CTLC Meeting at UT Arlington Library on January 24, 2013

The second meeting of the CTLC was held at the University of Texas at Arlington Library
(702 Planetarium Place · Arlington, TX 76019) on January 24, 2013 from 10 am to 4 pm.

The following is the meeting summary notes that were distributed via the CTLC listserv:

CTLC Planning Meeting Summary

January 24, 2013 at the University of Arlington

1. Introductions
a. Barbara Halbert
i. Experience in the past as a library consortium director in Georgia for the Associated Colleges of the South.
1. A focus for that consortium was shared electronic library resources, because they were so scattered.
2. Barbara.halbert@unt.edu
ii. Spencer Keralis
1. New Digital Humanities Colloquium in the North Texas area.
2. Spencer and Tim Cassidy at SMU have created this colloquium to have a more stringent dialogue about digital humanities and projects.
3. The first event took place at UNT with Andrew Torget, who created a digital humanities tool, facing off with a student who used the tool for his dissertation and pointing out the pros and cons.
4. Future talk will have Ryan Cordell mapping viral text through networks of reproduction in periodicals across the 19th century.
a. Feb.7 at 6:30 at SMU
5. The third event is being planned at UT Dallas around digital tools in pedagogy in humanities.
6. https://disco.unt.edu (DiSCo website with info for the Colloquium)
7. Other activities currently going on:
a. The Denton Declaration: An Open Data Manifesto
b. Future of Academic Publishing, the 4th event in UNT’s Open Access Symposium series
c. DataRes Project, brief survey on data management
2. Recap of first CTLC meeting
a. Refer to previous meeting minutes
3. CTLC Website
a. A way to share information, a chance to write up articles and reports on current projects, and a communal hub of information. A clearinghouse of information.
b. In its start-up phase currently, and a mock-up is available for an example of possible uses.
c. A chance to list event information, key people and contact information, and any relevant links you’d like to add.
d. Because we’re located physically near each other, it is likely that training opportunities or professional development events could be shared and of interest to all others in the area. This is a great tool to advertise!
e. Discussion
i. Could the recent update part be made into an RSS feed? There is a lot of interest for this.
ii. A calendar of events could be useful to see upcoming events.
iii. There was a preference expressed to just send the information to be posted, rather than each individual institution posting their own information. Or perhaps a small, trained group in charge of posting, for sustainability.
iv. The website will certainly evolve and adapt as it becomes more clear what the CTLC will be.
4. Needs Assessment for the CTLC
a. We are interested in exploring exactly what the institutions need from a consortium, or what their priorities are. In addition to what is going on in the library, it would be helpful to know what is going on, on campus, and how CTLC might be able to support the institution as a whole.
b. As an information-gathering endeavor, would it be best to do an online survey, or set up individual calls between Barbara and library representatives to discuss needs?
i. Online survey is best.
c. Shared Space
i. Example: TWU and UNT cooperation. TWU had resources that UNT offered to store in their remote storage locations, which TWU appreciated. In the end, TWU opted to keep their materials at TWU.
ii. UNT and TWU are also discussing merging currently owned serial resources. There is no point to two universities set a mile away owning their own copies when they could share a single resource. It will safe both money and space.
1. Sharing data on costs of serial per use would be very interesting and helpful. Making decisions in a vacuum is difficult, and unnecessary when we have partners to rely on for shared information.
d. Contract negotiations and budgets
i. All state employees are not allowed to advocate, but we can educate each other and our communities regarding the current state of funding.
e. Shared Resources
i. Recently, TWU was working to renew a contract with a vendor, and they were allowed to compare contracts with other regional libraries, and improve their stance in negotiations. Group purchasing, also, could improve pricing.
ii. Community colleges are curious about what the 4-year institutions are doing with their microfilm.
1. We’re seeing significant drop-offs in usage, and as digital alternatives become available, they become a more popular alternative.
2. This moves into the question of duplication of resources in multiple formats, and is it necessary to have both versions? UNT recently addressed this to reduce duplications, but had to rely on anecdotal evidence rather than statistics.
3. UNT’s newspaper collection includes a great deal of microfilm also, but are showing a preference for digitization where possible. They find it much easier to leverage the collection to other prospective users and donors with the digital resources. Digital also sidesteps some ownership and copyright issues when you start looking at multiple “owners”, as would be the case in a consortium.
f. Assessment
i. UNT has tried to get Megan Oakleaf (author of Value of Academic Libraries) to come speak, but she is in too high demand to speak to just one institution. It might be possible to have her speak to a consortium event, however. Or a different speaker on a similar subject to help the libraries develop valuable assessment plans.
ii. Current ongoing project at UNT on information literacy (information on CTLC website), working with Denton schools, public libraries, and universities to track and create programming to improve information literacy among students throughout their educational careers.
