March 22, 2002



(Elected by the General Faculty)


MEMBERS: Richard W. Pfaff, Chair (2000/1-2002/3); Stephen S. Birdsall (2001/2-2003/4); M. Evan Bonds (2001/2-2003/4); (Anne) MacKay Coble (2000/1-2002/3); Robert S. Dalton (2001/2-2003/4); John Hammond (2001/2-2003/4); Beth C. Holmgren (2000/1-2002/3); Theodore Leinbaugh (2001/2-2003/4); Gregory B. Newby (1999/00-2001/2); Roberta A. Owen (1999/00-2001/2); Karl E. Petersen (2000/1-2002/3); Lillie L. Searles (1999/00-2001/2); James Seay (1999/00-2001/2); John B. Smith (2001/2-2001/2); Graduate Student representatives: None appointed; Undergraduate Student representative: William C. McKinney (2001/02); Ex officio: Linda Dykstra, Robert Shelton, Joe A. Hewitt.

MEMBERS LEAVING DURING PAST YEAR: Alice Cotten (1998/9-2000/1); William M. Kier (1998/9-2000/1); James L. Leloudis (1998/9-2000/1); Thomas A. Stumpf (1998/9-2000/1); Brent W. Wissick (1998/9-2000/1).


REPORT PREPARED BY: Richard W. Pfaff 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.

A resolution from the University Government Committee to change slightly the composition of the Board was approved by the Faculty Council at its 20 February 2002 meeting. The purpose is to have a matrix for selection that will be more adequately representative of the faculty, in part by providing that the Chair of the Faculty will appoint a member from Health Affairs and two members from the faculty at large; fourteen members will continue to be elected, according to a slightly altered formula.

Overview of Activities

Despite a financially difficult year for the University and the state, the Library managed to maintain most of its materials acquisitions program in 2000-01 and hopes not to lose substantial ground in 2001-02. Other areas of library activity, however, are receiving lower priority as measures are implemented to protect the materials budget. The Undergraduate Library renovation project nears its planned completion in summer, 2002, and several other facilities construction projects are under discussion. As these projects gain momentum, a careful look at the status of the University’s departmental libraries has become more important and was the subject of Board activity this year. The Library is stepping up its ongoing assessment efforts in order to ensure the provision of excellent service. Several milestones were marked this year, including the addition of the 1,000th volume to the Documenting the American South digital library and the inauguration of the North Carolina Literary Festival. The Library Development program has realized a successful year in spite of the economic downturn. Librarian salaries continue to present an obstacle to the effective recruitment and retention of professional librarians at UNC-Chapel Hill.


In 1999-2000, the latest year for which data are available, the Library regained its ranking of 17th on the annual index of the Association of Research Libraries. In 1998-99, it had dropped to 18th place following three years at 17th. Although the 2000-01 index has not yet been released by ARL, preliminary data suggest that the Library will maintain its standing in many of the five component categories used to derive the overall ranking. These categories are: total volumes held; gross volumes added during the year; current serial subscriptions; total library expenditures; and total number of professional and support staff. Although the Library expects to maintain its approximate ranking in 2000-01, it would not be surprising if anticipated budget difficulties in upcoming years have a negative impact on the Library’s national standing.

Library Budget

In what has clearly been a difficult year for the University and the state, the Library has been able to deploy its available resources in order to minimize impact on the materials budget. Three factors have ensured the stability of the materials budget. First, budget cuts and the continuing rise in the cost of serials and electronic resources were partially offset by enrollment increase monies; second, special funds provided by the University administration at the end of 2000-01 were carried forward to offset cuts this year; and, finally, the remainder of cuts were absorbed through the application of lapsed salary money to the materials budget. As a result, the Library was able to get by this year without large-scale serials cancellations or other drastic measures.

It should be noted that the Library will face several extraordinary pressures on its budget in the upcoming year. The state budget situation, of course, is not promising. Cuts or reversions at the high end of the anticipated range, coupled with the possible unavailability of enrollment change money, would be devastating and would necessitate massive cancellation projects. In the coming year, the Library will also need to replace its online catalog and automated library management system because DRA, the current vendor, has been bought by a competitor which does not intend to continue the system. The purchase could cost in excess of one million dollars. Finally, many electronic resources were licensed by the Library three years ago under contracts that will expire this year; publishers are expected to increase their prices substantially and certain licenses may have to be dropped. This is in addition to ongoing substantial increases in the cost of electronic resources and serials subscriptions generally.

Despite these uncertainties, the Library considers protecting the materials budget to be its highest priority, and is developing multiple strategies to do so. Nevertheless, these moves are certain to place pressure on other areas of Library programs and services. Certain building repair and upgrade projects, for example, have been put on hold. The Library will also need to rely on its unrestricted endowments to meet basic library needs, rather than spending these funds to enhance the excellence of collections and services.

On the positive side, the Library experienced a successful fundraising year in 2001-02 (see "Development" below), and hopes this trend will accelerate with the official launch of the Carolina First campaign.

