Library Committee Meeting
September 24, 2001

The Senate Library Committee met in the Hodges Library sixth floor conference room on the 24th from 1.00 until 2.00. Deyton, Hansen, Hovland, Morgan, Robinson, and Roth were present. Dewey represented the University Libraries.

The purpose of the meeting was to welcome members to the Committee, to provide an opportunity for introductions, and for Dean Dewey to provide an overview of the Libraries with some focus on topics likely to interest faculty. The following represents my sense of what was said.

Dewey was somewhat optimistic about additional funding to counter the effects of inflation, especially for periodicals. The Provost will likely be able to provide about $300,000 which is a good start. However, the Libraries will need at least $430,000 in recurring funding to maintain the current periodicals collection. Dewey is working with the Provost to secure additional funding. She noted that with additional funding the Libraries will be able to maintain its collections, but not improve them or move up in research library standings.

Dewey was asked if digital or electronic periodicals saved money. While these often provide users with added value, they are expensive and do not usually save money over print subscriptions.

Dewey encouraged Committee members to suggest creative ways for the Libraries to raise additional funds. While endowments presently give the Libraries some flexibility and additional income, more fund raising is needed to compensate for lack of state funding.

The Provost is an historian with considerable research library experience. He is familiar with the several challenges facing the academic research library and is likely to be a strong advocate for library collections and services.

Hodges Library was open on 11 September and many students visited the Library to learn more about what was happening. Dewey was asked about security concerns, especially since the Hodges Library is open 24 hours per day during the week day. The Libraries have disaster plans in place. Uniformed security staff are available to deal with problems. Campus police are available for additional assistance. Hodges is a public building and there are no limits on access. Some research libraries do restrict access to those with faculty, staff, or student IDs, but that is not contemplated here. There have been some complaints from female library users about undesirables and porn visible on terminals. The Library is investigating whether some terminals (library workstations for public use) can be used as express terminals to access primarily local library and distant collections, whether signage can be placed on selected "express" terminals to limit time used but generally does not restrict or monitor subject matter viewed by patrons. There was some concern from Committee members that the need for increased building security might divert funds from collections and services. Funding for increased security should come from campus rather than library funds.

On a related matter, Dewey mentioned that the cost of consumables--paper and ink--from printing on library public work stations was quite expensive and these costs will need to be controlled in the future.

The Hodges Library coffee shop is now open and has been more successful than anticipated. While the Libraries were considering a coffee shop or cafe, Auxiliary Services made the proposal. Some members of the University community have been unhappy that Starbucks is the provider. The space where the coffee shop is located has been improved and the adjacent study area will also be improved with new furniture. No study space will be lost as a result of the coffee shop. Outside food and drink may be consumed in this area. While not all Committee members were enthusiastic, inclusion of a coffee shop is a notable trend in major research libraries. It is intended to make library use more comfortable, add some ambiance, and increase traffic into the building.

Although there may be a few snags, Hodges Library has wireless capability and users will be able to use their laptops or pocket PCs to access electronic services. Faculty may find this capability useful in the faculty studies.

Hodges Library has also added both a Studio and a Digital Media Service center (in cooperation with ITC). Both should be useful for faculty who need to create digital products for teaching and research.

Dewey briefly noted new Library Faculty, including an Engineering Librarian and a new Head of Technical Services. She added that the job market for academic librarians was very competitive for employers and encouraged faculty members to suggest to students that a career in academic librarianship would be satisfying and that good positions were available. As is true elsewhere on campus, library faculty and staff salaries need to be increased. Staff turnover, in particular, is a notable problem.

With the Provost and the School of Information Sciences, the University Libraries hope to be able to sponsor a conference on scholarly communication and publication next fall. The Libraries are particularly concerned with the increasing cost of scholarly periodicals such that many are no longer affordable. The Committee expressed some interest in being a co-sponsor for this conference and we will discuss this at the October meeting.

The integrated library system (automated catalog, circulation, and acquisitions) used by the Libraries is no longer adequate. In fact, it is no longer well supported by the vendor who sold it. Our system is used by few academic libraries and does not meet the demands placed upon it. Since the infrastructure is already in place, the cost of a new system may be less expensive than otherwise. Dewey asked that faculty suggest features in an automated system that would be particularly useful for them. It might also be useful to note aspects of the present system that are frustrating or problematic. She was asked if a new system might be the same as found in other Southeastern research libraries since this would simplify access to collections in the region. Dewey said that it was not likely that all of these libraries would have the same automated system. She is particularly concerned that access to the Law Library, which has a different system, via the Hodges Library catalog be improved so that all campus users will be aware of what is held in the collections in the Law Library.

