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Library Faculty Meeting Agenda Committee

Library Faculty Meeting


Tuesday, November 19, 2002
3:00-5:00 pm
314A Illini Union

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

1.      Approval of faculty meeting minutes of October 15, 2002

Kathleen Kluegel motioned that the minutes be accepted as is, and Beth Woodard seconded the motion. The minutes were approved.

2.      Introduction of new librarians

     Sharon Clark introduced Jaimee Allen and Teresa Walker, both Visiting Librarians in the Illinois Newspaper Project.

3.      University Librarian's report (Paula Kaufman)

     In response to a message circulated by the Chancellor, Paula Kaufman addressed the issue of some twenty-five recent attacks on Asian, Asian-American, and other women on or near campus since July 1. The attacks have been concentrated in the north and east part of campus. There is a true sense of urgency to solve the case and also to help people understand what can be done to prevent the attacks.

     Notices will be posted in Library buildings. We will designate gathering sites where people can meet others to walk in groups. Staff at circulation desks should urge people not to walk alone, especially late at night, and to take advantage of Night Rides and police escorts. Paula stressed that staff should be as alert as possible, especially next week during Thanksgiving break when many international students and graduate students will still be on campus. The situation is regarded as very serious.

     Bill Mischo asked whether the campus would offer additional escort services. Bart Clark responded that he would find out what the expanded Night Rides entails, and post the information. He added that there was a small cluster of attacks on the west side of campus.

     Kathleen Kluegel suggested that Bart Clark look into the timing of the last Night Ride from the Main Library, as last year the last Night Ride available was 11:59 pm, and this made it difficult for students working until midnight.

4.      Committee reports

     Executive Committee (Sue Searing)

Sue Searing reported that the Executive Committee met twice since the last meeting of the full faculty.  On October 28 the committee approved a policy for the distribution of ICR money, that is, overhead money from grants.  The campus retains 8% of the money and returns 92% to the college that obtained the grant.  The Library will use that money, first of all, to cover any obligations against the grant, such as tuition for graduate students.  Then, of the amount that remains: 

At the same meeting Karen Schmidt spoke about the future of library collections. The discussion centered largely on the acquisitions and management of electronic resources, which are blurring the traditional lines of responsibility among selectors, acquisitions staff, technical services, and systems.  

Other information items included an update on the Oak Street construction timeline, and background on possible collaboration between the Library and GSLIS to recruit and train new academic librarians and LIS educators.  Two developments were noted: possible federal funding for Laura's Bush's initiative to prepare the next generation of librarians, in response to the massive retirements that are affecting the library profession; and plans within the CIC and CLIR to produce more librarians who specialize in the humanities and foreign languages.  

At the November 11 meeting, the committee made a decision to discontinue the printed version of the Library committee handbook, except for a copy that will be deposited in the Archives. An announcement will be posted on LIBFAC when the web version is ready. The committee also discussed the possible future demand for expanded hours and service levels during the Summer I term.  The Senate Educational Policy Committee recently reviewed a proposal to institute more options for class scheduling during the summers, since UI-Integrate will no longer lock the campus into a 4-week + 8-week framework.  The committee also asked Paula Kaufman to check into the status of classified staff position audits, which have not yet been completed. 

At the November 11 meeting, Paula Kaufman outlined the evolving budget planning process. Sue pointed out that the faculty, through the EC, has a representative on the Library's budget group, and that she is that representative.  

Future items on the EC agenda include the Library's International Strategy, the organization of a Library-wide discussion on the impact of e-resources, and UCITA, which will likely be reintroduced, with some modifications, in the next Illinois legislative session.  

5.      Other reports

      Report on Planning (Paula Kaufman)

     The Chancellor and Provost have asked the Library, in lieu of submitting a budget request, to submit a document focused on how each unit can " grow our excellence" in a time of limited budgets. The Budget Group has created a process in which everyone can participate, based on areas of excellence identified by the Chancellor. Each division is asked to paint a picture of the future by thinking of what we would want the Library to be like if we were building it today-physically, and also from the viewpoint of services. This is a two-part exercise, envisioning a preferred future for each division based on strengths, and then outlining specific budget plans based on both a decreased and an increased budget, and possibly on entrepreneurial activities. The Budget Group has created possible scenarios to get people thinking. Paula stressed that there are no hidden agendas to cut jobs. Untenured faculty will have separate meetings on this. All the reports will be discussed in a joint meeting of the Executive Committee and Administrative Council and at the January 2003 faculty meeting. The final report is due at the end of January. Paula Kaufman will ask the Provost to provide us with information on what the other colleges have submitted so that we can use that information to reshape the Library's visions.

Kathleen Kluegel asked whether it is necessary to figure out the costs involved in achieving the result. Paula Kaufman replied that it is not necessary, but each division will have to respond to an increase or cut.

Al Kagan commented that there is another side to the budget picture in that a few years ago, a resolution was put through the University Senate stating that the library was underfunded. The Senate Committee on the Library supports the Library in reaching its targets. Over the years the University Administration has been very timid in its budget requests to the State, and President Stukel has acknowledged this. Al suggested that we think about whether the Library should be getting more from the University budget, and whether the University should be getting more money from the state.

