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ODL Director's Report

Return to the April 20, 2001 ODL Board Meeting Minutes

This continues to be a busy time for both the director and the agency. At the end of my report, you will find reports from each of the divisions of the agency that will brief you on their activities. I have enjoyed the opportunity to represent ODL on several different occasions since the Board last met. It is very encouraging to see the impact that ODL has on the communities and citizens of the state.

In the spirit of continuous improvement, this report has a few changes. First, all of the pages are numbered so that if you have questions about anything, it will be easier for everyone to locate the information. Second, the Board packet is being sent out two weeks in advance of the Board meeting as was requested at our last meeting. This should ensure that you receive it in enough time to allow you to review the contents prior to the meeting.

Tishomingo Library Opening. One of the occasions where I represented ODL was the opening of the Johnston County Library in Tishomingo. This community received one of the Library Services and Construction Act Title II Construction grants for $80,00 from ODL. The opening ceremony recognized ODL and the other donors that helped provide the $400,000 for the new library. This is a poor county with almost 1/3 of the households below the poverty line. The ODL grant was one of the initial grants the community received. They weren’t sure whether they could match our grant but they did and it gave them the confidence to keep going. The whole community was involved in fund raising and the result is a beautiful facility where an eyesore used to be. During the speeches, the bank of computers was occupied the whole time with the users completely ignoring all of us. It was wonderful to see how the community is already using the building.

Chickasaw Regional Library System Board meeting. I continue to attend public library system board meetings as I can. In March I attended the Chickasaw Regional Library System Board meeting. The Chickasaw system is headquartered in Ardmore and serves five counties. It was interesting to hear the Board discuss their business. One of the major issues was insurance for the library system employees. This has been a topic of discussion at other Board meetings I have attended. I enjoyed meeting the Board members and I spoke briefly about legislation affecting libraries in the Oklahoma legislature. My next scheduled visit will be the Pioneer Library System in Norman. I have been invited to attend the April meeting.

Read Across America (Dr. Seuss). At the invitation of Leslie Gelders in the ODL Literary Resource Office, I read Green Eggs and Ham aloud to a group of kindergarten children on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. It was a wonderful experience. The teacher had the children so well behaved that it was a pleasure to participate. Since I had never read aloud before, I practiced at home on my dog and cat the night before. My husband coached me and I hope the children enjoyed themselves. This project is designed to bring adults into schools and encourage reading. I believe it’s a tremendous success.

Database Selection Committee awards new contract for statewide license. ODL coordinates the selection of the statewide Oklahoma Library Technology Network (OLTN) Database Selection Committee has just finished an eight-month process to select the vendors for the full-text general periodicals databases provided to all libraries in the state. All types of libraries were represented on the committee. Carol Fox of the ODL staff served as the liaison for the committee. Carol was very impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the committee. The new contracts will begin July 1, 2001 and will be in place for three years. The statewide information database licenses have truly enriched the information available to citizens all over the state.

Center for the Book Award Dinner. This event was another opportunity to represent ODL and see the impact that our staff and services have on Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Center for the Book has one half-time staff person paid by ODL. Glenda Carlile is the staff person and she does an excellent job. The Oklahoma Center for the Book Board is truly a working board and contributes volunteer time and talent to make this event a success. The Public Information Office also participates heavily in the work that has to be done to put an event like this on. I have had comments from the Library of Congress staff who attend the dinner and authors who have attended other state book awards, that the Oklahoma book award is exceptional. You will find more detail about the event in the report from the Public Information Division. It would be my hope that in the future some of the ODL Board would be able to attend this event.

House Budget Hearing. I met with the Subcommittee on Education Appropriations in March. The committee was very interested in our request and asked several questions about the database project and the literacy office. Several legislators commented that when they visited the libraries in their district they had been told how important the databases were to the libraries and the citizens they serve. It is too early to know what the funding situation will be but I believe our budget request will receive serious consideration.

General Appropriations Bill. The legislature and the governor have approved HB 1564 that will fund ODL next year at the same level as this year. Although several agencies’ budget requests were line item vetoed by the governor, ODL was not so we have the assurance of having the same amount of funds to operate on next year as this year. The reduction in funding would have come from freezing open positions and that would have been difficult. I hope we will be as successful in receiving increased funding as we were in maintaining our current level of support.

