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Council Meeting  #24

November 12, 2009: noon-5pm, dinner 7pm+
November 13, 2009: 9am-noon
UO Portland Building - White Stag
Portland, Oregon

Chair: Dalia Corkrum

David Bilyeu (COCC),  Natalie Beach (Chemeketa), Michelle Bagley (Clark), Brent Mai (Concordia), Karen Clay (EOU), Pat Kelley (EWU), Merrill Johnson (GFU),  Marika Pineda (LCC), Jim Kopp (L&C), Susan Barnes Whyte (Linfield), Nancy Hoover (Marylhurst), Nancy Szofran (MHCC), Chris Shaffer (OHSU), Karen Kunz (OIT), Karyle Butcher (OSU), Marita Kunkel (Pacific), Donna Reed (PCC), Helen Spalding (PSU), Vickie Hanawalt (Reed), Scot Harrison (SMU), Bryce Nelson (SPU),  John Popko (SU), Gregg Sapp (TESC), Mark Watson for Deb Carver (UO), Drew Harrington (UP), Jane Carlin (UPS), Charles Chamberlain for Betsy Wilson (UW), Carolyn Gaskell (WWU), Sue Kopp (WPC), Jay Starratt (WSU), Allen McKiel (WOU), Christopher Cox (WWU), Deborah Dancik (WU), Dalia Corkrum (Whitman).
Daniel CannCasciato (CWU) -- no proxy
Paul Adalian (SOU) -- no proxy


Julie Miller (EWU)
Michael Paulus (Whitman), DPWG Chair
Faye Chadwell (OSU), IRTF Chair

Staff:  John F. Helmer, Elizabeth Duell, Kyle Banerjee, Greg Doyle (Nov 12), Anya Arnold (Nov 12)


Note: this meeting followed Council's traditional format in which reports and recommendations are discussed on the first day, discussions continues informally over dinner, new thoughts are shared the morning of the second day and finally formal votes are taken.

Day 1: Strategic Agenda Reports and Discussion

1. Introductions
Corkrum welcomed Council.
Marika Pineda was introduced as a new Council member from LCC.
Council thanked Pat Kelley on the occasion of her last Council meeting before retirement in December 2009.
2. Review agenda
No changes.
3. Consent Agenda
Corkrum reviewed procedures for use of consent agendas.
3.1 WorldCat Discovery Day
EC recommends that the Alliance host a "WorldCat Discovery Day" focusing on the user interface, reference, and instruction impacts of WorldCat, including Group Catalog, Navigator and Local.  A total direct cost of approximately $6,000 will be funded on a cost-recovery basis through registration fees.  EC will appoint a conference committee to organize the event, with Alliance and member library staff time contributed.

3.2 Additional work on Discovery
EC recommends that Council identify "Discovery" as a strategic agenda initiative and charge EC with developing recommendations for Council consideration.  Note: the investigation of next generation discovery systems was a major part of the strategic agenda prior to Summit migration (e.g., see comparison chart) and this is a recommendation to resume that effort.

Motion: Popko
Second: Dancik
Vote: Unanimous approval
4. Strategic Agenda: Reports
Corkrum introduced the topic and reviewed history of the Strategic Agenda.
4.1. Digital Initiatives
4.1.1. Digital Program Working Group & IMLS Digital Service planning grant
      • Final Report
      • Revised Executive Summary
      • Timeline
      • Screenshots illustrating the proposed discovery prototype
Michael Paulus (DPWG Chair) reviewed the report and emphasized the DPWG's intent to create practical recommendations for activities that are within the capacity of the Alliance.
4.1.2. Institution Repository Task Force
Document: Final Report

Faye Chadwell (IRTF Chair) reviewed the report.  Discussion centered around IR options hosted by vendors, other consortia, member libraries, or supported centrally by the Alliance.  All agreed that no options should be excluded at this point.
4.2. Technical Services & Integrated Library Systems
4.2.1. Shared Bibliographic Database Task Force
: Final Report

