Executive Director’s Annual Report 2014
Another busy year. We added two new libraries and prepared for a third. Once again our exceptional staff dealt with everything that came their way.
SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY
Our systems – Sierra, Overdrive and Zinio – were stable this year – no major changes.
Because we are still early in Sierra’s development, we had more frequent upgrades and occasional issues that required special analysis and fixes from Innovative. We added the patron self-registration function which 4 libraries have implemented so far. We also purchased the Agency Holds product which helps the libraries with branches better control their collections. Three libraries added new self-check workstations.
Overdrive continued to serve us well. We added the Sponsored Collection function which allows us to give acknowledgement to donors. We are merging Hamden’s collection into ours as a “stealth” Advantage collection.
Our first year of experience with Zinio led us to renew the service, and we were able to negotiate a 20% discount.
The switch from AT&T to Frontier in Connecticut has not caused any significant problems to date, but we are concerned that the RLAN service will degrade, so that will be a focus for us in 2015.
The Clark Memorial Library of Bethany went live on January 7, 2014. We then transferred our efforts to the preparation for bringing the Hamden Public Library into LION. It was a major effort both from the data transfer point of view and from the networking side. Thanks to the hard work of the LION staff we had a successful launch on July 22. In the Fall we began to prepare to add the East Haddam Free Public Library in a merger with Rathbun. The new dual-branch setup will take effect in January 2015.
LION added a committee to oversee the collection development of the downloadable eBooks and audio books in the Overdrive platform. The first major recommendation was to increase the budget significantly and the Board accepted that proposal.
We decided to provide training in reports and statistics by visiting the individual libraries. So far we have gone to East Lyme, Guilford and New London.
For the eighth consecutive year, the LION staff remains stable. Because of the increasing demand from our continued growth, we add 8 hours to Karan’s schedule so she now has 32 hours.
LION staff attended (physically or on the Web) a variety of training sessions including Labor Law, Employee Benefits, TIAA/CREF webinars, E-Rate webinar, OCLC webinar, and CLA Open Source meeting. Much of what LION does includes a great deal of on the job training which, while not formal, does require time and effort.
LION was represented at ALA Midwinter, the Innovative Users Group, and the Connecticut Consortia quarterly meetings. I became a member of the Southern Connecticut State University Information and Library Science Advisory Board. The LION staff has driven over 30,000 miles to serve the member libraries.
Our strong financial position has allowed us to continue with a relatively low increase in member fees. The second year of Zinio is being paid via a separate fee.
In 2015 we will be adding East Haddam Free Public Library. We will continue our analysis of the network situation in Connecticut, especially for those sites which do not get the service from CEN. We will evaluate products which can enhance the offerings of our member libraries. And of course, we will continue to provide the excellent service that LION is noted for.
December 16, 2014
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