Minutes of the LION Board Meeting
August 24th, 1999
Present: Valerie Harrod, DUR, Sandy Long, MAD, Marie Shaw, ELH, Lydia Main, ELY, Mary Attridge, ESX, Sandy Ruoff, GUI, Donna Lolos, BRB, Debby Trofatter, BRB, , Karen Smith, MDF, Marcia Trotta, MRD, Howard Einsohn, MXC, Barbara van der Lyke, MTC, Kelly Marszycki, OLY, Elsie Jenkins, NWC, Lee Clapp, NLN, Linda Rusczek, MDT, , Leslie Scherer, WAL, Lew Daniels, WSB, Betty Page, STC, Jan Day, WBR, Nancy Wardell, Circ, Marcia Lewis, PAC, Ann Montgomery Smith, PCL, Bill Edge, Mark Hewes, Rick Widlansky, and Paul Nelson, LION. Absent: EHP, LED, TVY.
I. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Sandy Ruoff at the Russell Library, Middletown, CT at 9:37 am. Sandy announced that there would be a break after the PCL discussion. Donna Lolos, the new Director of the Blackstone Library, Branford, was introduced and everyone present introduced themselves.
II. ADDITIONS TO ADGENDA: None
III. PUBLIC COMMENT: None
IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Karen Smith moved and Linda Rusczek seconded a motion to approve the minutes of June 22nd, 1999, as distributed. All voted in favor.
V. TREASURER’S REPORT: The Treasurer’s Report as of June 30, 1999, along with extensive comments, had been mailed and the Report as of July 31, 1999 was distributed. The New Equipment line in the July report includes funds for equipment needed for Essex. It was the consensus to accept both reports.
VI. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS:
1. Status of Partnership of CT Libraries:
a. Ann Montgomery Smith reported that the Selection Team had unanimously selected SIRSI for the ILS. In 1997, they would not have been selected, but they have grown since then. They focus on large consortia and can address our issues. They are very flexible. The system is very functional for the public; it uses any web browser and thus is not hard for the public to learn how to use it. The system has different levels of access for reference, Kids Cat, a medium skill access to PAC, etc. Each library can customize screens. For staff it incorporates staff functions into a Windows environment; we expect staff training won’t be complicated. The Finance Committee and the PCL Board are recommending a SIRSI-owned and operated outsourced model. SIRSI is responsible for upgrading the equipment. PCL should be responsible for the help desk, manned with the staff from the 3 networks who can be very responsive on questions re functionality, telecom, LAN’s, etc. There is a basic package for circ, PAC, ILL, cataloging; additional packages for acquisitions, academic reserves, serials control will be priced at an additional cost but in most cases they won’t cost more than libraries are now paying. Two all-day demos have been set up for 100 people each, one on September 8th, the other on September 13th. Reservations should be made by e-mail to email@example.com. Groton Library is also having a demo this week by SIRSI. There are some other libraries that are interested in SIRSI and there may be some opportunities for PCL to attract more members. There are some modules that have not been included in the PCL package, such as newspaper indexing, etc., which could be funded for small groups of libraries by grants at some later time. Information is available at the SIRSI site, www.sirsi.com.
A telecom contract should be finalized and ready to be signed at the end of this week for frame relay, ATM, which is the next step above TI at less cost than 3 TIs, with lots of growth potential, with SNET as the internet provider and hosting web pages and providing e-mail. It does not include LAN/WAN management because it would be too expensive and because we can do it ourselves. We are talking to Datacom for maintenance; Jannon did not respond. We have obtained fixed 5-year rates, a waiver of installation fees for additions/changes for the first 2 years, a 2 % discount credited to us in years 3-5, and various contractual protections, i.e. against termination liabilities, etc. The next steps are to obtain the 3 network approvals to sign with SNET and to develop the implementation plan, which means identifying staff from the networks who will carry the program forward, for example a telecom manager.
