1998-1999 Annual Report

North Carolina State University Libraries


  • Changes in scope of activities

Special Achievements.
Continuing a recent trend, the NCSU Libraries now ranks 37th in North America among the 111 members of the Association of Research Libraries. This year's rise reflects ongoing improvements in collections and services at the NCSU Libraries. Continuing to promote the interests of academia through its scholarly communication program, including campus education in copyright and fair use, the Libraries organized its 5th Scholarly Communication Colloquium, featuring David E. Shulenburger (provost, U. of Kansas) to present options for copyright ownership models.

The library is a natural partner for collaborative projects across colleges and schools. This year the Geographic Information Systems Regional Planning Project--led by librarians working with the Center for Earth Observation (College of Forest Resources), Institute for Transportation Research and Education, and School of Design--made publicly available on the Web a spatial data system for the Upper Neuse region. In addition, the library staff began to assemble and process data to develop a spatial data collection for an additional 24 counties in western North Carolina. Library staff also collaborated with University Extension to develop a "Partners in Extension (PIE)" Web site that brings together library resources and services tailored to the needs of field faculty and staff. This partnership also included planning and implementing a "computer kiosk" project, aimed at making information from NC State available in several rural counties. As a partner in the Learning Technologies Service (LTS) with Computing Services/Information Technology and Continuing Studies, library staff delivered a series of summer workshops for faculty and graduate students, focusing on educational technologies and electronic information resources for teaching and learning. They also delivered presentations for the Preparing the Professoriate group. Librarians collaborated with the Dept. of Entomology to create a Web site on systematic entomology as part of the national Agricultural Network Information Center. With the Triangle South Asia Consortium (TriSAC) of faculty at UNC-CH, Duke, NCCU, and NC State, the Libraries worked out a cooperative collection development model to build a single collection of materials in support of South Asia instruction distributed among the four universities. On the state level, the NCSU Libraries continued to play a leading role in NC LIVE, the statewide electronic library project, which has now been up for 14 months with no downtime. The NC LIVE staff, based in the NCSU Libraries, completed a ground-breaking design for remote access to NC LIVE. Under implementation at year's end, this design will be the first in North America to provide remote access to all users without requiring proxy support.

Advancement of Teaching and Learning through the Digital Library.
To gather background on the information uses and needs of faculty engaged in flexible-access instruction, the library conducted a series of faculty focus group interviews. In response to previous focus group suggestions, the Libraries initiated a major redesign of its Web site, including an outside consultancy on usability engineering for the site. The NCSU Libraries expanded its leadership in digital library initiatives with release 1.0 of MyLibrary@NCState, a nationally recognized, personal Web page that can be customized to suit the interests of each campus user. The library also unveiled a prototype of digitized architecture and design images that are searchable over the Web. As the number of images increases, School of Design faculty will be able to select subsets for easy delivery to the classroom. To strengthen support for off-campus teaching, learning, and research, the library implemented proxy access and authentication to digital collections provided through its Web site, as well as to electronic reserves and other services--the first and only proxy service at NC State. To improve support for on-campus access, the Libraries completed design and capital purchases for a laptop lending program and for network electronics that will support network access for users with their own laptop computers. Both services are expected to be available by the beginning of the fall 1999 semester.

Campus Community.
To create an accessible record of publications by faculty and other authors at NC State, the Libraries mounted on the Web the NC State University Authors Database. Searchable by year, author, department /agency, and journal title, the database now contains 5,300 articles, books, and patents by 3,000 faculty, 1,500 students, and 30 staff. The physical environment can be an important factor in creating a comprehensive campus community; this year the Libraries upgraded its facilities for users with disabilities, continuing to provide a campus model for support of its users in this area.

Expanded Collections.
A collections budget of nearly $8M drove substantial growth in size and diversity of the collections. We purchased 41,000 monographs and 100 new print subscriptions, giving the collections a three-year increase of 127,000 monographs and 1,140 new print subscriptions. We also added 40 electronic databases and 600 electronic journals to an already large universe of electronic resources. These robust increases are a critical factor in achieving an ARL ranking of 37. Special Collections acquired the papers of Ronald Mace, a national leader in universal design and ADA standards; the papers of Bruce Zobel, an international expert in forest genetics; and the archives of the Hofmann Forest, part of a growing repository of forestry and paper product materials.

Increased Ease of Access to Services and Materials.
The Electronic Reserve Service completed its first full academic year of operation; during fall 1998, 1,485 documents were made available via the Web and accessed 23,869 times. In spring 1999, the library introduced expedited delivery of materials to off-campus students via Federal Express and made Web-based request forms available to both on- and off-campus users. The library saw expanded use of its successful TRIPSaver service, delivering materials to NC State users from the other TRLN libraries. The library also implemented a pilot project for the delivery of journal articles to and from the Veterinary Medical Library.

