Connecticut State Library
KENDALL F. WIGGIN, State Librarian
Established - 1854
Statutory authority - CGS Chapter 188
Central Office - 231 Capitol Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06106
Number of employees – 126
Recurring operating expenses – $10,736,634
Organizational structure –
Administrative Services: Automation, Operations, Fiscal Services, Personnel/Affirmative Action;
Historical Services: Public Records and State Archives, Museum of Connecticut History;
Library Development: Consulting Services, Statewide Database, State Data Coordination;
Information Services: Government Information Services, History and Genealogy, Law/Legislative Reference, Collection Management, Bibliographic Information Services, Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Preservation Office, Library Automation.
The mission of the State Library is to provide high quality library and information services to state government and the citizens of Connecticut; to work cooperatively with related agencies and constituent organizations in providing those services; to preserve and make accessible the records of Connecticut’s history and heritage; to promote the development and growth of high quality information services on an equitable basis statewide; to provide leadership and cooperative opportunities to the library, educational and historical communities in order to enhance the value of their individual and collective service missions; and to develop and promote appropriate legislation and public policy in support of these efforts.
The Connecticut State Library was established by an act of the Connecticut General Assembly in May 1854. Dr. James Hammond Trumbull was appointed the first State Librarian for Connecticut in that year. In its 150-year history there have only been ten State Librarians. The State Library collections were first housed the State Houses in Hartford and New Haven and later in the present day Capitol and eventually relocated to the State Library/Supreme Court building in 1910. The State Library has grown in size and scope to include the state’s principal law library, the State Archives, the Office of Public Records, the Museum of Connecticut History, the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, the State and Regional Federal Documents Library, Government Information Services, History and Genealogy, and provides services in support of Connecticut's libraries through the Division of Library Development and iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library.
The twelve member State Library Board has responsibility for:
The State Library Board consists of the Chief Justice of the Supreme court or designee; the Chief Court Administrator or designee; the Commissioner of Education or designee; five members who are appointed by the Governor, one of whom shall be an experienced librarian, one of whom shall be an experienced archivist and one of whom shall be an experienced museum professional; and one member each appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the House.
Under the direction of the State Library Board, the State Librarian is responsible for administering, coordinating, and supervising the state library; administering the Federal Library program; developing and directing a public records management program.
The State Library Board approves rules and regulations for the state publications depository library system, the retention, destruction and transfer of documents; the Connecticard program; and statewide library programs.
The State Library provides a variety of library, information, archival, public records, museum, and administrative services to the citizens of Connecticut, as well as the employees and officials of all three branches of State government. Students, researchers, public libraries and town governments throughout the state are also served by the State Library. In addition the State Library directs a program of statewide library development and administers the federal Library Services and Technology Act state grant. The State Library, in conjunction with the Department of Higher Education, administers iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library.
The Law and Legislative Reference Unit maintains and provides access to comprehensive collections of legal, legislative, and public policy resources. The collection includes statutes and case reports for all 50 US states as well as for all federal jurisdictions, and a broad range of legal treatises, law periodicals, loose-leaf services, and electronic resources on topics relevant to state government interests. The Unit maintains the archives of Connecticut General Assembly documents, indexes legislative bills and House and Senate proceedings and public hearings, and compiles legislative histories for Connecticut Public and Special Acts. The State Library Bill Room provides information on the status of current Connecticut state legislation, and supplies copies of pending and current legislation on request.
The History and Genealogy Unit maintains and provides access to comprehensive collections of materials on the history of Connecticut and its people. The Unit’s resources include an extensive collection of local histories and genealogies, with particular emphasis on Connecticut and New England; most Connecticut town vital records, land records, and probate records from the 1600s to the early 1900s on microfilm; church records from hundreds of Connecticut churches, most available on microfilm; transcriptions of family Bible records and cemetery inscriptions; abstracts of newspaper notices of marriages and deaths; and military records. It holds Federal census records for Connecticut, 1790-1920 and for the other New England states, New York, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, 1790-1850 and the Index to New England Naturalization Petitions on microfilm; and indexes to, and collections of, published and microfilmed ships’ passenger lists and other immigration records, with emphasis on New England and New York. Related materials include comprehensive and retrospective collections of Connecticut atlases and maps (including Sanborn Fire Insurance Atlases), city directories, and newspapers.
