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Minutes: March 15, 2007

The meeting was held in the Center for British and Irish Studies and lasted approximately an hour and a half in order to let staff members go to the appreciation lunch. There were approximately 25 people in attendance. The Dean’s office provided refreshments for the meeting.

 

A staff member requested an update on the activities of the Strategic Planning Committee. The Dean met with the department heads recently to discuss the section of the Strategic Plan dealing with getting quicker access to resources (based on the R2 recommendations) He said that several programs are in the works to increase the speed of resource access:

  • Virtual approval for the sciences: Science bibliographers will approve books based on electronic lists, to avoid having them shipped here and then needing to return rejected materials

  • PromptCat: This program would have accepted books come in with OCLC-created records so they would not need to go through cataloging upon arrival.

  • Shelf-ready: Accepted books with OCLC records would come in with marking and spine labels already attached and would go directly to shelving. An eventual goal is to have 60-70% of everything we receive go directly to the shelves.

He also said that several improvements have already been made:

  • We used to have an up to 20% return rate on approval books for some disciplines, which was expensive and time-consuming, and we’re down to a 6% return rate, with a 5% goal.

  • The Cataloging backlog has been reduced to 4 weeks.

Another member asked how the library is planning to address some possibly neglected aspects of our collection. The member referenced the archives FSDC presentation where the deteriorating photography collection in the archives was discussed as an example of issues that needed to be addressed. The Dean reported that plans are in the works for saving this material, and because of the changes to cataloging and marking procedures due to FastCat/shelf-ready, staff will be able to be redeployed to make this stuff more accessible. He gave the example of the special collections team in Cataloging that has already opened up a lot of new material to the public. He also informed the attendees that the library has also applied for a $350,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to help preserve the National Conference of World Affairs materials. He pointed out the need for deciding what are the most important and most valuable items and taking care of them first, as well as providing for post-digitization care (since digital material is not permanent either).

 

Staff expressed concern that not all changes and decisions were being made after consulting or informing everyone who might be affected, citing the recent overflow of books needing to be shelved that arrived in circulation after cataloging and marking cleared out their backlog as well as the new announcement that there would be extended library hours. The Dean agreed that changes and decisions needed to be better communicated and provided some background on the new library hours. Apparently the UCSU had come to him and requested that the library remain open longer because students wanted to be able to be here longer, especially during finals (as they did not enjoy being kicked onto an empty campus at 2 am). The Dean requested and has now received money from the Provosts to do so. The new hours will not start until after spring break, and the money will cover 2 security staff and 2 circulation staff to provide access to computers and reserves. The students also want the Underground to stay open longer, but that is an issue they will have to discuss with the campus food service.

 

A staff member brought up their pleasure at the announcement that the second Pascal bay was to be constructed and asked for the Dean’s comments on the matter. The Dean reported that the process of getting approval for the bay had been very difficult, because the Health Sciences Center had wanted to kick Pascal out due to their new construction on that campus. We may or may not have DU partnership in the new bay because they were upset about the conflict with the Health Sciences Center. If CU is the only campus using the new bay it will cost an additional $600,000 a year to run. The new Pascal bay will be able to hold 1.2 million volumes and the Dean anticipates putting 800,000 there over the next ten years (the current Pascal bay has room for another 300,000 volumes). The Dean suggested perhaps emptying the entire periodicals room into Pascal and using electronic scan and delivery for users to get articles.

At this point the Campbell Committee members reminded us that nominations for the award are due on March 23rd. There was a brief discussion between the Dean and the members about whether a new location for the recipients’ pictures had been decided on but the discussion was tabled until after the meeting.

 

Staff questioned whether the proposed reorganization in the R2 report would take place, and if so, how would it be carried out? Would it be a permanent redeployment of selected staff and/or faculty, or would there simply be new teams created such as an electronic resources team? The Dean responded that an electronic resources unit would definitely be necessary, and that it would need to be populated. Some people may already be doing related work (such as people in serials cataloging), but questions still need to be answered as to whether those working on other aspects (licensing, etc.) should all be in one unit. The Dean also mentioned that a more coherent preservation program/team should be developed rather than individual projects.