InfoEyes Kickoff Meeting Minutes
1. Introduction & Wwelcome
Participants logged into the iVocalize chat room (other participants were also present at some libraries, but shared a log-in):
- Will Reed, OH
- Richard Smith, MO
- Joyce Spears, TX
- Stacey Hathaway-Bell, TX
- Mary Mohr, LOC
- Diana Brawley Sussman, S.IL
- Jeff Penka, OCLC
- Tom Miller, OCLC
- Paul Capazello, OCLC
- Lori Bell, M, IL
- Karen Odean, VOV TBC, IL
- Sharon Ruda, ISLTBBS
- Martha La Bounty, IN
- Dan Bakke, MO
- Keri Putnam, NV
- Robert McBrien, NY
- Bonnie Farrier, NY
- Tom Peters, TAP Info. Serv.
- Melora Ranney Norman, ME
- Kim Charlson, MA
2. Review of Participants (Lori and Diana)
The following are participating in the project. This constitutes twelve libraries in 10 states, plus the Library of Congress, which will be evaluating accessibility issues, and TAP Information Services, which serves as the overall project evaluator:
- Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library (New York)
- Cleveland Public Library/Library for the Blind & Physically Handicapped (Ohio)
- Illinois State Library
- Indiana School for the Blind
- Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
- Library of Congress
- Maine State Library Outreach
- Mid-Illinois Talking Book Center
- Nevada Talking Book Services
- Perkins Braille and Talking Book Library (Massachusetts)
- Southern Illinois Talking Book Center
- Talking Book Program, Texas State Library and Archives
- TAP Information Services (project evaluator)
- Wolfner Library (Missouri)
3. Overview (Jeff Penka)
Brief review of project goals:
- Establish a national model for providing virtual reference services and electronic resources for the visually impaired
- Work with OCLC in making Question Point an accessible software platform for the visually impaired
- Determine and evaluate what features of the software are most helpful in serving this population
- Offer access to electronic resources to the visually impaired
- Investigate how the software can be used to train the visually impaired in information literacy skills
- Work with libraries to provide online reference services to the visually impaired
- Test audio (voice over IP) in offering digital reference services
- Test a collaborative, multi-state model for virtual reference
Timeline for pilot is:
- Training and preparation: January - February 2004
- Service offered to patrons: March 1, 2004 - August 31, 2004
4. Web site & List serve (Lori)
The web site is: www.infoeyes.org. The participant information page will be password protected. Libraries can link to the InfoEyes page to provide service access to their patrons.
The list serve address is: firstname.lastname@example.org The list will be used to ask questions, report problems, discuss ideas and policies, request scheduling shifts when a library cannot cover its own shift, etc.
Training dates for QuestionPoint with enhanced (Tom Miller)
Training from OCLC provided in identical 2 hour segments on Jan. 20th, 4:00 - 6:00pm eastern, and on January 21st, 10:00 - 12:00 noon eastern.
Question Point software does not have to be installed by that time.
Registration link will be posted to the infoeyes.org participant information page. Registration is handled by Mary Ann Vagner at OCLC.
Training will use Placeware, a web-based software, with a phone conference for audio.
Question: There are concerns about the accessibility of Placeware.
Answer: [OCLC-Jeff] We will be using Placeware for the standard sessions. Other arrangements will be made as needed, if accessibility issues are encountered with the Placeware demonstration. We will not be using the iVocalize chat room for training with OCLC.
Mentoring - purpose, process, time (Diana)
Each library will have a training mentor. The mentor will initially provide two one-hour sessions of hands-on training for each library following the OCLC Placeware training. More training will be provided if needed. More mentoring sessions will again be provided following the FirstSearch database training from OCLC if libraries feel it is necessary. Mentors will also be available to answer questions that may arise throughout the project.
Mentoring sessions will be scheduled via email, with each mentor contacting their assigned states shortly after this meeting.