Paula Kaufman added that another resolution will likely be drafted this year making the same point. The new long-range Faculty Advisory Committee is meeting with the Provost and Chancellor about this in January, and there is talk of additional lobbying on behalf of the library.

Maria Porta suggested that lobbying needs to be done with the Board of Trustees. Paula Kaufman replied that it would be better not to discuss this.

Mary Stuart requested that documents distributed through the Administrative Council include information on authorship.  She commented that the scenarios seem to have a common theme having to do with centralization, the diminishing importance of print materials, and the role of undergraduates. She also suggested that discussions of the budget not be limited by division. Paula Kaufman replied that divisions can work together, and also other divisions can be the subject of discussion at meetings.

Jane Block commented that it will be hard to cut hours unless it is done uniformly, or the situation will be confusing to patrons, and that an overriding policy toward common hours would be a good idea. Paula Kaufman replied that we appear to have moved away from, not toward, common hours.

Gail Hueting commented that the Library Strategic Plan needs to be kept in mind in the discussion of budget scenarios.

Paula Kaufman added that the scenarios are for positive or negative reaction--they can be accepted or rejected.

Alvan Bregman recommended certain guidelines that have been followed in past budget processes: units should not export a cut and make someone else pay; units could be asked to over-cut, with a portion of the money being returned to a fund to support new ideas; and units should focus on quality. Paula Kaufman commented that she would ask the Budget Group to take these suggestions into consideration.

Lisa German asked whether all faculty members are in a division so that they can participate in the exercise and whether academic professionals may be included. Paula Kaufman replied that all faculty are in a division and it is up to the division if they want to include academic professionals in the discussion. The Systems Office will be included in the Administration group.

Sharon Clark asked whether the guideline of not exporting a cut been discussed at the campus level.  Paula Kaufman replied that she is not aware of such a campus guideline.

Bart Clark added that the Library has been the recipient of exported cuts at the campus level, involving printing and microform reader-printers.

Paula Kaufman added that parking spaces have also been cut in this way. The University Library Student Advisory Committee (ULSAC) had an idea that there be a check box on tuition bills providing the option of contributing $5 or $10 to the Library.

Mary Laskowski asked who is on the Budget Group. Paula Kaufman replied that the members include herself, the AULs, Susan Edwards (Business Office) Janis Johnston (Strategic Planning Committee), and Sue Searing (Vice Chair of Executive Committee).

Paula Kaufman decided that the planned discussion of the governing differences between the Executive Committee and Administrative Council would be postponed until the next faculty meeting.

Budget Update (Bart Clark)

Bart Clark stated that documents for budget planning would be posted on the web, that  figures for collections and personnel budgets would be posted the following day, and that  impact statements from the annual reports would be posted by Thursday.

Bart commented that the scenarios were not developed by "administrative thugs" but that they drawn up quickly in response to a tight deadline of January 28 to get information to the Provost. It is important to be aware that there was a $450,000 cut to the budget this year, and  there is a $2 billion deficit in the state that could grow to $3 billion by next year.  The recision is probably a reality and the next two years might not be good years. It is important to realize the context in which we are working.

Main Library Reconfiguration (Bart Clark)

Bart Clark reported that the basement is done and ready to be rearranged.  The Newspaper space is almost done, and the furniture should be set up by the beginning of next semester.  The space should be released next week.  Part of this year's budget includes $815,000 as a request, which will hopefully be released in January, for the purpose of moving the cataloging unit next to the acquisitions unit. The campus understands that this is a priority. It is hoped that construction will begin next summer in Women and Gender Resources Library, which will move temporarily into the old Newspaper Library space during the renovation.

Oak Street (Bart Clark)

Bart Clark reported that the bid documents should go out in December, and that Operations and Management is being very particular about the documents.  There has been a delay due to health problems of the project manager, but slippage of two to five months is probably allowed on the project. The trays are here and once the software is installed, work can begin.

Nancy O'Brien asked about the status of the staff lounge and the restroom in the basement.  Bart replied that reconfiguration is almost finished and that the project, which started out as a simple project, was delayed due to complications with pipes. He reported that progress is being made on the staff lounge. Operations and Management has suffered a big cut in personnel recently, so things are moving more slowly.

Jo Kibbee asked about the future relationship of the microform room on the 7 th floor stacks and the new Newspaper Library. Bart Clark replied that a NEH grant might cover half the storage cost of microfilm. It would double the amount of microfilm that can be stored. Before moving all the microfilm we must await the outcome of the grant, which will probably be known in May 2003. 

Lynne Rudasill asked about the opening date for the Oak Street storage facility, and whether materials being sent to Faux Oak will be treated the same way as those being sent permanently to Oak Street. Bart Clark replied that it is expected to open between September and November 2003. Materials being sent to Faux Oak are being treated the same way as those that will be sent to Oak Street, i.e. they need full cataloging records.  Faux Oak will accommodate 100,000 volumes being sent from the bookstacks.

