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Council Meeting Minutes #10: July 14-15, 2005

Orbis Cascade Alliance Council Meeting

July 14-15, 2005
Smith Hall, Albany Quadrangle
Lewis & Clark College


David Bilyeu (COCC), Tom Peischl (CWU), Pam Smith for Glen Jenewein (Clark), Shirley Roberts (EOU), Pat Kelley (EWU), Ernestine Kimbro for Lee Lyttle (TESC), Merrill Johnson (GFU), Jim Kopp (L&C), Susan Barnes Whyte (Linfield), Nancy Hoover (Marylhurst), Jan Marie Fortier (MHCC), Jim Morgan (OHSU), Marita Kunkel (OIT), Karyle Butcher (OSU), Ben Wakashige (Pacific), Berniece Owen (PCC), Helen Spalding (PSU), Vickie Hanawalt (Reed), Scot Harrison (SMC), Joyce Erickson (SPU), John Popko (SU), Teresa Montgomery (SOU), Deb Carver (UO), Rich Hines (UP), Karen Fischer (UPS), Betsy Wilson (UW), Ginny Steel (WSU), Jeananne Rockwell-Kincanon for Gary Jensen (WOU), Deborah Dancik (WU), Béla Foltin (WWU), Dalia Hagan (Whitman).

Absent: Nadine Williams (LCC), Carolyn Gaskell (WWC)

Consortium staff: John F. Helmer, Travis Honea, Nancy Nathanson, Greg Doyle.

Marty Ringle President, NWACC; Chief Technology Officer and Director, Computing and Info. Services, Reed College
Dan M. Terrio Vice-Chair of the Board, NWACC; Chief Technology Officer, Information Technology, Lewis & Clark College
Louise Newswanger, Summit Borrowing Committee Chair, George Fox University
Diane Carroll, Electronic Resources Steering Team member, Oregon Health & Sciences University

The meeting was chaired by Pat Kelley.

Welcome from Jim Kopp, Lewis & Clark College

1. Introductions    
  New member of Council: Deborah Dancik (WU)    
2. Review of Agenda (Kelley)    
3. Minutes from April 14-15, 2005 (Kelley)
  Approved as written.    
4. Reports    
  4.1 Executive Committee (Kelley)    
  Kelley reviewed highlights of Executive Committee's June 1 meeting.
  4.2 Executive Director (Helmer)

Helmer expanded on his written report:

RLSC: Helmer summarized a July 8 conference call with Carl Vance (Vice President, Finance & Administration, Linfield College) and Brad King (Vice President & CFO, OHSU). Vance and King have reviewed RLSC planning documents and the purpose of the call was to discuss the agenda for a funding meeting planned for October or November 2005. King is drafting a return on investment (ROI) study of RLSC compared to current storage used by OHSU. This study may be used as a template by other member institutions. King is also reformatting the funding model approved by Council in October 2004. His goal is to produce an RLSC financial plan in a format that will be familiar to CFOs at member institutions.

Vance and King advise that discussion and decisions concerning the legal structure of RLSC (e.g., as part of a public agency or as an independent non-profit corporation) are critical to moving ahead. As fiscal agent for the Alliance and largest potential depositor, UO's involvement is important and Carver is investigating having UO legal counsel present to discuss options and UO preferences. Helmer will seek legal perspectives from other member institutions as well.

Vance and King also recommend that Council complete the site selection process. While this topic will be raised at the funding meeting, Council will determine a process for evaluating proposals from OHSU-West Campus and Linfield College and make a final decision.

Helmer, Vance, and King will next meet on August 10 at OHSU.

Helmer also summarized a June 3 meeting with Andrew Pflaum (Executive Director, Content Conversion Services, OCLC), Debra Brown-Spruill (Director, Preservation Service Center, OCLC), Pam Bailey (Director, OCLC Western), and Gayle Palmer (Digital & Preservation Services Manager, OCLC Western). This meeting continued a discussion of the potential for locating OCLC digitization and preservation activities at RLSC. Pflaum indicated strong interest on the part of OCLC and Helmer will continue to keep OCLC informed as RLSC plans develop.

ER non-member program: the current list of participants includes Multnomah County Library, Oregon Community College Library Association, Oregon State Library, Pacific Lutheran University, Boise State University, Northwest University, and Whitworth College.

5. Summit Borrowing Committee Recommendations  
  Louise Newswanger (GFU, SBC Chair) and Nancy Nathanson (Resource Sharing Program Manager) reviewed the committee's reports and answered questions from Council. 

