Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council
October 2, 2003
State Library, Des Moines
Present: Von Wald, Magalhaes, Wegner, Goedeken, Kenagy, Gohlinghorst, Mercado, Walch, Person (representing Vilsack), Truck, Huttner, Pawley, Weiss, Steingreaber, Craig, Martin, Kenninger
Everyone introduced themselves. Chart showing terms of members was passed out. We still need on “at large” representative. It was noted the expiration date for terms should be May rather than April of 2004 so everyone will attend the May meeting before some terms expire.
No corrections to minutes of last meeting.
The All Iowa Reads Committee reported that 118 events have been held (or will be held) in 2003 by 109 organizations to discuss/promote the 2003 AIR title, Peace Like a River. There are several special events coming up with the appearance of Leif Enger at the ILA fall conference on Friday, October 17 and then the following day at a public appearance in Iowa City. Some discussion about how to “measure” this interest. Haven’t found good measurements, because we don’t know how many books would have sold or copies circulated by libraries without the program, but word of mouth is very positive and we feel 2003 has been a great success and generated much interest around the state. Thanks to First Lady, Christie Vilsack, for helping raise the profile of this program.
Wegner reported that the Iowa Center for the Book Foundation should be established by the end of the year. She has met with a Des Moines area attorney who is working on the paperwork and the State Library Commission has been discussing various organizational/membership models.
Von Wald reported on the new CFTB program: Letters About Literature. This national program involves three levels of students (grades 4-6, 7-8 and 9-12) writing letters to authors (living or dead) telling them how their books have influenced them. This is the first year Iowa has participated and they have been trying to get word of the program out to teachers. Deadline is December 6th. Target is a national sponsor and they are doing some promotion.
The Literary Calendar website went “live” on August 22nd and new links are being added. There is a need for a definition of a “literary event”. There was discussion ranging from keeping it very broad (for instance, any event at all held in a library) to keeping it more focused to attract people who are truly looking for special literary events in Iowa. Generally, problems with calendars were discussed—keeping them current, deciding what to put on, institutions with various constituencies might not see it as a priority to enter events that might be of interest state-wide, putting responsibility for updating due to changes, etc on whoever enters in the first place, should “known” events such as the Live from Prairie Lights or the DM author festival just be linked to. There is a need of a critical mass of information to draw people to use the calendar. Challenges include getting people to read/use and also getting organizations to enter info about their events.
This prompted discussion of the need for a general informational brochure about the Iowa Center for the Book. With some organizational issues settled, some permanent programs up and going, and the website address settled it seems a good investment to develop a ICFTB brochure to make available at libraries, conferences, and literary events. Von Wald and Wegner will follow up.
An older version of an Iowa Literary Map done by the Iowa Council of Teachers of English, the Iowa Reading Association, and the Iowa Educational Media Association is being updated by the same group. There will be both a web site and a paper version. It was moved by Kenagy and seconded by Goedeken that the Iowa Center for the Book use the $1,000 available from the Library of Congress for literary map projects to assist this group in the update. Discussion points included making sure that the finished document had enough text to be accessible and that credit be given to the ICFTB. It was remembered that there had been concerns expressed at previous meeting regarding spending the money this way because it was a one time opportunity. However, sentiment was that it wasn’t enough money to do a different project from scratch, and this would help get the project done and be one more accomplishment. It was acknowledged that this literary map was primarily intended to serve a classroom function and was not, necessarily the end all and be all of Iowa literary maps. All voted Yes on the motion.
Mary Cameron and Annette Wetteland from the State Library will be attending the National Book Festival in Washington D.C. where all the Centers for the Book will be represented. Christie Vilsack will make an appearance.
Next meeting is Thursday, May 20th in Pella at Central College.