Over the past several weeks, the Budget Group Plus has reviewed the proposals for “New Service Models” put forward in its Interim Report (November 2007), and evaluated each proposal for possible implementation. Substantive feedback has been received on the Interim Report from Library staff and Library users through electronic mail, the Library Web site, departmental meetings, and discussions that took place during the Town Hall Meetings held earlier this semester. Members of the Budget Group Plus were inspired by stories of how individual librarians and Library units contribute to the work of our faculty, staff, and students, and appreciative of the comments concerning both the strengths and weaknesses of our current service models. We found that our users – whether residents on the Urbana campus, participants in distance learning programs, or visitors to our Library from across the country (and around the globe) – share both our commitment to building on the strengths of the University Library, as well as our concern that Library service programs must be regularly reviewed in order to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of a broad spectrum of Library users, both for today and for tomorrow. This feedback has been essential to the review process and to the recommendations provided in this report.
Among the commitments kept foremost in mind during our review of New Service Model proposals were those identified in the Interim Report as underpinning the distinctive strengths of our traditional, “departmental library” service model. In brief, New Service Models must retain and build upon our commitments to:
In addition, the Budget Group Plus was guided by a set of overarching principles for decision-making that focused on enhancing communication and collaboration between the Library and its user communities, providing stewardship for all resources and collections, and developing service models that may evolve as broader changes continue to shape the higher education and information environments.
Those wishing to review the full description of the challenges and opportunities addressed through the New Service Models process may consult the full text of the Interim Report, as well as the “ Principles for Decision Making” on the New Service Models Web site.
The Budget Group Plus appreciates the input and feedback its members received during the New Service Models process. Our process of review and evaluation has been enhanced by the contributions of our staff and users. Early feedback from both groups allowed us to begin implementing several proposals that enjoyed support among the Library and campus communities, e.g., the proposal to combine the services of the City Planning & Landscape Architecture (CPLA) Library with those of the Funk Family College of ACES Library. The Library is grateful for the time and effort already being contributed by faculty and staff across campus to help us to move forward on these initial New Service Models projects. We recommend the establishment of similar implementation teams for the projects recommended for implementation in this report, and recommend, further, that future teams likewise include representatives both of the Library faculty and staff, and of campus colleagues (as appropriate). Finally, we recommend that the Library dedicate appropriate human resources to designing the project management and process improvement programs critical to the success of the multiple projects recommended for implementation in this report.
In the pages that follow, you will find our recommendations regarding the proposals described in the Interim Report. These recommendations relate to projects already approved for implementation, to projects we recommend be pursued over the next few years, as well as to operational and strategic priorities that we believe will provide the foundation for the future of Library collections and service programs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Several proposals first considered in the Fall – e.g., establishing an information service point on the first floor of the Main Library, re-locating the Map & Geography Library, and building a new facility designed to house our invaluable rare book, manuscript, and primary-source research materials – do not appear in the final set of recommendations because they are better suited to the longer-term view of the future of core Library facilities and service programs to be addressed in Main Library/Undergraduate Library Feasibility Study (in progress). Proposals for long-term projects and priorities will be discussed directly with the architects and engineers leading the Feasibility Study. Finally, it should be noted that, while the full slate of proposals recommended in this report is ambitious in its scope, there is always the possibility that other proposals for change will be implemented as well. There are proposals for change and for strategic allocations of resources articulated in documents such as the University Library Strategic Plan that are not repeated here, but are not forgotten. Likewise, there are issues and opportunities that will arise over the next few years that we cannot imagine (or plan for) today. This report provides a roadmap for future changes, but the Library must reserve the right to veer from that road in pursuit of goals and opportunities not yet identified. The research library, like the institutions of higher education and scholarly communications of which it is a part, is in a state of transition. This roadmap should help us to weather that transition and to reach our goal of establishing a more flexible organization for the future, but we reserve the right to go “ off-road,” when needed.
This report concludes with two appendices: 1) a listing of the Library spaces referenced in this report; and, 2) a brief summary of the discussion by the Budget Group Plus of each proposal originally described in the Interim Report.
This document was prepared by the members of the University Library’s “Budget Group Plus”:
Paula Kaufman, University Librarian and Dean of Libraries (Chair)
Rod Allen, Assistant Dean of Libraries for Budget Operations & Management Information
Peggy Glatthaar, Senior Library Specialist, Central Access Services
JoAnn Jacoby, Anthropology & Sociology Librarian
Cindy Kelly, Director, Library Human Resources
Chris Prom, Assistant University Archivist
Beth Sandore, Associate University Librarian for Information Technology Planning & Policy, and Associate
Dean of Libraries
Mary Stuart, Head, History, Philosophy, & Newspaper Library
Tom Teper, Associate University Librarian for Collections, and Associate Dean of Libraries
Scott Walter, Associate University Librarian for Services, and Associate Dean of Libraries
Please take a moment to give us your feedback & comments on the New Service Models.