The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

August 14, 2002
10:30-3:00 PM
Albany Public Library

Present: Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Jeff Cannell, Elizabeth Closson, Diane Courtney, Bill Crumlish, Diana Cunningham, Carol Desch, Marilyn Douglas, Loretta Ebert, Christie Frost-Wendlowsky, Carey Hatch, Dottie Hiebing, Cara Janowsky, Mary Elizabeth Jones, Susan Keitel, Sara Kelly Johns, Sara McCain, Charles McMorran, John Meierhoffer, John Monahan, Gerald Nichols, Mary Redmond, Kathleen Roe, John Shaloiko, Janet Welch.

Absent: Carole Huxley, James Kadamus, Mary Alice Lynch, Edward McCormick, Marsha Ra, David Walsh, Tom Altruz

The meeting was convened at 10:40 AM.

Welcome and Introduction: Ms. Hiebing welcomed all. She explained how the meeting would be structured and the possibility of change of membership of the small groups. She thanked Jeff Cannell for hosting the meeting.

Ms. Hiebing welcomed input as the meeting progressed. Rules of Engagement were reviewed

Minutes: The first item on the agenda was minutes. Ms. Hiebing asked for any changes, additions or deletions, there were none. Ms. Ebert moved the minutes be accepted as written. Ms. Kelly-Johns seconded and minutes were approved by unanimous vote.

Structure of the Day: Ms. Hiebing stated that the morning breakout session will consist of small groups as they have been constituted. At the first break, the convener will be asked to summarize.

Ms. Hiebing said during the second breakout, members should move from group to group. Post-it notes will be available to comment on other group ideas. After noon, members should return to their original workgroup to modify flip charts based on comments received.

Ms. Hiebing stated that she has been concerned about the small size of the "Digitization Group." It does not have enough members to address the large scope of its charge. She proposed putting the "Digitization Group" on hold for six months. The Steering Committee agreed. Current "Digitization" members will join one of the other groups.

The Steering Committee broke into three small workgroups. Ms. Hiebing asked each group to report on:

  1. Where we are now
  2. Things we ve decided
  3. Things we are still discussing

Small groups reconvened at 12:00 Noon. At that time, members moved from group to group w/post-it notes to add expertise, ideas, comments and suggestions.

Broke for lunch and reconvened at 1:15 PM.

State Library Update: Mrs. Welch spoke about the difficult legislative session. She said the upcoming January session with the Governor s budget proposal will probably be the most difficult faced in a long time. Mrs. Welch added that since the budget process this spring, State revenue is down 25%. The diligent work of advocates, last year, made the case of the importance of State funding for libraries. The State Library and the Board of Regents are moving ahead on New Century Libraries and educating legislators on library issues. The Regents are planning a Regents Policy Conference on October 2 to focus on recruiting a new generation of librarians. The Regents are also interested in marketing and promoting NOVEL. There will be a press conference after the September Regents meeting to demonstrate NOVEL to the press. At the NYLA Conference in October, Dottie Hiebing will speak about the NOVEL Steering Committee and its work.

Ms. Hiebing asked members to rejoin small groups and continue their discussions.

Group reconvened at 2:30 PM and each convener reported on the small group's progress.

Electronic Resource Access Group (ERAG) (John Shaloiko, Diane Courtney):

--Where we are now

  • The ERAG group developed an online survey which the State Library posted on behalf of the NOVEL Steering Committee to Statewide listserves NYLINE, NOVEL-L and EmpireLink. The survey will be crossposted to regional systems and statewide groups. Deadline for responses is October 1, 2002.
  • A small internal subgroup of John, Diane and Soumaya will analyze the initial survey results and produce sample reports by mid-September. The target range for responses from libraries is 500 with at least 250 by mid-September. Will encourage more responses if not on target by mid-September.


