VCU Arts Library Committee
4th Floor Conference Room, Cabell Library
April 13, 2011
Charles Brownell, Susan Iverson for Susie Ganch, Lea Marshall, Roy McKelvey (chair), Molly McFadden for Pam Taylor, Barbara Tisserat, Roberto Ventura
Staff: Dennis Clark, Yuki Hibben, Kristina Keogh, John Ulmschneider, Pam Fraga (recording secretary)
Guest: Jodi Koste, Special Collections and Archives at TML
Review and approval of agenda
Mr. Ulmschneider asked that the agenda be amended to include a review of the quotations that have been selected for the redesigned elevator lobby spaces. With that addition the agenda was approved.
Review and approval of minutes from February 2011
The minutes were approved as presented.
VCUArts Library Committee charge final - handout
Mr. McKelvey reported that he provided Dean Seipel (School of the Arts) with a copy of the charge to the Committee that the Committee endorsed in its February meeting. The Dean approved the charge as worded. He asked Mr. McKelvey if he would stay on the Arts Library Committee for another year. Mr. McKelvey agreed to do that, but only as a representative, not as the chair. He has chaired this Committee for the past 10 years. Mr. Ulmschneider will contact Dean Seipel to ask for a representative from each of the departments in the School. All the representatives will then be contacted in August and notified that they will be electing a new chair in September at the first meeting (date to be determined).
Mr. McKelvey then briefly reviewed the charge and noted that the terms of office were specifically not identified to allow for flexibility.
A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to accept the charge.
Quotations for elevator lobby areas - handout
Mr. Ulmschneider reviewed the elevator lobby redesign process, and reminded the Committee that quotations for the walls were solicited from the staff and faculty. The quotes submitted were reviewed by VLAC to produce a list of finalists. From that list, the VCU Libraries made final selections, which are the handout provided. He explained how they would be divided for display on the various floors by content and/or origin. He also explained that the final choices were made based on, among other things, the length of the quote (long quotes won’t fit on the space) and the source/author. It is not clear exactly when the redesign will be implemented but it is planned to be completed by the Fall semester.
HEETF and STF equipment requests 2011-12
Mr. Ulmschneider reported that VCU Libraries had just received the request for STF funding expenditures. Normally the STF request would have been vetted with the Committee, but this year time the schedule does not permit that. He will distribute the final list of purchase requests to the Committee via email in May, making clear that the needs of the students will be the paramount guideline. He also said that the SGA and several student groups had been solicited regarding their wants and needs and that these groups have agreed with the preliminary list which will be forwarded to the University.
Reports and Discussion
Media and Reserve Services Review Task Force final recommendations - handouts
Mr. Ulmschneider introduced Dennis Clark, the new Associate University Librarian for Public Services and to whom the MRS department reports. He reminded the Committee that the preliminary report of the TF was shared with the Committee in February. He recommended that the Committee members read the somewhat lengthy handout, and he highlighted the three primary recommendations:
- Strong recommendation that the VCU Libraries create a state-of-the-art media lab available to all students. The funding and location for this is unknown at this time, but it is urgently needed. Somehow the funding and location obstacles will be dealt with in the coming months.
- Migrate away from course reserves services to a more supportive, digitized system for Blackboard use.
- Add a media e-booking system/module.
In discussion, Mr. Ulmschneider reported that in response to Dr. Gulati’s request for additional reservation options for media check-out, a new time period of 4 hours has been added to the 2 and 24 hour options.
Mr. Clark said that it’s important for the library to evolve as student use evolves, so that the library provides the kinds of resources today’s students need. This includes a state-of-the-art creation studio which would allow for not only the production of presentations but also of original media works, including those that require “green screen” technology, as well as a good presentation room capable of housing seating for 50 to 100 persons. Mr. Ulmschneider was very positive and suggested that if a compelling argument for this type of facility is made, the VCU leadership will likely get on board and support the initiative. He also pointed out that the report makes very clear that VCU is behind the national curve on having the kinds of resources for today’s students.
