Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council
May 23, 2008
Central College, Pella
Present: Marv Bergman, Susan Craig, Monica Gohlinghorst, Mary Heinzman, Sid Huttner, Jan Kaiser, Karen Keninger, Lily Lau, Marilyn Mercado, Carl Orgren, Kristin Steingreaber, Katherine Von Wald, Tim Walch, Mary Wegner, Cynthia Weiss, Annette Wetteland, Charlotte Wright. (Kris Gerhard as meeting ended)
Guest: Library Director Natalie Hutchinson, Geisler Library, Central College
Walch chaired the meeting in the absence of Martin. Hutchinson welcomed the group to Central College and talked about changes taking place in the library.
Craig moved that the minutes be approved. Gohlinghorst seconded, motion carried unanimously.
III. State Library Report. Mary Wegner
Wegner reported that Barb Peterson, Mike Dargan, Tom Martin and she visited with Iowa’s congressional delegates and their staff in Washington, DC for the annual National Library Legislative Day.
The State Library hired a consultant to help it develop a three-year strategic plan, which should be completed by mid- to late summer.
Wegner said the Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) foundation is in good standing with the Iowa Secretary of State’s office. The foundation does need tax exemption from the IRS and by-laws need to be developed. Craig, Gohlinghorst and Walch will work with Wegner and Von Wald to write the by-laws.
IV. Iowa Author Project
Von Wald and Orgren reported on the project. There are about 100 authors currently listed. It was noted that word of mouth, especially among people on the advisory council, had helped spread the word to Iowa authors. Von Wald said she is working on making the list searchable by authors who are interested in presenting programs and audience type (children, young adult or adult). Von Wald will e-mail the authors on the list once a year to ask them to check their entry so it can be corrected or updated if needed. Wetteland will write a news release about the project. Von Wald asked the council to check the list again for Iowa authors that are not on the list who should be contacted.
V. All Iowa Reads
Keninger and Craig reported that there were 40 discussions posted on the ICB Web site for this year’s book, Digging to America. Keninger said the discussions she’s been involved in have been lively and the book well received. Craig said the AIR group is in the process of choosing the 2009 book. It will be announced at the Iowa Library Association conference in October. Anne Tyler, author of Digging to America, will not be at this year’s conference.
VI. Letters About Literature
This year’s award ceremony was held at the State Library. All Iowa winners, first, second, and third place plus honorable mentions, were invited. Robin Martin welcomed more than 60 people to the event. Von Wald said author Debra Marquart gave a very nice address to the students and their families. The students read their letters and had their pictures taken with Marquart. Von Wald noted that people stayed around for refreshments and visited with one another.
Von Wald said honorable mentions are now named at both the national and state levels. Winners do not receive trips to Washington, DC for the National Book Festival, but receive Target GiftCards and have input into the decision as to which library in their community will receive the $10,000 Reading Promotion Grant. Honorable mentions also receive a Target GiftCard and input into the library that will receive a $1,000 Reading Promotion Grant. This year Iowa had two national honorable mentions. The Summit Middle School Library, Johnston Public Schools and the Cedar Rapids Public Library will receive the $1,000 awards.
It was suggested that the ICB do its own news release on this year’s national honorable mentions in early July. It may be possible to get quotes from past winners and the librarians who won $1,000 this year for the libraries.
Von Wald asked the council to take the time to read the winning state letters.
VII. Re-affiliation with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress
The advisory council thanked Von Wald for her work in getting the ICB re-affiliated with the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. It was noted that there were good summaries of the past three years in her report. Steingreaber suggested that the AEAs' work with the ICB be mentioned in the next report.
VIII. Iowa Polio Stories
Von Wald said the URL, www.iowapoliostories.org, will be gone in the future, but the information and stories will remain on the ICB’s Web site. Von Wald noted that Kate Scott, Iowa Polio Stories Oral History Coordinator, wrote the final report to the Carver Trust, who helped pay for the project. All of the oral history stories are now located in the Iowa Historical Society in Iowa City. Bergman said Mary Bennett, Historical Society, was very pleased to have them and thanked Scott for doing a professional job. Bergman also said there will be a story about the collection in the next Annals of Iowa magazine.
IX. Future Projects
Von Wald reported that there are still things that need to be done to the Iowa Authors List. As for the newsletter, she said the State Library is getting a new version of Plone in late 2008 or 2009. The newsletter will include articles on the ICB Web site and will not have fancy graphics. People will have to subscribe and will be able to unsubscribe to the newsletter.
It was suggested that a list of the Iowa authors could be included in the newsletter. The council thought Iowa libraries should be asked to add a link to the ICB on their Web sites. Wegner asked that council members take responsibility for writing newsletter stories and events and sending them to Von Wald or Wetteland.
Kaiser, Von Wald, Wegner and Wetteland will work together to see if Hy Vee would be willing to promote the ICB on cloth grocery bags. Weiss talked about her library’s bags and their cost. Money will have to be raised to pay for projects such as this, unless Hy Vee will absorb the cost. The theme on the bags should be general in nature rather than promote a specific ICB program. Kaiser offered her graphic designer to help with a logo and design. The committee will see if it’s possible to have the bags by the ILA conference.
Kaiser raised the idea of having an author fair in Gateway Park when the ILA conference is in Des Moines in 2009.
Though funding is a big issue, Craig asked the council to keep an open mind about recreating the “one book to every kindergartner” project started by former First Lady Christie Vilsack. Craig, Gohlinghorst, Mercado, Steingreaber, Von Wald and Wegner will study the issue further.
Wegner reported on “All Kansas Reads a Book to a Kid.” She said it got good press and legislators had their pictures taken reading to kids.
Banks and Rotary Clubs were suggested as possible donors for future projects.
Another possible project would be something based on the importance of reading out loud.
X. Meeting of Center for the Book Affiliates in Washington DC
Wetteland reported that many interesting projects are being carried out in other states. Some she listed included: Inviting legislators to LAL ceremonies; the “Fathers Reading Every Day” project; state author awards (already done by Des Moines Public Library); highlighting state authors in each newsletter or on the Web site; literary maps; state poet laureates. Walch said Iowa has named only two poet laureates over the past several years.
XI. Advisory Council Membership
Craig moved and Mercado seconded a motion to send the following names to Wegner for approval to serve another term on the ICB Advisory Council: Tim Barrett, Kris Gerhard, Jan Kaiser, Karen Keninger, Robin Martin and Marilyn Mercado.
Von Wald said that Lily Lau, administrator of East Central Library Services, will take Roy Kenagy’s place on the Advisory Council.
Von Wald reported that John Cole, head of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, offered to come to an advisory council meeting. She recommended he come in spring 2009 to talk about how the national Center for the Book has been reassessing their mission. A date will be decided at this fall’s ICB Advisory Council meeting.
It was noted that the ICB foundation does not have any funds at this point. More about procuring funds will be talked about in the by-laws committee meeting. It was recommended that news about the foundation be prevalent on the ICB Web site. Wegner said she thought the council will receive memberships in the future, but does not want to tap into funding sources that the give to public libraries.
XIII. Tentative Date for Fall Meeting
Walch surveyed the council and it was decided to hold the next meeting on October 3, 2008 at the Iowa City Public Library.
Keninger moved to adjourn the meeting, Mercado seconded. Motion carried.