  • Volume of activities

NCSU Libraries Statistics
1997/98, 96/97, 92/93, 87/88 COLLECTIONS


Volumes in

Volumes Added
No. of

Microform Units

Electronic Databases
Owned or Leased
97/98 2,713,146 103,907 35,1942 4,752,758 9,633
96/97 2,618,6151 84,303 26,450 4,630,696 4,729
92/93 1,485,041 48,781 18,086 3,701,627 19
87/88 1,239,528 45,927 15,053 2,893,815 2


        Interlibrary Lending



Instructional sessions/
Students taught

Reference Transactions

Items Loaned

Items Borrowed
97/98 477,443 424 / 5,484 132,850 18,536 14,0433
96/97 483,814 289 / 4,692 128,103 19,149 11,578
92/93 396,369 288 / 5,020 113,918 33,959 7,012
87/88 394,571 U / A U / A 29,571 4,278

SERVICES (CONT'D)                     EXPENDITURES



No. users/


Library Materials

Library Expenditures 5

Library Expenditures as % of NCSU Expenditures

97/98 2,378 / 10,764 75% / 24 hr.,
85% / 48 hr.
$7,081,355 $17,210,758 2.9%
96/97 1,622 / 6,0884 80% / 24 hr.,
80% / 48 hr.4
$6,916,560 $16,780,431 3.0%
92/93 N / A N / A $4,236,505 $10,413,684 2.3%
87/88 N / A N / A $3,025,434 $ 8,142,110 2.5%

DIGITAL LIBRARY ACTIVITY                                                   GENERAL


Connections to NCSU Libraries Web Site

Connections to Online Catalog

Connections to Electronic

Connections to
Web site

ARL Rank / Total ARL Members
97/98 11,567,269 1,401,883 863,653 2,145,4226 37 / 111
96/97 5,467,849 1,100,794 641,316 N / A 42 / 110
92/93 N / A U / A N / A N / A 90 / 108
87/88 N / A U / A N / A N / A 90 / 105

1 850,990 of the increase results from a change in counting in 93/94 that allowed the addition of government documents volumes and serials already in the collection.
2 Much of the increase results from the addition of titles in electronic databases.
3 Changes in borrowing reflect the introduction of TRIPSaver service for expedited delivery of requested items.
4 TRIPSaver was introduced in fall 1996, so figures represent activity from 10/1/96 through 6/30/97.
5 Excludes benefits.
6 NC LIVE was introduced in spring 1998, so figures represent activity from 4/13/97 through 6/30/98.

  • Special Achievements of Significance
    • reached #37 in Association of Research Libraries index of 111 top research libraries
    • received $15,000 U. Extension Grant with Center for Earth Observation for GIS Regional Planning Proj.
    • received $,5000 Faculty Outreach and Professional Development Grant with the Dept. of Entomology for "Outreach to Agriculture: Bringing AgNIC to NC State"
    • received $5,000 grant from A. E. Finley Foundation for the engineering collections
    • received $5,000 grant from the CP&L Foundation to support the library's technical collections
    • received $5,000 from Duke Energy Foundation to purchase nuclear engineering materials
    • received $5,000 to purchase and process South Asian materials in Urdu and Hindi
    • selected for preservation projects proposals to NEH for microfilming our collections on the industrial South and for compiling a bibliography on the literature of agricultural and rural life in the state
    • received Donald E. Moreland Library Faculty Fellows Endowment to attract/retain key library faculty
    • "Hill of Beans" Coffeehouse selected by the Parents and Families Association as fundraising project
    • awarded Larry K. Monteith the 1998/99 NCSU Libraries Faculty Award
  • Special Program Reviews, Studies or Plans
    • interviewed focus groups of faculty on their information uses and needs relating to distance education
    • invited Dr. Jon Gunderson (U. of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign) as consultant to assess library Assistive Technologies services to visually and physically impaired users
    • invited DeEtta Jones (Senior Program Officer for Diversity, ARL) and Denise Stephens (chair, Multicultural Issues Committee, U. of Virginia Libraries) to orient and advise the Diversity Committee
    • invited Brinley Franklin (Director, U. of Connecticut Library) as consultant on sampling design for public services statistics


