Midlands Meeting Minutes 2007

Midlands Regional Conference Annual Business Meeting
2007 NLS Western/Midlands Joint Conference
Scottsdale, AZ
Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Officers present: Karen Keninger, Iowa, President/Chair; Toni Harrell, Kansas, Vice President/Vice Chair; Sue Chinault, Michigan, Treasurer (absent); Diana Brawley Sussman, Illinois, Secretary

Others in attendance: Julia Alderson, OK; Karen Bersche, IL; James Buchman, OH; Vickie Collins, PA; Catherine Durivage, MN; Donna Foust, OH; William Graczyk, WI; Deborah Hurley, IL; Fay Hutchings, IL; Kathleen Kappel, PA; Deloris King, MI; Randall Landgrebe, IA; Dori Middleton, MI; Scott Norris, MI; Karen Odean, IL; William Reed, OH; Sharon Ruda, IL; Ellie Sevdy, MN; Lissa Shanahan, IN; Susan Stageberg, IA; Deborah Stroup, MO; Deborah Taylor, IL; Wendy Taylor, OK; David Whittall, DC (NLS Western/Midlands Consultant); Nancy Willard, IL; Margaret Wolfe, MI; Laura Young, IL

1) Roll call done by circling names.

2) Minutes from previous meeting. No suggested changes. Motion to approve 2006 minutes as written. Motion made by Catherine Durivage. Seconded by Sharon Ruda. Motion passed.

3) Treasurer’s report: Previous: $336.93; Income (from newsletter): $625.00; New (current) balance: $961.93.

Contact new treasurer if you don’t receive a bill for the newsletter. If you’re not sure whether you paid your newsletter bill last time, Karen Keninger has a list of those who paid. Motion to accept Treasurer’s report. Motion made by Lissa Shanahan. Seconded by Richard Smith. Motion Passed.

4) Report from Transition Implementation Committee – Lissa Shanahan. Lissa sent everybody a report including individual information for each state. She thought the most interesting was that NLS wants to give each library at least one copy of the 10,000 digital titles. A lot of discussion was against that. Today’s NLS presentation sounded like NLS decided not to insist on that (note: Steve Prine confirmed the following day that NLS does still plan to insist on 1 copy for each library). Email Lissa with any questions. Richard suggested podcasting these committee meetings. Lissa responded that she did request that for next time. Karen Keninger thanked Lissa. Sharon Ruda thanked Lissa for the report as well because not all conferences necessarily get a report from their committee representatives. Karen Keninger seconded that.

5) Report from Collection Development – Sharon Ruda. Only one patron (in Iowa) responded to Sharon’s request for suggestions. She only got a couple of other requests for specific books, for redoing old books from not very popular authors. Sharon is flying to Washington after this conference for the Collection Development meeting. Talk with her if you have questions or suggestions because she will not be able to check her email between this meeting and that one.

Interlude: Christie Briggs asked on behalf of the Western Conference whether last year’s invitation to co-host a 2009 Midlands/Western conference in Springfield, IL still stands. She agreed to return after the Midlands meeting had proceeded with further discussion.

6) Report from Machines Committee – William Graczyk. William Graczyk suggests we all develop good relations with our Telephone Pioneers. A lot of them are pre-electronic & may need a lot of help through this transition. He suggests we make sure the Pioneers get our newsletters. If we have pioneer events, be sure to schedule those soon. We’ll need their help for a long time.

7) New Business (item “A”) Location of Midlands Conference 2009 (change in order from original agenda). We have an offer to go to Illinois. Motion to go to Springfield in 2009 and invite the Western Conference. Motion made by Richard Smith. Seconded by Toni Harrell. Motion passed. Sharon Ruda reported that she had also extended an offer to the Northern and Southern conferences. Karen Keninger said the Northern and Southern Conferences had decided to go to Louisville, KY. Others confirmed this as well. It was said that the Northern and Southern Conferences had expressed concern that a conference with four regions might be too large.

