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Council Meeting Minutes #11: October 13-14, 2005 

Council Meeting

October 13-14, 2005
Hotel Bellwether & Western Washington University
Bellingham, Washington


Discussion Session

Andrew Bonamici, UO Libraries, Associate University Librarian for Instructional Services
Dena Hutto, Reed College Library, Director of Reference & Instruction
Dale Smith, UO Computing Center, Assistant Director for Network Services
Jennifer Ward, UW Libraries, Head of Web Services

Note: presenters are alumni of the Frye Leadership Institute.

Business Meeting

David Bilyeu (COCC), Tom Peischl (CWU), Shirley Roberts (EOU), Pat Kelley (EWU), Lee Lyttle (TESC), Merrill Johnson (GFU), Nadine Williams (LCC), Elaine Heras for Jim Kopp (L&C), Susan Barnes Whyte (Linfield), Nancy Hoover (Marylhurst), Teresa Hazen for Jan Marie Fortier (MHCC), Jim Morgan (OHSU), Marita Kunkel (OIT), Karyle Butcher (OSU), Ben Wakashige (Pacific), Berniece Owen (PCC), Claudia Weston for Helen Spalding (PSU), Vickie Hanawalt (Reed), Scot Harrison (SMC), Bryce Nelson (SPU), John Popko (SU), Teresa Montgomery (SOU), Deb Carver (UO), Rich Hines (UP), Karen Fischer (UPS), Betsy Wilson (UW), Carolyn Gaskell (WWC), Cindy Kaag (WSU), Gary Jensen (WOU), Deborah Dancik (WU), Béla Foltin (WWU), Dalia Hagan (Whitman).

Absent: Glen Jenewein (Clark)

Consortium staff: John F. Helmer, Travis Honea. Nancy Nathanson joined Council by phone for Summit agenda items (8.1-3).

The meeting was chaired by Susan Barnes Whyte.

Dr. Karen W. Morse, President, Western Washington University welcomed Council to Bellingham and WWU.
1. Introductions  

Welcome new Council Members!

  • Nadine Williams, library director from new member Lane Community College
  • Bryce Nelson, new library director at Seattle Pacific University
  • Carolyn Gaskell, library director from new member Walla Walla College
  • Cindy Kaag, new interim director at Washington State University
2. Review of Agenda (Barnes Whyte)  
3. Minutes from July 14-15, 2005, adopted via Web poll (Barnes Whyte) 
  Decision: Council minutes will continue to be adopted via Web poll. 
4. Reports  
  4.1 Executive Committee (Barnes Whyte)  

Barnes Whyte reviewed EC activities that are not reflected elsewhere in Council's agenda, including:

  • EC decision to to take a more formal approach to approving action items and to begin linking action items on the Council Web site. DECISION: Council would like to have EC action items included in Council's meeting packet.
  • NWACC & Alliance Task Force members are Pat Kelley (EWU) - Chair, Deb Carver (UO), Maryanne Cosgrove (Reed), Karen Fischer (UPS), Steve Smith (University of Alaska System), and Helen Spalding (PSU). NWACC may appoint one more member of the task force. Kelley expects to call an initial phone meeting soon.
  • Council mentors: Barnes Whyte reviewed the list of Council mentors. Carver will serve as Council mentor for Kaag.
  • Helmer and EC are exploring a new model for EC travel reimbursement.
  4.2 Executive Director (Helmer)    

Helmer expanded on his written report:

  • LCC: expected to be live on Summit Borrowing before November 7.
  • WWC: Alliance staff will provide an introduction in late October. If all goes well, an accelerated schedule will have record loading in late November, "circ" training in December, and WWC will be live on Summit Borrowing in January 2006.
  • Science Direct: Helmer reported that negotiations have gone well and particularly noted the efforts of Diane Carroll (OHSU) and Greg Doyle (Alliance ER Program Manager). Council members are pleased with the outcome and noted the exceptional work of Doyle and Carroll. Barnes Whyte will write a letter of thanks to Doyle and Carroll on behalf of Council.
  • Collection Development and Management Committee: Helmer reported that CDMC's first meeting went very well and especially noted the productive discussion of a Pilot Project for a Distributed Print Repository. Butcher will distribute a related document from the University of California.
5. Regional Library Services Center  
  5.1 Overview, Financial Planning Meeting (Helmer)    

