Minerva Users Meeting
November 4, 2009
The meeting was called to order at 10:00 am.
Steve Norman, president, welcomed members and began by reflecting on the summer van delivery crisis. He pointed out that it did bring some good publicity - news stories about library cooperation and users’ access to approximately 5,000,000 items. He thanked Dean, James, Nelson, Alisia, and member libraries for their perseverance. He pointed to the necessity for a revised Agreement to Participate (Minerva is losing 3-4 libraries).He also thanked Jay Scherma and Pam Gormley for their attention to the NELINET merger with Lyrasis. A motion was made, seconded, and passed to approve the minutes of the Spring Users Council meeting.
Judy Frost, Maine InfoNet (MIN) Board representative applauded the new staff hires. She said that MIN is looking into setting up a 501c3 entity – a charitable organization – and the ramifications if Minerva were to be under that umbrella. The Maine Library Association gave a sum of money for the preliminary investigation. If the process proceeds, MIN will need money for attorney fees and may look to InnReach/MaineCat libraries for donations. [There are 16 URSUS libraries, 58-60 Minerva libraries, 31 Solar libraries and 7 independents.) A redesign of the Maine InfoNet website is in progress, and work continues on data gleaned from the Collection Development Summit. Also in development is a formal agreement for SOLAR libraries, with a focus on records quality and support.
James Jackson Sanborn applauded the naming of Linda Lord as state librarian – she is a strong supporter of Maine InfoNet. In light of the economy, staff funding is a concern, James said that his salary source is a hybrid of state and university funds, Alisia and Nelson are state library employees, and the other three positions are university funded. Now all InfoNet employees are MIN staff and are located in one place. One vacant position has now been filled; Venice Bayrd will start on December 14. However, Tim Pellett has taken another position within the university – though he will serve as backup. This position will be advertised soon. A grant request for money for broadband has been put together under the public computing option of the stimulus fund. MARVEL! has garnered additional money from Colby, Bates & Bowdoin (CBB) - $50,000 to support the databases. Maine InfoNet also received $90,000 last year to purchase a single search product. One or two quite nice federated searching products have so far been identified. The Maine Downloadable Audio Books project invoices will go out later in the month and be due at the end of January. As previously mentioned, there are plans to incorporate a 501c3 Maine InfoNet collaborative – a Friends/support group – that will support and further the work of Maine InfoNet. It might act as a legal/financial umbrella for Minerva, as well.
Alisia shared some Overdrive statistics: 1,201 individual titles; 907 unique titles – one quarter of these are MP3 (will work on Macs); 100 are always available; 757 titles are currently out; there are an average of 88 checkouts per day. Go to tinyurl.com/overdrivestats to see checkouts by library. Information on the website is currently a little difficult to find.
Minerva will be upgrading to Millennium 2009 in January 2010. Libraries must upgrade the Millennium environment in advance of that date. There will be information forthcoming.
Jay reported that Minerva will freeze its fee for FY 2010-11 ($3,750 per library). The membership committee will continue to look at various possible fee structures for the future. Several Minerva members have dropped out or will drop out – including Warren Memorial Library, South Portland Public Schools, and Pembroke. There are currently 58 paid members. For FY 2010-11, this loss of income will be covered by savings in delivery costs. We are in the black!
Pam Turner reported for the membership committee. New members cannot be added until the Agreement to Participate is revised (that group is headed by Steve Norman). The idea of a sliding fee scale is on hold – but not dead - until current and correct information is in place.
Cyndi Burne presented for the circulation committee. She shared a PowerPoint outlining the new settle-up procedure for Minerva-to-Minerva billed and long-in-transit items. The procedure is meant to make the process part of ongoing library procedures. However, it is necessarily rather complex and will require training of all involved staff. As part of the new procedure, the executive board voted to institute an upper limit of 15 holds per person at any one time, and a block on all patrons owing $20.00 or more. A great deal of discussion ensued. Some felt that the holds limit should be an individual library decision. The committee explained that only a very small percent of patrons have more than 15 holds, and that an upper limit would protect member libraries from possible heavy liability from the actions of a few bad actors. Several major issues arose, including: where are the lines of demarcation among decisions by the executive board and those of the Users Council as a whole, and the independence of individual libraries? There also appeared to be a lack of communication and dissemination of information by the board. Minutes are not being posted online. The roots of the new settle-up procedure go back to the 2007 Great Settle-up and the work and difficulties that engendered. Most agreed that the committee had done due diligence and should be praised for its hard work.
Carin Dunay reported for the Cataloging Standards Committee. Status codes have been standardized, with the elimination of several. An attendance policy is now in place – libraries must send representatives or view the video at least three times a year. The executive committee will buy additional DVDs for meetings.
Kevin Davis reported for the statistics committee. Tips and tricks for annual report statistics have been formulated. There are also guidelines for creating lists. The committee is working on an array of standard and advanced functions.
Non profit status – previously discussed
New members/agreement to participate – previously discussed.
Scaled membership dues- postponed. Various alternatives will be posted. The issue has engendered spirited discussion within the Minerva Executive Board and the membership committee. The goal is fairness. Discussion will continue – all members should feel free to weigh in.
there are bags, please take them.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:23 pm.
Martha Ott (Andover College), Karl Aromaa (Rumford Public Library), Peggy Malley (Dixfield-Ludden Memorial Library), Betty Hughes (Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library), Pam Gormley (Skidompha Library), Marian Dalton (Curtis Memorial Library), Joan Kolias and Nancy Viehmann (Wells Reserve), Jane Weed (Lewiston Public Library), Cyndi Burne (Topsham Public Library), Kevin Davis (South Portland Public Library), Pam Turner (Baxter Memorial Library), Susan Preece (Topsham Public Library), Steve Norman (Belfast Free Library), Molly Larson (Rockport Public Library), Nikki Maounis (Camden Public Library), Lyn Smith (Pittsfield Public Library), Karen Valley (Walker Memorial Library), Shelly Davis (St. Joseph’s College), Judy Frost (Central Maine Community College), Cora Damon and Cindy White (Eastern Maine Medical Center), Amy Averre (Husson University), Laurie McQuarie (Bangor Theological Seminary), Betsy Pohl (Lithgow Public Library), Liz Doucett (Curtis Memorial Library), Lyn Sudlow (Falmouth Memorial Library), Jennifer Lewis (Augusta School Department), Jim Roy (Maine State Library Outreach), Liz Reisz (York Schools), Carin Dunay (Southern Maine Community College), Susan Winch (Scarborough Public Library), Debbie Lozito (Edythe Dyer Community Library), and James Jackson Sanborn and Alisia Revitt (Maine InfoNet)