March 12, 2014 Meeting of Library Faculty Meeting

Time and Location of Meeting

March 12, 20143:00 pm - 4:30 pm 126 GSLIS

Agenda Details


Call to Order

  • Adoption of the Agenda – John Wilkin
  • Approval of Minutes – John Wilkin
  • Introductions – John Wilkin
  • Report of the University Librarian (20 min – John Wilkin)
  • Executive Committee Report (20 min – Bill Mischo)


Lightning Round (5 minutes):

  • New Digital Newspaper Archive, Veridian (Kirk Hess)
  • Minrva’s Wayfinder Main Stacks Maps (Jim Hahn)


New Business





Minutes Details


Call to Order


Adoption of the Agenda – John Wilkin

Approval of Minutes – The minutes were approved with a motion by Qiang Jin and seconded by Tom Teper.  All approved.

Introductions John Wilkin


Report of the University Librarian John Wilkin

John mentioned that all but one report from the faculty unretreat in January have been submitted.  Once they have all been received they will be shared.  He would like to start periodic library wide updates and gatherings to discuss some relevant topics (perhaps three times a year). Topics may include items like the budget, themes from the unretreat or other special topics.

Council of Deans News.  There was a very productive retreat, with a number of topics that were discussed around strategic planning.  One topic with a very strong interest from the deans was that of cross college collaboration, e.g., with more efforts in cluster hiring to help support the collaboration.

John brought attention to a presentation about a “designatorium”.  This was the Provost Adesida’s brain child, related to engineering.  It will bring together design, engineering, and art in a creative lab space.  A couple of deans had been working on trying to present and get support for it.  Dean Wilkin suggested the library as a space, based on our hub concept here; however, he recognizes there are currently no appropriate spaces (a problem addressed by the master plan).

Library Hiring Plan. The AULS and the Dean prepared a hiring plan that went out to everyone in February.  The Dean has a meeting this Friday (March 14) to speak with the provost about this. John reiterated that it is a robust hiring plan, with 10 positions put forward, including 4 faculty, and 6 academic professional positions.  These also include positions for an AUL for information technology and a Uni High Librarian.

Library Budget.  The budget group has been working on the budget for the provost.  The deadline is the week of April 7.  He will get it out as soon as it goes to CBOC (Campus Budget Oversight Committee).  Facility needs are in the foreground, especially the master building plan from years ago, which includes a high density storage piece (which costs $50 million).  He said it is time to push hard on that.  There are also a sizeable number of one time and recurring requests. Increasingly, in these kinds of documents, Dean Wilkin wants to frame the goals around four themes: (1) curation, including collections (including digital and data), (2) engagement with instruction and research, (3) spaces, focusing on creative things we do with them, and (4) scholarly communication.  John will thematically work this and reinforce our mission.  The message that will emerge will be to strengthen our relationship between the budget statement and our goals.

Goals:  Some of the predetermined goals are moving forward, including:

  • Digitization.  Tom Teper, Mary Laskowski, Betsy Kruger, and Jennifer Teper are part of this effort to send a large size of volumes from the library to get digitized. An additional 400,000 public domain items were found that have not been digitized. We will probably get between 200-300,000 items digitized by Google.
  • The print management and deduplication of items initiative that Tom Teper summarized at a previous faculty meeting and in an email message is progressing with the CIC shared print repository. We are on the leading edge of this.
  • Data services.  Work is going well on hiring and the infrastructure.  Beth Namachchivaya and others are working on data repository services.  They should have a formal offer out soon on the director position.
  • Another goal area is facilities. We will see some progress on a number of things. There are still questions on how the efforts will be funded, but there has been encouragement from Mike Andrechak, Associate Chancellor & Vice Provost for Budgets and Resource Planning. Some of the improvements will be with the south courtyard windows and HVAC for the east side of the main library building.  There will likely be some support from the provost for matching funds and from others, with minimal funds from the Library.

