Recently in Minitex/OCLC Libraries Category

OCLC Nominations to Global Council Sought

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Please see Wilbur Stolt's message below. If you have an interest, please consider nominating yourself or someone to serve on the OCLC Global Council. It would be great if we could get another representative from our region.

Thanks for the consideration.
Bill DeJohn, Director, Minitex

I need your help promoting participation in the OCLC Global Council. The process to nominate staff from OCLC libraries to serve on the Global Council is open through December 10, 2010. I wish to encourage OCLC library staff in our region to nominate colleagues to stand for election to the Global Council. It is an important component in OCLC governance and we need to have voices in the Global Council. Please see the information below about the nomination process and contact me if you have questions.

Best wishes.
Wilbur Stolt
Director of Libraries
University of North Dakota


OCLC Global Council Nominations

Submit nominations for OCLC Global Council Delegates and Americas Regional Council Executive Committee Officers by Dec. 10 2010. OCLC members throughout the Americas are invited to participate in the nominations process for the election of delegates from the OCLC Americas Regional Council (ARC) to serve on the OCLC cooperative's Global Council.

The Americas Regional Council Executive and Nominating committees are seeking nominations for Global Council delegates from staff of OCLC member organizations (including libraries, archives and museums) in Canada, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States. We also are soliciting nominations for two officers and four Members-at-Large on the Americas Regional Council Executive Committee.
Each member organization in the Americas Region will have one vote per qualifying member institution. If you (or your organization's director) have not already done so, please update the contact information of the person who will vote on behalf of your library.

You (or your library's director) will need your OCLC symbol to update your organization's voting contact information. You will also need your OCLC symbol to submit your nomination.

Send your nominations by Dec. 10 2010!

Learn more

Update your voting contact information

April 7, 2010

Dear Minitex Region OCLC Libraries:

The OCLC Board of Trustees has released for review and comment the draft document, WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities for the OCLC Cooperative . The OCLC Board is providing a number of avenues for reaction and input including the posting of comments to a community forum, sending e-mails to, and registering to attend a webinar where you can ask questions and submit feedback to members of the Record Use Policy Council.

I am currently the only member of the OCLC Global Council from the Minitex region. (The Global Council replaced the OCLC Members Council in 2010.) At its upcoming meeting, April 19-22, the Global Council is scheduled to discuss the "WorldCat Rights and Responsibilities" document. I am interested in receiving your thoughts on the document prior to this meeting. Please send me copies of your postings to the community forum and your e-mails. If you would rather talk to me, please call 701-777-2189.

The question of records rights and responsibilities is extremely important to the OCLC Cooperative and I look forward to hearing from you.

Wilbur Stolt
Director of Libraries
University of North Dakota
OCLC Global Council Delegate

Wilbur Stolt
Director of Libraries
University of North Dakota
3051 University Avenue Stop 9000
Grand Forks, ND 58202-9000
Phone: 701-777-2189
Fax: 701-777-3319

Minnesota Discovery Center Closing

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For those of you who have not seen this announcement yet I'm posting it here. Minitex staff visited the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm, MN fall 2007. They had such a rich and unique collection in their library and archives. You can view the pictures by visiting our Flickr site. We hope that this is only a temporary closing. You can stay up-to-date by visiting the Mn Discovery Center website.

CHISHOLM - The Ironworld Development Corporation Board of Directors today announced that Minnesota Discovery Center (formerly Ironworld), a 660-acre museum, entertainment venue, research library and park in Chisholm, MN, will temporarily be closed to the public, effective Friday, November 20, 2009, at 5 p.m.

"We would like to thank our employees for their patience and understanding as we determine what the future holds for this institution," said Minnesota Discovery Center CEO, Mike Andrews.

