Minerva User’s Council Meeting, April 23, 2008
Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Location: Maine General Medical Center-Thayer Campus, Waterville
The meeting was called to order at 10:05.
See attached list.
Cora Damon, Minerva Executive Committee Treasurer and Librarian for Maine General Medical Center welcomed the attendees. Pam Turner, Minerva Executive Committee President, thanked Cora for making the meeting space available to the Minerva User’s Council.
The minutes of the May 23, 2007 meeting were approved unanimously. (Moved by Betsy Pohl and seconded by Sarah Sugden)
Minerva Executive (Committee) Board:
Pam Turner reported that the contract with Innovative Interfaces is being renegotiated by the State Library who holds the licensing for the Minerva ILS. It is likely that there will be an increase in the membership fees. Until we have a handle on the costs, we will not add any libraries to the consortium. A member asked when fees would be likely to increase. Pam reported that it would likely be in FY10 (July 1, 2009-June 30, 2010).
Interim Director, Barbara McDade was unable to attend the meeting due to a family emergency but submitted a written report. It detailed among other things, an update on the search for an Executive Director. There are two candidates who are currently scheduled to interview in May. They are James Sanborn and Russell Bailey. Candidate’s resumes are on the Maine InfoNet website and all are encouraged to participate in the open meetings and presentations.
URSUS OPAC was upgraded to WebPAC PRO on April 10. There is a WebFeat trial going on from April 1-30, 2008. Please try the search engine and fill out the related survey.
Maine InfoNet Board held a retreat on March 26 and adopted 12 goals which are included in Barbara’s report. Included with this report were a follow-up report on the Aug. 2, 2007 Maine InfoNet Summit and a Maine InfoNet Budget for FY08 (July1, 2007-June 30, 2008).
Maine State Library and Library Legislation:
Gary Nichols, Maine State Librarian, thanked outgoing Library Automation Manager, Jon Forest for his work in Maine. Gary is also attempting to get authorization to replace Jon’s position despite the statewide hiring freeze.
Working with the State Purchasing Office, Gary is able to negotiate with III as a sole source contract. It is hoped that a one or two year contract will be in place by June 30, 2008. Gary stated that this is an optimistic goal.
Gary also commented that there is a real need for new library legislation. The current leadership in the Senate and House are term-limited therefore we need to be working with the new leadership prospects to have legislation and backers by the opening session. LD793 is gone. State and Federal cuts to Maine State Library are close to $300,000. Sixty-three Maine libraries banded together can have a strong effect on funding for libraries but only if EVERY library lobbies for it.
Gary reiterated that the InfoNet Executive Director interviews are taking place soon and that individual libraries should participate in the process. Judy Frost, Minerva Representative on the Maine InfoNet Board concurred.
Jon Forest reported that the three new libraries are up and running. Thursday, April 24, 2008 is his last day and Deb Hensler will be away at III User’s Conference. He encouraged patience on routine issues and suggested that libraries who have problems post them to the list serve before contacting Deb for help. This way, she can concentrate on the thornier issues and we can help one another with the day to day problems. Jonathon Williams from URSUS has offered to help Deb in the interim, as he can.
Cora Damon, Minerva Executive Committee Treasurer updated the group on a few changes:
- NELINET will be handling Minerva finances and the monies will be transferred from State accounts to private accounts in July.
- Bills for service have been sent from NELINET and are due on 8/1/08. W-9 forms are available for those libraries that need them since payment will now be made to Minerva.
- The budget for FY 09 was provided. It is clear that our income is not keeping up with expenses. As was previously mentioned, the Executive Committee has decided to freeze new memberships since we do not know what the costs will be. It is clear that we will need to raise our dues or cut services going forward.
Cora entertained a question from the floor about van delivery service. The contract is the same for FY09 as it was for FY08 but again, all contracts are likely to go up in FY10.
Pam Turner reported that this committee is changing its’ focus this year due to the aforementioned contract issues and will be updating the Agreement to Participate document. They will get information out to the member libraries as negotiations move forward working with the Finance Committee and Gary Nichols. Volunteers are still needed for this committee.
Borrowing and Lending:
Kevin Davis reported that the scope of this committee is changing along with its’ name (Circulation Standards Committee) under the new bylaws. He stated that the new bylaws would help define this committee’s goals. Currently, it has come to the committee’s attention that some Minerva members are not following the open lending agreement. A memo outlining specifics will be sent shortly. All Minerva members are reminded that we need to shift our mindset to serve ALL Minerva patrons, not just our own.
Kevin entertained questions from the floor about the number of copies of popular titles that any individual library buys and whether some libraries are holding back because of the consortia’s ability to enhance local collections. It was reiterated that the system prefers local holds for local copies and that this works to everyone’s advantage when we all follow the rules.
Another question from the floor about “bad patron” problems i.e. patrons running up bills in one library and moving to another community to do the same there, was addressed. Kevin stated that the committee will be attempting to tackle this as well as other issues. He mentioned that despite the long-time goal of creating a comprehensive policy manual, the committee felt that addressing issues which bubbled up, like the ones raised here was the best use of the committee’s time. He also addressed a question about reciprocal borrowing in local areas which is being done informally in some areas.
Kevin offered his and the committee’s help for questions about the Minerva ILS system to try to alleviate some of the load on Deb Hensler when Jon Forest is gone. Member libraries should feel free to contact him or the other committee members for help before contacting Deb.
Kathleen Morgan provided a written report from Cataloging which addressed six issues the committee has dealt with including, graphic novels, use of the 520 field, annuals, removal of GuiCat and, a mentoring program which has been established. Any library that wished cataloging help should contact the committee.
Pam Turner reported that the committee worked tirelessly to create guidelines on how to complete the Annual Report which went on line shortly before the statistics were due. Many reported that these procedures were very helpful but, because of new scoping issues created by the Children’s scopes will have to be redone for the next Annual Report. They will continue with their work.
Pam Turner reported the election results for the Executive Committee:
Academic Library seat: Janet Blood, Eastern Maine Community College
Public Library seat: Jay Scherma, Thomas Memorial Library
Special Library seat: Cyndi White, Eastern Maine Medical Center
After a 5 minute break:
Steve Norman, head of the Bylaws Committee reported on the work done since October, 2007 by the group. Voting on the Bylaws will be done by email as outlined in both the current and new bylaws. Steve discussed the need for new bylaws in light of the Memorandum of Understanding which was signed last year, outlined the major changes to the bylaws and took questions from the floor. Discussion ranged from Gary Nichols concerns about the relationship between the Financial Officer and the MIN Executive Director to clarification of the term “Roundtable”, which replaces “User’s Group”, to the decision making process outlined in the new bylaws and a concern about how the agreement to participate can be amended. The committee will meet again to finalize the bylaws which will be posted on the website as before. Library representatives will be contacted for the email vote and the results will be announced when they are available.
Dean Corner reported on the van delivery service reiterating previous comments about the likelihood of a price increase in FY10. Beginning in FY09 (July 1, 2008), quarterly bills will need to be paid up front. More specifics will be issued to library contacts as they become available. Call Dean for any problems.
Dean mentioned that drivers have reported that some libraries are using totes for lost and found boxes and other non-delivery use. Please DO NOT continue this practice. The totes are needed for deliveries.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 pm.
Susan M. Preece
Topsham Public Library