TexShare Courier Service Working Group Minutes

September 27, 1999


The meeting was called to order by Chair, April Bennington at 10:05 am. All members were in attendance: April Bennington (M.D. Anderson Cancer Center), Jackie Crinion (UT San Antonio), Kay Garsnett (Our Lady of the Lake University), Jo Anne Hawkins (UT Austin), Lee Hilyer (Rice University), Connie Moss (Dallas Public Library), Rachel Robbins (UT Arlington), Mike Robinson (Sul Ross State University), Frances Roppolo (University of Houston � Clear Lake), Carolyn Thorne (Dallas Community College District), Jerilynn Williams (Montgomery County Library System) and Rebecca Linton (Texas State Library and Archives Commission). Deborah Littrell (Texas State Library and Archives Commission) and Nancy Paine (UT Austin) also participated in the meeting.


Rachel Robbins agreed to act as recorder for this session. The Working Group roster was passed around for corrections.


CONFERENCE CALL Corrections were made to page 2 of the minutes. It was noted that there were 6 TexNet centers, not 5, that opted to join the TExpress program. Lubbock was inadvertently left out. Also noted was the fact that the subsidy was $1,500 and not $1,000 as stated in the paragraph prior to the discussion of the TexNet centers.


Rebecca Linton already attends both the TexShare ILL Working Group and the TexShare Courier Working Group meetings. She is willing to act as a liaison between the groups, monitoring issues of common concern. She announced that the ILL Working Group is hosting their third workshop on November 19th in Dallas.


a. The "TExpress Shipping Guidelines" compiled by Lee were reviewed. While Susie Thompson could not be present she did send a list of comments for the Working Group to review. It was suggested that the sections of the document be numbered so it can easily be referred to in discussions. Other recommended revisions included:

-- Background � TExpress: Change service to company. Remove parentheses around "now includes more than 100". � Costs: Changes made as per Susie Thompson�s recommendation. A statement will also be added to indicate that charges to institutions may vary from year to year. Lee will also add a statement about the benefits of the program that go beyond the cost issue: service to the customer, speed, accessibility, reliability, and convenience to name a few. The more participants there are in the program the better it will work for everyone.

-- Using TExpress Service: :SHIP VIA: needs to be changed to :SHIP TO: and the /on the first line of the address example needs to be changed to a � so the location number does not appear on its own line when the address label is printed. It was suggested that instructions on how to change the:SHIP TO: section in the constant data be included. Concern was expressed over how best to handle situations where one site is ordering for others. Lee is going to reword the portion that starts out "Participating TExpress Libraries are asked�" so that statement is stronger. He will send his wording to Nancy Paine who will run it by the ILL Working Group for their input. A statement will also be added that a package should not be sent via TExpress unless it is indicated on the request form. Rebecca was asked to write this statement along with a brief explanation why.

-- Labels: The "you must write 2 items�" instruction was changed to 3 items to include the date shipped. The 4th item of "ATTENTION" is required only if the package is going somewhere other than the ILL Office. Also, instructions should be included on how to obtain additional labels and a sample of the label provided.

-- Packaging: "Reuse" was changed to "use." Mention double packaging of non-ILL materials will be covered here as well as the return of non-ILL books with the TexShare Card bookmark included. The courier service can be used for more than just mailing ILL materials. However, for these sorts of mailing, the materials should be placed in an inner envelope with the person it is supposed to go to clearly indicated on the package. In that way ILL staff that open mail will know to whom to forward it.

-- Courier Service Pickup and Delivery Requirements: Changes made as per Susie�s suggestions. A statement should be added on whom to contact to inform the courier of closing dates. It was felt that no. 1 should be tempered so the instructions come across more as recommendations than requirements. � Non-Interlibrary Loan Materials: The reader will be referred back to the packaging section. � Statistics: The wording was changed as per Susie�s suggestions with 2 other changes�"items" need to be changed to packages and "subsequent" needs to be changed to preceding.

-- Reporting Problems: The 1st paragraph was changed as per Susie's suggestion.

