Thursday, October 13, 2011

For New Yorkers: Notes from the Oct. 13 Regents Advisory Council Meeting

The Regents Adivsory Council on Libraries met via conference call on October 13.  Due to our schedules, the meeting was delayed from its original September date. Below are my informal notes from the call.  (These are not official minutes.)

Gerald Nichols was elected chair of the Council for the next year and John Hammond was elected vice-chair.

2020 Vision: John Hammond gave a report from the 2020 Vision Task Force.  A first draft has been disseminated through several discussion lists.  It will also be sent directly to the Regents.  A second draft will be prepared to include feedback on the first draft.

There will be a session at NYLA about the 2020 vision and look forward to hearing comments that occur then.  Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Cannell and Regent Roger Tilles plan to be at the event. There was much discussion about how to ensure that the Council receives a lot of feedback from those that attend the NYLA session.

The goal is to give a final report to the Regents in April.

2012 Meeting Schedule: The Council will have a conference call on January 12 to review the next draft of the 2010 Vision.  The Council will also meet on March 13 by phone.  [The final meeting for 2011 will be held in December in NYC.]

Update on the Research Library: The Research Library has now been open for a full year on Saturdays.  Anecdotal data shows that people are traveling to use the State Library on Saturdays and researchers (including graduate students) are using the expanded hours.  The Library is doing a survey of researchers in order to gather more input.  Loretta Ebert noted that the Dutch collections are receiving increased use.

There is a goal to open a public computing center on the 7th floor of the State Library, part of the BTOP grant to create computing centers across New York State. Ebert mentioned a desire to increase collaboration and alliances in this area.  More information on the BTOP grants is available on the Library Development web page.

There are discussions about how to allow collaborative licenses across entities.  This is something that came up during the 2020 Vision process and has been mentioned in other context.

Division of Library Development:  Carol Desch reported.  There are two BTOP grants in NYS - one for Upstate NY (over $9 million) and one for NYC.  All of the 30 computing centers are up, except for the one at the State Library.  Video conferencing is part of the hardware that is being installed in these centers.

Thanks to NYLA for helping to get the law amended about construction grants in NYS. The new law sunsets after three years, so it will be important see the impact of this change and advocate for its extension, if the impact is positive. 

LSTA funding was cut at the federal level for 2011-2012.  Money coming to NYS from LSTA is based on population and the State's population has been decreasing. Carol gave more details about the impact of this, which I couldn't type fast enough to capture. LSTA funding is used for some work/staff at the State Library, NOVELny and grants to libraries/library systems.

Jerry Nichols asked about the new 2% tax cap:  How will this impact libraries?  The law will sunset in eight years, but what will happen to libraries before then? What data is the State Library collecting and will we be able to understand the impact of the tax cap from that data?  (Yes)

Relevant Meetings at NYLA Annual Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY:  Based on the conference call today, here are relevant sessions at the upcoming NYLA conference:
  • Thursday, Nov. 3, 9:15 a.m. - Comments from the NYS Education Commissioner
  • Friday, Nov. 4, 8:00 a.m. - Bond Basics for Financing Public Library Capital Projects 
  • Friday, Nov. 4, 3:45 p.m. - 2020 Vision for Library Services in NYS: the Discussion Continues
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 8:00 a.m. - Declare Financial Independence: Become a Library District!
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m. - School Library Initiatives from NYSED
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 9:30 a.m. - Tax Cap Impact on Libraries
  • Saturday, Nov. 5, 11:00 a.m. - Technology Policy and Planning from USNY

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