Faculty Senate Library Committee

February 17, 2010



Present:  Ron Helms (Chair), Chris Cox (ex-officio), Jeff Purdue,  Nicholas Wonder, Shawn Knabb, Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre, Margaret Fast

Absent:    Frank Roberts, Jeanne Freeman                                            

Minutes taken by:  C. Mallison



I.              Call to order:  The meeting was called to order by Committee Chair, R. Helms at 4:00 p.m.

II.            Minutes:  Minutes for February 3, 2010 were approved as written.

III.         Announcements: The libraries’ new microfilm scanner is now in service and being used regularly by the students.


IV.         Action Items: 

SLC Charge:  R. Helms presented copies of a draft revised Senate Library Committee Charge.  Members discussed ways to keep the membership list from getting too large but still become more inclusive in cross-campus representation.  Changes agreed to are as follows:

Ø  There will be only one library faculty representative, instead of two as there are currently.

Ø  The Collection Development Librarian will be 'ex-officio’ and will attend meetings as needed, when the agenda includes relevant items.

Ø  The student position should be filled by a grad student or AS Officer, if at all possible.


V.            Reports:

a)   Dean’s Update:  Chris Cox

Ø  The “Imaginary Library” art exhibit is now on display and will remain there until the end of April.

Ø  The Libraries are working with the Graduate Office on a policy that will require all graduating students to provide their theses in digital format as well as in print format.  The digital copies will be kept by the Libraries as part of our Digitization Initiative. There are some publishing issues to be worked out yet.

Ø  There’s a new Archives Policy currently going through the ‘30 day review’ part of the policy process.  After the 30 day period has expired, if no one has made any objections, it will be passed into policy. This policy revises who owns documents once they have been put into Archives. They will now be owned by the University Archives instead of the department that they came from. 

Ø  The Provost has provided funding to move the Writing Center into the Libraries; this will pay for the moving costs and minor renovation costs as well as some furniture.  This will be a temporary location until more money becomes available to create a permanent site within the Libraries.

Ø  The new café going into WL279 (the old Special Collections area), should be open by Fall Quarter, 2010. Renovation will include new seating, tables and carpeting as well as creating an area for study and place for presentations to be given.  The Dean presented blueprints and material samples.

Ø  The Dean is currently working on two off-campus initiatives: (1) working with other Whatcom County Library Directors to see if creating a ‘one card system’ for all county libraries is viable.  This is part of their initiative to find ways to improve communications and partnership between the libraries; (2) working on a state-wide ‘E-Library Task Force’ with other academic library directors/deans to find ways to gain better purchase power by working together.  Their report & recommendations are due to the Legislature by June 2010.




VI.           Discussion: 

Collection Assessment; Dean Cox and J. Purdue led a discussion on ‘collection assessment’, or ‘weeding’. The Libraries’ collections have not been ‘weeded’ since before 1980, and a recent study showed that 46% of books have never circulated since we went to an automated system in 1995. At our present rate of growth, the libraries will be ‘maxed out’ of space by 2013. The collections are in desperate need of being assessed and cleaned out to make room for more up-to-date materials and better use of space. Space for student seating should be at 15% (standard for other academic libraries); however, we have only 9% at this point.

Procedures for collection assessment are being written so clear guidelines will be established.  First ‘weeding criteria’ must be created, i.e.:

Ø  Determine what hasn’t gone off the shelves since 1995;

Ø  Find out who in the Alliance has a copy already; how many copies exist;

Ø  Liaisons and Department Heads should meet to discuss focus of weeding, then set up a time to do the weeding together.

Ø  Faculty will review selected books to determine what they want to keep – and give their reasons for wanting to keep them.

Ø  Collection Development Team and Dean will make final determination as to what will be removed.


It’s estimated that the first initial assessment process will take two or three years to complete (once started).  After this first round has been finished, we’ll go into a ‘maintenance mode’ where assessment will be done on a regular, periodic basis, rotating through the different disciplines. A Collection Development Policy is currently being updated to define how the collections will be maintained - what will be bought and what will be accepted as gifts/donations, as well as how collection assessment will be handled.

Members discussed marketing/PR for this assessment project:

Ø  It was agreed that there must be a clear process set up before presenting it to the campus. 

Ø  It was suggested that Dean Cox hold an Open Forum for the campus community, inviting a dynamic speaker to help address any concerns.

Ø  It was agreed that the Senate Library Committee will come up with 5 reasons why weeding is necessary and a good thing for the collections.

Ø  It was suggested that J. Purdue find out what the assessment standards are for the ACRL as well as for other universities and bring this information to the next meeting.

Ø  A draft rule was suggested and agreed: ‘If it hasn’t been checked out since 1995, and it’s available through ILL, then it should be considered to be removed from the collection.


R. Helms asked that this issue be added to the next agenda for further discussion.


VII.       Adjournment:   The meeting adjourned at 5:20 p.m.