Paula Kaufman added that in a meeting with the Provost he expressed his impatience with the Oak Street building, and his desire for the Library to remain in third place by size in volumes nationally.

Issues concerning research and publication by library faculty members (Jane Block and Al Kagan)

Jane Block explained that she and Al Kagan were drafted by the full professors' mentoring group to bring issues of publication and research before the faculty. The goal of the discussion is to build a model for integrating research with librarianship and service, and hopefully to produce a document on guidelines. Currently the campus evaluates the three areas of work by assigning 3 points to research, 5 to librarianship, and 2 to service. Aside from the numbers, Jane and Al affirmed that research is not a choice, but an expectation and an obligation. It is important that everyone have the same understanding as to what is expected.

Individual impediments to achieving research goals (Jane Block):

1.      Feeling overburdened by librarianship and service obligations. One needs to establish a balance.

2.      Lack of understanding of the research process. This is where mentoring plays a role, and it helps to know what other faculty members are doing.

3.      Feeling that there are constraints on what one can and cannot publish. In fact one determines one's own research agenda, based on education, experience, and interests. Each person is responsible for his/her own destiny.

4.      Procrastination as a result of not knowing where to begin. As a result, people fill their time with what they know how to do. People must guard themselves and keep time for their research agenda, and learn to say no to work of less value. Instead of feeling guilty about taking research time, one should feel guilty about not doing research.

5.      Writer's block. People need to find a way to write even if it means starting in the middle.

6.      Personal problems. Talk to a unit head or someone who can help to resolve the situation.

 Systemic impediments to achieving research goals (Al Kagan):

1.      Understaffed units.

2.      Balancing research with work assignments and service activities. A suggestion is to negotiate with a unit head who in turn could obtain guidelines from the Administration.

3.      Adopting a style in the way that one does research, in order to arrange research time so that it is a continuous process.

4.      Question of how much time can be devoted to research. There has never been a consensus on this and there needs to be one.

5.      Problem of split assignments that might require negotiation with more than one unit.

6.      Lack of appropriate resources, for example a quiet workspace or equipment. RPC might be able to help.

7.      Lack of support for untenured faculty. They need special consideration, in providing opportunities for publishing, mentoring, introductions to other people in the field; we need to protect untenured faculty from being corralled into too many committees in the Library.

The following is a summary of comments from the faculty.

Untenured faculty need to get their thoughts on paper as soon as possible, and find someone they can trust to look at their work and keep them on track. It is important, despite pressures from the job, to do some research every day. Untenured faculty need extra consideration in getting started.

They must carve out time for research and balance the various demands on their time.

The Library needs to place more emphasis on research interests of faculty. Also, we need to think about formal interaction and training and develop seminars with GSLIS to help on research methods, especially for faculty who are not familiar with the U.S. academic environment. RPC should resume the brown bags devoted to faculty research.

Tenured faculty need to be models for the untenured. Taking an active role in the research agenda of untenured faculty can be beneficial to both sides. Tenured faculty are here to bring the untenured faculty forward.

What library faculty do is substantially different than the work of teaching faculty, whose primary job is to do research.  Also, teaching faculty have nine-month contracts, so they have the summer for research.  Sabbaticals for library faculty are not available for three years.

We need a policy stating the number of hours per week that can be taken under the supervision of the unit head. The figure of ten hours was put forward as a suggestion some years ago by the Executive Committee. There should be a standard for research time, and a written policy. This could involve a bank of research hours that could build up and be used as needed, and that would give people flexibility.

Librarianship and research can be seen as fundamentally in conflict with one another, or as fundamentally able to be integrated, but we will continue to come back to this discussion unless we find a way to resolve it.

Research tends to grow naturally out of librarianship, when one finds problems or issues that need to be solved. The problem arises when research is unrelated to librarianship. Service can often result in publication as well.

Faculty should not always be expected to solve problems and reply immediately when there is a question. It should be acceptable for a person to say that they are doing research. There should be more understanding, for tenured faculty as well. Non-academic staff should be more informed about the research requirements of the academic staff.

"Release time" is inappropriate as a term, since research is a part of our job.  There should be no guilt involved in doing research; it is part of the total job.

For some untenured faculty members who have more responsibility for staff, troubleshooting, and workflows, it is very difficult to walk away from daily work. For that reason there should be structures in place so that people can get work done when faculty are not there. There is also the idea of reduced responsibility during the first semester or after a successful third year review.

The Executive Committee tries not to overload the untenured faculty. Some untenured people say no to requests to serve on committees, but we do need what they have to offer.  The Library committee volunteer forms are mostly returned by the untenured faculty. EC would welcome information from the division coordinators providing information on the committees to which untenured faculty should be assigned. People learn from serving on committees and should not hesitate to be on committees, but perhaps should not agree to chair them. Professional committee work is very important and very helpful.

Paula Kaufman suggested that there might be several ways to follow up on this discussion. The untenured faculty should meet and take it up as a group.  Administration will talk about the suggestions made today and will follow up on useful suggestions. 

The meeting was adjourned at 5:00 pm.