Iowa Center for the Book
Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
10 a.m. June 1, 2012
Iowa Library Services/State Library Room 310
Members Present - Timothy Barrett, Marvin Bergman, Joan Bessman Taylor, Susan Craig, Brianna Glenn, Ed Goedeken, Monica Gohlinghorst, Yolanda Hood, Sidney Huttner, Jan Kaiser, Robin Martin, Katherine Perkins, Sarah Prineas, Chris Rossi, Kristin Steingreaber, Tim Walch, Mary Wegner, Annette Wetteland, Charlotte Wright
Not Present due to conflicts: Randy Landgrebe, Mary Heinzman, Shannon McClintock
1. Huttner called the meeting to order.
2. Approve minutes – Motion to approve, Craig; seconded, Tim Walch. Approved unanimously.
3. Iowa Library Services/State Library Report – Wegner. Iowa Library Services (IaLS) received a status quo budget FY13, but is still hurting from the state’s 37% cut in past years, as well as federal cuts and significant budge challenges. The Iowa Commission of Libraries is looking at ways to work within the budget constraints. The good news is that the Iowa General Assembly put back a half million dollars into Enrich Iowa. Another half million is needed to be back where funding was originally. As part of Iowa Workforce Development’s budget, they are required to allocate $150,000 to public and academic libraries for an online resource for job seekers. A second Request for Proposals for the database will need to be completed. Wegner said a five-year-plan for IaLS is currently in draft form. Iowa librarians statewide were provided a copy of the draft and asked to respond to it. The goals and objectives will be broad, but the strategies will be more specific and will change from year to year. One of the objectives is support for the Iowa Center for the Book (ICB). Final changes to the plan will be made before the next Commission meeting. Sandy Dixon, program director for the Library Support Network, is retiring at the end of June. A reception for Dixon will be held on June 7. Wegner said there will be a national search to replace Dixon.
4. Coordinator Report – Martin attended the annual Centers for the Book Idea Exchange in Washington, D.C. on April 23-24. Of the 52 states, 34 attended. The agenda includes sharing program highlights from the states. John Cole, director of the national Center for the Book, reported on funding for the National Book Festival. Martin talked about the new Young Readers Center in the Library of Congress (LOC). They still plan to feature each state for a month. She noted that the LOC is struggling financially and that staffing is short. Martin said she attended a discussion group on programming where state delegates discussed what programs they are sponsoring. Many, like Iowa, are involved in the Letters About Literature (LAL) program. Some states are building on that program with a focus on writing. Indiana celebrated statehood day where fourth graders wrote essays on what Indiana meant to them. “One Book” programs like All Iowa Reads are still popular, even though most are run on a shoestring, said Martin. Maryland has built a total curriculum around their book and put the program online. They had 7,000 participants this year. With a budget of $25,000 annually, they buy 5,000-6,000 books and distribute them to schools and libraries. Martin circulated materials she picked up from other states. She said the small national LAL staff is overwhelmed – they had 59,000 entries this year. The plan is to limit the entry levels to 4th through 10th graders instead of 4th through 12th. Perkins and Glenn were state judges in LAL and said they were astounded by the quality of the students’ letters. Dori Hillestad Butler was the featured speaker at the ceremony for Iowa’s LAL winners and honorable mentions, which was held on May 4 at the IaLS Des Moines Office. Wegner said that listening to the kids read their letters reminds her of her reading experiences growing up. She said it restores your faith in young people and writing. Martin thanked Carol Simmons, IaLS staffer, and Wetteland for their help with the program. Huttner said that given the success of the program, perhaps the Advisory Council should give thought to a modest Iowa component that builds off the national program. Martin said she is keeping the ICB website updated; there are 200 literary events added to the website annually. There are now 300 people on the Iowa Authors List. She said she uses the list to help develop author fairs throughout the state. She also noted that the ICB has 106 Facebook friends. Martin helped present a webinar on how to begin and lead a book discussion. 40 librarians enrolled and the response was good. She said that few people at the webinar knew about all the resources on the ICB website, so she was happy for the opportunity to talk about it.
