2000-2001 Annual Report

North Carolina State University Libraries

 

I. PROGRAMS

A. Changes in scope of activities

Special Achievements. The NCSU Libraries laid the groundwork for meeting upcoming challenges by: undertaking a total master planning project for library facilities, current and future; strengthening the NCSU Libraries Fellows Program in its third year; and further enhancing the digital library environment. The library maintained its ranking of 35th among the 112 North American members of the Association of Research Libraries.

Advancement of Teaching and Learning through the Digital Library. The Libraries continued to consolidate its position as a leading digital library. Its customizable interface to Web resources, MyLibrary@NCState, is a fully operational service with nearly 3,800 registered campus users. The codebase for MyLibrary’s open-source software, made freely available to the external community, was downloaded 450 times from July 2000 to May 2001. Those involved in further development of the software include the University of Michigan, California Digital Library, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and several foreign universities. The Libraries' spatial data collection continued to grow, along with its training program in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which now features a selection of online, self paced courses produced by the Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI). Through a partnership with University Extension, large amounts of data have been collected from local governments in the state, enabling more reliable, integrated preservation and access to this data. As part of the library’s own digitization activities, staff continued to collaborate with entomology faculty on an NSF funded project, focusing on development of an online index for the renowned Metcalf entomology collection. The library acquired the MetaStar enterprise software from Blue Angel Technologies, Inc., to manage multitype metadata and to facilitate development of integrated, cross-collection search interfaces.

Campus Community. The Libraries’ NC State University Authors Database, which provides a Web- accessible record of publications by faculty and other authors at NCSU, expanded from 7,000 to 9,577 citations for articles, books, and patents. This represents works by 3,323 faculty, 2,010 students, and 582 staff, and includes 7,664 articles. Pending final review/testing, the library will enhance the browser accessible searching capabilities available to the public. In addition to keywords, users will be able to search the database by combining various fields (year, author, department/agency, and journal title).

Expanded Collections. With a collections budget of nearly $8 million, the library continues to improve the quality and size of its collections, purchasing 56,000 monographs and media, 2,346 electronic texts, and 80 new print subscriptions in 00/01. Also added were 20 databases and 1,764 electronic journals. As part of a Triangle South Asia Consortium (TriSAC) grant from US/DE, the library expanded its South Asia collections cooperatively with its TRLN partners. The group established a cooperative collection profile with the Library of Congress office in New Delhi, and the library has met or exceeded purchasing goals established for the grant. Special Collections acquired the papers of former Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Graham, which represents an invaluable cornerstone in the initiative to document the history of North Carolina agriculture.

Improved Access to and Delivery of Information. The Libraries introduced or extended a number of innovative services this year. The "Ask a Librarian LIVE" service, also known as a "virtual reference desk," allows users to interact with librarians via the Web in real time. Librarians can demonstrate search strategies and processes, guiding users through the selection of databases and downloading of results. The Laptop Lending Service makes high-performance laptop computers available for in-building use at D. H. Hill and the four branches, using both conventional and wireless networking. Use of the Electronic Reserve Service continued to increase, exceeding last year’s usage by 60%. Conducted pilot project for including audio files in electronic reserves. As an outcome of NCSU Libraries’ leadership, the successful TRIPSaver model was extended to all of the other TRLN libraries, with an average delivery time of 2 days. For library users on the Centennial Campus, the Libraries developed a portfolio of services that is distributed to incoming residents there.

