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Maine Library Commission Minutes, September 27, 2011

The Maine Library Commission met at the Maine State Library on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm.

Members present: Debe Averill, Karen Baldacci, Kathy Brunjes, Liz Doucet, Beth Edmonds, Inese Gruber, Mike Kennedy, Molly Larson, Barbara McDade, Jamie Ritter, Joyce Rumery, Dick Thompson, Art Turley.
Members absent: Charlie Campo, Steve Podgajny
Also present: Linda Lord, Dean Corner, Janet McKenney, Stephanie Zurinski, Susan Preece, Susan Trent, Mamie Anthoine Ney, Ethel Himmel.

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 and Commission members introduced themselves to Ethel Himmel from Himmel and Wilson consultants.


On a motion by Rumery with a second by Turley, the minutes of the May 24, 2011 were approved.

LSTA Evaluation (Ethel Himmel)

Federal LSTA plans are evaluated every five years. Himmel and Wilson were retained by the Maine State Library along with eight other states to review its LSTA plan. The major service areas of the MSL plan are: talking books, district consultants, books by mail, technical support, and support for the Marvel databases.
Federal funding for MSLs LSTA plan has been reduced from $1.26 million in FY 2009 to $1.21 million in FY 2011.

  • The Commission stated that Marvel is the single greatest LSTA benefit to the state followed by the consultants and delivery/resource sharing.
  • Ms. Himmel asked the Commission what they thought were the benefits of the consultants: workshops and speakers from outside the state; Snapshot Day publication; district-wide meetings by types of libraries or librarian specialization; training that can't be provided by a library (including distance learning opportunities)
  • Ms. Himmel asked the Commission about the benefits of resource sharing and delivery: the ability to go beyond the walls of a library to serve patrons- this is a baseline service that's the foundation for other library services. Without LSTA funding there would be no access to statewide databases and resource sharing.
  • Ms. Himmel asked the Commission about cooperation between libraries: able to mount a unified effort to obtain a downloadable e-book library. This is an example of how small libraries can have equal access to resources or services that are usually available only to larger libraries.
  • What has Maine's LSTA program allowed? A strategic partnership with other state agencies; talking books as a lifeline for the visually handicapped; Maine School and Library Network, a high speed network for schools and libraries for 24/7 access to resources and wi-fi availability; community hub for the disadvantaged.

State Librarians Report

  • Legislation LD 1033, support for statewide delivery, is still on the governor's desk.
  • Budget the Streamlining Government Committee is looking for at least $25 million in cuts to state agencies.The MSL target is $29,900 which involves transferring part of a general fund employees salary and benefits to federal funding.The Committee has not addressed the MSL cut or those of other cultural agencies. It will address the cultural agencies as a group at a meeting later in October.
  • Zero-based budgeting (ZBB) - this cost/benefit analysis of agency programs is scheduled for 2012 for the FY 14 & 15 budgets.
  • Met with Commissioner of Education Bowen about school libraries and the establishment of a closer relationship with the Department of Education. There is lack of data and research about school libraries' information; about the contacts at these libraries.
  • The Digital Literacy Forum in Bangor on October 18 is sponsored by IMLS along with the University of Washington and the International City/County Management Association. This event will bring together representatives from government agencies, community-based organizations, educational institutions, public policy organizations, and foundations to assess the states current capabilities to create digitally inclusive communities.
  • MSL staff has been very active in continuing education efforts as recommended in the Strategic Plan.

District Liaison Committee Report

The Committee has developed a definition of a public library with the hope that it will be beneficial for the future support of public libraries in the state.

Maine InfoNet

Will report at the next Commission meeting.

MSL Positions

A number of positions have been filled or are in process: Librarian I, Collection Services (filled); Office Associate II, support for the web coordinator (filled); Planning and Research Associate, back-up for Janet with a focus on e-rate and technology support (job posted); Librarian II, SMLD consultant, in process at Human Resources.

Consultants Reports

  • 259 people turned out for the E-books and libraries presentation here in Augusta. This was one of the largest attendances at a one-day workshop.
  • The 2010 public library use and financial statistics have been collected and are now being organized.
  • Valerie Osborne is nearing completion of a library volunteer manual.


All videoconferencing hardware has been delivered and installed. The suite of Learning Express online resources are now available.

Next Meeting

November 29, 2011


The meeting was adjourned at 2:35 pm.