Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council Meeting
State Library, Ola Babcock Miller Building, Des Moines
May 29, 2015 - 10 a.m. to 12:05 p.m.
Present: Robin Martin, Susan Prineas, Dale Vande Haar, Michael Scott, Tom Kessler, Carmelita Pickett, Brenda Hall, Alice Meyer, Tim Barrett, Katherine Perkins, Brianna Glenn, Tim Walch, Ed Goedeken, Susan Craig, Mary Heinzman, Dale Ross
Unable to attend: Marv Bergman, Carolyn Greufe, Kristin Steingreaber, Gail Stricker
1. Call to Order, Sarah Prineas, Chair
2. Motion to approve October 3, 2014 Minutes (Craig/Walch); passed unanimously
3. Introduction of New Members Carmelita Pickett (U of Iowa Libraries), Brenda Hall sitting in for Carolyn Greufe (Des Moines Public Library East Side), Dale Vande Haar (State Library Commissioner)
4. Brief Reports by Council Members:
- Brianna Glenn discussed this year’s All Dallas County Reads One Book guest -- Edgar Award-winning author C.J. Box, the author of nineteen novels including the Joe Pickett series.
- Tim Walch’s new book, Coralville, for the Arcadia Images of Iowa series is selling in hardware stores, and he’s working with the neurosurgery unit at University of Iowa for their centennial. President Obama is building his presidential library in Chicago, and it may cost $1 billion as opposed to the less than $2 million it cost to build President Hoover’s presidential library in 1962. President Obama’s library will cost more because there will be a library, museum, school of public service, an apartment for the President and will need an endowment. It cost $800 million to build President Bush’s Library.
- Ed Goedeken said Iowa State Library has a new dean who will start in July, Beth McNeil, who comes from Purdue. Interim dean Karen Lawson is retiring.
- Susan Craig wore her summer reading program tee shirt because there is a superhero theme and all staff get a free tee if they promise to wear it. Summer reading time is busy for libraries, and they’re preparing the programs. Children’s Day at the Pedestrian Mall is a major event of the Iowa Arts Festival. There will be 18 tents with activities for children, and it’s free. Iowa City Book Festival is scheduled for October 1-4th this year. Brian Stevenson, author of Just Mercy, which is the One Book for Johnson County, will be at the festival as will Tim Johnston, Robert Ullrich, Sarah Paretzky. Festival planners have invited every presidential candidate who has written a book to be on the panel. They’re waiting to see who’ll accept. The League of Women Voters is co-sponsoring that event.
- Mary Heinzman - St. Ambrose University Library - has a summer reading program for the remaining campus staff. The theme is “Mystery,” and Iowa author Donald Harstad will go there on June 17 to hand out prizes. Brian Stevenson’s Just Mercy is also the One Book for freshman to read. They are also working with Davenport diocese to digitize the Pacem Interae Award, which is given out each year to someone who promotes peace and justice in the world. Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King, Jr., have both been there to accept it. Information will be posted on the St. Ambrose website.
- Dale Ross - The Iowa Center for the Book Foundation President – Monica Gohlinghorst retired and the Foundation has two new members: Michael Scott and Mary Kay Shanley. They’re looking for at least three more directors. Traveling History of the Book is scheduled out until July 2016. The Foundation is soliciting new proposals and asked for suggestion for ICB project funding. Foundation has a meeting at noon following the ICB meeting.
- Sarah Prineas has a new book coming out in the fall. She’s been Skyping with schools, including a school in Kazakhstan. She’s also working one shift each week selling books at Prairie Lights.
- Dale Vande Haar – State Library Commissioner - welcomed Michael Scott. Dale was on the selection committee. He is temporarily representing the commission until they determine who will be their representative on the ICB Advisory Council. The Iowa Commission of Libraries meets on June 5, 2015.
