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Reference Committee

Meeting Minutes—September 19, 2006

Present:  Mary Adler (MFD), Meg Allen (BAR), Jean Anderson (SUN), Jess Bruckner (WID), Gregg Drexler (SEQ), Tana Elias (MAD), Jack Faulkner-Becker (STP), Amy Sabo (NGL), Jaime Vaché (STO), Jim Jonas (UW-Madison CIMC), Cheryl Becker, Nichole Fromm (SCLS), and guest speaker Nancy McClements (UW-Madison Memorial Library).

  1. June Minutes:  Approved

  2. Guest Nancy McClements from UW Madison Memorial Library gave a demo of Libstats using OPAL so that Mary and Jack in Stevens Point could also see it. This open source software was developed at the UW and is made available to the public to download at: http://www.wendt.wisc.edu/projects/systems/libstats/index.do .   Nancy pointed out the many uses of this program beyond recording stats, such as developing a knowledge bank, staff development, staffing needs analysis, suggesting content for web pages, gathering data for annual reports, etc.

  3. News and Updates

    1. Cheryl and Nichole are looking at an online version of a Readers’ Advisory form and the group will be meeting again in October. Cheryl indicated that SCLS will work with Madison and Middleton Libraries to try out the form and software for possible use by interested libraries system wide.

    2. Instant Messaging was addressed in the Online Update article of September 1st. Cheryl, Nichole and others are using IM at SCLS and are finding it to be useful.

    3. COW Project is using Basecamp, a web based project management tool, and subcommittee members are asked to login and share comments on the ideas presented there.

    4. Promotion of SCLS databases: the SCLS Marketing and Public Relations Advisory Committee is meeting again on September 29.  They are working on messages for specific user communities (businesses, genealogists, students, etc.) that would address their information needs.  If you are on the committee, or have been added as an “advisor” to assist with database PR, please be sure to review and comment on the information on Basecamp.

  4. Based on the Reference Committee’s recommendation, libraries have agreed to share the cost of NoveList, which will be available in January.  In the meantime, publicity and staff training are being planned.

  5. The Gale Virtual Reference Library trial was pretty positive. It was recommended that we keep this database in mind, and possibly do an additional trial or trials on particular packages of reference books.  Jack made a good point that people do not have to know the names of reference books in a particular field in order to access the information in them by using the search feature.  Tana also brought up the point that this database still uses books (not Internet sites) to provide reference information so that would be helpful to students who can only have one “Internet site” for reports. 

  6. In the time remaining there was additional discussion on Libstats. Reference Committee members were very interested in the capabilities.  Questions about the possibility of customizing it, available technical support, etc. were voiced.  Cheryl will give an update at our December meeting if she has any additional information.

  7. Next meeting:  Tuesday, December 19, 2006




    Mary Adler, Notetaker


For more information about the Reference Committee, contact Cheryl Becker.