Minerva Executive Board 11/09/16

Meeting of the Minerva Executive Board
November 9, 2016
Maine State Library Studio

Present: Kevin Davis, Megan McNichol, James Rathbun, Shelley Davis, Nancy Crowell, Liz Soares, Steve Norman.
Via Remote Connection: James Jackson Sanborn, Alisia Revitt, Janet Elvidge.

The meeting was called to order at 10:05a.m.

*The minutes of the September 14, 2016 meeting were not available for review.

Old Business

We continued our discussion of the draft Memorandum of Understanding. The User Council members approved passing along the draft MOU to the executive board for approval with one revision. Maine InfoNet agrees to:

Existing wording:
“#3 Remember Minerva in all negotiations and plans.”
Change to:
“Consult with the Minerva Executive Board in all contract and negotiation plans regarding Minerva”

Kevin is still not quite comfortable with the wording…he feels there is potential overreach into Minerva’s ability to govern itself. Kevin referred to the past experience where DVD lending was opened to non-Minerva libraries. He stated that was a change that happened without consultation with Minerva Members.

Kevin also is wary of “1C: Respond to MaineCat interlibrary loan requests in accordance with Minerva and Maine InfoNet guidelines and procedures.” Since MaineCat libraries don’t have the same range of materials as the bigger libraries, ours went out in great numbers, Kevin said. He doesn’t think we should be supporting libraries outside of Minerva.

Nancy agreed that we had to deal with, the issue. Now we can say it goes against our policy. She believes-the new language helps address it. We’re equal partners now

Kevin: But we don’t have such policies and this could prevent Minerva from now creating a policy…this goes against Maine InfoNet’s broader, over-arching bias.

James Jackson Sanborn said he is personally disappointed libraries are being protectionist about collections but “this is not something I or my board are going to stop.” If Minerva decided to limit all collections, then the Maine InfoNet board would step in. There is never going to be 100 percent safeguards for protecting collections. There needs to be a Maine InfoNet role in “managing how the different parts interact.” James said he can’t say there would never be a conflict, but both Maine InfoNet and Minerva are in section 1C.

Kevin asked if we can acknowledge changing environments. Suppose one library is getting into different formats and other libraries aren’t. He feels his “number one commitment is to fellow Minerva libraries.” MaineCat is an issue, with charging processing fees as an example.

Nancy responded that the MOU gives us the opportunity to put a structure in place, conversation or debate puts us at the table. It’s not a contract.

Steve said that the MOU establishes us as a self-governing and self-regulating organization with the authority to establish bylaws. But we can’t escape from Maine InfoNet’s overarching issues as we are part of them.

Nancy: We have a lot in place like committees to deal with things.

Kevin: There are Issues we haven’t solved and he doesn’t want them solved by Maine InfoNet.

Alisia: Given that an MOU is not a contract, Minerva should have better documentation about its policies and procedures. There should be a clear way for people to raise issue and information on how it will be dealt with Now that we have MOU we can define Minerva in myriad ways. Even if one or two libraries is involved, it goes through the process and is resolved. It provides a level of security you’re not feeling.

Kevin agreed but said the MOU still had potential to prevent us from creating policies.

The motion to accept the MOU as amended passed, with Kevin dissenting.

The MOU will now go to the. Maine InfoNet Board for final approval.

Updating Minerva Bylaws — Shelley will set up the vote changing the term of the treasurer’s position..

New Business

Review of billing/payment process—MaineCat

Kevin said Cyndi Burne, assistant director of Topsham Public Library raised the issue and he is experiencing some difficulties in the billing and paying process in South Portland. Should we collect anecdotes? We do have a protocol for payment within Minerva.

These issues include smaller libraries sending late bills, UMO using a default billing price, and processing fees added on. Kevin: “We, have dealt with these issues before, now coming in from the outside.”

James Jackson Sanborn: We hear about it. Maine InfoNet is somewhat laissez faire about this—it’s not something that rises to the Maine InfoNet level. If Minerva came up with a less restrictive, more flexible policy Maine InfoNet could promote it and maybe make it official. Right now, “a lot of libraries don’t have a clue.”

He later added that “It’s difficult to get everyone to agree to Minerva rules.”

Steve pointed out that a new person takes over in any library, they need to be shown now to handle the billing.

Kevin agreed that we should “put it out there,” with Nancy adding that many library staff people may not even realize we have a procedure.

Kevin: We need to figure out how our policies work in the bigger world.

Steve suggested Kevin could work with Judy Frost to create a procedure that would work outside of Minerva. Kevin agreed.

Board communication to membership

At the User’s Council meeting, it was noted that there weren’t any recent minutes posted and the website is not up to date. James Jackson Sanborn noted that the previous secretary posted directly to the page with a generic login. We will post draft minutes and note them as so.


Maine InfoNet

James said there was not much to add from his report at the Users Council meeting. He had sent out the FAQ regarding the OverDrive transition. A meeting was scheduled on Nov. 30 with III’s new CEO and a high-ranking VP to discuss future plans.

Maine InfoNet Representative

Judy was not present.

Minerva Technical

Alisia also said there was nothing new since the Users Council meeting. The hold shelf problems fix will happen in the spring. However, with only Firefox supporting Java applets we may need a new set of work-arounds for statistics. James noted that this is an example of some of the problems we are having with III.


Covered at users council

Membership Committee

Anne Davis has had to step down completely, leaving Steve as the only member. However, Jen Alvino, director of Windham Public Library, may be interested, as well as the assistant director at Boothbay.

Collection Development Committee

Cyndi Burne has sent out questions to the group.

Circulation Standards

James Rathbun said there was nothing new since the User’s Council meeting. The committee is updating procedures to require mandatory attendance but need a consequence. Maybe a prohibition on checking out items?

Cataloging Standards

The committee is dealing with six libraries that haven’t attended their required three meetings and there was only one meeting left for the year. Valerie Frechette has left the committee, but there are three interested candidates.


More bags are needed throughout the consortium. Steve will forward the information to Kevin. Medium-large bags are in especially short supply. Kevin will put in order and Maine InfoNet will pay the bill.

Nancy wondered if we could set up a Tandberg site in greater Portland. James Jackson Sanborn will talk to Janet McKenney about it. He would like to find a new system. Perhaps Google Hangouts with a large screen, good computer and good webcam. With a MOBI account individual libraries can do it. Steve used Google Hangouts for a MOU session and said it worked fine from multiple locations.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:10 a.m.
The next meeting is Jan. 11, 2017 at 10 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Elizabeth A. Soares,