Consortium of MnPALS Libraries
Deans, Directors, and Coordinators
Thursday, April 17, 2014
Atwood Memorial Center
St. Cloud State University
Voyageurs North (2nd Floor)
Michael Kirby, Executive Committee Chair
Sarah Quimby, Secretary
Present: Brenda Besser (Inver Hills Community College), Vi Bergquist (St. Cloud Technical & Community College), Bonnie Boese (Anoka-Ramsey Community College, Cambridge), Todd Digby (MnSCU System Office), Stephen Elfstrand (PALS), Brittney Goodman (Minnesota State University Moorhead), Thomas Bremer (Winona State University), Carrie Curie (PALS), Trudy Bement (PALS), Dan Honetschlager (PALS), Johnna Horton (South Central College, North Mankato), Valerie Horton (Minitex), Alex Kent (PALS), Michael Kirby (Dakota County Technical College), Elizabeth Lincoln (Minnesota Legislative Reference Library), Adam Marsnik (Normandale Community College), Kevin McGrew (College of St. Scholastica), Kathy Parker (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University), Jim Parsons (College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University), Laura Probst (Concordia College), Sarah Quimby (Minnesota Historical Society), Linda Richter (PALS), Kimberly Sy (Normandale Community College), Mark Vargas (St. Cloud State University), Jane Young (Century College)
Present (via web): Kathleen Ashe (Southwest Minnesota State University), Cynthia Jorstad (Northland CTC, Thief River Falls), Bridget Reistad (Lake Superior College), Joan Roca (Minnesota State University, Mankato), Pam Sukalski (Southwest Minnesota State University), Jennie Simning (Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park), Dave Bisonette (Central Lakes College), Deb Domek (PALS), Dee Nolan (PALS), Diane Pollock (University Center, Rochester), Sonja Eilertson (PALS), Susan Dueis (PALS)
1. Welcome – Michael Kirby, User Council and Executive Committee Chair
The Agenda and the Minutes from the April 18, 2013 Meeting were approved.
Michael gave an update on the activities of the MnPALS Futures Interest Group, which included collaborating with the Academic and Research Libraries Division of the Minnesota Library Association to host a conference call on popular reading collections.
The Future ILS Task Force has been surveying the functionalities of current ILS on the market and keeping the data in a spreadsheet at: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kqdsFH6P55xnM9UCzSCGlKyPcs8kyO_-_Oue_qx6XJw/edit?usp=drive_web
During its most recent conference call, the Future ILS Task Force discussed assessing the current and projected future needs of consortium libraries as a first step in developing the requirements for the consortium’s next ILS. The TF decided that working through the user groups--perhaps starting at the 2014 Fall User Group meeting--would be the best way of distinguishing mission-critical from “nice-to-have” ILS functionalities.
Stephan Elfstrand began the director’s report by announcing some personnel changes at the PALS office. Al Rykhus has retired, and Deb Domek has assumed all server admin responsibilities for ALEPH, including the upgrades and indexing. PALS is searching for a developer position to work on VuFind, and is also looking for an expert at Drupal and user interfaces.
Elfstrand then presented the PALS financials through March 31, 2014. Personnel expenses are down a bit due to the number of open positions; there might even be a small surplus this year. PALS has been contributing to two capital accounts: one to replace the ALEPH hardware, the second for purchasing the next generation library system. Elfstrand added that “if you’ve seen the next gen library quotes, it’s not nearly enough.” There is a 3% increase in user fees this year.
The director’s report showed a projection through FY17 of income and expenses. PALS earned some income from the Islandora project and Linker, although Linker customers are now moving to Summon. ODIN has moved from VuFind to Primo. According to Elfstrand, PALS has been doing well by spending below its means, but the server hardware will need to be replaced soon. PALS has been delaying the hardware replacement for awhile now, but they may finally have to do it in FY15.
Elfstrand then reviewed the quotes that PALS has received from OCLC and Ex Libris for next generation library systems. One-time setup costs average out at 2 million dollars; 5-year lifecycle costs are 5-6 million dollars, although they also include a discovery layer and electronic resources management system. Elfstrand mentioned that only OCLC and Ex Libris are in a position right now to provide quotes for a next gen library system, and pointed out that even though OCLC’s quote was 40% higher than Ex Libris’s quote, libraries would still have to pay the same expenses for cataloging and other OCLC services. He believes that once PALS goes through the RFP process and the products age, the price is likely to go down. One benefit of choosing either of these products is that PALS will not need server administrators or programmers, since OCLC or Ex Libris would handle all of the setup and maintenance. However, the cost will run into the millions a year, which is more than the consortium is currently paying for the ALEPH system.
