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 – $12,000,804
Organizational structure – Division of Administrative Services; Division of Library Development; Division of Information Services; Office of the Public Records Administrator and State Archives; Museum of Connecticut History.
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 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 Division of Administrative Services is responsible for providing many of the services that allow other staff to successfully perform their duties. The Division is responsible for accounting, budgeting, human resources, purchasing, payroll, contract and grants management, mail and supply, information technology, and photo duplication services.
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 a 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, professional development resources, technology training labs, a statewide 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) which provide 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; and Federal Grants to Libraries.
Office of the Public Records Administrator
The Office 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.
Museum of Connecticut History
The Museum, housed in the 1910 State Library and Supreme Court Building, 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
· Human Resources successfully transitioned General Workers to the new job class of Library Aide. This change allowed employees to gain permanent status and fringe benefits not previously available to them.
· The agency’s Mail and Supply Services were relocated to a smaller, but more work friendly, space within the State Library at 231 Capitol Avenue.
· The State Library’s Fiscal and Human Resource Offices relocated from space it had occupied for nine years at 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford to renovated space on the Lower Level of the DEP Building at 79 Elm Street, Hartford.
· Automation Services continued to keep pace with the agency’s need to use automation technology to provide services to patrons, staff and on-line visitors.
· The Administrative Services Division of the State Library assisted in the relocation of the Willimantic Library Service Center to renovated space in the same town.
· The Automation Services Division of the State Library worked with a private vendor to install 34 new computers. This was a first time effort at this kind of cooperative effort. The experience was such that the agency will continue this method of operation as it acquires new computers in the future.
· The main Library at 231 Capitol Avenue answered 26,442 questions in person, 14,385 by telephone, 492 through correspondence, and 2,009 via email.
44,003 information service questions were answered,
53,395 items were added to the general collections,
9,022 items were added to the federal document depository collection,
13,293 unique electronic serial titles, and
35 other electronic resources were available for patron use,
1,148 Interlibrary Loan requests were filled from the Division’s collections,
76 Interlibrary Loan requests were received from other libraries for patrons,
1,721 Items were loaned directly to patrons
· The Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped loaned 214,282 ‘talking books’ to 9,871 individuals at their homes or in residence at 2,251 institutions around the state. As the state’s population ages, the number of eligible patrons is expected to continue to increase, and additional outreach will be necessary to make them aware of the service.
· Patrons used the Library heavily for electronic resources and Internet resources in addition to traditional print formats. Over 4,660 patrons were authorized to use the Library’s public access terminals. An average user session was 36 minutes indicating extensive searching. Searchers used 35 electronic resources licensed by the Library over 110,381 times. Over 1,132,748 patron visits to the Library’s website brought an average of 3,100 electronic visitors to the Library each day to view the Library’s Web pages and databases.
· The project to preserve the 1934 aerial survey photographs, a unique and irreplaceable resource, through photographic duplication, new prints, and creation of digital copies has been completed with 8,736 new photographs made available for patrons to use. In FY 2007, the digital copies will be made available online.
· In service of our mission to provide state agency staff with the research resources they need to perform their assignments, the Library began a series of targeted tours and workshops for one agency at a time. Librarians pre-select and demonstrate resources, including online databases and state and federal documents that are particularly pertinent to the agency’s areas of interest. Staff from the Dept. of Public Health and the Office of Policy and Management attended the first workshops.
· A series of Web Pages proving the history, statutory authority, name changes, and related State Library resources for each current and past state agency was initiated, and quickly became a basic research tool for agency staff and State Library staff.
· The Library continued its leadership role in the preservation of e-government information through continuing work on a National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program (NDIIPP) grant developing criteria and procedures for capturing and preserving digital materials, including state government publications, and through identifying and ingesting 1,459 digital state agency publications into the Connecticut Digital Archive.
· iCONN - www.iconn.org - allows users to search up to 31 databases, including reQuest, the statewide library catalog, simultaneously with one search. New databases added include the Historical Hartford Courant (1764 – 1922), EBSCO’s History and Science Reference Centers, MedLinePlus and PubMed. Efforts to increase public awareness of iCONN included conducting a professional public awareness survey, placing paid ads, enclosing iCONN bookmarks with motor vehicle registration renewals, revamping our product literature, and updating our logo.
Connecticut residents and students searched iCONN over 33.5 million times, a 75 percent increase over the previous year. This volume and percent increase reflects the impact of “federated searching” by including all hits generated by all databases that are searched simultaneously. In addition, reQuest was searched 2.1 million times, a 22 percent increase over last year. Over 200 libraries successfully lent more than 91,000 items through reQuest, a 23 percent increase over the previous year. Holdings in reQuest increased to 21.2 million items, a three percent increase over last year. The value of all iCONN databases to local communities exceeds $20 million per year.
· Public Library Construction Grants. The State Library administered a public library building program that awarded nine grants totaling $3,000,175 in state bond funds.
· Service Centers. The library service centers in Middletown and Willimantic provided consultation, training and supplemental material to libraries. The Willimantic Library Service Center moved to a new location in January 2006. The new location includes an expanded technology training lab and meeting space. The service centers loaned 78,055 items to school and public libraries for a value to local communities of approximately $2.7 million.
· Training. Continuing education and training support for Connecticut library staff is a major focus for the Division of Library Development. The Division offered over 167 continuing education and technical training opportunities to 2,095 Connecticut library staff. The State Library’s partnership with WebJunction provides Connecticut libraries with an integrated website with information from the State Library along with technical assistance, support and online training. CT.WebJunction provides libraries with over 50 free online courses on basic computing and software applications, networking, public access computing, fundraising, and web development. Connecticut library staff enrolled in 356 of these online courses.
