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Chemistry Information Services Team Final Report

Chemistry Information Services Team Report and Recommendations

May 1, 2012


In early fall 2011, Chemistry Librarian Tina Chrzastowski announced that she would be retiring on June 30, 2012 after 25 years of service.  This retirement provides the opportunity to examine Chemistry Library collections, services and staffing to inform both short term planning and longer term directions.  This report recommends a vision and direction for the Chemistry Library for approximately the next five years.

The Chemistry Library team was appointed in March, 2012 and in the course of its work the team met as a group four times on March 8, March 30, April 10, and April 27.  The team divided into subgroups to work on specific recommendations for the report.  These subgroups included:

  • Services: Susan Avery,  Tina Chrzastowski, Diane Schmidt, Tom Rauchfuss
  • Collections:  Tina Chrzastowski, Tom Teper
  • Space: Tina Chrzastowski, Mary Schlembach, Scott Silverman


The team consulted with Doug Mills, Director of Instructional Technology, Chemistry Learning Center, and Jeff Schrader, Assistance Dean of Libraries for Facilities.  Feedback was gathered from School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) faculty through email surveys distributed by Team members Rauchfuss and Silverman.  Providentially, the annual Chemistry Library patron survey was conducted March 5-9, providing the Team with essential feedback from library users.  Full results of the survey are found at .

Team Membership

Susan Avery, Associate Professor, Undergraduate Library, Team Leader

Tina Chrzastowski, Professor, Chemistry Librarian

Mary Schlembach, Associate Professor, Grainger Engineering Library 

Diane Schmidt, Professor, Biology Librarian and Acting Veterinary Medicine Librarian

Tom Teper, Associate University Librarian for Collections, Administrative Liaison

Tom Rauchfuss, Professor of Chemistry, Chair of the Chemistry Library Advisory Committee

Scott K. Silverman, Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biophysics

School of Chemical Sciences and the Chemistry Library

In preparing and researching this report, the Team gathered information about the School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) and the programs served by the Chemistry Library.  SCS is one of the most prestigious at the University and both departments within the School are highly ranked nationally with internationally respected reputations.  The 2010 National Research Council rankings of graduate programs placed Chemistry in the top six programs nationally and ten former faculty, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows are listed among Nobel Prize winners.   A number of noteworthy inventions, discoveries, and pioneering work in Chemical Sciences have taken place at the University of Illinois.  It is also worth noting that current chemistry students pay a significant tuition differential. 

There is also a strong history of collaboration and support between the School of Chemical Sciences and the Chemistry Library.  The Chemistry Endowment Fund, created in 1991 (the 100th anniversary of the Chemistry Library) by the SCS and the Library, is a critical source of collection support, specifically funding monographs, reserves, and monographic online backfiles.  Planning for a new, remodeled space for the Chemistry Library began in earnest in 2003, and most of the funding for this space was provided by the School and supplemented by the University Library.  This partnership continues today; current shared projects include video conferencing for the Chemistry Library Conference Room and a joint grant proposal to install collaborative student-learning technology.  This incredible partnership, stretching back over 100 years, along with the unquestionable Chemistry Library support from SCS faculty, the numerous favorable responses from library users, and the Chemistry Library’s positive longitudinal assessment data, made it apparent that there is a strong need and a clear desire to continue to have both a librarian and a library space dedicated to the chemical sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


There is a great deal of support and goodwill for the Chemistry Library from faculty in the School of Chemical Sciences.  They were quick to respond when questions were sent soliciting comments and suggestions for ways in which the library could provide additional services and increase its collaboration with the SCS.  Several opportunities for additional services and collaborations with other library units and ATLAS are noted in the recommendations below.  Additional partnerships with the Chemistry Learning Center are also noted.   It is our recommendation that the Chemistry Library continue in its current space for the next five years with careful assessments of its usage and services to take place during this time.  Those assessments should be used to determine the direction the library should take after 2018.

