University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

October 9, 2002

Present: Alanen, Baughman, Breckenridge, Boyd, Friedman, Hellstrom, Howell, Kleinhenz, Tiser, Triplett

Ex Officio: Barribeau, Braithwaite, Frazier, Inoway-Ronnie, Zimmerman

Others: Carr, Murray, Norcross, Paul, Rider, Senzig, Van Gemert

1. Welcome and Introductions

2. Review of the charge of the University Library Committee (Boyd)

"The University Library Committee (ULC) reviews consults on, advises, plans for, and receives reports and recommendations on the performance of library services, automation, budget, administrative structure, and allocation of resources. Responsibility for keeping the faculty informed of major issues and for creating opportunities for the faculty to discuss priorities also falls to the committee (see Faculty Policies and Procedures 646 B)."

Boyd reviewed the charge of the committee and pointed out the 2001-2202 annual report highlights (handout given to the committee).

3. Approval of May 15th minutes - approved.

4. Update on library budgets and planning (Frazier)

Frazier covered initiatives that have advanced since the last ULC meeting.

A) Campus has approved an incremental increase in the collection budget that continues to be a high priority. A 3% increase will be distributed to campus resource libraries and an additional $250,000 will be allocated in response to identified needs and opportunities to purchase new information resources. A special allocation of $100,000 has been made by campus administration to the Law Library; this special allocation alleviates, but does not eliminate, the concern that the Law Library is falling behind its peer institutions. The increase is greatly appreciated and will be used carefully and, we hope, wisely. The new funding will not cover inflation, but it will help maintain core resources and support research and teaching.

Libraries are seeing the same types of increases in costs for electronic resources as for print. The need to look at the benefit and usage levels of all electronic resources continues to grow with an eye towards analyzing what is needed, especially since there is a great deal of overlap between the various databases. Right now it is difficult to determine usage; sometimes we are dependent on the vendors for that data. Usage data are particularly important to the task of determining which electronic resources offer the best value and are most cost-effective.
Rider added that the libraries continue to take advantage of special purchasing opportunities that support new models of scholarly communication.

Murray mentioned that Wendt cancelled $100,000 worth of journals last year and another $20,000 - $30,000 worth of titles this year. Wendt is also now looking at new products such as interactive handbooks, etc. and not just electronic journals.

B) One concern recently addressed was the student's request for 24-hour access to a library for study purposes. This service has been provided in the west corridor of Memorial Library, along with the computer lab and the study halls in room 116 and 124. Security is being provided by Permar, the company that provides security at Badger games. Of greatest concern right now is custodial care. The library will work with student governance to encourage students to clean up after themselves. Since campus does not provide custodial services on Friday and Saturday nights, the library will hire students to clean on Saturdays and Sundays. Cost of providing 24/7 access will be appropriately $45,000, most of which is for security.

Usage of the service is being closely monitored. There have been 2053 students who have used the facility between 11p.m. and 7 a.m. since September 16th, averaging 93.3 per night. There is a surge between 12 and 1a.m. with drop off between 3 and 6 a.m. A survey will be conducted to provide a candid assessment of costs and benefits.

C) UW-Madison General Library System has taken over responsibility as the federal regional depository for GPO materials; the State Historical Society Library has given up this responsibility. All materials will be sent to the GLS Central Technical Services Division for distribution. There was a reallocation of positions in order to accommodate this increased workload.

A task force, chaired by Wayne McGowen, has been set up to determine the best options for returning the WHS library-archives collections and services to a status of excellence, as a resource for public, as well as scholarly, learning about Wisconsin and North American history. The general goals of the study are to describe precisely the current program and budget for the library-archives, and to develop short- and long- term strategies for the future. In addition, the charge from the board of curators instructed WHS to use the study to develop a plan for the improvement of the WHS library and archives that addresses current operations and future development. The study should, among other things, examine future possible funding mechanisms as well as frameworks for improved cooperation with UW Madison and UW System. The final report will be submitted at the February, 2003 Board meeting. (Taken from the WHS home page).