Helmer provided an overview of the RLSC project and the Financial Planning Meeting that will take place on December 15, 2005. Overview topics included the need for storage, project goals, high-density depository model, history of task force activity, accomplishments, financial aspects, major remaining issues, and next steps. Council discussed various aspects of the RLSC project, including:

  • WSU update from Kaag: WSU's request for capital construction funding for storage was not approved.
  • OUS update from Carver: OUS has sent the RLSC capital request for bonding to UO for potential funding in 2009+
  • Potential for using RLSC for records retention. Medical records retention may be especially promising.
  • Discussion of the funding model that Council approved in October 2004:
    • Need to budget for inflation in construction costs
    • Need to budget for staff to load RLSC
    • Should Council increase the financial contribution called for from those who will not be Founding Depositors? Is it appropriate as adopted? Is it too high?
  5.2 Site selection (Helmer)    

Helmer reported that Carl Vance & Brad King (Financial Planning Meeting co-chairs) have noted the great complexity of the RLSC project and advise that Council work to narrow the range of variables where appropriate. In particular, location is fundamental to the project and they suggest that Council finish the site selection process.

Helmer suggested that Council create a group to advise Council on site selection. He further suggested that the same group might be appropriate for general project leadership (5.3 below).

  5.3 Project leadership (Barnes Whyte)    

Barnes Whyte reported on Executive Committee (EC) discussion of RLSC project leadership after the Financial Planning Meeting. While having the Executive Director serve as point-person for the project has worked well for the current phase, Helmer and EC recommend that Council create a new leadership group appropriate to the next phase of RLSC development.

Council discussion concluded that such a group should draw on library directors attending the Financial Planning Meeting but should also include additional "disinterested parties." i.e., directors from institutions that do not plan to be a Founding Depositor or serve as host.

Barnes Whyte suggested that Council members consider this matter further and return to the issue on the second day of Council's meeting.

RECOMMENDATION: The following day, Helmer reported on various discussions with Council members concerning the composition of an RLSC leadership group and presented the following recommendation:

Group name, chair, and deadline will be determined EC and shared with Council.

Charge: this group will advise Council on the site selection process and criteria and recommend one site (OHSU or Linfield College) as the location for RLSC. Group members from potential host sites will excuse themselves from the process of making site selection recommendations. Other aspects of the leadership group charge will be determined by EC and shared with Council.

Group membership

Founding Depositors

  • Morgan (OHSU)
  • Butcher (OSU)
  • Spalding (PSU)
  • Hanawalt (Reed)
  • Carver (UO)

Members at Large

  • Peischl (CWU)
  • Popko (SU)
  • Dancik (WU)

MOTION: Lyttle moved to accept the recommendation.
SECOND: Hanawalt
VOTE: Council voted unanimously to accept the recommendation.

6. Discussion Session  
7. Leadership Institute (Barnes Whyte & Kelley)  

Kelley reported on EC's discussion of the potential for creating a leadership institute in the northwest. Discussion of this topic was inspired by the strong experience of those who have attended the Frye Institute (aka "Frye Babies").

  • Carver noted that Don Harris, UO's new CIO, has been associated with the Frye Institute and could play a role in developing something similar in the northwest.
  • Such an institute should encompass more than libraries and IT.
  • Undergraduate students are a likely focal point.
  • Other models include WWU's leadership institute, a leadership institute for women in community colleges, and an institute sponsored by PNLA.

Council identified the following individuals to be involved in developing a northwest leadership institute:

  • Butcher (OSU), convener
  • Jensen (WOU)
  • Kunkle (OIT)
  • Kaag (WSU)
  • Bilyeu (COCC)
  • Carver (UO)
  • Wilson (UW)
  • Don Harris (UO)
  • Jennifer Ward (UW)
  • Dena Hutto (Reed)
8. Summit  
  8.1 In-House Loan Rule (Barnes Whyte)    

Council revisited the July 2005 decision regarding implementing an in-house loan rule in the light of further information from Summit Borrowing Committee and a recommendation from Executive Committee.

Council July 2005 decision:

"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."
-- Council Minutes, July 2005

Additional input from Summit Borrowing Committee:

See Steering Team minutes for July 21, 2005, topic #2 "In House loan rule."

