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					              NELINET
              CONSULTING
              SOLUTIONS




      Maine Info Net
Strategic and Business Plan

 Final Report: July 1, 2003



          NELINET, Inc.
       153 Cordaville Road
     Southborough, MA 01772
                                     INTRODUCTION
BACKGROUND

Funded initially by a $4.9 million bond issue approved by Maine voters in June, 1996, the Maine
Info Net project seeks to improve citizen access to information libraries by means of new online
systems and services. The program supports two major programs: (1) a statewide union catalog,
and (2) electronic resources.

Union Catalog. The Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog is a real-time, physical union catalog of
2.8 million unique titles and 5.4 million items. The following separate systems are linked
through the statewide catalog:

1. URSUS (University of Maine System Campuses, Maine State Library, Bangor Public
   Library, Maine Law and Legislative Reference Library).

2. MINERVA, a shared consortial integrated library system. Participating libraries pay an
   annual fee to the Maine State Library to defray ongoing costs. The Maine State Library
   supplies system staff but does not contribute any ongoing funds to maintenance of the
   system. Today, there are over 40 active libraries using the system.

3. Independent stand-alone systems at: Maine College of Art, Maine Maritime Academy,
   Portland Public Library, the University of New England, and a shared system for Bates,
   Bowdoin, and Colby Colleges.

4. The Holdings Database, an online catalog that includes the holdings information for libraries
   that use small local systems or that otherwise do not have their own local library systems.

Electronic Resources. Funded by a combination of legislative appropriations to the Maine State
Library, Maine Telecommunications Access Fund monies, and additional support from the
University of Maine System, this program provides all Mainers with free online access to a broad
selection of full-text electronic resources. Although funded through separate efforts, these e-
resources are linked through the “Maine Info Net” brand.

SCOPE OF THIS STUDY

In December 2002, the Maine State Library contracted with NELINET, Inc. to facilitate the work
of an Info Net Working Group to address the major strategic and general business planning
issues to map the future of Maine Info Net. (The members of the working group are listed in
Appendix B.) The members of the working group gathered for two multi-day retreats on January
29-31 and March 3-4, 2003 to address the following issues for Info Net: governance structure;
identity, membership composition and participation; sustainable funding and program growth;
marketing/public relations; program staffing and management; library catalog and portal
systems; electronic resources; resource sharing; and continuing education and training.
At the first working group meeting, the participants agreed upon the following basic preferred
outcomes of the process:

1. General Strategic and Transition Planning.
   o Create strategic directions and priorities, as well as a transition plan of the most important
      next steps. Develop a consensus on the program vision and mission. Use the strategic
      directions to help secure additional funding in the future.
   o Identify the best practices for statewide systems from other states so we don’t reinvent
      the wheel.
   o Retain the collaborative and multi-type library experience.

2. Identity. Define the purpose, scope and nature of Maine Info Net, and delineate all of the
   parts of Info Net to create a clear identity and brand. Develop consistent terminology (for
   example, to clarify whether Maine Info Net is the portal to the system, the statewide catalog,
   or the program as a whole). Put the citizens in the forefront of the plan, and develop
   terminology they understand so that they don’t have to know the intricacies of each program.
   o MINERVA. Separate the issues surrounding MINERVA from those of Maine Info Net,
       and address only the latter in this plan. Encourage MINERVA libraries to address their
       own issues through a separate planning process.

3. Governance. Explain the relationship of all of the parts of the program, and the coordination
   of the separate entities. In particular, address the relationship of Info Net and MINERVA.

4. Portal. Define ways to make Info Net easier to search and to use.


Definition of Terms used in this Document

Within the context of this document, the following terms are used:

   Maine Info Net (or Info Net): the umbrella organization that encompasses service programs
    for the statewide union catalog, electronic resources purchasing, and portal development.
   Independent Catalogs [or “Other I.I.I. sites”] (such as the shared system for Bowdoin, Bates
    and Colby Colleges)
   URSUS: the system used and managed by the University of Maine System, and to which
    some independent libraries belong (such as Bangor Public Library).
   Unaffiliated Libraries, includes the libraries that use their own (and generally small) local
    systems, but who contribute their holdings information to the statewide catalog. This group,
    which was formerly referred to as the “Holdings Database” libraries, is referred to here as
    “Unaffiliated Libraries,” to indicate that these libraries contribute their holdings to the
    database, but they are not affiliated with one of the group local catalogs noted immediately
    above.
   MINERVA is a separate, standalone library management system managed by the Maine
    State Library on behalf of specific member libraries. For purposes of this document,
    MINERVA is a contributor to Info Net but it is not a formal program of Info Net.



Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                   2
                                  STRATEGIC VISION
SUMMARY OF KEY RECOMMENDATIONS

Governance
 A new Info Net Board should be established, with the Board members being representative
  of the entire membership.
 It is essential for the Maine Library Commission, the Maine State Library, and the University
  of Maine system to continue to have a significant presence and voice in the continuing
  development and support of Info Net.
 The Maine Library Commission and the University of Maine System should be the primary
  sponsors of Info Net. The two bodies should formalize through a Memorandum of
  Understanding the nature of the sponsorship and the roles and responsibilities of each of the
  partners.
 The continued success of Info Net must transcend the tenure of any of the key people now
  participating in the process.

Relationship to Other Groups
 Info Net should be constituted as an independent entity with member institutions. Members,
   such as MINERVA, contribute information to Info Net and gain access to information
   resources through Info Net.
 The regional library system (ARRCS and consultants) should be studied for possible
   redefinition or integration into Info Net.

Funding
 Info Net requires sustainable funding and reasonable dues will be charged to all members.

Staffing
 Info Net needs a CEO and dedicated staff.

Standards
 Info Net should establish and enforce standards for member participation in the union
   catalog.
 Info Net should establish policies and protocols governing resource sharing for all
   participating libraries.

Marketing
 Info Net should have a clear identity and brand name.
 A marketing and public relations effort must be developed that focuses separately on each of
  the three key constituent groups for Info Net: libraries, library users, and funding sources
  (particularly the state legislature).




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                3
KEY STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS

Note: A list of all strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats appears in Appendix C.
Listed below are the key points in each category.

Strengths
 Info Net is a multi-type network that is diverse in its population and is able to address the
   needs of all Maine citizens and constituents
 Info Net provides substantial cost savings for many libraries in a wide variety of areas
 The level of cooperation within the membership is impressive and serves to make Info Net a
   highly productive operation
 Info Net leverages other strengths within the state, such as the Maine School and Library
   Network infrastructure and the opportunity to share resources through the Union Catalog.

Weaknesses
 Info Net lacks a clear identity, and many within the library community and general
  citizenship are unclear as to the relationship of some of the parts (such as MINERVA)
 Info Net is not meeting (and may be unable to meet) some of the desires of users for “instant
  gratification,” i.e., the expectation that all fulltext will be immediately and directly available
  on the Web, and that the user will not have to wait to receive the print resources.
 Info Net does not have a clearly articulated public relations and marketing plan to advance
  the use of, or understanding about, Info Net on the part of users, member libraries, or funding
  sources.
 The reality of the Info Net implementation does not always match the dream, i.e., some of the
  functions and features are “more clunky rather than seamless”

Opportunities
 Info Net should aim to become the “Maine Library Portal to the World”
 Info Net should raise the level of library practice within the state, by providing new tools for
  libraries and by promoting the advancement of best practices within the areas of concern of
  Info Net within libraries
 Maine libraries and librarians have the opportunity through Info Net to reinvent themselves
 Info Net should work to develop a portal that can provide seamless access to all available
  resources by all end users

Threats
 The national and state economic outlook will make it more difficult to develop and
   implement new programs
 There are instances of lack of participation and apathy within the library community
   concerning Info Net
 The general public is not fully informed about the value of libraries, and this problem is
   exacerbated by a belief that the library has been or can be replaced by information freely
   available on the Internet.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                      4
MISSION AND VISION

Mission

Maine Info Net, a partnership of public, academic, school and special libraries is the leading
statewide source of information and educational resources for Maine citizens. As an information
portal, it promotes resource sharing, provides cost-effective solutions for improvement of the
quality of library and information services, and supports the economic development of the State.

