Maine Library Commission Minutes, January 9, 2012

In attendance: Inese Gruber, Dick Thompson (via telephone at 1:45 p.m.), Molly Larson, Deb Averill, Jamie Ritter, Charlie Campo (via telephone)Beth Edmonds, Liz Doucette, Kathy Brunjes (via telephone), Art Turley, Barbara McDade, Sarah Campbell, Joyce Rumery

Also in attendance:James Jackson Sanborn, Linda Lord, Stephanie Zurinski, Susan Preece, Peggy O’Kane, Valerie Osborne
Mamie Anthoine-Ney

Beth Edmonds called the meeting to order at 12:55pm
Beth introduced Mamie Anthoine-Ney, the new SMLD consultant, and Sarah Campbell, Acting Director at Portland Public Library during Steve Podgajny’s sabbatical.

State Librarian Report - Linda Lord

Linda reported that LD1033, the funding for van delivery, passed without the governor’s signature. The funding won’t be available until 90 days after the close of the legislature.

The federal 501(c)3 application for the Friends of the Maine State Library is nearly done thanks to Bill Osborne of Bangor.

This is Mamie Ney’s first day as Southern Maine Library District (SMLD) consultant. The State Library is thrilled to have her on board and to have all three consultant positions staffed after a 2.5 year vacancy at SMLD. The State Library is still in the process of interviewing for the Planning and Research Associate position which will serve as a technology/E rate consultant. Those interviews should finish this week. 7 viable candidates will be interviewed for position of Director of Reader and Information Services. Interviews will begin on January 26.

Linda and James Jackson Sanborn met earlier with the Maine Division of Purchases to discuss the Innovative Interfaces Inc. contract renewal. Purchases has agreed that an extension rather that an RFP will work.

Maine InfoNet Overview and Update - James Jackson Sanborn

Maine InfoNet continues to work on the future of MaineCat with discussions with OCLC about WorldCat Local. A vision is beginning to shape up but no set plans as yet. The URSUS libraries are planning a trial of WorldCat Local.

Invoices for the Download Library have been sent. The Kindle crush resulted in available titles going from 1000 down to 500 in one weekend. The collection size is around 6500 total with about 4000 of those titles being e-books. New titles are purchased every month. James encouraged everyone to have their patrons use the Wait List function because it will trigger a purchase once the list reaches a set point. Valerie brought up that she hears patron complaints about the wait list often so that another funding source for this program needs to be found. Three libraries in Maine have subscribed to Overdrive Advantage which allows them to purchase content exclusively for their patrons. Deb Averill mentioned Solo which is a text to speech application that might result in even more use of the download library. James said he’s not sure how well Solo will work with Overdrive’s Digital Rights Management (DRM) constraints. The Download Library has appointed title selectors (i.e. collection development librarians) who will begin choosing additional titles later this month. They will serve for one year and are: Tina Branco, Louise Capizo, Jim Charette and Justin Hoenke.

Approval of Minutes

Art moved and Joyce and Inese both seconded that the minutes from the last meeting be approved. The vote was unanimous.

Area Reference and Resource Centers (ARRC) Funding

Art Turley brought this up due to discussions at the Central Maine Library District Executive Board (CMLD) annual retreat. Barbara McDade passed out a document detailing Bangor’s use of the ARRC money.

Art indicated that the CMLD board feels there are inequities in the services received in the 3 districts. At their next meeting the CMLD executive board will specify data it would like to have requested from the ARRCS. This topic will be discussed at the next Commission meeting.

Report from the Public Library Definition Committee

The committee (Jamie Ritter, Art Turley, Liz Doucette, Dick Thompson, and Susan Preece) developed and presented a public library definition draft. Consensus was achieved on all but item 1 under Staff and Facility and the requirement for paid staff. . One committee member feels that requirement creates an additional barrier for libraries and that compensation isn’t necessarily a measure of quality service. Other committee comments included the following: paying staff lets us move toward a dividing line between libraries and reading rooms. Libraries need to make an effort to be considered a library as opposed to being a roomful of books. Paying the director sends the message that this is a role that the community wants to see sustained over time. There are no guarantees that you can replace a great volunteer. At least these are minimum standards would start local conversations.

Jamie Ritter brought up that any library should have the right to appeal to the commission which moved the discussion toward next steps, what the process should be for implementation and what consequences, if any, a library would be subject to. Commission members did agree to change the wording for #2d under Collection and Programming. It will now read: ‘has telephone service and the telephone number is published’ to accommodate those libraries with VOIP telephone service. The commission decided that appeal language isn’t necessary at this time since this is considered a definition and not a rule.

Linda will check about the commission’s authority to issue regulations, as a lower step than a rule. Barbara suggested that we could start using this definition in criteria for grant opportunities. We could also show the status in the directory. Art suggested that the next step is to define a reading room and then decide what services each type of entity will get. Jamie also mentioned that at some point the commission should discuss the qualifications of a library director. No action was taken on any of these suggestions.

The Commission decided to postpone a vote on the proposed standards to their next meeting so every member will have a chance to see and study the definition.

Consultants’ Report Valerie Osborne, Mamie Anthoine Ney, and Stephanie Zurinski

Valerie invited the commission to attend the Eli Neiburger event in Bangor on March 30, 2012 at the Hilton Garden. Contact Jenny Melvin for a room at the hotel if you are going to be there for the district boards meeting on Saturday and want to spend the night. Now that the SMLD consultant is on board, the consultants plan to put together a leadership institute this year. They are also working on involuntary certification through a comprehensive continuing education program.

World Book Day will be on April 23 and is an excellent statewide PR event. The consultants and web coordinator will work on publicity for the event and getting the word out to libraries to participate much like the recent Food for Fines campaign.

This is Mamie’s first official day as SMLD consultant. She is ready to go and plans a series of library visits to get to know the librarians in her district.

Other Business

The Senate Oversight Committee has requested that OPEGA look at all quasi-independent state agencies in preparation for legislation detailing oversight of these agencies. All cultural agencies including the Maine State Library fall under this heading. Linda and Beth along with other cultural agency heads will meet with Beth Ashcroft, OPEGA head, on Tuesday afternoon.

MSL has been asked by another Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) recipient to participate in an NSF grant to teach youth game programming. The grant period is 2013-14 and if we are awarded the grant which is $20,000, the money will likely be distributed through the ARRCs.

Linda and Sarah Sugden, Waterville Public Library Director, have a meeting with the governor’s economic advisor on Friday to talk about how libraries are helping with economic development.

Linda thanked Janet for her BTOP work and the LSTA evaluation report, Stephanie and Valerie for statistics assistance and the Eli Neiburger program, Susan for the leadership from the DLC and Peggy and her staff for their flexibility during the vacancy in the Director of Reader and Information Services position.

Deb Averill mentioned the successful meeting with the education commissioner.

Barbara McDade reminded us of the upcoming Libraries United Conference May 19-21 in Orono.

The next commission meeting is February 6, 2012.

Art announced the upcoming meeting of the Lewiston and Auburn trustees and urged everyone to start those conversations with their neighboring libraries.

Liz Doucett moved and Art Turley seconded that the meeting adjourn. The meeting adjourned at 2:30pm

Submitted by
Stephanie Zurinski