Minutes of the LION Board Meeting
May 24, 1999
Present: William Deakyne, Marcia Trotta, Betty Page, Jan Day, Monica Kangley, Debbie Trofatter, Sue Berescik, Mary Attridge, Barbara Van der Lyke, Roxanne Moreau, Valerie Harrod, Linda Rusczek, Gale Bradbury, Sandy Long, Howard Einsohn, Leslie Scherer, Lew Daniels, Liz Creighton, Sandy Ruoff, Marie Shaw, Elsie Jenkins, Anne Clement, Ann Montgomery Smith, PCL, Marcia Lewis, Bill Edge, Mark Hewes, Rick Widlansky. Absent: MDF, MOC/TVY, NLN
I. CALL TO ORDER: The meeting was called to order by Vice President Sandy Ruoff at the Russell Library, Middletown, CT at 9:35 AM. She announced that Ann Davis has resigned as Director of East Hampton Public Library and therefore has resigned as President of LION.
It was agreed that it was the will of the LION Board that the Secretary send Ann Davis a letter thanking her for her years of service to LION, especially during the last year which hasn’t been an easy one.
The official East Hampton LION Board designee is Sue Berescik and the alternate is Monica Kangley, Acting Director. Everyone introduced themselves. Marcia Trotta reported that today would be Liz Creighton’s last LION meeting, as she is retiring from Meriden. Roxanne Moreau will be the designated Meriden alternate.
II. ADDITIONS TO ADGENDA: None.
III. PUBLIC COMMENT: None.
IV. APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Marie Shaw moved and Linda Rusczek seconded a motion to approve the minutes of March 30, 1999. All voted in favor. The minutes of the May 11, 1999 Special Meeting should be corrected on page 6 to reflect that Linda Rusczek, not Susan Donovan, asked about the costs of replacing terminals. Jan Day moved and Valerie Harrod seconded a motion that the minutes be approved as corrected. All voted in favor.
V. TREASURER’S REPORT: The Treasurer’s Report as of March 31, 1999 had been mailed and e-mailed along with comments on any unusual items. Valerie asked for an explanation of EBSCO costs. Bill explained that the 17 subscribers to EBSCO share the cost of the dedicated circuit from LION to EBSCO so service is not dependent on the Internet. There has recently been trouble with this service, which did not affect the Internet access. Leslie recommended LION re-examine paying the extra $500/year per user for the direct line since Internet access is just as fast. However, access from dumb terminals would disappear. Mark advised against it since vendors at demos have repeatedly advised to get your own telecom and not rely on Internet for reliable service. Sandy Ruoff suggested going to local library staff for input and postponing the decision. The Treasurer’s Report as of April 30, 1999 was distributed. In Expenses Maintenance-hardware/software includes a one-time annual renewal for UPS maintenance. Rent includes parking payment through December 1999.
VI. DISCUSSION/ACTION ITEMS:
1. Status of Partnership of CT Libraries:
a. Ann Montgomery Smith reported that the first vendor demo had been held by CARL. Attendees all completed a rating form with comments. Bibliomation members tended to rate the system very highly. There were 55 people signed up to attend from 1 to 8 sessions. Only a maximum of 24 attended, very few from Bibliomation. There were some common threads in the comments. The selection team is also trying to collect functionality reports across all 3 networks.
b. All 3 networks have given responses to the PCL Business Plan. CRLC Board, Technical Planning Committee, Users Group, and staff all discussed the plan. Roland Pike, CRLC Treasurer, who is a CPA wrote an extensive commentary. CRLC Board moved their meeting date to follow vendor demos so they would have more information to discuss. Each Bibliomation Board member liases with 3 member libraries; Board members gathered comments from members. LION held a special Board meeting on May 11th to discuss the Plan; the minutes of May 11th report the issues raised by LION. The following is a summary of CONNECT/CRCL and Bibliomation responses:
Roland Pike, CRLC Treasurer, wrote an extensive commentary on the proposal that was endorsed by all of the groups, which discussed the plan. His comments identified the following issues:
* Anticipated control given to the PCL director of LION and CONNECT resources.
* Confidence in the PCL Board and director.
