March 4, 2004
Present: Alanen, Baughman, Breckenridge, Buckett, Hellstrom, Kleinhenz, Potter, Roper, Zimmerman
Ex Officio:Frazier, Braithwaite, Inoway-Ronnie
Others: Barkan, Norcross (for Burton), Gilbertson, Kruse, Null, Reeb, Van Gemert
1. Introductions and Announcements
Ken Frazier began the meeting by distributing agendas and then launched into a number of announcements, highlighting a great deal of activity currently taking place on campus.
A. Ken called attention to the past and current budget crisis at the Wisconsin Historical Society and its devastating impact on their library and archives. Noting that by Wisconsin Statute the Historical Library serves as the North American Studies library for the University of Wisconsin and that by extension any decline in collections or service has an impact on UW program support. In an effort to continue and enhance the existing partnership between the University and the Historical Society, Provost and Vice Chancellor Peter Spear sent a letter to the Historical Society Director Robert Thomasgard supporting a collaborative fund-raising activity for the North American History collections. Ken distributed a copy of this letter, which details future fund raising efforts with the UW Foundation and elaborates on development opportunities. As indicated in the letter and echoed by Ken this is a long term project.
B. Due to recent alarm and complaints from students concerning the high cost of text books Ken has indicated he will be taking part in a text book task force being formed to study the problem. It will be a collaborative effort with members from the UW faculty and administration as well as University Book Store. Ken observed that in some cases students can be paying as much as $900.00 per year for textbooks. He also pointed out that there are faculty members who feel that the rapid appearance of new textbooks in not always warranted, especially when the information content contained in them does not change dramatically from edition to edition.
C. In a cooperative effort with the UW Alumni Association Ken indicated that the General Library System is working on a new project to create a UW Alumni Library Online. Access to electronic library resources for alumni can be problematic when licensing issues are involved. Basically many publishers don't want 400,000 alumni to have access to online content. That is not true for all publishers so the intent of this project is to identify publishers and content that can be readily accessible by alumni free of charge. Ken did point out the all content from the library digital conversion projects is free to alumni right now. Both Cornell and Penn State have excellent online alumni library resources and research access available.
D. Ken announced that the Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries semiannual book sale starts today with a preview sale beginning later in the afternoon. Ed Van Gemert passed out flyers advertising the event.
No additional announcements.
2. Update on acquisitions budget request for 2003-04 and 2004-05. (Frazier)
Ken announced that with little or no prospect of increased state funding for the library collections budget UW campus administration took up the challenge and provided a one-time award of $217,500 for this fiscal year. Distribution of the funds will focus on support for the social sciences, humanities and biomedical sciences areas. UW administration also committed to at least a $400,000 base budget increase for the library over the next biennium. They would not commit to any base budget increases for the biennium after that. With state and national budgets in question administration could not predict or commit that far in advance. Ken will allocate funds across GLS as well as continue the support for Health Sciences, Law and other core research collections across campus. Ken also noted the even with this base budget increase it was not possible or intended for GLS to allocate funds to the more than 40 departmental libraries across campus. Ken gave special thanks to the members of the University Library Committee who wrote letters to the UW administration in support of a budget increase.
3. User survey of library service quality: LibQual+. (Frazier)
Brief summary of procedure
Timeline for conducting survey
Outcomes and assessment
Ken led off the discussion of a service quality survey by distributing, “LibQual+ 2004, Update on progress—UW-Madison” and “LibQual+ 2004, Upcoming timetable—UW-Madison”, to ULC members. The document (two-sided) is a timeline of past activity preparing for the survey and a timetable for upcoming actions as the survey gets underway. LibQual+ is a service product adapted and sponsored by ARL, which tracks user opinions of service quality. In terms of this service quality survey Ken indicates that for each question asked there will be three areas in which to respond; 1) What is the minimum level of service you expect, 2) What is the desired level of service you expect and 3) What is the level of service that you believe the library currently provides. Additionally within the library setting the survey will be focusing on three areas; 1) Collections, 2) Affect of Service and 3) Library As Place.
When the survey results are collected and tabulated service summary data will be visible for UW-Madison specifically as well as UW-Madison's placement in relation to peer institutions within ARL. Approximately 6,000 surveys will be sent out and as part of the process. As an incentive to fill out the questionnaire several Palm PDA's will be randomly awarded to those who complete the forms (Note: the cost of the Palm PDA's is to be funded out of gift/endowment money). Results of the survey will be compiled this summer.
Finally, both Wendt Engineering Library and the Law Library have contracted to have a more extensive LibQual+ survey and analysis conducted for their facilities. The resulting data set will provide more information on user opinions of service satisfaction for special areas of interest and service within these two libraries.
