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Public Library Advisory Committee (PLAC)

Thursday, May 5, 2005
SCLS Administration

Present: Belongia, Calef, Davis, Dimick, Hartman, Hamon, Jensen, McCabe, Palmer, Wright,
Handouts: None

CALL TO ORDER: D. Calef called the meeting to order at 10:05 a.m.


MINUTES: Palmer moved approval of the April 7, 2005 minutes. Belongia seconded. Motion carried.

SYSTEM DIRECTOR’S REPORT: The Wisconsin Public Library Consortium is contracting with Overdrive to provide audiobooks that can be downloaded via the Internet. Unlike the netLibrary model, there can only be one checkout on an item at a time. It will be possible to make a CD copy. This is a “low friction” medium that will not become lost or break. WPLC is paying the cost of the project for the first six months.

SCLS lost another van last week. It was totaled, but luckily no one was injured. With 300,000 miles on it, the insurance company considers it without value, but SCLS can usually get another 100,000 miles from similar vehicles.

The plan-to-plan for the strategic plan committee, made up of PLAC members, SCLS board members and staff, met on April 29th. They will try a simple and rapid way to approach the plan so that it can be repeated more frequently. Even a three-year plan may be too long these days. More will be coming on this soon.

Shawn Brommer was elected to the Caldecott Committee and Stef Morrill was elected to the WiscNet Board.

In Milwaukee County none of the four libraries has signed the contract yet, but no one has closed their doors either. A lot of options have been proposed, but none that everyone can support.

There are 25 on-time applicants for the CE Coordinator position and we are in the process of reviewng the applications. Pam Bosben, Sue Steiner, Jane Grogan, Peter Hamon and Phyllis Davis make up the interview committee. The interviews will be scheduled for mid-May

Sally Drew has set up a series of ILL vendor demonstrations for members of Library Information Technology Advisory Committee. Peter serves on the committee and invites anyone else who would like to attend to do so. They will be at the Pyle Center beginning on May 26th. A question was raised about why this is going on and why there is never a decision on what job we want to do before we go shopping for solutions. WiLS is working on an alternative process to get costs from OCLC for those who are interested. Lakeshores may be moving to OCLC for ILL.

Hamon and Davis met with the Director of the Sweeney Group, who handle the Madison Schools foundation, and our auditors to talk about the SCLS foundation. It has been set up for several years, but not active and not a 501©3. Years ago members did not want SCLS to pursue funds that might go to a local library. There is still that dichotomy, but an SCLS foundation could help to support centralized purchases such as databases. We will be looking at the feasibility of that direction.

The annual meeting got fairly good reviews. Our second system check for $486,000 was received. Mt Horeb will stop unpaid service to SWLS residents in June. The merger of 24/7 Reference and QuestionPoint is plugging along. We could merge AskAway into the statewide service. We require that such a merger would not reduce the quality of our AskAway service. LSTA funds should offset a portion of our access costs in 2006. There will be a tour of Delivery on the afternoon of the May 9th SCLS Board meeting. Member are welcome to join the tour. Joint Finance Committee has taken no action yet on library budget requests.

STANDARDIZATION OF PROCESSING CHARGES: S. Hartman did a survey of libraries about their processing charges. LINK libraries are split about half and half between adding the fee into the price when an item is linked or when lost. There is a variety of amounts charged for the processing fee. There was a general discussion of the pros and cons of various approaches to charging for lost items and confusion at front desk about different library rules. Madison is going to do something different, but they don’t know what yet. No one wants to go back and change all records. S. Hartman may write up a few draft general guidelines for the next PLAC meeting. B. Dimick will find out how much Madison takes in per year in processing fees.

BETTER PRICE WITH B&T: One of our new directors suggested we try for a better group discount with B&T. The group agreed that this is something we should investigate and that we should also check state contracts. SCLS will survey libraries to find the biggest vendors, what libraries spend with them and the current % discount they get.


a. Joint Technology Committee: Approved a modified charge and discussed possibilities for working on the educational component of the charge. They decided to pick 3-4 topics each year, and some sort of educational opportunity will be provided on that topics, whether it is just a document or a brown bag or full-blown CE. Marshfield Public gave a report on using D-skins to protect DVDs/CDs – thumbs down.

b. Interlibrary Loan Committee: Met in April. Will meet again in August.

c. Reference Committee: Meets in June. Antiques trial has ended and auto repair databases are now available for trial.

d. Multitype: Met in April, will meet again in October. Several new members will be coming onto the MALC in October.

e. Youth Services: The “Connecting Boys with Books” workshop was very good. A CE on graphic novels is coming up. Work is proceeding on the SLP blog.

f. Outreach: No report.

g. PR Committee: No report.

h. Delivery Advisory Committee: Did not meet. Hamon reported that our volume continues to grow and we will need a lot more cash in the next few years to split routes and pay for the increase in gas prices.

S. Hartman raised some concerns about recent computer failures and requested recommendations about backup and surge protection for libraries. P. Davis will bring it to the next SCLS Internal Technology Committee meeting.

McCabe announced that Don Litzer has accepted a position in the genealogy section of the Allen County Public Library in Indiana. His last day will be may 27th. Palmer shared that the Plain library now has a great horned owl prominently displayed in a big standing case. It is a popular attraction. There was an attack on a patron and staff member at the Portage Library by a client of a local mental health half-way house and a similar incident at a local WalMart. There was general discussion of policies and practices and permanently banning certain people from libraries. There is a very good speaker on “Safety in the Workplace” who did a program for Marshfield. L. Belongia will share the information on that program.

Meeting adjourned.

Next meeting will be June 2, 2005.

Phyllis Davis, Recorder

For more information about the Public Library Advisory Committee, contact Heidi Moe.