iii. TWU and other universities in the region have already started arranging speakers on assessment. The first event will take place in April. They had a similar problem with getting Megan Oakleaf.
iv. The Texas Library Association will have a number of programs in Fort Worth on assessment. Jim Self will be speaking, and the titles of his programs are Beyond Tallies and Questionnaires: 21st Century Library Assessment and The Balanced Scorecard: Assessing Value and Worth.
g. Special Groups
i. Grouping together to arrange events for health libraries, special libraries, and other specific-interest institutions.
ii. Dividing into professional role tracts, as well, might be advantageous. Give ILL librarians, catalogers, RIS librarians, assessment librarians, etc. a chance to come together for consortium meetings, so employees from all the different institutions don’t remain isolated, but have a network for sharing information.
1. This has happened in the past and been advantageous. The program dissolved because of push-back from deans for the travel costs. With trust in staff and allowances for the travel, it is likely the payoff would far outweigh the costs. And making it a requirement gives it more weight and import than simply making it a suggestion.
2. When should these meetings take place?
a. Not at the beginning of the semester, other than that, just plan well in advance and hope for the best.
3. The Science and Engineering Libraries of Texas have started hosting conferences that already do something similar. So we should explore overlap. Perhaps being more proactive in sending our employees to these groups that already exist is a possibility.
4. Archives: SSA has a small archival group that covers six states which hosts events and conferences, but perhaps we could regionally replicate these events for those who couldn’t afford to go.
a. Mentioned that it’s important to not forget the special groups when thinking of the broader subject groups, like collection development.
b. Additionally, there are book historians and other people who could provide a valuable service outside of the library field and instead in the English or History fields.
c. Support for preservation for archive groups in other libraries from the members who are strong in preservation (like UNT) would also be a beneficial partnerships.
h. TexShare replacement possibilities, planning for the inevitable
i. These resources are going to need to be replaced when TexShare loses funding, and if we can get mobilized, we could cover the costs together by purchasing as a consortium.
1. Do people feel comfortable to share purchasing responsibilities though, especially the schools like UTA, who are members of a much larger system?
a. A survey has been conducted at UT system on data and purchasing data. It has shown advantages of shared buying. There are definitely opportunities, but more thought needs to be given to how to pay and share money.
ii. Another advantage of TexShare is the courier service. If there is an alternative service we could come up with as a cost, there is interest in knowing the cost and possibilities.
i. Entrepreneurship in Libraries
i. Libraries much provide so many new services and programs, but we have less funding. So how can we work on renovations, go after grant money, and get new innovative ideas to market ourselves better. Perhaps having a consultant or expert give a workshop on this topic would be beneficial.
ii. On a similar topic, librarians could benefit from more knowledge in how to market themselves.
iii. UTA would be very interested in a joint project on hosting an event on risk-taking and innovation. Not just libraries, but open it to business schools and other departments to share responsibilities of cost, and also benefit from the cross-pollination of ideas and perceptions.
1. A goal would be to work on strategies that help us help our staff to make these changes.
2. There is likely grant funding available for a national event for this.
iv. The consortium could also sponsor an award to a member who exemplifies the traits of an entrepreneur, to encourage and incentivize this type of thinking and behavior.
j. Reproducing or creating digital events
i. Hiring a videographer or buying webinar software to record virtual events for everyone to view or participate in could be a possibility.
ii. And how do we add the content that’s already created, or record the information from existing groups on the website, so everyone can access it? This cache of information would be great for new hires too, to help them catch up or plug in to existing groups that could be a learning resource.
k. Leveraging successes and failures
i. An endeavor that has succeeded at one institution could be redone, collaboratively, at other institutions.
5. Grant Opportunities
a. Most grants now require a collaborative effort. Creating a group that explores what grants are out there and available is a first step, so that the collaborative aspect is already in place before it’s too late to hunt down partners and get the writing done before the deadline.
b. A current grant has been going on with the digital mapping project between UNT Digital Libraries and UTA group. This came about by collaboratively applying for an NEH grant, which allowed the digitization to happen at UNT, while the metadata creation and physical storage happen at UTA. The result has been a very rich map collection enabling students and faculty at UTA to do innovative research and UNT individuals to have access to new resources they could otherwise never get to. These unique resources are no longer limited to purely physical access in only one single group.
c. TSLAC Opportunity
i. Handout provided outlining a possible focus for a proposal.
ii. Discussion
1. Because the hope is to refund TexShare, one suggestion is to remove the mention of TexShare so it can’t be used against us later.
