Executive Director’s Annual Report 2007
LION continues to be a dynamic, forward looking organization. We started the year still in the early phases of our implementation of the Millennium ILS, continuing to refine our procedures and workflows as well as enhancing our public presentation. In the Spring we began a new project, downloadable audio books. During the year we pursued new member initiatives. And we close the year with the implementation of a major enhancement to the public catalog.
SYSTEMS AND PROJECTS
The Millennium Integrated Library System performed well throughout the year. The hardware and software were able to handle the load of the full LION consortium plus the demands of the public access catalog. We completed the III training in the areas of acquisitions and serials. Four libraries began to use the acquisitions system with the fiscal control accounting units. By the end of the year we were ready to bring other libraries into acquisitions as well, allowing them to link orders directly to vendors like Baker & Taylor and Brodart. We enhanced the public catalog by adding special lists like best sellers, new acquisitions, and most requested titles. A statistics committee was convened to codify the methodology for generating common reports and statistics. LION became a beta test site for the new III Web Management Reports.
DOWNLOADABLE AUDIO BOOKS
In the Spring, Overdrive was selected as the vendor of downloadable audio books, with all LION libraries participating. After basic setup, implementation, and training, we went into production in August. The project has been quite successful with over 2000 downloads to date. We have a selection committee and add 20 or more titles per month.
NEW MEMBER INITITIATIVES
We met with three libraries in 2007 to discuss the possibility of joining LION. Old Saybrook quickly decided to remain with their status quo, and the Bethany library appears to be too small to be a good fit for us. The Case Memorial Library, of Orange, requested a proposal, and after various meetings and discussions, they decided to leave the LEAP consortium and join LION. They will become full members in July 2008.
LiBRARY THING FOR LIBRARIES
In the Fall we began looking at Library Thing for Libraries (LTFL). It is a public catalog enhancement that offers additional subject access plus recommendations of similar titles. After testing LTFL on or test PAC, we decided that we wanted to implement it in production. We will be doing so before the end of the year.
Fiscal year 2008 was the first year of the replacement strategy for the 300 PCs that were purchased for LION three years ago. We decided to pursue a four year cycle, and thus “replaced” approximately one quarter of the PCs and installed 79 new Dell computers.
The CEN network has been very reliable for us. The LION staff has continued to upgrade components (Spam Filter, Thin Clients, central servers, etc) and maintain all of the existing equipment to keep the libraries online and in service.
Again, the day to day administrative functions for LION have changed little this year. Our long-time auditor, George Duffy, left us this year, and we have retained Michael Solakian in that role.
I am happy to say that there has been no change in the LION staff this year. In my first full year at LION, I helped with III in the areas of acquisitions and the public catalog. I was the primary staff on the Overdrive project. I met with the librarians at Orange, Old Saybrook, and Bethany to discuss their possible memberships. The Associate Director, Andy Gardner, continued to oversee the III project. He streamlined much of the initial setup to improve the functionality. After attending Load Profile Training, Andy is able to perform custom record loading for us, giving us another level of flexibility. Andy and Karan Conover, our cataloger, engage in continuing cleanup operations on our database,
Karan’s work also included editing, upgrading and withdrawing well over 10,000 records. Rick Widlansky, Systems Manager, spent much time reworking network connections for libraries in various stages of building projects. He installed and maintains a spam filter which has dramatically reduced the unwanted email for all of us.
Matt Beardsley, PC Network Manager, coordinated the PC replacement project and installed most of the PCs. Matt and Rick continually support all of the LION equipment in all of the libraries – there aren’t many days when they are both in the office. Patty Hovick, Office Manager, continues to provide unparalleled support. She maintains the financial records, as well as all of the contracts and vendor relations. Patty also has a creative attitude, so she offers new ideas to make our procedures more efficient. Mary Nimani continues to process the weekly notices.
We finished the III training with a second acquisitions session and with serials training. Andy attended the III Load Profile Training at their headquarters. Rick attended a CEN Workshop on Network Security. Many of our activities involve self-learning — learning by doing.
LION was represented at ALA Midwinter, the Innovative Users Group meeting, the Connecticut Consortia Quarterly meetings, State Library Technology Roundtables, the ad hoc RFID committee. LION staff has driven over 19,000 miles to serve the member libraries
LION continues a strong financial position. We used our cash reserves to subsidize the start of the Overdrive project, but that was more than offset by the receipt of our last USF grant of $27,000.
In 2008 we will be adding a new member, Case Memorial Library. We will continue to consider other libraries for membership but with appropriate diligence to maintain our existing quality. The Board has begun a strategic planning process, and we expect that the result will be a guide to our next few years. The PC replacement project will become an ongoing process, and we will spread it out over the full year so that it will be less disruptive. After Case is fully implemented, we will send the bibliographic database for full authority control processing.
We might have expected to look at this year as a time to settle in to the new ILS and recover from the strain of the conversion and implementation. But the LION community pushed on with new initiatives and launched new projects. I am very proud of the LION staff. They are dedicated and so hard working. I look forward to 2008 as another year of exciting activity.