The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

March 19, 2003
10:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
Albany Public Library (Albany NY)

Present: Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Elizabeth Closson, Diane Courtney, Bill Crumlish, Carol Desch, Marilyn Douglas, Phyllis Fisher, Dottie Hiebing, Cara Janowsky, Sara Kelly Johns, Wanda Knight, Mary Alice Lynch, Sara McCain, John Monahan, Mary Redmond, Katherine Storms, John Shaloiko, Janet Welch

Absent: Tom Alrutz, Jeff Cannell, Diana Cunningham, Loretta Ebert, Carey Hatch, Carole Huxley, James Kadamus, Susan Keitel, Edward McCormick, Charles McMorran, John Meierhoffer, Gerald Nichols, Marsha Ra, Kathleen Roe, David Walsh

Welcome and Introduction
The meeting was convened at 10:30 a.m. It was open to the public and one observer attended. Pamela Wayer, a library trustee from Nioga, introduced herself. Also attending was Katherine Storms, the State Library's coordinator of NOVEL Database Services.

Ms. Hiebing welcomed the committee with a special welcome to two new Steering Committee members, Phyllis Fisher, School Library Services, New York City Department of Education; and Wanda Knight, Director, Buffalo School Library System.

Term length of members was discussed. The Steering Committee was appointed in April 2002 and members serve a three-year term that would expire in April 2005.

Ms. Hiebing reviewed the Rules of Engagement, the agenda, and information materials distributed. Ms. Hiebing noted the success of Tuesday's NYLA Library Day Rally. Steering Committee members who attended described it as energizing and exciting.

The Minutes of the December 5, 2002, meeting were approved by consensus after minor corrections.

State Librarian's Remarks
Mrs. Welch welcomed the group. She complimented NYLA for the Library Day Rally on the Capitol steps and for their advocacy efforts. The rally drew 1,000 people and got good press coverage. Librarians have done a good job of making legislators aware of the consequences of state aid cuts.

Mrs. Welch has visited legislative leaders and found that advocacy efforts of librarians are paying off. Mrs. Welch found strong support from Assembly members for restoration of library funding and a good deal of support in the Senate. Federal grants for libraries are based on state aid. If state aid is cut, the federal government will reduce the grant to New York by the same percent. A 15% state cut means a loss of $1.35 million in federal funds. The fact that we will lose federal money is a powerful argument in favor of restoring state funding. The federal government gives the money cut from one state to the states that have not reduced library aid. The State Library spends $2 million on NOVEL; a federal cut would be serious and far-reaching.

Mrs. Welch encouraged the group not to give up but to go back to legislators and build on the gains made. On the negative side is the ever-worsening financial situation of the state. While there is support for restoration of library funding, the question remains of where to find the funds.

One potential effect of the state budget is on the replacement of the Dialog @ Carl database. The State Library has the money but may not be allowed to spend it. Mrs. Welch will keep the group informed on this situation.

Mrs. Welch presented a confidential progress report on replacing the Dialog @ Carl database that ends March 31. Mrs. Welch stressed that the name of the database is confidential and asked the Steering Committee to keep the information secure. Negotiations for the replacement database are in the end stages and not yet complete. Things are still fluid.

The selection process included a study of the preliminary results of the NOVEL Steering Committee's Fall 2002 Electronic Resources Survey and the recent newspaper survey. Mrs. Welch thanked John Shaloiko who was involved in selection discussions. While the Steering Committee has not yet developed a formal process for participation, the State Library is seeking appropriate inclusion of the Steering Committee in the selection process. Mrs. Welch is confident that the State Library, with its large suite of databases and expertise in negotiating contracts, will obtain a favorable service contract. Soumaya Baaklini skillfully negotiates these contracts.

Ms. Courtney suggested that another message be placed on NYLINE to let users know of the end of Dialog @ Carl. This should be done as soon as possible and should be placed on both the NOVEL Databases Dialog @ Carl page and on NYLINE. Ms. Redmond will check on what can be done.

