The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

December 5, 2002

10:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
Albany Public Library (Albany NY)

Present: Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Jeff Cannell, Elizabeth Closson, Bill Crumlish, Carol Desch, Marilyn Douglas, Corey Fleming, Carey Hatch, Dottie Hiebing, Carole Huxley, Cara Janowsky, Sara Kelly Johns, Mary Elizabeth Jones, Mary Alice Lynch, Sara McCain, John Meierhoffer, Mary Redmond, Kathleen Roe, Kate Storms, John Shaloiko, Linda Todd, Janet Welch

Absent: Diane Courtney, Loretta Ebert, James Kadamus, Susan Keitel, Edward McCormick, Charles McMorran, John Monahan, Gerald Nichols, Marsha Ra, David Walsh, Tom Alrutz

The meeting was convened at 10:30 a.m. It was open to the public. Three observers attended.

Welcome and Introduction

Ms. Hiebing welcomed the group. The Agenda was revised to allow earlier adjournment due to a snowstorm. The Rules of Engagement and the contents of the information packets were reviewed. Ms. Hiebing commended the group on their statewide programs: the October NYLA session on NOVEL and the November Portal Seminar in Albany.

Ms. Hiebing introduced Digitization, the next initiative to address. She asked the sub-committees to discuss this in their meetings and she distributed questions for them to consider.

Ms. Roe moved that Minutes of the August 14 meeting minutes be accepted. Mr. Shaloiko seconded. Carried.

State Librarian's Remarks
Mrs. Welch thanked the group for their work and their accomplishments, especially given the lack of a budget.

Mrs. Welch gave an update on the current state of funding for libraries. Congress has not yet approved Federal LSTA Reauthorization legislation. The LSTA program is operating under a continuing resolution that expires on January 11, 2003.

Current cuts at the state level and a hiring freeze decrease the State Library's ability to respond to the library community. It's not yet known what the Governor's proposal for state aid to libraries will be, however, librarians are working hard to prevent cuts in the program.

The Regents continue to support full funding of New Century Libraries. The need for good libraries has not changed and Mrs. Welch encouraged the group to stay the course with their support for the legislation. It's been suggested that library advocates visit legislator's home offices and do demonstrations of NOVEL as a way to let them know about it and to enlist their support for New Century Libraries legislation. All New Century Libraries endorsements received by the State Library should be sent to the Governor.

NOVEL Program Administration
Mrs. Welch discussed personnel changes in the program at the State Library. Mary Elizabeth Jones took the NOVEL Databases (Empirelink project) leadership role after Liz Lane retired. Ms. Jones will be retiring soon. Mrs. Welch recognized Ms. Jones for her achievements with NOVEL Databases and the awards she has received from NYLA.

Mrs. Welch introduced the new leadership of the NOVEL Databases program. Katherine Storms, of the State Library Research Library, will assist in administering the NOVEL Databases program working closely with Linda Todd of Library Development. Marilyn Douglas, of Library Development, will continue to have overall responsibility for the NOVEL initiative. Corey Fleming, of Library Development, will work on the technical end of the NOVEL website.

The Communications Office of the State Library has been active in creating awareness of the NOVEL program, its use and the need for ongoing state funding. Education Commissioner Richard Mills held a press conference on NOVEL in September in Albany. Statewide articles generated from the press conference are included in the information packet. NOVEL branding is being used to highlight NOVEL. Albany Public Library is a test site for the branding pages.

Coordinator of Statewide Library Services' Remarks
Ms. Desch briefly reviewed the October 2 Regents Policy Conference session: Digitizing Primary Source Materials in New York State - Issues and Challenges. The session resulted in a number of ideas on digitization and the need for advancement and coordination of digitization programs. The State Archives, as a follow-up to this session, plans to discuss digitization and access in a series of regional meetings. Ms. Desch raised the question of whether the NOVEL Steering Committee would be interested in partnering with the State Archives on regional digitization forums.

In addition, the NY 3Rs have suggested several statewide digitization projects including: 1) develop a regional inventory of digitization projects, 2) analysis of meta-statistics, 3) development of New York State digitization website for a coordinated web presence. The subcommittees were asked to consider these suggestions in their discussions.