Iron Range Resources created the nonprofit organization and negotiated a Management Agreement in 2007 for its operations. They supported the nonprofit through an endowment of $10 million and a transitional subsidy that is to be phased out over a five-year period. With the world recession, the endowment declined to $5.9 million this spring, resulting in substantially lowered funding levels.
The new name, Minnesota Discovery Center, provided a broader platform in the effort to re-invigorate the facility and give it national importance. This strategy worked. Revitalized programming within budget yielded a 15% increase in attendance figures despite cold weather, five months of highway construction, and an economy where tourism spending in northeastern Minnesota saw double digit declines.

"The financing model developed two years ago, combined with the world economic situation, just doesn't work", states CEO Mike Andrews. "Our overhead costs, not fundable by grants or sponsorships, are considerably higher than our declining subsidy and endowment interest. Although we experienced an increase in visitor attendance, it is not enough to make that up difference in a limited market."

The temporary layoffs affect 47 dedicated employees who have been passionate about the success of the facility.

"The board is currently reviewing all options for continuing operations," said Rich Puhek, IDC Board Chair. "We owe it to our dedicated staff and to the public that has been so supportive of the Minnesota Discovery Center to continue to make every effort to succeed."

The IDC Board remains optimistic about the future of the facility.

Minnesota Discovery Center opened in 1977 as the Iron Range Interpretive Center with 34 exhibits and a nominal admission charge. In 1979, the Hall of Geology was added, followed by the 1980 opening of the Research Center library and archives. In 1986, after an 18-month shutdown, the facility re-opened as with a railroad, amphitheater, new admissions building and "Festival Park."

Posted: Nov 18th, 2009 9:00 AM

Minitex and OCLC Training

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We've kept you informed about our changing relationship with OCLC, so you know that, as of July 1, you'll contact OCLC with support questions related to OCLC products and services.

As part of these same changes, Minitex will continue offering OCLC-related training, but now you'll also have access to training provided by other organizations around the country. Note that Minitex will be implementing differential pricing; fees for registrants from the Minitex region will be lower than those for registrants from outside our region. We don't have many training sessions scheduled yet, but look for more as we move into Fall.

Here is the official announcement about OCLC training:

  • Minitex and OCLC continue to work together on behalf of OCLC member libraries.
  • We are pleased to announce that OCLC and Minitex will work together to provide you with expanded access to quality OCLC training and related educational offerings.
  • Minitex has been certified to provide OCLC training--adhering to specific standards and use of OCLC-developed curriculum to ensure consistency of training objectives across all OCLC product and service areas.
  • As an OCLC-certified training provider, Minitex makes its OCLC-related course offerings available on the OCLC Training Portal, a Web-based, customer-centered resource that allows you to locate and register for courses that meet your personal learning objectives.
  • The Training Portal displays OCLC-certified courses from all Training Partners across the U.S. All of the courses listed on the Training Portal are available to anyone interested in learning more about using OCLC products and services.
  • Social networking features available on the Training Portal allow you to join groups, add friends, bookmark courses and much more.
  • The OCLC Training Portal will be accessible starting July 1, 2009, by visiting the OCLC Training Portal Web site.
  • For questions regarding the OCLC Training Portal, call 1-800-848-5800, or email
  • For questions specific to training opportunities offered by Minitex, call 800-462-5348 or 612-624-4002, visit the Minitex Training and Events Web page or email

Minitex and OCLC Changes

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Please take note that the role Minitex has played in supporting your library's use of OCLC products and services will shift somewhat in the coming fiscal year. As OCLC and Minitex continue to work in partnership on behalf of OCLC member libraries, we would like to inform you about some important changes with regard to how your library will access support for OCLC products and services.

  • Beginning July 1, 2009, OCLC members will contact OCLC Customer Support for all questions related to support for OCLC products and services. OCLC's teams of support professionals are available 14 hours a day, Monday - Friday, 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. Central Time, to assist you with your needs. These dedicated individuals will provide answers and information to help your library maximize the value of your membership and use of OCLC products and services.
  • In addition to product support specialists, the OCLC Customer Support organization is also comprised of a specialized team of librarians focused on providing consultative and workflow support tied to the use and satisfaction of OCLC products and services.

