Iowa Center for the Book
Advisory Council Meeting
10 a.m. May 14, 2010
State Library of Iowa, Des Moines
Members Present - Tim Barrett, Marvin Bergman, Susan Craig, Katie Dunneback , Kristin Gerhard, Monica Gohlinghorst, Mary Heinzman, Sid Huttner, Jan Kaiser, Robin Martin, Tracy Morsek, Carl Orgren, Katherine Perkins, Sarah Prineas, Kristin Steingreaber, Mary Wegner, Annette Wetteland, Charlotte Wright
I. Introductions - Martin introduced two new At-large Representatives, Sarah Prineas and Katherine Perkins.
II. Minutes of November 6, 2009 - Steingreaber asked that the spelling of her name be corrected in the November minutes. Gerhard moved to approve the minutes with changes; Craig seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
III. State Library Report - Mary Wegner. Wegner welcomed everyone and gave a brief description of the State Library (Ola Babcock Miller Building) and the renovations that took place between 1999 and 2001. Wegner said they have a person in mind to fill the public library representative spot on the Council. Work is still taking place on the Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) Foundation. (Robin - I have a cryptic note here around Monica, Susan, Tim Walch, Mary W. working on a conflict of interest policy issue. Was Tim Walch at the meeting?)
Wegner said the State Library has taken a 21 percent, or $400,000 just over the past two years. Federal funding has remained stable. Five State Library staff are taking early retirement. Wegner said they will try to replace three of those positions.
IV. Coordinator Report - Robin Martin - Martin described the national Letters About Literature (LAL) contest and the awards ceremony for Iowa student winners at the State Library. Iowa Poet Laureate Mary Swander was the guest speaker at the awards ceremony.
There were 1,811 letters, 100 more than last year, sent in by Iowa students in the 2010 program. In Iowa, there were 426 Level I entries (grades 4-6); 19 semi-finalists; 33 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; and 3 winners. In Level II (7-8 grades), there were 996 entries; 40 semi-finalists; 30 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; and 3 winners. Level III (grades 9-12) had 389 entries; 17 semifinalists; 29 finalists; 3 honorable mentions; and 3 winners. Austin Helmink of Spencer High School became Iowa’s 5th national winner. He was one of only 6 students nationally in Level III to achieve this recognition. Martin said the youth “write from the heart and do a fantastic job.” Martin also noted that the volunteer judges in Iowa “are invaluable.” They provide feedback to the students on their letters. The contest was promoted at the Iowa Talented & Gifted Conference, the Iowa Reading Association Conference, and at a poster session at the Iowa Association of School Librarians Conference.
V. Working group on Iowa Author Fairs around the state - Kaiser, Barrett, Walsh, Martin - The ICB Web site now has a link to the Iowa Young Writers Studio at the University of Iowa. There are two camps in Iowa City and the LAL brochures were available for them. The ICB also partnered with the Adel Iowa Book Fair and the federal Institute of Museums and Library Services’ The Big Read program.
Martin said that there are lots of questions about the author requests form. There needs to be more clarification and it needs to be easier to use. There were 100 authors on the Web site before the author/book festival at the 2009 Iowa Library Association Conference (ILA). Since then the site has grown to 211. She noted that the ICB will be a partner in another author fair at the ILA Conference in Coralville in October 2010 and that she will be inviting Iowa authors. Dunneback - also a fair in Iowa that only invites authors who have published a new book within the year. The ICB should consider being part of the International Writer’s Workshop. Barret said he thinks we should have a list of Iowa book fairs on the ICB Web site. There was also conversation about the July 15-17 Iowa City Book Festival, which is extending from 1 to 3 days.
Martin said she will be working on how to get statistics on the Web with the help of State Library staffer Marie Harms. She said she worked on the All Iowa Reads (AIR) Web site by updating the information on “Leading a Book Discussion Group.” Martin also noted that she will accompany Wetteland to this year’s Iowa Author Fair in Washington, DC on September 25.
VI. Capturing stories on how libraries or books change Iowa lives - Kaiser, Gerhard, Wetteland - The group reported that they had brainstormed ideas to capture stories, including:
• Ask librarians to tell their stories and ask them to approach a customer they have helped to see if he/she would be willing to be “interviews”
• Solicit stories from authors
• Interview library users and take photos
• Use the Enrich Iowa report to gather personal stories
• Possibly have a “Love Your Library” contest yearly. May have to wait until fall to get schools involved and ask Marilyn Mercardo how to get academic libraries to participate
Gerhard suggested having a blog and/or Facebook account on the ICB Web site.
VII. Criteria for inclusion on ICB Author List - Gerhard, Orgren, Walch, Martin - There was much discussion about the current criteria for what books should be listed on the Iowa Author List. Walch thinks that all the books listed should be print on paper. They can be self-published, but not E-books. The mission should be changed to state that and it doesn’t right now. Orgren stated that the committee should be looking at listed E-book authors now. Gerhard said she would check into what other states are doing. Orgen said Martin needs more verbiage to use supporting books published on paper only. Martin said she thinks that self publishers are taking advantage of the list for marketing purposes. Perkins suggested that we add language stating that the ICB doesn’t vouch for the quality of the books listed. Kaiser questioned whether the books should be categorized by subject, but the group didn’t feel that was necessary at this time.
VIII. Iowa Council of Teachers of English literary map project - Huttner; Mark Schillerstrom, ICTE project leader - Schillerstrom talked about the goals of the literary map project, the criteria for item inclusion, map formats and accessibility, time line to complete, funding and ongoing maintenance. The group’s criteria is that authors be born in Iowa, have lived in Iowa, or wrote about Iowa. He said that would include a lot of people and that a print version would be difficult, but he wants to be as inclusive as possible. He displayed a prototype of a map that can be customized. Schillerstrom also said they want to make it very dynamic where people can leave comments. It needs to be kept fresh and dynamic. Print version would be provided to schools and public libraries. They would also promote a version of it on the Web site.
The question arose as to whether or not the ICB wanted to be a co-sponsor. Wegner said she was concerned that the purpose of the Iowa Writers/Literary Map was different than ICB’s (contemporary vs. historical). There was also the issue of funding, which Wegner said would be difficult to obtain. There was also discussion about linking to it if it becomes available on a Web site.
IX. All Iowa Reads - Craig - Craig announced that David Rhodes, author of this year’s All Iowa Reads Book, Driftless, would be speaking at the Friday luncheon at ILA fall conference in Coralville on October 15. Milkweed Press is starting to print some of his previously out-of-print books.
X. UNESCO City of Literature - Craig - A full-time director for the UNESCO program has been hired and is working out of the Iowa City Public Library, according to Craig. The new director, Jeanette Pilak, is very knowledgeable and is making statewide connections, Craig said. Huttner suggested inviting Pilak to the ICB fall meeting in Iowa City. (Robin - Another cryptic note of mine - something about “Grant - take archives of visiting authors to Iowa City workshop and make it available - interviews, etc., Huttner thinks some are already up.
XI. Announcements - Appointments for another 3-year term were made to: Sid Huttner, Marvin Bergman, Susan Craig, Charlotte Wright, and Tim Walch. Carl Orgren is stepping down. He suggested several names of faculty currently at the University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science who might be interested in serving on the Council. Search for a new representative from a small public library continues.
XII. Fall meeting date and site - Martin will conduct a Google poll to select a date for the fall meeting, which will be held at the Iowa City Public Library.