February 24, 2005

 

ACADEMIC AFFAIRS LIBRARY

ADMINISTRATIVE BOARD OF THE LIBRARY

(Elected by the General Faculty)

 

2004-2005 ANNUAL REPORT

 

MEMBERS: Daniel Anderson (2003/4-2005/6); Ashley Reid R Barbour (2004/5-2006/7); Larry Benninger (2002/3-2004/5); Dino S. Cervigni (2002/3-2004/5); Patricia A. Curtin (2002/3-2004/5); Paul Farel (2003/4-2005/6); Jon W Finson (2004/5-2006/7); Michel Gagne (2003/4-2005/6); Donald Haggis (2002/3-2004/5); Diane M Juffras (2004/5-2006/7); John Kasson (2003/4 -2005/6); Charles Kurzman (2002/3-2004/5); Don Madison (2003/4-2005/06); Charlotte Mason (2003/4-2005/6); Robert Peet (2002/3-2004/5); Richard J A Talbert (2004/5-2006/7); Paul H Tiesinga (2004/5-2006/7); Margaretta Yarborough (2004/5-2006/7).

 

Graduate Student representatives: Stephanie Adams, John Vickery. Undergraduate Student representative: Nicole Martin.  Ex officio: Linda Dykstra, Sarah Michalak, Robert Shelton

 

MEMBERS LEAVING DURING PAST YEAR: Richard W. Pfaff (2000/1-2003/4); Stephen S. Birdsall (2001/2-2003/4); M. Evan Bonds (2001/2-2003/4); Michael Louis Corrado (2002/3-2003/4); Robert S. Dalton (2001/2-2003/4); Theodore Leinbaugh (2001/2-2003/4); J. Stephen Marron (2001/02-2003/4); Joe A. Hewitt (ex officio).

 

NUMBER OF ANNUAL MEETINGS: Eight

 

REPORT PREPARED BY:  Robert K. Peet

Content discussed by full Board February 23, 2004

Final draft not reviewed by the full Board.

 

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.

 

PERSONNEL REVIEW AND REORGANIZATION : This has been a year of transition for the University Libraries.  University Librarian and Associate Provost for University Libraries Joe Hewitt retired, as did Deputy University Librarian Larry Alford, the latter moving on to a new position as Vice Provost for Libraries and University Librarian at Temple University.  Both Joe and Larry had served the Library with skill and dedication for many years. In September Sarah Michalak joined us as the new University Librarian and Associate Provost for University Libraries. Sarah had previously served as Director of the Library of the University of Utah.

 

One of Sarah’s first actions was to meet the library staff individually to learn more about them and their priorities and concerns. Upon Larry Alford’s retirement, Sarah temporarily assigned Larry’s responsibilities to various staff members until the new strategic plan is finished and can provide a basis for deciding how to fill his position on a permanent basis.

 

BUDGET STATUS:  The Library’s acquisitions budget was once again the issue of greatest concern to the Administrative Board.  For many years serials have continued to increase in price at several times the inflation rate, plus there has not been a regular mechanism to assure that the materials budget is adjusted to reflect even normal inflation rates. The University Administration has continued to carefully protect the Library acquisitions budget from budget cuts and has annually transferred significant one-time funds to the library to cover the increased costs of serials.  While this extremely valuable and deeply appreciated support from the Administration has allowed the Library to sustain the acquisitions program, the UNC-CH Libraries now have an annual acquisitions budget shortfall of $3.7 million (including $2.2 million for the Academic Affairs Library).  This annual and increasing deficit in the budget leaves the library vulnerable to catastrophic cutbacks and cancellations if the University Administration suddenly finds it impossible to continue to provide one-time funds to fill the gap.  Librarian Michalak and Provost Shelton view solution of this problem as one of the highest priorities for the University Administration.  The Administrative Board of the Library continues to take every opportunity to educate both the Faculty and the Administration about the budget problems of the Library.  In addition, the Administrative Board will work with the Library staff over the next year to develop and implement a continuing serials review that will provide a prioritized lists for cuts if budget contingencies so require. The Board is deeply aware that serial price increases have in the past cut into funds for acquisition of monographs and is dedicated to protecting the monograph budget from further erosion.

 

SALARIES:  Thanks to the work of Robert Shelton, Sarah Michalak, and many others, we are please to report that the salary situation for the library staff is not as dismal as it was last year.  Significant improvement is still badly needed, but for the first time in several years the Board can report that progress has been made. As of August 1, 2005, all SPA staff will be at least at 80% of their minimum qualifying salaries.  The salary comparable for librarians is the Association of Research Libraries salary index which is updated every year.  In preliminary data the Library’s ranking is up from 83 a year ago to 68. Yet, the Library’s overall indexed ranking which includes expenditures, volumes, number of serials, and number of personnel puts the Library at 15 of 114 largest university libraries in North America.  The Library and the Board are recommending that the next improvement benchmark be at 85% for SPA’s and 47th for librarians, which is one above Duke and equal to the University of Virginia’s ranking.

