The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

NOVEL Steering Committee
Tuesday, September 14, 2004
East Greenbush Community Library

Present: Baaklini, Backman (representing Roe), Borges, Brink, Cannell, Cunningham, Desch, Douglas, Ericson, Hiebing, Janowsky, Johns, Knight, Lynch, McCain, Monahan, Redmond, Shaloiko, Storms, Todd

Absent: Alrutz, Courtney, Crumlish, Ebert, Hatch, Huxley, Kadamus, Kaplan, Little, Meierhoffer, Nichols, Walsh, Welch

Recorder: Deitz

Welcome and Approval of Minutes -- Dottie Hiebing

At 10:40 AM, Ms. Hiebing welcomed everyone to the 21st meeting of the NOVEL Steering Committee, with a special welcome to Michael Borges, Executive Director of NYLA, and Prudence Backman who represented Kathleen Roe. She referred to that morning's Times Union "Capitol Profile" article on Carey Hatch.

The July 27 conference call draft minutes were approved (John Shaloiko moved; Sara Kelly Johns seconded; motion passed).

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

Status of the State Budget: The Legislature restored the proposed 5 percent cut to library aid that the Governor had proposed. The Governor vetoed it. Legislators have until the end of the year to take action on the Governor's veto. NYLA is fairly optimistic that the Assembly will override the veto, but not certain about the Senate, so efforts should be focused on the Senate. Mr. Borges added, "If you have not already done so, between today and September 20th encourage your Assembly Member to override the Governor's veto. After the 20th, make a personal visit to your Senator. A state cut results in a conconsumate federal cut-bring this to their attention. NYLA will be printing up bumper stickers, "I Love Libraries and I Vote" for distribution at the NYLA Conference. They have also prepared a press release: People who use libraries also vote, so the legislators should listen to them."

New Century Libraries:

Referring to the handout, "New Century Libraries Leadership Meetings 2002-2004," Carol advised that there will be an NCL Leadership Meeting with the Commissioner and Regent Dawson on September 16 (hosted by the Northern New York Library Network) in Potsdam, followed by November 10 (hosted by the Southern Tier Public Library System) in Bath and November 29 (hosted by METRO) in New York City. These statewide meetings are a good opportunity for people to get together to talk about the importance of libraries.

State Library -- Changes in Staffing in Library Development:

Marilyn Douglas will be officially retiring from the Division of Library Development on October 21st, but leaving September 30. Pat Mallon and Jim Farrell, also Library Development Specialist IIs, already retired and Scott Hughes left Library Development to become Director of the Geneva Free Library. Thus far, the State Library has not received permission to fill any of these vacated positions. These departures will have a direct impact on this Committee. Kate Storms will be taking over some of the work that Marilyn had been doing in supporting the work of the NOVEL Steering Committee. Linda Todd will be taking on increased responsibilities for NOVEL outreach and communications; e.g., the NOVEL program and the NYLA conference, LISTSERV, etc.


Mary Redmond will be the lead for the DMV access project.

Carol referred to the graph, "NOVEL Database Project," which illustrates that NOVEL searches continue to increase dramatically. The State Library's new extended borrowing program has been getting lots of press coverage. Also, the State Library is submitting an NEH Library of Congress proposal for the National Digital Newspaper Project.

NOVEL Invitational Grants Report -- Linda Todd

Using federal LSTA funds, the State Library has thus far awarded nine-month grants to 73 library systems to promote NOVEL and train library staff and the public in using NOVEL databases. See handout, "Preliminary List of NOVEL Invitational Grants." The State Library received 62 applications--five were collaborative-for $1,001,995. Just about every system applied and was awarded a grant. She referred to the "NOVEL Invitational Grant 2004-04 Proposed Activities" graph which illustrates how many people are anticipated to participate, will be trained, etc.

NECAT Report-Randy Ericson

NECAT (NOVEL Electronic Collections Advisory Team) looks at NOVEL databases and makes proposals and suggestions as to what databases the State Library should subscribe to. They also review proposals from vendors and, working with State Library staff, pass comments and suggestions to the State Librarian. The group consists of Mr. Ericson representing the NOVEL Steering Committee, Mr. Shaloiko representing the 3Rs Council, Mr. Kuntz representing Public Library Systems and Ms. Barraco representing School Library Systems. NECAT works closely with the State Library's Internal NOVEL Team in making recommendations to the State Librarian. The State Library Internal Team is led by Kate Storms.

Four topics were covered at the August 25 conference call:

  1. In view of the question of renewal of Gale Health Reference, NECAT discussed proposals from Gale and EBSCO.
  2. There is ongoing consideration of the Virtual Reference Library Collection from Gale.
  3. Online encyclopedias.
  4. Federated search products

Mary Brink referred to a letter from Josh Cohen, Chair of PULISDO about federated search products. Issues that Randy raised are also issues that concern PULISDO.

DMV Remote Access Project Update -- Marilyn Douglas

A letter of agreement has been negotiated with the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles to use their algorithm for New York State licenses in order to provide an alternate method for individuals to authenticate themselves to get into the NOVEL databases via the State Library websites. One of the driving forces behind this effort is that many libraries (particularly the school libraries) do not have the capability to offer remote access to their customers. The State of Michigan has found that despite initial concerns from libraries, using DMV authentication has brought more people to their local libraries.

