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Reference Committee

Meeting Minutes—June 12 , 2007


Present:  Mary Adler (MFD),Gregg Drexler (SEQ), Tana Elias (MAD), Jack Faulkner-Becker (STP), Bev Kennedy (PAR), Amy Sabo (NGL), Jaime Vaché (STO), Jim Jonas (UW-Madison CIMC), Jean Anderson, Cheryl Becker, Nichole Fromm. Stef Morrill (SCLS)

  1. March Minutes:  Approved

  2. News and Updates: 

    1. Report on discussion of database pricing model at PLAC—Discussion came up about how to price out new databases (% of collection budget vs operating expenditures), because larger libraries would like to purchase more databases, but smaller libraries can’t afford it.  For 2008 the formula will remain the same. Possibility of a two tier system (unsettled as to specifics yet, but may mean identifying a "core" group of databases all libraries pay for, and a second "tier" of databases only some libraries subscribe to).  May mean Ref Committee will evaluate with this in mind.

    2. Online Readers' Advisory (Book Alikes) project—Reminder that libraries can link to this online form from their websites.  PR & a logo have been created and are available.

    3. COW ("Can of Worms") database project put "out to pasture"—the idea has been folded into the PR project to help libraries promote databases.

  3. Review of database trial process and form

    1. Simplification of evaluation form?—consensus is that it needs to be simplified. Something like 3 factors to rate; ease of use, content, and how much do you like/would you pay for it? Also perhaps the possibility of having pre-selected questions/examples for people to search on, so they have an idea of what the database can do.

    2. Revision of process?—Sub-committee formed to review process (Tana, Bev, Mary, & Jamié).   This may also tie into (2a) the two tier pricing. Also look at the possibility of having customer input.

  4. Review of existing databases

    1. Everybody loves the genealogy databases

    2. Both RefUSA and Literature Resource Center are up for review, decided to review RefUSA in 2008 and LRC in 2009

  5. Database trials:

    1. Rosetta Stone was reviewed favorably, especially for the outreach opportunities with local literacy councils

    2. None of the new genealogy products trialled generated a lot of enthusiasm—the obit resources did not have local coverage, and there is not enough demand for the Sanborn map product.

    3. Make final recommendations for purchase – Yes to Learning Express with the possibility of another trial for 2008 to refresh peoples' memories on it. Yes to Rosetta Stone, but before recommending we will look into grants and other funding possibilities.

    4. Trials to look into: WI Newspaper Clipping Bureau, and Wards Business Directory (tie this in with RefUSA review) new product that will have Encyclopedia of Assoc. and Directory of Broadcast Media

    5. Reminder: full year of homework help databases coming up. Schedule is as follows: (1) Current/News sources (2) Biography and History (3) General (4) Geography & Culture

  6. Next meeting:  September 18, 2007

    Gregg Drexler, Notetaker


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