5.1 Encouraging the lending of more materials

Cover | Report

RECOMMENDATION: "Set up a new, additional loan rule: 3 days, no renewal, replacement fee $150 (compare to existing short loan rule: 3 days, no renewal, replacement fee $75)."

Council discussion included the following

  • Perhaps it would be better to change the existing short-loan rule rather than creating a new loan rule
  • Summit is great because it is simple. Adding this complexity does not seem worth the benefit.
  • Would the implementation of such a new loan rule influence behavior? i.e., would more material be loaned and/or would fewer items be lost? Council consensus was that behavior would probably not change.
  • It is a disincentive to lend more materials when a proposed Summit loan is less restrictive than an in-house loan. Example: videos that must be used in-house when circulated locally but which would circulate freely via Summit.
  • An in-house-use loan rule seems a more attractive option to many Council members.
  • Newswanger and Nathanson explained that there is a technical problem that makes it impossible to temporarily check in an item circulated via Summit (e.g., when patron needs a break, plans to return the next day, etc.). Perhaps a low-tech workaround or technical fix would address this problem.

DECISION: Steel called the question and, by voice vote, the recommendation was not adopted.

MOTION: Ask the Summit Borrowing Committee to investigate and implement an in-house loan rule.
DECISION: Yes. By unanimous voice vote the motion was approved.

The Committee is also asked to pursue technical problems for members using the Media Booking module.


5.2 Converting ILL to Summit Borrowing

Cover | Report

RECOMMENDATION: "Orbis Cascade Alliance members will use Summit Borrowing whenever possible: when the patron is eligible to request through Summit, and the item can be requested through Summit. Borrowing sites will check all ILL requests going to other Alliance members before sending. Owning Sites will fill ILL requests whenever possible."

Some Council members expressed surprise at learning that the conversion of ILL requests to Summit Borrowing was not already a clear expectation of membership. Nathanson noted that conversion is a generally accepted practice but that there is no clear policy that can be relied on when working with member institutions.

DECISION: Yes. The recommendation was adopted by unanimous voice vote.


5.3 Serving distance education

Cover | Report

RECOMMENDATION: "To mitigate the loss of several days” use of the item while the item is in the mail, the Borrowing Site (patron”s library) may adjust the Due Date, extending the loan period up to 3 days. Due Date adjustment is to be used only with the regular loan rule (3 weeks), and not with the Short Loan rule. Important note: this will be the only exception to using the system-supplied due date; except for these relatively rare instances, due dates should never be changed by manual override."

Council discussion included the following

  • simplicity is better
  • there is some danger in training students to use manual override
  • is an additional three days useful given that renewal is available?
  • distance education requires a suite of services that need to be addressed as a whole rather than once aspect at a time.
DECISION: No. By unanimous voice vote the recommendation was not adopted.

5.4 Reimbursement for lost items


Newswanger and Nathanson reported that paid and received reimbursements are approximately equal when viewed over a period of several years. i.e., in the long run, members pay and receive in approximately equal amounts. They further reported that SBC is unable to recommend changes to the lost item reimbursement process. The Committee feels that this is an issue best referred to Council. Council members discussed options such as calculating reimbursements over a longer period of time (e.g., three years) or even doing away with the time-consuming process of writing checks to each other. Some Council members are certain that their auditors require an annual reconciliation in which lost materials are either written off or billed.

Council asked Executive Committee to investigate ways to reduce or eliminate the overhead associated with reimbursement for lost items. In the mean time, SBC is asked to continue current practice and look for ways to make it easier.

Council thanked Newswanger and asked her to convey Council's appreciation to the Summit Borrowing Committee.

6. Ejournal Purchasing    

Diane Carroll (OHSU, ERC Steering Team member) presented "Alliance ILL Study and Consortial Agreement Opportunities" based on her analysis of the Article Supplier Analysis Project conducted by the Collection Development and Management Committee.

Council was impressed by Carroll's findings and all members are encouraged to work with their staff to understand and promote forthcoming ejournal group purchase projects. Council members are also encouraged to factor in ILL costs when considering the merits of ejournal agreements.

