Minutes of the Annual Meeting
April 28, 1996
Providence, Rhode Island

(Meeting was held in conjunction with the Fourth Annual Innovative Users Group Meeting)

10:30 - 12:00 P.M.

Eighty-three librarians from law libraries were registered at the meeting, although not all were present at the ILUG meeting. The New Users list of attendees included these law libraries; Howard University, South Texas College of Law, UALR/Pulaski County Law Library, University of Tennessee Law Library, University of Missouri Law Library at Columbia. University of Missouri at Kansas City and St. Louis University Law Library are also new or about to be Innovative users.

Faye Chartoff from III was present for the whole meeting. Jerry Kline and Sandy Westall came in later.

Carole Hinchcliff reported that mailings of ILUG matters are being made only to ILUG members, reminding everyone to verify their membership status and whether they had indeed paid the [very reasonable] $20/year membership dues. Carole also mentioned that the discussions at last year's ILUG meeting had been very helpful to III in understanding the importance of 'piece count statistics' to law libraries (especially the law school libraries, who must report such counts to the ABA every year) and in crafting the resulting enhancement which will be implemented in Release 10. The enhancement is discussed on page 88 of the preliminary announcement of Release 10 distributed at the meeting.

Carole reminded the group that a goal for this year had been to develop more structure and organization for the group. In line with this, bylaws were drawn up, at the suggestion of last year's chair, Celeste Feather, and that ballots were mailed to the membership in early spring. At this meeting, a discussion draft of a mission statement for ILUG was distributed, and is reprinted below.

Text of the discussion draft ILUG Mission Statement:

The Innovative Law Users Group is open to all law libraries that are current or prospective customers of Innovative Interfaces, Inc. And that use the III software for their automated library system. The group focuses on the special needs of law libraries in an integrated, automated environment and how best to use the III system to meet these needs.

The specific goal of the organizations are to:

  1. Serve as a resource for members' libraries with questions about profiling, installing and using their III systems.
  2. Serve as a forum for discussing III issues at national meetings and conferences.
  3. Serve as a liaison between law libraries and the Innovative Users Group.
  4. Undertake special projects of interest to law libraries involving the use of III systems.
  5. Convey members' concerns and suggestions to the III management.

During the discussion of the above goals, the question arose of whether we should establish a separate listserve or mailing lists for ILUG. The general reaction was negative, since many good solutions relating to our problems can and do come from other types of libraries, and we also can offer some of our unusual experiences to the other types of libraries. Putting 'law' in the subject line of postings to the Innovative listserve is recommended to catch the attention of the law users. ILUG is working to put its membership list on the website.

One member noted that she often posts the same question to both the Innovative listserve and to Lawlib. The director is on Lawlib and sees her messages, thus being informed of the librarian's activities in both seeking and supplying information, activities that might not be otherwise noticed. Posting it to the Innovative listserve also provides outreach to non-law libraries, and aids in maintaining the library's 'presence' in the library community as a whole.

Celeste Feather's term of office on the IUG steering committee is expiring. ILUG feels that a member of this group can make significant contributions to the steering committee and be good liaison between the committee and ILUG. Richard Jost, incoming chair, would welcome a volunteer from anyone willing to be of service. Richard is also looking for members for the IUG nominating committee for 1997.

Richard also invited ILUG members to volunteer to do a brief program at the ILUG workshop meeting in Indianapolis in July to speak to Carole, soon. The call was repeated for members to submit samples of their user guides, training aids, and similar materials for the ILUG web site as well. The ILUG URL is http://ftplaw.wuacc.edu/ilug/index.html [Webmaster's note: now http://innopaclaw.org].

The question was raised of the limited law journal coverage in Blackwell North America's table of contents service, and whether a letter from this group or from individual libraries might encourage BNA to increase this coverage. The matter was not resolved, but lively discussion ensued. Included were these aspects:

Jerry Kline spoke about III's capabilities involving indexing by subfields, by author, tide, and keyword, noting that some of these options might need to be turned on by III for your system. He also mentioned that INNVIEW might be another avenue for sharing table of contents information among law libraries. Other related ideas should be conveyed to Carole or Richard.


Q: Where do things stand with electronic claiming with Rothman?

A: III has sent them test files to work with. It is apparently in their hands now.

Q: How many law publishers now or soon will be using III order and claims software?

A: Participating vendors will soon be posted on the III website under the heading 'orders and claims'.

Q: What about piece counts for ABA statistics?

A: Release 10 contains a new, optional field in the check-in record that will ask for the number of pieces. It will cumulate the total. It is similar to the counts done in the order records. It is a numeric field available in the statistics program. III suggests clearing the field at the end of each year after statistics have been calculated, by using rapid update. Will it track different types of materials, to maintain separate piece counts for fiche and pocket parts, for example? Not yet, but perhaps in the future. Programming the interactions with the statistics program is more complex than might appear.

Users are asked to bring their experiences with the piece count capability to the IUG meeting in 1997.

Q: What about a more convenient way to delete records, perhaps from an update menu?

A: Convenience must be balanced against security of the records from accidental deletion. Complexity can be protection. The 'password remembered' feature does allow more efficient movement among subsystems while protecting from inadvertent deletion.

Q: SCAT tables don't go far enough into the call number to be useful for certain topics in the LC classes, which often subdivide 'hot' topics at the Cutter number level (presumably until a large enough body of materials exists to justify more attention in the class schedules). Can III improve this?

A: There is no clear answer on this as yet.

Q: Can an item record or an order be attached to more than one bib record? (BNA's Labor Relations set is a prime example of the desirability of this feature.)

A: Release 10 does not address this. Perhaps the question could be posted to the enhancement request list, so others can indicate their interest in it. (There was a lot of head nodding among the attendees when this one came up) Carole encouraged ILUG members to watch the enhancements list on the III homepage, and to communicate with III about their reactions.

Q: Is III working on a Lexis/Westlaw gateway?

A: No, but it is an excellent idea, according to Jerry Kline, who said that III is very interested in being the local system for law libraries. Jerry suggested that we could ask our directors (who sign contracts) to communicate our/their interest in their working with III directly to the CALR providers, as a larger, wider market will improve the likelihood of a favorable response from them. In short, III is willing.

Carole then asked the group what they would like from West. Responses included bills on a disk or via FTP, and any kind of electronic ordering, claiming, and invoicing. There was lots of body language and verbal agreement with this.

Q: What about maintenance costs on III peripherals?

A: III is phasing out maintenance of peripherals, as not cost effective for either side. Often, repairing a peripheral can be almost as expensive as replacing it. III is heading towards selling lower prices for peripherals, without maintenance, or encouraging users to purchase their own directly from another source. They will try to help with installation of peripherals purchased from another source, but will not be doing as much extensive trouble shooting on such equipment.

Maintenance will continue to be provided for the key elements of the system, such as the CPU and backup equipment.

Q: What about improving coordination between III system administrators and the managers of networks that are not Innovative, especially when both the Innovative system and the other network can perform pretty much the same function?

A: (This question was raised, but not really addressed. It was immediately followed up on by the CALR gateway question, which did get a III response.)

[Submitted by] Laura A. Wendt