The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, June 11, 2008, Conference Call
10:00-11:00 A.M. 

Present:  Bower, Choltco-Devlin, Conroy, Desch, Duncan, Ebert, Eggleston, Fiske, Heebner, Hogan, Howe, Janowsky, Killian, Krupczak, Legendre, Mayo, McRae, Penniman, Pope, Roe, Serlis-McPhillips, Todd, Tuliao, Weisman, Whelan, Woodward, Wyrwa

Absent: Bardyn, Bartle, Borges, Burke, Cannell, Elliott, Gilloon, Hatch, Katzin, Kendrick, Kramer, Walsh

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 April 23 meeting were approved with a minor modification:  Howe moved; Wyrwa seconded. 

2008-2009 Legislative Update (Carol Desch)

There is a multi-billion dollar budget gap for New York State.  State agencies have been requested to reduce their expenditures by 3.35 percent. The 2008-2009 State budget also includes a two percent cut for aid to localities, which includes state aid to libraries and library systems.  There is some indication that if the State’s fiscal situation deteriorates further that there may be more budget reductions after the November elections.  State Library Staff staff continues to work with control agencies to obtain final approved figures for the library aid. 

The State Education Department is in the process of developing 2009-2010 Regents budget and legislative priorities.  The Regents Advisory Council on Libraries (RAC) made recommendations for increased library funding in their annual report to the Regents Cultural Education Committee at the May Regents meeting: .  Their recommendations included a request of $5 million for a New York Digital Collection Initiative.   

State Librarian Search (Carol Desch)

Janet M. Welch's last day in the office was June 6. A broad-based national search has begun for her successor. Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Cannell has appointed Liz Hood, Director, Office of Public Broadcasting, to chair the search team. The plan is to fill the position by early Fall. A listing of search team members will be announced shortly. The posting for the position is available at: . Ms. Desch encouraged Steering Committee members to share the State Librarian position announcement with others who might be interested in the job.

Action Item: Questions/suggestion/nominations should be forwarded to Liz Hood at or Jeff Cannell at .

New York Digital Collection Initiative (Carol Desch/Loretta Ebert)

In addition to RAC’s presentation about library funding needs at the Regents Cultural Education Committee meeting in May, Jill Hurst-Wahl (RAC) and Elaine Engst, State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) made an exciting presentation about the new proposal for a collaborative New York Digital Collection Initiative.  The Regents were very receptive and voted to adopt it. 

Ms. Ebert reported that the Office of Cultural Education leadership will meet on June 12 to discuss alternatives for next steps.  Possible next steps may include the establishment of a steering committee and the development of a demonstration project.  There is recognition that there are still many questions to be answered.

Ms. Ebert attended the annual New York State Higher Education Initiative (NYSHEI) meeting in Syracuse where there was interest in the Digital Collection Initiative among the academic librarians, particularly establishing a common digitization center, or regional digitization centers, that would provide laboratories for digitization training and coordination of existing collections.  They viewed the State as being the appropriate structure for archiving these items for the long term.  Among the suggestions were subject centers for various digital collections to avoid duplication in terms of content and a survey to determine what is already available in digital collections. 


  • NECAT(Sarah Conrad Weisman)
  • The State Library was successful in working with EBSCO to secure a seven-month extension of the general periodicals database through March 2009.  All the license agreements for current NOVELNY databases will be due for renewal at the same time, which will improve latitude for negotiation and the ability to compare offers.

    As of this morning, 764 people had opened the NECAT survey on NOVELNY databases.  A future NYLINE message will have information on the closing date of the survey. 

    Action Item:  Send comments about the NECAT survey to Maribeth Krupczak at .

  • Statewide Information and Education Program (Linda Todd/David Fiske)
  • The usability study of the NOVELNY website should be finished by the first week of July. We will receive a written report of the findings and recommendations to improve usability.

    There are two aspects of the usability study: (1) a cognitive walk-through of the site; and (2) a heuristic evaluation-a review of the entire site to see how everything fits together and an evaluation on that basis.

    The Ivy Group contract was to begin in September 2005, but was not finalized until early 2006. Therefore, we have requested a no-cost extension of the project in order to do a more thorough evaluation and possibly do a marketing survey in the fall.

    Note: The NOVELNY website has moved to WebFeat Express, which has changed the website to a more contemporary look.

    Action Item: Send suggestions/comments on the NOVELNY website to David Fiske at .

Success Stories (All)

Success Stories (formerly the Speaker’s Bureau) are ways to promote NOVELNY.  Darrin Conroy posted a notice about NOVELNY on the NYS Small Business Development Center blog, promoting the availability of NOVELNY and how useful it can be.  Conference call participants shared their Success Stories:

  • Mid-York Library System is currently working with the Rome Chamber of Commerce to do training on both electronic resources and Web 2.0 technologies, and is in the process of developing a blog for the Rome Chamber of Commerce to work with the community to promote NOVELNY and resources.
  • Norwood-Norfolk Central School librarians provide students with a chart of databases that would work best for specific assignments and also provides the chart to public libraries in their community so that students have it available when they visit the public library to work on the assignments. 
  • The Attorney General’s Office recently had a program in the Empire State Plaza on internet safety.  State Library staff reached out to them and provided information on NOVELNY which the speaker reviewed and shared with the 30 parents in attendance. 
  • A spouse used his library card to access a Business and Company Resources Center database for a work assignment and wowed his colleagues with the information gathered.
  • One of the activities in the plan for NOVELNY was to meld it into the Statewide Summer Reading Program (SSRP) so that students could become familiar with the NOVELNY databases.  Using the graphics in the SSRP, David Fiske developed two quizzes for young readers and teen readers.  (See the SSRP site: )  If the reader gets stuck, he/she  can click on a button and go to the Searchasaurus database from EBSCO.
  • Middle Country Public Library’s Adult Services Department is teaching a library science class about electronic resources via NOVELNY databases and tutorials.
  • At the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, the county legislators attended a luncheon program which featured database demonstrations using topics relevant to Erie County. 

Action Item:   In order to capture Success Stories, State Library staff will investigate creating a blog on the NOVELNY website.  Steering Committee members will be invited to share their stories to get the blog started.

Based on discussion on the school library listserv, the school library community sees a need to develop a subject-oriented way to use databases (listing them by subject category), rather than referring to them as Gale and EBSCO databases.

Action Items

  • Questions/suggestion/nominations should be forwarded to Liz Hood, Chair of the New York State Librarian Search Team, at or Jeff Cannell at
  • Send suggestions/comments about the NECAT survey to Maribeth Krupczak at .
  • Send suggestions/comments on the NOVELNY website to David Fiske at .
  • State Library staff will investigate creating a blog on the NOVELNY website.

The conference call ended at 10:50 A.M.

Remaining 2008 Steering Committee Conference Call:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008, 12:30-2:00 PM