- Michael Scott – Three employees at the State Library have retired. They now have two open positions. Secretaries Carol Simmons’ and Fran Fessler’s positions have been turned into one position and the new secretary is Betty McAllister. They updated the job description and Betty joined the State Library on the previous week. Annette Wetteland has retired and Emily Bainter from Iowa DNR has been hired for this position. Michael will put out more information as it becomes available. Emily has good internet experience and good insight into social media. She is behind the cool stuff on the DNR website. Sarah Prineas asked if the new person will compile minutes like Annette did. Michael will get back to her on that. There is no resolution with the budget as legislative meetings are still in session.
- Tom Kessler - UNI Rod Library is under major reorganization. Waiting to hear about budget and planning for next year. Programming notes: they recently did their second annual Comic-con and brought in a lot of people. The Diversity Committee partnered with the Library to host the College of Education’s African-American Read-In. Jonathan Kozol was the guest speaker/author. An application was entered for the ALA’s “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History grant for the years’ worth of programming for the next school year. There will be a Book Study of Enrique’s Journey by Sonja Azario. They would like to bring her in next spring. Cornerstone Read is Orange is the New Black for new students. There are lots of community book groups involved. It’s exciting.
- Carmelita Pickett has been at the University of Iowa Library for seven months. She is doing strategic planning and will bring to the provost for approval. They deployed the study at UNI and U of I to see how technology is changing and improving the services they provide to the students and faculty. They are working on having books digitized by Google books since the project was delayed by the flood. Sent 20,000 items to Google for the service. They are running out of space and working with CIC Cheryl Kramer on a collection analysis to prepare for weeding their collections.
- Brenda Hall – Des Moines Public Library - is sitting in for Carolyn Greufe who is at Book Expo America with another manager trying to recruit authors for the DMPL AViD series. DMPL’s summer reading is big on the radar screen. It starts June 1, 2015. Youth services professionals have gone to schools to drum up interest in the summer reading program. On June 23, 2015, John Stoffer will be at the Central Library.
- Alice Meyer – Beaverdale Books - will be at the Iowa Association of School Librarians Conference and Kids’ First is this month. Marc Hansen and Tom Witowsky discussed their new book Equal Before the Law. On May 2, 2015, their store celebrated the first national Independent Book Store Day, a movement that started in California and went national to create awareness and boost sales for independent stores. Local author Matt Barnett was at the store that day with exclusive items for sale. There will be no World Book Night, which is sad because it’s such a good program and no Wonder of Words (WOW) Festival in Des Moines this year.
- Tim Barrett stated the Center for the Book at the U of Iowa primarily trains students in book arts. Eight students, their largest class to date, just graduated. Due to an anecdote being told regarding the fear of writing in the margins of books, a cookbook has been published. In May of 2015 Russell Maret sent out 70 copies of his fine press Hungry Bibliophiles cookbook to bookmakers and collectors. It is intended to be used in the kitchen on a regular basis and the margins written in as the owner is so inclined. Within the next year, all participants are expected to cook and eat every recipe in the book. The people who receive the book must return it when completed. Writing in the book is encouraged, but some may not be able to bring themselves to do it. Tim is already cooking and writing in his copy.
- Katherine Perkins stated that Iowa authors Mark Hansen, Tom Witowsky and All Iowa Reads author Robin Oliveira have appeared on IPR programs. IPR is covering the caucuses and planning a summer jobs series. There will be no summer fundraiser as the spring IPR donor drive raised enough funds to cover until the fall. Katherine was happy to announce that a new News Director has been hired: Michael Leland from Wisconsin Public Radio. He will begin on July 1.
- Letters about Literature was discussed. 90 people attended the celebration. Katherine was one of the judges. 1st place letters in each of the 3 levels were read aloud to the Council. Katherine read one to the author of Mockingbird. Her entire class skyped with Kathryn Erskine, the author of Mockingbird. Brianna Glenn, read the winning letter at the middle school level and Mary Heinzman read the winning high school entry.