Hoskins Library, where the Special Collections Department is located, remains in poor physical condition and is not a good environment for library materials. Renovation is sorely needed.

Dewey hopes that the library faculty will be able to work more closely with other faculty to incorporate more instruction in the identification, retrieval, and evaluation of information sources. She is concerned that often students use inappropriate sources from the WWW because of convenience. Committee members shared this concern. Dewey was asked if library use had declined because of the WWW and digital resources available via the Libraries' gateway. There has been some decline in reference queries and the use of reserve materials, but building use is up. Hodges library has an excellent location and is a popular place to study.

There was a brief discussion of support for new faculty who need additions to library collections to support their research. Dewey would like to see start up funding for new humanities and social science faculty members similar to the funding available for laboratory and equipment for new faculty in scientific and technical disciplines. In the mean time, the Libraries have a small separate budget for new faculty (their first three years on campus) to order books and other non-serial items.

Library Committee Meeting
October 22, 2001

The Faculty Senate Library Committee met from 1.00 until 2.05 on 22 October in the 6th floor conference room of Hodges Library. Borden, Hansen, McGuire, Morgan, Robinson, Roth, Staudt, Sutherland, and Thompson were present. Dewey and Britten represented the Libraries.

Robinson welcomed the members to the second meeting of the Academic year. He noted that funding for the Libraries would be a major concern for the year and was also a Senate Action Item. Robinson will meet with Dewey early in November to discuss how to best proceed. Dewey said that she would provide the Committee with a Libraries budget overview if that would be helpful. Robinson agreed and we will devote a meeting to that soon.

Dewy reported on the Libraries' present financial situation. There have been no budget cuts and no cancellations are presently anticipated . The Provost is well acquainted with library funding problems and issues. He has shown considerable interest in helping the Libraries to deal with continuing inflation in the price of scholarly periodicals. How much additional financial support might be available is unknown. She is reasonably positive about current funding for serial publications and appreciates the Provost's support. However, the operating budget remains a problem.

The main topic for the meeting was an introduction to and brief consideration of the process of selecting a new integrated library system for the Libraries by Bill Britten who is Head of the Libraries Systems unit. The Libraries are beginning to seek funding for a new system from Central Administration. He used the phrase "strategic positioning" to describe our present situation. Vendors and systems are being studied and preparations are being made to begin the process to select a new system. The new system will provide a digital catalog of holdings, automated ordering, control of serials (periodical and annual publications), automated circulation, a public interface to the various modules, and immediate access to digital data such as html and xml.

The existing library system was purchased in 1996. It was not the Libraries' first choice, but was a low bid winner. This system is used by few academic research libraries and some promised features were never implemented by the vendor. For example, a WWW interface for the on-line catalog had to be purchased from a third party for $50,000. The system for ordering materials for the library is also a third party add-on ($120,000). Some of these add-ons are no longer supported. Support from the main vendor has not been satisfactory. The present system does not allow direct access to digital items. What the Libraries now have is a poorly supported, older system with a mix of third party add-ons that do not always work well together. There are also problems in relating the library systems to other systems used on campus. Clearly, a new library system is needed.

Ordinarily, the process of preparing specifications, evaluating alternatives, selecting the vendor, and setting up the new system takes two to three years If funding was available today and the system was selected, it would still take nine to eighteen months before the new system was ready for use. One vendor is already on state contract so that would simplify the process.

There is a limited market for automated systems for academic research libraries so there are relatively few vendors. The Libraries have the infrastructure, including hardware, so the major costs are for the software. The potential cost for the new system would be around $500,000 plus annual maintenance costs of about $60,000. The new annual cost would be slightly higher than the annual costs for the current system.

When the existing system was selected, an attempt was made to begin by identifying features that would be desired and creating system specifications based on these preferences. Vendor misrepresentation, the low bid, and specifications not based upon available technology created problems. This time, the emphasis will be on what vendors can currently provide.

A question concerned the "front end" or the part of the system seen by the user. Britten responded that the front end software is like a tool box so that the "look and feel" can be modified by the library. Thus, the front end to the same vendor software may differ somewhat from library to library.

Would one system be better in providing easier access to collections at peer institutions? Dewey noted that no single system was used by a large number of the UT or Regents libraries. Similarly, there is not a single system that stands out when we look at peer libraries in the Southeast. The software that provides an interface between different library systems is improving

A question was asked about the difficulty of selecting a library system when technology was changing so rapidly. How do we know that our new system will not become obsolete? Britten and Dewey replied that the best insurance that the vendor will upgrade in a timely manner is selecting a vendor that has a relatively large base of users and a steady cash flow.

