Iowa Center for the Book
Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
10 a.m. May 31, 2013
Iowa Library Services/State Library Room 310
Des Moines, IA
Attendees: Timothy Barrett, Marv Bergman, Susan Craig, Ed Goedeken, Brianna Glenn, Monica Gohlinghorst , Mary Heinzman, Yolanda Hood, Sid Huttner, Jan Kaiser, Robin Martin, Nancy Medema, Sarah Prineas, Joan Bessman Taylor, Tim Walch, Mary Wegner, Annette Wetteland
Not Present due to conflicts: Randy Landgrebe, Shannon McClintock, Katherine Perkins, Chris Rossi, Kristin Steingreaber, and Charlotte Wright
Guest: Dale Ross
1. Prineas called the meeting to order and introduced Nancy Medema, Program Director for the State Library’s Library Services Network.
2. Introduced Dale Ross, President of the Iowa Center for the Book (ICB) Foundation
3. Minutes of the November 9, 2012, meeting were approved with one correction: Add Heinzman to list of attendees.
4. State Librarian Wegner shared the good financial news for Iowa Library Services (IaLS). She thanked the many advocates around the state. In FY14, $500,000 was added to the IaLS operating budget; $350,000 in additional money was given to Enrich Iowa; and $250,000 in one-time money was provided for technology needs. Half of the $250,000 will be used to update technology at IaLS and the rest will be used for technology grants for public and academic libraries. Wegner said Medema had joined IaLS in February.
Coordinator Martin described the Letters About Literature (LAL) reception for students, parents and teachers that was held May 3 at the Des Moines Public Library. About 80 people attended. Delia Ray, author of “Here Lies Linc,” was the event speaker. She has written non-fiction books on American history and six award-winning fiction books. Martin said participation in LAL was down 60% in Iowa and 45% nationally. This year’s program eliminated students in 11th and 12th grades. Iowa is still in the top 12 nationally for participation. There were 47,000 students who took part nationally. Iowa had 1,134, but typically we have around 2,000. Martin said she would reconnect with teachers since many have retired or changed positions. She noted that a webinar for youth librarians “Mentoring Young Readers Through Letters About Literature” is planned to encourage more participation from libraries. Ross said he thought teachers were not encouraging reading for pleasure because of changes in the way people are teaching. Martin said she would try to reach out to school principals emphasizing how LAL helps meet Iowa Core standards. Kaiser suggested online submission forms might increase applications. Bergman, Gohlinghorst, and Heinzman each read out loud Iowa’s LAL first place winners’ letters. Martin said due to illness she was unable to attend the Centers for the Book Annual Idea Exchange meeting in Washington, DC on May 4. A national webinar for Centers for the Book is planned to continue conversations that started at that meeting. She shared reports from other states that had good programming ideas. She reported that the ICB now has 330 authors on its website. The All Iowa Reads program for 2013 is going well. After considerable discussion between Martin and publisher Simon & Schuster, large print books of the 2013 selection “The Year We Left Home” were made available and 45 libraries bought them. Martin announced that the Vilsack Foundation is closing out and is giving the ICB Foundation $5,000.
5. Report from Working Groups
Traveling exhibit on the history of the book – Barrett and Glenn said there is a lot of enthusiasm for the idea of traveling exhibit. Barrett designed a “book-box,” that when opened, will have cubbies and each will have artifacts and information on the history of the book. There are reservations as children might not be tall enough to see the book’s contents. A colleague, Gary Frost, suggested a tabletop display as an alternative. There was discussion about the contents and the intended audience (ages), how to manage loaning the display, and the cost for schools to receive and send it on. Glenn, Martin and Barrett are working with Frost. The cost could be $4,000 to $5,000 for each kit. They will report back via e-mail. It was decided that they need one prototype copy to see how much it will be used. Wegner said IaLS cannot afford the shipping cost. The people managing the exhibit will have to pay for the transportation. A hard case will be needed to mail it and display could be heavy. The cost will be great to mail; $60 to $90 roundtrip. Wegner said she sees public libraries as the primary venue more than schools because more people will see it. IaLS District staff could help move it. The question came up as to whether it should be an exhibit or a presentation. Craig said she thought an exhibit would draw more people than doing a program. Martin said she sees the audience as young people. Glenn noted that children need to know the history of book making. Barrett said he would meet with Frost and perhaps have a plan that can go out at the end of summer. Barrett said he would work with Humanities Iowa to see if they might fund Frost to travel in Iowa and teach about the display. He said that Chris Rossi is interested in this as a lecture/presentation project. Kaiser suggested perhaps we could videotape a presentation to send with the display.
