TexShare Advisory Board Meeting
March 10, 2000
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
Fees Taskforce delivers its recommendations
Texas public and academic libraries have separate, parallel services for online databases. These services offer different database products for each type of library. They also differ in another important respect: public libraries use online databases available through the Texas State Electronic Library at no charge, while academic libraries pay to use TexShare databases. These fees range from $450 to $5,500 – depending on the size of the participating academic library.
In September 1999, the TexShare Advisory Board agreed to continue existing service profiles for public and academic libraries during the process of renewing the current TexShare database subscriptions, which expire on August 1, 2000. That means the Board has recommended that the existing dual-track service arrangement remain in place until the end of the 2000-2001 biennium, with separate database offerings for academic and public libraries.
At its September meeting, the Board convened the Fees Task Force to consider issues related to TexShare database services, including the information access fee paid by TexShare’s academic members. Over the past six months, the Fees Task Force has held several conference calls to address these issues.
The Board approved the group’s initial recommendations, 1-A and 1-B, at the December TexShare Advisory Board meeting. After that session, in a series of phone meetings, the Fees Task Force prepared its final report, which includes two more recommendations, 2-A and 2-B, as well as an addendum for its earlier recommendation 1-A.
Fees Task Force Chair Joe McCord delivered the group’s report to the Board. After discussion, the Board approved the task force recommendations. By delivering these recommendations, the task force has completed its assignment within the timeframe the Advisory Board specified. TexShare Advisory Board Chair Robert Seal thanked the task force for its fine service.
Complete listing of recommendations from the TexShare Task Force on Fees and Services:
Charge statement 1-A: Should FY2000 TexShare funds be used for database services for public libraries as well as academic libraries?
Task Force Recommendation 1-A. The Ad Hoc Task Force on Fees and Services recommends using TexShare funds to buy online databases for both academic and public libraries.
Addendum to Recommendation 1-A: In the Library Resource Sharing Division of the State Library, there are two strategies, one for TexShare, and another for other resource sharing services such as the public library database service. While resource sharing services under both strategies will remain essentially unchanged in this biennium, the task force recommends adopting a goal of establishing a unified resource sharing strategy with increased funding in the next biennium.
Charge statement 1-B: Should FY2000 TexShare funds be used for core database offerings, TexSelect offerings, or a combination of both?
Recommendation 1-B: We recommend that the Electronic Information Group emphasize core databases, with the option of recommending TexSelect offerings when prudent.
Charge statement 2-A: Should the information access fee be discontinued for academic libraries, extended to public libraries, or reconfigured in some other way?
Recommendation 2-A: The Task Force recommends that the Access Fee for academic libraries be continued through the end of the current biennium, and re-evaluated thereafter.
Recommendation 2-B: The Task Force recommends that the TexShare Advisory Board adopt for the next biennium a goal of establishing a core set of databases available at no cost to all TexShare libraries, a premier core of partially subsidized databases available for an equitable fee to TexShare libraries, and a third set of databases available at full cost to TexShare libraries.
Task Force rationale for this recommendation: This structure will provide electronic resources to every library at no cost, and establish fees for higher levels of service, as permitted by statute. This recommendation is predicated on significantly increased funding in the 2002-2003 biennium. Indeed, some increase in funding would no doubt be required simply to maintain current services as demand and use increase. Level funding in the next biennium would require a complete re-evaluation of these recommendations.
Board endorses vision statement for resource sharing in Texas
In late February, State Librarian Peggy Rudd convened a strategic planning session in Austin. The TexShare Advisory Board, members of the Board’s working groups, and representatives of other resource sharing stakeholders met for two days to discuss future resource sharing directions for Texas.
During the meeting, the group developed a draft vision statement for resource sharing. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will use this vision statement to inform its strategic planning, to develop budget requests, and as a basis for possible grant-seeking initiatives.
After making slight revisions to the draft vision statement, the TexShare Advisory Board endorsed the statement shown below, on a motion by Marty Adamson:
Vision statement for library resource sharing in Texas
A partnership of libraries will empower all Texans to access and use information confidently and effectively. This partnership will:
- Offer a continuum of library and information services to Texans regardless of geographic location, age, education, or financial status.
- Realize the benefits of cost management and efficiency, even as services are expanded.
- Provide seamless access to state, national, and worldwide resources.
This library partnership will enable Texans to realize their economic, educational, and personal goals.
During the strategic planning session, the group also identified several priority action items. Michael Piper updated the Board on State Library actions to begin work on these items:
- Develop a marketing plan for TexShare. Status: in response to a draft marketing plan developed by TSLAC staff, the Board set directions for marketing TexShare services later in the meeting.
- Implement the Library of Texas, AKA the "Anytime, Anywhere Library." Status: State Librarian Peggy Rudd has begun discussions with TIF, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund, to support this initiative.
