Here are the remarks from the meeting today…
I wanted to bring you all together today to talk about the next steps in our reorganization of the Central Libraries. A couple years ago we put together a number of task forces to investigate challenges and opportunities in front of us. We’ve seen some results from their reports already, including the Vision, Mission, Values, and Goals document we put together in 2010 and, this past summer, the creation of the Liaison Services department.
Today I want to finish the outline of the new organization. This will inevitably be an outline, as organizations are organic, and some of the changes will happen over time. Some details still need to be figured out. Some changes lie in the future, rather than the present.
Let me start by eliminating some fears this meeting may have created for you. No one is losing a job or getting a pay cut. This reorganization is a proactive, positive move. I do want to say something about the context in which we work. At Baylor we have been fortunate, in many ways isolated from the harsh realities at many other institutions. Frozen salaries, pay cuts, furlough days, and lost positions have affected employees at many universities, especially at state institutions, but even at many private universities. Within the Greater Western Library Alliance, our most important peer group, our merit pay levels have been second to none over the last five years. We have also had consistent increases in our library materials budgets that have nearly kept pace with inflation in that market.
So why change now?
- Baylor is changing – [SLIDE 2] putting more emphasis on research and graduate education, more emphasis on science and related disciplines, online graduate degree programs on the horizon
- Higher education is changing, with pressure to produce degrees at lower cost (and less concern for creating well-educated citizenry or students with critical thinking skills). This may not be as true at Baylor, but it is the context in which the University operates.
- Research libraries are changing
- Dealing with challenges of transition to e-books, and with still growing print collections
i. Relying on trusted others – e.g. CRL, interlibrary loan
ii. Looking to build shared electronic and print repositories – WEST, HathiTrust, conversations in GWLA and among Texas private universities
- Taking advantage of new opportunities, exploring the needs of the academy in light of new forms of scholarship
- Digital humanities, data visualization, geographic information systems
- Facilitating new modes of scholarly publication
- Open access
- Library role as publisher
- Data curation
- Engagement with institutional curriculum development
- Our operational budget and the number of personnel in the Central Libraries has been, and likely will continue to be, flat
So the question is “how do we rise to the challenges and seize some of the opportunities before us? …with a relatively fixed budget?”
There is a line of reasoning in the academic library community today that we need to demonstrate our value. I prefer to operate from a perspective that we need to create obvious value. We need to create strong allies in the university who will go to bat for us, who find us indispensable. One of our most powerful constituents are the faculty. Yet a just-released version of Ithaka S+R’s faculty survey demonstrates, on a national survey, that academic libraries are losing ground with faculty.
We must more successfully engage with tomorrow’s scholars. In order to make these changes, we need to rethink our priorities and use our resources in new ways.
This is NOT one of those models where everyone has to apply for their job. This is a model where everyone will be asked to help accomplish the improvements we are working toward, and where some of you may end up doing very different things.
Today is a major milestone, but not the finish line. We have an outline today. Details will follow over time, as we work on this together. This will be an organic process.
Our task forces identified support for the teaching and learning mission of the University, and support for the ever-increasing research emphasis at Baylor, as two areas of focus. We had discussions about creating two separate units, but realized there was just too much overlap to make that possible, and thus formed Liaison Services to work at both. This led to the creation of Liaison Services this past summer.
The intent of today’s changes is to get us to focus on the other areas which our task forces identified as crucial to our vitality as an emerging research library. This will involve some additional changes in Liaison Services, and creation of two other departments.
[Central Libraries Org Chart 2013-04-15]
Sha Towers, Director of Liaison Services
* Continuing charge = To rethink services that support the teaching & learning mission and the research mission of the University from the perspective of the culture and needs of the academic departments
* New charge = To bring a consistent, high level of service to all service points
To facilitate these service improvements we are creating two new Service Coordinator positions. John Robinson will be Day Services Coordinator. Sarah Freeland will be Night and Weekend Services Coordinator. They will report to Sha. Their responsibilities will include managing the staffing of the Jones Information desk, the main circulation desk, and the entrance desks.
John’s team will include current Liason Services staff members who work at the Jones desk plus daytime Access Services LIS 1s. Sarah’s team will include Janie Mauney-Rooks, evening and weekend LIS 1s, and the night/weekend staff from Access Services. Kristi McCormick will continue to manage the security team and will take on some additional responsibilities. The night/weekend team will also retain interlibrary loan duties, at least for the foreseeable future.
