TexShare Advisory Board Meeting
July 12, 1999
Meeting Location: Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas
Robert Seal, TexShare Advisory Board Chair, convened the meeting.
TexShare Advisory Board welcomes new members
On 8 July, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission re-appointed Paul Dumont and Joe McCord to the TexShare Advisory Board. To replace Nelda Laney, who is not seeking re-appointment as a public representative, the Commission appointed Darryl Tocker. Mr. Tocker heads the Tocker Foundation
, which awards grants to rural public libraries. These appointees will serve three-year terms.
With the passage of HB 1433, the TexShare Advisory Board will add two new representatives from public libraries on 1 September 1999. For these slots, the Commission appointed Rhoda Goldberg, Deputy Director of the Harris County Library System, and Eva Poole, Director of the Denton Public Library. Ms. Goldberg will serve a two-year term, while Ms. Poole's term will be three years.
Ms. Goldberg and Ms. Poole attended this meeting as observers. Robert Seal, TexShare Advisory Board Chair, opened the meeting by welcoming Ms. Goldberg and Ms. Poole to the Board, and inviting their participation in the Board's deliberations.
Advisory Board considers TexShare tier assignment issues
In July 1998, the Advisory Board began a review of the TexShare tier assignment process. This process assigns TexShare members in three tiers, based on each institution's library collection size and enrollment. These tier assignments are the basis for the information access fees paid by TexShare members for their database subscriptions.
Following review and approval of the revised tier assignments, the Board asked staff to notify TexShare members of their FY 2000 tier assignments and information access fee amounts. At the March meeting, the Board also approved an appeals process, in case libraries might wish to contest their tier assignments.
After the revised tier assignments were distributed, Stephen F. Austin University appealed its proposed shift to Tier 1 from Tier 2. The Coordinating Council reviewed this appeal, determined that the proposed Tier 1 assignment for Stephen F. Austin is accurate, and recommended no change in the tier placement. Upon being notified of this recommendation, Al Cage, Director of Stephen F. Austin's Steen Library, announced his decision not to pursue the appeal any further.
In January, the TexShare Advisory Board asked staff to review tier assignments every other year. With the impending integration of public libraries into TexShare, the entire issue of tiers and information access fees will need to be revisited. Any changes in the TexShare tier structure will be carefully planned and implemented gradually.
Board discusses TexShare governance roles and responsibilities
In March, the Advisory Board agreed that clarification is needed on roles and responsibilities for the Board, TexShare contractors, and the State Library. Working from a draft written by Robert Seal, TexShare Advisory Board Chair, State Librarian Robert Martin circulated a document outlining which parties are responsible for various aspects of TexShare governance and operations.
After discussing the document and recommending revisions, the Board endorsed the roles and responsibilities statement. Staff will distribute the document to TexShare working groups, along with an explanatory cover letter. Staff will also post the statement of roles and responsibilities on the TexShare Web site, and publicize its availability in library media outlets such as the Texas Library Association's newsletter. The Board intends to review and revise the roles and responsibilities statement annually.
Under the new arrangement, the TexShare Coordinating Council (formerly known as the Management Team) will cease. Coordinating Council members will be appointed to the working groups they've represented on the Council. Working groups will be invited to ask these former Council members to represent the groups at Advisory Board meetings.
State Librarian Robert Martin reported on the recently-completed legislative session:
* House Bill 1433, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Bush, authorizes public library participation in TexShare. It also expands the TexShare Advisory Board to include two members from public libraries.
* The State Library's appropriation for the upcoming biennium includes an additional one million dollars per year for TexShare. It also directs the State Library to establish TexShare as a separate line item and strategy, and requires the State Library to phase in this expansion in a manner that will not reduce services to academic libraries.
Establishing TexShare as a separate strategy increases administrative overhead, since it forces the State Library to compile two sets of statistics, one for TexShare and a second set for other resource sharing services. In terms of measurements for materials delivered and persons served, TexShare performance costs are higher than those for other resource sharing programs. While this is largely due to the smaller population served, creating a separate strategy also makes it appear that TexShare is more expensive than the State Library's other resource sharing services.
In future budget cycles, the Advisory Board would prefer a combined strategy for the State Library's resource sharing services. To accomplish this, Board members pledged to work cooperatively with each other and with TLA (the Texas Library Association) to address the situation in the legislative agenda for the next biennium.
Planning for the integration of public libraries into TexShare
Integrating public libraries into TexShare will be an evolutionary process. During the upcoming fiscal year, the State Library will work closely with TexShare working groups to plan this integration. Although some integration of services will happen quickly, much of the actual program integration will occur in the second year of the upcoming biennium.