2. Important to include information about how the collaboration will benefit Texas, and play that up a lot. It is what the committee will be looking for.
a. If you demonstrate the huge numbers in the communities that our institutions help, it could be a very salient point. Also mentioning the range of collaborators (Community colleges and universities and special libraries) looks good.
b. Developing tiers of library instruction that students can transition through is an important emphasis for the community colleges.
3. What does “information access” in A. really mean? And the connection with A. between the abstract and the agency guidelines isn’t robust enough.
4. A North Texas history program online could be an idea, combining current resources like the Portal to Texas History to others in the consortium to have joined access.
5. It should be focused on just one thing instead of four, since it’s just $75,000 in one year. The priority of the granting organization is “access to internet connected resources”.
6. Access to Demographic data is highly valued right now, and it is expensive. To have consortium access to DFW area data could be tractable. Tool development idea.
7. Reaching out to the Public Libraries and State Library might be the best bet for this grant, because it is focused on opening access to the public. There are some existing connections already through the consortia members that could be reached out to.
8. It is very important to not let this grant opportunity to drive this group’s goals. Organizationally, it might be premature to go after this grant. Is there something we’ve talked about within this group, that we see this grant can help us with?
a. Maybe, but there are other funding opportunities that might align more closely with our initiatives.
iii. Alternate idea for TSLAC Grant
1. Shape a study to assess how well we are providing access to the communities. We give ourselves a SWOT analysis, poll the public, the public libraries, all users, and determine where the gaps are, where the opportunities for more collaboration are. Is there a standard, and are we meeting it? And how does physically-present access compare to long-distance access?
a. Survey for the public regarding public facing services
b. Survey for the public libraries
c. Survey for the academic libraries
d. Limitation is getting a representative sample for a population as big as the metroplex.
2. Still concern about whether it’s too soon for the CTLC to be going after a grant. The agency will not even know who the CTLC is, or where it came from, or what our mission statement is.
a. Decided that we need to better identify who we are before we start representing ourselves to grant agencies.
iv. Alternate idea for TSLAC Grant
1. A training-focused grant, including academic and public libraries. Conduct a workshop or conference. For librarians and para-professionals. The problem would still be, how does this support the community? The connection is indirect.
2. Training librarians in performing information literacy outreach. Or training on numerical literacy. A train-the-trainer model would make the connection to the community a little more direct.
3. Again, the deadline is very close and it might not be the best time. On the other hand, it will not take a lot of time to try, and we lose nothing if we fail. It will at least help us clarify our thinking.
v. NSF
1. Workforce development is a huge buzzword with federal funding agencies right now.
2. IMLS Laura Bush
a. re-training for librarians in Big Data
vi. Earlier themes we’ve discussed might point us in a right direction for putting together a seminar with this grant.
1. Assessment
2. Shared resources for special collections and archives
3. Space planning and renovations, idea sharing
4. The IT development community doesn’t have a local community
5. Training and staff development
6. Immersion training across institutions
7. Leadership training
8. Marketing
9. Risk-taking and innovation
d. None of these ideas are relevant to the grant, and so it will be tabled for now.
6. Additional topics of Discussion
a. Mission Statement and identifying the priorities of CTLC, and creating a core governance group.
b. An external facilitator to help direct these meetings and keep us from talking in circles would also be advantageous.
c. A priority should be developing a document that summarizes what we’re about, which will allow us to invite other institutions with a clear statement of what they would be joining.
d. A commitment to do something is also key to recruiting additional members and keeping up momentum for the group.
e. Perhaps getting in the external facilitator to participate in the next discussion about which grant to go after and how is the next step.
f. Summary
i. The idea of individual meetings between specialized groups has garnered a lot of interest. Each institution will commit to host one of these meetings and organizing it, so the responsibilities are shared, and everyone can benefit. Communications regarding this will start on the listserv.
ii. The old Training Day practice should be continued, and those who are interested will for a group to identify themes for the next one, and organization plans can be made.
iii. The Laura Bush grant cycle takes place in the Fall, and so more discussion should take place to plan for that. Richard Weng will be recruited to help with these discussions as an external facilitator.
iv. Richard Weng will also aid in the conversations to develop a mission statement.
v. The risk-taking initiative has a lot of energy, and workshop/conference focused on this, and open nationally and to other professional groups and students should be organized. Becca and UTA will orchestrate discussions on this on the listserv.
7. Next Meeting Planning
a. The special groups sessions should begin being scheduled and taking place during this year.
b. A targeted group session with Richard will be arranged according to his schedule.