Iowa Center for the Book
Advisory Council Meeting
June 13, 2014 10:00 a.m.
Iowa Library Services/State Library Room 310
Des Moines, IA
Members present: Timothy Barrett, Barb Corson, Susan Craig, Brianna Glenn, Ed Goedeken, Jan Kaiser, Thomas Kessler, Robin Martin, Nancy Medema, Alice Meyer, Katherine Perkins, Sarah Prineas, Kristin Steingreaber, Gail Striker, Annette Wetteland, and Mike Wright
Members unable to attend: Marv Bergman, Joan Bessman-Taylor, Monica Gohlinghorst, Mary Heinzman, Chris Rossi, Tim Walch
Guest: Gary Frost, Conservator Emeritus, University of Iowa Center for the Book
1. Call to Order – Sarah Prineas, Chair
2. Introduction of Guests
- Gary Frost, Conservator Emeritus from the University of Iowa and Traveling History of the Book Committee member
- Interim State Librarian Barb Corson
- Iowa Library Services Program Director for the Library Support Network Nancy Medema
3. Approval of November 15, 2013 minutes. Motion Wright (Craig); unanimous
4. Iowa Library Services/State Library Report - Corson
- The search committee for a new state librarian hopes to begin interviews in late August. There are also two support staff positions open – a library resources technician in the Sioux City district office and in the law library. Both should be posted soon.
- Corson said the State Library’s budget is good this year with level funding. $50,000 more was provided for the Enrich Iowa program, and around $52,000 more was added to the Iowa’s federal Library Services and Technology Act funding.
- Last fiscal year, the State Library received $250,000 in one-time technology money from the state. Half the money went to technology grants to public libraries around the state. The remainder was used by the State Library to update the laptop teaching lab, improve Wi-Fi at the central office, purchase a new digital video recorder and digital screen, a new scanner, and I-pads for staff. Funds were also used for the development of a revised State Library website and PLOW websites throughout the state.
- A new State Library project is “Iowa Library Commons,” an online sharing site for of all types of libraries to post their documents such a policies, promotion videos, etc.
- A support staff certification program is being developed.
- A review of the Enrich Iowa program (interlibrary lending) will begin soon. She said it would be a long process, beginning with a steering committee and morphing into a larger group of stake holders.
5. Coordinator Report – Martin
- The Iowa Center for the Book had its affiliation renewed by the Library of Congress (LOC) for another three years. She noted that the ICB Advisory Council’s role was very important to how well the ICB works. John Cole, the LOC’s Director of the Center for the Book picked up on that, said Martin. She thanked the group for their dedication. ICB’s report included work toward the establishment of ICB’s Foundation, the long success of the All Iowa Reads program, the new “Arts and Craftspeople List” on the website, and the Hands-On Book Fest for Kids partnership.
- This year’s Letters About Literature celebration was held April 25 at the Des Moines Public Library. The guest speaker was Governor Terry Branstad. Kaiser and Medema both stated how incredible and heartwarming the students’ letters were. The winners and runner-ups got their pictures taken with the governor, and The Des Moines Register ran an article on the first place winner in Level III. ICB Advisory Council members read some excerpts from the students’ letters. Martin said there were more Iowa applicants this year -- almost 2,000 -- and only five other states had more. The fact that high school juniors and seniors were back in the program may have had something to do with the increase of 600 entries. Iowa teachers are big supporters of the program.
- Martin described the LOC Idea Exchange meeting she attended in Washington, DC on May 1-2. She circulated a report describing what other states are doing. Martin was part of a group who discussed what more could be accomplished during the national meeting. Four suggested they do some strategic planning with more focus on the network of affiliates and how they can support each other. Some are interested in digital mapping as a first project. LOC or maybe IMLS will help at the national level. A cultural map would be a great idea for Iowa, said Martin. Representatives from Maryland, California, Massachusetts, and Iowa, as well as two others, will serve on the LOC CFB Advisory Board.
- The National Book Festival – August 30 -- will be in the Washington Convention Center this year instead of on the National Mall. Iowa’s representative on the festival’s Great Reads Map will be author Jacqueline Briggs-Martin’s “Farmer Will and the Growing Table,” a 2014 Notable Children’s Book.
