UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
March 4, 1999
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 a.m. the Morris Inn by Chairman Harvey Bender. Also in attendance were Robert Coleman, Kelly Gritten, Christopher Hamlin, Philip Johnson, Alan Krieger, Larry Rapagnani, Laurence Taylor, Jennifer Younger, guest Joanne Bessler and secretary Melodie Eiteljorge.
The minutes of the meeting of February 11, 1999 were approved as written.
The first order of business was to seek volunteers for this year's Foik Award Committee. Prior to the meeting, Bender agreed to serve as chair. It was noted that the past three recipients of the award are automatically members of the committee. Those are Stephen Hayes, Charlotte Ames and Dwight King. Coleman agreed to serve as a faculty representative, and Gritten agreed to serve as the graduate student representative.
Younger reported that she is working on budget planning for next year. She hopes to add additional faculty and staff positions. She will report further at the April meeting.
Bender recalled that at one time there was concern about the salary and benefit scale for library faculty. He asked if we have caught up. Younger replied that we looked at this issue last year and found that the average salary by rank is now slightly over the national average. However, at the full librarian level, which is our top rank, Notre Dame is still under the national average. This is an ongoing concern. Our ranking varies slightly from year to year as people leave and new people are hired.
Younger reported that the implementation of Aleph continues to move forward. At least two other institutions are seriously considering Aleph in choosing a new system. An improved logon has been set up in the library, and NT2@ND should also help in reducing the amount of time to logon to Aleph.
In regard to renovation, the Academic Affairs Committee of the Faculty Senate earlier had asked about forming another committee. Rather than appointing a committee at this time, Younger suggests using focus groups again to gather feedback to bring back to the University Committee on Libraries (UCL) in May. The Provost's Advisory Council is another source of feedback. In addition, Younger can meet again with the Academic Affairs Committee for continued input from them. This could result in an additional meeting for UCL.
Bender noted that the group talked earlier about inviting a representative from Faculty Senate to join UCL for discussions. Younger suggested that we could follow through on that for the April meeting. Bender agreed that it would be difficult to form another committee, particularly at this time of year. Younger will pursue suggested alternatives.
Bender asked about the impact of the new bookstore, with its lounges, on library use. Younger replied that the lounge area at the bookstore is small but will provide a comfortable environment for coffee and reading. Krieger noted that at certain times students will have to share the space in the bookstore with others, particularly during football season. Coleman agreed that the library may turn out to be a haven during busy times on campus. Hamlin noted that the tables at the bookstore are small and high, and this discourages lounging.
In terms of social space, Gritten noted that the new Burger King in combination with extended hours has seemed to increase use of LaFortune. Younger responded that it is good to know about that, because LaFortune is in close proximity to the Hesburgh Library. Bessler suggested that we could check turnstyle counts and compare with counts from last year.
Younger distributed a print-out of the Libraries' Space Planning Committee assumptions. This document is available on the Web at:
She noted some particular points, including: "We will create an integrated service environment for library and information resources and information technology." She stated that we are still in the discussion stage as to how we might do this. It is important to have a space where students can get assistance with all kinds of questions in close proximity. Also, the Libraries are assuming that the amount of information published in digital form will increase steadily in the next 15 years. We will go forward on the assumption that print will not always be required as a backup. Physical growth of collections will continue, but at a slower rate.
Hamlin asked if it is easy to predict what resources will become digital. Younger reported our approach will be fairly straight-forward. There are two basic levels at which to begin, monographs and journals. Within journals future predictions are based on discipline and publishing trends in each field. We will not be 100% accurate, but we can make reasonable predictions as to where the most and least physical growth will take place between 2000 and 2015.
In terms of making decisions, where there are choices librarians work with faculty and academic departments and make decisions about what to buy electronically.
Bender asked about the number of students who own their own computers. At some institutions it is required that students bring a PC. He asked if the Office of Information Technology (OIT) has long-range plans to implement such a policy or to set up a rental program. Younger replied that this has been suggested, but she doesn't think it will be implemented for a couple of years. It comes into the library's plans in terms of providing more wiring and less computers. Some institutions are moving to a new wireless system.
There was further discussion about library space and areas that are not considered part of the library. These include the auditorium, the faculty lounge and the President's lounge. Bender asked about the location of the Rare Book Room. Younger replied that the location is good, although it needs expansion and better environmental control. Bender inquired about how it might be expanded. Younger replied that it could be expanded downward into the basement or even upwards into the area now occupied the audio/video.
Younger stated that the architects feel some problems could be solved through rearrangement of existing departments and areas on the first and second floors. Coleman noted that periodicals/microtext is an unusual space and that it has grown. Younger noted that at the University of Chicago they found that tables for four are not utilized except during exam times. Otherwise one or two people generally sit at a table.
Coleman noted that many newspapers are now producing text on the Web. Younger responded that we have dropped some subscriptions that are available online. Gate counts are declining. Online, searching provides good access to specific authors or subjects. Browsing capabilities should become better over time.
Gritten asked if we will continue to shelve bound journals. She noted that in some places current and past issues are housed in the same place. Younger replied that integrating bound journals with current journals is something we haven't really considered, but it is a possibility. Bender observed that in the Life Sciences Library the journals are placed around the room and that bound journals are moved out after ten years because of space problems.
Younger also distributed a listing of proposals and requests for the renovation. She noted that Roger Jacobs, Law Library, is asking for shelving space. The University Archives will also submit a proposal for additional space.
Younger invited members of the committee to attend a Symposium on Learning in Libraries which was scheduled for March 10 at McKenna Hall.
Under "old business," Coleman asked about the status of cataloging the Snite Museum collection. Younger replied that this is on hold because of the search for a new museum director. We are also in the process of defining a database librarian position who, at some point, can work with the Snite.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 a.m.
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