Todd discussed library budgets. Normal MnSCU allocations that would have gone out on July 1 will be going out this week. Those who have new CFOs can contact Todd if there are questions.
Office of the Chancellor changes: a new chancellor and a new interim vice-chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Larry Litecky, former President of Century College. Larry is a good library supporter, according to Bill DeJohn. "He doesn't mince words," Todd added. Associate Vice-Chancellor for Teaching and Learning is Mary Rothchild. Some changes are due to reorganization; some are due to budget constraints. Todd still has his library duties, plus some others. He is playing a large part in the media streaming project.
It's already time to talk with management about future budget needs. 1.5 million dollar cut this year.
PALS Director’s Update - Stephen Elfstrand
Stephen noted that committee assignments for the MnSCU Leadership Team will be made soon; if your college president is on a committee, you may be tapped to speak with that person.
One goal is to become the premier Evergreen service provider, but of course we already ARE, since we are the only provider. Stephen feels that Evergreen will be increasingly important in the future.
PALS received increased funding, and additional revenue came from the proxy server, PALSconnect Linker, and PALSconnect ERM.
At some point in the next few years PALS will have to decide what to do about the huge Aleph servers. A few years ago we spent about $400,000 on Aleph servers.
The good news is that we are still solvent for a couple more years. The reason we are still doing well is increased funding from MnSCU, but also our increasing sales of services and products. PALS is spending less on office space. They used to have their own file server and now hire it out to Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Aleph v21 will be coming out in December; no plans for installation yet. Ex Libris predicts no end of life for Aleph at this point.
They have not created a mobile-friendly site yet for MnPALS Plus, but plan to work on it this fall.
They have an IMLS grant to help encourage public libraries to implement Evergreen.
They are looking at Fedora/Islandora for a digital management product. It is based on other open content systems, including Drupal. The data in Fedora is stored in flat files, so that the data can be read in many systems. It could include data from floppy disks or a hard drive. This is envisioned as a campus-wide system, not just for library information. You can get more detail on the MnPALS blog (just go to the web site to get to the blog.)
Stephen sent a message to the new chancellor. He used language of a "common systems approach," because we don't know whether a discovery system to serve students and faculty would be a vended, purchased system, or a system designed by PALS based on open source software. Basically, it is a plan to build discovery capacity in all the libraries and make it less dependent on the financial capacity of the individual libraries. It will be a long-term selling job to inform management about what library technology is necessary for students and how it should be implemented. And there's always the argument that UW is marching ahead of us, Stephen noted.
Stephen created a spreadsheet showing the costs of Aleph Direct, Primo Central, BX and SFX - with some setup by PALS or all setup by PALS. It's all very preliminary.
If we had Aleph via the cloud, we would forgo expenses of servers, Oracle licenses, and more. He noted that there are problems; he calculated the figures for the whole consortium, but would all libraries want the full suite?
Getting these quotes is sort of a baseline for planning for the future. Stephen's inclination is to not "turn our whole fate to some company." Perhaps we can develop our own products, though they wouldn't have all the bells and whistles of the polished commercial products.
Minitex Update - Bill DeJohn
It's their 40th anniversary!
Budget: some cuts, some money coming in from Legacy funds. MULS is no longer funded, nor the back-up reference service. They cancelled the subsidy for the American Chemical Society. They are still supporting EBSCO databases and databases for academic libraries, and ILL. ELM4You portal has been redesigned. Bill talked about the increasing emphasis on links between K-12 and higher ed. He finished on a somewhat negative note about the issues of future funding, but this year they are celebrating the anniversary.
MnPALS Futures Interest Group Update - Michael Kirby
The FIG will continue to offer conference calls like last year. This year in November there will be a conference call on the future of distance education and how it will affect libraries. Another call will be on student success - how it's defined; is there a way to measure how libraries contribute to student success.
(Larry Schwartz comment) ROI is a buzz phrase popular with administrators. For every person who talks about its importance, there is another who says it is a canard. Retention and recruitment are an important concern of the MSU president, Stephen said. Michael will bring it back to the Futures Interest Group for more planning.
Possible Merger of the State Government Libraries and the Special Libraries Group
Has there been a decision? No, Robbie reported, although the issue was raised and discussed last spring. CALCO final approval would be done next spring at the Deans/Directors meeting, whatever the decision.
The plan was adopted in 2006. How should we proceed? Last September we noted the plan existed and should look at it. In February we examined it again, but left any decisions about what to do to a future meeting. Should the Consortium have a plan? It's not easy to create.
Put it on November agenda. It will be posted on the PALS Wiki, in sections. That is assigned homework! When reading the 2006 plan, suggest new strategies, or identify tasks that are accomplished, or irrelevant. It can't be "this is great." Everyone has the responsibility to look at it and comment. Don't wait until November 9!
Planning for the Annual Meeting
We may have some bylaw changes coming up for next spring. Stephen and Linda noted that there might be a demonstration of Islandora, if there is a project.
Tom Bremer noted that we need a new chair-elect. We will solicit behind the scenes and by email and put it on the November agenda.