Board Minutes

To: MARINet Board and Interested Parties

From: MARINet Staff

CC: Val Morehouse; Glade Van Loan

Date: 04/12/00

Re:  09/24/1998 Meeting at Mill Valley Public Library, 9 a.m. (Approved).


Board Members--- Mary Richardson, Board President (Sausalito Public Library); Debbie Mazzolini, MARINet Board Secretary (Belvedere-Tiburon Public Library); Anne Montgomery (Mill Valley Public Library); Vaughn Stratford (San Rafael Public Library); Gail Haar for Carol Starr (Marin County Free Library); Sara Loyster (San Anselmo Public Library). Staff---Val Morehouse (MARINet Systems Administrator). Guests--Scott McKown, MIDAS; Stephanie Leonard , Website Development Consultant.

Due to an injury accident on the bridge, Val Morehouse and Sarah Loyster arrived late, so the Board rearranged the agenda to accommodate guests Scott McKown and Stephanie Leonard, who were scheduled to speak on the INTRAnet project. Scott McKown presented background information on MIDAS and some of the software tools available to support the INTRAnet. Previously Scott and Stephanie met with Val to discuss priorities. Development of a MARINet logo for the web page was paramount, followed by digitalization of the Computer Help Manual developed by the Systems Integration Group. The manual, which deals with troubleshooting internal to the library software, will be placed on the private side of the INTRAnet, accessible only to MARINet library staff. Diskettes of the Computer Help Manual files have been given to Scott and Stephanie. Stephanie will program search capability into the online manual to support location of information. Sample pages with the proposed logo were provided. The Board was pleased with the logo as presented and encouraged Stephanie to proceed. A work plan for the site will be developed by Stephanie and approved by Val Morehouse.

Copies of the latest MARINet Automation Update were given to the Board. Minutes of the August meeting were approved as presented. There were no additions to the agenda.

Weekend Emergency Guidelines, CSDirect, Computer Help Manual

On the technical support horizon, MARINet is now using Innovative Interfaces' CSDirect to open helpdesk calls. CSDirect is a web-based, passworded site which allows system administrators to search open calls or open new ones. The Innovative helpdesk hours have been extended to 7 days per week, and 24 hours per day. Innovative is placing topical FAQ's on CSDirect for system administrators to download on demand. A copy of weekend emergency guidelines for the Internet/PC half of the network has been emailed to Val's "sendall" list, which includes directors, branch heads, committee chairs et al. Since the weekend beeper contract is limited, the weekend guidelines are intended to help staff determine what is really an emergency, versus a problem that can wait to be fixed on Monday.

The first edition of the Computer Help Manual will be rolled out at the TUG meeting on Oct 1st in Novato. What began as a ping instruction sheet for library staff new to PC's grew into a 3-ring binder. Each member library will receive copies, with troubleshooting documents for both the hard-wired network and the emerging Internet network. Members of the Systems Integration Group (SIG)---Alan Kristal, Val Morehouse, Gail Haar, Phil Youngholm, Libby Flynn, and Anne Montgomery---prepared and organized the manual. Joseph Murphy provided support services. Copies of the manual will be given to the Information Services Help Desk.

Budget, Bills, & Audit Status: Voted to Forgive Interest Owed.

Val Morehouse directed Board Members to the copy of the MARINet Budget Report by Category (in attachments). The report is an attempt to make account categories for income and expenses understandable. The Board liked the report. A cumulated report will be in future meeting attachments. There were no unusual bills to present; but Val expects to have the bill for the new CPU by the next meeting.

The audit is unfinished, but Val has information on the Auditor's request to clarify MARINet employees' liability status. County Counsel indicated that as county employees, MARINet employees are covered by the County for liability and for errors- and-omissions. Although the 4-year audit is not finished, MARINet's annual Report of Financial Status of Special Districts has been prepared. Board President Mary Richardson then signed the original, which will be returned to the Auditor's Office for transfer to the State before September 30th. Next the Board discussed correspondence from the Auditor, indicating that he had discovered an underpayment of interest by Marin County Library when the MARINet grant funds (to purchase the system) had been transferred from the county to MARINet. The interest base was incorrectly calculated, then not passed with the rest of the funds. The Board felt that the debt was too old, and that the County Library had done many services for MARINet over the years. A motion to forgive the outstanding interest owed by the Marin County Library to MARINet, as stated in the letter from the Auditor, carried unanimously.

Update on Installation of the Central Site Computer.

The installation of the new CPU September 22nd, was not without problems, as the CPU had been configured for a previous version of a RAID controller card; thus the CPU did not recognize vital components such as the backup tape drive. It took several hours to recover, and the system went back online around 4:30 p.m. Val Morehouse worked several hours longer to bring certain recalcitrant terminals online. The story continues with the discovery of expected and unexpected bugs traced to the install. For example, the program linking patrons, items, and orders to their correct target records failed to run on the new system.

