Public Services Steering Committee
October 16, 2002
Members Present: Rich Bennett, Gary Cornwell, Lori Driscoll, Carol Drum,
and Carol Turner
- Public Services Statistics Definitions and Instructions
- In 1999 a library committee decided that we count questions and not patrons however it appears that statistics are being counted in a variety of ways depending upon what department (or person) is counting.
- It was decided that at Reference desks any transaction or interaction with a patron where information is conveyed should be counted. At Circulation desks routine check outs and/or patrons asking for reserves should not be counted as a transaction. These guidelines for counting statistics are consistent with how statistics are counted for RefeXpress.
- Carol Turner will send out a notice that more clearly defines how and what to count.
- Statistics are reported nationally and could be used to justify the Library’s existence.
- Saturday Hours Survey
- Carol Turner conducted a short survey on Saturday between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. to try to determine if the patrons have complaints about the Library’s hours of operation. (See attached). She will conduct another Saturday survey on the 26th and one more non-game day Saturday. Saturday patrons are mostly graduate students.
- SPIT is reviewing the LIBQUAL results to determine if Library hours are a problem. LIBQUAL results indicated that faculty and graduate students want more convenient business hours and want extended business hours during breaks. They might have meant that they want us open 24/7 or they may just want us to stay open later during breaks. It may be helpful to look at if having a late study room would meet patron’s needs versus having a fully staffed building.
- Patron use drops dramatically after 1:00a during exams and between 11:00p-12:00a during a normal week.
- It was noted that as managers, when we look at Library hours we need to consider staff as well as public.
- Carol Turner will speak with Steve Shorb and Trudi DiTrolio about what SPIT is doing in this area.
- Interlibrary Loan – keeping up with the workload
- ILL is still short of staff and the volume of work is going up.
- Carol Turner would like to review how things are going and what is the best way for us to continue with ILL services. Currently librarians are doing some of the difficult searches, and branch staff are paging an making photocopies to help ILL keep up with the workload while ILL is coping with staff shortages. Is this the way we should continue? Years ago searching was moved out to the units and ILL staff did the basic picking up and sending out of materials to patrons. Currently we use an online system that routes questions directly to ILL and there is concern whether ILL staff have the searching skills and subject expertise to handle things in an appropriate way. Because of the current staffing situation we have gone back to the original model more than we were. Carol Turner is not sure how well we are tracking, how well we are getting back to the patrons, and if we need to develop procedures or policy statements for staff. Perhaps it would be helpful to have a committee look at this with David Fuller.
- Carol Drum has been working on verification in Marston, along with Denise, Kate and Paul. She would rather see ILL staff getting the materials out to patrons and letting her and other subject specialists do the bibliographic tasks. At least 1/3 of the requests she is getting are for our material that patrons have been unable to locate. She is finding that some of the questions are quite complex. Some patrons do not list the citation and do not provide all the information we need.
- Gary Cornwell suggested undergraduate CLAS requests could be forwarded to Carol Drum or Colleen Seale and anyone else could be forwarded to the appropriate subject specialist. Concern about turn around time and tracking was noted.
- Currently at MSL they have an MSL/ILL mailbox which is manned by four staff members.
- ILL is currently an auxiliary operation, and it does not have a huge OPS budget. It was suggested that community service hours could be used for task such as Xeroxing.
- Lori Driscoll feels that immediately a group is needed that can re-arrange how things have been done to meet our needs now. An ILL advisory group is also needed that can work on revising policy and procedures. These things should first be discussed with David Fuller.
- There is also a problem with some departments not wanting students to retrieve materials. If we have the model where the searching is done at the unit that has the information and they actually make the copy and than ILL can send a student to pick up material.
- During the past year, lending of books went down 1%, Photocopy went down 14%, Borrowing books from other places went up 13%, Photocopy borrowing is down 4%.
- Instruction - discussion of our current program/activity
- What are we doing? Are we doing the right thing? Who is involved in instruction?
- It was noted that the volunteer teaching of ENC 1101 “doesn’t work” because not all librarians are volunteering. Perhaps we should mandate teaching and make individuals sign up.
- Carol Turner feels that all Public Services Reference Librarians should have up to 10% instruction on their job description.
- Department Chairs should be making it clear that teaching is expected.
- Instruction stats are available on the Public Services website.
- Carol Turner will analyze instruction stats to see how much instruction we are doing.
- It was noted that instruction is needed in different subject areas. Presently we are doing on demand instruction.
- Carol Drum is undecided about whether she should take a vacant position off the tenure track and designate a non-tenured line to coordinate classes, to work RefeXpress, and to work the reference desk. In other words, a lecturer, someone who is not required to attend meetings, write papers, give talks and hold office hours because of tenure track. A decision about this is hard to make without knowing where a Lecturer will fall in TEAMS.
- Pat in MSL went to order calendars and was told that we were to use Outlook calendars and that paper calendars would not be purchased. An explanation of this new policy has not been provided. The entire staff has not been provided with PDA’s and there are staff that schedule appointments that are not always in an office. Carol Turner will add this topic to the Library Council meeting agenda for October 24th. She will also talk with Steve Shorb and Barbara Oliver about the rationale for the decision not to purchase calendars.
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