Minutes of the Merlin Consortium
August 17, 2017
Northern Waters Library Service
I. Call to Order
Chair Teresa Schmidt called the meeting to order at 12:59 a.m.
II. Quorum Determination/Recognition of Proxies
Quorum (of 17 members) was determined with the following attendees: Kathy Draughon (Ashland); Cherie Sanderson (Boulder Junction); Kristine Lendved (Cable); Kristina Kelley-Johnson (Grantsburg); Molly Lank-Jones (Hayward); Ann Larson (Hayward); Courtney Dietsche (Iron River); Julie Zelten (Land O’ Lakes); Caryl Pfaff (LCO); Jennie Thewis (Mellen); Teresa Schmidt (Mercer); Cari Hutton (Phelps); Amy Stormberg (Shell Lake); Angie Bodzislaw (Spooner); Sue Heskin (Superior); Darrell Pendergrass (Washburn); Patti Meyer (Webster); Betty Forster (Winchester); Sherry Machones (NWLS), Michelle Gostomski (NWLS), Marsha Sorensen (NWLS)
III. Election of Officer: Secretary
There were three nominations for Secretary: Sherry as temporary, Sherry as permanent, and Marsha as permanent. Marsha was elected as Secretary permanently by a majority voice vote.
IV. Approval of May 2017 Consortium Meeting Minutes
Julie moved and Angie seconded to approve the minutes of May 2017. All were in favor and the motion carried.
V. Presentation of Financial Reports
Michelle reported on the Merlin capital and general funds. Kristine moved and Amy seconded to approve the July 2017 Merlin Financial Statement. All were in favor and the motion carried.
VI. Reports from NWLS Staff
1. Sierra Server Move: The server move to the Eau Claire data center will take place Thursday September 28, 2017. All functions will be unavailable for the entire day. Offline circulation can be used to check out materials. Libraries will need to take care to avoid crashing Sierra with simultaneous logins, check-ins and Offline uploads.
2. Innovative Updates/2018 Developments: Innovative’s third quarter update focused on a convergence plan to improve and simplify customer service. Three levels of software bundles (Core, Success and Premium) will be offered to streamline contracts and pricing. The software bundles will include extra products at no cost. Innovative also announced plans to launch one new modern ILS platform in 2018 with a core discovery, analytics and research/ resource management interface. All current customers on Millennium, Polaris, Sierra and Virtua will be offered attractive incentives to migrate to the new ILS. New standards for openness and API connections are being designed with strategies to plug and play with the best software companies and service providers to provide a modern integrated platform. New concepts will be available to review and demo this fall. Due to the timing of these developments, the consortium may want to consider delaying investments in products to supplement Merlin.
3. Teleforms update/iTiva: In spite of frustrations with the currently used telephone notification software, the consensus is to wait for new developments being rolled out by Innovative.
4. Other reports: Marsha Sorensen reminded libraries that Superior began using the Collection Agency module, and a $10 service fee will be added to records sent to collection services. Libraries collecting the $10 fee should forward it to Superior. While only Superior patrons will be submitted to Unique Management, the charges may be included on bills for items borrowed from other libraries. Sue Heskin clarified that Superior staff have been manually selecting which patrons to send to collections and have not yet included patrons with charges for items belonging to other libraries. However, this will change in the near future. The collection agency fees will be visible in the patron record with a new field and will also display in the Fines Paid Table. Sue explained that the $10 fee is in place to pay for ongoing expenses with the collection agency and asked it not be waived.
VI. Other Business
1. Merlin Loan rules
A discussion about local circulation policies was introduced by Kristina. She explained that her loan policy for movies was changed to address concern for hundreds of customers being blocked – many of them children – and commented on how quickly fines add up for movies. The new policy keeps Grantsburg new release films circulating for one week with a $1 daily fine but all other movies will check out for three weeks with a 10 cent daily fine. Marsha asked the group if an item type could be created to separate new and old release DVDs, but the consensus was opposed. She presented another option that would automatically shorten a checkout to one week for items with holds.
Kristina was asked why a three week loan period with 2 renewals was considered for a two hour movie, over options such as waiving fines or using grace periods and a maximum fine limit. Cari and Teresa added that movies are an important part of their collection for many people in their rural area who have no access to Internet, theaters or television services. Marsha added that a one week check-out for a DVD is standard among ten Wisconsin ILS consortia. Kristina responded that her loan periods aren’t determined by the amount of time required to use an item. She said she could just have everything check out for three weeks, with the exception of movies with holds, and asked if libraries enforce a limit on DVD checkouts.
Amy moved to allow library boards to determine loan rules and to have the policy added to Merlin documents, seconded by Kristina. All were in favor and the motion carried. Marsha added that policies need to take into consideration the software limitations.
2. 2018 Merlin Budget discussion and possible approval
- a. Options for Boopsie (mobile app) and iTiva (telephone notifications)
- b. Options for SMS (mobile text messaging) notifications
Financial decisions related to acquiring additional products (Boopsie mobile app, iTiva telephone notifications, and SMS text messaging notifications) will be delayed until Innovative provides more information about their new service developments. More information is also needed about how Library Elf works.
The Merlin cost increases included:
• Maintenance fees on added products
• Annual Sierra maintenance fee
• IUG conference expenses (based on recent actual costs)
• Cloud Backup
• Merlin IT travel expenses (based on recent actual costs)
Angie moved to approve the budget, with a second by Patti Meyer and passed unanimously.
Teresa Schmidt declared the meeting adjourned at 2:21 p.m.
The next meeting will be November 2, 2017 at NWLS.