Minutes for Aug. 8 Trustees Meeting

Present: Cindy Binzen, Curt Albee, Miriam Newman, Marty Frank, Carol Wilson, Rachel Kurland; Rebecca Seibel (librarian)

Rebecca provided some background that explained why she asked the board to convene this special meeting. After trustees voted to replace the current Library World software system with the Verso program — and apply for a state grant to cover the costs — she attended a meeting at the Peacham library. Peacham is one of two libraries in the state that are essentially serving as guinea pigs by implementing the system. That meeting made clear to Rebecca that the Verso system is complex and it won’t be quick to learn. 

Three weeks ago, Library World announced that it would update its software to make it Z-39.50 compliant, the feature that will allow the two-way communication necessary to most effectively use the state’s upgraded interlibrary loan system. All libraries now using the Library World system will receive the update, which the software company predicts will occur in the fall. The sense among library officials in the state is that Library World is truly committed to making the change, in part because the company announced it on its website.

Rebecca has concluded that the advantages of switching to Verso is that it is a much more powerful program and that the state has offered to cover libraries’ cost of migration, an offer that ends Aug. 15. The disadvantage of Verso is the steep learning curve and many hours required to implement it. If our library does decide to make the switch, it is unlikely to occur until February. After consulting with others, including Emily Zollo, Rebecca said she has concluded that  Library World is probably a better fit for a library our size. For one thing, it is easier for volunteers to learn and use.

A discussion among trustees made note of the fact that trustees felt they had no choice when they earlier voted to switch to Verso and apply for the state grant, but Library World’s announcement had changed that. Library World, at least for now, seems perfectly adequate for the our library’s needs. Switching to a more complex system could limit the sort of candidates the board can consider when seeking Rebecca’s replacement because a more tech-savvy librarian would be required. If for some reason the library decides in the future that Library World is inadequate, it can reconsider Verso, albeit without the help of state money.

Marty moved that the library stay with Library World. Miriam seconded. The motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned.

Submitted by Marty Frank