  1. Major New Appointments
    Caroline Beebe (Ph.D. candidate and formerly Coordinator of Document Image Management Systems, Indiana U.) as Head, Digital Library Initiatives Department; Charles W. Colman (formerly MIS Director for the N.C. Dept. of Administration and MIS Director, N.C. Dept. of Agriculture) as Head, Systems Department; Mary Kate Keith (formerly Director of Alumnae Relations, Meredith College) as Director, Friends of the Library; Scott Ross (formerly Systems Manager, Center for Earth Observation, NC State) as Systems Development and Operations Manager, NC LIVE.
  2. Kudos, Professional Activities and Recognition
    • Susan Nutter received the Hugh Atkinson Memorial Award from the American Library Association for significant contributions to librarianship in an environment of innovation and risk taking
    • Honora Nerz won the Ford (Motor Co.) Digital Librarian Award for an essay that best demonstrated an understanding and vision of the digital library, "The Digital Librarian, or: The Monster at the End of This Book"
    • MyLibrary@NCState was selected as a leading example of the Top Technology Trends (the first is "customization, interactivity, and customer support for users") as identified by the Library and Information Technology Association's experts
    • The Libraries' AgNIC Web page on systematic entomology, jointly designed with the Dept. of Entomology, received a Butterfly Best Nature Sites Award
    • The NCSU Libraries was designated a CAS Signature library, recognizing its 91-year commitment to the provision of Chemical Abstracts for its users
    • Jean Porter received the Meritorious Achievement Award from the N.C. Chapter, Special Libraries Association
    • C. David Jackson died suddenly in August 1998 after a brief but notable tenure as the first head of the Special Collections Dept.; he was instrumental in establishing the Libraries as an archive for N.C. architectural records and organizing the award-winning George Matsumoto exhibit and catalog
  3. Minority [Diversity] Representation and Recruitment
    • Appointed a standing Library Diversity Committee
    • Invited diversity planning consultants to discuss diversity in libraries and make recommendations on the Library Diversity Committee's role and future direction
    • The library staff is 74% female. Minorities represent 25% of the entire staff (29% of SPAs, 16% of librarians (EPA)). This representation of librarians compares favorably with other ARL libraries as a whole (in 97/98, minorities made up 11.03% of professional staff in U.S. ARL university libraries).
    • Twenty-eight percent of SPA and 12.5% of EPA hires this year were from under-represented groups
    • Launched the NCSU Libraries Fellows program to recruit each year at least two librarians with the Master in Library Science for a two-year appointment. Recognizing a national shortage of librarians with science /technological expertise, the program will target new graduates with backgrounds in or potential for science/technology librarianship and/or those from under-represented groups.


  • Funded feasibility study for an off-site shelving facility, identified Central Stores as the facility, and purchased the first phase of compact shelving for it. Available to the Libraries in 2001 , the building will hold up to one million volumes.
  • Authorized advanced design work and committed funds for HVAC and electrical infrastructure upgrades in the East Wing of D. H. Hill; upgrades must be completed before renovations for the Learning and Research Center for the Digital Age on the second floor can proceed.


  • In the face of decreasing student seating space and increasing enrollment projections, the most effective long-term solution to the Libraries' space problems is a new library building, coupled with the D. H. Hill Library and the projected off-site shelving facility. The Centennial Campus is the ideal location for a state-of-the-art, showcase library for the sciences and engineering.
  • The library must implement innovative, responsive services on Centennial Campus to deliver electronic indexes and full-text databases, combined with on-demand help from library experts, to support that campus until a library building can be constructed.
  • D. H. Hill must still be retrofitted to meet user needs in the digital age. Deficiencies to be corrected before the library can provide a true digital library environment include HVAC replacement, electrical upgrades, asbestos removal, and ADA-mandated renovations.
  • The decision by the legislature to discontinue funding of an annual inflationary increase (8%) to the collections budget adds to the strain on a budget heavily committed to science and technology journals. Within a year, the Libraries will have to return to its late '80s/early '90s practice of cancelling journal subscriptions. As a result, over time, the impact on research and learning could be devastating. There will be a secondary, negative impact on the Libraries' ARL ranking.
  • This year's legislative budget is the first in 10 years that provides no support for the NCSU or other UNC system libraries whatsoever.
  • The Learning Technologies Service needs a commitment of permanent resources to support and improve delivery of instruction and the conduct of teaching/learning in a digital environment. LTS partners created a new Partnership Agreement in 98/99 to ensure the most effective use of investments in promoting and supporting digital learning technologies, including the recruitment of an Instructional Designer. The LTS offers tremendous potential to meet the challenge posed by projected growth in off-campus enrollment and on-campus expansion of Web-based courses and course materials.
  • For an increasing population of extension and distance learners, the Libraries will develop a model program for the provision of equivalent library services.
  • Vigilance on scholarly communication issues such as copyright legislation remains critical for ensuring the open dissemination of scholarly information. The library will expand its campus education efforts and will pursue a mandatory, noncredit, 3-hr. copyright workshop for NC State students.
  • While the number of graduates with degrees in library science has declined by one-third since the '70s, the increasing demand for information professionals in the Research Triangle makes it extremely difficult to recruit and retain the professionals vital to the NCSU Libraries. A full suite of recruitment and retention strategies, including the ability to offer competitive salaries, must be employed to staff the Libraries to achieve its mission.