Given the budget situation at the WHS, UW Libraries have already been buying electronic and print materials in the North American history area. Government documents is only one area of concern. The next step would be to formalize shared collection development responsibilities. It is unknown how the Society will receive the plan. The provost has been updated on the situation.

Alanen mentioned that approximately 12 campus departments rely upon the resources of the WHS library and are greatly concerned about the future of this vital resource.

D) Planning: UW-Madison Libraries Strategic goals for 2002-2003 was handed out. They are written to align with the UW-Madison Campus Strategic Plan as requested by the provost.

5. Reports from campus library directors

Murray (Wendt): With support from Ken Frazier and Ken Rouse (retired director of the Chemistry Library) Wendt continues to analyze cost/use data for a few hundred journals. The range is great and data will be presented at a future meeting.

A major effort is underway to transfer less-used materials to the science storage area at Steenbock Library. In the freed up space, group study and tutoring areas have been set up, and are heavily used. Gate counts increased last year.

Ed Van Gemert (Public Services and Member Libraries): Distributed handout outlining new services: a) Live Help: reference librarians advise via instant messaging; was a pilot project last year; the service is picking up with 300 uses in September; b) Memorial Library open 24/7;
c) Library Express; d) Book Retrieval; e) Distance Learning Services; f) Book Express

Ed also announced that Nancy McClements, Acting Head of Reference, Memorial Library has been elected Vice President Elect of the Wisconsin Library Association.

Donna Senzig (College): Distributed the College Library 2001 - 2002 Annual Report.

Natalie Norcross (Health Sciences): Interviews for the directorship have been completed and they are waiting for the decision from administration. The new library building is going up and will be completed in 2004. Consolidation of the various collections is ongoing with the goal of merging the 3 separate libraries in preparation of the move in 2004. They are reviewing duplicates, binding journals, etc.

Nancy Paul (Law): The increase to the collection budget is much appreciated and will prevent as large a serials cancellation as there was last year ($50,000 was cancelled last year).

Jo Ann Carr (CIMC): The library is mentoring undergraduate students assisting them in the area of technology and information literacy. They have received a small grant from UW Foundation to enhance collections in the area of women's physical education. There will be three tracks to their Friday workshops this year: professional development, technology, and information literacy.

6. Progress on shelving expansion for library collections (Frazier)

The issue of building an off campus shelving facility was investigated this summer with the decision made by campus administration to not pursue it at this time. The current status at various libraries on campus include Memorial Library at 70% working capacity, Historical at over 100% physical capacity, and at least 2 dozen other campus libraries at working capacity.

Frazier gave a power point presentation that he had prepared for Provost Peter Spear on the subject of high-density library storage. All research libraries are looking at this model and many or our peer institutions have, or are in the process, of building off campus shelving facilities. There are significant cost drivers: inventory software, environmental controls, security of the collections, etc., although the cost of such a facility is 1/10 the cost of a new library building constructed on campus. A shelving facility the size of the one at Duke, maximizing shelving, would be able to handle the same amount of material that is currently housed in Memorial Library. In the meantime, alternatives are being looked at: compact shelving in the basement of Steenbock Library and in the basement of Middleton Library (once Health Sciences moves into their new building).

Reactions from committee members were positive:

Triplett: thinks that this must be done and would like to see ULC put a resolution forward; perhaps the proposal could be presented at the Faculty Senate.

Boyd: the next ULC meeting should begin to address possible faculty concerns.

Baughman: one selling point is that this has been successfully carried out at other universities.

Kleinhenz: would like to see what other libraries used as criteria for determining what materials were sent to off campus facilities.

7. Future agenda items

Off site shelving facility

8. ULC schedule

Next meeting will be held Wednesday, November 20th at 10:00.

9. Other business

A ULC member needs to be appointed as the ULC representative to the Memorial Library Committee. Boyd will check members who were unable to attend this meeting.

My Accounts arrowarrow