* Lack of a selected ILS leaves gaps in the plan. Would be stronger with firm data.
* Plan needs a capital plan. Without a selected system, how do we know that leasing or outsourcing is the best plan?
* Noted errors and confusion in numbers. Enumerated a whole list of items to be checked, reviewed, expanded.
CRLC Board moved their next meeting to June 22 in order to have ILS information.
* Subsidizing Bibliomation.
* Benefits to libraries of merger.
* Questions urgency, future of CRLC, alternate approaches.
* Want the ILS/Telecom results.
* Want accurate income and expense figures.
* Want to know what the advantages are.
* Want financial management policies.
* Costs – where are the savings?
* Bibliomation liabilities.
* "Things have changed a lot, there’s more connectivity? What other solutions are there?
* Want outside review of merger.
* Want Bill Harrison, Roland Pike and me to sit down and review business plan.
* Want cost and service guarantees for 3 years out.
* Thought they’d see reductions in cost.
* Administration is top heavy.
* Concern about termination liabilities of their lease.
* "Migration Fee" to compensate C&L for capital contribution is fair, but impractical.
* Services – feel theirs are most comprehensive and don’t want to lose them or pay more for them.
* Academic libraries are most interested in merger and ILS because they are the least pleased with CARL. (If CARL system chosen may lose academics.)
* Timing – don’t rush; just put in Frame Relay; need to go to funders.
* Fear loss of control – feel other networks do not have as adequate a means of communicating as Bibliomation does.
* Feel like stepchild.
Mike very discouraged by anecdotal evidence that the more involved the person is in PCL, the more negative they are about PCL and a merger. Due to feeling of being stepchildren, unrespected, misunderstood by other networks.
Secondary concern: CRCL/CONNECT relationship. Not a negative reaction to CLSU involvement, but rather idea of creating or maintaining a special relationship with a single CLSU – Governance, personnel, services, preferential treatment.
The 3 network directors and Ann Montgomery Smith met to review the feedback. The consensus is that there is a greater affinity between LION and CONNECT; they are ready to go forward and are able to make a capital investment. Perhaps those two organizations should merge and have Bibliomation merge into them in a second phase. This plan also avoids the liability/capital differences issue of Bibliomation. Howard asked how a merger of 2 organizations, LION and CONNECT, if Bibliomation refused to merge later, affected the stability of PCL. Ann replied we don’t know; it may change bargaining power with vendors because PCL would represent fewer than 75 libraries instead of 100; it might create competition between PCL and Bibliomation and might cause a drain on Bibliomation; but it might be a stronger organization, because it would not have the Bibliomation liabilities. Bill Edge commented that Bibliomation is 40 libraries, CONNECT 37 and LION 22. So a PCL of 59 libraries on a statewide level would not have as much clout as an organization that preserved the membership of all 3 networks; but statewide clout may or may not be an issue. One main reason LION is interested in a larger organization is to gain depth of staff; LION can’t add staff or increase services without increasing charges to members. He feels the 2 network organization is large enough marginally to get into new services. PCL Finance Committee met to identify how much funding is available to move to a new ILS. Operating expenses for all 3 networks, based on existing systems, costs approx. $750,000 for 90 days; for only CONNECT and LION it’s approx. $425,000 for 90 days. CONNECT and LION have funds in the bank that could cover this; Bibliomation does not. Bill commented that we still need a financial analysis as well as a functionality analysis before we make a decision on a new ILS vendor. Leslie reminded us that consultant Rob McGee in his initial discussion commented that it would be easier for CONNECT and LION to combine first than all 3 networks. Bill Harrison also looked at 3 models; one was LION and CONNECT in phase 1 and Bibliomation in phase 2. Bill commented that Bibliomation might opt to be a customer for certain services and not merged as an organization. PCL bylaws did envision Board representation for users groups who do not use all of the PCL services. Howard reiterated the question of the viability of PCL if it is predicated on the volume of the 2 networks instead of all 3. Ann replied that we may have to negotiate further with vendors, but the volume of the 2 is still a viable group.
