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Governance Minutes Archive

February 21, 1989

                         UNIVERSITY LIBRARY COMMITTEE

                                   MINUTES

                               21 February 1989

 

  PRESENT:

  John Bowen, Vet Medicine                Nancy Harris, SGA

  Bill Cox (Alternate), Engineering       Loke Kok, Agr. & Life Sciences

  Norman Dodl, Education                  Francis Ventre, Architecture

  Jack Duke, Faculty Senate               Jane Wentworth, Human Resources

  Paul Gherman, Library                   David West, Arts & Sciences

 

  GUESTS:

  Bela Foltin, Library                    Laura Katz, Library (for LFA)

  Phyllis Johnson, Library

 

  ABSENT:

  Eugene Carson, Provost's Office         Nicolaus Tideman, Business

  Milan Patel, GSA                        Michael Vorster, Engineering

 

  MEETING SUMMARY:

 

       Norman Dodl, Chair, called the meeting to order. The minutes of the

       last meeting were approved as submitted.

 

  BUSINESS OF THE MEETING

 

       The  entire meeting was devoted to discussion with Dr. Robert

       Heterick, Vice President for Information Systems.  Dr. Heterick's

       main points are outlined below. There was extensive discussion with

       committee members, particularly on issues relating to budget and

       space problems.

 

       Good News

 

       -    The immediate shortfall has been rectified by special funding

            from the State without having to drop serials subscriptions.

       -    Between culling and taking some additional space at Cheds the

            space problem will be deferred for a year.

       -    The Library staff continues to be dedicated to putting customer

            service at the top of their priorities.

       -    Line item funding from the State will permit completion of the

            retrospective conversion of all titles into VTLS.

       -    Library administration is keenly aware of the changing nature

            of librarianship and endeavors to maintain some programs which

            explore future technology.

 

       Bad News

 

       -    The Library is chronically under-funded. The tighter funding

            becomes, the more under-funded is the Library.

 

                Dr. Heterick's answers to budget related questions raised

                by committee members:

 

                Most of us have suffered from flat operational budgets for

                anywhere from 4 to 8 years. The problem that befalls the

                library and several other units on campus is that while

                State E & G money used for operations has not changed in 6

                to 8 years, the amount of research being done on campus

                has increased by almost a factor of 3. The library is

                very sensitive to research activity and the scholarship

                that follows.  While the University's operational budget

                hasn't changed, the University's total expenditures have

                increased by almost $60 M in those 8 years. This increase

                has not been reflected in the Library's budget.

 

                The State has a funding arrangement for library materials

                which is to some extent sensitive to inflation and has

                been increasing.  The University's contribution to the

                library budget has been flat and as a consequence the

                contribution for materials is  overrunning the total

                library budget to the extent that we are not able to

                expend all the money that the  state gives us for

                materials.  We must divert a portion of it to the basic

                operations of the library.

 

                The alternative would be that we buy materials even though

                we cannot afford to catalog them, or shelve them, or buy

                the stacks to put them on.

 

       -    A solution to the space problem is not even on the University's

            ten year capital plan.

 

                Dr. Heterick's answer to a question from the committee:

 

                The largest single space deficit on the campus is in the

                Library. The size of the Library space deficit is roughly

                equal to 1/2 the total size of the University space

                deficit.  The Library is not even in the next 10 year

                University capital plan.

 

       -    Library salaries are competitive,  but the pool of well

            qualified applicants is shrinking.

       -    Libraries are becoming increasingly technology intensive, hence

            capital intensive.

 

       Perspective

 

       -    All current strategies are short run, survival oriented. There

            is no readily visible solution to the under-funding problem.

       -    Pressure from the research community will attenuate as it is

            confronted by the same set of problems.

       -    Work will be done to find a pragmatic solution to the space

            problem, which will likely be high density storage.

       -    Technology will be used wherever it offers reduced operational

            costs, but not much effort will be put into technology that

            increases service levels at the expense of the budget.

 

  The committee members agreed to ask Dr. Heterick to return at a future

  meeting.

  The meeting was adjourned until the next regular meeting time on March 6,

  1989.

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