Minutes: April 20, 2006
LIBRARY STAFF ASSOCIATION’S MEETING WITH THE DEAN
Key Points from the Meeting
39 staff members attended—hurrah!
The Dean suggested that the LSA meeting with the Dean be changed from once per academic year to once per semester.
How much money have the Libraries made or lost by selling withdrawn monographs to bLogistics?
Since January 2004, the Libraries have received $19,125 by selling withdrawn monographs to bLogistics. $8,000 of that money has been applied to the Libraries’ materials budget. The Dean also mentioned the previous system in place (i.e. Friends of the Library book sales and also the Acquisitions book sales) and explained the particulars of the current system.
The Faculty Staff Development Committee (FSDC) has been considering the topic of ergonomics. What is the status of that consideration?
The University no longer has an onsite ergonomics specialist who can conduct individual assessments; it is up to each campus unit to address the ergonomic needs of its staff in a cost-effective manner. FSDC is in the process of coming up a plan to address the ergonomics needs of the Libraries. FSDCwill likely conduct a series of meetings/seminars on ergonomics. These meetings may include demos/exhibits of ergonomic products. Also, an ergonomics task force is being formed; please let Suzanne Larsen know if you are interested in serving on the task force. Other parts of the plan include the assessment of ergonomics needs in the Libraries, the possible purchase of ergonomic products in bulk, and the possible hiring of an outside ergonomics consultant. In addition, the Dean and FSDC reminded the library staff that we have a software program that can be installed by individual request; the program reminds you to take a break, stretch, etc., at designated intervals. Contact Systems to have the program installed.
LSA has been having difficulty trying to obtain comparison data for the cost of using regular carpet shampoo vs. Safe Choice carpet shampoo. The impetus for this is that quite a few staff members have told LSA that the regular carpet shampoo makes them feel ill; Safe Choice is formulated specifically for chemically sensitive individuals. Can the Dean’s Office help LSA obtain the data?
During the discussion, several suggestions were made to LSA: contact the Office of Risk Management; mention the patron gate count (i.e. large numbers of folks in Norlin every day); ask Wardenburg for advice; after obtaining the data, send a resolution to the Staff Council asking for the use of Safe Choice carpet shampoo in all the campus buildings; contact Environmental Health and Safety (a division of Facilities Management). The Dean told LSA to keep him informed and to let him know if he can be of help.
Has the Dean noticed a decrease in staff morale lately?
Discussion. The Dean mentioned that a series of negative events have affected the morale of the entire campus lately. He said that we need to identify and discuss work stressors and to have strategic conversations with relevant library personnel. Also, he pointed out that what we do is a marathon, not a sprint, and that several positive events are occurring. The campus will shortly have a new Chancellor and Provost. Also, the LibQual survey has highlighted positive feedback to the library by patrons. The Dean and LSA suggested that LSA conduct library staff forums specifically to address issues of work-related stress.
There is a current rumor that the annual pizza party for student workers will be discontinued. Is that true?
No, it’s not true. Student workers are highly valued, and the annual pizza party is being continued. Also, the Dean mentioned the May 5 Final Bites event being planned by the Libraries and by the Alumni Association.
LSA continues to hear from staff members who say that their supervisors discourage them from attending events such as the recent World Affairs Conference. Does the Dean support such attendance?
Discussion. The Dean said that yes, the Libraries actively encourage attendance, and that staff members should let their supervisors know when they want to attend events. A staff member suggested that the Dean send out reminders periodically (i.e. right before the World Affairs Conference).
Can we know the student employee budget on July 1?
Dean’s answer: It’s frustrating. We didn’t know this fiscal year’s budget until December, and we had to beg for more money to keep the Libraries running for the rest of the academic year. We didn’t know the results of the begging until two weeks ago. In the Strategic Plan, the Dean has emphasized the need for an adequate student employee budget. In September, he may need to announce reduced hours for the next academic year. However, in the meantime, assume that you can spend what you spent last year.
LSA’s Dean’s meeting—Spring 2006—4/27/06 jd