Date:

June 6, 2007

 

To:

Carmen Wilson, Faculty Senate Chair

 

From:

Chia-Chen Yu, University Library Committee Chair

 

Re:

Summary of Library Committee Activities for the Year 2006-2007

 

 

Committee Members:

William Barillas

English

Member

Paul Beck

Murphy Library

Member, By-law

Cynthia Berlin

Geography/Earth Science

Member

Deborah Buffton

History

Member

Linda Dickmeyer

Communication Studies

Member

Anita Evans

Murphy Library

Consultant, Library Director

Karl Kattchee

Mathematics

Member, Secretary

Thomas Kutz

Undergraduate Student Representative

Member

Haixia Lan

English

Member

Shauna Sallmen

Physics

Member

Courtney Salm

Graduate Student Representative

Member

Andrew Seppala

Undergraduate Student Representative

Member

Chia-Chen Yu

Exercise and Sport Science

Member, Chair

 

This memo is intended to serve as a summary of the library committee’s activities during the 2006-2007 academic year. The minutes from the meetings are shown in Appendix A.  The primary topics of study and accomplishments include:

 

  • Suggestions to deal with issues in library acquisitions
  • Request of differential tuition funds for library use
  • Discussion of library budget issues
  • Recommendation for promotion and operation for Murphy’s Mug
  • Discussion of the impact of growth and access plan on library services
  • Library space planning
  • Liaison between faculty and library staff regarding policy related issues
  • Other activities
  • Suggestion of library committee’s goals and responsibilities next year

 

These activities will be described in more detail in the discussion that follows. Numerous appendices are included which provide further detail and evidence of the work completed during the year. If you have any questions, please contact me at 785-6549 or yu.chia@uwlax.edu.

 

Suggestions to deal with issues in library acquisitions

The committee discussed current issues in library acquisitions, especially the increasing requests for electronic versions of articles and rising subscription fees for journals. There was also some discussion about access and copyright issues and the question of whether declining periodical holdings have any effect on accreditation.

 

John Jax, the Collection and Resource Development Librarian, was invited to the meetings several times to report the status of library acquisitions (see Appendix B). He reiterated the well-known facts that the budget remains flat, costs continue to rise at an alarming pace, and cuts in periodicals continue to be made. Jax also mentioned that faculty feedback regarding journal cancellations is quite low in spite of the fact that some disciplines are down to “core” holdings. There is a feeling, according to Jax, that once the situation gets bad enough that faculty start to react, it might be too late.

 

The committee reviewed the proposed process and criteria for canceling periodicals as a result of flat library acquisitions budgets. The committee provided suggestions for a draft of a letter which would be sent to library liaisons. The committee further discussed some strategies that might be helpful to deal with current issues in acquisitions. The suggestions include limited request of electronic interlibrary loan for each individual or charging a fee (e.g, $1) for each article being requested. Some other strategies would be fundraising activities for certain departments who need special periodicals with expensive subscription fees for accreditation purposes.

 

In addition to the above suggestions, the specific committee charge this year was to pursue the reallocation of some differential tuition funds for library use in order to relieve the current budget issues in the library.

 

Request of differential tuition fund for library use

The majority of the committee’s time focused on preparing the proposal to pursue the reallocation of some differential tuition funds for library use. At the beginning of the fall semester in 2006, the Chair reviewed the history of the request for differential tuition or segregated fee funds and updated the committee for this special charge.

 

The committee first discussed how the differential tuition for library use could be approached. The committee further talked about the budget issues in Murphy Library and outlined how differential tuition might be used to address library needs. The committee also examined a partial list of financial woes experienced in the Acquisitions Department (see Appendix C). The topics discussed during the meetings included specific items in the proposal, appropriate funds to request for document delivery, and suggested that a new (document delivery) fee is a possibility. The committee suggested that it is important to point out the heavy weight of copyright costs, to highlight the results from LibQUAL+ survey, and to be specific about how the money would be used (# of books, # of documents, etc.). Student representatives on the library committee also suggested they could canvass the students about what might be a good proposal from a student’s point of view.

 

It was decided that the subcommittee (consisting of the Evans, Kattchee, Salm, and Yu) would speak with Dean of Students Knudson and the Academic Initiatives Oversight  Committee regarding the criteria that the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee is looking for and how to better prepare the proposal.

 

In early October 2006, the Chair first communicated with Dean of Students Knudson for further information about the timeline of proposal submission. The Academic Initiatives Committee was formed and held its first meeting in the first week of November.

 

The subcommittee met with Derrick Kockler, undergraduate chair of the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee, on December 12, 2006 about pursuing differential tuition for library use. It was noted by Kockler that the more specific a proposal, the better. Kockler indicated that the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee was developing procedure, forms and criteria to evaluate differential tuition proposals. The Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee sent the application forms to the library committee in late December.

 

The subcommittee met in January and drafted the proposal for the Academic Initiatives Oversight committee and submitted the budget application and proposal (see Appendix D) to the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee on January 27, 2007. The budget items requested were to meet the growing demand for document delivery services by increasing the student staffing and budget for copyright clearance fees ($7,000 for student help and 10,000 for copyright clearance fees) and to increase the acquisitions budget for books/media ($10,000) for a total request of $27,000.

 

The subcommittee presented their case to the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee on March 15, 2007. During the presentation, the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee raised the following issues: (a) whether to establish a new category of differential tuition for library use, (b) priority of the three requests, (c) consequence if not funded, and (d) similar requests from other universities. In late March, Evans received communication from the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee requesting more information regarding the “student help” and “document delivery” categories of the request. For example, how many students would the $7,000 portion of the request support? And, what is the “backup plan” if the proposal is not funded?

