Ref Committee Meeting Minutes: Apr 2011

MOBAC Reference Committee Meeting

April 26, 2011

Central Branch, Santa Cruz Public Libraries

In attendance:

Jean Chapin (HML), Pam Downing (SCPL), Heather Geddes (WAT), Frank Gravier (UCSC), Mary Housel (MCFL), Bjorn Jones (SAL), Bill Rawson (HCL), Janie Silveria, Chair (CSUMB), Dana Young (GAV).

March minutes – approved.


Administrative Council: Janie reported that Council had a full agenda, particularly in regard to budgetary matters. Discussion included strategies for financing increase in member fees by, for example, using MOBAC reserves to bridge a transition to the new fee structure. Council also discussed future of CalCAT and availability to MOBAC. As the State Library will no longer be funding CalCat the cost will become the responsibility of systems or libraries. While the benefits of CalCat are recognized the cost for MOBAC is high. Options, like the pursuit of a grant, are being explored. Council also proposed the establishment of a group to explore other alternatives. Membership would consist of representatives from all the MOBAC Committees. Frank volunteered to represent the Reference Committee.

Tech Committee: Dana reported that the Tech Committee has been developing a program that would allow MOBAC to record and archive training and other programs. Kaltura might serve as a the platform and the committee would develop a kit comprised of a camera, microphone, etc., that could be used to record programs. This self-serve resource would be made available to MOBAC committees.

The committee has also been discussing resource sharing models in light of the possibility of losing use of CalCat. They have identified a number of issues that be of use to the workgroup Admin Council intends to create as noted above.

ILL Committee: Jean report that the committee will be spending out its funds as there is no carry-over anticipated. Committee membership has been dwindling as a result of a number of MOBAC libraries suspension of interlibrary loan services. As a result the committee is reviewing its charge to see where it might be focus its energies.

MOBAC Strategic Plan workgroups: Progress continues on the MOBAC strategic goals. The Website migration taskforce has submitted its recommendation to migrate the MOBAC website to the WordPress platform. Deadlines for other goals have been extended to June 2011.


Joint meeting with SPLAMBA – A date, time and agenda for the meeting with SPLAMBA were discussed. The meeting will take place on May 17th, from 9-12, at the Salinas Public Library.. The principle topics of discussion will be methods of promoting library databases and working with teachers/instructors. Time will be allocated to discuss other topics of shared interest as well.

Reference budget request for 2011/12 – For the public libraries the Gale database will continue to be funded. For academics a quote for AccessScience has been received and the individual libraries may continue to subscribe or not. Usage figures have also been compiled and were distributed. Whether or not CLSA funds will be available to subsidize the cost isn’t known yet.

Council has determined that delivery and databases are the top priority for now. While the Reference Committee may recommend databases for purchase, Council has made clear the final decision will rest with them.

Final budgetary decisions will be made at the June Council meeting when it is hoped the state budget picture will be clearer.


Expenditure of remaining 2010/11 reference budget – For this fiscal year the Reference Committee has approximately $1942.00 remaining. No carry-over will be available and there are no promises for discretionary funds for the future. Given this context the committee discussed how to spend out the remaining funds. There was a proposal to investigate creating a Gale Virtual Reference collection for MOBAC libraries which would have the benefit of requiring a one-time cost rather than an ongoing subscription (with the exception of a small platform hosting fee) and could create a collection of shared resources available to both the academic and public libraries. Janie volunteered to work with MOBAC, Califa and Gale to see if this is possible.

WorldCat/CalCat issues and workgroup – As noted in the Admin Council report above, Council is exploring several alternatives for addressing the potential loss of CalCat since it serves as a union catalog for the MOBAC system. Council proposes the establishment of a workgroup to explore other alternatives. Membership would consist of representatives from all the MOBAC Committees. Frank volunteered to represent the Reference Committee.


Committee discussed policies for banning patrons Carmel has its policy posted, SCPL has a 30 day ban with a procedure for escalation depending on subsequent circumstances.

Watsonville provides a staff education about the nature and definition of harassment and appropriate behavior in the library.

Gavilan is exploring models for assessment of services in academic libraries. Suggestions included ACRL Value of Academic Libraries initiative and ARL’s LibQual.

There was a discussion about delivery of newspapers to libraries. This is more challenging depending on how far the library is from central urban areas, often an issue academic libraries.

There was discussion of a new tool, Ref A to Z, a competitor to Reference USA.


The MOBAC Reference Committee extended its gratitude and thanks to Bill Rawson who is retiring from Hartnell College Library. Bill has been a member of the committee since 1993. His contributions and leadership are much appreciated.

Respectfully submitted, Frank Gravier (UCSC)

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