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ODL Board Minutes and Agendas

October 26, 2001

10:30 a.m.
Ardmore Public Library

ODL Director's Report for This Meeting

Minutes of Meeting

Chairman Clyde Petete called the meeting to order and asked for roll call.

Board Members present: James Carter, Judi Knapp, Clyde Petete, and Susan McVey, ex officio.

Board members absent: Benny Briggs, Jesse Harris, Doyle Kinney, and Sherry Roberts.

There being no quorum, the board did not take any official action. Minutes of the August 24th, 2001 meeting will be considered for approval at the board meeting scheduled November 30, 2001.

Guests present: Duchess Bartmess, Dan Connally, Karen Currie, Carolyn Franks, Susan Gilley, Mayor David Mordy, Donna Skvarla, Vicki Sullivan, and Bill Young.

Mayor David Mordy welcomed the board to Ardmore. He commended Carolyn Franks, Director of the Ardmore Public Library. He said many people in the community use the new library facility.

Carolyn Franks talked about the new Ardmore library. The building was constructed two years ago and built entirely without tax funds. A local citizen passed away and left the library and five other organizations $4.3 million dollars each, along with a smaller donation to another organization. The donation allowed the library to build a new 29,000 square foot building. Many resources were put into the children’s department, and the materials budget was increased. There is also a smaller boardroom for meetings, several “quiet” rooms, a safe room, processing and mail areas, and private offices. The donation was invested and drew interest for a few years, so there are still some funds left. 

A tour of the building was conducted while waiting for additional ODL board members to arrive.

No additional members arrived, so Mr. Petete suggested the agenda be followed with no actions taken. 

Susan presented the Director’s Report. She said she had recently returned from the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, and a meeting of the Western Council of State Libraries business meeting. She said a number of states are having financial difficulties. Those that depend on tourism or have a particular type of economy that’s affected by the recent downturn are having a particularly hard time and are looking at serious budget cuts. Some states are having special sessions to deal with funding situations and are facing reductions. Oklahoma has been fortunate so far, although tax collections have been down.

Susan said Mr. Petete had heard a report on Internet safety, and asked how children can be taught to safely interact and surf on the web. Susan asked Donna Skvarla and Carolyn Franks to comment on this subject.

Donna Skvarla detailed several computer lab classes ODL offered in 2000 and 2001 that focused on children’s resources. She said ODL’s objective is to train the librarians on how to find the best information available for their young patrons.

Mr. Petete said his question was more about “safe surfing” for kids, and teaching children how to be safe on the Internet. 

Donna said the training helps librarians point children to positive sites, so perhaps they won’t go to the other places. She said the safety issue is really the parents’ responsibility. 

Mr. Petete asked if libraries teach parents about Internet safety.

Donna said ODL’s responsibility is training librarians in finding appropriate sites for children. She said the local library can take it a step further and teach parents where to find the valuable sites.

Judi Knapp commented that the issue of children and Internet safety came up at her confirmation hearing. She said none of the lab classes mentioned addressed how to keep kids safe.

Carolyn Franks said that librarians could not absolutely guarantee that a child is not going to access a pornographic site in our libraries. She said even if filters are used, they are not fail-proof. She said it’s not as big a problem as it is being made out to be. The Ardmore Public Library requires children to have their parents sign a form, which encourages parents to spend time with their children at the Internet computers and talk with them about what is appropriate for them and what is not. For practical matters, she said library staff does not monitor what each child is viewing; but if staff notice that a child is at an inappropriate site, they are asked to leave the site. Carolyn said it’s handled in this way, and it has not been a huge problem. 

Duchess Bartmess asked if there are any workshops where both the parent and the child come together and the librarians work with both of them? She said she didn’t think the library should take on the role of monitoring, but believes that training for both parents and children would be beneficial.

Mr. Petete commented that this might not be within our sphere of responsibility.

Carolyn Franks said libraries cannot decide the issue for every parent, since some parents may think some things are appropriate, while another parent would not.

Susan said there have been some courses taught on safe surfing. Syble Connally of the Putnam City school district, has presented classes on computer usage to parents. They were held in the evenings, when computers first started coming into the school libraries. Susan had also seen a Safety Rules for the Information Superhighway in one of the consultant’s offices that could be posted at computer stations.

James Carter said the Lawton Public Library requires patrons to attend a class before using the Internet. He said ODL could get feedback from libraries across the state to see what they are doing, evaluate the approaches that are the most effective, and consider making that information available to other libraries. 

Donna mentioned a lot of sharing goes on at the computer lab classes because many attending are children’s librarians and they are all faced with the same problems. She said ODL could make suggestions, but that it’s ultimately the local library’s decision.

Mr. Petete suggested we move on to the other topics on the agenda.

Susan said ODL received a follow-up grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This time it is not for equipment but for technology training and is approximately $84,000. Presenters will be hired to teach about the software applications on the computers, such as Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, Access, as well as basic troubleshooting.