5. Coordinator Report – Robin Martin:
- Letters About Literature 2015 – about 75 people attended the celebration May 1 at the Des Moines Public Library. Children’s author Carol Gorman spoke to the audience. Iowa students submitted 1,895 letters into a national pool of 45,000. We continue to be a top participant in the program. Photos and winning letters will be available on the website shortly.
- Attended the annual Library of Congress Idea Exchange Meeting May 7-8. 2015 Washington DC. The group continues to work on a national digital literary map project that all states can contribute to. Martin learned that the National Endowment for the Humanities has created a celebration of the Pulitzer Prize Centennial in 2016 called the “Campfires Initiative.” Funds were made available to state Humanities councils. State Centers for the Book were encouraged to identify and highlight Pulitzer prize-winners from their states. Humanities Iowa is focusing on newspaper journalists. We could focus on Iowa literary winners. Goedeken and the Author Committee agreed to work on this. A list can be highlighted on the ICB Website.
- Our first Iowa Center for the Book Literacy Award celebration is planned for fall 2015 and will be held at the State Law Library in Des Moines. Martin created a new Working Group (Tom Kessler, Brianna Glenn and Alysia Peich) to assist with planning. See below. Three judges will be solicited to evaluate the applications.
- National Book Festival Iowa selection for Great Reads Map is Claudia McGehee’s My Wilderness: An Alaskan Adventure. 2015 Sasquatch Books. The NBF is Saturday, September 5, 2015 in the Washington DC Convention Center. Martin asked members to donate any items that the Center can give away that day.
- Traveling History of the Book Exhibit – the exhibit is finally complete; touring began January 2015 and is scheduled out as far as August 2016. Martin created an evaluation form which libraries are asked to complete on Survey Monkey. So far 4 have responded. All say more than 200 visitors viewed the exhibit in their libraries; one had a successful papermaking session associated with it; all would recommend it to other libraries for programming.
6. Report from Working Groups and Committees:
- Iowa Authors - Ed Goedeken - 13 Iowa classic author biographies have been submitted by committee members. Dale Ross has edited them; most are very well done so not much of a problem. These should be ready for Robin to post on the ICB website soon.
- All Iowa Reads – Susan Craig – we’ve had great start with My Name is Mary Sutter. It is being well received. Civil War is piquing people’s interests. It is a good book to talk about which is the most important criterion in selecting the AIR book. Oliveira will be at ILA conference this year. New AIR book will be announced for 2016 at the luncheon. The 2016 list is being whittled down to 5 for the late August early September decision. Martin reported that libraries asked ICB to help bring Robin Oliveira to Iowa for a tour. The last AIR author, Thomas Maltman, managed his own tour. Oliveira,’s agent couldn’t organize a tour for her but she agreed to visit libraries at reduced price. Martin coordinated tours for libraries in eastern and western Iowa. In April, 6 libraries hosted programs and a total of 495 people attended. Oliveira received rave reviews and was covered by several newspapers. Her October tour includes visits to Urbandale, Orange City, Sioux Center, Le Mars and Carroll.
- ICB Literacy Award Working Group, Tom Kessler, Brianna Glenn and Alysia Peich assisted Martin in creating the criteria for judging the award and examples of eligible programs. Kessler reported that the call for nominations begins June 1 and closes on July 31. Qualified applicants are non-profits, faith based organization and public libraries. Individuals or organizations will be able to nominate via an email process. Martin will forward the call for nominations application to Council members. She has compiled a list of literacy organizations but needs Council members to help identify more. Martin noted that philanthropist David Rubenstein wanted to reintroduce the importance of literacy in the United States and gave the Library of Congress $250,000 to award prizes to organizations advancing literacy. State Centers for the Book were invited to participate by applying for $1,000 to initiate similar prizes in their states. Iowa is one of five pilot states who received $1,000. A cash award of $500 will be given to Iowa’s winner and the remainder will be used to bring in the group to Des Moines and to host the celebration.
