In the turbulent and unpleasant economic climate of 2009, Libraries Online provided a level of stability for its members. While maintaining service at its customary high level, LION was able to enter the new fiscal year with a zero increase budget.
SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY
The Millennium ILS lived up to its reputation with another year of solid performance. When the occasional question arose, Innovative’s help desk was quick to respond.
The usage of Overdrive downloadable audio books continues to rise. By year’s end we should hit 16,000 downloads – a 66 percent increase over 2008. The collection now has 1146 titles. And Overdrive implemented a procedure which allows all of the titles to be transferred to an iPod.
We entered our third year of the continuing PC replacement strategy. This year are upgrading to the Windows 7 operating system which will require some new learning and adjustment, and will force us to deal with a mixture of configurations for the upcoming years.
No major changes in the day to day operations.
The Strategic Plan was approved this year. We have begun the process of fulfilling the plan. Current projects include rewriting various LION documents including the Disaster Plan, the Schedule of Fees and Services, and other policies and guidelines.
The new Libraries Online website is in place. Besides a bright new look, we have updated and added content to make it a valuable resource.
Andy and I visited each of the libraries in the Spring. The primary motivation was to share and gather information for the Holds Task Force, but it was also an opportunity to bring ourselves up to date on the unique characteristics of each library. The results of the Holds Task Force were a general increase in the availability of resources and an orientation towards reciprocity among the libraries.
For the third straight year the LION staff remains unchanged. Andy Gardner continues to maintain the Millennium configuration. This year included updating the loan rules so that each library has a separate set which will facilitate future changes. Rick Widlansky maintained our network connections, including the switchover to a new CEN connection to our central site. Matt Beardsley has continued to facilitate the PC replacement process including negotiations with Dell. As always, Rick and Matt support all of the LION equipment in all of the libraries. They are also involved as the libraries install new functionality such as PC reservation systems and SelfCheck stations. Karan Conover maintained the bibliographic database and provided multiple training sessions for the libraries. Patty Hovick, Office Manager, maintained our financial records and as would be expected, received compliments from our auditor. Patty became a full time employee this year with added duties including website maintenance and printing the notices. Mary Nimani continued processing the weekly notices.
I attended the Disaster Preparedness Workshop at III headquarters. Andy attended a session on the new RDA standard. Karen participated in an OCLC webinar on LC Subject Headings. Patty took a 2 day Dreamweaver class. Rick and Matt continued to train themselves, including an immersion in the ALPS PC reservation system.
LION was represented at ALA Midwinter, ALA annual, Computers in Libraries Conference, CLA Conference, the Connecticut Consortia Quarterly meetings, CLC Trendspotting, and CT Technology Roundtables. Patty attended a Human Resources Seminar and a Labor and Employment Seminar. The LION staff has driven over 19,000 miles to serve the member libraries.
Libraries Online continues with a strong financial position.
We are actively implementing our strategic plan which will move us forward in the coming years. Generally our goals are to maintain a stable system environment while adding cost effective features to enhance the patron experience. While adding libraries to the membership is a desire, we do not want to grow without maintaining the existing strengths of LION.
Currently somewhere between newcomer and oldtimer, I continue to enjoy my role at Libraries Online. We continue to have interesting opportunities and occasional challenges, and the supportive membership and the exceptional LION staff make it all worthwhile.