Conference Chairs Meeting, March 26, 2013

NLS Staff Present:

Steve Prine, Assistant Chief, Network Division
Deborah Toomey, Head, Network Services Section
Vickie Collins, Network Consultant
Pamela Davenport, Network Consultant

Network Chairs:

Danielle Miller, Western Conference
Barbara Penegor, Southern Conference
Catherine Durivage, Midlands Conference


  • Demographic Survey
  • Patrons that were part of the sample pool selected from CMLS should have received a letter inviting them to take part in the survey. Over 1,000 letters were sent. The contractor is following up on these patrons now. So far 56 people have responded from this initial pool. They were given a different URL to access the survey online and may call the toll-free telephone line.
  • So far 1,667 non-sampled patrons have taken the survey.
  • Suspended patrons were included in the list of patrons regional libraries reviewed because we want to know why they canceled service. Of this group, 134 have responded
  • 85 of the respondents are not NLS patrons.
  • Overall the contactor is hoping for 385 total respondents in each category: patrons, former patrons, and non-patrons.
  • We just became aware that some patrons were turned away when they called to take the survey by telephone. Some were very distressed and frustrated to be turned away. The reason they were turned away was because they weren’t needed to fill the statistical sample for current active patrons since the contractor sent letters to other active patrons they hope will participate. The contractor told these patrons that if they wanted to take the survey they could do so online.
  • We were not happy to hear about patrons being turned away from taking the survey by telephone.

Chairs: Can you clarify who can now take the survey by telephone?

NLS Response: Those who received an invitation by letter or non-patrons can call and take the survey by telephone.

We wonder if the network be willing to include some of the questions in their own local surveys. The contractor could let people who called know that their local regional libraries plan to include some of the questions in the NLS survey in their own local library survey and would share responses with NLS.

Chairs: Would it be possible to receive a copy of the survey questions? We would have to poll our conferences to see if they would be interested in using some of the NLS survey questions in their own surveys. If so, are there ones NLS would like us to include?

NLS Response: In particular, there is question about the containers and latches. We would be interested in knowing if they are difficult for patrons to open.

We can send the chairs the survey questions. Some have indicated the survey may appear confusing based on the fact the questions are designed as “trees.” The next question one takes depends on the previous response.

No problem sending the questions out to the network, but would ask the chairs to review the survey and respond to NLS about the feasibility of including sample questions in network libraries. We don’t want to overwhelm the network. Maybe include about 5 questions at the most. We both want the same goal to serve our patrons so it would be beneficial to both if the network would be willing to include some of the NLS survey questions.

Chairs: We will look over the questions and poll the network about including questions in their survey. There may be other avenues that network libraries could take to poll their patrons (social media, e.g.).

NLS Response: We don’t want to imply that network libraries have to assist patrons to take the NLS survey. Understand the challenges network libraries face in terms of staffing. It would be up to individual libraries as to whether or not they want to assist their patrons.

Chairs: Will this be discussed at the open forum?

NLS Response: We will discuss this at the meeting, and if you want, bring up the idea about the NLS survey questions.

Chairs: We think it would be good idea to at least plant the seed regarding NLS survey questions.

Note from NLS regarding survey: Please be aware that this survey is the paper document and contains all the question trees–so it can be confusing. It sometimes appears that a question is a non sequitur, when in fact, it is following another response. With that caveat, the survey attached is the one designed for the web. The one for the telephone asks the same questions, but scripts prompts, suggestions, etc. for the telephone survey personnel. For those individuals who have been contacted by the contractor and asked to complete the survey, the name of their network library (regional or subregional) is inserted where appropriate.

Digital Magazines

NLS Response: The 3rd level of libraries are ready to start the transition to digital cartridges.

Chairs: Two patrons in Kentucky called about a software update 2.1.8 that appeared on a magazine cartridge they received. It is not on BARD. Does this update relate specifically to magazines?

NLS Response: No one from MDD is at this meeting, but the update is to check that the player has the bookshelf feature.

Chairs: Will there be a claim form for digital magazines?

NLS Response: Yes, but claims will not be processed in the way as it is done now. A form will be on BARD/Magazine on Cartridge section. It is forthcoming.

Chairs: Have there been any issues or concerns from the producers in regards to cartridge production?

NLS Response: No problems with the network, but a producer did find a software bug when they used the toaster racks. It slowed down production but didn’t stop it. It has since been resolved.

Chairs: Most questions from patrons relate to the bookshelf feature.

DB Recall

Chairs: Will there any type of acknowledgement from ForSight that a network library has completed all their recall and that all have been received?

NLS Response: Nothing is set yet but will check with John Bryant. Note: There are separate websites for identifying the number of boxes shipped by libraries and received by ForSight. See NLS Operations Alert No. 13-05.

Chairs: The boxes work well, but you do have to pack them in a certain way.

A DB recall survey was posted on the LBPH listserv. Will share results with NLS.

NLS Response: In light of some recent LPBH discussion, we want to make sure libraries are purging items and not title records.

Chairs: Yes, we are sure libraries are just purging item information and not title records.

NLS Response: We are looking at when to announce the quota for the next year. May announce amounts before year’s end. Cartridge contractor.

A one-year contract to produced blank cartridges has been awarded to Alcor Technology Corporation.

Chairs: Will the cartridges be exactly the same?

NLS Response: Should be indistinguishable to patrons and the network. May use the same password protection.

Chairs: Did Alcor Technology Corporation bid on the original contract? Were they a contender the first go around?

NLS Response: Not sure. Keep in mind this is a one-year, sole-source contract. A RFP will be issued next year for multi-year contract.

Annual Survey

NLS Response: You have until the end of week to get budget, collection and staffing updated. Consultants will be calling libraries that have not yet completed the survey.

Interested in finding out changes in cassette collections. Remember, you can keep as many cassettes you need to meet demand.

NLS Chair Meeting Time

Chairs: Can the conference chairs meet earlier, possibly a week before the open forum to give us a time to get information out the network prior to the open forum?

NLS Response: We can definitely look at moving up the date. Would one week be enough?

Chairs: One week is plenty. Consider having it on the 3rd Tuesday or Wednesday of the month. If Wednesday, it would keep it in line with the open forum meeting day.

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