5. Wonder of Words (WOW) Festival – Kaiser. Plans for the week-long celebration in October are moving along. The ICB and the Department for the Blind will hold another “Hands on Book Fest for Kids” during the week for Des Moines fifth-graders. Kaiser said the kids loved it and all the activities last year. The week’s events, which have the support of the Downtown Community Alliance and other partners like the Des Moines Public Library, will also include an Iowa Author Fair from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 28, at Capital Square in Des Moines. There will also be music (Newman composer and Shanley narrator with a string quartet), a mixed media event on Friday the 26th. The main event will be a presentation by author Dennis Lahane at Hoyt Sherman. Kaiser said Simpson College is doing a world premier of a Ding Darling documentary. There will also be a PUBlishers Crawl in four Des Moines bars starting at a venue called “The Library” where people can learn about making beer. Food will also be served. Grinnell College will do an African-American writers forum. The Science Center may also be involved. There will also be an Iowa Book Expo for self-published writers. The event, October 22-28, gives people a chance to look at the impact of words and how they translate into various literary forms. John Cole, Center for the Book, pledged $1,000 towards the event. ICB will be in all promotional materials.
6. Brief reports/news from Council members.
Wright announced that the University of Missouri Press has closed down. She happily reported that the University of Iowa Press is doing fine.
Joan Taylor said they are searching for a Graduate Library School Director, but between the economy and what people expect to be paid, people aren’t applying. Rotating senior faculty will be heading the program in the interim. She is on the admission committee for the master’s program. The numbers of applicants are down and they are looking for new ways to market the program. The current group of students is very good, but they are anxious about whether they will find jobs.
Barrett suggested that the Council expand and make more official ICB relationship with the University of Iowa’s Center for the Book. It could provide a potential for growth for both. Barrett said he will stay on as an ICB Council member representing the University of Iowa’s CFB for the next three years.
Rossi proposed that the Council help promote a distinctly Iowa publishing project, the photo and essay book by David Plowden. Plowden is a distinguished American documentary photographer. The book is his vision of Iowa. The ICB could share in revenue generated by its sales. Members of the ICB said they would be interested in helping support it. Rossi said he could consign copies to ICB with a hefty discount, so ICB would get some money. There are new media partnerships involved in the book and its travelling exhibit. There are interactive forms that people can use to discuss the book. The book sells for $20 and Humanities Iowa could give ICB a 20% discount. It could be used to celebrate the ICB’s 10th anniversary. The Chicago Tribune and The Des Moines Register have written about the project. A New York Times book review will have a feature story of Plowden. There is a successful tour of the photo exhibit taking place right now in Iowa.
Kaiser said the Des Moines Public Library’s AViD author series is half way through. Humanities Iowa has been very involved in funding the series. Kaiser said author Steve Berry spoke the night before and said that 70 percent of his work is now sold in electronic format. Kaiser said she thought it is wonderful to be alive now to experience this revolution in book publishing. Kaiser said a local TV reporter is doing an interview with Berry about how paper books and documents will be preserved. ALA chose Berry as a spokesman to discuss digitizing crumbling materials. Kaiser said it was a very inspirational talk.
Hood said there is a lot going on at the University of Northern Iowa Library. They have had a successful search for a new library dean, and have finished a $200,000+ renovation.
Steingreaber said the Department of Education is talking about not doing school library surveys every year. She said librarians have tried explaining how they use the collected data for research. (What’s the culture of your school? What’s expected to happen in schools?) Steingraeber said they want to keep the survey going, but they will need technical support from another AEA. She discussed the program “Reading Forward, One Square….”for juniors and seniors that will help them read like adults. She cited a Cooney Center Quick Study report on print, e-books, and enhanced e-books. Parents and their 3 to 6 year olds co-read from each format. Print and e-books both elicited good content exchanges. Advanced e-books caused some behavior distractions in children. Steingreaber noted the power of using new technology to get kids reading. The study can be found at http://www.joanganzcooneycenter.org/upload_kits/jgcc_ebooks_quickreport.pdf
Bergman talked about the Annals of Iowa and the Department of Cultural Affairs choosing this year’s winner of “the most significant book on Iowa history” prize. They have not named a person yet.
Walch discussed the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library’s 50th anniversary this year. In addition to presenting several programs, he has spent time writing articles for newspapers and volunteering at the Czech and Slovak Museum and library. Walch said he has also been working for the State Historical Society writing for Iowa Heritage Illustrated.
Gohlinghorst, Chair of the Iowa Commission of Libraries, said the group is working with IaLS on the five year plan strategic plan. She noted that Council Bluffs Public Library Director Barbara Peterson is retiring, and that they look forward to working with her replacement, Kathy Rieger.
