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LINK Minutes

October 12, 2006
10 am, SCLS Administration Building

Present: Adams County – Calef; Baraboo – Allen; Black Earth – Schmitt; Cambridge – Behm; Columbus – Kindschi; Cross Plains – Bosben; DCLS – Chase; Deerfield – Fry; Lodi – Hilliker; Madison – Dimick, Grogan; McFarland – Hartman; Middleton – Nelson; Mount Horeb – Unruh; Pardeeville – Kennedy; Plain – Palmer; Portage – Jensen; Prairie du Sac – Endres; Reedsburg – Mobley; Stoughton – Chevis; Verona – Hedrick; Waunakee – Steichen; Wisconsin Dells – Borck; Wisconsin Rapids – Barnett.

Absent: Belleville, Cambria, DeForest, LaValle, Marshall, Mazomanie, Monona, Monroe, New Glarus, North Freedom, Oregon, Poynette, Rock Springs, Sauk City, Spring Green, Wyocena.

Also Present:  Davis, Morrill, Blough, Teal Lovely, Barniskis, Oliversen, Dries.

ESTABLISHMENT OF QUORUM:  J. Chase reported there was a quorum.

CHANGED/ADDITIONS TO THE AGENDA: S. Hedrick asked to discuss how long items can stay lost on a library’s hold-shelf card before someone needs to do something about it in the Other Business section.

APPROVAL OF LINK MINUTES:  P. Nelson moved approval of the August 2006 LINK Minutes.  P. Chevis seconded.  Motion: passed. 



Automation staff returned from CODI last weekend.  It was a very productive conference.  Even with 4 people attending it was hard to cover all of the sessions that were important to us.  We had many opportunities to talk to staff from consortia and large libraries.  Queens Library has signed a contract with SirsiDynix so with New York Public Library the company has 2 of the largest systems in the country.  Patrick Sommers, the CEO, said the company is doing well financially and that the merger has kept pace with expectations.   He referenced a 1960 article in the Harvard Business Review by Theodore Levitt called “Marketing Myopia.”  The focus was on the limitations of defining an industry by the product and Levitt stated “To continue to grow companies must ascertain and act on their customers needs and desires not bank on the presumptive longevity of their products.”  Pat Sommers noted the applicability of the theme to libraries.  Another point he made was that he accessed the full text of the article through Google Scholar without the library card that would be needed to access a library’s electronic databases. 

Horizon:  We did not come back from the conference with a definitive start date for the migration but we are expecting some SirsiDynix posts to help us determine what functionality is included in the next release slated for late January.  That’s a few months later than the release schedule we were working with back in August but we’re still hoping for a cutover in 2007.  Once we get confirmation of the functionality we should be able to publish an implementation schedule.  Vicki, Heidi and Greg may have more specific comments, but overall the product seems impressive in its flexibility.  With flexibility comes complexity so this will take a lot of set up work and testing.  We have three consultant sessions in the contract and expect to make full use of them.

We had a discussion about the server specs for Horizon.  Benchmark tests on the Sun produced very good performance results.  Our 2003 quotes are obviously invalid but SirsiDynix will get us the equipment we need even if it costs them more than we’re contracted to pay. 

At one of the sessions I attended, the featured speaker was Nancy Tessman Director of the Salt Lake City Public Library, the 2006 Library Journal Library of the Year.  Her main emphasis was their success with community involvement.  In addition to sharing the entry level of the building with profit and non-profit businesses, the Salt Lake City Film Center also shares Library Square space.  This collaboration provides them with unique opportunities.  Salt Lake City’s population is a little less than Madison’s.

Ken Roberts from the Hamilton Public Library on the western shore of Lake Ontario stressed that the library’s image has been turned around after several years of ineffectiveness as an institution.  Hamilton’s economic situation has been affected by loss of manufacturing and a large group of their users have to contend with problems associated with low levels of income and education and high immigration.  He said that they are maintaining high visibility in the community through their web site that is integrated with city services and through efforts like getting the announcement of services on a city billboard.  They have addressed staffing issues with some unique solutions.  Their virtual branch is 3rd busiest in the system.  They have $3 million in reserve for their RFID project. 

The installation of the ITG Self Checks has been delayed by one week due to a furniture delivery problem.  The new schedule is: Tuesday October 24th @ MTH and Wednesday and Thursday October 25th & 26th @ MAD.

Amy Rood, a SLIS student, started in the temporary database maintenance position and her assistance is greatly appreciated.  The Serials/ACQ position formerly held by Karen Rattunde is being evaluated before a replacement is sought.


Long Range Planning Committee: Did not meet.

Circ Services: The committee discussed suggested revisions for the previously submitted Items Not in Computer Policy.  They did make some revisions to the policy and submitted the revised recommendation on the new LINK Policy form.  The Committee also reviewed a question from a library about the types of documents that patrons can use to verify their home address.  Some libraries are getting requests from patrons to be able to use online statements as their proof of address.  Heidi will poll staff at libraries to see how many are getting requests for this type of address verification.  The LINK Uniform Refund Policy survey has been posted to the web site and an email went out to all LINK directors asking for a response.  So far 23 out of 41 libraries have responded.  Please fill out the survey and send it in if you haven’t already.  Heidi will send out a reminder email tomorrow (10/13).  The Circulation Services Committee recommends the Items Not in Computer policy be posted on the new LINK Policies page. LINK directors discussed adding language to suggest that if the item is returned in person that the library get patron information and add a note on their record in case the patron asks about it later (in the case of refunds, etc.).  After discussion they agreed that this could be mentioned in the Circulation Manual as it is more of a procedural change than a policy change.  Vote: motion passed.

