University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Nov 28, 1950

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NOVEMBER 28, 1950, at 10:00 a.m.
Present: Dr. Dunlap, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning,
Miss Mercer, Mr. Lanning, Mr. Rothstein, Miss Fugler.
Dr. Dunlap commenced by referring to the decision made
at last week's meeting to make adjustments in time to compensate
for holidays during the fall term. He has in the past week
received several statements of what the adjustment involves in
various divisions of the Library, and has been requested by
Miss Mercer, on behalf of the Staff Association, to wipe out the
adjustment for the fall term and commence on 1 January next.
The matter is now further complicated by the fact that some
members of the staff have already taken off the extra time to
which they were entitled under last week's ruling, and if the
regulation is not to be retroactive, these persons will have to
make up the time. The Librarian asked Miss Mercer if she wished
to explain the staff point of view. Miss Mercer reported that
when the matter was discussed at the staff meeting the members
were aware that one person had already taken time off under the
new ruling, but that this was not considered a serious matter.
It was also true that some members of staff had already made up
some time which they owed to the Library under the new ruling.
Miss Smith pointed out that the latter would now expect to be
compensated for the time they have made up. The Staff Association
asked that those who have time coming to them receive it, and
that those who owe the Library time be forgiven it.  Yesterday,
the staff voted to ask the Division Heads to reconsider the
matter and to wipe out the retroactive clause. Dr. Dunlap stated
that he had declined to have the Division Heads consider the
proposal that time owed to the Library be overlooked and time
owed by the Library be granted. Miss Smith asked if the situation
now was that those who had made up time owed to the Library should
have the same amount of time off and that those who have taken
time off since the new regulation should make it up, and Dr. Dunlap
replied in the affirmative. After further discussion the
Division Heads agreed unanimously to wipe out the retroactive
clause and to enforce the new ruling as of 1 January, 1951.
Mr. Lanning asked whether the relationship of the Library
to the rest of the campus was Involved in the Library having a
five-day week, to which Dr. Dunlap replied that in his opinion the
Library, because of its working hours, should decide this matter
for itself. Dr. Dunlap went on to say that the attitude shown by
some members of staff during the past week of discussion about
holiday compensation has disappointed him.  Some members of the
staff do not seem to appreciate the fact that the Librarian and the
Division Heads do their best to give the staff every consideration
in matters affecting them. Mr. Rothstein said he considered the
staff justified in their reaction since they were taken by surprise
by the new ruling.  He would wipe out all time owed to the Library,
but allow all time owed by the Library.  Dr. Dunlap and Miss Smith
disagreed with this view. Miss Lanning asked if it was now understood that the first holiday to be adjusted under the ruling was
New Year's Day, and Dr. Dunlap said it was. Miss Lanning remarked that if she knew in advance what was to be done, she could clear
up the matter of time within the week in which the holiday occurs,
and Dr. Dunlap agreed that this was desirable and ought to be
done as far as possible.
Dr. Dunlap said that he had been so engaged with the
Annual Report and one or two others matters, he had not called the
staff meetings as often as was desirable, but that he hoped to
have more frequent meetings in future. The distribution of the
Annual Report was considered and decided upon.
Dr. Dunlap reported a number of complaints about the
closing of the Library for football games.  He said that he had
not thought the Library was so popular among the students, and the
service divisions repeated their former statement that it was very
sparsely attended on Saturday afternoon. Miss Smith added that the
opening of the Fine Arts Room in the evening, after requests from
the Department of Architecture, was not justified by the small
number of persons who made use of the service. Dr. Dunlap said
that the students who had complained about the Library closing during
games were under the impression that the Library was trying to
encourage students to go to the games. Miss Mercer said that on
principle she was against making changes in the regular hours of
the Library.  The staff becomes involved with students and others
who take for granted that the customary hours will be observed.
Dr. Dunlap agreed that it was not a good practice, but said he could
not see any other way of handling the situation.  He read the
letter of protest received from the University Branch of the Civil
Liberties Union. Miss Smith agreed that it was very upsetting to
close the Library, but the alternative in the past has been worse.
Dr. Dunlap said he believed there should be money in the Library
budget to provide for commissionnaires for the days when there are-
football games.  He felt that there was too much feeling on the
subject for the Library to continue to close on those occasions.
