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Library Faculty Meeting

 

April 15, 2003
Illini Union, Room 314A
3:00-4:30 pm

Sue Searing, presiding, called the meeting to order at 3:00pm after it was determined that a quorum was present. 

1.   Approval of faculty meeting minutes of March 18, 2003  

The minutes were approved. 

2.      Committee reports 

Executive Committee (Sue Searing)  

Sue Searing reported that since the March faculty meeting, the Executive Committee met twice, on March 26 and April 15.  EC also met on March 25 in a joint session with the Administrative Council, and on March 31 in a session without Paula Kaufman, to draft a letter to the Provost for the University Librarian's annual review. 

At the regular meetings, the committee dealt with some confidential matters related to tenure and promotion.  On the whole, EC has been focusing on budget issues, and has explored a number of ideas for reducing costs and generating revenue. The committee has not proposed a course of action yet, due to the lack of information about the magnitude of reductions that will be needed.  There is a better sense now of how deeply impacted the Library will be by even a small percentage cut.  For example, 1% of the Library's overall budget amounts to about $300,000. The average staff position costs about $30,000, so 1% of the budget pays for ten staff positions.     

At the April 14 meeting, EC endorsed a set of four principles to guide the Library in making decisions on the budget for next year: 

1)  Protect as many full-time staff jobs as possible.

2)  Protect the collection budget's bottom line (that is, protect the portions of the recurring budget that generate increases from the state).

3)  Increase revenues.

4)  Don't hide the cuts. 

These principles are informed by the discussions that occurred last week on LIBFAC-L.  EC strongly encourages people to continue the online conversation.   

Tim Cole asked what changes to business as usual have been put into effect for dealing with a reduced budget. Sue answered that the Library is not filling civil service positions, and two faculty searches have been cancelled in recent months.  

Maria Porta asked if EC is going to act on the situation involving five days of salary that will be "lost "by faculty with the switch to the Banner system and the change of the payment month from the 20 th to the 15 th of the month. Sue answered that EC discussed this, but did not come to a conclusion. Lisa German mentioned that Paula Kaufman plans to bring this up at an upcoming deans' meeting. A discussion arose in which it was clarified that library faculty will receive a paycheck on September 16 for the period of August 21 through September 15 that does not include five days of salary; the pay will be received when the faculty member leaves the university. The paycheck for the period September 16 through October 15 will be normal. An e-mail was issued by the Provost on April 14 on this subject. Sue Searing will ask Paula Kaufman to share any further information gained from the deans' meeting. 

Report on Access Task Force Work Groups (Beth Sandore)  

Beth Sandore reported on the work of the five Access Task Force Working Groups formed in early January. She explained that the original task force on access to library collections was established in 2000. It consisted of about twelve people who examined the issue of how to provide more effective and comprehensive access to the Library's collections in all forms and formats. They issued a report with recommendations that were discussed and endorsed by AC and EC. It was recommended that the Library enter into a second phase, with the appointment of five groups to look at specific recommendations and to study changes in technology to make further near-term and long-term recommendations.  

Group 1 is studying the integrated information environment (portal architecture); Group 2 is studying access to the Library's physical collection; Group 3 is studying access to the Library's available digital resources; Group 4 is studying access to significant digital collections in the "hidden Web"; and Group 5 is studying access to materials not currently available in the Library's collection. Group reports and detailed recommendations are due by the end of April. The Access Task Force website is available at: <http://www.library.uiuc.edu/accesswg/index.htm>. 

3.      Other reports 

Report on Mellon Retrospective Conversion Project (Bob Burger)  

Bob Burger explained that this project dates to last spring, when the Library received $150,000 from the Illinois State Library for retrospective conversion. OCLC won the RFP bid to convert 1,535,000 short records into full MARC format. Then last fall the Library received $1,000,000 from the Mellon Foundation, and moved forward with the project under an arrangement with OCLC to machine-match the records at $.60 per record. At this point, OCLC has matched 1.2 million records. The next step is to put those records into the Voyager catalog by matching against the UC number or the DBCN. That will occur as soon as ILCSO arranges to do it, and those records will be put into the Universal Catalog as well. 

