The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
background vertical lines

Meeting Minutes

July 8 , 2003

10:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
NYLINK Office Albany, New York

PRESENT: Tom Alrutz, Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Jeff Cannell, Diane Courtney, Bill Crumlish, Diana Cunningham, Carol Desch, Marilyn Douglas, Phyllis Fisher, Carey Hatch, Dottie Hiebing, Carole Huxley, Cara Janowsky, Sara Kelly Johns, Mary-Alice Lynch, Sara McCain, Gerald Nichols, Mary Redmond, John Shaloiko, Katherine Storms, Janet Welch

GUESTS: Donna Dixon (NYLINK), Mary Linda Todd

ABSENT: Loretta Ebert, James Kadamus, Susan Keitel, Wanda Knight, Edward McCormick, Chuck McMorran, John Meierhoffer, John Monahan, Marsha Ra, Kathleen Roe, David Walsh
RECORDER: Lisa Petrocelli

Welcome & Introductions

Dottie Hiebing, Chairperson, welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked members to introduce themselves. She thanked Mary Alice Lynch, NYLINK Executive Director for hosting the Steering Committee meeting.

State Librarian's Comments

Janet Welch, State Librarian, reminded everyone that NOVEL remains a top priority with the State Education Department (SED) and with the Board of Regents. Commissioner Mills and the Regents are working hard advocating for New Century Libraries legislative proposal in order to get the State funding needed to maintain and expand NOVEL.

Mrs. Welch also noted that she and Ms. Hiebing will soon be looking at succession planning for the NOVEL Steering Committee. They will be discussing a more formal structure of appointments with set terms for the Steering Committee members, and would appreciate any suggestions from current members. Mrs. Welch noted that the NOVEL Steering Committee is a standing advisory committee, working under the overarching policy umbrella of the Regents Advisory Council on Libraries. Mrs. Welch anticipates that there will be a NOVEL Steering Committee as long as there is a NOVEL project.

Approval Of Minutes

The Steering Committee approved the June 13, 2003 minutes of NOVEL Steering Committee Conference Call Meeting.

Novel Databases Project Update And Assessment

Mary Redmond reported that the State Library added a suite of Gale databases on April 1, 2003, ReferenceLink and Twaynes Literature, to replace Dialog@Carl. Shortly thereafter, Gale notified the State Library that they would no longer be supporting the ReferenceLink product.

Gale is now providing the following products for NOVEL as a replacement for ReferenceLink: Informe (a Spanish language database), Custom Newspapers, New York State Newspapers, and National Newspaper Index. Twaynes is also continued. Feedback thus far is very positive. People are particularly happy with full text of The New York Times.

Jerry Nichols noted that with the new Gale products, libraries can no longer link directly to the specific URLS for popular, individual newspapers - can the State Library get that capability back? Mary Redmond will investigate. Others noted the popularity of the upstate New York State newspapers.

Several NOVEL Steering Committee members suggested the State Library consider purchasing "Serial Solutions" as a next step for improving easy customer access to the thousands of newspapers and journals now available through NOVEL databases.

Linda Todd, State Library NOVEL Databases Internal Team member, presented statistics and assessment data on NOVEL Databases use. The State Library reached the Commissioner's goal of 4,400 libraries participating in the NOVEL Databases Program by June 30, 2003 and exceeded the goal of 8 million searches. As of May 2003, there were 9.44 million searches. Ms. Todd shared pie charts showing monthly use of various NOVEL databases. She noted that the State Library welcomes suggestions on types of statistics that should be used to promote NOVEL databases.

Steering Committee members commented:

  • Ms. Hiebing asked if State Library staff can determine which types of libraries are using the various databases. Break the data out by sector - who is using what at what level? Ms. Todd said that the information is available from the vendors - the State Library gets monthly statistics from each vendor as well as printouts by region.
  • Mr. Nichols suggested reporting out use of the various databases on "cost per use" basis. Presenting data demonstrating cost-effectiveness is very compelling for advocacy discussions with legislators.
  • Translate the actual number of articles downloaded/accessed as opposed to just the number of searches.
  • Carey Hatch noted that he finds "cost per use" and trend data over time most useful. Looks at trend data to see if something is not working properly - and to inform future selections, interesting to look at what is getting lower usage over time.

Ms. Todd also shared several NOVEL anecdotes collected from NOVEL libraries. She asked NOVEL Steering Committee members to send her any anecdotal information they come across as they talk with people in the library community about NOVEL. These items are used for advocacy and for Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant reports to the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Mrs. Welch noted that it will probably take significantly more time to sign up the remaining libraries that are not participating in the NOVEL Databases Project. Most of the libraries not currently signed up do not have the technological capacity to use NOVEL, and/or they do not have the trained staff. The majority of the remaining libraries are school libraries, most without school librarians.

