FALCONS Meeting Minutes – November 21, 2013

FALCONS Meeting Minutes – November 2013

Date:        November 21, 2013

Minutes:  Motion to accept August minutes: Candor made a motion to accept the minutes, seconded by Cortland and approved.

Present:  Apalachin, Aurora, Candor, Cato, Cortland, Dryden, FLLS, Groton, Lansing, McGraw, Newark Valley, Newfield, Nichols, Poplar Ridge, Seneca Falls, TCPL, Trumansburg, Union Springs, Waterloo, Weedsport

Absent:  Alternatives, Auburn, Berkshire, Cincinnatus, Fair Haven, Homer, Interlaken, Lodi, Marathon, Moravia, Ovid, Owego, Port Byron, Spencer, Waverly


  • Amy
    • Jan’s trainer position will be filled by end of year.
    • Survey computer instruction and technology class you’re doing in your library.  Has to provide to Tompkins County.
    • Advocacy Day 2014 will be on Thursday, February 27th.  FLLS will let the libraries know about our plans.
  • Amanda
    • If you have any questions on summer reading manuals, email Amanda.
    • Summer Reading meeting will be on March 27, 2014 at 9:30 for meeting.
    • Gaming Workshop is December 5, 2014 at 9:30 in the Borg Warner Room.  The meeting will be interactive with new gaming info and playable games.
    • An Outreach handout about mini grants is available on our website in the Outreach section, online submissions are recommended.  These are for prisons, retirement homes and other criteria listed on the website.
    • A handout on Storytime Collection and procedures for loaning, search tips and info on proper checkout of die-cut, storytime boxes, puppet, etc. is available.  Should check out these items to the card that put it on hold and then check it in to return.  The new boxes have more books and manipulatives so check inventory of the box when it arrives.
    • Linda noted that if kits are checked in and it’s on hold for someone else, not needed for it to come back to us, they can be forward sorted.
    • Amanda and Malia are trying to make it easier to search by pics and box names. Can email either Amanda or Malia for help or questions.
    • Books at the back of the room are free and be can added to existing bib records.
  • Rex
    • Remember to add dates closed to Polaris for 2014 before December 8th.  If you can’t do it, send them in to Rex so he can put them in.
  • Linda
    • Thanks for returning extra delivery bags.  With Thanksgiving and Christmas backlogs, please do not accumulate extra bags.
    • If libraries need their own bags, FLLS bought ours from a company in Syracuse and can provide name if libraries would like to buy extras.  Bags can be imprinted with library names.
    • Fran noted that L.L. Bean has heavy bags in multiple colors.
    • After the 10/31/2013 Novel database workshop Amanda and Linda hosted, 3 brochures were developed and are available at the FALCONS and will be posted on the website.  Look at them to see if any improvements are needed (Fran noted she’d already put this info to use).  If any county can get at least 5 for training, Linda is willing to come out and do training again.
    • Films now on Mango Database for help with language learning.  Started with 4 movies in Mandarin, Japanese, and two in ESL Spanish and hope for 20 by end of the year.
    • Ask Us bookmarks and pencils were available for all takers or ask Linda for more.
  • Kay Zaharis
    • Kay is retiring on December 31st.  Jackie Spoon, the new director, will take over on January 2, 2014.

