TexShare Card Program Working Group Meeting
Friday April 08, 2005
Present: Sherri Baker, Jay Clark, Jon Crossno, Jackie Dodson, Ann Mason, Suzanne McAnna (chair), Gene Rollins, Brenda Tirrell, Barbara Valle
- Working Group membership terms
- Card Group charge and priorities
- Card Program Agreement
- Collaboration with Communications Working Group
- Collection of card statistics
- Lending policies of participating libraries
- TexShare Card Program and people not served by libraries
- Card Program session for TLA 2006
- Next Card Group meeting
- New business
Members introduced themselves and commented on Card Program activity at their libraries.
2. Working Group membership terms
In response to questions from members, Ann summarized membership terms for all the Working Groups. The intent is for Group membership to reflect participation by all types of libraries. Members may serve two three-year terms. They are asked if they wish to continue for a second term as their first term draws to a close.
Historically membership terms have not always been as clear-cut. Periods when there was no TexShare coordinator had an impact on Group membership terms, and there have been some adjustments over time in order to stagger terms of membership.
In July, Ann will be looking at what slots need to be filled on Groups for 2005-2006, and will post calls for nominees. She commented that Suzanne, whose term ends August 2005, has agreed to continue to serve on the Card Group as a representative of a strategic partner, UT Austin.
3. Card Group charge and priorities
The Card Group’s charge appears on the web page as follows:
“The TexShare Card Program Working Group reviews and recommends policies and procedures for the Card Program, and provides input from member libraries.”
After brief discussion, the Group agreed that its priorities are: monitoring the Card Program, reviewing policies and procedures and revising as needed, and promoting the Program.
These priorities will be presented to the TexShare Advisory Board, as requested by the January 2004 Texas Statewide Resource Sharing Strategic Planning Session.
4. Card Program Agreement
After some discussion, the Group agreed that the Agreement itself does not need to contain language recommending some delay in a library’s issuing a TexShare Card to a new patron. Many libraries follow this practice and it is suggested in the FAQs, but the delay period varies according to the needs of the libraries.
No changes were recommended to the Agreement at this time
5. Collaboration with Communications Working Group
Ann reported on the activities of the Communications Working Group. This Group was formed last summer and has been focusing on the databases, but hopes eventually to work with all the programs. Greg Trammel chairs the Group.
There was discussion about how the Card Group or Card Group members might assist when the Communications Working Group is ready to turn its attention to the Card Program. There might be collaboration to develop a program for TLA. Individual members of the Card group might meet with individual libraries to talk with them and answer questions about the Program. The largest group of non-participating libraries is the level three public libraries. Ann and Wendy Clark from Loan Star have been visiting these libraries and encouraging them to join the Program, as it benefits them in terms of aid.
A suggestion has been made that Ann and Wendy might create a short program on Loan Star and the TexShare Card Program, to be presented through the System, with CE credit. Participating Card Program libraries might be representative speakers on such a program.
Gene commented that he would like to see some sort of tie made between the TexShare Card and the Library of Texas, such as printing the LOT user ID and password on the Card. The Group discussed this idea and agreed it could be a good way to make a connection. There would be some implications for card stock—for example, unused cards would have to be discarded at the end of the year when the LOT user ID changed, and new batches of stock sent to all libraries. Ann will take this suggestion back to TSLAC for consideration of the issues.
6. Collection of card statistics
Libraries participating in the Card program report annual statistics in early September. TSLAC has a very tight timeline for compiling these. However, statistics often trickle in later, after TSLAC has had to submit its reports on cost avoidance—one of the important figures the statistics provide--to the Legislature. A number of libraries do not report at all. The Group discussed what else might be done to promote prompt and complete reporting.
Courier Program statistics are reported monthly, but there are fewer participating libraries in the Courier Program than in the Card Program. At a previous meeting the Card Group discussed whether the reporting period could be changed, but concluded that it needs to cover the same fiscal year that TSLAC is required to report—September through August.
Ann already sends multiple reminders to the Card Program e-mail list and to the entire TexShare membership e-mail list. Card Group members suggested that she might try to determine whether the actual Card program liaisons, who are presumably the people actually collecting and reporting the statistics, are the ones on the Card group list and therefore get the reminders. It would also be a good idea to say explicitly that libraries are asked to submit a report even if they have not had any TexShare activity. If there continues to be laggard reporting by libraries, Card Group members might help by making calls.
7. Lending policies of participating libraries
As new libraries join the program, Ann makes sure that they have put their lending policies on the web before they receive cards and brochures. However, libraries which joined in the early days without having to submit policies have been grandfathered; some may not even be aware that they need to post their policies.
Suzanne had done a quick review of the web page and reported that roughly 26 public libraries and 13 academic libraries appear as Program participants but don’t have lending policies on the web. (These figures are only approximate.) Ann intends to send letters first to the public libraries, and then eventually to the academics, reminding them of this. If some libraries do not respond, Card Group members may be able to help by contacting libraries directly.
8. TexShare Card Program and people not served by libraries
At a recent TexShare Advisory Board meeting there was mention of whether there should be options for people to make use of TexShare services when their home libraries are not TexShare members, or when they are not served by a library.
Ann commented that the mission of TexShare is libraries, not individuals. She is contacted by people who want her to help them get TexShare services and it is difficult to tell them this is not possible. The Group discussed these issues. One concern is that if the person does not have a home library, there is no entity that is able to take financial responsibility for losses. TexShare is about reciprocity, and in this case there can be no reciprocity.
Group members suggested that people whose home libraries are not TexShare members should be encouraged to lobby their libraries to join. For people not served by local libraries, there are over 400 level 1 libraries which will make cards free of charge for any resident of the state of Texas. The information about these libraries might be made more visible and accessible by creating a new page for the Card Program web pages that explains what these libraries can do for Texas residents.
9. Card Program session for TLA 2006
The group discussed whether to try to offer a session on the Card Program at TLA 2006, after the success of the session “TexShare Card Tips” at TLA 2004. This decision has to be made right away, as TLA has asked for proposals for programs in April, and June 19 is the drop-dead submission date.
There was some discussion of whether this kind of session is the best way to promote the Program. It reaches some people but not others. Offering this kind of session requires someone to commit to spearhead and bottom line the project with vision and energy, as Tania Bardyn did for the 2004 session. Although some interest in helping with a session was expressed by members, there did not appear to be anyone able to take on leadership of the project. The Group agreed to look at this again for 2007.
10. Next Card Group meeting
The next in-person meeting will be at TLA 2006 in Houston, with the option of scheduling a conference call in the fall should issues arise that need to be addressed.
11. New business
Ann reported briefly on the closing of Bedford Public Library, and potential impacts of that on the area and on other libraries. There is some hope that the library may be able to reopen, at least at some level, once a new fiscal year has begun. For now, Card Program libraries should not accept TexShare cards issued by Bedford.
Ann raised the issue of how changes in library system membership should be handled in terms of the Card Program. Each year a few libraries leave the system in August, and some may come in. Once a library leaves the system, it ceases to be a TexShare member and if and when it re-enters it must go through the membership process again. In terms of Card Program participation, the library is no longer a participant, and any TexShare cards it may have issued should not be honored. A notice goes to the TexShare listserv and the lending policies are removed from the web page. The Group considered the Agreement in the light of this issue, but decided that since the initial sentence refers to “TexShare libraries” as signatories to the Agreement, this issue does not need to be addressed in the Agreement.
- Submitted by Suzanne McAnna, 4-15-05