University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

December 10, 2003

Present: Alanen, Baughman, Buckett, Hellstrom, Kleinhenz, Lundin, Roper, Zimmerman

Ex Officio: Frazier, Braithwaite

Others:Barkan, Burton , Lewis (for Carr), Gilbertson, Kruse, Reeb, Van Gemert

1. Introductions and Announcements

Ken Frazier distributed the agenda and previous meeting minutes plus some handouts including University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries holiday cards for 2003, and the “Books We Liked” brochure (Recommended readings by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Librarians' Assembly). Teryl Roper handed out copies of the UW Extension / Department of Horticulture 2004 Calendar. No additional announcements

2. Budget request for increased funding for acquisitions. (Frazier)

UW-Madison has steadily fallen behind in money it can devote to its collections budget. GLS ranks 36 th out of approximately 120 ARL institutions in collections money and places in the last quartile of CIC institutions for materials budget. Echoing this decline in buying power is increasing faculty/staff alarm at continual cancellation of journal subscriptions to balance a static library budget. It is felt that many core research journals, which support research and promote scholarly publishing, are now threatened by an annual cancellation exercise. Prospects for state funding is unlikely and in fact the only new funding has come via UW Madison campus initiatives (Madison Initiative).

Due to this current situation GLS has submitted a request for increased acquisitions funding to Darrell Bazzell in the amount of 2.l million dollars over the next 3 years. This is a $700,000 per year increase in the base budget. Much of this money will go to support core research needs in the sciences. Both the Provost and the Vice Chancellor will review this increased funding request.

Frazier did note that one benefit of using the strategy of journals cancellations was that GLS was able to protect the humanities. Frazier also noted that GLS ranks 15 th in book buying while still placing lower for actual base materials dollars.

Frazier ended this discussion with reference to a one-page handout compiled by Phillip Braithwaite, “General Library System and Indirect Cost Reimbursement”. Braithwaite undertook some investigations stemming from questions asked at the last ULC meeting on grant overhead monies coming to the UW. Braithwaite sees two questions and points to be addressed: 1. Is Madison's rate fair compared to others (see last paragraph)? The rate is low in comparison with other institutions for various reasons, but with highest output for research and an efficient management of funds it would seem the rate is appropriate. The second question: 2. Is the GLS receiving its fair share? is addressed in data contained in the rest of the handout. Again, with various factors contributing to the fiscal picture, including direct capital allocations, Braithwaite concluded that GLS does receive its fair share.

3. Planning for use of library shelving space at Middleton Library. (Frazier)

Frazier reported that campus administration has set aside $500,000 for the shelving needs relating to the vacating of Middleton Health Sciences Library. The basement of Middleton will be fitted with compact shelving to meet the storage needs of all campus libraries. In fact, the Middleton Library basement may be the last opportunity for shelving needs for some time.

The next step in the planning process is to determine what will go into the facility. While initially looking at the Memorial Library Cutter Collection talks with Chris Kleinhenz, Nick Doane and Bill Courtney have halted that approach. Discussions dealt with questions of browseability, the uncataloged state of the cutter collection and the humanist's approach to research. Regardless of what goes into the facility Frazier is very concerned with issues of managed costs. Moving of materials and excessive record keeping bears a high price in terms of staff time and resources. This must be monitored and managed. Campus libraries must move forward soon on formulating a plan for the Middleton facility. Once prepared the building could hold up to 335,000 volumes and allow for 5 years of collection growth.

Alanen asked if the shelving facility would be open stacks? Initial indications are that this collection would not be open to the general public, but that a service room for visitors would be made available.

Alanen also asked if the microfilm reader would be leaving the library when HSL moves to its new building next year? Burton replied that everything goes to the new library. Van Gemert followed up with the suggestion that equipment and support needs had not really been discussed yet.

Roper wanted to know what would be happening with the upper floors of the Middleton Library? Frazier answered with the indication that most likely the space would be used as offices when the Van Hise remodeling begins in the near future. In the Master Plan for campus Frazier pointed out that the building would eventually revert to “green space” for that area of campus.

4. Undergraduate library services. (Kruse)

Kruse began her presentation by handing out three documents; “College Library Undergraduate Services”, “College Library Head Counts — Week of December 1, 2003” and “Comparison — Memorial West Wing vs. College Library, Midnight–6:00 am”. Kruse pointed out that College Library is geared for the freshman and sophomore levels. In large part the population of students are all engaged in introductory courses and that's how College focuses its support. It is a widely popular study space and with the new Open Book Café and 24 hour access it is seeing record numbers of users.

Kruse briefly talked about the handouts in relation to knowing more about the user groups being served as well as their service needs. Data on gate counts shows consistently higher numbers for College vs. Memorial. The only exception is a period around 2:40 am when Memorial's numbers are higher (probably attributable to the prior closing of College and an egress to Memorial?). College also has data on hourly headcounts, primarily where the students are and what services they might be using. College intends to begin a new midnight survey as well.

