FALCONS Meeting Minutes: February 21, 2013


Date:        February 21, 2013

Minutes:  Motion to accept November’s minutes: Homer made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Seneca Falls and approved.

 Present:  Alternatives, Cato, Cortland, Dryden, Homer, Lansing, Lodi, McGraw, Newark Valley, Newfield, Ovid, Seneca Falls, Spencer, TCPL, Trumansburg, Union Springs, Weedsport and Rex, Eric, Robert, Amanda, and Jan from FLLS.

Absent:  Apalachin, Auburn, Aurora, Berkshire, Candor, Cincinnatus, Fair Haven, Groton, Interlaken, Marathon, Moravia, Nichols, Owego, Poplar Ridge,  Port Byron, Waterloo and Waverly.


  • Kim’s last day as Director will be March 1st and our new Director Amy Zuch will start March 4th. There will be an informal farewell brunch for Kim on March 1st here in the FLLS conference room from 9:30 to 10:30.
  • Tina announced they have a new staff person at Newfield and we welcomed the new representative and Library Assistant from the Spencer Library, Anthony.
  • Ryan announced that the Alternatives Library will host an open house on March 7th from 6-9 pm.

Old Business:

  1. An update on the common card was discussed. Cayuga County has met several times and come to an agreement on common parameters for the Cayuga County libraries. Those parameters will be in place by March 1st. The Seymour Library in Auburn will also be participating in the common card now. If an Auburn patron was issued a “blue” card they will need to go to their “home” library to obtain a library card. Rex commended the Auburn Director, Lisa Carr, who has been working very hard with her board to allow previously restricted materials to be intra-library loaned. This is preferable as a consortium/cooperative than having to restrict patrons from being able to place holds on materials their home library restricts from ILL.
  2. Linda was not at the meeting to give an ILL update but did provide promotional materials on the databases and the Ask Us services that all libraries are welcome to take and use to promote the databases in their library. Rex pointed out that TCPL has taken over the task of searching for and pulling requested items from Request Manager. This is just one step in the preparation for FLLS to move out of the TCPL location and to a new location by the end of 2014.
  3. Rex gave a credit card update. We have the application and are ready to go. The FLLS board had previously approved the addition of a credit card payment option in PowerPac but has been delayed until the board can approve it again. All fines paid by a credit card would go into a special checking account listing the amount of the transaction by library. A report will be available which breaks down each transaction and the business manager will then write checks to each member library. This feature will only be turned on in PowerPac so it will not be available at the circulation desk. Debit cards can also be used.  This feature is software driven so there is no need to scan a card. There will also be a donation option to allow patrons to donate to the library, linked to the PowerPac page. A motion was made by the Ulysses Library in Trumansburg that the member libraries support moving forward on the credit card feature in PowerPac. This motion was seconded by the Newfield library and passed unanimously.

New Business:

