January 31, 2012
To: House Education Budget Committee
Representative Lana Gordon, Chair; Representative Clay Aurand, Vice Chair; Representative Valdenia Winn, Ranking Minority Member; Representative Tom Arpke, Member; Representative Ward Cassidy, Member; Representative Bill Feuerborn, Member; Representative Brenda Landwehr, Member; Representative Connie O’Brien, Member; Representative Sheryl Spalding, Member
From: Joanne Budler, State Librarian
Re: State Library Budget
|2013 (with 5% reduction)
|The requested reduction of $180,947 for FY 2013 is a 5% reduction and would bring the total reduction in funding, when compared to funding for FY2008, to 30.6%
|Kan-Ed funds appropriated for library research services and databases to be accessed by anyone across the state $800,000
Thank you for the opportunity to testify on the State Library budget.
First I want to say thank you to the Governor for including and to you for considering funding for statewide library research database subscriptions so that all Kansans may access these resources. As you know, the State Library has negotiated a contract for access to these resources since 1995. In your packet you have a list of the currently available databases.
It has been several years since the State Library issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for these services. In anticipation of doing so, last summer the State Library held a series of focus groups around the state and asked librarians to identify subject areas of interest to the members of their communities – your constituents. Representatives from all types of libraries attended – schools, public and academic. The State Library usedthis information to issue a RFP through the Department of Administration.
Currently librarians are reviewing and evaluating more than 100 databases in a wide range of subject
areas including language, K-12 and academic research, nursing, practice tests. The State Library will enter into negotiations later this spring and, with the funding the Governor has recommended and your support, should have a subscription package that will be most helpful to your constituents.
Last year the State Library asked one of the database vendors – Gale CENGAGE – to compile the cost for
individual subscriptions, in short, what would be the cost if every library subscribed on its own. That figure was $24,767,699 – nearly $25 M. The statewide contract with this vendor is $632,000 so cost avoidance is over $24M.
But more importantly, many libraries could not afford their share of this subscription cost, so their communities would not have access to this information. The statewide database subscription is not only cost effective but also ensures equity of access.
I would like to talk very briefly about three other programs of the State Library: delivery of downloadable eContent, the Ready to Read initiative and a Bill and Melinda Gates Grant awarded to the State Library on Broadband Connectivity.
As you know one of the State Library’s goals is to provide reading material to all Kansans. To this end, in December 2005, the State Library entered into a contract with an Ohio company called OverDrive. A statewide consortium was created and through OverDrive, eContent was purchased and made available for downloading through OverDrive’s platform. In spring, 2010, OverDrive presented the State Library with a renewal contract which included a 700% increase for the downloading platform and, perhaps more
importantly, removed ownership of the content previously purchased. Negotiations with OverDrive were unsuccessful.
There was a clause, however, in the original contract – the clause which OverDrive wanted to replace – which required OverDrive to cooperate with the consortium to move purchased content to another service should the State NOT renew its OverDrive contract. After confirmation of the meaning of this clause by the Assistant Attorney General Jeff Chanay, the State Library staff began the process of notifying and gaining permission from 169 publishers to move owned content. At the same time, we also had to find other vendors to provide the downloading platform. I am telling you all this so that you understand that we did not lightly choose this path but, by doing so, Kansas is blazing new trails. The other 49 states are watching Kansas and are now asking for advice about eContent. The State Librarian of California often calls the eBook environment “the Wild West” – I think Kansas knows quite well how to tame that area!
In your packet you have an article printed in a national library journal on this topic. Although it interviews me, I want to emphasize that the State Library staff has been instrumental in this – taking the time to understand the issues, moving us forward into beta tests of new services and tracking our ownership.
Currently Kansas has signed permission forms to move more than 65% of our content and we are not done.
I want to publicly acknowledge and thank the Attorney General’s office for working with us on this
important project, Jeff Chanay in particular. I wrote 3 letters to publishers but I believe that his letter was the one that moved the most reluctant publishers to give us permission to move content.
Secondly I want to give you a quick update on our Ready to Read project. You will recall that last year I talked with you about adapting the Johnson County Public Library 6 by 6 program to a statewide initiative. This program is aimed at caregivers of preschool children to ensure that caregivers understand the importance of reading to our youngest residents so that they are ready to learn when they enter kindergarten. Over the past year, the State Library has worked with the Regional Library Systems and Johnson County Public Library and together we are beginning to train librarians in this program. We
are also working on partnerships with child care providers so we can reach more caregivers and children. Later this week I have an appointment with Jim Redmon of the Children’s Cabinet to talk about a potential grant and additional funding for this program.
Thirdly you will find in your packet a map which depicts the broadband connectivity of Kansas libraries and a brochure. This is all produced as part of a grant the State Library received from the Bill and Melinda Gates
Foundation. The map is the result of a partnership with Regional Library Systems – they were instrumental in getting the connectivity data from the libraries. This past summer State Library staff conducted discussion groups on the benefits of broadband. Stories from your constituents are in the brochure and illustrate how important broadband is for the economic development of Kansas.
Finally the State Library is pleased to provide you and your staff with research and reference service. We are all looking forward to moving back into the renovated State Library next fall, being closer to you and continuing to serve you.
Thank you. I will be happy to answer any questions.