University Library Committee

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November 05, 2013

Minutes from University Library Committee

Present: Baha Balantekin (Physics), Philip Braithwaite (Ex Officio, Budget, Planning & Analysis), 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),  Laura Rudquist (student), Philip Braithwaite (Ex-Officio, Budget, Planning & Analysis) Ed Van Gemert (Ex-Officio), Dan Klingenberg (Chemical and Biological Engineering) and Michael Enyart (Librarian, non-voting member).  

Professor Karen Britland welcomed everyone to the University Library Committee and brought the meeting to order.  Professor Britland asked for everyone in attendance to introduce themselves.  Professor Britland asked that the minutes be approved.  There were corrections to the minutes and then they were approved as amended.

Professor Britland then moved on to the next item on the agenda which is the update from the Vice Provost of Libraries, Ed Van Gemert. 
E. Van Gemert made the following announcements:

  • E. Van Gemert will have to leave this meeting at 1:40 to participle in the interview for the AUL for Public Services.  L. Konrad will stand in as his replacement for the balance of the meeting.
  • E. Van Gemert expressed his thanks for Karl Broman’s presentation on “open access journals” at the Health Science Libraries on 10/24.  E. Van Gemert mentioned that there will be an effort to have more of these types of presentations across campus in the future.


  • This year’s common book read is “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki.  He brought a copy of the book to the meeting for members that would like borrow it to read.  E. Van Gemert reported that the kick-off event with Ruth Ozeki held at Varsity Hall was well attended and well-received.  The Library is well positioned in these events.  Thanks to S. McDaniel and others.
  • E. Van Gemert mentioned that there are two ongoing searches for AUL positions in the area of public service and collections and research services.  E. Van Gemert wants to be sure that members of the ULC are welcomed to the public presentations


  • E. Van Gemert is happy with the progress of the campus library strategic planning efforts.  It is very participatory and inclusive.  Data has been collected and it is being digested at this time.  The goal is to have data distilled to 3 to 6 areas of focus.  The final report will be sent back to the stakeholders for feedback.  After that the report will be forwarded to the Library Coordinating Council for final approval. 
  • The University Library Committee’s annual report for last year is being compiled and written by K. Britland and E. Owens.  It will be distributed to the University Library Committee prior to December’s meeting, with the vote of approval being held at the December meeting.  After that vote it will be sent to the Chancellor

K. Britland inquired about the dates/timetable for the adoption of the campus library strategic plan.  E. Van Germert responded with the following dates:

  • October/November Data is digested and will be sent back out to stakeholders.
  • Completed and forwarded to the LCC in December.
  • The timeframe for the strategic plan is 5 years.
  • Phase two will allow individual libraries to build off that strategic plan. 

One of the main items on the agenda of this meeting is the focus on the campus libraries and how they manage their print collections.  To frame this discussion E. Van Gemert has borrowed some draft language from parts of the strategic plan, specifically “to develop a cohesive plan for acquiring, preserving, integrating, and managing a world class collection of print and digital resources”.  E. Van Gemert has asked H. Weltin, I. Zimmerman, T. Warwick, and J. Casey to make a presentation on this topic to the University Library committee and E. Van Gemert would appreciate any feedback on this topic from the group.  E. Van Gemert stated that there is a good deal of activity within the CIC of “shared print management”.   In addition, there are developments in the area of access to shared information and materials.  There is a question of how many “print” copies do we need to have within a region or consortium to satisfy demand and how to share those resources.  E. Van Gemert went on to question, from an administrative point of view, how the library can continue to serve the print heavy disciplines in this new environment.  What are the issues that we need to consider?  

E. Van Germert then asked H. Weltin to begin the group’s presentation.  H. Weltin identified herself and other members of the committee (Space planning and Shelving Group: H. Weltin, I. Zimmerman, T. Warwick, J. Casey).  H. Weltin handed out the Verona Shelving Facilities Collection document.  Currently many libraries on campus are above capacity (materials are on the floor).  Verona will only solve that capacity problem for 11 years, which is not much time.  E. Van Germert interjected that the Cost of the Verona facility was about 2.1 million.  Half was from the GLS the other half was from gifts.  The GLS was advocating for this facility starting about 20 years ago, not uncommon in the field.  Libraries are committed to curating and maintaining unique content. 