 

SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATIONS CONVOCATION: The Administrative Board of the Library has long recognized the need to educate faculty about excessively high prices charged by for-profit publishers (often 4-6 times the price per page compared with publications of professional societies) and about options for protecting the rights of the author and University when signing copyright transfer agreements.  In addition, the Board has worked to encourage publication in open access outlets and has observed the need for expanding the archives function currently associated with the Library to include the equivalent of a digital institutional repository. Consequently, we strongly encouraged the organization of the Convocation on Scholarly Communication held in January and fully expect to formally endorse the recommendations that will appear in the resulting final report.

 

OPEN ACCESS INITIATIVE: In response to the recommendation of Carol Jenkins of the Health Sciences Library and Sarah Michalak, Vice Chancellor for Research Tony Waldrop has created a fund to support page charges for faculty members who want to publish in open access journals.  The Administrative Board of the Library is formally acting in an advisory role with respect to administration of the fund, which will be directly managed by the Health Science Library.  The availability of the fund will be publicized broadly to encourage its use.  Faculty members in all disciplines are eligible to apply. The Board views open access as a critical component of a larger, long-term solution to the current high cost of serials and hopes to encourage more rapid growth of the open access model by communicating the establishment of this fund to other universities, which might in turn use the UNC-CH approach as a model for their own institutions.

 

COLLECTIONS:  The UNC-CH Library is currently ranked 15 among 114 academic research libraries in North America,  largely on the strength of its collections and continuing acquisition of new materials. We are pleased that our standing is remaining high and that acquisitions have not been significantly impacted by the budgetary problems of the Library.

 

A number of recent activities have been leading to greater access to the holdings of the Library.  A new and much improved online catalog is now in the implementation phase. Digital subscriptions to many serials have been added to the resources available to faculty and students over the campus network.  Plans are maturing for making future theses and dissertations available online.  These changes have allowed us to begin to explore the prospect of shifting paper copies of journals and other publications available in digital format to compact, off-campus storage, and even to reduce the number of paper copies maintained in the Triangle area, thereby reducing the level of need for expensive, on-campus space for storage of the collections.

 

DEPARTMENTAL LIBRARIES: The Administrative Board of the Library took up discussion of departmental libraries in response to the reduction in space allocated to the libraries in the new Physical Science Complex.  It is clear that there will be insufficient space to fully support just the Chemistry Library, and that the planned move of the Brauer Library is no longer a possible consideration.  The Board also considered the problems associated with the relocation of the Zoology Branch of the Couch Biology Library associated with the renovation of old Wilson Hall (starting summer 2005). In spring 2003 the Administrative Board of the Library studied departmental branch libraries and in particular the unevenness of support for their operations.  Several resolutions were passed that year advocating that full responsibility for maintenance of these libraries rest with the Academic Affairs Library, provided that funds could be found or redirected for that purpose.  The proposed changes were never realized.  Over the short term, the Board looks forward to working with the Library to help equalize support for the various departmental libraries.  Over the long term we feel that by far the most efficient solution to the problems facing the five science libraries would be consolidation within a single consolidated Science Library.

 

ARCHIVES: The Library is charged with maintaining the official University Archives, plus maintaining various manuscript and document collections.  The Administrative Board reviewed the current operations of the Archives so as to assess how the rapid conversion to digital documents has and will continue to influence the ability of the Library to meet its responsibilities.  We were pleased with progress being made, but found evidence of a general lack of understanding among faculty of what should be archived and how.  Moreover, there has been little outreach to faculty for archiving in the Library collections professional digital records and data.  We look forward to continued monitoring of this component of Library operations, and to working with other groups on campus toward a more thorough analysis of how best to maintain a digital institutional repository for works and records of our faculty and students.

 

SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE:  In 1998, the University Committee on Copyright, appointed by then Provost Richard J. Richardson, produced its final report which made several recommendations related to campus copyright policies and programs.  Subsequently, a Standing Committee on Copyright was established.  A recommendation to establish an Office of Scholarly Communication, however, was not implemented due mainly to budget limitations.  Fortunately, Provost Shelton was able to arrange appointment of a half-time Scholarly Communications Officer to be housed in Library, effective July 1. We are delighted to announce that Deborah Gerhardt has accepted this half-time position. 

 

ELECTRONIC RESERVES:  Last year we reported concern that the cost of copyright permissions for electronic reserves had been increasing nearly exponentially for the last several years and had reached an annual cost of $70,000. This was in striking contrast to cost incurred at Duke and NCSU where a more liberal interpretation of copyright law led to the cost being $0.  We are delighted to report that the cost is down this year to approximately $45,000.  The savings were brought about in part by aggressive work of the library staff to provide access through university-owned digital subscriptions, as well as other efforts.   However, these savings are in no small part due to more faculty posting their own reserves on Blackboard or other

class websites. This amounts to a shifting of liability from the University to the individual instructors.  The Administrative Board looks forward to working with the new Scholarly Communications Officer to develop proposals for review and approval by the Office of the University Legal Counsel that might set reasonable and affordable University policies that would have the effect of shifting the burden of liability away from the faculty instructors.

 

DEVELOPMENT AND EVENTS:  The Carolina First campaign goal for the library is $35 million.  The Library has raised $24.6 million of that goal.  There were two important events this year for library friends, donors and supporters.  The 75th anniversaries of both the Wilson Library and the Southern Historical Collection were celebrated with well-attended events and excellent exhibits.