  • OCLC Billing & Ordering: Minitex will continue to offer billing and ordering assistance to your library for OCLC products and services.
  • Technical Services: Minitex Bibliographic & Technical Services (BATS) will continue to provide non-OCLC-related services and support that your library receives from Minitex today. For example, BATS will continue to provide support for general technical services issues such as cataloging and workflow, and training in the areas of digitization and cataloging.
  • Reference Services: Minitex Reference Services will continue to provide support for libraries participating in AskMN: The Librarian Is In! which uses OCLC's QuestionPoint, the Minnesota NetLibrary shared collections, and Minnesota's statewide subscription to WorldCat.
  • Training: Minitex will continue to provide training on OCLC products and services as well as our other traditional topic areas.
  • Minitex will also assist OCLC in keeping member libraries informed by communicating updates, enhancements, new product offerings, research, membership reports and other important information on OCLC member benefits.

More details about this change in support will be sent out within the coming weeks.

To contact OCLC Customer Support, call 1-800-848-5800 or e-mail

To contact Minitex BATS, call (800) 462-5348 or (612) 624-4002, or e-mail

Fall Travel in the MINITEX Region

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Here's an update on when and where you will see us in the coming months.

MINITEX staff will be presenting at State Library Association conferences in North Dakota (Sept. 26-28), South Dakota (Oct. 17-19), and Minnesota (Oct. 24-26). Bill DeJohn will present his “State of the MINITEX Region, A Review” session, and other staff will give updates on OCLC products and services, WebJunction, and more! See the link below to view a complete schedule. Come see us at your state conference or visit us at the MINITEX booth!

View a complete schedule of all MINITEX sessions

Though we know some of you very well from speaking on the phone, we do not get to see all of you in person as often as we would like. We try to schedule regular site visits to MINITEX participating libraries talk about any issues related to OCLC, resource sharing, or cataloging. Plus, we love visiting the physical library and hearing about all the new projects going on out there at each of your institutions. This fall we're targeting the northeast corner of Minnesota (and what better time to be on the road). We're starting to contact and schedule site visits in Duluth, Cloquet, Hibbing, and Chisholm. If you would like us to stop by on our fall tour, drop us a line.

We recently scheduled a number of in person and online training sessions. Check out our training calendar!

View currently offered training in the MINITEX region

A Library Visit

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Recently we've placed more emphasis on online training (for a variety of very valid reasons) but we've realized we miss the opportunities in-person training gave us to visit campuses and libraries and meet real people instead of always interacting with folks as disembodied voices over the phone or as text coming through e-mail. So last month I jumped at an opportunity to drive down to the Mankato area to pay some visits to libraries that had contacted us recently with questions.
One of the libraries I visited was Martin Luther College in New Ulm, MN. New Ulm is a lovely town with strong German heritage clearly evident in much of the architecture. Even though it was a grey and rainy day, I was still impressed by the college's dramatic (for MN at least) hilltop location with a panoramic view of the town in the valley below. New Ulm may be best known as the home of a statue affectionately known as Hermann the German, located right across the street from the college; the home of Wanda Gag, children's author and illustrator; and Schell's brewery. (I didn't get there on this trip...)

Martin Luther College has approximately 800 students. The library has been an OCLC member since 1978. I was amused to see signs in the library directing patrons to "Starbooks" – a room on the lower level nicely outfitted with ambient lighting and comfortable chairs, where coffee and hot chocolate are available in the evenings.

And yes, in addition to all my sightseeing I was able to meet with the College's systems guru to talk about extracting a file of their OCLC MARC records to assist them in a planned system migration. Sitting down in person was a helpful way to work through some complicated issues.

So, maybe your library staff needs some Cataloging, OCLC, or ILL training. Maybe you have a complex situation or workflow on which you'd like our perspective. Maybe you want to be sure you're using OCLC services effectively. Maybe you just want to show off your library. Let us know! Maybe we'll be able drop by and spend some time.

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