Executive Committee recommendation:

EC recommends that Council ask SBC to consider ways to define or limit in-house lending with the goal of encouraging the lending of more materials without creating a service that is overly burdensome to administer. Example: in-house loans of print material limited to one check out. As part of such an investigation, III should be asked to address the multiple checkout problem. SBC is asked to provide recommendations for EC's March 9, 2006 meeting.


Nancy Nathanson (Alliance Resource Sharing Program Manager) joined the group by phone and Council discussed the pros and cons of lending that is restricted to in-house use. Discussion included:

  • Pilot project for in-house use of bound journals
  • Commitment by every member institution to expand lending to include one additional type of material
  • Could management be made easier through use of the reserve module? Nathanson said that the INN-Reach system is not linked with reserves but that dummy records could be manually entered into reserve systems.
  • Pilot project with reimbursement from Alliance reserve when high value items are lost (e.g., $200)
  • EC's recommendation is a reasonable way to go: ask Summit Borrowing Committee (SBC) to consider a narrowly defined project that expands lending but is not too hard to administer.
  • SBC input is clear: current experience with in-house lending is poor and the expansion of such activity is not recommended.
  • Perhaps every member should simply make a commitment to do what they can to expand lending
  • Do we need additional tools to encourage lending? Each member institution can define and identify additional materials to be coded for lending in any way that makes sense for that institution. e.g., value, format, location, availability of multiple copies, etc.
  • Helmer encouraged Council members to call on Nathanson as a resource for those considering the lending of additional materials via Summit Borrowing. Nathanson can provide information about what others have done and consult on how to identify materials and code records.

MOTION: Kelley moved that Council members make a commitment to talk with their staff about expanding the materials available for lending via Summit Borrowing.
SECOND: Wilson.
VOTE: All voted in favor, with two abstentions.


  • Barnes Whyte will thank Summit Borrowing Committee for the additional information provided and ask that they continue to seek ways to expand materials available for lending.
  • EC will consider reimbursement options for items that are expensive to replace.
  8.2 Reimbursement for lost items (Barnes Whyte)    

Council decision:

"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 Minutes, July 2005

Background report produced by Nancy Nathanson.

Executive Committee recommendation:

Given that the net loss or gain experienced by each member is very small and Council's desire to minimize or eliminate the overhead associated with making payments between member libraries, EC recommends that members discontinue reimbursing each other and begin writing off lost items loaned through Summit Borrowing.


Council discussion included:

  • Some institutions cannot write off lost materials.
  • Although aggregate numbers show loss and gain in approximate equal numbers, any one institution may experience significantly more loss or gain in a given year.
  • Reduced frequency of reconciliation is attractive but some must reconcile every year.

MOTION: Peischl moved that the Alliance serve as an "annual bank" as described under Nathanson's report option 3.A: "Using Alliance as a 'bank' members would send a single payment to Alliance for everything they owe; Alliance would process consolidated reimbursements to the individual members. Result: one check in from each, one check out to each, instead of each member writing checks to several or many other members."
VOTE: Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

  8.3 Update on duplicate records (Helmer)    

In the interest of time, this agenda item was delayed for a future Council meeting.

9. Membership application: Warner Pacific College (Barnes Whyte)

Council discussed the application included in the mailed Council packet. Discussion included:

  • Is it unusual for an institution to apply before seeking funding to migrate their online catalog? Helmer answered that this is an approach he recommends to those that are migrating for the chief purpose of joining the Alliance. It is best for a prospective member to know that membership is approved before seeking funds, making representations to faculty and administration, etc. This is one of the reasons Council typically provides a two-year window in which to accept a membership offer.
  • Has Concordia University applied as well? Helmer answered that they have not but that an application is expected soon. He further noted that Concordia's status should not influence Council process with regard to Warner Pacific. Each is treated as a separate member under the Alliance's institutional definition of membership.

Aspects of Warner Pacific College's application for EC to investigate:

  • Size is a concern. Would this institution be able to fully participate?
  • Materials budget has been flat for several years. Is the institution committed to providing funding appropriate to the scope of the curriculum and the number of students?

DECISION: EC will schedule a site visit at Warner Pacific College with Council membership vote expected in January.

