Library Committee Handbook

Executive Committee



Reference Services Implementation Team Draft Report

 

 

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

 

Summary of recommendations and actions

2

Background and guiding principles

2-3

Definitions

3-4

Recommendations

Location of the physical reference desk

Name for new unit and position description for head

Charge and composition of Reference Services Committee

Staffing model

Referral model

4-9

Assessment plan

10-11

Timeline

12

Implementation Team members

13

 

 

Appendix 1: Implementation Charge

14-16

Appendix 2: Implementation Team Process

17

Appendix 3: Position description of Head, Research and Scholarly Services unit

18-19

Appendix 4: Proposed Bylaws language for establishment of Reference Services Committee

20-21

 

 

Summary of recommendations and actions

1.      The physical reference desk should initially be located in the space currently occupied by the Information Services Desk.

2.      The name of the new unit will be Research and Scholarly Services; a position description was created for the new head.

3.      The Team determined a charge and composition of the Reference Services Committee, but would like input from the Faculty.

4.      The Team recommends that the level of service at each of the reference desks and the specialty reference desks should be determined using a combination of the level of questions received by aligning the READ Scale with the level of activity at each desk.

5.      Each desk will specify a minimum number of scheduled reference service hours that personnel belonging to the desk will provide.

6.      Librarians in Research and Scholarly Services should be trained and available to staff desks outside of the Main Library as needed. The Team strongly encourages librarians outside of Research and Scholarly Services to participate in staffing other desks and to participate in the cross training.

7.      The Reference Services Committee will be responsible for coordinating the staffing and training plans for the five desks (not including the specialty desks), the communication of levels of services, as well as assessing the success of the staffing and training model.

8.      The Implementation Team recommends that all subject specialists participate in virtual reference that is appropriate for their clientele, including staffing the virtual desk.

9.      The Implementation Team developed a basic set of recommendations and requirements for a fully featured and web-accessible referral database to be constructed by (or on behalf of) the Reference Services Committee. 

 

Background and guiding principles

Reference interactions across the University Library have changed dramatically in the past decade. The number of in-person interactions have decreased dramatically. At the same time, the number of questions in all subject areas that arrive through digital means have increased substantially and represent an increasingly greater proportion of all reference activity. Increasingly complex questions are being asked, and more specialist librarians are working with their users in consultations (both in the University Library facilities and embedded office hours) and over e-mail. Staffing patterns have changed more slowly. Meanwhile, graduate assistant and student assistant funding has been reduced and retirements and voluntary separations have reduced the numbers of faculty and staff available to provide reference services to our users. In response, several service points have reduced hours while others rely on non-professionals to staff hours when physical libraries are open but no reference service is available. The Reference Services NSM Team undertook the task of developing a robust and sustainable model for providing reference service across the Library. That model seeks to enhance access to the subject expertise that is available throughout the University Library while increasing our capacity to provide quality reference service to all library users, whether they engage with the Library's physical or virtual presence.

 

The November 15, 2010 Reference Services NSM Team Report made recommendations in 5 areas:

 

1.      Restructure the University Library's reference service desks into four physical reference desks and one virtual reference desk to handle basic (tier-1) and mid-level (tier 2) questions. Units currently providing circulation and tier 3 research services will continue to do so

2.      Create a Reference Services Committee with members from units throughout the University Library to address service standards, training, implementation of new technologies and modes of service, search systems, and assessment

3.      Form a unit comprised of librarians, staff and GAs involved in providing basic infrastructure for providing research support across the University Library and made up of members of the current Reference, Research and Government Information Services (RRGIS), Scholarly Commons and Web Technologies and Content Creation units

4.      Define, support and recognize best practices for subject and other specialists engaged in reference consultations and related activities supporting tier-3 reference work that occurs away from a reference desk

5.      Support a successful implementation through ongoing assessment of outcomes and a robust training and cross-training program.

 

It has been the task of the Reference Services Implementation Team to develop the plan that will see these recommendations come to fruition. Assumptions guiding the work include the following:

1.      The team would not review or re-open discussion on directions recommended in the Planning Team report, but would shape the way in which those directions are to be pursued.