The Government Information Services Unit maintains and provides access to comprehensive collections of Connecticut government publications, United States government publications, public policy resources, general reference resources and current Connecticut newspapers. The Unit maintains comprehensive collections of Connecticut and United States government publications dating from the late 1700’s to the present. These collections, numbering well over a million and a half pieces, support the Library’s roles as the Regional Federal Depository for Connecticut and Rhode Island, and as the Connecticut State Documents repository. Special collections maintained by the Unit include: Civil Service Study Guides; and a Safety Library of publications and videos which is maintained jointly by the Department of Administrative Services and the State Library.
The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped is a network library of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress. The Library provides free mail loan of recorded and Braille books and magazines and necessary playback equipment to eligible state residents unable to read conventional print because of a visual or physical disability.
Division of Library Development
This division provides leadership, funding, education, and statewide services that enhance a local library’s ability to deliver high-quality library service to their community. The Division’s Programs and Services include: iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library; reQuest, the statewide catalog and interlibrary loan system; continuing education opportunities, professional development resources, technology training lab, training calendar; Connecticar, a statewide library delivery service; Connecticard, a statewide public library borrower's card and grant program; Consulting to children and youth services librarians; Consulting Services to Friends, and trustees; Library Service Centers (Middletown and Willimantic) – Training, consulting and collections to support libraries; Public Library Construction Grants; Consulting regarding library buildings, including the American with Disabilities Act, and library space planning; Public Library Statistics; Federal Grants to Libraries; Connecticut Awards for Excellence in Public Library Architecture and public library service.
The Office of the Public Records Administrator is responsible for the design and implementation of a Public Records Program for local governments and for state agencies within the executive department of government. This includes administrative responsibility for the State Archives and the State Records Center. The Office of the Public Records Administrator publishes records retention schedules and records management guidelines for state and local government agencies; publishes regulations regarding the construction of record storage vaults and the creation of permanent land maps that are filed in the towns; and conducts the annual examination of land record indexes; and administers a historic documents preservation grants program to help municipalities enhance or improve the preservation and management of local historic documents. By statute, the Public Records Administrator and State Archivist must approve the disposition of all public records.
The State Archives program is part of the Office of the Public Records Administrator. The State Archivist assists the Public Records Administrator in developing records management guidelines, regulations and records retention schedules for state agencies and local governments. By statute, the State Archivist must review all records retention schedules issued by and records disposal authorizations submitted to the Public Records Administrator. Since 1855, the Connecticut State Library has acquired historical records from the three branches of State government. In 1909, the General Assembly made the State Library the official State Archives. Today, the Archives includes more than 32,000 cubic feet of records documenting the evolution of state public policy and its implementation, the rights and claims of citizens, and the history of Connecticut and its people.
The Museum of Connecticut History is housed in the 1910 State Library and Supreme Court Building. The Museum consists of Memorial Hall, a magnificently restored beaux-arts style gallery, and three adjoining exhibit areas. On permanent display are portraits of Connecticut Governors as well as historic documents, including the State's original 1662 Royal Charter, the 1639 Fundamental Orders, and the 1818 and 1964 State Constitutions. The focus of the Museum and its collections is Connecticut’s government, military and industrial history. Permanent and changing exhibits trace the growth of the State and its role in the development of the nation from the Colonial era to the present.
Division of Administrative Services
• Worked with the Commission on the Arts staff to provide smooth transition when the Commission’s position as a budgetary division of the State Library ceased to exist and it was amalgamated into the new Commission on Culture and Tourism.
• Automation Services continued to enhance the computing abilities of the agency by upgrading connection speeds and the agency’s Information Technology infrastructure. Agency continues its efforts to address Internet security and virus issues.
• Participated in all facets of the statewide Core-CT financial and human resources initiatives.
• Continued efforts to develop a partnership and close working relationship with the Connecticut Supreme Court over the operation of the State Library/Supreme Court Building.
• Began the process of meeting the developing space needs of the Willimantic Library Service Center.
At an average rate of 221 per day 64,814 questions were answered for patrons by the three reference areas, Government Information, Law/Legislative Reference, and History and Genealogy. Onsite patrons received answers to 44,558 questions, and 17,667 questions were answered by telephone, 786 through correspondence, and 1,804 via email.
