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 C-7  Library Committee

The Library Committee (LC) serves a number of functions, especially to advise the president of the University, the director of the General Libraries, and the Faculty Council about library finances, services, collections, policies, and procedures. There are eight members of the General Faculty and seven students (undergraduate and graduate) on the committee, which is advised by the director of the General Libraries as well as other senior administrative library staff members.

The LC met seven times in the fall and spring semesters. We also had many face-to-face subcommittee meetings and substantial online discussions. Among the major topics discussed were the materials budgets for the General Libraries, the use of students' library fees, the implications of raising UT staff salaries for library expenditures, plans for moving Information Technology Services and their sharing a number of spa ces with the General Libraries, and the General Libraries' digital archiving initiatives.

The bulk of the committee's work this year, however, has been related to the examination of the General Libraries' consortial arrangements. This topic was given as a formal charge to the committee by the Faculty Council in the fall 2001 semester and was also recommended to the committee by last year's com mittee and by the previous chair of the committee, who has remained a member.

We appointed a subcommittee consisting of two faculty members, a Faculty Council representative, and a graduate student, advised by senior library administrators, to take on tasks posed by the Faculty Council:
1. to compare UT's consortial arrangements with those of our peer institutions;
2. to provide any salient recommendations for changes in current UT policies based on our findings;
3. to address explicitly how faculty members are involved in purchasing scholarly material in consortia;
4. to determine what effects, if any, consortial memberships have had on the quality of the General Libraries' collections; and
5. to report to the March 18, 2002, meeting of the Faculty Council about our findings.

The subcommittee also examined other facets of the General Libraries' consortial arrangements as they emerged in our discussions.

The LC as a whole unanimously supported the subcommittee's interim report, and, in the formal report given to the Faculty Council on March 18, 2002 (see the D 1780-1788), we summarized our findings by noting that:

1. There have been no negative effects from consortial arrangements on the ability of faculty members to recommend and secure purchases of library materials.
2. In fact, consortia have allowed the UT System to secure access to $32M worth of materials for an investment of $4M.
3. Further, we have been able to renew previously cancelled serials because of the additional monies made available through consortial agreements.
4. UT's consortial arrangements are regarded as exemplars by our peer and other institutions around the country.
5. The Library Committee recommends that, like our peer institutions, the UT System should develop a centralized funding mechanism for consortial materials.

The formal report expands on these and other elements of the subcommittee's study.
Another subcommittee, with faculty and student members and advised by senior library administrators, made two major recommendations. The LC unanimously supported these recommendations and notified the library administration of this support:
1. Undergraduates should be allowed to circulate all "regular" General Libraries materials for 28 days, rather than the current 14.
2. The libraries must also work with the Office of the Dean of Students to help improve publicity about the new loan periods and recall and hold services.

In the course of our discussions this year, we identified topics that next year's LC should consider, and we ask that the Faculty Council charge the LC with doing so:
1. Long-term archiving of digital dissertations. This year's committee expressed the clear consensus that the LC, perhaps in conjunction with the graduate school, the Faculty Council, and the General Libraries senior and technical staff, must play an active role in considering the training of faculty supervisors and doctoral candidates in the creation of digital dissertations. Such dissertations must adhere to evolving standards for digital assets and must be accessible in the long term. Without such training, the value of digital dissertations and the contribution of scholarship to UT Austin will be severely compromised.
2. Circulating bound journals. Graduate students, in particular, as well as other constituents at UT Austin, want this question examined systematically.

  Philip Doty, chair


This document was posted on the Faculty Council Web site, www.utexas.edu/faculty/council/ on July 29, 2002. Paper copies are available on request from the Office of the General Faculty, FAC 22, F9500.

  Last updated:July 29, 2002
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