  • ERAG decided the NOVEL Steering Committee will further define process and roles of the State Library and library community in terms of Statewide collection development policy for electronic resources. Group wants to invite NYLINK, OGS, and WALDO to subsequent meetings to educate ERAG as to current roles. Focus will be on three areas:
    1. As directed from Regents Commission and enacted as Regents policy-- NOVEL will provide free core electronic resources for all libraries in New York State; (This has State monies directed towards full purchase.)
    2. Board of Regents-articulated policy for NOVEL to provide a free core academic collection (CACHE) that is available to all libraries; (This has State monies directed towards full purchase.)
    3. The role the State will play in the coordinated purchase and/or subsidy of statewide contracts. Weighing the value of that versus that done by NYLINK and WALDO, the group feels the State needs to play a role. He stated we want to bring NYLA, NYLINK and OGS into subsequent meetings to educate us to current roles.

--Still Discussing

  • The NOVEL Steering Committee is policy making and not the group to make database selection. We need to discuss separate role of database selectors.
  • We need to discuss the role of systems in training, marketing, and infrastructure for access.
  • We need to discuss the successes and failures of EmpireLink. Why are certain libraries not participating?
  • ERAG will look at vendor relationships. There is the need to bring in vendors and talk about marketing.
  • ERAG will discuss bidding requirements for libraries with regard to funding, importance and our recommendation to the Board of Regents to adopt a funding policy. Jerry Nichols has agreed to draft a letter.

--Goals for December:

    1. Survey responses, analysis and reports;
    2. Articulate role of e-resources group;
    3. Funding policy articulated for adoption by Regents;
    4. Define collection development process; and
    5. Process to review and evaluate EmpireLink project.

Immediate Next Steps: Monitor survey results, analyze results and report back at Steering Group meeting October 11.

Portal Group (PG) (John Meierhoffer):

--Where we are now

  • Portal approaches range from a "full fledged" resource discovery tool to a level much less ambitious.
  • PG focused on current branding of NOVEL resources as they relate to online catalogs and web sites.


  • Even in brief expression of approaches, the branding issue might be addressed soon and in a larger concept at a later point of time; and
  • We need to define things more.

--Still Discussing

  • Group is still discussing the key ingredients of a "portal", i.e. types of portals that might be appropriate here.
  • Group discussed the possibility of having a NOVEL home page, a site the local library web would point to which focuses on resources. Group needs to look at range of concepts we can use and understand. Group is more at a conceptualization stage.

--Goals for December:

    1. finalize portal definition and taxonomy of portals as they pertain to NOVEL; and
    2. meet with experts to critique those approaches.

Immediate Next Steps: Preparation of a summary of concepts we spoke of so far (other people might want to be involved). There are also other published articles on web we want to do informal survey of existing web sites and develop checklist to get sense of variety of portals out there already. This will help focus on characteristics appropriate for a NOVEL portal. Based on these, we need to rethink the categories we came up with so far.

  • Mr. Nichols asked about live interfaces like 24/7 references. Would these be part of a NOVEL portal? Mr. Meierhoffer said this was one of the characteristics the PG wants to expand on as there are marketing implications.

High-Speed Telecommunications Group (HSTG) (Marilyn Douglas)

--Where we are now

HSTG agreed to gather data about and maintain accurate inventory of telecommunication information. We agreed we need to mobilize existing resources to gather data with expertise from Gates Foundation, Public Service Commission, Office for Technology and the school library systems for telecomm for schools.


We will focus on what we as a library community can influence. The library systems have an important role to play in data gathering. As far as comments about statewide coordination for telecommunication to end users (e.g., providing end users with broad band connections), we don t feel we can go there--we will focus on policy related to library connections. For the time being, we will accept the Gates Foundation definition of "broad band" which is "any dedicated or

always-on connection enabling 200Kbps or greater symmetrical connections. Grant funds in this category may be used for upgrades in individual library systems to connect to a private Internet service provider (ISP), or to complete library building or system connectivity to a state network."