BSCC: The committee has been discussing Playaway titles every 6 months.  These items should still be on generic records because there are not enough titles in this format to warrant cataloging them.  The committee’s recommendation deals with paperback versions of starter books.  Vicki brought a few examples to share.  They are generally only a few pages and have very few words.  They are difficult to shelve and are often placed in bins.  Should they be on generic records or cataloged?  The committee recommends that the paperback version be put on generic records and that hardcover versions should be cataloged.  Vote: motion passed.  There was some discussion about the recommendations from the Multi-part DVD committee (a handout of these recommendations was posted on the agenda web page).  Two of the recommendations are being sent back to the committee for further clarification.  J. Endres moved to pass the Bonus disc recommendation: always circulate bonus discs with the last disc in a set or discard.  P. Nelson seconded.  Vote: motion passed.   J. Endres moved to pass the Feature films change: purchased sets with widescreen on one disc and fullscreen on another should be separated.  K. Fry seconded.  Vote: motion passed.

NEXT GENERATION: Did not meet.

UEPR: The committee reviewed the Don’t Miss lists and made decisions on how to simplify the new titles lists.  The committee is going to send out a survey to ask how people would prefer to see these lists posted (order, topic, etc.). They will review the results at the January meeting.  The committee also discussed having a link to Amazon from the catalog.  This occurred as a mistake in LINKcat that was fixed, but some patrons had mentioned they liked it.  The committee decided it was not a good idea to allow this as it may deter people from using library services.  They also discussed adding Counting Opinions to restricted access PCs and updated the LINKcat FAQ.

Network Integration:  Greg discussed the Windows migration projects. All the new Windows server hardware is in place and is working well.  The price came in under budget.  Operations staff has made progress on the new patron module for PCs.  For every problem Greg fixes, Kerri seems to find several more.  He had hoped to do a live demonstration of the new patron profile, but it’s not quite ready.  It will be made available to Madison Reference staff for testing very soon.  We are close to being at a point where we can put demonstration units in your libraries for library staff review and suggestions.  The annual year-end reminder regarding PC purchasing will be announced soon.  A PC ordering moratorium will be in place from mid-November through December to ensure timely placement of the orders with Dell and to allow enough time for receipt of invoices by the end of 2006.  Despite the fact that the specifications for Horizon workstations were supposed to remain at previously posted levels, they have actually increased per the information distributed at CODI.  We will have to review LINK workstation specs to make sure that they have enough RAM. 512 MB will run Horizon, but it will be slow.  A full gigabyte is recommended and is required for participation in System response time testing.  Operations staff will be contacting libraries who need to plan for PC upgrades for Horizon.  Automation will post revised PC Status reports on the web site near the end of the year.  You can also call and ask the Help Desk for your library’s current report. 

JTC: Meg Allen reported on the October 10th meeting.  They discussed the DOPA (Deleting Online Predators Act) legislation which would require libraries to block social networking sites and chat rooms to be eligible for federal funding.  Cheryl and Shawn have made presentations to some library boards on various aspects of social software.  They will make the information available to library staff.  SpamAssassin is getting rave reviews and Automation is looking for more testers.  Cindy Weber sent email asking for participants.  Please contact her in Automation if you are interested.  The Citizen Technology Advisory Board has been providing useful feedback.  There was discussion of forming a preteen/teen technology advisory group.  A timetable for the launch of Novelist, the new database for next year, was announced and a memo was distributed to directors.  The BadgerNet Project went very smoothly and Operations staff did a great and efficient job of converting all LINK Libraries. 

Budget and Personnel: Did not meet.

Delivery Advisory:  The committee met on Tuesday.  Bruce went to a conference in Denver, CO with representatives from other library delivery systems.  Some of the topics discussed were the warehouse model and home delivery service via mail to patrons.  Delivery is currently using new carts which have received good reviews from library staffs.

Collection Development: Did not meet.

Circulation Standards: The committee discussed one of few fields left for standardization--the BILL AMOUNT in each library’s subsystem record (also referred to as the bill threshold in Debt Collect).  This amount triggers the Notice of Unresolved Charges that goes out to patrons when they reach this threshold.  Patrons will receive a notice that lists the cumulative charges on their record.  Some libraries still have this amount set at $999.99.  If your library has this setting, it means that your patrons would most likely not have received one of these notices before.  The Circulation Standards Committee recommends that the BILL AMOUNT in each LINK library’s subsystem record be set at a $50 threshold.  Baraboo changed theirs from $999 to $50 recently and they sent out over 300 notices.  They have had an increase in items being returned to the library and said it was a very useful process.  The spreadsheet is posted on committee’s web page.  Vote: motion passed.  Heidi will send out email so library directors can prepare circulation staff. She will make this change late on Wednesday, October 18th.  The committee will discuss the LINK Uniform Refund Policy survey at their next meeting.



  1. Introductions: Linda Schmitt is the new director at Black Earth. 
  2. Items listed as lost – Susan Hedrick was wondering how long items should remain on a library's hold shelf card.  Heidi referred to the procedure in the Circulation Manual which says that up to 6 months is OK. 
P. Nelson moved to adjourn, P. Chevis

For more information about LINK, contact LINK staff at (608) 266-6394.