Shaffer (SBDTF Chair) presented a brief overview. Discussion included:
  • The best way of getting value would be a single system for all Alliance.
  • A single system is one way, the other model is several systems integrated, so that all of them talk to each other.
  • It may be that WMS will be a solution, but there are down sides to relying on a single vendor.
  • We are establishing the groundwork for the next 5 or 10 years.
  • We need to find a development partner to meet our needs. We need to develop something new.
  • Is having a shared ILS system, especially with the financial and political challenges, where we will make the biggest impact?
  • Coming from a place that had this kind of shared system, it was great and saved money. Having more than one solution is fine, but we are having this discussion because we don't want to change what we are doing. If we decide to do it, then we will figure out how to make it work. We just have to have the will to make it happen.
  • All but one of 20 groups the TF contacted indicated that a shared system was great and they wouldn't go back.
  • Many members are part of other consortia and don't want to endanger those partnerships.
  • Open source systems that communicate via standards may be the way forward.
  • Are we "skating to where the puck will be" or spending too much energy on a lesser priority?
  • This won't be solved in the year or even the next couple of years, but we need to position ourselves so that we are well informed and prepared when it is time to move.
  • It is important to keep working on this as well as shared practices since the more we move in diverse directions, the harder it is to move forward together.
4.2.2. Network Library System Task Force
Document: Status Report
Helmer summarized the report for Al Cornish (NLSTF Chair) and indicated that much of the work to date has been preliminary (setting up the group, working through legal language, etc.) and that the real work on WMS is just starting.
4.2.3. Collaborative Technical Service Task Force
Document: Final Report
Popko summarized the report for Roger Stelk, CTSTF Chair. Discussion included:
  • We need to keep clarifying the 'why' not just the 'what'.
  • We need to do a better job of sharing information about this initiative.
  • It might be helpful to ask 'if you were starting a library right now... what would it look like?'
4.2.4. Collaborative Technical Service Symposium
Helmer reviewed discussions with the Five Colleges Consortium (Mass.) on the possibility of creating a model Collaborative TS Symposium that could be host by regional consortia.  Each symposium would address needs and interests specific to the sponsoring consortium and the goal would be to have many staff from member libraries attend.  Ideally, these events would balance vision with practical implementation and seek to achieve a common understanding of why this work is important and how it might be approached.  The planning group might include some expertise in organizational change.  The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has expressed an interest and Helmer is working on a pre-proposal prospectus.  Helmer asked if Council members support moving forward with this concept and all agreed that it looks like a promising direction.
4.3. Regional Library Services Cooperative
4.3.1. Regional Library Services Cooperative Task Force
Document: Final report
Charles Chamberlain (RLSCTF Co-Chair) reviewed the report.
4.3.2. WEST: Western Region Storage Trust
Document: WEST Proposal
Helmer reviewed the Western Regional Storage Trust project.  The first meeting will be in January.
5. Strategic Agenda: EC Recommendations
Presentation and discussion of EC recommendations.  Council votes were taken on Day 2.

5.1. Digital Services Team
Document: Digital Services Team
Dancik provided an overview of EC's recommendation.  Discussion included:
  • discovery prototype should be both a system patrons use and a tool for gathering data across systems.
  • Are we thinking in terms of only one IR?  No.
  • Are we precluding any particular IR technology? No.
  • Maybe we need two groups since the charge is very broad.
  • Banerjee will be the staff liaison to the Team.  Allison-Bunnell would participate but concentrate in selected ares such as preservation.
5.2. Recommendation: Best Practices and Shared ILS Teams
Document: Best Practices and Shared ILS Teams  
Reed provided an overview of EC's recommendation.  Discussion included:
  • is determining total cost of ownership too large a task?
  • the "Best Practices" team should continue using the name "Collaborative Technical Services."
  • do we have the capacity to get this done?
5.3. Recommendation: RLSC Special Meeting
Document: RLSC Special Meeting
Discussion included:
  • should Council spend more time on this in March rather than relegating the topic to a special interest session?
  • is there a continuing assumption that all will help pay?
  • several Council members noted that they see an increased need to free up collections space for other uses, e.g., learning centers.
  • we don't have a lot of solid directions. There is need and interest, but we aren't at a point to charge a team to go forward.
  • we need to assess what level of energy there is and where should we go from here.
  • long term is very long term and if we don't start now, we will not get anywhere.
  • WEST could be an important factor in the future.

Day 2: Strategic Agenda Decisions; Additional updates

5. Strategic Agenda, continued
Council discussed the significant commitment of member and consortial resources needed to pursue the Strategic Agenda.  Some noted that serving on an Alliance Team is a work assignment and those serving should not be thought of as "volunteers."  Involvement by all members is important: "not everybody needs to be involved in every project but everybody needs to be involved in some project."

Decisions regarding EC recommendations

RLSC: EC withdrew the recommendation and will organize a discussion as part of the March Council meeting.

Best Practices and Shared ILS Teams: Approved with the following changes
  • change "Best Practices Team" to "Collaborative Technical Services Team"
  • change Shared ILS charge from "specify major steps and time" to "specify major steps and potential time frame."
Moved: Popko
Second: Barnes-Whyte
Vote: one abstention, all others in favor
Digital Services Team: Approved with the following changes:
  • Include reference to the IR Task Force report
  • Broaden the investigation of IR's by changing "WSU DSpace" to "IR options"
Moved: note taker missed
Second: note taker missed
Vote: unanimous in favor
6. Summit update: letter to OCLC and follow-up meeting
Helmer summarized the Alliance's "call to action" letter of October 8 and a follow-up meeting that took place on November 11.  Highlights include progress on:
  • Version 1 User Interface: expected February 2010
  • Editions (aka FRBRizing requests): specifications expected in three weeks.
  • Visiting Patron and Pick-up Anywhere: focus group expected at ALA
  • EZProxy hosting: OCLC will have capability developed in early 2010
  • System stability
Helmer noted that much progress has been made in one moth, OCLC is clearly committed to the product and has been responsive, but we need to continue to press for improvements.

7. Legal status update
Document:Chart of Board and Membership responsibilities
Dancik reported.  Discussion included:
  • Council members will still be able to appoint proxies but the board cannot do so.
  • Question: Is there a different definition for a member? Answer: No, members are still institutions and their representatives serve on Council.
  • Maybe this is the right time to entertain a new name for the organization, perhaps "Northwest Academic Library?"
Decision: Council did not vote but informally agreed that the outline of Board and Member responsibilities looks correct and should be used as a basis for incorporation.

8. Accreditation discussion
Barnes Whyte & Kelley reported.

minutes -- Duell & Helmer