Minutes of the Merlin Consortium Meeting
10:00 November 2, 2017
Northern Waters Library Service, Ashland
I. Call to Order
Chair Teresa Schmidt called the meeting to order at 10:06 a.m.
Quorum was determined with the following attendees:
NWLS staff present: Sherry Machones, Michelle Gostomski, Alyssa Cleland, Marsha Sorensen, and Mike Sauvola
Members present: Caryl Pfaff (LCO); Emilie Braunel (Sayner); Kathy Draughon (Vaughn); Nan Andrews (Eagle River); Blair Nelson (Bayfield); Cherie Sanderson (Boulder Jct.); Kristine Lendved (Cable); Angie Bodzislaw (Spooner); Cari Hutton (Phelps); Darrell Pendergrass (Washburn); Sue Heskin (Superior); Linda Olson (Superior); Suzanne Widmar (Drummond); Teresa Schmidt (Mercer);
Online: Donna Knuckey (Winter); Betty Forster (Winchester); Amy Stormberg (Shell Lake); Jennie Thewis (Mellen); Julie Zelten (Land O’ Lakes); Kristina Kelley-Johnson (Grantsburg); Lauren Schuppe (Madeline Island); Molly Lank-Jones (Hayward); Patti Meyer (Webster)
Teresa introduced Alyssa, the new NWLS Assistant Director, and asked everyone to introduce themselves.
III. Review of the August 17, 2017 Consortium Meeting Minutes
The minutes of the August 17, 2017 meeting were reviewed and Angie moved to approve them as presented, seconded by Kristine. The motions carried.
The Merlin Financial Reports were presented by Michelle. An October draft of the Merlin Financial Statement replaces the September statement. A Capital Fund expenditure has been moved to cover the cost of the server migration to Eau Claire. A General Fund payment for annual software subscriptions for library computers brings the balance up to $15,000. Cherie moved to approve the financial reports as presented with a second by Sue. The motions carried.
Teresa asked for a motion to amend this meeting agenda to include under Other Business the 2018 Merlin Budget. Kristine made a motion to amend the agenda to include the 2018 Merlin Budget with a second from Angie. The motions carried.
NWLS Staff Reports
To accommodate libraries currently working on outstanding bills, Alyssa asked if there were any objections to her postponing until April the purge of long overdue billed items normally done at the end of the year. There were no objections. After an explanation of the process, further discussion was recommended for a future meeting.
Michelle has made an invoice available for current 2017 activity. Pink slips are outstanding invoices and November will be the last invoice of the year. Any adjustments from today’s meeting will be made available in an updated version.
Sherry reported that remote cataloging connections to the Indianhead Federated Library System records is still not working. Eau Claire and Innovative are working on the problem.
Teresa asked Mike Sauvola to provide a technology report. He’s been completing the router installations for the bandwidth upgrade. He was able find a low-cost high-efficiency router with enough ports. Next up is the conversion to the new BadgerNet network and he is still awaiting a confirmed schedule of dates from downstate.
V. Other Business
1. Telephone Notifications
Sherry reported that problems with the Teleform Notification software have become serious enough to consider replacing with iTiva. Some libraries have noticed an increase in complaints about repeated calls or no calls, while other libraries haven’t had an increase in complaints. Mike explained the software has a problem detecting voicemail or answering machines and will repeat calls if it detects no answer. Libraries have been encouraging patrons to choose email notifications and regularly check their online accounts, and some have been calling, especially for items sitting numerous days on the hold shelf. Some libraries have opted out of telephone notifications and use volunteers to notify patrons. 19 libraries use telephone notifications.
The current notification software is paid for. The iTiva software subscription cost also requires a three year contract. Innovative hasn’t provided further information about their new ILS development or other potential costs savings with their new option to bundle products. Sherry reported the iTiva software can be transferred. Two versions of the 2018 Merlin budget offer libraries an idea of the financial impact of a switch to iTiva.
Sue and Nan reported concern with tight library budgets due to construction projects and prefer to wait until more information is available about future Innovative upgrades while a few others prefer to pay the price to improve customer service now. Teresa presented three options for the consortium to decide on: (1) Wait and see, and call a meeting if the software breaks. (2) Turn off the software now. (3) Go with iTiva.
There was a motion from Sue to table the discussion until the next meeting, with a second from Suzanne. The motions carried. This will allow time to review budgets and to work out options with Innovative. Libraries are encouraged to report details of further problems to NWLS so issues and problems can be identified, tracked and reported at the next meeting.
2. Hold/Pick List
Sherrie addressed a problem with holds not being promptly filled and reminded libraries to pull items daily from paging lists. Item holds are more of a problem since they’re only sent once and don’t transfer to other libraries. Notices are posted for one week. Others spoke of being aware of problems with holds not being filled. NWLS recently needed to request items with cataloging errors and it became evident that most libraries aren’t processing paging lists daily.
3. Cataloging DVD and Blu-Ray Discs
Sherry and Alyssa discussed glaring problems with the cataloging of new films, including the duplication of records, and using marc records and call numbers that don’t properly identify the item as a blu-ray, DVD, combo, set, or part of a set. NWLS runs reports to identify cataloging errors and the discrepancies between blu-rays and DVDs have created an overwhelming amount of work.
The format of an item needs to match the bib record material type and the item record imedia, opac message and call number descriptors. Combos need a combo marc record. Adding the word (combo) at the end of the call number in Sierra (not necessarily on the item label) will help patrons and NWLS staff identify them properly. Use the blu-ray imedia code if there is a blu-ray in the box. Use the DVD imedia code if it only has a DVD. Marsha will look into whether a combo material type can be added to help identify combos in the catalog.
A suggestion was made to update the online best practices for cataloging these new format movies, offering a cataloging retreat, and offering updates on frequently made errors so directors can work with cataloguers.
Related was a discussion about disc resurfacers. After about 10,000 uses, the commercial machine at Superior needs to be replaced and it can be traded in for about $2000. Nan asked if the streaming movie trend is affecting circulation. Sue has noticed a difference, the series are still a big hit in Spooner, Blair mentioned a Netflix price increase, and Teresa reported that it will be a while before there is ample bandwidth in her area to support streaming movies.
4. NoveList Enhancement to Merlin
Sherry explained that NoveList Select has been renewed with grant money until October 2018. It would cost the consortium $5775 to renew the subscription, which can be rolled into the 2018 budget now or delayed. The number of hits received between January and July is 66,983, up 13% from last year. Cherie made a motion to include NoveList in the budget, with a second from Emilie. Motion carried. Suzanne asked if NWLS could match billing with the fiscal year. Superior made a motion to approve NWLS negotiations of a contract ending December 31, 2019. Nan seconds the motion. The motion carries.
5. Merlin 2018 Budget (appended)
Michelle presented the 2018 Merlin Budget and will send libraries an approved version. Cherie made a motion to approve the 2018 Merlin Budget as presented with NoveList added. A second from Angie, and the motion carries.
The consortium agreed on a 2018 meeting schedule for Thursdays: February 15, May17, August 16 and November 8.
Teresa Schmidt declared the meeting adjourned at 11:58 p.m.