VCU Libraries Advisory Committee
4th Floor Conference Room, James Branch Cabell Library
April 20, 2012 2:00 to 3:00 pm
Meredith Byrk, Jose Dula, Linda Hughes, Rebecca Segal (for Laura McLay), Whitney Newcomb, Rosemary Farmer (for Peter Nguyen), Lisa Phipps, Faye Prichard (chair), Jeanne Schlesinger, Jayasimha Atulasimha (for Amy Throckmorton), Katheryn Witt
Staff: Dennis Clark, Teresa Knott, Pam Fraga (recording secretary)
Guests: John Glover (VCU Libraries), Yuki Hibben (VCU Libraries), Mike Rawls (VCU Libraries)
Absent with notice
Charlotte Arbogast, Etti Baranoff, Corey Davis, Tehra James, Kathy Kreutzer, Laura McLay, Peter Nguyen, Amy Throckmorton
Review and approval of agenda
The agenda was approved as presented.
Review and approval of minutes from March 2012
The minutes were approved as presented.
ClimateQUAL survey: an institutional assessment tool - online demonstration, handout
Mr. Duke introduced Yuki Hibben, Assistant Head of Special Collections and Archives and Mike Rawls, Chief Financial Officer for VCU Libraries. Ms. Hibben is the chair of the VCU Diversity Committee and Mr. Rawls is a member of the Committee. Mr. Duke explained that the survey’s intended purpose is to assess the VCU Libraries’ status with regard to diversity and work satisfaction.
Ms. Hibben reported that the VCU Diversity Task Force, which began in 2010, called for a standing diversity committee in each unit. In response to this, the VCU Libraries Diversity Committee was established. The Committee determined that it was important to do an assessment of the current institutional climate and culture of the VCU Libraries in order to have a foundation for its work. The Committee selected the ClimateQUAL tool for the assessment. ClimateQUAL was developed by the Association for Research Libraries (ARL) specifically to assess the work culture in academic libraries. She referred the VLAC members to the handout which outlined the process for receiving and analyzing the results. The survey contains over 100 questions and the results will be tabulated by U of MD and ARL.
Mr. Rawls explained how the survey was conducted and mentioned that the biggest concern among staff was the issue of anonymity. The survey offered incentives/prizes to encourage staff to complete the survey, and the final completion rate for the survey was 89%, the third highest completion of this survey tool ever. He said that when the results come back, they will be shared with Administrative Council and Management Council and then made public. The survey will likely be repeated in 2015.
Anticipated library hours for academic year 2012-13 - handout
Mr. Clark referred the Committee to the handout showing the hours for Cabell Library. He pointed out that they represent about a 30% increase in access for students.
Ms. Knott reviewed the hours for Tompkins-McCaw Library and pointed out that the hours for January include an additional 2 weeks.
The hours were approved by acclimation from the entire Committee.
Student Technology Fee (STF): investment plans for 2012-13 - handout
Mr. Duke, in referring to the handout, pointed out the VCU Libraries regularly receives about 15% of the total student fees collected by the University. In recent years the VCU Libraries and VCU Technology Services have combined efforts and resources on many STF-related projects, leveraging funds to increase support for student needs. The hope is that VCU Libraries will receive about $200,000 in STF funds; the total request put forward was $270,000. He then briefly reviewed what each area of the handout would be in terms of materials planned and hopefully purchases.
A motion was made, seconded and passed unanimously to accept the proposed STF purchases as outlined in the handout.
Reports and Discussion
Around-the-clock library service: update after one month - handout
Mr. Clark referred the Committee to the handout which demonstrates the use count in Cabell Library from 2:00 am to 7:00 am. He said the most illustrative number was actually the one showing the number leaving the building, since this represents everyone who had already been inside before 2:00 am. Also, an informal census of folks in the building showed that they were very pleased to have the building open and wanted Starbucks to be open, too. He also mentioned that the Reference Desk is open additional hours as well.
Library faculty hires in the VCU Libraries - handout
Mr. Duke said the enclosed handout was in response to questions asked at a previous meeting as to how many people had been hired this academic year. The handout identified the various new hires and the departments to which they are attached; there are 18 in total, including both faculty and classified and two graduate assistants.
Library renovations and new library building report - online demonstration
Mr. Clark showed a brief PowerPoint presentation which showed the potential new floorplan and furniture layout for the 4th floor of Cabell. He said the types of furniture pieces selected were chosen with the idea that the 4th floor is for silent, individual study. He also mentioned that there is “which chair do you like” station set up on the first floor to allow students to give feedback on several different types of task chairs for this installation.
Regarding the new building, Mr. Clark said that the recently passed budget bill in the Virginia General Assembly included $1.8M for design planning for the new building. He said that an RFP is being prepared now to begin this process. In terms of size, he said that originally the thought had been to increase the size of Cabell by about 80,000 sqft but now the University wants to go for 130,000 sqft with the thought being that it would be best to go for the entire project, not break it down into sections. This larger number includes an 18 ft extension around the entire perimeter of the building, as well as new, multi-floored building over the existing loading dock area.
Ms. Knott then reviewed the various areas under renovation at Tompkins-McCaw Library. These include the multi-media area on the 2nd floor and the acquisition of the TompCAT space. The School of Health Sciences is funding this part of the renovation. Also, the front steps will be completely replaced, probably beginning in May. Facilities has committed to improving the Reading Room, as well as other smaller projects.
New items available for loan to library users
Mr. Clark briefly reviewed the many types of appliances now available, including iPads, Nooks, Kindles, 2 & 3D Camcorders and, most recently, RamBikes, 4 at Cabell and 4 at TML. These bikes are available for one day rental with one day renewals and have become a rather popular item.
Demo an discussion: Slavery and anti-slavery: a transnational archive - online demonstration
Mr. Glover gave a demonstration of the recently acquired database Slavery and Anti-Slavery. VCU Libraries has purchased the first two parts and will purchase the remaining two as soon as they are available. Mr. Glover showed how to find the database and then how to drill down in it using various search criteria; this collection is searchable in many foreign languages as well. The collection allows the students to keep track of their searches and to compile a history. Additionally many of the items in the collection are in the original handwritten text. Mr. Glover pointed out this collection has enough original source material to be very useful for not only undergraduate research but also graduate and faculty study. This is the most sophisticated database on this subject and VCU Libraries is the only holder of it in Virginia.
The meeting adjourned at 3:15 pm.