LibQUAL+ survey, spring 2011
Mr. Ulmschneider said that the survey is under way and will run until 4-19-11. He expressed his hope that everyone had received his email urging them to participate as well as the email from LibQUAL for the survey itself. Both he and Mr. Clark urged the members to respond, saying it only takes a few minutes to do so and the results are so critical to the forward planning for VCU Libraries. In the past 2 surveys, 3 challenges were clearly identified, and the University has responded with investments that specifically target those challenges for improvement:
- Faculty and students complained about the quality of the collection – the University responded with more funding for collections
- Significant complaints about the library space – funding was given for renovations and the creation of the Learning Commons
- Service ratings were generally good – this encouraged the staff to continue and to improve their efforts
Mr. Clark said that the LibQUAL tool was developed at his previous university, Texas A & M University, and was used every year. He explained that while the questions tend to change overtime, the information gathered can be compared to the previous year’s data and gauged accordingly. He also said that the open comment space was especially helpful in gathering unsolicited feedback.
VCU Libraries programs:
- Brown-Lyons Lecture, March 24 – A huge success with over 500 people in attendance. The topic was “How Jewish Was Jesus?” which was as thought provoking as expected. Next year’s topic, “Whose City Is Jerusalem?” promises to be equally exciting.
- Bedpan Elegance, March 31 – June 30, 2011 – Ms. Koste reported that the exhibit of 30 photos taken by Professor William DuBois of Rochester Institute of Technology is in place and the opening on the 31st was well attended. The exhibit includes artifacts from TML collection as well.
- Zine Night, April 5, 2011 – Ms. Hibben reported that the Zine Night was a rousing success with over 60 people participating. She said the evening included some readings by a local artist followed by some hands-on activities.
Report: ASERL Civil War project; important recent acquisitions - online demonstrations
Ms. Keogh began by reporting on 3 recent acquisitions particularly relevant to the School of the Arts. The first was the Underground and Independent Comics and Graphic Novels collection. She demonstrated how to find this collection in the A – Z database and then how to search within it. She pointed out that because of copyright issues, the user can print out pages but cannot save them. Mr. Ulmschneider pointed out that In Style Weekly will be running a major article on the comic collection at VCU. Ms. Keogh said that this collection is relative to work of several areas of study, including sculpture and illustration.
She then gave a brief overview of the Designinform. Again, she showed how to access this new collection and how to search in it based on types of designs specifically. Some of the material in this collection is not available in full text but if not, it will have a link to GetIt@VCU which will enable the user to obtain the full material in either the larger collection or through ILLiad. She explained that while science back files are much more extensive, art back files are very limited (this collection is late 19th and 20th Century); they are difficult to find and expensive to buy.
The third collection is the new Materials Collection, an online library of materials of all types. It contains images and the names of manufacturer contacts and is kept current. This is a global resource and is both browseable and searchable by type of material sought. Sculpture, scene design, and the DaVinci program would all find this very useful.
Ms. Koste then reported on the VCU Libraries’ contribution to the Civil War project undertaken by the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL). Because of the connection with MCV and the archives there of letters and personal effects from the soldiers in the Civil War, the VCU Libraries is undertaking to digitize this invaluable collection for its inclusion in the large exhibit. Much of the original material is in the death records of the hospital, which was required by law to obtain and keep information on soldiers who died in its custody. Ms. Koste said that about half the data is online now but much more has yet to be transcribed. Mr. Ulmschneider underscored how unique this collection was, pointing out that because Richmond was the capital of the Confederacy, VCU has a very special opportunity to preserve and share this information.
As the meeting ended, the Committee thanked Mr. McKelvey for his years of service with a round of applause. He, in turn, wished everyone a good summer and said he would see them in September.
The meeting adjourned at 6:10 pm.