Work has been done on the assessments plan and on developing more of a zero-based budget for PCL and on financial issues that have been raised. School libraries were being hit hard by previous assessment formulas, but once they were viewed as branches of the local public library the assessment is more reasonable. Bibliomation has 3 small libraries that had been provided a core package, a turnkey LAN system that could not be increased or changed, with low maintenance, with budget commitments going out for a few years. PCL will have to decide if it will honor the commitment. So far the PCL budget is lower than the current budget of the 3 networks combined, although the current difference keeps eroding. The asset valuation committee meets today to consider which factors should be taken into account and how to do it. Since this is a major area of concern for LION members, Bill Edge will attend the meeting and Sandy Ruoff will get another LION Board member to attend as well. PCL is considering having a reactor panel for both the asset valuation and the assessment committees.
PCL Board meets on August 31st when they will officially react to the recommendation from the Selection Team and probably also from the Telecom Committee. The PCL membership meeting is September 24th in West Hartford. PCL is planning to negotiate the SIRSI contract on October 21st and 22nd, so PCL needs to know who is in or out by October 15th. Sandy Ruoff asked how that date affected LION decision-making and LION meeting dates. Bill said that the LION meeting on Wednesday, September 29th, would be the decision point for LION, Inc. unless a special meeting has to be called. The meeting will be in the Board Room, not the Hubbard Room. PCL has already been formed and exists as a legal entity; the 3 networks have to vote to merge, to join PCL and put their money into it. At the PCL meeting, PCL members will have to approve a budget that will include assessment information.
Marie asked about outsourcing and the staff of the organizations and support for individual libraries. Ann said the financial aspect was the most important reason for choosing the outsourced model versus outright purchase or financed purchase. With outsourcing, SIRSI owns the equipment, upgrades it, runs the computer, does reports, overdues, etc. PCL would still have staff to help individual libraries with functionality, etc. There is a verbal commitment from SIRSI to hire 3 people from the existing networks and train them to run the system. At this point all of the technical support staff from all of the networks will be retained. The projected staff reduction will be in administration. The central site will probably be in Meriden, since it is central in the state, since it has telecom advantages and since it will be a "new" site for all networks. Kelly asked if Trinity/Weslyan/Conn College, who migrated to SIRSI, had been contacted about their experiences. Mark said yes and that one problem for them had been their abandonment by Ameritech. Ann said their database does not appear to have been de-duplicated and that PCL feels authority control is very important. Valerie mentioned that the "open holds matrix" was very important to LION members and Ann said it would be available.
The issue of member representation in PCL was raised. The PCL by-laws were designed to have user groups for various services or functions. Ann also recommends for the start up period that there be user groups for each network, until they are not longer needed. Marie asked about the timeframe and what PCL would look like if not all 3 of the networks merged. Ann said it wasn’t clear; PCL has been talking about 1,500 users with the telecom vendor and with SIRSI. As for the timetable, it doesn’t look like a new system will be up and running by December 1999; we’re more likely to have the cutover from LION to SIRSI in March 2000. Pricing is not affected from the SIRSI point of view by the number of libraries. Dumb terminals and PAC for Windows PCs that LION members have now will work with SIRSI; we will discuss this later in the agenda. LION won’t be forced to recapitalize dumb terminals on day one and SIRSI does not require top of the line PCs to run.
(A break was taken at 11 AM until 11:14. Members introduced themselves to Kelly Marszyski, the new director at OLY.)
The recent internet/e-mail failure is being reviewed and a report will be presented. Incident report forms are being developed. We need more depth in telecom staff than the one person now at each network. In this failure, the telecom persons from 2 networks were on vacation simultaneously.
Karen Smith agreed to serve on the PCL asset valuation committee for LION.