· 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 state has a new public library – the Janet Carlson Calvert Library in Franklin. This is the first new library founded since 1969. The Division also administered $2,154,030 in federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded a Staying Connected grant of $163,680 to assist public libraries with maintaining public access computing. The grant funds equipment, training and technical service contracts.
· Connecticar. The division oversees delivery of materials among the state’s public and academic libraries. The service has grown steadily. Last year approximately 3.5 million items were shipped.
· The State Library partnered with WebJunction in a Spanish Language Outreach Program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program will train Connecticut library staff to increase their knowledge and skills to better reach out to Spanish speakers in their local communities.
· The State Library awarded 153 grants to Connecticut towns and municipalities for a total of $1,293,861 under the Historic Documents Preservation Grant Program that is regulated by CGS §11-11i to §11-8n. Grants were awarded for preservation/conservation including paper conservation and preservation microfilming, inventory and planning surveys such as preservation and records management surveys, storage and facilities grants to improve the physical environment for public records, program development grants to advance the records management and/or historic preservation practices within a town, and organization and indexing grants which enable towns to use information technology to improve access to historical collections or active public records. 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.
· Significant work was completed on the development of a competitive grant program to expand the existing program. The Public Records Administrator developed grant guidelines and procedures to implement the program. Competitive grants are for larger dollar amounts based on the merits of the project proposed in the application. Eligible categories are records management and archives management. The Historic Documents Preservation Program will award the first round of competitive grants in July 2006 for the FY2007 grant year.
· The grant program staff prepared and presented two ˝ day sessions on Competitive Grant training in January. Forty-five town clerks attended these workshops. Grant training is required for eligible towns interested in applying for a competitive grant. Items discussed included choosing and designing a project, setting goals and objectives, developing a timetable and budget, the review process, and the administrative requirements in completing a successful application.
· The Office of the Public Records Administrator and State Archives offered a workshop for Connecticut Town Clerks on June 8, 2006. The workshop was funded by the Historic Documents Preservation Account and was entitled “From Theory to Reality: Strategies and Tips for Putting Preservation Principles into Action.”
· The Public Records Administrator processed a total of 1,730 records disposal requests from state agencies and municipalities, and 21 state agency retention schedules. This amounted to a total of 32,467 cu ft of records authorized for disposal at the State Agency level.
· The State Records Center handled 6,931 reference requests/returns from 30 state agencies/institutions. The Records Center accessioned 6,730 boxes of Connecticut state agency records, a six percent increase over last year. A total of 6,403 cubic feet of records were destroyed or returned to agencies. This represents a 29 percent increase over last year. The Records Center currently has space available for an additional 9,350 cubic feet of records. The Records Center is up-to-date on records destruction.
· The State Archives took in 44 accessions totaling 617 cubic feet bringing the total figure for the archival holdings to 34,148 cubic feet. Among notable accessions were the records of the Select Committee of Inquiry known as the “Impeachment Committee.” Others accessions included the papers of Marilyn Seichter, 1945-2002, an attorney who practiced from the 1970’s to 1994, who supported women’s causes and served as the first female president of the Connecticut Bar Association, Minutes of Meetings, 1974-2003, of the Energy Advisory Board, Department of Mental Retardation Commissioner’s files pertaining to CARC (Connecticut Association of Retarded Citizens) v. Thorne, the case that led to the closure of Mansfield Training School, and 128 letters between two brothers who served in the Civil War, one in the infantry and one in the Navy, and their sister in Huntington, Connecticut.
· The State Archives processed records of the town of East Haddam, an additional 315 cubic feet of Governor John G. Rowland’s records bringing the total amount of the former governor’s processed records to 500 cubic feet, and subject files of Secretary of the State Ella T. Grasso, 1962-1970. Work has continued processing historic court records of the New London County Court. Staff finished processing and arranging the last 30 boxes of records. More than 500 court cases pertaining to African- American and Native Americans have been identified. Work has also begun sorting unprocessed files of the New London Justice of the Peace.
· The State Archivist worked with a fine arts appraiser hired by the State Insurance & Risk Management Board to assemble documentation to help the appraiser formulate a fair market value for exceptional treasures in the State Archives.
· The project to edit for publication volumes eighteen and nineteen of the Public Records of the State of Connecticut continued under the overall supervision of the State Archives. Volume 19 will cover the proceedings of the 1818 State Constitutional Convention, the debate in the General Assembly over ratification, and the newspaper debate. It is anticipated that the project will hand over a camera-ready copy for printing to the State Library in mid-2007. The Historic Documents Preservation Fund is supporting this editing and publication project.
The Museum of Connecticut History
· Legislative response to the Museum’s detailed self-study through the American Association of Museums/Institute of Museum and Library Services “Museum Assessment Program” reestablished a Curator of Education position lost to 1992 layoffs.
· This new museum staff member began work in February 2006, and will focus efforts on improving the visitors’ experience while in the museum and on outreach programs, especially tuned to Connecticut school children, 16,000 of who came to the museum in the course of this fiscal year. An estimated 10,000 additional “walk-in” visitors complete the tally.
· Insurance appraisal consultants hired by the State Insurance & Risk Management Board surveyed many of the higher value items in the museum collection in light of present market values for Americana. Their report will likely be a basis for more comprehensive appraisals of the museum’s various and extensive collections with an aggregate value of approximately 70 million dollars.
· Monthly meetings of the museum vision and strategic planning team will result in a final report in the summer of 2006.
For the fifteenth consecutive year the Library’s Affirmative Action Plan was approved by the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. Reports on the Historic Records Fund [Conn. Gen. Statutes 11-8k(c) and 11-8m(c)] were submitted to the General Assembly committee of cognizance.