Elfstrand then highlighted several new and potential partnerships. PALS is currently hosting Minitex ILL until Alma’s ILL functionality is online, and the DEED Library may be getting the library collection from the State Services for the Blind. The SSB might be a sublibrary of the DEED library, and PALS is working to convert their homegrown data into a format that can be converted to MARC and matched to OCLC records. Leech Lake Tribal College is also hoping to become part of the PALS consortium, the first new member since the consortium migrated to ALEPH. According to Elfstrand, the library doesn’t have a huge collection, but wants its patrons to have access to the larger PALS catalog and pool of lenders. LLTC will be migrating from Follett Destiny to ALEPH. PALS is currently planning to upgrade ALEPH from v.21 to v.22 in September or December. There are no major functionality changes in v.22, but the upgrade may have to be pushed back a bit depending on how the LLTC migration goes.
Some other updates: the Summon discovery system is going well, and most people seem to be happy with it. PALS is responding to a few RFPs in Minnesota for the Evergreen system. Linda Richter and Rod Bruce went to the Kuali OLE days to learn more about the system. Interestingly, Kuali doesn’t just want to run library software, but is developing a whole suite of business enterprise software, which is a new take on next generation library systems. Michael Kirby asked what the 5-year costs would be for Kuali OLE: $50,000-$100,000/year? Elfstrand responded that it would be something like that, and the consortium would be considered part of the development team, unlike with Evergreen, which has another whole consortium dedicated to its development. Vi Bergquist asked who the early adopters for Kuali OLE were? Elfstrand named a few: Villanova, Illinois, University of Pennsylvania.
PALS is still running VuFind, and once a programmer is hired they will be migrating to 2.0, the next version. Adam Marsnik asked if the programmer will do anything about statistical collection, and Richter replied that the programmer’s position also specifies expertise with web analytics. Elfstrand discussed the Summon discovery service, and added that he would love to broaden the number of Summon customers, since PALS is just about breaking even right now. PALS has also completed a successful beta test for Islandora for MCAD and SMSU and would like to build on this success by getting more Islandora customers. PALS is also looking into open publishing: open conferences, open journals, and open textbooks.
Elfstrand wrapped up the director’s report by praising the PALS staff, crediting them for the great and effective service that they are able to provide, and discussed getting librarians involved in the MnSCU chancellor’s “Charting the Future” initiative.
Horton began the Minitex update by thanking PALS for hosting Minitex ILL while the University of Minnesota finishes its conversion to Alma. “PALS has been our hero on this,” she said, and noted that resource sharing statistics have been holding flat during this period. Horton also thanked those PALS librarians who are on the Task Force for the ELM RFP, and mentioned that Minitex will know in May what the ELM database suite will be.
The AskMN project is really taking off, with 43 libraries participating. Other highlights include the number of CPERS customers (615 in 3 states); 1.5 million items in the MLAC storage facility from 25 libraries, and the number of people reached at conferences and webinars last year.
Horton continued the update by highlighting the Minnesota Digital Library and Minnesota Reflections. The MDL has 150 participating organizations, over 186,000 digital objects representing the culture and history of Minnesota. The governance structure has been broadened to include Minitex, the University of Minnesota, and the Minnesota Historical Society; the MDL has also begun working with the Digital Public Library of America and is also talking to the Minnesota Institute of Arts, the Minnesota Historical Society, and TPT, all of which have large digital collections that are currently siloed. Horton also speculated on the possibility of synergizing with PALS on the creation of digital content. Minitex has also received a Gates Foundation grant to increase the number of public libraries contributing to the MDL: the grant will allow Minitex to do more one-on-one work with libraries on selection, digitization, and the creation of metadata. What makes the MDL unique nation-wide is that they can do long-term preservation of the digital files by collaborating with the University of Minnesota.
Horton finished the Minitex update by discussion the ongoing strategic planning effort and Minitex’s funding structure, both of which are available on the Minitex website.
Digby began by discussing staffing at the MnSCU office. John O’Brien is the new Vice Chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs, and Linda Milne is the new Associate Vice Chancellor of ASA. A new position is being posted for a senior system director for educational innovations, which will oversee faculty training. People are starting to be named to implementation groups for the “Charting the Future” initiative, and the system office is waiting to see where libraries fit within the reconfigured office before aligning their workplans. In other news, enrollment at MnSCU institutions has declined, which affects PALS funding. Digby also discussed the contract with MAPE, which was settled before the MnSCU budget was settled, and which “kind of put MnSCU in the hole.” This also has the potential to affect PALS funding, but at least the budget will remain flat this year. Digby will push for an increase next year.
Digby continued by highlighting a number of the projects in his area, such as open education resources like open textbooks (part of a legislative mandate this year). He would love to see more libraries involved with open textbook issues. Digby also discussed some of the accessibility issues with MediaSpace as well as Media Space’s statistics and analytics. Thomas Bremer asked if the legislature would provide funds to cover MnSCU’s shortfall next year, like they did this year? What happens if MnSCU can’t get an increase in the budget--will less money be allocated to campuses? Digby replied that the bill to fund MnSCU will be going to conference committee after the legislative break, and we would know more in a few weeks. Linda Richter asked if there was a push from the MnSCU office to move services to the cloud, or to continue hosting services. Digby replied that there was currently no push--MnSCU is still hosting its student and course management software--and we will have to see what the view is going forward. MnSCU does have a new CIO, and a decision will have to be made by 2016 if hosting its own system is worth it.
