DRAGON User’s Group Minutes
Wednesday, April 19, 2000
Forsyth Public Library, Forsyth
I. Meeting called to order
Linda Meyer/CT called the meeting.
Linda asked everyone to introduce themselves. It
was noted we had a visitor from the Sterling Public Library in NILS,
III. Approval of January 19, 2000 minutes
Corrections to the minutes, consisting of the
following, were read:
Section III, C read A. Will probably be based on
numbers at local level. It should
have read A. Will probably be based on numbers of
holds in our system.
Section V, D, first sentence beginning The
Illinois Century Network is a ……installation and a T1
line free. It should have read …installation
and an upgraded data line free.
Betty Lou Hicks/HN moved to accept the minutes with
corrections as read; Gisa Power/MS seconded; motion carried.
IV. Committee Reports
A. Database Standards - Karla Johnson/EF -
Committee met on 3/20/00 in the training lab at RPLS
for a demo of records from Marc of
Quality. Based on what they saw and the
necessary cleanup work to be done, they met again
on 4/13/00 in the training lab as a workday. 200
pages were printed with 18 merges per page,
for a total of 3,600 merges out of 25,401 duplicate
records. Between 3/20 and 4/13 the
committee members processed 15 pages or 272 merges.
This was accomplished over a two-
week period by committee members working during
regular business hours paid for by their
home libraries, three of which were Clinton
employees; and included an additional all-day
workday with five committee members. The Committee
decided this project was beyond the
scope of what the members can fix, and that it is
presumptuous to ask their home libraries to
provide the time and staff to complete. It was noted
ISHL’s and LLCC’s records did not
match up with existing records when their records
were dumped into the Marion database,
and that this should be a concern with any additional
tape loads or dumps. A majority of
merges were new 1999 and 2000 publications. It is
imperative that each library
thoroughly search the database before
adding and importing duplicate records. The
committee had no further recommendations.
B. Finance - Nancy Huntley/LL - deferred her
report until later in the meeting.
C. Policy - Linda Shaw/RO -
Most of the committee’s activity has been
related to generating a "best seller list" (heavily
requested items). Sue has been working with and
without DRA to produce this list. She has
had some success and is still working on the
mechanics of the program. A draft of the
"current" list was circulated and
members were asked to add their suggestions. Linda
suggested using the list in conjunction with the
"purchase one copy per every seven requests"
rule, and asked for additional input and
suggestions for how best to proceed. Mfalinda
Evans/CW read a statement of her
concerns/objections to the way the request system is/is
not working. Quite a bit of discussion followed,
including the following points:
· Only four
months into the trial period of this new policy, but does not seem
· Too many
creative ways around the request system.
going to a three-month trial period where locals deem what is
popular and how
like to give original plan a better chance - four months too short
to determine if
working or not, considering the work that went in
to selling Boards and patrons on the
like everyone to be honest about what they are doing to give the
plan a fair
Re-cap of original plan:
1. will not use local request
2. titles may be filled locally first by answering no
to other libraries’ patrons (by-pass the
3. put holds on on-order records - truly first
come, first serve
4. two-week loan period across the board
5. limit number of days item sets on hold shelf
6. no renewals
7. create hi-demand list to base on
Ann Adkesson/WA moved to continue trial policy based
on today’s comments for the rest of
the calendar year; Pam Bradford/MQ seconded; motion
carried. The issue of creating
dummy on-order records goes to the committee for them
to determine parameters. Linda
asked for suggestions for additions to and/or
deletions from best-seller list. Can e-mail to
Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org,
fax to 217-498-8455 or call Rochester’s main number at 217-
498-8454. Linda will try to circulate
an updated list every Monday morning. Reminders: be
conscious of items left on hold shelf, check policy
files for all loan periods, limit all patron
categories to two-weeks for best sellers when
Revisions to routing sleeves:
all destinations; DRA, system and state-wide
· asked for
input - return to Linda before Monday.
D. Technology - Cheryl Bushnell/LLCC -
Problem with downtime - committee happy with what
(improvements) they have seen.
1. lack of IP addresses for those wanting to expand
2. printing problems
3. security on Network
Committee meeting today from 1:15 - 2:15.
