VCU Libraries Advisory Committee
Tompkins-McCaw Library, 1st Floor Conference Room
January 21, 2011 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Bonnie Davis, Corey Davis, Rosemary Farmer, Linda Hughes, Cindy Jong, Nathaniel Markson, Roy McKelvey (chair), Jana McQuaid, Faye Prichard, Raj Rao, Brenda Seago, Patricia Strong, Ann Wiesner
Absent with notice
Mary Baechle, Jan Chlebowski, Karen Rader
Angelica Bega-Hart, Allen Lee
Staff: John Duke, Jeanne Hammer, Dan Ream, John Ulmschneider, Pam Fraga (recording secretary)
Guest: Jodi Koste, Special Collections/TML
Review and approval of agenda
The agenda was approved as presented.
Review and approval of minutes from November 2010
Amend minutes to read that Bonnie Davis was absent with notice. Pending that amendment, the minutes were approved as presented.
Open Access Publishing initiative at VCU
Mr. Ulmschneider asked that this item and the next be tabled until later in the meeting as the individuals who were to give these two reports were not yet present. It was agreed to do this. Additionally, Mr. Ream will be giving a presentation at the March meeting on the Open Access system.
Elevator lobby redesign for Cabell Library - tabled until later in the meeting
Reports and Discussion
VCU Libraries in recalibrated VCU2020 Strategic Plan
Mr. Ulmschneider reported that the overall recalibration effort is moving ahead. Four “themes” have been identified for the new VCU strategic plan, and four task forces have been established to develop those themes. Of the four task forces, the VCU Libraries has representation on three: John Ulmschneider (Research), Dan Ream (Student Engagement) and Shannon Jones (Community Outreach). The remaining task force is working on the “achieving national recognition as an integrated health-case university”. This theme is still being developed but holds the promise of bringing a distinctive identity to VCU in Virginia and the nation.
The Committee members were invited to attend the upcoming community forum sessions on the recalibration and to voice their concerns and ideas. The final report will be published online and will be considered for adoption by the Board of Visitors in May 2011.
Use of Cabell Library, Fall 2010 - handout
Mr. Ulmschneider referred the Committee to the handout, which documents a huge increase in the use of Cabell. This is due not only to increased use by students but also to faculty bringing classes to the building to take advantage of the Cabell Learning Commons. Mr. Ulmschneider noted that the counters in use until December undercounted by 5% to 7%, so use is actually higher than documented. New, more accurate counters were installed in early January.
In discussion, it was pointed out that use of library collections and services online is even higher than in-person use of library facilities and collections. Completely accurate numbers are not available, but to the extent that data are known, they will be included in the new VCU Libraries dashboard currently under development. One member of the Committee noted that because Cabell is often at capacity, especially during exams, additional spaces have been made available in the Student Commons by the SGA.
Upcoming programs: (handouts)
- Forgotten Roots: Muslims In Early America, January 24-28 – Mr. Ulmschneider, referring to the handouts, reported that there will be a traveling exhibit in Cabell on the 1st floor, from 1/24 thru 1/28 on the Islamic presence in the US, dating back to the 16th century. This exhibit is sponsored by the Friends of the Library Board.
- Melissa Harris-Perry, February 10 – Mr. Ulmschneider, again referring to the handouts, outlined the Black History Month Lecture by Ms. Harris-Perry, noted MSNBC commentator and Associate Professor at Princeton.
Open Access Publishing initiative at VCU - this item was tabled in its entirety until the March meeting
Elevator lobby redesign for Cabell Library - visual demonstration
Ms. Hammer reported to the Committee that she has been meeting with the design firm KSA to explore revitalizing the areas in front of the elevators on all five floors of Cabell. She showed several images of design concepts proposed by the firm and invited discussion on them. While the first floor will highlight visual images, the remaining floors will use quotations in various languages. The VCU Libraries proposes to identify these quotations by soliciting quotes from the three library advisory committees and from CLUAC. However, during discussion, Committee concluded that instead of contributing quotations, the VLAC should serve as a jury to select final quotations from candidates gathered from the VCU community. Committee members suggested that some quotes be in Braille to be inclusive of all languages. A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously that VLAC serve as jury for quotations to be submitted by the larger community and reviewed by the VCU Library staff.
The subject of the numbers on the elevator doors was discussed and while not conclusive, it was apparent that some members do not like numbers on the doors, and particularly don’t like the proposed large size of the numbers. This matter will be referred to the design firm for their feedback and inclusion in the design process.
During discussion, several members of the Committee thanked VCU Libraries for the new fax and new scanner in Cabell, saying this was a tremendous help in their workflow. Mr. Ulmschneider thanked them for their comments and said that it was part of the ongoing effort to provide small but effective aides throughout the building for both student and faculty use.
Demo and discussion: Digitization of VCU yearbooks and alumni magazines - online demo
Ms. Koste demonstrated new additions to digital collections focused on the first 125 years of the Medical College of Virginia. She showed how to find the materials on the main library web page and then how to search them using various search. She discussed the digitization of the MCV Campus and RPI/VCU yearbooks and noted that they are not fully organized yet but will be available for future archival use. The current searching has good functionality and is useful, but obviously required refinement. She said that Cobblestone also will be digitized as well, with the issues dating from the time of RPI. RPI alumni have been very pleased to learn about this particular item. The Scarab also has been digitized and while not fully searchable, users do have the ability to go directly to a page, to read the issue in its entirety, and to search issues. All these collections are available under the Digital Collection button on the main web page.
The Commonwealth Times will also be made a part of the digital collection at some point in the not too distant future.
It is hoped that this digitization will both preserve the history of VCU and encourage interest and affection for the University by making its history more widely available and known.
The meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.