Archives and Records Commission. Another statutory board at ODL is the Archives and Records Commission. This Board has been in existence since the 1930s. It is composed of a member appointed by the governor who serves as chair, and designees from the Lieutenant Governor’s office, the State Auditor and Inspector’s office, the Treasurer’s office, and the director of ODL. The function of the Board is to review the records retention and destruction schedule for temporary records of state agencies. The oversight provided by the Board ensures accountability. The Records Center where we met last time is the site of storage of some of these records. The Archives and Records Commission was scheduled for sunset review this year. I spoke for the re-creation of the Board at both the House and Senate committee hearings. The bill re-creating it for another six years has been passed by the legislature and signed by the governor.

Legislative Update. Following this report I have included another bill tracking list of bills affecting ODL and libraries in the Oklahoma legislature. SB 396 that will change the ODL Board composition is progressing steadily through the process of becoming law. I expect it will be enacted. HB 1864 requiring filters on computers in public schools and libraries did not make the deadline for passage from committee in the opposite house so it is now considered inactive for the current session. The ODL appropriations bills are also on schedule but it will be closer to the end of the session before anything is known about additional funding. The General Conference Committee on Appropriations will be formed shortly and that is the committee that will make the decisions about where new monies should be allocated. Although typically the GCCA bills are passed without much fanfare, this year may be different. By the time the Board meets again in June, I should know the fate of our budget requests.

The Federal Communications Commission is expected to release its regulations on filtering requirements for recipients of e-rate funding in the next few days. The ODL staff will know more by the time of the Board meeting as to the mandates and the timelines for implementation. I will include an update on this information as part of my Director’s report at the Board meeting.

Oklahoma Library Association annual meeting. Our April Board meeting will be held at the site of the Oklahoma Library Association annual meeting. In addition to several programs that will be held during this time, there will also be exhibits that may be of interest to you. I encourage all of you to consider attending this meeting. If you have not received a conference packet with program information, check out the website information at: ODL will gladly cover registration and lodging fees for the meeting. Contact Syble for more information if you would like to attend this meeting. The conference headquarters is the brand-new Renaissance Hotel.

ODL Board meeting location. The Board meeting will be in the Myriad Convention Center Native American Room on the second level, east end. We know you are busy people and we want to maximize your time so we will provide a shuttle to the Myriad Conference Center. You will be able to park your car in the ODL lot and be transported to the door of the conference center. We will have an ODL staff member waiting at the drop off to escort you to the meeting room. The shuttle will leave from the ODL parking lot at 10 a.m. The ODL Board meeting will begin at 10:30 a.m. If you would like to take advantage of the shuttle, please contact Syble to let her know.

If you would like to drive your own car to the Myriad, there is parking under the Myriad that you enter from Gaylord Boulevard. From the parking garage, you will want to take the elevators marked “Arena” rather than “Convention Center.” The Arena elevators will be closer to the location of the room. You will take the elevators to the second level and then take the escalator up one more level. The Native American Room is further east than the Skywalk and past meeting room 14. It is the on the far east wall of the Myriad and the windows face out on Gaylord Boulevard. The location of the meeting room in the Myriad is closest to the Sheridan Avenue and Gaylord Boulevard intersection.

If you are staying at the Renaissance Hotel, you will be using the Skybridge walkway to cross to the Myriad Convention Center. Once you enter the Myriad, you will turn left and head east to the Native American Room. Again, it is past Meeting Room 14 so just keep walking. It will be a fairly long walk to the meeting room from the hotel.

ODL 2000 – The Year in Review. The final document in the Director’s Report is a summary of ODL’s activities in 2000. Bill Young prepared the report for inclusion in the Oklahoma Library Association annual report that will be distributed to all attendees of the conference. After reading it, I decided to include it in the Director’s Report because it gives such a good overview of the activities of ODL. I hope you will feel that it gives you a better sense of the work of the ODL staff.

Return to Board Minutes for 4/20/01

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