March 2002 Council on the Libraries minutes

Council on Libraries
Minutes COL mtg 3/7/2002
Topic: Scholar Studies( in-Library Study Rooms)

Present: James Aronson (JA), Ehud Benor (EB), Malcolm Brown (MB), Richard Callahan (RC), Robert Ditchfield (BD), Irwin Douglas (ID), Teoby Gomez (TG), William F. Hickey (BH), Joy Kenseth (JK), Kenneth Korey (KK), Larry Levine (LL), Richard E. Lucier (REL), Barry Scheer (BS), Cindy Shirkey (CS)

JA called the meeting to order at 12:10.

REL handed out a timetable of approximate dates when various library construction and renovation projects will be completed. Due to a shift in timing of the replacement of the Baker Stack Level windows, the Scholar Studies (formerly called Faculty Studies) will be opening shortly before the beginning of the Fall semester in 2002. There will be 46 Studies in total once Baker Level 10 is finished. This is the same number of Studies the Library has always made available to Dartmouth scholars. Once reopened, they will have new windows, new paint and will be climate controlled.

In the past approximately 60-65 individuals reserved these Studies at any given time, and there were usually waiting lists. They provided a quiet place where faculty could do research and be near their books. Studies were assigned to faculty regardless of status, and were occasionally given out to administrators, emeriti and scholar spouses, as well. Studies were never assigned to graduate or undergraduate students. The policy that governed their use was never made concrete, and hence, evolved frequently, particularly with respect to actual administration.

REL said he sees the need for these facilities in libraries, and that this need extends beyond the faculty to other constituencies with whom the Library deals, in other words, all campus scholars. He said he wants to hear the Council’s opinions on the use of these Studies, and then will draft a policy, based on the Council’s direction, for their future use that the Council can discuss and shape.

REL asked several questions to initiate the discussion: should we distinguish between different faculty ranks, such as tenure track, visiting and emeriti; should administrators and graduate and undergraduate students be allowed to reserve Studies.

A lively discussion followed, with participation from all. The following sums up the consensus that was reached.

Quiet spaces are important to many faculty for their livelihood. They are also times when the availability of at least a limited number of Studies may be important to faculty for their graduate students and senior honors students to be able to effectively conduct their library research. All need quiet spaces they can consider their own, where their references can be arranged and that will be there when they need them. Tenure track faculty are still the most important candidates for Library Studies. Students might be more flexible with the kind of spaces they can use. Both carrels and Studies could be tested out with a mix of times. The Library could operate them like this for a year, collect data and then analyze the data at the end of the year. It was also suggested that some be left unassigned for scholars who have immediate very short term needs. Discussion favored that the distribution of the Studies be based on the submission of a very brief proposal outlining the use and duration of use, though a clear decision was not made on the criteria for selecting awardees , the terms of the awards, and who makes the selections.

The issue was raised of a Code of Conduct for the Library Studies. After brief discussion the Council agreed that the primary purpose of these spaces is scholarship. The intensity and characteristics of that scholarship determines the type of space an applicant will receive. Conduct has to be respectful of others’ needs in conducting scholarship in nearby spaces. As an example the issue of cell-phone use was raised.

Using the drift of the discussions today, REL will draw up a draft proposal of the Library Policy on Distribution and Use of the Studies, and then solicit comments from the Council.

Agenda for May meeting: the Library Management Team is in the process of completing a draft of the plan for the next book move, which is coming up this summer. REL wants to get the Council’s views on the plan. The plan has to be finalized by June to leave sufficient time for the move.

The Thursday April 4 meeting is a joint one with the Council on Computing, with an agenda to be announced.

REL spent the last few minutes of the meeting talking about the Library’s budget for FY 2002-2003. All library budget lines except those that control salaries will be level funded next year. Due to inflation, this represents an 8% decrease in the growth of the collection. The Library will have to decrease spending in some areas. Our collection budget ranks 75th out of the125 ARL institutions. However, Dartmouth has been aggressive about purchasing electronic resources: we rank in the top ten of these ARL institutions in this area. We need to maintain this aggressive collection development of electronic resources. Where we may have to cut is paper items that duplicate reliable electronic resources and certain areas where we could use Borrow Direct to supplement our holdings.

REL also wanted to remind the Council that Borrow Direct will be online this fall, and will increase our collection size to the aggregate of all the Ivies (except Harvard). This service aims to have a 48 hour turn around and will use FedEx to ship items.

The meeting concluded at 1:30.