8) Report on the Newsletter. Debbie Hurley is doing the newsletter. She’s done 2 issues modeled on what Debbie Musselman had done in the past. Input would be nice. The last one was mostly Missouri. Catherine asked if we could send newsletters to other Regionals as well. Some of what we share w/ our patrons should be sent out to other TBCs, electronically if that’s helpful. There must be ways for us to share information electronically. Karen Keninger suggested we do this through the Midlands listserv. Toni Harrell suggested that if you post your newsletter online you could just email a link to the listserv. Karen Keninger would certainly like to see them electronically. Catherine sends hers electronically as a text version (for easier accessibility). For the Midlands newsletter, even small things, like a paragraph on book discussion groups you’re doing, would be nice. Richard did suggest that if anyone applies for an NLS award, it should be shared.

9) Old business. Catherine Durivage suggested continuing to offer last year’s suggested XESS revision as a resolution again. She knows from experience that having XESS done more often would prevent this annual labor intensive process. It was really brought home to Sharon Ruda when she saw the floor to ceiling window wells in Chicago filled with XESS books. Toni Harrell said if the fire marshal came at one library she saw they would have been cited. Dori Middleton had to buy boxes to store books waiting to be shipped out through the delayed XESS process. Donna Foust suggested a 30 day cycle. Karen Keninger said this topic needs to be one of our resolutions. NLS is going to do a survey regarding XESS. Diana Sussman re-explained the proposal submitted as a resolution to NLS in 2006. The group agreed to resubmit the same resolution this year.

10) New Business (item “B”) Midlands presentation at NLS Conference 2008. Steve Prine writes: Topics were solicited through Network Bulletin 07-03 dated January 19, 2007. The topics are forwarded to each conference for consideration at the 2007 regional meeting.


  • Shelving issues
  • Strategies for dealing with unmet needs in 2008-10
  • website accessibility and Bobby approved
  • youth services
  • Other?

Suggested other topics discussed: Richard Smith suggested a National Downloadable Site for Locally Produced Digital Books. He’s talking with some about an IMLS grant. He thinks we ought to look into costs & details. He’d like to have volunteers to work on it with him. We have to do it ourselves if we want to see it happen because NLS has said they’re not going to do this. Richard sees this as a conference program. A central site, he said, would be better than doing multiple sites from each state. Lissa Shanahan said it’s a good idea.

Second interlude: Christie Briggs and Bessie Oakes of the Western Conference reported that the Western Conference would like to accept the Midlands’ offer to join the Midlands’ Conference in Springfield, IL in 2009. Sharon Ruda confirmed that the conference would be scheduled for the end of May or beginning of June because the legislature should be out of session in Springfield at that time. Karen Keninger stated, “On behalf of the Midlands conference we accept your acceptance and are happy to have you.”

Other 2008 presentation ideas (continued…) Diana Sussman suggested a panel presentation on what your state is or isn’t doing do meet the education and independent living needs of blind and print impaired people in your state. This would focus more on other organizations rather than Talking Book libraries. It would help us to bring back suggestions for filling service gaps in our home states. Toni Harrell agreed that this is a good idea.

Richard Smith suggested technology topics such as the Internet audio descriptions of Wolfner’s bibliographies, the online “You Say It How” manual, Talking Communities’ online technology training session. Proposed title: “SOS: Share Online Stuff”

Karen Keninger said that because things change so much in a year, she suggests that by next Thanksgiving we communicate by email and decide on a topic.

Motion that the chair makes the decision once all the facts are in. Motion made by Donna Foust. Seconded: Ellie Sevdy. Motion passed.

11) Resolutions. It was decided that resolutions would be written by a committee of volunteers and submitted to NLS prior to the end of the conference. (Note: Volunteers were Diana Brawley Sussman, Toni Harrell, Sharon Ruda, Donna Foust, Debbie Hurley). Resolutions listed below.

12) Election of officers. Treasurer: Sue has served 4 years and would prefer not to serve again. A new treasurer just has to change signature cards and file something with the IRS. They don’t have to change the bank account. It’s a small job because we don’t have very much money. Scott Norris volunteered to serve as Treasurer. Diana Sussman volunteered to continue as secretary. Vice Chair: Toni Harrell is serving as President on something else, so she’s too busy to become Midlands Chair, but volunteered to remain Vice Chair. Richard Smith volunteered to serve as Midlands Chair. Motion to accept slate of officers. Motion made by Catherine Durivage. Seconded by Lissa Shanahan. Motion passed.

New slate of officers: Richard Smith, Missouri, President/Chair Toni Harrell, Kansas, Vice President/Vice Chair Scott Norris, Michigan, Treasurer Diana Brawley Sussman, Illinois, Secretary

Motion to adjourn. Motion made by Toni Harrell. Seconded by Scott Norris. Motion passed.

