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March 14, 1988

 

                          UNIVERSITY LIBRARY COMMITTEE

                                     MINUTES

                                  14 March 1988

 

     PRESENT:

     Eugene Carson, Provost's Office         Loke Kok, Agr. & Life Sci.

     Jack Duke, Faculty Senate               Francis Ventre, Architecture

     Norman Dodl, Education                  Michael Vorster, Engineering

     Marion Ehrich, Vet Medicine             David West, Arts & Sciences

     Paul Gherman, Library

 

     GUESTS:

     Bela Foltin, Library                    Arthur Snoke, Faculty Senate

     Phyllis Johnson, Library

 

     ABSENT:

     Julie Ozanne, Business                  Jane Wentworth, Human Res.

     Jeff Tibbetts, SGA                      James Wood, GSA

 

  Corrections to Minutes of Meeting February 1:

  (1) The  college of Engineering is interested in standards of ASTM, not

  ANSI, under Old Business.

  (2) Under New Business, Library  News,  the  Library  is  upgrading the

  computer in fiscal year 1987-88, not next year.

 

  It was moved and seconded that the revised minutes be approved.

 

     I.  OLD BUSINESS:

 

         1.   LIBRARY LOAN PERIODS:  Deferred until April

 

    II.  NEW BUSINESS:

 

         1.   BUDGET DELIBERATIONS:

 

              The Chair read from letters that were received about the

              budget, budget development, and especially about the

              equity of the proposed across-the-board cuts for the

              journal cancellation project. (D. Farkas, Math; Members

              of the Executive Committee, English; College of

              Engineering Strategy Committee)

 

              P. Gherman (Library) stated that an amendment was

              introduced in the General Assembly asking for a $3.3

              million increase for the book budget for state supported

              libraries, and an additional $957,000 for reconversion

              of records, and $220,000 for Telefax equipment. This

              passed the General Assembly Saturday night and is on the

              Governor's desk. The outcome is optimistic, although

              the specific amount that Va. Tech would receive is

              unknown at this time. Nevertheless, it seems the library

              will be able to avoid serials cancellations at this

              time. Also the AMIGOS contract has gone through for the

              upgrade of 200,000 short records in the system.

              Meanwhile, the review of serials that was done in

              anticipation of some cuts was useful, as some titles

              have been identified that could possibly be cancelled

              anyway to allow funds to be used to purchase more

              useful journals.

              Discussion followed addressing the issue of the equity

              of across-the-board cuts. P. Gherman stated that the

              arguments made in opposition to across-the-board cuts by

              the various disciplines all had merit, but in the face

              of the necessity to make a decision, the library had yet

              to find any other more equitable solution. D. West

              stated that he also saw no easy or different solution.

              M. Vorster said that in reviewing the lists, it was

              very difficult to say which journals were "ours" or

              "yours", since so many journals are cross-disciplinary.

              He suggested the library to find a way to count and

              record the number of reshelvings, to establish actual

              use of any given journal. Different methods of doing

              this were discussed. One was inventory barcoding, as

              done in supermarkets, although this would mean special

              equipment would have to be purchased. The consensus was

              that this is an extremely complex problem. If the

              library receives additional funding and journal

              cancellations are not undertaken at this time,

              identification of use is not as important as it may have

              been. However, the committee felt that the issue will

              arise again in the future, and at that time new studies

              should be made and the possibility of different

              solutions be sought. F. Ventre pointed out that faculty

              should be aware that the University Library Committee

              discusses these issues, and the Library Committee is

              kept informed, and is a conduit for bringing faculty

              concerns to the attention of the library administration.