2.      Reference service is a Library-wide priority and, in the best interests of users, operates from a seamless, Library-wide perspective. Any recommendations made by the Implementation Team should incorporate collaborative mechanisms that will ensure such an outcome.

 

Definitions

1.      Hub - One of three major reference service points in the Library: 1) Multi-subject reference services, 2) physical sciences and engineering reference services, 3) and life sciences reference services. Specific library units are grouped within each of these hubs.

2.      Desk - A physical or virtual desk that delivers the reference services of each hub: 1) Multi-subject reference services consists of the Main Library desk, the Undergraduate Library reference desk, and the virtual reference desk; 2) physical sciences and engineering consists of the Grainger reference desk; 3) life sciences consists of the Funk reference desk.

3.      Specialty Reference Desks - Specialty Reference Desks consist of the following six units: Architecture and Art Library, Map and Geography Library, Music and Performing Arts Library, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, and the University Archives.

4.      READ scale - A six-point scale tool developed for recording the effort, knowledge, and skills utilized by library staff during a reference transaction.

5.      Service hours - Service hours are defined as in-person desk shifts, embedded hours, virtual shifts, and consultation/office hours. These hours represent a regular time when patrons who need to locate a subject/other specialist can expect to find the person, in addition to sending questions by email and other asynchronous communications.

6.      Reference personnel - Reference personnel includes library faculty, graduate assistants, and staff (including some students) whose job assignments and training includes reference services.

 

Recommendations

Location of the physical reference desk

 

The Implementation Team considered four locations on the first floor and two locations on the second floor. The following criteria were used in making a recommendation:

 

High priority criteria:

 

1.      The desk needs to be easy to find. Directions should be easy to give and the location easy to map.

2.      The desk area should have adequate space for conducting side-by-side reference interactions and consultations, and should allow for quick access to nearby public computers.

3.      The desk should be in reasonable proximity to support services such as circulation and reserves, scanning stations, and public printers.

4.      The desk should be either co-located or in the proximity of other services we are building, such as the Scholarly Commons. Integration of services may be warranted in some cases.

 

Additional criteria:

 

A.     The desk should be located in reasonable physical proximity to the virtual reference desk, facilitating collegial support.

B.     Desk placement should consider the need for quiet space versus the kind of space that can tolerate the background noise that comes with the activity of a public working area.

 

The Team determined that the second floor Information Services Desk area is the best option at this time, as it meets criteria 1, 2, 3, and B.  Relatively minor, low-cost changes (such as the availability of more spaces between public workstations to facilitate consultation and utilizing the two built-in desks for consultation) could be made to improve those functions. Adjacent office space such as rooms 202 and 203 (currently used for other purposes) might be explored for allied services such as the Scholarly Commons and the virtual reference service (4 and A). Additionally, having the desk on the second floor allows the new reference operation to have an identity that distinguishes it from the specialty services and tier 3 (and up) services (e.g., children's literature collections, curriculum materials, business information, etc.) that exist or are planned on the first floor.

 

The Implementation Team would like to emphasize that this recommendation should be revisited on a regular basis as services in the Library change and develop.

 

Name for new unit and position description for head

 

The new unit will include current members of RRGIS, Scholarly Commons, and faculty in the Office of Web Technologies and Content Coordination. The implementation team considered a number of names for the new unit (including Research Support Services, Main Library Reference, Researcher Support Services, Research and Scholarly Support Services, Research and Technology Integration Services, Researcher and Scholar Support Services, Research and Scholarly Services). The team chose Research and Scholarly Services as best reflecting the nature of the service, while also being concise.

A position description was created for the head of the unit (see Appendix 3). The position will be filled at the Associate or Full Professor level. As noted in the description, the vision of the Research and Scholarly Services is to be the University's gateway to information and research services and instruction in an academic research environment. The gateway will connect the knowledge that is crucial to developing research competencies through collaborative work with other scholarly support systems in the Library and on campus.

Charge and composition of Reference Services Committee

As the primary group for deliberation on Library reference services policies, the Reference Services Committee (RSC) will advise the Associate University Librarian for Services and will consider the following to be within its purview:

1.      All issues pertaining to reference, include service standards, training, investigation and implementation of new technologies as well as emerging modes of reference (e.g., embedded reference); search systems (e.g., Easy Search, social networking); best practices for referrals; on-going reference professional development; and, library-wide assessment practices.

