Ref Committee Meeting Minutes: Mar 2009

Tuesday, March24, 2009
2:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Watsonville Public Library

Call to Order

In attendance: Irene Berry (NPS), Jean Chapin (HML), Heather Geddes (WPL), Frank Gravier (UCSC), Mary Housel (MCFL), Bjorn Jones (SPL), Pamela Jungerberg (PG), Inga Labeaune (MPL), Betty Mason (SBCFL),Bill Rawson (HCL), Georg Romero (CAB), Deborah Ruiz (MPC), Merritt Taylor (SCPL).

Additions/Changes to the Agenda
Under Old Business, add a report on Reference Committee Wiki

Adoption of February 24, 2009 Meeting Minutes
Adopted with minor changes under News to Libraries.
MPL: deleted “Spot-One Provider.” DLI: changed to MIIS. NPS: replaced “Administrative Offices” with “Reference Desk”. CAB: deleted sentence, “$11,000…”, changed “orientation to “network conversions”, edited last sentence to read, “Need to use flash drives to print from laptops.’’

Administrative Council Report (Frank Gravier)

  • CLSA funds have been released.
  • Administrative Council voted on and approved San Juan Bautista rejoining MOBAC.
  • Reports were received from:
    • Literary Taskforce.
      • North Central Coast Library Literacy Network (NCCLLN) has decided to join MOBAC for a trial period.  MCFL and SAL actively involved in this task force.
    • Circulation Task Force
      • Due to the economy, circulation staffs are dealing with more unhappy patrons. Recommended workshops on dealing with stressful situations and patrons.
  • Update from Kin Bui-Burton regarding issues of MOBAC joining PLP:
    • MOBAC membership fees considerably less than other systems;
    • Need for each of four systems to contribute to a PLP reserve fund;
    • Importance of MOBAC committee work, and assumption that it would remain the same;
    • Concerns about MOBAC members’ geographic proximity to PLP members, and how that might affect services, delivery, and participation in meetings/workshops.
    • Kim will be drafting a synopsis of her report for distribution among all committees. A final decision will be made at the Council’s meeting in mid-May.

Technology Committee Report (Frank Gravier)

  • The Open Source Workshop was held on February 27, 2009.
    • It was well attended, had excellent presenters, and was very interesting.
    • An overview was given by Steve Watkins.
    • Two very different institutions offered two distinctly different experiences with conversion to open source software.

Interlibrary Loan Committee Report (Bill Rawson)

  • No meeting was held in March.
  • The committee is working on a budget proposal to send six people to the ILL conference in Portland.  Part of the proposal would include a commitment for participants to share information received with other ILL committee members.

SPLAMBA (Heather Geddes)

  • A Graphic Novel Workshop was held on March 20, 2009.
    • It featured two speakers, a librarian and bookstore owner;
    • It generated a lot of interest, enthusiasm and sharing of ideas and practices.

[This led to a general discussion about the Watchman graphic novels. MCFL has received a complaint. All agreed that the movie was very graphic.]

Old Business

Schedule Training Workshops (2008/09)

  • Heather announced a Spanish Cataloging Hands-on Workshop that is being held in Redwood City, June 5, 2009. If there is enough interest, the workshop could be offered in our area also. A handout was distributed.
  • The Workshop subcommittee did not meet since the Reference Committee’s last meeting.
  • Merritt spoke with InfoPeople regarding confirmation for the workshop Dealing with Difficult People: Making Libraries Safe & Sane, by Edmond Otis. The next available date compatible with Reference Committee members is the 1st Thursday in October. It was agreed to book this date.
  • We still need to present a workshop this fiscal year.
  • The InfoPeople workshop that generated the most interest was: Helping a Library User Look for Work. [Note: It was later ascertained that this workshop is being thoroughly revised and is will not be offered until next fiscal year.]
  • A workshop on library security and safety by Dr. Steve Albrecht was discussed.
    • HML hired him for an in-service day and was pleased with the content.
    • Committee members agreed that more staff could attend a half-day workshop than a full day.
    • Heather will contact Dr. Albrecht and arrange a date, to be held at Watsonville Public.
  • Irene shared that NPS hosted a program on the Internet Archive and Wayback Machine. She recommended it highly.
  • Workshop meeting times were discussed.
    • It was suggested that we hold the workshop during the regular Reference Committee Meeting time so that all members could attend.
    • It was agreed:
      • Fridays don’t work, since SCPL staff cannot attend;
      • Mornings are generally better than afternoons;
      • Workshop should not begin before 9 am;
      • Thursdays are the best day;
      • Avoid the first two weeks of April (Spring break and the joint SPLAMBA-Reference meeting.
      • Target the last week in April

