Iowa Center for the Book Advisory Council
June 25, 2009
State Library of Iowa
Des Moines, IA
MEMBERS PRESENT: Marv Bergman, Robin Martin, Chris Rossi, Marilyn Mercado, Katherine Von Wald, Syd Huttner, Carl Orgren, Tracey Morsek, Monica Gohlinghorst, Susan Craig, Mary Wegner, Charlotte Wright, Kris Gerhard.
OTHER STATE LIBRARY STAFF: Alan Schmitz
Minutes of November 12, 2008 meeting were approved with one correction in the second paragraph of Item 9, changing “the” to “she.” (Huttner/Bergman)
1. Introductions were made. Joining the Council, representing the Iowa Department for the Blind Library, is Tracey Morsek.
2. State Library Report was made by Mary Wegner. She passed around information about the OCLC “Geek the Library” public awareness campaign which is being debuted in central Iowa as well as in Savannah, Georgia. The effort is funded by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Center for the Book Foundation is slowly becoming a reality. An attorney is setting up
the 501.c.3 status. The Vilsack Foundation is funding start up costs.
Katherine Von Wald is retiring on June 30. Mary expressed gratitude on behalf of the State Library for the outstanding work that Katherine has done getting the Iowa Center for the Book and its programs up and running. Katherine has been the face of the Iowa Center for the Book since its inception, and she will be very hard to replace. Applications have been received, and Mary will call on a representative from the Council to assist with selection of the new staff person. Until a new person is on board, Annette Wetteland will be assuming the duties of the Coordinator. Katherine was presented with a memory book and a gift of a pottery vase in honor of her service. Cake will be served after the meeting.
3. Member terms. Mary Heinzman, Chris Rossi, and Kristin Steingreaber have agreed to serve another term. Katie Dunneback from Southeastern LSA has agreed to replace Lily Lau as the LSA representative. Replacements are needed for Christie Vilsack, an at large member, and Kay Weiss, who represented public libraries. Get your suggestions for these two vacancies to Mary. One possibility suggested is Arthur Bonfield from the University of Iowa Law Library.
4. Fall meeting date was set for November 6 at the Iowa City Public Library. It is hoped that John Cole, Director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress can join us.
5. The Web site move to a new version of Plone software was reviewed by SILO Coordinator Alan Schmitz. The new software offers increased ability to customize and much more flexibility. It was not a seamless upgrade, however, as data were not always in the proper form to migrate over into new areas. One case which he shared was the Iowa Authors section. It is much more attractive, but each record needs to be looked at and edited individually. Once it is done, it will be easier to make changes in the future.
6. Craig reported on the All Iowa Reads Program. The 2008 program had the typical number of participants. The 2009 ICN session had to be rescheduled because of weather and attendance was down a little because of that. Carrie Brown, will be a speaker at the ILA Annual Conference in Des Moines in October. There is much anecdotal evidence that the number of events reported on the website is only a small representation of the people reading the AIR selection. For instance, Craig said that her library originally had one copy of the book, and they now have 14 copies in various formats, plus a book club kit of ten copies, and they are almost always checked out. The committee is selecting the 2010 title in July this year because one of the titles on the short list is not available in all the formats required. The publisher has stated they will make it available in the necessary formats if it is selected. This is another indication of the power of the state-wide program.
7. Von Wald made the Letters about Literature report. This year there were 1,716 entries (603 grades 4-6, 807 grades 7-8, and 311 grades 9-12). Full text of the finalists’ letters is on the website. She pointed out the hard work and dedication that the volunteer judges put into the program. The spring reception at the State Library for winners was very popular. This year the speaker was Sarah Prineas.
8. Gerhard reviewed the Iowa Author List. There are currently 106 authors on the list and the web site has been improved (see #6 above). At the request of an author they revisited their requirement that authors must have published in a journal or book form to be included, not just electronically. As time passes, that requirement may change, but for the time being it has been reaffirmed.
9. Last fall, Iowa City was declared a UNESCO City of Literature. This is a great honor. There are only two other UNESCO Cities of Literature in the world – Edinburgh and Melbourne. There is only one other UNESCO Creative Cities in the United States and that is Santa Fe. The application was written and submitted by the University of Iowa with support from many other organizations. A 501.c.3 organization is being established with a preliminary meeting scheduled for next week. Rossi said that he has been speaking to COL representatives about the possibility of a significant contribution from Humanities Iowa for a project to video record nationally prominent authors with ties to Iowa City and discuss how their time in Iowa affected their writing. Humanities Iowa is also supporting the first Iowa City Book Fair which is scheduled for July 18 and is being planned by University of Iowa Libraries in recognition of their five-millionth volume. Huttner passed around information he had brought on the Book Fair, and shared that there is a rich resource of author aural recordings at UI Archives, including all the “Live from Prairie Lights” programs. The Archives has begun to digitize a collection of recordings from the International Writing Program as well.
It seems a natural that the Iowa Center for the Book and Iowa’s UNESCO City of Literature would find multiple ways to collaborate. This topic will be on the November agenda.
10. Future projects are on hold until a new coordinator is hired.
11. The Iowa Center for the Book is sponsoring an Iowa Author Fair that will be held as part of the ILA Conference. It will be on Wednesday, October 21 at the Des Moines Public Library from 6 to 8 p.m. The fair will be open to the public. Martin reported that they used the Iowa Authors list to contact people and so far have twenty-three confirmations for forty-eight spaces.
12. Announcements. Katherine says to send her mystery titles (not too violent!) as she is looking forward to having more time to read. A motion was made to officially thank Katherine Von Wald for her incredible leadership, hard work, and relationship building during her tenure as the first Coordinator of the Iowa Center for the Book (Craig/Bergman). All approved.
13. Meeting adjourned.
Note taker: Susan Craig