Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Electronic Information Working Group

January 29, 2010 --- TREC, Room 217

Chair: Kerry Keck

TSL Liaison: Beverley Shirley


In attendance: Working Group members: Kerry Keck, Chair; Laura Alfaro; Karen Blankenship; Victoria Chiavetta; Marilu Chavez; Eric Elmore; Gayle Gordon; Lisa Harris Hebert; Diane Lozano; Sue Phillips; Susan Smith; John Weed

Guests: Coby Condrey; Beverley Shirley

Following the written agenda:

1) Database Program Budget

Bev Shirley reviewed the requirement to reduce the TSLAC budget by 5% by February, 2010 in compliance with the request by the governor for all state agencies to reduce their budgets by 5% this fiscal year.

On reviewing the information given the EIWG the decision was made to not renew ProQuest’s eLibrary for the 2010-2011 subscription years.

The EIWG supports eliminating some low usage or duplicative content should budget shortfall require further cuts to the program.

2) Database Use Statistics

To increase usage of the databases the EIWG suggests increasing training and outreach to librarians. The EIWG makes a formal statement to encourage eligible public librarians to attend the Small Libraries Management Training program where the TexShare databases are taught. The EIWG would also like to see more funds channeled for training purposes for librarians to learn about the TexShare database program.

3) Identification of potential new TexSelect offerings – Facilitator, Coby Condrey

Coby facilitated a discussion regarding the TexSelect program. Five issues were discussed:

Issue #1: Where should TexSelect go in the future? How do WG members envision it in a year, 2 years, 5 years?

The working group discussed topic areas in which Texas libraries have growing needs for electronic content.

Issue #2: What changes/enhancements would be required for TexSelect to make?

  • The current TexSelect provides a valuable discount program on a very limited number of databases. The libraries that take advantage of these discounts are very happy with the benefits. However, the number of offerings is so limited that library staffs do not consider it when making electronic resource purchases. The number of databases offered through TexSelect must grow substantially in order to reach a “critical mass” of product discounts – enough database products to attract the attention of Texas librarian that are considering database purchases
  • TexSelect could present the databases that are offered in a variety of ways to make it easier to identify potential purchases. For example, lists of discounted database could be developed by audience (e.g. databases for business users or databases for genealogists)
  • TexSelect needs to provide “value added” services such as
    • A month each year in which all TexSelect offerings are on free trial
    • Finding the best discount a library can get for a product rather than the library staff having to “shop around” themselves

    • Simplify the ordering process
    • Simplify the contracting process

Issue #3: What are the WG’s thoughts on moving towards a partnering model with other consortia? Pros and Cons?

Given the limited personnel available at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for managing the TexSelect program, the working group believes that partnering with other consortia or organizations presents the greatest opportunity for successfully expanding the TexSelect program.

Pros of partnering include:

  • Ability to identify the best available pricing among several partner consortia
  • Increased number of TexSelect offerings
  • May provide additional outreach opportunities for the program
  • May be able to leverage partners’ training programs as well as database discounts

    Cons of partnering include:

  • TSLAC will experience an increase in administrative meetings and responsibilities with no increase in staff
  • Partnering consortia may not accept all of the types of libraries in TexShare, thus all TexShare members would not benefit equality
  • Generally partnerships are based on reciprocity, TSLAC would have to offer a benefit (financial or otherwise) in order to attract partners; there is limited ability to do so

Issue #4: Other things the WG wants TSLAC to know:

Libraries need more training for specific databases. This needs to target geographic locations that are underutilizing services. Amigo is a natural and logical partner, especially as they serve a role as a TexShare Strategic Partner. As we explore this and future electronic information issues, the working group would like background information to be sent to them prior to the meeting. The working group would like the web site and/or the EIWG electronic discussion group to be more interactive, including the ability to share comments.

Issue #5: Next steps

Identify consortia for potential partnering

Identify the types of resources that are most needed for a TexSelect discount program

Assign EIWG members, as needed, to research and contract potential partner groups.

4) Letter from Gloria Meraz, Communications Director, TLA

Gloria Meraz of TLA would like for the EIWG to recommend librarians she could contact and share their experiences using the TexShare databases. She would like to have authentic experiences from librarians that she could then turn into brochures, PowerPoints and other marketing tools to show legislators how the average Texas citizen is using the TexShare online resources.

The EIWG is to provide Russlene with contact information for Gloria by February 25, 2010.

5) Statement regarding Alumni Access to University TexShare Databases

The EIWG has been asked to address the question of alumni access to the TexShare databases, a question that has repeatedly come up by some of the TexShare member institutions. For the academic members of TexShare alumni access is usually not allowed to their own locally subscribed to resources because librarians have found that publishers have created:

  • Cost prohibitive situation for allowing alumni to access electronic resources
  • Licensing issues are problematic
  • Publishers will limit access to databases or titles/ alumni cannot access all resources

The EIWG is recommending alumni of Texas academic institutions, residing in Texas, obtain access to the TexShare databases through their local public library.

6) Weeding NetLibrary

The background of the NetLibrary ebook purchase was reviewed. The initial and largest purchase was made in 2000. Accessibility is 1 to 1 (one patron checks out one ebook). NetLibrary changed its purchasing policy and now there is a minimum copy number established (12) that must be purchased by consortia, this has been a disincentive for TexShare to purchase any new titles for the collection. It was suggested in the past that the EIWG provide a title list for weeding purposes to the TexShare membership. The EIWG’s decision is that it is a local collection management issue and TSLAC will not suggest any titles for weeding.

7) Addressing Suggestions from the TexShare Statewide Resource Sharing Summit – “Suggestions for Database Content in the Future”

The EIWG was asked to comment and act on, if deemed appropriate, suggestions that came out of the 2008 TexShare Strategic Planning session. The portion of the Strategic Planning Session that focused specifically with electronic resources suggested the EIWG consider several actions in 3 areas:

  • Content
    • Legal Resources
    • Consider open source content – free, searchable and available databases
    • Local resources
    • Consider open source content – free, searchable and available databases
    • WorldCat
    • Appropriate databases for specific libraries
    • EIWG continues to do this
  • Access
    • Clearinghouse
    • Database page?
    • Interface
    • Not within scope of EIWG/TexShare/TSLAC
    • Personalized search interface
    • Standardized downloading practices
  • Scope
    • Virtual reference service
    • Consider purchasing this service
    • Not within scope of EIWB/TexShare/TSLAC
    • Changing formats
    • Alternative media sources
    • RFPs may request this but not ding any vendor for not providing access
    • EIWG agreed though that access should be platform neutral.

Meeting ended at 2:50 p.m.

Page last modified: January 28, 2011