7. ICB Foundation Update – Dale Ross, President of the Foundation Board
- Recommendations for additional ICB Foundation Directors were sought
- Copies of the ICB Bylaws were distributed; Director descriptions were noted
8. Council recommendations for new or existing projects to be funded by the ICB Foundation were discussed.
- Tim Barrett suggested producing a second History of the Book “kit” to generate income for the foundation. It would be loaned to other states for a fee.
- Martin/Craig – (All Iowa Reads) - brought up discussion about helping to pay to bring AIR authors to Iowa so more libraries could host them. While some libraries can chip in funds, smaller libraries are burdened on budget. The Foundation could help defray the costs/expenses of visits for smaller towns.
- Craig asked if we could pick a day during the 2016 legislative season to host open house in the Law Library and let the Foundation spend $500 on food and highlight the work of the Iowa Center for the Book and educate legislators to its programs and work.
- Martin stated the Library of Congress encourages us to leverage the Letters About Literature program with legislators
- Katherine Perkins suggested having winners read them at the Capitol for legislators to see. It might be covered by media and draw attention to the ICB and LAL. Perhaps a video or a recording of winners’ voices could be made at the annual celebration for later distribution to legislators and funders.
- Tim Walch stated there is only $1,676 remaining in the budget. He asked whether the Foundation should place the highest priority on raising revenue before considering new projects.
- Katherine Perkins suggested improving the ICB website.
9. Advisory Council Members - Term Renewals until 2018 were approved for:
- Academic Library – Mary Heinzman
- Public Library - Brianna Glenn
- School or AEA - Kristin Steingreaber
- At Large – Katherine Perkins
- At Large – Sarah Prineas
- Council Recommendations for open At Large position:
- Thomas Kessler recommended Joan Bessman Taylor who is now teaching at UNI
- Chris Colera from the IU GSLIS was recommended by Timothy Barrett. Timothy will assist with talking to David Eichmann regarding this. Timothy represents the U of Iowa Center for the Book, not the GSLIS.
- Humanities Iowa – To Be Filled. Christopher Rossi says he can name no one from HI to replace him at this time.
- Dale Ross suggested that UNI library science school have a designated/permanent member on the Council
- Robin reminded members that the By-laws would need to be changed if we make UNI a designated member. Past suggestions for members included an Iowa publisher and high school or library school students.
- Robin and Michael will approach Bessman Taylor for the At Large position and advise Thomas Kessler on progress.
10. Other Business:
- Tim Walch spoke of a peripheral issue for people who like books. We should pay attention to what’s happening at the State Historical Society in Iowa because they have lost a lot of staff and haven’t acquired materials in a long time. A spotlight needs to be shined on the situation. Iowa Center for the Book could and should be one of many groups that they say is not acceptable to overlook the impact historical societies have on our libraries and literacy. Perhaps we could write an editorial about it. Pay attention to this issue. Dale Vander Haar agreed. At his Rotary Club, there was a speaker who agreed. Dale handles archives for DSM school district and fields questions from people searching for information. The hours at the State Historical Society have been cut back. Dale Vande Haar told the Governor that they can’t lose their heritage and digital is great but what if you can’t access it. He also talked with his legislator and explained how important it is to keep both of those libraries opens. Three staff are left at facility in Iowa City and one edits the publication Annals of Iowa. Access is limited. We are losing the history of Iowa.
- Susan Craig recommended sending out messages regarding this issue. Twalch47@gmail.com is a member of advisory board and will be shown complete report with recommendations as to what they’re going to do to the building in DSM. What will be done to DSM collections during renovations? In Iowa City? Legislature has no inclination to pass a bill to give funds. Concerned with saving history. Agitation is good. Go to representative and get them riled up about what will happen. Write to Tim Walch and he will keep you informed. Think about it for the fall meeting. He added that Anthony John, State Archivist turned down a $500,000 grant to start digitizing state papers.
11. Fall meeting date will be Friday, October 2nd in Iowa City. It coincides with the Iowa City Book Festival.
12. Sarah Prineas moved to adjourn the meeting at 12:05 p.m.
Betty McAllister, Note taker
Robin Martin, Coordinator