- Provide robust technical support for electronic services. Status: TSLAC has begun negotiations with the University of Texas — Austin to renew the TexShare technical support contract for fiscal year 2001.
- Expanded online database offerings. Status: As State Librarian Peggy Rudd and TSLAC staff develop the FY 2002-2003 budget, requesting additional funding for online databases is under consideration. TSLAC is also planning to pursue TIF grant funding for expanded online database selections.
- Initiate the Texas Digital Library, with digitized Texas resources. Status: TSLAC hopes to pursue TIF grant funding for digitized Texas resources.
- Pursue funding from alternative sources such as TIF (Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund). Status: State Librarian Peggy Rudd has initiated discussions with the TIF Board concerning possible TIF grant funding for initiatives to support the vision statement for resource sharing in Texas.
- Deliver regional training. Status: TSLAC is investigating this, with help from the TexShare Education Working Group.
- Offer cooperative reference service. Status: The TexShare Advisory Board agreed to defer action on this item, pending results from demonstration projects that are underway elsewhere.
- Expand TexShare to include other types of libraries. Status: The Board’s top priority is to integrate public libraries into TexShare as smoothly and effectively as possible. That process is underway, and will continue for some time to come. In the longer term, TSLAC will continue discussions with staff from Texas Education Agency on collaborative projects.
Subcommittee will prepare TexShare Advisory Board mission statement
At the strategic planning meeting, the group developed three draft mission statements for TexShare. Based on those draft statements, and guided by the TexShare statute, Darryl Tocker and Marty Adamson agreed to develop a TexShare mission statement for consideration at the Board’s 27 July meeting. Board Chair Robert Seal asked Board members and working group representatives to send their comments about the mission statement to Adamson and Tocker by 24 March.
Working Group reports
At the December 1999 Advisory Board meeting the Board approved a revised card program agreement that contained inclusive language for public libraries. The Board also asked for a statement in the agreement specifying that libraries could set their own lending policies. The Working Group added such a statement, and later got a question from an academic library asking if that meant public library card holders could be excluded when public libraries join the program. The Working Group discussed this issue and revised the text of Section 2, Paragraph 2 (Privileges) with the following:
"Participating libraries have agreed to honor the TexShare card. While libraries may implement their own policies and procedures for lending to TexShare borrowers, and may set different lending policies for these categories of users (public, undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty, staff), participants may not establish policies which have the effect of prohibiting use by patrons from any type of TexShare member library (academic or public)."
The Working Group presented an implementation plan that outlined steps for bringing public libraries into the card program starting May 1, 2000. The plan included steps to educate current academic members about the changes in the program, and well as educate public libraries about the benefits of joining the program. The plan recommended that current members not re-sign the participation form, but only indicate if they wished to discontinue their participation in the program.
Jay Clark, Chair of the TexShare Card Working Group, reported for the group. After reviewing the implementation plan and the program agreement, the Board approved the implementation plan and agreement, with the three modifications. The Board asked the working group to:
- Amend the FAQ the group is preparing to include a statement that participants may set separate policies for youth public library patrons.
- Establish August 1, 2000 as the start date for all participants in the new program.
- Have all TexShare members of the card program sign new participation forms.
Concern about lost materials keeps some libraries from participating in reciprocal borrowing programs. To address that concern, the Board wants to consider a materials replacement fund, which would reimburse libraries for materials lost by TexShare library card users. The Board asked the Card, Courier, and ILL working groups to investigate this, and to report to the Board at the July 2000 meeting.
Jo Anne Hawkins presented the latest statistics for TExpress and noted that the working group is investigating the issue of lost items in the courier program. She reported that a solution for bringing Sul Ross State University back into the courier service had been found and Bonnie Juergens gave details. Ms. Juergens said service to Alpine will entail an additional charge of $3,900 above the normal courier charge for a site. Sul Ross will share their site with Alpine Public Library. The courier may be able to begin service to Alpine as early as April 1, 2000.
Bonnie Juergens distributed the copies of the survey the working group is currently distributing to TexShare members and stated the survey will give good input for future training plans for the next 18 months. The working group has two taskforces working on plans to evaluate the survey results and to develop program evaluation guidelines. Alice Specht will report for the program at TLA.
Sara Lowman presented a report for the group on its recent activities. The comments from the November 1999 workshop were favorable and the group is planning another workshop for June 2001.
Kathy Hoffman reported for the working group. Proposals for the next round of TexTreasures grants were due on 10 March. A good mix of public library and academic library proposals have been received, and the group will meet in late April or early May to discuss and rank the proposals. Their recommendations will go to the Commission for their July meeting, and the group will report to the Advisory Board in July.
Hoffman raised the issue of whether or not to continue including indirect costs in TexTreasures grants. Permitting grantees to claim indirect costs reduces the amount of TexShare funds spent for digitizing documents and other grant-funded activities.
