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For the Public
Minerva Users Council Semi-Annual Meeting, Dec. 15, 2005
Wednesday, December 15, 2004 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Maine State Library Studio, Augusta , ME , via ATM Bangor H.S. and So. Portland H.S.
MSL : Jennifer Lewis, Stephen LaRochelle, Pat Brunell, Nikki Maounis, Meta Vigue, Cathy Perkins, Cyndi Burne, Linda Prybylo, Karl Beiser, Betsy Pohl, Sudie Blanchard, Brian Usher, Dean Corner, Vicky Smith, Diane Jones, Martha Ott, Janet Bolduc, Karl Aromaa, Peggy Malley, Amy Averre, Brian Damien, Lynn Bivens, Linda McConnell, Lyn Sudlow, Barbara Harness, Pam Gormley, Jay Scherma, Melora Norman, Ben Keating, Jodi Crawford, Karen Jones, Wendy Miller, Andi Jackson-Darling.
ATM Bangor H.S.: Kathy Woodside, Jill Schoof, Candy Emlen, Debbie Lozito, Karen Reilly, Barbara Higgins, Cindy White, Lynn Uhlman.
ATM So. Portland H.S.: Caren Dunay, Kevin Davis, Martha Peterson, Pricilla Payne, Tracie Lammers, Jessica Thomas.
NOTE: Some agenda items were taken out of order to accommodate South Portland 's ATM site having technical difficulties and guest speakers.
Review/approve minutes from the last full meeting - June 11, 2004
The minutes were reviewed and accepted.
Minerva update (Karl and John) 10 minutes
OPAC Committee and presentation of new OPAC look (Karl and Amber) 10 min.
Amber Tatnall could not attend the meeting, so Karl said a few words. He explained that the website is close to its final look. It may be January before it is finally ready to be put into action.
Public Relations and Education Committee report (Amber Tatnall) 5 min.
Amber Tatnall could not attend the meeting, so Betsy Pohl summarized what the new committee's charge is. They arose out of the last full user's council meeting in June and will be working on PR materials for patrons, and tutorials for Minerva staff. Jessica Thomas at the South Portland ATM site mentioned that the committee has plans to meet on Friday.
Finance Committee (Amy Averre and Cora Damon) 5 min.
Karl submitted a written one page financial report from 11/17/04 that reflects the work of the committee. The finance committee was created because the executive committee was getting many requests that had dollar amounts. This committee is working on establishing a format for Karl to be able to give a monthly financial report and to prioritize financial needs. Overall, we are in a very good financial position. Since this is a "gift" account, the recent hiring freeze does not apply to Minerva. It will affect travel, but that might be able to be funded as a "grant". There should be enough money for more mail bags (Martha passed around samples of larger, smaller and less slippery ones as compared to the last batch), authority clean up, and support for each library to have one day's worth of delivery service and authority clean up. Marchive and Library Technology Inc. are the two companies available after OCLC announced it is no longer doing authority clean up. Each company has it's pro's and con's that will have to be researched. There are bond monies for the authority clean up project.
Staffing issue update 5 min.
Brian Damien and Amber Tatnall have been working on the language that details the type of person we are looking for to help John and Karl. They have the following so far:
The consultant should:
We propose that the consultant would focus on a set of specific technical issues to be identified, and assist Beiser, Clark, and consortium library staffs in getting resolutions to those issues. The consultant would also work with Nichols, Beiser, Clark, consortium library staffs, and the Minerva Executive Committee, to examine issues of consortium management, and produce a final report suggesting improvements in the interest of developing "best practices" in daily operations, as well as in the wider issues of management and governance.
We think that the emphasis should be 60-75% on technical issues, with a focus of 25-40% on management issues.
We suggest that the consultant's work plan would be developed by a committee consisting of Nichols, Beiser, Clark, the chair of the Minerva Executive Committee, and two other members to be named by the chair of the Executive Committee. The consultant would report to Nichols and the chair, and would make regular progress reports to them.
