Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries
*** DRAFT ***
Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries
Wednesday, July 18, 2001
Madison, Friedrick Center
Present: Paul Moriarty (chair), Gary Alexander, Chris Goss, Kathy Schneider, Arne Arneson, Tony Galt, Ken Frazier, Lorie Docken, Joyce Huang, Leanne Hansen, Anita Evans, Pat Wilkinson, Bob Carmack, Peter Watson-Boone, Jim Bredeson, Tom Murray, Lori Voss, Bob Rose, Christina Baum, Joe Jax, Tom Peischl, Ed Meachen (p.m. only).
Moriarty called the meeting to order at 10:10 a.m. He announced that the joint ITMC/CUWL fall conference was scheduled for October 1-2, 2001, at the Heidel House. Schneider said that a scheduled WiLS board meeting for October 1 would be moved to another date. Docken announced that the CUWL Web site had not been updated for about a month, but that it would be updated soon.
- Endeavor and Universal Borrowing Implementation Update
Docken discussed (with handouts) the daily efforts of Endeavor staff to resolve the remaining bugs in the UB software being tested by the three sites. A few mission-critical functions have not been resolved despite several re-writes of the software. Based on the recommendation of the three test sites, the CUWL executive committee had voted in June to proceed with implementation if the remaining mission-critical bugs are resolved with the gold release of the software. Earlier in July, Endeavor had projected general, or “gold” release of the software on July 16. A few mission-critical bugs remain as of July 18 with no exact date available for general software release though Endeavor is inching closer. Docken said that the training date of July 24 in Stevens Point would proceed as planned.
With the delays, Docken said that the proposed summer implementation for several campuses would slide into fall semester. In the discussion, Frazier asked if we can realistically expect completion of all sites by the end of the calendar year? Docken said that if there are continued delays in the availability of general release software and/or implementation does not go well, there will certainly be slippage in the schedule. Watson-Boone said that if sites were not installed before this fall, a mid-semester load would not help anyone. Evans asked if “un-mapping” problems were still occurring in the circulation components; Docken said, yes, but Endeavor was continuing to work on it.
Voss asked if we are locked into the UB contract with Endeavor? Could we just walk away from it at this point if things aren’t resolved more quickly? Frazier commented that the UB process has been a long string of disappointments, and maybe it’s time to go shopping for a different resource sharing system. He said there are alternatives in the marketplace.
Frazier also made a MOTION (2nd Galt) that CUWL begin to explore alternative software solutions to meet the objectives of UWS resource sharing. In the discussion that followed, Jax asked how do we explore other solutions and still meet our Endeavor commitments? Docken asked if we needed to establish a “drop-dead” date for Endeavor? Carmack wondered if we could possibly be left out in the cold if we dropped UB and still found no other solid alternative. In terms of Endeavor payments, Voss reported that we are committed to paying 50 percent of the UB fee upon installation of the software; no payments have been made for UB as yet. Wilkinson asked if there might be possible bundling options with other vendors that might help with desktop delivery solutions that CUWL is investigating as well. Evans wondered if there would be basic compatibility problems integrating a different system alongside Voyager? Murray said he strongly supported Frazier’s motion to at least explore possibilities. Arneson said that he was very impressed with the Fretwell-Downing add-on system that he recently saw demonstrated. Schneider said that WiLS World sessions will focus on that system’s use in Colorado. Docken said that the company does offer document delivery options as part of its package, and there may be other solid vendors as well. Voss said that she wonders if Endeavor’s waning interest in UB for UWS doesn’t show that they are not really locked into UB as a future system after all. Rose offered that it really is time to be looking into our next generation resource sharing system. UB will handle requests for returnable items; it is recognized that the UW community also has a need for expedited document delivery of journal content. On a vote, the MOTION passed unanimously. The CUWL executive committee will explore the next steps.
Related to UB installation, the issue of interloan fees paid to Madison and Milwaukee for returnable interloans was raised. UWS has been temporarily paying those fees and will continue to do so for the rest of the calendar year. UWS will not cover fees after January 1, 2002. The spirit of the resource sharing principles and UB implementation was that we should not have a system where some campuses charge and others don’t. Schneider stated that WiLS borrowing statistics show no big change in WiLS-based interloan traffic for Milwaukee and Madison. Further discussions are needed on this topic.