 

The committee received a letter from Jacob Rome, undergraduate chair of the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee, informing the committee that the funding request was denied (see Appendix E). The subcommittee met with Rome on May 4th for clarification of some points.

 

The Chair and the subcommittee reported on their meeting with Rome and the feedback from the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee for the proposal of differential tuition funds for library use to the Faculty Senate Library Committee. At this meeting, information was shared that the University of Wisconsin-River Falls was successful in getting differential funding for their library use (see Appendix F). From the feedback from Rome and suggestions from the committee, it is recommended that the library committee next year continue to pursue the differential tuition for library use.

 

Discussion of library budget issues

The majority of the committee’s discussion about budget issues focused on library acquisitions. As the committee examined, the rising periodical and collection requests might be due to the increase of diverse disciplines and fields at UWL, increasing undergraduate research and research across among graduate students and faculty members, and the need for accreditation purposes. The committee has concerns about the budget and resources for library acquisitions to fulfill the needs of students and faculty, particularly in light of curriculum expansion and increasing enrollments.

 

Recommendation of promotion and operation for Murphy’s Mug

Librarian Stefan Smith presented several times in the meetings about the library café concept. Smith reported on the contest for naming library café (see Appendix G) and “Murphy’s Mug” was a winner.

 

Murphy’s Mug was open on March 19 and the hours are 7:45-2:00. A “Grand Opening” was scheduled on April 10, 2007, 11-12:15, with program at noon. The committee brainstormed public relations and promotion strategies for grand opening. Suggestions included that the grand opening should spotlight the library and its services. Some other suggestions included drawings for prizes and mugs, a “guess the number of books” contest, and contacting Professor Rich Pinnell about a student guitarist for the event. Fliers should be posted around campus. Display some artwork from students or faculty, or could arrange a display of mugs. Buffton was tapped to make a handout that could be distributed on fair trade coffee.

 

After the grand opening, the committee discussed issues about operation of Murphy’s Mug: culture atmosphere, hours of operation, space planning, sound system, and potential problems.

 

The committee felt that Murphy’s Mug is in a good campus location and facilitates student learning in providing a meeting place for students and faculty. Evans and Beck further indicated the feedback from faculty and students that library café is successful.

 

Discussion for the impact of growth and access plan on library services

The committee discussed how this Growth and Access plan will affect library services. The discussions included:

  1. Will the library need more seats?
  2. Will the library need more computers to accommodate students? It was noted that the closure of computer labs around campus is already causing an increase in library traffic.
  3. Gate counts (see Appendix H) are already in an uptrend. Can the library sustain and serve the extra traffic with more growth (1000+ more students)?
  4. Services such as library instruction and interlibrary loan will be in greater demand. Interlibrary loan is costly. How will this impact library service in current tight budget status?

 

The committee suggested that assessment is necessary to evaluate how Growth and Access plan will affect library services. The committee members were also urged to consult with their departments on how the Growth and Access agenda will affect their library needs.

 

Library space planning

In the meeting of September 2006, librarian Stefan Smith reported the status of improvements to the first floor of the library (see Appendix I). Stage one including furniture installation, new wireless laptops configuration, increase of seating capacity, etc. has been completed. Evans and Smith indicated students have positive feedback for the new space planning. The committee discussed and suggested ideas to improve space planning for possible implementation in the summer.

 

Liaison between faculty and library staff regarding policy related issues

The committee served as a liaison between the Murphy Library and departments for issues about library policy. The discussion this year included Growth and Access plan, periodicals and collections, Murphy’s Mug opening, and the ordering process with a new vendor, Blackwell. The committee discussed and suggested various methods to effectively communicate with faculty members and library liaisons about library issues and policy.

 

Other Activities

In addition to the major responsibilities that the committee has accomplished, other activities related to library committee this year are shown as follows:

 

1. A substantial grant, written by former committee chair Tim Gerber (Biology), was funded and this grant will enhance the science collection in the Curriculum Library.

 

2. Chancellor Gow visited Murphy Library and had a tour on February 14, 2007.

 

3. Tim Gerber was honored on May 2, 2007 with the Murphy Award.

 

4. Fundraiser for endowment was implemented. Other funding requests submitted were: Student Tech Fee and Classroom Modernization.

 

Suggestion of library committee’s goals and responsibilities next year

The Committee concluded that several aspects of the 2006-07 final report and responsibilities are worthy of continued discussion:

  1. Pursue differential tuition for library use.
  2. Discuss budget issues and provide suggestions to the library.
  3. Suggest strategies to deal with rising periodical costs and increase request of electronic articles.
  4. Discuss impact of Growth and Access on the library.
  5. Discuss the ordering process with new vendor.
  6. Discuss pursuing technology fees for additional laptops in Murphy Library.

 

 

 


 

Appendix A. Meeting Minutes

Appendix B. Current Status of Library Acquisitions

Appendix C. Financial Woes Experienced in the Acquisitions Department

Appendix D. Budget Application to Pursue Differential Tuition for Library Use

Appendix E. Letter from the Academic Initiatives Oversight Committee

Appendix F. University of Wisconsin-River Falls’ Differential Tuition for Library Use

Appendix G. Contest for Naming Library Café

Appendix H. Gate Counts of Murphy Library

Appendix I. Status of Space Planning for First Floor in Murphy Library