MARINet Governing Board

Minutes (Approved)

Thursday, October 22, 1998
9:30 a.m.

San Anselmo Public Library

From: MARINet Staff

CC: Val Morehouse; Glade Van Loan

Date: 11/30/98

Re: 10/22/1998 Meeting at San Anselmo 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);Carol Starr (Marin County Free Library); Sara Loyster (San Anselmo Public Library). Staff---Val Morehouse (MARINet Systems Administrator).

Val Morehouse shared copies of the Larkspur Director job description with Board Members. She announced that registration for the WEBPAC Eleven workshops was going very well. The September Minutes were approved as presented. There were no guests. Carol Starr added 1/8 cent sales tax to the agenda.

INTRAnet Work Plan Update. 

Val Morehouse referred Board members to hard copy of the INTRAnet work plan done by Stephanie Leonard (in the Board packet). Already progress has been made. The MARINet Computer Help Manual has been loaded on to the private side of the site. Place holder paragraphs underneath links to each MARINet member library home page are there but the paragraphs need to be updated. Val urged Board Members to provide about 25 words of approved text for Stephanie to use to edit the blurbs. Val shared the URL and password for the site, and asked Board Members to go online and review the private side of the site: in particular, Board Members should perform searches of the Computer Help Manual. Val felt that some adjustments are needed in the searching. She will meet with Stephanie and convey any comments about adds and changes.  

Budget, Bills, & Audit Status: Monthly Income and Expense Reports; CPU Purchase Invoice Approved; Audit Letter. 

Val Morehouse directed Board Members to the MARINet Budget Report by Category and a report on the MARINet Sinking Fund balance (in attachments). She discussed treatment of encumbrances versus actual expenditures in the report, and how vendor bills for purchases such as licenses, were offset by receipts for cost recovery (and for surcharges in the case of licenses). Anne Montgomery asked why the Mill Valley payments didn't show, and Val stated that Mill Valley's payment had come in advance of the Innovative billing at the turn of the fiscal year. Val assured Anne that Mill Valley's payment had been received and noted in the MARS accounting system. The Budget Report by Category in hand contains only activity for the current fiscal year, unlike the Sinking Fund report, which is cumulative across fiscal years. Val noted that the sinking fund interest earned at the beginning of the fiscal year was included in the report. No transfers from Sinking to operating budget show for the CPU bill, because CPU replacement was budgeted by best estimate (Innovative quote), and by using all available off-budget year-end revenue funds; thus, the total shows MARINet will be positioned well for future system needs such as Millenium.

The bill for the new CPU was in the attachments. Val pointed out that tax exceeded the total budgeted, but that she did not feel it would be necessary to move funds from off-budget revenue for tax until the adjustment period in December. She will propose adjustments to the Board then. She recommended that the Board approve payment of the CPU bill, even though it is a budgeted item. Moved, seconded, and approved unanimously to pay the Innovative bill for the purchase and installation of the new CPU.

Val called the Auditor's Office about the status of the 4-Year Audit. It is nearly finished, but MARINet is waiting still to receive a reportable findings letter scheduled to arrive two days ago. The letter will present audit concerns discovered during the audit, and management must then respond to the findings. The letter and response then become part of the final audit report, which comes out about a month after the receipt of the letter. The Board remarked on the length of this audit, and now it is past time to do another. Everyone concluded that a new audit could not be done until the first was finished, as any new audit would depend on work done previously. After discussion, the Board requested that Val draft a letter to the auditor's office about concerns. Mary Richardson will help. Val then asked if one of the Board would help with items in the reportable findings letter that may require historical memory. Vaughn Stratford volunteered. 

CPU, WORD Indexing Update, SCAT Table, and Permissions to Copy OPAC.e

Val shared with the Board ideas about telecomm costs resulting from changes ongoing in the network. As individual library 56K lines are clear of all remaining dumb terminals, these circuits are being decommissioned by MARINet. This results in shrinking telecommunications bills. At the same time, individual library bills for frame relay circuits are increasing. During upcoming budget development, Val proposed that the Board consider changing 56K monthly payments into a subsidy for the frame relay/Internet circuits, with the understanding that the amount MARINet has for 56K would not cover the entire cost of the new telecommunications. Instead it would provide some relief for member library budgets, while keeping alive the idea of mileage neutral connection. She recommended that if MARINet receives the new database/networking subsidy from the state, perhaps that should be applied to the MIDAS Internet bill(s) even during this fiscal year. The Board decided to test how short MARINet's current budget would be, if applied theoretically against current bills for frame relay. Board Members will send sample bills to MARINet to use for a projection. Val will speak with Dave Hill about how flexible billing could be done. with Dave

Good news: Innovative moved on the outstanding WORD re-indexing order. It should be finished soon. Val will notify everyone via email when it is ready. The update on the SCAT Table done by Phil is attached. Also comments from Nora Harris detailing her estimate of the improvement: from approximately 43% no call number found to 10% no call number found. More change in the SCAT is on hold until MCL in-house testing of sufficiency for weeding (requested by Carol Starr of her staff) is completed. Further work on the SCAT would be expensive and problematic in a consortium situation, with classification practices differing library to library. 

Val shared correspondence from the Northland Public Library requesting permission to copy the database (in attachments).bout how flexible billing could be done.

Databases: Books in Print Revisited - R. R. Bowker Quote.

