February 2004 Council on the Libraries minutes

Council on Libraries
February 9, 2004
Treasure Room, 12:30-2:00 pm

Present: Kathryn Cottingham (Chair), Havah Armstrong-Walther, Cayelan Carey, Harold Frost, William Hickey, Douglas Irwin, Jeffrey Ruoff, Barry Scherr

Recorder: Julie Blain

Library Staff Attending: John Crane, Bill Fontaine, Cyndy Pawlek, Jennifer Taxman


1. Update on Librarian Search (Kathy Cottingham)
Some job ads have been placed, most of them on the web.

The search committee plans to schedule a series of meetings between now and end of term to gather input from Library staff, faculty and with students. The committee is interested in finding out what people are looking for in a new librarian: what do people think are going well, what would people like to see done differently, etc. It would be great if CoL members could spread the word to constituencies and let people know this will be happening and that the search committee would appreciate their input.

There is much competition as many universities are searching for new librarians, and because of this it’s difficult to know what the timeline will be or how challenging it will be to find the right candidate.

The search committee will begin reviewing applications April 15th. Questions should be directed to Kate Conley or any member of the search committee.

2. Update on Special Collections Search (John Crane & Jerry Rutter)
Two candidates have been interviewed and recommendations have been drawn up and sent to Cynthia Pawlek for a hiring decision.

3. LIBQUAL Survey in April 2004 (Cyndy Pawlek)
The Library will be running a web-based survey in April to measure user satisfaction with the library. LibQUAL+™ is the name of the survey instrument that the library will use, which has been developed by the Association of Research Libraries. The use of LibQUAL+™ is growing: 164 institutions throughout North America completed the 2002 survey and 203 institutions are participating in the 2004 survey. The survey instrument will use a set of 27 questions to measure library users’ minimum, perceived, and desired levels of service quality. An additional comments box gives survey takers the opportunity to contribute their thoughts about aspects of the library’s services that may not have been asked by the formal survey. All libraries participating in the ARL survey program will have the ability to compare survey data with each other.

Prior to the survey, Kathy Cottingham and John Crane will write a letter to faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates introducing them to the LibQUAL+™ survey and encouraging them to participate. The survey will cover the complete library system. All faculty, graduate, and professional school students, as well as a sampling of 1600 undergraduate students, will be invited to take the survey.

A drawing will be offered to students as an incentive to participate in the survey. There is a request on the survey for an email address, but results will be separated from the responder by ARL to ensure anonymity.

4. Student Access to Study Space in Baker/Berry (Jennifer Taxman)
Baker-Berry Library has 49 Scholar Studies and a waiting list for spring term of 11 undergrads. Jennifer suggested a way to open up some of these spaces and sought CoL approval of her plan. After discussion, the Council agreed to reassign to students the majority of studies reserved for short term [1 day, 1 week, 1 month] faculty use, as they are consistently underutilized. The Council also agreed that any faculty/visiting faculty studies not assigned 2 weeks into a term should be opened up to undergraduate and graduate students for the remainder of the term.

It is unlikely the Scholar Studies can fill the level of need, no matter how they are allocated. In addition to these studies, the library has a large number of lockers located in the Baker-Berry and Sherman complex, which can be an alternative for those needing longer-term book storage to support their research within the library. There are still plenty of lockers available. The library will assign more than one locker to a student or faculty member, if they need additional storage.

We need to advertise to students that these lockers are available. We also need to advertise study areas such as the Callander Reading Room, which provide open study space.

All lockers are checked periodically for materials that are not checked out.

Havah Armstrong-Walther commended the library on the great job they did in creating the study space on level 3.

5. Digital Library: DartDoc and the Online Catalog (Jennifer Taxman & Bill Fontaine)
The library has been working on two initiatives, which are a part of the continuing Digital Library development efforts:

Jennifer Taxman explained that the Library would be bringing up a new web service called DartDoc for requesting documents (books, articles, patents, etc) for faculty, students, and staff. It includes what is traditionally known as ‘interlibrary loan’ as well as the ability to request material held in libraries on the Dartmouth and DHMC campuses.

This new service will streamline the processing of requests, and cut down on the time needed to deliver materials into the hands of users.

DartDOC will replace the current ILL web form available through the Digital Library. Users submitting email and paper requests will be directed to the DartDoc web form. Each user will need to register once to begin using the system. DartDoc provides updates on transaction requests, keeping users informed at various points along the way, so they will have a better understanding of when to expect receipt of their requested materials.

COL members asked if they would be able to continue to use the ‘copy and paste’ function currently available. This will not be possible through DartDoc, but the library will, wherever possible, enable direct requesting of materials from within databases to streamline the process for users.

The library has been using DartDoc during the past year to respond to lending requests from other institutions. It is now ready to begin bringing Dartmouth users into the system. The question to COL: when is the best time to begin introducing this to the Dartmouth community? After discussion, members agreed that the cycles of interlibrary loan activity by faculty follow their personal schedules more than the general academic calendar. Releasing it when it is ready, rather than waiting for a specific date in the academic calendar makes sense, as long as there is sufficient time given to help people transition into the new system and there is good communication through the Vox, the D, and other forums so that users won’t be caught by surprise.

Online Catalog
Bill Fontaine presented a new graphical design for the online catalog. Goals for the redesign included creating an entry screen that is easier to read and bringing the catalog into the look of the Digital Library. The redesign keeps all of the existing functionalities available through the catalog to make the transition to the new look easier for users.

After demonstrating the new interface the Council was asked if they felt the design would be an easy transition for the Dartmouth Community and it was agreed that the changes were subtle enough that the library could go ahead with the Catalog release.

In the coming months, Bill will be working with other library staff to take a look at new opportunities offered by the vendor to improve search and display features in the catalog.