Vision

Maine Info Net will:
 provide Maine citizens with the information they need to make informed decisions;
 strengthen access to and the delivery of information statewide to meet the research,
   educational, cultural, and recreational needs of Maine citizens, regardless of their location;
 enable each library to serve as an easy-to-use gateway to reliable information resources for
   its users;
 organize resources and services efficiently and effectively so they will be available to all
   citizens, regardless of their location;
 enable libraries to enhance the quality of services for their clients through the sharing of
   expertise and best practices;
 be recognized as the primary web-based portal to a comprehensive set of information
   resources for Maine citizens;
 enhance Maine’s competitive position, economic development, educational opportunities,
   and quality of life;
 create and generate new sources of information based upon materials owned and housed by
   Maine libraries; and,
 provide equal access to information for all of the citizens of the state.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                     5
                                       BUSINESS PLAN

ASSUMPTIONS AND OPERATING PRINCIPLES

1. Eligibility to Participate. It is beneficial to encourage all libraries to participate at an
   appropriate level in the union catalog, with a baseline level of participation being the
   contribution to the unaffiliated libraries’ holdings database. However, to ensure effective
   quality control, Info Net must promulgate and promote guidelines and standards concerning
   quality of contributions and activity, with adherence to these statements required for a
   library’s continued participation in the program.

2. Governance Structure
    The governance structure should ensure appropriate representation for all Info Net users
    The financial program sponsors (chiefly the Maine State Library and the University of
      Maine System) must continue to have a significant voice in governance
    Participants must have the opportunity to provide input, through well-developed and
      executed processes, to ensure they have a sufficient voice and involvement in the
      substantive decisions affecting Info Net.

3. Focus by Library Segment. Info Net member libraries should be grouped by their type and
   level of participation to enable optimal program viability and operations. (See chart on page
   13)

4. Statewide and Institutional Funding. All resources for which payment is made by the state
   for all libraries should be fully accessible to every library in the state. However, services that
   cannot be fully funded by the state should be available on a fee-basis, enabled by state
   negotiations to try to make resource affordable for local purchase. In these cases, resources
   for which only Info Net members (or only some Info Net members) choose to contribute
   should rightly be available only to those who make such contributions.

5. Role of Maine State Library and UMS. It is important to maintain and further the role of the
   Maine State Library and the University of Maine System as formal partners and sponsors of
   Info Net. To this end, formal memoranda of understanding should be undertaken by these
   institutional partners as to their continuing roles and responsibilities relating to the operations
   of Info Net. The portion of funding provided by the Maine State Library and the University
   of Maine System to support the common programs of Info Net should be clearly articulated.

6. Relationship of Info Net to MINERVA. To ensure clear program focus for both programs,
   MINERVA will be a separate organizational entity that will be managed independently from
   Info Net. The reporting relationships, organizational structure, and general operations of
   MINERVA will not be addressed in any detail in this report.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                     6
7. Funding Support
    The financial, delivery, technology, and staffing needs of each program (be specific)
      must be separately and clearly articulated.
    Info Net should seek additional funding sponsors from other appropriate potential
      partners within the state, such as the Maine Department of Education to help support the
      involvement of school libraries in Info Net.
    Local libraries should be expected to contribute to the financial base of Info Net through
      a “reasonable” level of dues with the funds raised used to improve services.

8. Marketing & Public Relations
    Info Net should be marketed so that users perceive “Info Net” to be to be an essential part
     of library services.
    Info Net should develop and implement a standardized and consistent terminological,
     graphical, and textual image.
    Info Net should undertake targeted marketing campaigns for each of their key
     constituencies, including libraries, users, and legislators or other funding sources.
    Marketing of Info Net programs and services should be a shared responsibility of both
     Info Net management and the member libraries.

9. Program Staffing and Management
    Info Net should undertake as soon as practical to establish a position of chief executive
      officer (executive director), and to begin the recruitment to secure the services of a highly
      qualified individual.
    Info Net will require additional staffing to support adequately its operations and
      programs.

10. Electronic Resources
     The collection of electronic resources provided through Info Net should be balanced and
       accessible on a standalone basis to fulfill many information needs.
     E-resources should be available to all citizens from their home or library.

11. Resources Sharing and Document Delivery
     Info Net should try, whenever practical, to provide users with full-text delivery.
     Info Net should develop and make available a statewide ground delivery service, but
       participation in the service may require some local contribution of funds.
     All participants in Info Net must agree to share and make available all of their resources
       through Info Net. Exceptions may include any resources that are deemed necessary for in
       building use or materials having unusually high demand.

12. Continuing Education, Training, Support & Documentation
     Info Net should provide training concerning only those services that it provides.
     Info Net should be responsible for training trainers within member libraries, and not to
       the train the public directly.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                   7
       Info Net should develop a program of continuing education services related to Info Net,
        but the staff of Info Net may not be the sole information providers.
       Info Net should provide technical support for those services that it directly provides.

13. Member Financial Contributions (dues and fees). Dues and fees charged to the
    membership should ensure the sustainability of Info Net, and should be affordable and
    reasonable for the membership.


GOVERNANCE

Principles

   Info Net should be a “leadership” organization, which may not always be ruled by consensus.
    Nonetheless, the Info Net governance structure must ensure substantial accountability to, and
    participation of, the membership, particularly in the establishment of program directions.
   The decision-making process must be open, well-defined, and fair.
   There must be clear and continuous communications with the membership.
   The organization should be largely financially self-sustaining, which may require transition
    strategies to achieve this goal over time.
   There must be a representative and participative governance structure and process.
   There must be clearly articulated expectations and standards for continued eligibility to
    participate as an Info Net member.
   Libraries of all sizes should realize substantial benefits, in terms of enhanced services to their
    clientele, through participation in Info Net.
   There should be clear Info Net funding channels to ensure effective operations, and should
    not be a barrier to membership participation.


Relationship with Info Net Consortium Members

For general program delivery, Info Net can be thought of as a “consortium of consortia,” with
groups such as MINERVA, URSUS and others acting as the access system service providers,
and Maine Info Net providing services to these groups (and their member libraries). The access
system service providers are funded through local appropriation of funds. The Info Net services
are state funded through the Maine State Library and the University of Maine System. This
relationship can be visualized as below. (Note: the chart below is intended to be illustrative, and
not exhaustive.)




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                      8
Note: current “Independents” include: Maine College of the Arts, Maine Maritime Academy, the University of New
England, and Portland Public Library.

Governance Model

Any recommended governance model must not require undue risk, must be affordable, and must
enable Info Net to have a clear identity, and have a legal and program status that is recognized by
others (particularly by the legislature). Ideally, the governance structure should encourage the
organization to be agile and to demonstrate entrepreneurship. The structure must be highly
inclusive of all types of libraries. Above all, the resulting organization must be a trusted partner,
and must build upon the successes of the past. Therefore, it is desirable to continue to maintain
the active involvement of the Maine State Library and the University of Maine System.

The following illustrates the relationship of the key constituent communities and current partners




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                              9
With these parameters in mind, the working group recommends a “sponsored program model”
in which Info Net would have its own separate elected Board to which it would report. This
Board would be sponsored jointly by the Maine Library Commission and the University of
Maine System. The two will share decision-making power on the most significant issues, such
as the employment of the CEO (Executive Director) and establishment of Info Net policies. The
new reporting structure is illustrated below.




Probably the biggest shift that would be required relates to the involvement of the University of
Maine System as a formal partner with the Maine Library Commission in the administration of
Maine Info Net. This will require that the Office of the Chancellor accept and formalize a role
that to which that heretofore the University has informally agreed, i.e., that it will fully represent
the interests not only of the University System, but also of all other members of the higher
education community in the state, whether those institutions are private or public.

