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Council Meeting Minutes #15
October 5, 2006
Portland Community College, Portland, Oregon

Note: This meeting was confined to one day, October 5, with a group dinner scheduled for that evening. Council Members that registered for the Joint ERC and CDMC Meeting returned to PCC Sylvania campus on October 6 for a 10 am opening session.

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

Absent: none

Guests: none

Consortium staff: John F. Helmer, Susie Scroggins.

Welcome from Dr. Christine Chairsell, PCC District VP for Academic and Student Affairs

1. Introductions    
  Mentors introduced new members of Council: Karen Clay (EOU), Lynn Chmelir (Clark), Emily Asch (Pacific), and Drew Harrington (UP).  
  Carolyn Gaskell announced that Walla Walla College will soon change its name to Walla Walla University.
2. Review of Agenda (Popko)    
3. Consent Agenda (Popko)  


Motion to approve consent agenda: Dancik
Second: Peischl
Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.


3.1 Council Meeting Dates in FY07

  • March 1-2, 2007, Portland/Vancouver
  • July 12-13, 2007, Portland/Vancouver

3.2 Council Meeting Date Pattern

"Council meets on the second Thursday & Friday in March, July, and November.  This schedule is revised as needed to avoid conflict with ALA."


3.3 Interest Groups
Several Alliance interest groups have been inactive and a posting to their email list elicited no interest in sustaining the group.


Sustain the following interest groups and revaluate in two years (October 2008):

  • Music Interest Group
  • Preservation Interest Group
  • Reference Interest Group
  • Science Interest Group

Discontinue the following interest groups:

  • Data for Local Communities Interest Group
  • Education and Curriculum Materials Interest Group
  • Instruction Interest Group

3.4 University of Washington & Cascadia Community College

At merger, Council decided to include Cascadia Community College in Summit Borrowing under the terms described below:

"Include Cascadia Community College for a two-year transition period and consider options by the end of that period ... CCC student FTE should be included in UW's FTE for the purpose of determining membership fees. Because this is a pre-existing arrangement in Cascade, it will be continued for now as the consortium mission, membership criteria, and policies evolve." -- Council Minutes, April 2003


Executive Committee recommends that Council adopt the following statement of practice:

Cascadia Community College (CCC) participates in Summit Borrowing as part of the University of Washington (UW) membership in the Orbis Cascade Alliance. This unique arrangement is a continuing aspect of the merger that formed the Alliance, an arrangement that recognizes the historical inclusion of CCC in the Cascade union catalog. Council supports CCC's inclusion in Summit Borrowing with the understanding that

  • The Alliance policy of institutional membership is fundamental to the consortium and this unique arrangement does not establish precedent.
  • This arrangement will be reconsidered should the relationship between UW and CCC change.
  • Summit Borrowing privileges are limited to CCC patrons as defined by Alliance policy for community colleges.
  • CCC's student FTE are included with UW's for the purposes of calculating annual membership fees.
  • CCC is represented by UW in all Alliance Council and committee business.
4. Reports    
  4.1 Executive Committee | Action items (Popko)    
  Popko reviewed EC's September 7 meeting, particularly noting two agenda items originally expected for October and now scheduled for Council's March agenda: Report of the Accreditation Task Force, Recommended Bylaws Revisions.
  4.2 Executive Director | Report (Helmer)  
  Helmer reviewed his written report. In response to questions Helmer indicated that Fischer would be reporting on the NW Directors Symposium and that no decisions have yet been made about a potential leave of absence for Alliance staff as reported in EC action items, #3.

Regional Library Services Center | Report (Carver)


Carver highlighted the following aspects of her written report:

  • The forthcoming negotiation meeting at Linfield College to discuss the site feasibility report and potential lease terms (see May 2006 & September 2003 documents). Site issues include damp soils due to a seasonally high water table, five potential wetland areas, and the need to relocate power lines contained in a concrete conduit under the site.
  • Recent news from Paul Elstone (UO Senior Director, Corporate & Foundation Relations) and Deborah Hopkinson (OSU Director of Foundation Relations) that Meyer Memorial Trust and Murdock both advise that one institution must submit a grant application for the Alliance (i.e., that the Alliance cannot submit directly as an independent organization). As a result, UO is considering their ability to take the lead.
  • G bonds for 50% of construction costs can probably be secured if the Alliance is able to achieve a 50% match through fundraising.
  • Brad King (OHSU CFO) is working on updated proforma financial statements.
  • Delays in the project mean that no Alliance member contributions would be expected until FY09 or later.