  1. Rex announced we are launching our new website tomorrow. This website is based on Word Press. Some sections are not quite ready yet. There will be a password protected section that will feature Polaris specific FAQ’s, tutorials and documentation. You will also be able to register online for workshops and/or system meetings right from the website.
  2. Jan discussed the training schedule for 2013 and handed out a list of topics and dates for training. She also is working on short tutorials, in addition to printed instructions, on specific Polaris functionality. One on one sessions are also available for new users or on targeted functionality on an as needed basis.
  3. Amanda discussed the newly revised procedure for requesting story time resources. All story time resources are now cataloged and searchable in Polaris. Instructions were handed out detailing the way to search for and request these materials. Story time resources are not visible in Pac but can be found in the staff client. Story time resources include everything and anything necessary for story hour in your library. The Professional collection (collection code ProChil) is material used by staff to help with programming, designing, and implementing programs geared towards children in your library. Once our new website is launched, pictures of the puppets and die cuts will be viewable. Amanda also reminded those present that the summer reading workshop will be held March 21st. from 9:30 to 12.
  4. Rex discussed the birthdate field. He has made it a required field in the patron’s registration record. There are several reasons why this was done. A birthdate is required for any patron sent to the collection agency. Data from this field can also be used to generate statistics on library usage, demographics, and collection development.  A suggestion was made that when a change like this is turned on in Polaris, the libraries should be notified prior to its implementation. That way if patrons or staff have any questions about a new procedure, the directors are aware of the change in advance and can explain to staff and patrons why it was done. Even though accurate birthdates are needed, for the occasional time when the information isn’t available and the patron registration has to be updated, please use 1/1/1901 for their birthdate.
  5. The relocation of the access point to the World Cat database was also discussed. The button now reads “select database” which is a bit vague to some. Can the wording be changed so it’s more apparent to patrons that this is where they go if the title is not available in Polaris? A question was raised as to whether results from a search in PowerPac are now retained when the database is switched to World Cat because previously they were wiped out. Rex indicated that has been fixed in the new release and now results are retained when switching databases.
  6. The Polaris enhancement process was discussed. Each PUG member can vote for 24 enhancements. Polaris then looks at these, puts them in a spreadsheet according to category and then members vote for enhancements within each module. Rex handed out the results of how the FLLS member libraries voted and how FLLS voted. When the PUG votes are tallied, Rex will send out an email with the winners in each category.
  7. Rex discussed Overdrive usage, ePub vs. Kindle. If you have an Overdrive login that enables you to purchase Overdrive titles, you can now see the breakdown of ePub and Kindle formats. Kindle users make up 26% more than any other type of device. Options are to stay with Overdrive or move to another platform. Rex recommends we stay with Overdrive. We have over $100,000 invested in titles in Overdrive that we would lose if we went to a different platform. The goal is to be able to stay right in the PowerPac catalog to download eBooks with all related information available in Polaris. Overdrive needs to be more integrated with Polaris. Some library systems are using 3M which is currently not Kindle compatible. Jen Schlossberg from TCPL cautioned though that there have been issues with the 3M readers. It was suggested we form a committee to investigate other platforms and also meet with the Overdrive representative to voice our concerns and discuss current issues we have with the product.

Open Discussion:

  •  The NYS annual report was discussed. The state has finally released the changes and access to the website should be available Friday. 2 new reports have been created to help you gather statistical information for these reports. They are located in the Custom folder/Circulation and entitled “AA-NYS Annual Report Circ Counts by Collection Group and AA-NYS Annual Report Collection Counts by Collection Group. These reports require you to select your library and a date range. Results are displayed with a count for each collection code and grouped according to NYS annual report requirements. There has also been a change in the way resident and non-resident borrowers are counted. When this has been completely clarified we will have instructions for you.
  •  The Acquisitions module was discussed. Auburn is currently the only library using this module. They have set up Ingram as one of the vendors and it’s fairly straight forward to create a cart online with Ingram, import that cart into Polaris adding tags to the Bib record with the # of items purchased and cost. A purchase order is built and when released Polaris creates an on-order item record and exports the order to Ingram. Ingram then acknowledges the order and then imports the invoice, which is then used to receive the items. Robert added that if the brief Auburn Bib record is the only Bib record in Polaris that matches your recently purchased item, you may attach your item record to the Auburn Bib record, the same way you currently attach items to a Quick Bib.
  • Jen Schlossberg mentioned that Overdrive has initiated a new way to download eBooks called the Overdrive Reader. This allows the patron to download the eBook and read it immediately without going through Adobe Digital Editions. It’s browser based so you can click on the book and it opens right away and it caches the eBook so you can then read it offline. More information will be forth coming as we learn more details about this new functionality.

Meeting adjourned:

Motion to adjourn by Union Springs, seconded by Homer, meeting adjourned at 11:40 am.

Next Meeting: Thursday May 16th from 9:30 to 11:30.

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