May 17, 2007 Midlands Chair Karen Keninger re-opened Midlands Meeting for reading, discussion and approval of resolutions. Secretary read resolutions. Motion to accept resolutions. Motion made by Donna Foust. Seconded by Scott Norris. Ellie Sevdy asked whether we are recommending that machine allotment be based on circulation, or readership. Resolution writers responded that it was decided that we would leave that for NLS to decide. Meeting re-adjourned by Karen Keninger.

Official Resolutions of the Midlands Regional Conference Regional Conference Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ May 17, 2007 2007 NLS Western/Midlands Joint Conference

The Midlands Conference members resolve to thank Karen Keninger of the Midlands Conference, Bessie Oakes of the Western conference and the program committee for planning and organizing an especially productive and informative 2007 regional conference.

The Midlands Conference members resolve to thank Linda Montgomery of the Arizona State Braille and Talking Book Library, her fabulously accommodating staff and volunteers, as well as the Arizona Friends of Talking Books for hosting an enjoyable and informative 2007 regional conference and local activities.

The Midlands Conference members resolve to thank the management and staff of the Courtyard by Marriott Scottsdale Old Town for providing friendly, efficient and helpful accommodations for the 2007 regional conference.

The Midlands Conference members resolve to thank NLS and Multistate representatives and conference presenters for attending and providing information at the 2007 regional conference.

The Midlands Conference members resolve to congratulate the Philadelphia Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped and the Washtenaw County Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled on receiving the Network Library and Subregional Library of the Year Awards for outstanding service in 2006.

By request of certain telephone pioneers, the Midlands Conference requests that Multistate Center West reexamine the necessity of storing batteries in repaired machines. It appears that separate storage would reduce duplication of effort.

In order to maintain the most comprehensive catalog possible, provide quality one-stop customer service for patrons, and support positive partnerships, the Midlands Conference members respectfully request that NLS continue to offer RFB&D, Bookshare and other available audio and braille materials in the International Union Catalog. Furthermore, and for the same reasons, we request that NLS consider including links to download locally produced digital audio materials in the International Union Catalog as well. We suggest that any quality assurance or patron cost issues be dealt with, if necessary, either in a single statement on the catalog homepage, or by amending item annotations.

In the interest of accuracy, adequate provision of services to patrons, and encouraging libraries in an effort to promote service and increase their patron base, the Midlands Conference members respectfully request that NLS consider estimating machine allotment based on a three consecutive year average, rather than a single previous year.

As previously submitted, the Midlands Conference members continue to respectfully request that NLS examine and consider implementation of the following proposed amendment to the excess schedule for offering books, which closely follows the existing schedule, but allows each conference the opportunity to offer books once every four months, thus preventing the accumulation of weeded books on library shelves and expediting the exchange process. Due to expected and experienced space issues, we request that this be considered a high priority.

Proposed Amendment to New Excess schedule for offering books:


Cycle 1 April – June Southern Conference Cycle 2 July – Sept. Western Conference Cycle 3 October – Dec. Midlands Conference Cycle 4 January – March Northern Conference


Cycle 1 April – June April: Northern; May: Southern; June: Western Cycle 2 July – Sept. July: Midlands; August: Northern; Sept.: Southern Cycle 3 Oct. – Dec.Oct: Western; Nov.: Midlands; December: Northern Cycle 4 January – March Jan: Southern; Feb: Western; March: Midlands

Each Conference has the opportunity to offer books once every 4 months, instead of during one three-month period each year, thus getting weeded books out of the library sooner. This would prevent the accumulation of weeded books waiting to be sent away, thus freeing up shelf space for the libraries:

Southern Conference: January, May, September Western Conference: February, June, October Midlands Conference: March, July, November Northern Conference: April, August, December


January (Cycle 4)

SOUTHERN February (Cycle 4)

WESTERN March (Cycle 4)

MIDLANDS April (Cycle 1)

NORTHERN May (Cycle 1)

SOUTHERN June (Cycle 1)

WESTERN July (Cycle 2)

MIDLANDS August (Cycle 2)

NORTHERN Sept. (Cycle 2)

SOUTHERN October (Cycle 3)

WESTERN November (Cycle 3)

MIDLANDS December (Cycle 3)


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