Plan of Service 2008/2009

Frank reported we are “chugging along.” Since we have adopted a two-year Plan of Service, most elements are in place.

Subscription Databases

  • $29,856 is available for databases, according to Donna.
  • Califa negotiated a price of $9,356.72 for Access Science. UCSC picks up $1,570, leaving a balance of $7,787 to be charged to MOBAC.
  • $22,069 is available for Gale database package. This covers approx. 57% of the cost of the Gale package ($38,935).
  • It was suggested that each library’s share be reduced by that percentage.
  • Frank was authorized to draft an email to Donna with our recommendation for how the database budget be spent, and ask for a prompt response.

Joint Meeting with SPLAMBA

  • Date: Friday, April 17, 2009.
  • Place: Castroville Branch (MCFL).
  • Schedule: 9-10am: SPLAMBA meeting; 10 am – noon: joint meeting with MOBAC Reference Committee.
  • Discuss:
    • Our Plan of Service: what it is, why we have it, what we do;
    • Look for points of collaboration;
    • Trajectory of  Information Literacy, from childhood through college;
      SPLAMBA, related groups and organizations.

Plan of Service 2009/2010

  • Donna needs to submit it by April 15th.
  • Most of the work is done, since next year is the second year of a two-year plan. It will be based on this year’s plan with details on next year’s activities.
  • Frank will work on it with Heather, (who will be the Committee Chair next year).
  • A draft will be sent out by email.

Wiki Subcomittee

  • Bjorn and Georg met to discuss a collaborative tool that could retain the Reference Committee’s shared resources, policies, etc.
  • Based on their experience, they selected Pbwiki, a site that lets you set up a free, hosted, password-protected wiki to edit and share information. It is very easy to use.
  • With Heather’s technical assistance, Georg gave an online presentation of the wiki he created, accessible at  The wiki currently includes  links to wiki models ranging from chaotic to free form to well organized.
  • Discussion on how we want to use the wiki included the following:
    • Public site that everyone can read, but limited posting by reference librarians. (UCSC has public and private folders.)
    • Who’s the audience?
      • Reference Staff. (Can have a looser structure and organization.)
      • Public. (Need to pay more attention to structure and appearance.)
      • Both.
    • Begin with the Library Services Profiles and In-House Directories.
    • Consider importing web pages.
    • Consider selecting a focus or theme such as a Monterey Bay Area Resources focus.
  • It was agreed that committee members would explore links posted on the wiki, discuss its use with colleagues, and continue this discussion at the next meeting.

New Business
Meeting Locations, 2009/2010
Use the wiki! A list of meeting dates will be posted on the wiki. Members can sign up there.

Repeat Business
New Reference Sources (books, websites, etc.)

  • Deborah: Encyclopedia of Kitchen History, by Mary Ellen Snodgrass. $190.  Human and Nonhuman Bone Identification, by Diane France. $285.
  • Pamela: Handy Anatomy Answer Book, by Naomi Balaban and James Bobick. $22.
  • Heather:  Online Wilson Fiction Catalog

Problem Sharing/Solving/Trends
Needed: a source on the skeleton and anatomy of animals suitable for children. Contact SCPL.

E-Books: Wondering how to best select them to support distance programs. Net Library: 20,000 titles pre-selected by a group of librarians. Cannot weed. MyiLibrary: 30,000 potential titles, but after 2 clicks you own the title.  Most programs allow only 1 use per book at a time. No one aware of best practices for E-book selection.