Statistics Committee report (Brian Damien) 5 min.
The committee submitted a one page written report. The statistics committee got about 40 responses with 5/6 of them indicating yes, they have concerns. The committee members are in the process of contacting people. Eventually, the group hopes to develop "best practices" documents to help people to use statistics more effectively. Karl is aware of some anomalies and is working on them. The group will attempt to document them, find out why they are there and hopefully fix them.
Cataloging Standards Committee Report (Rebecca Francis) 10 min.
The committee submitted a one-page summary of the current issues they are working on. Rebecca Francis was not able to be at the meeting so Karen Jones spoke. They are working on getting a 222 field (used to index journal titles) added to all of the journal records. They are also trying to find a way to prepare Minerva's catalog for a separate children's subject heading index, rewording Minerva's cataloging standards and determining how to accommodate the new 13 digit ISBN in bibliographic records.
Borrowing and Lending committee Report (Martha Ott)
The Borrowing and Lending Committee submitted a one-page report of their activities as well as a proposed price structure for settlement transactions between libraries. Martha started off by announcing that there have been some personnel changes in her committee. Bob Filgate retired and Vicky Smith has taken his place. Jennifer Lewis is no longer with the committee and they are hoping to find a school representative as soon as possible. Jessica Thomas has also joined the group. Martha talked about the proposed settling up procedures for ILL books that never return. In essence, they propose that the settlement date be April 15 th each year. All items billed longer than 6 months are eligible to be settled. Karl and John will prepare a list of all materials to the owning libraries. It will then be the owning libraries' responsibility to prepare and send the actual bills. Library to library billing for different categories of items is listed on the sheet. Many of the prices came from School Library Journal and other reputable sources. Items that cost 150% more than the price on the chart will go with the higher price. Out of print items will be billed at replacement cost with the understanding that the billing library will make a good-faith effort not to soak the borrowing library. Items returned after a library-to-library bill has been paid will be considered the property of the owning library; however, the billed amount will not be refunded. After some discussion of the chart's proposed prices, it was pointed out that this is a last ditch effort and has no relation to the money that the patron is billed for. It was suggested that this item go out on the list for more discussion. No vote was taken today. A vote will be included with the open ILL trial e-mail vote in January. Some questions we need to answer are how big of a problem is this? What is the context in which this is happening? What about damaged materials? It was suggested that we have to start somewhere. We can always revisit and revise this after a year if something isn't working. The committee sent members to attend the December 3 rd meeting of all Maine INFOnet libraries. They discussed loan periods between us, billing procedures, billing amounts, and settling up procedures. They agreed that libraries should bill as they go. Libraries are reminded to run INN Reach reports regularly and frequently. They also agreed that there is great value in libraries getting together on a regular basis.
Delivery Service CD&L (Ben Keating)
Ben Keating spoke about where the delivery service is heading. They have found that the cost for delivery service for us has been around $5,000.00 per month. The volume of books has increased, but there is no accurate way to measure this in totes. URSUS, Colby, etc. pay per negotiated period and lock in on that price. We are difficult to estimate because of the diversity of our participants. They are proposing that we look at a yearly cost and pay up front. Regardless of the change in payment, Ben sees these costs going up. He said CD&L now has respect for us because they see we have lots of business for them. Ben will know more next week when his contact gets back from vacation. Ben pointed out that nobody has had to sign any contracts so nobody has been legally bound and on good faith. Karl sited some statistics for the open ILL trial showing that ILL 's have more than doubled. Much of CD&L's costs come when they sort the books in their Portland and Bangor facilities and transportation costs. Jodi Crawford from Lithgow thanked Ben for all he has done behind the scenes to get this service up and running for us. Ben pointed out that the credit goes to the library commission, as it was their brainchild. A plug for getting more mail bags was voiced as it saves time and cost.
