University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Aug 30, 1949

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AUGUST 30, 1949, at 10 a.m.
Present: Dr. Dunlap, Miss Jefferd, Miss Lanning, Miss Rendell
(representing the Reference Department in Miss Smith's
absence), Miss Fraser, Mr. Lanning, Mr. Rothstein,
Miss Fugler (as secretary).
Dr. Dunlap commenced by reading a paragraph from a
letter he had just received from a delegate to the A.L.A.
Conference, thanking him and the staff of the Library for a very
enjoyable time, and expressed his own appreciation of the fine
job done by the staff before and during the Conference. He
stated that he had enjoyed it very much himself.
Dr. Dunlap reported on the offer of Mr. Jacob Zeitlin
to buy the bulk of the duplicate books and periodicals in our
possession for $2300 in credit, and the offer of Mr. Walter Johnson
to give the Library cash and credit to the amount of $750 for the
duplicates of the Comptes Rendus. Information of these offers has
been submitted to the President, and it is hoped that the Board
of Governors will approve the Library's acceptance of them.
The standing of Mr. Zeitlin's firm was considered, and Mr. Rothstein
stated that he believed they had a good stock of scientific
periodicals and that we would be able to get a substantial amount
of material from them. Mr. Zeitlin will undertake, if the deal
goes through, to pack and ship the material at his expense.  It was
agreed that it would be a great relief to clear out this material
and have the use of the space it now occupies.
Dr. Dunlap reported on the conference he had attended
on August 17 with Dr. Shrum, Mr. Boroughs, Miss Lanning, Miss Stewart,
and Mr. Large, to discuss the work of the Extension Library.
Dr. Dunlap agreed in the main with Dr. Shrum on the following points:
The Extension Library should have a stock of books much in
demand and should be as much divorced from the main library as
possible. Regular students should not make use of the Extension
Library as some have done in the past. Miss Stewart is to examine
her book stock annually and to discard volumes which did not circulate
more than once during the year. The main library will take in these
titles and use them as seems best.  It is recognized that Miss Stewart
will always borrow some publications from the main library, but
these should be a small proportion of the volumes she handles.
Dr. Shrum feels that the Extension Library should not be in
conflict with the Open Shelf division which the Public Library
Commission operates in Victoria, and Dr. Dunlap agrees.
When Miss Stewart has culled out the deadwood from the shelves,
she is to go ahead and spend her $500 book budget for volumes in
Students taking correspondence courses, which are to be
administered by the Extension Department, will borrow books from the
Extension Library.  Dr. Dunlap will ask the instructors in such courses to limit their suggested readings to 10 titles for each
course, and of these ten the Library will buy as many copies as
demand justifies. An effort will be made to keep them circulating
among students so that all will have a fair chance to use them.
Mr. Rothstein is to set up a separate account for the three correspondence courses and to send the bill for books bought on this
account to Dr. Shrum.
Dr. Dunlap preferred that such books should not be listed
in our main library catalogue. If students found them recorded there,
they would ask for them, and to avoid this difficulty and keep the
books available for the correspondence students it would be better
not to consider them part of our regular stock. Books in Extension
will be catalogued and classified for the Extension Library only.
Miss Lanning suggested that we examine the titles bought for this
purpose with a view to getting any specially useful ones for the main
collection. Books required for the Extension Library are not to be
accessioned. v
It will be desirable, also, to pull from the main library
catalogue the existing cards for books in the Extension Library.
The Reference Department will be glad not to have to consider the
stock of the Extension Library.  At present, students find cards for
Extension books in the catalogue and then have to be told why such
books are not available to them.
Miss Jefferd believes that there will still be a demand
from Extension Library borrowers, who are familiar with the main
library, for books from it.
Miss Lanning mentioned that the correspondence courses are
to be completed within two years. She further stated that the old
courses in Education, such as Methodology, which sometimes dragged
on for several years, were all to be completed by December 31, 1949.
Henceforth these will be given as courses of lectures at the
It was pointed out that a number of copies of the same
titles had been purchased a few years ago for Dr. Ormsby's Directed
Reading course in History 304. These will be transferred to the
Extension Library for use in a similar course to be given by
Dr. Dunlap had pointed out bo Dr. Shrum that the Library
could not cope with the problems if instructors gave essay topics
without taking into consideration the book situation, and Dr. Dunlap
is asking the instructors to assign essay topics accordingly.
The place fdi*evening lectures is to be the Normal School
and Dr. Shrum plans to have a member of the Extension Department
take the necessary books each night by car to the lecture. Books
will be asked for at one lecture and delivered to students at the
next meeting of the class. Miss Jefferd stated that experience
had shown how very little library service could be given to the
students by this method. The students should be urged strongly to
make use of the University Library by coming to it personally or to
use the Vancouver Public Library. The Vancouver Public Library has asked for lists of
titles to be used in the correspondence courses. Dr. Dunlap
stated that he did not think the Public Library should expect to
give service for such courses, but there was no reason why it
should not have the lists requested. Miss Lanning mentioned that
the two-week loan period granted by VPL attracted the students
there, and Miss Rendell suggested that whereas the University
Library tried to persuade students to do some work for themselves
in digging out material the Public Library did much of this work
for them.
