Scholarship Report: James Hill – ARSL Conference 2018

Event: Association of Rural & Small Libraries (ARSL) Conference — Springfield, IL — September 13-15, 2018

Attendee: James Hill – Library Director, Zumbrota Public Library

How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

This conference was particularly relevant in presenting administrative issues at smaller libraries.  This was a chance to get more targeted presentations towards smaller libraries.  Normally, I find some presentations at larger library conferences (ALA, MLA, PLA) a bit less relevant because often topics revolve around institutions that have much higher funding streams and are often department specific instead of generalized for smaller libraries.  As a library director of a small library, I was able to get information that is more useful to what I am able to do in my current position.  It was great being able to speak to other library directors facing the same demographic and funding challenges that I do, as well as listen to presentations from library directors around the country with similar service populations to my own.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session that I attended was titled, “How Relevant is Your Library”.  The session revolved around developing a culture of “yes” at a public library in Eagle, ID.  The library’s director presented this session and talked about the changes he made to transform his library into a community hub.  In particular, he talked of his experiences developing ways to listen to community input about what the residents wanted to happen at their library, and how he stressed to his library staff that saying “no” should be the exception and not the rule.  I took away a number of great ideas from this session and am already working on implementing several ideas presented.  I have not traditionally been a fan of non-traditional circulation materials, such as cake pans, but I really feel like this presentation made me think more about how a library of things is a good idea.  I really liked the idea behind trying not to say no to ideas brought forth by the community since it is, after all, a resource for those residents and meeting their collective needs.

What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

I plan on implementing more data visualization techniques in my data reports.  One of the sessions I attended was really informative about bringing annual report data in a more appealing manner.  Every year, I present what is essentially raw data tables to my board and after attending this session I got a better idea of how to actually present the data using more informative, colorful graphs and images.

Member Satisfaction Survey Launched

As part of the SELCO/SELS Strategic Plan, we are working on improving member satisfaction. The first step toward this is to establish a baseline level of member satisfaction. On September 10, 2018, all SELCO/SELS members were sent the survey link via email.

In an effort to keep the survey anonymous, respondents are not asked to identify their specific library. Because of this, we are asking for one response per member library.

The survey will be open until September 21, 2018.


With the new school year beginning its time for a Pull List Reminder. Doing the pull list regularly is of vital importance to ensuring the continued resource sharing of the region.

Here are a few friendly reminders with more information below:

  1. Hit list pulled.

  2. Do your pull list at least once before each delivery pickup.

  3. Do Not Delete Requests for other Libraries Patrons.

  4. Mark items missing if you cannot find them.

  5. Contact the borrower’s home library.

  • You must hit list pulled once you’ve printed/pulled the list. The items are bound to your location no matter what, but hitting the list pulled button lets us know someone looked at your list that day.

  • You are expected to do your pull list at least once before each delivery pickup. In other words if you get delivery 3 times a week you should do you pull list at least 3 days a week. If you get delivery 5 times a week, then you should do your pull list at least 5 days a week. It’s preferable that your pull list is done every day, one for habit, but also because patrons can see the status of their request (in transit is more welcoming than simply requested).

  • Do Not Delete Requests for other Libraries Patrons.  Requests will move on to another available item if the item is marked missing or checked out.

  • If you cannot find the requested item, mark it missing. Otherwise the item will keep showing up on your list as it’s bound to you.

  • You are expected to contact the borrower’s home library If you have the only circulating copy of a requested item and you have to mark it missing. Then that library can order through MNLINK or talk to their patron.

  • We do check to see who is not running their pull list. And I have sent out not-so-gentle-reminders to people. I dislike sending those as much as staff dislike receiving them, so please do your pull lists so I don’t have to send those out.

Thanks everyone and please send questions to the SELCO Help Desk.

Penguin Random House eBook Model Change

Effective October 1, 2018, Penguin Random House is changing their ebook lending model from One Copy/One User to a two-year Metered Access term. This change affects all Public, School, & Special libraries in all territories where Penguin Random House ebooks are sold. Please see this letter from Penguin Random House for more information.

Penguin Random House will continue to release eBooks to libraries on the same date they are released to retailers. The model includes a lower cost for the titles over up to $55 per adult title, $45 per YA title, and $35 per juvenile title.