7. The NorthWest Academic Computing Consortium

Discussion session lead by
Marty Ringle, President, NWACC; Chief Technology Officer and Director, Computing & Information Services, Reed College
Dan M. Terrio, Vice-Chair of the Board, NWACC; Chief Technology Officer, Information Technology, Lewis & Clark College


Ringle presented an overview of NWACC and discussed five program areas:

  • Conferences
  • Peer workshops
  • Grants
  • Awards
  • Special projects

Current NWACC interests include:

  • Network Security
  • High-speed networks
  • Open-source software
  • Digital asset sharing

Ringle noted the large membership overlap and suggested that the Alliance and NWACC might find it productive to jointly explore digital asset repositories. Council engaged in a wide-ranging discussion that included the following:

  • Need to develop ways to make it easy to access digital objects across local networks
  • Perhaps NWACC could contribute technical expertise, with policies issues developed through the Alliance
  • To what extent are members developing standards for formats other than images?
  • Perhaps NWACC could be a source of best practices. Here it was noted that much has already been done by Educause
  • Does anyone have an institution-wide digital asset system?
  • Different software packages have features that are appealing to particular audiences and, as a result, there are too many incompatible systems in use.
  • What are tomorrow's digital assets and how do we minimize fragmentation?
  • This is a time of much development and emerging technologies. While we probably are not at the stage of fixing on a particular approach, it is important to avoid big mistakes.
  • Currently, the have's and have-not's are clearly evident on member campuses. Those with the resources to do so, tend to implement what meets their needs with little regard to the broader picture.
  • One theme particularly resonated with Council members: It is important that we proceed with a focus on the user. Faculty are at both ends of the process as both producers and consumers.
  • Growing expectation that use will include social interaction, not just delivery
  • Potential for regional collaborations between users, libraries, and IT
  • Importance of thinking in terms of the creation of new knowledge, not just the conversion of existing objects
  • Importance of defining terms. It is far too easy to think you are talking about the same thing and find that a group has multiple concepts in mind.

Council concluded that creation of a joint Alliance/NWACC task force would be a very promising way to pursue these ideas.

Ringle and Terrio were thanked for their participation at Council's meeting and joined the group for dinner Thursday evening. On Friday morning Council formalized conclusions reached the previous day:

MOTION: Owen moved that the Alliance form a joint task force with NWACC and that Executive Committee work with NWACC to develop a charge and timeline.
DECISION: Yes. By unanimous voice vote the motion was approved.

Helmer will convey Council's decision to NWACC.

8. Executive Director appraisal process (Kelley)    
  Executive Session    
9. Council & Executive Committee Responsibilities (Kelley)

Council reviewed the draft document forwarded from Executive Committee. Council revisions include:

  • addition of a new row conveying Council's role in determining changes to the MOU and Bylaws
  • addition of EC's role in "proposing" and Council's role in "reviewing and approving" Council meeting schedules
  • revision of EC's role from "drafting" to "writing" committee charges and Council's role from "determining" to "reviewing and commenting" on committee charges
  • deletion of "concerning what is loaned and who is eligible to borrow" from the final bullet.

Helmer will revise and post this document on Council's homepage.

10. Council Retreat (Kelley)  

Council discussed the content, format, and goals of the 2005 Retreat scheduled for October 13-14 at Western Washington University, Bellingham:

Day 1: Break away from day-to-day focus by bringing in speakers to lead a discussion on the future of higher education, libraries, users, creators, technology and information.

Day 2: Draw on the previous day's broad discussion to develop directions for collaboration through the Orbis Cascade Alliance.

Suggestions from Council

  • Review mission and vision but do not revise (unless absolutely necessary)
  • Focus on the future of our collaborative efforts
  • Build in time for small group conversation
  • Provide an opportunity to get to know new members of Council
  • Include some kind of ice-breaker

Suggested speakers are:

Joan K. Lippincott, Associate Executive Director, CNI
Confirmed as a speaker on Day 1, facilitator on Day 2

Lorcan Dempsey, Vice President and Chief Strategist, OCLC
Wilson has contacted but Dempsey's availability is not yet clear.

James Hilton, Associate Provost for Academic, Information, & Instructional Technology Affairs, Interim University Librarian, and Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
Carver will contact.

Dan Greenstein, University Librarian and Executive Director, California Digital Library

Steve Liffick, Corporate VP, MSN Communication Services & Member Platform Group

Steve Zink, Vice President Information Technology and Dean Libraries, UN Reno

Brad Baker, Northeastern Illinois University, ILCSO Vice Chair

Others contacted but unable to attend:

John Price Wilken, Associate University Librarian for Library Information Technology & Technical and Access Services, University of Michigan.

Oren Etzioni, Associate Professor, Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, UW

11. Announcements    

Wakashige distributed invitations to the dedication of the new Pacific University Library on September 15, 2005 at 4 pm.

Foltin asked if he should organize tours of the library or sculpture garden for the October retreat. Council answered yes to both.



Minutes: Honea & Helmer