Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) Advisory Council
October 28, 2005
National Czech & Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids
Present: Timothy Barrett, Marvin Bergman, Susan Craig, Sidney Huttner, Karen Keninger, Robin Martin, Marilyn Mercado, Lorna Truck, Christie Vilsack, Katherine Von Wald, Timothy Walch (Chair), Mary Wegner, Cynthia Weiss, Annette Wetteland and Charlotte Wright
I. Introductions. Barrett asked people to introduce themselves and the institutions they represented. Two members of the Museum staff gave brief overviews of the library and the museum. Council members toured the facility after the meeting.
II. Minutes. Moved and approved.
III. Creation of Foundation for the Iowa Center for the Book. Wegner said the Articles of Incorporation were approved by the Iowa Commission of Libraries and a person has been named to be the incorporator. An attorney is working on the by-laws.
IV. Letters About Literature. Von Wald explained the Letters About Literature (LAL) program to the new members of the Council. Wetteland said she attended the National Book Festival in Washington, DC on September 24 and attended the LAL national presentation. Iowa had a national winner this year, Edward Chen of Ames, IA, who read his letter to Albert Camus, author of The Stranger. Wetteland and Von Wald said that they do not know if the Target Corporation has sent a news release to newspapers, but Von Wald is checking into it. Vilsack said she is willing to help get a news release published and possibly have a special event around Thanksgiving when Chen is home from college. The Iowa LAL awards program will take place next year during the Iowa Reading Association Conference in April. Wetteland also reported on the good response from teachers at the Talented and Gifted Program conference in September, where LAL staff had a booth.
V. Website and Literary Calendar. Von Wald reported that it will probably be 2007 before the CFB transfers to a new content management system (Plone). Plone will be able to feature a calendar on the home page which is hoped will encourage more people to add events and use the Literary Calendar. Huttner, Gohlinghorst, Martin and Kenagy have volunteered to work on the Literary Calendar early in 2006. She will ask for volunteers to help redesign the ICB web site at a later date.
VI. All Iowa Reads (AIR). Craig said she believes AIR is becoming part of the literary scene in Iowa. Not all events are being added to the Literary Calendar, but people are asking more questions and talking more about AIR, she said. Craig noted that it seems common place for people to use the AIR selection in their regular book discussion groups. Von Wald said this year’s AIR committee members’ offers to help librarians hold their first book discussions have been beneficial.
The announcement of next year’s AIR selection was made on October 21 at the Iowa Library Association (ILA) Conference. The book is Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. Craig said she spoke to Robinson and the author already has next year’s ILA conference on her calendar and is willing to speak at the Friday luncheon. Vilsack offered to do another information session on the selection in January. Von Wald said she had notified bookstores about the selection. Vilsack suggested writing a brief description of each of the bookstores listed on the ICB web site. Mike Kilen’s article in The Des Moines Register about the selection was discussed.
VII. Discussion of Possible Future Projects.
A. Vilsack said she has decided to continue managing her foundation after the Governor leaves office. This includes the book give-a-way to Iowa kindergartners, which costs around $200,000. She noted the foundation relies on many volunteers and said she thought it would be unfair to burden the ICB with the work involved. Vilsack said next year’s book is The Pickle Patch Bathtub by Frances Kennedy, a retired Iowa teacher. She discussed her Glass Apple Award that will honor certified teacher librarians in the future, and a national level award aimed at public libraries and public school districts. She would like to support librarians and teachers who help educate parents about information literacy on the Internet, especially web sites that provide good, positive information. Vilsack said she would like to continue to serve on the ICB after she leaves her current position as First Lady.
B. Wegner handed out information on the Core Concepts of Information Literacy from the Washington State Library’s Information Literacy Project. She also described the Iowa Pathfinders Project. Pathfinders have been developed primarily by Iowa librarians on a variety of subjects. A pathfinder provides a bibliography of information on topics that include both print and web site sources.
C. Von Wald asked for suggestions for possible future projects. A sub-committee was appointed to discuss the potential of the suggestions and the order in which they are implemented. Barrett, Truck, Walch and Von Wald will serve.
A council member asked about progress on the Literary Map project. Von Wald said the committee is working on the project and is working with a web designer. The project will include a paper map for classrooms, as well as information on the web. The Library of Congress will provide money for initiating the Literary Map when they are prepared. Coordinator Donna Niday will be asked to join the council at the spring meeting.
In discussing the re-design of the web site, Truck asked if it could be hosted some place else. It could be updated before 2007.
Vilsack asked Barrett if he would be willing to do book-making presentations in libraries. He said he could. He would also like to see the ICB web site changed so that tours and workshops such as his were more visible. Von Wald said she would work on changing the language on the web site, and get information out via the Iowa libraries’ and teachers’ mail lists hosted by the State Library. An article in the State Library’s newsletter would also draw more attention to workshop opportunities.
Other suggestions included:
• An authors’ showcase event or book fair.
• Developing a list of Iowa authors. Organizations could use it to invite authors to speak in their communities. (Barrett said Scott Cleland from Minnesota does a wonderful presentation on the origins of the alphabet for youth in K-6th grades. Vilsack said Maureen Corte of Des Moines is developing a storytelling festival and will do one show around the Vilsacks’ annual Spring Fling at Terrace Hill.)
• Martin suggested ICB members attend the grand openings of renovated or new public libraries in the state and perhaps bring a gift. Truck said she would look into having council members at the grand opening of the new downtown Des Moines Public Library.
• Vilsack suggested having young people look at the ICB logo. Barrett suggested a “moving” logo.
• There was a discussion of the groups represented on the Advisory Council. Bergman suggested having young people on the advisory council. Others mentioned a futurist, film-maker, documentary producer, Mike Kilen, Mary Kay Shanley (guest speaker).
Huttner reported that Mark Edmundson is speaking at 7 p.m. November 3, Shambaugh Auditorium, Main Library, as part of the University of Iowa’s Libraries sesquicentennial celebration. He is the author of “Why Read?”. A symposium – Whitman Making Books/Books Making Whitman – in celebration of the sesquicentennial of the publication of Leaves of Grass begins the evening of November 10 at the University of Iowa Museum of Art and continues through the 12th. The exhibition which accompanies the symposium, also at UIMA, will be in place November 5 through February 12.
Von Wald will poll council members via e-mail about a spring meeting date, either in late April or early May. Truck invited the council to meet at the new Des Moines Public Library.
Recorder – Annette Wetteland