Services Profile:

The Services Planning Grid (Appendix 3) examined services currently in place at the Chemistry Library and in other service points within the University Library; it also details potential new Chemistry Library services and partnerships.  Many of these build on existing services programming.  The Team also consulted the 2012 Chemistry Library Survey to gain additional insight into services that users were using when in the library ( )

The Team recommends the following:

  • The provision of reference services will continue and expand to include:
    • The Chemistry Librarian will continue to provide reference hours at the Grainger Engineering Library (Physical Sciences Hub), as recommended by the Reference Services Implementation Team.
    • Reference consultations and office hours will continue to be provided at the Chemistry Library.
    • The Chemistry Librarian will participate in chat reference services.
    • The Chemistry Librarian will provide training to Physical Sciences reference personnel, as needed, in the use of chemical sciences resources.
  • Reserves should continue to be housed in both the Chemistry Library and Grainger Engineering Library.
  • Collection development and collection maintenance will continue to be the responsibility of the Chemistry Librarian.
  • The new Chemistry Librarian should continue to provide the library instruction that is currently in place at this time as well as look for and target new opportunities to provide instruction.
  • Online tutorials and Libguides should be evaluated and expanded to reflect course needs.
  • The Chemistry Library website should be moved to the CMS in order to have a consistent look and feel to the other library websites.
  • The following services are suggested as opportunities to partner with the Scholarly Commons, Grainger Engineering Library, and/or ATLAS:
    • Data storage and manipulation
    • Data stewardship and data curation plans
    • Data management plan and NSF funding template
    • E-science and e-scholarship
  • The opportunity to develop a partnership with Chemistry Learning Center should be pursued.  With upcoming renovations to the Chemical Annex there may be tangential CLC services that could be provided at the Chemistry Library and CLC space needs that could be met.
  • Current collection partnerships shared with the School of Chemical Sciences should continue and the Chemistry Librarian should seek out additional, similar opportunities.  These include items such as the Cambridge Crystallographic Structure Database.
  • Support of collaborative learning opportunities that can be provided in the Chemistry Library should be investigated and sought out.   One example is the current Library/IT joint proposal between the SCS’s Computer Applications and Network Services, the Department of Chemistry’s Chemistry Learning Center and the Chemistry Library. 
  • Add two additional hours to the Chemistry Library schedule on Sunday – Thursday evenings.  Longer hours were requested by users on the Chemistry Library Survey.


Chemistry Librarian Position:

A proposal for the position of Chemistry Librarian was completed prior to this report and submitted to the library Executive Committee for consideration on March 30, 2012.  The importance of a subject specialist with a chemistry background is extremely important to faculty in the School of Chemical Sciences and, given the uniqueness of the materials in the library, it is strongly supported by the Team as well.

The job description is attached as Appendix 2.


The Chemistry Library New Service Model team discussed library space at length; it reviewed documents including the 2012 Chemistry Library Survey ( ) and the Chemistry Library Floor Plan ( ).  Additional feedback was gathered from SCS faculty through informal email surveys conducted by Team members Scott Silverman and Tom Rauchfuss.  Guests were also invited to contribute to the discussion, including Doug Mills, Director of Instructional Technology in the Department of Chemistry (The Chemistry Learning Center), and Jeff Schrader, Assistant Dean of Libraries for Facilities.   Feedback from faculty within the School of Chemical Sciences contributed to these recommendations as well as the discussions of the Team.


This plan is one that should take the Chemistry Library through the next five years. After that time, an additional review of space needs of the Chemistry Library and of SCS should be conducted.


The Team identified a definite current need for additional meeting and/or study space.  The Chemistry Library conference room is heavily used; School of Chemical Sciences (SCS) faculty and Chemistry Library patrons expressed a need for either additional meeting space (faculty) or study space (library users).


The following are our recommendations regarding space:


  • Continue the process of reviewing bound journals and monographic continuation series and purchasing online access when available, relocating these e-available materials to Oak Street.  This process will be necessary to free up space for additional meeting and/or study space.  An estimated 15% of the current print collection may be eligible for relocation.


  • Repurpose the former copy room (now informal study space) into a collaborative learning environment.  Grant funding has been requested for this repurposing which will add doors to the space and equipment for e-collaboration (grant submitted with SCS’s Computer Applications and Networked Services (CANS) and The Chemistry Learning Center (CLC).)


  • Create another conference room with computer and projection capabilities, similar in size to the existing conference room.  A conference room of this size is most adaptable and could meet the needs of the Chemistry Learning Center for specific class tutorials.  Conference room space was also mentioned as a high priority by SCS faculty. 


  • To fund this proposed new conference room, we recommend that the School of Chemical Sciences Development Office and the Office of Library Advancement work together to identify a private or corporate donor to sponsor this remodeling project, name the room,  and finance the needed equipment.


