Minutes of the Merlin Consortium
February 16, 2017
I. Call to Order
Chair Teresa Schmidt called the meeting to order at 10:02 a.m.
II. Quorum Determination/Recognition of Proxies
Quorum (of 21 members) was determined with the following attendees: Sherry Machones, Michelle Gostomski, Mike Sheehan, Marsha Sorensen (NWLS); Cherie Sanderson (Boulder Jct.); Kristine Lendved (Cable); Suzanne Widmar (Drummond); Nan Andrews (Eagle River); Kristina Kelley-Johnson (Grantsburg); Molly Lank-Jones (Hayward); Courtney Dietsche (Iron River); Caryl Pfaff (LCO College); Connie Ross (Madeline Island); Jennie Thewis (Mellen); Teresa Schmidt (Mercer); Cari Hutton (Phelps); Shelly Knaack (Presque Isle); Emile Braunel (Sayner); Amy Stormberg (Shell Lake); Angie Bodzislaw (Spooner); Sue Heskin (Superior); Darrell Pendergrass (Washburn); Patti Meyer (Webster); Donna Knuckey (Winter).
There were no proxies.
III. Approval of the November 10, 2016 Consortium Meeting Minutes
Kristine Lendved moved to approve the minutes. Seconded by Amy Stormberg. There were no comments. Passed unanimously.
IV. Approval of Financial Reports
Michelle Gostomski presented the Merlin financial statements. She remarked on the December statement that the auditor consolidated some items that were normally separated, and the money had been put into the bank as prescribed by the by-laws. For the February statement, Michelle noted that there has been little activity so far. A few libraries have submitted their Merlin fees and she invoiced libraries for Merlin-related costs as well.
Angie Bodzislaw moved to accept the financial statements as presented. Seconded by Sue Heskin. There were no comments. Passed unanimously.
V. Reports from NWLS Staff
Mike Sheehan reported on the following items:
• Mike Sheehan will be attending the annual IUG Conference held in National Harbor, Maryland on April 2-6, 2017. He will report on the conference at either the May or August meeting.
• NWLS expects III to provide details on a Teleforms upgrade soon. The current Teleforms software is expected to fail in the future and Innovative has contracted with a provider called TalkingTech (and new program called iTiva) but the roll-out schedule and upgrade costs are still unknown.
• The newest release of the Sierra software (Release 3.0) is available and NWLS will check calendars to decide best date to upgrade.
• The current inventory PDAs are starting to fail, so Mike Sheehan in in consultation with Mike Sauvola and Benjamin Whytsell to work on replacement options.
Michelle Gostomski asked members to contact her if they have any questions about how she is billing their library.
VI. Other Business
1. Boopsie Library App Demo and Discussion
The demonstration of the Boopsie app included features such as the book carousel, catalog searches, patron account review, library information, the events calendar, digital materials connections (to OverDrive and Flipster), the barcode wallet, and examples showed variations of menu displays. An example from a consortium of Ohio Libraries (COOL), was shown to envision a consortium mobile presence. There was some discussion on ways of using a shared events calendar in order to access an “events” feature in the app.
Mike Sheehan presented options for paying for Boopsie based on a 2016 quote:
Option A – pay the implementation and first year cost using both Merlin Capital and General fund dollars, which may be needed to pay for large-ticket items, like servers. The server relocation to the Regional Data Center in Eau Claire is on hold until the WiscNet contract is renewed.
Option B – have the implementation fee paid by the Merlin Capital/General Fund(s) and the annual cost evenly spread among the Consortium members.
Option C – have the implementation fee paid by the Merlin Capital/General Fund(s) and the annual cost based on its addition to the Merlin budget formula. An example shared was based on (a) an expired 2016 quote from Boopsie, and (b) the 2017 budget using 2015 annual reports data for collection and circulation that still included the one-time Collection Agency purchase. This option was presented to give members a rough idea of the cost per member if using the budget formula as a cost distribution method.
