This has been a very active year for LION. Most notably, we welcomed West Haven Public Library; North Haven Memorial Library; and Atwater Memorial and Edward Smith Libraries in North Branford to our organization at our June Board meeting. Our outstanding LION staff is to be commended for the excellent job they did that made this transition occur so smoothly.
Despite the fact that our national economy remains very weak, LION’s financial situation is more solid than ever. This is due, in part, to the smart growth approach we have followed, exemplified by the addition of the LEAP libraries. Moving forward we will explore new membership possibilities for libraries such as Hamden that would be a good fit for us. More importantly, Alan’s excellent stewardship of our resources has kept us in a strong fiscal position. For example, although we debated whether or not LION should be an early adopter of the III Sierra platform, there was no concern over whether we had enough reserve funds available to pay for the migration to Sierra. Furthermore, the new fee schedule enacted this year will ensure that all of us pay our fair share of the cost of running LION, while still preserving our healthy reserves.
The biggest challenge facing us this coming year will be preparing for a transition to the III Sierra ILS. Although it is expected that this will not be nearly as disruptive as the original migration to III was back in 2006, it will certainly be a significant task for Alan and his staff. I am confident, however, that they are more than capable of guiding us through a smooth conversion to Sierra.
As usual, all of the LION committees and task forces worked very hard this year on a number of projects including the new fee schedule, our PAC, and development of the Overdrive collection. I have always been impressed by how willing everyone on this Board is to pitch in when help is needed. I was reminded of that just recently when every person I called to ask to serve on a committee a few weeks ago accepted without hesitation. That includes Todd Fabian, Meryl Farber, and Bob Hull who will be serving on LION committees for the first time this year. I would also like to thank Kathy Reiger for being so helpful to me when I took on this position, as well as my fellow officers Cindy Muhlbach, Mary Fiorelli and Karen Roesler, for their service.
Finally, I would like to thank Alan Hagyard, Andy Gardner, Matt Beardsley, Rick Widlanski, Patty Hovick and Karan Conover, our outstanding LION staff, for all of the hard work they have performed this year. They are truly the engine that drives this organization and makes it run so smoothly. I look forward to working with you all during 2012 as we continue to take positive steps and make progressive changes that will ensure that LION remains a strong and vibrant consortium.
LION President 2011