University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

October 26, 1999

Present: Bromley, Bush, Caldwell, Gordon-Walker, Honeywell, Petrov, Osborn, Reiersgord, Triplet, Uhlenbrock, Vaughn, Watwe

Ex Officio: Barkan, Braithwaite, Frazier, Rider

Others: Cohen, Gilbertson, Ihde, Murray, Pitschmann, Pope, Reilly, Senzig, Van Gemert

1. New Members. Student members of the committee were introduced and welcomed.

2. Minutes. Minutes of the last meeting were approved.

3. Announcements. Bush reviewed the agreement to avoid appointing subcommittees for the year but instead take up issues as they arise. He also recommended the article, “In Defense of the Book,” by William Gass in the latest issue of Harpers.

4. Reports from Library Directors. Frazier announced pleasure that all parts of the 1999-01 State Budget would be signed into law by the governor, making it the best budgetary year for libraries in history.—The Friends of the Libraries just completed another book sale with gross receipts of more than $18.000 to benefit the libraries. — A recent UIR/Graduate School copyright presentation prompted questions regarding the libraries' electronic reserves policy. Frazier distributed copies of the policy, based on ownership and fair use, and walked people through it, noting that legal services had approved the policy.

Gilbertson reported that Steenbock Library would use one-time monies from the Madison Initiative for databases in biological sciences and software for students. She stated that the electronic library would be providing a full list of available electronic journals, a project of Steenbock, soon.

Cohen reported that the CIMC has received a $46,000 grant to integrate the School of Education and area schools. A recent conference on international books for young people used web-broadcasting technology. The library will be sponsoring events in November in conjunction with the School of Education's celebration of National Education Week.

Murray indicated that Wendt Library's pilot project in document delivery, Library Express, delivered 500 articles to desktops in October. Despite budget increases, the library must still consider journal subscription cancellations of approximately $30,000.

Barkan discussed the dilemma of restricting access to the law library. He reassured members that no one who needs to use the library is ever excluded.

5. College Library Collections. Senzig distributed College Library's annual report, emphasizing the changing needs of undergraduates and changing services. She described various special collections of the library, which encourage students to browse and read.

6. Humanities Digitizing and Publishing Projects. Frazier introduced Jennifer Ihde, a recent SLIS graduate, who will be working with library administrators in implementing a humanities text digitizing center. He noted that print and digitizing are not in conflict and that libraries have been involved in publishing through the Silver Buckle Press for many years. Libraries can make original works available electronically with their growing ability to provide access to materials in the public domain. Digitizing fragile works also increases their accessibility to readers. Libraries are involved in working with the UW Press on projects and, on the margins, publishing poetry inexpensively and attractively under the new Parallel Press imprint. Through all projects, libraries are committed to the idea of lowering the cost of disseminating knowledge. These projects are funded by unrestricted gifts and endowments.

7. Development Activities. Such activities, Frazier noted, are driven by opportunity. One of the reasons donors are interested in libraries is a concern for students. The Undergraduate library, for example, is a learning center and is a naming opportunity. In the arts, the creation of a civic arts district is bringing the arts to new publics. The Kohler Art Library is bursting at the seams. And sciences are important areas for federal investments; libraries are competing successfully for grants. Caldwell noted his involvement with the National Institute for Science Education on campus might afford opportunities for partnering, Libraries will look to views of faculty, staff, and students as development activities progress. Triplett suggested creation of a Board of Visitors for Libraries. Bush, Frazier, Reilly, and Niki Graham and the UW Foundation will meet to discuss the idea. Bush described the importance of endowments through his involvement with the Cairns fund, which supports a preeminent collection of the literary works of American women writers.

8. Topics for the Year. Members identified establishment of a Board of Visitors, activities and questions regarding Sesquicentennial hires, and the preservation of electronic information as topics to be discussed during the year.

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