The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

October 11, 2002
10:30-3:00 PM

Present: Thomas Alrutz, Jeff Cannell, Elizabeth Closson, Diana Cunningham, Bill Crumlish, Marilyn Douglas, Loretta Ebert, Carey Hatch, Dottie Hiebing, Carole Huxley, Cara Janowsky, Mary Elizabeth Jones, Mary-Alice Lynch, Sara McCain, John Meierhoffer, Mary Redmond, John Shaloiko, Janet Welch

Absent: Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Diane Courtney, Carol Desch, Christie Frost-Wendlowsky, James Kadamus, Susan Keitel, Sara Kelly Johns, Edward McCormack, Charles McMorran, John Monahan, Gerald Nichols, Marsha Ra, Kathleen Roe, David Walsh

The meeting was convened at 10:40 a.m.

Welcome and Introduction
Ms. Hiebing welcomed the group. She reviewed the Rules of Engagement for comment and the group agreed that they were working well. Ms. Hiebing thanked the committee for the progress they've made, particularly the convenors of the three sub-committees who had the primary role in making the last meeting an interactive experience.

Ms. Hiebing reviewed the agenda and presented possible dates for the next meeting.

NYLA Conference October 23 - 26, 2002
The meeting on NOVEL will be held on Friday, October 25, 2002 at 10:00 a.m. The program is listed as a State Library program with no mention of NOVEL. For this reason we need to get the word out. Ms. Hiebing asked that members let colleagues know about the NOVEL program at any meetings they attend. The NOVEL Steering Sub Committee convenors will be available to report on progress to date and to interact with attendees individually. The State Library has flyers giving details of the meeting to send electronically and distribute at meetings. There will also be a NYLINE announcement.

NOVEL Report to the State
It's essential to let the library community and the public know about NOVEL and the work of the Steering Committee. Ms. Hiebing indicated that by late Spring 2003, the Steering Committee would be ready to present a NOVEL Report to the State at a meeting to review progress made during the first year of work. The meeting is expected to be held in Albany and have a keynote speaker.

Where We Want to Be at the End of the Day
Discussion included these points:
The task of making the greater library community aware of NOVEL and the work of the Steering Committee is one of the more important roles of the committee. The goal is to make NOVEL visible and apparent to all librarians. The responses to the Electronic Needs Assessment Survey will give an indication of the scope of the problem and let us know how many librarians are aware of NOVEL services. NOVEL and New Century Libraries will benefit every library. If we can communicate how the entire library community benefits, there would be a groundswell of support for New Century Libraries.

It was suggested that when the Collection Development Statement is developed it be shared with the field statewide for comment.

Mrs. Welch clarified the status of New Century Libraries and LSTA funding, Both are at crucial stages, especially Federal LSTA which is being decided at this time.

Where are we Now?
Minutes of the August 14, 2002, meeting were reviewed and corrections made. John Shaloiko moved that they be accepted; Diana Cunningham seconded. Approved.
The convenors of the three sub-committees reported on progress made since the last meeting.

Access to Electronic Resources
John Shaloiko, Convenor
Jeff Cannell, Diana Cunningham, Loretta Ebert, Carole Huxley, Cara Janowsky, Mary Elizabeth Jones, Mary Alice Lynch

The Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey has been tabulated and results were distributed. The group needs to work on a number of issues including looking at the survey to determine what kinds of reports should be generated from it and how to distribute the results. They would like a greater response to the survey.

Jerry Nichols proposed a Collection Development Policy that will be reviewed and considered. The group will work at creating a statewide database selection committee.

Another area to address is marketing and bidding contracts for databases at different levels including school and the SUNY level. There's a need to articulate a funding policy and to look at Novel/Empirelink service usage.

The Electronic Resources Needs Assessment survey provides useful figures (participation, database priority) that reflect one view of the statewide service but satisfaction with the service is another view. The group should engage the Library community and ask for evaluation and feedback. It's important to determine user satisfaction with the service.

Empirelink as been re-branded as NOVEL. Both terms are being used in this transition stage. The official brand is "NOVEL Databases", however it was pointed out that most people don't know what a database is. A better term would be "electronic collections".

Marilyn Douglas, Temporary Convenor
Tom Altruz, Bill Crumlish, Carey Hatch. Charles McMorran was unable to attend and will not be able to continue as convenor due to a promotion. Christie Frost-Wendlowsky will also not be able to continue due to a promotion.

The discussion focused on high-speed broadband connectivity. Connectivity may mean different things in different types of libraries (e.g. school, public, university). The group wants to identify individuals with expertise in this area to act as information resources. Potential sources of technical expertise were discussed. They included personal contacts with an individual from a RIC (Regional Information Centers of BOCES) who is knowledgeable about high-speed broadband connectivity in schools; an individual involved in public colleges/universities, and a contact in the New York State Office for Technology.

Resources are needed to fund the activities. Some funding sources were discussed. The Gates grants for "Staying Connected" supports state library agencies in providing high-speed broadband Internet connectivity to public libraries. The Education Department is talking with the NYS Cable Association about Virtual Learning Space in Schools (VLS) and the need for all schools in the state to have high-speed broadband connectivity. The State Library of West Virginia received a $1.6 million grant from Verizon to create a high-speed broadband connectivity. Some states have statewide networks e.g. Missouri.

The Steering Committee can recommend action but resources are needed to accomplish the goals. The group needs to start thinking of partners, aspects of licenses, and power people with resources. The committee can do only so much. The Sub-committee will identify the needs first and then how to accomplish them.

