FALCONS Meeting Minutes – August 2014

FALCONS Meeting Minutes – August 2014

Date:  Aug. 21, 2014

Present: Auburn, Aurora, Candor, Cato, Cortland, Dryden, FLLS, Groton, Homer, Interlaken, Newark Valley, Newfield, Nichols, Ovid, Poplar Ridge, Seneca Falls, TCPL, Trumansburg, Weedsport

Absent: Alternatives, Apalachin, Berkshire, Cincinnatus, Fair Haven, Lansing, Lodi, Marathon, McGraw, Moravia, Owego, Port Byron, Spencer, Union Springs, Waterloo, Waverly


Linda reported an increase in incorrectly checked out out-of-system ILLs.  Please be sure staff know how to do this and call Linda for any renewal requests.

Amy discussed joining NYLA as an organization. NYLA has a new pay scale schedule making it more affordable for small libraries. She is willing to come talk to any library boards about this.

Amanda reminded everyone that Summer Reading Statistics are due on 9/13. Please fill the form out online. The New Media for Story Time workshop is Sept. 24th.

Kristi reminded member libraries that nominations for awards were due on Friday, 8/29.

Minutes: Motion to accept May minutes: Fran Howe, Candor made a motion to accept the minutes, Libbie Messina of Cato seconded. Motion approved.
Old Business

Credit Card Distribution:

Rex received a second version of the report, which was still not correct. Elaine will be going through the years’ worth of transactions by hand and sending checks out to libraries for fines paid by credit card.

Rex again reminded directors to be sure to run the credit card donation report to know who has made donations this way and to send an acknowledgement. 

The posted credit card payment report will tell how many credit card payments your library has received.


Polaris Leap will be going on the training server for testing soon. This is the circulation module that is web based. It will work with a tablet. Receipt printing will have to be wireless from tablets. Patrons’ registration can be set up to receive e-receipts so that printing isn’t required. 

One month after the last Polaris upgrade, it was discovered that the order libraries were requested to provide holds in request manager was no longer random, but alphabetical. So, libraries at the beginning of the alphabet were seeing an increase in hold requests.  This is now a bug with Polaris. They are working on fixing it. Hopefully it will be fixed soon.

Release of Polaris 5.0 is due this fall.  It will occur before we go on Polaris Leap.

Bulk Computer Purchases:

Some computers will be sent in delivery. Computer staff will come to install staff computers and libraries receiving a large number of computers. If you haven’t sent your Microsoft Office license keys in  yet, please do so.

Also, some printers may not have drivers available for Windows 8.1.

Lisa asked if tablets will be available for purchase in the next bulk purchase. Tablets have not yet been priced. The question was raised as to whether there is a recommended tablet for libraries to use. Polaris says tablets need an HTML 5 compatible browser. Rex will put out a list of recommended tablets. 

Printing receipts from a tablet can be done with a shared printer. This option is not preferable according to Rex. It also can be done with a printer with a network card. With tablets, libraries may want to put the receipt printer as the default printer.

New Business

Draft Budget for CNS:

Explanation of items on the budget:

The acquisition of the license for Power Pacs is due every 2 years.
Polaris Software maintenance is estimated based on what Rex thinks the increase will be.
A/C maintenance was decreased, as the new building will have a dedicated a/c for the computer room.
Travel and Training was increased as the PUG will no longer have a conference. It will be combined with IUG and will be in Minneapolis rather than Syracuse.
Reserves will need a slight increase.
Telecommunications – expect a slight decrease.

Revenues need a  5% increase, which comes through Polaris fees to member libraries.
The draft budget shows 2015 projected fees to member libraries. Rex will send the budget out as a digital form.

Polaris Servers:

The system has had the current servers for 5 years. The Operating system is Win 2008 server. It needs to be upgraded. Currently there is only one production server, so upgrading is difficult. 

Options are:

Buying a new server from Polaris for ~ $45,000.  This would be two servers with a shared drive. It gives room for growth. And if something happened to the host server, everything could shift to the 2nd and be up and running in 5 minutes.

Scale computers sells Dell servers which run on Lynix. Each server has 4 drives and if one host fails the other 2 pick up. It costs ~$40,000. The interface is less complex. Rex is looking at the 2nd option closely. It has 5 years supply and hardware maintenance.

Rex will make a decision in the next couple of weeks.

Deep Freeze Security:

With Deep Freeze you need to reboot thawed for updates to take before rebooting frozen. 

 Boot thawed
 Apply and reboot
 And then boot frozen.

Eric will send out a handout. If libraries use Deep Freeze Console, that has different instructions. Eric will write instructions and send them out, but it is similar to the above.

New computers will have Deep Freeze Console on them.

System Wide Common Card:

The current hold-up on the system wide card is writing policies for circulation, fines etc. Rex has templates from other systems for these policies. He will take the basics and send to the FALCONS Listserv. Member libraries can then give input.

Each group of county libraries should meet to go over Rex’s draft. Rex would like one response per county.

Registrations forms should be updated to add information on school district.

Streaming video:

TCPL introduced the discussion of adding streaming videos to the FLLS collection, either through Overdrive or another source.  They would like to purchase 10-12 titles through Overdrive and see how they circulate. Concerns include how to advertise and measure success.

Doing this through Overdrive would require Overdrive redesigning the site to accommodate streaming. Questions included:

Does Overdrive have a good enough selection?
Would it be one user/one title?
Would there be control of the check out time?
Would the staff be able to test it first?
How long from when a title comes out on DVD before it’s available for streaming?

Hoopla would be another option. They charge per circulation, ~ $1.99/circ. Overdrive is about $30.00/title. Hoopla would have a better selection. Onondaga County uses Hoopla.
Questions included:

Is there any way to limit per person use?
What kind of message would a patron receive if a library had used up its allotted budget for any given month to stream any videos?

Rex will check with Overdrive. Amanda will check with Hoopla. 

Discussion also included changes to policies possibly needed due to streaming in the library and the negative impact in library streaming could have on bandwidth use in the library.

Rex again mentioned that libraries may, in the future, need to pay for internet in order to get something more robust to allow for increased internet use like streaming.

Open discussion:


TCPL is circulating Realia including: Kill-a-watt, infrared thermometers and basic tool kits.
Dryden circulates American Girl Dolls.


Friends of Seymour Library are having Katherine Switzer speak on Oct. 19th at 6:30 pm. She is the first woman to run the Boston Marathon.

There will be training for Windows 8.1 soon. Andrea asked the members take the training survey by Sept. 1.

Diane reminded members that grants are available through Poets and Writers.

Meeting adjourned: Motion to adjourn by Annette Birdsall, Trumansburg, seconded by Libbie Messian of Cato. Meeting adjourned at 11:30 am. Motion passed.

Next Meeting: Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. 

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