Mentors assigned to each state:
- Tom Peters will be the mentor for IA, MO, and NV. email@example.com or 816-228-6406
- Lori Bell will be the mentor for Ohio, New York, LOC, and Maine. (309)694-9200 ext. 2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Diana Brawley Sussman will be the mentor for TX, MA, IN, and IL State Library. 618-985-8375 or email@example.com
Question: Will reference questions and answers be in a searchable database so we don't reinvent the wheel?
Answer from OCLC: Yes they will be available to add to a Knowledge Base and in the Service History.
Training for eResources (Tom Miller)
Training for FirstSearch provided by OCLC using Placeware scheduled (post-meeting) for February 17th at 1:00pm Central (2:00pm eastern); February 18th at 9:30am Central (8:30am eastern). These two one-hour sessions are identical. Sessions are open to all participants. Registration link at the infoeyes.org participant information page.
6. eResources Discussion (Paul)
At the time of this meeting, FirstSearch and NetLibrary were the resources being considered for this pilot. Post-meeting it was determined that access to NetLibrary could not be negotiated. See Follow Up in minutes for FirstSearch databases included in trial.
Discussion topic: Poll for existing use of proposed resources.
Question: Which libraries already use FirstSearch
Answers (may not be comprehensive list): LOC, Cleveland, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Perkins has a limited subset of Firstsearch, NV may have it in the main library.
Question: Who already uses NetLibrary?
Answers (may not be comprehensive list): Maine has some experience with NetLibrary; LOC has a 1 yr trial w/ NetLibrary
The group decided to add WorldCat to the list of FirstSearch databases. WorldCat is a useful reference tool, and will definitely be available from OCLC.
Lori Bell is compiling the e-resource survey so we will know if there is anything everyone currently has access to
Discussion topic: e-resources - librarian only, or patron access?
Question: Lori Bell asked: "Could we hear from libraries for this project and the grant if they want resources just for the librarians or also for self access by patrons?... We also need to know for IMLS grant pricing."
Reasons presented for allowing patron access:
- Patron access should be a goal, because that's what ADA and accessibility etc. are all about giving people the opportunity to be independent.
- Perhaps patron access should be a goal, but not initially. The evaluation of the project will help us determine how to handle this in the near future.
- Well, why not start out with librarian-controlled and if the demand is there then we have ammo for patron access
Reasons presented for librarian controlled access only:
- Providing patron access could cause some licensing conflicts for libraries that already provide some or all of these resources to their patrons.
- Licensing issues can be a major difficulty for many reasons, particularly in a multi-state project.
- Belief in encouraging patron's individual access, but having an online reference librarian is more valuable and perhaps less money...
- Once you give people a perk (direct patron access to databases), it can be very hard to rescind it (after the trial when licensing agreements come into play).
- There are always differences in available resources between libraries in cooperative ventures. The same question can often be answered equally well with several different resources.
Other licensing related issues:
- Will we be able to use our own electronic resources? NYPL has many available to all. Or will that muddy the waters?
- Some sentiment that we need to keep this separate from our other reference resources.
- This issue will be discussed further at the first Advisory Committee Meeting.
Discussion topic: Accessibility
There is a bit of work to do on making e-resources optimal for the visually impaired. OCLC would like to know the details of any accessibility shortcomings as we find them.
7. Scheduling Survey (Diana)
Several libraries expressed agreement with schedule. Minor switches were made. Final scheduling was set and posted after this meeting.
Question: How will we get back-up if we are out of the office?
- It is ideal to have back-up in house.
- If a shift cannot be covered in-house, the library with the conflict should post to the list to arrange to switch shifts with another library in order to ensure coverage.
- It is the responsibility of each library to ensure that their regular shift is covered.
- It is the responsibility of both libraries, when a shift is made, to remember that the switch was made, and to provide the agreed upon coverage.
- After every effort has been made on the part of the library unable to cover a shift, if a shift still cannot be covered, it is the responsibility of that library to post that information to the list immediately so that Lori Bell can update the web site to reflect the gap in coverage.
