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Billing Task Force 01-31-17 Minutes

BCCLS Billing Task Force

Minutes of January 31, 2017

Location: Hasbrouck Heights Public Library

Attending: Stephanie Bellucci, Marie Coughlin, Dave Franz, Mimi Hui, Terrie McColl, Samantha McCoy, Kathleen McGrail, Monica Smith and Kurt Hadeler

Meeting started at 9:35 a.m.
DF asked all members if any new metrics or variables should be added to the list for discussion.
Members discussed the continued need to tie BCCLS expense lines directly to each component of the BCCLS bill.

Delivery as an expense was discussed. Approximately 14 libraries receive only 4 day service from the State contract. BCCLS pays for the additional day so all members had 5 day service. There is no apparent logic behind which library is shorted the 5th day, other than perhaps geography. It is not tied to delivery volume, size of library, or other factor. The libraries with 4 day service have changed over the years. Members agreed that this is a core service, a burden shared by all, as it benefits all member libraries. There was no fee for delivery in 2017. The actual cost of the 5th day is about $14,000.

Reciprocal Borrowing was discussed. While the Reciprocity TF was working on some aspects of this, the Billing TF discussed the financing of the reciprocal fund. Members agreed that the fee for reciprocal borrowing be eliminated and the program could be funded from a set amount from the Grant. The $3,000 fee to non-Bergen libraries may also be dropped. Although over 30 libraries do receive a net-lender check annually, the bulk of the fund goes toward libraries which have historically disproportionate relationships with neighboring members due to geography.

Technology was discussed. DF distributed a simple spreadsheet showing PC service contract income as it related to staff salaries and benefits and the potential fund for PC and hardware replacement cycles. There was a good lively discussion. In the end members wished to see more information about the replacement schedule and costing of technology support. Equipment could be seen as a passthrough cost based upon BCCLS hardware. Similarly, the actual annual cost of the telecommunication lines was discussed, this also should be a direct pass through based upon actual billing. What libraries will be able to do or need in a purely browser based ILS environment is an issue to consider.

Both TM and KH proposed model formulas with a simplified base fee for core services. All members agreed upon abandoning the "operating shares" model, in favor of a base fee modeled after the database fee. The core services would be totalled and a base fee plus a percentage based upon population and a percentage based upon ⅓ rate would be created. Digital services would be divided by population, as that is how vendors charge for this service. Other items would be a pass through based upon adoption by individual libraries.

Several variables to use for the expense of maintaining the ILS, cataloging services, and ancillary products in support of the catalog were considered. Members agreed to use the # of items in the catalog as a metric to divide proportional use of the catalog. The size of collections do not fluctuate dramatically. Manipulation by aggressive weeding would not yield much savings.

Action items:
KH will update the spreadsheet, correcting any errors that were discussed. All members will proof-read for accuracy.
MC will research and provide further detail regarding technology plan, PC replacement schedule, accounting for service fee on PCs
Members will continue to ponder the variable metrics and justification narrative for the formula.

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