December 15, 2009
University Library Committee Minutes
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Room 362 Memorial Library
ULC Members Present: Tim Allen, Steve Barkan, Ivy Corfis, Ken Frazier, Jean Gilbertson, Peter Gottlieb, Sandra Guthrie, Debra Helman, Cynthia Jasper, Allison Kaplan, Joseph Kemnitz (chair), Lee Konrad, Carrie Kruse, Anna Lewis, Ernesto Livorni, Sarah McDaniel, David Null, Elisabeth Owens, John Pfotenhauer, Richard Reeb, Lisa Saywell, Julie Schneider, Ed Van Gemert, David Weimer, Pam Wilson
- Approve Minutes from November 2009 meeting.
- Director's Report (Ken Frazier)
How Students are Using Modern Libraries Today:
In conversations with Dean Paul Pearcy, it was apparent to Frazier and Van Gemert that we need to work with University Communications to sharpen our constituents’ understanding of how students use library spaces. Donors, external constituents, and others need to know what goes on in campus libraries. Library staff plans to create a multimedia piece and ULC provided input on the question of what to highlight. Weimer suggested stop-action camera in College Library during exam period. McDaniel suggested showing students engaged in collaborative research, for example in Special Collections or Art Libraries. Allen suggested showing special-purpose spaces and places. Corfis suggested highlighting study rooms and special purpose spaces. Library staff plans to use focus groups to get students to discuss their use of libraries. Konrad suggested highlighting communal space rather than social space. Lewis suggested showing circulation of technology equipment such as digital cameras.
Discussion of Need to Reduce Operational Costs:
Van Gemert stated that libraries need to get smaller (size, operational cost) while maintaining and improving service quality. Moving into next year, we have a reduction that we can achieve through attrition. Moving into 2010-2011, we’ll need to look at some actual reductions. We will use data to target some reductions in library hours, pulling back student hourly budget to use for other purposes. Allen reminded us not to underestimate value of personnel and that doing less may be the better choice. Frazier pointed out that there is a constituency for every part of the budget. Most money is spent in personnel and collections. Gilbertson pointed out that we are faced with external factors, for example users’ preference for electronic materials: what does that mean in terms of the right kind of staffing for the activities that are going on? Pfotenhauer asked if the Libraries are an area where the university actually wants to increase its strength? If so, we may find libraries in a growth phase. Van Gemert pointed out that we may want to develop different skill sets to build strength in areas that are strategic, where we need to grow. Allen likes the idea of leaving personnel in the academic departments; value of libraries is in the staff. Guthrie reminded us that cut in FTE and budget will hit us hard. We have a few years to implement cuts and thus some room to reallocate or move costs to improve service in priority areas.
- Update on Campus Planning Committee
The Planning Committee was provided with a useful summary of projects and priorities. Our off-campus repository request could be moved to active building program column under the right circumstance. The Committee is sympathetic to Libraries’ changing infrastructure and needs. As we make changes, we need to make a clear, compelling case as to what we really need. Frazier indicated that we did have the support of the Campus Planning Committee but were unsuccessful in our request for a Storage Facility. Now we are at a difficult point where we will have material on the floor. We are the only Big-Ten University that does not have a storage facility and we will likely begin our own fundraising. There were some very good things about our proposal (e.g. climate control, partnering with State Historical Society); now we are considering a storage facility that will be less optimal and lower-cost. Frazier requested faculty governance support in combating the assumption that we are in a post-print era; for very significant parts of our research and scholarship community, print is still a viable technology. Pfotenauer asked about climate control, and Frazier said that the current proposed space would control for fluctuations in humidity, perhaps better than we can in Memorial Library, but would not be the best, low temperature, Harvard-style facility we had originally requested.
- Multi-Year License with Wiley-Blackwell (Richard Reeb)
About a year ago Reeb reported on our contracts with Elsevier and Wiley-Blackwell. Elsevier’s “Freedom Collection” includes about 12,000 additional titles. In the case of Wiley-Blackwell, we had decided some years ago that it was not to our advantage to participate in CIC pricing. Our only option was to negotiate as a single campus for 2009-2011, and we successfully negotiated a 6% price cap, 1% cancellation margin, and no title-swapping margin. The CIC office has now come to terms with Wiley for a new three year license and we will transfer to their license with more favorable terms. This “full collection” will provide an increase of about 600 additional, leased titles for a total of 1,230 titles for the next three years. The current cost is about $800,000 per year. We pay Elsevier $1.2 million per year. This comes to about $1.10 per full journal article pulled from Elsevier and about $3.14 per article for Wiley-Blackwell.
- No new business and announcements. Kemnitz thanked committee members for their contributions this calendar year.