March 10, 2000
ACADEMIC AFFAIRS LIBRARY
ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD OF THE LIBRARY
(Elected by the General Faculty)
1999-2000 ANNUAL REPORT

MEMBERS: Howard E. Aldrich, Chair (1997/8-1999/00); Lucia Binotti (1997/98-1999/00); Alice Cotten (1998/9-2000/1); Louise A. Dolan (1997/8-1999/00); John Hammond (1998/9-2000/1); William J. Kier (1998/9-2000/1); James L. Leloudis (1998/9-2000/1); Gregory B. Newby (1999/00-2001/2); Roberta A. Owen (1999/00-2001/2); Lillie L. Searles (1999/00-2001/2); James Seay (1999/00-2001/2); Thomas A. Stumpf (1998/9-2000/1); Dorothy Verkerk (1997/8-1999/00); Brent W. Wissick (1998/9-2000/1); Graduate Student representatives: Lora Holland (1999/00), Candy Mance (1999/00); Undergraduate Student representative: Andy Villa (1999/00); Ex officio: Linda Dykstra, Richard J. Richardson, Joe A. Hewitt

MEMBERS LEAVING DURING PAST YEAR: James M. Coggins (1996/7-1998/9); David A. Hammond (1996/7-1998/9); M. Catharine Newbury (1996/7-1998/9); Jack M. Sasson (1996/7-1998/9)

NUMBER OF ANNUAL MEETINGS: Four

REPORT PREPARED BY: Howard E. Aldrich and Joe A. Hewitt. Not reviewed by full Board this year.

CHARGE: Shall advise the University Librarian on the administration of the University library system; formulate, together with the University Librarian, the basic policies governing the acquisition of library materials and the use of such materials; allocate, with the advice of the University Librarian, the book funds which are not specifically designated; submit to the Chancellor, through the University Librarian, its advice on the establishment or discontinuance of library service units outside of the general library building; review the University Librarian’s budget request; and report annually to the Faculty Council.

PREVIOUS FACULTY COUNCIL RECOMMENDATIONS OR QUESTIONS: None

Overview of Activities

The increasing cost of information continues to hamper the Library’s capacity to build collections in support of teaching and research and to purchase access to electronic information. The elimination of the inflation factor in the continuation budget has exacerbated the already serious funding problems for the libraries. The Academic Affairs Library postponed a serials cut in FY 1999/00 and, it believes, in FY 2000/01, by the use of one-time funding and by the reallocation of resources. Without significant additional funding over the next two years, however, the Library’s ability to acquire print, electronic, and other collections, and to provide the technology infrastructure and staff needed to make that information available will be seriously jeopardized. Also at risk is the capacity to provide safe and secure environments for students and faculty to work and study. Capital funding for the much needed renovation of the Undergraduate Library was frozen to fund Hurricane Floyd relief. On a more positive note, however, the Library added its five millionth volume with a magnificent gift from the Hanes family of Winston-Salem.

Library Ranking

Preliminary rankings from the Association of Research Libraries indicate a slight decline in the Library’s standing in 1998/99 from 17th to 18th place. This ranked index of ARL’s 111 member libraries provides an overall comparative measure of library strength; it is derived based on Volumes Held, Gross Volumes Added, Current Serials Subscriptions, Total Library Expenditures, and Total Professional and Support Staff. For the previous three years, the Library had maintained a rank of 17th, following several years at 19th in the ranking. In 1998/99, the Library dropped to 24th in volumes added from a ranking of 20th in 1997/98, and 13th in 1996/97, in part explaining the decline in overall ranking. Reductions in the Library’s materials budget in 1999/2000 are likely to have a further negative impact on UNC-CH’s standings in the upcoming year.

 

Budget

The overall budget position of the Library deteriorated markedly between FY 1998/99 and FY 1999/00. The principal factor was a loss of $1,527, 306 in legislative appropriations for acquisitions and operations for the Academic Affairs, Law, and Health Sciences libraries. Other losses in FY 1999/00 included the University "deficit" budget reduction of which the Academic and Law libraries’ share was $195,090; elimination of the Library’s pan-University or budget committee allocation of $124,520; span-of-control reductions of four positions; and the 30% retirement reduction which resulted in a loss of $98,097. Like other campus units, the Library incurred a temporary budget cut as a result of Hurricane Floyd. The Academic Affairs Library’s share was $118,998.