The Board packet contained various BIP quotes received so far. R.R. Bowker faxed one just as Val was leaving for this meeting. The Bowker quote permitted "staff use only" and no in-library use by the public. The Board felt they still wanted to see another vendor offer. Val stated that she had been in conversation with EBSCO about an EBSCO trial in January. The Board asked Val to contact EBSCO to get a trial started earlier, particularly on BIP and Masterfile. A quote from them should be obtained. The topic was tabled until a future meeting.

System Security Revisited. 

Carol Starr re-opened discussion concerning requiring initials for overrides. She favors instituting this feature (which has to be system-wide) as the County Library has had some problems. After discussion, the group remained opposed to the changes. Val then discussed results of recent password changes: staff had hotkeyed passwords to save keystrokes. This presented an unacceptable security risk. MARINet's changes disabled these, and revealed the existence of staff who had never learned their functional passwords. Val explained the amount of time needed at system-level to initially enter, then delete and re-enter permissions for staff who never memorized functional passwords. Discussion focussed on why individuals had permissions that they never used. The Board decided on a procedure to handle staff who go directly to MARINet, by-passing on-site managers, when they have not learned their functional passwords. Such requests are to be referred back to the branch/library manager for action, so that managers can learn who requires more training, and/or who requires realignment of their permissions to actual job tasks. Val will prepare a memo and share it widely with staff and managers. 

Sales Tax Information:

 Carol Starr shared re-calculated spreadsheets concerning sales tax revenue with the Board. No action was taken.

 MARINet Office Furniture.

MARINet lost office footage during last January's move. Part of the problem was old office cubicle panels not designed to fit the new space. MARINet's cubicle furniture/expanders has been on order since last fiscal year but never delivered. Carol Starr and Val Morehouse related happenings relating to the furniture installation at MARINet and with the County Library. The County Purchasing Department has been alerted to the difficulties.

MARINet Committee Updates: Circulation, Adult Services, Etc. 

Minutes for September Circulation Standards Committee are in the attachments. The Board discussed the Adult Services Committee, and Sara Loyster said she intended to visit the Adult Services Committee meeting the next day. Val Morehouse will attend also. They will report back. Committee Updates is a Standing Agenda Item.

Goals & Obstacles: System Administrator.

Val Morehouse was asked to present to the Board her three top goals for the coming year. She stated that she had three, plus a fourth-runner-up. Hereafter Goals will be a Standing Agenda Item.

Goal: To continue to upgrade the network and position MARINet for Millenium.

Sample Activities…

-Get rid of as many micoms as possible as fast as possible.

-Recycle 56K telecom funds into Internet circuit subsidies.

-Load Release 12 to obtain all Y2K fixes. 

Goal: To continue to professionalize tracking of Problems/Projects.

Sample Activities…

-Easily share incoming information between Glade & Val, and the Information Services Help Desk via professional help desk software.

-Ability to produce reports for the MARINet Board by origin of call, etc.

Goal: To continue to address MARINet staffing.

Sample Activities…

-Hire clerical and shift activities to allow Glade and Val more freedom to pursue

technical issues.

-Recommend added staff hours and/or contractual arrangements in new budget.

-As dumb terminal environment declines, begin skill enhancement for Val and Glade aimed at the all-PC environment. 

Fourth Runner Up Goal: To develop Web/Intranet Public & Staff Presence.

Sample Activities…

-Add value to site by putting up more content… 

Next meeting the Board will add their own goals to these.

Val also discussed major obstacles faced in her first year. The first and biggest was and is MARINet's understaffing and the time crunch---workload compaction in too few FTE's. Next, interior library culture interior encouraging reverse delegation and shifting of responsibility. The password issue discussed above under security is an example of shifted responsibility and reverse delegation, which caused extra work for MARINet. Another example was historical---lack of training for staff in functional areas. Communication presented another challenge, as it is viewed as something MARINet does, or the Library Directors do, but not something in which staff reciprocation is necessary or required. 

The County bureaucracy continues to have difficulty understanding a Joint Powers Agreement agency like MARINet. The assumption is that the JPA not paying its way, although MARINet pays both rent and county overhead. Several departments required clarification on this point. The four-year audit added a time burden for MARINet staff. Last, the County budget process this past year was confusing and difficult for MARINet. Neither surprising nor unusual, rather these present opportunities for MARINet and the member Library Directors to focus support and leadership. 

Equity Letter Update:

 A copy of the equity request letter concerning the Systems Administrator classification is in attachments. Carol Starr explained that the county only considers such requests quarterly and that the next chance for consideration is in January. Tabled until a future Board meeting.

The next meeting will be Nov. 19th, 1998 at the Marin County Civic Center, Rm. 322B, 1 P.M. 


Agenda for the October Meeting. 

September Meeting Minutes (draft) & current MARINet Automation Update. 

Larkspur Library Director Position Available Announcement. 

Phase I Work Plan for INTRAnet…Project for MARINet. 

MARINet Budget 98-99 Report By Category (as of 10/9/98). 

MARINet Sinking Fund Report. 

Innovative Invoice #36036 for Alpha Upgrade. 

Scat Table Memos from Phil Youngholm and Nora Harris. 

Bundled Price Quotations for BIP. 

Letter from Northland Public Library. 

1/8 Percent Sales Tax Revenues (revised). 

Circ Standards Committee Meeting Minutes, September 17, 1998. 

System Administrator: Goals and Obstacles. 

Copy of Board Letter to Laura Armour Concerning Equity Request for Systems Administrator Classification.


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