Year-End Report, Academic Year 2006-2007
The Faculty Library Committee consists of:
Scott Mills, Forestry
Scott Richter, HHP
Patrick C. Williams, Music
Bob Acker, Modern & Classical Languages
Andrew Ware, Physics & Astronomy (chair)
Social Sciences (One)
Teresa Sobieszczyk, Sociology
Mansfield Library (Two)
Barry Brown, Mansfield Library
Danielle Dubuque, Mansfield Library (fall)
The Faculty Library Committee (FLC) met on a monthly basis throughout the 2006-2007 academic year in order to conduct its charge of facilitating communication between the libraries and the faculty senate, and reviewing and advising on matters pertaining to the library budget, collections, and services. The FLC covered a wide range of items in its meetings and enjoyed a good working relation with the new Library Dean, Bonnie Allen. The FLC appreciates many informative communications from Dean Allen and the library faculty.
Activities and discussion topics of the FLC during the 2006-2007 academic year included: (1) adopted a procedures and guidelines document for the FLC; (2) reviewed and discussed the Mansfield Library acquisitions budget; (3) discussed the discontinuation of the Author's Reception; (4) undertook an in-depth review of the Core Approval Plan; (5) discussed the importance of allocating library resources for new programs and the role of the Library Dean in the new program approval process. Details of these items can be found below.
The FLC adopted a new Procedures and Guidelines document. After some initial discussion of amending the charge of the FLC, the committee decided a more flexible and useful approach would be to write and adopt a Procedures and Guidelines document. This document is intended as a working document for the use of the FLC. It is a guideline of the procedures used by the FLC and can be amended by the FLC at any time. It covers the details of the actual working process of the committee and a copy is available on the FLC website (the FLC website is linked from the Faculty Senate website).
(2) Acquisitions budget
At the October 2006 meeting of the FLC, Barry Brown, Head of Access and Collection Services for Mansfield Library, gave a presentation on changes in the acquisitions budget. Money has been moved from the library allocation plan to the core approval plan (more on this item below). For this academic year, both plans were essential parts of the library acquisition process.
Overall the financial situation of the library is sound. One area of noted improvement at the Mansfield Library is access to journals, both print and electronic. The library now has better parity with larger universities in terms of access to journals and other electronic resources. Areas of concern in the library budget include the lack of funding for student assistance at the library and the lack of funding to cover the extended hours for summer now provided by the Mansfield Library.
In this legislative year, the library is hoping for a 7% increase for collections to keep up with inflation.
(3) The discontinuation of the Author's Reception
Dean Allen brought forth the possibility of discontinuing the Author's Reception and the creation of the faculty biography. This was motivated by dwindling attendance at the Reception in recent years (though there was no Reception during the 2005-2006 academic year). The FLC felt that the library should not invest its resources in creating the faculty biography and hosting the Author's Reception.
(4) The Core Approval Plan
The primary goal of the Core Approval Plan is to build collections of excellence with available resources. YBP, formally Yankee Book Peddler, is the vendor and was chosen after consideration of three companies. Benefits of the approval plan include rapid access to books (within weeks of publication), reduction of paperwork, price discounts and cost savings from consolidated ordering, among others.
Starting in the 2007-2008 academic year, the Core Approval Plan will be the primary acquisitions method for books for the Mansfield Library. The allocations plan is being discontinued. There will be a supplemental fund for ordering of materials not covered by the approval plan. Requests for orders from the supplemental fund should be sent to the library as needed. There will be no deadlines associated with this process.
The committee heard presentations on the mechanics of the approval process as well. There is an InfoIssues edition that discusses the approval plan and Barry Brown is working on developing a frequently asked questions (FAQ) document on the approval plan. Faculty feedback can influence the collection at several junctions in the approval plan. All faculty members are encouraged to discuss this process with their liaison librarians.
(5) The role of the library in the approval of new programs
As report in last year's FLC report, Library Dean's approval has been added to level II curriculum changes. It is important that the library be informed of new programs to plan for needed collections. The acquisitions budget needs to stay in line with grant funding and inflation.
Associate Provost Arlene Walker-Andrews attended the April meeting of the FLC for a discussion of the new program approval process and the role of the library in that process. In addition to needing the library budget to reflect the amount of organized research activity (i.e. building infostructure to support the research enterprise), and to keep pace with inflation, there was discussion about what the appropriate funding mechanism would be for building library resources needed to support new programs. If new resources are needed to support specific new programs then how does the library base budget get increased? There was some concern from the FLC that programs that included accurate estimates of the impact of the new program on the library budget would be penalized in the review process. The participation of the Library Dean earlier in the review process was discussed.
Finally, the FLC was unable to elect a new chair for the 2007-2008 academic year. Barry Brown agreed to serve as interim chair until a new chair could be elected at the first meeting of the FLC in the fall semester.