MARINet Governing Board

Minutes (Approved)

Thursday, November 19, 1998
1:00 p.m.

Marin County Civic Center 322B

From: MARINet Staff

CC: Val Morehouse; Glade Van Loan

Date: 12/18/98

Re: 11/19/1998 Meeting at Marin County Civic Center 322B, 1PM (Approved).


Board Members---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). Absent with notice: Mary Richardson, Board President (Sausalito Public Library).

Val Morehouse shared copies of the Innovative Help Desk Holiday Hours and a copy of a MARINet email (based on the Board's procedural decision) concerning referral of repetitive questions back to the lowest possible library level for solution. The objectives are to reduce the number of unnecessary calls to MARINet and to inform the branch or library supervisor where support training many be needed. The October Minutes were approved as presented. Copies of the latest MARINet Automation Update were included each member's attachments. There were no guests to be introduced. There were no additions to the agenda.


Copies of the draft for the weekend emergency calling tree were handed out. The Board decided that each day should be split out. San Anselmo wants to be placed at the head of the list. A revised draft will be presented at the next meeting.

INTRAnet Work Plan.

Copies of Val's notes on INTRAnet progress were included in Board attachments. Val asked if each Director had updated his/her leadin paragraph (approx. 25 words) on the public side of the site. Not all had, so Val reviewed the URL and password for the Board Members so they can look at the site back at their libraries. On the public side of the site, the opening page links and descriptions appear under the MARINet logo banner. Each library home page link has been tested and is active. A public site hit counter is in operation. The "About MARINet" section has been activated with background, a mission statement, list of Board Members, and links to Minutes. A search engine will be added to the MARINet Board Minutes section. "About MARINet" includes the ability to email MARINet. Links to virtual library resources can be found under "Collections," and a "Resources" section is still under construction. Vaughn Stratford requested that the MARINet background statement be revised, perhaps with bullets rather than straight narrative. Board members should look at it and email suggestions to MARINet.

Access for the private side of the INTRAnet will be coordinated with authorizations on the MARINet system. It also has a hit counter, clickable FAQ's that jump to the answer, necessary cross links to the catalog, other libraries, the Minutes, etc. In the coming weeks, Val Morehouse will experiment with the maintenance function so the site can be updated as needed. To compliment the INTRAnet, which has links to WEBPAC embedded, Morehouse has been working on improvements to WEBPAC opening screens. More are planned as time permits, but probably not until after the South Novato codingis finished. Morehouse hopes to unveil the site officially in mid to late December with start up contents in each section.

Budget, Bills, Audit Status & Clarification of Intent.

Val Morehouse directed Board Members to the MARINet Budget Report by Category (through 11/9/98) and a report on the MARINet Sinking Fund balance (through 10/31/98). The sinking fund balance included interest received as of 10/31/98. There were no unusual bills this month. Val stated that she has done preliminary work on the mid-year budget adjustments, which she will bring to the Board in December for approval. The adjustment request will move money from revenue accounts into the proper budget accounts to cover expenditure activity such as software, hardware, and office furniture.

 MARINet received a letter (copy in attachments) from the Auditor's Office concerning a schedule for the Final Report based on proposed timing of MARINet's response to the draft audit findings. She stated that the Auditor alerted her to an ambiguity stated in the previous Minutes under the Board's vote to charge off the interest owed to MARINet by the Marin County Library. The Board understood this concern, and restated as a body that they had not taken the letter as a recommendation, but only as a statement of fact. To clarify: it is understood that the Auditor did not recommend that the interest be forgiven; however, the MARINet Board voted to do so.

Val Morehouse presented a revised "Client Representation Letter" from the Auditor. Errors in the original had been detected and corrected; thus a new copy needed to be signed. The Board President and Val Morehouse executed the required signatures. The original will be forwarded to the Auditor's Office.

CPU, Database Re-Indexing, Voted to Re-Index Title and Subject Indexes.

The WORD re-index is complete. Val recapped the keyword searches now possible because of the re-index and referred Board members to a longer discussion of search improvements included in the current MARINet Automation Update. Carol Starr asked about the 655 field and the subject index. Val replied that the subject index and the title index also need to be redone, and that the 655 field should also be included in the subject index; however, the Board has only approved funds to re-index WORD. A discussion of off-budget revenue followed, and Val stated that because of the large number of license surcharges received from the Mill Valley opening and from the Marin County Library mass purchase, she feels there is enough to re-index one, and perhaps two existing indexes at $1500 apiece. If not, at least one per fiscal year should be done, as the original indexing was quite conservative. The Board then voted unanimously to re-index the both the subject and the title index this fiscal year pending a recheck of off budget revenue by the Systems Administrator. Val Morehouse will check with the Bibliographic Standards Committee about which index should be done first, plus they may have additional fields to add at the same time.

Val reminded the Board that she still needs copies of a monthly Internet line charge from each jurisdiction in order to try a comparison with MARINet's current telecommunication line item. To date only San Anselmo's had arrived. She stated that she had spoken briefly with Dave Hill to alert him to the idea of subsidizing the Internet costs, but that there had been no formal meeting as yet.

The new CPU shakedown continues. After Val Morehouse opened a call about "communication problems" with Innovative, Glade Van Loan had a serious discussion with an Innovative Vice-President concerning MARINet's open call backlog. As a result, the V.P. checked the open call queue and found it to be too long also. Movement began simultaneously on a number of fronts. The Spanish Catalog was restored, but without the help screens Morehouse and Victor Reyes entered last year. Val and Glade worked with an Innovative Tech who discovered that because MARINet had created these by hand, the system had failed to transfer them during the CPU upgrade. MARINet then retrieved its full master backup made prior to the upgrade, and the technician was able to extract those files, restoring the Spanish Help/Information Screens.

