University Library Committee

Ask a Librarian

September 26, 2013


Present: K. Sun Kim(Library and Information Studies), Baha Balantekin (Physics), Philip Braithwaite (Ex Officio, Budget, Planning & Analysis), Steve Barkan (Ex Officio, Law Library, LCC Liason), Karen Britland (English), Eileen Cullen (Entomology), Jody Hoesly (Librarian, non-voting member), Allison Kaplan (Library & Information Studies), Karl Broman (Biostatistics and Medical Informatics), Ron Harris ( English), David Britton (student), Mary Trotter (Theatre & Drama),  Alan Wolf Ex Officio, Academic Technology), Ed Van Gemert (Ex-Officio), and Michael Enyart (Librarian, non-voting member). 

Welcome and Introductions:
Professor Karen Britland asked if everyone in attendance could introduce themselves.  After the introductions she turned the floor over to Ed Van Gemert, University Librarian. 

E. Van Gemert welcomed all of the members of the University Library Committee.  He then passed out a number of handouts to the committee.

                Charge of Committee, Shared Governance
ULC Committee Membership List
Slides from GLS All Staff Meeting
Final Version of the Summary Data from the fact finding part of the strategic planning process

Election of the University Library Committee:  Professor Karen Britland was nominated as the chair, with no other nominations, Professor Britland was unanimously elected chair. 

Director’s Report

Discussion with Chancellor Blank

  • E. Van Gemert met with Chancellor Blank about two weeks ago.  C. Kruse (usage of space) and L. Konrad (support of research on campus) and the Provost were also in attendance. 
  • E. Van Gemert provided Chancellor with various data points.  Most of those data points are more output measures.  The Library is migrating to more impact measures in support of such campus activities as research and instruction. 
  • Chancellor was amazed that this is 47 campus libraries; Chancellor feels that this is too many. 
  • Chancellor was pleased that the GLS is currently engaged in a strategic planning process.
  • There was some discussion of space issues, and the Chancellor is happy that the library is moving forward with a storage facility. 
  • Budget issues did enter the conversation.  The Chancellor wants to move away from a legacy budget to an activity based budget.  How does the library budget fit into that process?   The library may still get 101 dollars but should not expect that those funds will be a source of increased funding for campus libraries. 
  • E. Van Gemert felt that the Chancellor understands to role of the Research Library within the University community and also understands the work of the library staff in supporting the University’s goals.  Chancellor expects that library activities the area of instruction and support of research will continue to increase. 
  • E. Van Gemert mentioned that the GLS will not be noted for the resources that we collect in common but will be noted for the material in special collections, Music Library, Archives, Kohler Art Library.  Also to capture that material electronically that will make those resources more discoverable and available electronically. 
  • Provost was also quite helpful in the meeting.  He helped focus the Chancellor’s attention on the library’s work in developing a storage facility as well as electronic text.   
  • Chancellor expects us to provide leadership in solving the problems that we face.  Chancellor spoke to the Provost about the need to get E. Van Gemert in front of the Deans, not so much to talk about what the Library can provide to them but what they can do for the Library.  This was mentioned in a larger conversation about balance in the budget process.  One example is that there are academic departments that have trust funds for a department library that no longer exists.  The GLS should have access to those funds.
  • E. Van Gemert related to the committee how the Chancellor has reconfigured the campus leadership council consisting of the Deans of the Schools and Colleges.   Under the previous administration the directors and vice provosts would meet with that group, including the Chancellor.  Under the new organization the provost meets with just with the Deans, then the provost has another meeting with the directors and vice provosts.  L. Nesper asked a question about the job description for the Vice-Provost of University Libraries, the ULC spend some time crafting that job description to make sure that the Vice-Provost for University Libraries would be meeting with the leadership group of the campus.  A number of members of the committee were in agreement with that sentiment.  There was some discussion how best to present this to the Chancellor.  (Ron Harris sent out an email to the committee with the recommendation that the committee had for the University Librarian’s relationship with the Dean’s Council from the  ULC meeting of March 1, 2012).

Campus Libraries Strategic Planning:

  • E. Van Gemert is happy with the work of this group.  He has distributed a draft of a preliminary fact finding document that was based on the listening sessions with campus stakeholders to collect information on the campus library.   
  • There is a need for some graduate representation on this committee. 
  • This work is being assisted by the campus Office of Quality Improvement. 
  • There are 32 members of the committee.  The committee will convene on October 15 to begin to discuss the preliminary work that has been done.
  • There was a question about how membership on the committee was determined.  Ed responded that there were a number of groups that had participated and those groups were represented.  There are some outside members as well as some members of the GLS staff outside of the groups that were already slated for membership. 