 

B. Volume of Activities: NCSU LIBRARIES STATISTICS

1999/2000, 1998/99, 1994/95, 1989/90
COLLECTIONS

Year
Volumes in Library
Volumes Added (Gross)
No. of Serial Subscriptions
Microform Units
Electronic Resources Owned or Leased
           
99/00
2,945,119
123,367
37,247
4,900,821
38,981
98/99
2,829,312
123,652
35,882a
4,852,892
27,579
94/95
2,472,810b
79,976
18,880
4,223,418
3,491
89/90
1,375,049e
48,917
18,401
3,168,471
9

SERVICES

 
Library Users,
Total      
Year
User Visits to Library
User Connections to Library Web Site
Total Circulations
Instructional sessions / Students taught
Reference Transactions
           
99/00
1,554,212
23,876,173c
668,964d
419 / 7,739
96,908
98/99
1,685,200
23,208,467
495,689
422 / 9,426
94,422
94/95
1,639,264
725,157
481,965
293 / 5,608
119,058
89/90
1,794,584b
N/A
357,501
704 / 10,956
166,100

SERVICES (CONT'D) - EXPENDITURES

 
Interlibrary
Lending      
Year
Items Loaned
Items Borrowed
Library Materials
Total Library Expenditures
Library Expenditures as % of NCSU Expenditures
99/00
14,849
15,984
$7,937,258
$19,442,069g
2.9%
98/99
17,729f
14,609f
$7,666,634
$19,631,014g
3.1%
94/95
24,144
7,108
$791,644
$11,850,782g
2.4%
89/90
25,998
4,736
$3,200,551
$8,414,798g
2.2%

 

DIGITAL LIBRARY ACTIVITY - ARL RANKING

Year
Connections to NCSU Libraries Web Site
Connections to NC LIVE Web Site
ARL Index
       
99/00
23,876,173c
32,234,090
35 out of 112
98/99
23,208,467
21,598,780
35 out of 111
94/95
725,157
N/A
58 out of 108
89/90
N/A
N/A
88 out of 107

For footnotes, see Appendix A at end.

C. Special Achievements of Significance

  • ranked #35 in Association of Research Libraries index of 112 top research libraries
  • held the Scholarly Communication Colloquium; held the I. T. Littleton Seminar with speaker Herbert Van de Sompel (visiting assistant professor, Cornell)
  • received 3 grants and submitted proposals for 2 additional grants
  • awarded Hugh A. Devine (Parks, Recreation, and Tourism) the 00/01 NCSU Libraries Faculty Award
  • completed pilot project on signage standards in D. H. Hill Library
  • sponsored receptions and exhibits honoring N.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Jim Graham and Lee Smith
  • held Bug-o-Rama festival to promote awareness of entomology collections
  • held University Authors Days series to feature readings or presentations by NC State authors

D. Special Program Reviews, Studies or Plans

Embarked on first phase of master plan for library space to address current and future capacity issues and to make the most efficient and effective use of the $9.2 million in bond funding received. Established faculty/student advisory group to assist in implementation of the off-site shelving project. Conducted an extensive feasibility study for a Patent and Trademark Office Partnership Library. Extended business model training to additional library staff.