Kruse spoke to the general approach and philosophy of College Library. It is a flexible and changing environment that adapts to meet its user needs. It is a library that supports group study, but also has quiet and silent designated spaces. It has a flexible food and drink policy. Providing a generally comfortable atmosphere, with the addition of the Open Book Café users have access to a recreational reading collection, a DVD collection and a wonderful view of Lake Mendota. College Library was the first provider of a wireless network for patrons and also provides study tables with direct laptop plug-ins.

College Library collections are strong on current issues and strives for support of cross- disciplinary course support. College maintains a “new books shelf”, which is very popular, and again is supportive of current topics of interest. College has the 2 nd highest circulation of books after Memorial Library. College maintains a campus wide reserves collection and has turned to Universal Borrowing in the UW System as an alternative to ILL for undergraduates. Available via MadCat, UB functions well for students looking to access materials that may already be checked out of College Library but are elsewhere available in the UW System. College Library also supports a cutting edge computer lab, which is very popular with students. Supporting full text journal access, online research guides, circulation of laptop computers and digital cameras the popularity of services at College Library is high.

Kruse also addressed Research Services at College Library, noting that the reference desk is staffed until midnight using graduate students from SLIS (School for Library and Information Services). College Library is active in supporting virtual reference via the “Live Help” system. Kruse also mentioned instructional services at College Library, which regularly teach 100 classes per year for the Communications A courses (serving 3,000 students) as well as 300 classes in computing.

In conclusion Kruse mentioned several College Library efforts with outreach and undergrad initiatives. This includes FIG's (first-year interest groups), Undergrad Research Scholars and Pathways Scholars programs, the Chadbourne Learning Communities and the Fetzer Student Athlete Academic Center.

Members of ULC expressed thanks for the very informative presentation and were especially impressed by the variety, quality and amount of effort being devoted to serving UW undergraduates.

Alanen asked if the computer lab scanning equipment was exclusively for the use of undergrads? Kruse answered that it was open to everyone.

Lewis asked what the gate counts were like for this year? Kruse indicated that it was looking like College was headed for a new record attendance.

5. Space redesign at Steenbock Library. (Gilbertson)

Gilbertson distributed a one-page handout which is representative of a poster that has been placed throughout Steenbock Library informing patrons of current and forthcoming space plans and as well as progress to date.

Gilbertson began the discussion with the observation that Steenbock also serves undergraduates. In addition it serves graduate students and professionals in many of the newer sciences. As a hybrid library Steenbock provides liaison, reference and special services for the sciences using traditional print means, but incorporating more and more of the electronic access and support formats that users want and need.

Gilbertson observed that because users needs are changing Steenbock undertook a survey soliciting feedback and comments. Themes that were noted via this process is that users want, 1) A Comfortable environment, 2) Later hours, 3) Computers and computer support and 4) A Consolidation of Service Points.

In response to the feedback and following national trends Steenbock Library closed one of its entrances and began the process of desk consolidation. This will make better use of staff and be less of a hassle for students and users in moving around the library.

Gilbertson also called attention to the fact that Steenbock will be trying something new with the Information Lab that has not been attempted elsewhere on the UW-Madison campus. Often referred to as an Information Commons the lab will actually be distributed in a large open environment, with new furniture and more computers. The Info. Lab will share a service desk with the Reference Department, which should allow for cooperation and consultation in information services.

In preparation for the overall change Gilbertson detailed the natural light improvements made on the second floor once the print journal stacks were removed. In anticipation of extended hours on at least one floor of Steenbock an accessible bathroom is being constructed on the main floor. There will be comfortable study space, computers to use and quality service points for students and other patrons.

Gilbertson also noted that these enhancements are coming through financial support of the Parents' Enrichment Fund.

6. Reports from campus library directors.

Ed Van Gemert (Public Services & Member Libraries)

Van Gemert reported that redesign of Memorial Library's Web site is underway. He anticipates future consultation with ULC.

Tom Murray (Wendt Library)

Nothing to report at this time.

Steve Barkan (Law Library)

Nothing new to report.

Terry Burton (Health Sciences Libraries)

Burton informed the committee that HSL will begin discussions soon that will focus on the non-health sciences users of the Middleton Library. Non-health sciences users will lose a service point when the library move is accomplished in June 2004. How to communicate and prepare for this eventuality will be part of a public relations plan for HSL's move next year. Van Gemert wanted to note that the closest library to Middleton is Social Work and they are not equipped to handle a potential increase in workload, which might occur when HSL leaves. It was also noted that a large DoIT lab would be lost when the move is made.

7. ULC schedule

Next meeting of ULC. We will be meeting in early February, sometime around Ground Hog's Day.

Lewis wanted to call attention to the fact that the Wisconsin Historical Society will be launching a new Web site on December 15, 2003 .

No other business and meeting adjourned.

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