Ms. Roe of the State Archives described their statewide program. The State Archives Board consists of 12 people who provide advice to SED and the Archives. The Archives periodically holds meetings in each of the nine regions that correspond to the 3 R's to get regional input and to find out what people need. The Archives hopes museums and libraries with common interests in digitization will join with them in this effort.

LSTA was suggested as a funding source for digitization programs. Ms. Lynch has relationships with many libraries and has found a strong awareness of digitization issues. She supported the first step as an inventory of what's currently being done. The 3 R's are in a good position to do this.

Wrap-up of Morning Session
The next Steering Committee meeting is March 19, 2003, in Albany. The Steering Committee will not meet in January or February. They need to plan what they will do between now and March. The State Library will arrange a conference call of the full committee for information sharing. Dates of February 27, March 4 or March 5 were suggested.

The Steering Committee broke into the three sub-committees. Ms. Hiebing asked that they work on three things: their content area, the digitization questions, and improving communications with the library community about NOVEL.

The sub-committees worked through lunch.

Portal Sub-committee Report
John Meierhoffer, Convenor
Kathleen Roe, Sara McCain, Mary Redmond

Development of a portal needs further investigation. The portal seminar, held on November 7, 2002, was helpful in getting ideas on the table of what a portal might be. The next step is to involve the people who attended and to develop a bibliography of resources.

Characteristics of what is wanted in a portal can be ranked to develop the best model for the state. There should be a consensus within the Steering Committee about desired portal features. The needs of groups to consider in developing a portal model include the larger library community, archives and museums, and electronic resources vendors. A prototype set of features would demonstrate more clearly the benefits and value of NOVEL.

Telecommunications Sub-committee Report
Marilyn Douglas, Substituting for John Meierhoffer
Carey Hatch, Bill Crumlish

The sub-committee agreed on telecommunication goals:

  • Establish standards for 24 x 7 x 365 network connections from all New York State libraries to the Internet.
  • Establish a process to proactively monitor and manage these connections to ensure high quality service to the library community served.

Increase funding to provide affordable and robust 27 x 7 x 365 network connections for all libraries in New York State.
The sub-committee discussed how to best connect with school and academic libraries. Telecommunications services to the BOCES are provided by nine Regional Information Centers. The sub-committee wants to explore ways of partnering with the RICs to provide the needed network communications for libraries. They are a knowledgeable and influential group. Mrs. Welch could address their directors at one of their meetings about NOVEL.

No one entity speaks for the colleges and university libraries. The best way to learn of the academic telecommunications structures regarding speed, etc. is to work with the 3 R's councils. Mr. Hatch has a NYSERNET contact and the group will seek the cooperation and assistance of the 3 R's councils in determining the telecommunications infrastructure of academic and special libraries. David Karre is knowledgeable and could be a resource.

Action Steps: Ms. Douglas will work with Steve Manning (a BOCES Regional Information Center director) to arrange for Mrs. Welch to address the BOCES RIC directors to talk about NOVEL and to discuss how we can work in partnership to provide the needed network connections for all libraries. Ms. Douglas will follow-up with David Karre on the telecommunications points made at the NYLA NOVEL program meeting.

Mr. Hatch will prepare a draft letter under Mrs. Welch's name to go to Time Warner Cable seeking their help in providing affordable and robust 24x7x365 network connections for all libraries in New York State. Mr. Hatch will make arrangements with his contact in NYSERNET for a conference call to gather additional information on the telecommunications infrastructure in New York.

Mr. Crumlish will set up a web-based discussion list to provide an easy way for Telecommunications sub-committee members to communicate.

Access to Electronic Resources Sub-committee Report
John Shaloiko, Convenor
Soumaya Baaklini, Jeff Cannell, Carol Desch, Cara Janowsky, Sara Kelly Johns, Carole Huxley, Mary Elizabeth Jones, Mary Alice Lynch, Katherine Storms, Linda Todd

The Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey was a great success with over 1,200 responses received from all types of libraries. There is still work to be done on report generation. Mr. Shaloiko will send a thank you on NYLINE and information on the survey results to the responders. Mr. Shaloiko and Mr. Fleming will work together on this.