4. National project to digitize U.S. Government Documents. (Frazier)
Ken began the discussion with the observation that U.S. Government Documents cannot by copyrighted. They are in the public domain and by law should be easily available to users. Also, that as a campus UW-Madison is and has been a regional depository since 1890. The Wisconsin Historical Society has been collecting federal government publications since it's establishment in 1846 and currently houses two stack levels of U.S. government documents.
For some time there have been commercial publishers who have taken government publications and through repackaging and marketing made them available at a cost to libraries and users (CIS and LEXIS/NEXUS, etc.). This privatization of government publications comes with ever increasing costs and no interest in serving a public good.
Concurrently with the increasing prices for commercially repackaged government documents is the reorganization of the Government Printing Office. One outcome of this new reorganization is the recent agreement between the GPO and ARL to collaborate on a national digitization plan to convert the complete legacy collection of U.S. government documents into digital format. The ARL committee to lead this project will be chaired by Ken Frazier. Looking towards a project that uses a cooperative model of digital conversion it is estimated that there will be 60,000,000 pages to be converted between as many as 100 institutions across the country. First efforts will involve a survey of said institutions to see how they would eventually be incorporated into the project. It is likely there will be contracts with commercial partners as well.
Several questions followed:
Will each institution have a segment to do? Yes, most likely depending on a survey of participants.
How long will the project take? It will take at least a decade to do this.
What format will be used? The aim is to facilitate OCR (optical character recognition), which allows for full text searching. Whether the project ultimately uses .tiff as the archival format, and .pdf's for online access may still be under discussion.
Can tabular data be captured and used? Maybe, but this process is very difficult and is 10 times more expensive.
How good will the image be? This question is still under discussion in terms of time and money needed to complete the project.
5. University Archives Online. (Frazier, Null)
David Null gave an outline of what the Digital Content Group and Archives has been doing for digital projects. He pointed out the Archives is providing the metadata.
The first project was a 180-image collection from the Aldo Leopold archive, including photographs and full text.
There are now 75 images of Memorial Union accomplished as part of the 75th anniversary of that campus facility.
There are 80 photos of UW chancellors and presidents.
25 images from the student protests occurring in the 1960s and 1970s.
As part of the cultural landscape there are many campus maps and plans that have been converted to digital format.
There will be from 250-300 images for sports and sports programs covering all UW athletics.
All Badger yearbooks have been converted.
In conclusion David gave two examples of how alumni and users have made excellent use of the fully searchable files and images to conduct research or gather information. (Accessing text of Prime Minister Nehru's speech when in Madison and tracking down an engineering alumnus from the alumni directory online)
To move the work of Archives and the DCG forward Ken is soliciting feedback. Ken also wanted to propose two ideas/projects for digital conversion soliciting feedback and cooperative support.
1) Creating a digital archive of new masters thesis.
2) Saving department, school and college newsletters in digital formats.
Further discussion of these two proposed projects touched on standardized formats, metadata and other ideas for digital projects (annual reports for departments, etc.). Some side discussion focused on the importance of protecting content so as not to jeopardize future publishing prospects. At the end of this discussion several people expressed an interest in pursing these efforts cooperatively with Archives and the DCG.
6. Reports from campus library directors.
Ed Van Gemert (Public Services & Member Libraries)
Ed wanted to let members know that the compact shelving projects for Art Library, Special Collections at Memorial Library and Middleton Library were all moving forward. An accepted vendor contract was expected soon.
Natalie Norcross (for Terry Burton, Health Sciences Library)
Natalie focused on the move to the new Ebling Library, which is fast approaching. Three items mentioned: 1) Building Hours. The building will close to only swipe card access at 9 pm while the Ebling Library remains open until midnight. 2) Public Relations. There is an in depth plan to communicate the move to all interested groups. From June 1 st to June 21 st the library will be closed. 3) Consolidation and Move. Kiss it Good-bye Project. There's a large project in all three HSL facilities to weed and discard old files so as not to take clutter to the new building.
Jean Gilbertson (Steenbock Library)
Jean mentioned three items: 1) The Steenbock building project is moving forward. The computer lab / information commons is completely functional. Our use numbers have doubled on the computers. 2) Biochemistry Visit. Ken Frazier and Jean Gilbertson will be traveling to Biochemistry Department to talk about scholarly communications and expensive journals. 3) Cranberry. Today (March 4, 2004) the cranberry was made Wisconsin's state fruit.
Tom Murray (Wendt Library)
Tom mentioned a pilot project at Wendt for rush delivery of articles (within 3 days but often as little as 3 hours). This is for material that is not held on campus. Steenbock may also be included in this pilot project.
Carrie Kruse (College Library)
Nothing to report at this time.
Steve Barkan (Law Library)
Nothing new to report.
Final question of the meeting concerned the recent news, as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, that Stanford is leaving the ARL. Ken's answer was that while this was a disappointed for the ARL it would not harm the work or future plans of the association and its member libraries.
No Other business and meeting adjourned. Watch email for time and place of next ULC meeting.