Undergraduate Library

Work continued throughout the year on the R.B. House Undergraduate Library, which closed for renovation in December, 2000 and is scheduled to open following the second summer term. The entire interior of the Library was completely demolished and has been rebuilt to accommodate the study, instruction, and technology requirements of Carolina’s undergraduates. A new roof has been placed on the building and approval has been granted for a redesign of the entryway, featuring terraces, stone retaining walls, and benches. Along with the refurbished building, an array of innovative services and programs is planned for the new facility. A Media Resources Center will house the Library’s audio-visual collection along with new services such as video and sound editing. Two collaboratories will facilitate faculty, student, and librarian interaction in incorporating and developing instructional technologies. Tours will be scheduled for University faculty, students, and staff early in the fall term. The success of the renovation project is especially noteworthy since this is the first initiative to be completed at UNC-Chapel Hill with funding from the Higher Education Bond Referendum.

Library Facilities

Plans are in various stages of development regarding several library facilities.

A Physical Sciences Library is being planned as part of the new Science Complex. This library, to be constructed during Phase 3 of the Science Complex construction, will combine the existing Kenan Chemistry and Brauer Math/Physics libraries. When Venable Hall is razed in approximately 2005 to make room for the Science Complex, the Chemistry Library will temporarily relocate to Davis Library.

Early discussions are underway regarding a Life and Health Sciences Library, to combine the existing Health Sciences Library and the Botany and Zoology sections of the Couch Biology Library.

Also in the early stages are discussions regarding a possible Fine Arts Library, which would be located in the proposed Fine Arts Common and would combine the existing Music and Art libraries. This would be in lieu of a new library devoted, as previously considered, exclusively to the music collection. Because the current Music Library facilities are wholly inadequate, posing dangers to both people and the collections, the Music Library will be relocating temporarily to Wilson Library in spring or summer, 2003, following the transfer of ATN’s user services unit to the newly renovated Undergraduate Library.

Departmental Libraries

With the recent acceleration in planning for new library facilities, the financial and administrative status of the University’s departmental libraries has become an increasingly urgent issue. While these discipline-specific libraries are located near the departments that have generally been the heaviest users of the collection, they are campus-wide resources intended to serve all patrons. Long-standing arrangements have resulted in a situation by which, in principle, the University Library provides the staff, materials budget, centralized processing services, systems support, and library-specific supplies for the eight official departmental libraries on campus, while the academic department most closely affiliated with each library provides facilities, equipment and furnishings, supplies other than those specific to library functioning, and student staff. In practice, this agreement has deteriorated since its most recent articulation over 25 years ago. A report presented to the Board by the Library details the highly divergent levels of support provided by academic departments for individual libraries. In addition, the advent of new library and office technologies based on personal computers and networked computing, the growth of interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary studies, and the physical and economic constraints placed on the University have combined to create a radically different environment in which the existing understandings regarding departmental libraries are no longer entirely meaningful.

The Administrative Board of the Library has given significant consideration to these issues and strongly endorses several specific measures. In a position statement delivered to the Library, the Board articulated its support for a streamlined funding system for the departmental libraries, whereby current school and college contributions for departmental libraries would be directed toward and administered centrally by the Academic Affairs Library. The appropriate level of support would be determined through negotiation. Such an arrangement would ensure the adequacy and equitability of funding for each of the departmental libraries. The Board also reaffirmed the Library’s long-standing final authority for making collection management decisions, as long as such decisions continue to be made in a consultative fashion with the appropriate faculty and departments.

Library Assessment Projects

In an effort to provide excellent service to patrons, the Library stepped up assessment initiatives in 2001-02. The most significant project will take place in April as the Library participates in the LibQUAL+ library service quality survey administered by the Association of Research Libraries. In this survey, randomly selected students and staff, as well as most of the faculty, will be contacted and asked to complete a brief Web-based survey about various aspects of library service. Survey completion should take no more than ten minutes. Broad participation will allow the Library to receive sound data to guide future inquiry and decision-making.

This project will be especially meaningful as it follows upon two other assessment efforts initiated this year. In one, randomly selected students performed usability testing on the Library’s website. The results are being used to guide a reorganization and redesign of that site and will be complemented by additional testing and focus group interviews. In the spring of 2002, the Library also began a program to evaluate the quality of library instruction offered to undergraduates through the Library’s partnership with the English Department’s writing program. Library instructors distributed a brief (2-question) survey to students at the end of each instruction section. Each Teaching Fellow in English is also contacted shortly after the session and asked to complete an electronic evaluation form. The data gathered will be used to assess the overall quality of the instruction program and to assist in the further development and refinement of library instruction at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Documenting the American South

Documenting the American South, the Library’s award-winning digital library project featuring the history, literature, and culture of the South from the colonial period through the early twentieth century, celebrated the addition of its 1,000th volume. A ceremony and symposium were held in Wilson Library on March 1 to mark the occasion. Dr. Robert Martin, Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, and an alumnus of the School of Information and Library Science (Ph.D. ’88), delivered the keynote address to approximately 100 attendees. The 1,000th volume was Guion Griffis Johnson’s groundbreaking Ante-Bellum North Carolina: A Social History, originally published by the UNC Press in 1937 and added to Documenting the American South through the special permission of the Press and the Johnson family.

