University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

February 10, 1998

Anderson, Becker, Bromley, Dodson, Gordon-Walker, Honeywell, Kolinski, Maher, Uhlenbrock, Vaughn, Wilcox

Ex Officio:
Braithwaite, Frazier, Gilbertson, Schofer, Steinberg, Weisbard

Barkan, Guthrie, Murray, Pfahler, Phillips, Pitschmann, Pope, Reilly, Senzig, Van Gemert

1. Minutes. Minutes of the December meeting were approved.

2. Report of the Chair. Maher stated he had provided the Secretary of the Faculty with a list of policies and procedures for the ULC at the Secretary's request. - The annual report is due on or about April 3 for presentation at the May Faculty Senate meeting. Subcommittee chairs should look at past reports when drafting this year's. - Maher thanked Barkan and the Law Library for hosting the meeting.

3. Reports from Directors. Frazier announced that the libraries had submitted a budget request to campus administration, although knowing that resources are limited. The request included $650,000 for collection budget needs. Libraries were given $136,000 to acquire the "Web of Science" backfiles; the "Web" includes many of the best World Wide Web information products in diverse disciplines, some non-scientific. Libraries were also invited to participate in a request to UW System in December for the Central Investment Fund. They have received $20,000 in one- time funding to develop system-wide licensing for the most heavily used journals in their electronic format. Libraries need to behave increasingly as buying cooperatives, keeping in mind that bringing down the cost of a product through group acquisition can at times limit campus autonomy. However, the CIC has done well. Affordability and reasonable terms are two important features of licensing negotiations.

Pitschmann distributed a list of publications owned by Reed Elsevier and a letter, dissatisfying, from Elsevier explaining its policies on exchange rates.

Pfahler stated that a task forced has been formed to work on a survey of Electronic Library menus. She invited ULC members to take the survey and consider participating in a focus group.

Pope announced that the Request for Proposals was out for the new library system.

Gilbertson reviewed a Steenbock survey of three departments wanting to understand the extent of reliance by non-medical departments on the health sciences libraries. A lot of interest was expressed in desktop access to resources.

Murray said that Wendt is hiring new staff members because of a resignation and a retirement. The library is working with other departments in the college involved with information technology and is working on developing standards and procedures for scanning activities.

Senzig stated that the ProQuest full-text library is now available through the Electronic Library. It includes 1,000 full-text journals popular with undergraduates and covers all fields.

4. SPARC. The increasing consolidation of information content providers continues, Frazier reported. Elsevier has recently bought Beilstein, one of the largest chemical information databases in the world, and Engineering Index. Consolidation was the impetus behind formation of SPARC, a working group which was formed by the Association of Research Libraries to be a catalyst for change in scholarly publishing, to create competition, to use technology to make more information available more quickly, and to preserve the values of the academic community with respect to access to information, including access for distance education and interlibrary loan. There have been 32 founding members so far. The group will raise $250,000 for its initial projects with no problem. A position description is currently being written for a director. One of the questions facing the group is how to select from the many opportunities being presented. Devising a viable economic model and a submissions process are issues under discussion.

5. Serials and Collections Subcommittee Report. Becker said that most of the time in the three meetings has been spent on the flat budget; however, it conducted reviews in several other areas. The subcommittee requested that its name be changed to the collections and Resources Subcommittee (APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY). It also requested approval for sending an e-mail to faculty on how cutbacks in journals are affecting them. Discussion included how to formulate an effective survey instrument. Becker and Bromley will work together with Gilbertson, Senzig, and other staff. Letters to the deans will be sent in the name of the entire ULC. A third request from the subcommittee involved requesting the Faculty Executive Committee and the University Academic Planning Council take up the issue of a library environmental impact statement assessing how demands on library resources will shift when colleges and programs eliminate or add new programs. The duplicate weeding project was a fourth subject for subcommittee consideration.

6. Budget Subcommittee Report. Bromley explained three themes with which the subcommittee has concerned itself this year so far:

  • electronic resources across the curriculum (focusing on undergraduates),
  • revitalizing the Wisconsin Idea (focusing on graduates and outreach), and
  • libraries as a collective asset.

7. New Meeting Date. Because of spring break, the next meeting was changed to March 17.


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