Old Business

Credit Card Update/Donations

  • Turned on in August, Friday before target date, and been working with money collected on behalf of libraries.
  • Mobile Pac payments are working as of end of October.
  • Paton’s won’t see a payment link if they don’t owe $5 or more.
  • Currently there is nothing on patron page that says that, Rex will look to have that info online.
  • Donations, need to talk about categories and limitations.  Limited to 5 categories and can’t add or change but can rename them.  Current categories are:
    • Anniversary Contribution
    • Birthday Contribution
    • General Contribution
    • Memorial Contribution
    • Other
  • Discussed several possible changes/additions including membership.  Rex noted that any amount can be put in so if you have a minimum donation for membership, there’s no way to limit a membership category to that amount.  Work-around would be to add a charge to the Patron Account in Polaris and send them to PowerPac to pay it.
  • Rex also noted that can’t donate less than $5.
  • Groton (Sara) asked if there was a memo field to donate and earmark?  Yes.
  • TCPL (Jennifer) asked if there was a way a library could turn off donations but still allow paying fines. TCPL has separate way of collecting donations. Rex will look into this.
  • Rex noted that there was a transaction charge of approximately $0.19 per transaction with TSYS (SP?) for credit card processing.
  • Weedsport (Cheryl) asked if patron contact information comes up with the donation.  Yes, donation report will have it so they have to be a patron card holder to donate.
  • Several suggested categories and/or category changes were offered and voted on.  The following were voted up:
    • General Contribution
    • Memorial Contribution/In Honor Of
    • Technology
    • Materials
    • Other
  • TCPL (Jennifer) asked if a suggestions list be put with the categories. Rex will check.
  • Rex mentioned that we may need a disclaimer noting that the donations will be used according to the library’s policies.
  • Amy Zuch noted that the libraries need to have collection development policies so patrons know what’s covered with donations.
  • FLLS is looking to turn donations on around the beginning of the new year so put together policies.
  • TCPL (Jennifer) asked where patrons indicate what a donation is in honor of.  There will be a text box so that memorial/in honor of info can be filled in there.  Need to clarify if it’s in honor of or memorial of so that you don’t dedicate a book to a living person in memorial.
  • Newfield (Tammy K.) asked how notification will be made to library about a donation. There is a donation report that can be run at will to see what money has been collected.
  • Candor (Fran) asked about donations ask for certain types of books?  Use note field.
  • Aurora (Sandy) Need to thank the donor as well as notify the person it’s been donated for.  Aurora has $25 minimum for a book plate.  Candor: Treasurer sends note to donator and family donated in name of.
  • Dryden (Diane) asked how large the note field is.  About 255 characters in Polaris but will have to check size of memo field.
  • Aurora (Sandy) asked if a library wanted to put something on their home page for donations can be linked to this.  Rex: will look to see if you have to have a library card to make donation.
  • Weedsport (Cheryl) asked about payments?  There is a report to divide the money up but problem is that a bug in Polaris software that identifies whose payment it is (donation should work okay) isn’t working.  TCPL, for example, has $1 charge for unclaimed holds.  Reporting works on field in patron account (loaning library), Polaris doesn’t update the field if the book/item isn’t checked out.  Fixed in Polaris 4.2R2 which we’re going to in January.  Reports for fine equalization are not working correctly either.

FALCONS Agreement

An updated FALCONS Agreement was passed out at the August FALCONS meeting for the members to read and approve.  The new agreement has updated language that changes “ports” to “clients,” “terminals” to “computers,” “holdings” to “item,” “itype” to “material type,” and “fast add” to “on the fly.”  Also removed electronic dictionary from Polaris.  Rex asked if any libraries had questions or other updates.  There were none and a vote to approve the new FALCONS Agreement was taken.  Motion to approve: Cathy Sorber.  Seconded: Fran Howe.  Passed by unanimous vote.


It was mentioned at the August FALCONS meeting that PowerPac was not currently compatible with Internet Explorer 11 which is included with Windows 8.  Rex has since loaded a patch to PowerPac and it will now work with Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8 and 8.1.

New Business

ILL Lending Policies

The libraries were asked for current policies on what’s restricted and what isn’t in the libraries.  Linda created a handout (11×17 paper) that included the length of time items are unavailable for ILL to preferred and non-preferred patrons.  If a cell has a “/,” the number after is when they become available for ILL.  Needs libraries to review and get back to Linda with any changes. 

Rex: Tioga counties have 2 months local hold restrictions then preferred, no matter what libraries think because he put it in place after Tioga met and decided on 2 months earlier in the year.

Linda: If you notice anything that needs to be changed, let her know.  Will clarify the Tioga info with Owego and Spencer.  Double-check your Periodicals.  Look at comments and see if you want to change anything.  Please review and get back in the next couple of weeks.  Linda would like to post this to the web in the first week of December.  If policies change, let Linda know so she can update the chart and not have it wait or get out of date.

Rex mentioned that all loan info is updated based on the preferences determined by each County.  SQL job runs nightly and looks for things that have been in the system for the specified number of days and changes the loan to preferred borrowers. 