Council discussion included the following:

  • Q: Fundraising decision does not seem to make sense. Were the costs and benefits sufficiently articulated? A: The RLSC concept was well received, it is just a question of who can submit a proposal.
  • Given history and current ballot measures, State of Oregon may not be our best financial and legal home for RLSC.
  • Q: Are we hampered by being part of an OUS institution? A. Here opinions differed, some feeling that the Alliance would have additional options as a separately incorporated entity, others feeling that we would face similar issues.
  • The RLSC initiative may be experiencing the "tragedy of the commons": many benefit but one must step forward to make it happen.
  • Q: Could another institution take the fundraising lead if UO cannot? A: Potentially yes.
  • At best, Meyer Memorial Trust would fund $250,000 so, to get a 50% match on a $10 million project, we would need grants from 20 such foundations. This approach seems difficult at best.
  • Alliance reserves and history of success could be pointed to as evidence of success and financial clout.
  • Importance of completing our current process: working with Linfield and determining UO's potential role in fundraising.
  • Some Council members questioned the validity of RLSC as an Alliance initiative and storage as a way of addressing the preservation of collections. A larger number of Council members indicated that RLSC is important for a broad range of members and is a key factor in local planning for space and services. Others noted the superior environmental conditions offered in specialized storage facilities and expressed support for an RLSC mission beyond storage. These Council members spoke of the importance of digitization, preservation, disaster recovery, and RLSC's potential role as the northwest's node in a national network of library service centers.

A key question emerged from the discussion: How far do we proceed before Council is presented with options for the future of the RLSC initiative?

The RLSC Leadership Group will prepare the following for Council's March 1-2, 2006 meeting

  • Report on the results of the UO and Linfield negotiation concerning site issues and lease terms
  • Updated proforma financial statements as provided by Brad King
  • Alternatives for the future of the RLSC initiative. e.g., one institution builds RLSC and rents space to other participants, incorporate RLSC as a non-profit corporation, a non-OUS member institution leads a fundraising effort.
6. Strategic Agenda (Popko)  
  Documents: Strategic Agenda | Timeline (Appendix A) | NWDA Proposal & Budget (Appendix E)



Council reviewed each of 10 initiatives (8 activities, 2 staffing decisions) in turn and then returned to vote.

  Discussion of Strategic Agenda

1. Regional Library Services Center (RLSC)

Discussion took place under agenda item #5 above. No further comments were added.


2. Cooperative Collection Development

Council discussion included:

  • Advantages of having a member of Council as chair of the CDMC.
  • The work of the CDMC on its Initiative #3 for 2006 (listed below) might be improved by expanding the charge to look also at models used by other consortia or library systems, specifically the work done by Cornell University, that allows them to look at their acquisitions activity across multiple vendors, not merely a single vendor.

Chmelir reported on the status of 2005 & 2006 initiatives:

Initiatives for 2006

  1. Complete the census of cooperative projects and preserve the data on a Web page. Status: Done
  2. Continue work on the pilot project for a distributed print repository for JSTOR and ACS titles. This helps to lay the groundwork for the RLSC. Status: In process, much work has been done (as evidenced from the group's 500 p. spreadsheet), MOU draft is in progress.
  3. Explore a cooperative selection environment for monographs via a group contract with a vendor to maximize discount for all Alliance members. Conduct a survey of member libraries to learn about current collecting patterns and budgets. Consider sponsoring a ‘vendor day’ for member libraries. Explore using consortial tools available from vendors at Alliance libraries to select monographs from a consortial perspective. Status: In process, in July CDMC reported to Council and Council provided an updated "Monographic vendor project" charge.
  4. Explore ways to use Summit better as a selection tool. Examine ILL requests for books not available within the Alliance with cooperative purchasing in mind. Study Summit catalog policies that may support cooperative collection development. Status: Included in Data Harvesting initiative for SCC.
  5. Formulate a ‘last copy’ policy for books. This also helps to lay the groundwork for the RLSC. Status: In process but CDMC has assigned more effort to other parts of their ambitious charge.
  6. Explore possibilities for central funding for collection development. Possibilities include grants or contributions to a communal ‘war chest’ for joint purchases. Status: In process.
  7. Encourage further development of the Alliance subject interest groups with the aim of supporting cooperative collection development. Status: In process

Initiatives for 2005

  1. Develop collection development policies governing a shared journal and reference set archive as envisioned for the Regional Library Services Center. Status: done
  2. Perform a census of current and past cooperative collection development projects that have been undertaken by Alliance members and provide a qualitative assessment of each project. Create a web site to capture and organize this information. Status: done
  3. Examine ILL requests for materials that are not in the shared collection and implement a mechanism for purchasing appropriate titles. Status: see initiative #4 in 2006
  4. Propose collection development and management projects for pursuit in 2006. Status: done



