Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries
Council of University of Wisconsin Libraries (CUWL)
November 12, 2004
Present: Leanne Hansen (Chair), Arne Arneson, Ewa Barczyk, Barb Baruth, Marc Boucher, Lorie Docken, Anita Evans, Ken Frazier, Jean Gilbertson, Chris Goss, Peter Gottlieb, Ken Grant, Joyce Huang, John Krogman, Mordecai Lee, Valerie Malzacher, Paul Moriarty, Bob Rose, Phil Schwarz, Kathy Schneider, Felix Unaeze, Pat Wilkinson
Guests: Sylvia Beardsley, Jana Reeg-Steidinger
1. The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. Corrections were made to the Sept. 13-14, 2004 minutes.
The minutes, with corrections, and the consent agenda were approved.
2. CDC recommendations on electronic collections. (Sylvia Beardsley) Docken noted that in the second sentence of the CUWL Collection Development Committee Joint Meeting with RCC, October 8, 2004 Report to CUWL, the word “shortfall” should be replaced with “balance.” Beardsley presented a brief oral summary of the report. Basically, the CDC recommendation is that all products except Science Online and ACLS History E-Books should be renewed. Wilkinson asked about the methodology used to evaluate cut recommendations and suggested that, in the future, the same criteria be used for all products. He noted that AMS MathSciNet use is uneven and that use of B&H Criminal Justice Periodical Index is not greater that Science Online. Beardsley replied that sometimes it is difficult to apply the same criteria to different types of products. Huang moved, Evans seconded, a motion to accept the report. Malzacher wondered if the low use of ACLS e-books was related to whether a campus had loaded associated bib records into their catalog. Beardsley replied that most campuses said that use was low, regardless of whether or not records were loaded; the perception is that low use is due to content. A few CUWL members took exception, stating that ACLS History E-book content is very good. Huang noted that in general, e-books are not as well accepted as e-journals. Frazier and Gilbertson were concerned with what the likely response to loss of access to Science Online will be on comprehensive campuses; whether some campuses were going to pick up the product on their own. Discussion turned to the possible future cut of Web of Science. If the product is cut, UW-Madison and UW-Milwaukee will subscribe on their own. It was noted that the current price is an extremely good deal and it is unlikely that UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, and/or other campuses that might join together to subscribe to it could get as good a deal, comparatively. Rose pointed out that in several cases, UW-Madison has arranged as part of its licensing agreements with vendors, to arrange for access for other UW campuses; there might be a “quid pro quo” obligation with respect to Web of Science. Rose also wondered whether the lack of usage was due to a lack of promotion. Huang asked if it would be possible to negotiate the Web of Science license based on use. Docken said that she will look into a Web of Science basic product that could be used by the comprehensive campuses. The motion to accept the report passed unanimously.
3. RCC update, including virtual reference charge. (Jana Reeg-Steidinger) Reeg-Steidinger reported that over the summer the RCC worked on product evaluations of UW-System licensed resources and also discussed SFX/MetaLib consistency issues. She next described the RCC’s view of virtual reference, first noting that, in a nutshell, the group has not embraced the concept of virtual reference, due in part to staffing problems and low use. The RCC has a subcommittee working on developing a survey, initially one page, but now being expanded. She noted that two campuses (UW-Madison and UW-Parkside) have had positive experiences with virtual reference and she listed factors contributing to the success of each of those experiences. She mentioned an article on virtual reference entitled “To Chat or Not to Chat.” The article’s theme is that chat reference has not turned out to be the panacea hoped for. Wilkinson asked if the RCC: 1) has investigated virtual reference experiences outside the UW System, and 2) done a thorough literature search. Reeg-Steidinger said that there has not been enough time to do these tasks; she added that Bernie Sloan has prepared a comprehensive bibliography. Evans reported that the Fall 2004 Reference & User Services Quarterly contains guidelines for virtual reference services. Reeg-Steidinger said that the RCC will pursue these avenues. Gilbertson commented that MIT put a big effort behind virtual reference but has decided to stop the service. Schwarz mentioned that UW-Stout has looked at the Breeze product, which is available to campuses at no charge and does a lot of things that the reference programs do. However, Breeze uses terminology that isn’t appropriate for academic libraries and may be difficult to change. It was suggested that the RCC may have hesitation about virtual reference service because of the QuestionPoint experience. Moriarty observed that the RCC did focus on the QuestionPoint experience, and added that it would be good to have the group refocus on the kind of reference service we wish to provide: perhaps just UW campuses. Frazier said that his overall reaction is: “When are we going to cut our losses?” It was pointed out that the UW libraries have never really tried the full virtual reference concept and a shared responsibility for 24x7 service. Hansen concluded the discussion by noting that CUWL is looking forward to a fuller report in February 2005 and a final report in Spring 2005.
