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School & Library Network Advisory Board Meeting

October 3, 1996


Members Present: Joanne Steneck, Phil Lindley, Raymond Poulin, Gary Nichols, Barry McCrum, Reginald Palmer, Jon Graul (for Jim McCarthy), David Irwin (for Stephen Gilbert). Absent: Bill Black.

1. Approval of Minutes from September 4, 1996. Minutes approved with no changes.

2. Status Report from NYNEX on Applications, Installing and Training. Mr. Henry reported that NYNEX has received 902 applications. As of October 1, 200 schools and libraries were connected to the Network and an additional 200 are scheduled for connection through November. Ms. Steneck reported that 34 AEV applications have been approved and 255 computer grants approved. Mr. Pierce and Mr. Johnson reported on the status of user training and technical coordinator training. Technical coordinator training sessions held so far have not been fully subscribed. Discussion was had on how the importance of training needs to be emphasized. Mr. Beiser suggested that some schools and libraries may be getting set-up help from vendors who sold them equipment. Mr. Dube mentioned that one advantage of technical training is that attendees are provided free software at the session.

John Pierce reported 160 individuals have attended the user training. The first USM training was on October 3.

It was agreed that a substantial portion of the next meeting would be devoted to training issues.

3. Discussion of Cost of Program to Date and Estimate of Projected Costs. Bruce Larsen from NYNEX explained that he had met with Commission staff to review the incremental cost of the project. Bruce explained that $1,591,741 had been spent on the project to date, and he estimates that total program costs through the remainder of the program will be between $8 million and $10 million.

He also explained that these numbers are less than NYNEX's original $20 million estimate because the Commission ordered only NYNEX's out-of-pocket incremental costs be used to determine the cost of the program. Therefore, for example, the cost of any equipment on-hand or personnel already employed by NYNEX are not counted as a "program cost." He estimated the actual value of the project at closer to $24 million.

4. Discussion of Eligibility of Other Libraries. Gary Nichols distributed a document entitled Widening the Circle (prepared by Karl Beiser) that proposes broadening eligibility to certain additional libraries beyond the public libraries already designated as eligible for the program. These additional libraries would have to meet certain criteria to participate, including being open to the public at least 20 hours per week; operate as not-for-profit; and participate in online resource sharing. It is expected this would add around 60 libraries in the following categories: health science libraries, post-secondary health science education programs, private college libraries, museum libraries, state agency libraries and other miscellaneous libraries. Ms. Steneck said that she understood that the Commissioners were anxious to see how the Network functions with all currently eligible schools and libraries connected before deciding on whether to expand the Network. The Board agreed to ask the Commission whether it will expand the program to include these libraries.

5. Further Discussion of Connection of Superintendents' Offices. The Board agreed to send the issue of whether the Network should be expanded to superintendents' office to the Commissioners for consideration.

6. Other.

  • Publicity: Ray Poulin is continuing to work with the Governor's office.

  • Newsletter: It was agreed that the next newsletter should focus on training. Ms. Steneck distributed a first draft prepared by Phil Lindley based on information provided by Karl Beiser. It was agreed that everyone, especially those involved in training, would provide comments and suggestions to Phil Lindley.

  • Communications to Schools and Libraries That Have Not Applied. It was agreed that NYNEX would prepare a list by October 9 of those schools and libraries that have not applied. Gary Nichols and Linda Lord will work with Art Henry to coordinate contacting these schools and libraries. A decision will be made at the next meeting on whether any additional mailings need to be done. Ms. Steneck reminded everyone that if you have contact with a school or library that does not plan to connect to document that discussion, including reasons for not desiring connection. This information will be needed for evaluating the program. Ms. Steneck will coordinate contact for the 50+schools and libraries that asked for AEV applications that have not yet applied.

    7. Tour of Orono Facilities for Maine School and Library Network. Tour included overview of MSLN web pages, data base, IP address tool, machine room, Network Operation Center and demonstration of Network Management System.

    Meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m.

    Next meeting will be on November 6, 1996 at the Maine State Library Conference Room, Augusta, Maine.