Conference Chairs Meeting, September 23, 2015

Recorded by: Will Reed

NLS Staff Present:

Karen Keninger, Director
Richard Smith, Chief, Network Division
Steve Prine, Assistant Chief, Network Division
Vickie Collins, Head, Network Services Section
Michael Martys, Automation Officer
Meredith Beckhardt, Head, Reference Section
Michael Katzmann, Chief, Materials Development Division

Network Chairs:

Will Reed, Midlands Conference
Kim Charlson, Northern Conference
Susan Westin, Western Conference
Pat Herndon, Southern Conference (for Shellie Zeigler)

Conference Chair Questions and Issues:

Midlands: Thank you to NLS for posting a recording of the August National Teleconference call to the Network Documents page, and for recording and posting future monthly national conference call meetings.

NLS Response: Thank you.

Midlands: Feedback was received from Midlands Conference members following the August National Teleconference call. For discussion:

  • If Conference Chairs have presented NLS discussion items and questions from their respective conferences so NLS is prepared during the next national conference call to respond, why is NLS insisting the person who originated a question ask it again during the national teleconference forum?
  • Instead, can NLS consider acknowledging that they received concerns or questions during the Conference Chairs meeting, and have NLS staff respond to it as part of the national conference call?

NLS Response: NLS was asking this so clarification questions from NLS staff could be asked during the national conference call. NLS feels that they can review the questions during the national call, and further clarification can be sought out if needed with the originating library if they are present during the call or by Conference Chairs if necessary.

  • Are Conference Chairs presenting concerns from the network correctly or does NLS have another preference to receive these concerns? Any reservations?

NLS Response: This way of presenting concerns and questions is fine, and NLS has no reservations about doing it this way.

Midlands: Is there a progress report on cases for the peach cartridges?

NLS Response: Containers are being manufactured at the moment. The next step is having 200 pieces checked for quality assurance. NLS hopes to ship peach containers by the end of October.

Northern: Could network libraries be provided with some background surrounding the BARD outage and subsequent activities?

NLS Response: Library of Congress (LOC) had to power down data centers to check equipment and hardware. There are hundreds of computers to power down and then power back up. NLS tested BARD at noon on Sunday, and reported to LOC it was looking good. But LOC did not power BARD back up since LOC powers up all of their other data centers together. This dragged through Tuesday. Eventually, it was discovered that the problem was more serious than LOC realized. Basically, one of LOC’s larger storage center systems that should not fail, did fail, and it was being repaired. A decision was made to switch to a backup emergency computer system - a big decision to make. The repair was going way slower than everyone – NLS, LOC, repair contractor - anticipated. BARD has 10TB of data storage – one of LOC’s biggest. When BARD was up and running, it maxed out the LOC internet connection when it was turned back on because of usage – NLS reported that this is one of BARD’s busiest days for downloads. As a result and for future precautions, NLS is working on a better internal communication system, as well as working on a BARD ‘in the cloud.’ NLS will offer an overview during the next conference call.

Northern: Can anything be done about the BARD Admin Page being delayed and hanging up when it loads?

NLS Response: NLS will investigate this problem.

Northern: Can NLS try to provide email notifications when monthly BARD statistics are posted for download?

NLS Response: Yes. NLS is reviewing and considering alternative methods to deliver reports due to the increasing size of the reports.

Southern: We have about 300 DS1 machines received during the initial DTBM rollout that have been sitting unopened on the shelf for years now. We get enough incoming machines to reuse that we have never had to open them. Does NLS want them back?

NLS Response: NLS is looking at different scenarios for dealing with this and testing solutions. Presently, NLS does not have any room for the machines and libraries are advised to not return them to NLS.

Southern: We have discovered 4 patrons so far who requested we cancel a particular magazine for them. We have cancelled the magazine in WebReads and cancelled it repeatedly in CMLS, but it comes back after the next extract. For 3 of the patrons the mags are audio mags that are also their trigger magazine. The 4th patron has a braille mag that won’t go away. Has anyone else had this problem? (I have emailed Mike Martys a couple times about this, but have not heard anything back.)

NLS Response: NLS is asking that libraries encountering these issues to contact their network consultant, and please have examples ready including patron names. NLS will help network libraries troubleshoot and resolve the problem.

Southern: When we have patrons transfer in from another library, very often the previous library forgets to initiate a transfer in BARD and we have to call to ask them to do so. Could a function be added to BARD so that the new library can somehow initiate a transfer from the old library in BARD?

NLS Response: NLS will investigate adding a method to help facilitate communications between transferring libraries.

Western: We were wondering if other network libraries are encountering the same or increased levels of delinquencies with regard to MOCs. It seems that either National Audio is accumulating big backlogs of items to process or else the postal service is getting slower and slower. Does NLS have a QA process for assessing the magazine on cartridge program?

NLS Response: Yes. NLS has a QA process. MOC distribution centers have been instructed by NLS to process materials within a few business days. Network libraries experiencing these problems should contact their consultant.

Western: Besides comments from other patrons this library has subscribed to several MOCs so that staff can follow the process for how long it takes for items to be returned to NAC. Sometimes it can take 4-6 weeks for a returned item to be checked back in thus a “delinquent” status. I’m not sure how to frame the question other than how is NLS assessing the effectiveness of the MOC program or how are they assessing National Audio Company’s and USPS’ performance?

NLS Response: NLS will investigate these delays.

Western: What is the status of PIMMS?

NLS Response: PIMMS has been up and running since 2014. Twenty-nine Web-READS libraries are running PIMMS. NLS cannot move any further with PIMMS until the other automation systems are ready. KLAS is working with Data Management on a pilot and roll-out. CUL is expecting a beta test at the end of the year.

Western: An update is requested on how the NLS plans to align currency of its BARD app with iOS updates. I know that part of the NLS’s dilemma is with budgeting app updates in alignment with Apple; however, if there are going to be ongoing deficiencies with the BARD app due to iOS updates (or vice versa), I believe this knowledge needs to be defined and widely shared. As of now, my understanding is that in order not to lose some functionality, the BARD app user needs to forego the iOS update(s). I could see where this “update misalignment” could prove distracting to some users in the long run. Also, it would be interesting to know if such misalignment may, also, occur with the Android app.

NLS Response: The current contract will expire in September 2016. NLS is taking a different approach to the next contract for iOS that will feature maintenance and enhancements. NLS will add tasks for developing new updates for iOS. Testing is time consuming and extensive, and takes the bulk of the time and expenses. In the future, NLS will take on testing. The new contract should be more flexible and allow for a quicker turnaround with iOS. The Android app is quick on changes and turnover because it is an in-house app at NLS.

Western: Requesting phrasing from NLS staff to use in justifying the lodging costs for the 2016 Biennial in San Francisco. The U.S. General Services Administration FY 2016 Max lodging rates (excluding taxes) for San Francisco are $250 (the Conference lodging rate will be $289 excluding taxes). These numbers are fairly close. I am sure exceptions are occasionally allowed and thought the NLS could provide advice on justification phrasing.

NLS Response: NLS will provide some phrasing.

Western: The Carnegie Long List ( has just been announced. Will NLS be recording all or the majority of the books nominated in the fiction and non-fiction categories?

NLS Response: A majority of the titles are already in the collection or in process. NLS Collection Development will review any remaining titles for consideration.

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