UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
August 19, 1998
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 a.m. the Morris Inn by Chairman John Halloran. Also in attendance were Harvey Bender, Kelly Gritten, Roger Jacobs, Philip Johnson, Alan Krieger, Larry Rapagnani, Laurence Taylor, Jennifer Younger, guest Joanne Bessler and secretary Melodie Eiteljorge.
The minutes of the meeting of May 6, 1998 were approved as written.
The first order of business was the selection of a chair for the academic year. John Halloran was asked to serve another term, and he accepted.
Director's Report: Jennifer Younger reported that the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) has announced their first endeavor to publish a series of new papers. As reported at the March 18 meeting, the SPARC project is sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The purpose is to facilitate alternative means of journal publishing. University presses are particularly seen as logical players.
Harvey Bender noted that a search is currently underway for a director of the University Press. He suggested that this group should participate in this in any way that might be appropriate.
Younger next reported on recent site visits to Emory University and the University of Southern California (USC). Members of the Libraries Program Planning Committee attended, and representatives from the Office of Information Technology (OIT) joined them at Emory for a day.
Emory has a Center for Library and Information Resources, designed by Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott, the architectural firm hired for our project. One interesting feature is a balcony on the fourteenth floor which is used for receptions, etc. Bender asked if it might be possible that the fourteenth floor of the Hesburgh Library could be available for academic purposes. Younger replied that this has come up in discussions about renovation. However, we do not expect that possibility. Currently we are undertaking some discussions with the University Archives. Originally we thought they would be moving, but in rethinking the situation, it might be more appropriate for archival services to remain in the Hesburgh Library building. This would affect the total space configuration for the building.
Bender noted that the life sciences and chemistry/physics branch libraries are very cramped for space. There has been some discussion about a pod above and below ground level as a common facility. He suggested that this might be a good time to address that.
Younger responded that the Libraries Program Planning Committee is looking at the needs of the branch libraries, which do have an impact on how we use the space in Hesburgh. She noted a future scenario: with an information management center, we could have items shelved elsewhere, digitized on demand and transferred electronically to the user's desktop.
Bender asked how that relates to the OIT. In response to Bender's first suggestion, Larry Rapagnani responded that he is on the University's Space Planning Committee. Most of the colleges, including the sciences, engineering and law, are in the process of assessing space planning needs. In regard to the relationship of the Libraries to OIT, he stated that it is the mission of OIT to support all entities in technological ways that make sense. We currently have distant libraries that need support, including facilities in London and Australia.
Bender stated that he is aware of discussions at the college level. It may be that a body such as this, however, could make recommendations that are very attractive in light of the entire situation. Rapagnani responded that the Space Planning Committee would welcome comments from a group such as this.
Younger noted that at Emory there was a collaborative effort between the library and computing. They have an information commons that supports office suite software as well as information resources on computers for students. This is a new, one-stop facility. At the University of Southern California, there is an information desk staffed by both librarians and computer experts.
Halloran asked if the budgets for Emory and USC were consistent with our budget. Rapagnani replied that there were some unique situations and environmental obstacles at Emory which would make it difficult to determine this. Younger added that we are beginning the renovation process with program planning to identify library services and programs for the 21st century, at least for the first decade or two. Rapagnani added that the renovations of the OIT and the Hesburgh Library are on approximately the same timetable, so that collaboration does make sense.
Bender noted that Barbara Walvoord is involved in the development of the new Center for Teaching and Learning. He suggested that we invite her to a meeting to discuss that program. Younger agreed that that would be useful. Bender also suggested that we invite Nathan Hatch to a future meeting.
Alan Krieger recalled that there were to be two groups involved in program planning: the Libraries Program Planning Committee and a larger, University-wide advisory group. He asked about the status of forming the second group. Younger replied that she has not yet appointed the larger group, although John Halloran has agreed to serve on it as a representative of UCL.
Krieger suggested that the advisory group might address Bender's concerns about branches. Younger replied that the architects plan to meet with focus groups of faculty and students, which will be organized by college for faculty. Once dates are set for the architects to visit, we will solicit and invite faculty who might want to attend.
Bender suggested that we make sure deans are in the loop somehow. Halloran asked about the time frame. Younger replied that the planning groups and focus groups will meet this fall. By January we should know what kinds of programs and services we want to include. During the first three months of 1999 we will create plans for housing library staff, service points, study space and collections into the Hesburgh Library. The architects will create master plan alternatives for submission to the Officers of the University. The goal is to complete this stage by the end of the spring semester, although that is ambitious, both for the architects and the Libraries.
Bender noted that slippage in the time line could affect plans for events in celebration of the renovation. He asked how plans for that are proceeding. Younger replied that, based on earlier suggestions, she talked to Father Hesburgh about his possible participation. He is interested and would like to be involved. Bender added that he would be happy to be involved as well. He feels that planning should start soon.
Update on Revised Serials Circulation Policy. Joanne Bessler distributed a flyer on the proposed policy revision and reported that the policy change will take effect and the flyer sent to all University faculty and graduate students, barring unforeseen obstacles. It will also be posted in dormitories and made available at circulation points. This change was discussed with UCL last semester.
As a refresher, Bessler explained that in the past, serials circulated for five days; that will change to two. This change was based on four studies here of patron complaints of serial volumes not on the shelf, and also studies of peer institutions on circulation policies. We have determined that 40% of serials stay out overdue and that the main reason for checking out serials is to make photocopies. Also, most of our peer institutions have circulation policies for serials of one day or less.
This year will be a test period for the new policy. Circulation staff and supervisors will be trained about predictors of low circulation, etc. so that they can make appropriate exceptions to circulate some serials for longer time periods. We will record exceptions for later evaluation. The Aleph system will provide circulation statistics. We will also be conducting follow-up surveys. UCL members are encouraged to relate to colleagues that any feedback is welcome.
Bender asked if copy capabilities have been updated. Bessler replied that a few machines have been upgraded, but there has not been a total change. Bender suggested that we include in future surveys questions about satisfaction with copy capabilities.
Laurence Taylor asked about the possibility of electronic copy capabilities as opposed to paper. Rapagnani responded that this can certainly be done with scanners. The OIT is currently experimenting with that technology. Younger added that this is part of the concept of an information management center, which she referred to earlier. Rapagnani added that there are copyright and fair use issues involved in this.
Halloran asked about sanctions for overdue serials with the new policy. Bessler replied that in discussions last semester, this group expressed concern about sanctions. We will speed up the process of sending overdue notices but will not increase fines this year.
Halloran asked if people generally take serials outside the library to copy them. Bessler replied that they do, especially because many departments provide free copies. We cannot compete with that.
Bessler reported that, in addition to the flyer, we will publicize URLs for journals that are available electronically. We will also adjust schedules for shelving so that items are back on the shelves more quickly.
Calendar. The next agenda item was the schedule of meetings for the year. The following dates were tentatively set:
Some adjustments may be necessary due to conflicts in the 1999 calendar.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:30 a.m.
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