VCU Libraries Advisory Committee
First Floor Conference Room, Tompkins-McCaw Library
January 27, 2012 2 to 3pm
Corey Davis, Jose Dula, Les Harrison, Linda Hughes, Tehra James, Roy McKelvey, Laura McLay, Whitney Newcomb, Peter Nguyen, Lisa Phipps, Faye Prichard (chair), Jeanne Schlesinger, Amy Throckmorton, Katheryn Witt
Absent with notice:
Charlotte Arbogast, Etti Baranoff, Kathy Kruetzer
Meredith Byrk, Patricia Strong
Staff: Dennis Clark, John Duke, Jeanne Hammer, Teresa Knott, John Ulmschneider, Pam Fraga (recording secretary)
Guests: Jamie Waller, Pharmacy student (guest with Lisa Phipps), Emily Johnson, VCU Libraries
Review and approval of agenda
The agenda was approved as presented.
Review and approval of minutes from November 2011
The minutes were approved as presented.
Committee responses to "Quick Search" feature (Primo)
Mr. Ulmschneider reminded the Committee that Primo had been demonstrated at a previous meeting. He announced that it is now the default search tool (no longer labeled “Quick Search) on the VCU Libraries web page and he hoped to receive feedback from either the Committee members or their students or colleagues as to how this new search tool was being perceived. In discussion, two items were noted:
- EBSCO journals and resources, a major source of research materials, is not fully covered by the Primo database for a number of reasons. However, journals and other materials provided by other sources as well as EBSCO are included, so the materials may be found via those alternate paths.
- It’s a little more difficult to search by disciplines as the initial searches by Primo are so broad. VCU Libraries’ faculty, specifically Laura Gariepy, are working with the University College to assist novice researchers in how to work around this.
24x5 and longer weekend hours for Cabell Library
Mr. Ulmschneider announced that the Provost’s office has agreed to fund a year-long pilot project to provide around-the-clock hours for Cabell Library, including costs for security, housekeeping, help for students, and other associated costs. Mr. Clark added that the new hours will not be across the summer or for intersession periods. The new hours existing hours of operation by 30% and will include extended hours for both the Reference Desk and Special Collections & Archives. VCU Libraries will be adding 3 new classified positions to meet these increased hours in both Circulation and Resource Information Services departments. He and Mr. Ulmschneider both stressed that this is a pilot project. The VCU Libraries will collect data on actual use, which will determine if the pilot will be extended beyond its first year. Mr. Ulmschneider also noted that the Provost has funded only the costs necessary for around-the-clock services. The funding does not address staffing demands for more teaching demands, faculty research assistance, and the like.
Reports and Discussion
VLAC mailing list reminder
Mr. Ulmschneider reminded the Committee that the VCU Libraries has created a listserv for the Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org). All communication via email to VLAC will be done using this listserv. Committee members may respond to the listserv address or send mail to that address if they wish to share comments with other members of the Committee.
Facilities upgrades at Tompkins-McCaw - visual samples/PowerPoint
Ms. Knott reported that there are three areas being renovated at TML and they are:
- Basement – beginning 2/6 this area will be renovated to include new study space. She offered samples of the furnishings and the probable floorplan.
- 2nd floor TOMCAT area – full renovations to the 2nd floor were not approved, Health Sciences may yet assist, but the TOMCAT area will be updated. Ms. Knott showed samples and the floorplan. Ms. James underscored the strong support for this from the Student Government Association.
- Front steps – these will be removed and completely replaced beginning in March, when the cold weather has passed. During renovations, the handicapped entrance will be used by all persons to access the building.
- While not an “upgrade” per se, there will be a new art exhibit at TML, featuring medical illustrative art.
Facilities upgrades at Cabell - handouts/visual demonstration/PowerPoint
Ms. Hammer reported on the following:
- Elevator lobby areas are almost completed; these include the quotes which VLAC helped select. The handout shows which quotes were used on which floors.
- Air curtain in the entrance way has been installed; this was done in December.
- Ceiling lights will be automated to shut off based on use. With the movement to 24hour open, there won’t be much cost savings implemented by this system.
- 4th floor receiving new furniture. The Provost has funded the purchase of new furniture which will facilitate the type of study done on this floor which is often single person use in silence, no group or discussion allowed.
- Housekeeping company is being changed and the new contract will cover increased services and at meeting the needs of 24hr open service.
There was also some discussion about the artwork being done in the main stairwells of Cabell and interest expressed in some form of artwork being done to the back stairwells, too.
Mr. Ulmschneider then addressed the second handout which was developed to help with the education effort for staff working with the General Assembly. It summarizes data that supports the case for a new library on the Monroe Park Campus, and provides additional information about the University’s plans for the building. Ms. James asked if Mr. Ulmschneider would give the SGA the names of the representatives whom they should contact to help in this effort. He said he would send this to her, as well as the specific bill numbers.
Implementation of Alma, software for library enterprise operations
Mr. Duke reported that Alma is the backend product for library enterprise operations – the key “behind the scenes” software necessary to integrate and support acquiring, cataloging, and circulation the VCU Libraries’ collections. This product is available from Ex Libris, a major presence in the research library enterprise software market, and is the next generation in their product line. VCU, along with 10 other universities nationally, has been selected to be in the early adopter program for Alma. Implementation will begin in March and go until August and, if all goes well, to the user it will be seamless. It’s a cloud based system so there are no local servers, with appropriate redundancy in the server network. It should allow new efficiencies and lower operating costs for most processing operations, but it will be some time before staff and managers can make full use of the new capabilities offered by the system. As an early adopter, VCU Libraries should have a great deal of support and focus from Ex Libris as this new system is implemented.
VCU Libraries programs
- One Singular Sensation: The American Jew and the Musical Theater: Opening lecture by Dr. Jack Spiro, Jan. 19, 2012
- Black History Month Lecture, Feb. 22, 7pm - 9pm: Renowned advertising executive Tom Burrell will lecture on his pioneering work in developing positive advertising for the African-American population
- Southern Film Festival, Feb. 24-25
- March 22: Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Yusef Komunyakaa
- March 29: The 27th Annual Brown-Lyons Lecture, "Jerusalem: A Tale of Three Cities"
Mr. Ulmschneider reviewed these briefly, noting that the January 19th event was a huge success with over 500 attendees, and that an equally large crowd is expected for Dr. Spiro’s lecture on March 29th.
Demo and discussion: Community of Science Scholar Universe and related tools - online demonstration
The Community of Science Scholar Universe is a database to be used to find and create funding and scholarly support from others in the university communities. Ms. Johnson, Education Research Librarian at VCU, began by showing the Committee how to access this resource on the main VCU Libraries’ web page. She then showed how the Community of Science Pivot link, a combination of their other existing databases, makes searching more efficient and identifies which university the user is searching at any given time. The user can set up an account and can then track funding and colleague availability for any given project. One can search by text, sponsor or subject to find collaborators and then communicate with them more easily.
Ms. Prichard reminded the Committee that the next two meetings are February 17th and March 23rd.
The meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.