- LOC got a huge gift from David M. Rubenstein to recognize and support achievements in the field of literacy. LOC presented three this year: The Rubenstein Prize for groundbreaking work or sustained record of advancement of literacy, international or US; The American Prize to combat illiteracy or aliteracy; and the International Prize for the work of a person, nation or NGO. There will also be a $1,000 Statewide Literacy Award Program for the state affiliates. Martin asked for help in planning how to use the award and Glenn and Wright offered their services. Kaiser suggested that the Des Moines Public Library Foundation’s Friends of Literacy award may have some guidelines that will help. Bookstores, HOBF, teachers who encourage reading could be eligible. We need to think about partnerships. Steingreaber suggested that it could be a way to honor people who read aloud to kids. The application is due September 30.
- Martin reported that she and Medema met with Governor Branstad to discuss the ICB. Both said they were pleased with the response they got from the Governor and hope it will illicit some future support for libraries. They plan to ask for a proclamation from Branstad for the ICB that can be shared at this year’s Iowa Library Association Conference. It was suggested that a proclamation celebrating the All Iowa Reads program would be nice, or perhaps several things could be put into one proclamation.
6. Brief reports/news item from Council Members
- Glenn said things were status quo at the Desoto Public Library. Dallas County is planning to do “an all-county reads,” providing books to many people and then having the author do a presentation.
- Meyer (Beaverdale Books) participated in World Book Night. Twenty people came to her store. She noted that a woman who received a book last year and came back to tell her that she has been reading ever since. Meyer also noted that she was contacted by C-SPAN about their Cities Tour in smaller cities across the country. They will be in Des Moines June 23 and were looking for ideas regarding local history books and non-fiction books, as well as some authors they could interview. Meyer said she gave them information about the ICB.
- Kaiser (Des Moines Public Library) said Bill Bryson will be the Des Moines Public Library Foundation’s Iowa Author Award winner this year. Michael Gartner will be MC at the event which will be held at the Marriott Hotel. Kaiser said Billy Collins will be part of this year’s AViD author series and consequently in the WOW Festival in November.
- Goedeken (Iowa State University Library) – no news
- Stricker (Iowa Department for the Blind and Physically Handicapped Library) said they have a new director, Sarah Willeford, who is also this year’s ILA President. She said they are working on a new project to transfer books on cartridges to discs. The prototype enables many books to be on one disc. The department prepares text books in Braille, audio and LP formats. They run a Summer Reading Program beginning in June. Books are sent through the mail, and the discussions are held via telephone. Like other libraries, they have prizes and awards.
- Prineas (author) said she has new books coming out and has been Skyping with kids throughout the country. She gives as many as 2 programs per week using Skype.
- Perkins (Iowa Public Radio) said she had just left the station’s fund drive at 9 a.m. that morning. IPR met their fundraising goal. She is working on a summer series talk show. Perkins said there is more content online now (not just shows) that people can read rather than listen to. There is a social media push going on at IPR. She is excited about their new leadership. They added a new show, “The Moth Radio Hour” which was recently taped in Iowa City; and Prairie Home Companion was broadcast live when it was in Des Moines.
- Kessler (University of Northern Iowa’s Rod Library) said they were undergoing a rapid transition and updating of the library. In March, the library sponsored a mini Comic-con day for the community with a huge attendance. A variety of comic book-related activities were held such as trivia contests; video and tabletop gaming; a kids' coloring contest; and a scavenger hunt. Panel discussions focused on diversity in comic books; gender, racial and LGBT issues; comic book censorship; and how women, black men and people with disabilities are portrayed in comic books. UNI librarians may hold the event again next year. In March, the library had their 8th annual African American read-in with the College of Education. It’s a special community outreach project for youth. They are also hosting Common Reads for incoming freshmen. They will have a new youth services librarian, Jillean McCommons, and they are searching for a couple of other positions in the museum offices. Joan Bessman-Taylor is joining UNI as Associate Professor of School of Library Studies.
- Craig (Iowa City Public Library) – It’s Summer Reading Program time, and they are signing up children, youth and adults. They have formed a partnership with two other local libraries and school libraries. They are using online registration software. Craig said parents are there with their kids, and librarians get them to sign up for library cards while they are there with their children. Craig said it was important that children see their parents reading too. They have had more adults in two weeks than all of last summer. They are in the middle of a planning process and compiling results of a community survey. They have found out that people in Iowa City read twice the number of books as the national average, Craig said. In October, the library will host authors Marilyn Robinson and Jane Smiley as a part of the Iowa City Book Festival.
