Resource Sharing, Automation & ILL Advisory Committee Minutes
April 26, 2001

Present:           C. Briggs (Hillsdale), D. Boyer (Kent), J. Cohen (MHLS), L. Crow (MHLS), N. Foster (PPLD), D. Garofalo (MHLS), J. Huen (PPLD), P. Lackaye (PPLD), S. Long (East Fishkill), K. O’Brien (MHLS), D. Pulice (Pleasant Valley), L. Shedrick (Town of Ulster)

Absent:                        W. Alexander (Rosendale), S. DiLorenzo (MHLS), E. Farley (Haines Falls), F. Rees (Hudson), B. Spataro (Palenville)

Materials Distributed:  Agenda, Minutes of 2/14/01 meeting, proposed agenda for vendor demos, evaluation forms for vendor demos.

Minutes from 2/14/01

            Motion to approve by L. Shedrick; seconded by Carol Briggs.

Topics Discussed:           

Automated Circulation Initiatives (L. Crow)                   

            Hurley and Amenia are scheduled to begin online circulation in May 2001. Stone Ridge is tentatively scheduled for Fall, 2001.

System Holds

            The decision to publicize to patrons the use of system holds was discussed.  Since at present licenses for GEAC are limited, it was felt that this information should be kept low key.  Handouts with instructions may be distributed after the May 2nd directors’ meeting.

            Due to the increased volume of materials being shipped among libraries, it was suggested that one way to save time for the drivers would be to pre-sort according to library before placing items in the delivery box.  If you have multiple items going to the same library, they can be attached together to save time for the drivers who need to sort the items, either on the delivery truck or at Mid-Hudson.

            It was also decided that forward routing of books from the check-in library would be looked at in the future.  It will not be implemented at the present time, because it would be more procedures for the circulation staff to learn and it was felt at present there is enough information for them to handle.

            The issue of control of materials by the owning library was also discussed.  If some libraries are only using local holds for their patrons, they are preventing their own patrons from possibly getting the item faster, when considering the resources of the entire system.  Although system holds are voluntary, the whole system could potentially fall apart unless there is 100% participation among the members.  A report is available for “Holds Supplied” and “Holds Received” and the committee felt the data should be analyzed for each library to see if there is 100% participation at this point.  L. Crow will run this report for each library for the first quarter of 2001.  This will help get a total picture of who is filling requests and who is doing the requesting.

            Another topic discussed was how to incorporate system holds into the data needed for the state report.  D. Garofalo is going to an ILL meeting with Mary Jackson (“the ILL guru”) and will try to bring back information on her views on how to use these statistics— whether they are ILL or actual circulation statistics.

            The issue of overdue notices was also discussed.  Overdue notices (separate from bills) are sent to the checkout library to be forwarded to the patron.  The bills and collection notices go to the library that owns the item.

As far as who should pay for an item that is lost either when it is “In transit” or “Going home,” it was decided to follow the policy currently in effect for other ILL items.  Mid-Hudson will pay ½ of the cost while the library where the last transaction occurred will pay the other ½.  All fees go to the owning library.

The Committee requested that MHLS complete a list of general system circulation rules and policies.  These rules would include when to stop a patron who is delinquent, registration policies before you issue cards, how fees are collected at different libraries and when are they returned to the owning library, etc. 

The committee also discussed the possibility of system wide loan rules.  It would make migration much easier if all members try to standardize these loan rules beforehand.  If tackled on a county- by-county basis, as in Putnam County, this would possibly pave the way for a system-wide policy in the future.  It was suggested that a county-by-county spreadsheet be made, as done for Dutchess County, to see how the parameters actually vary among the members.  In discussion among members in Dutchess County, the biggest issues seemed to be on the topics of loan rules for Rapid Readers, CDs and CD-ROMs.



Workshops, “How to get your ILL’s filled,” will be offered during June.   The schedule and locations have been distributed to each member library.  They are meant to be an annual refresher workshop and will cover topics like ALA forms, procedures and regional protocol for VDX.  They will not cover system holds.

Loan of magazines will continue to be handled by requests for specific articles, which can then be photocopied.  If there is an ILL request for the entire magazine, this can be denied, depending on the procedures of the owning library. 


The following vendor demonstrations have been scheduled: TLC/CARL 5/22, Sirsi, 5/24, epixtech, 5/30, Innovative Interfaces, 6/12.  There will be no “hands on” at any session.  A core group of people who have made the commitment to attend all four sessions has been formed, but anyone who is interested should try to attend as many as possible.  The core group was formed to incorporate libraries from all counties, library size, etc.  People coming to the demonstrations will be asked to fill out evaluation forms so that the four different products can be compared.  Over the next few weeks, staff from each library should try to compile a “wish list” of things that you wish the online system could do.  Book reviews, open URLs were among some of the things mentioned by the committee.

The time frame for migration will probably be at least three months after deciding on a vendor.  This will allow time for database tweaking and training.  Target date is Nov. 2001.

A consideration in migrating will also be the hope that we will be able to maintain the same cost to member libraries.  The upfront cost will be covered by the System’s capital fund and the ANC capital fund.        


The Committee recommends that staff from every library attend one of the ILL workshops in June.  Even if there is not a problem handling ILL’s in each library, experienced staff can share their current practices to help staff from those libraries that do not have as much experience with them.

The Committee recommends that an alert be added to the login screen on GEOWEB to alert patrons that placing a hold does not guarantee that the item will be available.

The Committee recommends that the “Holds Supplied” and “Holds Received” reports be run for the first quarter of 2001.  Based on this report, libraries that are not participating should be approached to request what their policy actually is so that this information can be circulated to other libraries.

The Committee recommends that common countywide circulation parameters for member libraries be investigated and encouraged following the example of Putnam County.  This would hopefully lead to system wide circulation parameters in the future.

The Committee recommends that burden that system holds has placed on the drivers, that wherever possible libraries take the time to sort materials by library.  If all items going to the same library could be double banded together, the sorting that takes place at every stop or back at Mid-Hudson would be less cumbersome.

The Committee requested that MHLS compile a list of circulation policies and procedures.

The Committee recommends that the procedure for sending bills generated by overdue items still be sent to the owning libraries.  If patron does not pay this bill, owning libraries should pursue payment, as opposed to the patron’s home library.

The next committee meeting is scheduled on Wednesday, July 11th, location TBA.

Minutes recorded by Karen O’Brien                                                       May 1, 2001