The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

NOVEL Steering Committee Conference Call
Thursday, January 12, 2006, 2:00-2:30 p.m., 10C47 CEC

PRESENT: Gail Barraco, Stephen Bolton, Carol Ann Desch, Liza Duncan, Randy Ericson, Cara Janowsky, Janie Kaplan, Sheryl Katzin, Robyn Klose, Wanda Knight, Maribeth Krupczak, Jerry Kuntz, Mary Catherine Little, Mary-Alice Lynch, Sara McCain, Christine McDonald, Mary Redmond, Kate Storms, Barbara Stripling, Linda Todd

ABSENT: Soumaya Baaklini, Michael Borges, Carol Doll, Loretta Ebert, Carey Hatch, Nancy Howe, Carole Huxley, Kathleen Roe, John Shaloiko, David Walsh, Janet Welch

RECORDER: Maribeth Krupczak

Welcome/Introductions/Minutes -- Randy Ericson

Mr. Ericson welcomed everyone to the conference call, especially new members Sheryl Katzin (Brooklyn PL) and Robyn Klose (Nassau Library System). Carol Doll (University at Albany) and Nancy Howe (Central New York Library Resources Council) will also be joining the committee.

The minutes of the September 14, 2005 meeting were approved without revision. Barbara Stripling moved; Kitty Little seconded.

State Librarian's Report -- Carol Desch for Janet Welch

State funding prospects

The Executive budget proposal will be presented on Tuesday, January 17th. There is a budget surplus this year, so Steering Committee members should increase advocacy efforts for NOVEL. The NOVEL Invitational Grants web site has many ideas for training and promoting NOVEL, including some excellent tips on showing legislative staff how NOVEL can benefit them.

2006 Regents Legislative Priorities for Libraries

$2. 6 million to fully fund Education Law formulas and provide formula stabilization or "save harmless" for libraries and systems that would lose money from full implementation of 2000 census.

$450,000 to restore State funding to The New York Public Library for services to CUNY students and for the Science Industry and Business Library (SIBL) to its statutory level of $3 million.

New Century Libraries proposal with focus on NOVEL ($14 million) and Public Library Construction ($30 million) as top priorities -- Total new funds needed annually - $44 million of $117 million requested overall for New Century Libraries.

Committee members asked the State Library (Carol Desch will handle) to alert the NOVEL Steering Committee and the library community to the contents of the Governor's budget soon after its delivery, particularly putting the proposal within the context of what the Regents will be asking for NOVEL.

Changes in NOVEL assignments at the State Library

Loretta Ebert, currently director at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute library, will be joining the New York State Library as Director of the Research Library on Tuesday, January 17th. Mary Redmond will be assuming the responsibilities of Interim Director of Library Operations. Ms. Ebert will take on the lead role for NOVEL activities. Ms. Redmond will assist Ms. Ebert through a transition period. Maribeth Krupczak will provide help, resources and support for the NOVEL Steering Committee, working with Randy Ericson and Loretta Ebert. Ms. Krupczak will, in addition, serve as the lead contact for NECAT (NOVEL Electronic Collections Advisory Team). Liza Duncan will continue as lead person for the Portal Advisory Group.

Several members offered sincere appreciation and thanks to Mary Redmond and Kate Storms for all their past leadership work with the Steering Committee and NECAT.

NOVEL Steering Committee Membership

The State Library is still pursuing a nominee for the Steering Committee from The New York Public Library. Susan Kent has asked for recommendations. The move to less frequent Steering Committee meetings and increased transitions of members to new jobs has caused the State Library to propose that vacancies on the Steering Committee be filled through an annual process rather than as each opening occurs. The State Librarian will appoint people to the Steering Committee during the Fall, a process similar to what is now in place for appointment of Regents Advisory Council on Libraries members. Steering Committee members will still serve staggered, three-year terms. Vacancies occurring during the year will not be filled. No objection from Steering Committee to this change.

NECAT -- Gail Barraco

The NECAT group has been busy this year discussing a number of possible products for addition to NOVEL. Ms. Barraco extended special thanks to Soumaya Baaklini and Kate Storms for their efforts in support of NECAT. The group is presently considering several quotes for newspaper databases. NECAT is looking toward the development of a strategic plan for purchasing and the creation of a database evaluation group of direct service librarians to advise on products under consideration. Ms. Barraco mentioned that she has had many comments from the K-12 community regarding the desirability of adding an encyclopedia to NOVEL. Mr. Ericson commented that this expressed need is all the more reason to advocate for full funding. Our hands have been tied by the lack of funding.