Craig said the Iowa City Public Library is doing some refurbishing. Six million people have been through their library since it was remodeled eight years ago. The Iowa City Book Festival is July 13-15. Main sponsors are the University of Iowa Libraries. Sunday will be a “Day in the City of Literature.” Craig said people would like to see more recognition of author Paul Engel. A “Paul Engel Day” curriculum has been written about Engel and sophomores are eligible for scholarships in the spring and fall based on their essays about him. She suggested that ICB could partner in the project to recognize Engel’s role as an Iowa poet with international acclaim. It could be tailored along the lines of a competition like LAL. HS students, or adults, could submit writing – poetry and prose. Engle was a writer who took a brighter look at the world, an entrepreneurial kind of person. Essays would address how to be meaningful in your community. This could be another ICB 10 year anniversary idea. She will ask it the City of Literature Interim Director if they would like to collaborate with ICB. They are hoping to find a partner – Kiwanis or Rotary -- in each county to give a $500 scholarship to a student in that county that wins the essay contest. The contest package is ready to go. John Kenyon has been named Interim City of Literature Director. Robin and Kristin will work with him to see how ICB can partner in the essay contest.
Prineas said she is busy writing and doing a lot of Skype visits to classrooms.
Perkins said Iowa Public Radio loves to hear about author visits.
Huttner reported that funds have been committed to a substantial renovation of Main Library in a project starting in a few weeks and completed by fall 2013. Administrative offices, acquisitions and cataloging, and preservation facilities (which currently occupy about half the ground floor) will move to new space on the fifth floor to allow the main building entrance to move to Madison Avenue and open into a Learning Center with group and individual study areas and an expanded café. In anticipation, a large number of physical volumes have been moved to storage from the third, fourth, and fifth floors. In addition, several senior staff members will soon retire (Ed Shreeves in September, Hope Barton in November, and Librarian Nancy Baker next spring); Huttner will retire June 29.
Huttner said the technology department and other offices are moving at the library, and that many books are in storage and being greatly reduced. They will be in a new space in the fall of 2013. Several senior staff members are retiring including Dean Nancy Baker. Huttner’ last day on the job is June 29.
7. All Iowa Reads (AIR) – Craig and Bergman. This year’s book, Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder, is the group’s second non-fiction book. She said the responses so far have been very good. The AIR committee is working on the 2013 selection. Martin showed the AViD brochure that has information on the ICB. Four hundred people got them at Kidder’s appearance in Des Moines. Kidder will not be a presenter at this year’s Iowa Library Association Conference.
8. Report from Working Groups:
Traveling Exhibition of the Book (Glenn). Barrett said the University of Iowa ICB would like to work on the travelling exhibition, describing what a book was like originally and where we are now. Huttner noted the need to think of implications for the exhibit, how to ship it, the need for contracts between ICB and the exhibitors. Rossi said he will serve on the committee.
Celebrating ICB’s 10th anniversary (Perkins). The 10th anniversary was technically March 2013. Perkins suggested we use the events we have already planned such as the WOW Festival and our Facebook and website to get the word out. Craig said we could use a promotion to drive people to ICB website and Facebook pages. She suggested that we put a contest up on Facebook and offer one copy of each of the 10 AIR books. ICB will have a table at the Iowa Author Fair. Wetteland offered to serve on the committee. Motion to offer AIR books on Facebook by Barrett and seconded by Kaiser. Approved unanimously. Perkins will chair the anniversary program working group. Implementation strategies will be discussed at the fall meeting.
It was decided to make Glenn and Perkins administrators of the ICB Facebook page.
Iowa Authors (Goedeken). Goedeken mentioned the Iowa Authors list and the continuing question of “what is a book”. The site has 300 authors. Martin said self-published authors are contacting us regularly, but many of Iowa’s nationally known Iowa authors are not on the list. We don’t know if public libraries are not using the list to seek out author visits, she said. Goedeken, Walch, Perkins, Wright, and Carl Orgren will be on the Iowa Authors committee.
9. ICB Advisory Council Chair election and membership – Huttner. Huttner’s term ended today. Sarah Prineas was nominated to take his place. A motion to accept her appointment was made by Goedeken and seconded by Gohlinghorst. The vote was unanimous. Other people’s terms ending are Rossi, Heinzman, Glenn, Prineas and Steingraeber. All agreed to serve another 3 year term. Bessman Taylor moved and Goedeken seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.
10. Other business – None
11. Fall 2012 meeting date and site TBD. A Doodle poll will be circulated to pin point a date in November. The meeting will be held in Iowa City.
12. Martin moved to thank Huttner for his work as chair. Walch seconded. Unanimously approved.
13. Adjournment. Motion by Barrett to end the meeting; Huttner seconded. Adjourned.