75 New Hampshire Libraries Get New Computers
The New Hampshire State Library was pleased to assist the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security in providing new computers to 75 New Hampshire libraries. This project was designed to improve access to workforce development information by putting computers in local public libraries.
Annual Reports: Why Bother?
These computers provide individuals and businesses with access to employment information on the Internet by connecting to the NH Works website, as well as other sites covering job information. In addition, the computers have resumé writing software to assist individuals seeking jobs so they may not only locate job information but also prepare resumés and respond to available openings.
The development of these remote locations, from the southern border of the state to as far north as Errol and Colebrook, and from the seacoast in the east to Charlestown and Walpole along the western border, has greatly increased the availability of employment information across the state. Locating these centers in libraries also supplements the hours of the 13 local offices of the Department of Employment Security so citizens can take advantage of library evening and Saturday hours. For more information on NH Works @ New Hampshire Libraries, please contact Diana Degen at 1-800-499-1232 x5/603-271-2143 or email@example.com.
Article Express Update
By April 15, 1999, 160 public libraries, or 70% of all New Hampshire public libraries, had submitted their 1998 annual reports. Seventy-nine percent (79%), or 127 of those libraries, submitted their reports by the deadline of April 1.
Why do we bother to collect library statistics? The Federal-State Cooperative System (FSCS) for public library data collects and disseminates nationwide public library statistics annually. Statistics are collected from over 9,000 public libraries in fifty states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. Public libraries provide essential learning resources that strengthen and perpetuate formal and informal education. Valid, reliable, and timely statistics are necessary for effective use by policy makers in determining the investment of public resources in library development and operations.
Components of the FSCS public library statistics include staffing, service outlets, operating income and expenditures, size of collection, and service measures such as reference transactions, interlibrary loans, circulation, and public service hours.
The State Library uses the information you report on the annual public library report form to determine whether your library is eligible to receive federal and state grants. Libraries are encouraged to meet the minimum standards of the Statewide Library Development System. Membership in the Statewide Library Development System brings certain privileges and benefits. Your annual report helps the staff of the Library Development Services Section ascertain how well your library is meeting those criteria. Collectively, the statistics create a picture of the overall status of public library service in New Hampshire.
The State Library tries to keep changes to the form at a minimum, but every year, there are adjustments that need to be made for various reasons. Perhaps the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) requests new information. Perhaps the State Library finds that the way information was requested was not clear enough to those filling out the form. Sometimes librarians themselves suggest new information to be gathered.
John Barrett, LSTA/Library Data Coordinator, is offering to conduct a workshop for library cooperatives where librarians can review next year's form. You will be able to look at what library data the next annual report form will request and learn how to collect that information. Here's an opportunity to make your comments, suggestions, or recommendations known.
Please contact John at 1-800-499-1232 x4/603-271-2865 or firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
by John McCormick, Supervisor, Reference and Information Services Section
Information technology constantly changes how libraries obtain information and deliver it to their customers. Article Express, the document delivery service of the State Library, has been greatly affected by the way full-text articles can be obtained by libraries.
Calendar of Events
In Fiscal Year 1997, July 1996 to June 1997, Article Express delivered over 9,000 articles to libraries in New Hampshire. In Fiscal Year 1999, the number of articles provided by Article Express decreased by 50% to about 4,500. The primary cause of this decrease was the availability of EBSCOhost to libraries. EBSCOhost is a web-based periodical index that contains full text for about 1,500 periodicals. Using federal funds, the State Library purchased a statewide subscription to this database and made it available to all libraries that are members of NHAIS (for more information, see article, "Statewide Database Licensing Project," elsewhere in this newsletter).
EBSCOhost contained the full text of over 60% of the journals that Article Express supports. Instead of faxing a request for a copy of an article via Article Express, a library could access many of the same articles from EBSCOhost via the Internet. This allowed a library to provide faster and more efficient service to its customers. This new technology has caused the State Library to reevaluate Article Express.
Article Express was using General Periodicals Ondisc (GPO), a UMI product that provided the full text of over 400 periodicals in image format. The cost of an annual subscription was increasing and, with its use decreasing, it was decided the subscription should be canceled. However, the current holdings on GPO will be kept to support article requests from back issues. The range of years varies for each periodical, from 1988 to April 1999. After canceling GPO, other periodical databases were examined that would replace GPO at a lower cost. General Reference Center Gold (GRCG) was chosen.
GRCG is a web-based periodical index that contains over 700 full-text periodicals. It was formerly an Information Access (IAC) product and now it is under the Gale Group. There is a duplication rate of over 50% with EBSCOhost, but this database provides a better back file with some full-text periodicals going back to 1983.
