Humanities & Sciences Library Committee
4th Floor Conference Room, James Branch Cabell Library
December 3, 2010 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Bonnie Davis (chair), Antonio Espinoza, Eric Hazelrigg, Laura McLay, Bernardo Pichiche, Rebecca Segal, Fang-shen Wu
Staff: Dan Ream, John Ulmschneider
Guest: John Glover (Reference Librarian for the Humanities and Reference Collection Coordinator)
Recording Secretary: Antonia FD Vassar
Review and approval of agenda
John Ulmschneider noted the addition of the VCU 2020 recalibration initiative to the agenda. The agenda was approved as presented.
Review and approval of minutes from September 2010
The minutes were approved as presented.
Video materials loan policy (handout) - John Ulmschneider
The VCUArts Library Committee raised the need for revision of the video materials loan policy. The Humanities and Sciences Committee reviewed the suggested changes.
Rebecca Segal inquired about the use of backup media to supplement the current collection. John Ulmschneider responded that due to copyright restrictions, many collection items cannot be transferred from obsolete to contemporary media. The VCU Libraries regularly reviews items in the media collection, and sometimes re-purchases already-held items in more current formats.
Bonnie Davis inquired about overdue fines of for media resources, and John Ulmschneider directed the committee to the website: http://www.library.vcu.edu/circpriv/fines.html.
Fang-shen Wu asked if the proposed changes could be further modified to allow longer check-out periods, as he feels the proposed changes (3 days undergraduate/graduate, 1 week faculty) still do not allow enough time. He also asked about usage statistics. John UImschneider responded that in order to allow access to the collections for the most number of students, and in order to accommodate classroom support, loan times longer than the proposed changes would be difficult. This is also why the VCU Libraries is moving towards more streaming content on the web. The usage statistics for media resources is high, and in response to Rebecca Segal’s question, it was noted that the current VCU Libraries media holdings are 4,700 DVDs and 8,500 VHS: http://www.library.vcu.edu/jbc/mrs/collections.html
John Ulmschneider will report back to the committee regarding this matter.
VCU Libraries benefits for faculty partners - Dan Ream
Dan Ream updated the committee on the plans to provide library access for faculty partners. The benefits for spouses and domestic partners likely will be similar to those for community borrowers: 10 items for 28 day loan period, no inter-library loan. The idea is still in the proposal stage, and the VCU Libraries is reviewing similar policies at peer institutions.
Lost and Found policy (handout) - John Ulmschneider
After reviewing the new Lost and Found policy, the committee voted in approval. The policy itself is very simple, but it is implemented through staff procedures for various categories of lost and found items. The procedures cover everything from intake and logging of items, to how to look for owner contact information, to disbursement of unclaimed items.
Reports and Discussion
Use of Cabell Library and group study reservation system - John Ulmschneider
Cabell Library has seen record visitor numbers during the fall semester (307,000 visitors in October, over 1 million visits in the fall semester). The new high-water mark is in large part due to the hugely popular Cabell Learning Commons. However, even with the additional seating in the Learning Commons, the demand for resources and facilities still exceeds availability. One result of the crowding is an increase in complaints from students and others about non-academic use of computers, for example the use of Facebook on library computers. The VCU Libraries does not monitor how students use its computers or collections, but it’s clear that uses that sometimes appear non-academic in nature might well be related to exploring information or communicating with faculty or other students. Facebook is certainly used this way.
The laptop loan program continues to be a success, with an average of 148 loans per day during the fall semester.
The door counts discussed are most likely on the low end of actual numbers, as the current scanners undercount large groups of people. The VCU Libraries will be replacing the scanners with more accurate infrared door counters at the beginning of the spring semester.
John Ulmschneider noted the heavy use of the new group study rooms: 42,000 students since the new group study reservation system debuted earlier in the semester.
VCU2020 recalibration initiative (handout) - John Ulmschneider
Committee members were encouraged to visit the VCU2020 recalibration website: http://future.vcu.edu/
John Ulmschneider explained the importance of ARL rankings in the overall VCU2020 strategic plan. He emphasized that to achieve larger university goals, VCU will need to strengthen its library funding.
Committee members discussed the recalibration meetings, and Dan Ream and John UImschneider updated the committee on the work of Dan and himself with the work groups responsible for writing the revised VCU2020 strategic themes.
Bonnie Davis asked for more details regarding the proposed new Center for Humanities. John Ulmschneider will ask Executive Associate Dean of the College Catherine Ingrassia to update the Committee with more information.
Announcements: public fax service; cultural program events, 2010-11; annual Friends of the Library Book Sale - John Ulmschneider
Due to the large number of requests by patrons, a public, pay-for-service fax machine has been installed on the first floor. Use has been heavier than expected.
The VCU Libraries sponsored several events throughout the fall semester, including the Levis poetry event and Cabell First Novelist Festival. The events enjoyed strong attendance.
Upcoming events include:
- January 24 – 28, 2011, Forgotten Roots: Islam in Early America exhibition, with lecture and discussion in the 2nd floor Learning Commons multi-purpose room on January 25.
- February 10, 2011, Melissa Harris Perry (formerly Lacewell), Black History Month speaker, held in the Singleton Center. (http://melissaharrisperry.com/)
- March 24, 2011, Jack Spiro’s annual Brown-Lyons lecture in the Singleton Center. This year’s topic: “How Jewish was Jesus?”
The annual Friends of the Library book sale was a great success, raising over $17,000. This record-setting total was due to increased publicity and a new dedicated location that allowed the Friends to offer nearly all of its book stock for sale at the same time and place.
Demo: LibGuides research literature guides - John Glover
Students continue to ask for 24-hour access to the VCU Libraries. One way to meet part of this need is to create more online access and research guides on the VCU Libraries website, through products such as LibQuides. John Glover guided the committee through the new LibGuides pages. http://guides.library.vcu.edu/home. Users can search by subjects, courses, or VCU Groups and Programs. The site is also formatted for mobile devices.
VCU Libraries homepage for mobile devices: http://m.library.vcu.edu/
LibGuides site formatted for mobile devices: http://guides.library.vcu.edu/mobile.php
Bonnie Davis asked how information about LibGuides was distributed to VCU departments, and John Glover responded that subject librarians generally contact their departmental liaisons. Information on LibGuides and other new VCU Libraries resources and programs is also posted on the Library News page, and the VCU Libraries Facebook page.
There was no additional new business, and the meeting was adjourned at 4:15 p.m.
Antonia FD Vassar
January 27, 2011