The illustration above also includes an important “dotted line” relationship between the Info Net
Board and its two sponsors and units, the Maine Library Commission and the University of
Maine System. Although the formal reporting relationship is to the Library Commission (and
not to the State Library), in practice the Maine State Library will serve as the conduit to Info Net
for support from Maine Library Commission, and to act as the representative of the interests of
public and school libraries. In addition, the State Library will provide technology support and
staff in support of the program, and (although not illustrated) serve as the sponsor and represent
the interests for MINERVA, unaffiliated libraries, etc. To ensure continuing positive relations,
the Maine State Library will have a permanent seat on the Info Net Board.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                     10
To enable this model, the Maine Library Commission and the University of Maine System office
should develop a Memorandum of Agreement to delineate the responsibilities of each of the
parties, separately and jointly. At a minimum, the Memorandum should cover the following

   Both the Maine State Library Commission and the University of Maine System should:
    o cooperate to build the programs and partnership of Info Net;
    o pool resources (funding, staff, and equipment) to achieve economies of scale;
    o establish a joint process for collection development of e-resources to advance the
       research and information needs of the citizens of the state;
    o share responsibilities for the employment and establishment of job duties for the Info Net
       chief executive officer;
    o work jointly through the Info Net Board to establish Info Net policies;
    o work collaboratively to ensure Info Net is administered effectively and efficiently; and
    o continue to provide staffing to support specific Info Net operations.

   The Info Net Board and the Chief Executive Officer will report to both the Maine Library
    Commission and the University of Maine System for the following:
    o Major contract approval; and,
    o Major policy approval

   The University of Maine System should:
    o formalize its leadership role to represent the academic and research interests of all
       colleges and universities within the state;
    o serve as the fiscal agent, contract authority, and the payroll agent for Info Net;
    o provide the technology infrastructure and appropriate space to support those functions
    o provide administrative staffing to support the programs; and
    o provide space for housing staff operations.

   The Maine Library Commission will::
    o provide general support for the development of the collections;
    o represent the interests of public and school libraries, which will be done under the
       auspices of the Maine State Library; and
    o provide space (through the Maine State Library) for housing staffing operations.

In developing this proposal, the working group considered other alternatives, including having
Info Net become -- now or in the future -- an independent non-profit organization (i.e., a
501(c)3). While this option should not be eliminated for all time, it was not recommended at
present because there needs to be time to continue to nurture the growth of Info Net under the
auspices of state government. Should this option be considered in the future, it is likely that this
will require multiple transition stages and strategies.

Among the advantages of the dual reporting relationship is that it would enable the Maine
Library Commission to shift its focus to programs other than Info Net. However, this model also
requires a shift in emphasis of the role of the University of Maine System to represent the
interests of all academic and research institutions within the state. A further advantage is that




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                   11
Info Net will have a chief executive officer who can act as a neutral agent on behalf of all
libraries.

The recommended model is a natural evolutionary step that should meld comfortably within the
existing environment. By centralizing all revenues, costs, and operations but maintaining its
position within the boundaries of state government, Info Net will realize significant benefits.
Not the least of these benefits is the ability to leverage financial support from multiple agencies
within state government, and to be able to continue to use existing space and support
infrastructure (which may be a available at no additional cost or at a nominal and reasonable
charge). Furthermore, the recommended changes should result in Info Net achieving a clear
sense of identity, and provide Info Net with a secure base within an established political
environment.

At the same time, we must recognize the potential pitfalls of the recommended model. Being the
servant of two masters may, at times, require a strong sense of equilibrium. By staying within
state government, the program might not be perceived as being sufficiently independent or that
might not be managed independently from its sponsors. A key consideration is that funding is
always subject not only to the politics and priorities of state government, but also of the
sponsors. This problem may be exacerbated if there is insufficient staff or financial support to
sustain the program, or if freezes of state government positions make it difficult at times to
provide services. In a worst-case scenario, the issues surrounding the funding stream could
cause the sustainability of Info Net to be vulnerable in the future.

Recognizing these risks, there is still every reason to believe that the advantages of the
recommended model far outweigh the potential pitfalls. Furthermore, it should be possible to
mitigate substantially any of these concerns through an effective articulation of the
Memorandum of Understanding described above.


INFO NET BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Board Composition

The working group recommends the following composition for the Board. Note that except for
ex-officio and at-large positions, each constituent community (e.g., MINERVA or URSUS)
would be responsible for electing its representatives through a self-determined process that may
be established and governed by each group, e.g., MINERVA members would elect their
representative through processes established by MINERVA.

The at-large positions would be elected by the General Membership, who would vote for
candidates on a ballot prepared by a Nominating Committee of the Board. All Info Net member
libraries would be eligible to participate in the election.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  12
 Organization Represented                                                 Number of      Method of
                                                                          Board Seats    Election
 MINERVA (includes public libraries, technical colleges, special               1         Self-determined
 libraries, private academic institutions, and school libraries)
 URSUS                                                                         1         Self-determined
 Colby, Bates and Bowdoin Colleges                                             1         Self-determined
 Other Innovative Sites (includes Portland Public Library, Maine               1         Self-determined
 Maritime Academy, School of Art, University of New England)
 Unaffiliated [holdings database] institutions                                 1         Self-determined
 At-Large (may include librarians from member institutions as well             4         Board
 as 1-2 seats possibly set aside for expert individuals from outside of                  Nominating
 the membership)                                                                         Committee &
                                                                                         general election
 Maine State Library/State Librarian (ex-officio, voting)                       1        Ex-officio
 Univ. of Maine System (Dean, Orono campus)(ex-officio, voting)                 1        Ex-officio
 Maine Info Net Executive Director (ex-officio, non-voting                      1        Ex-officio
 Total                                                                      11 voting
                                                                          1 non-voting


Board Responsibilities. The primary responsibilities of the Board are to set program directions
and priorities, and to recommend Info Net policies to UMS and MLC. The Board should also
define the responsibilities of – and recommend the individual to employ – and be collaboratively
involved in the evaluation of the chief executive officer. The ultimate responsibility for the
employment and evaluation of the chief executive officer would rest as a joint responsibility of
the two sponsoring organizations, the Maine Library Commission and the University of Maine
System.

Board Officers and Executive Committee. The officers of Info Net should be elected by the
Board from the membership of the Board. Five Board positions were identified that should serve
as the Executive Committee: Chair, Vice-Chair/Chair-elect, Secretary, Treasurer, and the
Immediate Past-Chair. This Executive Committee, along with the Executive Director, should be
charged and empowered to make decisions on behalf of the entire Board on matters requiring
urgent attention that occur between meetings. Given the large size of the Executive Committee,
there need only be a minimum of 3 voting officers required to take action on behalf of the Board

Board Committees. The following were identified as the primary Board standing committees:

   Governance-Related Committees:
    Executive Committee
    Nominating Committee (to nominate individuals to fill the at-large positions on the
      Board, and to recommend a slate of officers to serve on the Executive Committee)
    Finance Committee




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                      13
   Program-Related Committees. Program committee memberships usually will be broad
   based, and include representation from multiple library-types, different geographic areas,
   service providers (e.g., URSUS and MINERVA), library operational staff, Info Net decision
   makers, and an Info Net Board liaison.

      Resource Sharing Committee. The scope of this work includes direct patron borrowing
       and interlibrary loan, as well as ground and electronic delivery. The committee charge
       includes to: develop policies; establish quality standards; determine training
       requirements; gather input and communicate with member libraries; reinforce
       cooperative values; examine and recommend processes for ground and document
       delivery; and make recommendations about the relationship with and future of ARRCs.

      E-resources. The committee charge is to: develop and communicate an e-resources
       collection development policy and principles; gather input and communicate resources
       under consideration to members; identify and review potential products (trials);
       recommend e-resources for purchase (in priority order); interpret usage statistics;
       recommend organization and presentation on the Info Net Portal; recommend appropriate
       and consistent marketing and attribution; and introduce and promote new databases.

      Technology Committee. The committee will be charged with exploring and
       recommending new technologies for adoption by Info Net.

      Union Catalog. The committee charge is to establish union catalog quality standards,
       training requirements, etc.