Also related to UB implementation, Docken discussed ID’s and ID numbers for use by distance education students. Awareness of the issue needs to be highlighted for CIO’s and other administrators at some of the campuses where students have had problems acquiring ID information. Students will need ID numbers to use UB. Patron database inconsistencies across different campuses have also caused some problems for the UB beta sites. The main problem is inadequate address information. Peischl added that security issues and IAA efforts will continue to cause troubles as well; much work remains to be done with patron databases. Carmack added that the Executive Group for Online Learning (EGOLL) has made this issue a priority as well.
- Crisis in Scholarly Publishing
Frazier started with an analogy about left- and right-Hegelians, and how sometimes librarians accumulate on the right-Hegelians side, being rationalists in the extreme. But he thought some left-Hegelian revolutionary thinking is taking root in how scholars, publishers, and librarians interact. Frazier distributed two handouts, “Free Labor for Costly Journals?” by Theodore Bergstrom, and “Declaring Independence” produced by SPARC and TRLN (Triangle Research Libraries Network), and also plugged a Web site, Public Library of Science, which proposes a revolutionary shift away from commercialism to serving the public good. He said that the site has collected more than 25,000 electronic signatures of support thus far.
Frazier argued that the collection budget forecast for UW libraries is grim, cuts have already been made, and cuts will continue to be made for journals collections in the next two years. He advocates a cooperative approach in managing these journal cuts with an eye toward a new way of having universities look at scholarly publishing. The initial target of coordinated cuts may be Elsevier, which he says comprises more than 20 percent of the total academic publishing market. The Elsevier bite from UWS libraries is $1.6 million, of which one-third is estimated to be duplicates. He acknowledges that cuts are tough to justify to individuals and departments on campuses, but with coordinated cuts, combined with desktop delivery or universal electronic access, licensing the core journals for everyone may eventually save budgets without denying access.
In the discussion, Galt said that reliable desktop delivery would be enough to satisfy the doubts of faculty. Murray said that desktop document delivery is operational on the Madison campus and the technical part of it works well. Jax asked what percentage of these desktop deliveries would be e-journals? Frazier answered that delivery would originate in both paper and electronic formats; the end product would be electronic. Peischl asked how this system would be accessed by end users? How many “copies” would be adequate? Watson-Boone replied that it was likely some provision would be based on the traditional interloan process; that is, copyright/royalty fees would be paid. Wilkinson added that on the Oshkosh campus, there is still a bad taste in everyone’s mouth from extensive science journal cuts made several years ago; he worries about more backlash from further cuts. Moriarty asked what sort of timeline Frazier envisioned for this? Frazier said that the initial burden will fall on Milwaukee and Madison. Voss asked if we are willing to cut “copy one” of certain journals? Murray said that several “copy one” cuts had been made already; with needs met via traditional interloan methods/fees. Huang asked if there was thought of alternative titles to fill possible gaps between a journal cut and the new access method? Carmack asked if it was feasible to go beyond the state’s boundaries and cooperate with other research institutions?
Frazier said that many “worst-case scenarios” have already played out in those libraries that went for the “Big Deal.” That is, they’re paying a huge chunk and then forced to make cuts in other journal areas to support the “Big Deal”--a lose-lose situation overall. He said the actual usage of many journals is under whelming, therefore provision of these limited number of fills creates no traffic problems. Moriarty asked, what next in this process then? Watson-Boone said that we could ask CDC to build a de-duplication plan. Peischl said that whatever the process is, we need to start right away if there is going to be any real effect in the next two years. Frazier emphasized the role of library directors in building a consensus for this among faculty, departments, and collections staffs.
Docken said that she will re-send duplicate journal data reports to each campus. Murray said that he would help arrange desktop delivery demos to campuses that might be interested. Updates will be presented for the October CUWL meeting.
WORKING LUNCH, with…
- Strategic Directions Report
(Meachen joined the group shortly after discussion started)
Evans reviewed the timeline for the report and the activities thus far and handed out a revised timeline for the report’s completion. Meachen said that a completed plan should be delivered to him by August 14, 2001 for it to get in the pipeline for the overall IT plan.
In a general discussion about the report, Frazier said that there was still time for input, that the document is vital in selling ourselves (libraries) as essential components in the university’s IT plan. Moriarty echoed that and emphasized the “one-library” concept. Hansen and Wilkinson both spoke to the importance of perhaps adding more emphasis on staff development language and the sharing of staff expertise as well as spending on collections. Carmack, Frazier, and Peischl each asked for more emphasis on the extended user groups, the general public, business, and alumni.