Susan asked Bill Young to preview the two promotional spots for public libraries that were provided by a LSTA Grant approved by the ODL Board. Bill said the Public Library Directors Council identified PR activities as a need; and in particular, producing some television commercials and purchasing media time. The two spots began running last week. Monarch Marketing, Oklahoma City, was awarded the contract and the spots are running out of the OKC and Tulsa television markets. The first commercial, “What Has Puppets?”, is aimed at a diverse audience and was filmed in the Norman Public Library. The second commercial, “What Has Einstein?”, is aimed at a young adult audience. They’re both 30 seconds in length. 

Mr. Petete asked about radio spots. Bill said ODL lacked the money to purchase radio time, but will produce radio scripts for local libraries to use. Mr. Petete asked about running the ads as Public Service Announcements. Bill and Judi Knapp reported that it is very difficult to get good placement with PSAs these days. Bill said this is one reason that libraries are starting to purchase time. He said it always helps to know someone at a station, and if Mr. Petete has connections in McAlester, it would be great to get exposure through PSAs as well. James Carter said billboards in very visible areas would be effective as well.

Susan asked if there were any questions concerning the Proposal for LSTA funding. There were none.

Mr. Petete moved on to the historical ODL minutes project. He said this is an idea to compile all ODL board minutes to reflect the good works that ODL has done over the years. Staff is currently exploring what it would take to make the minutes available to libraries across the state.

Vicki Sullivan made a preliminary survey of ODL minutes in the archives, starting from 1919 to present. The earlier ones are very fragile and vary in size from one or two pages to several. Vicki said ODL had looked at different ways to make the materials available and feels the most cost effective way to do this would be to scan the material and make it available through the web site. ODL could also produce CD-ROMs to distribute to public libraries. Depending on the pleasure of the board, the scope of a project to digitize these documents could vary greatly. She said if only the minutes are involved, that would not be as lengthy a project; approximately 2000 pages. If the project includes digitizing the supporting documentation, that would mean digitizing more than 12,000 pages. 

Susan said the cost for such a project would actually be in staff’s time. No extra staff would be hired; existing staff would have to devote a specified time to the project. She said the minutes and supporting documents are available currently and are being preserved in the State Archives, but patrons have to physically go to the archives and have the material retrieved to read it. Digitization would make the minutes more widely available, but she did not know if there would be a searchable component. Vicki said new software would need to be purchased to make the documents searchable.

Mr. Petete asked the board for their opinion. The question is whether past minutes would be of interest or be used.

James Carter said perhaps a more expeditious way would be a sampling of minutes over a period of years. Instead of scanning everything, scan only those significant documents, which would be less time-consuming than scanning all.

Ms. Bartmess responded that would require a judgement call. She said she is looking at it from a different perspective. She wishes every state agency would provide their minutes digitally for historical purposes. She said if you want to find out why something was done in state government, it can be very difficult. She would like to see this information in a usable form, not just preserved. She said very fragile papers are not very accessible, and if ODL started to provide online access to its materials, other agencies might follow.

James Carter asked if the staff’s time would be better spent more efficiently and effectively somewhere else. Is there really a value for doing this project?

Judi Knapp responded that this may be somewhere down on the list on priorities.

Mr. Petete asked the present board members to give it some thought before the next board meeting.

Susan said Vicki is trying to identify how much staff time would be incurred, what type of technology would be used, and whether it includes migration. Some software doesn’t continue forever, and you have to transfer to a new product. 

James Carter had read recently about the IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations) Conference. He said there is concern about relying too much on technology and software, since libraries can run into the problem of using hardware that can’t access old software programs, CDs, etc. He said that we should perhaps not be relying purely on technology to be an archival substitute.

Susan said there is often pressure to be on the leading edge of technology. 

Mr. Petete went to the next item on the agenda: the time change of the meetings. Mr. Kinney liked the 10 a.m. suggestion, but the majority of board members prefer the 10:30 a.m. time.

Susan reported about the new law regarding posting on the agency’s website. The law requires state agencies to make available on their websites, the names of their governing body members, and such other information about members that the public body may choose to include. ODL currently has photos, the terms of service, and the community represented. She asked board members to think about what other information they may wish to include. 

Mr. Petete suggested putting division heads’ photos on the web also.

James Carter asked, in light of the recent terrorist attacks, about security in public libraries.

Susan replied that a bill has been passed on anti-terrorism. Some materials in federal depository agencies will be withdrawn. There is already a law protecting library circulation records where a subpoena is required to look at someone’s records but this may be changed. State Government has had meetings about state agencies, but no information has been disseminated yet. She said ODL’s web manager is very concerned about security of the ODL web server and keeps patches up and current.

Mr. Petete asked if anyone knew of any libraries using video monitoring of buildings?

Susan said after the attacks, some were using security cameras. 

Carolyn Franks said some libraries are using closed circuit now, and Ardmore is thinking of installing an external closed circuit camera.

Mr. Petete thanked everyone for coming and the meeting adjourned.

Susan McVey, ex officio

ODL Director's Report for This Meeting

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