1. MnPALS Futures Interest Group Update – Michael Kirby
Michael Kirby opened the meeting and gave the Futures Interest Group report. The MnPALS FIG met on September 9 via conference call and determined the discussion topics for the upcoming year. Keith Ewing will be talking about archiving and repositories. A possible session for the User Group, on how reference librarians put themselves where the students are, was also discussed.
2. Minitex Update – Valerie Horton
The Minitex update was given by Valerie Horton, who began by discussing resource sharing. Minitex is hoping to bring up a discovery layer in January and is interested in how having a discovery layer on top of MnLINK will affect resource sharing. Usage statistics are available here.
Other news items is the re-naming of the metadata unit to DIME (Digital Initiatives & Metadata) and the re-branding of the MDL, Minitex, and the MnLINK logo. MDL is adding collections from seven different organizations, and will start adding other, non-Minnesota-related collections, largely through the University of Minnesota. MDL also has a new communications portal and Minitex is looking for feedback on it.
ELM instruction continues to be steady. Much of it is at the K-12 level, but Minitex continues to see substantial increases in searches. ELM recently added LearningExpress, a new product.
Minitex has also begun a two-year pilot, funded by LSTA, to collect and provide access to e-books published by Minnesota publishers. The e-books will be on the Biblio platform.
3. MnPALS Future ILS Task Force Update & Discussion – Johnna Horton
The Task Force met 8 times over the summer by conference call, with additional meetings held by functional area subgroups to work on the draft RFP. The PALS staff worked on the technical requirements. The Task Force studied RFPs from other organizations, and several--especially the Orbis Cascade ILS RFP--were very influential. During the editing phase, where all the functional area requirements were merged, the decision was made to keep the requirements at a high level and use many of the more detailed requirements as part of the scoring rubric. The final version of the draft will be send out a month ahead of the User Group in November. The target date for publicly issuing the RFP is late November. Vendor demos will be held in February/March; comments and reviews will be held in March, after which the Task Force hopes to make a recommendation to the Deans, Directors, and Coordinators group, with a vote on the award to be held at the annual meeting. Negotiation is projected to occur in May or June. July 2017 is the target date for full production on the new system.
A motion was made to request that PALS or MnSCU System Office communicate with campus administrators to encourage them to provide overloads of a reasonable amount, given the extra work involved with migration. Todd Digby replied that the System Office will communicate with chief academic officers about the time and money required to migrate. The motion passed.
A motion was made to thank the Future ILS Task Force for their work to date. The motion passed.
4. MnSCU Update – Todd Digby
Digby reported that he is working with Kim Lynch, the Senior System Director for Academic Innovation, to communicate the need for a next gen library system. Digby also mentioned that there were ongoing discussions about accounting and library acquisitions systems, database licensing (are they IT resources, or merely subscriptions?), and the challenges and opportunities of working with peer organizations. There will also be an assessment of the Lib Data product.
The Open Textbooks Initiative will be continuing and expanded in the upcoming year; the results from the past year were really good. The initiative could potentially save $300K a year in textbook costs. There will be some grants available for local open-textbook projects; the call for proposals should be released in about a month.
The System Office is doing the final interviews for a system director for innovative teaching and learning. Digby finished his report by saying that he would love to see more librarians on campus educational technology teams, so that MnSCU could engage with them.
5. Director’s Update – Stephen Elfstrand
Elfstrand began by announcing some staff changes: Susan Dueis and Trudy Bement have retired, and Amanda Eekhoff has been hired as the new administrative assistant.Carrie Curie will be taking over for the circulation-related and course reserves functionality; Alex Kent will be moving over to Islandora admin and the cataloging functionality position will be advertised soon. Elfstrand mentioned that he is hoping to recruit more people with MLS degrees to the team.
Elfstrand then announced officially that St. John’s/St. Ben’s will be leaving the consortium as of FY17 to use OCLC Worldshare Management. There will not be a fiscal impact this year, but it will be felt next year. Elfstrand noted the disturbing trend of losing non-MnSCU entities.
There is an ALEPH service pack that will be installed soon; re-indexing will happen in November. A VuFind update was rolled out “a little while ago”; PALS has also updated VuFind for the Bridge consortium, although Bridge is migrating to Alma/Primo.
In response to questions: the MnSCU policy for money in reserve is 5.1%.
The financial report was approved.
6. User Council Report to the Executive Committee
The User Council report was given by Michael Kirby. The planning for the annual User Group meeting will start next week. Currently the User Council is looking for ways of making the business meeting longer due to the RFP discussion. He also reported that the joint workdays of last spring went very well. Potential topics for workdays include database cleanup and inventory.
Elfstrand noted that database cleanup is always good; PALS also has talked about providing staff to help libraries with database cleanup. A question was asked if Minitex was going to have a session on OCLC reclamation, and Valerie Horton said that she’d send an e-mail to the list.
7. Next Generation Library System: further discussion
Elfstrand noted that PALS has a substantial reserve and has also been talking to MnSCU about it. A draft future ILS funding plan should be done in time for User Group. There may also be some changes to the funding formula.
8. Planning for the Annual Meeting
Thursday, April 14, 2016 – 7700 France Avenue South, Edina
Elfstrand mentioned that it will be up to the Deans, Directors, and Coordinators group to authorize an RFP to go forward. Johnna Horton said that the final vote should be taken at the annual meeting, but there should be an open comment period online beforehand, since it will be tough to hash it all out at the annual meeting. November 19 is the next executive committee meeting, and hopefully there will be an additional Deans, Directors, and Coordinators meeting to discuss it. The possibility of collecting written feedback beforehand was discussed.
A discussion followed about who would have the final approval of the RFP and the recommendation for the next gen ILS. Linda Richter pointed out that the Deans, Directors and Coordinators created the Future ILS Task Force, and the Executive Committee authorized the Deans, Directors and Coordinators. The Executive Committee should be the last stop before the RFP goes to MnSCU, after the Deans, Directors, and Coordinators vote on it. Johnna Horton said that the November 19 meeting of the Executive Committee will be online; she will ask the Deans, Directors, and Coordinators to join the call. The final vendor recommendation will be presented at the annual meeting.
There was a short digression about communicating with campus presidents and CFOs about the important role that libraries play in student retention and grades.
The meeting was adjourned at 2:05pm.
Joint UC/EC Reports
10:45 am – 12:00 pm
MnPALS Future ILS Task Force Update & Discussion – Johnna Horton
MnPALS Futures Interest Group Update – Michael Kirby