Update from the Interim University Librarian
Library Advisory Committee
Last spring, members of the faculty spoke loudly and clearly about the need for improved faculty/library communication and interactions and we, in the Libraries, took note and worked to take significant steps to ameliorate the situation. The most notable accomplishment was the formation of the Library Advisory Committee. A proposal for such a committee was forwarded to the Provost during the summer, the Deans nominated faculty and student representatives and the committee was announced in late August (see membership below). The committee was convened in October by Bert Garza and met again in November at which time Professor Robin Fleming was elected Chair of the Committee. The conversations so far have focused on the acquisitions budget, the area of the library that is of most concern to members of the faculty. We are extremely pleased to have members of the Library Advisory Committee as partners as we make difficult decisions in the months ahead. In addition, Chris Conroy, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services, and I met with the Board of Chairs who felt that the Library Advisory Committee will go a long way towards enhanced library administration/faculty communication.
A major impetus for the formation of the Committee was the outcome of the Faculty/Library Survey that the Collection Development Department of the Boston College Libraries launched in the spring. The report focused on the way in which faculty access the Libraries' collections, their satisfaction with library resources, the most important priorities for the future of library collections and the faculty’s thoughts about current and future library communication. The results were analyzed with the help of Kelli Armstrong and Aideen Gleeson from Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment. Overall, the data show that the faculty is generally satisfied with the Library and its collections but that greater collaboration between the Library and faculty, as well as increased financial resources, are needed if Boston College is to continue to make significant strides in the area of research.
Renewal of ScienceDirect
In late October, a meeting of key stakeholders in ScienceDirect, department chairs, faculty liaisons and bibliographers, met to discuss the renewal of the ScienceDirect contract. ScienceDirect is an important resource for serials for many academic departments, particularly in the sciences and nursing but also in psychology, computer science, math and management. The meeting, led by Chris Conroy, Associate University Librarian for Collection Services, was organized to explain to the faculty the rationale behind our recommendation to take a three year renewal. The discussion was positive and informative: the faculty agreed that taking a three year contract at this time made the most financial sense and will give us the ability to work together on the next renewal.
I am very pleased with the steps that we have taken so far to work closely with you and I plan to continue to do so until Tom Wall, the new University Librarian, arrives in March, 2009. Best wishes for a smooth end of semester.
Interim University Librarian