3. Islandora Demo - Linda Richter and Alex Kent, PALS Office; Pam Sukalski, Southwest Minnesota State University
Linda Richter and Alex Kent gave a presentation on Islandora (Power Point pdf), an open source digital content management system. Richter gave an overview of PALS’s involvement with Islandora; Kent highlighted its many features; and Sukalski showed off Southwest Minnesota State University’s digital collections in Islandora.
There were a number of questions from the group. Stephen Elfstrand asked if a specific object can be part of several objects, and Adam Marsnik asked if a user can link to objects. Kent answered yes to both questions, and Marsnik followed up by asking if the link can be proxied. Kent replied that access can be restricted down to the data stream level. Additional questions were about hosting the digital materials (PALS hosts the digital objects), digitizing videos (PALS can upload files from the original DVD, and derivatives are created automatically), costs (fees are based on FTE students/patrons and storage, with a one-time cost to set up and configure Islandora, and an annual hosting fee), and usage statistics (“anything you can do with Drupal, you can do with Islandora.”)
4. Goals for PALS and the Executive Committee for 2014-2015
Community College Libraries: Cynthia Jorstad, Bridget Reistad
Technical College Libraries: Michael Kirby, Vi Bergquist (incoming chair)
Private College and University Libraries: Kevin McGrew, Rachel McGee, and Kathy Parker (alternate)
State University Libraries: Mark Vargas (chair elect), Kathleen Ashe (alternate)
Chair-Elect (Mark Vargas)
Secretary (Sarah Quimby)
A motion was made to approve the new and continuing Executive Committee members and officers and was seconded. The motion passed.
September 18 at 7700 France Avenue South
November 13 (web)
February 12 (web)
April 16 Annual Meeting at 7700 France Avenue South
5. Kuali OLE Virtual Demo - Patty Dwyer Wanninger and Robert McDonald
Robert McDonald gave a presentation called “Kuali OLE: A next-generation ILS partnership” Power Point (pdf). Kuali OLE is a community source next generation library management system developed through a partnership of research libraries and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Patty D. Wanninger gave a demo of a test system at: https://kuali.org/portal.do. Some of the highlights of the OLE system are that it supports a number of different standards like Dublin Core and MARC, and that multiple bibliographic records can be linked to a single item. Laura Probst asked if there was a way to tie OLE back to university financial systems; McDonald replied that it might be possible with Kuali RICE, although most people aren’t going that way. If you have any other questions you can contact Robert McDonald at email@example.com.
6. ILS Migration Discussion
The meeting split into four groups to discuss the questions on a handout that Michael Kirby provided (handout pdf). One group suggested that another assessment of the consortium should be carried out, to determine what functionalities were mission critical, and how each library’s strategic plan could inform the choice of ILS. The cost of a new system was the topic of much discussion, with several people asking if it were possible to get a five-year breakdown of costs for staffing and hardware for each system, and particularly comparing the staffing/software/maintenance costs for running an open source versus a hosted system. Stephen Elfstrand replied that there was a lot that still is not clear, especially how much time will be saved with a new system, what the staff savings would be, or even what hardware will cost 3 years from now. Perhaps a scenario could be put together based on “squishy numbers”? Elfstrand pointed out that Alma currently costs as much as the entire budget of PALS, and Vi Bergquist asked where the money will come from, if we were to buy a hosted system? Thomas Bremer thought that the consortium couldn’t self-finance it; we would have to go to the Legislature for an appropriation.
The last group to report liked the idea of having all functions (ERM, Linker, Discovery) in one system: it would be both more efficient and more effective. If the entire consortium went with such a system, all libraries would have the same functionality as large libraries, unless the costs were much greater than they are now. Nobody liked the idea of losing PALS staff in return for a hosted system, since PALS knows the libraries. Perhaps that could be a negotiating point: if PALS takes on more of the support and maintenance, the costs of a hosted system would be reduced?
7. Tours of the SCSU Library
Mark Vargas led a tour of the St. Cloud State University Library.
The meeting was adjourned at the end of the tour.
Sarah Quimby, Secretary
Adobe Connect Session: https://umconnect.umn.edu/annualmtg041714/
Dial-In Phone Number: 507-389-1014
9:00 Welcome – Michael Kirby, User Council and Executive Committee Chair
10:45 Islandora Demo - Linda Richter and Alex Kent, PALS Office; Pam Sukalski, Southwest Minnesota State University
11:30 Goals for PALS and the Executive Committee for 2014-2015
12:00 Lunch (Buffet Provided by PALS)
1:00 Kuali OLE Virtual Demo - Patty Dwyer Wanninger and Robert McDonald
1:45 ILS Migration Discussion
2:20 Tours of the SCSU Library – Mark Vargas and tour guides
© A Program of the colleges and universities of Minnesota State