TexShare Courier Service Working Group Meeting
Perry-Castaneda Library Room 3.204
The University of Texas at Austin
February 11, 2003
Jo Anne Hawkins
Welcome and Introductions
Chair Jerilynn Williams convened the meeting of the Courier Service Working Group at 10 AM. She welcomed new and returning members. Nancy Paine, Chair of the Interlibrary Loan Working Group, attended the meeting as a guest. Jeff Steely and Linda Hughes were unable to attend.
Budgeting for Future Courier Service Activities
Beverley Shirley, of the Texas State Library, explained the upcoming budget cuts. TexShare has been especially hard hit, she said. There has been a 12.6% cut generally. (Information on the budget can be found on TexShare's web site). There is a freeze on the $7 million TIF funding of for FY03 to cover 60 TexShare databases. The number of databases will be reduced in 2003. This should not affect courier service. The database program is also at risk in 2004 due to budget cuts. She recently met with the Electronic Information Working Group. The program is "down but not dead."
TexShare needs to communicate with its members and have a strategy for the upcoming year. They used to have $10 million budget for databases each year. Depending on the future of the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF), there could be anywhere from $1.5 million to $7.5 million per year in the upcoming biennium. A survey was sent out regarding database access fees. Survey asks how much could we pay?
In order to meet the required budget reductions, state funding for courier service will be cut by half. Based on current usage statistics, the courier is not cost effective for many libraries. However, we know that many libraries are either not reporting statistics, or they are under-reporting statistics. Libraries need to provide accurate statistics. Plan on ½ subsidy. TSLAC used to subsidize $1620 per courier stop. In FY04, TSLAC will only subsidize $810 per courier stop. The courier service is out to bid, so we are unsure as to what the FY04 price per library will be. If the winning bid comes in at the same price as we are now paying ($2750 per stop), the new cost to participating libraries would be $1,940.00 per library.
Jo Anne Hawkins distributed a handout of an email response she received from Susan Beebe. It lists break-even rates for libraries by comparing how much it costs to mail a package compared to courier rates.
Problems with TIF funding: Montgomery County, for example, cannot substitute the TIF money. PCs more tangible, not databases. Level of access is immediate.
Christine Ferguson said that we should sound the alarm. Get the word out about the budget.
Judye Glick asked if we could cut service down to 2 or 3 days a week? If so, it should be for every library. Jo Anne responded that a less frequent service used to be an option. It was difficult to get the couriers to go to the libraries every day. She did not recommend reducing the number of pick up and delivery days.
Beverley Shirley said that those who are reporting should look at ways to increase their usage of the service, increase their statistics and, therefore, justify the money spent on the service. Send this information to the State Library. If you pay $1.84 per package, 1500 of which are 2 lbs or more, you are not getting your value out of the courier service.
It is difficult to determine who is responsible for reporting statistics from each site. It was pointed out that the library agreed to provide statistics as a condition for service when it signed up. The library must keep its part of the deal. Those who have not been reporting have already been participating for 6 months.
Lee asked if TexShare card materials could be returned via Texpress to help make the service more cost effective.
Jo Anne said that we need a several-pronged approach-call, send messages, ask what is the problem?
Beverley: Whenever the stats go up on the web, TSLAC can send out a message asking libraries to make sure that their statistics are up-to-date and accurate. She said that Jo Anne could present the proposal for the card program to consider use the courier service for returning items at the TexShare Advisory Board meeting.
Jo Anne reported on the TexShare Advisory Board meeting. She provided a handout of the minutes. Next meeting is the 27th of this month.
TexTreasure Ellen Safley-there will be an adjustment how to deal with grants, etc. including how to provide for them. There will be no change in the Administrative Code. TexShare card use is up. Loss rate has dropped. Ms. Wingfield: 58% comes from TIF funds.
U. T. Austin maintains the TexShare website. Communication Plan for TexShare. We need more information about what it does for the state.
Courier statistics report by rank year 2002. Not in a useful format. Sep-Feb 2003 format a little better. Sue Beebe suggested that we fill in the blanks.
Members decided to telephone those libraries that have not been reporting. They divided up the libraries mostly based on a known contact at the library or the close proximity of the library. We will send to Jo Anne a brief description of how the telephone call went.
We need to convey this message to those not reporting: Keep your commitment and report stats. It is critical to the existence of the program. Deadline: Jo Anne would like to take this information to the Advisory Board so she needs it by Feb. 24th.
There could be any number of reasons for not reporting statistics: a communication problem, a technical problem, not using the program at all.
Review and Revision of Users' Guide
These sections need revising: Updated costs information, labels, incorporate the web stats, packaging must be no less than 10"(after approval by the Board, TexShare card materials?) Lee will make the changes and send us a new version. Marquis purchased by Consolidated, name change coming soon, Amigos.
New Chair Selected
Jo Anne nominated Lee Hilyer. Gerald seconded the nomination. Lee was elected by unanimous vote.
Lee Hilyer gave a presentation on ILLiad and provided a handout.
Need a new date to meet as a committee. Lee suggested that we use a Yahoo-like forum from his institution to communicate. If we have another way to maximize use?
Members thanked Jerilynn Williams for her work as Chair
Jerilynn adjourned the meeting at 2 PM.