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Governance Minutes Archive

February 6, 1991


                            February 6, 1991



  John Bowen, Vet Med                 Kara Goldberg, SGA

  Carol Burch-Brown, Provost's OfficeArthur Keown, Business

  Norman Dodl, Education              Ken McCleary, Human Resources

  Holly Ferguson, CSAC                J. Scott Poole, Architecture

  Edward Fox, Arts & Sciences         Michael Vorster, Engineering

  Paul Gherman, Library               Rod Young, Ag. & Life Sciences



  Shirley Glazener, Library           Paul Metz, Library

  Frances Painter, Library            John Straw, Library



  J. D. Stahl, Faculty Senate         Karen Watson, GSA




  The meeting was called to order at 4:00 p.m. The January meeting

  minutes were approved with editorial corrections which will be

  incorporated in the version of the minutes sent to Faculty Senate

  and placed online. A motion was made and tabled to create a task

  force to study current computer capabilities and to investigate

  alternatives to existing services for accessing library holdings

  and services.






        1.  SUSAN JUROW VISIT (P. Gherman):


            Management consultants were in the library in mid-January

            to hear staff concerns about internal library

            communications, decision making, goals and priorities,

            etc. S. Jurow felt it would be better to wait until after

            these management concerns had been addressed before

            conducting the focus groups on the library's future. She

            will return to campus after the consultants have reported

            their findings. Since the consultant's final report is

            not expected for a month or more, Ms. Jurow's next visit

            may be in late spring, but could be delayed as late as

            next fall. This will put back the schedule for the

            strategic planning effort by perhaps as much as a year.


        2.  SYSTEM PERFORMANCE (S. Glazener):


            An erosion of performance by the Libraries' Hewlett-

            Packard 3000, Series 950 computer has become apparent.

            This is most clearly demonstrated in delayed response time

            between the hours of 10 AM - 5 PM on most workdays.


            A primary bottleneck appears to be main memory, although

            CPU utilization is also high. Analysis of system

            utilization data collected over the past week is in

            process. It is anticipated that this will pinpoint

            problem performance areas. When analysis is complete,

            we'll take action to resolve performance problems.


            Experience has shown that performance of HP Precision-

            based architecture systems degrade suddenly when capacity

            is reached, rather than gradually as capacity is



            After some discussion about the system, Ed Fox moved that

            the committee establish a task force to investigate

            alternative solutions to access to library catalog data.


            During discussion following the motion, members were

            reminded that the Self Study advocated that the

            relationship between VTLS, Inc. and the library be

            studied, a part of the study being an investigation of the

            suitability of VTLS for this library, as compared to other

            systems. Two years ago a task force was established for

            that purpose. The task force, which is currently in

            abeyance, looked at other systems via the internet, but

            did not make site visits. However, until our library

            brings up VTLS acquisitions and serials check-in modules,

            the reserve module, and key word searching a proper

            comparison of systems cannot be accomplished. It was also

            pointed out that the current fiscal climate makes it

            unlikely that a switch to another system could be made

            even if it were found to be desirable. The market place

            is volatile and changes and advances in these systems come

            so rapidly that further study undertaken now would be out-

            of-date by the time the financial situation eases. There

            is an interim report summarizing the task force's findings

            up to this point.


            After further discussion the committee directed that the

            task force's interim report be attached to the minutes for

            members to read before the next meeting and they then

            voted to table the motion on the floor until that time.


        3.  SERIALS REVIEW PROJECT (P. Metz):


            The only change from the report delivered to the committee

            in November is that the schedule has been put back two

            weeks. The departmental library representatives will

            receive the lists on February 22, and will have a month to

            respond in the initial round of reviews. Meanwhile, the

            library is looking at alternative solutions to ameliorate

            the problems caused by coming serials cancellations, such

            as document delivery services. These services are faster

            than interlibrary loan, and they take care of the

            copyright problem by paying royalties. They are more

            expensive than the copyright clearing house, which is

            another alternative.


        4.  SGA RESOLUTION (K. Goldberg):


            K. Goldberg presented a resolution at SGA supporting

            tentative library plans to institute fines for students

            who are in violation of the ban on food and drink in the

            library. At its second reading compromises were suggested

            and the resolution was tabled, but it will be presented

            again as first read at the SGA meeting on the evening of

            February 6, 1991. A copy of the resolution is attached,

            and the result of the SGA vote willbe reported next month.







            The ULC Chair asked the committee to discuss a paper which

            was circulated on campus too late to be formally included

            in the agenda. The paper is titled Providing Adequate

            Library Facilities at Virginia Tech: Analysis and

            Recommendations of the Office of University Planning,

            dated January 18, 1991.


            The ensuing discussion raised the question of whether the

            document represents library needs in an acceptable time

            frame. P. Gherman expressed a preliminary reaction that,

            were the library to get both the storage building and the

            book store building, space needs might be met for the next

            10 to 20 years. It is not a perfect solution, in that the

            library would still be short of study and carrel space and

            have too much in storage, but he is pleased that the

            library is high on the university's priority list.

            However, several committee members felt that the planning

            document should make clear that the present book store

            building will be used primarily for various patron service

            spaces. Concern was also expressed that the ULC and the

            library faculty did not participate in preliminary

            discussions of the concept before it was announced to the

            general university community. In defense, C. Burch-Brown

            pointed out that the planning process is very complex, and

            that there has been an effort to be inclusive of as many

            people as possible in the process. Comment on the plan

            has been solicited, yet the proposal has already gone to

            Richmond. Part of the problem is that Richmond advanced

            by a month the timetable for submission of the plan.

            Committee members discussed whether it would be useful for

            the committee to spend time on a considered response to

            the plan at this time, or whether they should confine

            comment to an expression of concern about the planning



            It was decided that the ULC Chair should invite Wayland

            Winstead to meet with the committee at their next meeting.




            Because of time limitations the continuing discussion of

            Information Systems Issues and Goals for 1991-96 was

            postponed until the next meeting.


  The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 p.m. The next meeting will be on

  March 6, 1991.

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