3.1 Shared Integrated Library System

Council discussion initially centered on the proposed creation of a new position and later focused on the definition of the initiative. Some expressed concern about the process for considering options and asked to hear more about Executive Committee deliberations. EC members described discussions of staff resources and alternatives as presented in EC's September Action Items. Among those documents linked to the action items, EC particularly noted a draft document outlining staff responsibilities, projects, and potential initiatives. EC substantially revised this document as they assigned priorities and responsibilities. Council discussion included

  • the role of Executive Committee has evolved as the organization has grown, Council meetings have become less frequent, and Council has come to rely more heavily on EC to make progress on Alliance initiatives. The Alliance continues to explore what work should be done by EC, what work should be done by Council, and how best to provide background documentation for Council decision making.
  • member library processes differ for making staffing decisions
  • importance of determining how staff might be reassigned to meet a new need. Perhaps existing staff could free up time for new initiatives by discontinuing some current activities.
  • importance of understanding the budgetary impact of decisions
  • consortium staff would fill needs that members could avoid addressing separately. Such a decision can be seen as part of "moving to the network level."
  • such a position is intended to build capacity and position the organization for the future. Some noted experiences with their institution's failure to build capacity in a timely manner. Others noted experiences with launching programs and adding staff later.
  • retreats cause a level of excitement and ambition that may not be warranted by the cost. Council needs to decide if we should pursue these initiatives, not just how they should be pursued.
  • are we building membership and adding staff in a planned manner?
  • if the Alliance is able to handle work that would have been done at member libraries then all members see a benefit and can assign staff elsewhere.
  • Council reached a general consensus that there is a role for consultants as part of the process of investigating next generation technology but there was a sense among most that consultants would need to work with appropriate Alliance staff.
  • Q. Why is "article sharing" included in this initiative? A. EC feels that the Alliance should not pursue a separate initiative in this area, but that article sharing functionality could be included among the factors considered as part of a next generation system.

Note: see more of the staffing discussion under Strategic Agenda initiatives 5.1 & 5.2.


In order to allow Council more opportunity to define the Shared Integrated Library System initiative, Popko suggested that EC draft a Shared ILS Task Force charge for Council revision and approval in March. Council members indicated their approval of that plan of action.


3.2 Summit Data Harvesting

Council discussion included

  • strong interest on the part of CDMC
  • great applicability to the work of the Accreditation Task Force
  • need for analysis once data are available
  • importance of knowing what is available from Summit before considering the purchase of other products

3.3 Summit Search Interface

Council found this initiative to be clear and justified. No further discussion was needed.


4.1 Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA)

Council discussion included the following

  • Q. Why should the Alliance do this if NWDA is a self-sustaining project? A. NWDA is not currently self-sustaining but this proposal hopes to make it self-sustaining.
  • Some members expressed a likely interest in participating.
  • Some expressed great enthusiasm, indicating that this is the kind of thing the Alliance should do, others felt that NWDA is not a good fit with the Alliance's mission. Still others noted that NWDA and the Alliance appear to be complementary organizations and that neither would need to "reinvent the wheel."
  • Most felt that it will be important for NWDA to become more active in helping members digitize archival content.
  • Some questioned the disincentives of a financial model based on contributions to the database. Perhaps some form of credits for contribution could be included? It was generally noted that the diverse membership of NWDA makes many familiar cost distribution formulae unworkable (e.g., FTE-based models).
  • WSU would pay the most and prefers the model based on disk-space.
  • Reminder that at this stage Council is deciding on fit with Alliance mission and deciding whether or not we should continue with the steps as proposed. Members are not committing to participate in NWDA at this time.
  • Q. Who would legally own the NWDA database? A. Helmer suggested that UO (as Alliance fiscal agent) probably would own the database although this might need to be clarified in an agreement with WSU.

4.2 LITA Institutional Repository Institute

Council found this initiative to be clear and justified. No further discussion was needed.


4.3 Collaborate with Regional and National Organizations

Council found this initiative to be clear and noted that approval would retire the Joint TF on a Digital Assets Initiative.


5.1 New Alliance Systems Position

Council continued discussion that started under initiative #3.1 Shared ILS, where this position was first encountered:

