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Queen's University Library


Thursday, 27 March, 2008
9:00am - 10:30am
Douglas Library, 1966 Reading Room

Present: C. Adamson (Stauffer), S. Andrychuk (Stauffer), R. Ascough (Religious Studies), A. Baldwin on behalf of N. Scott (Geography), P. Baxter (Film & Media), D. Burke (Stauffer), J. G. Clarke (Business), J. Druery, Chair (Stauffer), S. Greaves (Stauffer), J.A.W. Gunn (Political Studies), A. Jainchill (History), S. Larin (Political Studies Graduate student rep.), H. Laycock (Philosophy), F.P. Lock (English), J. Moon (Stauffer), S.M. Murphy (Etudes francaises Graduate student rep.), J. Philipps (Library Collections), A. Thomson (Library Collections), M.C. Vandenburg (Stauffer), L. Walls (Jordan Library), M. Whitehead (Library Administration)

  1. Approval of the Agenda
    The agenda was approved.

  2. Approval of the Minutes of 22 October 2007
    The minutes were approved.

  3. Business Arising
    • Damaged materials
      M. Whitehead reported that the Head of Access Services has verified that processes are in place for repairing or encasing damaged or fragile materials. Any items of concern may be brought to the attention of staff at the circulation desk. J. Gunn enquired about staff guidelines for handling fragile materials upon acquisition or return from circulation. J.Philipps, Coordinator of Collection Development, said there is a formal set of guidelines and will verify that it is being followed through the acquisition and cataloguing process
    • Advisory committee chair
      M. Whitehead reported that the Library would still like a faculty member to chair this committee but a volunteer has not been found. For now, a practice of rotating chairs will be adopted. The chair may be any member of the committee and individuals may volunteer to co-chair. J. Druery volunteered to chair this meeting.
  4. Center for Research Libraries
    J. Druery described the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) resources available to Queen's and led a discussion about ideas for promotion. Information about CRL's collections, services and projects can be found at http://www.crl.edu.

    CRL collects materials that are rarely held by other research libraries in North America. It has a focus on humanities and social sciences and includes primary source material from around the world. Undergrads may borrow materials but the collection is of most interest for advanced research.

    Queen's has been a member of CRL for about a year. It has not been heavily used in this time. H. Laycock enquired about the cost of membership and J. Philipps replied that we have a reduced price of $80,000 for three years through our participation with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network.

    Every year CRL compiles a list of suggestions for new purchases for its collection and Queen's is able to contribute to and vote on the list. This list is circulated to departmental library reps.

    CRL produces a newsletter titled Focus which highlights resources on particular topics (e.g. human rights documentation, religion in the modern world, women's studies, etc). The newsletter is available at http://www.crl.edu/focus/toc.asp. Researchers can sign up to receive an email alert about new issues by going to this page and clicking on Subscribe.