      Digitization. The committee will be charged with facilitating and coordinating
       digitization programs within Maine.

      Public and Legislative Relations. The committee will be charged to develop appropriate
       marketing materials for each of the key constituencies of the membership.

MEMBERSHIP STRUCTURE

Membership: Benefits, Rights and Responsibilities

The working group recommends that libraries be offered one of two options: either full
membership or status as a non-member. Every library will have the opportunity to be an Info
Net member. Members will receive all services that are available, as illustrated in the chart
below. Non-members will have the ability to do only the following: (1) to view the Info Net
catalog, (2) to view all fully funded statewide electronic resources, (3) to place and ILL request
via an ARRC, or (4) to receive reference services via an ARRC.

Info Net should encourage all libraries to become members, and will make every effort to learn
why libraries choose not to be members, and to educate these libraries on potential options that
would encourage them to become members. The benefits, rights and responsibilities of the non-
members would be extremely limited, and are defined in brief in the chart below.


Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                      14
 Benefits, Obligations, Responsibilities                             Full          Non-Members
                                                                    Members
 Benefits
    Union Catalog                                                                        
    Full Resource Sharing                                                
    Use ground delivery system                                           
    Participate in governance                                            
    - opportunities
    - obligations
    Receive Info Net support and training                                               (for
                                                                                      electronic
                                                                                   resources only)
    Access state-funded e-resources                                                  (for state
                                                                                        funded
                                                                                      electronic
                                                                                   resources only)
    Participate in optional e-resource offers                            
    Opportunity to participate in the establishment of                   
    guidelines and standards
    PR/Marketing (available for local use)                               
    Participate in continuing education opportunities                    
    Eligible to participate in special offers and opportunities          
    Participate in collegial networking opportunities                    
 Responsibilities
    Pay dues                                                             
    Adhere to guidelines and standards                                                   


Although non-members will have access to the Info Net database, they will not be able to place
interlibrary loan requests via Info Net. While these libraries can place requests through regular
interlibrary loan or via an ARRC, Info Net must also recognize that it is more expensive to meet
the Info Net request through this mechanism, and that in effect this continues to provide a partial
subsidy for these libraries to not become a member. For non-members that are not part of an
ARRC, requests for materials would not be accepted by Info Net libraries.

The working group also recommends that there be a fresh review of the ARRCs, re-examining
not only the goals of the ARRC, but more importantly whether the original reasons for creating
ARRCs are still valid and the most appropriate ways to provide these services. In particular,
this review should examine whether there are new alternatives available through Maine Info Net
that are enabled with current technology that make the ARRCs less critical. Most importantly,
this review should explore whether the funding currently used to support non-member activity
could be more effectively used to support Info Net services for the greater good.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  15
PROGRAMS AND SERVICES

Initially, Info Net will have three primary program and service components:

   Union Catalog, which will provide access to the collections of all the participating libraries.
    The Union Catalog will include fully cataloged bibliographic records and standards for local
    system cataloging practice and authority control will be implemented and monitored to
    ensure accurate search and retrieval. The Union Catalog will also support resource sharing
    by both staff and direct end user-initiated requests to obtain materials.

   Electronic Resources, which will include purchased, licensed, or linked resources. These
    resources will be organized and described for easy identification by the user, with appropriate
    authentication to control access.

   Web Portal, which will be a Web home page that presents all the component parts clearly
    labeled and described for the user, with a user-friendly search engine able to search across all
    the resources presented.

The following steps will be required to implement and fund each of these functions:

Union Catalog

   Governance
    o Articulate member requirements for participation, and the responsibilities for member
       libraries.
    o Develop standards and policies in critical areas, such as database quality and resource
       sharing.
    o Address how ongoing support will be provided to the Unaffiliated Libraries, such as to
       provide training, or to convert holdings.

   Funding. Develop and implement plans to ensure funding for the following:
    o the sustainability of the program;
    o regular upgrades to all systems;
    o ground and electronic delivery systems;
    o continuing education related to Info Net issues for libraries in the state; and,
    o public relations and promotional activities geared to member libraries and to the general
       user community.

    In addition, Info Net will need to:
    o create a strategy to provide funding support for the under-served populations within the
        state; and,
    o examine and develop recommendations on the ongoing purpose and role of the ARRCs.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  16
Electronic Resources

   Selection
    o Establish an effective methodology and systems for collection analysis, licensing,
        statistical analysis and use studies, and evaluation of all electronic resources.
    o Determine a method to ensure effective representation on groups charged with making
        electronic resource recommendations and selections.
    o Develop criteria for effective cooperative collection development (e.g., for e-journals).

   Funding
    o Establish a method for cooperating libraries to pool their funds, either to partially pay for
       purchases that cannot be fully funded by Info Net, or to purchase other material that will
       not be purchased by Info Net at all.

Portal Development

Info Net must have its own comprehensive web site (or “portal”) to provide access to all
available Info Net services and resources. In addition, most libraries will likely have their own
web sites. The library may choose to have any or all Info Net services available through the
local site, but all Info Net resources and services must be branded as originating from Info Net.

The portal comprises the following components:
 the search interface (or presentation) format, including a system to enable federated
   searching
 the content that is accessible through the portal
 the technology infrastructure to support the interface functions.

The illustration below outlines the relationship between the Info Net and local portals, as well as
the information paths for each. Both groups must address essentially the same issues to provide
e-resource and local catalog access, with the two following parallel but separate paths. While
each works independently, the interrelationships between the two must always be borne in mind
by both the Info Net and local development groups (as illustrated by the dotted line).




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                   17
Other special needs that Info Net must address related to the development of the portal include
the following:

 define the relationship of the Info Net and local (institutional) portals in terms of baseline
  needs, providing flexibility at the local level, and how the local and Info Net systems respond
  to each other;
 establish standards for branding the Info Net resources on the local systems;
 determine how to accommodate the basic portal needs of unaffiliated libraries to enable
  access by all citizens to Info Net resources, with the requirement that such services must be
  available primarily through their local library;
 design and implement a fully-effective authentication system;
 develop, fund and implement a collaborative virtual reference service;
 incorporate the portal within the overall Info Net marketing program; and,
 develop an effective program for portal training and support.


STANDARDS AND PRACTICES

Member Responsibilities. Participation in Maine Info Net provides benefits and entails
responsibilities. The agreement for participation in the project should define member
responsibilities and consequences of failure to abide by participation rules. Training in being a
good Info Net citizen should be part of the membership startup process and affirmed in written
policies and procedures. In addition, members need to contribute through internal training and
reinforcement to promote responsible membership.

   Union Catalog. The union catalog’s value as a means of resource sharing and as a source of
    cataloging copy requires that members contribute quality cataloging records and holdings to
    the database in a timely manner. Libraries should use Info Net consistently to support their
    resource sharing activities, adhere to agreed-upon standards and practices for borrowing and
    lending, and train their staff to use the system properly. It is the local library’s responsibility
    to educate and communicate to funding and governing authorities the value of Maine Info
    Net.

   Electronic Resources. The array of electronic resources provided by Maine Info Net will be
    greatly enriched by the inclusion of locally developed digital collections and selected quality
    Web sites. Member libraries are encouraged to participate in selecting these resources and
    contributing to the development of this digital collection. Members are also responsible for
    providing prominent links to the Info Net resources, and should develop local aids for their
    user community to assist in the choice of appropriate databases. Library staff should train
    local users in searching and selecting databases. Members should stay informed about new or
    changed resources through participation in discussion lists or active checking of Web sites.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                       18
    Portal. While the portal is the single entry to all Info Net resources, the individual library or
     library system Web site will be the primary entry point for most members. The member is
     responsible for providing links from the local site to the portal, and should promote the portal
     and Info Net services to its user community.