Digitization Forums
Ms. Hiebing described progress on the Digitization initiative. This initiative had been on hold until recently. The Steering Committee will now be working with the State Archives and the State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) in developing Digitization Forums to be held around the State in the fall. Steering Committee members who will work with the Archives are Kathleen Roe, Diana Cunningham, Sara McCain, and John Shaloiko. There will be opportunities for other members to work on the digitization forums as plans unfold.

Telecommunications Sub-committee
The Telecommunications Sub-committee will temporarily postpone work to concentrate on the two initiatives that offer the most progress: Electronic Resources and Portal. Telecommunications had been working on ways to get high-speed network connectivity for libraries. Ms. Brink indicated that public library systems have diagrams available of networks within their service areas. This may be helpful to the telecommunications group when they resume work.

Ms. Hiebing asked the Portal and Electronic Resources Sub-committees to meet and report back on:

  • progress since December 2002,
  • activities planned between now and the June meeting.

The Steering Committee broke into sub-committees and worked through lunch. The meeting resumed at 1:30 p.m.

Portal Sub-committee Report
Marilyn Douglas, Temporary Convenor, substituting for John Meierhoffer
Bill Crumlish, Phyllis Fisher, Sara McCain, John Monahan, Mary Redmond, Katherine Storms
Absent: John Meierhoffer, Diana Cunningham, Kathleen Roe
The Portal Sub-committee reviewed the results of the Portal Seminar, held in November 2002, and identified priorities in developing a NOVEL portal.

  • NOVEL Network Access
    o Universal Authentication (Implied in this is security.)
    o 24/7 365 Availability
    o Statistics Reporting - to know how it is being used
    o Branding - so that NOVEL doesn't get lost
    o Integration with Virtual Learning Space (VLS)* - but not subsumed into it
    o Multiple Points of Access - everyone in the state has access through local, school, other libraries; Integration with VLS; Free standing web access
    * VLS is a network initiative of the State Education Department's Elementary, Middle, Secondary and Continuing (EMSC) Education unit.

Next Steps Blueprint

  • The Sub-committee will inform the rest of the Portal group of today's meeting outcomes and action steps.
  • They will convene a small working group to flesh out the essential elements of a NOVEL portal.
  • They will convene a group to hold conversations with two Ex-officio Steering Committee members in the State Education Department: James Kadamus, the Deputy Commission of EMSC responsible for the VLS initiative; and David Walsh, Head of Information Technology Services (ITS). This group will share the sub-committee blueprint with the two and discuss the costs involved, ways to integrate portal access with VLS, and the need for assistance from IT, CGI and others. John Meierhoffer would lead this group. The meetings will take place before April 30 so that a report can be made at the next Steering Committee meeting.

Report to the Steering Committee on April 30, 2003

  • Map future activities
  • May include follow-up with invited committee members (Mr. Kadamus, Mr. Walsh) and/or others, i.e. CGI, Project Manager for VLS to discuss portal development.

Progress to June will depend on the outcome of these efforts.
Ms. Lynch suggested that bringing in vendors is an important step. The Sub-committee has this planned for a later time in the process, when they are clear on what they want. They are in an information-gathering mode and may explore Requests for Information (RFI) and VLS services with vendors.

Access to Electronic Resources Sub-committee Report
John Shaloiko and Diane Courtney, Co-Convenors
Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Carol Desch, Diane Cunningham, Cara Janowsky, Sara Kelly Johns, Mary Alice Lynch, Wanda Knight, Mary Redmond
The Sub-committee worked on the draft policy document, "Access to NOVEL Electronic Resources". They want a thoughtful document that will reflect State policy at the highest level and be well received. When approved, it will become a public document to be used by the library community, legislators and the public. The policy statement was reviewed in detail. Carol Desch and John Shaloiko will work on the final edit.

The Sub-committee identified four items to address.