In October 1999, a new manual on Article Express was distributed to public and school libraries. It includes instructions on how to use the service and a list of periodicals supported by the service. If your library did not receive a copy, please contact John McCormick at 1-800-499-1232 x1/603-271-2060 or email@example.com..us.
Article Express should be used by libraries as a backup to their own print collection and the statewide database made available to public and school libraries. For more information on this, please refer to the article, "Statewide Database Licensing Project," elsewhere in this newsletter.
Article Express will be evaluated each year to determine its usefulness to libraries in the state. The number of requests that are received by the service and the cost of the service will be the two main factors that determine its fate. As was stated at the outset, information technology will continue to change how libraries obtain and deliver information to their customers. Libraries in New Hampshire are the customers of the Reference and Information Services Section of the State Library. We will continue to attempt to meet the need of libraries for copies of articles not available to them in either their print collection or electronic collection. How this is done will continue to change as the technology changes.
There is a new calendar of events on the State Library's web page. The calendar can be found at www.state.nh.us/nhsl/ldscalendar. To have your meeting or event added to the calendar, use the online form or contact Katie McDonough at 1-800-499-1232 x4/603-271-8520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Continuing Education: Is It Going to Count?
by Thomas A. Ladd, Education Coordinator, Library Development Services Section
"Does spelling count?" This question has been asked about almost every school and college assignment (outside the English Department) in recent memory, and in a frightening number of cases, the answer has been "no."
DB-L: Online Electronic Resources Listserv
In the real world spelling does count, if not in the communicating of ideas then at least in the forming of an opinion of the person sending the message. Just ask former Vice President Dan Quayle. Do you remember the flap over the spelling bee contestant and "potato" or "potatoe"? Sure you do. Remember his position on acid rain?; nuclear weapons?; handguns?... Nope. Did spelling count in his reality? Absolutely. Just ask those who saw a recent tongue-in-cheek poster that said: VOT FOR QUAYL
This article isn't about spelling, it is about library continuing education, but the concept is the same. I have had many people ask me lately, "Is this program going to count?"
Every educational program should contain something that would be useful that you didn't know before. The goal should be to pick those with the greatest return for you and your library.
What librarians and trustees have been referring to, however, was not the education, but the "continuing education contact hours" referred to under the proposed NH Public Library Standards (available online at www.state.nh.us/nhsl/libstandards).
Until the Standards are adopted, we cannot be sure exactly what the content will be - there will be revisions before they are in final form. It is, however, our intention to permit "retroactive education hour counting" if permitted. All continuing education (CE) hour counting is planned for 3-year segments. It would seem fine if a library staffer or board of trustees that had a lot of CE in 1999 chose to count 1999-2001 for their first 3-year period, even if the Standards don't go into force until 2000. This is certainly our intent.
The highest requirement presently proposed is for Directors of Level 3 libraries - 90 hours of CE in 3 years. I recently saw the CE requirements for librarians at an out-of- state library (which shall remain nameless) - 80 hours of CE for each professional staff member every year to be eligible for a merit raise.
The ultimate goal of all of this is to enable us to better serve our library patrons, and hopefully, to do it in a more efficient manner. This should be what really counts.
For more information about educational opportunities available to New Hampshire library staff, please consult the "Library Education in New Hampshire" portion of the State Library website (www.state.nh.us/nhsl/libed) or contact Tom Ladd at 1-800-462-1726/603-788-0914 or email@example.com. For more information on the Statewide Library Development System and the Public Library Standards, please contact Sue Palmatier at 1-800-462-1726/603-788-0914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
DB-L is a list devoted to information about online electronic resources - database trials, updates on licensing projects, and news about enhancements to existing services, also a forum for discussion of issues related to acquiring and using electronic resources. To subscribe, send a message to email@example.com. Follow instructions to confirm subscription. For further information, contact the State Library's Electronic and Government Information Services Section, 1-800-499-1232 x5.
Family Resource Connection Website Has a Face Lift
If you have Internet access you might want to take a look at the Family Resource Connection's web site at www.state.nh.us/nhsl/frc. Sheila Dion of the Family Resource Connection has been giving the site a makeover, adding more information and making it more user friendly. Here you will find more subject listings of materials in the Family Resource Connection's lending library collection, as well as a statewide Family and Child Development Events Calendar; a Directory of New Hampshire Early Childhood Services; and links to other useful websites on children's concerns.
The State Library will continue to support Infopath Service while we seek to expand the Telnet capacity for Internet access to NHAIS. In the meantime, if you have trouble with accessing NHAIS via Telnet, you will most likely be successful if you dial in.
Internet Connectivity Survey Results
Learning Disabilities Initiative: Roads to Learning
Findings from the 1998 National Survey of U.S. Public Library Outlet Internet Connectivity:
- 83.6 percent of all public library outlets have some type of Internet connection.