Policies. The need for clearly written and enforced policies, as reflected in the committee
charges, was stated and reaffirmed by the working group. Policies will be necessary for the
following in the resource sharing area:
     Requesting hierarchies and layers
     Participation responsibilities (commitment to use of the system)
     Lender responsibilities (speed of response, availability of materials)
     Borrower responsibilities (appropriate requests through proper mechanism)
     Routing (including role of the ARRCs)
     Lending policies for various materials formats

Cataloging Standards. The Union Catalog is a shared database that depends on quality
cataloging records. Non-standard records do not index properly and create duplicate records.
This results in user confusion and poor resource sharing fulfillment. The component databases
are not direct services of Maine Info Net, but the Info Net program can and should define
standards for database record quality. The Maine State Library, as the sponsor of both
MINERVA and the Holdings Database of Unaffiliated Libraries, is encouraged to promote
record quality through training for participating libraries in cataloging standards and MARC
tagging.

E-Resources Selection. A priority for the working group was to outline a process for the
selection of electronic resources for Info Net. The outline below reflects a strong desire for an
inclusive selection process based on objective criteria as well as user needs. A primary
component will be the development of e-resources collection development principles by the E-
Resources Collection Development Committee. After the principles are developed, the selection
process will include the following major steps.

1.   Review existing databases (usage, cost, audience, restrictions such as remote use, ILL, etc.).
2.   Gather member input on satisfaction, needs, suggestions.
3.   Identify potential new resources, set up trials.
4.   Solicit feedback.
5.   Develop priority list of databases and forward to Info Net Board.
6.   Info Net Board submits funding request.
7.   Requests negotiated, approved, and funded jointly by MLC and UMS.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                     19
STAFFING

Info Net must have full-time professional management, with sufficient support staff to
accomplish all core responsibilities.

Executive Director

A key to the success of the program will be for Info Net to employ a program director, who
should be a fully-empowered chief executive officer -- a executive program leader who can set
forth a vision of the Info Net program to the members and funding sources, who can lead the
development of programs and services, and facilitate and coordinate program committees. In
short, the chief executive officer should be more than an implementer of services, and should
have significant authority in decision-making and accountable to the Info Net Board for any
actions taken.

Appendix D provides a sample position description for an Executive Director/CEO of Info Net.
In general, the areas of responsibility will include: program leadership and development,
advocacy and fundraising, and coordination of membership communication. Qualities and
qualifications for the position include: vision, leadership skills, creativity, agility,
communications skills, effective management skills, experience in a consortium, supervisory
experience, library background (i.e., an accredited library degree and experience working in a
library), high energy level, an ability to balance multiple tasks, and a willingness to travel.

The preferred date by which the incumbent should start will be Fall 2003.

Other Staffing Roles and Needs

Staffing for Maine Info Net is currently provided by a mix of Maine State Library and University
of Maine staff. Much of the work provided by MSL is in support of MINERVA and the Holdings
Database of Unaffiliated Libraries.
The working group started from the program areas and charted staffing needs in three categories:
permanent in-house staff; short-term outsourced; and, permanently outsourced.

Union Catalog. Staffing areas for the Union Catalog involve the management of the ongoing
operation for the servers and software, startup of new member participants, and activities related
to resource sharing. Server maintenance is currently outsourced and will remain as a permanent
outsourced service. Software maintenance, startup, and resource sharing depend upon on-site,
permanent staff. Startup of new members will be a priority over the next 3 years and will require
significant training on the InnReach software, on Info Net membership responsibilities, and on
policies and standards. Ongoing user support and statistics generation will be key activities for
this staff.

Electronic Resources. While selection of resources is distributed to the membership through the
selection process and the E-Resources Committee, the negotiation of licenses will be an
important high-level activity of the permanent staff, most likely at the CEO level. Staff will be
needed to set up trials of new databases and to implement new resources. Info Net staff will be


Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                 20
involved in ongoing support and training for database searching, as well as for resolving
authentication issues, and will also assist in the generation of statistics for evaluation purposes.

Portal. The design of the portal will be outsourced as a short-term activity, as will the
implementation of federated searching by the vendor. Ongoing training and support of the
searching technology will be required, as well as maintenance and evaluation.


Info Net Staffing

The programmatic staffing needs and identified skills for staff other than the CEO represent a
potential Info Net staff of 2.5 FTE. The positions required are:

   Systems/Technology
    Responsibilities: systems, technology support, documentation, some training.
    Skills: familiarity with ILS software and systems, library data, MARC,
      programming/scripting, database creation and maintenance, (IPs) authentication/access,
      network architecture/server (general), desktop computing/software technology, Federated
      search software, searching/indexing, systems analysis, statistical analysis, technical
      writing – documentation
    Qualifications: library experience preferred.

   Project Coordinator/Trainer
    Responsibilities: project coordination, communication, documentation, statistical
      analysis, member relations, committee liaison, e-resources support.
    Skills: project management, teaching/training, communication (oral, written,
      presentation), problem solving, MARC/cataloging, using e-resources (searching), HTML
      and web technology, supervisory experience interpersonal skills, entrepreneurial and
      creative.
    Qualifications: Library degree required

   Clerical Support (part-time)
    Responsibilities: processing, data entry, tracking

FUNDING

It is recommended that Info Net continue to be funded primarily from state funds as provided
through the Maine State Library. In addition, Info Net members should be charged annual dues
(to cover basic infrastructure and overhead costs that are of common benefit to all members), and
fees for optional services where each member library can choose whether or not to participate.

The following chart summarizes the anticipated initial major programs and services of Info Net,
and the potential source of funding to support those services. In some cases, the service may be
funded from only one source of funds, while other services may be funded through a
combination. For example, a ground delivery service may have some baseline funding provided
through state funds and augmented through general dues, with individual libraries having the


Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                    21
option to supplement the basic services if they pay extra fees to do so. Similarly, state funds may
be used to fund some e-resources common to all institutions, but Info Net may also negotiate for
other resources sought by only a portion of the membership, with the latter paid through optional
fees.

 Service                                   State Funds          Dues       Optional Fees
 General Administration                                         
 Union catalog and resource sharing                             
 E-resources                                                                     
 Ground delivery                                                                
 Virtual Reference service                                                       

Although it might be desirable to expect the state to pay all expenses related to Info Net,
realistically Info Net should not overly-rely upon any one funding source. By expanding the
funding streams, Info Net not only will not be subject to the vagaries of state revenues, but it also
will enable Info Net to provide services that the libraries desire but that the state might be unable
or unwilling to support (or to support in full). The latter services, which might be supported
through the dues structure, are essentially “funding gaps.” These gaps potentially include:
 development and implementation of a marketing program for libraries on the availability and
    use of Info Net;
 ground delivery, which repeatedly has been mentioned as an essential service that is currently
    not funded, and that requires a fresh look to identify different funding source;
 supplemental electronic resources, which might be purchased in part from state funds and in
    part from member contributions;
 staff for communications, such as web site updating, or for facilitation, such as to convene
    and coordinate committee meetings;
 technology consulting and support; and,
 management of the holdings database and the Maine union list of serials.

While the working group recommends creation of a dues and fees structure, the exact cost of
dues cannot be estimated in any more detail until there is a further articulation as to what costs
the dues must support. However, the working group recommends that any dues structure must
be viewed by the general membership to be “reasonable.” It is also recognized that any dues or
fees may not be met favorably by members. In part, members have developed an unrealistic set
of expectations because some of the current operations have been supported through informal
subsidies. For example, the University of Maine System and MSL have been supporting
MINERVA at a rate that does not cover the true direct and indirect costs. As long as such
informal subsidy continues, it is possible that libraries will not feel any pressure to do something
about permanent funding.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                   22
RECOMMENDED NEXT STEPS

Info Net should move immediately to do the following as the essential first steps to implement
this plan:

1. Develop MINERVA as a stand alone entity from Info Net, and reinforcing that MINERVA
   has its own separate governance structure.

2. Move to create the new governance Board, and seek agreement on a Memorandum of
   Understanding between the Maine Library Commission and the University of Maine System.