II. COMPACT PLAN: Major Initiatives

  • Campus Community: "Four Thrusts": Focused on collection development in the university’s four intellectual thrust areas, including developing collections policies for genomics and environmental science and customizing MyLibrary@NCState to meet the needs of faculty and graduate students in these disciplines. Contracted with a vendor to provide comparative data for selected institutional peers; the resulting list of titles not owned by the NCSU Libraries will be targeted for future collection development efforts. Developed MyLibrary subject pages for materials science and information technology.
  • Partnerships: Transformation of Scholarly Communication: Expanded copyright education efforts with 38 presentations , 122 consultations, and 1,639 visits to Web copyright tutorial this year to date. Held Scholarly Communication Colloquium in October 2000 with record attendance. Organized 2 seminars on the "Research Library of the Future," with panel discussions by faculty, students, and administrators. Made 13 presentations on the "Principles of Emerging Systems of Scholarly Publishing" (Tempe Principles). Helped complete UNC-GA Intellectual Property Task Force copyright ownership policy; assisted provost and his working group with implementation plans for NC State’s copyright ownership policy. Led N.C. delegation visits to Congressional representatives on National Library Legislative Day.
  • Partnerships: NC LIVE: Advanced Digital Library Technologies: Continued partnership with public/private universities and colleges, community colleges, and public libraries in NC LIVE, a statewide electronic resource project.
  • Business Model: Restoration of Inflationary Increase: Previously, automatic annual inflationary increases in the collections budgets of the UNC system libraries helped the NCSU Libraries forestall journal cancellations. Without these funds in 99/00 and 00/01, the Libraries was forced to cancel 3% ($101,000) of the print journals for the 2001 subscription year, resulting in a loss of more than 340 titles. Current projections indicate a loss of purchasing power in 01/02 of at least $500,000 because of inflation, so faculty and graduate students have been asked to identify and review lists of journals for potential cancellation. Between inflationary pressures and projected budget cuts, substantial journal cancellations are expected for next year, which will have a serious impact on scholarship and research on campus.
  • The Library as Place: The Nexus of Research, Scholarship, and Community: Expanding library space for faculty and students will be critical in the next five-to-ten years. Projections for student enrollment, faculty headcount, and Centennial Campus faculty, students and corporate/government partners show that nearly 40,000 students, faculty and corporate partners will expect access to quality library resources by 2010. Therefore, the Libraries will focus on maximizing and effectively using space through:
    • Off-site shelving. Hired design firm. Renovations of the facility slated for the summer and fall. Experienced delays from slow reviews by the State Construction office and the Department of Insurance. Task force report approved by the University Library Committee has outlined categories of materials to be moved to the facility and the service goal of two-hour delivery of materials from the facility. Established faculty/student advisory group to provide users’ perspectives as the project proceeds.

    • Learning and Research Center for the Digital Age/Infrastructure replacements in the East Wing: Expedited key planning and design efforts for critical renovations, providing the foundation for the following projects in the 50-year-old East Wing in 01/02: renovation of the second floor as a center to support faculty in integrating technology into the classroom; replacement of heating, air-conditioning and electrical infrastructure; construction of ADA-compliant restrooms on second floor; and addition of a life-safety egress stairwell and ADA-compliant elevator. Planning and design also underway for replacement of outdated and failing security system, and for construction of an area of rescue assistance in the Erdahl-Cloyd Wing to be completed in summer 2001.

    • Hill of Beans coffee bar: Slated to open on schedule in August 2001. Developed memorandum of agreement with University Dining, selected coffee brand/vendor in consultation with faculty and student advisory committee, and met with facilities designers from the coffee vendor and the university to determine design of fixtures and traffic flows.

  • Information Access and Delivery: Implemented EZProxy authentication software, simplifying off-campus access to electronic resources and improving functionality for users with disabilities.
  • Library Services for Distance Learners: Conducted extensive outreach to off-campus students and faculty; delivered 819 items to them from July 2000 - April 2001. Publicized enhanced Web site and toll-free number for information services. Offered off-campus classroom instruction, in person and via Internet videoconference.
  • Recruitment and Retention: For many years, the NCSU Libraries has faced a shortage of librarians with expertise in the sciences, engineering, and information technology. The library’s innovative Fellows program has successfully recruited talented entry-level librarians with potential for development in these areas. Now the library is experiencing the impact of a shortage of librarians that amounts to a national crisis for academic libraries. Declining library school enrollment, competition from private sector employees for information professionals, and the aging of the profession (40% of U.S. librarians will be eligible to retire within the next 4 years) all contribute to constant turnover of library positions at NCSU. Without significant improvement in salaries, the NCSU Libraries cannot recruit and retain an experienced staff capable of supporting the research and learning needs of the faculty and students at NC State.

III. DIVERSITY: INITIATIVES AND PROGRESS

Preliminary data for combined EPA/SPA hires in 00/01 show that 23% of appointments made were to persons from targeted ethnic backgrounds. Made 5 appointments to ethnic minority librarians, the most in any year in the Libraries’ history. Completed second year of the NCSU Libraries Fellows program. Of the appointments to the third cohort, 2 Fellows were from under-represented groups, and 5 have academic backgrounds in engineering or science. Updated hardware and software in Assistive Technologies Center and trained staff to use these applications. Mounted 2 exhibits highlighting the achievements of women: "Gertrude Cox: First Lady of Statistics" and "Celebrating 100 Years of Women at NCSU."

