Future of UCSanta Barbara Libraries

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-Are librarians still subject specialist or collection managers? And how does this affect reference and other duties that we currently perform? If this is the way we are going in UC, what does it mean to be a librarian?

-OCLC Research Report and ITHAKA Faculty survey both indicate an eroding role of librarians in academia. It’s a good barometer for how librarians are perceived by faculty and the outside world. The library was perceived in very high terms as a buyer of information but lower and lowering value as a gateway function. This negative perception of librarians is smaller than 20% but that percentage has doubled since the last survey in 2006.

-What librarians need to do is better advertise or expose the role of the librarian in the role of gatekeeper. We are the ones purchasing access to all the content and as such we are doing a good job of quality control.

-One issue is that many faculty and graduate students is that they think they’re doing enough. They are finding enough materials through Google scholar or Google books. Are there things we have always done that we don’t need to do anymore? Since we are competing with someone who does it better? Then this is an issue of marketing and how we are putting ourselves out there.

-These faculty also know who the big names are in their fields and need to be kept track of. However, in terms of interdisciplinary research, faculty don’t necessarily know who the big names are outside their direct field. The faculty will most likely go to faculty in the other departments rather than to the library to find out what they’re missing.

-The big problem though is that faculty are failing earlier than they are aware of. If this is true, how are graduate students and undergraduate students faring?

-It’s a cycle that’s difficult. We don’t want to withhold information so that patrons must come into the library because they won’t care. They just won’t use any information that is not easily available. But by making everything easily available, we also fuel the misperception that librarians are irrelevant in the use of libraries.

-When you look at the future of libraries and librarians, it seems that a lot of the most exciting things are happening at CDL. That makes the role of libraries and librarians at places like UCSB that much more precarious.

-CDL has always drawn on the expertise of librarians at UCSB and tried to keep us involved. They will most likely keep on doing this. We can also take the initiative and find places within CDL that are open to us to make bigger contributions than we have in the past.

-The building as a place to study is not important to faculty but students find a place to study very relevant for their needs.

- One need that is on the radar at UCSB is to find out where libraries and librarians fit into the world of publishing.

-The net budget cut to the UCSB campus for 2009-10 is $13.9 million, to be distributed as permanent reductions.

-Impacts include reductions in faculty and staff as well as a reduced instructional budget, with larger and fewer classes and less TA support.

-Scenarios for the campus 2010-11 budget range from $12 million in further cuts to $10 million restored, the latter depending on adoption of the 2010-11 governor’s budget that includes $305 million restored to the university.

-Impacts of the UCSB Library’s 2009-10 budget cut of $873,000 include the loss of eight staff members through VSO separation, a significant reduction in GA funding, and cuts to travel, furniture, and binding.

-The collections budget has remained flat.

-Given the campus-wide hiring freeze, most vacant staff positions remain unfilled, but exceptions have been made for critical positions in fontline access services and IT. Three librarian positions became vacant this year and will remain unfilled, in addition to two from previous years, for a total of five. We received an exception for the map librarian position, which was recently filled.

-Reductions in building open hours have been limited to the Arts Library, which is now closed Thursday evening and all day Saturday, and opens one hour later on weekdays. Open hours for Davidson Library (the main library) have remained unchanged, but hours for most service points have been reduced.

-The greatest change has been to the Sciences-Engineering Reference Desk, whose weekly hours have been reduced from 68 to 24, with signs posted referring patrons to the main reference desk.

-There was also a library-wide furlough closure for six days during Winter break and one day during Spring recess.

-The search committee for a new UL has been convened and had its first meeting on March 18. The LAUC-SB division chair was appointed to the search committee in response to a request from the executive board to Executive Vice Chancellor Gene Lucas that LAUC-SB be respresented. One other librarian, Dave Tambo, Head of Special Collections, is also a member.

-For 2009-10 the LAUC-SB Committee on Appointments, Assignments, and Reassignments has been charged to incorporate new interview procedures into the LAUC-SB document “Procedures for Appointment and Review, Librarian Series, UCSB.”

-The committee has further been charged to review this document and make recommendations for additional revisions if it determines that such are needed. The new procedures, approved by the UL in August 2009, require phone interviews in lieu of written references after the pool of applicants has been narrowed to a short list by the LAUC appointment advisory committee, supervisor, and line AUL.

-It also specifies that the line AUL conduct telephone references following the in-person interviews, and CAAR is working to modify this language to enable the AA committee to audit these calls. A draft of the revised procedures document is due to the LAUC-SB executive board this month.

-Also in progress is a local policy and procedures document for librarian emeritus status. Shortly before she left UCSB on February 12, UL Brenda Johnson had approved a document drafted by the LAUC-SB executive board and submitted it to the Executive Vice Chancellor.

-The executive board is currently reviewing revisions that the EVC made to this document. As part of this effort, we are gathering information about emeritus and non-emeritus retiree privileges across the campuses.