- Several libraries expressed a willingness to switch.
Question: Will there be subs between participating libraries or can we set up a subbing system?
Answer: The above solution is the only arrangement made at this time. Each library has committed to working four specific hours each week, and each library has its own unique scheduling restraints. There are no "floating" hours. If there were "floating substitutes" those people would have to have extremely flexible schedules and be able to spend an unknown number of hours on InfoEyes from week to week. This does not seem manageable.
The service will be closed on regularly scheduled holidays (such as state holidays). It was requested that each library submit their holidays to the list. Two or three libraries have done so.
It was requested that each participating individual's email address be posted on the web-site on the password protected participant information page.
8. IMLS Grant (Tom Peters)
Tom Peters and Lori Bell are submitting an IMLS grant for roughly a quarter of a million dollars to fund the continuance of this project for two years beyond the pilot. Letters of support from libraries likely to participate during the grant period requested by January 23rd. Also need a list of in-kind contributions. Tom provided a check-list of these after this meeting. Contributions include salary and benefits cost for four hours of service weekly; technical support; any necessary equipment upgrades, etc. It was clarified that in-kind contributions are not added costs to the participating libraries. Staff time is all that would be required of participating libraries.
Discussed whether computers could be included as in-kind contributions, given new laws requiring filtering throughout a library if any computers are purchased with LSTA funds. It is unlikely that this is a problem, as claiming in-kind costs is completely different from purchasing a computer with granted funds. Tom Peters agreed to look into this. It was asked whether it would matter whether the computer would be used only by staff, or by the public. According to our understanding of the law, if filtering were to be imposed, it would be imposed throughout the library whether the computer was for staff or patron use.
9. Next Steps
Set up the Advisory Committee (Diana)
- Monthly Advisory Committee meetings will be held to discuss policies, problems and related issues.
- Meetings will be held in the IVocalize chat room.
- Each library should have at least one person present at monthly advisory meetings.
- Each library (which provides four hours of weekly service) has one vote on policy issues.
- First meeting will be held on February 23rd at 1:00pm Central (2:00pm Eastern).
Sign up for training
Training registration is completed through the InfoEyes web site on the participant information page.
- Lori will post a press release on the list to revise and use as you like
- Please share on the list where you publicize
- Suggested venues: USA Today; NLS publications; NFB Newsline; Library of Congress?; web sites and reference list serves; Radio Information Services
As of this posting, upcoming dates include:
FirstSearch training (Placeware sessions):
- 2/17/04 1:00pm Central (2:00pm Eastern)
- 2/18/04 9:30am Central (10:30am Eastern)
WindowEyes training with Barry Levine in iVocalize chat room:
- 2/19/04 2:00pm Central (3:00pm Eastern)
Advisory Committee Meeting in iVocalize chat room:
- 2/23/04 1:00pm Central (2:00pm Eastern)
10. Follow up:
Downloading QPE librarian and patron software:
Tom Miller will be available to any of you that would like to work with him or have your IT staff contact him. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org 614-764-6130.
The url for downloading and installing the Librarian software:
After you have downloaded and installed the Librarian plug-in, go to this url to log in and test.
To log in, the authorization number is: 100265071
The ID number is 10589
The password is RAG2GREET (case sensitive)
If you would like to download and install, also try logging in.
When we do our mentoring sessions, you will have a chance to practice monitoring calls. However, if you want to try it, have someone go to the InfoEyes page and have someone download the patron plug-in when you are logged in and see if you can hear the call coming in. This is all that is necessary for you to monitor the enhanced.
FirstSearch: negotiated trial terms for each of the databases requested:
Full Trial Period
- Article First
- Book Review
- Fact Search
- General Science Index (Abstracts, not index)
- Reader's Guide
- World Almanac
Partial Trial Period
- ABI Inform with full text - 90 days
- ECO with full image - 60 days
- Health and Wellness Information - 90 days
- Periodical Abstract with full text - 90 days
- SIRS Researcher with full text - 90 days