Karen Smith wanted the LION Board to know that she would be absent at the next meeting; she has many doubts, serious reservations and questions about PCL. She urges other members with doubts to discuss their questions before the vote. Lydia reported that William Deakyne sent a message that under no circumstances should LION merge with PCL. Marcia Lewis said that perhaps a clearer picture of the way PCL would operate, of the group culture, which hasn’t been laid out, would help the merger process. Elsie said the organization has to be member driven, not imposed from the top down, but a result of member participation. Bill said there is a great opportunity for special affinity groups to develop, such as community technical colleges, schools, etc. in more depth than is possible in a smaller group.
2. Bill distributed a memo dated August 24, 1999, regarding Capital Items. Bill recommends that: "Any purchase over $2,000 with a useful life of over one year will be capitalized." The effect will be to reduce the fixed assets ledger by removing from the ledger many peripheral items (e.g. terminals, routers, workstations, barcode readers, etc.), at a rough estimate about $200,000 reduction from an insurance replacement value standpoint but much less after depreciation. Karen moved and Elsie seconded a motion to approve that any purchase over $2,000 with a useful life of over one year will be capitalized. All voted in favor. This is a one-time adjustment to be taken as of June 30, 2000. It does not remove the items from the insurance list. It has nothing to do with PCL asset valuation.
3. A LION library (ELY) would like to upgrade/replace a dumb terminal with a PC. LION doesn’t have such a thing on the Schedule of Services and Fees. Bill distributed a list of issues to consider. Leslie added the issue of the higher monthly ops fees as counter-productive to encouraging conversion to PCs. Bill wanted a sense of whether LION should offer this option and pursue it for the September meeting. Ann distributed a sheet of PCL pricing principles for assistance. The Finance Committee will review this issue and make a recommendation.
System operations issues:
Mark said the system would be down all day tomorrow for release 180. It will not affect e-mail or Internet.
H.W. Wilson will be dead as of Dec. 31, 1999, no longer supported by Ameritech. The trial for Wilson Web since March has not produced any comments from member libraries so Mark will drop it and will drop Reader’s Guide before the merger. It was the consensus to do this; there is no interest in the product.
CLN provided Ariel software for Web faxing to 6 LION libraries, based on ILL activity, but LION wasn’t notified; it didn’t work, due to the LION firewall. Rick has figured out a way to fix this and has done WAL and MDT and will do the rest.
The EBSCO Searchasaurus demo has been up for 3 months but no one has commented, so it will be dropped. The pricing for LION can be seen on LION’s homepage in one of Mark’s reports.
Paul has developed access to LIOPAC via the web for us; it is still limited by license and LION licenses are maxed out. So in essence libraries will have to trade DialPAC for Web access. The only function lost is printing, save bib and save list out of the software; you can do a screen print. If a library doesn’t have DialPAC now, there will be a small setup charge which LION will pass on to the library. Each library should contact LION individually. LION is working on access to ReQuest database on dumb terminals. See Rick’s written report.
1. LION Staff Reports
a. Executive Director – Bill reported great uptime in June and July. He distributed a "pretty" version of LION statistics. LION has renewed its membership to CLN.
b. Associate Director – Mark had sent out his statistical report earlier. He stressed that on SIRSI there would be a complete change in cataloging and acquisitions; catalogers will need a PC, not a dumb terminal. He would be interested in helping members start now in getting bib records from other sources. Interested libraries should call him.
c. Systems Manager – Rick distributed his report.
2. Committee Reports: None of the committees have met.
a. PAC Committee – Marcia Lewis reported that the self-help flip chart for the public using PAC should be available by the end of September.
VIII. OLD BUSINESS: None.
IX. NEW BUSINESS:
Lydia Main had a personal request for any quilting books any library may be discarding.
The next LION meeting is a different day and different time. It will be at 10:00 AM on Wednesday, September 29th and in the smaller Board Room here at Russell Library. Westbrook is in charge of refreshments.
[NOTE: September 29th meeting will start at the usual 9:30 a.m. time.]
X. ADJOURNMENT: Karen Smith moved and Debbie Trofatter seconded a motion to adjourn at 12:21 PM. All voted in favor.
Sandra R. Long