V. RPLS Report
A. Paul gave an update on the Illinois Century
met for two hours with 20 public libraries at Decatur Public
Library (copies of the presentation and current version of the
application were available as handouts).
each public library complete an application and send to Paul’s
attention at RPLS; he will then pass on to Lighthouse
Technologies, who has contracted with the State Library.
application does not obligate membership.
agreements will be sent to each location later, which will include
type of connection.
membership agreement is returned, then will become a member of
currently paying $40,000 a year for T1 circuit and other services
provided by DRA as our Internet Service Provider (ISP). Fax
received yesterday quoted ICN’s T1 connection at a monthly cost
of $280 (the first year may be paid for by ICN). Still lots of
questions, but preliminary figures are encouraging.
· If a
library joins, but is unhappy with service, they would have ten
days to cancel.
addressing the public libraries only. Any type of library can
join, but the special offers are for publics only, at least
· Top of
application asks for typical directory information.
answering "How connecting to ICN?", ask for direct
connection to network.
answering "Type of connection requested?", check the box
"Will need assistance in selection process."
"Will require help in choosing correct router".
answering "How many IP addresses needed" be sure to
count terminal servers, all PCs, printer, print server, router,
then add one or two to total for future growth.
answering "Project needs in future", be sure to project
building will have to complete an application; e.g. Lincoln
Library would have to complete one for each branch. For those
libraries that piggy-back off another site, each site should
complete an application.
returned agreement does not include costs, ask ICN or RPLS for
agreements to RPLS, to Paul’s attention.
· Length of
process is suppose to be quick. Not sure, but hope to have
circuits installed six to eight weeks once agreement is signed and
returned to ICN.
decision to join be based on economics only? Should be concerned
not only about economics, but also quality of service. A T1
circuit is great, but if you are a 56k site that will be bundled
with schools or other participants, be sure to question all
keeping old circuit and associated costs until happy with new
circuit. If not happy, have ten days to drop out.
features like Web pages, email, etc. will probably come from a
third-party vendor. ICN does not provide those.
addresses currently provided by DRA. Will have to re-address
equipment with new addresses if joining ICN.
· Still a
lot of unkowns/questions.
· Do not
fill out an application if positively not joining; if not sure,
fill one out.
· This is
not the only opportunity to join, but the clock is ticking - the
closer to the 6/30/01 deadline, the less chance to taking
advantage of the free services.
B. RPLS Board approved a pager for system
computer room staff, effective 7/1/00. Four
people will take turns carrying the pager. We
will no longer have in-house computer room
coverage on Saturdays and holidays, but we will
be on-call evenings and weekends.
C. The State Library approved our Live &
Learn grant application. Initial work has already
started on the addition of the following
libraries to the LLSAP: Findlay High School, Lincoln
College in Lincoln, Lincoln Jr. High School in
Lincoln, Lincoln Elementary District 27
Processing Center in Lincoln, Mt. Pulaski Grade
School, Neoga High School, Memorial
Medical Center in Springfield, Springfield Art
Association, Illinois Environmental Protection
Agency and Windsor Elementary School. The grant
monies will also include additional
memory to the Alpha server and the purchase of
MFHL software. MFHL is the MARC format
for holdings and will be a piece of Taos.
D. Web2 training was held at RPLS on April 4th
and 5th, and included eight people: Carmen
Epstein/Chatham, Helen Flynn/St. Teresa High
School, Shelley Koehler/Shelbyville, Tim
Childers/Lincoln Library, and Matt, Sue, Paul and
Terry/RPLS staff. A Web2 Committee was
formed and they will meet again on April 26. Web2
is based on HTML and can be used to
create local Web pages, which is not feasible for
a consortium our size. The committee
recommends creating four or five types of
interfaces, to be maintained at the central site, to
be used to search the DRA database and possibly
link to other databases. One interface may
be used by academics providing access to their
Reserve Book Room, another interface may
give patrons access to their own patron accounts,
and so on.
E. An expenditure of money was approved at a
previous User’s Group meeting to send Patsy
Walters and Pam Ewing to DRA for additional
training in their respective areas. We are
waiting for DRA’s new training schedule before
registering for classes.
