Faculty Senate Library Committee

Meeting Minutes

October 15, 2003


In attendance: Tim Gerber (Biology), Paul Beck (Murphy Library), Scott Dickmeyer (Communication Studies) Glenn Knowles (Economic), Denis Provencher (Modern Languages) Gwen Achenreiner (Marketing), Karl Kattchee (Mathematics), Liz Peyer (Student Representative)


Consultant: Anita Evans (Library)

Visitors: Jen Holman and John Jax (Library)

Excused: Boon Murray, Beth Seebach, Darlene Lake, Cynthia Berlin, Bill Barillas


The meeting was called to order at 4:05 pm. 


  1. The committee approved the September meeting minutes (5/0/0 approval)


  1. John Jax and Jen Holman offered an overview of Murphy library’s current collections and future directions.  A summary follows: Electronic holdings are increasing while journal subscriptions and book orders are decreasing.  Although the library budget will remain constant over the next year (approximately $1, 000, 000), the library will actually see a deficit due to inflation. The inflation will impact most significantly in terms of journal subscriptions. While the book inflation rate is approximately 6% per year, the serial inflation rate averages 8-10% annually. Hence in cooperation with UWL faculty, Murphy will continue with its “de-selection process” by targeting no and low use titles (among other criteria). This will continue to occur three to four times a year via the help of departmental library liaisons. John Jax and Jen Holman encouraged the faculty and their students to not shelve periodicals when they are used in the library as student library workers actually count the number of journals used.  They also encouraged faculty to work with the library to reduce subscriptions to recreational and leisure titles and to maintain titles related to teaching and research. In terms of system-wide resources, UW System has had to abandon electronic resources such as Alt Heath Watch, Columbia Earthscape, BIP, Science NEXT WAVE, Ulrich’s, and HRAF.  Murphy Library will have to decide how to allocate funds in order to keep some of these resources. 


Faculty members expressed their interest in having more information about the level of accessibility of certain journal titles, as well as related cost and copyright information (i.e. journals’ policies regarding authors’ rights to use published materials).  The faculty expressed the desire to encourage the use of “best interest” journals (i.e. those forums that have overall best interest of the academy at the heart of their mission). These include journals that are reasonably priced and are reasonably accessible either in either print or electronic format.  Faculty wanted to have this information in order to investigate the possibility of publishing in such journals.  Faculty suggested bringing to the attention of Faculty Senate the need to reward faculty somehow in the review and promotion process for publishing in such “best practices” journals.  Murphy Library will try to communicate such information to the faculty and Anita Evans encouraged the faculty to put together an initiative to institutionalize this issue via Faculty Senate.


John Jax spoke briefly about the scholarly communication crisis and what both

libraries and scholars can do in this context.  John Jax stressed the importance of communication between faculty members and the library in terms of knowing what courses faculty teach in order to maintain the appropriate teaching and research materials.  John Jax spoke of other strategies to deal directly with the crisis.  Currently, Murphy library is pursuing the development of the UW-shared print “last copy” repository (one paper copy will exist within the system in case of future subscription cancellation).  Murphy also utilizes ILLiad/Odyssey (desk top “delivery” of article) and is involved in reducing duplicate formats (journals, books). Further development of universal borrowing in UW-System will continue to cut down on costs as materials are shared among System librairies.   


Glenn Knowles believes it would be helpful to faculty to have information on journals that have been cancelled or will potentially be cancelled.  John Jax encouraged the faculty to look at the following website: www.uwlax.edu/murphylibrary/departments/periodicalsCancelsFY04.html


John Jax also emphasized the fact that Murphy Library will not have any new money and

the need for faculty to communicate with the librarians about the core journals/books in their respective fields. 


Gwen Achenreiner suggested developing a list of departments and the amount of cuts made in order to demonstrate equity across campus.  John Jax and Jen Holman are willing speak about the serial cancellation process next time.  As of know it remains an act of good will on the part of the departments to do their share in terms of cutting titles. Finally John Jax also reminded departmental library liaisons to get all book orders in from faculty by April 2004. 


  1. Library Director’s report: Anita Evans shared a report on Murphy library statistics using a number of categories related to one of the special charges for this year’s committee to: Report on library usage and suggesting ways to improve usage if necessary.  Library users are relying more on electronic journals (based on number of hits/usage).  Murphy is also seeing and increase in usage of document delivery (interlibrary loan materials).  In fact, ILL (both borrowing and lending) has seen a steady incline over the last decade.  Turnstile count (number of people who come through the front door) is up 4, 000 this quarter (Fall 2003) in comparison to Fall 2002. Library instruction is also up, which is attributed to the recent emphasis on information literacy and classes taught in the library.  In contrast, circulation numbers are on the decline as electronic versions increase (86, 000 this year in comparison with 96, 000 last year). Monographs are also on the decline.  Tim Gerber raised the question about how to distinguish between the amount of material usage vs. spatial usage (i.e. people in the library who use computers and study but who are not necessarily using library materials).  Anita Evans and Paul Beck admit that library use is difficult to measure.  A general discussion ensued about what kind of information should be collected to show how the library is being used (electronic journal usage vs. hard copy collections). 


The meeting adjourned at 5:17 pm.  


Respectfully submitted,


Denis Provencher