Faculty Senate Library Committee

Meeting Minutes

17 December 2003


In attendance: Tim Gerber (Biology), Paul Beck (Murphy Library), Glenn Knowles (Economic), Boon Murray (Therapeutic Recreation), Scott Dickmeyer (Communications), Denis Provencher (Modern Languages), Karl Kattchee (Mathematics), Darlene Lake (Modern Languages)


Consultant: Anita Evans (Library)

Visitors: Galadriel Chilton and John Jax (Library)

Excused: Gwen Achenreiner, William Barillas, Cynthia Berlin, Beth Seebach, Elisabeth Peyer (Student Representative)


The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m.


  1. The committee approved the November meeting minutes (7/0/0 approval). 


  1. Galadriel Chilton, the newest member of the Murphy Library team informed the committee about a new project related to electronic databases. She spoke briefly about her position and the project she is working on to create a “database of databases.” Currently, there are approximately 200 different databases, which may seem overwhelming at times to faculty and students. Chilton’s goal is to create a clear and comprehensive list of databases to help faculty and students better locate needed research materials.  She believes a framework of the new database will be in place in early spring semester 2004.  This new skeleton will be put in place by examining the current usage of databases and journals, which will help determine in part how to track the most important databases and journal and how to create the most user friendly “parent” database. Provencher also suggested that the library consider ways to facilitate direct access to journals titles (i.e. create direct links to journal titles instead of databases or post a list of available journal titles on the front page of the periodical section of Murphy Library website).  Galadriel suggested perhaps having a database that offers multiple points of access including journal titles.  The library staff will further investigate this option.


  1. John Jax joined the committee to speak about periodical cancellations and the budget formula for acquisitions.  John announced that in FY 2004, Murphy Library will cancel $57, 490.09 in microform and journal subscriptions. This includes $19,796.43 in microform cancellations and $37,693.66 in journal cancellation.  He also spoke about Murphy’s book formula for book orders.  Until 1985, departments determined their own budget (i.e. Murphy purchased whatever departments decided to order).  In 1985, Murphy developed a crude formula whereby departments received what they had previously received.  In 1989, Murphy developed a more systematic formula based on FTE and credit hour production.  This system has evolved into the current formula whereby Murphy calculates a departmental book budget based on the following criteria: 1) student contact period (receives a weight of 4); 2) FTE (Undergrad/Grad Faculty) (wt of 4); 3) average cost of books in discipline (wt of 5); 4) circulation of books (wt. of 4).  John conducted a survey in the UW System to find out what other campuses use for budget formulas to which 8 out of 13 institutions responded: Five other UW institutions have an allocation formula, another institution is currently developing one while two others used ratios and allocations based on needs.  John would like departmental input on this issue.  He would like departments to look at the current system to see if it is equitable.  He reminded the committee that some additional start-up resources are not built into this system.  For example, programs that develop new minors receive $500 and new majors receive $2000.  Conversation ensued about how programs with graduate programs and graduate students factor into the formula.  Tim Gerber asked John if he would consider weighting them in the formula.  Again, John encouraged the committee to speak with departments so as to best assess this issue.    


  1. Library Director’s report – UW-campus survey (LibQUAL+)

The University of Wisconsin Libraries System has indicated that it will pay for a tool (LibQUAL+) to measure the quality of library services and identify best practices in library services.  LibQUAL+ would provide a common instrument for all libraries within the UW-System.  The questionnaire is comprised of a series of 22 to 25 questions that are sent out to a sampling of users (faculty, students, non-academic sectors; support people: this is yet to be determined) who are asked to evaluate services.  Murphy Library must buy the package, select the questions it would include in the questionnaire, administer the questionnaire and then send them to a clearinghouse in Texas where the data is compiled.  Results are sent back to campus and at that time, the Library committee would compare the data with other schools in the system and make recommendations (in spring 2004) about future directions of Murphy library. Please note that Murphy Library looks at its best practices all the time however, it seems beneficial to adopt LibQUAL+ as it would allow Murphy the ability to compare its finding with other UW libraries. Traditionally, Murphy Library underwent a review process just like a university department.  However, the last time this took place was in 1994.  In 1997, the Academic Program Review Committee examined the review process for Murphy and determined that library should be removed from the review cycle process, noting that Faculty Senate Library Committee in part served to evaluate library services.   Please note that LibQUAL+ is a qualitative and not a quantitative tool.  Perhaps other instruments like focus groups may also need to be used.  The Murphy Library staff is still in the stage of asking questions as to how best to utilize this new option (this opportunity is new in the last three weeks).  In order to tailor the questionnaire to UW-La Crosse, Murphy will choose from a menu of “canned” questions. The Murphy Library staff will circulate this menu of questions to the library committee for perusal.    


  1. Ken Frazier visit update.  The committee will continue with this next time.  


  1. Fac. Sen. Library Comm. meeting times for next semester.  To be determined at the first meeting in the spring semester.



The meeting adjourned at 5:07 p.m.


Respectfully submitted, 

Denis Provencher