The good news is that new system is noticeably faster (433MHz), allowing library staff to finish tasks without worrying about time of day and/or type of program, or about how many libraries are running CPU intensive programs simultaneously. Programs previously run at night to conserve computer resources can be completed during work hours. Pressure to hold down user licenses has eased because the new machine has greater capacity; consequently, 40 new licenses were added for Marin County Library on the day of the install.

There was nothing to report on the indexing of the WORD index.

Databases: EBSCO Leaving INN-VIEW; Books -In -Print Quotes.

Val shared correspondence received from Innovative concerning the future of MARINet's subscription EBSCO databases: Masterfile 350, ERIC, and Matter of Fact. Inn-View will no longer host EBSCO databases, but as a courtesy to subscribers, will not terminate access until the subscription ends. MARINet's subscription ends June 30, 1999. MARINet must use another access method at that time. EBSCO has called to underscore their support and to relay information that they will rename and upgrade the Masterfile 350 database sometime this Spring, without additional charge. More full text will be added.

The Board considered additional pricing tiers obtained for Books-In-Print via Inn-View, to allow for concurrent users. Staff emails run overwhelmingly in favor of acquiring Books-In-Print. The trial subscription will continue to October 1st. Bowker sent information on the differences between BIP and After discussion, the Board felt that the cost was still high, and directed Val Morehouse to discover what Bowker could do for MARINet directly. This item was tabled.

No action was taken on the NBC databases, except that the Board discussed the possibility of NBC pursuing Books-In-Print pricing for a larger group.

Generic Patron Registration Form.

Discussion was brief: send out the modified generic form to libraries and let them put it to use as they desire.

System Security Circulation Overrides Revisited.

Val reminded the group that the deadline for purchasing security software licenses from NBC was the next day. Alan Kristal has recommended upgrading to the new version for all PC's. Val discussed guidelines for adding, deleting, or changing staff authorizations, when staff change duties, not just when someone leaves library employ. Discussion returned to whether to require initials and passwords for certain circulation override functions involving date changes and money. This cannot be done by individual library as it is a system-wide parameter. Board Members indicated that circulation staff members were much opposed to adding keystrokes, and the Board decided not to turn on the authorization requirement at this time.

PC Computing Update. Val alerted Board Members that a copy of the newest addition to the Computer Help Manual, "PC Shutdown Procedure", is in the Board attachments. Val indicated that the software Information Services would use to fix PC problems remotely is PC Anywhere. If enough libraries would purchase it in a joint buy, the price would drop considerably.

Supersearch. The Board declined to revive the discussion of Supersearch implementation at this time. System Administrator Evaluation. The Board will address the System Administrator evaluation on the next agenda. In the interim, a Board Committee will complete evaluation forms needed by the County in order to enact a step increase for the System Administrator due on the anniversary of hire. The Committee will then work on an evaluation method for the next meeting.

Committee Updates: Bib Standards and Circulation. Minutes for the Bibliographic Standards Committee are in attachments. The Committee was not enthusiastic about using the MARC 856 field for URL's . Reasoning included lack of software to check for URL validity. Val also met with individuals involved in telecommunications at a recent Marin Community Foundation meeting. At least one project under development could provide a stable URL to allow testing of the idea for the MARC 856. She will pursue. Val will copy vitae for organizations attending the Marin Community Foundation meeting to the Board.

Capital Outlay Policy: Life Expectancy Voted.

The Auditor recommended that the Board adopt a life expectancy for the capitalization dollar amount adopted in last month's meeting. After discussion, the Board voted unanimously to adopt a life expectancy greater than one year as the second criteria to combine with the previously voted capitalization dollar amount to invoke the policy.

Addition of 10 new Email Boxes Approved.

Val indicated that addition of new MARINet staff members had eaten up the 10 spare emailboxes purchased last fall. She recommended acquiring another block of ten. The Board voted unanimously to approve the acquisition of 10 more email boxes.

The next meeting will be Oct. 22nd, 1998 at the San Anselmo Public Library, 9 Am.


Agenda for the September Meeting.

Auguest Meeting Minutes (draft) & current MARINet Automation Update

Incident Invokes Weekend Technical Support Agreement.

County Counsel Reponse to Personal Library Coverage for MARINet Staff

Followup Letter from Auditor concerning Outstanding Interest.

MARINet Budget 98-99 Report By Categoru (as of 9/15/98)

Innovative Letter on Discontinuance of EBSCO Databases

Sept. 22, 1998 Price Quotation for BIP.

NBC Online Database Evaluation sheet

Suggested MARINet Guidelines for Information Needed from Libraries When Staff are added…etc

NBC Winselect Memo.

PC Shutdown and Startup Procedures

Bibliographic Standards Minutes, July 1998.

MARINet Answers to Telecommunications Survey for Marin Community Foundation.

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