Angie Bodzislaw moved to have the decision for implementation and funding delayed until 2018. Molly Lank-Jones seconded. After some disagreement of members wanting to start it in 2017 and others wanting to delay it, Molly rescinded her second, and the motion died for lack of a second.
Angie Bodzislaw moved to have Merlin implement the Boopsie app in 2017 but bill in 2018 using the Merlin Capital Fund this year. She further stated that this would include each library paying next year the initial and 2018 fees to make it predictable. Kristina Kelley-Johnson would second based on payments following Option C. Angie verified her motion was to follow Option B. The motion died for lack of a second.
Sue Heskin moved to have NWLS get an updated quote in July for 2018 to consider adding it to the 2018 budget. The motion died for lack of a second.
Kristina Kelley-Johnson moved to implement Boopsie in 2017, using 2018 funds and Option C to pay for it. Angie Bodzislaw seconded. There was continued discussion about financially supporting Boopsie without knowing the future of the WiscNet contract.
A vote was taken and the motion failed (4 in favor; 13 against).
Many concerns were raised about draining the Merlin Capital and General Funds to pay for Boopsie without having a way to pay for potential future servers purchases.
Darrell Pendergrass moved to revisit Boopsie in August after we have more information about WiscNet and more concrete financial information. Since it was consensus to wait to make any decisions, Darrell rescinded his motion and Teresa Schmidt re-affirmed that the Consortium will revisit this item after we have more information/direction on WiscNet.
2. Strategic Planning follow-up: Mission, Vision & Value Statements
The Wordsmithing Group met in January 2017 and arrived at the following statements of the Merlin plan:
Mission Statement: The Merlin Consortium provides access to an integrated library system of library resources and services to its member libraries, strengthening the libraries’ ability to serve their library communities.
Vision: The Merlin Consortium will continue to partner with member libraries, ensuring seamless access to an evolving network of resources and services. The member libraries will work together to accomplish our individual and shared goals.
Values: The Merlin Consortium holds these values:
• All people deserve free and equal access to library resources and services.
• Our member libraries achieve more by working together.
• Trustworthy and reliable library resources and services are essential to the future of our communities.
• Effective and efficient use of resources is a top priority; getting value for our libraries’ invenstments.
Teresa Schmidt remarked the workgroup had questions about what “resources” meant in the fourth bullet of the Value Statements and concluded it could mean either financial or library, but they wanted direction from the Consortium. Bullet three was their expression of stewardship. After some discussion it was agreed that the Wordsmithing Group will continue tweaking the Value Statements by adding an intellectual freedom component to the first bullet phrase, and clarify the fourth bullet phrase. The Group will present their revision to the Consortium at the May meeting with suggestions on starting work on the remaining Strategic Plan chart.
Kristine Lendved moved to accept as presented the language work of the wordsmithing group. Seconded by Kristina Kelley-Johnson. Passed unanimously.
3. Collection Agency Module
Marsha Sorensen began by asking for a roll of those who were interested in using the Sierra Collection Agency module. Iron River and Superior directors confirmed interest at this time so Marsha will work with them to develop policies and implementation. Marsha also clarified that patrons subject to a collection agency depend on the patron types of participating libraries. Sue Heskin commented that the Consortium needs to agree to send collection agency fees to the home library. It was agreed that the bills of participating libraries may include warnings that delinquent accounts may be sent to a collection agency.
Kristina Kelley-Johnson moved to change the circulation standards language to reflect that manual charges described as Collection Agency report charges will be sent to the home collecting /billing library. Seconded by Angie Bodzislaw. Passed unanimously. Teresa volunteered to distribute a copy of the policy change for libraries to share with their staff.
Teresa Schmidt declared the meeting adjourned at 11:42 a.m.
The next meeting will be May 11, 2017 at NWLS.
Michael G. Sheehan