User Council and Executive Committee Meetings September 13, 2012
7700 France Avenue South Suite C, Room 316 Edina, MN
Attendees: Kathleen Ashe, Thomas Bremer, Kevin McGrew, Kathy Parker, Randi Madisen, Bill Vann, Michael Kirby, Robbie LaFleur, Sarah Quimby, Bruce Willms, Todd Digby, Becky Ringwelski, Stephen Elfstrand, Linda Richter, Dan Honetschlager, Perry Madden, Trudy Bement, Simon Mai, Alex Kent
Funding plan for MnPALS increase went through. This is the last year of the current planning period, and they are looking to the next five-year plan. Working on that this fall. Weren’t successful in getting webscale delivery funding. Not much was funded in general. We don’t have the same sort of “common funding” situation as Valerie reported is available in Wisconsin. They are looking at various collaborative programs to fund services and shared campus work. IT realm called “service delivery strategy,” the same idea of sharing knowledge among campuses. For example, Winona has deep experience using Sharepoint, so if other campuses implement Sharepoint, they may pay Winona to provide expertise. They are looking at various shared revenue models. Been a year and two months since the new chancellor arrived. Haven’t been adding central staff. Budgets are being scrutinized. New Vice-chancellor came in at the same time as some other reorganization was happening. Right now academic technology people are in different units, and the new idea is to bring together the IT staff under a unified administrative unit. The interim head of this unit will be appointed in a week or two. Todd is working on increased visibility for library technology projects. Doing fiscal planning for PALS in the next few months. Todd noted that there aren’t a lot of complaints about PALS!
Comments on the upcoming legislative session. MnSCU is looking for a funding increase and increased support for the state. There is a move to add more baccalaureate education in the metro area. The presidents are getting together to discuss possibilities. There is a new board of trustees; half of the board is brand new. With new appointees by a democratic governor, will there be changes?
Director's Report - Stephen Elfstrand
Hired Simon Mai, Tech Staff, and Alex Kent, Support Staff, and are in the process of hiring another support person.
MnPALS Plus and VuFind. Most of the work is done on the mobile site. Only a couple of things aren’t available on the new MnPALS Plus. You can’t change your password, and the course reserve module is not yet available. It should be available by spring semester. There are a couple of interesting new features on the new version, including a call number search and browse function. Next summer the old one will go away. The MnPALS Plus Working Group should meet soon.
The new version of Aleph should cause no problems; extensive testing has been done.
Simon is working on a new interface for the booking module, a much nicer looking one. Testing is happening this fall, and it may be available by spring.
Working on improvements to the Aleph authentication system, looking at creating a tie between campus email addresses and the authentication service. It’s being tested. If you are using LDAP or another type of standard authentication system, PALS may call to ask if you want to test this. This means that you don’t have to use a bar code to enter an ILL request.
They are running “expired patrons” lists, trying to get rid of graduated students.
There will be reindexing late this fall. They need the recommendations of the Indexing Task Force. Adam noted that it should be discussed at User Group and recommendations would be available the day following.
Minnesota State, Mankato is buying millions of dollars of new storage equipment, and PALS is benefiting. Their maintenance costs are very reasonable.
Mobile site. Kathleen Ashe asked PALS to develop a mobile interface to tie into their campus website. The initial round is a stand alone app, but it could be integrated further. The interface includes subject guides, find an article, chat page, etc. PALS could do the same thing for other libraries. It was done in fairly straightforward html and jquery.
Linker. Stephen recently visited people at Simon Fraser University, where LINKER was developed. Unfortunately, PALS was not able to lure any SFX customers to the PALS LINKER.
Evergreen. ECRL is planning to go for the new version of Evergreen. PALS has been contacted by a dozen prospects. Lots of nibbles, including three metro area libraries. Evergreen business is growing, bit by bit.
Islandora. Linda and Alex are doing a presentation on repositories at MLA. They have not started any pilot projects yet.
Financials. (Spreadsheet distributed) Income was a little above expected. The expenses were lower than budgeted because of open positions. Travel expenses were down, despite many trips to ND, SD, and conferences and libraries. They are putting money in a capital account, as it seems prudent. MnSCU might be unwilling or unable to fund capital requests on short-term notice. Even if a new system is chosen in the future, we would still need equipment to run Aleph during a transition period.
Projections. It’s hard to know whether there will be increased income from Evergreen installations. Projections seem fairly stable. There are expected rises in expenditures, for health insurance, for example. We should put aside money in anticipation of the change to an updated ILS.
