Executive Committee Meeting: November 10, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Thomas Bremer, Chair
Robbie LaFleur, Secretary
Adobe Connect URL: https://umconnect.umn.edu/ucec111011
Conference Call Phone Number: 507-389-1014
Attending: Dan Honetschlager, Dru Frykberg, Michael Kirby, Ann Schroeder, Barbara Fister, Kathy Parker, Becky Ringwelski, Bill Vann, Kathleen Ashe, Mary Parker, Kathy Parker, Cynthia Jorstad,Thomas Bremer, Rachel McGee, Bridget Reistad, Vi Bergquist, Pat Akerman
2) Amend/Adopt Agenda
3) Approve Minutes from September 8, 2011 Meeting
Barbara Fister moved, Michael Kirby seconded. Approved.
4) Election of Chair-Elect
Bill Van has agreed to serve as Chair-elect. Hearing no objections, the vote was unanimous.
5) FY 2013 User Fees Draft Document
There is an agreement about how the various factors in the formula are set. It is driven largely by MnSCU contributions. On average, the same 4% agreed to by MnSCU should be reflected in the other institutions. If a library crosses a tier threshold with the number of bib records, the amount is higher. The new figures will be in place in July, 2012. For MnSCU members, the libraries should be reimbursed 100% by the central office.
6) Director’s Update – Stephen Elfstrand
There have been interesting developments in the last couple of months.
Income has been received as expected. There have been a couple of Linker subscriptions. PALS has a couple of open positions, which always helps. They’ve contracted out the operation of their file server. They will likely break even, or even have a small surplus. This year the hardware has been adequate, but may need replacement in the next year or two. Are there open positions that are not being filled? “We’ll see how it goes,” Stephen said. The position for the file server will not be replaced, and one other. Unless the needs grow, they will remain two staff people down.
When Aleph hardware needs to be replaced that will create a budget imbalance. The trend-line of the budget reserves is going down. That’s bad, but it has been much improved over predictions in earlier years.
Todd is reporting to Mary Todd. His title has been changed from “Systems Director for Libraries” to “Systems Director for Academic Technology.” Half the people above Todd are new, acting, or interim, which makes it hard to predict future MNSCU priorities and vision.
PALS wants to be known as the premier source for Evergreen development in the Upper Midwest.
Towards the goal of being financially sustainable: there is a small deficit in FY11; PALS may have a slight surplus. Increased revenue from open source products has made a huge difference. Four positions have been open, two of which need to be filled. Longer term, there are deficit issues. They do have more ideas for saving money, including using open source software.
Site visits continue. Stephen will try to strengthen ties with CLIC. He is planning visiting several Twin Cities sites this winter; Greater Minnesota in the spring. Please let him know if you would like a visit.
They will only add staff if open source contracts mean added revenue can pay for more staff members.
They are concentrating on Aleph improvements that help the end user. They are doing training, including refresher courses. They are cooperating with the User Groups to set up annual workdays. There is no specific end-of-life for Aleph. U of M will be an early adopter of the new Aleph system, Alma. They already have the full suite of Ex Libris products. It may save them money, Stephen noted, running one system rather than several products.
Primo Central Index. It would be hard to match the hundreds of magazine lists in a locally-created product.
Nine libraries use the U of M SFX system now. It would be really great if one of those libraries could use that money (once SFX is no longer available from the U of M) to purchase LINKER. That would really help with LINKER development costs.
Becky Ringwelski: U of M also contracts for Verde. There is going to be an ILL component of Alma when it goes live in 2013.
Stephen mentioned that digital sets are being added to member libraries, like Films on Demand. With the central loading, updates don’t need to be made at each subscribing library, and the records don’t count towards each library’s Aleph bib count.
“Mobile MnPALS Plus” is set up for testing. You can start looking at it any time, and functionality will be turned on right after Thanksgiving. So far it’s just a “find a book” function; more capabilities will be added soon. Can it be set up to recognize your home library? They’ll work on that.
By next fall there should be a new version of MnPALS Plus based on a new underlying version of VuFind. They are hosting a VuFind instance for the Bridge libraries (Carleton and St. Olaf). One site covers both libraries.