-- Trans-Amigos Express: This section was moved to after the TExpress background statement on the first page. Corrections were made based on Susie�s suggestion. This section should also direct the reader to any guidelines Susie may have related to this service. Lee will find this out.

-- Additional Resources: Changed as per Susie�s comments.

b. The Alpine/Sul Ross shipping situation was discussed. Mike had expressed interest in his institution rejoining the courier program. He and Susie had corresponded to try and determine the feasibility of this. If service were reinitiated and UPS subcontracted to provide delivery $1000 would be spent very quickly. ($1000 was what Sul Ross�s Library Director was willing to put aside for the service.) Dallas Public is mailing materials to @ 12 libraries in this area so they are very interested in seeing something worked out for libraries. Connie pointed out that it is unreasonable to expect geographically remote libraries to assume the additional expense generated by service to their location. When operating costs of TExpress are determined, costs to all sites should be factored in. If we can divide costs evenly without regard to volume, then why can�t we do the same geographically. It is possible that as Trans-Amigos evolves some of our problems will be solved since the courier will be going to locations in New Mexico. Yet how can we open up service to New Mexico and Oklahoma and still not serve Texas fully? Our first priority should be to equalize TExpress Courier service to unserved areas in the state. We need to do an awareness campaign to these West Texas libraries. Can something be worked out between the public libraries and small academic libraries in this area? Our next step should be to determine the interest of those libraries that could be involved.


It is important that we make the packaging of materials for the courier as seamless as possible for ILL staff so that they do not have to deal two separate wrapping processes. Susie is working on the guidelines. The label will be similar to the TExpress label, but it will not include the flying boot and will be a different color.


Jo Anne reported on the Advisory Board meeting she attended. She provided the Board with a copy of our draft charge and our working group report. She also shared our statistics with them.


Statistics are collected by Susie. Do we need to do anything with this data beyond seeing that they get posted to the web and review them on occasion? The consensus seemed to be no. More than likely we will be asked to keep separate Trans-Amigos statistics.


The TexShare program at the TLA Annual Conference in Houston is scheduled for Thursday, April 13th from 12:00 to 1:15. The State Library is gearing up for promotion of the expansion of the courier service to public libraries. A press release was requested concerning the 100th library to join TExpress � Collin County Community College. We could see that something gets put in the TEXAS LIBRARY JOURNAL about this. We can talk up TExpress at the ILL Workshop in November. We also discussed the possibility of TExpress t-shirts and window stickers for libraries indicating that they are participants of the TexShare Card program.


Management of the TexShare website is in transition. Currently it is on a server at UT. The State Library is redesigning their webpages and more responsibility will eventually fall to them as to TexShare�s content. They will be hiring a half time position that they anticipate will work with both institutions on the website. If there are things on the website that you feel need attention, let Deborah or the working group know.


The Working Group was referred to a handout on "Courier Implementation Strategies" which covers the issue of how many sites can one institution subsidize. The recommendation from Michael Piper was that if you have one membership then you get one subsidized site. This proposal was approved by the Advisory Board.


Shortly, we will have 5 vacancies on the Working Group. In the past the Coordinating Council put out a call to library directors for nominees. Appointees were selected based on experience, location, size and library type to achieve a diversity of representation. Adding public libraries to the mix will require a different makeup for the groups than in the past. It will take the groups a couple of years to move from a more academic makeup to a balanced representation that includes public libraries. One concern is including representation from medical libraries. Another concern is maintaining some continuity, so chairs will be reappointed to their working groups to retain their expertise. If your term is ending and you are interested in reappointment, let your director know. A call for nominations will go out soon to public and academic library directors from the Texas State Library. The date nominations will be presented to the Advisory Board is December 13th. 13. OTHER We might or might not have another conference call in mid to late October. We would like to have the "TExpress Shipping Guidelines" ready before the ILL Workshop. Lee has agreed to present that document at the meeting. We want to have the document finalized before the December TexShare Advisory Board meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.

-----Rachel Robbins

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