TexShare Courier Service Working Group Minutes

Conference Call Meeting, October 23, 2001, 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Participants: Jerilynn Williams (Chair), April Bennington, Linda Hughes, Jackie Crinion, Victoria Duff, Gerard Mittelstaedt, Connie Moss, Mike Robinson, Carolyn Thorne, Jo Anne Hawkins, Lee Hilyer, Valerie Johnson (State Library), Dayna Jones (State Library), Judye Glick (AMIGOS), Nye Cooper (AMIGOS)

1. Legislative changes in TexShare Activities:

The TexShare Coordinator reported that House Bill 3591 passed during the 77th legislative session and provides for the expansion of TexShare membership to include “non-profit libraries that provide extensive library services and collections in the fields of clinical medicine and the history of medicine.” It is anticipated that libraries for the Texas Medical Association, Austin, and Scott and White Hospital, Waco, may be joining.

2. Statistics for 2000-2001:

TExpress statistics for the calendar year 2000 showed 467,041 packages were carried, with 235,195 sent and 231,186 received. This is a 38% increase over 1999. Houston Libraries continue to be among the most frequent users of TExpress. In 2001, January through August, 158,633 packages were sent, and 159,056 were received, for a total of 317,689 packages. The format for statistics will change to reflect the state fiscal year, rather than the calendar year, in order to conform with other reports and activities.

3. New participants in the Courier service:

New participants in the Courier Service will be approved imminently, since the contract for TExpress Services has been implemented. New candidates for the courier service are:

  • Texas Lutheran University, Blumberg Memorial Library
  • Flower Mound Public Library
  • Killeen Public Library
  • The Colony Public Library
  • W. Walworth Harrison Public Library,Greenville
  • Texas Tech University- Law Library

3.5. Availability of subsidized slots for courier service.

Currently, 167 libraries are using the TExpress Courier service. The addition of the six libraries listed above brings the total users to 173. Since the number of users is capped at 178, that leaves 5 available slots.

4. Tiered Charges

The group was asked to discuss the possibility of structuring assessment for TexShare Courier services in tiers, thus charging the larger libraries more for courier service and smaller libraries less, considering not only size, but budget, collection size, enrollment, staff, etc. It was noted that the cost for courier service had been based upon the courier's making the stop at a location each week day, not upon the number or weight of the package being sent/received. The working group agreed that they did not support the concept of tiered charges. The consensus was that a flat fee is preferable and is the best way to ensure the universal benefit of sharing resources.

There was some discussion of contingency plans, such as raising fees for courier service, if the contract rates were to increase. No action was taken on this. It was mentioned that, in these times, TExpress was a safe way to transfer packages, since they did not have to go through the USPS.

4. Amigos Report on Satisfaction Survey

Judye Glick of Amigos stated that 80% or more users of TExpress had rated the service good to excellent. The group asked for an analysis of areas from which there were less than satisfactory ratings. Amigos has established a "dead letter office," where mislabeled packages are received. Most lost or mislabeled packages eventually find their way home, so the loss rate for the courier service is miniscule. The question of insuring packages transported via TExpress was raised. It was agreed that this option is too expensive for consideration. Users are encouraged to use a traceable service for expensive items.

The Working Group requested that the Amigos survey have more analysis as well as a comments section on the survey as one way of identifying means of improving the service. Working Group members were interested in knowing more about problems that may have prompted low ratings on the survey. Were these incidents related to specific areas or location? What did they involve -- delivery time, lost packages, turnaround times, inconsistent delivery times, lack of information on mislabeled packages etc.? WG comments on revising the survey should be sent to Judye by mid December. Copies of the 2001 survey instrument and the new courier service contract with Amigos will be distributed.

8. Terms for service as member of the Working Group:

April Bennington's term ends 12/31/01, and she is unable to continue until August 31, 2002. Jo Anne Hawkins will continue as THECB Liaison, and Jerilynn Williams will continue another year as Chair of the Working Group. Expiration dates of the Working Group terms are as follows:

Jerilynn Williams: 8/03

Jackie Crinion: 8/02

Victoria Duff: 8/03

Jo Anne Hawkins: 8/03

Linda Hughes: 8/03

Gerard Mittelstaedt: 8/02

Connie Moss: 8/02

Mike Robinson: 8/04

Carolyn Thorne: 8/02

Lee Hilyer: 8/03

TSLAC Staff will issue an announcement of the vacancy and will solicit nominations/recommendations for a medical library representative.

9. The group's next meeting scheduled for March 4, 2002, in Room 214 at the Texas State Library.

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