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Public Library Advisory Committee (PLAC)

Thursday, June 5, 2008
SCLS Administration

Present: Belongia, Davis, Dimick, Friesen, Jensen, MacDonald, McCabe, Morrill, Palmer, Shaffer,
Bruce Smith, Wright

CALL TO ORDER:  B. Stack called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m.


MINUTES: H. Jensen moved approval of the April 3, 2008 minutes.  M. Palmer seconded.  Motion carried.


Phyllis noted the mid-year budget will go before the board for approval.  The most significant change involved the increase of money needed to cover fuel costs for delivery.

The lease at the SCLS Administration location will expire next year.  Options are being investigated for another available space to possibly accommodate both the automation and administration employees.  Phyllis and Stef attended a seminar hosted by First Business Bank regarding Madison area commercial real estate trends.  They also met with Lauren Blough to discuss the facility needs for automation.  Madison Public Library has included a space for automation in the building plans for the new central library.

The Best Practices Report has been made available from the Legislative Audit Bureau.  Check it out on the web at: It contains good background information for trustees about library funding.

The Wisconsin Way, which is a group that is looking at services and taxation in Wisconsin, held a round of public hearings about valuable services.  Libraries were not mentioned.  Another series of meetings will be held this summer and everyone is encouraged to attend.  The schedule of the meetings will be posted in Online Update.

An SCLS Foundation newsletter will be sent in June.  A meeting with M&I Wealth and the Foundation members will take place this summer.  Funding for a new director of the Foundation was not put into the mid-year budget because of the increased costs for fuel.

Paul Nelson, Pat Chevis and Louise Bauer have retired or will soon retire as library directors.  They will be acknowledged at the next LINK meeting.  Brian Simons has been hired as the director for Verona and Jaime Vache has been hired as director for Stoughton.

Susan Hedrick will be discussing the floating collections pilot project at the SCLS Board meeting.

At SRLAAW in May, Kathy Schneider, the director of WiLS, presented information about possible changes to the relationship with WiLS and OCLC.  The change being proposed would not allow WiLS to charge surcharges on the OCLC products or to charge a mandatory membership fee to be part of the organization. OCLC's rationale is that they want national pricing.  They don't want these broker organizations to be able to determine surcharges.  We don't know what the impact on pricing may be or what this means for WiLS.  They could continue a limited partnership with OCLC, or it could be discontinued.  A number of people from Madison and South Central completed a survey about this topic for WiLS, and we’ll probably send a letter of support if and when the time comes to do so.  We’ll keep you up-to-date on this issue.

The 2009 LSTA grant categories have been announced. There are some returning favorites:  Delivery Services ($75,000) and System Technology Projects ($42,000) and there will be an opportunity to apply for wireless again, if there are any libraries that need it.  Some repeat categories that libraries and systems are both eligible to apply for are innovative use of technology; digitization of local resources; sensory and mobility disabilities; and adult, family and early literacy.

There are a few new categories.  One is “Accessibility in Public Libraries.”  This is a non-competitive category for systems, with the funds to be used to, “assist their member libraries and branches with purchasing and installing the technology and other adaptive equipment needed to increase accessibility … who have mobility, vision, and/or hearing disabilities, and to provide training to use the equipment effectively.”  SCLS is slated to get $4200 in this category.  We have already set aside some of our System Technology grant for 2008 for this purpose, specifically to buy libraries up to $300 of equipment. 
The other new category is Health Information Awareness and Access, where the “Goal is to expand access to quality health information resources available to the public by providing electronic tools and by training public librarians to direct people to the best health resources.”  Libraries as well as systems are eligible to apply in this category, though applications must involve “multiple organizations that promote health literacy.”  Some SCLS staff will go to a web session to think about ideas for this category.

The category, “Library Development Training & Planning Projects” is sort of new.  Libraries (and systems) can apply for $300-$1500 for hiring a consultant/facilitator for strategic and long-range planning or for training on a variety of topics (which was true last year).

If you have ideas for any of these for system grants, let us know, and let us know if we can help if you have ideas for grants for your own library.

Our tech planning process is underway.  There are three workgroups that are working on different tasks - one for decision-making models, one on technology scene investigation, and one on survey/focus groups/interviews, which sent a letter asking for proposals. We still hope to have the process done by the end of the year. 

WPLC is getting ready to do their 2009 budget, and we expect it will be similar to 2008.  We’ve renewed the OverDrive contract for 3 more years.  The great thing is that our price for the hosting service has gone down, so we may be able to spend more money on content.

The first director’s breakfast will be June 19th here at South Central Administration.  We encourage all of you to attend.  As Jean Anderson mentioned in her email, her thought is to hold a couple of these throughout the year in different locations.  This first meeting will be a very open agenda to discuss what people would like out of these meetings.

Committee Reports:


a.         Library of the Year:  Last year at this time, we asked for volunteers for a subcommittee to review the Library of the Year nominations.  This year, there is only one nomination, so a subcommittee is not needed.  PLAC approved the nomination.
b.         Delivery costs within SCLS:  The delivery costs per county were set many years ago and are outdated due to changes in population, LINK, new libraries, and service levels.  Currently, the system pays 70% and libraries pay 30%.  To allocate costs fairly and equally, in 2009 the system will pay 65% and libraries will pay 35%.  Ultimately, by 2010 the system would like to be paying 60% with libraries paying 40% of the cost.  Bruce Smith noted there will be changes to the delivery schedule to help cut down on fuel costs and he will be contacting the effected libraries.  He will also be sending the 2009 delivery service costs to libraries.

How can we market the libraries as we know them today so that they will appeal to 99%
of the population (and thus be regularly used by 99% of the population)?  Or, how can we
change our libraries today so that they will appeal to 99% of the population (and thus be
regularly used by 99% of the population)?

Richard MacDonald posed this question and noted a survey which revealed some reasons why people are not using the libraries.  They included a lack of time, they buy their own materials, they use the Internet instead, and they don’t have a need for library services. 
PLAC had a lively discussion on the topic. 


Meeting adjourned at 11:35 a.m.                              

The next meeting will be August 7, 2008  (There will NOT be a July meeting)

Heidi Moe, Recorder

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