Merlin Meeting 2014.11.13

November 13, 2014 Minutes (via GoToWebinar)


Chair Courtney Dietsche called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m.  


Quorum (of 15 members) was determined with the following attendees: Mike Sheehan, Marsha Sorensen (NWLS); Betty Braunstein (Ashland); Blair Nelson (Bayfield); Kristine Lendved (Cable); Suzanne Widmar (Drummond); Nan Andrews (Eagle River); Kristina Kelley-Johnson Grantsburg); Molly Lank-Jones (Hayward); Courtney Dietsche (Iron River); Julie Zelten (Land o’ Lakes); Caryl Pfaff (LCO College); Jennie Thewis (Mellen); Teresa Schmidt (Mercer); Kaye Petts (Phelps); Pam Eschenbauch (Presque Isle); Ida Nemec (Sayner); Amy Stormberg (Shell Lake); Jane Frankiewicz (Spooner); Sue Heskin (Superior); Darrell Pendergrass (Washburn); Patti Meyer (Webster); Donna Knuckey (Winter).
There were no proxies.


There was no discussion.  Amy Stormberg moved to approve the minutes.  Seconded by Kristine Lendved.  Passed unanimously.


Courtney Dietsche presented the Financial Report on behalf of Linda Stobbe, explaining the differences in amounts for the receipts and expenditures on the software updates (line 9).  Linda receives bills from vendors at different times but those numbers will eventually even out.  There were no other remarks.
Teresa Schmidt moved to accept the financial statements as presented.  Seconded by
Donna Knuckey.  Passed unanimously.


Election of Merlin Officers

Kristine Lendved had received 12 absentee ballots prior to the meeting.  Eleven of those had voted for the slate of officers (President: Courtney Dietsche / V.P.: Sue Heskin / Secretary: Mike Sheehan).  One had written in candidates for the following positions:
President – Darrell Pendergrass / V.P.: - Kristine Lendved / Secretary – Jennie Thewis.  

Online members who hadn’t voted yet via absentee ballot were then asked to vote through the chat/question box for the slate or other write-ins.  

The tallied votes were a total of 24 votes for the slate and one for the write-in.  The Merlin officers will assume their new positions at the first meeting of 2015.

Adding/Updating Items in Merlin

The cataloging agenda item was presented by Betty Braunstein on behalf of Shirley Miller who was unable to attend the meeting.  Shirley requested clarification of procedures for creating new records and expressed a desire for improved quality control, but said this item could be tabled.  Nan Andrews asked that Mike Sheehan also discuss the RDA standards catalogers are expected to follow.  Mike explained that because of the work NWLS performs to maintain the integrity of catalog records, libraries do not need to update temporary records or create original records, but have the option if they prefer local control.  Mike emphasized the importance of consulting him or his training resources for clarification on procedures, including RDA cataloging standards.  A few librarians expressed an interest for this topic to be addressed again at a future meeting.

Circulating Multi-Disc DVD Sets

Betty Braunstein described the problems with filling holds when a multi-volume title has both the entire box set and individual discs attached to it.  Betty asked if records for complete sets could be dedicated to a separate bib record.  Mike Sheehan reminded people of a Best Practices document that was developed in 2010 regarding these types of sets.  The document encourages libraries to catalog multi-disc sets as a single unit, but also states that if libraries catalog the parts separately, to include a volume field since it prompts patrons to choose an item.

Some commented that separating records with individual discs from records with boxed sets would still confuse staff and patrons and would not resolve the problem.  A few libraries that have some older title sets that were split out are cataloging more recent titles as a single set and are open to editing the separate records to combine them again.  Spooner wishes to continue creating individual records for each disc in a DVD set. 

Mike is willing to work with libraries that want lists of records to update. When the Consortium was asked about making the best practices language regarding multi-volume sets a standard, Betty Braunstein moved to have multi-disc DVD sets cataloged as one unit.  Teresa Schmidt seconded the motion.  After some discussion on whether this agenda item could be voted on and some wanting more information before taking a vote, Betty withdrew her motion.  Courtney advised Mike to distribute the Best Practices sheet regarding multi-volume sets.

Teresa wondered if there are ramification for statistics and if DPI has any recommendations.  Mike Sheehan was able to find from DPI a recommendation for shared automation consortium to develop definitions of circulation so that data gathering can be consistent across varied formats.  For example, a consortium could adopt a uniform definition stating circulation of a multi-part item represents a single title (i.e. audio CDs) and is a single circulation transaction.