Marcia Lewis asked about the possibility of a large group of libraries not having the ILS system chosen by PCL be their first choice; is there a possibility of PCL running 2 systems or 2 consortia or subgroups based on choice of the ILS? Bill and Ann commented that putting staff together at the same site but running different systems had been part of the migration/merger strategy originally envisioned for PCL. PCL could do the cost sharing and central staff sharing for different systems, although it does not give us the common system, common patron database, etc. that most members want to do, but it might be an alternative.
There isn’t any action LION needs to take today. Rob McGee returns June 17 & 18 with a financial analysis of the vendors, input from the 3 network directors and PCL will have a functional assessment of vendors by the selection team to put together to come up with a selection and probably be able to go to the PCL Board on June 18th with the selection report. All RFIs have requested information for phased implementation, LION then CONNECT, then Bibliomation. All systems have been specified proportionate to the numbers of users on the system at one time. The difficulty is whether maintenance cost, which is paid up front for 5 years to get the best discount, is paid for 22 libraries or 57 libraries. Implementation is also a concern; it’s less expensive to pay for 1 data load, of bib and authority files, 1 iteration of training. Another issue is technical support cost.
At this point the Board took a 5 minute break and everyone enjoyed the refreshments that were homemade by Betty Page.
2. Replacement of LION President.
The Nominating Committee approached several people to serve as President now or in January 2000 and no one accepted. Sandy Ruoff is willing to serve as President through December when elections are held. If she does, a Vice President, who also serves as chair of Personnel, is needed through December.
Valerie Harrod, chair of Nominating Committee, nominated Sandy Ruoff to serve as President through December 1999. Nominations from the floor were entertained. Jan Day moved that nominations from the floor be closed. Linda Rusczek seconded. All voted in favor. All voted in favor of the motion that Sandy Ruoff serve as President through December. Valerie Harrod volunteered to serve as Vice President through December, not presuming she would become President next year. Gale Bradbury moved and Jan Day seconded a motion that Valerie be elected Vice President through December. All voted in favor.
1. LION Staff Reports
a. Executive Director: Bill gave an uptime report. There was a disc drive failure in April. Barcode labels will be billed this fiscal year. Consensus was to pay Ameritech maintenance contract for 6 months at 3% premium, instead of 1 annual payment. Essex Library Association has paid all fees and signed all papers.
b. Associate Director: We’re awaiting a quote from EBSCO for all possible WEB accessible databases. Wilson journal citations will become only WEB accessible on December 31st and they will quote prices on new products and offer trials. About 5 years ago, LION purchased a Z39.50 server on the system and clients for the LION office. In 1997, CARL pointed their Z39.50 WEB product to our server and they were able to do searches against our database. Last week they replicated the same thing. CONNECT is purchasing that CARL WEB product, which means the LION database could be hosted on CONNECT on that CARL site when loaded. It would be look only, no interaction. It might cost LION less than $2,000. But we will need to load release 173, which will also mean the LION system would re-boot automatically.
c. Systems Manager: Rick reported that the circuit for Essex has been ordered. The e-mail problem last week was due to the Bibliomation server. Everyone’s e-mail should be restored now; if not, call Tom Sweda directly.
2. Committee Reports
a. PAC Committee – The help flip chart for users will be finalized next month. Committee members are concerned that the selection team get input from end users of the various ILSs, not just from the vendors at the demos.
b. Bibliographic Committee – No report.
c. Circulation Committee – No report.
d. Personnel Committee – No report.
e. Finance Committee – No report.
f. Planning Committee – No report.
VIII. OLD BUSINESS: None.
IX. NEW BUSINESS:
1. Bill asked for a clear consensus as to whether LION should proceed with the WEB access via CONNECT when CARL releases the product, understanding that LION will have to load release 173 with associated downtime. It was agreed.
2. The June 22nd meeting will be at the Bill Library, Ledyard with a visit to the Mashantucket Pequot Library and followed by lunch. Ledyard will do the refreshments.
3. Liz Creighton was thanked for her long years of service since 1982, since the beginning of LION.
X. ADJOURNMENT: Jan Day moved and Leslie Scherer seconded a motion to adjourn. All voted in favor.
Sandra R. Long, Secretary