--Still discussing

Service to the whole library community. We may be able now to gather data we need through working with systems and some of the offices; for example, the Public Service Commission may have already collected information. We are contemplating a conference call to identify outside experts. We will develop a script for the call so when we talk to experts we ask same sorts of questions. We are also discussing the need for a clearly-defined, long-term goal, formula or standard for minimum productivity.

Between now and October, we will do background research on funding, data communication and equitable access. We will actually develop a script through electronic means and then contact experts and ask if they would participate in a conference call.

By December, we will have had the conference call; developed a direct plan for data gathering with long term goals clearly defined. Experts in this area are: NYSERNET, PSC, Gates as well as some RICs to provide guidance.

Mr. Meierhoffer reminded the Committee that James Kadamus had talked about the SED Virtual Learning Space project for web-based learning experiences at the first NOVEL Steering Committee meeting. John believes we need to bring all together on one web site. This was seen as a counterpart to NOVEL (another resource finding tool). SED is very close to selecting the vendor to do some work on that and State Library staff will be on the work groups.

Ms. Hiebing thanked Committee members and reminded everyone of the next meeting which will take place on October 11 in New York City at METRO Headquarters.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 PM.








Electronic Resources Group

Flip Chart Notes 8/14/02




Where Are We Now?

  • Statewide survey out to NYLINE and NOVEL-L August 14
  • Due back October1

What was decided:

  • Put a Link to survey on NYSL website
  • 3RS and Library Systems will post on regional listservs John S.
  • Monitor the Responses good = 500 official responses, would like 250 by mid Sept.
  • link from SLMS listserve, website, LMNet Sara K-Johns
  • Send via email to EmpireLink participants - M E Jones
  • PULISDO - Jerry/Mary public library systems lists
  • Have results to discuss at October 11 meeting
  • Compare population of NYS and number of libraries vs. other states

Comments from Others:

  • How do NY Libraries/population compare with other states, e.g. California, Ohio, etc.
  • If survey response is small plan to get more
  • Is there any interest in developing a NY scholar s repository? (Services Beyond scope of ERG)
  • Exploring products other than databases, e.g. 24/7 reference (Services Beyond scope of ERG)
  • What are some libraries not participating? Role of library supervisors: promotion issue. How to insure equity of opportunity for database access for every library in system. - Access

Still Discussing:

1. How do we want to analyze survey results?

  • Products we want from the survey results?
    • Follow-up - post a notice for NOVEL program on NOVEL website - notify via listservs by October 31 NYLA ConferenceWant survey products
  • Decision
    • Small group to work on developing reports by early October - Diane, Soumaya, John with Cara, Marilyn, Diane M.)

2. Determine role of NOVEL Steering Group

  • Re: policy and process
  • Developing Collection Development Policy
  • Define State's role
  • Selection process
  • Purchases statewide
  • Coordination of purchases
  • Financing
  • Marketing
  • Training

Comments from others:

  • Collection Development Policy - good idea!
  • Feedback to library community on results of survey

3. Policy role of NOVEL SC electronic resources group vs. separate group of database experts to select databases.

  • Small group: do trials for field to test

4. How to best assert that the function of NOVEL is to "level the playing field" for access to electronic resources for all New Yorkers.

5. How to develop collection development policy for NOVEL/determine underlying philosophies.

  • Directive from Regents Commission/Board of Regents
  • Core for general public/school/all libraries
  • Regents articulated core academic collection as part of NOVEL and as part of academic research initiative
  • "Delta Force" coordinated purchasing /statewide with discounts
  • Contract negotiation

Comments from others:

  • Can you develop a process to do "trials" or database testing which would be reviewed/evaluated by experts-users alike?
    • Need inventory in addition to a survey feedback to State? (ERG decided that maintaining inventory difficult to do and of doubtful use: usage statistics more important)

6. Define roles for library systems

  • Ensure equitable access
  • Training
  • Other?
  • Infrastructure for access
  • Marketing in partnership with access

7. Look at successes/failures of EmpireLink.

  • Substantial number of libraries either are not/cannot participate in EmpireLink.

