Director’s Association

Upper Hudson Library System
Friday, November 5, 1999 at Albany Public Library

Attending: Jeff Cannell (APLM), Bobbi Crowther (VAFL), Judy Felsten (RCSC), Carol Gaillard (HOOF), Carol Hamblin (GUIL), Paul Hicok (TROY), Bob Jaquay (COLN), Helen King (ALTM), Barbara Kubli (STEP), Candace Lind (CAST), Daryl McCarthy (NGRN), Margie Morris (POES), Pat Nonamaker (EGRN), Nancy Pieri (BETH), Pat Sahr (NASS), Barbara Schoen (WTVL), Archa Wachowicz (RVLL), Lenny Zapala (MEND).

Visitors: Sara Dallas, Hemwatie Jaipershad, Bill Meredith

Meeting convened 9:30 am.

1. UHLS Customer Survey, Bill Meredith
At the October UHLS Board meeting Bill distributed a survey to the Trustees about UHLS services. He asked the Trustees to contact the Director of each member library they represent and collect responses to the survey. If your Trustee representative has not contacted you please contact him/her for a copy of the survey or to just discuss the questions on it. The UHLS Board meets November 10 but Bill will accept responses after that date if you can’t make the deadline. It is important to get the information to Bill so the Board can evaluate what member libraries identify as important UHLS services.

2. Minutes
Motion (Hamblin, Jaquay) to approve September 10, 1999 minutes. Carried.

3. Liasions
UHLS Board, Jeff Cannell All member libraries should try and complete Bill Meredith’s survey. Contact Jeff if you don’t have a copy or can’t reach your UHLS Board Trustee representative. Hemwatie mentioned a system survey she sent out several years ago for member libraries to comment on UHLS service. She will post it on the Intranet so it can be used on an on-going basis.
UHLS Finance Committee, Jeff Cannell Several Directors attended a public budget hearing on the 2000 UHLS budget and concerns were raised about issues relating to salaries and increased port fees. Jeff was charged with establishing a subcommittee to make recommendations to the Finance Committee. See # 7 below.
UHLS Administration Committee, Nancy Pieri Mike Ferguson (courier driver) and Carol Kovler are retiring. Carol is leaving Dec. 31, 1999. Discussion of budgeting funds so all libraries could be reimbursed for travel to meetings. Currently only small libraries are reimbursed. Trustee of the Year Award forms were reviewed and accepted.
UHLS Services Committee, Judy Felsten Discussed Free Direct Access Plan and new courier services. Decided not to monitor how member libraries spend the Incentive Grant funds. A pool materials chart was presented showing how and where it is being used in preparation for courier service changes. Committee was updated on e-mail problems and resolutions.
Interest Groups, Pat Nonamaker YS and Reference met jointly on November 4, over 30 people attended. AV group met in September with Amy Biancolli, TU film critic, as guest speaker. Concern about the infrequency of ILL meetings was raised, they have not met since April. Pat will look into it.
Automated Services Committee, N. Pieri No October meeting, no report.

4. Central Library, Jeff Cannell
APL will open sometime in December. Central Library Advisory Committee recommends Central Library fund (in addition to EBSCOhost) Searchasaurus (a juvenile version of EBSCO), World Book Encyclopedia on-line, and InfoUSA’s Reference USA, a comprehensive online business directory, soon to include residential telephone listings that are searchable a number of different ways. All but World Book will be available remotely. (Because World Book markets directly to homes it is not available remotely.) Novelist and iPage will be dropped.

5. UHLS Draft Plan of Service for Free Direct Access (90.3), Pat Nonamaker
A subcommittee consisting of S. Dallas, J. Cannell, N. Pieri, P. Hicok and P. Nonamaker met with Jim Farrell from NYS Division of Library Development. Revisions to the original draft Plan of Service were prepared defining hardship and identifying remedies for libraries experiencing the hardship.

If 20% of total circulation is to communities outside a library’s chartered service area, or
If 10% of total circulation is to a single community outside a library’s chartered service area or
If an unserved community (with pop. over 10,000) has no fair and equitable contract
then, a library may restrict the following:
Non-print materials and equipment,
Printed material less than one year old
Attendance at library programs to local residents first.

If a single unserved community is over 10,000 and a library proves a hardship, it may choose to restrict all but on-site use of library materials to that community.

The Plan required that under-funded libraries be identified. The formula, one of several suggested by Jim Farrell, used the median UHLS level of support. It is hoped that the libraries will use this information to lobby their funding sources for additional revenues. The draft plan incorrectly identified the $9.00 level of support as the mean, rather than the median and will be corrected before it is sent to DLD.

The Plan of Service must be submitted to DLD by December 31. Each Director is asked to present this plan to their Board. If approved, a letter (on library letterhead) stating approval must be sent to UHLS with a Board President and Library Director signature. A majority of 15 votes is required for approval.
Motion (Jaquay, Hamblin) to approve the draft #2 Plan of Service for Free Direct Access. Carried.

6. Town of Schodack, C. Lind
After appealing to the Schodack Town Board for funding to meet NYS minimum requirements to re-charter and serve the entire Town of Schodack, the Schodack Board approved $53,000 for the Castleton Library. They can now open 35 hours a week and automate and hope to re-charter in early 2000.