2.      The group will also collaborate with heads of all reference desks in order to disseminate ideas of RSC and adapt them to diverse user groups.

3.      Coordinate a common training, assessment, and skills program for core reference services that are shared across all reference desks. Training for reference in specific disciplines will also be handled by individual reference desks, for example the physical sciences at Grainger. The RSC will work with the Staff Development and Training Coordinator and the Library Assessment Working Group in these areas.

4.      Conduct assessment of the outcomes of the new reference service model and provide on-going assessment of trends in patrons' reference needs.

 

The membership of the Reference Services Committee shall be comprised of one tenured/tenure-track faculty representative chosen by and from within each of the following nine divisions: Arts & Humanities, Central Public Services, Area Studies, Law, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Special Collections, and Technical Services. The Staff Training and Development Coordinator will serve as an ex-officio member. Up to two interns may serve on the committee. Members chosen by and from divisions shall serve for two-year staggered terms with possible reappointment for an additional term. Intern members shall serve a one-year term. The chair of the committee will be elected from within and function as a rotating position. This person will automatically be placed as an ex officio member of the Services Advisory Committee.

The Team notes that there is a tension between wanting a smaller-sized, more nimble group and the desire for reasonable representation. Team members agree that there needs to be a systematic way of keeping the committee vibrant and effective. The Team will seek input on this point at a faculty meeting and at a forum scheduled for later in the month. To aid in that discussion, further detail of Team deliberation may help. Initially, the subcommittee working on this recommendation decided that membership on the Reference Services Committee should resemble CDC, with one member from each division with the exception of Law.  The larger group felt that Law should be included.  There was extensive discussion about the options for composition of the Reference Services Committee, but divisional representation seemed to be the most equitable. The Technical Services representative might be drawn from Library IT, personnel dealing with licensing issues, or others who can contribute due to the role they have in administering the back end of reference services. The ex officio member will be the Staff Development and Training Coordinator.

 

Staffing model

 

The charge to the Implementation Team was to develop a detailed staffing model for shared reference services, including virtual and physical desks and other supporting activities, as defined in the Planning Team Report:

 

a.       The supporting activities (i.e., regular hours at a designated physical and/or virtual desk as well as at least one of the following: training reference personnel, advisory services or assessment, and/or design and maintenance of online access and delivery systems) as defined in the Planning Team Report (page 7) should provide a framework for defining expectations for contributing to shared reference and research support services.

b.      Ensure that both the physical and virtual reference services are adequately staffed and that the staffing model is flexible enough to adapt to shifts in the proportion of questions coming in through different modes of interaction.

c.       Ensure that the staffing model creates opportunities for GAs to have a rich pre-professional experience, form mentoring relationships with librarians, and receive robust training in reference skills as well as subject expertise where appropriate.

d.      Suggest a model for cross-training of librarians and training of graduate assistants to enable them to effectively answer Tier 2 questions in the full range of subject areas covered by the reference desks where they will be working.

e.       Consider cross-cutting appointments for librarians and graduate students (e.g., RRGIS/UGL librarians with subject liaison responsibilities, new subject specialist hires with explicit responsibilities to contribute to shared reference and research support  services).

 

In response to this charge, the Implementation Team recommends that the level of service at each of the reference desks (Main Library, Undergraduate Library, Virtual, Grainger, ACES Funk Family Library) as well as the specialty reference desks (Architecture and Art Library, Map and Geography Library, Music and Performing Arts Library, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, and the University Archives) should be determined using a combination of the level of questions received by aligning the READ Scale with the level of activity at each desk. In order to provide consistent services and coverage for these desks, each of the desks will communicate the level of service available during open hours in order to establish defined service expectations that can be referred to throughout the Library. For example, the Main Library Reference Desk may specify that it is staffed to answer READ Scale questions 1-3 during the entire period that the Main Library is open, but that it is staffed to answer READ Scale 4 questions only during specific periods. Staffing is expected to encompass a combination of librarians, staff, and graduate assistants referred to as Reference Personnel.

