TexShare Courier Service Working Group Minutes

August 10, 1999 

The General Libraries 

The University of Texas at Austin 

The TexShare Courier Service Working Group met via a conference telephone call at 2 PM on August 10, 1999.

Participants included members April Bennington, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; Jackie Crinion, UT San Antonio; Kay Garsnett, Our Lady of the Lake University; Lee Hilyer, Rice University; Mike Robinson, Sul Ross State University; Frances Roppolo, University of Houston Clear Lake; Carolyn Thorne, Dallas County Community College District; TSLAC Liaison Rebecca Linton; TexShare Project Support Specialist Susie Thompson of AMIGOS; and TexShare Coordinating Council Liaison Jo Anne Hawkins. Rachel Robbins of UT Arlington was on a well-deserved vacation and was unable to participate in the call.

Documents referenced during the meeting included the outline of Jo Anne's presentation at the July 12, 1999, TexShare Advisory Board meeting; "TexShare Governance and Operations Statement of Roles and Responsibilities," an attachment to Deborah Littrell's email of August 4 concerning recent TexShare developments, and Deborah's email message itself.

I. TexShare transitions

Jo Anne announced that Carolyn Thorne is stepping down from the chairmanship of the group for reasons of health, although she will continue as a member. Jo Anne thanked Carolyn for her good work, noting that she had been a member of the WG since it was formed. April Bennington has agreed to accept the chairmanship, effective immediately.

Jo Anne noted the appointment of new Texas State Library and Archives Director and Librarian Peggy Rudd, effective October 1, 1999.

Jo Anne commented on "TexShare Governance and Operations Statement of Roles and Responsibilities," which lists roles and responsibilities for all TexShare players. The TexShare Coordinating Council will cease effective September 1, 1999, when CC members will be formally appointed to working groups by TSLAC. WGs are asked to appoint liaisons to the TexShare Advisory Board. Members agreed that Jo Anne will serve as the WGs liaison.

Two new members will be appointed to the WG to represent public libraries effective September 1. WGs are asked to draft proposed charge statements to be submitted at the September 22 Advisory Board meeting and to begin to address issues related to public library participation in TexShare programs.

II. TExpress Courier Service

Susie Thompson reported that the program is going well and that it achieved 100 participating libraries on August 9, although some members will not actually begin participation until September 1. For the record, Collin County Community College District is the official 100th participant. The WG recommended that TSLAC issue a news release to mark this important TExpress milestone.

Susie commented on the low incidence of problems with the service. Marquis Messengers continues to be responsive and service-oriented with good followup on problems. Turnover of drivers sometimes leads to confusion in some locations, but such problems are occasional. Libraries are urged to report all problems or interruptions in service to Susie to ensure prompt attention from Marquis.

TExpress statistics have been completed through June and July's should be finished soon. Statistics for January-May are posted on the TexShare web. Statistics will continue to be the responsibility of AMIGOS in FY2000, since AMIGOS will again contract with TSLAC to manage TExpress.

Discussing the issue of "ship to" field information on OCLC workforms and similar mailing issues as the number of TExpress libraries increases, the group decided a complete guide to TExpress shipping is needed which will be provided to each new participant and posted on the TexShare web. Lee Hilyer volunteered to draft the guide and will confer with Susie as necessary.

The TExpress pricing structure for FY 2000 was set by the TexShare Advisory Board during its July meeting at $1,000 per member library, a $1,500 subsidy over the full cost of $2,500 per library. The $1,500 subsidy will be applied at the TexShare member level.

Six TexNet centers joined the program on August 9: public libraries in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, and San Antonio. El Paso Public Library is ceasing its affiliation as a TexNet Center on September 1.

Members commented that they saw no real problems with the inclusion of public libraries into TExpress and that they looked forward to their participation.

Mike Robinson said that Sul Ross is still strongly interested in returning to TExpress when services can be worked out with Marquis. Perhaps with the inclusion of public libraries, a cooperative arrangement can be devised for Sul Ross and public libraries in Alpine, Fort Davis, and Marfa so this lightly populated but important area of the state can be served by TExpress.

III. Trans-AMIGOS Express (TAE)

AMIGOS is launching Trans-AMIGOS Express, a courier service for AMIGOS members in Texas and Oklahoma, sometime this fall. The intention is that eventually TAE will expand to AMIGOS members in New Mexico, Arkansas, and Arizona as well. TEXpress participants will be able to make shipments on this network at no additional charge.

The group recommended that different colored labels might be used so shipments to TAE libraries can be easily distinguished from TExpress shipments. Turnaround time to neighboring states is expected to be 48 hours, as it is for TExpress.

IV. Summing up

April agreed to draft the WG's proposed charge statement. She will send the draft to the group before it is finalized for submission at the TexShare Advisory Board's September meeting.

The program's web presence is being expanded but there is still work to be done.

The WG decided to meet in person early in the fall with our new public library members. Austin is still the preferred site. Several dates in September and October which fall on Fridays or Mondays and which avoid UT football game weekends were noted as possible meeting times. Jo Anne will confer with the new public library members when they are appointed and will work with April to set the date.

The call was concluded and the meeting adjourned at 3:30 PM.

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