There has been an extensive amount of testing of the DMV remote access function by State Library staff. The algorithm works fine. The next step is to develop instructions, promotional materials and a communications plan. (This was one of the discussion points for the Electronic Resources Group.) Ms. Brink indicated that PULISDO has raised concerns about New Yorkers using their driver's license to access NOVEL databases. Ms. Hiebing mentioned that the Portal Group began talking about working with DMV authentication a year ago. Ms. Douglas said that part of the impetus is to provide access to the NOVEL databases through the State Education Department's Virtual Learning Space (VLS). We held off providing anything related to NOVEL because currently there is no easy uniform way for the teachers and administrators to get into the NOVEL databases from the VLS site. Mr. Ericson said this is something that can whet one's appetite for more of the same and may encourage people to go to the local library. Ms. Knight spoke in favor of it-it is another form of outreach.

The "New" NOVEL Steering Committee -- Dottie Hiebing

There are several reasons for a "new" NOVEL Steering Committee, starting with the constraints on the New York State Library staff. Previously, we had five or six in-person meetings per year and five or six conference calls. We have decided that we are going to a more limited meeting schedule-on a trial basis-with two in-person meetings and two conference calls next year. So far, we have two meeting dates for 2005: a conference call on Thursday, January 27 at 10 AM and an in-person meeting in the Albany area on Thursday, March 24, at 10:30 AM, with further details to follow.

We are moving from a committee that has accomplished much important work to a new focus on "advisory." Although the committee will be more of a "thinking" group, work can still be done through task forces.

One year from now, Ms. Hiebing's term as Chair of the committee will expire. To facilitate the transition, she and Janet Welch plan to invite a member of the Committee to serve as Co-Chair, with the intent that this person will take over as Chair. At the end of the meeting, we will recognize several members of the Committee whose terms expire. Future members of the Committee will be determined by the State Librarian, the Chair, the Co-Chair and the New York State Library staff, with emphasis given to keeping a balance in different types of library representation, geographic representation, etc.

An open session of issues and concerns followed.

Working Groups

Portal Group-Marilyn Douglas (for Tom Alrutz)

How to get buy-in for a NOVEL Portal:

  • Get enthusiastic volunteers (diverse committee)
  • PR informational campaign
  • 3Rs meetings to discuss this
  • Regional meetings initiated by system directors
  • Identify what/how this will benefit libraries and users
  • Make it simple, e.g., "click here", zip code
  • Make it "local"
  • Demonstrate cost-benefits
  • Offer training
  • Bring together various stakeholders to discuss pros and cons.
Electronic Resources Group-John Shaloiko (for Diane Courtney)

Driver's License Access to NOVEL Database-Department of Motor Vehicles -- This project provide easy one-step remote authentication to NOVEL databases from the New York State Library website with a New York State driver's license.

    • Target schools, public, specials
    • "Golden opportunity" to promote local libraries.
    • Only for the eleven NOVEL databases
    • State Library page will direct users to local libraries for more databases and will provide help from trained library staff
    • Who will promote "alternate access" service? Suggestions: DMV, State Library, Press packet for legislators? Governor?
    • Alternate remote access is not in competition with libraries, but instead, opens door for library services in general

NOVEL Invitational Grants for Promotion and Training-Steering Committee Suggestions:

    • Media/press notification of grants awarded (local and statewide)
    • Press packets to legislators (emphasize use of federal funds)
    • Opportunity to promote partnership with systems and State Library

NOVEL Feedback Form-It's now live!

    • Promote via NYLINE and request systems to announce via local LISTSERVS

"NOVEL Prototype Interface or Portal"

The portal vision was revised, per the above-noted draft document.




August 25 NOVEL Demo-Syracuse BOCES Linda Todd
September 16 NCL Leadership Meeting w/Commissioner-- North Country Janet Welch, Mary Redmond
September 29 3Rs Directors John Shaloiko
Fall 2004 New York State Reading Association Janet Welch
October 21 NYLA Conference NOVEL Program Everyone
October 22 NYLA Conference NOVEL Poster Session Wanda Knight, Linda Todd
October 22 New York State School Boards Association Conference Janet Welch, Commissioner Mills
October 2004 Upper New York/Ontario Medical Library Association Diana Cunningham
November 10 NCL Leadership Meeting w/Commissioner-Southern Tier Janet Welch, Carol Desch
November 29 NCL Leadership Meeting w/Commissioner-NYC Janet Welch, Carol Desch

Farewell/Congratulations/Onward and Upward Festivities

Certificates of recognition were given to our departing committee members with many thanks for a job well done: Mary Brink, Jeff Cannell, Marilyn Douglas, Sara Kelly Johns and John Monahan. Loretta Ebert and Jerry Nichols, who were unable to attend the meeting, will receive their certificates in the mail.

Action Items
  • Mr. Borges urged that between today and September 20th encourage your Assembly Member to override the Governor's veto. After the 20th, make a personal visit to your Senator.
  • Ms. Hiebing and Mrs. Welch will invite a member of the Committee to serve as Co-Chair, with the intent that this person will take over as Chair


NYLA Conference, October 21-22, 2004, Rochester
Thursday, January 27, 2005, 10 AM Conference Call
Thursday, March 24, 2005, 10:30 AM, East Greenbush Community Library

Meeting adjourned at 2:15 PM for the farewell reception.