7. UHLS Proposed 2000 Budget, Jeff Cannell
Several discussion points came out of the Directors’ Association subcommittee (Cannell, Jaquay, Hamblin, Hicok, Nonamaker, Pieri) that was charged with making recommendations to the UHLS proposed 2000 budget. The motions generated much discussion:
Future of DRA…Discussion about dissatisfaction with the system, poor public interface, poor technical support. Port fees are rising but we are not seeing increase in service. Do we want to stay with DRA in the future? Consultant brought in to help make the DRA decision a few years ago was not unbiased. We should explore option of migrating. Migration may be problematic but may be worth it in long run.
Motion (Hicok, Jaquay) $15,000 from automation upgrade account be transferred to hire an independent consultant to evaluate and advise us on the future of our automation system. Carried.
Staff Raises…Discussion centered on that fact that the more spent on salaries the less can be spent on member library services and cash grants. 3% COLA for UHLS staff and 10% increase in member libraries’ port fees raises question of where tax dollars are going. Cost of living is much less than 3%. Are consultants overcompensated for what they are doing? Comparing statewide system salaries is not valid since it includes higher-priced New York City area. Perhaps salaries should be held stable for a few years since consultants are already so highly paid. S. Dallas reported a survey of local municipalities indicated all were giving 3% raises. Some directors felt there wasn’t equity between the consultants’ salaries and member library directors and that, although directors’ skills are different, they are equally important. Several directors felt consultants were performing good work and that they deserved some kind of raise.
Motion (Hicok, Jaquay) that UHLS provide no salary increases in year 2000. 9 opposed, 5 in favor. Defeated.
Motion (Schoen, King) that UHLS accord a 1% raise in year 2000. Carried.
Consultants…How many consultants are actually needed to provide UHLS services? All consultant services need to be re-evaluated before YS consultant is replaced. What member libraries needed in the past is different today. It is important to get this kind of information to Bill Meredith via his survey. Several directors said small libraries find YS Consultant service very valuable. A suggestion was made that perhaps we should be looking to each other for support because member libraries actually work with the public. Concern by several directors that not filling the position until a re-evaluation was done will leave a gap in services. Hemwatie offered to email YS Interest Group and get feedback from them on what is desired for YS Consultant position. B. Jaquay offered to have COLN staff contribute.
Motion (Hicok, Jaquay) that UHLS not fill position the vacant Youth Services Consultant position until a re-evaluation of the roles of all consultants is accomplished. 4 opposed, 10 in favor. Carried.
Why is Upper Hudson in the real estate business?…It costs money and staff time to run a building. Funds and time spent on this could be going to library services. Tenants at 28 Essex St. were not asked for a rent increase but member libraries asked for 10% port fee increase. Perhaps property in Troy or another centrally located area could be rented less expensively than owning current property. Pool collection could be housed in a real library.
Motion (Hicok, Jaquay) that UHLS explore the possiblity of selling 28 Essex St. in 2000 and renting suitable property elsewhere. Carried.
Port Fees…The current arrangement with a higher price for 1st port is a hardship for small libraries. A more equitable formula is necessary. The upcoming port fee increase is a hardship for most libraries. For larger libraries the port fees are not a large part of the budget but this is not true for small libraries. More discussion on whether we are getting more for our money in light of problems we’re experiencing with DRA.
Motion (Hicok, Gaillard) that there be no port fee increases in year 2000 and that all port fees be made equal. Carried.
Firewall…There is continued concern about libraries’ liability if hackers get into the system. We will all be held liable if a lawsuit is brought. TRO made the firewall part of their agreement to come onto DRA. ASC examined it last spring and recommended a consultant be brought in to evaluate what level of firewall was needed because it was beyond the scope of the ASC. Rawdon was supposed to talk to Glen Seale of APL about it. ASC will discuss it at the November meeting.
Motion (Kubli, Sahr) that ASC continue to study and find a resolution to the firewall issue. Carried.
ILL Software not a Central Library function…A proposal that Central Library budget cover $5,000 software needed to make DRA search the Central Library first for ILLs was rejected by the Central Library Advisory Committee. They decided that this was not a Central Library function and recommended that the funds be better spent on databases for member libraries. Question arose on why this ILL software wasn’t a standard part of the DRA system we purchased three years ago. Concern that if UHLS is asked to handle the software purchase it won’t be done quickly.
Motion (Hicok, Pieri) that UHLS budget funds to purchase DRA software necessary to search for ILLs at Central Library first. 12 in favor, 1 opposed. Carried.
Mileage reimbursement…Discussion that all libraries should be reimbursed for mileage to UHLS and DA meetings, not just small libraries. UHLS funds should be distributed equally among members. H. Jaipershad indicated that the UHLS Administration Committee is planning to change the policy.
Grants… The Incentive Grants are valuable and should not be eliminated. All grants are valuable when funding agencies inquire about a member library’s attempt to secure grant funding. Cash grants should be increased since member libraries know best where the funds should be used. Questions arose about who gets to participate in LSTA and other grants, shouldn’t the member libraries have some part in deciding who and when the programs are assigned during the grant? Small libraries sometimes don’t have time or staff to participate in an LSTA grant so they are not getting the benefit of system resources going into grants administration. Sometimes LSTA grants bring in resources that small libraries can’t maintain after the funding expires. Member libraries’ never see final grant summaries but the information would be useful.
Motion (Kubli, Hicok) that the Directors’ Association supports continuing cash grants for member libraries. Carried.

8. Collection Agency
C. Hamblin reported that about seven libraries are interested in participating in the Unique Management collection services. She will call a meeting of interested parties soon. The DRA software is $4,500. If funds can’t be found to purchase it other avenues will be explored.

9. Next Meeting
Friday, December 3, 1999, 9 am at Albany Public Library

Meeting adjourned 12:15 pm. Submitted by P.Nonamaker