Executive Director’s Annual Report 2015
We added one new library and prepared for another. Once again our exceptional staff dealt with everything that came their way.
SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY
Our systems – Sierra, Overdrive and Zinio – were stable this year – no major changes.
Because of reported problems with Sierra upgrades we have hesitated to install them. Each recent upgrade has offered minor fixes to issues that we see, but has also included at least one bug which would cause more problems. We are hopeful that the next major release will be bug-free.
Overdrive continues to serve us well and the usage continues to increase – up 29% from 2014, and almost double the 2012 numbers.
Overdrive offered a product that was comparable to Zinio. The LUX committee evaluated both and decided to continue with Zinio. Because of the competition, RBDigital reduced the platform cost significantly so we are reaping the benefits.
We added a server to support the gaming system Minecraft which will allow the libraries to provide a shared service of this popular
The uncertainty of the Frontier RLAN circuits led us to replace them with much better Comcast circuits in the six libraries that are not covered by CEN. We applied for eRate reimbursement, but we decided to forego that option when forced to conform to the CIPA requirements. The State Library and CEN are working to provide fiber connections for all of the libraries which are currently on RLAN circuits.
The East Haddam Free Public Library merged with Rathbun and they went live as dual branches in January 2015. Levi Coe in Middlefield requested to return to LION, and we are preparing to bring them on in January 2016.
Two working groups were initiated and will begin meeting in 2016. The Best Practices Task Force will be looking at the variation in practices, primarily circulation, among our libraries and considering whether recommendations for best practices make sense for LION libraries. Members of the Planning Committee will meet with groups of 4 or 5 geographically close libraries to elicit feedback from the members. The goal is to yield a strategic plan for the next three years.
For the ninth consecutive year, the LION staff remains stable.
LION staff attended (physically or on the Web) a variety of training sessions including Sexual Harassment Prevention, TIAA/CREF webinars, E-Rate webinar, OCLC webinar. Much of what LION does includes a great deal of on the job training which, while not formal, does require time and effort. Examples this year include setting up the Minecraft server, learning the various report mechanisms in eCommerce, learning SQL programming, and learning the setup of the new VPN system.
LION was represented at ALA Midwinter and Annual, the Innovative Users Group, the New England Consortia at Ocean State Libraries, the CEN Conference, and the Connecticut Consortia quarterly meetings. I continue as a member of the Southern Connecticut State University Information and Library Science Advisory Board. The LION staff have driven over 30,000 miles to serve the member libraries.
Our strong financial position has allowed us to continue with a relatively low increase in member fees. Over the past few years we have taken advantage of our strength to support projects with reserve funds without affecting the annual fees – The Sierra implementation, Zinio, and Overdrive collection expansion.
In 2016 we will be adding Middlefield’s Levi Coe Library. Through the new task forces we will lay the groundwork for the next few years. And, as always, we will continue to provide the excellent service that LION is noted for.
December 6, 2015
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