There is not a lot of news on the Evergreen front. There are lots of nibbles for new purchasers around the region, and even from Washington DC. Evergreen has a new FulfILLment Project that ties disparate ILL systems together. They will investigate that.
They are investigating digital institutional repositories, Fedora with an Islandora front end. Possible demonstrations? Provide user discovery to the full text of state documents (LRL). There is a possible zine project, too.
Stephen is making a proposal to the MnSCU chancellor, offering a suite of services to be available system-wide to all students. He will propose combinations of open-source software with commercial databases. It may be impossible to duplicate the scope of a discovery database like Primo or Summon.
Tom: Could our next Executive Committee meeting be February 23, so Stephen can attend a meeting? DONE.
7) MnSCU Update – Todd Digby
Todd was not able to attend today; Stephen mentioned a few things earlier in the meeting.
8) Minitex Update – Bill DeJohn
Minnesota Digital Library. We have updated our Minnesota Reflections site and we are now running on CONTENTdm version 6.1 software which is easier to use and contains many new features:
The homepage for Minnesota Reflections now features a window that allows people to scroll through all of the contributing organization collections in this database.
Clicking on the collection name or on the thumbnail picture by the name will take users into the collection page. From there you may browse the individual collection. Patrons may also search either the entire collection from the homepage or search individual collections from their pages.
Zooming in on objects is now controlled by a slider above pictures, maps, and document pages. Moving around an image takes only a click and a drag of the object. New features include built-in commenting and tagging tools and easier to find information about each object.
Visitors to Minnesota Reflections may now easily browse a pre-selected set of 18 topics. On the right side of the new homepage, below the welcome message, is a list of frequently used topics. Click on a link to go to a results page on agriculture, crime and punishment, and more.
We have created tutorials for using the new Minnesota Reflections. Follow the links on the right side of the homepage to learn about "Browsing & Searching," "Viewing an object," "Special features" and "Advice on newspapers." In addition, we will be offering a live virtual overview (webinar) on the new features of Minnesota Reflections. Watch for announcements about this webinar, or check our training page.
Minitex provides Cost Savings/Cost Avoidance for MnSCU libraries. We are close to completing our FY11 cost saving calculation for libraries that receive Minitex services. We hope to send out individual reports later in November. For MnSCU libraries, our calculation shows a savings of over $20 million dollars when comparing ‘list price’ and actual ‘costs’ charged to libraries. Within that amount includes over $267,000 in subsidies from the Minitex state appropriations to lower library costs more for nursing, Project MUSE, and scholarly journals from Elsevier and American Chemistry Society. In addition, within that amount includes the licensing fees paid for ELM resources by Minitex with additional funds from the Minnesota Department of Education. Cost savings for private colleges and state government libraries are being calculated separately.
Resource Sharing Activity. In FY11, MnSCU libraries sent 50,971 requests for loans and copies to the Minitex Office and we filled 70% of those requests either from the University Libraries’ collections’ or through referrals to other libraries in the region. In addition, the Minitex Office referred 25,136 requests to MnSCU libraries for other libraries in the region and they filled 70% of those requests. Most of this material is traveling over the Minitex Delivery System or being scanned and delivered electronically.
It is of interest to the Minitex staff that requests from MnSCU libraries during FY11 were down 12% from FY10. This appears to be continuing during the first quarter of FY12 with a 26% decrease compared to the first quarter for FY11. Interlibrary loan requests appear to be down all over the region. However, we haven’t been able to determine a specific reason other than just a trend that began last year and is continuing.
Information for private colleges and state government libraries are calculated separately and will be distributed later this fall.
SFX from Ex Libris. As some of you know, Minitex arranged with the University of Minnesota Libraries to host eleven libraries on the University’s SFX server back in 2003. Of those eleven libraries, eight are members of MnPALS. With the University of Minnesota Libraries move to ALMA, a cloud solution, there will no longer be an SFX server available after June 2013. Minitex is currently working with these particular SFX libraries to help them identify alternatives to what they currently have. Ex Libris does have a hosted solution and PALS offers a similar product. In addition, there are other products available. It will be up to the libraries to decide what they want to do after June 2013.
