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For the Public
This checklist is a simple guide to remind you of the various steps of the application process. Remember that you can direct any questions you have to any member of the Minerva Executive Committee, MIN staff, or members of any Minerva subcommittee.
Be sure you have read the following documents carefully as these will give you an idea of what you are committing your library to and what benefits you gain from Minerva membership:
It is important that you have talked to a member of the Minerva Executive Committee to fully understand your benefits and obligations as part of the Minerva Users Council. Find out how Minerva membership has affected their patrons satisfaction and the work flow/load of the library and its staff.
___ Talked with Minerva Executive Committee member(s).
___ Talked with a representative on the MIN staff.
___ Talked with a representative of at least one active, local Minerva library.
C) REVIEW: General
The following general qualifications to make sure you have in place or the ability to put in place all the things needed to be a fully participating member of Minerva.
___ Regular, permanent paid staff with a least one member comfortable and committed to establishing an automated library with some experience with electronic database software, such as Athena, Follett, Innovative Millennium (such as SOLAR), Lotus Notes, or MS Access.
___ Regular, permanent staff with a comfort level and basic understanding of cataloging procedures and the need for standards critical to a shared environment with different library types.
___ A history of stable budgets with the necessary funds in place for first year dues, start up costs, and yearly renewal.
___ Records of your holdings either in an automated database or in a print catalog that were created by a trained cataloger or obtained through a recognized cataloging utility (e.g. Marcive, Baker & Taylor, OCLC, etc.). If not, you must be financially able to undertake the cost of retrospective conversion of the collection so that it meets Minerva cataloging standards prior to data entry.
___A process in place to confirm the identity of your current patrons and to identify non-current patrons.
D) REVIEW: Technology
All perspective member libraries must have or be willing to obtain all necessary local hardware sufficient to run the Innovative Interfaces software utilized by Minerva and Internet access with sufficient bandwidth to support the Minervaprograms. Do you have the following:
___ Internet connection: A "fast" network connection. The standard 56 Kbps MSLN connection is NOT fast enough. Most MSLN sites qualify for an upgrade to a broadband or high speed connection to support both Minerva and public access, with bandwidth left over. A router and/or associated telecommunications hardware required for such a connection is the financial responsibility of the library
___ Public access catalogs: A sufficient number of public access catalog computer(s) that run a current web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape or Opera) satisfactorily.
___ Staff workstation computers: A sufficient number of circulation and staff-use computers. All staff computers must meet the system requirements for running the Innovative Millennium software.
___ Electronic bibliographic records: Good quality bibliographic records in electronic form and available in MARC format. Libraries with no electronic records are financially responsible for retrospective conversion of existing manual records. If desired, this can be done interactively by manually matching against Minerva, with local staff time being the only, though substantial, cost.
___ Barcodes: Item and patron barcodes following the 14-digit codabar convention. If current item barcodes do not follow the 14-digit codabar convention, the library may elect to convert its collection (highly recommended) or to adopt the MaineCat Compatibility Standard, using only standard barcodes with new materials, and assigning new barcodes to any item loaned through MaineCat or within Minerva.
E) REVIEW: Financial Requirements
Joining Minerva will impact a library's budget in a number of ways. As part of completing the application and narrative support documents, due consideration should be given to the following areas that will impact the library’s budget.
___ Start up membership fees and ongoing annual fees.
___ ILL/van delivery at least one day a week.
___ Attendance at meetings – travel costs, staff time.
___ Retrospective conversion of cataloging records (if necessary).
___ Barcoding your collection and patron records (if necessary).
F) FILL OUT & RETURN:
___ Application Form.
James Jackson Sanborn
G) WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee appointed by the Minerva Executive Committee, which will include MIN personnel responsible for bringing new libraries into Minerva.
Someone on this Committee will contact you if more information or clarification of information is needed, and then you will be notified in writing of the Committee's decision.
If your application is accepted, you will then be contacted to establish an approximate timeline for bringing your library into the system. This timeline will have a target date by which your library should be fully functional using the cataloging, circulation, and serials modules, as well as a later date (usually 4-6 weeks) for going live with lending and borrowing and being visible in the Minerva public access catalog.
Prior to your first target date (the date when your library is to be fully functional using the software), the system implementation events begin. The timeframe for starting these events will commence once your library has 1) provided your data in a format that is ready for inclusion in the database (including any required retrospective conversion) and 2) if necessary, you have completed barcoding or re-barcoding your collection. Once started, the implementation events generally require at least 8-10 weeks to complete, although in some cases it may take longer.
The number of libraries ahead of you in the queue, and their relative completion of necessary steps, will determine the date upon which implementation work for your library can begin.
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