NOVEL Communications and Outreach to the Library Community

Mr. Nichols asked Ms. Redmond to review the State Library's current organization structure for NOVEL. Ms. Redmond described State Library current structure which includes:

  • NOVEL Leadership - Janet Welch, State Librarian, overall leadership for NOVEL and final decision maker on NOVEL Databases.
  • NOVEL Databases Project, under overall leadership from Mary Redmond, Interim Director of the Research Library, Katherine Storms is the team leader for the State Library's NOVEL Databases Internal Team. Kate is in charge of the day-to-day operation of the NOVEL Data Bases Project, including the Help Desk which is staffed by Research Library reference staff; Soumaya Baaklini works with investigating database products, vendor negotiations etc.; Linda Todd of Library Development handles NOVEL Databases outreach and publicity. Other NOVEL Database Internal Team members include Cara Janowsky, Marilyn Douglas, Sara McCain, and Carol Desch.
  • NOVEL Statewide Planning, Future Development, State Library Leadership for NOVEL Steering Committee work is led by Marilyn Douglas, Division of Library Development with support from Carol Desch and Janet Welch.

Some Steering Committee members suggested that the State Library increase regular communications with the library community and the public on what is going on with NOVEL Databases. The State Library could deal more effectively with those few people who are publicly expressing dissatisfaction (on NYLINE for example) by being proactive and continually communicating. Broader communications to general library staff are needed. Perhaps State Library should think about targeting communications the way that NYLINK does, i.e. getting to key people in functional areas.

Ms. Welch explained that there are currently two major levels of communication: NYLINE and NOVEL Databases listserv. NOVEL Databases listserv is composed of a contact from each library participating in NOVEL Databases Project and includes more specific, technical information that does not appear on NYLINE. Ms. Welch noted that there could be more communication on NYLINE in general on what is happening with NOVEL.

Ms. Hiebing presented some examples of other state's virtual libraries and statewide databases: Galileo, OhioLink, TexShare. She discussed their various governance structures. She then asked Ms. Redmond to report on her presentation on NOVEL at the ALA Conference in Toronto. Mr. Alrutz attended the presentation and noted it was interesting and informative.

Ms. Hiebing referred Steering Committee members to the latest draft of the NOVEL Talking Points. The idea behind developing the talking points is so Steering Committee members will have a tool to help them make presentations and talk with others about NOVEL and what it means to State of New York, where funding comes from, work of Steering Committee, etc. Public presentations about NOVEL by Steering Committee members are important in the process of moving NOVEL forward. Steering Committee identified future possibilities for NOVEL presentations:

New Ideas Through Dec. 2003 - Speakers' Bureau List


Medical Library Association Chapters - Oct. Diana Cunningham
NYSCATE Conference "Learning Without Boundaries"
November 22-25, 2003 Albany Convention Center
Dottie Hiebing
Councils of Deans of Medical Schools Diana Cunningham
CICU Bill Crumlish (info)
NYLA/NY3Rs Academic Libraries Meeting/Syracuse- Oct. John Shaloiko & Dottie Hiebing
Ass't. Superintendents BOCES Curriculum and Instruction Partnership w/public librarians ALL (ask Jerry Nichols for advice)
BOCES (Regional Information Center Coordinators) Janet Welch/Marilyn Douglas
Chair of Library Committee Diane Courtney


Other Ideas for NOVEL Outreach/Presentations:

  • Carey Hatch noted we need to reach constituent groups outside of traditional library groups - would get more response when talking to faculty members. Need to branch out to reach other supporters and general public.
  • Sara Kelly Johns has a ready-made NOVEL powerpoint presentation she did for CASDA (?) with data on the reliability of information, what is useful, why, etc. Contact Ms. Kelly Johns for a copy.
  • When making presentations, post results on NOVEL Steering Committee listserv - what questions were asked, information you got from people - this would help others when going to groups and making presentations.
  • Visits to local legislators offices to demonstrate NOVEL Databases are fruitful. Mr. Nichols noted that his system staff makes sure that the staff in State legislative district offices in Suffolk County is hooked up correctly and taught how to use NOVEL and other system databases.
  • Invite Sandra Galef, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology to the September 18 or December 4 NOVEL Steering Committee Meeting. Diane Courtney volunteered to followup with Assemblywoman Galef.

