Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council
10 a.m., Friday, June 3, 2011
State Library of Iowa, Des Moines
Members Present: Marvin Bergman, Timothy Barrett, Susan Craig, Katie Dunneback, Ed Goedeken, Monica Gohlinghorst, Mary Heinzman, Sid Huttner, Jan Kaiser, Randy Landgrebe, Robin Martin, Marilyn Mercado, Katherine Perkins, Sarah Prineas, Chris Rossi, Mary Wegner and Annette Wetteland
Not present due to conflicts: Brianna Glenn, Shannon McClintock Miller, Kristin Steingreaber, Joan Bessman Taylor, Tim Walch and Charlotte Wright
1. Meeting called to order by Chair Sid Huttner.
2. Introductions. New members - Miller was unable to attend. Goedeken and Landgrebe were welcomed to the Council.
3. Minutes of November 12, 2010 were reviewed. Two corrections were made. Motion by Dunneback to approve corrected minutes. Carried unanimously.
4. State Library Report – Mary Wegner
- The Iowa Center for the Book received a three-year renewal. The Center’s letter of request was accepted by the Center for the Book, Library of Congress. Wegner congratulated Martin for her leadership. Huttner noted Martin’s report and request was very impressive.
- The 501C3 application for the Center’s Foundation. After attending to a conflict of interest issue, Wegner said by the time of the next meeting the Center should have final approval for a Foundation.
- Wegner reported that the reorganization bill that would bring the Library Service Areas and the State Library together as one agency still has not been signed. It is part of a large appropriations bill. Wegner said funding for FY12 may include a 6 to 8 percent cut. Before leaving office in January 2011, Governor Culver cut the State Library’s budget 14 percent. She said the modest funding the Iowa Center for the Book requires is stable.
5. Coordinator Report – Robin Martin.
- Martin attended the national Centers for the Book “Idea Exchange” in Washington DC in May. Thirty-three centers were represented. John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress spoke about the New Young Readers Center. Many of the 20,000 visitors this year have been children. He plans to give each state a week and invite the state’s congressmen and senators to stop by for a visit. The River of Words project has lost its funding for 2010-2011. The group is moving to St. Mary’s College in California where they expect to continue the project. Iowa’s River of Words program operates under the Department of Natural Resources. Target Stores announced it will no longer fund the Letters About Literature (LAL) program beginning in 2013. Target provided $150,000 in funds and $10,000 in grants to first place winners in I, II and III levels. Cole says he is trying to find another organization to fund LAL. Target’s resources will be redirected toward preschool programs.
- In the next months, all Centers for the Book will complete a survey to determine patterns of funding, organization, programming and staffing. This will be used at the next “Idea Exchange” meeting to assist in future planning. The question of “what it means to be a Center for the Book in a virtual world” will be on the agenda. Cole reminded us that regardless of the format the book takes, reading and literacy are also primary to the mission of the Center for the Book.
- Robin attended sessions on fundraising/sustainability. Some state centers sell affiliate memberships, others have received support from such corporations as Bank of America for their “One Book” projects; Hallmark gives freebies. Kaiser asked about UNESCO City of Literature promotional support.
- Iowa Letters About Literature entries were up 24 percent over last year. The program is doing well, and teachers are very enthused. There were 2,253 Iowa entries – 70,000 nationally. Iowa received 148 letters back from the two rounds of national judging. There were more letters in Level 2 (seventh and eighth graders). Martin read a teacher’s letter and students’ reaction to the program. “Win or not, we told the truth,” said one group of students. A celebration of winners and honorable mentions was held at the State Library on May 6. Steven Lovely, author and Director of the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio in Iowa City, was the guest speaker. Nearly 100 people attended. Cathy Gourley, National Coordinator for LAL, said she is amazed with the quality of Iowa students’ letters.
- Martin talked about the Iowa Author Fair 2011 “Treasure Trove” which will be held as part of the Iowa Library Association’s Annual Conference on October 12th in Council Bluffs. Approximately 30 authors will be present.
- The Iowa Authors website now has 250 entries. Upcoming literary events so far this year have totaled 221. Martin said she started a Facebook account for the ICB. She encouraged everyone to “like” the site.
- Martin announced that the National Book Festival will be September 24-25 in Washington, DC. The Pavilion of States will only be open on Saturday, September 24th. She encouraged everyone to donate items (a thousand of each item is a good number). She will also contact Hallmark. Wegner hopes to draw more links (giveaways and information) to Iowa literacy. Bookmarks of the AIR books and Iowa Authors were recommended. It was also suggested that a bookmark be produced announcing the Iowa Children’s Choice Awards (Bound to Stay Bound). Barrett and Huttner said they may be able to come up with some other ideas. The Iowa book chosen for the back of the Great Places/Great Reads Map given away at the festival is The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy by Dori Hillestad Butler. Butler won the 2011 Edgar Award for best juvenile mystery. The Edgar Award is widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious award in the genre.
- Martin noted that March 2012 will mark the ICB’s 10th anniversary. Some kind of celebration was deemed appropriate. Barrett again suggested Hallmark for “prizes.” Craig said the celebration should combine LAL and AIR. Rossi suggested that Iowa’s Poet Laureate might write a poem to commemorate the anniversary. A governor’s proclamation would also be in order.