To start the process of integrating public libraries into TexShare, the Advisory Board agreed on these steps:
* Public libraries that belong to regional library systems will automatically become TexShare members by virtue of their system membership, effective 1 September 1999. Like TexShare's academic library members, public libraries will sign agreements to participate in TexShare programs such as the courier delivery service.
* The State Library will appoint public library representatives to the TexShare working groups. These groups will develop written charges, and then begin addressing the issue of public library participation in TexShare programs. For the November meeting, the Board requests a preliminary report from each of the working groups. This report should outline issues that need to be addressed in order to integrate public libraries into TexShare's programs and services.
* Two groups advise the State Library about electronic databases: TexShare's Electronic Information Working Group makes recommendations about TexShare databases, while another group offers suggestions about databases on the Texas State Electronic Library. These groups will coordinate their activities, and work toward eventual consolidation into one group.
* The State Library will inform public librarians about the timetable for integrating public libraries into TexShare programs. TexShare will continue to sponsor programs at the TLA Annual Conference as well.
Working group reports
Jay Clark, TexShare Card Working Group liaison, reported on these issues:
- To make it easier to follow-up on questions that might arise about TexShare
Card statistical reports from community college districts with multiple
campuses, the committee recommends that campus libraries be responsible
for reporting TexShare Card use statistics.
- The working group is evaluating the TexShare Card and brochure so the State Library can reprint these items in time for fall classes.
TExpress Courier Service
Jo Anne Hawkins, Courier Working Group liaison, said there are now 97 TExpress sites. Though the number of sites has increased, the incidence of reported problems with the courier service has remained low. Updated courier use statistics show that TExpress sites have realized considerable cost savings over what they would have paid to send their shipments through the mail.
Bonnie Juergens reported about courier administrative issues for Amigos, the TExpress courier service agent. In fiscal year 1999, the State Library has contracted with Amigos for management of the courier service, and provided a subsidy to enable TexShare libraries to pay a lower rate for the courier service. In FY 2000, the State Library will drop the TExpress management contract in favor of an increased subsidy. This means courier sites will pay even less than they are now paying.
The TExpress management contract expires on 31 August 1999, while the new courier subsidy will begin on 1 January 2000. The AMIGOS price of $2,500 per site for a 12 month subscription for TExpress service has been only partially subsidized by TexShare through December and more fully subsidized only through the end of August, 1999. The current TExpress participants have been invoiced through the end of December, 1999. Because of the difference in timing cycles, the subsidy falls $10,453 short of the cost of the program. Rather than charging participating libraries an additional fee, Juergens recommended that TexShare cover this gap in funding. Juergens states that Michael Piper proposed to have this paid from pre-1999 TexShare funding currently being managed by AMIGOS. The advisory board supported this recommendation.
Ms. Juergens also reported that AMIGOS has launched the "TransAMIGOS" Express, a courier service for Amigos members in Texas and Oklahoma. This courier service will expand to Amigos members in New Mexico, Arkansas, and Arizona. TExpress sites will be able to make shipments on this expanded multi-state courier network at no additional charge.
The Advisory Board accepted the Education Working Group's recommendation that TexShare fund the Third ILL Workshop being planned by ILL Working Group. TSLAC will fund the event, with the exception of food and travel costs for working group members. AMIGOS will use approximately $7,500 from pre-1999 TexShare funding currently being managed by AMIGOS to cover these costs.
Upcoming TexShare workshops are planned on these topics: Copyright & the Web, Using OVID, Using Ariel, and OCLC ILL. The Education Working Group will develop guidelines on the types of training appropriate for TexShare subsidies.
Sue Phillips said the State Library has funded fully-subsidized access to Electric Library and Ethnic News Watch for TexShare members. Both of these services are available to public libraries via the Texas State Electronic Library. In negotiating these public library database contracts, the State Library was able to add academic libraries at an attractive rate, an illustration of the positive effects of integrating the State Library's resource sharing programs. These new databases will soon be available to academic and public libraries across Texas.
Recent TexSelect database offerings include the MLA Bibliography from the Modern Language Association, Books in Print, CINAHL (the Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) and two full text nursing journals collections. Seventy-two TexShare libraries signed up for a total of 159 subscriptions. Renewals are in process for previous TexSelect offerings -- Britannica Online and Gale products. Gale is also making its products available to the Public Libraries under this TexSelect offer. Britannica Online is already available to public libraries via the Texas State Electronic Library.
Recently the Electronic Information Working Group's has conducted an initial survey of TexShare members to determine their preferences for new databases. Top choices identified in this survey will provide a basis for another follow-up survey to be issued soon.