  • Work with The Chemistry Learning Center (CLC/ Doug Mills) to ensure that any Chemistry Library remodeled space could function effectively with CLC’s objective to initiate class-specific tutorial sessions which could be held in the Chemistry Library.


It is requested that the following NOT be considered at this time in the space planning for the Chemistry Library:

  • Changing the physical footprint of the existing space; the subgroup felt that any remodeling or changes in physical space should not affect the fixed perimeter of the current Chemistry Library space. 


  • Erecting temporary small meeting rooms similar to those at the Undergraduate Library.  This idea was considered, but was overridden by concerns for the “attractiveness” of the space as well as the high desirability of the “Big tables in the back” (from user survey).   This space was the Chemistry Library favorite space in the 2012 survey; it was also the favorite space in the 2011 survey.



Recommended changes to the Chemistry Library collections are listed below.  These collection format changes will result in the relocation of approximately 2,000 volumes, or approximately 15% of the collection.

  • Relocate bound journals that are available in electronic format to Oak Street
  • Relocate mono continuation series with online access to Oak Street
  • Identify additional bound periodicals with online access (partial or full) and acquire pricing information
  • Request needed online back files from the NSM Collections Budget; supplement with Chemistry subject funds as necessary
  • Identify online pricing information for monographic continuation series back files
  • Request needed online mono continuation back files from the NSM Collections Budget; supplement with Chemistry subject funds as necessary









The following are the staffing recommendations and timeline.




Proposed Completion Date

(To Be Completed By)


Hire existing Chemistry Librarian 49% time for 12 months

Paperwork ready for hire on September 1, 2012

(Library HR)


Replace the Chemistry Librarian (See job description Appendix 2)

Librarian  in place no later than July 1, 2013

(Executive Committee)


Work with CAM or Acquisitions to secure commitments of time to share personnel


(Chemistry Librarian)

Staffing / Funding

Increase the student wage budget to cover the loss due to Division Coordinator GA stipend no longer being available and to support hours increase

By July 1, 2012

(Chemistry Librarian submits request to Library’s Budget Group)


Hire Graduate Assistant  (GA) to replace graduating GA

(Endowment Funded)

December 2012

(Chemistry Librarian)








Assessment  Plan

The Assessment Plan establishes the reviews needed to ensure that the expected outcomes from the Chemistry Library New Service Model report are achieved.


Desired Outcome


Assessment /Data Source

Chemistry Library continues to serve its library patrons with excellent collections, services and facilities

  • Patron numbers increase; collection use decreases in print but increases in “e” formats.
  • Reserve circulation continues to increase
  • Desktracker statistics
  • E-resource statistics
  • Circulation statistics
  • Reserve statistics


The Chemistry Librarian participates in the provision of reference services in Grainger Library

  • More reference interactions involving multiple experts, inside and outside the unit.
  • Desktracker statistics from Grainger Library.


Space utilization increases

  • Patron counts increase
  • Desktracker statistics
  • Gate counts

A robust Chemistry Library web portal

  • Usage of online resources for Chemistry Library patrons increases
  • Bean Counter
  • LibGuides statistics
  • Google Analytics statistics

Increased library instruction at more sophisticated levels

  • More classes taught or more students involved in instruction
  • Instruction Statistics database.









Appendix 1

Team Charge

The Chemistry Information Services Team was charged to:

  1. Articulate a service profile that:
  2. Develop a draft position description for a librarian whose duties include collection development and liaison responsibilities for Chemistry, as well as the needs recently identified by the Physical Science Division librarians related to physical science research in biochemistry, biomedicine and bioengineering.
  3. Collaborate with the Assistant Dean for Library Facilities and the  NSM Coordinator to develop timelines and schedules for  implementation, including:
  • Situates the proposed services for the chemical sciences as a core component in a broader array of Library service programs supporting scholarly work, especially those supporting the physical and life sciences (e.g., in the Scholarly Commons, in the Grainger Engineering Library and in the Life Science Information desk in the Funk Library). The proposed service profile should be in accord with the recommendations from the Reference Services Implementation Team.
  • Draws on conversations with relevant campus communities to further define existing and emerging needs of students and scholars as a means of identifying opportunities to:
    • further develop specialized library services to support research, teaching and learning
    • deepen engagement with educational initiatives in the School of Chemical Sciences through instruction as outlined in Information Literacy Considerations for New Service Model Teams
    • consider whether to connect  study space, access to technology and student support services  in a model similar to the Center for Academic Resources in Engineering (CARE) in the Grainger Engineering Library
  • Identifies services that might be more effectively provided at a larger service point in other Library units or automated (e.g., self check-out)
  • Looks ahead 5 years to consider what service profile, and associated footprint, will be most appropriate over the medium-term.
  • any proposed changes to the Chemistry Library footprint or onsite print collections
  • any proposed changes to the staffing model
  1. Recommend a plan for the ongoing assessment of collections and services.

