News from Albany came last week and it wasn't good - New York Library Association Executive Director Michael Borges shared with NYLA members that the $2.4 million in Library Aid cuts were approved, which will reduce Library Aid to $84.4 million or below 1998 levels.
In planning this year's budget MHLS had taken into consideration the Governor's proposed cut, taking a "prepare for the worst" mentality so we are prepared for this 2010 cut. Please note that this cut will also apply to library's Local Library Services Aid (LLSA) that you receive from the State.
"VetoThon" Results: Stick with us, this one is a little confusing - Last week the Governor took pen to paper and vetoed more than 6,900 items from the NYS budget, many of them discretionary awards made to local organization by legislators, better known as member items. MHLS and 15 member libraries initially appeared to have had their member items vetoed. Preliminary fact finding revealed that many of the vetoed items had already been paid out to libraries and checks had been cashed. Information from the Division of Budget (DoB) indicates that we will not be asked to pay these funds back, in fact, if those libraries are still waiting on a final payment for a member item awarded last year, DoB indicated that if the final paperwork is submitted by July 30 that those remaining payments will be released. Confused yet? We were! Directors have been notified if they appeared on the list of vetoes and MHLS is working with the 15 libraries to determine the fate of their funds.
Planning for the Future: The 2.5% cut is the fifth cut to library funding in NYS in two years. These cuts come on top of a decade of flat funding to MHLS. MHLS has made a promise to member libraries to give a year's notice before fees are increased or instituted. At last week's MHLS Board meeting newly appointed MHLS Interim Director Merribeth Advocate and System Funding Task Force chairperson and Poughkeepsie Public Library Director Tom Lawrence discussed the work that still needs to be done to help decide how MHLS and member libraries can best move forward together. There is certainly work to be done, questions to be answered and tough decisions to be made, but after discussions at the MHLS Board and the Directors Association last week there seems to be a renewed sense that we all need to work together to find solutions and make decisions to sustain core services and help libraries be the best they can be for their communities. What's happening next: The System Funding Task Force will be meeting in July to discuss a DA recommendation for a funding formula and a meeting between the Finance Committee of the MHLS Board and the Task Force is in the works.
The MHLS Board of Trustees held a Special Meeting on July 7, 2010 in the MHLS Auditorium and:
- Approved the recommendation of the Board's Executive Committee and Search Committee to appoint Merribeth Advocate to the position of Interim Executive Director, commencing June 16, 2010.
- Discussed the System Funding Task Force's request for clarification regarding the process the Board will utilize to determine the continuity and/or funding of System services through 2011 and beyond.
The next meeting of the MHLS Board is scheduled for Wednesday, September 15, at 10:00am in the MHLS Auditorium.
The Directors Association (DA) has decided to cancel their August 2nd meeting. The next meeting of the DA will be on Thursday, September 2nd, 2010.
- The Small Libraries Roundtable will meet at the Philmont Library on Tuesday, July 20th. Our topic will be grant writing.
- The Friends Support Group will have their annual Fundraising Idea Exchange on Wednesday, July 21st in the MHLS Auditorium. The group will also hear how the Friends of the Red Hook Public Library made their Big Read program such a success. This session has been opened to trustees, member library directors and staff as well.
Please register online at http://calendar.midhudson.org/
Resource Sharing & Millennium
Dealing with Core Service Downtime: Last week MHLS Automated System Manager Laurie Shedrick distributed a packet of informational sheets to each library director to help libraries maintain business continuity when electricity or connectivity goes down at their library or at the System.
Here at MHLS, we are acutely aware that downtime affects your ability to provide core services.
Laurie has provided:
- 10 Things to Know about Downtime
- What to do when Millennium does not open: What to look for, where to get information, what to report to whom
- What to do when Millennium is restored: When to upload, what to expect
- What to do when SAM does not open: What to look for, where to get information, what to report and to whom
- Millennium Offline Circulation user guide: Step by step start to finish manual. Includes set up preferences
- Downloading the Millennium Offline Client: A printed copy of where to get the client and how to install it
MHLS staff is also reviewing protocol for keeping members informed in times of crisis*. We are also investigating options for business continuity in our building for when the power goes down. Options being investigated and priced out include a generator for the server room and the potential for offsite hosting of our server.
*The MHLS-Millennium Google Groups list is your source for information and updates regarding system wide downtime. Join by visiting http://midhudson.org/forms/listserv_signup.htm
Millennium Data Entry Training: Learn about the top 10 mistakes you might be making! Presented by Laurie Shedrick, MHLS Automated Systems Manager and Karen O'Brien Cataloging & Database Maintenance Supervisor. The Directors Association recommends that at least one staff person from each library attend this training to ensure that our shared database be as accurate and efficient to use as possible. The workshop will cover:
- The most common errors made in entry and the best practices to avoid making them
- Most common misconceptions
- Searching -the best methods
- What goes where
- Item records-format and fields
- Movies, magazines, audio and other oddballs
- What's new in your cataloging, Data Entry world!
Questions are encouraged, so bring them along!
This workshop will be held on Thursday, August 5th from 10:00am - 12:00pm in the MHLS Auditorium. Please register at http://calendar.midhudson.org/
Please Report Broken Holds: Since upgrading to r2009b we have seen an increase in broken holds. Detecting a broken hold is a little tricky but there are a few things to look for.
- When checking in an item you get a message saying "unable to process hold". In most of these cases you will see a bib level hold and an item level hold for the patron who is first on the bib level list. Sometimes the item is already checked out. In these cases MHLS must notify Innovative to cancel the bib level hold.
- Sometimes you will not find the hold existing in any state on either the patron record or the bib/item record(s).
- The newest symptom is that there is no pickup date listed in the footer of the item record, when the item is on the holdshelf, yet the holdshelf slip clearly indicates one.
Innovative cannot say what is causing these unfortunate broken holds, they can only correct them as they report them. We also have an overnight utility that catches some of them. Hopefully as we are up on this release and stable for a length of time, we are hoping that these will diminish. Member library staff should report broken holds to email@example.com.
The Catskill Public Library is looking for experienced desk clerks, someone familiar with Millennium, filling holds, shelving and general patron services (including guiding patrons with using the computers). This would be a temporary appointment to September. Varying weekdays and shifts are available, you will not be responsible to open or close, and a current CPL staff member will be with you at all times. Interested? Please call Joan Miller @518.943.4230, extension 102.
MHLS recommends that the minimum starting salary of a full or part-time librarian with an MLS degree be at least equal to that of a teacher with a master's degree in the same community.
Member Libraries are welcome to submit items of interest and job openings to the MHLS Bulletin: firstname.lastname@example.org. The MHLS Bulletin is available on line at http://midhudson.org/bulletins/main.htm.