Director’s Report

April 2007


Unicorn Hardware


We continue to experience problems with the hard disk drives on our SUN server.  We are now monitoring the situation very closely so that we are able to respond and deal with the problems without loss of service to the Membership.  However these ongoing problems concern us and Ann and I have had a conference call with Sirsi to discuss the matter.  I hope to have a better understanding of what is causing the problems in time to report at our April meeting.


Email Migration


We have successfully completed the migration of the email service to the state library.  Both Steve Rossa and Mei He worked hard on this project and are responsible for its success.  Feedback I have received about the email service has been uniformly positive.  We are still working on the migration of the web pages to the state’s server.  We expect to complete that within the next several weeks.  Once accomplished, we will shut down the mail and web services on the SUN E250 server and use it for DNS only.  I do not plan to renew the hardware maintenance agreement on this server when it expires in June.  The maintenance agreement is about $2400 a year.  We could buy an entirely adequate DNS server new for less than $1500.


Federated Searching


Demonstrations are planned for Wednesday May 16th.  We will be reviewing three products: Central Search, Webfeat and Metalib.  Details are being finalized and registration will be open to all members.  The demos will be held at Middlesex County College.


Sirsi will not grant us an extension to the one year deadline on the agreement we signed in May 2006.  If, after the demos, Central Search is the group’s choice, the Board can discuss the matter at the May meeting and, if necessary, we can file the paperwork required to implement that agreement at that time.


Router Upgrade


Staff from the state library will be installing the Cisco 3845 router provided by Verizon.  This router will replace the 7507 originally provided by the state library in the Hub project.  Using the state library to install this hardware will save us several thousand dollars in consulting costs.


Meeting With County Freeholder Director


Lewis, Anne and I met with Freeholder Director Dave Crabiel on April 5th.  We had a nice opportunity to talk with him about LMxAC’s progress and some of our hopes for the future.  Mr. Crabiel was very supportive of our work and confirmed for us that there were still funds available within the County’s most recent appropriation to us.  We will work with the County Budget Director and Purchasing Director to assess what our parameters are in using these funds.  We provided Mr. Crabiel with the attached progress report.


Activity Report


In December we made 18 troubleshooting visits to 12 different libraries.  Other measures of activity include:


1.      New Items Added                                               25785

2.      Bib Records Added by LMxAC               3149                        

3.      New Bib Records Added (Total)                         5950

4.      New User Records Added                                  3764                               

5.      Brief Record Upgraded to full MARC                   475

6.      Duplicate records merged                                   2038

7.      Inventory Reports                                                        1

8.      API reports                                                                   5

            9.   Downtime:   There was no unplanned System down time.




In the last month I have participated in the following meetings:


            State Library Video Conf. Comm.                          Mar. 19

            Meeting with Consortia Dir.                         Mar. 20

            Pre-Implementation Mtg. at Jamesburg                 Mar. 21

LMxAC Board Meeting                                            Mar. 22

LMx Meeting – East Brunswick                               Mar. 23

Meeting with Rob Zangara and Staff                      Mar. 28

Second Life Seminar                                               Apr. 3

Sirsi Conference Call                                               Apr. 4

Meeting with Dave Crabiel                                      Apr. 5

Meeting with Connie Paul                                        Apr. 9

Meeting with Commerce Bank Rep.                       Apr. 10


Respectfully Submitted,


Eileen M. Palmer

Executive Director


Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium


In 2006 the Libraries of Middlesex Automation Consortium (LMxAC) celebrated 20 years of providing technology services to area libraries.  With 27 members in 3 counties LMxAC now has a database of more than 2,477,000 items serving more than 359,000 library patrons.  The Board and Members are pleased to report the following accomplishments since the County’s recent investment in new hardware and software for LMxAC in 2005.  Some of the new services are:


  • A state of the art library management system that tracks library materials and handles over 3,970,600 circulation transactions per year.  This system also allows patrons to request materials owned by other libraries.  Since July 2006 we have filled over 156,000 requests for materials not owned at the local public library;


  • A web-based public library catalog that allows patrons to request materials and renew materials via the Internet.  The catalog also has integrated book reviews and book cover art into its displays;


  • Email notices that inform patrons of requested materials that have become available as well as material that is overdue.  Notices may also be delivered over our phone notification system;


  • ‘Pre-overdue’ emails that remind patrons just before materials are due.


  • Downloadable audiobooks that allow patrons to turn their MP3 players into portable libraries;


  • Open Borrowing, which allows patrons from our member libraries to use libraries in Bergen, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Wayne counties.


In 2007 we are focused on:


  • One stop shopping for information – a single interface to multiple databases;


  • Improved coordination of material acquisitions;


  • Strategic planning to identify the services we want to offer in the future.


  • Exploring alternatives to our existing rented office space (2300 sq. ft.)







Quick Facts




Did you know:


·        There are 359,000 residents of 25 communities registered as borrowers in the LMxAC database


·        Our member libraries own 2,477,000 items


·        In 2006 our patrons borrowed 3,970,600 items


·        Between July 2006 and March 2007 LMxAC patrons received more than 156,000 items requested from other libraries.


·        Our member libraries are open an average of 57.5 hours per week


·        Our member libraries have more than 500 computers available to search our catalog and the Internet


·        The average LMxAC member pays just 3% of their local budget on LMxAC technology and services (including Internet)