4. Wisconsin Digital Library update. (Kathy Schneider) Schneider gave a brief update on the initiative. She asked that CUWL members mark February 22, 2005 on their calendars as the date for the Digital Planning summit. The model calls for establishment of regional digitization centers with central hosting of content and a central database of metadata. She hopes to get many cultural institutions to sign on to the plan and is looking forward to its implementation. The committee will meet again next Friday, November 19th. Frazier voiced support for a federated, distributed model, with a real statewide sense of participation. Wilkinson praised the committee for its work and agreed that it is moving in the right direction. He said that the centralized server idea is good, but there are big technical issues that need to be addressed. He also noted that digital preservation is a major commitment and an important issue for the implementation committee to consider.
Schneider added, in relation to the earlier virtual reference discussion, that QuestionPoint is merging with Ref 24x7. Academic and public library coverage will be separate; there will be a proposal for a six-month renewal for the QuestionPoint group. Wilkinson asked for confirmation that the new service will cost more but the reference staff commitment will be for fewer hours. Schneider said that was correct; it looks like staff requirements will be about half of what the current group has, but costs for full 24x7 coverage could be twice what is currently being paid.
5. MetaLib Advisory Committee update. (Valerie Malzacher) Malzacher summarized the committee’s recommendations. The goal is to make sure UW libraries are offering the same suite of services, standardized names, and standardized results presentation. The committee did not feel that consistency could be achieved in giving the service an overall name or by detailing how campuses link to MetaLib from their web pages. Schwarz noted that it would be good to have a standardized name for the service; it could be used in discussions with administrators and for marketing purposes. Malzacher said that the committee discussed this, but MetaLib software allows libraries to build links into difference pieces of a library’s web pages; some libraries intend to integrate fully the MetaLib software into their web pages and don’t plan to give the software/services a separate identity. She added that the service is basically being provided for students and not for marketing at a higher level. The discussion turned to the MetaLib interface with UB. Malzacher reported that all of the campuses have corrected some of the identified problems, but more work needs to be done. Schwarz commented that the “table view” is not ADA compliant. Wilkinson said that when the University of Rochester did usability studies of their website, they found that many students got lost when they reached the SFX menu screen. Rochester developed a way that the user could go directly from the results list to a PDF article, bypassing the menu screen. Malzacher thought that this might be a setting in SFX but was not sure, and will look in to it. Arneson asked if speed is a problem with MetaLib. Moriarty replied that the latest issues have to do with bringing e journals from SFX into MetaLib, and so far, there are no complaints about speed or response time. In reply to a question about MetaLib implementation plans, Malzacher said that UW-River Falls will come up in the spring, Evans said that UW-LaCrosse may not implement until fall 2005, and Hansen said that UW-Green Bay is aiming for a “stealth” spring 2005 implementation. Evans asked for clarification of the decision about cross-searching all UW libraries. Malzacher said that Ex Libris recommends no more than 8 databases be cross-searched at one time, and that MetaLib will not replace Voyager’s simultaneous search.
6. Diversity Task Force. (Anita Evans) Evans solicited feedback on the Task Force’s proposed membership. She noted that the group had considered asking Unaeze to serve, but was hesitant because he has already agreed to serve on the Strategic Directions Task Force. Unaeze then volunteered to serve on the Diversity Task Force, bringing the number of CUWL representatives to three. CUWL agreed that the makeup of the committee is reasonable. Barczyk recommended Michelle Harrell Washington (UWM) for the staff member slot. Evans asked that CUWL members email either Hansen or herself about recommendations for the remaining slots. Part of the task force’s charge is to conduct a survey in order to get an idea of what the state of diversity is among staffs at UW libraries. The task force will also look at successful programs at other universities and will develop a prototype website. A preliminary report is due in May, with the final report next fall.
7. Other business. There was no other business.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:27 p.m.