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Approved Feb 17, 2011 - Library Advisory Board Minutes

Library Advisory Committee
February 17, 2011
Milton, Florida

The Library Advisory Committee met on the above date with the following members present: Michael Sandler, Pat Rose, Martha Lyle and Jacqueline Wiscaver. Also present were Hunter Walker (County Administrator) DeVann Cook (Human Resources Director) inda Hendrix (Library Director) and Kathy Jordan. Michael Sandler called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.

The minutes of the November 18, 2010 meeting were approved.

Pat Rose asked if it there is a possibility that the Interlibrary Loan Program can be considered for reimplementation if the Friends groups contribute.

Linda Hendrix explained that this is a National Program with strict guidelines. Participants don’t lend anything that has been published within the last two years, old materials, local materials, audio or video, historical or genealogical material and many other items. The list is long. The program is a borrowing and lending program. Every library that participates is expected to participate fully and borrow for their customers and lend to people who lend to us. The software to do the borrowing and lending is very complex. It identifies who owns what and has to be managed centrally. It does the ordering and tracking. It searches a worldwide catalog known as World Cat. It is the largest library catalog in the world and has records from 72,000 libraries. There are about 24 to 30 steps you have to do when you borrow something. You have to spend a lot of time with customers who want to borrow things, explaining why they are unavailable. Most borrowers do not return items and we get bills from other libraries and have to create invoices for our customers who do not return items. The county bears the
expense of all this. The nonpaying customers are barred from using our libraries. These are just a few of the obstacles for this service. It takes about 2/3 of a full time employee to manage just the borrowing. It is very labor intensive procedure. When we participated before we were able as new customers to borrow only but our time was up and we will
now be required to lend as well. If you borrow you have to search the worldwide database to find it and if you lend you have to have your records in the database. The database is owned by OCLC and you have to pay them to use the catalog and every catalog item has to go into the database. To get your records in World Cat you have to scrub your records and comply with their protocols. We had to scrap this project in 2009 because of budget reductions. Each transaction costs about $40.00. It is a labor intensive costly process. Inter Library Loans was created in the ‘60s as soon as there were electronic records as a way to identify them as a research tool for academic libraries. It is a core service for academic libraries. It is not a core service for public libraries it is a really great enhancement service when you have resources to afford it. It will take about $15,000 to $20,000 to get our records onto World Cat. We paid $7,000 to $8,000 for the software while we were using it so our budget was reduced by that much when we were using it. We will need to hire an employee if it is restored and we do not feel that it is a good return on the investment. It was a service that we feel we can do without rather than cut other services.

Pat Rose asked if we have received many requests for this service since it was suspended. Ms. Hendrix replied that in the beginning there were a few from some of the regular customers but library personal have not reported any requests since that time. She reported that when we used the service there were about 200 requests processed each month. There were probably about 30% more requests that could not be processed because they were not approved items for the program.

Ms. Rose said that indicates that there are people who would use the service and Ms. Hendrix noted that she doesn’t have staff to dedicate to the program. Ms. Rose said that from what she is hearing this does not seem to be a project that the Friends groups should contribute to. Ms. Hendrix noted that it probably is not feasible at this time.

Ms. Lyle asked about the feasibility of providing electronic books. Ms. Hendrix said that they are looking into the process. She noted that it is a very complicated process with surcharges to the companies that provide the books. And there has been a buyout with the major company that was supplying the books and the new company has totally changed the procedure and the price, and the process to download is not easy.

Director’s Report

Ms. Hendrix noted that there will be new library hours for the Navarre library effective March 1, 2011 which will make all the libraries consistent with their hours on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Linda Hendrix gave the Directors Report which was presented in a Power Point presentation (see attached.) She gave out handouts with summaries of the end of year annual statistics and the first quarter statistics for this year.

Other Business

Pat Rose mentioned that the Friends of the Library group had asked about guidelines for a Library Advisory group. DeVann Cook said that he would try to have some information ready for the next meeting.

Next Meeting Date

The next meeting is scheduled for May 19, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.


There being no further business to come before the Committee, the meeting adjourned at 4:55 p.m.