University Library Committee

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February 5, 2008

Members Present
Allen, Barkan, Bhasin, Boxhorn, Frazier, Jasper, Kemnitz, Mason, McClements, Olneck, Schneider (recorder), Silberman, Van Gemert, Wilson

Burton, Carr, Gilbertson, Helman, Kruse

Minutes of the November 27 meeting were approved by consensus (with reported corrections made)

All present introduced themselves

Director’s Report, Ken Frazier

  • Frazier reported that the library is working collaboratively with others to find additional dollars for library collections. The UW-Madison is currently ranked last among Big 10 school libraries in collection expenditures. While the campus continues to expand research, particularly in the biosciences, the library’s ability to meet their information needs is becoming difficult. Eroding collection purchasing power (as a measure of allocations with cost increases) is beginning to impact research endeavors.
  • Library administration is also looking for support from UW System for collection support for research.
  • Silberman asked if there was something that ULC could do to help to express their support. Frazier responded that ULC’s voice in support for additional collection dollars to address research information needs and their voice of concern for the current situation is helpful and appreciated.
  • In a followup to a previous discussion at the last meeting of fundraising, development, and campus departmental support, Frazier added that departmental support can be important. It is possible for departments to work with the UW Foundation to earmark funds, which result from their departmental fundraising efforts, specifically for library resource support. Olneck asked if there was a systematic approach to getting from departments. Frazier explained the importance of identifying library allies within departments and also outside of the university. Getting testimonials from people about how important the library collections of the university are can be a very powerful voice with legislators and others. The ULC can assist this effort by encouraging or communicating with departments about financially supporting library collections with targeted funds.
  • Frazier described two symposia that the library is involved in this spring; one on the arts & humanities and the other dealing with copyright. The arts and humanities symposium is being cosponsored by the library & DoIT and will focus on how both the library and IT can collaborate in support of the arts and humanities. Last years symposium focused on collaborative efforts in support of the sciences. This year’s half-day symposium on May 2 will be a wonderful contrast in highlighting the different approach to scholarship and research practiced by those in the arts and humanities. The second symposium on April 12 will focus on copyright issues particularly for students. Using outside speakers, the symposium will work to engage students to think about their role in managing their own copyright and intellectual property.
  • The library and DoIT has been meeting regularly to facilitate cooperation and to discuss issues that impact both, to talk about prioritizing and working collaboratively and to plan outcomes beneficial to both. The library is pleased that Dave Luke, the current assistant director at College Library, has agreed to be the interim head of the library technology group. The library will be posting the position sometime in the near future. Olneck asked whether the library is in a position to post a competitive salary range. Frazier replied that current salaries for library technology directors can be upwards of $150,000 for top research schools like the UW.
  • Frazier ended his report by briefly describing three collaborative initiatives:
    • The library’s management software, Voyager, is quite old and it’s future is in question. A library working group was started to begin discussing the issues of resource exploration. This effort will require discussions with DoIT staff as well.
    • The Campus Records Review group recently added new members and will begin to tackle many new issues including electronic data management, preservation, and archiving throughout campus. Two key members of that group are the head of the university archives which is under the management of the library and the chief information officer which heads DoIT.
    • There are multiple science museums on the UW campus and some are at risk because of cuts to personnel. Some examples of these science museums include the herbarium, the entomology collection, the geology museum, the zoology museum and the anthropology museum. These are just five examples of important campus assets that need to be preserved. Further cuts to personnel or other financial support could potentially mean the neglect or abandonment of these collections. Allen mentioned that the blooming of the Titan Arum (corpse plant) in 2005 brought worldwide attention to the campus greenhouses and was a perfect example of the importance of these resources to the state and to the world.

Wendt Library Update
Deb Helman gave an update on Wendt Library initiatives

  • Helmen feels it is important for the Wendt Library to utilize new technologies in customizing development work that addresses specific information management needs of faculty and staff. One example of that customized work is the BibApp, an institutional bibliography that will be unveiled sometime this spring. The BibApp was developed by Wendt staff and further development work has become a collaborative project with UIUC.
  • Wendt Library has taken a new approach to library instruction by asking the question, what information skills are employers looking for from recently graduated engineering students. In addressing that question, Wendt has focused on information skills development and is working to integrate themselves into the engineering curriculum. Part of that effort includes taking a role in strategic planning for curriculum changes in the College of Engineering.
  • Wisconsin TechSearch is a document delivery and research assistance service that is fee-based on a cost recovery model. They provide exceptional customer service for companies, law firms, and others around the world. Helman described the recent work they are doing for a medical technology company in Wisconsin in providing training on how to be high power searchers. Allen commented that Wisconsin TechSearch sounds like a great example of the library’s support for the Wisconsin Idea.

Faculty Senate Discussion
Olneck reported that the Faculty Senate unanimously approved the resolution in support of library staff and services. The ULC thanked Olneck for bringing the resolution to the faculty senate and for it’s successful outcome.


  • Frazier described the NIH public access policy that was a part of the most recent consolidated appropriations bill. This mandatory policy is intended to make federally-funded research results that are published available freely to the public. This policy was highly favored by patient groups around the country that wanted free access to journal articles that resulted from taxpayer funding. Frazier said that it will be important for the libraries to assist authors in this effort and to make this a positive and successful endeavor for all. The Scholarly Communication & Publishing Committee will be working on details to make this process as easy as possible for full compliance for the entire UW System. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 published journal articles per year that result from work funded by the NIH.
  • The High-Density Preservation facility is a critical future building project for the library. Currently this library facility is number five on the campus building enumeration list. The Campus Planning Committee recognizes the importance of the library and Mason & Carr made a motion to move the library project higher on the enumeration list but that motion was defeated. The ULC recognizes and appreciates the efforts of Mason & Carr for the library in their role as members of the Campus Planning Committee. VanGemert reminded the committee that even with the increasing quantity of electronic resources that are purchased and available, the library continues to add nearly one linear mile of print materials each year.
  • Boxhorn reported that the library’s Special Collections unit was recently a front page story in the Wisconsin State Journal.
  • Kemnitz reported that the Primate Center recently began it’s review as a federally-supported national research center and that the center’s library ranked very high.

Meeting adjourned at 2:42 PM.


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