Approximately 320,000 records remain to be matched. About half of them are ambiguous matches, and half are completely unmatched. It would take quite a lot of human time to deal with these records manually. An alternative strategy for the ambiguous records is to deal with them selectively, as they come up in the Oak Street transition. An alternative strategy for the unmatched records is to pull the card catalog records from the card catalog temporarily for the titles in question, give them to a vendor with specifications, and have them converted by the vendor.  

The converted records will eventually appear in Voyager, but in the meantime people may see records in OCLC with the UIUC holdings symbol, indicating that they are held by UIUC, where a marcette remains in the Voyager catalog for the item. 

Update on IMLS-OAI and NSF-NSDL Digital Library Projects at Grainger Library (Tim Cole and Bill Mischo)  

Tim Cole and Bill Mischo gave a Powerpoint presentation on digital library projects they are conducting. Tim Cole is heading the IMLS Open Archives Initiative project under a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He explained that a precursor to this project was the Illinois OAI Metadata Harvesting project conducted under a grant from the Mellon Foundation. Bill Mischo is conducting The National Science Digital Library Project as part of the National Science Digital Library Program of the National Science Foundation. 

Their Powerpoint presentation is posted on the library faculty meeting website as a supplementary document to the minutes of this meeting, and is also available at: http://dli.grainger.uiuc.edu/Publications/TWCole/LibFac2003

4.      Old business 

There was no old business. 

5.      New business 

Bob Burger spoke on behalf of Paula Kaufman to discuss the issue of increased tension in the Library. He explained that in the last four to five weeks in every segment of the Library, tensions seemed to have risen, involving personnel of all categories. Tensions are high possibly in part due to outside influences: the war in Iraq, the economy, the changes in pay periods, the fear of lay-offs, fears among untenured faculty for their positions or fears among tenured faculty that their longstanding efforts will suffer from lack of funds. The tensions are reflected in the may that people are treating each other, and are quite wearing on those involved. There have been tensions within units and between units. Bob encouraged comments and observations on what might be done to ease the situation. 

Nancy O'Brien raised the issue that it is typical for tensions to rise at this time of year due to patron demands at the end of the semester. 

Lynne Wiley emphasized that there have been positive developments amidst the tensions. Central Acquisitions has lent IRRC a half-time person, and prior to that Central Circulation and the LIS Library offered assistance, and so there is positive reinforcement as well. 

Tina Chrzastowski commented that some of the tension is due to the fact that so much is unknown, and has been unknown for so long, that people expect and fear the worst. If we could get beyond the unknown, we would be in a better position to deal with the realities that have to be faced.  

Maria Porta expressed agreement with the idea that we need to know what is going on and to be informed of the possible scenarios being considered. 

Tim Cole added that we need more information and communication, particularly insofar as our work involves decisions that affect teaching faculty who are on nine-month contracts and might not be here in the summer when information is finally available and decisions need to be made. A discussion arose concerning the lack of sufficient communication lately on decisions and developments, on the delay in taking action, and on the real need for having information in order to make important decisions as soon as possible. 

Janice Pilch commented that technical change also creates tensions, and there have been a number of initiatives and changes in the last year which have made people's jobs more pressured. There is more work do, and the nature of many jobs has changed and become more technical. She cited a number of activities that have increased workloads in technical services units in the last year. 

6.      Announcements 

Lynne Wiley made an announcement about the IRRC ILL Forum to be held on Wednesday, April 23 in Grainger Commons from 9:30-12:00. 

Janice Pilch announced that there has been a change in location for two of the remaining faculty meetings this year. The remaining meetings will be held: 

Tuesday, May 20         314A Illini Union
Tuesday, June 17          210 Illini Union
Tuesday, July 15           407 Illini Union
Tuesday, August 19      314A Illini Union

Nancy O'Brien motioned for the meeting to be adjourned, and Gail Hueting seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 4:30. 

Janice Pilch
Secretary of the Faculty