The NOVELNY Program : Meeting Minutes
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Meeting Minutes

April 30, 2003

10:30 a.m. -3:00 p.m.
Albany Public Library (Albany NY)

Present: Soumaya Baaklini, Mary Brink, Jeff Cannell, Diane Courtney, Bill Crumlish, Marilyn Douglas, Carey Hatch, Dottie Hiebing, Carole Huxley, Cara Janowsky, Mary Alice Lynch, John Meierhoffer, Sara McCain, John Monahan, Mary Redmond, Katherine Storms, John Shaloiko, Janet Welch

Absent: Tom Alrutz, Diana Cunningham, Carol Desch, Loretta Ebert, Phyllis Fisher, James Kadamus, Susan Keitel, Sara Kelly Johns, Wanda Knight, Edward McCormick, Charles McMorran, Gerald Nichols, Marsha Ra, Kathleen Roe, David Walsh

Observer: Lorre Smith, SUNY Albany

Welcome and Introductions-Dottie Hiebing

Ms. Heibing convened the meeting at 10:45 a.m. and introduced new Steering Committee member Kate Storms, who works in the State Library and is in charge of NOVEL Databases.


The minutes of the March 19, 2003 were approved.

Rules of Engagement-Dottie Hiebing

Ms. Hiebing complimented the group, mentioning that some of the strength of the Committee is its ability to work together, make decisions and move forward.

State Librarian's Report-Janet Welch

Mrs. Welch reported on the Federal budget situation and referred to the LSTA handout. Federal funding is in jeopardy if we have a cut in State funding. A 15 percent cut in New York State equals a 15 percent cut on the Federal level ($1.34 million). She suggested that those people who cannot attend ALA Library Legislative Day in Washington, DC, should contact their representatives and let their voices be heard. (Refer to the State Library web site: www.nysl.nysed/libdev/lsta/ for further information and a copy of the handout).

Mrs. Huxley reported on the State budget situation. The legislature agreed on a bill to restore the 15 percent funding cuts. Thanks to the Committee's good work, NOVEL is much more viable than it was a year ago.

Diane Courtney, NYLA President, referred to NYLA's April 29 NYLINE message and encouraged more letter writing.

There has been an extraordinary response from people of New York State and the voices have been heard. Restoration of funding is a first step-but a HUGE step-and we must keep it up. We should be pressing more than ever with our legislators saying thank you for restoration, please stand firm, and that an extra $2 million would keep our foot in the door when temporary Federal money is no longer available for NOVEL. Also important to write to the Governor, as well as the legislators, since they intend to finish passing appropriations bills by Friday, May 2.

Update on NOVEL Databases-Kate Storms

Ms. Storms updated the group on the current status of the NOVEL Databases Project. She distributed two charts that indicated the rapidly growing number of NOVEL database searches. Mrs. Welch mentioned that these charts have been making a dramatic impression on legislators.
It was suggested that the State Library post a schedule of contract expiration dates on the listserv.

Publicizing NOVEL-Dottie Hiebing

One of the recurring responses on the "brainstorming cards" that Ms. Hiebing distributed at the last meeting is the importance of keeping people informed about NOVEL (and the existence of the Steering Committee). Ms. Hiebing requested volunteers for future speaking engagements or instances where members have had an opportunity to speak about NOVEL. Following is an updated listing of speakers, which reflects the new speaking engagements of Diane Courtney and John Monahan.


"NOVEL Speakers' Bureau"



Capital Area School District Administrators - CASDA - (April 4) Sara Kelly Johns
Information Management Advisory Committee - IMAC- NY State Education Department (March 21) Marilyn Douglas
Done: BOCESTo Do: Elementary Principals - BOCES (Sept.) John Monahan
Staff of the NYS Education Department,Office of Curriculum and Instruction (April) John Monahan
Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization - WALDO - Executive Committee - (April) John Shaloiko
NY City School District - Information Technology Directors Phyllis Fisher
Public Library Systems Directors Organization - PULISDO - (June 2) Mary Brink
NYLINK Council - (May) Mary Alice Lynch
NY State Library Staff Meeting - (Oct.) Marilyn Douglas
Queens Library School Seminar Diane Courtney
New York - 3Rs Directors - (June) Dottie Hiebing
Library Schools - Advisory Councils Dottie Hiebing
Regents Advisory Council on Libraries - RAC - (April) Dottie Hiebing
New York State Association of Library Boards - (NYSALB) Trustee Institute - (May) Carol Desch
NYLA Legislative Committee Bill Crumlish
NYLA School Library Media Section Conference - SLIMS - (May) Phyllis Fisher/Sara Kelly Johns



Ms. Hiebing asked members to review the DRAFT "Talking Points on NOVEL" and respond at the end of the meeting. Peggy Buckley will be asked to change the wording of the Gale Health Reference Center-Academic Database to indicate whether all medical (including for profit) libraries can participate. Marilyn Douglas will put the Talking Points on the web site, the NOVEL DB listserv, NOVEL SC listserv, and NOVEL L by early June. Also, a NYLINE message from the Steering Committee will refer people to the item on the website.

NOVEL PowerPoint Presentation-Linda Todd

Will be scheduled for a future meeting.

NOVEL and the Legislators-Mary Redmond

Mary Redmond reported that there has been a good response from the NYLINE request for people to make district office visits to demo NOVEL databases. State Library staff provided demos for the Assembly Libraries and Education Technology Committee and the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. Some legislators have called the State Library requesting followup visits, which is very encouraging. There will be another NYLINE posting requesting people to volunteer to make district office visits, which will include a link to a special NOVEL Demo page on the New York State Library web site.