Item Versus Bib Holds

Marsha Sorensen reviewed the difference between bibliographic (bib) and item holds and how the two kinds of holds are processed.  She mentioned some new options the Consortium might wish to implement: eliminating item holds placed through Sierra, and  changing the current setting of 72 hours before a title hold moves on to the next library to 24 hours or 48 hours to help fill holds more quickly.  Reducing the cycling time would alleviate staff management of book club item holds if book club members are asked to place their own holds.  Holds placed via the OPAC are less problematic and reducing the cycling time would fill multiple holds for one title more quickly.  Item holds placed through the Sierra system by library staff only page once and have a greater risk of not getting filled.  They also override local priority holds. Courtney added that library staff may be unaware of the differences between title and item holds and that item pages only run once.  Several other librarians commented that they were unwilling to give up staff control of item holds.

Nan Andrews moved to have the holds cycling time reduced from 72 hours to 24 hours.  Patti Meyer seconded.  There was some disagreement on whether 48 hours was preferable to 24 hours.  The motion passed 9 to 7.

Marsha will make the change and report back at the next meeting if the reduction has made an impact.

Merlin Backup Proposal

Mike Sheehan addressed this proposal on behalf of Mike Sauvola, currently attending training in Minneapolis but available by email if we found it necessary to contact him.  Mike referred to the handout describing the current process NWLS performs for the Merlin backup, the reasons for change, the single option to move to Enterprise Cloud Backup, and the costs to have Innovative perform the cloud support.  Questions were
raised on how soon the Consortium would need to decide, what options there were for paying for the cloud support, and what future costs might be.  There was a suggestion to take action at a meeting that Mike Sauvola could attend to answer questions.

Jane Frankiewicz moved to table the item until a later meeting date.  Darrell Pendergrass seconded.  Passed unanimously.

Seed Libraries Discussion

Mike Sheehan referred to a handout provided by Nan Andrews to lead discussion on whether to include records in the Merlin catalog for seeds and that includes concerns John DeBacher (DPI) has about using a shared ILS to circulate seed packets for statistical purposes.  Some libraries in Wisconsin (for example, Merrill Public Library and LaCrosse Public Library) display records for seeds in their catalogs for patrons to learn what’s available.  Nan believes these libraries also circulate them and Mike responded that John DeBacher would be contacting them about this activity.  The other Merlin libraries with seed programs prefer not to add records to Merlin.

Nan Andrews moved to allow seed library records to be added to the Merlin catalog but making them non-circulating.  Kristine Lendved seconded.  The motion passed 8 to 4.  NWLS will work with Nan to enter records into Merlin for the Olson Memorial Library seed collection.

(Courtney Dietsche called for a 10 minute break. The meeting resumed at 12:10 pm.)

Novelist Enhancement to Merlin

Mike Sheehan used a handout to explain the purchase of a database subscription by NWLS that will enhance the Merlin catalog.  He also referred to the Chapel Hill Public Library search for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book to demonstrate how Novelist works.  The integration might be ready by mid-December.  Several librarians shared positive comments on the features of Novelist.

Proposal for Merlin Long Range Plan

Mike Sheehan presented a handout regarding the development of a Long Range Plan for Merlin.  Mike remarked that consortiums in the state should also be aware that the future visions for public library system services presented by COLAND include a statewide ILS.  A Long Range plan, whether short term for transition purposes or long term for continued Merlin success, would help prepare our Consortium for these changing times as well as provide us with some control of changes made in the best interest of our northern Wisconsin communities.

Mike also explained that our ILS vendor, Innovative Interfaces, is the vendor for 10 of 17 shared automation consortiums in Wisconsin.  Whether Innovative Interfaces plays a role in that statewide ILS vision is not certain.

Nan Andrews moved for the Executive Committee to begin working on a Long Range Plan beginning with some polling of libraries about their priorities.  Suzanne Widmar seconded.   After some discussion, Nan was asked to amend her motion.  Nan amended her motion to state the Executive Committee will begin Long Range planning and draft an outlined process for Consortium approval.  Teresa Schmidt seconded the motion.  Passed unanimously.

Proposed 2015 Meeting Dates

Courtney Dietsche proposed the following dates for 2015 Merlin meetings: February 19, May 21, August 20, and November 12.  It was agreed to have the February and August meetings be held in person, with May and November meetings conducted online.  Mike Sheehan will inform Jim Trojanowski and Linda Stobbe these dates to see if there is interest in combining a meeting with a Director’s meeting.


Courtney adjourned the meeting at 12:44 pm.

Next meeting date: February 19, 2015 at 10:00 (at NWLS)

Respectfully submitted,

Michael Sheehan