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March 2005 Council on the Libraries minutes

Council on the Libraries
3 March 2005

Members Present: Kathy Cottingham, Bob Graves, Bill Hickey, Jeff Horrell, Jeff Ruoff, Jerry Rutter, Barry Scherr

Ex Officio Members: Malcolm Brown, Teoby Gomez, Larry Levine

Invited Guests: John Crane, John James, Cyndy Pawlek, Jim Fries

1. Approval of minutes (Cottingham)

Minutes from the February meeting were approved unanimously by the Council..

2. Library Focus: Feldberg Business & Engineering Library (Jim Fries)

Jim Fries, Head of the Business & Engineering Library, provided this month’s library focus by briefly introducing CoL members to the many activities underway at Feldberg.

Highlights included:

  • The multidisciplinary nature of the faculty, staff, and students who use the library: the heaviest users tend to come from Tuck, Thayer, and Economics, but there are also strong undergraduate user groups from the nearby dormitories and connections to the Dartmouth Medical School, especially the Center for the Evaluative Clinical Sciences.
  • The strong digital component of the library’s collections; since 1997 there has been aggressive movement from print to digital resources, such that ~70% of the budget is currently spent on digital resources.
  • Feldberg’s cooperation and collaboration with other campus libraries in the areas of collections building and library services.
  • Feldberg’s participation in campus discussions of scholarly communications issues, including the open access movement.
  • Feldberg’s direct participation in education through informal and formal orientations for Tuck students, working with undergraduate engineering design students, and running grant proposal workshops for Thayer Ph.D. students.

3. Introduction and Discussion with Jeff Horrell, Dean of Libraries and Librarian of the College

Jeff Horrell, the new Dean of Libraries and Librarian of the College, provided observations and impressions from his first three weeks on campus, including the following:

  • Appreciation for the dedication, energy, and enthusiasm of Library staff, a longstanding hallmark of the Dartmouth Libraries. Horrell is extremely impressed by the services provided by the libraries, both traditional and new (e.g., RWIT, allowing credit card payments, having a new book list in the catalog, etc.)
  • Some confusion about what the Digital Library is and how the Dartmouth libraries are conveyed online. Is the Digital Library a misnomer? Do we need a library presence on the Web that’s more than the “purple” digital library site? How do we describe and present a comprehensive view of ALL of the Dartmouth libraries online? Clarification of these issues could likely help in working with donors, for example.
  • The need to begin campus-wide discussions now regarding the long-term archiving and the availability of digital information. We need to plan for sustainable, long-term digital infrastructure.
  • The need to continue planning for physical space needs. Right now, the libraries have uneven space availability, due to differing needs for maintaining traditional print collections vs. expanding digital resources. It is important to be thinking about these needs on a 15-20 year time frame, and to act accordingly.
  • Continuing to build the collections in both print and digital forms. How should we balance these competing needs? When do we change from print to digital? How do we build for new programs / catch up on existing programs / develop resources for new faculty? What do we need to do to keep up with changes and to anticipate the unanticipated?
  • Promoting staff development, training, and recruitment. New expertise will continue to be needed as the libraries evolve; we also need to focus on developing the library leaders of tomorrow.
  • Developing a more active program to deal with issues revolving around scholarly communications. Both the CoL and campus probably need to be more hands-on regarding these issues. Should the campus choose a few areas in which to take a stand, to be true leaders? What’s the best way to go about this process?

After Jeff’s remarks, there were active discussions about a number of these issues.

4. Agenda for April 14 Meeting

The next meeting will focus on two issues: reviewing the issues associated with Scholarly Communications discussed during Spring 2004, and developing an active agenda for how to broaden the discussion of these issues on the Dartmouth campus during the next academic year.

Based on today’s discussion, fruitful areas for exploration include:

  • Plans for the short-term (e.g., educating faculty about the key issues)
  • Plans for the medium-term (e.g., beginning campus-wide discussions, perhaps through a committee convened by the Provost)
  • Plans for the long-term (e.g., taking a policy position, or deciding NOT to take a policy position?)

5. CoL Membership, Spring 2005

Kathy Cottingham, current chair of the CoL, will be out on maternity leave during spring term; as of the meeting, a replacement was still being sought. Substitutes for other members on leave or planning to be off-campus for the term have already been named.

6. Meeting adjourned at 1:15 pm.