 

 

         2.   COMMISSION ON INFORMATION SYSTEMS:

 

              Chairman M. Ehrich received a letter from University

              Council asking for comments from the Library committee

              by April 4 on the proposal to create a Commission on

              Information Systems, and enclosing the Faculty Senate

              Resolution and a proposed amendment to the Constitution

              of the University Council. Excerpts of the proposed

              amendment and Faculty Senate Resolution were read to the

              committee. Arthur Snoke (Geology), a member of the

              Faculty Senate, attended the meeting of the University

              Library Committee to help clarify and answer questions

              about these documents. In the discussion that followed,

              M. Ehrich (Vet Med) expressed concern that the proposed

              commission would replace the University Library

              Committee, or duplicate their work. A. Snoke explained

              that in the University's governance system all vice

              presidents and the provost have commissions that provide

              advise, with the exception of the Vice President for

              Information Systems. Policy is formulated by the

              commissions and passed on through the University Council

              to the President and then to the Board of Visitors. At

              present, the Library, the Computer Center, and the

              Communications Network do not interface with a

              commission, so policy issues are not handled in the

              usual manner. P. Gherman said that he was unclear how

              the commission would function, since the commission will

              be dealing with policy-making for three university

              organizations. M. Ehrich said she was concerned that

              there were no representatives from the faculty-based

              committees of Library, Computer Users, and Communication

              Networks, except for their Directors, who would be non-

              voting. M. Vorster (Engineering) said that technically

              this mechanism is a good idea for allowing the Library,

              the Computer Center, and CNS to interrelate. P. Gherman

              stated that the three bodies do now meet for technical

              interchange on an administrative level. A. Snoke

              explained that the formation of the commission would

              obligate these divisions of the University to formulate

              policy through the University Council. Although the

              Library does send its minutes to the University Council,

              this is not required. Minutes of the Commissions are,

              however, required to be sent and approved by the

              University Council. P. Gherman asked why minutes of

              the three committees could not be required, rather than

              creating another commission to sit over the three

              committees. The Library Committee noted that the

              complexity of activities of the Library, Computer, and

              Communication Network Committees may be difficult for

              one commission. A. Snoke replied that the only things

              the commission would have to deal with were those policy

              issues which needed to be brought before the University

              Council. J. Duke (Faculty Senate) said policy issues

              would be the responsibility of the commission and

              procedures the responsibility of the existing

              committees, which would function as standing sub-

              committees of the commission. N. Dodl (Education)

              stated concerns that the commission could not deal with

              all three of the agencies. F. Ventre (Architecture)

              asked if the impetus for this change was a perceived

              problem in the operations of these organizations. A.

              Snoke answered that there were issues, for instance last

              year's move of computer labs, when it was felt there had

              not been enough review or input from faculty because the

              move involved educational philosophy.  G. Carson

              (Provost's Office) said that perhaps the commission will

              be a mechanism to provide an educational and

              administrative link, and raised the possibility of

              allying the three committees to existing commissions.

              The consensus of the Library Committee was that these

              three organizations cut across all areas, and would not

              fit well under the structure of the existing

              commissions. F. Ventre noted that the resolution

              states, "the Commission on Information Systems would

              oversee, and coordinate" the three existing committees,

              and would like the phrase "oversee and coordinate"

              clarified. The new structure may mean that policy

              recommendations would be reviewed by the commission, who

              would decide whether or not the recommendation was

              passed on to the University Council. The consensus was

              that more time for discussion was needed by the

              University Library Committee and that Chairman Ehrich

              should ask the University Council to postpone discussion

              for one month. I was noted that the University Library

              Committee has concern about the word "oversee" in the

              resolution; and the Committee would suggest that the

              chair of each of the faculty committees be on the

              commission if such were to be formed. It was suggested

              that ULC maintain its scope and activities, and remain

              the vehicle for faculty/library communication.

 

         3.   STRENGTH IN ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTAL ASSIGNMENTS :

              Discussion postponed.

 

         4.   OTHER NEW BUSINESS:

 

              A draft of the annual report will be prepared by May.

 

              J. Wentworth (Human Res.) will be unable to meet on

              Mondays this term, but will send a representative.

 

              The next meeting will be on the second Monday in April

              (April 11). The meeting was adjourned.

 

 

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