The outcomes I expect from this department are increased satisfaction with the help we provide at our service points and increased perceived relevance by our clients. We will use MISO survey data, locally-administered surveys, and, I hope, the local version of the Ithaka survey of faculty to measure our success.
Ken Carriveau, Director of Delivery Services
* Charge = To redesign processes for radically faster and more efficient delivery of materials (from the time an item is requested until it is ready to use)
Ken’s team will include most of Acquisitions, the ILL day personnel, and Alice Linkous combined in one unit, and Cataloging and Metadata unit under the continuing leadership of Bruce Evans.
This department will use technology and business rules to take care of routine aspects of the work, and thereby use our talented staff for the more interesting and complex problems. To help with this, we plan to create a new delivery services system support position, which we plan to fill from within.
One outcome I expect is a decrease in the average time for firm orders from what it is today (something Debbie McMahon is working to measure) to less than 5 business days, without increasing the cost/item. I also expect time from delivery to shelf ready to decrease for other physical items received.
Remember what I said earlier. Everyone continues to have a job. That said, I am expecting the size of this department to shrink. Our staffing in these areas is higher than most peer institutions. We will reduce staffing through vacancies and by moving people to new roles. I plan to use the savings we generate to create new positions for opportunities and areas of growth we identify.
Scholarly Resources and Facilities
Beth Farwell, Associate Director of Central Libraries
Beth’s team will include Ramona McKeown, Don Ward, stacks management (Robert Lugo and Russ Garrett), binding and preservation (Martha Dowdy and Frank Jasek).
1st Charge = To develop and implement a plan for collections, collection space, and access for an emerging, 21st-century research library.
As we look to the future we need to rethink how we are spending our library materials budget – whether the “big deal” journal packages are a “good deal,” whether distribution of collection building and budget monitoring makes sense, where we should rely on others rather than purchase ourselves, how we should approach the relationship between electronic and print monograph purchasing, how we can optimize our consortial and membership relationships.
2nd Charge = To build and promote the use of focused special collections in the Central Libraries
Our changes in the Central Libraries are facilitating a change Dean Orr has been thinking about for some time. Kathy Hillman’s duties have grown substantially in the last year, including her added responsibilities as Director of the Keston Center and her increased work on our behalf with Library Fellows, Library Board of Advisors, and our other donors. Her work with the emerging Baptist Studies Center for Research also promises to take additional time as that endeavor moves forward. Therefore Pattie is reshaping Kathy’s duties to focus on these areas of responsibility as Director of Baptist Collections and Library Advancement. Kathy will also retain the title of Director of the Keston Center. She will continue to coordinate the exhibits among the various libraries as well.
As Beth will now have broad responsibilities for shaping the future direction of the collection, it made sense for her to absorb responsibility for the Central Libraries’ special collections. Pattie, Kathy, Beth and I will work together on transitioning duties related to the Central Libraries’ special collections.
Other responsibilities = Manage day-to-day facilities, stacks, and preservation issues, and Beth will serve as my backup when I am out of the office.
Moving to the Electronic Library
We determined the logical place for course reserves, because of their work with Sierra and copyright issues, is the Electronic Library. Brenda Anderson will report to Denyse Rodgers.
What remains to be done?
The short answer is “Lots!”: Student worker distribution; some space planning; updating reporting lines, time card approvers and proxies; some new job descriptions; and much more.
I expect one question for staff, with this coming at this particular time of year, is who will do your annual performance review. Our plan is to have your old supervisor complete the review, but to include your new supervisor, if there is a change, in the review meeting.
For the time being – and this is important – keep doing what you have been doing. I don’t want the old Access Services team to abandon the service points until we have a plan in place to staff the service points under Liaison Services! I don’t want Brenda wandering around on the Garden Level looking for a place to work!
This afternoon we will have brief meetings in Creekmore with each of our new departments to fill in a few details, answer questions, and get your help figuring out what comes next, and what we haven’t thought about yet.
2:30 – 3:00 Scholarly Resources & Facilities
3:15 – 3:45 Delivery Services
4:00 – 4:30 Liaison Services
We have time now for some questions, especially those that are about the overall changes.