    (Sub questions - What are barriers that have prevented 3,200 libraries across that State from participating in EmpireLink?) (3,700 do participate)

8. Vendor relationships and role of State in Statewide negotiations and coordinating purchases

  • Consider NYLINK and WALDO (others?) as subcontractors

9. Marketing

10. Funding Policy

  • Importance of recommendation for statements for Regents to adopt as policy.
  • Consider bringing in WALDO, OGS, NYLINK to discuss their roles with database contracting.

11. Competitive bidding requirements of State agencies, school library systems, etc. (consider)?

12. Ongoing evaluation process including library users.

Comments from others:

  • How can the statue, collective power of Y Libraries service as a "delta force" to negotiate pricing?
  • Defer to NYLINK and WALDO



Portal Group

Flip Chart Notes 8/14/02


Concepts of Portal

  • Resource discovery tool (individual) (NOVEL as first portal)
  • Not mutually exclusive
  • Branding of NOVEL
  • Supported resource
  • Implemented locally
  • "Icon" placement rules
  • NOVEL home page
  • Authentication

Next Steps:

  • Prepare summary of Portal Concepts John
  • Investigate (Search Web) for types of Library Portals or other examples e.g. (info)
  • Look at State Library Portals (with checklist of characteristics of Portal)
  • Distribute Background information
  • Collect URL s and distribute to Portal Team
  • Based on above, revamp, rethink Portal categories
  • Major issues/questions for experts.

Comments from others:

  • Keep it user focused
  • How to make access easy for the customer
  • Make it easy for customer to get into the database
  • Who is responsible for authentication role of local library use driver s license
  • Many small libraries don t have something like EZ proxy that allows for easy authorization -who do we tie them into?
  • Gear to different levels
  • Adult
  • Children
  • Think of ways to help local libraries take advantage
  • Training, etc.
  • How to publicize to end users
  • Interactive tutorial integrated with portal ("TIH" from Texas a model)
  • (For smaller libraries and schools and one person specials) library systems have a role in helping them customize
  • Allow users to search a subject across different databases, online catalogs, etc.
  • Bring in Dr. Bob Sunderman who is an expert in human computer interface.


Telecom Group

Flip Chart Notes 8/14/02


Where we are:

  • Need to gather data and maintain accurate inventory
  • Mobilize existing resources to gather data and where it might exist
  • Mobilize existing resources to assist in identifying what we need to know
  • Gates Foundation Marilyn
  • PSC and OFT Carey
  • RICs Christie
  • NYSER Net Carey

What we decided:

  • Focus on what we, as a library community, can influence
  • Library systems have important role to play in data gathering
  • 3Rs Academic, Special
  • SLS RICs (Schools)
  • PLS Public
  • Accepted definition of broadband (Gates Foundation)
  • May not need a survey
  • Need conference call(s) with "outside experts"
  • Need clearly defined, long-term goal (formula/standard for minimum connectivity)

Next Steps:

  • Background research (what other states have done funding, data communication, equitable access)
  • Develop script (electronically)
  • Contact "experts)
  • Hold conference calls

Goals: (Between now and October Meeting)

  • Will have had conversations with experts
  • Will have draft for data gathering (elements, sources)
  • To develop a clearly defined, long term goal (formula/standard for appropriate connectivity) Chuck (electronically)

Comments from others:

  • What is the minimum KBRS for each type of library?
  • How will you deal with security issues
  • Clarify goal be more specific for libraries, capacity of library
  • Great job!
  • Goal needs work break down to phases
  • State coordination of TELCOM providers
  • Public vs. private providers is State responsible?
  • What s the role of the library systems and 3R s in achieving the goal for statewide connectivity?
  • Brilliant!