 

While the Implementation Team did not feel able to specify the amount of time that each librarian should spend staffing a desk, we do expect that each desk will specify a minimum number of scheduled reference service hours that personnel belonging to the desk will provide. "Service hours" are defined as in-person desk shifts, embedded hours, virtual shifts, and consultation/office hours. These hours represent a regular time when patrons who need to locate a subject/other specialist can expect to find the person, in addition to sending questions by email and other asynchronous communications. For those Reference Personnel working a desk, it should be understood that a minimum number of hours per week is necessary in order to keep all skills current.

 

Due to the increasingly busy nature of virtual reference services, a Virtual Reference Desk was created to monitor reference questions via chat and text. This desk provides a unique opportunity to mentor and train graduate assistants in providing reference as well as a collaborative environment in which to answer virtual questions. The desk is currently housed in the Undergraduate Library. The Implementation Team recommends that all subject specialists participate in virtual reference that is appropriate for their clientele, including staffing the virtual desk.

 

As specified in the Planning Team Report, librarians attached to a desk will also be expected to contribute service hours as discussed above, in addition to one other reference service contribution:

 

  • Cross-training of personnel who provide in-person or virtual desk hours for this service; or
  • Providing advisory services to the administration of this service, including participation on research services advisory discussions, participation in assessment efforts, and overall evaluation and improvement of services provided through Multi-Subject Research Services; or
  • Design and maintenance of online access and delivery systems to support reference, such as IM Collaborator, Desk Tracker, Easy Search, etc.

 

The librarians attached to each hub are those in the following libraries:

 

Multi-subject Research Services (Main, UGL, and Virtual desks)

                        Applied Health Sciences Library

                        Business and Economics Library

                        Classics Library

                        Communications Library

                        Education and Social Science Library

                        Global Studies Virtual Library

                        History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library

                        International and Area Studies Library

                        Labor and Industrial Relations Virtual Library

                        Languages and Literatures Library

                        Library and Information Science Virtual Library

                        Research and Scholarly Services

                        Undergraduate Library

 

Physical Sciences and Engineering Reference Desk

                        Chemistry Library

                        Grainger Library, including Physics and Geology

                        Mathematics Library

 

Life Sciences Reference Desk

                        ACES Library

                        Biology Library

                        Biotechnology Virtual Library

                        Veterinary Medicine Library

 

In addition, the Implementation Team recommends that librarians in Research and Scholarly Services should be trained and available to staff desks outside of the Main Library as needed in order to facilitate cross training of reference personnel including graduate assistants staffing those desks. The Implementation Team strongly encourages librarians outside of Research and Scholarly Services to participate in staffing other desks and to participate in the cross training.

 

Two examples are offered as an aid in understanding how the staffing model might look. As a subject specialist attached to the Multi-Subject Research Services Hub, Sue Searing will continue her embedded services at GSLIS and also serve on the Virtual Reference Desk.  In addition, Sue will be involved in Library-wide reference assessment efforts.  As a librarian in the Research and Scholarly Services department, Kathleen Kern will work a defined number hours per week at the Information Desk and also plan and deliver cross-training programs to reference personnel Library-wide.

 

The Reference Services Committee will be responsible for coordinating the staffing and training plans for the five desks (not including the specialty desks), the communication of levels of services, as well as assessing the success of the staffing and training model.

Referral Model

 

The team developed a preliminary spreadsheet model as a recommendation for an initial referral list. It was derived from the existing list of collection development responsibilities. An additional, more fully featured and web-accessible referral database should be constructed by the Reference Services Committee.  In addition to subject expertise, the list should include expertise in software, languages, and formats. 

