TexShare Task Force on Database Fees
Conference Call Minutes
February 15, 2007
Attendees: Willie Braudaway, Diane Graves, Kathy Hoffman, Deborah Littrell, Ann Mason, Sue Phillips, Eva Poole, Martha Rinn, Beverley Shirley, Martha Tandy, Laurie Thompson, Julie Todaro, Russlene Waukechon
Issue #1: Recommendation on revising the medical library fees
Background: Currently medical libraries pay a set TexShare database fee of $2500. The TexShare Advisory Board has requested that the task force review this assessment and consider an approach more reflective of the different needs of the various medical libraries in the constituency.
The task force decided:
- To target $40,000 as the share of the total fee assessment to be assigned to medical libraries. This reflects 2.7% of the TexShare fee assessment and is proportionate to medical libraries’ usage of the TexShare database service.
- Assessment may address the issue of “ceiling,” above which no library will pay and/or “floor,” below which no library will pay.
- A subcommittee of the task force will review data on medical library enrollment, budgets, and other criteria and present one or more alternatives for discussion at the next task force meeting.
Issue #2: Recommendation on joint public library/school library fees
Background: In FY2003 two parallel programs, Texas Library Connection (TLC) for K-12 school libraries and TexShare for public and academic libraries licensed databases for joint public/school libraries. Both programs were fully subsidized by the state. When the TLC program was no longer funded, TexShare continued to license databases for use in the combination libraries, charging the amount of the TexShare fee assessed to them as public libraries. The TexShare Advisory Board recently reviewed the way in which libraries that are shared among TexShare members are assessed fees and determined that, in the case of academic libraries, each institution that is represented in the shared library should be assessed its fee as an independent member. This had little impact on the amount of assessment assigned to these libraries.
The question under consideration is whether joint public/school libraries interested in offering the TexShare databases to both their public library patrons and their school library constituency should purchase the K-12 TexShare database package in addition to paying the TexShare fee assessment in order to be consistent with practices applied to shared academic libraries. Adopting this practice would have significant impact on the amount these libraries pay. Moreover, these libraries are generally small and poorly funded. Finally, there is a fundamental difference in situations in that TSLAC has an administrative rule (13 TAC 1.73) that defines the legal establishment of a public library inclusive of joint public/school libraries. They are, therefore, established and accredited as public libraries.
The task force discussed three options:
- Joint public/school libraries could pay some amount (TBD) for the K-12 TexShare subscription for their K-12 usage (should the library determine it wants access to these resources for their K-12 users) in addition to the TexShare fee.
- TexShare licenses could be changed to specify that joint public/school libraries are only covered for their public library patrons. Joint public/school libraries would have to adopt procedures that assure compliance with this licensing
- Fees and licenses could remain unchanged.
As part of the Texas Library Association (TLA) legislative agenda supports funding to cover costs associated with the K-12 TexShare database service, the task force decided to continue its discussion of this issue after the legislative session is concluded and we know the results of this effort to accomplish funding for the service. The K-12 Transition Task Force will also be asked to consider these options for further discussion at that time.
Issue #3: Discussion on gradually expanding cost sharing over the next few years
Background: While individual member assessments vary incrementally from year-to-year, the overall amount of income from cost sharing has remained stable (approximately $1,500,000) since August 2003. In recognition of rising costs of database services and the uncertainty of increased legislative appropriations, the TexShare Advisory Board would like to consider the possibility of a gradual increase in cost sharing (rather than dropping databases). Under current contracts, subscription rates increase an average of 3% per year. Projections of revenue and expenditures indicate there will be enough money to cover database subscription costs through FY2009. Without additional funds, we will be short $220,000 in FY2010. A 5% increase in cost sharing would amount to $75,000 each year.
The task force:
- Determined that an increase of 3% - 5% would not be burdensome to member libraries and recommends a 3% – 5% increase in the amount collected from member fees should it be necessary to meet the needs of the program in FY10.
- Recommends that the “ceilings,” above which libraries do not pay and “floors,” below which libraries pay be raised if and when there is an increase in member fees.
- Would like to discuss the “floor” amount for public libraries at a future date.
If anticipated increases in federal funds don’t materialize, we will convene the task force for further discussion.