Britten then demonstrated some of the features available with one of the new systems (Ex Libris). For example, a request for a periodical article could lead the user directly to a digital copy of that article in a database held by the Library (such as ProQuest or JSTOR) or, if not held, directly to an interlibrary loan form with all of the bibliographic data automatically completed.

Four major vendors of integrated library systems are:
  1. Ex Libris. Their customer list may be found at

  2. Endeavor. Their customer list may be found at

  3. Innovative Interfaces. Their customer list may be found at

  4. Sirsi. Their customer list may be found at

You are encouraged to visit these sites and learn more about these alternatives. You may share your comments and suggestions with me, with the Committee, or with Dewey and Britten. It is important that faculty participate in the selection process.

Library Committee Meeting
November 19, 2001

On 19 November, the Faculty Senate Library Committee met from 1.00 until 2.00 in the Hodges Library sixth floor conference room. Deyton, Hickok, McGuire, Morgan, Robinson, Roth, Sutherland, and Thompson were present.

After a brief welcome, Robinson reminded the Committee that it was charged by the Senate, at the recent Retreat, to examine library funding and suggest ways that appropriate funding might be obtained. He then asked Committee members to consider this question: What can this Committee do to achieve this goal? Resolutions and endorsements seem obvious, but will they really make a difference? We can also consider the priorities briefly discussed below and see if they appear appropriate. A negative way of looking at this issue would be to ask the question: If cuts had to be made in the library budget, where should they be made? We will return to this issue at a future meeting.

Aubrey Mitchell, Associate Dean of Libraries, spoke to the Committee about the Libraries' budget. His presentation was detailed and focused on six budget documents. Those who were not at the meeting and wish to see copies of these documents may contact Robinson or Mitchel. What follows is a most limited account of the presentation and the following discussion.

The budget process is crucial to the Libraries' success and requires considerable time and effort during all twelve months of the year. The Libraries are currently working on the 2003 THEC budget proposal. The UT budget process begins early in the fiscal year with budget hearings in January and February. During most of the fiscal year, the Libraries works with monthly budget forecasts. However, weekly forecasts are used later in the fiscal year.

The Libraries have a five year plan as well as a one year strategic plan. These provide the context for budget planning. The University budget process typically requires the Libraries to identify and provide a rationale for the most important four priorities. The collections budget has been the highest priority for some time. The second highest priority has been to improve salaries for library faculty and staff and add new faculty as needed. The third priority is to expand digital library initiatives. The fourth priority is improve space (Hoskins Library, a new Music Library What is left, perhaps $400,000 from $11.8 million dollars made available by the University, is the operating budget.

In response to a query, Mitchell said that the Libraries had considerable flexibility in moving monies from one budget category to another. For example, money from vacant positions is used to strengthen the operating budget. At least five to six faculty positions and an equal number of staff positions are kept vacant to insure that there is enough money to "pay the bills." Other academic units have been doing this for years. The Libraries need an additional $400,000 for the operating budget and an additional $200,000 for student library assistants.

Over the years, the Libraries have not had their budget cut and that is important. It indicates the importance that campus administration places on the Libraries. There have been impoundments and there could be one this fiscal year.

The Dean's budget philosophy is that the Libraries will spend no more than it is allocated. Some academic libraries overspend as a device to attempt to increase funding. The UTK Libraries will not do that.

A question was asked about funding for the "other" libraries than may or may not be part of the new University of Tennessee. The campus Law Library is budgeted at about $2 million. The Preston Medical Library (across the river) is budgeted at about $900,000. The UT Memphis Medical Libraries are budgeted at about $2 million. The Space Institute Library is budgeted at about $240,000.

The technology fees paid by students have made it possible to upgrade hardware and software used by students in public areas. However, the Libraries are still responsible for a substantial number of work stations used by its faculty and staff as well as the hardware/software required for the provision of Internet access and data bases.

The Libraries have substantial endowments and hopes to add to these via gifts and memorials. The endowment principle is between $8.2 and $8.4 million dollars. If five percent income can be assumed, that amount of money is available to support collection development each year. Mitchell added that some endowment income can only be spent on certain subjects or topics to honor the wish of the donor.

When asked where UT stood among peer institutions in terms of library expenditures per student, Mitchell replied that we usually ranked 9th, 10th, or 11th among the 11 peer institutions assigned by THEC. There can be some controversy about which institutions are genuine peers. There can, however, be no doubt that the UT Libraries are usually at the bottom.