 

  • The group recommends a database structure for referrals that will allow for multiple types of searching and presentation of results
  • Search types include:
    • Area of specialty (both subject and software/other expertise)
    • Search by person
    • Search by unit/service point (e.g. view all specialties that can be referred to the Scholarly Commons)

 

An area of specialty entry will include the following (as applicable for each area of specialty):

  • Contact people for that area (including links to profiles described below)
  • Units/service points that provide reference for that area
  • Phone numbers for both
  • Email for both
  • Office/Unit location information
  • Hours of availability
  • Preferred contact method
  • Links to relevant subject and course guides

 

A personal profile entry will include the following (as applicable):

  • Name
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Office Location(s)
  • Office hours/hours of availability/embedded service hours/etc.
  • List of subject/other specialty areas
  • Preferred method of contact for referrals
  • Links to relevant subject and course guides
  • These profiles could be linked to the main instance of LibGuides as well

 

 

 

Assessment Plan

The assessment plan was developed in collaboration with members of the Library Assessment Working Group.

 

Anticipated Outcomes

  • Increased referrals
  • More cross-training and understanding of multiple disciplines
  • Increased ability to work collaboratively on interdisciplinary questions

Timeline

  • Management data (e.g. anything recorded as part of a reference transaction) will be recorded beginning Fall semester, August 2011; much of this data is already recorded on an ongoing basis using Desk Tracker.
  • Initial surveys, interviews, and similar types of feedback will be collected before the end of Summer semester, August 2012.

Data to Collect

An assessment plan for reference and information services across the Library should include:

1.      Assessment of user satisfaction with services provided

2.      Assessment of changes in the mode of service employed by users

3.      Assessment of the type, content, and complexity of questions asked through available services

4.      Assessment of the conduct of reference and information service interactions (face-to-face and/or digital) for accuracy, adherence to best practices outlined in the literature

5.      Assessment of the alignment of available human resources and technology tools with reference and information service needs

An assessment plan for the Reference New Service Model should include:

1.      Assessment of continuing education needs for faculty, staff, and students providing reference and information service

2.      Assessment of satisfaction among participating faculty, staff, and students with continuing education opportunities provided

3.      Assessment of the "referral" process

4.      Assessment of user satisfaction at individual service points, especially around key concerns such as ability to consult with an expert (when needed), successful referral to an expert (when appropriate), availability of assistance when needed

Method of Assessment

The Reference Services Committee will collect the data from Desk Tracker and analyze it in conjunction with (and the support of) the Library Assessment Working Group.  Interview data will analyze how the implementation model has worked for staff, and quantitative data can be compared to pre-implementation stats.  It is recommended that the READ scale be implemented across major service hubs, and extended to all reference services, to provide a common assessment tool for analyzing difficulty of questions.

Appendix: Current Data Points Collected Through Desk Tracker[1]

  • Number of interactions
  • Patron Type
  • Staff type
  • Length of interaction
  • Mode of communication (in person, email, chat, etc.)
  • Service Point
  • READ scale (degree of difficulty)
  • Referrals (Origin and destination points)
  • Question description

Timeline for implementation

May 2011                                August 2011                           January 2012                                     May 2012                                August 2012

Establish Research and Scholarly Services Unit

*Draft initial RSS service program profile and draft position description for unit head

*Conduct search for unit head

*New unit head begins

*Review of position descriptions for faculty and staff in RSS component units (RRGIS, etc.)

*Alignment of responsibilities for faculty and staff in RSS component-based on RSS service program profile

Establish Reference Services Committee

*Draft charge based on recommendation from Reference Service Implementation Team

*Identify membership and appoint Chair

*Begin coordination of tasks below

Establish Reference NSM

*Core service training, e.g., the reference interview, use of available resources, e.g., Reference Rolodex, use of READ Scale, use of digital reference applications

*"Basic training" for reference in specialized areas, e.g., business, government information, humanities, social sciences, physical sciences and engineering, life sciences, health science, music information, art information, digital collections (allowing all desks to provide "basic reference assistance" across all areas)

*Development of referral protocols (and related tools, e.g., "experts directory")

* Development of appropriate signage and other documentation

*Staged implementation of staffing model across hub and specialty desks

*Implementation of staffing model for virtual reference desk

*Full implementation of staffing and training model across hub and specialty desks and move to implement remaining desks (ESSL, Communications and HPNL)

*Assessment program (ongoing)

 

Implementation Team Members

Frances Harris, Team Leader

Pat Allen

Merinda Hensley

Nancy O'Brien

Sue Searing

Sarah Shreeves

David Ward

Scott Walter, Administrative Liaison

Appendix 1

 

