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For the Public
Memorandum of Understanding
May 23, 2007
The Minerva Users Council is a statewide, multi-type consortium of libraries that work collaboratively to provide its patrons with expanded library services and resources through common policies and purposes. The Minerva Users Council is recognized by both the Maine State Library (MSL) and Maine InfoNet (MIN) as a formal partner in the support and utilization of the integrated library management system, currently called Minerva.
The Minerva Users Council is recognized by MIN and MSL as a self-governing and self-regulating organization. It is empowered to create, promulgate and enforce its own internal policies and standards and practices with respect to its member libraries and the Minerva system, providing all such statements comply with state law and regulations, and overarching MIN policies.
The Minerva Users Council welcomes opportunities to cooperate and work with MSL and MIN towards providing services that benefit all citizens of Maine, while reserving the right to determine its own internal priorities and policies.
The Minerva Users Council’s activities are not limited solely to the Minerva system itself; it reserves the right to identify and implement additional services for the consortium and its patrons as it deems appropriate so long as they comply with state law and regulations and overarching MIN policies.
Any decisions that MIN and/or MSL are considering that may have an impact on the Minerva system, and by extension the Minerva Users Council and its patrons, will be made in consultation and cooperation with the Minerva Users Council.
Rate of Growth
Each year, the Minerva Executive Committee will establish a reasonable goal for the number of new libraries to be admitted to the Minerva system. This decision will be made in consultation with MIN staff. The application and implementation process for new Minerva participants will be established in collaboration with MIN. The Minerva Executive Committee retains the right of final decision with respect to the evaluation process, the libraries selected and the implementation schedule.
At the end of each year, the Minerva Executive Committee and MIN staff will conduct a formal review to ensure that the new libraries approved for entering the Minerva system have been fully integrated prior to the next round of admissions for the following year.
Collections and databases
Minerva Users Council member libraries maintain ownership of their own collection data and their patron file information in the Minerva system. The Minerva Users Council, and any of its members, may request, within the guidelines of the Agreement to Participate, and expect to receive in a timely manner from MIN copies of all bibliographic records with local holdings data, patron data and other database information associated with its collections and patrons in a data format appropriate for transport between library management systems.
As Minerva Users Council and the Executive Committee bear the responsibility and duty to manage the collective use of the Minerva system resources, the Minerva Users Council retains the authority to set standards for cataloging, resource-sharing and future cooperative ventures.
Minerva Users Council recognizes that its holdings are a part of the statewide catalog MaineCat. It will work with MIN and the MIN Board to facilitate the broadest possible access to MaineCat holdings and services.
Appeals Process for Collective Decisions
The Minerva Users Council has the authority to establish by-laws for its representative bodies, and to develop and implement policies, standards and procedures to govern the collective delivery of services.
Should a member library disagree with a Minerva Users Council policy, standard or practice, that library may present a written appeal to the Minerva Executive Committee. If the library remains unsatisfied with the result, it may then appeal to the full Minerva Users Council. If the library continues to be unsatisfied, it may make a final appeal to the MIN Board, who will evaluate the appeal as it relates to state law and regulations, and overarching MIN policies.
Should a library first appeal to MSL or MIN management, that library will be referred to the appropriate appeals process, as set forth above.
Quality of Service
All parties acknowledge that there is not currently a sufficient number of MIN staff to do all the work of Minerva, SOLAR, MaineCat and other Maine InfoNet services and projects. Minerva has particular needs for staff dedicated to administration, training and cataloging functions.
The Minerva Users Council will work with MIN management and MSL to develop a separate agreement that sets forth priorities and reasonable support levels. It is acknowledged that additional expenditures are necessary to expand services to support the Minerva system. Minerva Users Council, MSL, and MIN will cooperate to explore funding options, including legislation, to achieve adequate staffing levels.
Funds and Fees
The Minerva Users Council retains the right to request that MSL place funds collected for the maintenance and management of the Minerva system with an appropriate non-state agency that is acceptable to MSL and the Minerva Users Council.
The Minerva Users Council, in consultation with MIN and MSL management, will determine the fees and fee structures for its members. The Minerva Users Council retains the right to make the final determination of fees and fee structures.
The Parties to This Agreement are:
The Minerva Users Council, represented by the Chair of its Executive Committee
The Maine State Library (MSL), represented by the State Librarian
Maine InfoNet (MIN), represented by the Maine InfoNet CEO
Amy Averre, Minerva Executive Committee (Chair)
Karl Beiser, Maine InfoNet CEO (retired May 31, 2007)
Gary Nichols, Maine State Librarian
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