** 12:00 - Group adjourned for lunch and small groups **

Reports From NOVEL Subcommittees

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES GROUP - John Shaloiko and Diane Courtney, Co-Chairs

  • "NOVEL Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy For a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources"

    • The Electronic Resources Group presented the final policy document to the full NOVEL Steering Committee for review and approval. John Shaloiko noted that this policy document will be an important guiding document for the New York State Library

    • The NOVEL Steering Committee approved the "NOVEL Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy For a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources" unanimously.

    • Marilyn Douglas will post the approved document to the NOVEL Website by ________ and prepare an email announcing its availability for Dottie Hiebing to send to NOVEL-L listserv, NYLINE, and NOVEL Databases Listserv.

  • NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team (NECAT) Proposal

    • The Electronic Resources Group reviewed a draft proposal presented by John Shaloiko for a new advisory group call the NOVEL Electronic Resources Advisory Team (NERAT). After substantial discussion, the Electronic Resources Group amended the original draft proposal to create an NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team (NECAT). Major elements of the final NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team proposal include:

      • NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team will include four members and its specific purpose will be to advise the State Library's NOVEL Databases Internal Team on NOVEL electronic collections selection recommendations to the State Librarian.

      • The group will be very focused, and will have a close link to the NOVEL Steering Committee. Members will have electronic resources selection expertise. Confidentiality is critical.

      • NOVEL Steering Committee remains responsible for advising the State Library on major aspects of the NOVEL Electronic Resources program such as priorities, publicity, planning, policies, communications, etc.

      • The NOVEL Electronic Resources Group also recommended that the NYSL NOVEL Databases Internal Team consult and collaborate with other important groups involved in making statewide database purchases such as SUNY Central and the Higher Education Initiative (HEI).

      • The four NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team members will include a NOVEL Steering Committee member, a NY3Rs representative, a PULISDO representative and a SLSA representative.

      • Dottie will appoint the NOVEL Steering Committee representative. She will ask the three system organizations to each select their own representative to NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team.

      • Travel costs for NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team work will be covered by NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team members themselves or by respective system organizations.

      • NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team will be appointed by October 1, 2003.


    • The NOVEL Steering Committee approved the amended NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team proposal, with two NAY votes (Cunningham, Fisher).

    • John Shaloiko will finalize approved Novel Electronic Collection Advisory Team proposal text and send a copy to all NOVEL Steering Committee members.

    • Dottie Hiebing will invite NY3Rs, PULISDO and SLSA conveners to each nominate a representative to serve on this group. Goal is for Dottie Hiebing to have NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team appointed by October 1, 2003.


  • NOVEL Databases Evaluation Feedback Form for the Website

    • Cara Janowsky will take the Electronic Resource Group's improvement suggestions, revise the form and will be sure it gets up on the State Library's website.


  • Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey (Fall 2002) Report

    • John Shailoko presented final survey report to the Electronic Resources Group.
    • The group recommended that the survey report be posted promptly to the NOVEL website.
    • Dottie Hiebing thanked John and the State Library staff for their work on this excellent report.
    • Marilyn Douglas will be sure that the report is posted promptly and she will draft an email for Dottie Hiebing to send to NYLINE announcing that survey results are now available.

PORTAL GROUP- Marilyn Douglas, Acting Chair.

A subgroup of the Portal Group (Sara McCain, Marilyn Douglas, Linda Todd, Kate Storms, and chair John Meierhoffer) is refining the list of priorities for the NOVEL Portal from suggestions filtered from NOVEL portal seminar November 2002.

Several members of the Portal Group will meet on July 28 with David Walsh , SED Chief Information Officer, Ann Schiano, SED/EMSC Curriculum & Assessment, and Gary Kuchark, SED/Information Technology Services (ITS) to discuss the relationship between NOVEL and the SED Virtual Learning Space. The Portal Group is hoping SED/ITS will help us develop a NOVEL portal by providing the expertise and resources. What NOVEL has to offer is CONTENT - "deep web" information.

The Portal Group feels it is important to develop pilot to get a NOVEL portal off the ground. The Portal Group has identified several issues that will need to be addressed as pilot project is developed:

    • Need search engine that does federated searches across content. The idea would be a main NOVEL page/portal and several points of access off it - one to resources for children, another access point for adults which would lead to resources that adults would want, possibly other access points that would lead to catalogs, digitized resources, etc.
    • Authentication - if we are going to be part of VLS, need to talk to them about how they are going to deal with authentication of users. What are resources to do that, what can we do?
    • Maintenance and scale - at statewide level - what are the resources needed to keep the NOVEL portal current and where will those resources come from?
    • Will the State Library be a clearinghouse for local libraries? - something to explore.
    • CIPA ruling - will it have impact on what we end up trying to do? Databases? What would happen to access if filters are there? Will be issue for internet providers.
    • Do we have sense of how many people in state will have access through NOVEL portal or through local library .or through both access points? Will individuals go to a NOVEL portal/ web site or just go to their university or public library website to access NOVEL resources? what is the best focus for a NOVEL portal?