John Meierhoffer, Convenor
Sara McCain, Mary Redmond

The Portal Sub-committee is working on a conceptual foundation and are defining what a portal is before moving ahead to set it up. To this end, the Sub-committee has arranged a Portal Seminar on in Albany on November 7, 2002. The intended audience for the seminar is the general library community and the Steering Committee. The draft Agenda was distributed. Mary Jackson of ARL is the featured presenter.

The seminar is 70% educational and 30% the response of participants as to what a portal should be and how it should look. The structure of the seminar was presented including questions to be discussed and explored. The seminar would collect feedback on what participants think is important. John Meierhoffer asked for the committee's comments on the draft seminar questions. Ms. Hiebing distributed a sign up sheet to indicate attendance at the seminar. Committee members might be asked to help with small groups.

There are portals that target different groups of users. Rather than have one NOVEL portal, there could be portals for more than one role/audience. Information is coming to us in more than one way. Creating a portal is a difficult task and it may be that the only way to progress is to break it into manageable pieces. It would be too difficult for one statewide portal to be efficient. A Portal should be a toolkit that can be easily used out of the box and not a barrier. The goal of the portal is to integrate functions and to bring people together with information. The portal seminar may be the first of a couple of sessions to explore these issues.

There was a brief discussion of how to let people know about the Portal Seminar. NYLINE, State Library website, NYLA Conference flyers were all suggested.

General Comments
The Digitization of Information Resources Sub-committee is on hold. Digitizing does not have the same level of awareness on the part of most libraries as other initiatives. College and research libraries, historical societies and archives are aware of the importance of digitizing for preservation and are involved in digitizing projects. Public libraries are beginning to become aware of it.

Afternoon Session
The committee broke into the three Sub-committees before the working lunch and continued for about two hours until the group was brought together for progress reports.

Sub-committee Summaries
John Meierhoffer
The educational Portal Seminar is scheduled for November 7 at Albany Public Library. The sub-committee is looking beyond the seminar for approaches to acquire more background information. They would like more participation from Steering Committee members. They need suggestions of other resource persons outside the group with experience and expertise in portals. Their next steps are to have a better understanding of portals through the seminar and the involvement of resources persons as experts, to articulate what is desirable in a portal and what a portal should look like, and to solicit expertise to develop portal alternatives.

Outcomes by March 2003, are to hold the portal seminar and complete an initial draft of conceptual alternative and related issues.

Carey Hatch
Financial assistance is needed to ensure adequate access for all libraries. In addition to the money, standard contracts are needed to implement this. There's a need to create a Goal Statement that libraries can understand that conveys to them the benefits of NOVEL. The group considered how to make this happen. They will continue conference calls with experts in the field and will gather additional data on what's in existence at this time.

It's essential to develop standards for high-speed broadband connectivity. The committee should undertake a more proactive role statewide, along the lines of how OCLC operated. There's a need to monitor and manage access so that the libraries would own the process. The Steering Committee would take the leadership role in brokering partnerships. The state is diverse and because of this there will most likely be more than one model of a system contract. The committee would manage contracts as opposed to providing the services. It would obtain access for libraries that would then own the process.

Outcomes by March 2003, include a Goals Statement, a recommendation to the Steering Committee on the data gathering phase, and standards for high-speed broadband connectivity.

Access to Electronic Resources
John Shaloiko
The sub-committee reviewed the Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey and considered survey report options. They decided to extend the survey until November 22 in order to get more field input. This will be publicized with a flyer at NYLA as well as on NYLINE. The sub-committee will work with the State Library to generate survey reports by type of library. They will continue to review a collection development policy, to be called the Selection Acquisition & Marketing Policy, by email.

The Sub-committee will continue their review and discussion of the electronic resources survey and determine the reports that will be most useful. They will investigate and recommend a replacement database for Dialog @ Carl which expires 3/30/2002. They will consider the role of Waldo and of library systems. The Sub-committee will work on developing a Selection Acquisition & Marketing Policy for a statewide approach to electronic collections. They will work on the creation of an advisory committee on database selection and develop the charge, role, and makeup of the committee.

Outcomes by March 2003, are the completed Selection Acquisition and Marketing Policy, a recommended replacement database for Dialog @ Carl, the creation of a new Electronic Collection Advisory Committee, and recommendations on the future of the NOVEL electronic collections based on a review of the current usage of those currently funded collections.

Steering Committee Wrap Up
Meeting Dates
The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for December 5, 2002 in Albany at the Albany Public Library. The Committee will not meet in January or February. After a review of availability, the first meeting in 2003 was scheduled for March 19, 2003 in Albany. The following meeting was scheduled for April 30. Hold both June 6 and July 8, 2003 for possible statewide Report to State meeting.

State funding is at a crucial time in government. The Governor's office is working on the next year's budget to be presented in January 2003. Federal funding for LSTA is being considered at this time. Check NYLINE and watch for alerts in regard to LSTA. Funding is a primary concern of the committee members. The question was raised as to whether there will be money available to implement the recommendations of the Steering Committee. This will depend upon whether new money will be available through New Century Libraries and whether LSTA is funded. It is also possible to re-allocate LSTA funds from other purposes and direct them to new activities.

Activities during January and February when the committee does not meet will be discussed at the December meeting. The sub-committees need more workers and additional expertise from people not on the committee. We can consider ways to draw experts in and to involve them.

Evaluation cards were distributed for comments and for ideas about ways to inform the larger library community about NOVEL and the work of the Steering Committee.

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