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Governance Minutes Archive

April 4, 1990

                 UNIVERSITY LIBRARY COMMITTEE MINUTES

                             April 4, 1990

 

 

  PRESENT:

  Eugene Carson, Provost Rep.          Michael Vorster, Engineering

  Norman Dodl, Education               Jane Wentworth, Human Resources

  J. D. Duke, Faculty Senate           David West, Arts and Science

  Paul Gherman, Library                Roderick Young, Agr. & Life Science

 

 

  GUESTS:

  Bela Foltin, Library                 Linda Richardson, Library

 

 

  ABSENT:

  Sharon Brusic, GSA                   Arthur Keown, Business

  Michael Kainer, SGA                  J. Scott Poole, Architecture

 

  MEETING SUMMARY:

 

  The meeting was called to order at 4:07 p.m. Minutes of the March 7,

  1990, meeting were approved as submitted. It was voted that the

  committee  would  draft a new  Branch  Library  Policy which  would be

  submitted to University Council in the next academic year, and the GSA

  resolution was tabled without a specific  time for  it to be  recalled

  for a vote.

 

  REPORTS

 

      I.   LIBRARY ANNOUNCEMENTS (P.Gherman):

 

           A.    Budget

 

                 An additional 1.2 million has been added to the book

                 budget over the biennium. An additional $404,000 in

                 the first year and $800,000 in the second year. This

                 means the library will not be forced into serials

                 cancellations. Dr. Carlisle, in last Friday's budget

                 meeting with Deans and Department Heads, explained his

                 desire to add $250,000 to the library operating budget.

                 This is an unfunded expectation at present, but they

                 are hoping to find funds. It was also announced that by

                 April 15 the administration should be ready to announce

                 the percentage of reversion asked from each unit.

 

           B.    Center for Research Libraries

 

                 Dr. Carlisle has signed the application for membership

                 in CRL, effective July 1, 1990.  This will increase

                 access to about 4 million volumes.

 

                 Handouts were distributed and explained which showed:

                 the aggregate average monograph and serials costs in

                 ARL libraries; the total library expenditures vs.

                 total university expenditures and total university

                 sponsored research expenditures at Virginia Tech and

                 its peers; and a chart of Virginia Tech and its peers

                 showing a comparison of ARL and university statistical

                 parameters.

 

  OLD BUSINESS

 

      I.   BRANCH LIBRARY POLICY CLARIFICATION

 

           P. Gherman distributed an excerpt (5.) from the University

           Council Minutes of March 5, 1990; the second reading of

           University Library Committee Resolution 1989-90 A, that

           concerned the creation of new branch libraries. The excerpt

           detailed the University Council discussion and the motion

           that the resolution be referred back to the Library Committee

           for further consideration.

           N. Dodl: ULC discussions over the last year have confirmed the

           central library concept, but the University Council appears to

           feel that the wording of the resolution casts doubt on whether

           that is still our position.

           P. Gherman: That's correct. Dr. Carlisle is not sure whether

           the committee is saying that if funds were available new

           branches would be considered, or whether the resolution is

           saying that no additional branch libraries would be wanted

           even if there were resources for them.

           D. West: As I recall the discussions, the committee was

           concerned that the university might decide a branch was needed,

           for instance at the new Roanoke Graduate Center, without first

           coming to the University Library Committee. We made it an

           issue of money so that the university wouldn't establish a

           center with a library and then expect the library to pay for it

           out of the existing budget.

           N. Dodl: I don't recall a major part of the discussion centering

           on any attempt to change the policy of having a centralized

           library.

           J. Duke: The implications of the policy are that the Board of

           Visitors can say "Put a branch library there," and it's done.

           What we were saying is that we might not have any input into

           such a decision, but we want to emphasize that such a decision

           could not be taken without negatively impacting the central

           facility's resources, and that new funds would need to be

           provided. History suggests that branch library formation

           sometimes comes about without any direct input from library.

           P. Gherman: If in fact the wording of the resolution is mainly

           aimed at financing rather than at the principle of no

           additional branch libraries, then University Council's concern

           is that it has never before passed a motion that deals with

           funding for individual units. If the ULC resolution is

           financial, the Council would rather it were not submitted to

           them.

           D. West: The University Library Committee did want to put up

           a flag, however, and say don't create a library somewhere and

           then ask the library to drain its resources into it. To whom

           should that concern be addressed?

           P. Gherman: If questions of finance are the intent of the

           resolution the committee could probably send a letter to that

           effect to Dr. Carlisle. If the resolution is about a policy

           of no additional branch libraries then that can go to the

           University Council.

           J. Duke: Maybe the problem is with the branch library policy,

           which seems to imply that a decision to create a branch library

           could be reached external to the library administration.

           D. West: This happened in the case of the College of

           Veterinary Medicine. In order for the college to be created

           there was a requirement that it have a library.

           B. Foltin: Dr. West is right that the resolution is intended

           as a flag, so that the university community is aware of all the

           implications of starting a branch library.

           N. Dodl: The ULC document, "Branch Library Policy Statement,"

           had a section on the history of branch library policy which

           preceded the resolution statement. This section did not,

           however, reach University Council members. In a letter dated

           in 1970, but reiterating a statement made in 1955, President T.