VI. Unfinished Business
A. Nancy reported the proposed fee increases
would insure the move to Taos in 2002 with
money left over (projected cost of move is
$180,000 to $250,000). There would be an
increase in the database manager’s fee from
$350 to $400 and approximately 5% for each
username. Currently a full username is $500, a
PAC is $375 and a search is $50. With the
increases a full would be $525, a PAC would be
$395 and a search would be $55. Betty
Lou Hicks made a motion to accept the fee
increases as reported; Nancy Peterson/MR
seconded; the motion carried. Nancy also gave an
overview of the Computer Development
Fund Projections to 7/01/2001 handout. Paul
reported two things that would deplete the
projected 2000/2001 carryover by about $5,000:
· OBC -
DRA’s offline backup circulation program can be loaded on PCs
locally and can be used for basic circulation functions,
and then merged into the database. The cost is $2,800 for the
licensing fee and one cd for up to 280 simultaneous users, and
an increase of $28 a month in maintenance. If purchased now, we
could have it in one to two weeks. Nancy Huntley motioned to
approve the expenditure; Libby Letterly/Williamsville Schools
seconded; the motion carried.
Site equipment - purchase of a PC and printer to be used as the
console in the computer room at a cost of around $2,000. Theresa
Cripe/CE motioned to purchase the equipment; Gisa Power/MS
seconded; the motion carried.
B. Paul reported seven people from the User’s
Group attended the DRA Conference 3/5 through
3/8: Linda Shaw, Linda Meyer, Karla Johnson, Matt
Wilkerson, Tim Childers, Betty Lou
Hicks, Paul, and Bob went for the one-day
Director’s sessions. The main topic was Taos.
DRA has a customer base of 700, most of whom are
Classic users, a few use other modules.
Only ten have moved to Taos, none of which were
previous Classic users, and ten more have
contracted to move over the next six months. None
of the second batch are comparible to
consortiums our size. DRA’s goal is to
eventually move everyone to Taos, but it may be
quite awhile before we jump on. Overall, the move
is at least one year away, probably closer
to two. DRA will continue to support and improve
Classic in the meantime, with a new
release coming out this summer. We currently use
an open VMS operating system. Compaq
will continue to support and improve VMS for the
next five years. In effect we have already
taken steps to move to Taos. The first step was
the purchase of Web2; the second step is
the purchase of MFHL; and the third step will be
the purchase of the cataloging module which
can be used with the Classic database and is a
much better product than Netcat. We have
put our name in the running to be a Beta test
site for the new cataloging software. If
accepted, and once Taos is ready, we may only
have to replace the circulation module at that
Next year we may want to pick some alternates in
case one or two of the original
participants cannot attend the conference.
C. Linda Meyer reported all types of libraries have
met to discuss a strategic plan. Their reports
have been forwarded to the Executive Committee.
That committee will do work with each
report and the chairs will consolidate the
information into one report for consideration,
hopefully by July.
VII. New Business
A. Matt Wilkerson/RP reported most libraries will be
expected to print their own notices by
January 2001. He and Terry are still investigating
alternative ways to print/view reports.
They hope to have more to report at July’s meeting.
B. Terry Moreland/RP -
· The merge
of the Museum’s bib records finished successfully.
· Gave an
overview of the overnight batch jobs. Some libraries are open
until 10:00 p.m., so jobs are not submitted to start until 10:15
p.m., and have hopefully finished by 7:30 a.m. the next morning.
1. Request Batch submitted at 10:15, runs
about ½ hour - creates the send item list
and the Request Expired Report.
2. Fine Notices submitted at 11:00 p.m., runs
anywhere from two to five hours -
creates sorted fine notices.
3. Overdue Lost Notice Extract submitted at
1:30 a.m., runs about 45 minutes -
extracts all overdue notice information.
4. Notices submitted at 2:30 a.m., runs about
½ hour - pulls all types of patron
notices together into one file by library.
5. Backups submitted at 3:45 a.m., runs about 3
¼ hours - crucial for restoring
information, recovery, etc.