64,814 information service questions were answered;
48,893 items were added to the general collections;
11,449 items were added to the federal document depository collection;
12,438 electronic serial titles were available to patrons;
1,329 Interlibrary Loan requests were filled from the Division’s collections;
74 Interlibrary Loans were received from with other libraries for patrons;
1,560 Items were loaned directly to patrons
· The Division’s two libraries, the main Library at 231 Capitol Ave. and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, absorbed both staff and budget reductions through careful analysis, reassignment, prioritization, and extraordinary efforts by staff. The libraries continued to provide the excellent service that patrons have come to expect.
· Patrons again used the Library heavily for electronic resources and Internet resources in addition to traditional print formats. Over 3,260 patrons were authorized to access the Internet from the Library’s public access terminals. An average user session was 28 minutes indicating extensive searching. Searchers used Web-based resources selected, evaluated, and cataloged by the Library over 73,865 times.
· Westlaw, one of the premier legal research databases, and 3 other databases were added to the licensed electronic information resources provided for patron use. Patrons now have access to 12,438 full text journals and 28 subject specific database resources.
· A newly developed webpage, CSL Research Resources, www.cslib.org/faq.htm, brought together many of the Library’s print, electronic, and information resources in one arrangement by subject. This new aid to research has been one of the most frequently accessed pages on the Library’s website, and has garnered many words of thanks from grateful patrons.
· In contrast to many libraries, onsite patrons increased 6 percent over the past year. Saturday hours continued to be popular with patrons. On many Saturdays, more patrons used the Library than on an average weekday.
· Development continued on the procedures and metadata protocols for adding new formats such as serials and state agencies web pages to the Connecticut Digital Archive. This was spurred in part by the need to capture web pages undergoing major changes due to the transition in state government. Another 1,427 electronic state publications were added to the Digital Archive, preserving them for future users as well as guaranteeing their continued availability to current researchers. The Digital Archive was recognized nationally as a leader in metadata protocols as one of the co-directors of the project was invited to a meeting of Metadata Experts in Washington with the Library of Congress, the Government Printing Office, and the National Archives among others.
· The Library’s goal to acquire all publications of all state agencies was furthered as work with newly identified contacts in several agencies and a concerted effort to contact all agencies for their publications resulted in an 85 percent increase in Connecticut documents received and added to the collections.
· The Library continues to retrospectively convert its card catalog to online records for the online catalog and OCLC’s WorldCat, the worldwide database of library holdings, and to reclassify them to the Library of Congress classification scheme. This year local history serials for Hartford were completed, including those for Hartford commercial, cultural, educational, philanthropic and religious organizations, many of which are held by no other library. In an initial effort to catalog the Library’s vast holdings of cartographic items, over 278 maps were also added to the catalog.
· Division staff created the agency’s first online exhibit, a pictorial history of the State Library from its beginning in 1854 through 1910, as part of the celebration of the Library’s 150th anniversary.
· The book budget again declined, this year by over 12 percent of actual purchasing power. In order to meet the reduced allocation, 39 serial titles were canceled and purchase of critical new titles was limited to only 3 percent of the allocation. Restoration of the book budget continues to be a very high priority in order to avoid any further reductions in the currency and comprehensiveness of the collection.
· Over 761,000 patrons accessed the Library’s website, bringing an average of 2,081 electronic visitors to the Library each day to view 1,967,402 pages. The website was updated with additions such as the new CSL Research Resources page; research guides to the Hartford Circus Fire, Connecticut’s Probate Districts, and Probate Records; the Guide to the Archives, 4th edition; a new Preservation Office webpage to provide access to preservation advice for libraries and individuals; the 2003 Public and Special Acts Index; biographical sketches of Connecticut’s governors, and the Library’s first online exhibit, the History of the State Library, 1854-1910 . The layoff of the agency webmaster last fiscal year continues to severely curtail the amount of new information and additional formats of information that can be added.
· The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped loaned 227,199 ‘talking books’ to 10,398 individuals (a 1 percent increase) at their homes or in residence at 229 institutions around the state. This reflects the aging population, and is expected to continue to increase.
Division of Library Development
· ConnectiCar. Significant improvements have been made to ConnectiCar, the statewide library delivery service. These improvements resulted from partial outsourcing, which allows existing state employed ConnectiCar drivers and a private delivery service to meet the growing demand on this important service. The number of stops have doubled from previous years. ConnectiCar is the backbone of resource sharing among Connecticut libraries and delivers over 2 million items for library patrons each year.