Library Publications Program

The Library is investigating the possibility of inaugurating a small-scale monographs publishing program to further its mission of service to the University, state, and scholarly community. The program would complement that of the UNC Press, publishing primarily works related to the University but that fall outside the scope of the Press’s list. A Library task force is preparing recommendations relating to the long-term feasibility of such a program. In the meantime, the Library has committing to publishing three books under its imprint: Country Music Sources: A Biblio-Discography of Commercially Recorded Traditional Music by Guthrie T. Meade, Jr. (2002); Essays on William Chambers Coker, Passionate Botanist by Mary Coker Joslin (2003); and a biography of members of the Hill family by Howard Covington (2004).

North Carolina Literary Festival

The North Carolina Literary Festival will take place on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus April 5 and 6. The festival is cooperatively organized and sponsored by the libraries of UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, and Duke University through their Friends of the Library programs. It will be held on even years with the location rotating among the three campuses. Its goals are to promote reading and writing, and to spotlight the literature of the American South, especially that of North Carolina. This year’s event will begin with opening ceremonies featuring fiction writer, poet, and essayist Julia Alvarez as the keynote speaker. On Saturday, McCorkle Place and the surrounding buildings will be the site of a free all-day event, with readings, workshops, panel discussions, performances, storytelling, and publishers exhibits. Between 7,000 and 10,000 visitors are expected.


New faces and new energy added to the Library’s development office last year have greatly enhanced the development program. Peggy Myers joined the Library in January, 2001 as Associate Director of Library Development, with a focus on major gifts. Kate Barnhart joined the staff in March as Donor Relations Coordinator, with responsibility for donor acknowledgement, stewardship and recognition events. With this additional support, the infrastructure needed for the Carolina First campaign is now in place.

Although cash receipts for the Library dropped by 42% in fiscal 2001, the number of donors increased by two percent, from 2,181 to 2,215. The decline in cash received can be traced to two planned gifts received in 2000 that were not matched in 2001. However, overall gifts and pledges to the campaign advanced steadily. At June 30, 2001, with 29% of the campaign complete, the Library had reached 24% of its goal with a total commitments of $8.4 million. As of March, 2002, the Library stands at $14.5 million in campaign commitments–41 percent of its $35 million goal, with 38 percent of the campaign over.

The Friends of the Library continued to attract attendance at several programs throughout the year. In place of this year’s Friends of the Library dinner, Friends will be invited to attend a special reception in conjunction with the North Carolina Literary Festival.

Board Activities

In addition to following the issues described above, the Administrative Board of the Library made a concerted effort in 2001-02 to learn more about the operations of the Library. Lisa Stimatz (Coordinator for Instructional Services), Catherine Gerdes (Director for Planning and Administrative Services), and Michele Fletcher (Director of Library Development) all made presentations to the Board; as well, Dr. Tony Waldrop, the new Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies, attended one meeting. Arrangements are currently underway for the Chair of the Administrative Board to become an ex officio member of the Friends of the Library Board. The Administrative Board Chair also addressed the Librarians’ Association of UNC-Chapel Hill at one of the Association’s regular programs.

The Health Sciences Library Advisory Committee has given strong guidance and support in many areas, in particular the plans for that library’s upcoming renovation. The renovation will begin this summer and, when complete, will result in a state-of-the-art Health Sciences Library. With guidance from the Library Advisory Committee, the Health Sciences Library will be providing full services during the construction period.

Librarian Salaries

Although salaries of librarians at UNC-Chapel Hill improved slightly in 2000-01 with the addition of special funding for librarian salaries, this funding was not available in 2000-02. Although the 2001-02 salary data from the Association of Research Libraries are not yet available, we expect again to lose national standing with regard to librarian salaries.

Lower salaries are expected to prove particularly problematic in upcoming years as the Library prepares for significant recruitment at senior levels. Seven librarians, including three department heads, have retired in the past two academic years and, by 2005, thirteen more librarians—six in senior management positions—will be eligible for retirement. In order to recruit the experienced professionals needed to fill these positions, the Library expects to have to offer higher salaries. Recent experience has suggested just how important a factor salaries will become in effective recruitment and retention. In the past year, two UNC-Chapel Hill librarians left for higher-paying positions at other institutions; another has been aggressively recruited by three prestigious institutions but has accepted a pay increase and remains at UNC. Also this year, three first-choice librarian candidates rejected job offers on the basis of the compensation package. Four new librarians were hired, but meeting their salary requirements has caused inequities and compression in the Library’s salary budget.


Following removal of the heavy shadow of the prospect that the funding crisis of late spring 2001 might be addressed by cuts that would have vitiated the Library’s collection development for years to come, members of the Board were cheered to hear the Chancellor assert (in his 5 Sept. 2001 State of the University message) that "We must also pay careful attention to our library, whose holdings are at risk when budget cuts threaten, no matter how severe the situation. The library must be and continue to be one of our major priorities. We cannot be a great university without a great library." Trusting in that assurance, we believe that the Library can play ever more effectively its vital role in the preservation and transmission of learning, the fundamental activity that lies at the heart of the University’s quest for excellence.