The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, February 6, 2008, Conference Call
2:00-3:00 P.M.  

Present:  Bower, Conroy, Desch, Ebert, Eggleston, Elliott, Fiske, Gilloon, Hatch, Heebner, Hogan, Janowsky, Katzin, Kendrick, Kramer, Krupczak, Legendre, Mayo, Pope, Serlis-McPhillips, Storms, Todd, Weisman, Welch, Whelan

Absent: Bardyn, Bartle, Borges, Burke, Cannell, Choltco-Devlin, Duncan, Howe, Killian, McRae, Penniman, Roe, Tuliao, Walsh, Woodward, Wyrwa

Recorder:   Deitz

Welcome/Roll Call/Approval of Minutes—Sarah Conrad Weisman

Ms. Weisman welcomed everyone to the conference call and a roll call followed.  The minutes of the September 19, 2007 meeting were approved with a minor modification:  Kendrick moved; Krupczak seconded.  Amy Heebner, Associate Librarian (Reference) was introduced to the committee.  She will be responsible for NOVELNY license agreements and vendor contacts.

2008-2009 Legislative Update (Janet Welch)

  • Executive Budget:  The 2008-2009 Executive Budget Proposal issued on Tuesday January 22 results in a disappointing $5 million cut in local assistance funding for library systems. On a positive note, the Executive Budget Proposal includes $14 million in capital funds for 2008-2009 public library construction grants and $3 million in library system supplementary aid. 

  • Regents Proposal (Carol Desch):  Ensuring that the $5 million added by the Legislature last year is added again by the Legislature is one of NYLA’s priorities and a Regents priority as well.  In summary, based on the New York Library Initiative Proposal:

    • $10 million annually for the Statewide Internet Library (NOVELNY pilot project).  Note that $2.75 million of the $10 million is for library systems. 
    • $3 million for annual inflationary increases for all library programs in Education Law;
    • $750,000 for training programs for trustees; of this amount, $500,000 is for library trustee training, of which $350,000 is paid to the public library systems and reference and research library resources systems;
    • $20 million annually for public library construction.  (The match requirement was lowered for libraries in high-need areas to 25 percent.)
    • $5 million annually  for Growing Readers—collaborative early literacy programs for public libraries and public broadcasting;
    • $1 million annually for public library Summer Reading Programs;
    • $800,000 annually for the Talking Book and Braille Libraries; and
    • $750,000 annually for Saturday access to the NYS Library and NYS Archives.

    Not part of the NY Library initiative, but part of the State Aid to Schools Proposal, is a proposed increase from $6.25 to $10 per pupil in school library materials aid.

Related Legislative Proposals (Carey Hatch, SUNY)

As part of the SUNY budget request, funding was included for a digital library proposal:  $3 million a year for three years.  The Commission Report on Higher Education seemed favorable to funding for new initiatives.  However, due to the economy, there was no money for new initiatives in the Executive budget.  SUNY is realigning its financial plan and will continue to advocate and work with the higher education community.  The current SUNY administration is also aware of the importance of the repository aspect of the digital library, building internal content in addition to purchased content.

  • (Jason Kramer—NYSHEI/ARIA)
  • The ARIA proposal got a very specific endorsement from the Higher Education Commission, but was not included in the Governor’s budget in any way.  NYSHEI is maintaining an optimistic approach that ARIA, with its low cost of $15 million, can be tied to an economic development initiative.  There are bills in the Senate and Assembly carrying the support and sponsorship of the Legislature’s library subcommittees, and NYSHEI is seeking endorsements from other groups.

Looking Ahead to 2009-2010: New York Digital Library? (Janet Welch/Loretta Ebert)

The NOVEL Planning Team’s Initiative III was “Develop a Coordinated Program for the Digitization of Information Resources in New York Libraries and Other Repositories.”  See:    The NOVELNY Steering Committee has recommended for many years that there be coordination and funding on the digitization issue from the New York State Library.  In keeping with that initiative, the Regents Advisory Committee on Libraries (RAC) developed a draft discussion paper on “The New York Digital Library.”  This is a concept being developed for the 2009 budget and legislative initiative.  RAC is interested in input from the library community.  The idea is to explore what exists and to take advantage of the vast resources already in our libraries or in new collections being developed in local communities based upon local historical resources or other local resources.   Librarians have a role in creating content. Should we get some success with this initiative, we would initially need to set up a model and establish standards.  Per the RAC draft discussion paper ( ), one of the core concepts would include “Encouraging partnerships with cultural institutions throughout the state and establishing similar statewide initiatives such as a New York Digital Archive or a New York Digital Museum.