In-House Usage of Materials: Discussion of how libraries count the use of books, DVDs, periodicals in-house.  Raised the question of how we increase the value of books in a digital, multi-media world. A point was made that a major trend is libraries as social and collaborative spaces.  Mentioned the need to find/create systems to identify the best, not just the most recent or easiest electronic source to use.

Foreign Language Online Programs: Inquired what was being used other than Mango. Noted that Rosetta Stone is once again available to libraries. It allows unlimited users, but only one at a time. Ebsco can be loaded on in-house computers but the program allows a slender margin of error and in-house use doesn’t allow users to talk out loud. Both drawbacks agreed to be major obstacles to learning a language.

Databases vs. Print Volumes: MCFL is considering putting their Gale print volumes in storage. MPL moved their sets to the basement, and eventually discarded, due to lack of use. SCPL has kept print volumes. A Gale representative indicated that all of Contemporary Authors is included on their databases. CLC is the one source they don’t have licensing for, so if you keep anything keep that. Almost all libraries have retained Readers Guide to Periodicals for historical use. HML is considering discarding old Who’s Who… but then they got questions needing it.

News from Libraries
Watsonville: A traveling art display from the California Rural Legal Assistance is up for 1 ½ months.  Next month they will be changing the following policies: a collection agency will be used to retrieve materials; the item limit for check-out will be limited to 30; the circulation staff will try and stop repeat check-outs; the fine threshold is being lowered to $10 and will be used to limit check-out and computer use.

Cabrillo: The bad news is bad budget stuff and meetings. The good news in Georg has been able to update stats through 2008, and they are now available on the web site.  They are also updating OPAC stations to have a standardized menu on all machines, with 5-6 links, e.g. how to create an account, how to print, course reserves.

Hartnell: It’s all about money: how to save it, retirement incentives, etc. Waiting to receive more financial information from the State.

MPC: The Library will be closed for Spring Break: April 6-10. During that time, all data lines will be down.

Pacific Grove: The Library is still recruiting for a part-time Librarian I. Due to budget cuts, the position is advertised as a limited term position through June 30th.  The City has asked all departments to prepare their budgets with a 10% reduction.

SCPL: We’re struggling with budget issues. ILL may be offered next fiscal year, with a charge of $10-12 dollars.  (Estimates of costs associated with ILL are $25-30/each.) We’ve raised fines.

Monterey Public: The City Manager has drafted a budget including a 20% cut for the Library. Under such a scenario, ILL may be eliminated. Management is working with unions to renegotiate management furloughs for this year. The good news is MPL was voted “Best Library” by Monterey County Weekly readers!

San Benito County: Due to projected budget cuts spending is frozen, and there is talk of voluntary furloughs, and finding grants. However, we are hanging in there and doing O.K. The website is being updated, and our new bookmobile will go on the road in April!

Monterey County Free Libraries: We’re waiting to receive the Property Taxes Report on April 15th to help us assess how deep the cuts may be. In preparation for budget cuts, we are drafting different scenarios: looking at furloughs, layoffs, decreasing step increases, etc. We will be dropping the Grolier databases May 31st, and dropping the McNaughton plan (resulting in fewer multiple copies of titles). May 7th is a Staff Day, so the libraries will be closed. On May 18th, there is a Foundation Workshop at the Seaside Branch. We’ve put “Suggestions and Donations” boxes in the branches, to solicit ideas and money.

Naval Postgraduate School: no comments

Harrison Memorial Library: Our staff day with Steve Albrecht on Library Safety & Security was worthwhile. HML received wonderful recognition from Library Journal. We were rated as a 5 star library in California for our output. Per capita, we have the highest circulation, number of programs, computers and gate count. It’s possible we’re facing a 10% cutback. We will know on May 9th.
Salinas: The budget is still in negotiation. Elizabeth Martinez’s article was featured in American Libraries. And we were recognized by the Monterey County Weekly as “Best New Technology Hub.”

UCSC: We’re facing a 10% budget cut. Open positions are frozen, serials are being thoroughly reviewed, and document delivery will have cuts. No lay-offs are anticipated.

Agenda building for the next meeting


Respectfully submitted by Pamela Jungerberg

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