Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council
November 12, 2008
Iowa City, IA
I. Introductions: Marv Bergman, Syd Huttner, Tim Walch, Tim Barrett, Susan Craig, Mary Wegner, Marilyn Mercado, Monica Gohlinghorst, Karen Keninger, Lily Lau, Christie Vilsack, Kristin Steingreaber, Katherine Von Wald, Jan Kaiser, Charlotte Wright, Mary Heinzman, Kris Gerhard, Annette Wetteland
II. Minutes of May 23, 2008: Reviewed. Huttner moved to approve; Bergman seconded. Unanimously approved.
III. State Library Report - Mary Wegner: Reported on State Library staff who attended the National Book Festival in Washington, DC in September, 2008. The festival’s Pavilion of the States, where the Iowa Center for the Book has a booth, was busy all day. Wegner said the Instution of Museum and Library Services continues to be well funded. The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funds that provides money to the states, as well as Iowa state funding, could be an issue in the coming year because of the bad economy.
IV. The Iowa Author Project - Kris Gerhard: Reported that the project committee (Von Wald, Lorna Truck, Walch, Mercado and Gerhard) held a telephone conference to discuss several issues. An author who has one poem or one short story in a book with other poets and authors will not be considered eligible to be on the Iowa author list. E-books authors are also exempt at this time. Works must be on paper. Self-published authors are eligible as long as the book is in an Iowa library and available to the public. Von Wald asked council members to contact any Iowa authors they knew and suggest they submit their
information to the list. With book formats changing constantly, the subject of what is considered a book will have to be addressed in the future. It was mentioned that Carol Gorman and Ed Gorman should be on the author list.
V. All Iowa Reads - Karen Keninger and Susan Craig: The 2008 book, Splendid Solution, was discussed at least 105 times in Iowa according to statistics received by Von Wald. The Iowa Polio Oral History Project was very successful and all the information gathered will be saved at the Iowa Historical Society in Iowa City. Craig talked about the 2009 selection, The Rope Walk by Carrie Brown. Brown teaches in Virginia and has said she is willing to speak at the 2009 Iowa Library Association Conference, as well as the Des Moines Public Library. Lau said previous All Iowa Reads selections are still being checked out from her Library Service Area for book discussions in local libraries. Steingraeger suggested videotaping book discussions for people who cannot get to the library. Keninger said the Iowa Department for the Blind has telephone book discussions.
VI. Letters About Literature - Katherine Von Wald: The 2009 letters must be submitted at the national level by December 6. She will know how many Iowa entries there are by the end of December. Von Wald said the ceremony for the 2008 LAL winners was held at the State Library, which was a good venue. She said next year (2009) she intends to invite an Iowa children’s author, Sarah Prineas, to speak at the ceremony.
VII. Iowa Center for the Book Web Site - Katherine Von Wald: The Web site will have a permanent column called “Books You May Have Missed.” It will be an occasional series of book reviews written by advisory council members. Von Wald and Wetteland will contact Iowa public libraries that have Web sites and ask them to provide a link to the Iowa Center for the Book. Public libraries with State Library Plone Web sites have this link. Von Wald asked the advisory council to write a description of a book they’ve read for the
VIII. Iowa Center for the Book Foundation - Katherine Von Wald: The bylaws are drafted and are going to foundation members. Jan Kaiser thought her husband may be able to help file the papers with the Internal Revenue Service.
IX. Possible Future Projects. Books for Kindergartners. ILA Author Fair at Des Moines 2009 Conference: Craig stated that she would like to see the Books for Kindergartners program reinstated. Wegner said she would be talking to Area Education Agency media directors the next day and would ask if they would be willing to distribute the books to schools. Another possibility mentioned was FedEx. Vilsack said the previous program cost $200,000 the first year and $100,000 after that. She offered to find the list of previous contributors. The Verizon Good Government Club in Grinnell stuffed bags in the past. It was mentioned that kindergarten teachers and the AEAs should be surveyed about the project. Wegner also pointed out that this would require 501C3 status.
Vilsack said when she was Iowa’s first lady and running the project that her staff spent numerous hours on it. Possible contributors may be Verizon, Iowa casinos, Hy Vee, Quest, the Knapps, Rotarians, Farm Bureau, ACT, Iowa meat packers, Wells Blue Bunny and individuals. It may take $400,000 for a two-year pilot project. Barrett asked whether there was a better way to spend that much money, such as providing one book to each school library.
A motion was made by Huttner to continue to investigate the program. Gerhard seconded. Vote carried unanimously.
Von Wald said she talked to ILA President Ellen Neuhaus about an Iowa Author Fair at this year’s ILA Conference and was told to proceed. Robin Martin will work with Von Wald on the event. It will be held at the Des Moines Public Library and will be open to the public.
X. National Book Festival - Wetteland: More than 120,000 people attended the 8th National Book Festival on the National Mall in Washington, DC on September 27, 2008. Wetteland and Steve Cox, State Library, staffed a booth at the Pavilion of the States with literary information about Iowa. The free festival is sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.
XI. Announcements: Craig announced that author Jan Brett was in Iowa City to speak that evening. Huttner spoke about Abraham Lincoln bicentennial activities. Craig said they were having a penny drive at the Iowa City Public Library to honor the event, as well as a Lincoln log building contest. Gohlinghorst said the Council Bluffs Public Library was sponsoring a traveling exhibit on Lincoln, and Wegner mentioned that Pam Rees, State Library, was serving on the Iowa Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Steingreaber said the AEAs developed a wiki for teachers and school librarians to get them involved in the bicentennial.
Barrett reported that the University of Iowa Center for the Book was taking part in a book art project to be held around the nation in early July. He said many book art people will be in Iowa who could possibly visit schools, libraries, etc.
Craig reported that Iowa City is being considered as a UNESCO Center of Literature. More information to come.
Walch said Iowa Public Television is preparing to do a documentary on Herbert Hoover which should air in spring 2009.
Von Wald said that John Cole, administrator of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress, is interested in attending an Iowa Center for the Book meeting next spring. He may speak about the national Center for the Book’s long-range plans.
Huttner moved to adjourn the meeting, Barrett seconded. Meeting adjourned.
Notetaker: Annette Wetteland