3. Recruit to hire the Executive Director.

4. Develop and implement the standards for Info Net member participation in the union catalog,
   and the policies and protocols governing resource sharing.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  23
                                  LIST OF APPENDICES

Appendix A: History and Background of Maine Info Net

Appendix B: Members of the Info Net Working Group

Appendix C: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) Analysis (Complete List)

Appendix D: Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer: Sample Position Description

Appendix E: Strategic Issues Raised by User Survey




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                             24
   APPENDIX A: HISTORY AND B ACKGROUND OF MAINE INFO NET
The Maine Info Net Project

Funded by a $4.9 million bond issue approved by Maine voters in June, 1996, the Maine Info
Net project set out to improve citizen access to information in and through libraries by means of
new online systems and services. The three systems implemented as a result of the bond are the
Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog, MINERVA and the Holdings Database. Extensive
retrospective conversion was also backed. State Library funds pay the ongoing cost of software
and hardware support for the Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog and the Holdings Database.

Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog
        Ten online systems are linked to form a real-time, physical union catalog of 2.8 million
unique titles and 5.4 million items (http://www.state.me.us/msl/latest_ir_dbstats.htm). They
include three consortial systems: URSUS (University of Maine System Campuses, Maine State
Library, Bangor Public Library, Maine Law and Legislative Reference Library), MINERVA and
the Holdings Database; as well as stand-alone systems at: Bates College, Bowdoin College,
Colby College, Maine College of Art, Maine Maritime Academy, Portland Public Library, and
University of New England. INN Reach software from Innovative Interfaces, supplier of
integrated library system software to all the participating systems, manages the database and the
links to the constituent systems.
        Online requesting and lending are fully operational among all systems with the exception
of MINERVA and the Holdings Database. In both of the latter cases, a pioneer group of libraries
has begun using online requesting, with additional groups to follow in coming months.
        An Agreement to Participate describes the understanding between the Maine State
Library and each participating system. It can be found, along with additional information about
the Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog, at http://www.state.me.us/msl/in_home.htm.

MINERVA
        Libraries wishing to become a part of the Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog can join
MINERVA and simultaneously become part of an Innovative-based consortial integrated library
system. Project funds have been used to license a full compliment of software. Libraries pay an
annual fee to the Maine State Library sufficient to fully defray ongoing costs. The Maine State
Library supplies system staff but does not contribute any ongoing funds to maintenance of the
system. The most recent annual billing was for $3,000 per site. An Agreement to Participate
defines the relationship between each participant and the Maine State Library. It and a large
number of additional documents pertaining to MINERVA can be found at
http://www.state.me.us/msl/MINERVA_home.htm.
        MINERVA has been growing rapidly. By July 1, 2002, 35 libraries will be active users
of cataloging, OPAC and circulation functions. With the first library enabled in December,
1999, this reflects an average of more than one library a month coming up on the system.
Interest in joining MINERVA remains strong. Official commitments and informal indications of
strong interest currently include at least 10 additional libraries.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                 25
Holdings Database
        Many libraries wish to become a part of the Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog but have
no interest in joining the MINERVA integrated library system. Most libraries in this group serve
small communities, have very low budgets and/or have a local automated library system that
they do not wish to abandon. The Holdings Database is the port of entry for such libraries. At
no cost to the local library, the Maine State Library accepts and loads MARC bibliographic data
exported from any of a wide variety of local automated library systems. Only good quality
records are accepted. Several options are available for updating holdings information in batch
mode and/or interactively after the original submission. Further information can be found at
http://www.state.me.us/msl/hd_home.htm.

Retrospective Conversion Activities
        Approximately $750,000 in Project funds have been committed to funding a variety of
retrospective conversion projects. Many target unique and valuable holdings not currently
visible as available in any Maine library collections. Others have focused on completing
conversion of collections destined for inclusion in MINERVA.

Maine Online Databases
        Funded by a combination of legislative appropriations and Maine Telecommunications
Access Fund monies, and supported materially by the University of Maine System and the Maine
Technical College System in addition to the Maine State Library, the program provides all
Mainers with free online access to a broad selection of full-text electronic resources. While
arising through efforts separate from those that created the foregoing systems, the online
database project is linked by “Maine Info Net” branding. With the likely advent in Maine of
tools for federated searching and enhanced electronic resource linking, a further blurring of
functional and historical distinctions is likely to bring all systems closer together. Users of the
Maine Databases start at http://libraries.maine.edu/mainedatabases/.

Structure. Innovative software is licensed to the Maine State Library. Its policy-setting body,
the Maine Library Commission, has established the Maine Info Net Committee to exercise
oversight over implementation and operation of Maine Info Net. Members of the Committee
currently include individuals associated with the Maine State Library (2), the University of
Maine System (2), a private academic library, a health science library, a school system, two large
Area Reference and Resource Center libraries, and a MINERVA consortium public library. The
State Librarian functions as Project Director and oversees the work of the Library Systems
Coordinator and other staff involved with the Project.

Staffing. The State Librarian serves as Project Director, the University of Maine Dean of
Cultural Affairs and Libraries Services serves as Co-Project Director. The Library Systems
Coordinator is responsible for day to day implementation and operation of the Maine Info Net
Statewide Catalog, MINERVA and the Holdings Database, assisted by a Library Systems
Specialist. Currently the Specialist deals primarily with MINERVA, with additional
responsibilities as training and experience allow. A cataloger / database clean-up / cataloging
training position has been authorized but is currently frozen. An interim part-time worker fills
some responsibilities in this area. A library assistant performs miscellaneous routine tasks for 5




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  26
to 10 hrs per week. Clerical assistance is provided by other Maine State Library staff on an
occasional and as-needed basis.
        The University of Maine System staff handles some of the technical issues related to
Maine Info Net and the Maine Databases, with Maine State Library staff serving as first point of
contact for users having questions or problems with the service.

Training and Support. MINERVA library staffs receive two introductory on-site, hands-on ½
day training sessions. One introduces cataloging and related database concepts, the other sets
forth the basics of circulation operations. Separate user group meetings focused on cataloging,
circulation and occasionally serials, usually at the Maine State Library, offer an ongoing
opportunity to ask questions and learn more about those specialized areas of the system.
        Locally maintained online support pages supplement the Innovative Manual and the
firm’s software support site. Phone and email support are provided by Maine State Library staff.
The Maine Info Net Forum organizes communication on topics related to the Project into
Conferences. Users can subscribe to the mailing list associated with each Conference,
effectively becoming part of a listserv focused on a narrow portion of the Project as a whole.
Many local library staffers communicate entirely by email. Some post on the web but reply to
posts via email. A few only work on the web.

Public Relations. Given competing time demands, relatively little time and effort has been
spent in publicizing Maine Info Net services to the general public. Efforts aimed at the library
community vary. Library staff have received repeated contacts regarding the online databases.
MINERVA has gotten its share of attention at library conferences and meetings. Broadcast PR
related to the Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog have been held back pending widespread use
within MINERVA and establishment of an assembly-line approach to bringing new libraries into
the Holdings Database.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                               27
      APPENDIX B: MEMBERS OF THE INFO NET WORKING GROUP
Maine Info Net Committee
Elaine Albright, Dean of Cultural affairs and Libraries, University of Maine, Orono
Karl Beiser, Library Systems Coordinator, Maine State Library
Sherrie Bergman, Library Director, Bowdoin College
Sue Jagels, Librarian, Eastern Maine Medical Center
Sheldon Kaye, Director, Portland Public Library
Marilyn Lutz, Director of Library Information Technology Planning, University of Maine, Orono
Barbara McDade, Library Director, Bangor Public Library
Gary Nichols, State Librarian, Maine State Library
Richard Speer, Director, Lewiston Public Library

MINERVA Libraries
Karl Aromaa, Director, Rumford Public Library
Elizabeth Hughes, Director, Patten Free Library
Valerie Osborne, Director, Old Town Public Library
Elizabeth Pohl, Director, Lithgow Public Library

Unaffiliated Libraries (Holdings Database)
John McManus, Director, Millinocket Memorial Library
Susan Winch, Librarian, Scarborough Public Library

Regional Library System Executive Board Chairs
CMLD: Vaughan Gagne, Director, Wilton Free Public Library
SMLD: Martha Ott, Librarian, Andover College
NMLD: Betsy York, Librarian, Central Aroostock Jr. Sr. High School

Technical Colleges
Judith Frost, Librarian, Central Maine Technical College

Public Schools
Sylvia Norton, Maine Department of Education

Members-at-Large
Sarah Campbell, Librarian, Portland Public Library
Stew MacLehose, Systems & Electronic Resources Librarian, University of New England

Maine State Library
Linda Lord, Director, Library Development Division, Maine State Library




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                           28
       APPENDIX C: INITIAL CHARGES TO THE WORKING GROUP
Identity. Recommend a plan that will identify the branding and terminology to support the
quickest and most complete understanding of the services so that it is possible to market the
benefits of Maine Info Net to the state legislature, to the general public and to participating
libraries.
1. Create a plan to provide a clear identity and set of terminology to define the identity and
    brand for Maine Info Net and its component programs and services so that it recognized as
    the primary, and an easy-to-use, information portal for all citizens.
2. Define ways to reinforce the importance of Maine Info Net as a multi-type collaborative
    effort.