           Marshall Hahn wrote, in part, "This action [i.e., consolidation

           of about 24 collections when Newman was completed] followed the

           decision by the Administrative Council, the forerunner of the

           present University Council, and the Board of Visitors to

           discontinue Branch and departmental libraries and place priority

           on developing one central Library of the highest possible

           quality. The only exception to this policy was the Architectural

           Library." That appears to be the only policy statement that

           exists. In 1971, the University Library Committee wrote

           definitions of a Branch Library and of Departmental

           Collections, but that had no effect on the policy of a

           central library. Then we developed our resolution intending

           that it be in the context of maintaining a strong central

           library as the original policy stated. There have obviously

           been breaches to that policy since there are now other branch

           libraries besides Architecture. Should that happen again the

           resolution is intended to make sure there are budgetary

           adjustments to accommodate it. University Council was correct

           to return the resolution to us, because we did not send them a

           new policy recommendation. We sent a resolution pertaining to

           funding relative to the existing policy. Our discussion needs

           to center on whether we reiterate, restate or just acknowledge

           the existing policy. How we explain the exceptions is not clear.

           B. Foltin: The library at the Telestar Graduate Center is a

           branch library for all practical purposes, but is still

           referred to publicly as a Reserve Room.

           J. Duke: Can't we request that University Council reaffirm the

           policy?

           N. Dodl: How do we ask them to reaffirm a policy knowing there

           have been three major exceptions to it within the last two

           decades?

           D. West: The exceptions we have are extremely useful, and we

           wouldn't want them taken away. Can we send a letter to Dr.

           Carlisle saying that the committee frowns on having branch

           libraries created without proper funding.

           P. Gherman: At the moment, there is not a move to create a new

           branch library anywhere, or any indication that Dr. Carlisle

           would not be responsive to the funding issue if there were.

           Since we're not faced with a critical issue, should we send a

           letter to Dr.Carlisle, or even return it to University Council

           at this time?

           N. Dodl: What is bothersome about doing anything, is that there

           is a policy in place which has been violated and/or excepted at

           least 3 times. We need to be sure that a strategy of asking for

           reaffirmation is not a strategy that will lead somebody to try

           and get the policy changed.

           J. Bowen: We should be thinking about the future when a new

           Graduate Center might be created. An initiative for a new

           branch library should be subject to this committee's review.

           We need to be have input, the opportunity to discuss it and to

           see what its impact is going to be. We're not going to be able

           to stop the Board of Governors if that is what they want to do.

 

           There was further discussion which centered primarily on the

           issue of whether the library administration would first be

           consulted and have a part in planning for any new branch

           library, or whether they would only later be charged with the

           maintenance and staffing of such a facility. J. Bowen proposed

           that the committee reconsider and draft a new branch library

           policy. There is not time for a new policy to be drafted and

           submitted to University Council in this academic year. It was

           moved and seconded that a new policy be developed. The motion

           carried and the Chair will appoint a subcommittee to work on a

           first draft, which will be on the agenda in the fall.

 

     II.   TABLED ULC MOTION TO ENDORSE GSA RESOLUTION

 

           P. Gherman: Library administration has been working with the

           parking authority to try to have the parking space moved to the

           curb at the end of the plaza nearer to the library door, but we

           haven't yet heard from them. The bus drivers are telling people

           who park in the designated place to move, as the buses can't

           pull out when the space is occupied. We have also talked to the

           parking authority about having a manned drop-off site at the

           new visitor's center on Southgate Drive. The building is not

           open yet, and they don't know what the hours will be, so

           obviously there is no final answer for that suggestion.

           B. Sismour: Other suggestions from GSA were a drop site at

           the Information Desk in the gym, and a drop box in the shuttle

           buses, with the buses dropping the books at the library.

           B. Foltin: There are always potential problems with using

           any intermediary, as, for instance, the shuttle drivers.

           N. Dodl: It appears that an attempt to find a resolution to

           both the parking issue and the drop-off site is underway.

           How should the committee respond to this resolution.

           J. Duke: In terms of the resolution, the committee has

           essentially decided that we will not support a book drop in

           the commuter lot or one near the curb, but we have suggested

           alternatives. The third issue (3-4 parking spaces) is one we

           support, but implementation is up to the parking authority.

           N. Dodl: Because of the way the resolution is worded, it might

           be better for the committee to table, rather than endorse or

           fail to endorse. A progress report taken back to GSA by S.

           Brusic and/or B. Sismour will allow GSA to determine whether

           the measures underway resolve the dilemma. If the motion to

           endorse were brought to a vote now, it would probably fail

           because of the wording.

           B. Sismour: GSA meets in two weeks and they will be interested

           to hear what is acceptable to the committee.

           J. Bowen: Why use an intermediary at the Visitor's Center, when

           the Vet Med building is open longer hours, is in almost the

           same location, and has a branch library?

 

           It was moved, seconded, and passed that the resolution be tabled

           without a specific date for returning the resolution to the

           floor. Current efforts to reach satisfactory solutions to the

           various requests will continue.

 

  The library circulation policy agenda item will be placed on next month's

  agenda. The meeting was adjourned at 5:05 p.m.

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