May 2002 Council on the Libraries minutes

May 2nd, 2002
Council on Libraries

Present: Jim Aronson (JA), Ehud Benor (EB), Richard Callahan (RC), Robert Ditchfield (RD), Teoby Gomez (TG), William Hickey (WH), John James (JJ), Joy Kenseth (JK), Ken Korey (KK), Richard E. Lucier (REL), Cyndy Pawlek (CP), Cindy Shirkey (CS)

Special Guest: Marie Guerin (MG), Stacks Maintenance/Storage Library Supervisor

The meeting was convened at 12:05.


Richard E. Lucier announced that Bob Callendar ’52 and his wife Marilyn have donated one million dollars for a Berry third level reading room. The Callendar Reading Room will correct a lack of quiet study spaces in the Baker/Berry Library. This Reading Room comes out the December 4th Council meeting in which space needs were discussed.

Jim Aronson thanked REL and his staff for procuring such a space and for listening to their needs and comments. REL in turn thanked JA for excellent leadership of the Council this past year. He said the Council’s vision enabled him to fix a problem students and faculty have pointed out since the opening of Berry Library, a problem that is clearly a design flaw in the Berry’s architecture.

REL stated that the Mellon Foundation has given Dartmouth College Library a grant to host a Mellon Foundation Scholarly Communications Institute in Summer, 2003. The Council on Library and Information Resources will participate in hosting this event, as well. For more information, please view the April 11, 2002 CLIR news release. REL stated that this event would help to solidify our position as a leader in this area and would nicely correspond to the Digital Publishing Initiative’s efforts.

REL next mentioned that we are one of seven U.S. research libraries working together on a Scholars Portal Project with information management company Fretwell-Downing. The Dartmouth College Library System will be the first institution going operational on the system, which will be an important piece of the Digital Library at Dartmouth College. The Scholars Portal will allow users to simultaneously search multiple databases and will provide reference linking to enable users to gain access to our digital collections more easily. For more information, please see the May 1, 2002 ARL news release.

Cyndy Pawlek mentioned that we’ve gotten a lot of use on the Digital Library for Alumni. In the first five days the service was available there had been nearly 7,000 hits, many from Medical School and Tuck School alumni. REL said that this is a successful effort in trying to offer something of value to our Alumni so they are included in the Library’s programs.

Brief discussion ensued about similar resources and CP summed it up by saying that it would be a good idea for the Library to publicize other free resources Alumni can gain access to through the Library.

Stack Shifts

REL began discussion of stack shifts by stating the goal of this project is the optimal placement of physical items within Baker/Berry Library after the construction and renovations are done.

Marie Guerin handed out a packet of materials that contained a coversheet listing guiding principles for the stack shifts and a series of maps delineating which locations would be used for various collections. The guiding principles document is attached.

MG said that the bulk of the book moves would take place between the end of August and the beginning of September, 2002 with a target end date of September, 10th. She anticipates this move will take approximately two weeks. The stack shifts in 2000 were much more time intensive and complicated; for this move we will only be shifting a quarter of the collection and we have several elevators more than we had in 2000. Also, the items we move in this shift will end up in their final places.

REL mentioned that this is a complicated process because we are working with two sets of stacks. The building was never designed to create one logical stack location.

MG stated that any time you’re using compact shelving, such as on Berry Lower Level and Levels Three and Four, the ability to easily browse the collection is an issue. In addition to that, oddly shaped books create problems with compact shelving.

MG wants to put high-use materials in the Lower Level area to make that space more comfortable and less isolated. (Ken Korey mentioned that the door slams a lot down there, and MG noted that.) MG also wants to keep some high-use collections in Baker.

KK asked if the Dewey books would be re-classed. MG answered that with the exception of the 800s (literature), all are in Storage. Those that are heavily used get re-classed as Library of Congress call numbers. Re-classing all Dewey materials would be too expensive for the Library at this point.

As a reminder, the Baker Stacks are being renovated and will be brighter and climate controlled.

MG said that the Baker Stacks Levels have been renumbered to help make the building more understandable to new students by allowing the first floor to follow through all buildings.

There will be an oversized shelving unit at the end of each floor’s collection.

All stationary shelving blocking windows will be replaced with half-height shelving.

REL solicited comments on the layout. Three major concerns were voiced: the 800 Dewey collection is not as close to the Ps as it could be, the new Callendar Reading Room needs to be in a quiet space and the Philosophy and Religion collections are being shelved in compact units, and so aren’t browse-able.

It was also suggested that the Library publicize disturbances during the moves in advance.

REL mentioned that signage for the Baker/Berry complex is coming. CP said that she would want feedback once signage is up. The Wayfinding Group attempted to provide just enough signage and will be open to modifications.

Faculty Studies

CP drafted a usage policy based on the Council’s conversation in March. She asked for feedback on the policy. The consensus was a statement needs to be included that addresses how frequently studies are used. Those not used on a regular basis should be reassigned. There was also some concern that there weren’t enough studies set aside for short-term projects. REL said that at least one study should be reserved for daylong projects, and that Access Services will gather data during the upcoming year. That data can be used later to adjust the policy. Also, it was decided to move visiting faculty up higher in the priority list, which is based on rank and type of faculty appointment.

The Council endorsed the proposal, with said changes.

Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning (DCAL)

REL and JA asked the Council to look at the Provost’s ad hoc committee’s proposal for the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning.

The focus of the DCAL is on the faculty. It won’t replace existing groups on campus such as the Composition Center or the Academic Skills Center. Its aim is to provide and facilitate an exploration of new technology-based teaching methods. The DCAL will hopefully help faculty build skills.

JA asked for comments. The following discussion uncovered that the Council feels the real need on campus is for a group that will facilitate communication for the faculty. The service components of the DCAL already exist, and so it seems to be lacking focus. Many members suggested alternative ways the College could foster teaching improvement initiatives that are neither so expensive nor so tied to technology. It was also pointed out that we should be helping to train graduate students and new faculty to be better teachers, not better technology users.

JA and REL agreed that they needed to go back over the proposal. They said that their goals for the DCAL are very similar to what the Council has mentioned, but it’s clear the proposal fell short of expressing those goals. JA asked for members to send more comments to him through email.

The meeting was adjourned at 1:40.