Iowa Author Committee Goedeken, Prineas, Wright, Walch and Martin met by phone conference to discuss the purpose and criteria for an “Iowa Treasures List,” one that can identify Iowa’s most important, prominent, and well known authors. Criteria are difficult to determine. Questions to be answered: Can they be dead? How long must they have lived in Iowa, 20 years? What about authors who would consider themselves Iowans but no longer live in Iowa? Goedeken wondered how many “treasures” were already in the current Iowa Author list. Is a literary map completed? Martin replied that a literary may was not part of the ICB’s mission at this time. Kaiser said she didn’t think the group should have to exclude people who have left Iowa. Include living and dead. Martin noted she needs a bookmark with names of Iowa’s great living and dead authors to take to the National Book Festival in September. Members were told to send suggestions to Goedeken. The term “Iowa Treasurers” by itself insinuates a popularity contest. The goal for the next meeting: Figure out criteria and revise the list. Since Charlotte Wright is retiring from the Council, she will need to be replaced on the committee.
Iowa Book Artists and Crafts People List Huttner said the website went live in January. He said they found 19 people who are either in the business of book crafts or book makers (paper, etc.) to register their information. Organizations around the state were notified. All or most have their websites listed. The list provides good resources for librarians looking for programs, or shops investing in artists’ books. It was noted that many Iowa City artisans had not been forthcoming in helping populate the list. Huttner will keep sending information out to others who may be interested in adding their names. Huttner said it was important to get more people to take an active interest in it. Bessman Taylor said the website should highlight the people who will do programs for libraries, etc. Wetteland will look at making the information more prominent on the page. Bessman Taylor said she will send her ideas to Martin. Kaiser suggested doing the same on the author list, or mention them both on both lists. Kaiser asked about highlighting Iowa publishers on the website. Martin said she has a list and will work to update it and get it on the website. Martin suggested that it might be time to form a group to review and recommend changes for the entire website.
All Iowa Reads. Craig said people are sending lots of comments about this year’s book and most like it.
6. ICB Foundation – Ross said the 501c3 is now viable enough that the Foundation has set up a bank account. The $5,000 donation from the Vilsack has been deposited. The Foundation is ready and willing to take on projects and is looking for monetary support, especially from within the Advisory Council. Donations were collected. Ross said publicity is now needed, and he wants to involve all kinds of people in Iowa, not just the library community. Ross said he didn’t think the general public is aware of the Iowa Center for the Book and that it needs to be visible in new ways. The Foundation is waiting to hear from the group about what they want the Foundation to support. Craig said she thought this was an opportunity for corporations to put their name on something that is appealing to them. The group needs to think about businesses that would be interested. There will be a Foundation website, but it may need to be totally separate from the current ICB and ILS sites. Kaiser said the group should be sure to acknowledge those people who gave first. Wegner said the Foundation needs to be careful that it not be confused with the state-operated ICB Advisory Council. The Foundation exists solely to support the ICB. Ross said the Foundation is limited in doing any kind of advocacy due to its not-for-profit status.
7. Reports –
a. Walch has a new book coming out, “Herbert Hoover and Dwight D. Eisenhower: a Documentary History.” A sequel to his earlier book “Urban Catholic Education” will be released in October “Urban Catholic Education: the Best of Times, the Worst of Times.” Walch said he has been writing for newspapers. He also said he has been working to re-establish the state archivist position in Iowa. Walch also noted that the State Historical Society is doing the good work.
b. Hood said that the new dean of UNI’s Library is Chris Cox. She announced that she is leaving for a new position in Florida.
c. Glenn said the De Soto Public Library is getting ready for its Summer Reading Program. The library is also participating in ILEAD USA. Iowa is one of 5 states involved in the year-long project. The project she and her team are working on is an online book discussion website.