Membership Criteria Discussion

As is often the case, the receipt of an application caused Council to review the membership process and question whether or not current membership criteria provide sufficient guidance. This discussion was general in nature and not responsive to the particular application currently under consideration. Discussion included the following ideas:

  • Is the Alliance too closely associated with a single integrated library system (ILS) vendor? Council expressed an interest in sharing approaches to evaluating ILS vendors and the result of those evaluations.
  • How does adding members help the Alliance meet its goals?
  • Some Council members noted the very positive impact of the application process. The process of applying for membership highlights the importance of the library and has yielded an increase in resources for some members.
  • Those interested in applying for membership should be made aware of the potential financial obligations of RLSC.
  • FTE over several years should be gathered to see if the institution is trending up, down, or if enrollment is stable.
  • Acquisitions budget per FTE should play a role in analyzing membership applications.
  • Current Membership Criteria
    • Although largely qualitative, the criteria are clear and Council has a solid basis for declining an application from an institution that does not meet these criteria.
    • Should the criteria be more "objective?"
    • The criteria are good and helpful for applicants.
    • The criteria allow for too much interpretation.
    • Would all current members meet a more stringent set of criteria?
  • Questions of about the pros and cons of membership growth persist, even though the Alliance worked through these issues in 2004 via the Membership Task Force and Council Retreat. Doesn't that mean that more work is needed?
  • Should Council impose a moratorium on accepting applications until the Alliance finishes assessing membership criteria? How would such a moratorium be defined? e.g., would it include institutions that have been in contact with the Alliance but have not applied?

MOTION: Owen moved that the Alliance impose a moratorium on accepting new membership applications with the goal of discussing membership criteria at Council's January 2006 meeting.
SECOND: Foltin.

14 Yes
13 No
2 Abstain

The motion is declined. [Note: assuming that there is a quorum, Alliance Bylaws state that the vote of Council is defined as "the vote of the majority of the members at such a meeting," i.e., 15 or more at this point in the meeting.]

Barnes Whyte noted EC's decision to use the occasion of the current application to analyze membership criteria and the application process. Council's discussion imparts more importance to this issue and EC will actively consider these issues.

10. Council Retreat (Barnes Whyte) 

Barnes Whyte reported on EC planning to date.

Retreat planning group: Barnes Whyte, Kelley, Carver, and Bilyeu.

Time and location: Morning of April 13 through noon April 14, 2006, University of Washington

Confirmed guests: Joan K. Lippincott (Associate Executive Director, CNI ), Lorcan Dempsey (Vice President and Chief Strategist, OCLC)

Lippincott will speak along with others on the first day and facilitate Council discussion on the second.

Barnes Whyte distributed a handout suggesting four goals for the retreat. Council discussed these goals and added another (no. 4 below):

  1. Articulate strategic directions for the Alliance in order to sustain our mission and vision.
  2. Identify appropriate next steps in order to achieve those directions.
  3. Identify trends in the larger information world related to the Alliance's mission.
  4. Identify characteristics of current and near future information users.
  5. Ensure that the vitality of the Alliance continues to grow.

Council input included the following:

  • provide opportunities to hear from every Council member
  • accommodate reflective thinkers
  • speakers should supply a white paper for reading prior to the retreat
  • include small group discussions
  • Thursday should not be just a series of talks, Council members should break into small groups, "discuss, mill about, and percolate."
11. Council Meetings held via teleconference

"Council expressed a continuing interest in investigating teleconferencing options, especially for the January meeting. ICCL and OUS libraries all have teleconferencing equipment available. For Executive Committee's next meeting (March 11), ICCL and OUS will report back on options. Aspects to consider include system compatibility, need for and availability of a bridge for connecting several sites, scheduling, appropriate regional groupings, costs, and technical support staffing during a teleconference."
-- Council Minutes, January 2005

Wilson reported on ICCL (library directors from Washington public universities) discussion and recommendations:

  • Use K-20 Network in Washington. Compatible system is presumably available in Oregon.
  • No more than 6-8 clusters
  • A small group should survey sites and technology
  • Council should assess the need for four face-to-face meetings each year


  • Council members will forward the names of teleconference staff to Helmer.
  • EC will discuss Council meeting format and teleconference options.
12. 14 digit ISBN's & EDIFACT *

Council briefly discussed the apparent need to purchase a product that handles 14 digit ISBN's. There is some confusion about the nature of this product and Helmer was asked to investigate.

* Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) via ISO 9735 Electronic data interchange for administration, commerce and transport (EDIFACT)

Minutes -- Honea & Helmer