Reference Services Implementation Team Charge

 

The November 15, 2010 Reference Services NSM Team Report made recommendations in 5 areas:

 

1.      Restructure the University Library's reference service desks into four physical reference desks and one virtual reference desk to handle basic (tier-1) and mid-level (tier 2) questions. Units currently providing circulation and tier 3 research services will continue to do so

2.      Create a Reference Services Committee with members from units throughout the University Library to address service standards, training, implementation of new technologies and modes of service, search systems, and assessment

3.      Form a unit comprised of librarians, staff and GAs involved in providing basic infrastructure for providing research support across the University Library and made up of members of the current Reference, Research and Government Information Services (RRGIS), Scholarly Commons and Web Technologies and Content Creation units

4.      Define, support and recognize best practices for subject and other specialists engaged in reference consultations and related activities supporting tier-3 reference work that occurs away from a reference desk

5.      Support a successful implementation through ongoing assessment of outcomes (see Appendix 4 for a list of considerations) and a robust training and cross-training program.

 

The Implementation Team was charged to move forward with these recommendations.

 

Charge

 

1.      Define a process and timeline for transitioning to one virtual and four physical reference desks  (Main Library, Undergraduate Library, Physical Sciences [Grainger], and Life Sciences [Funk]), considering the following issues:

a.       Given that the implementation will be staged (Education and Social Science, History, Philosophy, and Newspaper and Communications will not be included in the shared desks until after Fall 2011), how can reference services supporting all disciplines, including virtual reference services which support a steadily increasing proportion of Tier 2 questions, be effectively staffed during the transition period?

b.      How should staffing patterns be changed to sustain circulation and/or Tier 1 service desks in units where librarians will be contributing to shared reference services and related supporting activities?

c.       How can successful reference services in existing units inform the services offered at the consolidated reference desks?

2.      Develop a detailed staffing model for shared reference services, including virtual and physical desks and other supporting activities, as defined in the Planning Team Report. 

a.       The supporting activities (i.e., regular hours at a designated physical and/or virtual desk as well as at least one of the following:  training reference personnel, advisory services or assessment, and/or design and maintenance of online access and delivery systems) as defined in the Planning Team Report (page 7) should provide a framework for defining expectations for contributing to shared reference and research support services.

b.      Ensure that both the physical and virtual reference services are adequately staffed and that the staffing model is flexible enough to adapt to shifts in the proportion of questions coming in through different modes of interaction.

c.       Ensure that the staffing model creates opportunities for GAs to have a rich pre-professional experience, form mentoring relationships with librarians, and receive robust training in reference skills as well as subject expertise where appropriate.

d.      Suggest a model for cross-training of librarians and training of graduate assistants to enable them to effectively answer Tier 2 questions in the full range of subject areas covered by the reference desks where they will be working.

e.       Consider cross-cutting appointments for librarians and graduate students (e.g., RRGIS/UGL librarians with subject liaison responsibilities, new subject specialist hires with explicit responsibilities to contribute to shared reference and research support services)

3.      Define the requirements for creating an online knowledgebase to support a robust referral model that connects users to appropriate specialists with subject, technology, or other relevant expertise throughout the University Library.

4.      Determine the name for the proposed new unit comprised of librarians, staff and GAs involved in providing basic infrastructure for providing research support across the University Library and made up of members of the current Reference, Research and Government Information Services (RRGIS), Scholarly Commons and Web Technologies and Content Creation units.

5.      Draft a position description for the Head of the new unit.

6.      Draft the charge and suggested composition for the Reference Services Committee. The Chair of this group should have and ex officio appointment on the Services Advisory Committee.

7.      Determine the data and methods for assessing the new reference service model in consultation with the Library Assessment Working Group.

8.      Determine the optimum location of the physical reference desk in the Main Library. The Planning team has formulated several ideas for possible locations and will be passing that information along to the Implementation Team.

A draft report is due to the University Librarian on March 30 and a final report is due April 30.

