The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

NOVELNY Steering Committee Conference Call
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
10:00-11:00 AM

Present: Baaklini, Bardyn, Barraco, Bartle, Bolton, Choltco-Devlin, Desch, Doll, Duncan, Ebert, Ericson, Howe, Janowsky, Katzin, Killian, Klose, Krupczak, McDonald, Pope, Roe, Storms, Stripling, Weisman, Woodward, Wyrwa

Absent: Borges, Gundrum, Hatch, Kuntz, Todd, Tuliao, Walsh, Ward, Welch

Recorder: Deitz

Welcome/Approval of Minutes-Randy Ericson

The minutes of the October 4, 2006 minutes were approved with minor modifications.

Legislative Update-Loretta Ebert

  • New York Knowledge Initiative (NYKI)

$14 million-Public Library Construction
$3 million-Library System funds
$10 million- NOVELNY (not currently in the Executive Budget)

On January 31, 2007, Senator Farley introduced S2125, "An act to amend the Education Law, in relation to establishing a New York knowledge initiative." Sponsors in addition to Senator Farley were: Senators Leibell, Saland, Wright, Alesi, DeFrancisco, Fuschillo, Golden, Hannon, Johnson, Lavalle, Little, Marcellino, Maziarz, Morahan, Nozzolio, Padavan, Rath, Robach, Seward, Skelos, Trunzo, Volker and Young. Information about the bill will be on the NYKI website soon, and in the meantime, the text can be viewed at

If any of the Senators are from your area, please thank them for their support of this bill.

  • State Aid to Libraries

The Executive Budget continues the $14 million for construction, $2.7 million in 2000 Census funding, and $3 million for library systems received last year. It does not include NOVELNY. [Note that $50 million is included for broadband access across the State; the NYLA Legislative Committee will set up a task force to make sure that libraries are included in any plans that unfold.] Although the request was to raise the per capita formula from $6 to $10 for school library materials aid, the amount in the Executive Budget is $6.25 per student.

Steering Committee members should:

  • Thank their legislators now; and
  • Contact the Governor's office via letter to ask for support for NOVELNY. (We will provide a sample letter via email today.)
  • New York State Higher Education Initiative (NYSHEI)

Jason Kramer, the new Executive Director, recently worked with the SUNY Research Foundation, but has also been involved in public relations and marketing. He has registered NYSHEI as a lobbying organization and will attend a meeting in New York City next week regarding a $15 million initiative (ARIA) to purchase academic databases for higher education and research and development. It is expected that he will work on the initiative during this legislative session.

  • NYLA

The NYLA proposal is the same as NYKI and the school aid proposal, but also asks for an across-the-board increase in all library programs in Education Law. NYLA Lobby Day is scheduled for March 13.

  • Governor's Knowledge for Innovation Proposal

A group working on the Governor's transition team looked at internet libraries and developed a proposal which is similar to NYKI with respect to NOVELNY: $15 million which includes support of NOVELNY as a statewide virtual internet library. Like NYKI, it would provide $7.25 million annually for the statewide purchase of affordable electronic collections 24/7 and public access for all and $2.75 million for library systems to become internet libraries providing access to NOVELNY for local communities. It also includes:

  • Development of an online homework help site modeled on Brooklyn's Live Homework Help ;
  • New York State History Online and More, a $2.5 million annual request for an annual allocation to digitize collections within libraries in New York State to provide curricular support for history and science. (The NYSL and the NYPL may start the process.)
  • Growing Readers, a request for $500,000 annually to provide statewide early literacy and school readiness skills.

This is a proposal under development. We will have to wait to see if it is included in the amended Executive Budget.

Charter Schools-Loretta Ebert

The NYSL has begun the registration of charter schools who meet the eligibility criteria to participate in the NOVELNY database program, the same criteria applied to nonpublic schools' membership in a School Library System. Every charter school has received a letter apprising them of their opportunity to consider registration. To date, one charter school in Buffalo has been registered and three are in the process of registration; two are in the process in the Bronx.

Charter Schools--Eligibility Criteria

  • A Charter School must have a collection of materials designated as a library collection and a designated space in the school that is considered the School Library or Media Center.
  • A Charter School must have the minimum library collection as stipulated in Part 90 of the Commissioner's Regulations as follows:
    • Under 200 pupils-1,000 volumes
    • 200-500 pupils-3,000 volumes
    • 501-1,000 pupils-5,000 volumes
    • Over 1000 pupils-8,000 volumes
  • A Charter School must have a certified school media specialist or a designated staff member who is responsible for the school library and the library collection.

Charter Schools must submit a letter to Janet M. Welch, State Librarian, signed by their chief administrator, attesting that the above criteria have been met.

Charter Schools that have questions regarding the NOVELNY program and registration procedures will be directed to contact the NOVELNY Help Desk by email at or by calling the Help Desk at 877-277-0250 from 9 AM to 4 PM Monday through Friday.

When vendor-sponsored training is to take place in their area, School Library Systems will be asked to include charter schools in the schools they notify as to date/time/place of the vendor-sponsored training. The NYSL will discuss the procedure for notifying School Library Systems as to the approved charter schools in their area and will followup with the NOVELNY Steering Committee.

Portal Project-Liza Duncan

The four libraries (Albany Public Library, Wallkill High School, Monroe County Library System, and Orange County Community College) are up and running. Liza's technical staff will review their sites during the next few weeks and expect to do an evaluation in the spring. If they find that this is of value to the libraries, we will have to determine whether we can continue it and open it up to other libraries. Liza will look at the cost effectiveness of using the Webfeat Express version and will report back to the Internal Team. (Any library in the State can take advantage of the pricing structure that the NYSL has set up with Webfeat.)

NECAT-Maribeth Krupczak

Two NECAT conference calls were held recently to discuss newspaper renewal recommendations. NECAT discussed a list of core titles that we would most like to include in NOVELNY newspapers. Soumaya will confer with vendors to determine who can offer the NYSL the best deal on the greatest number of titles in the core group of products.

A few people in the NECAT+ group used the Survey Monkey evaluation form. One NECAT+ member, Joyce Koyner (a PLS nominee) has asked to be excused from the group. NECAT may want to reexamine the process as we move forward and consider redoing the general survey to solicit broad trend information.

LSTA Evaluation and Plan/Statewide Education and Information Program (Ivy Group)
-Maribeth Krupczak (reporting for Linda Todd)

(Due to time constraints, this report was tabled until the March 28 meeting.)

NOVELNY Steering Committee Activities-Randy Ericson

Randy expressed his appreciation to Sarah Conrad Weisman, who has agreed to chair the NOVELNY Steering Committee when Randy's term expires in August. She will serve as Co-Chair with Randy during the March in-person meeting and the May 16 conference call, and then assume Chair duties with the September 19 meeting.

Randy encouraged all members of the Steering Committee to take every opportunity to speak about NOVELNY, whether at libraries or with legislators, and to write to the Governor as library leaders in the field who depend on NOVELNY and urge that it is included in the Executive Budget. (The amended Executive Budget will be released on February 21.)

*****Action Items*****

  • Steering Committee members should thank their legislators now; and contact the Governor's office via letter to ask for support for NOVELNY.
  • The NYSL will discuss the procedure for notifying School Library Systems as to the approved charter schools in their area and will followup with the NOVELNY Steering Committee.
  • Liza will look at the cost effectiveness of using the Webfeat Express version and will report back to the Internal Team.

The conference call ended at 11:00 A.M.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 28, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM, East Greenbush Community Library,

Future Meetings: Wednesday, May 16, 10:00-11:00 AM Conference Call
Wednesday, September 19, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM, NYS Library