Humanities & Sciences Library Committee
4th Floor Conference Room, Cabell Library
December 2, 2011 3:00 to 4:00 pm
Denis Demchenko, Sandra Gramling, Eric Hazelrigg, Laura McLay (Chair), George Munro, Archana Pathak, Bernardo Piciche, Rebecca Segal, A.J. Shriar, James Terner, Clarence Thomas, Fang-shen Wu, Linda Zyzniewski
Staff: Dennis Clark, Pam Fraga (recording secretary)
Guest: John Duke, Senior Associate University Librarian
Mr. Clark explained that Mr. Ulmschneider (University Librarian) was detained at a meeting out of town and that he (Clark) would be serving in his place for this meeting.
Review and approval of agenda
The agenda was approved as presented.
Review and approval of minutes from September 2011
The minutes were approved as presented.
Comments and evaluation of Primo public beta ("Quick Search" tab on VCU Libraries homepage) - online demonstration
Mr. Clark reminded the Committee that VCU Libraries is instituting the use of a new discovery tool called Primo, which is what is implemented when the user selects “Quick Search” on the VCU Libraries homepage. This new tool allows an immediate search of all available and participating databases while giving the user an indication of what databases have been called up and what other options for searching are possible, using the left hand column of options. He then demonstrated how to use this and how to drill down using several of the search options offered. He asked the Committee members to try this option and to please send their feedback to the staff. This would allow for refinement prior to the official rollout next year.
During the discussion which followed, several points were raised:
- Selection of which databases are included is determined by agreement between the publishers and the provider of the Primo.
- Faculty would likely find, for their own research, that searching in the traditional manner by disciplines would be more beneficial for them.
- Primo is best suited to the novice researcher.
- Concern was expressed about the new student being overwhelmed by the volume of data retrieved and presented to them. Mr. Clark showed how the student can easily refine the search to more specifically focused detail using the left hand panel.
- Concern was expressed about how to obtain additional data for use in class presentation, such as video or images. Mr. Clark showed how this type of material is easily found and noted that Primo brings all relevant information to the user without regard to type of medium it is. This means that text and video and sound, etc, are all presented equally.
- Feedback on this tool is reviewed by in-house personnel of VCU Libraries, not the vendors of Primo. This allows personalization for use by VCU students and faculty.
Holiday hours for VCU Libraris facilities; inclement weather policy- handout
Mr. Clark referenced the handout, which was a listing of the hours of operation for Cabell Library. He then explained that every effort will be made to keep the library buildings open during inclement weather, whether or not the University is open, taking into account the safety of personnel and students. He also said that the status of open or closed will be posted on the VCU Libraries’ Facebook page and on the University’s page.
Reports and Discussion
VCU Libraries space study report
Mr. Clark had a copy of the final report and passed it around for the Committee members to review. He said that it identifies a need for 82,000 sq. ft. to be added to Cabell, several thousand more than the University had expected. It is hoped that sufficient funding will be raised by next summer to start the design phase. Mr. Duke noted that an RFP process will be used to select the architectural firm for this project. He also added that there will still be a need for remote storage as the Libraries continually has to move non-critical materials off-sight to make room for student study space.
Lending mobile devices: a new service provided by VCU Libraries
Mr. Clark told the Committee that VCU Libraries has begun lending such items as iPads, 3 D pocket cameras, Kindles, and Nooks. These are available for anywhere from 3 to 7 days depending on the item. They should be available for circulation in January. This service will be advertised in the TelegRam and on the VCU Libraries homepage and undoubtedly by word of mouth. They will be available to all faculty and students.
Integration of Visual Resource Center into Cabell Libraru: final status report
Mr. Duke recapped how VCU Libraries came to have the collection of slides which comprised the VRC. He then said that most of the collection has been reviewed, those to be retained have been identified and will eventually be digitized, and the remaining will be offered back to the various departments and schools of VCU. He also said that ArtStor is developing a product called Shared Shelf which will allow VCU Libraries to upload its digitized materials for use by students and faculty and will make them searchable. He said that the room previously used to house the VRC is now empty and being repurposed.
Stairwell art for Cabell Library
Mr. Clark said that VCU Libraries had been approached by the Painting and Printmaking Department about a student how has asked to produce art work for the stairwell between the first and second floors of Cabell Library. This student is very gifted and her work is quite understated but thought-provoking. Her request was to have the work be temporary but VCU Libraries is hopeful that it will up at least through the coming semester.
VCU Libraries programs:
- VCU Libraries Annual Book Sale, Oct. 24-28
- Grave Robbing, Goblins and Ghouls: Anatomical Education in 19th Century Richmond, presentation and MCV Campus tour, Oct. 31
- Before and Beyond Birmingham: A Conversation with Wyatt Tee Walker, Nov. 11
- Cabell First Novelist Festival, Nov. 15-16
- “A Fine Romance: Jewish Songwriters, American Songs, 1910-1965”: Exhibit opening lecture with Dr. Jack Spiro, Jan. 19, 2012
Mr. Clark touched briefly on each of the items listed but then went into some detail on the last bullet, noting that it is a traveling exhibit and the guest speaker here at VCU will be Dr. Jack Spiro, who has been the lecturer for the Brown-Lyons Lectures, hosted by VCU Libraries, for the past 25 years. He added that there will be several events associated with this songwriters program including a recital hosted by the School of the Arts.
Mr. Clark said that he wanted to give the Committee some information based on a question raised at the last meeting regarding the database GeoBase. He said that the publishers had decided to remove GeoBase from the suite purchased by VIVA and VIVA had been unable to obtain it from any other source; it’s far too expensive to be purchased as a stand-alone product.
The second item was concerning MLA job listing. This is available through the English department, not VCU Libraries. It is published several times a year.
Demo and discussion: VCU digital journal prototype - online demonstration
Mr. Duke began his report by saying that VCU Libraries had been approached by professors Josh Eckhardt and Sarah Meacham about the possibility of publishing their works on the British experience in early Virginia. In looking into how this could be done, the staff has implemented the software D-Space, used for thesis and dissertation publishing. He showed a mock-up of how this might look and how it would be possible to publish works by faculty in what would become a peer reviewed electronic journal. While several departments in the University have a modified way to publish their faculties’ works, these works are not searchable and there is no archival guarantee. Mr. Duke said that it might be possible for this digital journal prototype, using D-Space, to become, in essence, the VCU press for faculty publishing, especially since it will be possible to offer archiving and open access. This produce may be available early next year.
The next meeting of the Humanities & Sciences Library Committee will be January 27, 2012.
The meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.