In response to these losses, the Library cut four staff positions, made significant cuts in its temporary wage budget, and reduced infrastructure investment and operating expenditures in FY 1999/00. Every effort was made to protect the acquisitions budget through reallocations. A large part of the funds used in FY 1998/99 to build the Library’s technology infrastructure were reallocated in FY 1999/00. These reallocations reduced the Library’s ability to purchase software and servers, install wiring and network connections, and buy computers – including laptops for checkout. The Library’s ability to maintain and enhance its technology infrastructure necessary to provide state-of-the-art access to electronic collections is seriously reduced by the need to direct funds to support basic Library collections programs. The loss of staff positions was also particularly damaging at a time when the Library is attempting to initiate information literacy programs and upgrade undergraduate library services

On the plus side, the Academic Affairs Library received a one-time payment of $389,849 in reversion funds and $488,483 in a use/sales tax refund. These funds resulted from a reinterpretation of the use/sales tax as it applies to certain journals received by mail. These funds were used to partially offset the losses in appropriations and other funds, with the net loss being $667,510 to the Academic Affairs Library.

Inflation in Library Materials

A major challenge to the Library is continued inflation in the cost of library materials, especially scientific, technical and medical (STM) journals. Serials and standing orders for the Academic Affairs Library cost over $1 million more in FY 1998/99 than in FY 1994/95, representing a 50% increase. The Law and Heath Sciences libraries have experienced the same or even greater increases in the cost of serials. The average cost of an Elsevier journal, one of the major STM publishers, increased by 80.3%; from $1,057 per title to $1,906 per title between FY 1994/95 and FY 1998/99. Specific examples of Elsevier’s price increases include:
 
 

1994/95  1998/99  % Inc.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods  $ 9,270 $14,128  52%
Tetrahedron  $ 5,715 $11,325  98%
Tetrahedron Letters $ 4,903  $ 9,118 86%
 

Price increases from other commercial publishers are similar or even greater. Wiley, which publishes extensively in economics and management as well as science and technology, increased the cost of subscriptions by 116%. Their titles rose from an average cost of $904 in FY 1993/94 to $1,947 in FY 1998/99.

While facing the increasing cost of journals, the Library has also had to fund electronic information as an entirely new cost center within the materials budget. The Law Library, Health Sciences Library, and Academic Affairs Library now spend approximately $1.5 million annually on access to electronic information. This electronic access provides powerful new ways to find and retrieve information and greatly enhances the convenience of obtaining information for faculty and students. It is, however, a new cost center that does not replace or reduce the cost of acquiring library materials. As examples:

Given these funding pressures, it is unfortunate that the FY 1999/00 appropriations bill eliminated inflation funding for library materials. From FY 1995/96 through FY 1998/99, the libraries received inflation funding for library materials through the Continuation Budget process. Inflation funding for the Academic Affairs Library during those years added $787,000 to its base budget. The Law and Health Sciences libraries received similar percentage increases. Elimination of the library materials budget inflation factor through the Continuation Budget beginning with the current budget year, seriously reduces the ability of the libraries to develop collections that support teaching and research at Carolina. The Administrative Board of the Library urges the University Administration to support the reinstatement of library materials inflation funding as a top priority.

Undergraduate Library Renovation Funding

The renovation of the House Undergraduate Library, scheduled to begin during the 1999-2000 academic year, was one of the capital improvement projects canceled by the State General Assembly following Hurricane Floyd. As part of the 1998 budget agreement, $9.3 million had been allocated to cover the entire cost of the extensive renovation. Securing funding for the project remains a top Library and University priority, and an area of urgent need. Because of the planned construction, routine maintenance at the Undergraduate Library had been deferred; action is now required to remedy roof leaks and to repair the HVAC system. In addition, areas of Davis and Wilson Libraries have already been reconfigured at a cost to the University of $700,000 in order to accommodate the collections and services of the Undergraduate Library. A volunteer fundraising committee, led by Ed Pleasants of Winston-Salem, remains active in soliciting support for the renovation.