- 73.3 percent of public library outlets provide public Internet access services (87.7 percent of connected public library outlets).
- 67.6 percent of rural libraries offer public Internet access.
- 68.6 percent provide users with graphical access to the Internet.
- 45.3 percent offer graphical public access to the World Wide Web at speeds of 56kbs or greater.
- 2.9 percent of public library outlets provide special software/hardware for persons with disabilities on all their public access terminals/workstations. 13.6 percent do on some.
- 14.7 percent of libraries with Internet access reported using filtering software.
For more information on the survey, please contact John Barrett at 1-800-499-1232 x4/603-271-8520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NHAIS Board: Next Generation Committee
Fifty-one percent (51%) of respondents in a 1995 Roper-Starch national survey said that they would go to their public library for information about learning disabilities (LD). Some libraries have recognized and are responding to this need in their communities. Roads to Learning challenges all public libraries to make more information available and join in the new Library LD Partnership effort.
A formal survey and informal inquiries by Roads to Learning, The Public Libraries' Learning Disabilities Initiative of the American Library Association, indicate that many libraries around the country have inadequate, aging materials and few specific services. Most library staff are surprised when they discover that at least 15% of the people in their community have learning disabilities and that LD is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
In July 1998, Roads to Learning (RTL) sent partnership packets to state and local chapters of the Learning Disabilities Association and the International Dyslexia Association. They were asked to approach local libraries and work with them to improve library collections and services for their areas. Libraries are encouraged to embrace these opportunities. In addition, libraries are challenged to seek out the local chapters of LD organizations and initiate partnerships.
For LD organization contact information, "Top 20 LD Resources," the Local LD Partnership packet, or help from Roads to Learning, contact Audrey Gorman, Director, Roads to Learning, 50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611, email@example.com, 1-800-545-2433 x4027, www.ala.org/roads. And let them know what you're already doing, too.
In addition to the materials and information on learning disabilities you can provide directly through your library, keep in mind the wealth of resources also available to your patrons through two New Hampshire State Library programs:
Services to Persons with Disabilities (also known as the Talking Books Program) has thousands of recorded books and magazines for those unable to see, hear, or process printed materials. For more information, please contact Eileen Keim at 1-800-491-4200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A second program is the Family Resource Connection, which has a growing collection of books, videos, and other materials on different aspects of learning disabilities. You can see what the Family Resource Connection collection has available by accessing their website at www.state.nh.us/nhsl/frc and clicking on "library" and then on "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder;" "Learning Disabilities;" and/or "Special Education." Or you can request printed lists on these topics for your files and/or your patrons. For more information, please contact Alice Nye or Sheila Dion at 1-800-298-4321 or FRC@library.state.nh.us.
The NHAIS Board has established a Next Generation Committee to develop a plan and identify systems to replace/upgrade the Galaxy system.
NHAIS Mail System: Error Message
As happens periodically, the error message "%MAIL-E-USERSPEC, invalid user specification" is again cropping up on the NHAIS mail system when you try to send a message to all libraries (@dka200:[common]nhais). This means that there is a bad address somewhere in the distribution list, but the system will ask you if you want to send your message anyway. Answering with a "Y" will allow you to continue, and your message should go to everyone on the list except the bad addresses.
The State Library's Network Services Section can now order 15 mil patron cards for you from the same supplier that provides barcodes. Cards can be furnished with or without their own barcodes. The back of each card has a writeable matte finish with a signature area. Your library's name, hours, phone, logo, etc., can be printed on the front. Minimum order - 1,500 pieces. For more information, please contact Charlie LeBlanc at 1-800-499-1232 x3/603-271-2310 or email@example.com.
Salaries for Librarians
Standards: Status Report
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for librarians increased 3.31% from April 1997 to April 1998. This is a much lower percentage than the increase for comparable occupations. For more information on library salaries and benefits, contact John Barrett at 1-800-499-1232 x4/603-271-2865 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Monthly Labor Review, June 1998
The Public Library Standards are still going through the Administrative Rules process. For more information, please contact Sue Palmatier at 1-800-462-1726/603-788-0914 or email@example.com.
State Library: New Staff Members
Statewide Database Licensing Project
The Electronic and Government Information Services Section is pleased to introduce Marta Boyle to the library community. Marta comes to us from the Breen Library at New Hampshire Hospital.
The Network Services Section is pleased to announce the addition of Mary Martin to their staff. She comes to the State Library from St. Anselm College. Mary is fairly new to New Hampshire, having previously worked for the regional equivalent of NELINET in Washington, DC. You can reach her at 1-800-499-1232 x3/603-271-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mary fills the vacancy left when Diane Callahan moved to the State Library's Technical Services Section and will oversee the processing of your requests for NHU-PAC holdings, cards, and MARC records.