The sub-committee worked on the structure and wording of the proposed policy statement, Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy for a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources. It will guide the policy and role of the NOVEL Steering Committee in the acquisition and dissemination of electronic collections statewide. The sub-committee will submit this to the Steering Committee for approval to then be shared with the larger library community.

John Shaloiko will invite vendors to meet with the Steering Committee to talk about electronic access and committee recommendations.

Digitization Report
The three sub-committees worked on the Digitization issues independently and had many of the same responses.

Benefits of Partnering with State Archives on digitization Forums:

The sub-committees support joint sponsorship of State Archives forums. A cooperative arrangement with other groups working on digitization is important for many reasons.

  • Participation would bridge the information gap between the library and archival communities.
  • Participation builds cooperation rather than competition. By working together competition for resources is reduced.
  • The committee would learn more about the archival community and statewide digitization needs by participating in the forums.
  • Valuable input from the library and archival communities is needed to determine the direction the Steering Committee will take.
  • The needs and issues of the archival and museum communities can be incorporated into the NOVEL Steering Committee plan.
  • Cooperation is essential in developing the standards that are needed to ensure that things are done in common ways.
  • The Steering Committee can provide leadership in developing standards

Role of Steering Committee:

  • The Steering Committee can be an equal partner in planning meetings and in determining topics and desired outcomes.
  • The Steering Committee has an important educational role.
  • It can provide leadership in many areas.
  • Bridging the gap between the library and the archival communities will lead to better communications and work toward common goals.
  • It's assumed that there would be minimal resources available. The committee could start on a regional basis to get groups to convene and encourage people to attend.

First Step:

  • Identify a core-planning group of Steering Committee members to work with the Archives on the forums.
  • Set up a broad agenda and identify people to coordinate forums on a regional basis.
  • The first priority project would be an inventory of current statewide digitization projects.

Desired Outcomes for Steering Committee: Communication and cooperation between library and archival communities would lead to:

  • An inventory of current statewide digitization projects.
  • A possible website to foster digitization.
  • Nationwide standards on digitization.
  • More support for NOVEL from museum and archival communities.
  • Discussion of themes for statewide projects.
  • Better support of a broader perspective for all participants.
  • More awareness of other planning and coordination activities. (e.g. Syracuse University project)

Ideas for use of Funds for Digitization:

  • As a first step, support an inventory of existing resources for digitization projects.
  • Support a survey of projects to inventory current practices.
  • Support the establishment of standards.
  • Develop a website to facilitate communication about digital collections.

Improving Communications Report
The sub-committees worked independently on how to improve communications with the library and broader communities about NOVEL and the work of the Steering Committee. More proactive ways of informing the library community need to be found. The lack of funding is a problem resulting in apathy. The question was raised as to why people should work on NOVEL if money is not available for the program.

The sub-committees selected the most important activities from ideas generated at the previous meeting. Responses are consolidated. It was agreed that in order to broadcast key elements of the NOVEL Steering Committee and the progress it's making to reach its goals, the committee should publicize its work at both the statewide level through NYLINE and at the library system level.

  • Work with Library Systems to increase member library participation in NYLINE.
  • Include summary points from each Steering Committee meeting in NYLINE postings and allow feedback in response to the postings. Create bullets or links from NYLINE to the NOVEL and related websites.
  • Copy all system directors with NYLINE postings and ask them to disseminate the information to members. System directors know about NOVEL but often library staff is not familiar with it.
  • When libraries sign up for NOVEL, follow-up with information about NOVEL and the work of the Steering Committee.
  • Create a NOVEL Electronic Resources listserv.
  • Develop Cable TV spots to highlight NOVEL to the broader community.

Next Steps
Ms. Hiebing and Mrs. Welch will work on an agenda for an hour-long full Steering Committee Conference Call on March 5, 2003.

The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for March 19, 2003. A Conference Call is scheduled for February 5, 2003. The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.