UNIVERSITY COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
December 8, 1998
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 a.m. at the Morris Inn by Chairman John Halloran. Also in attendance were John Adams, Harvey Bender, Robert Coleman, Christopher Hamlin, Philip Johnson, Alan Krieger, Laurence Taylor, Jennifer Younger, guest Joanne Bessler and secretary Melodie Eiteljorge.
The minutes of the meeting of November 18, 1998 were approved as written.
Younger reported on the fall meeting of the Advisory Council on University Libraries, which was well attended. She shared with them a draft for a marketing plan which she is putting together at the request of the Development Department. She noted that the Libraries continue to receive new endowments.
Presently everyone in the Libraries is working very hard to bring up the new Aleph system by January 11. Because it is Web-based, it should provide an easy transition for faculty and students. At a recent meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information, Younger learned that several other institutions are seriously considering Aleph in selecting a new system.
Hamlin asked how visitors will be able to use Aleph, since it is Web based through NT@ND. Younger replied that certain computers will be set up so that people can log on as "guest." Adams suggested that these computers could default to the catalog. Coleman noted that he has found the process of logging on to be very slow at times.
Prior to the meeting, Younger distributed copies of the Libraries' mission and vision statements. The Libraries' Program Planning Committee is also working on a list of objectives for the Hesburgh Library renovation, and Younger will distribute that in January.
Younger reported that she has talked to Patricia O'Hara about a resolution from the Campus Life Council to keep the Hesburgh Library open 24 hours a day. O'Hara will relate to the council that Younger will work with them on this issue, for both the short and long term. In the future, there will be other work places on campus open 24 hours a day. With renovation, there is also the possibility of zoning the Hesburgh Library building so that certain areas can remain open when others close. Younger plans to set up a small working group on this. She feels that it is important to provide a learning/social atmosphere, which fits with the Libraries' mission.
Younger asked if there were any comments regarding the mission or vision statements. She highlighted one phrase as a summary in the vision statement: "provides uncomplicated and swift access to needed resources." Bender suggested that the committee should support the concept of a combination learning and social space. He agrees that this fits with the mission. Younger noted that the term "social space" often translates into soft seating and provision for breaks.
Taylor observed that zoning the library to keep open the first two floors provides nothing more than study space. Younger agreed. Coleman asked if there is a precedent for longer hours. Younger replied that there are between 20 and 30 institutions across the country which provide 24-hour access to their libraries. The number of students using library facilities at certain times of the night seems to be very low. At Notre Dame, we do remain open 24 hours during final exam time. Hamlin suggested that this issue could be tied to finding ways for faculty and students to interact.
Younger reported that, in addition to her written response to the Faculty Senate's request for information regarding the renovation, she has been invited to a meeting with the Academic Affairs Committee. Bender observed that it seems to be more of a concern about being excluded than a desire to be included. He suggested that we might invite a liaison from the Senate to attend UCL meetings. Halloran suggested also that the Faculty Senate could be a vehicle for a survey.
The next topic of discussion was consortial relationships. This issue has surfaced because of an invitation to Notre Dame to join the Big 10 and CIC. From the Libraries' point of view, there are several advantages to consortial relationships. One reason is the ability to leverage purchasing power, particularly in the licensing of online citation and journal databases. Over the last five years, consortia have consistently been able to establish lower prices for their members. The University Libraries work proactively through the state of Indiana network as well as through others where institutional membership is not a requirement. A second advantage lies in the collaboration and sharing of expertise with other research libraries as well as in the preferred arrangements for access to collections.
Bender asked if there is any benefit to the Libraries in not belonging to CIC. Younger replied that she does not see any disadvantage for the Libraries in joining, because belonging to one consortium does not preclude joining another. Bender asked about the size of our collections compared to CIC libraries. Younger replied that we would be one of the smaller of the institutions.
Bender made a motion that the committee support the pursuit of consortial relationships as beneficial to the University. Halloran seconded. The motion was passed unanimously.
The next item of business was the selection of a new chair for the reminder of the academic year, because Halloran will be in Australia next semester. There were no volunteers. Halloran nominated Harvey Bender. Coleman seconded. Bender agreed to serve and was elected by a unanimous vote.
Bender suggested that for a future meeting we might discuss Notre Dame programs in other countries and support for them. Coleman noted that he would be curious to know what kind of privileges students have in libraries abroad. Younger replied that there are a variety of arrangements and that most of them are made on behalf of the students by Notre Dame. The use by students sometimes relates to the nature of the library rather than to arrangements. Some libraries do not provide interlibrary loan or access to their stacks. Coleman noted that consortia with museum libraries might be an interesting possibility.
Coleman asked about the status of plans to catalog the Snite Museum collection. Younger replied that the Libraries gave a demonstration of the Aleph system to Snite representatives. Jane Devine and Thomas Lehman will work with the Snite on a project to catalog the Snite collection, with some support possible from the Libraries.
The main agenda item for the January meeting will be a discussion of the respective growth of print, digital and other forms of information resources and the impact of such growth on the renovation of the Hesburgh Library. There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 a.m.
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