  • Look at the Fall 2002 Electronic Resources Survey results, analyze and place them on the web.
  • Indicate the reasons for selecting the new database (if it is contracted)
  • Place on web brief narrative on the Newspaper Survey and Fall 2002 Electronic Resources Survey results between April 1 - 15
  • Determine the process for an Evaluation of NOVEL databases and services

Electronic Resources Advisory Group - It's important to have an advisory group that would be a resource for the State Library. They will work on the structure of an Advisory Group.

Collaboration with Other Groups - The Sub-committee recognizes a need to collaborate with other groups such as NYLINK, OGS, WALDO. They suggest a panel presentation/seminar in the fall with these groups. The panel might be one of the State Library programs at the NYLA Conference.

Evaluation of NOVEL databases - To begin to evaluate NOVEL databases, the group recommended adopting the web-based feedback form developed by the University of Minnesota, Minitix. This simple, interactive form would be a first step for customer evaluation of NOVEL databases and services.

By April 30, the Sub-committee will have ready:

  • NOVEL Policy Statement for Steering Committee approval
  • NOVEL survey analyses available on the web at about the same time as new database announcement is made
  • The interactive web-based Minetix evaluation form for NOVEL on the web
  • Panel program description with other consortia
  • Proposed structure, role and recommended selection process of an Electronic Resources Advisory Committee

Publicizing NOVEL
Ms. Hiebing asked the group to review the suggestions compiled at previous Steering Committee meetings on how to publicize NOVEL. One suggestion was a Report to the State. The date for this is expected to be a year from now to allow more time to accomplish goals. One way to notify the library community about NOVEL is for members to speak at meetings of library groups to which they belong. Ms. Hiebing surveyed the group about presentations they have made about NOVEL or could make in the future. Mrs. Welch will have talking points developed by the State Library available shortly that would be helpful to speakers.

"NOVEL Speakers' Bureau"
Capital Area School District Administrators - CASDA - (April 4) Sara Kelly Johns
Information Management Advisory Committee - IMAC - NY State Education Department (March 21) Marilyn Douglas
Done: BOCES. To Do: Elementary Principals - BOCES (Sept.) John Monahan
Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization - WALDO - Executive Committee - (April) John Shaloiko
NY City School District - Information Technology Directors Phyllis Fisher
Public Library Systems Directors Organization - PULISDO - (June 2) Mary Brink
NYLINK Council - (May) Mary Alice Lynch
NY State Library Staff Meeting - (Oct.) Marilyn Douglas
New York - 3Rs Directors - (June) Dottie Hiebing
Library Schools - Advisory Councils Dottie Hiebing
Regents Advisory Council on Libraries - RAC - (April) Dottie Hiebing
Do NYLINE Message, Suggesting Speakers Dottie Hiebing/Marilyn Douglas
New York State Association of Library Boards - (NYSALB) Trustee Institute - (May) Carol Desch
NYLA Legislative Committee Bill Crumlish
NYLA School Library Media Section Conference - SLIMS - (May) Phyllis Fisher/Sara Kelly Johns
Talk about this again in April NOVEL Steering Committee

Ms. Redmond reported that the State Library effort to enlist volunteers to visit legislators and demonstrate NOVEL resulted in 18 people responding. The Library has developed a script for this purpose that Marilyn Douglas emailed to the Steering Committee. Bill Crumlish offered to visit his local legislator's offices. Mrs. Welch is working with Assembly Member Galef and Senator Farley to arrange NOVEL demonstrations for legislators. Mrs. Welch is invited to speak often and must turn down most requests. She asked if she could turn to this group when she is unable to accept a speaking engagement. Ms. Hiebing thanked the group for this involvement and their willingness to undertake this effort.

Ms. Hiebing distributed cards for members to complete a sentence on each side.

  • My greatest concern for NOVEL Steering Committee in the next six months is:....
  • I feel the NOVEL Steering Committee succeeded most in .....

Future Meetings

April 30 at the Albany Public Library
June 13 as a Conference Call at 2:00 PM - the State Library will set this up
July 8 at the NYLINK Office in Albany, NY

The meeting was adjourned at 3:00 p.m.