Specialized Faculty Draft Provost Communication.  John went through some of the power point slides from an earlier presentation (February 10) to the Council of Deans.  The report was vetted on campus and got support at the faculty senate yesterday (March 11). John summarized the main points of the report.  The intent is to formalize appointments for non-tenure track faculty (a framework). It doesn’t affect library appointments, but is relevant to everyone on campus.  It is focused on identifying who the specialized faculty are and what to call the faculty who are non-tenure track, but who are specialized. The term “specialized faculty” was approved. The goal is to formalize things that are tacit in other environments (such as instructor and lecturer).  Here it is carefully articulated in policies and practice (hiring, offer letters, job descriptions, performance etc).

There are four areas: teaching focused, research focused, clinical focused and visiting.  The report clarifies language around “adjunct” and “lecturer” and articulates promotional tracks. Units that do have these positions should situate the people in the new framework and revise bylaws and policies (which were also discussed at the Council of Deans).

Because several library faculty, after initially reading the report, were concerned that it might impact the Library’s future ability to secure faculty, and cause a trend towards the campus sending back position descriptions as Academic Professional (AP) positions, John reiterated that the Library does not currently have any positions that are represented in this report. He also emphasized that the Uni High Library position (which was submitted as an AP) is not related to this. Tim Cole pointed out that historically, when Uni High was a part of the College of Education there were many faculty, but the librarian position is now the only remaining faculty position at Uni High.  He added that the provost is not looking at this as a strictly library faculty position, but one of the whole unit and the implications of what that means to the whole unit.

Comments and Questions

Most of the comments were about the recent number of positions that are going forward as Academic Professionals, rather than as faculty positions.  Barbara Ford asked about the rationale for putting forth positions, such as the e-learning support specialist and the instructional support specialist position as academic professionals.  She mentioned how, at the University of Illinois in Chicago, faculty were pressured not to hire as many as faculty and it greatly changed the nature of those in the library and on staff.  She cautioned us to be aware of this potential and to make sure the new provost and those who work with him (some whom don’t support the status of librarians as faculty) understand that UIUC librarians have prided ourselves on our contribution to research and service, not just librarianship.  John reiterated that in his interview and beyond with Provost Adesida and Barb Wilson, that it was clear that they don’t want to do away with the faculty status of librarians.

In response to the e-learning and instructional services positions that Barbara mentioned, Sue Searing, Lisa Hinchliffe, and Susan Avery shared that those positions are parallel to other positions on campus that provide support to online learning or instruction, which are all APs.  They were submitted to the Library EC as AP positions. The e-learning support specialist is analogous to academic professionals in CITES academic technology and the instructional services specialist position is parallel to first year coordinators in the first year programs they work with, all APs.  Their responsibilities are based in teaching and working with programs, rather than research, with the major work with the instruction loads they have.

Tim Cole also commented that the current practice of hiring APs is not a result on the part of the provost, but is an internal one.  These requests are coming to EC as AP proposals. He said it is similar to the large number of new AP proposals occurring on campus, to obtain specialist positions.  We are the ones that are generating the AP requests.  There was discussion about whether or not library faculty are being intentional as a faculty about our future direction and that we should reflect on whether or not this practice of proposing APs will eventually mean that we have very few faculty members.  There was a suggestion when drafting positions to consider if a position that is a specialist (AP) position might be crafted to be a faculty position. Barbara Ford recommended that we should find a place to talk about this and Lisa Hinchliffe asked if, in the future, EC could share not only the positions that are being proposed, but also the recommendations so others could learn more about those justifications and to comment on possible impact.  John responded that they should be able to do both.

