Academic Services Committee


Minutes of October 15, 1999 Meeting


Members Present: Carole Colatrella (IAC); Stephanie Dilocker (Grad Rep.); Miriam Drake (Dean, Library); Don Frank (Exec Bd Liaison); Michael Kelly (GTRI); Nancy Green Leigh (ARCS); Jonathan Miner (UG Rep); John Papastavridis (COE); Spencer Rugaber (CoC); Edward Thomas (PHYS), Deborah Turner (MGT) (for Goutam Challagalla, (MGT)

  1. Serials Review: Miriam Drake presented a report to the subcommittee concerning the impending serials review. Because the library has not received an increased budget for 1999-2000 and the subscription costs of many serials are rising, the library has begun negotiating to save certain costs by purchasing some journals in bundles through consortia) networks. Yet there is still a need to decrease serials costs by 8-10%; it is hoped that additional savings can be achieved by eliminating journal subscriptions for titles that are no longer needed to support curricula or faculty research. She reminded the committee that the library has been fortunate in the past decade to avoid the serials cuts many other libraries were forced to make in response to escalating journal costs in the early 1990s.
  2. The serials review is planned to take place in early 2000. In January, the library will divide up the serials subscriptions by call number and send appropriate lists to school chairs and directors. Additional forms asking users to evaluate the significance of all titles will be appended (one form for each title); Miriam Drake passed out copies of a sample form. Lengthy discussion within the committee pointed out the need for interdisciplinary areas (i.e., Urban Planning) to work with the unit's library information consultant to establish appropriate call number lists for program review. Faculty were particularly concerned that decisions not be made solely by administrators but that the faculty in all disciplines should be offered the opportunity to provide input concerning the use of particular titles. Information from this review process will be collected by the library by the end of February. The library staff will collate results in March and expects to begin canceling unneeded subscriptions in April.

    Miriam Drake indicated that the library will also consult electronic data from Document Delivery requests, noting citations from faculty publications, as well as considering the impact factor of journals for particular fields. She encouraged faculty and unit chairs to work closely with library information consultants in preparing and completing the serials review. In response to a question from Nancey Green Leigh, Miriam Drake indicated that although some serials will no longer be purchased, other titles will be added to the collection.

  3. User Access to Volumes in Storage: John Papastavridis expressed concern that since the library moved many items to storage it is difficult for users to browse runs of journals and other volumes because many have to be requested for retrieval. He asked if certain titles of older reference books and journals published before 1990 might be moved back on to public shelving. Miriam Drake explained that the space constraints of the building and student interest in expanding study areas, which are in short supply on campus, required moving many volumes. 
  4. Expanding Study Space/Increasing Library Access: Jonathan Miner asked if more study space could be created in the library and if the library would consider extending hours at night. Miriam Drake reported that the library is working with Facilities on a plan that would keep open a portion of the library for extended hours, while securing the rest of the building. It was also noted that the need for study space and group meeting areas ought be addressed, at least in the distant future, by the proposed Undergraduate Learning Center. In response to an inquiry made by Spencer Rugaber, Miriam Drake indicated that at the present time there is no plan for a new library building or for expanding the current library.
  5. In response to John Papastavridis' question regarding whether the library can remain open for more days and longer hours during breaks, Miriam Drake explained that days and hours were determined largely by when the campus was open, cost of staffing, and the percentage of the campus population likely to use the building or the collection during break periods.

    Many present agreed that electronic access to the catalog and to services did alleviate the need to keep the library open during certain periods, at least for users who were comfortable relying on electronic modes. Miriam Drake indicated that such electronic access will be expanded for students as well as for faculty in the coming years. Information consultants should be asked about the procedure for a Georgia Tech user to obtain a GALILEO password for off-campus electronic access to this service.

  6. Communication and Library Profile: Stephanie Dilocker asked if the library could publicize its services and star functions more broadly and more frequently to the student population. John Papastavridis asked whether information about where volumes might be if they do not appear on the shelves might be posted on the shelves; it was suggested that Reference librarians ought to be consulted in such cases instead of specific information about certain volumes being posted. 
  7. Building on Nancey Green Leigh's suggestion that the serials review should be explained remarked that the procedures for the impending serials review should also be published in The Whistle and the library website so as to inform the entire campus about the procedures. He also recommended that there be a review period for the faculty after the results are tabulated.

    Spencer Rugaber asked about the possibility of research information being distributed automatically to library users. Such services and their attendant costs, which can be significant, have been considered by the library, but at this time there are no plans to purchase such services.

  8. Other Concerns: John Papastavridis asked whether it was-necessary for the library to require entering users to display identification cards. Indicating that uncontrolled access in the past had permitted vandalism, theft, and other problems, Miriam Drake and committee members agreed that for security reasons, the Georgia Tech library, like most academic and research libraries, should control who enters the building, keeping a record of all visitors.

The committee adjourned, agreeing to meet next during the spring semester.