Support for Teaching and Learning

The Library is developing its programming to increase support for campus teaching and learning needs, pursuant to the recommendations of the February 1999 report from the Library’s Task Force on Information Literacy. As part of its mission, the Library has historically provided instruction and interpretation in the use of Library materials to support the varied research, teaching, and learning goals of its patrons. Growing availability of information resources in electronic format has complicated these tasks for students, faculty, and other library users, and has increased the service challenge for libraries. The Task Force report outlined an ambitious agenda to provide the innovative and responsive programming that will meet patron needs.

As the first major step toward realizing these goals, the Library has created the new position of Coordinator for Instructional Services to provide leadership, direction, and planning for these initiatives. The Coordinator for Instructional Services will work closely with faculty and librarians to identify ways in which the Library can best help students and others learn to make effective use of the many resources available to them. Recruitment efforts are currently underway and the Library hopes to fill the position by the summer.

Five Millionth Volume

In February, the Library celebrated the acquisition of its five millionth volume, contained in a collection of 1,200 volumes of William Butler Yeats. The collection was given by the Hanes family of Winston-Salem, continuing a family tradition of donating each of the Library’s milestone millionth volumes. The acquisition was facilitated by the creator and owner of the collection, Professor George Harper, former Chair of the UNC-CH English Department, who donated to the Library a significant portion of his related materials. The Yeats collection will add greatly to the Library’s growing strengths in Anglo-Irish literature.

Development

The Library completed a preliminary case statement outlining its objectives for the university’s upcoming Carolina First fundraising campaign. The case incorporates four goals: to maintain our ranking on the Association of Research Libraries Index as the best general research library in the Southeast, to expand and enhance our special strengths in southern resources, to create a new center of excellence in undergraduate library services by developing an innovative program that will be a model for the nation, and to improve and expand the collections and technologies to support existing and emerging science programs across the campus in concert with the Health Sciences Library.

We will seek a total of $35 million in funding in six areas:
 

Excellence in collections  $15 million
21st-century information technology  $7 million
Services to undergraduates  $5 million
Service to the state and community  $3 million
Annual expendable support  $3 million
Gifts of library materials   $2 million
Total $35 million
 

The campaign is now in the so-called "silent phase" and to date the Academic Affairs Library has recorded gifts and pledges of $3.5 million, or ten percent of our goal. Gifts and pledges toward the renovation of the R. B. House Undergraduate Library represent $1.5 million of the amount raised, since this effort has been our priority over the last two years. The Health Sciences and Law libraries are also establishing campaign goals.

Loan Period Extension

In November, the Board approved an extension of the reciprocal loan periods for faculty and graduate student borrowers from Duke University. Because of the long-standing cooperative collecting arrangements between UNC-CH and Duke, some faculty members at each institution rely heavily on materials held by the other. The revised policy extends the loan period for UNC-CH materials from 30 days to 90 days for these users. Materials on extended loan would still be subject to recall after 30 days. Materials which circulate for less than 90 days to UNC-CH faculty and graduate students will be allowed to circulated to Duke faculty and graduate students for that same (less than 90 day) loan period.

Librarian Salaries

Salaries of librarians at UNC-CH remain far behind salaries of their counterparts at peer and local institutions. According to data ranking the 1999/2000 salaries at all 111 academic members of the Association of Research Libraries, the Academic Affairs Library ranked 80th. By comparison, the University of Virginia ranked 23rd, North Carolina State University ranked 45th, and Duke University ranked 51st. Salaries continue also to trail significantly behind those of librarians at national peer institutions, including Berkeley and Michigan.

The UNC-CH Libraries recruit nationally for librarians who can provide the high quality collections, information services and instructional programs required to meet the needs of our students and faculty. Without competitive salaries, we are at a considerable disadvantage among national peers and regional competitors in recruiting and retaining skilled librarians. Our poor competitive position is a particular threat to the Library’s ability to develop innovative programs based on electronic technologies. Low salaries will increasingly undermine the Library’s ability to hire and retain the highly skilled professionals who can provide the level of service required to support the teaching and research missions of the University community.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR ACTIONS BY FACULTY COUNCIL: None