Future of UCMerced Libraries

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-We are a library of the future. In fact, our library motto is, Not what other research libraries are, what they will be. What makes us a library of the future?

-Abandoning the traditional model, UC Merced relies on well trained student assistants and paraprofessionals at the services desk, chat reference, and research consultation appointments with librarians to provide quality reference.

-We have collected data from our campus that supports user satisfaction with chat reference. This assessment, as well as system wide data suggesting that 24/7 chat is becoming one of UC's busiest reference points gives us confidence that we are on the right track, and serving our community well.

-We acknowledge that there will be some not served without a reference desk. The new model is not perfect, but it is good enough and it is mandated by fiscal realities.

-Our library is futuristic in that more than 85% of our books are electronic.

-There has been a steady march to the use and acceptance of ebooks in academic libraries despite the imperfections of the platform.

-The advantages of electronic access are obvious, but there is also the reality that libraries are running out of room. The SOPAG Task Force on UC Libraries Collections Space Planning Report makes it clear that we must reduce the system wide growth rate of print collections.

-Ebooks are part of the solution to this critical space issue. We recognize that not everyone will be well-served by ebooks. But given the environment, we opt for ebooks because this platform will provide information to most of our users most of the time.

-Ebooks will continue to evolve and improve only if we are willing to use them and create a market that will encourage publishers to adopt Springer-like usability features.

-We enthusiastically support initiatives to eliminate duplication in the UC collection and to develop models that will allow shared print acquisitions and the management of shared collections. UC Merced fully embraces and operates on the concept of one University of California Library Collection.

-In fact, for every ten books we borrow from other campuses, we loan seven.

-In what can only be characterized as collection development of the future, Jim Dooley, aka the collection department, uses YPB and faculty requests to develop a highly relevant print collection that actually circulates.

-Much of Jim's success can be attributed to early faculty buy-in of the collection model and the library/faculty relationships cultivated in the ensuing years since the opening of the campus. Our collection model required that we give up the tradition of highly specialized collecting by subject bibliographers. We recognize that it is not perfect, but it is good enough and we believe that it will work on other campuses in the UC system.

-The collection development model at UC Merced is a great example of our organizational philosophy which suggests that librarians should be managers who spend their time working on projects and innovations that have a big payoff.

-most collection development which can be outsourced, and most reference desk questions which can be handled by other staff.

-The skill set of librarians must evolve with the current demands of the library environment. That means that librarians must be continually willing to master new technologies, develop new work flows and learn skills related to project management.

-UC Merced avoided substantial cuts to the library budget for 2009-2010. However, a flat budget for three years in the face of an annual 20% increase in student enrollment has significantly impacted the library.

-Insufficient funding combined with the rapid growth of our campus continues to present challenges for the library as we attempt to respond to the demand for materials and services.

-Recruitments for a Programmer Analyst and Technology Manager were delayed because of the hiring freeze, however we later received exceptions for these positions and they have been filled.

-Hours at the Kolligian Library have remained unchanged except for being closed one additional week during winter break. This closure had been considered in prior years since classes on the semester system don’t resume until the third week in January, so the decision to remain closed was only partly financial.

-Minor revisions to the UC Merced LAUC Bylaws were approved by the membership in August 2009.

-The UC Regents accepted UC Merced’s 10-year $1.13 billion capital improvement plan on March 25, 2010. This was positive news for the entire campus as we expect to enroll and additional 650 students a year through 2013-2014. Projected enrollment for 2020 is 11,000 students.