Response to LSD - March 4, 2009

Dear Greg, Diane, Mary Beth and Pat--

I would like to thank each of you for the ideas and recommendations that you have provided in the LSD proposal submitted on 3/02/09, and all of you for the collective vision that you have developed.  We recognize the interest of the INHS and other survey libraries in having involvement in this planning, but feel it is critical to focus specifically on the Biology, Vet Med, AHS, and ACES libraries for this first phase of planning that addresses the points raised in the Provost's letter of January.

Paula and the AUL's have reviewed your combined and individual library proposals, as well as proposals from other groups and divisions.  We commend your efforts, but we ask you to go much farther and be bolder in crafting your vision.  We have indicated below the ways in which we would like for you to further develop your proposal.  Your comments and revisions are due to me by Wednesday,
March 11.

The main points of this message (treated in more detail below):

  • Start new initiatives your document refers to in the first two sections now--don't wait.  Accelerate the plan to assign Melody Allison part time to ACES, and other planned assignments to support ACES Library staffing needs in the short term.
  • Articulate a new role for the ACES Library as a Sciences Library--don't be bound by the current mission or the collection re-location needs;  assume that the Library may be required to choose a path that will involve  closing spaces prior to the complete processing of existing print collections.  And the Library may have to service spaces remotely while materials are processed out.
  • AHS becomes a part of a larger Social Science Library in the Main library.
  • Biology and Chemistry begin jointly planning for a Biochemistry library program and services to be served from the current Chemistry Library space.
  • Veterinary Medicine Library: need to keep in mind the role of strong library services in the upcoming 2013 college of Veterinary Medicine accreditation; identify potential for Greg to contribute some of his time to the main Life sciences library;

Detailed comments on points made in the document:

  1. Implement immediately:
    • There are a number of points that the proposal suggests that LSD libraries implement in the near term, and we believe that you ought to simply begin these immediately in the most expeditious ways possible, using existing Library programs and resources to assist you, like IPM for ereserves, DCC to help with digitization, aggressive pursuit of backfile purchases, collections transfer to Oak St., assigning Melody Allison part of her time to the ACES Library, and other staff as needs dictate.
  2. New initiatives: these can also begin immediately, in consultation with the appropriate central support services.
    • On demand scanning and document delivery of print articles/book chapters (IPM does this for e-reserves--contact Mary Laskowski to determine if this is possible)
    • Collaborative instruction (can be coordinated within LSD as well as in conjunction with Info. Lit. activities)
    • Enhanced support for digitization efforts (not sure what this means???)
    • IM and Chat reference support (should be implemented asap)
    • Scholarly communications - author support services (this will be coordinated through the Scholarly Commons--you can contact Sarah Shreeves to coordinate with the scholarly communications program).
    • Centralized electronic Reserves projects (again, contact IPM)
    • Special project support teams (???)
  3. "role of the ACES Library" - I encourage you to focus on articulating the forward-looking programs and services that _could be_ the ACES library of the future.  Do not assume that the current ACES Library configuration or mission is fixed.  It will be difficult, if not impossible for this vision to take shape if you continue to focus on moving  and fitting collections as the first step.  This issue is obstructing your collective ability to re-envision the ACES Library as a Life Sciences library to serve needs across several disciplines.
    • How would life sciences libraries offer programs and services in a combined facility to address core user needs to discover and get access to content?  What would be the immediate gains for users in having extended hours and access to more professionals under one roof?
    • What services and technology are the trademarks of a library that focuses on teaching, learning, and research in the life sciences, regardless of discipline or college?
  4. "additional considerations" - tell us more specifically how Katie could help guide your plans, in particular in her role as a librarian without a library.  I encourage you to seek Katie's input and perspective.
  5. New Life Sciences Service Model Planning  --this section seems to say that you are prepared to diminish services but keep smaller libraries, for a transition period.  We want you to push your thinking beyond this, and now is the best time for you to do it--what would be the best scenario to end up with in terms of quality service across disciplines?  Understanding that the current complement of libraries will likely be reduced.  What should be the overall Life Sciences library services vision to guide this progression? This is directly linked to #3 above.
  6. AHS proposal:
    • We suggest that the AHS library become a part of a broader Social Science Library that would include ESSL, grouping together the behavioral sciences, social work, AHS, and other affiliated disciplines.  The Social Science Library may _not_ be in one physical space (i.e., in what is now the ESSL library space), but will probably remain in the Main library.  We ask that you focus not on the space, but on the concept of being a part of a broader array of related social and behavioral science disciplines.  What would be the implications for research and learning support?   We encourage you to continue to identify affinities with the Library of the Health sciences, both programmatic and collections-related.
    • We strongly encourage you to start taking advantage now of central approaches to journal check-in, print reserves, and e-reserves.
  7. Biology proposal:
    • We see a compelling case for pursuing a combination of Biology and Chemistry library services.   But, we do not think it is useful to look at either the Bio. or the Chem. proposals the way that they have been framed.  Rather, we would like to see the resulting unit be a true Biochemistry Library, rather than a Chemistry Library that has "taken on a portion" of the portfolio of the Biology Library or a Biology Library that has "taken in" the Chemistry Library. We would like to see you and Tina work together to consider the service program of this new unit (Biochemistry) in the Noyes space.  Since there is interest in a "commons" or a "reading room" we would like for you to articulate what library services might be provided on a part=time basis from the embedded librarian
    • Bear in mind that the Library may be required to choose a path that will involve  closing spaces prior to the complete processing of existing print collections.  And the Library may have to service spaces remotely while materials are processed out.  This is not just in reference to Bio. collections.
    • "Mid campus library": At this point it looks more likely that Geo. will move to Grainger.
  8. Vet Med: this library's scenario is affected by the geographic isolation from other libraries and the reliance on specialized services, as well as the guidelines for accreditation and the fact that the process is so far out on the horizon.  We believe there is potential that some of Greg's time could be shared in a main life sciences location (ACES).  There also looks to be potential for the Vet. Med. College to collaboration on a shared space model, thereby reducing the Vet. Med.Library footprint, but not eliminating it.  We would want to approach this carefully, however, knowing that the accreditation process may weigh heavily on any substantive changes in the immediate future.

Beth Sandore
Associate University Librarian for Information Technology Planning and Policy
Associate Dean of Libraries