University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

September 8, 1998

Present:
Anderson, Bauer, Bromley, Gordon-Walker, Uhlenbrock, Vaughn

Ex Officio:
Barakan, Braithwaite, Draine, Frazier, Null, Hollman Weisbard

Others:
Gilbertson, Murray, Pfahler, Pitschmann, Pope, Reilly, Van Gemert

1. Minutes. Minutes of the April 14, 1998, meeting were approved as submitted.

2. Report of the Chair. Bromley reviewed summer discussions with library administration about how the ULC is structured. What arose was agreement that the old committee structure was becoming outdated and that changes in committees might result in fresh outlooks and better service to the libraries the committee serves. He proposed an experiment for the year involving two committees. The first would focus on the production of knowledge while the second would focus on libraries moving into the future. Each committee would seek to produce, through discussions, readings, and activities, a product of value to library staff and to the campus as a whole. Following discussion, the ULC adopted the committee structure as proposed. Frazier will call on the ULC as needed for assistance in lobbying the library DIN.

3. Reports from Directors. Frazier stated that the Regents' budget includes a request for $12 million for UW System libraries. If passed, this would translate into approximately $2 million additional per year for Madison. There is no guarantee that the budget request will survive the hurdles ahead. Frazier guessed that if the request does not find its way into the Governor's budget, it will not be appropriated separately through the legislative process. The Governor's budget should be completed by December. Frazier is looking for a handfull of well-chosen communications to the Governor and DOA and asked ULC members to contact him with suggestions of names. The Regents are being extremely supportive, he reported. In addition campus has set up orientation meetings with candidates for legislative candidates from the Madison area. Student government has also expressed its willingness to assist. Finally, there is strong and clear support from the Wisconsin Library Association, important because it contains voices outside the university community. Frazier reminded the ULC that the requested budget increase is solely for improvement of the collections; there are no requests for additional positions.

4. Management Systems Update. Pope stated that the internal library management system which handles acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation among other functions for UW System libraries will change. Three vendors provided demos over the summer. There was consensus by an extensive selection process on the Endeavor Company. Negotiations will begin soon. The present system was developed in the 1970s. The new system will be based on present and anticipated technology developments; it will be more efficient and provide additional services for faculty and students.

5. Grant Activity. Frazier announced that Barrett Caldwell and he have submitted a two-year, $2.36 million proposal to the Digital Libraries Initiative of the National Science Foundation. Grants recently received include $25,000 from the Mellon Foundation to explore distance education through a partnership program with Iceland; the initiative is led by Prof. Richard Ringler. The Morgridge family has provided approximately $40,000 for expansion of the Internet Scout K.I.D.S. Report, a positive alternative to Internet filtering legislation now in Congress, and an example of how a research library can be relevant to the K-12 community.

6. Digital Library Projects. Frazier said that the campus Electronic Library is now used more than the physical collections. Opportunities to enhance digital access to knowledge include a project to create a digitized backfile of the Journal of chemical Education, a project publishing online the proceedings of the national Parenthood in American conference held in Madison in June, and staff projects including Spanish literature and networked music and sound reserves. These projects, Frazier noted, are conducted with only small investments of resources yet provide insights into future roles for libraries.

7. Licensing. Frazier reported that UW-Madison libraries are licensing all of the American Chemical Society publications, Columbia International Affairs Online, and journals of the Johns Hopkins University Press for all of UW-System. Negotiations are under way with the National Academy of Science, the Association of Computing Machines, and other journal producers. These negotiations are occurring concurrently with one of the largest journal cancellations, providing (when looking at the glass as half full) a useful base for discussions.

8. Staff Initiatives. Major staff initiatives have begun in the areas of space needs, document delivery, and training and teaching. Last year 27,000 students were involved in the "Com A" requirement training provided by libraries; Frazier said that staff are just beginning to feel the crunch of "Com B."

9. Next Meeting. The next ULC meeting will be at Wendt Library on October 13.


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