Governance Structure. Provide general recommendations to develop an effective and
collaborative governance structure that will involve all types of libraries within the state,
including recommendations on program governance, policy setting, accountability, and levels of
participation. Some of the issues to be addressed include:
1. What is the optimum governance structure for ongoing operations?
2. Define the reporting structure of Maine Info Net. Should the Project continue to function as
    a service of the Maine State Library, or should some or all of it be spun off into a private,
    non-profit structure?
    a. Given the close relationship between URSUS, MINERVA, Other III, Other Libraries,
        and Maine Info Net, should there be a closer structural relationship as well? What are the
        major possibilities?
    b. Does the current structure adequately address fiscal, operational and staffing
        accountability?
    3. Recommend a process to develop effective policies and processes to ensure effective
        program operations.

Membership Composition and Participation. Define the membership composition of current
and potential members, including how to encourage the participation of members and
development of cooperative values, and make recommendations on how to broaden the
membership and participation in the development and review of the program. Some of the issues
to be addressed include:
1. What are the broad objectives that should be considered within the context of evolving
    technology and networked library services?
2. What process should be used, and which participants should be involved in reviewing,
    restating and possibly extending goals and objectives of the Project?
3. How can a sense of cooperation and camaraderie among program participants be fostered and
    sustained?
4. How should the structure provide for change in participation as additional libraries become
    part of Maine Info Net through the Holdings Database System?
5. What mechanisms are necessary and appropriate to ensure the accountability of all members?
    a. Define the methods and levels of member participation in the governance of the program.
    b. To define the structural and governance relationships among URSUS, MINERVA, Other
        III, Other Libraries, and Maine Info Net.



Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                   29
Funding and Program Growth. Create sound governance and financial structures for shared
services that achieve cost-effective benefits for participating libraries and advance the vision of
Maine Info Net by defining a sustainable funding mechanism and structure (including
consideration of expansion of dues & fees) that will adequately address the long-term financial
needs and growth of Maine Info Net.
1. Develop a plan to manage the growth of Maine Info Net and its component programs.
2. Develop a plan to coordinate efforts to secure and grow program funding, including
    anticipated revenues and expenditures for the services and programs.
3. Identify major opportunities (including grant funding) for new initiatives, particularly for
    cooperative computing and collection development services, and information technology.

Marketing and Public Relations. Define the desired methods for effective communications,
public relations and marketing of Maine Info Net programs and services, including to publicize
available services to current and potential members and marketing the benefits of Maine Info Net
to libraries, the state legislature, researchers, educators, and citizens of Maine.
1. What next steps will yield the best results in providing Maine library staff with a clear
     understanding of program services, and most effectively encourage their joining the Project
     and using its services?
2. What promotional efforts should be undertaken to acquaint potential members with Maine
     Info Net services?
3. What promotional efforts should be undertaken to acquaint the general public with the
     programs and services of Maine Info Net, and what information services and sources are
     available.
     o To define the requirements and methods for providing for initial and ongoing training and
         documentation for the staff of member libraries.
     o To define the requirements and methods for communicating and delivering information
         to users of Maine Info Net.
4. Articulate general guidelines for maintaining the web site as a publicity tool, and the
     necessary print brochures for the general public and the various types of libraries.
5. Articulate a plan to coordinate public relations promotion with library legislative initiatives,
     producing an annual report that shows growth patterns, expanded use of collections, and
     cost-effective benefits.
6. Define the techniques, platforms or other means should be employed to provide effective
     communication between Maine State Library staff and the staff at the participating libraries?

Program Staffing and Management. Define the staffing and management needs of Maine Info
Net, including the staff support necessary to implement the program effectively (e.g., number
and classification of staffing, skills and abilities required, etc.), internal organizational structure
of the program, division of labor, the continuing involvement of the Maine State Library and
University of Maine, appropriate use of outsourcing, etc.
1. Define the general program staffing needs, including staff the required and skills and
    experience. Is current staffing sufficient in number and skills to maintain and expand Project
    activities? If not, what is required? Should staff responsibilities be apportioned differently?
    If so, how?
2. Define the general staff organizational structure.




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                       30
3. Recommend whether (or extent to which) any functions can or should be outsourced to
   external vendors.
4. Is there any part of the duties currently performed by Maine State Library or University of
   Maine System staff that should be outsourced to an external vendor?
5. Are additional staff and/or a new staff structure, required to develop or implement
   recommended changes in goals and objectives? If so, what skills and experience are
   necessary?
6. What staffing is needed for marketing Maine Info Net?
7. Multi-year plan

Library Catalog, Portal and Information Systems. Articulate a plan to address the long term
developmental needs for the library catalog and portal.
1. Generate a plan to address the perceived problems concerning MINERVA and holdings
   database quality (including timely updating of holdings data).
2. Articulate a plan to assess and recommend the long-term computing, networking and
   software technologies necessary to provide enhanced services.

Electronic Resources. Articulate a plan to create a core collection and provide access to
electronic information resources to support the research, instructional, and information needs of
Maine’s citizens.
1. Define the preferred types of electronic resources Maine Info Net should encompass.
2. What is the optimum approach to selecting products for the online database service?
3. How can Maine Info Net expand the process for regularizing and expand involvement in the
    database selection process.

Resource Sharing and Document Delivery. Establish effective policies for resource sharing,
including promoting effective access to materials owned by any library in the state through direct
document delivery and interlibrary loan.
1. Establish a process to define the policies and standards necessary for an effective statewide
    interlibrary loan program, including:
    a. how to differentiate among online requests through the Maine Info Net Statewide Catalog
    b. how to facilitate direct borrowing and delivery, and how to support article delivery from
        commercial suppliers through Maine Info Net research databases
    c. how should Maine Info Net policy setting interact with establishment of statewide
        interlibrary loan policies and procedures?
2. Explore creation of a mechanism to ascertain the ongoing needs for ground and electronic
    delivery of information.
3. Develop a plan that articulates the opportunities and difficulties in expanding cooperative
    collection development in the state.

Continuing Education, Training, Support, and Documentation. Develop a continuing
education process that responds to member needs and new trends and developments, including
initial user training, staff required for training, support programs, documentation, and
communications.
1. Articulate the educational programs necessary to strengthen libraries’ implementation of Info
     Net, including how to ensure the integrity of the statewide catalog.



Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  31
2. Articulate opportunities to coordinate training and materials so that library users and staff can
   achieve the maximum benefit from the system resources.
3. Define what level of user training for libraries would be reasonable and adequate for first-
   time users? For continuing users? What type of staffing would be necessary to deliver this
   training?
4. What contracting for educational services with an outside organization or individual would
   be desirable?
5. What online support practices would help to optimize the level of service to users?
6. What online documentation is necessary to effectively reach users, and what modifications to
   current documentation are necessary to reach this level?