Executive Committee Reports – Bill Mischo

  • Bill shared information on behalf of Mary Laskowski, the chair of the Library Promotion &Tenure Advisory committee (PTAC) about upcoming brownbag conversations to discuss revisions to our promotion and tenure documents.  The document being revised has not been revised since 2000 and describes what it is to be a Library faculty.  The campus committee on promotion and tenure and the provost want to see the standards for the individual units—which differ from the various campus departments. Bill encouraged everyone to read the document which is on both the PTAC and the Faculty Review Committee websites (  The first brownbag will be on March 23rd at noon.
  • EC Report:
    • EC spent a lot of time on the library hiring plan, including reviewing the position descriptions. Previously the language was never standardized in the descriptions about research and service requirements. Now each description has a standardized phrase in the responsibilities section that makes it clear that there is a research and service requirement.
    • The AULS (Associate University Librarians) meet with EC once a month to look at organizational issues in order to make a stronger connection between goals and results. One thing they looked at in the last hiring plan was changing the AUL structure and agreed to create a fourth one for Research. They also discussed philosophical issues and that we now have a matrix organization in which every departmental librarian works with each AUL.  They are considering structures that will allow us to look at functional areas better and to organize around a functional area, putting together a team—(like a Manhattan team or skunks team to do this), similar to the New Service Model, that allows us to address larger issues in the library.  Bill said we will need a larger library discussion about this, which will occur after a proposal has been drafted.
    • Specialized Faculty:  EC discussed this document and Bill pointed out that the issue of how nontenured faculty are treated and how their jobs are defined, is an issue also of concern nationally, with articles in publications like the “Chronicle of Higher Education” and “Inside Higher Education”. The campus put together this document to address those issues. UIUC currently has 770 non-tenure track faculty.  One of the commitments EC made was to look at growing the quality and strength of the Library faculty. This is an evolutionary change with the job descriptions.  One example of this is that several job descriptions that have gone out do not require an MLS, but may require specialized experience in specific areas, in an attempt to broaden the scope of the role of Library and faculty and areas in which we need to be more involved.  The Library now has 50 APs.  Some of these require an MLS and some don’t. The campus has also grown the number of APs.  EC is looking at the 50 AP positions we now have, as well as new ones, and is discussing if they fit in the new Specialized Faculty structure, with an eye to whether the position might fit as a teaching assistant professor or clinical assistant professor (rather than as AP positions).  This is something that we have talked about over the years, which might address the issue of trying to shoehorn duties and responsibilities into AP positions where they don’t fit.  Bill stated that the Library now has 83 faculty (including law). Although numbers have gone down some, they are not at an historic low.
    • Mary Mallory noted that at the recent Senate meeting there was a revised version of the Specialized Faculty Document with some amendments that were endorsed.  She later sent that out in an email ( Report (revised 2.21.2014).
    • Comments/Questions:
    • Beth Sandore Namachchivaya suggested that to help with grounding, it would be useful to have other statistics and information about patterns historically in AP and Faculty positions at the Library, including how many positions were proposed as faculty and went forward as AP.  Bill can do this from the DMI site but added that EC could gather this information.  Sue Searing remarked that it is also important to get the story behind the statistics, which can provide information about the intentionality or lack of intentionality and Bill Mischo included the need to understand the history/context.
    • Tim Cole added that EC addresses the concern each year that we are submitting proposals to fit an AP description, rather than strengthening the positions to be a faculty member.  This year more than 1/2 the requests were for APS, not faculty.  He suggested that if they had been combined in a different way they could have been faculty and that even though we are looking for specialized skills—we can find faculty to do those.  He said that by the time EC gets the description it is too late to go back and fix it.  EC looks back at documents over the past decade to help justify if a position should be AP or faculty and if the person could get tenure with the job description.  Bill Mischo noted that there is a document on the EC site that has the revised responsibilities of library faculty, AP and LOA (Library Operations Associate). EC goes through and reviews each when they get a job description to determine what the classification should be.  He also added that, in the past, some people in a tenure track position have moved off it to an AP position.  Tom Teper added that any time we apply for an AP position, rather than a faculty or civil service position, we have to do a PAPE, to get an exception (from being a faculty or civil service position) which delays the process. Skye Arseneau and Donna Hoffman (from Library Human Resources) met with EC about the distinctions in these classifications and that what may have been approved as AP three or four years ago may not be that now.  There is now a push back and review.  The new specialized faculty document may provide better alternatives to this.