    The Library is planning a promotion campaign. J. Druery asked those present if they are aware of CRL and about half the non-librarian members answered yes. The promotion campaign will include:
    • News items on the Library website about the latest Focus newsletter.
    • A new Humanities and Social Sciences online newsletter from the Library.
    • A presentation by CRL promoted to faculty and graduate students. J. Druery asked those present about the best time of year to hold such an event. It was suggested that early September before the start of classes would be good: everyone is gearing up and interested in possibilities for research in the coming year.
    • Information in the SGPS electronic newsletter published every Friday.
    • Exploring ways to increase the visibility of CRL resources on the Library's website. The Library has considered putting CRL records into the Library catalogue. Several libraries in North America have done this and some have taken them out again because it caused a lot of confusion: users assumed that the item was available at the local library and were frustrated to find it was not; undergrads borrowed advanced CRL material and would have been better served by the local collection. The Library is going to revisit the idea of putting selective sets of records in QCAT, or developing finding aids in areas where CRL is particularly strong. The new Library catalogue interface under development may provide new possibilities.
    Advisory committee members raised a variety of questions and comments relating to CRL.
    • Is publicity necessary? J. Gunn noted that Interlibrary Loans will obtain desired research material from wherever it is available. J. Druery suggested that graduate students may not be aware of all the research materials available to them and many researchers may not know about the resources held by CRL or that we are members.
    • Interlibrary Loan practices need review. A. Jainchill suggested that CRL should be a default fulfillment option in RACER since it is currently cumbersome to select CRL and the longer CRL loan period is useful; F.P Lock suggested that would be unnecessary given that a copy may be available closer to Queen's and the longer CRL loan period not needed. J. Druery replied that she will be consulting with Interlibrary Loans staff on a variety of matters and she observed that it is often whole collections that are borrowed from CRL, such as 100 reels of microfilm, rather than a single monograph. J. Druery also remarked that not all CRL collections are catalogued and, therefore, ILL staff need to be aware that CRL may have materials that cannot be found through WorldCat or the CRL catalogue.
    • H. Laycock suggested that the Library email departmental library reps about CRL and they will forward the information to faculty and graduate students; S. Larin commented that sending the information directly to graduate students via the SGPS newsletter is also important.
    • H. Laycock asked if the Library has ownership rights to CRL materials. J. Druery and J. Philipps replied that it is like other membership or licensing arrangements: if we stop subscribing we no longer have access. Should we choose to end our membership we can maintain some borrowing privileges for a fee. J. Moon commented that this is not unusual and cited the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) as an example.
    • F.P. Lock commented that the strength of CRL seems to be its geographic spread and asked about its relation to research being conducted at Queen's. J. Druery said that when the Library first considered membership, CRL provided an analysis of Queen's research and its match with CRL collections.
    • Is there untapped demand for CRL? J. Gunn asked how much use has been made of CRL at Queen's so far through Interlibrary Loan and suggested that the low numbers indicate low demand. H. Laycock noted that feedback from the Philosophy department has indicated little need for the types of materials collected by CRL but there is a desire for more online journals and books and more user-friendly access. S. Larin said that CRL could get more use if publicized to graduate students. J. Moon observed that people may not be aware of the depth and breadth of CRL collections, as was the case with ICPSR: in the first 2 or 3 years of Queen's ICPSR membership there was little use but now we are amongst the heaviest users in Canada. A. Jainchill asked if we have statistics on the usage of CRL's electronic collections by the Queen's community. He noted that faculty members in the Department of History regularly use online resources from CRL in their courses. J. Philipps will ask CRL if these statistics are available.
    J. Moon asked committee members about their experience with the microform readers and printers in Stauffer Library. Responses indicated frustration with printing problems, film advancing too quickly or too slowly or getting caught, and machines being out of order. It was observed that there is still a massive investment in microform collections. J. Druery noted that department 'wish lists' for collection purchases include a number of microform sets. M.Whitehead will ensure that microform readers and printers are included in equipment funding planning.

    S. Larin noted that the quality of copies from Stauffer Library photocopiers is generally awful, particularly the ones on the second floor. M. Whitehead will report back on maintenance and upgrade processes.

  5. Library-Department Connections: the Role of the Departmental Library Representative
    J. Druery provided background for this discussion: she and J. Philipps would like to revise the document describing the role of the departmental library representative based on input from the advisory committee. The current document is available at http://library.queensu.ca/webcoll/lrprole.htm. Rather than working from that document, J. Druery suggested that members consider several questions:
    • How do you perceive this role/what is the nature of the role?
    • What works for your department?
    • Is there anything you would like to see changed?
    • Other comments.
    Members discussed these questions in three groups and summarized the comments:
    • Reps are eyes and ears, on the ground, in departments.
    • Reps can push the idea that there are other services offered by the Library in addition to collections, for example instructional programs.
    • The Library relies on feedback and information from reps about new courses and new faculty and their research interests.
    • Many reps include the Library as an agenda item on departmental meetings; this provides an opportunity to remind people to provide their input on acquisitions, consolidate department concerns and solicit feedback to bring to the advisory committee or liaison librarians.
    • The rep needs to have an overarching awareness of the research and teaching going on in the department.
    • Gathering specific concerns about end user issues (e.g. problems with equipment in the library) is not always part of the library rep role and the Library needs to have other mechanisms to gather that input.
    • Reps play a significant role in selection of current and some retrospective resources.
    • Reps are the conduit for needs and concerns of the department.
    • Liaison librarians can alert faculty to matters that may not be on their radar.
    • Reps share with their colleagues information about services that are available.
    • The rep is an important link between the Library and graduate students.
    • Changes in research and curriculum can happen rapidly and the Library needs to consult with faculty and graduate students to ensure that collections reflect those changes.
    Reps are interested in the discussion of print versus online collections and speculating on the future of the collection. It was noted that current e-books provide tremendous content but are not well designed for printing. J. Druery noted that a possible future agenda item for the advisory committee will be a discussion of e-books. J. Druery thanked everyone for a lively and informative discussion. J. Druery and J. Philipps will take the information presented to revise the aforementioned document and circulate a draft for discussion at the next meeting.

  6. Other Business
    There was no other business.

    The meeting adjourned at 10:30am.

Last Updated: 19 November 2009

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