Appendix 2

Chemistry Librarian Position Request

Proposing Division, Unit, Group or Individual


Chemistry Information Services Team

Susan Avery, Team Leader

Proposed Title


Chemistry Librarian

Is this a full-time position? Please estimate % appointment necessary to fulfill the stated responsibilities


Ideas for collaboration/shared functional responsibilities with other units/divisions/functions

This position will collaborate with librarians in the Physical and Life Sciences Division and share in the provision of in-person and virtual reference hours in the Grainger hub.  The position would also provide basic training in physical science resources to librarians and graduate assistants who provide reference services in the Main/UGL hub.   

Faculty Rank


Assistant or Associate Professor

Estimated Salary


$50,000 - $70,000

Potential sources of funding for position


Budget line for Tina Chrzastowski.

Reports to


University Librarian

Recommended time frame for filling (immediate need, 6 months, 1 year, etc.) and explanation




Immediate need.  The position of Chemistry Librarian will become vacant with the retirement of Tina Chrzastowski in June, creating an immediate need for someone to fill this position and assume responsibility for leading the Chemistry Library.

Position Need & Rationale: explain how this position contributes to the Library’s strategic goals














The Chemistry Library supports the needs of faculty, staff and students in the School of Chemical Sciences, providing access to and instruction in the use of resources specific to chemical sciences. However, chemistry, known as The Central Science, is highly interdisciplinary and its impact and influence on campus is broad. In addition, use of chemical science resources differs significantly from other resources within the Library and the need for a librarian with expertise in the field of chemistry to work with these users is essential.  The field continues to evolve in terms of its literature and other resources and access to varying formats will continue to be challenging.  Chemical science subject expertise, something often difficult for other librarians to adequately provide, is essential to the success of this position.  This subject specialist will also require unique knowledge of a number of societies and specialized publishers within the field (including accreditation requirements) and an understanding of the distinct world of chemistry publishing.


This position relates to the Library’s Strategic Goals in the following ways:


Strategic Goal 1:  Promote Access to, and Discovery of, Library Content and Collections

-          Manages the Chemistry Library unit budget by successfully balancing demands and available funds.

-          Conducts assessment to determine if use of resources is cost-effective; monitors use of databases and finding tools to determine effectiveness; promotes access to chemical sciences tools and collections.


Strategic Goal 2: Support Teaching and Learning Programs

-          Provides user education and training to faculty, students and staff in the chemical sciences; participates in STEM educational programs

-          Supports learning through the creation and maintenance of tutorials and Libguides.

Strategic Goal 3: Support Digital Scholarship

-          Actively purchases and provides access to chemical sciences research and scholarship through the successful use of library budgets; promotes the awareness of available scholarship through digital media.


Strategic Goal 4: Expand Library Collections

-          Selects, purchases, and makes accessible chemical sciences research in all formats; is familiar with trends in publishing and scholarly communication in order to make the best choices on behalf of the UIUC science research communities.

Strategic Goal 5: Sustain Partnerships and Collaborations

-          Works closely with School of Chemical Sciences faculty, staff and students to establish and maintain strong working relationships;

-          Collaborates and communicates regularly with the University Library, Physical and Life Sciences Libraries and Divisions, Library IT and with the School of Chemical Sciences.

Strategic Goal 6: Promote Innovation

-          Establishes a culture of innovation and open thinking that best serves Chemistry Library users.

-           Regularly uses assessment tools to determine trends, best practices, and how the library can keep a step ahead of users in gauging future needs, promoting innovation by embracing change.


