Maine Library Commission Minutes, May 20, 2013

Meeting called to order at 1:00 PM.


Commission Members Present: Beth Edmonds (Chair), Joyce Rumery (Vice Chair), Debe Averill, Jeff Cabral, Charlie Campo, Deborah Clark, Elisabeth Doucett, Michael Hays, Mike Kennedy, Molly Larson, Barbara McDade, Dick Thompson, Art Turley, Steve Podgajny, Karen Baldacci (phone)


Also present: Linda Lord, James Ritter, David Nutty, Mamie Ney, Stephanie Zurinski, Valerie Osborne, James Jackson Sanborn, Susan Preece

  • Minutes from the March 25, 2013 meeting were approved.

Strategic Plan Update

  • L.Lord provided updates on strategic plan and there were no follow-up comments from Commission members

Maine Policy Review Update

  • J.Rumery provided update and indicated that copies have been sent to towns, libraries, subscribers, Unv./College Presidents, authors, etc.
  • This issue is on UMaine Digital Commons
  • Some discussion ensued around using this issue to jumpstart further conversation and/or events around libraries

Maine InfoNet Update (James Jackson Sanborn)

  • Added SOLAR libraries and all transitioned smoothly.
  • Discussion taking place about potentially adding two more libraries to Minerva
    • Costs and number of libraries to be added is being pursued
  • Continue efforts regarding “Next Generation” ILS. Meeting is planned with III on June 4 to discuss the progress III is making on SierraMT and how Maine libraries can benefit
  • Overdrive: All members in Overdrive can participate in Overdrive’s “Big Read” which will feature a book(s) that can be read by anyone/anytime with no limits this effort is to encourage usage of Overdrive

Question to James: Is there a timeframe regarding adding new member(s) to Minerva?

Response: Next Minerva Executive Meeting to take place during the second week in June, and the hope is that this will be resolved at that meeting. Applications to be taken over the summer, and implementation in the fall.

Question regarding the time frame of Maine InfoNet Website implementation. Response given that it is active and it is now being reviewed with over 200 pages of content being proofed. The finalization will be weeks not months.

Maine InfoNet Overview provided by David Nutty (Chair of Maine InfoNet):

  • Board consists of 13 members representing different constituents from the library community
  • Board sets strategic direction and priorities:
    • Priority #1 Next Generation System
      • Not simple due to numerous factors including automation, and the limited number of vendors who support ILS
      • Setting “Guiding Principles” that the next system be Scalable, Allow for all types of libraries, Compatible with Maine Shared Collection Strategies
      • Not replace what we have, but to move us into “next generation” ILS
      • Implementation phase on horizon
    • Priority #2 Summits Provided by Maine InfoNet
      • Brings libraries together to network
      • Variety of topics
      • Keeps conversations alive and going
      • Next summit on May 24, 2013 e-Books
    • Priority #3 Outreach
      • Identify ways to focus on Outreach initiatives and ensure that communication between libraries is taking place
  • Maine InfoNet welcomes ideas, hopes to work closer with other library groups and constituents (especially the Commission)

Question to David Nutty: Is the website happening? Response: It is imminent.

Library Standards:
Library standards were presented to the Commission at the March 25, 2013 meeting with the intent to review them and have discussion and take action at the May 20, 2013 Commission Meeting.

The conversation regarding the proposed standards was impassioned and lively. Numerous Commission members provided input and shared both common opinions and opposing opinions. The bulleted items below summarize the major points made regarding the standards:

  • The standards were developed taking the most pertinent components of standards developed previously by the Maine Library Association and making them more accessible. They are structured around three core areas: Governance, Staff and Facility, and Collection and Programming. These three core areas align with the core areas of a Public Library definition created and approved by the Maine Library Commission.
  • Significant discussion ensued regarding feedback from the public. Numerous members weighed in on how this could be archived, why it should occur, and how would it be used. There was consensus that feedback should be received as long as it does not belabor the process indefinitely.
  • A.Turley asked that the standards be reviewed line by line and members present agreed to review the document in this manner.
  • Significant discussion took place and the numerous impassioned comments can be categorized into two camps of thinking:
  • Not specific enough to enforce. For example, how can the Standards Document have “teeth” if there are standards that use language such as “have considered” or does not provide guidance on “how much” public funding constitutes legitimate public funding, etc.
  • Document serves as guidance and allows libraries to determine precedent that sets the bar. For example, the document doesn’t seek to establish hard criteria for every standard proposed, yet, if challenged by a library that suggests it meets a standard, the library Commission can use best demonstrated examples of other libraries to demonstrate how standards are being met. Essentially, the bar is never quite set it simply keeps growing as libraries set the gauge for performance in meeting standards.
  • Various suggestions were made to clarify language to accommodate both the prevailing points of view (noted above).
  • A.Turley made a motion that the document, as amended, be “Adopted by the Commission” and then set on for thoughts via MELIBS and the State Library website allow for two weeks of input.
  • Unanimous vote to accept and Adopt the standards.

Friends of Maine State Library:

  • Brief report. M.Kennedy passed out Friends brochure and encouraged people to attend upcoming programs.

Heritage Preservation Workshop Update (Jeff Cabral):

  • Overall goal is to create state networks of emergency preparedness
  • This is a way to have state emergency planning to prepare for and engage in disaster recovery, and to help constituents
  • Maine attendees will continue to meet and discuss steps going forward

State Librarian Report:

  • National Legislative Day was a success and informative
  • MSL ranks Top 5 in Social Media efforts
  • Nine libraries will agree to accept each other’s’ cards in a way to move toward common borrowing. This is a pilot that will go through September and then be reviewed
  • L.Lord and J.Rumery to attend Humanities Forum and present on respective collections
  • Indicated building network of contacts in state agencies (DHHS specifically) regarding early childhood literacy

Consultant Reports

S. Zurinski:

  • Received 17 applications for the NELA Leadership Symposium and 8 applicants were chosen,

M. Ney:

  • 350 people attended Reading round-Up
  • June 14 is Public Library Director Institute with a focus on “Looking at the Law”

V. Osborne

  • Provided update that Maine has initiated a Book Award the Maine Reader’s Choice Award
    • Three books selected
    • 20 people on review committee
    • September 1-15 the voting will occur

Motion made to adjourn. Meeting adjourned at 3:09 pm.

Next meeting is June 17, 2013 at 1:00 pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Acting Secretary
James Ritter
MSL, Director of Reader and Information Services