R. Harris asked how does the library define “unique content”.  Heather responded that the committee is still working on how to define unique content.  Here are some examples of characteristics that might dictate that something is “unique material”.   
                The material is held in 5 or less libraries in the United States
                Materials only owned within the state
              Materials for which we only have one copy
                Materials that are related to the University or the State of Wisconsin

B. Balantekin asked for additional clarification on the following statement that appears in the Verona Shelving Facilities Collection document: “explanation of the following statement: …monograph or serial titles available through electronic coverage accessible on campus, but without ownership/perpetual rights, or which are not complete electronic surrogates”.

Heather responded to this question:
For some of the electronic packages (online journals) that we have on campus, we do not have full ownership.  What that means is that the publisher could change pricing and we would be forced to cancel the subscription.  Once that happens we would lose all access (current and past issues).  In those cases we would retain those issues in print.  This policy only exists for those resources for which we own in print and electronic.  The committee is not yet started in addressing the issue of material for which we only receive in electronic format. 

B. Balantekin asked a follow up question about electronic material that is provided to libraries by commercial publishers.  What happens if those publishers go out of business, what happens to that material, does the library needs to be proactive in this arena?  L. Konrad responded by stating that there are a number of solutions that libraries have been working on to address this specific issue (e.g. Portico).  To date none of those solutions are perfect.  E. Van Gemert mentioned that Heather’s presentation is focused on management of our print resources.  There are a number of other conversations that are ongoing that is dealing with the management of our resources in other formats

Heather and the Space Planning and Shelving Group brought three items to the University Library Committee’s attention:
We are moving campus libraries towards using perpetual electronic access and a reliance on shared print arrangements.
UW Madison Libraries currently participate in three shared print programs.  Shared print programs allow us to rely on online content but not to have to keep the print copy on our shelves.  The first one is the CIC Shared Print.  This is a comprehensive collection of Elsevier, Wiley and Springer titles.   This collection is being housed in Indiana’s Shared print repository.  An UW Madison campus library own in print and has electronic access to all of the Elsevier titles that will be in that shared print repository.  Heather noted that in talking about shared print programs.  UW Madison still owns the titles even if they are located at another repository.  You can still gain access to these print resources through Interlibrary Loan. 
The second program that UW Madison is a participant in is the Iowa, Iowa State, and University of Wisconsin shared print program.  It is a distributed model in that Iowa, Iowa State, and Wisconsin owns some of these titles.  This is focused on American Chemical Society journals, Annual Reviews, and the Institute of Physics journals

B. Balantekin asked if individual faculty/students/staff could download a copy and keep an unexpired pdf copy of that material.  Heather responded that yes individuals could download material.  She qualified her answer stating that this is applies only to serials not to books. 
E. Van Gemert asked Heather to talk about some of the common misconceptions about what material will UW- Madison maintain.  Heather responded that there is some belief that UW-Madison was the repository for all UW-System titles.  That is not the case.  Recently UW-Madison and other UW campus libraries have recently worked on a workflow to determine that all the UW-Libraries will work to make sure that there at least one copy of a book was owned by any UW-System Library.  
T. Warwick mentioned that all of these agreements are not “forever”.  Heather mentioned that most of these agreements have a life of 25 years. 
A ULC member asked whether this means there will be one copy or two copies that will be held in the shared print repository?  Heather responded that it will be one copy since the repository is not a dark archive the book could be scanned or checked out.  If the book is lost, the library that checked out the book would be responsible for acquiring another copy. 

Many of the science journals could be part of this shared repository as well as JSTOR titles.  JSTOR is the digital library of academic journals, books, and primary sources.  The campus libraries will be losing the on campus shelving facility (Middleton).  The books from Middleton will have first priority being placed in Verona.  One possibility that the SPSG group is considering is to utilize the Center for Research Libraries’ JSTOR archive, we could give our print material to them and with UW-Madison could retrieve these back from CRL since we are members. 