Looking at long-term funding, and the possibility that the reserve fund will diminish. What could be done? We could buy services off the cloud, rather than purchasing hardware, but the services still need staffing for maintenance. “If we’re prudent about the next generation ILS,” Stephen noted, we could just use the reserve fund to buy it for everyone. “I don’t think the next gen systems are ready for the next year or two.” Stephen is very interested in opinions about PALS self-funding the development of a new ILS.
Question: So how come PALS is allowed to have a reserve fund when most state agencies have to spend all their funds? Todd explained it’s because PALS is categorized as an auxiliary enterprise.
Futures Interest Group - Michael Kirby
Three conference call discussions are planned. Randi Madisen, discussion about lending e-readers, November 13. Sarah Quimby, discussion about RDA planning. Michael Kirby, discussion about social media.
New director! Valerie Horton. She’ll be a great addition to the region, Becky said. She will start in early December.
Minitex stats show they have the most filled requests in their entire history. Over 50% were delivered from the U of M collections, and many electronically. The U of M licensing staff are working with publishers to open up e-delivery options.
Minitex/MnLINK Conference, November 15. It is geared toward all libraries. Clifford Lynch is starting the day, talking about ebooks. OCLC discussion of Worldshare. There will be four breakout sessions in the afternoon. Fall trials are coming out soon.
User Council Report - Michael Kirby
Elections to the User Council will be held at the User Group meeting. They are beginning to plan the User Group workdays for the spring. Planning for the User Group meeting for 2013, it would be nice to coordinate with the Aleph Upper Midwest User Group (UMWUG). It will likely be held somewhere in the Twin Cities.
We would also like to like to continue the format of today’s meeting – to have the User Council meeting and a joint presentation of reports.
Election of Chair-Elect
At the Annual Meeting, Robbie LaFleur volunteered to be the Secretary. We need a chair-elect.
Michael Kirby was nominated in the spring. The group came to the consensus that there would not be a conflict of interest in serving both as the User Council chair and the EC chair. Michael was nominated and elected by acclaim.
The Governance Structure. The community/technical category will be discussed at the November conference call. Changes would need to be made at the Annual Meeting.
MnPALS Future ILS Task Force - Bruce Willms
The group met by phone last week. The group will use the PALS wiki as a forum for distributing information they collect about various systems. They have seven systems to investigate and there are 14 members on the task force, so that is approximately 2 per system for investigation. Questions and considerations brought up on the first call: Does one size fit all, or should more than one system be chosen? What is the scalability of the systems? We are unlikely to get a “huge chunk of change” for a new system; how will that affect the decision? Could we limp along for another five years, delay the decision? What if the MARC format goes away? The plan at this point is to begin gathering information on systems. They will have another conference call in October. Linda said that there was discussion of doing a needs assessment of the member libraries. There was a needs assessment done about three years ago, which could either be updated, or used as a base.
Webscale Discovery Task Force
They met, worked on a charge that is on the wiki. Some libraries feel that a discovery tool is not really needed, that teaching the use of various databases has value. Yet, Stephen noted, experience in many libraries has shown that using a discovery tool has greatly increased the use of some little-known resources. Bruce said he’s read that about Lexis-Nexis. Kevin noted that Reference Universe is used much more with a discovery tool. Bruce noted that 68% of their students come from other MnSCU two-year schools. Having the same interface and resources would be really helpful for them. Stephen feels there is some urgency to act before many individual libraries choose separate systems. Stephen noted what Valerie said in the morning presentation, that they discovered that the products were roughly similar; it all came down to money.
The EC adopted the charge as presented on the PALS wiki.
Planning for the Annual Meeting
If you have ideas for great content for the Spring 2013 meeting, please bring them up at the November meeting.
1. Introductions; appoint recorder 2. Amend/Adopt Agenda 3. Approve Minutes from February 23, 2012 UC Meeting 4. Fall 2012 User Group Meeting 5. Workday Planning for 2013 6. Fall 2013 User Group Meeting 7. Aleph v.21 8. UC Report to the EC 9. Other/Adjourn
Break for User Council, Arriving EC Members, and Interested DDCs
“Selecting a Web Scale Discovery Service for a State-Wide Academic Consortium: the Wisconsin Experience”
Valerie Malzacher, Director, UW River Falls Chalmer Davee Library Chair, Council of University of Wisconsin Librarians(CUWL) Committee on Web–scale Discovery
Question and Answer Period with Valerie Malzacher
Lunch (on your own; cafeteria on site for your convenience)
1. Introductions 2. Additions/Approval of the Agenda 3. Approve Minutes from February 23, 2012 EC Meeting 4. UC Report to the EC - Michael Kirby 5. Election of Chair-Elect Position 6. Consortium Strategic Plan 7. Governance Structure 8. MnPALS Future ILS Task Force 9. Webscale Discovery Task Force 10. Planning for the Annual Meeting