Val alerted Board Members to a background paper about the importance of closing the email relay which she included in the attachments. The recurring email shutdowns have been connected to a Unix problem, which has been referred to software for more work. Another library has experienced the problem also.

Online Databases Revisited.

The Board packet contained a compilation of various BIP quotes received so far, including the new EBSCOhost quotes for BIP with and without reviews. The current budget figure was included for easy reference. A copy of the access directions for EBSCOhost trial which will continue through January is in the attachments. Members discussed various financial combinations. They requested that MARINet query Ebsco again to see if they had better availability dates for the BIP with Reviews. NBC is also working on some databases. Val will talk to NBC and discover more about these. The topic was tabled until a future meeting.

MARINet Training NEWS.

The Intermediate Serials Workshop was attended by 32 staff. The audience was a mix of librarians and para-professionals with differing experience levels. The focus was on how to read serials records, standard practices for handling serials, and support for Public Services reference use of serials. The objective is to give MARINet staff the tools to read and correctly enter serials records, and to recognize those records needing cleanup. Val skimmed the evaluation sheets, and a few attendees commented that they didn't see why there was such an emphasis on cataloging rules for serials. Directors may need to spot check serials work done by staff to see if serials staff are following proper entry rules.

An overview of evaluation sheets for both Webpac 11 (attendance 52) and the Serials Workshops brought out some additional training topics which tended to fall into groups: Release 12, PCCirc, Netscape and World Wide Web Searching, Advanced Webpac, State Library Statistics for Managers. MARINet will be following up on a number these.

MARINet Office Furniture Installed

As a result of the January move of Marin County Library Administration and Technical Services, MARINet's cubicle did not fit the space in Room 414, making some footage unusable. Changeover from dumb terminals to PC's exacerbated the crunch, as a pyramid of discarded terminals grew dangerously high in the MARINet office. Alan Kristal helped MARINet unhook and safely move the office computer hardware. Morehouse and Van Loan moved all office's contents into the conference room temporarily, enabling the installers to tear apart and insert expander panels, counter top and storage bins. Electricity was restored to the panels, computers and phones hooked up; and Val and Glade moved the office contents back into the space. Earlier, Information Services installed MARS accounting software on a MARINet PC, resolving that access issue. This office move, MARINet's fourth since January, lasted under a day and a half.

Administrator Goals Expansion.

At the last Board meeting Val Morehouse presented her three top goals plus one runner-up. In this meeting the Board Members expanded on the previous goals with more of their own. After discussion the Board decided that certain items fit better as activities under other items. They will redraft the document and review it at the next Board. Goals will be a standing agenda item, and Val will develop a reporting format after the Board finalizes their expansion.

Other: Password Spreadsheet.

Board revisited the issue of the sub password spreadsheet. Not every library has given MARINet their sub names, and MARINet has not started the spreadsheet. The password framework was reviewed, but it is unclear whether or not it will work properly until it can be laid out on paper. This was tabled, and members were urged to send the sub lists to MARINet. 

MARINet Committees: SIG, Bib Standards, Adult Services.

The Systems Integration Group (SIG) focussed on co-ordinating tasks to complete the South for the opening day on Dec. 13th. SIG roughed out a schedule designed to work up online features for the branch, immediately following physical renovation. Four additional licenses were assigned to Marin County Free Library's South Novato branch in anticipation of the crunch. Coordination includes MARINet system coding, on-site PC installation by Alan Kristal, downloading of the South Novato database from Brodart into the system by Libby Flynn, and collection processing by the Branch staff. Helen Romero and volunteers will load the physical book collection onto the shelves while the online work continues.

SIG also reviewed Circulation Backup Options for MARINet (in attachments), which presents pro and con scenarios for continuing circulation when the system is down. PCCirc which is of interest to the Board is one of the options included. More development will be done on this project at the next SIG meeting.

 Sara Loyster discussed her visit to the Adult Services Committee Meeting after the last Board Meeting. Adult Services plans to respond to the Board's committee letter sent last Spring concerning the role of committees. Sara strongly recommended, that a training consultant who specializes in training staff to be better committee members and leaders, be hired. She knows one who may be available for February for $400. She will pursue.

Telestructure II, Cable Modems, and Public Hearing Invitation.

Val Morehouse attended the Telestructure II Conference in Novato. She shared some of the information obtained, such as a Model Connectivity Policy for General Plans and maps of the fiber optic networks existing now in Marin County. Libraries have been invited to a public hearing on wants and needs with regard to the Cable TV Franchise renewal. Already, TCI is implementing high-speed cable modems to cable customers in Marin, and the intent is to step up the process before the end of the year. This will provide Internet access to a wider audience via the cable hookup to any home. The potential impact on MARINet by new users would affect port usage directly. Therefore, Val urged the Board to attend the January hearing dedicated to libraries to gather information and to put forth proposals. RSVP invitations were passed around to everyone. 

Budget and Retreat Calendar

The Board roughed out dates for board meetings (for budget purposes) and for a Spring Board retreat. MARINet will attempt to confirm space for the retreat and report back.

The next meeting will be Dec. 17th at the Novato Public Library, 9:30 a.m.


 C:\data\board\981217m.doc 12/16/98 vm

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