The NOVELNY Steering Committee is asked to consider whether this is a viable Regents initiative going forward, and to contribute input and suggestions (e.g., what the NYS Library and RAC could articulate as initial steps) at   Ms. Ebert encouraged the participants to be thinking of this proposal within the context of their digitization projects.  RAC is looking for more content examples that would resonate with governmental entities.   Action Item:  Input and suggestions on the New York Digital Library can be sent to  

  • The 3Rs councils are interested in developing further their digital libraries and bringing a statewide digital library together.
  • Bringing discovery of existing digital collections into one platform is a good start.
  • This is a wonderful proposal.  Could a full-service option be included where the archives or libraries could submit items for digitization and be billed for the service?  Loretta thought we could explore that possibility.  It would require an enormous resource at the outset, but we could develop it as a phase “down the road” if it is something that is an expressed need throughout the State. 
  • A harvester for metadata could be quickly set up and people could contribute content.  This would allow institutions to test implementation, get a sense of benefits/possibilities.


  • NOVELNY-Ready Level Tables (Linda Todd/Dave Fiske)
  • The latest version of the Statewide Internet Library Levels (formerly NOVELNY-Ready Pilot Project) has been available for public comment.  The chart has been revised based on comments received and is available on the NYS Library website:  Previous charts are available for comparison purposes at: 

    Ms. Todd noted that the standards in the chart align with other State and national standards (e.g., the ALA study that resulted from the ALA FSU survey).  Also, our minimum capacity is in line with the Governor’s New York State Universal Broadband Program standards.

    Action Item:  Please send comments on the NOVELNY-Ready Level Tables to Dave Fiske by February 26:   The chart will be finalized at the end of February.

  • License Agreements (Sarah Conrad Weisman)
  • NECAT (NOVEL Electronic Collections Advisory Team) consists of four members of the NOVELNY Steering Committee with representation as follows:

    3Rs:  Tessa Killian
    PULISDO:  Peg Elliott
    SLSA:  Sue Bartle
    NOVELNY SC:  Sarah Conrad Weisman

    NECAT provides input to the NOVELNY Internal Team and helps recommend databases to the State Librarian.

    The current Gale Health and Wellness database has been renewed through March 2009. A public announcement will be posted on NYLINE as soon as all links to content are active.

    NECAT is currently considering Business and Newspaper databases. Announcements will be made via NYLINE once the databases are selected and licensed (sometime in March).

    Staff are working to align the contracts to an April 2009 renewal date, which might make NECAT's work less onerous in the next round. There are no additional funds to apply to NOVELNY without State funding.

  • Broadband Grant Application (Linda Todd)
  • The NOVEL Planning Team’s Initiative IV is:  “Enhance the Availability of High-Speed Communications for New York’s Libraries Across All Regions of the State.”

    In early December, the Governor’s Office announced that $5 million was available through his New York State Universal Broadband Program.  Of the $5 million, half was specified for schools and libraries.  The State Library thought it was a wonderful opportunity to apply for funds for our libraries, particularly public library systems.  One of the specifications was a four-to-one match.  The State Library decided to develop a statewide application and, using the Gates money as the match, we applied for $1.25 million.  Of that amount, $1 million is earmarked to either create broadband access for public library systems or to update their access; $250,000 would be focused on increased training and the creation of digital literacy centers in public libraries. 

    All 23 public library systems provided letters of support for our proposal.  NYLA is a partner and would provide statewide digital training.  The application deadline date was January 31 and the awards will be made by March 31, 2008.  Should we receive a grant award, the money will be distributed through the public library systems and used on behalf of their member libraries through an application process.

    The other part of the program grant is for service providers.   Libraries may experience more choice of providers or more robust connections offered in their locale as grants are made.

    The Governor’s proposed budget continues funding to support broadband—$15 million.

Action Items

  • Input and suggestions on the New York Digital Library can be sent to
  • Please send comments on the NOVELNY-Ready Level Tables to Dave Fiske by February 26:

The conference call ended at 2:56 PM.

Dates for the remaining 2008 Steering Committee Meetings/Conference Calls::      

Wednesday, April 23, 2008, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM, Nylink, Albany, NY
Wednesday, June 11, 2008, 10-11 AM Conference Call
Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 10:30 AM-2:30 PM, (Albany Area)