The Portal Group will provide a written report on the identified Portal Priorities, results of VLS meeting (s) and recommendations for next steps to the Steering Committee for discussion at the September Steering Committee meeting.

NOVEL at NYLA Conference, November 2003, Saratoga Springs

There will be several activities related to NOVEL at the NYLA Conference:

  • NOVEL Program - Ms. Hiebing asked Steering Committee members to plan on attending the NOVEL Program . Ms. Redmond is responsible for planning the NOVEL program. Program will be major part of the State Library News program on Thursday, November 6 from 4:30 to 5:45 pm. Ms. Redmond asked the Steering Committee members for ideas about content and format for the program. Current ideas include: update on the NOVEL Databases Project, including how databases are currently selected; a review of the work of the NOVEL Steering Committee by Ms. Hiebing or others; information on NOVEL demonstrations to legislators - get people volunteering, get feedback - any tips, etc. and time for questions/answers. NOVEL portion of the program will be one hour.
  • NOVEL in the Exhibits - NOVEL will be a major feature at the State Library table in the NYLA Conference Exhibit Hall sponsored by the Friends of the State Library. Ms. Redmond may ask for help from the Steering Committee in staffing the exhibit table, as State Library staff attendance at the NYLA Conference will be small due to severe restrictions on State travel.
  • NOVEL Give-aways - Steering Committee suggested State Library have something to give people - stickers for badges (I am a NOVEL Lover). Members of Steering Committee who are also members of the Friends of the State Library will discuss the idea of stickers with the Friends.
  • NOVEL Poster Session - Steering Committee suggested that State Library present a poster session on NOVEL for the Saturday 9 am - 12 noon Poster Sessions. Mary Redmond will pursue this possibility.

Upcoming Steering Committee Meetings

  • Thursday, September 18, 10:30 am -3:30 pm , East Greenbush Public Library
  • Wednesday, October 22, Conference Call, 2:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 4, 10:30 am -3:30 pm, Albany area - location to be determined
  • Tuesday, January 27, Conference Call, 10:00 am
  • Thursday, February 19, 10:30 am-3:30 pm, Albany area - location to be determined

****NOVEL at NYLA: Thursday, November 6, 4:30-5:45 PM, "News from your State Library"

Action Items

  • Janet Welch and Dottie Hiebing will discuss formal structure of appointments with set terms for Steering Committee members, and would like suggestions from current members by September 5, 2003.
  • Mary Redmond will investigate whether Gale can restore the capability to link directly to specific URL's for popular, individual newspapers, by September 18.
  • Diane Courtney will contact Assemblywoman Sandra Galef and invite her to the September 18 or December 4 NOVEL Steering Committee meeting.
  • Marilyn Douglas will post final "NOVEL Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy For a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources" document to NOVEL website by August 1, and prepare email announcing its availability for Dottie Hiebing to send to NOVEL-L listserv, NYLINE, and NOVEL Databases Listserv by August 1.
  • John Shaloiko will finalize approved NOVEL Electronic Collection Advisory Team proposal text and send copy to all NOVEL Steering Committee members by August 15, 2003.
  • Dottie Hiebing will invite the conveners of NY3R's, PULISDO, SLSA groups to each recommend a representative to the new NOVEL Electronic Collections Advisory Team (NECAT) with the goal of having the NOVEL Electronic Collections Advisory Team in place by October 1, 2003.
  • Cara Janowsky will revise NOVEL Databases Evaluation Feedback Form, share with Electronic Resources Committee for comment and then post to State Library's website by September 18.
  • Marilyn Douglas will post Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey (Fall 2002) Report to website by August 1 and will draft email for Dottie Hiebing to send to NYLINE announcing that survey results are available.
  • Portal Group members will meet with David Walsh, SED Chief Information Officer, and other SED staff on July 28 to discuss relationship between NOVEL and SED Virtual Learning Space.
  • Portal Group will provide written report on identified Portal Priorities, results of VLS meeting(s) and recommendations for next steps to the Steering Committee, by September 11, for discussion at the September Steering Committee meeting.
  • Members of Steering Committee who are also members of Friends of the State Library will discuss the idea of stickers for badges for NYLA Conference, by September 18.
  • Mary Redmond will pursue possibility of NOVEL for Saturday, 9:00-12:00 Poster Sessions.