My Retirement. I’ll include the following from an upcoming Minitex E-News being distributed this week. “… Since Minitex is a division of the University of Minnesota Libraries, Twin Cities, University Librarian Wendy Pradt Lougee will lead the selection process. She has informed the Minitex Policy Advisory Council that she plans to form a search committee this month, drawing membership from the Council and from other sources. The search will operate in accord with University recruitment policies and will be national in its reach. The committee will be advisory to the University Librarian and will recruit, interview, and evaluate a pool of candidates. ”
9) MnPALS Futures Interest Group Update – Michael Kirby
FIG had a conference call this week on Tuesday. They are planning a number of conference calls, open to anyone. Some upcoming ones:
December: on distance education and online education, how to help students who never visit the library.
February: Randi Madisen and (?) on bibliographic software like RefWorks and EndNotes, and how libraries are using them.
April: Keith Ewing on digital access management and tools.
Linda Richter offered to put up a page on the Wiki where people can post articles about student success and libraries. There was conversation about how libraries are being called on to demonstrate value.
10) User Council Report to the Executive Committee – Michael Kirby
They met earlier the same day. They reviewed user group meeting evaluations, which were generally positive. The location, Moorhead, was a plus or a negative, depending on driving time for individuals.
11) Consortium Strategic Plan – Tom Bremer
We haven’t tried to redraft the plan as a new Wiki document. One idea he suggested was to create a writing task force to draft a new version to be approved at the annual meeting.
Much of the document content still holds true. Robbie made the comment that the 2006 plan is difficult to revise, as it is comprised of sentence fragments.
Stephen commented that he would like the strategic plan to come from the membership. As the director of the central office, he doesn’t necessarily have the same concerns at all times.
Has Todd used the strategic plan in his negotiations? Linda noted that in the first years following the plan, it was brought up at subsequent meetings in order to monitor the elements of the action plan. Several changes were made as a result of the plan, including changing user group structure and the user group meetings.
A formal motion was not made, but the consensus was to invite additional participation and review of the plan from consortium members. We will continue to review the document and discuss it at the next meeting.
12) Discussion and future disposition of next generation library system
- How do we decide, who is involved in the decision, product analysis criteria, components to include, etc.
Members felt we need a committee, one for which we ask for membership – a call for volunteers would bring out those people most interested and knowledgeable.
Michael Kirby commented that we should visit this on a regular basis. Libraries are different in our needs, which should be taken into consideration when evaluating systems. Perhaps in the future it would be possible to support two systems – one for users of a very robust ILS and another for those libraries that need only certain aspects.
Robbie suggested that the options and current realities be examined at regular points, at each annual meeting.
A needs assessment is important, so it would be important to have members from different sorts of libraries on the committee.
Stephen. A needs assessment was done sixteen months ago, which may be dated. This year the report at the Annual Meeting, informed by his work with the Chancellor, will include financial scenarios for a suite of services for all MnSCU libraries.
Stephen is concerned that it should not be his analysis alone that drives the decision-making regarding a new system.
Motion (which passed): Issue a call for volunteers via the PALS Mailing Lists to move forward in considering a future ILS. The Executive Committee should ensure that representation is wide among types of libraries. Have a regularly-scheduled update at the Annual Meeting, with financial scenarios.
13) Planning for Annual Meeting
We will hear about Stephen’s proposals for a suite of library services to the MnSCU Chancellor.
If there are demos of products you would like to see, or areas you would like to investigate in more detail, Stephen would like to know.
2. Additions/Approval of the Agenda
3. Approve Minutes from September 8, 2011 Meeting
4. Election of Chair-Elect
5. FY 2013 User Fees Draft Document
6. PALS Director’s Update – Stephen Elfstrand
7. MnSCU Update – Todd Digby
8. Minitex Update – Bill DeJohn
9. MnPALS Futures Interest Group Update – Michael Kirby
10. User Council Report to the Executive Committee – Michael Kirby
11. Consortium Strategic Plan
12. Discussion and future disposition of next generation library system
- How do we decide, who is involved in the decision, product analysis criteria, components to include, etc.
13. Planning for Annual Meeting