April 10, 2003



(Elected by the General Faculty)


MEMBERS: Richard W. Pfaff, Chair (2000/1-2002/3); Larry Benninger (2002/3-2004/5; Deborah Bialeschki* (2002/3); Stephen S. Birdsall (2001/2-2003/4); Michael Louis Corrado (2002/3-2003/4); Dino S. Cervigni (2002/3-2004/5); (Anne) MacKay Coble (2000/1-2002/3); Patricia A. Curtin (2002/3-2004/5); Robert S. Dalton (2001/2-2003/4); Donald Haggis (2002/3-2004/5); John Hammond (2001/2-2003/4); Beth C. Holmgren (2000/1-2002/3); Diane M. Juffras (2002/3); Theodore Leinbaugh (2001/2-2003/4); Anne MacNeil** (2002/03); J. Stephen Marron (2001/02-2003/4); Robert Peet (2002/3-2004/5); Karl E. Petersen (2000/1-2002/3); Graduate Student representatives: Chad Fogleman, Scott Turner; Undergraduate Student representative: Paige Werhan; Ex officio: Linda Dykstra, Joe A. Hewitt, Robert Shelton

*Alternate for Charles Kurzman (2002/3-2004/5); **Alternate for M. Evan Bonds (2001/2-2003/4)

MEMBERS LEAVING DURING PAST YEAR: 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); John B. Smith (2001/2-2001/2)


REPORT PREPARED BY: Richard W. Pfaff and Joe A. Hewitt

Reviewed by full Board 16 April 2003. 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.

INTRODUCTION/OVERVIEW: In the face of a statewide financial crisis, the Library and the University Administration were able to protect the monographs acquisition program and to avoid large-scale serials cancellations. However, the coping strategies used this year cannot be continued indefinitely, nor will they permit the Libraries to rise in the national ARL rankings with regard to the other top ten public universities. Budget uncertainties also continue to pose a challenge for the recruitment of skilled library professionals. On a positive note, this year saw the reopening of the R.B. House Undergraduate Library following an extensive 18-month renovation. Redesigned Library Web pages have facilitated the location and use of the Library’s extensive electronic resources. The Library participated, with favorable results, in a large-scale user survey sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries and has jointed a partnership to develop an Encyclopedia of North Carolina Online. Library fundraising for the Carolina First campaign continues to be on target. Acquisition of the Andre Savine Collection of Russian émigré materials was a highlight.

RANKINGS: Two sets of figures excerpted from the annual statistics compiled by the Association of Research Libraries are extremely instructive. The first is a simple comparison of the 2001-02 ARL rankings for the libraries of the most eminent American public universities with the latest US News rankings (parlous, in some respects specious, as they clearly are) for the same institutions.

USNWR         Institution            ARL

20                   Cal-Berkeley         3

23                   Virginia                  23

25                   Michigan                6

25                   UCLA                   8

28                   UNC-Chapel Hill 16

31                   Wisconsin              15

38                   Illinois                     7

45                   Penn State              12*

47                   Texas-Austin           11

47                   Washington             14

* Includes figures for the branch campuses as well.

This shows that every one of the top ten public universities in the USNWR rankings except the much smaller University of Virginia (and with the asterisked caveat about Penn State) outranks us in the ARL rankings, which are based on a robust statistical formula. Two other large public institutions are in the ARL top twenty but not among US News’s top fifty: Minnesota (17) and Indiana (13).

The second set of figures demonstrates how far our Library has to go to be able to offer salaries to professional librarians even remotely comparable with those offered by our peer institutions. These are overall national rankings, among the 114 US academic libraries that belong to ARL; the figures are for median salaries to professional librarians—those in all cases with master’s degrees and in many cases with doctorates.

Institution            1999            2000            2001            2002            2003

Cal-Berkeley             5                 5                    2                 2                 2

Virginia                    24               37                 57                46               30

UCLA                       2                 2                   2                 2                  1

Michigan                  60               53                 47                56               51

UNC-Chapel Hill   77                85                 74               70               62

Wisconsin                39                55                 30                39              45

Illinois                      49                43                 38                52              68

Penn State                31                34                 36               34              33

Texas-Austin             71                60                62                58             54

Washington               61                56                 41                41            49

Again, it is clear that in this matter aspirations outrun reality by a large margin.

BUDGET: Last year the Library reported that protecting the materials budget was its highest priority. The Academic Affairs Library avoided cuts to its acquisitions program in the current fiscal year largely because the University Administration protected to the extent possible the library materials budget from permanent cuts. The Library is grateful to the University Administration for its recognition of the centrality of the library collections, both electronic and print, to the academic mission of the university, and for its assistance in protecting the collections in the current budget crisis. Additional measures taken by the Library also helped to safeguard the acquisitions program. As in past years, the Library postponed building repairs and equipment replacement, diverting funds to support the purchase of library materials. Positions were held vacant for longer than the normal recruiting time in order to increase the lapsing salary funds available to support the library materials budget. Through these means, the library maintained the library materials purchasing power in fiscal year 2002/2003 as compared to the previous year.

