Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
May 10, 2007
State Library of Iowa
Present: Timothy Barrett, Marv Bergman, Susan Craig, Kris Gerhard, Monica Gohlinghorst, Sid Huttner, Jan Kaiser, Karen Keninger, Robin Martin, Marilyn Mercado, Carl Orgren, Kristin Steingreaber, Christie Vilsack, Tim Walch, Cynthia Weiss, Alan Schmitz, Katherine Von Wald, Mary Wegner, Annette Wetteland
Added 10B to agenda – Susan Craig and proposed collaborative project.
One change to September 7, 2006 minutes. Cynthia Weiss attended.
Huttner moved that minutes be approved. Barrett seconded, motion carried.
III. Redesign Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) Web Site
Schmitz showed the Advisory Council the new ICB Web site. The council applauded him and his staff on all their work. It is anticipated that the site will go live June 1st.
Keninger said that headers on all pages help people who are sight impaired. Schmitz said he will check the ones buried deep on the site.
Von Wald said she is still working on the Iowa author list. The council will try to find at least four more authors to populate the site before it goes live. There was discussion about adding illustrators; what should be included as genres; including information on how authors can correct or add information; and asking authors on the list to link to us.
Publicity for author list suggested by Wetteland: E-mail Iowalib; news release; contact Sue Curry, Des Moines Register Book Editor; library newsletters; interviews with Iowa authors.
Von Wald reported that the Literary Calendar will be divided into two parts on the new Web site. Ongoing book discussion groups will be listed under “Library Book Discussion Groups” with a link to libraries’ Web sites for more information.
Literary events will be displayed on the front page under “News and Literary Events” and will also be listed under “Literary Events” with a link to the library’s Web site. (E.g., AVID will show up on the front page under News and Literary Events. As new events are added to the front page, the AVID entry will disappear but will still be displayed under “Literary Events” on the “Resources” category on the left side of the page.) Von Wald will go into the current literary calendar and populate the new one with events for the first week the site is up. After that people with events will be asked to go to the new site.
IV. State Library Report
Wegner thanked the Web committee. She explained that the Plone software used for the ICB Web site is used by Iowa public libraries for Putting Libraries on the Web (PLOW.) Wegner reported on final funding for the State Library, Library Service Areas and Enrich Iowa. She said there was not enough money to purchase new databases this year. She and a group of Iowa delegates visited with Iowa Congressmen in Washington, DC on May 1st and 2nd. They explained to them what the ICB was doing with All Iowa Reads (AIR) this year. She said they were all impressed with the Iowa polio stories Web site. In the future, the ICB will send Congressmen a copy of the current AIR book.
V. ICB Foundation
Wegner said that the paperwork for the new foundation has been filed with the Iowa Secretary of State. She said the council needs to start thinking about foundation memberships. Vilsack suggested the council start brainstorming about what they would like to do with the money raised by the foundation. Craig and Walch asked to be part of the selection process, as did Vilsack.
Craig told Vilsack she was still interested in the “Books to Kindergartners” program. Vilsack said it was an “incredible operation to run.” Vilsack noted that she had help from the Area Educations Agencies who donated $50,000 and distributed the books to schools.
Vilsack suggested that after the Advisory Council prioritizes the programs they’d like to have funded, they should make a wish list. Walch said he would like to see more money in AIR to fund author visits.
Kaiser reported on the Iowa Book Festival held recently in Adel. She said there were a lot of Iowa authors, vendors and food, but attendance was poor. She also mentioned that publishers are more interested in sending authors on tours in the Midwest where they can drive to different events.
Von Wald said in the immediate future the Iowa Authors List and the ICB newsletter will require her attention. She also emphasized that the ICB Advisory Council should suggest programs and projects to the foundation. A committee made up of Barrett, Kaiser, Vilsack, and Von Wald will brainstorm on new projects.
Wegner reminded the council that they must be sure there is sufficient staff available to tackle new projects.
Kaiser said the Junior League of Des Moines is thinking about changing their funding priorities away from literacy. She noted that they have provided a lot of money to literacy projects. Vilsack suggested sending a delegation from the ICB to talk to them.
