Dept. of Libraries
200 NE 18th St
ODL Director's Report
to the June 29, 2001 ODL Board Meeting Minutes
In addition, HB 1221, which creates a revolving fund for public library construction funding, became law. Included at the end of the directors report is an information sheet on the libraries that were funded for construction projects from the $150,000 we received in the current fiscal year. There were 33 applications for this years grant opportunity and the total requests for funding totaled $1,140,000. The continuing appropriation for construction will be much appreciated by the communities in Oklahoma.
At the end of the division reports, there is a bill-tracking list of the legislation affecting libraries that weve been monitoring. Many of the bills are inactive but may be considered in the next legislative session.
Personnel changes. As all of you know, Syble Robertson has retired. You will get the opportunity at the June 29th Board meeting to meet her replacement, Karen Currie. Karen has been with ODL for 20 years serving as the Administrative Assistant in the Office of Library Development. Karen has a wide knowledge of the public library community in the state, has excellent administrative skills as well as being a very well organized individual. Karen was able to work with Syble for approximately three weeks after her appointment and is enjoying the challenge of her new position even if she does feel overwhelmed from time to time. If you call the office with a question, we may have to get back to you with an answer but both Karen and I are learning together. We have several other new ODL staff to introduce to you as well.
CIPA/NIPA. We continue to learn more about The Childrens Internet Protection Act (CIPA) and the Neighborhood Childrens Internet Protection Act (N-CIPA). The most recent development (May 14th) is an agreement between the parties in the lawsuit that schools and libraries have a longer period to evaluate the options for filtering technology to comply with the law. It will be the year beginning July 1, 2002 that a library will have to have the filtering technology in place. I believe this delay will be very beneficial in allowing ODL and libraries time to gather information about the various products on the market. Libraries have to begin to take steps before July 1, 2001 to implement the law but do not have to make final decisions until the following year.
As I told you at the Board meeting in April, the Federal Communications Commission has released its regulations on implementing the law. The primary points that are required for recipients of e-rate funds are included in a document at the end of the directors report. The FAQ was developed by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction and is an excellent summary of the laws requirements.
Libraries for the Future grant. Last year ODL received a grant from Libraries for the Future for advocacy workshops. Due to the scheduling conflicts, the workshops were postponed for a year. We are now back working on the planning for these workshops to be held this fall. Talks with the Libraries for the Future staff are underway. We are tentatively scheduling these workshops to be held during the first two weeks of October. We will have two workshops each week with a mentor from the Libraries for the Future network. These mentors are volunteers who have experience with advocacy in their own area plus additional training from the Libraries for the Future. The grant will provide the travel expenses for the two mentors. The workshops will be held in four locations in the state. The workshops will focus on the basics of how library supporters and librarians can develop relationships with local and state decision makers such as city council and state legislators.
Strategic Plan for ODL. The Director and the ODL Office Administrators continue to work through the Office of State Finance strategic planning process with our consultant, Susan Ferguson. Susan has worked with several other state agencies to comply with the Office of State Finance guidelines and she believes we are right on track. In July, we will present parts of the strategic plan to the ODL staff for discussion and input. Following that presentation, action plans will be developed to implement the plan. In August, we will bring our strategic plan to the Board for discussion and adoption. The strategic plan will be submitted with the ODL budget request to the Office of State Finance on October 1st.
Most unusual event of the period. This category is not one that I hope will become a regular part of the directors report since it will mean that something truly strange has happened. Nonetheless, in the cause of full disclosure to the Board, there will be an occasional need to report strange events. This time the most unusual event was the loss of power in the ODL main building for two days. On May 30th and May 31st, the Wright building had no electricity due to storm damage. The staff had to be sent home both days because it was impossible to work in the building. There were four buildings in this immediate area without power and we believe the problem was a transformer, but never heard the cause. The first day was less irritating than the second day when we had scheduled Sybles retirement party. After 37 years of employment, we were not prepared to let Syble leave without a recognition of her contributions to the agency. On the spur of the moment, we decided to move the party to the new Records Center and proceeded to call everyone invited to the party to let them know about the move. We drew a map to the Records Center and taped it to the front door for anyone we missed. When we notified people about the move and the reason for it, you could tell we were all having trouble processing the situation: We were asked to fax the map to the Records Center. What part of no power do you not understand? Of course, Im the one who stands in the kitchen turning on the light switch when theres no power so I should be able to identify. The rest of the story is that the party went off very well. Camilla Means was able to attend and represent the Board. She read the resolution passed by the Board in April recognizing Sybles contributions to ODL. Many people had a much worse situation at their homes and offices (including one of our Board members, Doyle Kinney) but I was very glad to find the building up and running again on Friday.
FOLIO. The Friends of Libraries in Oklahoma (FOLIO) had a meeting on Friday, June 1st. The group has been rebuilding over the past year under the leadership of Julia Ratliffe, former ODL Board member. The group is undertaking many vital projects including the creation of the Oklahoma Literary Landmarks. At the June 1st meeting, the first literary landmark was announced. It is in Okemah, the home of Woody Guthrie.
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