Another question related to the degree to which the Men's Athletic Department supported the Libraries. While there has been some special occasion funding, there is no regular or continuing funding.

A few budget "factoids" which I found to be especially interesting.

Library Committee Meeting
February 26, 2002

Those present: Roxanne Hovland, Don Leatherman, Sandra McGuire, Wesley Morgan, Bill Robinson, Harold Roth, Elizabeth Sutherland, and Dixie Thompson.

  1. LibQual + Survey
    Tamara Miller, who assists in planning and policies for the University Libraries, spoke to the Committee about an important survey of students and faculty which will take place between 25 March and 30 April. The survey will focus on the quality of library service and will involve a random survey of 900 undergraduate students, 600 graduate students, 600 faculty members and all employees of the University Libraries.

    The survey is conducted by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and about 100 major research libraries in the U.S. and Canada will participate. The survey form will be done on the WWW and those selected to participate will be given the proper URL. Besides being more cost effective than the Libraries standard surveys, this will allow the University Libraries to compare itself with other noted academic libraries. Important bench marks may be revealed.

    While faculty and staff response rates have been good, undergraduate students have not responded at a satisfactory rate in the past. The Libraries are considering a variety of ways to increase this response rate and welcome additional suggestions from the Faculty.

    Those interested in the survey and other library planning initiatives should visit the "Planning and Policies" page at the Libraries WWW site for more information.
  2. Digital Media Services
    Renee Smith (, Head of Digital Media Services, located in 209 Hodges Library, showed a PowerPoint presentation introducing the DMS services. Digital Media Services provides comprehensive digitization services for teaching faculty (not students) at no cost to the teacher or the academic unit. There is a modest fee for digitization that is not used to support instruction. A wide variety of formats can be digitized, including text, audio, video, and images. Since digitization is done under Fair Use, substantial parts of a work cannot be digitized without clearance from the copyright holder. Smaller parts of work can be digitized. The digital products are then mounted on a Library server and the teacher is give the URL to access the item. The URL is good for one academic term, but the item is kept on the server and may be used again. The server is password protected (and that strengthens the Fair Use claim).

    Besides digitization, DMS provides help in securing permissions to use copyrighted materials. A consultation service is available to help faculty in planning and organizing a digitization project.

    DMS services allow faculty to create and bring into their teaching a variety of digital formats. This is particularly helpful for those teaching distance education students since Blackboard can easily accommodate digital materials as part of instruction or as a supplement to it.

    Smith mentioned that those who do not use the Internet in their instruction can have course reserve material digitized by the Reserve Department in Hodges Library. When asked about similarity to services provided by ITC, Smith said that ITC focuses on training faculty how to digitize while DMS actually does the digitization for faculty.
  3. The Studio
    While the primary audience is students, faculty are welcome to use the Studio facilities. Troy Davis, Media Librarian, is responsible for the Studio. Located in 245 Hodges Library, the Studio provides those on campus with an opportunity to create enhanced media presentations, often as part of a course assignment. There are ten production work stations with input equipment (scanners, AV playback equipment) and ten editing work stations, all having the same software. Two of the production stations are in rooms for groups to work together on projects. Industry standard software and hardware are available. Walk-ins can sometimes be accommodated, but it is best to make reservations. The length of the reservation will vary with the need, but four hours is the maximum.

    Consultation is available for both faculty who create assignments and for the students who need to complete them. Faculty should consult with the Studio before giving an assignment to insure that all will be in good order and that both the teacher and the students will have reasonable expectations. Some innovative, high quality student projects have been created in the Studio. This is an opportunity for students to truly understand textual and visual literacy via a "hands on" experience.

    Some hardware is available for loan, digital video cameras for example. A 30 minute short course on proper use of the equipment must be completed before it is borrowed.

    A question asked after both questions was "Do we know how many UT students have the hardware and software, and connectivity, to view the digital products produced in the DMS and Studio facilities?" No one seemed to know the answer, but it is an important question. One response would be for the campus to set a standard computer configuration/specification for students who will purchase a computer. Dewey noted that the Libraries provide access to a considerable number of computer work stations accessible to all who are on campus.
  4. March Meeting
    The meeting on 26 March will introduce two innovative special collection initiatives which will capture important primary source material and make it available to the scholarly community.

Senate Directory
Governing Documents
   Senate Bylaws
   Faculty Handbook
   Tenure Policy



Senate Home

To offer suggestions or comments about this web site, please click here.