NOVEL Steering Committee/SHRAB Fall 2003 Digitization Forums

A State Historical Records Advisory Board (SHRAB) meeting is scheduled for May 8. Kathleen Roe will ask SHRAB to appoint a sub-group that will work with NOVEL Steering Committee members John Shaloiko, Sara McCain and Diane Courtney to plan a series of regional forums on digitization issues for Fall 2003 co-sponsored by SHRAB and the NOVEL Steering Committee.

Afternoon Session:

Ms. Hiebing charged the group with considering the following:

  • What can we do in spite of no new funds?
  • Is there anything we can do to get new funds?
  • What will your group accomplish between now and the conference call in June?

Subgroup Report: Access to Electronic Resources-John Shaloiko

Three items were distributed to the group:

  • "Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy for a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources"
  • "Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey"
  • "Access to Electronic Resources Group." The first item will eventually be shared with members of the Board of Regents.
  • The "Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy for a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources" statement is almost done. Need to include language about evaluation before distribution to the entire committee for comment. John Shaloiko will do this by May 7. Some language regarding portal might be incorporated. When it is done, it will be distributed to NYLINE for comment from the entire library community. John S. will do this by May 16.
  • "Access to Electronic Resources Survey" Analysis: John S. and Corey Fleming need to get some final figures to finish the analysis. This could be used as a background document for the Electronic Resources Advisory Group. Once done, the findings will be posted on the NOVEL website and John Shaloiko will then send a NYLINE message summarizing the results and alerting people that the full analysis is on the website.
  • Electronic Resources Advisory Group. There was considerable discussion about make up. It was thought it could be a committee of twenty, as part of a larger committee, with public, academic, school and medical/hospital. The sub group did not include a special library category because of their different needs. The charge will be drafted by John Shaloiko via discussions on the NOVEL-SC listserv by early June. Ms. Hiebing felt it would be good to have this group formed and operating by Fall 2003. A group of specific questions will be available to the Steering Committee at the time of the June conference call, and discussions continued at the July meeting. The new Advisory Group will meet this fall with representatives of the State Library, Office of General Services, NYLINK, WALDO, Pi2, NYSHEI (and Other?).
  • NYLA Conference Program--A panel from the Electronic Resources Advisory Group will participate in a presentation entitled, "Come Meet Your New NOVEL Electronic Resources Advisory Group," at the NYLA Conference (November 5-8, 2003). The first part of the program could be background information on how NOVEL databases are selected. Mary Redmond, Mr. Shaloiko, and (Ms. Hiebing?) will be involved, with planning underway by early June.
  • NOVEL Databases Evaluation.--The group discussed hiring an expert on evaluation. The State Library would need to determine if there are resources to do that. There was discussion about statistics and developing a Minitex style input form, which would be posted on web site for evaluation purposes.

Portal Subcommittee Report-John Meierhoffer

  • Moving toward a pilot--regional basis.
  • Focus would be on materials that would be delivered to the desktop.
  • Digitized materials available from NYS and outside, through State government and Federal government as well.
  • NOVEL portal to exist as a portal along with any portals that institutions may set up.
  • Providing another way to get databases available. Intended to supplement local libraries. (Government Information Locator Service)
  • As part of pilot, pointers to NYS regional catalogs (comprehensive lists supporting the role of local libraries-English/Spanish).
  • May develop a catalog of digitized material. (Federal vs. public domain split)


  • Talked about how to determine users are authenticated.
  • Make sure to address maintenance of effort and scale at Statewide level
  • Discussed how to catalog "digitize" resources-select and metadata

--Future Directions

  • How can the portal provide interlibrary loan?
  • Statewide document delivery
  • Facilitate cross-catalog searching
  • Customize-allow the user to customize it for coming back to them
  • Access to Virtual Reference 24/7

--Developing a Series of Priorities

  • What is attainable and deliverable?
  • What will give most benefit to New Yorkers with the funding available?
  • Portal and funding questions to be explored. Virtual Learning Space (VLS) as a component may have available funding. LSTA funds may be available. If money is not available, perhaps support from regional library systems, vendors and corporate sponsors.
  • John M., Marilyn and Sara will meet with SED staff Dave Walsh, Ann Getman and Gary Kuchark to discuss the relationship of NOVEL and VLS in early June.

June Conference Call

Since a number of key Steering Committee members are not be available on June 6, the group decided to tentatively reschedule the conference call for Friday, June 13, at 10 AM. Confirmation to follow.

Recap of the Meeting

Ms. Hiebing mentioned some positive results of the day's meeting: We're making progress, getting better, and making substantive comments. One improvement suggestion was to respond in a timely manner to listserv messages; e.g., "No comment" rather than no response at all.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:15 PM.


  • Notes out to NOVEL Steering Committee by May 15 - Lorraine Deitz and Dottie Hiebing
  • Steering Committee members will speak about NOVEL to public groups (ongoing)
  • Talking Points on website, early June - Marilyn Douglas
  • "Selection, Acquisition, and Marketing Policy for a Statewide Approach to Electronic Resources" statement on NYLINE, by mid-June - John Shaloiko
  • Electronic Resources Needs Assessment Survey posted to NOVEL website, NYLINE message sent by mid-June - John Shaloiko
  • Access to Electronic Resources Assessment Group charge developed by mid-June - John Shaloiko
  • Portal group will meet with SED Virtual Learning Space leaders to discuss relationship by early June - John Meierhoffer
  • NYLA Program on NOVEL planning underway by early June - Mary Redmond and ?

CONFERENCE CALL: Tentatively rescheduled for 10 AM, Friday, June 13, 2003.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, July 8, 2003, NYLINK Office, Albany, NY