Open ILL Trial Discussion
Karl passed out a chart of Intra Minerva borrowing and lending from October through November for each library and a chart of online requests through the OPAC for each library from June to November. Betsy opened the discussion by explaining that the executive committee shared their experiences at every meeting and are eager to hear how other libraries are doing with it. Basically, the two topics that need discussing are: how is it going and what comes next. Overall, the comments were positive. People sited that this has been great PR for their libraries. Very successful in getting people what they want faster than they expected it. There were some concerned voiced from Waterville that they were seeing an abnormally high load of requests so Karl changed the load balancing equation in the system for them and it has made a difference. The biggest problems noted were that the new fiction collections aren't browsable because the books are all out in circulation. Maybe we need to re-define what "new" is so there will be more books to browse. Also, patrons that donated money for books like to see them on the shelf. The argument about tax dollars for the books to be in the library in that town was also revisited. It was suggested we make a category for new books that allows them to stay in house for 10-12 weeks and then let them go to other libraries. It was suggested that maybe there could be a time element added where John and Karl flip these items back into circulation after just so long. Or maybe there could be some list compiled somewhere on the OPAC where people could browse and see covers of books that way. Then it was pointed out that if some libraries didn't loan their new books, then their patrons couldn't borrow new books. The loan rules would get complicated. And how do we define "new"? It is a matter of browsability vs. reservability. Maybe we need to advertise reserving more. Maybe copies could get segregate - one to stay, one to loan (but it was also pointed out that many libraries are so small that they only buy one copy of their books). But isn't it our goal to circulate materials and get them off the shelves? Stuff is being used then. Maybe we are projecting our disappointment about seeing our books go out the door as soon as they are processed onto the patrons and they may not really feel that way. You have to give something to get something. Most libraries have not had any bad responses from patrons. Many people have said that they would have been happy to wait for their local copy. Also, it was pointed out that it has been really nice not to have exceptions to the rule and when a patron orders an item there aren't many items that are beaming back at them in red that are not accessible. It is simpler for the patron now. The workloads have increased, but mostly leveled off and are being dealt with. You get a system down that makes it easier eventually. Many think the extra work is worth it when they can bring the patron stuff they want. When statistics were reviewed, it was pointed out that some libraries are more aggressive at PR for the open ILL trial and at filling a patron's request and that could affect the stats. Many libraries are ready to continue ILL "as is". Patrons are getting the best sellers faster and it has been very helpful to have AV added in. How can we take away something that we have given the public? They are expecting this service now. One library commented that they now feel like a participant in a bigger picture. Many people's collections rarely got requested before this. Now they are doing a strong amount of business. Some libraries are charging a small fee for ILL 's. Someone pointed out that this (open ILLing) is the way it is in the rest of the world and we are behind in our thinking. Betsy said that the e-mail vote on the fate of the trial should be worded simply and makes sense to us all. The executive committee will work on that. Karl reminded everyone that reconfiguring the system does not happen overnight so the trial will most likely be extended until 2/1 depending on the voting decision. Someone mentioned that we would need time to prepare our patrons with PR if it is not continuing.
Respectfully submitted by Jennifer Lewis, December 20, 2004
Members of the Minerva Users Council Executive Committee 2004-2005:
Brian Damien, Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick email@example.com
Vicky Smith, McArthur Library, Biddeford firstname.lastname@example.org
Karl Aromaa, Rumford Public Library, Rumford email@example.com
Betsy Pohl, Chair, Lithgow Library, Augusta firstname.lastname@example.org
Martha Ott, Andover College , Portland email@example.com
Amy Averre, Vice Chair, Husson College , Bangor firstname.lastname@example.org
Amber Tatnall, YCCC, York email@example.com
Cora Damon, Maine General Medical Center , Waterville firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Lewis, Secretary Augusta School Department, Augusta email@example.com
Karl Beiser, Maine State Library
John Clark, Maine State Library
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