At the moment we have not enough information about the
proposed night school courses to make any decisions about library
facilities required for such courses.
The question of library hours during the Winter Session
was discussed, and it was decided that the Library should be open
five nights a week. Miss Rendell said the Reference staff was
spread so thinly over three service desks last year that it was
difficult to give proper service. It was suggested that one
professional librarian be on duty each night, with one library
assistant to fetch magazines, etc., and that the Periodical Reading
Room and Fine Arts Room close at 5 p.m. daily, as was done last year.
Miss Rendell stated that the library assistant on duty at
the Periodical desk last year had not done a satisfactory job,
chiefly because the senior members of the Reference Department had
not had time to give her the necessary training. The question was
asked whether a professional librarian could cover the Periodical
desk during the rush hours. The problem is aggravated by the fact
that the student will apply at the Periodical desk rather than the
Reference desk for information, and this involves either taking or
sending him down to Reference where the periodical indexes are kept.
Often, if he is sent and not taken, he never bothers to go to
Reference and then feels he has not been helped. Miss Rendell
believed a properly trained library assistant could do the job at
the Periodical desk, and that last year's unsatisfactory experience
was the result of lack of training.
Miss Lanning asked Miss Rendell if the Reference Department would prefer a 5i day week, and Miss Rendell said it would.
Miss Lanning prefers a 5 day week. Dr. Dunlap said each department should make its own arrangements according to its requirements
and its relations with other offices on the campus.
Dr. Dunlap spoke of Dr. Tucker's interest in building up
the collection in French-Canadian literature. Dr. Tucker intends to
ask friends in other institutions for assistance in this matter,
and from there on it will be up to the Library to continue the job.
Dr. Dunlap suggested that this material should be incorporated into
the Howay-Reid collection, but Dr. Tucker does not wish its use to
be restricted as is the Howay-Reid collection.
This led to the question of why the Northwest books are
not to be used outside the library building. The Northwest collection
was a gift from a graduating class, with strings attached. The
feeling was that it ought to be in the main library where it would
help build up the Canadian history section. k
Mr. Rothstein said that except for rare items he would
prefer to have the French-Canadian material in the stacks.  In the
course of time, items in the main collection which became rare could
be transferred to Howay-Reid to ensure their preservation.
Miss Jefferd reminded the meeting that when Miss Henderson leaves at
the end of this week Mr. McCloy will move into the main Catalogue
Department, and the problem of making the Howay-Reid collection
accessible will arise. The possibility of having someone who was
doing desk work supervise the Howay-Reid room was considered, but the
difficulties seemed too great to make this desirable. Miss Rendell
thought a person checking in government documents might be able to
do the work while on duty there, but she would be a long way from
references she might want to use. Miss Lanning suggested that
applicants for the use of the Howay-Reid collection be asked to state
the day and hour theiy would want access to it. This would make it
possible to plan for supervision in advance. Miss Jefferd agreed
that Mr. McCloy should be considered available when special or
technical information about Howay-Reid material was required.
Mr. Rothstein asked if he might take a final week's holiday
commencing September 10. Dr. Dunlap replied that, as long as the
Acquisitions Department was adequately staffed, Mr. Rothstein
could take his vacation at his convenience.
Dr. Dunlap described briefly the routine he thought should
be followed in making staff appointments:
The Department Head concerned should see applicants first,
select the possible candidates, and arrange for them to see
the Librarian. The Department Head and Dr. Dunlap will
consider them and make a decision. Dr. Dunlap will then write
to the applicant stating the terms of employment.
Where does Mr. McLean fit into the picture? Dr. Dunlap believed
that appointments to clerical positions should be routed through
Mr. McLean and a copy of our letter to the prospective employee be
sent to him. He thought that positions of library assistant should
probably go through the Personnel Office, but that those involving
professional librarians should be dealt with entirely by the
Miss Jefferd asked what was the situation regarding the
record loan service. This is to be given from the Extension Library
but will be entirely operated by the Extension Department.
Miss Asson, who will be in charge, will work in Miss Stewart's
department but will be responsible only to the Extension Department.
Miss Lanning announced that the registration period would
be September 12 to 18.
Miss Fraser stated that a meeting of the Fine Arts
Committee is to be held to discuss plans for the coming Session, and
she hoped that something could be done to straighten out the
situation in which the Library found itself last year, when questions
about the Art Gallery, Museum, and Art Workshop were continually
tossed at the Reference Desk and the Reference staff had scanty and
often unreliable information.  Since the Extension Department administers the courses given in the Art Workshop it should be
responsible for dealing with questions regarding them. A general
discussion followed about the whole business of coping with the
Art Gallery and Art Workshop, and the Museum. Dr. Dunlap stated
that the keys to these places should be returned to Room B, and
that the Reference Department ought not to spend any time on these
projects. Mr. Rothstein said that if it was a problem we could not
escape, we ought to accept it and ask for an item in the library
budget to provide for the extra work it involves.
The meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.


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