Executive Director’s Annual Report 2016
The major focus of this year was not what we expected – deliverIT. Also the CEN network changes were not anticipated. Otherwise it was a fairly normal year. As always the LION staff provided exemplary service.
SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGY
Sierra continued to provide stable service with no major changes. An upgrade was relatively painless and provided enhanced Create List functionality. Overdrive issued a new release of the public facing view which arrived without disruption. Zinio continued without change. We added a new third party application, Shoutbomb, to provide text messaging capabilities to patron accounts in Sierra.
Overdrive again showed powerful gains — up 20% over 2015. While not as dramatic, Zinio posted a 14% gain. On the Sierra side, general circulation is off 7.5% and holds, not surprisingly, are down 20%.
The State Library began to fulfill its promise to provide fiber connections for all libraries in the state. Unfortunately, CEN simultaneously announced that it would no longer offer free internet connectivity, so all libraries will have to pay for their internet service beginning July 1, 2017. We will be very busy in the Spring working out the details of these changes.
LION began installing Chromebooks as the OPAC stations in the libraries. These machines are quite inexpensive and require dramatically less electricity, and will reduce the maintenance load on the LION staff.
LION initiated a “Shared Objects” collection to give libraries access to specialized resources that would not get enough use to justify purchase by a single library. The collection is set and the libraries will begin to use it in January.
Levi E. Coe in Middlefield returned to LION and went live in January. The East Lyme High School gave notice that they would be leaving us at the end of the school year in June 2017.
The Best Practices Task Force began meeting in the Spring, and the Planning Committee commenced work on a Strategic Plan initiative. Both projects were overtaken, however, by the problems of deliverIT, the State Library’s delivery service. After May, much of our effort was oriented towards how to deal with the reduction of service and the growth of the backlogs. At the State’s request, we set a system level limit of 5 holds per patron, and the libraries could not put in transit “new” titles.
For the tenth consecutive year, the LION staff remains stable.
LION staff attended (physically or on the Web) a variety of training sessions including Sexual Harassment Prevention, TIAA/CREF webinars, E-Rate seminar, Overtime Webinar, Employee Benefits Symposium, Time &Attendance Webinar, Excel Workshop, SQL webinar, CEN workshops, CLC roundtable. 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, the CEN Conference, and the Connecticut Consortia quarterly meetings, findIT CT meeting, deliverIT CT Task Force, LION/LCI Study Group. Rick served on the State Library committee choosing the Fiber Install Vendor. I continue as a member of the Southern Connecticut State University Information and Library Science Advisory Board. Rick serves on the Connecticut CET Infrastructure Advisory Council. The LION staff have 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 while continuing to explore new options including Shoutbomb and the Shared Objects initiative.
In 2017 we will set a Strategic Plan for the years ahead. We will continue to work towards a satisfying conclusion to the delivery problem. And, as always, we will continue to provide the excellent service that LION is noted for.
December 13, 2016