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System Director’s Report:

February 2007

As mentioned at our last meeting, we are sending you a lot to read this month. The SCLS Annual Report for 2006, required by the Department of Public Instruction’s Division for Libraries, Technology and Community Learning, reports on what we did last year, where our money came from and how it was spent. (The next step needed to be entirely clear on where we stand financially is the audit, which will be conducted the third week in March.)

The Executive Summary of the Dane County Library Governance Options Study is also enclosed for background information on an issue that will become more urgent as new libraries are established in Fitchburg and Cottage Grove. And finally, you will find the Report from COLAND (Council of Libraries and Network Development), which gives an excellent overview of the status of Wisconsin’s libraries, their achievements and challenges. This information will be very useful as you advocate for libraries.

As usual, many things are happening around the system, and here is one that fits under the heading of “unintended consequences.” When congress passed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which moves the switch for daylight savings time to the second Sunday in March and the first Sunday in November in 2007, it is unlikely they anticipated the effect on technical staff in libraries. Since Microsoft decided that its patch to handle this change on computers was not a “critical update,” each computer in our libraries must have individual attention. Most of the computers on the LINK system can be updated remotely, and libraries that have their own technical staff can install the patch on some of their Pcs. Unfortunately, all 328 workstations on Telus, our Internet time management system, need individual attention, which adds up to a lot of miles and time, but the situation seems to be well in hand.

It is time to renew the cataloging contract between Madison Public Library and the LINK consortium, and the first contract review session is scheduled for next week. We will also meet with directors of some other Wisconsin library systems next week to talk about possible changes to the statewide delivery cost allocation formula. Considering all this, I expect we will have a lot more to report to you when we meet in March.

See you on the 12th!