- Wright (University of Iowa Libraries) said they had received two grants – one from Carver for $500,000 which will go towards the renovation of a state-of-the-art exhibit hall in the library; and the other from the National Endowment for the Humanities which will pay for archiving the Keith Albee collection, the only vaudeville theater archive in the country. The current collection is deteriorating and the grant will help pay to digitize it. The library’s new Learning Commons welcomed a million people between August 2013 and May 2014. The book collection stacks are finally in LC order from A-Z, making them more accessible to readers.
- Steingreaber (Great Prairie Area Education Agency) pointed out that she had a new email address. She was happy to report that a proposed Bill stating that schools had to have a library but not a librarian was defeated in the Iowa Assembly. School districts would have been able to have a facility, but not a librarian to run it. She noted that Iowa City lost a school librarian during the interim. She is currently moving books from the Burlington office (which is closing its library) to the Ottumwa AEA. She has spent seven weeks interfiling materials.
- Barrett (University of Iowa Center for the Book) reported that graduate students were able to make 1,350 sheets of handmade paper in one day, demonstrating the papermaking style of the 18th century before mechanical methods were developed.
7. Report from Working Groups and Committees:
Traveling History of the Book Exhibit – Barrett and Glenn thanked Martin and Frost for their help on the Exhibit, noting that the project has been ongoing for years. It is close to being finished and will travel to school and public libraries. The exhibit will be an introduction to the history of the book and will hopefully get kids engaged in reading. Frost made the essential models and the scroll. All exhibit items were on display for the Council members. Frost also included a teachers’ guide and recommended three books be used as resources to follow up. Martin said other items which have been used in the annual Hands on Book Festival will be included in the exhibit. She said the next step is to find a suitable shipping box and create instructions for hosts. The exhibit will be loaned for a month at a time. The focus will first be on public libraries in rural districts. They may be charged half of the shipping costs. There will be a photo of the kit for people to see first. Gary is available to train librarians who may be presenting programs in their libraries. Or librarians could contact Frost directly if they want him to give a program based on the exhibit. There will be information about the exhibit on the ICB website. It was suggested that Meredith Corporation or another publishing company may be willing to underwrite some of the costs. McGraw Hill has an office in Dubuque. Martin said they may also get money from the ICB Foundation. There was also a discussion about having duplicate exhibits so that several could go out at once.
Iowa Authors - Goedeken – Ed distributed the list of names that will be included on the “Iowa Treasures” list. He asked for volunteers to write 500 word essays on each. The hope is to get essays done by this fall. It was noted that we need template of what should go in an essay. Goedeken said he will do that. Should we check with living authors about accuracy of essays? We can try. People outside the Advisory council group can also write these. Council members signed up for authors they wanted to write about.
All Iowa Reads – Craig said there will be a meeting next week. She noted it has been a fabulous year. The author Thomas Maltman has made several visits around the state and is a great speaker, said Craig. At their next meeting the group will winnow down selections for 2015. Martin mentioned that All Dallas County Reads and All Bellevue Reads are both using this year’s AIR book.
8. ICB Foundation Update – Craig talked about how the foundation worked with SOHO Press to run two months of AIR ads on Iowa Public Radio. It was the Foundation’s first foray into supporting activities of the ICB. The next project is to help fund traveling history of the book exhibit. Foundation paperwork is not yet final. Steve Roy is working on 501C(3). Martin thinks Roy has all he needs to finish the document. He asked for a financial report of receipts and expenditures for May 2013 through April 2014 for our 1099 IRS report. That was submitted by Walch and Martin. There will be a Foundation meeting in June or July. The foundation currently has $5,575.25. They still haven’t paid for the traveling exhibit, which will cost around $3,000. Craig reminded members that we will be asking for donations to the Foundation again at the fall meeting.
9. Report from Nominating Committee on ICB Council Chair - Glenn and Gohlinghorst – Prineas was asked if she was willing to serve as chair again and she accepted.
10. Election of Council Chair spring 2014 – spring 2016. Prineas elected unanimously.
11. Advisory Council members reappointed for 3 years:
- Tim Barrett
- Ed Goedeken
- Jan Kaiser
- Gail Stricker
- Tom Kessler
Joan Bessman-Taylor had to resign as she is taking a position at UNI. Corson and Martin will work on finding another person from the Graduate School of Library and Information Science. Prineas reminded the group to invite young people interested in ICB to join us at our next meeting.
12. Other Business: None
13. Fall 2014 meeting date TBD. Location: Iowa City Public Library
14. Prineas adjourned the meeting at 11:50 am.