 

Proposed Membership:

Frances Harris, Team Leader

Pat Allen

Merinda Hensley

Nancy O'Brien

Sue Searing

Sarah Shreeves

David Ward

Scott Walter, Administrative Liaison

 

 

Appendix 2

Implementation Team Process

The NSM Reference Implementation Team met as a whole on March 4, March 9, March 28, and April 7. Notes from these meetings can be found on the Reference Team website, http://www.library.illinois.edu/nsm/reference/. A great deal of business was also conducted by email. At the initial meeting on March 4, the Team chose to stage its work by charge. Four subcommittees were formed, as follows:

 

Nancy O'Brien, Pat Allen, Merinda Hensley

Charge 6 (Draft the charge and suggested composition for the Reference Services Committee)

Charge 5 (Draft a position description for the head of the new unit)

 

Pat Allen, Merinda Hensley, Sarah Shreeves

Charge 2 (Develop a detailed staffing model for shared reference services)

Charge 1 (Define process and timeline for transition)

 

David Ward, Sarah Shreeves, Sue Searing

Charge 3 (Define the requirements for creating an online knowledge base to support a robust referral model)

 

Sue Searing, David Ward, Scott Walter (advisory)

Charge 7 (Determine the data and methods for assessing the new reference service model)

 

Committee of the Whole

Charge 8 (Determine the optimum location of the physical reference desk in the Main Library)

Charge 4 (Determine the name for the proposed new unit)

 

Appendix 3

Head, Research and Scholarly Services, and Associate Professor or Professor of Library Administration

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library

Position Available: Position is open until filled. This is a full-time, twelve-month, tenure-system faculty appointment. Rank at the level of Associate or Full Professor of Library Administration with tenure, depending on the qualifications of the candidate selected. The librarian appointment is permanent, but current unit head appointments in the University Library are three-year, renewable terms. The successful candidate must meet requirements for tenure at the University of Illinois, which includes expectations for librarianship, research and service.  The Research and Scholarly Services unit is a new unit in the University of Illinois Library with broad responsibilities for providing research support to an interdisciplinary clientele in an evolving scholarly environment, with cooperation from other Library units providing allied services.

Duties and Responsibilities: Reporting to the University Librarian, the Head of Research and Scholarly Services will provide leadership for, and supervision of, library services to students, faculty, and other scholars using relevant resources. The position includes some evening and weekend work. The vision of Research and Scholarly Services is to be the University's gateway to information and research services and instruction in an academic research environment. The gateway will connect the knowledge that is crucial to developing research competencies through collaborative work with other scholarly support systems in the Library and on campus.

The successful candidate will:

  • Provide leadership for the successful integration of personnel and core activities supporting public services for government information and central reference programs;
  • Oversee operations and establish priorities for core services in Research and Scholarly Services, including reference service, collection development and management, liaison, outreach, instruction, and support for digital scholarship;
  • Coordinate assessment of unit services and make recommendations for any adjustments or improvements based on that assessment;
  • Provide collection development, reference service, and bibliographic instruction, using digital, social networking, and other applications;
  • Collaborate collegially and cooperatively with other personnel in Research and Scholarly Services, including the Scholarly Commons and Web Services as well as other Library units, the AUL for Services, and the AUL for Collections, in developing programs and other activities;
  • Promote and market the unique service profiles developed within this new unit;
  • Direct the selection, training, evaluation, and deployment of support staff members in the Research and Scholarly Services unit;
  • Oversee endowment fund and general department budget;
  • Evaluate/coach/mentor personnel;
  • Prepare regular and on-demand reports for the Library, including but not limited to strategic plans, annual goals, annual reports, and budget proposals and requests;
  • Perform other related duties as assigned.

Qualifications: Required: ALA-accredited Master's degree or equivalent; Minimum three years of professional experience in an academic or research environment; Experience leading and managing in an academic or research environment, particularly in reference services; Experience providing information and research services and instruction in an academic or research environment; Knowledge of emerging trends in reference and instruction library services as well as the ability to demonstrate and communicate those characteristics in a clear and concise manner; Strong team-leadership skills and ability to work collaboratively; Flexibility and ability to thrive in a complex, changing environment with competing demands; Evidence of research, publication, and service to meet university standards for tenure.