Miss Lanning said that closing created difficulties at the service
desks, where the staff are called upon to justify the practice.
Some people are reasonable, others are not. Dr. Dunlap reported
that the Chairman of the Library Committee had asked about
Saturday closing after one of his students complained, but that
he had seen the Library point of view when the situation was
explained. Mr. Rothstein asked why the Library was expected to
provide for policing the building, was this not the responsibility
of the Department of Buildings and Grounds? Dr. Dunlap agreed
that it ought to be, but he did not believe the matter would be
dealt with satisfactorily unless the Library were provided with the
funds to do it.
Miss Jefferd brought up the question of extended holidays
at Christmas time for those who are going home to distant places.
One member of her staff has requested the time between Christmas
and the New Year and the balance of the week after New Year's day.
Dr. Dunlap did not feel that this was justified. If the extra time
between Christmas and the New Year is allowed, no further extension
of the holiday period should be granted. It was taken for granted
that all members of the Library staff would be at work on Wednesday,
January 3. Miss Jefferd also asked about time off to. attend
conferences. Dr. Dunlap said he believed the professional librarians should be granted the time required for travelling to
and from and attending Library conferences.  If a conference is
near enough to Vancouver to permit a very large proportion of the
staff to go, then the Division Heads should decide which members
may go and which should remain to carry on the work of the Division.
In reply to a question about travelling grants, Dr. Dunlap said
that there was a fund administered by Dean Gage.  His opinion is
that a person filling an important office or taking a prominent
part in a Conference is justified in applying for a grant from
the University fund, but that others would not be so justified.
Respecting such applications, Dr. Dunlap would like to see copies
of letters requesting grants, and he would support them whenever
The hour for the Christmas staff party was considered,
and it was agreed that the party should be held from 2 to 4
on Friday, December 22. •
Miss Mercer remarked that the October issue of ACRL
deals with university archives and gives the opinions of a number
of persons who have had experience in this field.  If the question
is likely to arise at this University, it might be useful to have
extra copies of the article available. Dr. Dunlap asked
Mr. Rothstein to order six copies, not to be catalogued.
Mr. Lanning asked whether Mr. Rothstein wished to bring
up the matter of requests for music scores. Miss Pentland has
sent in requisitions for a large number of scores, and Mr. Rothstein
said he had some doubts about the feasibility of the Library
ordering scores. Dr. Dunlap said he believed the Library should
follow the practice adopted last year (Minutes of meeting of
Nov. 22, 1949, P^.0)   and deal only with bound volumes of music.
He does not believe the Library can handle sheet music satisfactorily,
The use of such -material ought to be in the hands of the Music -
Department.  It was mentioned that the Department of Slavonic
Studies has ordered some complete operatic scores. Mr. Lanning
pointed out that a complete libretto can be dealt with as a
pamphlet and bound into a cover, and thus does not become a problem
in the way separate sheets do. It appears that Miss Pentland has
requested that some material of this kind, including copies of
her own MSS., be available for circulation by the Library as
reading material. Dr. Dunlap felt that the work of practically
every composer of note was available in bound form.  If the
Library finds that it must get a few odd things not so published,
it ought to bind them into pamphlet cases. Miss Jefferd
asked about the possibility of manuscript music being offered to
the Library. Dr. Dunlap replied that he did not think that the
Library should handle such material for student use; MSS. deposited
for preservation is another matter.
Miss Smith reported a request from the Faculty of
Medicine to have the pharmacopoeias placed in the Medical Reading
Room.  Dr. Dunlap said the latest copy ought to be in the Faculty
of Pharmacy, and the second last might go to the Medical Reading
Room so long as it was generally available.  If it is put on
reserve, Medicine should be asked to purchase a second copy.  If a
request from Medicine to have material placed in the Medical
Reading Room involves a major work in the Library's holdings, the matter should be considered on its merits.
Mr. Rothstein mentioned that his Division was
experiencing some difficulty in differentiating betv\reen different
classes of medical books now being ordered.  Some material
ordered for the Dean's office does not seem the sort which should
ordinarily be there. Dr. Dunlap recommended a conference with
Dr. Friedman to clarify the problem.
The meeting adjourned at 11:45 a.m.


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