Heather also mentioned that there are costs involved with any decision the campus might make.  Putting an item in a shelving facility is one cost.  Taking that item out of the shelving facility is another cost that is 300% more than the cost to place the item in that facility.  It is important that we make the right decision when it comes to placing an item in a shared print repository.  You cannot think of these shared print repositories as typical library shelving.  Book storage in these shared print repositories is not like shelving that is currently in libraries.  The book storage is in bins that are then placed on shelves.  Book location is determined by size, time it was placed in the facility.  The key to good retrieval is the software needed to run such a facility, which contributes significantly to the cost. 

K. Britland asked for some clarification about the 11 years that was mentioned in the description of the Verona shelving facility.  Heather responded that the size of the Verona shelving facility will only give campus 11 years before they will be at capacity again.  Heather mentioned that it might be less than 11 years due to the loss of the on campus Middleton shelving facility.  

B. Balantekin asked if the Verona facility was a back up to electronic access.  B. Balantekin mentioned that he heard that electronic access will be the primary means of access and that Verona will be the back up to that.  Heather responded that our shared print is a not back up but is another means of access. 

In using JSTOR titles as an example, primary access is probably electronic.  The print copies of those journals are what will probably be in the Verona facility or in a shared print repository.  In many cases the print will be the back up to the electronic since electronic is the primary means of access. 

B. Balantekin asked a follow up question about what happens to the back files of electronic journal subscriptions that we are forced to cancel.  D. Helman responded in many cases the licenses we have for those electronic journals allows us to maintain in electronic format those volumes that we have paid for.  There was also mention of what happens when a commercial publisher goes out of business or ceases publishing a specific journal.  Portico (a service that was mentioned earlier) is a mechanism by which electronic archives of material will be maintained in the face of such circumstances. 

It was mentioned that there is a finite amount of space available for print across all universities.  The idea of shared print repositories is one strategy that university libraries across the nation are looking to solve some of the space issues. 

K. Britland asked a question about costs.  What are the costs of the facilities or interlibrary loan, There was also mention of some of the embargoes that exist in JSTOR.  Heather responded that the cost of keeping a book on open shelves is about $5.00 for the life of the book. Keeping the same book in a high density shelving facility is $1.50 for the life of the book.  Again there are significant costs to retrieving a book from a high density shelving facility compared to open shelving.  The ILL costs are often free or very low since we are lenders as well as borrowers. 
R. Harris asked would users ever “interact” with the Verona Shelving facility.  Heather responded that it is sort of a closed stack operation where users would request the book and it would be delivered to the library of choice on this campus.  This is typically the practice today. 

R. Harris asked a follow up why are we looking at a shelving facility and shared print depositories.  Heather responded that it is because we are a research institution we need to keep this material for current and future researchers.  Not all of this material will be available electronically.  These facilities are needed for storage and retrieval not for legal reasons. 

Another ULC member has a hard time understanding why would libraries employ facilities that make it harder (i.e. 300 times more expensive) to retrieve.  Heather responded that the costs do not happen that often.  Heather emphasized that the bins/boxes that are used to store books are cheaper and have more utility than typical library shelves.  Again, this storage is not for browsing.

Heather mentioned that the SPSG group is working at looking at the data of retrieval of books from our current storage facilities (Steenbock and Middleton).  The current data is that there are two items a week that are requested from our on campus storage facilities. 

A ULC member asked are decisions being made about serial subscriptions (print or electronic) that will be driven by the availability of the print repositories.  A number of people responded that the print repositories are not driving the decision to go from print to electronic.  Those decisions are often dictated by our user’s preference and sometime the publisher’s preference to only provide electronic access. 

K. Britland asked about the timeline of the close of Middleton and the opening of Verona.  Heather responded that the dates that are currently operative are that Verona will open sometime in the spring and Middleton is expected to be closed a year after the opening of the Verona facility. 

Heather invited ULC members that have comments or questions to please contact the Space Planning and Shelving Group at the following email address:

New Business:
ULC Annual Report.  E. Owen said he would send the report out to ULC members before the next meeting. 
E. Van Gemert mentioned to K. Britland that the topic of Data Management is one that needs to be brought to the ULC.  He would like A. Wolf and L. Konrad to address the ULC on this issue at a future meeting. 
E. Van Gemert also mentioned that a future meeting agenda should be “electronic texts”.  This is an important issue for students and C. Nelson will be making a presentation on that topic. 
K. Britland adjourned the meeting. 

Respectively Submitted,

Michael Enyart