Preferred: Progressively responsible professional experience in academic or research library setting, with a commitment to user-centered services; Management and supervisory experience in a research library environment; Demonstrated ability to provide a positive vision for the future of reference services and libraries as a whole; Familiarity with government information or provision of reference from a service point combining general and specialized reference services; Demonstrated knowledge of relevant trends in digital libraries, the social aspects of information, and scholarly communications; Experience in building and sustaining library collections in all formats; Commitment to mentoring and training; Demonstrated excellent communications skills; Ability to work cooperatively and effectively with all elements of an academically and culturally diverse community.

Salary and Rank: Salary commensurate with credentials and experience, and will include an administrative component for the three-year renewable appointment as unit head. Rank at the level of Associate or Full Professor of Library Administration with tenure, depending on the qualifications of the candidate selected. Librarians have faculty rank, and must demonstrate excellence in librarianship, research, publication, and university/professional/community service in order to meet university standards for tenure and promotion.

To Apply: Please complete your candidate profile at https://jobs.illinois.edu/. Upload letter of application and complete resume, including names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses of three (3) references to: Cindy Kelly, Head, Library Human Resources, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1408 W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801.  All requested information must be submitted for your application to be considered.  For questions, please call: 217-333-8169.

Deadline: Position is open until filled. Applicant submissions will be reviewed beginning (mm/dd/yyyy). In order to ensure full consideration, applications and nominations must be received by mm/dd/yyyy.

Illinois is an Affirmative Action /Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and ideas who embrace and value diversity and inclusivity. (www.inclusiveillinois.illinois.edu).

 

 

Appendix 4

Proposed Bylaws language for establishment of Reference Services Committee

ARTICLE VII.  COMMITTEES 

Committees with library-wide responsibilities shall report on their work at regular intervals to the Faculty. At a minimum, such committees shall report both orally and in writing at the last scheduled Faculty meeting of the academic year.

Section 1.  STANDING COMMITTEES 

 B. Appointed Committees

2)   Reference Services Committee

a.       Purpose. As the primary group for deliberation on Library reference services policies, the Reference Services Committee shall advise the Associate University Librarian for Services.

1. All issues pertaining to reference are considered by the committee.  These include service standards, training, investigation and implementation of new technologies as well as emerging modes of reference (e.g., embedded reference); search systems (e.g., Easy Search, social networking); best practices for referrals; on-going reference professional development; and, library-wide assessment practices;

2. The group will also collaborate with heads of all reference desks in order to disseminate ideas of RSC and adapt them to diverse user groups;

3. Coordinate a common training, assessment, and skills program for core reference services that are shared across all reference desks. Training for reference in specific disciplines will also be handled by individual reference desks, for example the physical sciences at Grainger. The RSC will work with the Staff Development and Training Coordinator and the Library Assessment Working Group in these areas;

4. Conduct assessment of the outcomes of the new reference service model and provide on-going assessment of trends in patrons' reference needs.

b.      Membership. The membership of the Reference Services Committee shall be comprised of:

1.      one tenured/tenure-track faculty representative chosen by and from within each of the following nine divisions: Arts & Humanities, Central Public Services, International and Area Studies, Law, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Special Collections, and Technical Services;

2.      the following person serving ex officio (voting): Staff Training and Development Coordinator.

3.      up to two interns chosen from among the faculty or other reference personnel for the purpose of broadening the knowledge base about the work of reference. These interns shall be non-voting members. Intern positions shall be advertised annually and appointed by the Chair of the Committee in consultation with the Committee.

4.      All members must actively participate in the provision of reference services with the exception of the Technical Services/ member.

c.       Term of Office: Members chosen by and from divisions shall serve for two-year staggered terms with possible reappointment for an additional term. Intern members shall serve a one-year term.

d.      Meetings. The Reference Services Committee shall meet monthly or at the call of the Associate University Librarian for Services.

e.       Chair. The chair will be elected by the committee and will serve a one-year term, with the possibility of reelection for two additional one-year terms.

f.        Reporting. Minutes of the Reference Services Committee shall appear on the Library's website or through other online distribution. The Committee shall communicate and consult at any time and in ways deemed appropriate.

 

 


[1] Not all service points make use of all available categories; discussion is needed to determine categories needed for comparative assessment.