Not much room for error, and if one program runs into
trouble, others are usually
bumped for the night.
file converts - a file convert creates a new version of the file
with everything in its proper place, no extra space for deleted
records but plenty of room to grow. Two main reasons for doing
file converts: 1.) to increase response time, minimizing the time
it takes for the computer to find or update information, and 2.)
to speed the backup process. System has grown so quickly and
gotten so large that we went from backups taking two hours onto
one tape to as much as 4 ½ hours onto two tapes. DRA has a highly
recommended list (file reorganization chart) of what files need to
be converted and their conversion frequency. There are 23 files on
this chart, four of which must be done monthly, taking
approximately two hours; four that need to be done bi-monthly,
taking approximately two hours; ten that need to be done every
three months, taking approximately 14 hours; and three that need
to be done every six months, taking less than a minute. These
times reflect the actual file converts only. An additional 1 to 1
½ hours is needed for preparation and cleanup work. Two of the 23
files requires an additional four to five hours to run another
program call Index Link, which links everything to the new version
of these two files. All file converts must be done with no
users on the system and the various databases down. RPLS will
continue to keep the converts on a regular rotating schedule as
recommended by DRA, will continue to do as much of the work as
possible in off-hours, and will do their best to keep any downtime
to an absolute minimum. F.Y.I. - backups are now taking 3
¼ hours onto one tape.
C. Linda report all four committees are looking
for new members; Linda Shaw will be taking
over for Linda in July; looking for other ideas
for brief meetings after each User’s Group
meeting like today’s Tips and Tricks being
presented by Linda Shaw.
A. Thursday, May 4, Governing Board will meet 9:30
a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Rochester Public
B. Wednesday, July 19, DRAGON User’s Group will
meet 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at Rochester
C. Wednesday, May 17, Database Standards Committee
will meet at 9:30 a.m. at Mt. Zion
Linda adjourned the meeting.
Titles - 1,431,615
Items - 2,115,251
Patrons - 347,630
Attendees and Summary
Linda Meyer/Chatham - Terry Moreland/RPLS
Paul Johnson/RPLS - Sue Byers/RPLS
Linda Shaw/Rochester - Helen Flynn/St. Teresa High School
Bev Obert/RPLS - Matt Wilkerson/RPLS
Amanda Standerfer/RPLS - Carolyn Greger/Mt. Pulaski
Cyndi Bowman/Argenta-Oreana PLD - Gisa E. Power/Mason City
Eileen Curry/Windsor PLD - Alice Reed/Blue Mound PLD
Linda Perona/Blue Mound PLD - Barbara Collins/Moweaqua PLD
Mary Lee Melhorn/South Macon PLD - Cindy Jeppson/Assumption Public
Ann Adkesson/Barclay PLD - Mary Kleinschmidt/Petersburg Public
Becky Wilson/Herrick Public - Karen Halicki/Maroa Public
Joy Gardner/Maroa Public - Marilyn Gentle/Maroa Public
Pam Bradford/Central A&M High School - Jennifer Slaney/Sterling
Jennie Alexander/Mt. Zion District Public - Betty Lou Hicks/Hanson
Gisela Motzkus/IL Dept. of Transportation - Shelley Perry/Illiopolis-Niantic
Sally E. Ascenzo/Marrowbone PLD - Debbie Bates/Maroa-Forsyth Jr-Sr HS
Cheryl Bushnell/Lincoln Land Com. College - Mike Barnard/Lincoln Land
Marsha Burgener/Atwood-Hammond - Susan Wood/Elizabeth Titus, Sullivan
Suzy Saunders/Lovington Public - Colleen Mitchell/Elizabeth Titus,
Robert Plotzke/RPLS - John Law/Richland Community College
Christine Stern/Decatur Public Library - Stephanie Edwards/Weldon
Theresa A. Cripe/Hope Welty Public - Sandy Reynolds/Greenview CUSD
Larry Orme/Mt. Zion High School - Mary Jo Orme/Argenta-Oreana
Dorla Reavis/Divernon Township - Kathy Goleman/Divernon Township
Chet Brandt/IL Early Childhood Int. Clearinghouse - Becky
Wright/Taylorville High School
Nina Wunderlich/Taylorville Public - Shirley Shaw/Taylorville Jr.
Pat Erford/West Sangamon Public - Deb Sanders/Lincoln Public
Nancy Peterson/MacArthur High School - Joan Rhoades/Vespasian Warner
Malinda Evans/Vespasian Warner - Karla Johnson/Helen Mathis,
Normalie Strickland/Helen Mathis, Effingham - Anita Walters/Sherman
Libby Letterly/Williamsville CUSD - Susan Full/Springfield College in
Nancy Huntley/Lincoln Library, Springfield - Jean Campbell/Forsyth
Jane Schmidt/IL State Historical Library - Mary Ann Pohl/IL State
Academic = 04
Public = 40 (including 2 visitors)
School = 10
Special = 05
System Staff = 08
Total = 67