All of these are coping strategies in austere times. The library expects to continue these strategies in the next fiscal year, although it is not yet certain that significant cuts in acquisitions can be avoided. The long-term solution is, of course, sufficient additional permanent funding to enable the Library to purchase the electronic and print information expected and required in a leading research institution.

As noted in the past, the cost of scholarly information in both electronic and print form continues to escalate at a rate far higher than any price index. Clearly, while the Library requires an infusion of permanent funds to solve in the short term the library acquisitions problems, new methods for disseminating peer-reviewed scholarly information must eventually be designed to break the hold on scholarly publishing now held by several highly profitable international corporations. The Library Administration and the Library Administrative Board have discussed these issues and will continue to look at solutions, including the development of institutional repositories for the dissemination of scholarly information created at Carolina.

The Library continues to investigate systems available to replace the automated library management system and online catalog. The purchase of a state-of-the-art system will be a major capital expense, possibly in excess of $1.3 million. It is, however, an essential purchase if students and faculty are to have access to the powerful information tools that are made available through the online catalog as well as to the Library’s vast print holdings.

COLLECTIONS: As noted in the budget section, with support of the University Administration and by implementing a number of coping strategies, the Library was able to sustain the purchasing power of the library collections budget at last year’s level. A mandatory serials cut was avoided although extensive planning was done in the event that a serials cut had to be implemented on short notice. In the course of planning for serials cancellations, many faculty members informed the Library Administration that there were no remaining subscriptions that could be considered marginal; any such subscriptions were cancelled years ago. The serials subscriptions now held by the library are critical to the teaching and research needs of the faculty. Although serials cancellations were avoided and monographs acquisitions sufficient to support teaching and research were maintained, the library has not had the funds to acquire new serials in many disciplines. Indeed, in order to acquire an essential new serial publication, librarians and faculty must cancel other subscriptions to fund the purchase.

The Library has continued to build its electronic collections in recognition of the demand by students and faculty for access to electronic information from the office, laboratory, and home. The licensing of information in electronic format including both indexing and abstracting services as well as full text has become the highest priority for the collections budget. It should be noted that in most cases the cost of electronic information is more expensive than the cost of the print subscriptions which the electronic information may replace. The full text electronic selections, however, provide increased convenience coupled with powerful searching tools that enable faculty and students to find information more quickly and to perform sophisticated text analysis to facilitate research. A few of the electronic resources added to the library collections this year are listed below:

    1. Early English Books Online (A database of most books printed in English prior to 1700.)
    2. The Journal Archives of the American Chemical Society
    3. The Journal Archives of the Institute of Physics
    4. Current Protocols in Bioinformatics
    5. Full-text of The New York Times beginning in 1863.
    6. L'Année Philologique on the Internet
These and the many other electronic titles acquired by the library support almost all disciplines. Many have very expensive one-time data fees coupled with ongoing access fees. These resources are, however, critical to teaching and research on campus and continue to be a high priority of acquisitions.

The Library is also very pleased to announce the purchase with assistance from an anonymous donor of the André Savine Collection, a collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and artifacts documenting Russian emigration and the activities of Russian expatriates over the course of the 20th Century.

R. B. HOUSE UNDERGRADUATE LIBRARY: On August 19th, 2002, the R.B. House Undergraduate Library reopened following an extensive 18-month renovation which transformed the thirty-four-year-old building into a state-of-the-art facility. Designed as an open, comfortable environment for study, research, instruction, and creative collaboration, House Library offers a variety of seats, tables, and carrels equipped for both wired and wireless laptop access; over 100 computer workstations; an instructional lab; nine group study rooms; two film viewing rooms for classroom showings; a Reserve Reading Room; and a collection of more than 75,000 volumes. Students can create and edit video and audio projects in the Media Resources Center or create multimedia presentations in one of the new Collaboratories. Assistance to students with their CCI laptops is available at the IT Response Center, located on the lower level. Students who do not carry their laptops with them may use the ATN computer lab or library workstations or they may borrow library laptops for in-house use. Distinguished by being the first campus project completed—on time and on budget—with funds from the higher education bonds approved two years ago, the library also demonstrates public-private partnership at its best. More than $2 million received from donors ensured that the Library is handsomely furnished and well-equipped for 21st century students. Since it reopened, House Undergraduate Library has been one of the most popular and heavily used buildings on campus.

LIBRARY SYSTEMS: As the result of various usability studies, the Library introduced an interim re-design of its Web pages in 2002. A full re-design is in process for the 2003 fall semester. The Library introduced a new "Journals in Electronic Format" service in January 2003, which significantly increases access to these journals. The number of entries included in the database jumped from under 6,000 to nearly 40,000. Use of the Library's proxy service for access to licensed resources from off-campus continues to grow. We now average over 10,000,000 transactions per month. A team of Library staff is now engaged in a process which will result in the replacement of the current library automation system, which includes the online catalog, as the result of the sale of the current vendor's software to a competitor. The Library's goal is to replace the current system in December 2004.

