UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
January 11, 2000
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 a.m. at the Morris Inn by Chairman Harvey Bender. Also in attendance were John Adams, Maureen Boulton, Kelly Gritten, Roger Jacobs, Margaret Porter, Walter Pratt, John Weber, Jennifer Younger, observer Joanne Bessler and secretary Melodie Eiteljorge.
Younger observed that the committee was late in convening this year because of a delay in the election for at-large representatives.
The first order of business was the election of a chair for the academic year. Boulton nominated Bender to serve a second term. Adams seconded. This was approved, and Bender accepted.
Bender suggested that the next order of business should be a schedule for the year. It was agreed that the second Thursday of each month, 7:30-8:30 a.m., would be the best time to meet. The following dates were scheduled:
February 10 March 9
The next agenda item was the director's report. Younger reported that library faculty and staff have been interviewing a number of candidates over the past two months. Positions include two associate directors, a systems administrator, a systems librarian, a theology cataloger, serials department head, an education/psychology reference librarian, and a data librarian. We also plan to begin a search for a chemistry/physics librarian.
Dan Marmion has accepted the associate director for information systems position, to begin work on April 1. An offer is pending for the associate director for resources and collection services position. Younger thanked Boulton for her willingness to attend breakfast meetings with candidates for these positions.
Younger next reported that the Master Plan for renovation of the Theodore M. Hesburgh Library from Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott has been received. It will need review by the end of January, after which time Paula Carlaccini and Doug Marsh will present it to University Officers. On January 27 an expanded group of the Library Renovation Committee, including Paula Carlaccini, faculty from the Faculty Senate Academic Affairs Committee and student representatives will meet at the Morris Inn for breakfast to discuss the Master Plan. Harvey Bender and Kelly Gritten have agreed to attend; other committee members are welcome to attend as well.
Jacobs asked if it is correct to assume that this is still in the planning stages and that the floorplans are not the blueprints for reconstruction. Younger agreed that this is the case.
Younger next distributed two reports. The first, authored by Doug Archer, was titled "University Libraries' Summary of and Response to the College of Arts and Letters Fall ALEPH Survey." This began with concerns from the College about the operation of Aleph. Based on that, Mark Roche set up a committee to discuss the issue, and he agreed to include representatives from the Libraries, one of whom was Doug Archer. Younger noted that the library representatives found comments from the Arts and Letters faculty to be very helpful in redesigning Aleph screens. Some issues will continue to present challenges. With a Web-based system, there is no opportunity to telnet into the catalog and, thus, connect time is slower. We were able to make changes that reduce the number of clicks and to present the most important information on the first screen. Younger reported that this report is on the agenda for the Arts and Letters council meeting on January 25.
Bender asked Younger to update new members on other institutions that have selected Aleph. She noted that we were the first North American research university to select Aleph. Since then, the University of Iowa, McGill University, Boston College and the entire State University of New York (SUNY) system have chosen Aleph. We are particularly interested in working with Iowa and McGill on developing the serials application.
Boulton asked about improvements in the acquisitions system. Younger replied that to date they have been minimal. We upgraded the system in September and will do so again in late spring, and this should provide some improvements. Meanwhile, we have hired an additional staff person in Acquisitions and another for processing electronic resources to handle the increased workload.
Adams noted that it seems to him that the system is working faster than it did initially.
Younger's second handout was a "Report on the Use of Colloquy Funds." This report was originally generated by Maureen Gleason, and Younger has updated it for the current year. It covers the distribution of the $650,000 which has been provided to the University Libraries by the University annually beginning with FY 1995-96, for a period of six years, as a supplement to the base budget. This was in response to library needs identified first by the University self-study known as Colloquy for the Year 2000, and then by the subsequent Ad Hoc Committee on University Libraries.
Weber asked why the funds were reduced from $650,000 to $400,000 for 1999-00. Younger replied that the University is looking at the increase that comes from both sources -- University funding and endowment. There is also a possibility the increased funding will extend beyond the six-year period.
Boulton asked how endowment income is tied to the performance of the stock market. Younger replied that, while it is connected, it is calculated for a steady pay-out. Scott Malpass has assured her that the University has taken a very conservative approach in managing the funds.
Pratt asked how our $20 million endowment compares to other institutions. Younger replied that, e.g., the University of Chicago has $61 million. Adams noted that institutions like Chicago might have a higher reliance on their endowment.
Younger asked the committee for topics they would like to discuss during the semester. Any ideas can be sent to her or to Bender via email.
Bender asked Gritten if she reports on UCL meetings to the Graduate Student Union. Gritten replied that she does and that they have a lot of interest in renovation. Porter asked if they have questions or input on collections or services. Gritten replied that she has contemplated bringing up the issue of interlibrary loan (ILL). She finds it frustrating that she cannot telnet to the catalogs of other institutions through Aleph. She is wondering to what extent graduate students are using ILL capabilities.
Porter observed that there has been an increase in ILL requests for items that we own. We are not sure of the reason for this. Bessler will meet with ILL personnel to discuss trends.
Younger suggested that we should discuss with Gritten how we might bring questions about ILL from a graduate student perspective.
Adams asked about the status of earlier requests to keep the Hesburgh Library open 24 hours. Younger replied that we do keep it open 24 hours during exams. In order to have regular 24-hour access, would want to zone the building so that we can keep only one or two floors open 24 hours, and the ability to do that is connected to the renovation.
Younger stated that she will send new members some background information on the renovation and that she will send to all members highlights of what is in the Master Plan.
Porter asked about the status of the change to provide confidentiality of library circulation records. Bessler replied that it was delayed due to the fact that some programming support is needed for it. It has not been forgotten, however. She added that some public relations work will also be needed.
Boulton asked if Aleph will be around for a while. Younger reported that as long as it is working, she sees no reason to change. It's difficult to determine the life span of a system, but it is probably 5-10 years.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:35 a.m.
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