Integrated Access Council

November 15, 2004


SML Room 409


Present:  Dale Askey, Katie Bauer, Matthew Beacom, Meg Bellinger, Carol DeNatale, Ann Green, Katherine Haskins, Julie Linden, Kenny Marone, Fred Martz, Kim Parker, Tom Saul, Kalee Sprague, David Stern, Joan Swanekamp, Rich Szary, Frank Turner


Absent:  Dan Chudnov, Jack Meyers, Bobbie Pilette


1. Committee Announcements


            Meg started the meeting by handing out a new copy of the IAC priorities document.  She then asked if there were any corrections to the minutes from the last meeting.  Fred announced that he had made a few corrections.


            Joan announced that the first meeting of the Metadata Committee would take place tomorrow, November 16th.  The charge and background materials may be found at;


            Ann announced that the Digital Preservation group is in its research phase.  They are doing joint readings and will be having a discussion meeting on November 22nd.


            The Developers’ Forum continues to meet.


            Meg reported that the final phase of the rescue repository project has produced a proposal with funding requirements.    Fred is going to send the final recommendation to the IAC.  He stated that the primary server will store the rescue repository and a second backup server will be located in a separate building.  This configuration provides redundant disk to assure a high level of robustnessstorage.  To absolutely guarantee integrity there can be a tape backup system to create tapes that could be sent out of state.  This component is very costly and could be added later.  He said that the first two servers are instrumental in this phase.  Some equipment has already been ordered.   Fred estimates a month or two for delivery and a month or so for implementation. 


            Kalee announced that the Metalib implementation group is dedicating the week of November 15 to configuring the Metalib system for local use.  The group, consisting of Dale Askey, Katie Bauer, Audrey Novak and Kalee Sprague, hopes to have a test instance of the Metalib federated searching tool available for staff comment in December.  The group will also conduct usability tests with a small group of students and faculty.  Feedback received during the comment period will determine the production rollout schedule


2. Mellon Collections Collaborative Grant Overview - Rich


            Rich started his discussion of the Mellon Collections Collaborative Grant by saying that the website has the full proposal. He then handed out an executive summary.  The start date of this grant was November 1st.  The award letter states the length as 36 to 38 months, basically a 3-year proposal.  He would like to have the problem statement looked at by participants.  He pointed out that the project is not housed in MSSA but includes the entire Library and the galleries and museums.  They already have project proposals in hand that could be funded. 


            Of the resources in the grant 40% goes to the principal investigator’s time (there will be administrative help).  There is money for annual retreat meetings and visits.  The meat of the grant is a $200,000 incentive fund that has a 1 to 1 match with Yale.  Rich said there will be a detailed  process for  soliciting proposals and distributing grant funds. 

            Three areas that are talked about and identified in the grant are:

1.      Integrated Access – how to get various units to talk with each other.  What steps do we need to take for federated searching?

2.      Increase reference visibility of materials – having a wider knowledge of special collections across the University.  For example if someone comes into MSSA and asks for something in the natural sciences, reference personal should know what is available.  How do we do get the staff informed about distributed special collections holdings?

3.      How do we leverage capability skills across the University – looking at models where expertise can be leveraged in various ways?  For example if Beinecke is looking at sound recordings and so is MSSA, how can they share information?  How can we learn from each other to share expertise? We need to look at areas where we can make better use of our resource materials.


The project will be launched by an advisory committee appointed by the Provost to include faculty members and directors.  This will take a while to get going.  In the interim Rich is suggesting a committee to get started.  There will be a kick-off meeting at the end of January with a ˝ day meeting.  The keynote speakers will be Bob Martin and Ken Hamma.  They will give an outside perspective on museums and the digital landscape. 


Rich would like to see the working group get to work on proposals for how to regrant and to get projects going.  The process should be in place by the New Year with the call for proposals by late winter/early spring and decisions by the end of the academic year with the grants awarded at that time.


Rich spoke of the relationship of the grant to IAC.  He said he is also scheduled to speak with CDC in December.  He thanked Meg and Ann Green for help in thinking things through.  He stated that the collaborative is a source of resources for projects that groups can submit for funding.  He would like to bring back proposals to the IAC that come to the collaboration for input before they go to the Steering Committee. 


Rich commented that he personally would not be giving out the money.  He would like to get as much feedback as possible regarding the proposals before they go to the Steering Committee.  Mellon is encouraging Yale to see this as the start of a long-range project (not a one-time project).  How will it be working after the three years?  One reason for Bob Martin’s visit is that IMLS seems like the perfect place to go for more funding.


