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February 18th, 2009
GRES Advisory Council Minutes
February 18, 2009
9:00-11:30 am
Present: Chane Griggs, Sandra Allen, Sven Anderson, Jim Scheppke, Robert Hulshof-Schmidt, Arlene Weible, Andrea Blake, Kate McGann, Perrin Damon.
Absent: Chris Bell, Kathi Riddell, Sandy Lacher
Facilitator: Chane Griggs
Recorder: Arlene Weible
Council members were introduced to new GRES staff:
  • Sarah Marsh - Oregon Documents Specialist
  • Heather Pitts - Cataloging Services Librarian
  • Jessica Rondema - Technical Services Specialist
Two additional new staff members, Scott Gilbert and Brian McGuirk were not able to attend, but will be introduced at the next Council meeting.
GRES project updates  
Search engine update
The strategy has changed for the procurement of a new search engine. A new contract will be folded into the Egovernment administrative contract to be procured in 2010. Since the cost of extending the current search engine contract is prohibitive, the interim solution being pursued is a Google Custom Search, which provides free service to state and local governments. It is hoped that the search engine can be tested by April 30, when it will be evaluated against already established preferred requirements. There is a possibility that it will be adopted as a permanent solution, depending on the test results.
GRES has turned to a different service to host its federated search option, formerly known as OneSearch. This service provides state employees the ability to search across multiple databases in a single search. The new service, LibraryFind, is an open source application that will be significantly cheaper to maintain. It was developed at Oregon State University, which used State Library grant money to develop the service. Implementation should take place in the very near future.
Outreach Activities Update  
Customer Satisfaction Survey 
This annual survey was completed in November 2008. 1472 library users were surveyed, and the response rate was 12%. The overall rating for GRES services was 3.55 (from a 4 point scale). Last year’s rating was 3.56, and our services have received consistently good ratings over the years. Ratings for helpfulness and staff knowledge were high, while availability of information was rated lower than in previous years. Satisfaction with information availability needs to be watched in future surveys, given that there will be cuts to some electronic resources. No qualitative comments were collected in this survey, although survey participants were offered the option to be contacted later. Follow up calls were made within 5 weeks of the survey.
A question was raised about preferences for web-based services. Data was collected about this in the needs assessment survey conducted earlier in 2008, and will be further explored in follow up focus group sessions in the next biennium. It was also noted that workgroups are planning surveys of users of specific library services (such as eClips) in the upcoming biennium.
Jim commented on the consistency of results from the customer satisfaction surveys and the possibility of changing to a biennial, rather than annual survey schedule. Such changes would need to be approved by the Budget office in the Dept. of Administrative Services (DAS)
Outreach and Training Plan
The Council reviewed the current plan and was asked to provide feedback about project priorities. The Council endorsed the priorities in the existing document. Chane suggested that the State Library should also seek to be involved with the Public Management Association (PMA) board and other activities.
Management Outreach Letter
Robert explained that the purpose of the letter is to alert state managers of the opportunities for services and training provided by the State Library. The plan is to test the letter with three different agencies: DAS, Transportation, and the Dept. of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), which will cover 684 managers. The distribution in this initial offering is small because of concerns about staff capacity.
Suggestions for the draft included:
  • Use personal names in salutation of letter
  • Emphasize that the training is free (services already paid for …)
  • Emphasize training can be tailored to individual needs
  • Emphasize that library staff will come to agency, provide on-site training
  • Give the letter more marketing “flash” in layout and design
  • Move the quote praising library services to top of letter
  • Shorten quote to emphasize “our staff was amazed” section
  • Add additional quotes from thank you notes received from other agencies
2009/2011 Charter Project Proposals Robert explained that the GRES team uses its Charter to help organize and measure its work over each biennium. The current proposals are drafts, and will be reviewed more critically at a workgroup coordinators meeting later in February. The Council reviewed the proposed projects, and was particularly enthusiastic about projects to improve the eClips service and to implement an Instant Messaging (IM) reference service.
Other comments:
  • Could enough tier space be freed up as a result of weeding projects that the Library could rent out storage space and reduce costs?
  • Historic Oregon maps in OSL collection could be displayed in Capitol?
  • Could a map case be built by inmates?
  • eClips improvements could include:
    • more ability to navigate within the message (ability to link from headline list to the story link and description)
    • stories divided into subject categories
    • include more info about library services, such as how to find old newspaper articles
  • This is an ambitious list of projects; it will need further prioritization
Agency Intranet Links and Access Challenges
Robert described the informal survey he conducted to determine if the State Library had a presence on agency intranet pages.  Many do have links on intranet pages, but they are often difficult to locate, or don’t link to the correct site. Robert showed some examples, and it was suggested that a branded graphic would help visibility. If an IM option was available, this would be an ideal “brand” to have listed.
Robert’s survey also asked if agencies experienced any security or access restrictions that limited agency staff from accessing library services. The survey showed that access may be restricted, or provided only at the manager’s discretion at a number of agencies. Robert hopes to address these problems in the next biennium with the project described as the “Online Access Summit”.
The general discussion concluded that the statewide intranet (GovNet) is very difficult to use and solutions to these issues will be very dependent on the next egovernment platform.
Perrin asked about OSL’s ability to participate in the service provided on legislative web pages that send alerts when content is updated. Robert’s initial investigation indicated that the specific service described was cost prohibitive, but there may be some other technologies that could be explored.
Next Meeting
The next Council meeting will be May 20, 2009.  
Action items
  • Robert will send a second draft of the Management Outreach letter to Council members via email for additional feedback.
  • Robert will meet with Sandra Allen to discuss options for displaying historical Oregon maps at the Capitol.