Portal Advisory Group -- Liza Duncan

Portal Pilot Project

The State Library has received the final evaluation report on the project from John Richardson. The federated search product overall is working and people like it. The instance set up for driver license access should be continued, although driver license access as the sole authentication method is less desirable. Users preferred having other means of authentication available, especially in a school situation. The State Library and WebFeat need to work on a feasible method to provide libraries the technical support they require to implement IP or local identification access. The federated search instance on the Research Library site will likely be continued.

Many schools are asking for a federated search interface that includes their own catalog and subscription databases. The next step in the pilot is to pick three or four libraries from among the portal project group and demonstrate how this individualized federated search would look and work. The State Library needs to develop a reasonable business model with WebFeat so that it would be affordable for a library to add their locally subscribed products. The ability of libraries to link to NOVELNY has been extended through September.

Driver License Access -- Mary Redmond

Ms. Redmond asked the Steering Committee to encourage all libraries to add the NOVELNY link. She has come across some libraries that have provided their users a reminder of the site on their own home page; e.g. Gardiner Library, go to and scroll to note at the bottom of the screen. There are toolkits with ideas for promoting driver license access available at

Suggestions from Christine McDonald to place an article on NOVELNY portal and driver license access in the NYLA Bulletin; send out a NYLINE message featuring examples of libraries who are alerting their users to driver license access, like Mary Redmond's example of Gardiner.

Advocacy Discussion

Steering Committee members went on to discuss several points relating to promotion of NOVEL. The following points were made:

  • An encyclopedia added to NOVEL offerings would generate a lot of support for advocacy for NOVEL. At least one electronic encyclopedia offers a Spanish language option for even broader appeal.
  • Creating a list of bullet points/talking points on areas of greatest interest for advocacy: what increased funding for NOVEL might buy (not specifically named product, but general type, like an encyclopedia or high-end academic database); list a few examples of how other states fund this kind of service. Maybe print this list of points on a bookmark-shaped form?
  • Mr. Ericson suggested that NECAT could come up with an initial brief list and share it with the Steering Committee. The State Librarian would have final approval of what could then be used as an aid for demonstrating what libraries could do if NOVEL funds are provided; for example, New York Times; encyclopedia; materials for school age children; statewide federated search.

LSTA Evaluation -- Sara McCain

The Steering Committee should have received notice that the RFP was published on December 27th. Nineteen copies were distributed to consultants and four additional requests for copies have been filled. Questions may be received until January 16th after which answers will be posted to the Web. Bids are due February 7th. Review of bids will begin immediately after that with a contract possible by April 1st although the contract may take longer to get through. An internal working group at the State Library is already compiling statistics for use by the evaluator. The State Library will share information from the evaluator's reports with the Steering Committee.

Statewide Education/Information Initiative -- Linda Todd

As mentioned in the LSTA evaluation above, contracts can take time to get finalized and this is the case with this project. There is still no contract issued by the Comptroller. The State Library has had an informal conversation with the firm awarded the job. There will be an advisory group formed for the project and that is likely to have Steering Committee participation and certainly input.

2005 NYLA Conference -- NOVEL Program/Poster Session Debriefing-Linda Todd and Kate Storms

Ms. Todd thanked Wanda Knight for her assistance at the NOVEL poster session. The poster session had a good (corner) location in the hall and received good traffic. Emphasizing new topics through a new display may also have contributed to attendee interest. Saturday's program on the Invitational Grants had an overflow crowd. Sue Bartle, Nancy Howe, Robert Schmidt and Rusty Wigg all contributed dynamic examples of what they produced to promote NOVEL with the grant funding.

Ms. Storms reported that, despite having to overcome technical deficiencies in the meeting room, her presentation with Stephanie Barrett of typical NOVEL Help Desk questions was well received by the respecatbly sized audience. She also reported an increase in questions on remote access at the Help Desk. Mr. Ericson posits this indicates more acceptance and use of this option.

Speakers Bureau

This will be postponed until the April meeting.

Future Meeting Dates

  • Wednesday, April 5, 2006, 10:30 AM, East Greenbush Community Library
  • Wednesday, June 14, 2006, 2 PM Conference Call
  • Wednesday, October 4, 2006, 10:30 AM, Site to be determined

Mr. Ericson reminded people that responding "yes" or "no" to conference call participation does make a difference in how many lines are set up for the call, so please answer the e-mail that comes out prior to meetings.

Meeting adjourned at 3:00pm.