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  32
                     APPENDIX C:
     STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, THREATS
                   (SWOT) ANALYSIS
                                    (COMPLETE LIST)

STRENGTHS
 Multi-type
 Cost savings for many libraries for a variety of things
 Level of cooperation is impressive
 Maine School & Library Network infrastructure
 Covers the whole state
 Can be innovative quickly because of trust & working together
 Allows small libraries do more & larger libraries too
 Homogenous approach to things
 Sharing of collections – more resources
 Focus comes from the state library
 Benefits to large & small libraries in different ways
 OPAC power & ease of use
 Potential of affordable system for all libraries
 Single system – III
 Variety & richness of databases
 Ability to leverage funds
 Allows local control
 Camaraderie
 Collaboration with universities (enriched set of resources)
 Commitment to the state & the economic development of it
 Committed, hard-working proponents for our libraries
 Forward looking
 Good start on the virtual library
 Good will fostered
 It’s a bargain
 Look good to customers (good library PR)
 One vendor only – state-wide
 Overcomes the rural isolation of many
 Potential of III system
 Presence of risk-takers (institutions & management)
 Trust
 Ubiquitous access
 Value everyone
 Works with legislature more easily




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                   33
WEAKNESSES
 Unclear image and identity
 "Amazon effect" – instant gratification
 Absence of a PR Plan
 Reality has not matched the dream – clunky more seamless
 Financial structure of Info Net
 Communication to libraries of what’s available & how to use it
 Delivery options
 Holdings Database as a service (software functional issue & interaction of DB & other
  pieces).
 How does the regional library system fit into Maine Info Net. How parts fit together
 Lack of pre-planning – too reactionary
 Lack of process for decision making
 Lack of technological expertise of participants
 Staffing
 Trying to fit new services into existing structure
 Communication of standards, decisions to MINERVA users
 Convince local communities of statewide benefit
 Implementation is uneven - immature
 Lack of systematic training – basic competencies
 Public library funding structure may discourage participation (I.e., non-resident fees)
 Software limitations
 Current status of Maine budget
 Database quality in MINERVA (database clean-up)
 Geography for delivery and meetings
 Lack of professional library expertise
 Lack of universal borrowing card
 Multi-type
 No clear direction for patron &/or staff ILL
 No place to park cooperative dollars
 Statistics

OPPORTUNITIES
 Maine library portal to the world
 Raise level of library practice – new tools for libraries (promotion of best practices)
 Reinvent themselves (librarians)
 Seamless access for end user
 Library should be the first place to go for information
 Economic benefit – to the state
 Higher quality service & access provided by staff involved with Maine Info Net
 Show that government can work & make them look good
 Cooperative Collection Development – e-resources & print
 Value of Maine Info Net
 Clients on the web


Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                             34
   Market themselves as a collaborative unit
   More cohesive lobbying force (Unity builds strength)
   Single message
   Equal access to information for all
   Fund – raising
   Libraries are still valid – reinforcing importance of libraries
   Technical capabilities of higher ed system
   Training of staff and patrons

THREATS
 The general state of the national economy
 Lack of participation & apathy within our own community
 "Amazon/Google effect"– instant gratification
 Public ignorance of value of library
 Equitable funding?
 Public library funding structure – no unifying authority
 Big vendors - Reduced competition & small state
 Lack of uniform authority of funding
 Everything free on Google
 Lack of universal borrowing card
 Low education level
 Legislative ignorance about libraries
 Unlike Maine public schools, no state funding for public libraries




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                        35
  APPENDIX D: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR/CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER:
                SAMPLE POSITION DESCRIPTION
Maine Info Net is seeking an executive program leader to develop and manage a statewide
library information program that is a partnership of public, academic, school and special libraries
throughout the state. Info Net currently is a managed program of the Maine State Library that is
now being established as a separate organization. The mission of Info Net is to be the leading
statewide source of information and educational resources for Maine citizens, and to serve as an
information portal that promotes resource sharing, provide cost-effective solutions for the
improvement of the quality of library and information services, support the economic
development of the State. Info Net comprises three major programs: an operational statewide
union catalog and resource sharing system, provision of electronic resources, and the
development of an information portal. This senior leadership position reports to the Maine Info
Net Board, which is sponsored jointly by the Maine Library Commission and the University of
Maine System. The position will be located in Augusta, Maine.

RESPONSIBILITIES. The Executive Director is responsible for leading Info Net and for
developing and managing its programs. Primary responsibilities include:
 Work closely with the Info Net Board to establish organizational goals, policies, programs
   and services.
 Provide program leadership by articulating and implementing the vision of Info Net, and by
   developing new programs and services.
 Serve as the primary advocate for Info Net programs and services.
 Secure appropriate levels of funding and expand funding sources.
 Hire and manage all staff, and supervise all operations.
 Engage in budget planning and oversight.
 Monitor actions of the state legislature that may impact upon the Info Net program.
 Develop creative partnerships with other statewide and national initiatives in libraries and
   information technology.
 Stimulate collaborative partnerships with other organizations and initiatives.
 Coordinate membership communications and market the program to its constituencies.

QUALIFICATIONS
Required: an ALA-accredited graduate degree or a graduate degree in a related discipline.
Preferred: Leading candidates will have:
 Demonstrated leadership and management experience in a library, consortium, or
   information-oriented organization, including proven abilities and experience managing
   programs, people, technology and budgets.
 An understanding of the role of libraries in society and a commitment to advancing their
   work.
 An awareness of the impact of technology on libraries and those whom they serve.
 Familiarity with collaborative library systems and programs; and, an understanding of state
   government.
 Evidence of entrepreneurial success, with a demonstrable interest in building a new
   organization.


Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                 36
   Demonstrable vision and leadership skills, with successful experience in developing
    innovative programs.
   Creative, agile, high energy level individual with an ability to balance multiple tasks and to
    lead an innovative program.
   Strong communications skills, including interpersonal, presentation, negotiation, and
    consensus-building skills.
   Experience working collaboratively with libraries and with governmental boards, particularly
    in a consortial environment.
   Supervisory experience and strong personal communication skills to maintain effective
    relationships with staff.
   Demonstrated success in fiscal management and fundraising.
   Dynamic, confident person.
   Strong analytical skills.
   Possess an understanding of the special needs of both rural and urban communities.
   Familiarity and comfort with a broad range of information technology.
   Willing to travel, particularly within the state.

Salary. Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Hiring date. Fall 2003

Applications: Applications will be received until the position is filled. First consideration will
be given to applications received by ___________. Info Net encourages applications and
nominations from traditionally underrepresented groups. Applications should include a cover and
current vita that highlight the candidate's experiences, strengths, accomplishments, and interests
as they relate to this position, as well as the names and full contact information for three current
references. Applications, nominations, and requests for additional information should be
addressed to:




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                  37
       APPENDIX E: STRATEGIC ISSUES RAISED BY USER SURVEY

Group A issues: Membership, Participation, Governance

      Cost of participation too high for smaller libraries; charge according to size of catalog;
       sharing resources should mean equal opportunity; a statewide database means everyone
       must be able to join; review annual fee structure – sliding scale?
      Confusion over what Maine Info Net means – distinguishing among the parts
      Need careful planning, cooperation, responsiveness to changing technology and user
       demands, also political astuteness to get necessary funding
      How decide on which databases, how holdings are added
      Stop expanding MINERVA until existing problems and issues are resolved
      Look at how decisions are made and how to facilitate discussions of policy among
       participants
      Ongoing financial support – concern about reliance on the State


Group B issues: Staffing, Training, Support, PR

      Catalog – needs consistency, fewer duplicates; MINERVA database needs cleanup;
       standardize data
      Support and Staffing – response times and communication getting slower; need more
       staff (Karl and John doing great work)
      Training – difficult to get to Augusta, hold regional meetings; more training needed; get
       existing members properly trained and implemented before adding new; new libraries
       make mistakes due to insufficient training
      PR – make the public aware of what is available; inform the public and promote the
       image of libraries


Overall strong issues
   Statewide delivery
   Online database searching – complicated, need better interface, federated searching
   MINERVA is complicated, hard to learn
   Response time, hardware upgrades
   Holding DB updates slow
   Statistics




Maine Info Net Report, 7/1/2003                                                                 38

				
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