Back to School Packet 2018-19

 With a new school year beginning we have a brand new Back to School Packet for you.  You’ll find a link below to a Google Drive folder which includes updates and information on:
  • SELCO-SELS Quick Reference
  • Universal Services for Libraries
  • Services for Online Libraries
  • Continuing Education (Save the Date, MackinVIA Informational Meeting, Practical Librarianship Brochure, Special Collections)
  • Delivery/ILL (Delivery Criteria, Routing Slip, Codes, Routes & Schedule, Pull Lists & Delivery – Important Dates, Handling of MNLINK Items)
  • Information Services (Cataloging Update, Citrix Install, Help Desk, Circulation Cheat Sheet)
  • Legacy (Book Club in a Bag Brochure, Legacy Programs)
Feel free to print what you need, save a copy of a document to their desktop for a quick reference, or even bookmark the this link in their web browser to serve as a sort of one-stop shop for some of the basic SELCO/SELS information. 
Please share this widely with your staff and should you have any further questions, feel free to contact the office at 507.288.5513

Reminder: Horizon Library Basics class

We are down to the last two months to complete the Library Basics class, required for everyone with a Horizon login.  225 have completed Library Basics Training. 173 Horizon Users need to finish by the end of the day October 23, 2018. If you don’t finish by that date, your Horizon login will expire. 
The Library Basics class can be completed online in CLOTH. Create your own account and select the Library Basics course.
If you prefer in person classes, we have a couple of scheduled Library Basic classes at 9:30 am at SELCO on 
Friday, Sept 7
Tuesday, Sept 11
Almost every library has at least one person who needs to finish. Contact the Help Desk if you’d like a list for your location. 
If you would like a reminder of why we are doing the Horizon Reset, please read this document from Oct 2017.
Contact the Help Desk if you have any questions.

Online Fee Payment Change

As was previously reported, online fee payments through PayPal have not been writing to the Horizon database since June. SELCO has been investigating methods to repair the situation and has arrived at a solution.
On Monday, August 27, we will be turning on BLUEcloud Commerce as a replacement to PayPal. This is a product supplied by our Horizon/Enterprise vendor SirsiDynix so it integrates well between them.
Functionally, there are some minor differences from PayPal:
  • There is a minimum $1 payment before fees can be paid in order to ensure merchant fees are covered.
  • Borrowers no longer leave the catalog when paying fines. The functionality is built in and they can quickly return to My Account (image below).
From our testing, everything else will work like PayPal. Credit card payments will log to the location matching the Enterprise profile the borrower logged into initially. If you use Adhoc reports, this may affect those but the Web Reporter ones should still function normally. SELCO will continue to disperse the funds as we have under PayPal.
If you or your borrowers encounter difficulties with the new product, please let the Help Desk ( know immediately. Thank you for your patience as we have dealt with this unexpected situation.

Scholarship Report: Martha Chapin – Society of American Archivists 2018

Event: Society of American Archivists (SAA) 2018 Annual Meeting – Washington D.C. – August 12-18, 2018

Attendee: Martha Chapin – Librarian 1, Rochester Public Library

How does attending this event relate to your current role in your library?

SAA 2018 provided professional development for my new role with Rochester Public Library’s digital archives.  Sessions I attended supported my work on our library’s digital collections of city directories, yearbooks, library and local history.  I also learned about updates from the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration as well as successes and pitfalls from organizations of all sizes including other public libraries that can be applied to my work in Rochester.

What was your favorite session you attended and why?

My favorite session was “True Confessions: Paying Off the Technical Debt of Early Digital Projects”.  The panel discussed case studies from their institutions including decisions to pull the plug on legacy projects or start over.  This was pertinent to my new responsibilities working with Rochester’s digital collection.

What’s one (1) idea that you gained from the event that you plan to implement now that you’re back?

An idea that I can implement now that I am back is to add documentation of decisions that were made before I started.  This will help me understand processes/procedures in place.  Documenting any new decisions or progress I make going forward will also save the future me (and future librarians working on Rochester’s digital collections) time and prevent having to start over.

Ebooks MN FY 2018 Stats

Valerie Horton from Minitex has sent out the statistics of use for the Ebooks MN collection of materials in state fiscal year 2018 (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018). These are the freely available, statewide titles which authenticate through the location of the ISP.

Here is the full spreadsheet and also one where with only the towns in the SELCO region. Minitex also has calendar year reports for the last two years in the FAQs of their website.

2018 MLA Conference Scholarships Awarded

SELCO is pleased to announce the scholarship recipients to this year’s Minnesota Library Association Conference to be held October 11 – 12, 2018 at the St. Cloud River’s Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

The recipients are:

  • DeAnna McCabe – Hokah Public Library
  • Nancy Hackenmiller – Kasson Public Library
  • Layna Mestad – Northfield Public Library
  • Rachel Gray – Van Horn Public Library

Congratulations! We look forward to hearing about your experiences!