In September 1999, Christine Brown joined the Reference and Information Services Section as a reference librarian. She worked in a variety of positions at the Hammond Library, Fitchburg State College, Fitchburg, MA, while taking courses for her MLS degree. She received her degree in the spring of 1999. To become familiar with the resources available at the State Library and other institutions in the area, Chris has been going through a lengthy orientation period. However, from her first day, she has been scheduled time on the reference desk, so you may have already spoken to her if you have recently called the State Library with a reference question.
The State Library is pleased to announce that the budget passed by the legislature in June includes limited funding for our planned statewide database project. The state appropriated $75,000 per year to offset the cost of providing full-text databases to New Hampshire libraries.
The project seeks to provide all public libraries and public school libraries that serve grades 9-12 with access to a full-text general interest periodical database. This product will be available to these libraries regardless of their economic or geographic constraints. It will be directly available to patrons within the library with the possibility of providing remote access as well.
During the last biennium, the State Library, working in cooperation with the NHAIS Board, identified various databases to subscribe to on a pilot basis. The project began in January 1998 with the introduction of four databases from EBSCOhost. Staff of NHAIS member libraries all have free, unlimited access to Masterfile Premier, Business Source Elite, Health Source Plus, and Newspaper Source. In September 1998, the pilot was expanded to provide access to Gale's Contemporary Authors and Biography and Genealogy Master File Index. Finally, access to Library Literature from H.W. Wilson began in November 1998.
The new statewide project is designed to build on the success of our two-year pilot. We have been able to demonstrate the benefits of providing every person in the state with access to a core collection of materials. It guarantees all libraries can meet a basic level of service by providing an index and abstract to a collection that also makes a significant number of the articles available in full-text format as well. This means libraries that have been unable in the past to provide their patrons with indexing and abstracting services (in print or electronic) are assured of a minimum collection for their patrons' use. Those libraries with limited budgets - which includes the rest of New Hampshire's libraries, I'm sure - will gain added flexibility in purchasing for their collections.
The new project is expected to begin in January 2000. Responses have been received from six vendors to provide this service. Librarians interested in accessing all the databases during the trial period or participating in this process should contact Theresa Paré at email@example.com or 1-800-499-1232 x5/603-271-2143.
Many libraries receiving E-Rate funding commitment letters for Year 2 do not have certified technology plans at this time. Most libraries were only certified until 12/31/98. If you do not have a certified plan, Theresa Paré needs it ASAP. Any questions about the process, call or email Theresa directly, firstname.lastname@example.org. She can provide you with a packet of information about technology plans, including sample plans (also available at www.state.nh.us/nhsl/egir/erate.html). Even if you are not applying for E-Rate funding, technology plans will be required under the Public Library Standards.
Videos for the Hearing Impaired
Have you heard about the Captioned Media Program (CMP) which makes available more than 4,000 open-captioned videos for home or classroom use? This is a national lending program of the National Association of the Deaf which is funded by the U. S. Department of Education. There are videos for all age ranges, from preschool to adult, and they are mailed to individuals or organizations at no charge. The extensive collection includes classic movies as well as educational and special interest videos and is a treasure trove of resources for those with hearing impairments. To obtain their free catalog call 1-800-237-6213 or use their web site at www.cfv.org.
Workshops at NHSL
The State Library is pleased to continue to offer workshops for New Hampshire librarians. These courses are offered at NHSL's training lab to help keep New Hampshire librarians current with changes in electronic resources. Emphasis is placed on specific library applications such as "Introduction to NHAIS" and Internet resources such as "Subject Directories & Search Engines". Introductory courses are included every session, and new ones are added as need for them is identified.
All courses are free for library staff but advanced registration is required. Copies of the catalog are sent to every library and to anyone who has attended a workshop in the past. If you would like to be placed on a mailing list to receive the catalog, please contact the Electronic & Government Information Services Section of the State Library.
In addition to workshops at our lab, you may arrange for the State Library to provide specific ones for your staff, co-op, or neighboring libraries. Workshops are offered as either demonstrations or hands-on using our mobile computer lab and can be customized for your audience. Demonstrations are suitable for groups and are used to highlight specific products and resources. They may require a telephone connection be nearby. The lab provides space for 5 people and allows for the same hands-on experience offered in Concord. This requires a networked, dedicated Internet connection.
One type of workshop not currently offered by the State Library involves basic operating systems such as Windows95/98 and general applications training such as Microsoft Office. These courses are offered through the Community Technical Colleges and local school districts in addition to many local computer and training companies. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunities offered locally.
Comments and questions about the library's workshops can be directed to Theresa Paré or Diana Degen at 1-800-499-1232 x5/603-271-2143 or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have specific subject requests, do not hesitate to contact us about them.