Campus Libraries Master Facilities Planning:

  • Since this committee has last met, the University Library has been invited by the campus facilities and planning group to enter into a campus libraries master facility planning project. 
  • What will the footprint of campus libraries look like in the 25 years, what sort of physical requirements will be needed by those libraries.  Campus libraries currently occupy around 900,000 sq. ft. of space. 
  • This is a shared governance issue not what the Vice Provost decides
  • Campus libraries will work with campus facility planning on developing an RFP to bring reputable consultants to look at the future library facilities needs in terms of space and location. 

Associate University Librarian searches:

  • E. Van Gemert is looking forward to filling the two AUL positions.  One of the positions will have responsibility for public services; the second one will be responsible for collections and research services. 
  • The search committees are in place, applications have been vetted and there is a strong pool of candidates.  Telephone interviews for both positions are currently underway.  In the near future there will be candidate visits to campus in the near future. 

Advancement/Development Advisory Group. 

  • E. Van Gemert mentioned that he was asked 4 individuals to join a small working group that will help us define and set the charge for and the membership and reach of this advisory group.  Some people may compare it to a Board of Visitors but it might differ from that type of group.  This larger group will assist the Vice Provost in securing outside funding for University Libraries.  E. Van Gemert will have the expectation that this larger group will directly financially assist campus libraries.  This would be different than the Friends of the Library. 
  • The members of the small working group are:

Mary Rouse
Mark Lafave
John Tortorice
Michael West. 

  • The geographic focus of this group will be nationally even internationally.  In addition the assistance will not just be to the GLS but to campus libraries (e.g. CCPC, Education Library)
  • E. Van Gemert introduced Ben Strand.  Ben is the new full time development officer for campus libraries.  Ben is an employee of the UW Foundation but his salary is paid for by the GLS. 
  • A member of the committee asked Ben to give the committee a short biographical sketch.  B. Strand grew up in Wisconsin and received his BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.  After graduation he moved to Vermont to work with a number of non-profits.  During this time he also received his MFA from Goddard College.  Ben moved back to Wisconsin about 8 or 9 years ago to take a position as development officer for UW-Whitewater’s College of Arts and Communication.  He took the position of development officer for UW-Madison campus libraries a couple of months ago.  He has spent that time learning about campus and specifically campus libraries.  He is in the process of visiting various campus libraries to learn their stories.  He is also contacting alumni that have not been contacted by other campus entities about supporting campus libraries. 
  • Recently E. Van Gemert and B. Strand traveled to Milwaukee to meet with a foundation to make a pitch for financial support of campus libraries.  The foundation has not responded as yet.
  • A member of the committee queried Ben about what a “hard sell” it is to gain private funding for operations and resources (specificly the library) that receive state funding.  Ben responded by saying that students do not always graduate from this institution with a great affinity to a department.  Libraries are a great feel good topic because it is something that everyone experiences during their time on campus.  B. Strand then related a story about a alumni that was contacted about supporting campus libraries and that alumni has evolved to become a great supporter of Memorial Library. 
  • Ed said that he was trying to develop some framework (something akin to a strategic plan) that would give Ben some areas where he could focus.  There are not enough resources to pursue every opportunity but can we look as specific areas.  An example would be a design of a new Memorial Library and all that entails. 
  • While many donors prefer their gifts/donations to supplement or enhance what already exists.  More donors understand that a great many public institutions need help with operational funding. 
  • E. Van Gemert would like to bring back Ben periodically to ULC meetings.  E. Van Gemert understands that the ULC’s focus is not on fundraising but the ULC can provide some direction to those fundraising efforts. 

Agenda Building for the coming year:
Previously the agenda was set by the University Librarian.  K. Britland would like to open the process of building agenda to others. 
E. Van Gemert had some suggestions about future agenda items.
Involvement in shared print depositories (we may be withdrawing material from our collection)
K. Britland invited people on the committee and others to send her possible agenda items. 

Question from a member of the committee:
 A member of the committee asked about the new AUL positions.  Did these positions come about due to no permanent director of the library, budget, or restructuring?  E. Van Gemert responded that in the past there was a very flat organizational structure.  Ed wants to change to a different administrative model and that the new AUL positions are the start of changing the administrative structure of the library and determining the positions where administrative oversight makes sense. 

Meeting was adjourned

Respectively Submitted

Michael Enyart