Michael Piper explained that TSLAC provides grants to a variety of institutions, including municipalities, regional library systems, and academic libraries. To provide a consistent basis for serving these diverse constituencies, the Commission has adopted UGMS (Uniform Grant Management Standards) as the State Library’s grant management guidelines.
Since UGMS advises TSLAC to pay indirect costs for grantees with approved indirect costs allocation plans, dropping indirect costs from the list of permissible expenditures would require a change in the State Library’s grant management guidelines. To accomplish this change, the TexShare Advisory Board would need to ask the Commission to change the State Library’s grant management guidelines. After discussion, the Board took no action on this issue.
Strategic Partner report — Amigos Library Services
Bonnie Juergens reported that guidelines for the courier service are on the TexShare web site, and noted she had already reported on the Sul Ross situation. She stated that Amigos is looking closely at the comments on the courier service submitted in the TexShare annual reports.
She sees a need for user education on following the guidelines and will work with the Education and Courier working groups on this effort. One of the primary criticisms expressed was that the courier service does not pay for, or trace, lost items. Ms. Juergens noted the courier service is a bargain for members and one reason is that these services are not included. She stated an insurance fund might help.
Strategic Partner report — University of Texas at Austin
Mark McFarland reported on the proxy server test that UT conducted for TexShare. He stated that only three institutions expressed interest, but then could not meet the criteria to provide a list of authorized users. He recommended that TexShare end the test, while continuing to study the problem and perhaps survey members. He advised that remote access needs a local, not a centralized, solution.
McFarland also reported that there have been no turnaways on the TexShare database server at UT. He stated the current equipment is adequate as long as no conditions change, such as content growth or number of users. He said another evaluation will be needed in this fall, when peak use will occur.
TexShare Web site
Deborah Littrell reported on the effort to design a new web site for TexShare. Ms. Littrell showed a sample of the new home page and stated that the focus would be on TexShare services, with most major links on the site available from the home page sidebar. She stated that the UT staff, State Library staff, and the working groups were all involved in the re-design effort and welcomed comments.
A. TSLAC will pursue TIF funding initiative
Michael Piper said TSLAC has had discussions recently with representatives from TIF, the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund. Based on these discussions, State Librarian Peggy Rudd has instructed staff to prepare a proposal for partnering with TIF to implement the vision statement written at the strategic planning session in late February.
On Friday, March 10, at the same time the TexShare Advisory Board was meeting, Ms. Rudd presented a proposal to the TIF Board for a statewide inter-agency partnership to develop a unified service that delivers information when and where Texans want it. This four-year proposal will include three components in each year: content, infrastructure and training. It will request funds to establish $0.50 per capita as the base l
Agreeing that TSLAC database funds should be treated as a unified pool of money, the Board asked the State Library to place all TIF funds received for databases into the TexShare strategy, rather than splitting the funds between TexShare and other LRS strategies. Piper said TSLAC will consider the Board’s recommendation on this issue.
Ms. Rudd then joined the meeting, fresh from her presentation before the TIF Board. She said the TIF Board was very receptive to the State Library proposal. The TIF Board asked Ms. Rudd to work with the TIF Library Advisory Committee to develop a full proposal, and to present it at the April 7 TIF Board meeting. After further discussion, the Advisory Board endorsed the TIF proposal outline.
Then the Board discussed the pros and cons of having different budget strategies for TexShare and the other library resource sharing activities. Joe McCord made the following motion:
The TexShare Advisory Board unanimously recommends that the Legislative Budget Board make the appropriate recommendation to the State Legislature so that the Texas State Library and Archives Commission be permitted to unify and consolidate its resource sharing activities into a single Library Resource Sharing strategy, effective September 1, 2001.
The Board approved the motion. This strategy would include TexShare, as well as the State Library’s other resource sharing services such as the interlibrary loan resource centers and the Texas State Publications Depository Program.
- Board moves forward with TexShare marketing plan
At the December meeting, the Board asked TSLAC staff to prepare a marketing plan for TexShare. After reviewing the draft plan, the Board agreed to focus first on TexShare members, especially library directors, to increase use of TexShare services. Mr. Piper agreed to present a detailed proposal on this aspect of the marketing plan at the next Board meeting.
Piper requested authorization to use part of the anticipated $50,000 courier surplus for the marketing plan, and carry the balance to the next fiscal year. On a motion by George Huffman, the Board authorized using the balance as needed to support implementation of the marketing plan.
- TexShare budget review
Mr. Piper stated he would do his best to leave a balance to carry forward as described in the marketing plan.
- Administrative Rules for TexShare
Michael Piper reported that the conforming rule changes approved at the December 1999 Advisory Board meeting are in process and will be submitted soon to the Attorney General’s office for review.
Next TexShare Advisory Board meeting: July 27 in Austin
The next TexShare Advisory Board meeting is July 27, 2000 in Austin. The meeting location will be announced.
Mr. Seal adjourned the meeting.
J. Grant Jones
Working Group liaisons:
Jo Anne Hawkins