6. Hands-on Book Festival for Kids, May 4, 2011 – Kaiser, Wetteland, Martin. To celebrate the Des Moines Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary, the State Library, Des Moines Public Library and the Iowa Center for the Book co-partnered to provide information on the history of the book. There were many other sessions for the approximately 240 kids to attend including making paper, learning to write with a local author, how to illustrate, binding books, and how to market a book. The Rotary Club would like to make this an annual event for 5th graders in underserved schools. Kaiser said that Glenn Lyons, new Des Moines Downtown Community Alliance President & CEO, would like to initiate an arts festival in 2013 – Children’s Performing Arts – that could incorporate the Hands-on-Book Festival. Attendees could reach as many as 100,000 people. Landgrebe suggested promoting our 10th anniversary and LAL at this event. Martin said she would like to make the history of the book a traveling exhibit.
7. Disclaimer for inclusion on the ICB Author List – Sid Huttner. Asked for a motion to approve the disclaimer written by an ICB subcommittee, and that it be added to the website. Motion by Dunnebeck (Gohlinghorst) “The Iowa Center for the Book lists authors on this site for informational purposes only; listing does not imply any endorsement of the works described here.” Motion Carried unanimously.
8. ICB Coordinator discretion over “other than book” requests for Author List – Sid Huttner. Martin said there have been very few requests since the last ICB Advisory Council meeting for adding electronic formats. It was decided to table the discussion and leave the decisions to the coordinator (Martin) for now. Over time, clarification will be made as needed.
9. All Iowa Reads (AIR) – Susan Craig. Craig said she had led several "Sing Them Home" book discussions. The discussion she held the previous day included talk about the tornadoes in Joplin, MO. She noted that AIR committee members are reading possible selections for next year’s title. Craig reiterated the criteria for choosing a book. This year the group is discussing whether e-Books could be a replacement for large print requirement as e-readers can change text size according to each reader’s need. It was mentioned that sight problems may be helped with e-Books. Publishers are not producing as many large print books. AIR works with the Department for the Blind to make copies accessible to the blind.
Discussion ensued about the difficulties using the ICN during the AIR workshop in January. 53 librarians have checked out the DVD program with Susan Craig and George Minot discussing the book, but the rest of the session was not recorded because of technical problems with the ICN. Craig suggested using streaming video, but Wegner wondered if all of our public libraries are set up to use that kind of technology. Perhaps short segments could be posted to YouTube to distribute the program. Gohlinghorst said the AIR committee is still seeking potential titles for 2012.
10. Announcements by members.
- Craig spoke about the City of Literature’s public art project – BookMarks Iowa. These 28 large literary sculptures, now being exhibited in Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, will be auctioned off on November 10th at the Coralville Center for the Performing Arts. The 2011 Iowa City Book Festival presented by the University of Iowa Libraries will have a new feature this year: Novel Iowa City – an experimental writing project. It is a “Twitter Novel” where authors’ Tweets contribute to a continuous story as the novel develops and unfolds over the Festival’s three days beginning at noon Friday, July 15 and ending at 5 p.m. Sunday, July 17th. Sponsors include the University of Iowa’s Experimental Wing and Professor Jon Winet who is the project’s producer.
- Rossi announced a new program that Humanities Iowa is funding called “Understanding the Middle East and Islam: Perspectives, Strategies and Tools for Teaching.” It is a part of the Abd el-Kader Education Project in Elkader, Iowa. The community seeks to “renew awareness of a great personality [Emir Abd el-Kader] and provide learning tools …to incorporate his story into today’s classroom.” The town of Elkader was named for him. Community interest was sparked by the biography Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abd el-Kader by John W. Kiser. Iowa teacher workshops will be held this June and July and will encompass teachable moments in Islamic history, the artistic and scientific contributions of Muslims, gender roles and their change over time and in different context, the importance of Arabic, teaching and learning with literature, contemporary issues in the Middle East, and the sound arts in Islam.
Rossi suggested that the Iowa Center for the Book might consider partnering with Elkader to broaden audiences for the project and its goal of promoting cultural understanding and outreach for all people.
- Tim Barrett volunteered to lead a working group to develop an approach which could include a reading series about Islam and world affairs. The series could begin with Kiser’s book, Commander of the Faithful. Chris Rossi, Jan Kaiser, Mary Heintzman and Robin Martin will work with Tim.
- Dunneback said this would be her last ICB meeting. Wegner suggested we might put a new library district representative or another public library staffer on the board.
- Kaiser handed out AVID information. Rossi was the moderator for author Anne Lamott’s appearance. Kaiser also talked about using Facebook ads which she said were extremely effective.
- Heinzman said St. Ambrose University has re-instituted its Catfish Press. They produce handmade books. Their grand opening will be in the fall 2011.
- Bergman announced that the book Grant Wood: a Life by R. Tripp Evans has won the 2011 Benjamin F. Shambaugh Award from the State Historical Society of Iowa.
- Motion by Martin to thank Dunneback and Mercado for their outstanding
service to the Council and to the Iowa Center for the Book. Carried unanimously.
11. Other positions on the board: Barrett will serve another term. Randy
Landgrebe is beginning a three year term. Mercado is retiring and will
need to be replaced. Goedeken and Kaiser will serve another three year
term. Huttner agreed to remain chair for another year.
12. The next meeting of the Advisory Council will be held in early November in Iowa City. Martin will send out a date.
13. Huttner adjourned the meeting.