Carol said that several weeks ago she attended an ArtStor meeting where Ken Huna was present.  ArtStor was not aware of projects funded by Mellon.  We could find opportunities where we would not normally see them.


Kenny asked if we are leaning towards one-time projects or ongoing projects.  Retro fitting one type of metadata to another for ease of use is a one-time project that should be considered.  Rich said that they have not defined the projects.  It could be a mix of both.  Meg said that Rich will keep us informed as they define it.


David commented that it is looking like one person – one project.  Is there any way that for example the Peabody has a project that we are not at the moment involved in we could work on, even outside the University?  Rich said this is for building the collaboration and beyond, Meg said she expects more relationships as this progresses.


3. IAC Priorities Worksheet discussion – Ann & Fred


           Ann thanked Fred for the hours that he put into this.  She said that Fred took the lead in this version of the worksheet.  They pointed out that there was a rich set of activities under way in a new column.  These are initiatives already in progress.  The last column now consists of things that have been proposed as part of the IAC charge.  These are the possibilities to be discussed.  Meg commented that LMC has asked leaders of the Library’s several strategic initiatives to present documents describing where their different areas are, and she thinks this is a perfect document to take and show at LMC. 


            Fred said they are in the process of trying to put all of the new initiatives from the strategic planning process in the appropriate categories.  In looking at things for the last column, they identified projects of high value with specific deliverables; for example #2 under category 4 – Persistent Naming Service.  This is highly desirable and we could easily come to an agreement on this although the implementation may take time.  Another example is #4 under category 1 – relating to the Special Collections Collaborative and image management. 


Some feedback they have received is that there are varying levels of specificity.  Some items are fleshed out and others are not so much.    Some sections have too much specificity.  An example here would be #2 under category 6.  This issue could be more generalized.  By giving examples Fred intended to spark discussions at the meeting and put items into perspective.  Ann said she would appreciate any feedback; let either Fred, Meg or Ann know.  Fred did mention that they don’t have all the elements of an action plan: timeline, priorities, names, etc.  As we work on the priorities document, these elements could be added for each section.


            Kenny asked what if something is extremely important such as SFX and they are willing to give staff time for this?  Fred answered that’s what the committee needs to look at and decide what to do.  Matthew said the new worksheet  is terrific, but it has a laundry list feel to it.  How do we identify which are areas we need to do now?  And how do we prioritize?  Ann said that one thing she and Fred talked about was the larger framework and how to evaluate things at a higher level.  Kim asked how do we set long-term priorities and also make sure short-term items are going forward?  David said he is a little nervous looking at short-term things that will go forward  out of context;  they are too important to so many. 


Carol asked if there are other models from other libraries or initiatives that we can look at to see how to structure the priorities.  Recently she went to a conference where the Taiwanese government had a model that might resemble this.  There may be models for integrated access across the collections. We have solutions for pockets of things but not the overall plan.


Fred said the truth is no single institution has the answers in totality.  Some have one need and others have another.  Others have incentive for open-source software solutions only.  Every time he comes away from a DLF meeting he is impressed with how things have changed in the last six months.  Joan said that some other institutions have different organizational structures so they can be more spontaneous with projects and money.  David said we are like a research community so perhaps we need to look at them as models.  Joan said she was talking with Harvard and they have involvement with museums and fewer platforms. 


Meg said the Collections Collaborative and the proposed (campus) architecture committee will be a guiding force for help in developing a plan.  There will be an infrastructure that shows how our architecture will fit together over time.  This will be an umbrella structure with all under it.  At the same time there are so many items that need to be looked at now.  The structure of the group will allow us to take resources and be more supportive of projects we need now.  We have to have the right combination of both.  Kenny said we need to be able to hook and link to everything. 


Meg said there are a lot of proposals.  Our problem is how to organize and gather all the resources we have.  She looks at this as an action plan.  We are trying to look at the plan without too much process.  Dale said when we look at outside reports we need to change some things.  The PREMIS report is a perfect example of this.  This relates to #3 and #4 – the system should be designed for the majority of users.  There is talk about building a content management system.  Meg asked how do we see this as related to digital repositories?  Dale said the worksheet doesn’t say what kind of access there will be and emphasized that repositories can be both preservation and access oriented.  Meg replied that this is not a document to codify all aspects yet.  Ann asked that members please mark up the document and send it back to her and Fred.  Meg said there is an awful lot here with pieces missing.  As we go through further refinement we will start to delve deeper and section off groups to start doing the work. 


This discussion will be continued at the next meeting along with the topic of Teaching and Learning Portals.