VI. All Iowa Reads and Iowa Polio Stories
Keninger reported that AIR is now in its fifth year. She said people responded well to last year’s book, Gilead, and that author Marilyn Robinson attended the Iowa Library Association (ILA) conference last year. Keninger said the AIR committee has posted other books considered for selection on its Web site. She also said the books provided by the State Library for the Library Service Areas are being checked out well in advance this year. Keninger also noted that the January ICN program went well again this year with Dale Ross and Susan Craig discussing the book.
Craig described the Iowa Polio Stories Web site. The said they are accepting applications for a project manager for the Iowa Polio Stories Oral History project, as well as transcribers. The stories will eventually go in the Iowa Historical Society archives.
VII. Letters About Literature (LAL)
Von Wald reported that there was a 95% increase in the number of Iowa students participating in 2007. Therefore, there was also an increase in semifinalists. The judges provided each semifinalist with feedback on his/her letter. Von Wald said the judges liked writing to the students and the students were impressed with the judges’ comments.
She announced that Audrey Keranen, an 11th grader from Iowa City, was a winner in the national LAL competition. Keranen and her parents will fly to Washington, DC where she will read her letter at the National Book Festival on September 29. Target Stores will pay for the trip.
Von Wald said there were so many good letters that she and the judges instituted an honorable mention category. She also said that the awards ceremony venue will change next year and those who are awarded honorable mentions will be invited. The letters are now on the LAL Web site. Wegner invited members to attend the National Book Festival at their own expense.
VIII. Meeting of Center for the Book Affiliates in Washington DC.
Wetteland said she attended a meeting of delegates from Centers for the Book from around the nation in Washington DC on May 1 and 2.
The Library of Congress Center for the Book is celebrating its 30th anniversary. A consultant has been hired to review the national organization and provided feedback on its programs, etc. The LOCCFB has hired a national ambassador for children’s literature for its Children’s Book Council.
Wetteland said that LOCCFB administrator, John Cole, offered to send letters of endorsement to local governors if states wish to work with them in promoting local activities. Awards were issued at the meeting for creative and unique ways states celebrate books and reading. Winning states were Illinois, California, Louisiana, Maine and Georgia.
Wetteland said she and another State Library staffer will attend this year’s National Book Festival on September 29. She also reported that Cole said the future of the book festival is unknown at this time. He said he hopes that funding for the festival will continue after First Lady Laura Bush leaves office. Sponsors currently include Target Stores, AT&T, and the Washington Post.
IX. Advisory Council Membership
The following people accepted reappointment to the council: Bergman, Craig, Huttner, Orgren, Barrett, and Wright.
Martin is retiring, leaving an opening for an academic appointment. Suggestions were made to Von Wald and Wegner. Martin will continue to serve, but in the “at large” seat left open when Susan Bedell went off the council. Gerhard moved, Gohlinghorst seconded. Motion carried.
Xa. Appointment Committee to Review Advisory Council By-laws
The following people offered to serve on the committee: Gerhard, Gohlinghorst, Huttner, and Von Wald.
Xb. Proposal from Craig
Craig was approached by Ben Kieffer, host of The Exchange, a daily radio program on Iowa Public Radio about a new on the air book club project. The program would take place at the Iowa City Public Library with plans to move it around Iowa to other libraries if possible. Kieffer would either host the author at the library or live via telephone. The book for the month would be chosen ahead of time and promoted with book club type questions. Audience members could participate in the program as a member of the in-house audience, through an 800 number or e-mail. The program could create a statewide dialog about a book and promote reading and the use of libraries.
Craig asked members of the council if they would like to partner in the project. Council members suggested that if they do, they will want the AIR book discussed one month. Steingreaber said one of the books chosen from the three Iowa book contests would also make a good selection. Wegner said that sometimes people don’t want to call in and talk on the radio. Gerhard suggested it may be easier if there’s an audience in the room. A new committee was formed to talk about the proposal in more detail: Gerhard, Vilsack, Walch, Steingreaber, Kaiser, Martin and Orgren.
XI. Election of Chair for Advisory Council
Von Wald and Wegner said they asked Martin to become chair and she accepted. Wegner moved, Walch seconded. Approved.
The next meeting will be held September 6 at the Iowa City Public Library.