requires that some agencies will be examined on a schedule to confirm that they still serve a public purpose. We expect that the Archives and Records Commission will be re-created.
  • The next important bill is that to create a Local Library Capital Revolving Fund, HB 1221. Based on the success of getting funding for public library renovation and construction in the last legislative session, there is a bill to formalize this process and to make it an ongoing funding opportunity for the Legislature. This bill is receiving strong leadership from Marilyn Hinshaw, Director of the Eastern Oklahoma District Library System.
  • HB 1864 by Representative Bill Graves, would require the use of filters on computers in school and public libraries. It would be my preference that action on this bill would be delayed until the federal requirements become clear. It may be that Representative Graves would be satisfied with the federal law. In Michigan an existing state filtering requirement is now in conflict with the new federal law. I would like to avoid that situation.
  • Finally there are several bills affecting our Literacy Resource division that I have included. With the interest of the Board in this area, I wanted to be sure that you were aware of these.

If you have any interest in seeing the text of any of these bills, you can go to this URL: This site provides the text of all bills in the Oklahoma legislature. Under “OLIS Information,” you would want to click on “Text of Measures.” Your next screen will allow you to click on “Introduced Senate or House Measures.” Once you click on that link, you will get a list by bill number that you can select to see the text. 

I would appreciate hearing feedback on this feature of the Director’s report. Let me know if you’re interested in this type of information and would like to have it included in the Board packet. 

Pay movements at ODL. You may remember that we had begun the process last January of attempting to address the salary situation at ODL. New law allowed more flexibility in addressing salary issues. The term used by the Office of Personnel Management for these adjustments is “pay movements.”

Here are the types of pay movements and how they were implemented at ODL:

  1. Inter-agency lateral transfer (moving someone from one division at ODL to another division). Number affected – 1. Average increase 5%
  2. Career progress (promotion). Number affected – 4. Average increase 17%.
  3. Completion of probation. Number affected – 6. Average increase 5%.
  4. Equity Adjustment (raising salaries within a class). Number affected – 10. Average increase 10%.
  5. Market Adjustment (comparing classes at ODL with market). Number affected – 31. Average increase 11%.

The majority of these changes occurred in September 2000. The projected cost for FY2001 is $138,931.60 and for FY2002 is $165,437.28. The difference between the fiscal years is due to only 9 months being covered in FY2001 and twelve months being covered in FY2002. The funding for these increases came from moving $100,000 state appropriated funds into salaries at the beginning of FY2001. With vacancies, it is expected that the $100,000 will cover the amount actually needed.

Strategic planning process. The Office of State Finance is requiring that all state agencies complete a strategic plan and submit it with their budget request on October 1, 2001. The division administrators at ODL and myself have been meeting approximately every two weeks to discuss the process and how to make the requirement really of value for ODL. As part of the process, the Office of State Finance has developed a training program and identified trainers. We have set dates for the training in the process for late spring. The outcomes of this process will be brought to the Board for your input and refinement. 

Database selection committee. One of the most important services that ODL has been able to offer to libraries has been the provision of statewide licenses to online journals and electronic information. The approximate cost for these licenses is $700,000 and is a combination of state and federal funds. The existing licenses are up for renewal. A committee composed of public librarians, school librarians, academic librarians, and a special librarian have been meeting for several months to accomplish a market review of the products available, issue a Request for Proposal to vendors, have an examination of the products through a month long trial that allows comparison of the vendors, and then a negotiation with the vendors for terms and costs. Jon Walker of the Tulsa City-County Library System chairs the committee. Carol Fox is the ODL liaison to the committee and she informs me that the committee has worked very hard and very professionally to accomplish this important assignment. It is expected that the committee will make its recommendation on award of the contract(s) by the end of March. We will keep you informed of the process. 

Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO). There is a wonderful organization that I wish to recognize. It is the Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma. FOLIO was a suggestion of the Governor’s Conference on Libraries in 1979. It is an all-volunteer organization that has made a big impact on the quality of libraries in Oklahoma. Among their many outreach activities have been seed grants for libraries and citizens that wish to form a friends group as well as moral support and encouragement.

Julia Ratliffe, former ODL Board member, is the current president of FOLIO. Building on the strength of the organization, Julia has energized her group of volunteers and they are doing some exceptional new programs as well. The Literary Landmark project is designed to recognize physical sites where significant Oklahoma authors lived or worked. The rich heritage of Oklahoma writers will be recognized and celebrated with this new plaque. The first Literary Landmark will be announced in 2001. The Oklahoma Center for the Book is co-sponsoring this project. Another very exciting project is the Friends Hall of Fame. This project will honor exemplary service by citizens for their libraries or libraries statewide. It will showcase the accomplishments of the volunteers for libraries in Oklahoma.

Return to Board Minutes for 2/23/01

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