  • current Alliance staff lack the expertise as well as the time to support new areas where Council would like the Alliance to be active
  • what role might consultants play? Perhaps consultants lead investigation and staff are hired to implement. Perhaps a systems staff person could help draft the specs for a consultant's role and work with any consultants the Alliance hires.
  • concern for the organization's ability to maintain a leadership position without adding systems staff
  • sense that we are late in creating such a position; should have been done two years ago
  • this is a good use of reserve funds: get started now and phase in impact on membership fees
  • staffing has not changed since the Alliance was formed but membership has increased from 26 to 33 and Council has ambitions to do more
  • strong interest in also having a consultant involved in initiative 3.1 but a general sense that we need staff that are able to work with the consultant and implement new initiatives
  • A concern was raised about the process and how requests for new staff are brought to Council's attention. Some felt that long term budget implications should be a more explicit part of the Council discussion.
  • in the position description, "relevant library projects" would be a better description than "digital library projects"
  • Alliance needs to be pushed and should make a bold move
  • there are unmet technical needs that should be addressed
  • Q. Is this strictly technical staff (for whom the salary may be too high) or cutting-edge leadership staff (for whom the salary may be too low)? A. Helmer explained that when EC asked him to develop a staffing proposal, his recommendation was a professional position that is able to function in both technical support and leadership capacities.
  • Over the course of the discussion, many Council members expressed support for a new position and the use of a consultant to help with initiative 3.1 Shared ILS.

5.2 New NWDA Program Manager Position

Council continued discussion that started under initiative #4.1 NWDA, where this position was first encountered:

  • Q. Are we approving the NWDA budget now? A. No, Council is determining if the Alliance should proceed with the steps outlined in the Timeline on p. 7. Each potential participant will be given a chance to opt in or out of the NWDA program before a final decision to proceed (or not) is made by EC in December.
  • Add to the fourth bullet: "and supporting digital initiatives that grow from NWDA and the Alliance"
  • Should be specified as a two-year commitment, subject to Council review of the program
  Process for Voting


Popko proposed to vote on the agenda as a whole but Council members noted problems with a single vote that potentially includes several amendments.

Vote on process

Motion: Hanawalt moved that a separate vote be taken on each initiative.
Second: Carver
Council voted unanimously in favor of the motion.

  Voting on Strategic Agenda Initiatives


1. Regional Library Services Center (RLSC)
Vote: approved with one "no"

  2. Cooperative Collection Development
Vote: unanimously approved

3.1 Shared Integrated Library System
Council discussed the need to clarify the description of the initiative and it was suggested that staffing be listed as "tba" so that a separate decision can be made under 5.1.

First Motion to revise 3.1

Motion: Harrington moved revisions as follows

  • "Build on Council”s desire to ‘move to the network level’ by exploring next generation technology to shape Orbis Cascade Alliance activities and developments, including but not limited to shared information delivery systems shared information delivery systems that are predicated on consortial use and include but are not limited by the functionality of today”s integrated library systems. "
  • "tba Alliance Systems Position (new)"
  • "Includes new position: See initiative 5.1 New Alliance Systems Position"

Second: note taker missed the second

Vote: unanimously approved

Second Motion to revise 3.1:

Motion: Harrington moved addition of the following text

"Includes initial and periodic collaboration with consultants with experience in the field "

Second: note taker missed the second

Vote: approved with 2 "no" votes

Vote on 3.1

Popko called for a Council vote on initiative 3.1 as amended.

Vote: unanimously approved

  3.2 Summit Data Harvesting
unanimously approved
  3.3 Summit Search Interface
Vote: unanimously approved

4.1 Northwest Digital Archives (NWDA)

First motion to revise 4.1

Motion: Kopp moved addition of the following text

"Council approves in concept, subject to further NWDA information and budgetary models."

Second: Peischl

Vote: approved with 2 abstaining

Second motion to revise 4.1

Motion: Jensen moved revisions as follows

  • "tba NWDA Program Manager (new)"
  • "See initiative 5.2 New NWDA Program Manager Position"

Second: note taker missed the second

Vote: approved with 2 abstaining

Vote on 4.1

Popko called for a Council vote on initiative 4.1 as amended.

Vote: approved with 2 abstaining

  4.2 LITA Institutional Repository Institute
unanimously approved
  4.3 Collaborate with Regional and National Organizations
Vote: unanimously approved

5.1 New Alliance Systems Position

Motion to revise 5.1

Motion: Williams moved revisions as follows

"three years experience in relevant digital library projects "

Second: Fortier

Vote: approved

Vote on 5.1

Popko called for a Council vote on initiative 5.1 as amended.

Vote: approved with 2 abstaining

  5.2 New NWDA Program Manager Position

First motion to revise 5.2

Motion: Dancik moved the following changes

  • position will be a two-year contract subject to program review. (Carver clarified that, per other Alliance positions and UO practice, the position would probably need to be a one-year contract with an Alliance option to renew).
  • Add to the fourth bullet: "and supporting digital initiatives that grow from NWDA and the Alliance"

Second: Fortier

Vote: approved

Second motion to revise 5.2

Motion: Jensen moved the following change

  • "This .5 FTE professional archivist position..."

Second: note taker missed the second

Vote: approved

Vote on 5.2

Popko called for a Council vote on initiative 5.2 as amended.

Vote: approved with 2 abstaining

Minutes -- Helmer & Scroggins