Lightning Rounds

  • New Digital Newspaper Archive -Kirk Hess

Kirk provided a walkthrough of the new web site for the Digital Newspaper Archive Collection ( He illustrated using a known item search (someone searching for a speech done by TS Eliot on 5 June 1953) to see how it was reported in the Daily Illini).  The article he referred to was:–1950—1960–en-20-DIL-1–txt-txIN-Eliot—–T.S.+Eliot-


He showed the features of the limits that can be done and how the search can be expanded.  He also showed how individuals can make corrections (on the left).  This type of crowd sourcing is useful since when items are digitized with OCR (optimal character recognition) not everything is replicated perfectly.  Kirk mentioned that you can also search by tags and that the traffic to the system has already tripled since going online (and it doesn’t crash).  The archive currently contains over 1.1 million pages.  He asked that we use this site as an example when we talk about crowd sourcing.  Bill Mischo said they are also working on this with easy search, and adding targets. Qiang Jin asked if it was possible to use easy search to pull up all the library digital projects (since they used different standards) and Kirk said it was.  He said this resource will also come up using Google and is working with social media (facebook, twitter etc).  For more information see:


  • Minrva’s Wayfinding Main Stacks Maps – Jim Hahn

Jim talked about the Library mobile app that is on Google Play and at the Apple Store.  Minrva ( contains various modules, one of which is the wayfinding app. It was first developed for the Undergraduate Library, then ACES, the Music Library and now for the Main Stacks (consisting of 90 miles of 5 million volumes). Jim showed images of what is going live for the main stacks and the challenge to graphically display our main stacks on a small hand held device.  He acknowledged the individuals who worked on this project, as well as funding from a Sparks grant and an IMLS National Leadership Grant (

The intent is to allow users to find what is available in the place they want to visit. After selecting the wayfinder module from the initial MINRVA screen, the user can pan in and get a horizontal view.  The XY coordinates are pixels on the map which indicate the exact row to find the book.  This uses a SQLite database using information (inventory numbers) from the staff in Main Stacks and is then uploaded to a server.  Anything that has a location in Main Stacks is there. The information is then sorted and plotted.  Jim also mentioned the connection from this application to another project “Topic Space Augmented Reality” that can then recommend things that aren’t there but are on the same topics as the area or things checked out.  He also showed how users can search their history on their phone (using the bib id of the book).  After this is uploaded by AITS, it will be available. There will be a release event on April 4th in the Undergraduate Library.

  • Kirstin Dougan asked if there are plans to include format icons (which would help users quickly see if the format is a CD, DVD, Score etc).  Jim acknowledged that they could put those in (as long as they are in VuFind as html tags).
  • Steve Witt asked if there was a possibility to filter by language in a section.  Jim said he would have to look at Vufind.  If it passes through the search in Vufind or if it is an advanced search he can do it.  Kirk Hess confirmed that you can search by language so he thinks it can be done.


New Business

Barbara Ford asked if there might be a special meeting to discuss the issues raised today regarding Faculty/APS/the Specialized Faculty Document and a process for how EC can move forward with issues. Bill Mischo agreed that after background information has been pulled together they could have a specialized meeting and John indicated, after a suggestion, that it was a good idea to have this within the next six months.


  • Beth Namachchivaya announced that the Library and GSLIS are cosponsoring an ALA Library Research Round Table seminar at the iHotel October 7-9.  A call for papers is being sent out for contributions from academic, school, public librarians, iSchool and graduate students.  The theme is “The Engaged Librarian: Libraries Partnering with Campus and Community” to highlight librarians collaborating in a number of venues in a number of research activities, both practical and theoretical.
  • Jen-chien Yu announced that the Libqual survey will be open April 3-19 and that the working group members might ask for help promoting the survey. It is open to every full time student, faculty, AP, and civil service- staff and those who complete the survey will have a chance to win a $50.00 Illini Union Bookstore gift card.  There will be a selected sample of individuals who will get automated emails.  She will send out an FAQ.  The URL is:
  • Mara Thacker mentioned that on April 1, from 5-7 pm the International and Areas Studies Library will host another public engagement event for international week.  The program will include world class musicians and seating is limited.
  • Dan Tracy reminded everyone that April 1 is also the Edible Book Contest (9th year) and encouraged people to submit entries.  He added that the special entry this year is “banned books”.

Adjourned at 4:25 pm