· iCONN, the Connecticut Digital Library. Connecticut residents and students searched iCONN over 8 million times, a 50 percent increase over the previous year. iCONN provides universal access to a core level of library and information resources for every resident of Connecticut through their public library, school, college and from home at www.iconn.org. Residents are able to find answers to a variety of information needs including student research, homework help, business research, professional development for teachers and school administrators, reader advisory, and consumer health research. Two additional databases were added to iCONN using federal funds: Heritage Quest, a genealogy database and AP Photo Archives. The value of these databases to local communities exceeds $20 million.
· Request. iCONN also includes reQuest, a web accessible catalog of the holdings of libraries across the state. Through this service, residents may locate and borrow books and other items from libraries. There are 17.9 million books and other items in the reQuest database. The database was searched 1,544,275 times and residents successfully used this service to borrow 76,326 books and other items from libraries around the State; a 27 percent increase over the previous year. A "next generation" system that includes a “library portal,” enabling Connecticut residents and students to simultaneously search both the statewide catalog and iCONN databases, was selected and is being readied for implementation in September/October 2005.
· Public Library Construction Grants. The State Library administered a public library building program that awarded two grants totaling $1 million of reallocated state bond funds. The State Library also provides consultation on issues related to library space planning, library design and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
· Service Centers. The library service centers in Middletown and Willimantic provided consultation, training and supplemental material to libraries. The service centers loaned 76,633 items to school and public libraries for a value to local communities of approximately $2.7 million. The staff also provides consulting and support to the Friends of Connecticut Libraries, the Association of Connecticut Library Boards, and children’s librarians. A major initiative was begun to facilitate and support library efforts to reach multilingual populations. The Division staff have developed resources, provided training, and established a discussion group for libraries serving multilingual populations. Over 18 percent of Connecticut citizens speak a language other than English in the home and libraries all over Connecticut are reaching out to immigrants and other non-English speakers in their communities.
· Emergent Literacy. Recent research in the field of emerging literacy presents clear evidence on the way children learn to read and point to specific activities that support language and reading development. This research also has implications for best practices for public libraries that want to help preschool children get ready to read. The Division has provided extensive training to children’s librarians on these best practices and had begun a major awareness campaign Connecticut Libraries: It’s Never To Early to articulate the role of public libraries in emerging literacy and to encourage parents and caregivers to take advantage of the libraries support for their child’s reading development.
· Training. Continuing education and training support for Connecticut library staff is a major focus for the Division of Library Development. The Division offered over 100 technical training workshops at their technology-training center in Middletown and a new training facility in at the Willimantic Library Service Center. Workshops were also presented on library architecture, building design, emergent literacy, trustee development, legal research, the census, outcome based evaluation, new director’s training, and library service to non-English speaking.
· Grants. The Division administered $347,109 in state aid to public libraries and $676,028 in Connecticard grants to reimburse public libraries for loans to out-of-town residents. The Division also administered $2,043,433 in federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. With a grant of $18,150 from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Division provided training to libraries in support of the computers and software granted the previous year.
· CT.WebJunction.org. The Division partnered with OCLC and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a website that will serve as a resource for Connecticut library staff. The site includes information on the services of the State Library, online technology training courses, E-Rate guidance, best practices, planning and policy development assistance, and grant information.
The Public Records Administrator continued to work on the implementation of PA 00-146, “An Act Concerning Real Estate Filings and the Preservation of Historic Documents.” PA-00-146 authorizes two granting cycles per fiscal year. During this fiscal year the State Library awarded 165 grants to Connecticut towns and municipalities for a total of $1,374,300. Grants were awarded for record storage equipment, preservation/conservation including paper conservation and preservation microfilming, preservation surveys, organization and indexing, providing improved access to public records. The improvements to the overall condition of the state’s historic records since the inception of the historic documents preservation grant program, is evident when visiting town halls around the state.