Extensive discussions also revolved around the overall language of the report, especially whether specific vendors, programs, or projects should be itemized with so many examples, or whether they should be discussed more generically as overall directions. Do “action” items have to have specific examples attached? There was no clear consensus on that issue, although several comments felt that a two-year plan such as this could not avoid a certain level of specificity, especially if targeted items would have a budget impact in this biennium. Evans asked that CUWL members forward specific language changes and suggestions to her via e-mail, rather than trying to re-write the document in a large group.
Meachen spoke to how the CUWL report would fit with the overall IT planning document. He said he just came from the EGOLL group meeting, where much of the talk was of collaborative online programs shared across several campuses. This makes the one-library concept and specific plans highly pertinent to the overall planning process, he said. He said that the term “distance ed” is fading fast, in favor of a multi-faceted “distributed learning” environment, where relative distance is not really a factor anymore. Frazier echoed that by saying that Madison librarians responsible for DE are not a separate entity from other staff; Arneson said his campus essentially views all students as distance learners. Meachen also cautioned the CUWL board, saying “don’t wait” for the IAA task force to fully resolve access issues anytime soon.
The group then discussed each of the Strategic Directions numbered items one-by-one. Some highly summarized highlights:
Several comments about eliminating specific examples, dates. Do some items need further explanation, i.e., who is the audience for the report? Again, should we be looking beyond Voyager/Endeavor and how it fits our needs?
Resource sharing expansion issues provoked many specific issues. Everyone agrees that we are doing much more work collaboratively, but are there upper limits (budget-related, or not) to our role? The term “partner…” in the fifth bulleted item bothered some; is that too broad an approach, or is “inform” a more realistic role.
Peischl asked if perhaps #3 and #4 should be reversed to reflect that librarians/staff are more essential overall now than buildings/collections/equipment; others discussed how the “people” elements of librarians (teaching, training, information managers) have become dominant over the simply physical aspects of libraries. Meachen discussed the vital role librarians play in ensuring open interpretations of the fair use provisions of the copyright law; the resource sharing infrastructure we are building would be a critical part of fighting the collusion of publishers to exact more profit from each online usage of material.
Hansen and others praised the emphasis on cooperative information literacy efforts across libraries and campuses. Meachen expects librarians to help steer “Web tools literacy” efforts and Frazier added that we all need to expand and extend bibliographic instruction well beyond its current definition and scope.
Wilkinson asked if “diversify” in bulleted item four was broadly defined to include staff, collections, patrons, or was it intended to reflect the UWS diversity goals of Diversity 2008 plan? Evans and others agreed that it was stated to fit UWS goals and definitions primarily.
Extended services to non-primary groups will likely grow and we should be an active part of that, according to Meachen. Frazier and Peischl each emphasized increased services pressures for alumni.
Student fee for libraries? For content only, or for staffing as well? Frazier and others said the time is right to at least float the notion. Frazier believes student support for this would be substantial and would be a key element in getting it considered by Regents or legislature. Peischl wondered if the timing is now right, after a 7-8 percent tuition hike? Watson-Boone said that if budget indexing was enacted, a library fee proposal might not really be necessary.
Moriarty suggested deleting this numbered item, but move the wording to the end of the vision statement.
The other element of the planning document considered was the possible assignment of unallocated Library Automation Budget monies to specific items in the report. The strategic planning group had identified at least four possibilities for consideration:
- Desktop delivery
- One-search software
- Electronic reference
- UW digital library (collections)
The unallocated amounts in the budget are $700,000 for 2001-02 and $725,000 for 2002-03.
In discussion, Carmack asked if we couldn’t just split the money up between the campuses and let each decide how to best use it? Meachen indicated such use of the money didn’t fit the broadest ideals of a system-wide automation effort. Docken reminded CUWL of Interim Senior Vice President Beaver’s charge to the committee; Frazier said there was no rationale for an unequal funding process like that. Docken suggested that perhaps a small portion of the money could be set aside for grants to project ideas at individual and/or multiple campuses. Galt supported the idea. Peischl said grants were a bad idea administratively--too slow and too much wasted effort. It was agreed that the executive committee would try to flesh out more ideas for the October meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 2:40 p.m.
Jim Bredeson, CUWL Secretary