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January 2008 Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
TBABS Advisory Council Meeting Minutes
January 24, 2008
 
1) Unanimous approval of previous minutes
 
2) State Librarian Report: Jim Scheppke
 
State Librarians throughout the country are engaged in conversation regarding the Digital Talking Books. There are two main concerns: a) not enough new players when the program launches in 2009; b) currently the NLS download pilot program must be downloaded through the NLS website, bypassing TBABS website and affecting our statistics. State Librarians would like to see patron ability to download directly though local websites (example: tbabs.org). This would create an identity with our program and be important for the future of the program. Jim is on a committee dedicated in trying to get all the BPH libraries on board with this plan.
 
3) TBABS Program Manager Report: Susan Westin
 
Susan reported on the TBABS Customer Satisfaction Survey which was completed in November, 2007. Out of a telephone sampling of 737 patrons, we received 345 responses. 73.5% rated our overall service as Excellent; 25.9% rated as Good. The final question on the survey was crafted to gage interest in the upcoming new Digital books. 50% of respondents were very interested in receiving the new technology; 25% said they could wait a year; 13% indicated they were not interested; .8% indicated they would purchase their own equipment; and 9.6% indicated they were not sure at this time.
 
Data Base Calling Plan – TBABS staff have implemented a plan to contact all patrons at least once each calendar year. Currently each staff has an allotted number of patrons to call on a monthly basis, noting concerns and generally reviewing each account. The aim is to provide better customer service and perhaps increase our overall customer satisfaction survey results.
 
TBABS is in the process of exploring alternatives to staff the currently vacant Fund Development position. The 2007 Fall Appeal letter generated $33,087.39; the 2008 Calendar has generated $18,504 in donations to date.
 
TBABS is currently doing some outreach by running a promotional advertisement in the “Senior News” newspaper.
 
At the last Board meeting it was determined that any Advisory Council amendments must be approved by the OSL Board of Trustees before taking effect.
 
TBABS NLS Consultant is scheduled to visit May 19-20, 2008. Interest expressed in holding the next Advisory Council meeting on one of these dates to include the Consultant.
 
4) Old Business:
Frank Synoground questioned whether the scheduled training for Unabridged took place at the Blind School. Annis responded affirmatively with good commentary regarding the program and Elke’s presentation. Frank asked whether this type of training could be done with other groups (ESD, etc). Susan commented this may be a possibility; there will be further discussion with Elke regarding this.
 
5) Distribution and purchase of digital machines: Susan Westin
Susan indicated that TBABS needs to develop a plan for the distribution of new digital machines. NLS will be producing 12,000 digital players per month (for the Network). Oregon’s allotment will be 180 units per month. By law, NLS mandates Veterans receive priority. TBABS has 688 active Veterans, to date, which would take approximately five months to satisfy this requirement if each one wanted the new player. TBABS has 4,600 active patrons (other than Vets); we sign up an average of 95 new patrons each month. The question arises as to priority of new machine distribution after Veterans. Jim would like the Advisory Council to put forth a proposal to the Board regarding possible purchase of additional machines, and which class of patrons receive priority in receipt of the new machines.
 
Much discussion ensued; concerns were raised about the type of machine TBABS could purchase…how much would it cost, and would it be comparable to the NLS model? Concerns were raised about established clientele being put on waiting lists, behind new patrons, and the fact that new users wouldn’t like initially getting old technology and then having it shortly replaced with the new digital machine. There are many variables and unknowns regarding the plan.
 
Next Steps: In Feb/Mar ’08, letters will be sent directly to all TBABS Veterans gauging their interest in receiving the new equipment. In June there will be an article in the summer newsletter alerting patrons about the implementation plan, and also a mailing will go out to the rest of the patron base gauging interest in receiving the equipment. We need to find a good source of purchase of new equipment; perhaps patrons who didn’t want to be put on a waiting list could purchase their own unit. The general consensus of the Group is that we need to keep the program growing and viable by giving new users priority, but we do not want to alienate established users, either.
 
There currently is $154,139 accumulated in interest from the Endowment Fund. Jim offered that if we purchased 600 players by January, 2009, we could satisfy customer needs within 18 months.
 
Group Recommendation to the Board for their February 15 meeting:
 
Regarding Monies to be spent:
 
Motion by Frank that new players and other paraphernalia (such as cartridges) be purchased with the interest monies from the Endowment Fund. Motion Second by Annis. No Abstaining; No Opposition. Motion agreed upon by all. This motion will be brought to the Board at their next meeting.
 
Regarding Patron Distribution Priority:
Motion by Annis to distribute new players to interested Veterans first, per NLS mandate. Motion Second by Marcia. Frank Abstaining; No Opposition. Motion agreed upon. This motion will be brought to the Board at their next meeting.
 
Motion by Doris to assign up to 100 players per month to new users, and any remaining from that amount plus the additional 80 to current users. Motion Second by Annis. No Abstaining; No Opposition. Motion agreed upon. This will be brought to the Board at their next meeting.
 
6) Open Forum – No Commentary
 
Next Meeting Date: May 20, 2008 at OSL at 10 a.m.
 
Adjournment
 
Recorded by Marion Bryson