Minutes -- February 17, 2009

International and Area Studies New Service Model (NSM) Team

Minutes, February 17, 2009

Al Kagan, reporting

Absent: John Wagstaff
Guests: Dean Ruth Watkins, Associate Dean Ann Mester, and Assistant Dean Matthew Tomaszewski (all LAS)

Barbara introduced the topic by reiterating the charge and noting that the report is due in early March. Barbara and Paula Kaufman met with Associate Provost Brustein and the center directors and others who report to Brustein yesterday.

Al discussed the old Cohen Report which advocated bringing the four small area studies units together for synergies, but without losing their identities.  The plan would have also tried to put them near the Slavic Library.  He said the model in the appendix to the new service models report has a similar concept, and he advocated that concept.

Barbara said she is concerned about collections being locked up because of limited opening hours and inefficiencies of small units. She said that she heard from two groups of faculty at yesterday's meeting: those who are satisfied with the way things are and those who do their work online and are not concerned about how the library is physically organized but want strong collections and librarians who can help when needed.

Scott said that the environment has changed since the Cohen Report, but that many of the core concerns in the report remain important.

Dean Ruth Watkins said she understands the pressure to change since it is the same in LAS. We need to use resources wisely. The LAS faculty is most concerned with the principle of maintaining service. They believe in the need to highlight special collections, especially for competitive advantage in securing grants. There is absolute support for the Team's efforts.

Associate Dean Ann Mester commented on yesterday's meeting. The Title 6 center directors are concerned with service to users, collection development, greater web resources, the key importance of maintaining identities, and continued staffing especially in relation to reporting requirements for Title 6 grants. Merle agreed about the staffing, and Paula Carns said that we need to count the staff wherever they might be. Scott agreed that the important thing was to have the staff with the right knowledge and expertise no matter where they were in the University Library.

Lynne noted her conversation with a Title 6 program officer at a meeting in Washington, DC last week. He didn't mention identity, but this is not such a bad idea. The services rather than semantics are important.

Ann reiterated the need for branding identity.

Andrew said there were three basic points in our discussions so far: 1. How to balance area vs. international/global studies?; 2. If the entire curriculum is being internationalized, what would not be in such a new model?; and 3. How to promote efficiencies vs. maintaining strengths?

Marek noted that Area and International Studies are not the same thing. Lynne noted that undergrads do not understand the difference.

Scott noted that there had already been wide discussion about the new service model proposal.

Ann asked Barbara to describe her goals. Barbara said that we are still working on it, but mentioned access to print and electronic collections and library staff expertise.

Paula noted that she had worked in her Modern Languages role with Nelly in the Latin America and Caribbean Library, but that it would be better to bring Modern Languages together with Area Studies.

Susan promoted creating a multimedia lab and place for class instruction, a one-stop shop. Ann said we need a space for meetings with visitors from abroad.

Dean Watkins and Assistant Dean Matthew Tomaszewski asked if the new model would free up space? Barbara and Scott replied that this was unknown but we might get better quality space.  Scott noted that the plan to integrate and centralize technical services would result in dedicated public service space.  Scott said that we could use virtual space to bring disparate collections together, as the labor history portal.

Al described two kinds of international studies: those that fit would have across the board applicability such as global studies.  Those that do not fit only address a specific kind of international studies such as international business.  Al talked with Becky Smith, head of the Business and Economics Library, who said that students do not care if their topic is domestic or international; rather they care about finding all the business information in one place. The point is that business librarianship must be looked at holistically. He also described the need to keep international documents (especially the UN documents depository) together with domestic documents (US depository) for the same holistic reason.

Shuyong noted that there were no clear boundaries between disciplines.

Scott advocated different levels of participation in the new service model. The first category might be founding members wholly part of the new model.  The second group might be corresponding members with strong connections to the new model.  The third group might be others that would take advantage of digital opportunities to bring collections together such as in the creation of the labor history portal.

Susan asked if we could agree on the principles driving the new service model? Lynne asked that each person give their individual visions. Barbara asked Andrew to send out his three points. Andrew mentioned the 2006 memo from all the center directors and heads of the area studies libraries. Barbara asked Al to resend it to all. Paula said there were kinship issues, and that we need to talk more with each other. Barbara said we could change the culture.

At this point Mary Mallory was invited to join the discussion to comment on the role of international documents. Mary said that their documents new service model team is getting close to finishing its report, and that the two teams need to be in sync. When David Griffiths, international documents librarian, leaves, Mary is excited to take a major role with international documents.  Other documents staff will also be involved. The Government Documents Library focuses on UN, US, Canada, and UK, but their website goes way beyond these collections.  Al praised their websites.  Government documents are collected in many libraries, and Mary noted that it would be good to pull this together.

We decided to review Scott's vision and Andrew's three points before the next meeting.  We can discuss by e-mail. Everyone should make a written response before the next meeting, Tuesday, Feb. 24th, 9-12 am, room 423.  We will also have another meeting on Friday, Feb. 27th, 1-4 pm in room 423.