IV. STAFF

A. Major New Appointments. Karen Ciccone (formerly Assistant Head, Research and Information Services) as Head of Natural Resources Library ; John Isenhour (formerly Library Computer Professional, National Accelerator Laboratory) as Associate Director for Information Technology; Linda Saunders (formerly Director of Library Services at Guilford Technical Community College) as Head, Research and Information Services); Suzanne Weiner (formerly Head, Textiles Library and Engineering Services) as Head of Collection Management.

B. Kudos, Professional Activities and Recognition. The NCSU Libraries’ efforts since 92/93 to build a Geographic Information Systems service program to support campus users were recognized with a "Special Achievement in GIS" award from ESRI, out of a field of 60,000 sites worldwide. The NCSU Libraries received the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Excellence in Communication for its 98/99 annual report.

V. RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCERNS FOR THE FUTURE

  • A new, additional library building on the Centennial Campus appears to be the most effective long-term solution to the Libraries’ space problems. To determine the most effective use of current and future capital funding, the Libraries must complete a detailed master plan, costing from $125,000 to $150,000.
  • Impending budget cuts, combined with the elimination of the annual legislative inflationary increase for collections, will force the library to cancel a substantial number of journals during 01/02, with devastating effects over time on research and learning and on our ARL ranking.
  • The Libraries’ exemption from the sales and use tax for journal subscriptions provided funding for renovations in the desperately needed off-site shelving facility and for support of ongoing operating expenses. If the legislature reinstates the sales and use tax on subscriptions in its efforts to close "loopholes," the impact on the Libraries’ budget would be severe (between $275,000-300,000 annually) and would compromise the entire funding premise.
  • Pending litigation threatens to redirect receipts from library fines to the county school system. Library fines provide incentives for students to return borrowed materials in a timely manner and the approximately $150,000 collected by the Libraries annually are used to offset the cost of maintaining access to library collections. It actually costs the Libraries more to collect the fines than it receives in revenues. Activities and SPA positions related to the administration and collection fines will have to be eliminated.
  • Projected enrollment growth will have major effects on the library’s resources, services, and space, during a time when journals may be cut drastically, service staff are in short supply, and space is at a premium.
  • Per national accreditation standards/guidelines, the library has implemented an active service and outreach program for distance learners. As distance ed enrollment increases, demand for these services will grow and the special budgetary support provided in the past 3 years will need to increase proportionately.
  • The recent takeover of the software vendor for the Libraries’ information system may necessitate as much as $1 million, potentially, to modify the existing system or to purchase and convert to a new one.
  • Recruitment/retention of information professionals continues to absorb the Libraries’ staff resources, budget, and technological infrastructure, with 17.5% EPA and 26% SPA turnover rates. The ability to offer competitive salaries is still a primary challenge in attracting and keeping critical staff, in the face of declining library science graduates and stiff competition in the Research Triangle job market.

APPENDIX A: FOOTNOTES TO NCSU LIBRARIES STATISTICS

a Much of the increase results from the addition of titles in electronic databases.

b Much of the increase results from a change in counting that allowed the addition of government documents volumes already in the collection.

c In December 1999 a reorganization of the Web site for ease of use resulted in a decrease of connection counts by more than half.

d Includes reserve circulations, both print and electronic reserve circulations (beginning in 98/99).

e Based on estimated counts. This figure also reflects the existence at that time of an additional entrance to the main library on Hillsborough Street, resulting in gate counts inflated by people who used the library as a walkway to the Brickyard.

f Decrease in lending and increase in borrowing reflect serials cancellations, reductions in books purchased, and initiation of TRIPSaver expedited delivery service.

g Excludes benefits.