At the March Board meeting, Sue Phillips referred to a message on the TexShare discussion list about problems with the latest release of the Ovid database software. Updating the Board on this issue, Phillips said these problems will be addressed soon.
Sara Lowman said plans are underway for TexShare's Third Annual ILL Workshop, which is set for November 19 in Dallas. Public librarians will be invited to this session. Statistics and a report on the Cost Effectiveness of Using Ariel are available on the TexShare Web site at http://www.texshare.edu/About/groups/LibLoan/LibLoan.html.
Michael Piper reported for Kathy Hoffman. In the FY 2000 TexTreasures grant cycle, there were nine proposals totaling $135,366. The Texas Collections Working Group reviewed these proposals, and recommended funding for seven of them.
On 8 July, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission approved the group's recommendations with this reservation: the Commission requested clarification on one proposal. This clarification will be presented at the Commission's August meeting, when the Commission will take final action concerning that proposal.
This fall, the State Library will announce the FY 2001 TexTreasures grant cycle. Board members agreed the emphasis in TexTreasures needs to be on improved access to unique resources, wherever they are located. So the Advisory Board endorsed the State Library's recommendation to open future TexTreasures grant cycles to public libraries.
Since the working group's funding recommendations for the FY 2000 grant cycle were less than the full $100,000 budget, the Board saw no reason to increase the budget for TexTreasures in FY 2001. This issue can be revisited, once the Working Group has reviewed the FY 2001 grant proposals. To improve the quality of TexTreasures grant proposals, the Advisory Board endorsed the Working Group's recommendation to offer grant writing workshops.
FY 2000 technical support contract with UT is in process
Plans call for UT to implement remote database access gradually, with a few volunteer sites at first. After gaining experience and compiling cost data during the demo project, remote access will be offered as a TexSelect service on a cost-recovery basis in subsequent years. For more on remote access, see http://proxy.texshare.edu
Board endorses FY 2000 courier contract provisions
With regard to the TExpress courier, the TexShare Advisory Board agreed to:
* Set the target price for TExpress at $1,000 per site in FY 2000. Since the full cost is $2,500 per site, TexShare will subsidize TExpress at $1,500 per library next year. [Note: the subsidy may be "per member"]
* Subsidize 200 academic and public library sites statewide, for a total subsidy of $300,000. Adding public libraries to TExpress will increase service to all courier sites, in the Advisory Board's view.
* Establish a $50,000 contingency in the TexShare budget, in case more than 200 libraries sign on for TExpress service.
* Keep the current calendar year courier service subscription period, to give the courier provider and the State Library plenty of time for start-up.
Advisory Board accepts preliminary budget
Michael Piper presented the proposed FY 2000 budget for TexShare. Although the Legislature approved a one million-dollar increase for TexShare in FY 2000, the actual total budget increase is $921,897. That's because the 1999 budget includes a one-time carry- over of $102,703 in capital funds from TIF, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund.
The proposed FY 2000 TexShare budget totals $2,251,300. It includes $1.4 million for database services, double the amount in the FY 1999 TexShare budget. After reviewing the numbers, the Advisory Board asked staff to proceed with implementing the proposed FY 2000 TexShare budget.
Board expresses appreciation to Robert Martin for his service as State Librarian
Board members gave thanks to State Librarian Robert Martin, who is leaving the State Library to accept a teaching post at Texas Woman's University. He will be missed.
Upcoming TexShare Advisory Board meetings
* Fall meeting: September 22, 1999 at the State Library in Austin
* Late Fall meeting: December date to be determined, at the UT Southwestern Medical Center conference Room, Dallas (contingent upon decision of September meeting)
Advisory Board members present: Marty Adamson (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas); Paul Dumont (Dallas Community College District); Marsha Harper (Abilene Christian University); George Huffman (Amarillo College); J.Grant Jones (public representative, Abilene); S. Joe McCord (University of Houston - Clear Lake); Robert Seal (Texas Christian University) and Darryl Tocker (public representative, Austin)
Working Group liaisons: Bonnie Juergens (Amigos); Jay Clark (San Jacinto Community College); JoAnne Hawkins (University of Texas at Austin); Sara Lowman (Rice University) and Sue Phillips (University of Texas at Austin)
Texas State Library and Archives Commission: Robert Martin and Michael Piper
Visitors: David Gill (Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board); Rhoda Goldberg (Harris County Public Library); Norman Hood (Independent Colleges & Universities of Texas); Mark McFarland (University of Texas at Austin) and Eva Poole (Denton Public Library)
Recorder: Beverley Shirley, Texas State Library and Archives Commission