Faculty Senate Library Committee

April 7, 2010




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

Absent:    Frank Roberts (ex-officio), Shawn Knabb                                Minutes taken by:  C. Mallison


I.              Call to order:  The meeting was called to order by Committee Chair, R. Helms at 4:05 p.m.

II.            Minutes:  Minutes for March 31, 2010 were approved as written.

III.         Announcements:

Ø  A concern was raised that two core journals used by PEHR were cancelled. However, it turns out they were actually cancelled in 2002/03 but because of a glitch’, the libraries continued to receive print copies through 2007.  PEHR would like to get these journals back  Jeff Purdue is following up on this issue and also is waiting to hear back on a quote for these journals.

IV.         Action Items:  None


V.            Reports:

a)   Dean’s Update:  Chris Cox

Marisa Ramirez, Digital Resources Librarian for Cal Poly, will be coming to campus on April 20th. She has been invited to speak with various groups, including holding an Open Forum, on the advantages of having a Digital Repository (Archives) and what it takes to create one. It’s hoped her visit will start a broad-based conversation on campus on why we should have a repository and also how digitization has changed communications. The Libraries’ Digital Assets Task Force is overseeing the planning for her visit.  Dean Cox invited members to attend a special meeting with Marisa and ‘potential partners’ from across campus, and also the open forum if possible.


VI.           Discussion: 

a)  Standards on Weeding / Assessing the Collections:

J. Purdue told members that most universities have some kind of policy or standards to go by in assessing their collections. Currently our library does not have a clear policy but the Collection Development group is in the process of producing one. They hope to have something in place by the end of the academic year.

A question was raised about whether physical damage was used as a reason for culling a book or journal. Jeff Purdue said that although this is sometimes used as a reason, this actually applies to very few books or journals.  It’s a judgment call each time, and also depends on the amount of damage, how much it has circulated, it’s actual value, and the cost to replace it.

b)   Reasons Why Weeding is Necessary:

1.             Efficiency (to make the collection more ‘user-friendly’);

2.             Reliability of Search;

3.             Notion of ‘reverent space’ – assessing honors reverence of space;

4.             Create ‘Living Process Timeline’ between past and future;

5.             Creates self-discipline;

6.             Running out of space;

7.     ‘Weeded’ collection is more conducive to browsing; an over-loaded collections is not ‘user-friendly’;

8.             Physically damaged;

9.             Perceptions differ: old vs new and valued vs not valued;

10.          Social issues (censorship; should something be included?);

11.          Makes collection more current / more relevant;

12.  Safety – collections should include only the most up-to-date medical and legal information so poor information isn’t used by mistake; collections need to contain reliable information.


There was a brief discussion on how to begin the process of assessing the collection.  The following was noted:

Ø  Each area will need to have its own assessment criteria & guidelines; there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all rule. 

Ø  Faculty should be invited to give their ideas regarding assessing the areas that affect their disciplines.

Ø  Need to have a list of preliminary criteria set up to start the process; then alert faculty for their input for each area.

Ø  Should create a draft list of assessment criteria guidelines and then send this out to faculty for their comments/input; include a list of reasons for doing this collections assessment so they will have a better understanding of why this needs to be done.

Ø  This process should be called “Library / Faculty Collection Assessment”.

Ø  The Library could hold a ‘Faculty Open House/Open Forum’ event to start the process and get people involved.

c)   LibQual Survey:  Members briefly discussed some of the first results from the Library’s LibQual survey that was recently conducted on campus. Some interesting comparisons became evident in these results, such as the students ranked the importance of ‘ library space’ as “6 – 8”, but faculty ranked it as ‘5 – 6’.  However, ranking the importance of “information control” was just the opposite result.  Dean Cox said the library was now looking at various ways to have further conversations with faculty and students regarding these LibQual results, including the possibility of holding an open forum.

                  (Note: Original item (c) on the agenda regarding the acquisitions budget will be discussed at a later meeting.)

VII.       Adjournment:   The meeting adjourned at 5:30 p.m.