Attending: Lucia Ginter,MDF; Janis Franco,MRD; Laurie Alper,MAD; Laurie Averill,DUR; Mark Hewes,LION; Howard Einsohn, MXC; Penny Colby, GUI; Amy Humphries,WAL; Catherine Hodges,BRB; Anne Clement, OLY; Mary Phillips, BL; Mary Kelley,WBR; Cornell McNair, NWC; Linda Rusczek, Marcia Lewis, Catherine Ahern,MDT
Minutes of the previous PAC Committee meeting were reviewed and approved.
Mark Hewes led a discussion of an update on Joint Project activities. At this point, the greatest effort towards the formation of a fourth organization has been in the area of governance, with the Governance Committee being active. They are reviewing how the existing organizations are organized. Funding and budget issues need to be addressed. There are meetings coming up in the next few weeks that will focus recent efforts and provide preparation for the October Board meeting.
Ann[e] Calvert, the new Office Manager for LION is also Office Manger for the Joint Project. Her work will be reimbursed by the Joint Project. Ann Montgomery Smith is now officially the Coordinator for the Joint project for the next six months, at which point someone representing CRLC will take over for six months, and then back to LION.
In terms of selection or review for the next system, this is in a holding pattern until the fourth organization is formalized. There will be a formal procurement process at some point that will focus on contractual and legal issues, probably weeding out some contenders.
Please read the most recent LION Board meeting minutes as it was a very important one. It seems from that meeting that LION for now is still going ahead and the Planning Committee has become active again. It is important now for the PAC Committee to give input to the Planning Committee and the Board at this time on issues such as training and support, Lan development, commercial databases, and any other topics of concern or interest.
LAN development was the next topic on the agenda. Marcia Lewis posed the question to the group concerning which libraries currently have LANs in their libraries or anticipate having them or are the developing stages at this time. At this point, the Otis Library, Russell Library, Woodbridge and Durham, among others are looking into setting up a LAN, while Wallingford and Middlesex Community College are already running public LANs. The discussion that followed focused on the need for help with setup, support, pros and cons of a LAN, and that with the possibility of Universal Service Fund moneys that more and more libraries will be setting one up. Expertise to assist in that process would be a real plus.
According to Mark, LION is in a quandary at this point concerning the issue of providing support to members for items such as LAN development. The position of Network Support Manager has not been filled because the salary is simply not competitive with that of similar positions. At this point the discussion shifted to the possibility of the PAC Committee sending some type of recommendation to the Planning Committee or the LION Board regarding network support for LION members. Marcia Lewis reminded us of the RMG model focusing on service delivery, with the addition of background support (“red-leather jacketed motorcyclists”) to keep everything running. In preparation for the recommendation, reasons why this support is needed were brought out. What follows is the formal motion based on this discussion:
The PAC Committee of LION recognizes that many libraries in LION are:
- creating technology plans that include provisions for some type of LAN development,
- either in the planning stages for a LAN (and needing to budget for setup, maintenance, support and training for this operation),
- or have a LAN currently running (and would benefit form expertise to assist in its operation),
- in need of purchasing hardware, software,and other materials for LAN development and would benefit from cooperative purchasing and installations within a timely manner,
- within a common window of opportunity for setting up some type of network based on upcoming availability of Universal Service Fund money,
- in need of a common avenue of expertise to share training, problems, questions.
Representing the end-user’s perspective, we feel that without the benefits of a functioning network, our ability to provide top-quality service is severely limited. If public service is a top priority to among member libraries, then considering shared technical solutions should be a top priority for LION.
The PAC Committee recommends that the LION Board immediately investigate the range of options open to LION for providing shared technical support for LAN operation. Such support might focus on but not be limited to areas such as LAN development, shared Internet, CD-ROM services and linking individual library networks to a now or future LION system.
The motion was approved by all of the members present.
Marcia Lewis began the discussion of commercial databases and statewide licensing by telling the committee that Bibliomation has a Commercial Database Group, which is meeting Friday September 12th, and that both they and this PAC Committee had invited Jane Emerson to attend their respective meetings. Jane has been hired by the CLN to coordinate the statewide licensing project. She was not able attend either meeting. Marcia Lewis and Cathy Ahern have been invited to the Bibliomation Commercial Database meeting, as the group is thinking about doing a survey of their libraries concerning online databases, the outcome may eventually be given to Jane Emerson as a recommendation of which databases to pursue. We may want to conduct a similar survey among LION libraries.
Currently the Electric Library trial is going on, upcoming will be Novelist, the Americana Encyclopedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica, and the IAC product SuperTom, which is geared toward schools. Jane Emerson would like to meet with representatives of the PAC Committee and the Bibliomation group to determined how we all might become more involved in this project.
On a related matter, at the next CLN Board meeting, which will be October 1st, representatives from NewsBank, the company that indexes and publishes articles from many newspapers from around the country will be present to discuss the development of some type of online Connecticut newspaper databank. Several members of the PAC Committee will be attending to provide input, including Cornell McNair of Otis, Jackie Stevens from Guilford, and someone from Russell and also from New London. Also, a Commercial Database subgroup has formed, including Cathy Ahern, Marcia Lewis, Amy Humphries and Laurie Averill. Their first task may be to develop a survey to send to LION members. A meeting for this group has been set for October 15th at 9:30.
Under future activities, Cathy Ahern requested that we spend some time at a future meaning discussing the Pac Committee’s role in training, especially as we anticipate the LION system going through the major upgrade Release 170. Related to that, Mark mentioned that we should take a larger role, as we look at a next system, in the development of training and support modules.
Cornell McNair suggested that in a way similar to how the New York Times Best Seller list appears on the PACs, could we also have an “Oprah” list, for the books that she adds to her Oprah Reading Club. This was approved by the Committee and Mark will work on getting that going.
Anne Clement reminded everyone that also within that BestSellers choice there is also a list of the top100 titles in demand (based on holds), and that this is popular with users.
Mark Hewes handed out some FYI statistics on usage of items, just for fun to see what is popular. This reminded us all to stock up on Disney videos.
The Colonial CODI meeting will be September 17th from 10-3 in Cranston, Rhode Island. Dynix will be presenting a new service called UNIPAC which uses java, and is reliable for patron activity functions.
Discussion followed on the feature on Dynix which allows patrons to see their holds for the entire year. It has been activated at just a few libraries and would appear as a menu item on the patron information screen. Let Mark know if you would like this activated.
Mark handed out cheat sheets for using the Groton/Waterford system, which is now ready to be used. It is important to know that all functions are only compatible on Wyse 150 terminals, and that Rick needs to come and make adjustments on those terminals to get everything going. Also at this point there is not a direct login for Groton/Waterford, at the prompt you must type in dialwtf and then choose the system that you want to go into. LION is working on creating an automatic login.
The next PAC Committee meeting will be Wednesday, November 12th, in the Board Room of the Russell Library. LION is hoping to set up some terminals in that room so that we may review how various libraries in LION have their PACs set up, and discuss features of the system.