Brief position description and job duties



























The Chemistry Librarian:

  • Provides in-person and virtual reference services in the chemical sciences and related fields;
  • Manages the Chemistry Library unit budgets and supervises all Chemistry Library staff and operations;
  • Initiates liaison and outreach relationships with relevant programs;
  • Develops and conducts programs for instructional services, both in person and using digital media;
  • Manages, maintains and develops library collections in all formats in the chemical sciences and related fields;
  • Provides consultation for creating and implementing data management plans;
  • Consults directly with researchers to create data curation profiles for a research projects;
  • Participates in the development of custom tools and services for researchers;
  • Develops and maintains Chemistry Library Web sites and related digital resources;
  • Contributes to Library-wide information, instruction, collection development, and research support services;
  • Actively assesses library services and collections to aid planning and to keep the Chemistry Library relevant to user needs and expectations;
  • Participates in the provision of reference services through scheduled reference desk hours in the Grainger Engineering Library as part of the reference team;
  • Monitors trends in scholarly publishing in areas of liaison responsibility to inform the design of scholarly communications services and the development of library collections;
  • As a member of the Physical Sciences and Engineering Division, contributes to library-wide committee work and administrative responsibilities at the Divisional and Library levels;
  • Performs other duties as they arise.


How might this position evolve to meet continuing Library needs in 5-10 years?












Library assessment will continue to determine the direction that services and collections in the chemical sciences take in the coming years.  Chemistry Library users speak volumes with their use of both the physical space and physical collections and their expansive online use of collections and services. By regularly assessing user actions, needs and behavior, the Chemistry Librarian can be poised for changes that will accurately reflect use trends and user expectations.

Library EC, rev. Sept. 2006




Appendix 3

Chemistry Services Planning Grid


Existing in Chemistry Library

Existing in Library

New Chemistry Service

New Library Service

New Partnership/ Library

Contingencies and Opportunities

In-Person Reference






Participate in reference services provided at Grainger

Chat Reference







Email Reference







Access to chemical sciences literature and scholarship (print and online)







Access to chemistry-specific databases and indexes






Includes collaborations with the School of Chemical Sciences, i.e. Crystallographic Structures Database.

Book and journal circulation / Book Pick up (from I-Share, Oak Street, Main Stacks, etc.)







Reserves (print and online) / Create Reserve PDFs as needed






Examine reserve usage to determine need for duplication; purchase etext when available.

Collection Development (print and online)






See also Collection Report

Collection Maintenance (print and online)






See also Collection Report

Departmental Liaison and Outreach







Document Delivery / Interlibrary Loan






Advertise widely ; some patrons are not aware of this service

Web Site:  Digital Resources / Digital Instruction / Digital Reference / Links to other services






Update website into the CMS for consistency with other libraries

Library Instruction






Look for and target new opportunities for instruction.

Online Tutorials / Libguides / Subject Guides







Data Stewardship / Consultations and Referrals / Data Curation Planning





Scholarly Commons,



Data Management Plan / Template for NSF Grants







Liaison between vendors and users (specifically SciFinder and Reaxys Databases)







Library Assessment / Statistical Profile







Availability of Computers and Chemistry-Specific Software




X- Crystallography Databases

Liaison with CANS in SCS for overlap products such as ChemDraw.


Data storage & manipulation




X – IDEALs, Scholarly Commons



Digital resources & online access









X – IDEALS, Data Services Librarian, Connections [BibApp]





Statistical analysis/software





X - Partnership w/ATLAS and Scholarly Commons


Bibliographic management software


X - Savvy Researcher





Visual/imaging software




X- Crystallography Databases

Investigate the  “Viz-Lab” in SCS and explore services that might relate to research and scholarship


GIS software/applications




X – Scholarly Commons/data services librarian

X – GIS interest group




Assistance with intellectual properties (copyright, patents)




X – Grainger, Scholarly Commons



Instruction in Citation-based metrics (h-factor)







Responsible conduct of research (ethics training)





Collaborate with Grainger, our local experts



Existing in Chemistry Library: existing service provided by the Chemistry Library.

Existing in Library: existing service supported outside of the Chemistry Library, but in a Library unit.

New Chemistry Library Service: a new service, specific to Chemistry Library clientele, that would be desirable to clientele of the Chemistry Library.

New Library Service: a new service that might be offered by the Library and would likely be of interest to Library users across a number of units.

New partnership/Library: a new service or program for the Chemistry Library with another library or unit.

Contingencies and Opportunities:  Comments and special considerations and/or concerns for changing or implementing services.