d. Kaiser said the Des Moines Public Library is also gearing up for the Summer Reading Program. She said the library has energetic young librarians preparing reading logs and task sheets that help get young people really involved in using the library. There will also be website scavenger hunt. Des Moines Public Library’s AViD series will feature Amy Tan in November.
e. Bessman Taylor said she is working on a reading and book discussion group. The University of Iowa School of Library and Information Science is thinking about its role in Iowa. She asked members to contact her if they had suggestions about library education in the state.
f. Barrett said Kim Merker, a famous book artisan and longtime staff member at the Center for the Book in Iowa City died. There will be a celebration of his life soon. Tim is working on a You Tube video that reconstructs the history of papermaking. He said he will be sending Martin some news items and a link to the video.
g. Gohlinghorst talked about the Council Bluffs Summer Reading Program. She noted that her term on the Iowa Commission of Libraries had ended. Betsy Thompson, Sioux City Public Library Director, and Dale Vande Haar, coordinator of the Des Moines Public Schools library programs, had joined the Commission.
h. Craig said UNESCO City of Literature is housed in the Iowa City Public Library. There is a new director. UNESCO is taking over the Iowa City Book Festival. The festival has been moved from July to October. Craig said there is a good group of authors coming. The library is hosting the family of Henrietta Lacks when they discuss their experience as a result of book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack.” Craig noted that there have been several retirements at the library and that by July 1st; they will have filled 10 positions. Many of them are young people whom Craig said are very energetic. Craig said she received an e-mail from Netta Ulaby of NPR who is doing a series of programs on the future of public libraries and plans to visit the Iowa City Public Library to do a story on their music program.
i. Heinzman said St. Ambrose University Library is having a summer reading program with prizes for students and staff. A kickoff party will be held June 5. A faculty member has written a new book that he will discuss. Heinzman announced that this year’s All Iowa Reads author, Jean Thompson, will be at the Iowa Library Association Conference for lunch on Friday. She said Thompson is excited about coming.
j. Prineas said she has new books coming out. She is also doing Skype visits – two a week - in the United States and other countries. She noted there is a team of people who are researching authors and want to speak to her.
k. Wegner said that the Iowa Center for the Book works hard on its AIR program, and she is concerned attention may be taken away from it by other “read the same book” programs such as Overdrive’s Big Read event. A popular title was made available to libraries in eBook format at no cost to them for a two-week period. The object was to get as many people reading the same book at one time as possible. Jan noted reports after this pilot highlighted the positive impact of libraries on literacy. Robin posted the Big Read opportunity on Facebook and Iowalib. We don’t know if such programs will have a negative impact on All Iowa Reads yet.
8. Hands on Book Festival (HOBF) Kaiser reported that DMPL is partnering with Wonder of Words (WOW) and the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines to bring in nationally known author Pat Mora as a part of HOBF this year. As an Hispanic writer, Mora will bring a bilingual component to the program. The Des Moines Rotary Club is very committed to HOBF. DeAnn Thompson, Rotarian and HOBF committee member, is putting together a handbook on how to plan and carry out a HOBF event. The handbook will be shared with other Rotary Clubs and libraries around the country. Other WOW events include a Publisher’s Crawl, author and NPF commentator Michelle Norris (sponsored by Drake University), a Fringe Play Festival, authors published by the University of Iowa Press, and an American Gothic celebration with Grant Wood specialist Wanda Corn to be held at Simpson College.
9. Other business. None.
10. Celebrating colleagues completing their service to the council. The Advisory Council recognized Sid Huttner for his outstanding service. Martin noted that Huttner has been a wonderful contributor and one of the chairs of the council. He inspired Council members to take more active roles in managing ICB mission projects. Shannon McClintock Miller and Charlotte Wright were also recognized, although they were not present at the meeting. Prineas thanked Bergman, Craig, Gohlinghorst, Bessman Taylor and Walch for continuing to serve another three years.
11. A Doodle poll will be sent out to find a time for the fall meeting, which will be in Iowa City.
12. Walch moved to adjourn; Kaiser seconded.
Annette Wetteland, Notetaker