UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
June 10, 1999
The meeting was called to order at 8:30 a.m. the Morris Inn by Chairman Harvey Bender. Also in attendance were John Adams, Kelly Gritten, Roger Jacobs, Larry Rapagnani, Laurence Taylor, Jennifer Younger, and secretary Melodie Eiteljorge.
The minutes of the meeting of May 11, 1999 were approved as written.
Jennifer Younger reported that Associate Director of Public Relations and Information Dennis Brown is preparing a press release on Notre Dame's participation in the Northeast Research Libraries Consortium (NERL).
She reported that the Libraries are working with the College of Arts and Letters on an ad hoc committee regarding Aleph. At their last college meeting, Arts and Letters faculty expressed serious concerns about Aleph. Mark Roche thus formed the committee and agreed to include three library representatives. The faculty's concerns are varied, including slow response time and problems with the transition to a Web environment. Younger chose three representatives based on three areas of expertise: searching, network, and changes that can be made to the system by the Libraries as opposed to the vendor.
Larry Rapagnani offered his assistance if representation is needed from the Office of Information Technologies (OIT). Bender suggested that Rapagnani could represent the University Committee on Libraries (UCL) on the ad hoc committee. Younger will pursue that option with Mark Roche.
Bender suggested that a field instrument might be useful in determining how wide-spread concerns are among faculty. It was agreed that Rapagnani could forward that suggestion if he is part of the ad hoc committee. Younger noted, however, that this is an Arts and Letters Committee, not a library committee. If the ad hoc committee is not interested in developing a field instrument, UCL could address the possibility of undertaking the project in the fall.
Younger reported that the search for an associate director for resources and collection services is in process. The Libraries are also setting up another search committee for an associate director for information systems and access, and Mike Ball from the OIT has agreed to serve on that committee. This search is due to the fact that James Wruck has announced his intention to retire at the end of October.
At the last meeting Younger distributed a draft report on Colloquy funding. The final report is not finished. She will bring it back to the committee in the fall.
The main agenda item was updates on renovation. Younger noted that Harvey Bender and Kelly Gritten have attended two meetings of the extended renovation committee. Originally she hoped to have the master plan by the end of June, but that is not possible. The committee is currently revising objectives and priorities and translating them into a program distribution diagram.
Younger listed six issues that have been identified repeatedly by the committee, and Gritten added a seventh:
1. Compact storage. As reported earlier, 700,000 volumes could be put into compact storage in the basement. One issue is to decide whether to identify low use items or to move certain ranges and provide access. Compact shelving saves only 35-40% of space and is very expensive. It would, however, allow us to keep everything in the Hesburgh Library building.
There was a lengthy discussion. Roger Jacobs suggested an analysis of compact storage vs. off-site costs over a period of years. He has compact shelving at the law library and utilizes it for low use items, although identifying them and moving them is a continuous process. He feels this is the best option, however, because low use items do not necessitate moving the shelves on a constant basis. The law library's compact shelving is operated manually and has been completely dependable. Younger agreed that members of the renovation committee should visit the law library to look at their shelving.
2. Information and reference services. The question is location. One option is to retain them on the first floor. Another is to have a "quick look-up" area on the first floor with a more in-depth collection on the second floor. There are pros and cons either way.
3. A non-circulating research collection on the second floor. This began with an early request for a theology reading room, but there are other issues and the committee is considering the possibility of a larger, inter-disciplinary area. One factor is overlap. Another is that we have items in the stacks that could be pulled out and added to our current reference collection. Younger noted that specialized reading rooms are not common in today's libraries. Gritten expressed concern that the long-term desire for a theology reading room might be lost with a short-term solution. It was agreed that the committee should not stray from its charge to plan through the year 2015. The budget is a factor, however.
4. A café. Younger noted that this was the number one request of students. They like a "Barnes and Noble" environment and in particular want good coffee and a pleasant atmosphere. After some discussion, it was agreed that having a café with limited hours would not be useful. Students want a facility that is open whenever the building is open. Thus, the committee feels that an upscale vending area with a pleasant atmosphere, improved coffee and food and a convenient location is the best avenue.
5. Library departments in the basement. Younger covered this briefly. She is basically opposed to housing library staff in a basement, but due to limited space this may be unavoidable. Rapagnani recalled that at Emory University, where he participated in a site visit, the basement area had small windows along the top foot of the walls which provided natural light and improved the atmosphere. Younger will pursue this possibility. The architects are also developing ways to open up the first and second floors so that the inner areas are exposed to more natural light.
6. Evolution of computer clusters. This is a constantly changing concept involving many issues, including student ownership of technology, integration of computers into library space, email kiosks, and the use of clusters as teaching facilities.
7. Learning spaces and their configuration. This, too, involves many considerations, including closed and open carrels, large group study areas, two-three person study areas, etc.
Younger expressed her thanks to Harvey Bender for serving as acting chair in John Halloran's absence. She also thanked the members of the committee for their participation. Bender thanked the secretary for her assistance.
Jacobs announced that his deputy director, Janis Johnston, has accepted a position as director of the law library at the University of Illinois. She will be missed.
There was a brief discussion of agenda items for the fall. Three were identified: electronic publishing, a resolution regarding copyright at the University of Kansas, and a continuance of the discussion about library record confidentiality. Other agenda items from committee members are welcome
An orientation meeting was set for August 26, 7:30 a.m. at the Morris Inn.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:00 a.m.
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