Holds – Best Practices

Linda is Looking to figure out holds that aren’t filled and why.  In Request Manager you can select your branch name then change “By:” to “Pickup” and “Status:” to “Shipped.”  You can then sort the list by columns using the column header.  Right-click on any item and select LINKS then “Item Record” to see where the item shipped from and on what date.  Linda noted that usually, book never made it to the delivery bag so check to see if it’s on the shelf somewhere.  Ideally all libraries should be looking at their shipped items and patrons to see if they’re either owed a book or should be sending a book.   Linda noted that from January 1 – November 20, 83% of our items are filled within 10 days and 94% filled in one month.

In the Request Manager if you change the “Status” to “Active” and right-click on a Hold Request and then LINKS and select Bibliographic Record you can check “Linked Item Records” to see all item records.  By checking the Active Holds regularly, you can catch problems before the Holds Request expires.

Can use the Request Manager to change the expiration date of a hold or if an item is listed as missing can look for it or notify the library that owns the missing copy to see if they can find it. 

Items that go missing can be changed to ILL if no other copies exist, it meets ILL criteria, and you don’t want to add it to your collection. 

Dryden (Diane) asked how others feel about filling a hold with a different book format (eg hard cover vs. paperback) Fran doesn’t because some patrons don’t like one format vs. another.  

Rex clarified the status “Transferred,” which means an item is filling a hold while “In Transit” means an item is moving back to the owning library.

Linda asked why Item Record specific holds were being made when a book has 40 copies in the System? Using Groton as an example she showed that they have several items that have Item Record specific holds.  Do not place item record specific holds unless you need a specific issue of a periodical or a specific volume.  Use Bib Record level holds.  If you look at Not Supplied items, nearly always item specific holds.  Never place hold from item find tool or item record and never on the physical barcode from a book.   

Aurora (Sandy) is troubled by missing book.  Is there a way to find all missing books that have holds on them?  Rex demonstrated an Items Records Search with Search By: Circulation Status and For: Missing.

Polaris Development Products (LEAP)

Rex spoke about a fork in development at Polaris in the Staff client.  The future of the client is web based and the new client is called LEAP.  Polaris spent approximately $700,000 in outside development fees in developing this new product.  Good news but not free and not fully functional.  Polaris did a demo at PUG although it’s not fully functional like the circ client is now.  They have about 80% of the toolbar client.  We will be moving to it and have until March to decide if we get in on the preliminary round or wait and pay later.  There is a $14,000 buy-in during the prelim but it goes to $28,000 after March.  Polaris is saying if we don’t buy in earlier and Polaris client is out, we’ll have to pay higher price.  There is annual maintenance on the web client as there is the toolbar based client we have now.  FLLS is looking at new servers for 2014 and other add-on products.

Polaris Add-on Products  (Community Profiles)

The February FALCONS meeting (2/20/2014) will have a demo by Vince M from Polaris.  Auburn is interested in Community Profiles which will cost $5,000 for the System plus annual maintenance.  Community Profiles are used to tie businesses and not-for-profits to the library to put information out to the public.   

Groton (Sara) asked if the library has to put in information?  No, can assign permission, via patron record for the institution, and the institution can log in to update their own record.  Organization can even build website within the library PowerPac. 

Open Discussion/Member additions to the agenda

Acquisitions was discussed.  Auburn has been on all year and it’s working well for them.  They use Ingram.  On-order records can be found in Polaris that are created in Acquisitions.  The Acquisitions module does the bookkeeping for the library.  Rex noted that it’s complex, but not difficult.   

TCPL is going on in 2014 with Baker & Taylor which uses an EDI connection which costs $1,000.  Once purchased, anyone on Polaris can use it.  Homer also interested but waiting for TCPL since they also use B&T.   

Trumansburg (Annette) asked if a library is currently using Ingram, can they be set up now?  Yes, however they may need to wait until 2014 as Ingram stops new adds after mid-November. 

It was asked what companies are used to purchase books.  Companies mentioned were Brodart, Audio Editions with most on Baker & Taylor. 

Meeting adjourned: Motion to adjourn by Kay Zaharis of Cortland, seconded by Fran Howe of Candor and the meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:35 am.

 Next Meeting: Thursday, February 20, 2014

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