Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) Advisory Council
Minutes – May 20, 2004
Central College, Pella
Present: Susan Craig, Kristen Gerhard, Monica Gohlinghorst, Sid Huttner, Karen Keninger, Shaner Magalhaes, Robin Martin, Kristin Steingreaber, Lorna Truck, Christie Vilsack, Katherine Von Wald, Tim Walch, Mary Wegner, Cynthia Weiss, Annette Wetteland and a guest librarian from Bulgaria.
1. Members of the committee introduced themselves.
2. Creation of Foundation for Iowa Center for the Book / Appointment of Members of Advisory Council to Foundation Board.
Wegner explained that the foundation would allow us to receive money and have 501 (C) (3) status. The money will be private donations, not public funds. It would allow for enhanced programming and promotion of the Iowa Center for the Book.
Wegner said she has been in touch with a Des Moines attorney who has worked with other libraries. She noted that the Department of Education thought code authority might be necessary. The Attorney General’s office adviser to the State Library suggested that the State Library either ask the legislature for code authority or set up the foundation completely outside of state government.
The group opted to set up the foundation outside of state government. No State Library staff can act as the incorporating person; an outside person will be required.
The foundation board will originally include two members from the ICB advisory council, two members of the Iowa Commission of Libraries, and Mary Wegner. This group will be responsible for approving by-laws, which are being drafted, and deciding on other members to be appointed to the board.
There was discussion about a temporary arrangement with the Des Moines Community Foundation where money could be placed until the foundation for the ICB is established.
A motion was made to incorporate a foundation through a private person. Keninger moved; Truck seconded; motion carried.
A motion was made to ask Walch and Craig to serve on the foundation board. Gohlinghorst moved; Vilsack seconded; motion carried.
3. All Iowa Reads (AIR).
Craig and Von Wald noted that the second year is going well. People are adjusting to using the literary calendar to post upcoming events.
A short list of titles has been chosen by the AIR Committee for 2005. The 2005 book will be announced at the Iowa Library Association Conference this fall during the Friday noon luncheon. Elizabeth McCracken, author of the 2004 AIR book, Niagara Falls All Over Again, will be the luncheon speaker.
Book sharing among groups is running smoothly and overall the AIR Committee thinks people are still excited about the program. Steingreaber said she thought the program had inspired more book discussion events across the state.
Magalhaes and Von Wald said that people were asking how they can contact committee members when they have questions or comments about the program. Changes to the web site will be made that will make contact information more visible.
Craig noted that selection criteria has been consolidated and rearranged on the web site. She also said she has contacted a large print publisher who may be willing to publish future AIR selections.
It was reiterated that group discussions are still the main emphasis of the program and that the group still wants literature that’s fairly new. People also enjoy having authors who are available to come to Iowa.
4. Letters About Literature (LAL)
Von Wald described the first year of Iowa’s participation in LAL, a project of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In 2004, 41 states participated and over 39,000 entries were read at the national level. Iowa had a total of 671 entries. There were 27 semi-finalists in Level I (4-6 grades), 51 semi-finalists in Level II (7-8 grades) and 18 semi-finalists in Level III (9-12 grades). Iowa judges included Iowa librarians, a radio talk show host, authors, teachers and a university professor.
The awards for first, second and third place winners in each level were handed out at the Iowa Reading Association/Iowa Association of School Librarians conference on April 2. Vilsack and Von Wald made the presentations. There were workshops in the morning designed specifically for students and LAL guests told Von Wald the sessions were a wonderful, inspiring experience. She hopes that LAL can work with this conference again next year.
Vilsack said she would like to hold a press conference to garner more publicity for LAL and would be willing to write a letter to teachers asking them to encourage students to participate. Steingreaber also said school newsletters would be a good way to publicize the program.
Von Wald said all of the first place winners in Iowa were in the top six nationally. She credits the teachers who work with the students. Target will fly the national winners to Washington, DC during the National Book Festival in October.
Von Wald said she has e-mailed teachers who submitted students letters this year asking how they heard about the program. Vilsack suggested the Iowa Writers Project may be able to help get the word out. Jim Davis, who is now at the University of Northern Iowa, may be a good contact person. Magalhaes said efforts should be made to reach home schoolers. Children’s librarians would be a good contact and Steingraber said she meets with home schoolers in the fall.
As a side note, Craig noted that Vilsack is again this year distributing books to Iowa kindergartners. The title is Sushi and Sweet Corn. Craig said she wants to keep this program going even after Vilsack is no longer Iowa’s First Lady. Vilsack said she wants her Stories 2000 project to remain a part of the ICB. Steingreaber said that, down the road, she would be interested in helping select and distribute the book.
5. Literary Calendar
The calendar went “live” the first week of January. To-date, 258 events have been added. Von Wald noted that she had talked to the Iowa Small Library Association about the calendar. Von Wald said people sometimes have problems interpreting the questions on the form and that the form may need to be changed to make the meaning more clear. She said it takes people a long time to get used to changes and new ways of doing things. She asked ICB members to help get the word out. She will be distributing bookmarks to libraries about the calendar, will push to get a lot of information on it in August, and will start publicizing it in September.
6. Meeting of Center for the Book Affiliates in Washington, DC
Von Wald reported that 59 people attended the meeting; not all states were represented. The most uniform program nationwide is LAL. “River of Words” is another Center for the Book in the Library of Congress program that is sponsored in Iowa by the Department of Natural Resources. Members recommended that the ICB invite representatives from the Department to an ICB Advisory Council meeting to discuss River of Words.
Other Iowa book award programs include the University of Iowa’s North American Review Writer’s Workshop award, the Des Moines Public Library’s author awards program, ILA’s Johnson Brigham Young award given every three years, Iowa Children’s Choice Award, the Iowa Teen Award, and an award program through the Iowa Arts Council. Steingreaber suggested that the ICB become involved with other existing programs, perhaps adding information to the ICB web site.
There was discussion on what the criteria is for an “Iowa” author. It will be discussed more at the ICB’s next meeting. Walch said there should be more awards for authors of books for adults.
Von Wald noted that the Literary Map being developed by the Iowa Council of Teachers of English with other groups is still being worked on. $1,000 from the Library of Congress, through ICB, will be awarded for the project which will be available in print version and on the web.
She said Center for the Book projects in other states have included publishing books, programs in schools and summer libraries, workshops for librarians and teachers, and writing workshops for the public. She handed out a summary of programs of others state Center for the Book affiliates.
7. Year of the Arts, Culture and Recreation
Magalhaes reported that Governor Vilsack had declared the Year of the Arts, Culture and Recreation developed through the Department of Cultural Affairs and the University of Iowa. There will actually be 18 months of programs. He said libraries would be a natural partner in programming and helping to get the word out and will let people know when events are scheduled. Anita Walker, Department of Cultural Affairs, will be in touch with Wegner.
A key project of the Department is a cultural caucus held every four years. Magalhaes said a cultural survey will be developed to distribute to a group of Iowans who will help develop future goals. The plan will then be presented to the 2005 Iowa Legislature.
8. Advisory Council Membership
Terms ended for Magalhaes, Walch, Craig, Huttner, Holly Carver and Christine Pawley. Carver asked not to be reappointed and Pawley will be contacted about her decision. All others said they wanted to stay on the council.
Steingreaber motioned to reappoint members; Gohlinghorst seconded; motion carried.
9. Walch moved to reappoint Magalhaes chair of the council; Steingraber seconded; motion carried.
10. The next meeting will be held at the new Iowa City Public Library at 10 a.m. on October 28.
The agenda will include a discussion of possible future projects.