Main Library Humanities Hub Team
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Present: Charlie Wright, Paula Carns, J.P. Mathy, Kirk Sanders, Mark Wardecker, Sarah Shreeves, Jo-Ann Jacoby, Marek Sroka, Harriett Green, John Wagstaff [please check this list, as I forgot to take a list during the meeting and am having to rely on my memory.]
John began the meeting by reporting on his meeting the previous day with Jen-Chien Yu, the library’s recently-appointed Assessment Coordinator. On the basis of that meeting it looks as if item 8 of our charge, “Recommend a plan for the ongoing assessment of collections and services, focusing on impacts and outcomes and including metrics and other means of identifying whether the desired outcomes have been achieved”, is best going to be fulfilled by a combination of traditional quantitative tools (gate counts, user surveys, circulation statistics) and more “ethnographic” studies that might involve how patrons actually use our spaces. JoAnn pointed out the usefulness of having patron “stories” in any assessment model. Paula noted that it’s important that before we come up with a plan we have conversations with patrons regarding what they actually need. This led to the question of “where are we going?” with this project. Perhaps we have already spent too much time talking about spaces, especially in regard to a possible Classics move, and haven’t discussed basic questions such as whether the whole “Humanities Hub” project is a good idea?
Charlie noted that the interdisciplinary advantages of bringing collections together are clear. But we also need to take account of what we might lose if we are to combine humanities collections on 2nd floor of Main Library – how much actual shelf space will be available in room 220
J-P observed that interdisciplinarity requires movement both on the part of the library and the academic faculty.
Following Tom Teper’s visit last week, it was felt that we must have clear information from him and the Stacks Team regarding whether or not material from Classics can be moved to Stacks, before we can make a recommendation about moving Classics from 4th to 2nd floors. This could end up as a “deal breaker”. Mark noted that he and his colleague, Kim Lerch, are currently working on measuring the shelving that is presently in the Classics Library. He also pointed out that Classics materials should be reclassified to Library of Congress classification if the move was going to be successful. This is something we should include in our final report.
Other issues that arose included: (i) the role of the History, Philosophy and Newspaper Library [HPNL] in the humanities hub – when first suggested, HPNL seemed to be very against the idea of being part of the “hub”; and (ii) whether our report should consist of a “short term” and “medium-long term” plan, given that we have at least two years to prepare for its implementation. A clear “short term” objective would involve reclassification of the humanities collections in Main Library to LC, and this was generally thought to be a good idea.
The Team’s next meeting will be on November 7, and our final report is due on December 14.