University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

February 9, 2007

Present: Barkan, Braithwaite, Calcese, Green, Hellstrom, Lundin, Kemnitz, Mason, Milner, Potter, Roper, Silberman, Van Gemert
Others: Carr, Frazier, Gilbertson, Guthrie, Konrad, Kruse, Reed, Wixson

1.  Introductions

All present introduced themselves.

2.  Director’s Report (Ed Van Gemert, Acting Director of UW Libraries)

  • University libraries have received a one-time $400,000 addition to the FY07 collection budget, which will be distributed to Ebling, Law, CIMC, and GLS libraries according to a pre-determined formula.  Vice Chancellor Bazzell is hopeful that libraries will receive an increase to the collection budget’s base in FY08.
  • The proposed addition of the Institute of Research in the Humanities and the Arts Institute to Memorial Library’s 5th floor may not occur.
  • Van Gemert will present the case for a remote storage facility at the Campus Planning Committee’s March 22 meeting.  UW is now the only institution in the Big 10 without a remote storage facility.
  • The GLS, working with the Office of Quality Improvement, continues its strategic planning process.  The plan will try to answer these questions:  What makes a great public university library?  Where are we now?  Where do we want to be in two years?
  • Van Gemert and Google Digital Project coordinator Irene Zimmerman recently returned from a Google Books summit meeting in Mountain View, California. UW libraries will send approximately 500,000 items over the next six years for digitization. The first materials probably will be shipped in late March.  It is possible that UW will partner with the University of Michigan to establish a shared repository of Google-digitized materials.

Question:          When will UW materials show up in Google Books?
Answer:            Probably within the next few months.

Question:          What is the relationship between the Google project and the UW Digital Collections Center (UWDCC)?
Answer:            UWDCC has digitized over 1 million pages and works with faculty to choose materials, works especially with special collections, and, in general, works on materials that might be rejected by Google.

3.  Campus library directors’ updates

Steve Barkan (Law Library)

  • Several Law Librarians will team teach a School for Library and Information Science (SLIS) course on legal resources this spring.
  • The scholarly journals published by the Law School will be published freely on the web.  They also will maintain their archives on the web.
  • Law School faculty has expressed interest in establishing an institutional repository for their research.

Natalie Reed for Terry Burton (Ebling Library)

  • Natalie is leaving UW’s Ebling library at the end of February to become Director of Midwestern University Libraries.

Jean Gilbertson (Steenbock Library)

  • One of Steenbock Library’s staff members is coordinating logistics for the Google digitizing project.  This enormous job involves considerable planning and coordination among the many campus libraries sending materials.

Sarah Calcese for Deborah Helman (Wendt Library)

  • Wendt Library staff members have been busy measuring, planning and drawing up procedures in anticipation of sending their first shipment for Google digitization.

Lee Konrad (Memorial Library)

  • A search and screen committee has been formed for recruiting a new music librarian.  The position should be announced during the week of February 12.
  • Yvonne Schofer, English Humanities bibliographer, will retire in July.
  • The remodeling of Mills Music Library is complete – stop in to see the new space!

Carrie Kruse (College Library)

  • College Library staff are coordinating programs on information seeking skills and presenting poster sessions to help undergrads prepare for the Undergraduate Symposium, which will take place on April 12 at Memorial Union.  The Undergraduate Symposium seeks to give UW-Madison undergraduate students an opportunity to share their creative work across academic areas.  In conjunction with the Undergraduate Symposium, College Library hopes to establish a Library Research Award supported by Friends of UW Libraries.

Emily Wixson (Member Libraries)

  • Wixson described her position as member libraries coordinator.  She works with the staff of nine General Library System (GLS) member libraries:  Art, Business, Chemistry, Geography, Geology, Math, Physics, Social Science Reference Library, and Social Work.  Some projects from member libraries include:
  • Art Library director Lyn Korenic has curated the online Artists' Book Collection, which displays a selection of limited edition and one-of-a-kind works from the Kohler Art Library's large collection of art books. The collection is available to browse and discover online at .
  • Business Library director Michael Enyart recently was interviewed by “On Air in Business” about information resources available in his library.
  • Emily described the Social Science Reference Library. Though it has a very small print collection, the Social Science Reference Library provides research and instruction support services to the offices housed in the Social Sciences Building including the Departments of Economics, Sociology, Anthropology, and Industrial Relations.
  • Social Work Library director Jane Linzmeyer currently is working with McBurney Center staff to design adaptive furniture for libraries.

4.  Discussion—Scholarly Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison

Van Gemert distributed documents related to scholarly communication, including “An Open Letter to the Higher Education Community,” UW Faculty Document 1839 “Faculty Senate Resolution in Support of Accessible Scholarly and Scientific Publication” ( ), and  information about the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) project (see and He showed a number of slides outlining the scholarly communication program on campus.  The slides also demonstrated how increased scholarly output, current journal pricing models, and journal publishing practices have affected scholars and libraries. View the slides here. Over the last 20 years, scholarly output has doubled, yet annual 6-12% increases in journal prices coupled with publisher consolidations and added charges for electronic access have resulted in less access to research by scholars.

Researchers may want to consider the following measures to gain better access to their scholarly output: 

Some concerns about OA publishing were voiced.

  • Who pays article charges for OA journals?  Potter commented that in the traditional publishing model, societies rather than authors often pay article charges.  Frazier and Van Gemert pointed to alternative models where granting agencies or libraries might pay article charges. 
  • Green stated that OA journals are often too new to have impact factors, which are important indices in some academic departments. 
  • Also mentioned was the adverse impact OA publishing might have on promotion of younger faculty members.

Several strategies to advance scholarly communication among UW faculty were discussed. 

  • Mason advocated studying those disciplines where much of the scholarly output is freely available online to determine how their practices might be applied more widely.  (Physics, Computer Science and Economics were cited as disciples where traditional commercial and society publications continue to flourish even when most of their literature is freely available online through repositories and preprint archives.)
  • Mason mentioned the importance of working with Divisional Committees.
  • Roper recommended that library liaisons work with their departments and committees to educate staff on alternate scholarly communication models

Other strategies include:

  • Make information on scholarly communication issues part of new faculty orientation.
  • Make senior faculty who mentor younger faculty aware of scholarly communication issues.
  • Work with professional societies to make them aware of the issues faced by researchers and libraries in today’s publishing climate.

Frazier concluded the discussion with the sobering news that this year, for the first time, sponsored research dollars have declined at the University of Wisconsin. It is incumbent upon the ULC to find ways to make our researchers and scholars successful and to bring more funding to campus.

5.  New business


6.  Announcements

Frazier announced the “Research Infrastructure Symposium” scheduled for April 11.  One of the featured speakers is Clifford Lynch of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI).

My Accounts arrowarrow