ASSESSMENT / LibQUAL: The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was one of 164 institutions that participated in the 2002 LibQUAL+ survey sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries. All Academic Affairs faculty and a sample of graduate students, undergraduates and University staff were asked to complete the Web-based survey, used to measure their perceptions of library service quality and to identify gaps between desired, perceived, and minimum expectations of service. Some 624 usable responses were received. Preliminary analysis of survey results show that library users are generally well satisfied with the Library, but that some areas—particularly journal collections and the accessibility of electronic resources from home or office—need improvement. A Library Assessment Task Force has been appointed to review survey results in greater detail; solicit additional information from faculty, students, and staff; and work with other members of Library staff to improve service in those areas with which library users are least satisfied.

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF NORTH CAROLINA ONLINE: The library has joined a partnership that includes the North Carolina Humanities Council and the University of North Carolina Press to develop an Encyclopedia of North Carolina Online known as ENCO. This encyclopedia is envisioned as a resource about North Carolina history and culture freely accessible to all citizens of the state. It will foster an understanding of the history and culture of North Carolina over the centuries and will be an invaluable resource for the teaching and understanding of the state’s history in the public schools as well as a resource to anyone with an interest in North Carolina. The partnership has obtained a planning grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities and is now conducting a series of focus groups across the state to determine the need for information about North Carolina. The final report of the planning grant is due in the summer and will include a plan for financing the encyclopedia and for sustaining it over the long-term.

DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: Library fund raising for the Carolina First campaign continues to be on target. As of April 4, 2003, the Library had raised more than $18 million in gifts and pledges, or 52% of its $35 million goal. Notable new gifts this year include a $100,000 pledge from the Ready Mixed Concrete Company of Raleigh. Its owner, a graduate of NC State, responded to a solicitation from a member of the Friends of the Library board. He wrote "The Library is a gift not only to the students and faculty at the university, but also stands as a beacon to the total Orange County community and the populace of North Carolina. It is such a valuable resource."

The Library celebrated the reopening of House Library this fall with students, faculty and donors. Student reaction to the renovation has been overwhelmingly positive. Members of the Class of 2003 responded in a similar manner by choosing to establish a permanent endowment in support of the newly reopened R.B. House Undergraduate Library. To date, members of the class, their parents, faculty members and friends have pledged more than $43,000 to the fund. Because the House Library renovation came in under budget, the Library also asked donors with outstanding pledges to the renovation to consider redirecting the balance of their pledges to the Class of 2003 Fund, which has resulted in an additional $103,000 in commitments to the endowment.

On April 3 the Library celebrated the acquisition of the André Savine Collection of Russian emigration materials with a reception and dinner in Wilson Library. The Savine Collection, made possible by a gift from Kay and Van Weatherspoon of Charlotte, is one of the largest on the topic of post-1917 Russian émigré life and catapults the Library into one of the major centers for the study of Russian culture outside of Russia.

RETIREMENTS / RECRUITMENT: The demand for skilled library professionals is increasing and we expect recruitment for librarians at UNC-Chapel Hill will be a challenge in the coming years. Reasons for this include the lack of graduates to keep up with the increased demand, low professional salaries, and increased competition for higher paying jobs in the private sector and corporate libraries.

Most of the vacancies at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Academic Affairs Library are created by librarian retirements. While it is difficult to predict retirements accurately, data show that 13% of AAL librarians will reach age 65 by 2008 and 21% will reach age 65 by 2013. The Library will need to replace at least 34% of professional staff in the next 10 years.

The jobs vacated by retirees are reshaped and updated to meet library research and service needs. They will be attractive to new and seasoned librarians alike, and we hope that the Library will have the resources to recruit successfully for these positions. In FY 2002/03, the Library filled the following vacancies: Photographic Archivist, Systems Librarian: Integrated Library System, Undergraduate Librarian, Undergraduate Library Reference and Instruction Librarian, and University Archivist. Recruitment is underway for: Assistant University Librarian for Collections and Resource Services; Director of Library Digital Publishing; Head, Public Services, North Carolina Collection; Manuscripts Curator.

CONCLUDING REFLECTIONS: The Board spent considerable time, over several meetings, discussing the fundamental question of the kind of Library this University should have. Recognizing the quality of the Library at present—as indicated by the advance from 17th to 16th place among all North American research libraries in the latest ARL rankings—we nonetheless found it useful to ponder the scope and dimensions of the Library to which we might reasonably (or even unreasonably) aspire. Rather than an exercise in building libraries in the air, we regarded these discussions as congruous with the spirit of looking ahead which has animated the University’s new Academic Plan, and which is articulated in the often-repeated goal of being the nation’s leading public university.

We are not, however, unmindful of the perils of the immediate future. In times of financial stress, funding of the Library could easily be regarded as though it were a maintenance item, to be deferred, like many such items on our campus, until rosier days. It is greatly to the credit of the present Administration at Chapel Hill that this has not happened. Our library continues to be the envy of many institutions. But its excellence is, perhaps even more than that of other components of the University, fragile. Two major problems—providing a more secure funding base for collection development (ideally through endowment) in both monographs and serials, and bringing the salaries of professional librarians into line with the Library’s national ranking otherwise—must be solved not only for the sake of the Library’s quality but also in order that the University can achieve the stature which is now aimed at. A truly superb Library is a necessity, not an optional luxury, if that aim is to be met.