The Public Records Administrator continued to offer educational programs to Connecticut towns. On March 24 and 25, 2004, two one day sessions entitled “Surviving a Disaster” were held, providing hands on disaster recovery training to town clerks. These full day workshops were paid for out of the proceeds of the historic preservation account, established Public Act. 00-146. On May 13, 2004, the Public Records staff and the State Library Preservation Librarian presented a one-day Records Management workshop to the Connecticut Town Clerk’s School. Topics for this program included a review of Connecticut General Statutes regarding records management in the State, records retention and disposition, records preservation, historical records, electronic records, optical imaging technology, e-mail, electronic signatures, and e-commerce. The final portion of the program included a review of the historic document preservation program
The Public Records Administrator remained active with state and local government agencies in monitoring statutory compliance to the numerous public records statutes and overseeing vault construction.
The Office of the Public Records Administrator continues to oversee the legal destruction of state and municipal public records. This office processed a total of 1,700 disposal requests, which amounted to 23,839 cu. ft. of state government records.
The State Records Center handled 7,163 reference requests/returns from 30 State Agencies/Institutions. The Records Center accessioned 4,802 boxes of Connecticut State Agency records and 12 backup tapes from the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The Records Center has space available for an additional 10,882 cubic feet of records. The Records Center currently uses the services of Security Shredding and Recycling for the purpose of shredding confidential and outdated documents. A total of 4,662 cubic feet of records were destroyed this fiscal year at a cost of $6,233. The Records Center is up-to-date on records destruction
There were 26 accessions amounting to 125.25 cu. ft. The most complicated accession were aerial photographs from the Department of Environmental Protection. Flight lines and mosaic indexes for 1980, 1985, 1990, and 1995 were transferred along with a list of missing aerial photographs from the most used parts of recent flights. Storage boxes to house these records were purchased using money form the Historic Documents Preservation Fund.
Governor William A. O’Neill Papers:
Although the processing of these records was completed in the year before last, the extensive guide to this important collection was not widely available. Due to the collaborative efforts of the State Library and Central Connecticut State University, we were able to post this guide on the Internet. It appears on the website for both institutions.
The Museum purchased more than 530 Connecticut historical objects, manuscripts and photographs that contribute to documenting and understanding the state’s political, industrial and military heritage. Outstanding among these acquisitions are the rare 1878 Manning-Bowman (Meriden) catalog of Britannia and enameled tablewares and a spectacular oversize photograph of the Willimantic Linen Company granite main factory building taken about 1870. Century-old Connecticut-made machinery and overhead line shafting (some 300 square feet) purchased from the defunct Hartford Clamp Company was rigger-moved into collections storage at the Van Block facility, pretty much filling the Museum’s space there.
Museum staff consulted for the University of Hartford’s “Connecticut Originals” temporary exhibit and loaned to it materials on the Frisbie, the 1867 Charter Oak lawn mower, Colts, the WWII Norden bomb sight and Connecticut Suffrage materials.
Museum staff serve on the Coltsville National Historical Park Ad Hoc Committee and developed a photo mural exhibit for Riverfront Recapture’s 2004 “Big Mo” gala at the Colt factory. Staff also head the Connecticut League of History Organization’s Awards Committee.
Approximately 15,000 visitors (principally school children) in more than 600 groups visited the museum in FY 2003-2004, as documented in the CT League of Women Voters database for tours they schedule for the Museum. An estimated 10,000 additional “walk-in” visitors brought the total to nearly 25,000. In May, the Museum debuted Hartford artist Michael Border’s monumental 10’ by 40’ mural “Connecticut Industrial History” for a one-year run.
The overall emphasis of the Library’s service program has been the provision of quality service through the most efficient deployment possible of greatly reduced staff and material resources. This efficiency has been enhanced by the utilization of computers and telecommunications networks to increase access to electronic and networked information resources. These capabilities were expanded to the Library’s outlying facilities. The Library also continues to stress employee participation in the decision making process. Both of these efforts focus on the wise allocation of limited resources by using time saving and work prioritization processes to most effectively utilize Library staff.
The State Library worked with the Cooperative Library Service Units to effect a merger of the four offices into one new organization, the Connecticut Library Consortium. The merger has generated savings, particularly in the administration of programs, and resulted in new service models all of which has allowed important statewide services to continue despite significant reductions in state support.
The State Library’s Strategic Plan was last completed in 1990 and is in need of updating. The Division of Library Development is preparing to revise is strategic plan and the Museum of Connecticut History is completing an assessment plan funded in part by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Library’s major goals for FY 2005 are:
For the thirteenth consecutive year the Library’s Affirmative Action Plan was approved by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. The second report of the Historic Records Fund was submitted to the Legislature.