University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Nov 1, 1949

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NOVEMBER 1, 1949, at 10 a.m.
Present:  Dr.' Dunlap, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning,
Miss Stewart, Mr. Lanning. Mr. Rothstein,
Miss Fugler (as secretary)
Dr. Dunlap commenced by stating that there had not been
a staff meeting last week because hearings of the Massisy Commission
were being held in Vancouver that day, at which the British Columbia
Library Association brief on a National Library was presented.
He said that the Commissioners had given the Library brief and
representatives a short and courteous hearing, and that Mr. Massey
had volunteered the statement that library briefs across Canada
had been of a high quality: to the point, well thought out, and
well presented. Other organizations presenting briefs at the same
sitting had been closely examined on their statements.
The Librarian mentioned the new type .of .accession list,
the first number of which appeared last week, and asked for comments.
Miss Jefferd asked about filing the cards for the books which are to
be displayed at the Loan Desk for a week before being circulated.
She would prefer not to have to file cards*for them immediately they
go on display, and would like to leave those cards to be filed with
others. This filing is done about once a week or once in ten days.
It was agreed after general consideration of the problem that the
cards should be in the catalogue by the time the books begin to
circulate, but not necessarily before that time. A few borrowers
have tried to take out books which were on display although the fact
that such books were not to circulate before November 7 was stated
on the accession list. In order to overcome this difficulty it is
proposed to have a sign at the display indicating the date when the
volumes may be taken out. ■
Dr. Dunlap announced that the second meeting of the
Professional Staff Committee would be held on Friday, November 4, at
3:30 in the staff lounge. Dean Mawdsley will give an illustrated
talk on her trip in Europe last summer. Professional staff members
and others who can be spared from their work are invited to attend.
The whole question of the gramophone record loan service
was discussed at length.  Dr. Dunlap commenced by outlining the
present difficult situation regarding the Dr. Isabel Maclnnes
Collection of Lieder. The Library has been requested to assume the
responsibility "in perpetuity" of maintaining the collection, and
this brings up the question whether the Library will take back the
record service and organize it properly, or will hand everything
pertaining to records over to the Extension Department.
Miss Jefferd felt that once Dr. Maclnnes's connection with the
University came to an end there, would be no justification for carrying
on such a collection."  Mr. Lanning pointed out that the whole
situation regarding recorded music is in a state of flux—new methods
of recording and new apparatus for playing recorded music are being
developed. After some discussion it was agreed that the Library
should purchase records for the Lieder Collection.  The next question
was, should such records circulate? This led to discussion of the
gramophone listening booths.  Dr. Dunlap has held up work on the
booths because he feels that the proposed location is a poor one. If the Library is not to have anything to do with records it will
be pointless to have listening booths.  Originally it had been
planned to make the booths available on application to Miss Asson,
who would have the key; and it was hoped that only people really
interested in music would make use of this service.  It is now
obviously unwise to expect booths in the main library building to be
under the supervision of Miss Asson, who is in the Extension Library.
Should the Library buy the Lieder records and turn them over to
Extension? Miss Jefferd feels that an opportunity should be
provided for people to hear the records which now do not circulate.
The class providing the booths has already made the money available
for their construction.
If the Library takes back the record loan service should it
try to serve off-the-campus people? Miss Smith said no, let Extension
keep its own stock of records and continue that service. Mr. Rothstein
said that if the Extension Department kept the loan service entirely
it should also look after the listening booths. Miss Jefferd said
she believed that records should be serviced by the Library in the
same way as books, and that they ought not to be passed on to the
Extension Department just because the Library finds it a difficult
service to administer.  Both Miss Smith and Mr. Lanning believed that
the service takes up more time and creates more difficulties than it is
worth to the Library.  If we take the service back where can we
accommodate it? Dr. Dunlap asked for a vote on the point of whether
or not the Library should take the service back. Miss Stewart,
Miss Jefferd, Mr. Lanning and Miss Smith voted in favour of the
principle of the Library assuming the responsibility; Mr. Rothstein was
in favour on principle but thought the practical difficulties too
great. Miss Stewart pointed out that the Library, rightly or wrongly,
is being blamed now for the faults in the service. On another vote,
Mr. Rothstein and Miss Smith favoured the Library getting out of
records altogether. Miss Lanning thought it would be a backward step.
The Library had tried for a long time to establish the record loan
service and she did not like to think of it giving up that service.
Miss Jefferd said she believed our experience proved chiefly that the
administration of this service was not properly organized. It was
finally agreed by a majority that the Library should take back the
record loan service and give thought to its more efficient administration.  The question then arose as to Miss Asson's place in this
matter.  It was Miss Jefferd's opinion that Miss Asson knew a great
deal about records, but that she had always operated without supervision and had no notion of keeping adequate statistical records.
She had not shown much sense of responsibility in doing the job.
Miss Jefferd would like to have a musician in charge of a properly
established music department, and it was felt that Miss Asson might
very well work under the supervision of such a person. Mr. Lanning
believed the person in charge of such a department should read
reviews and generalljr keep up with general knowledge and technical
advances in that field.
The next problem was to find a proper place to accommodate
such a service. The top floor of the wing was considered, but it
was agreed that all available space there would be needed for library
school purposes in the event of a school being set up.  The present
Fine Arts Room appeared to be the most desirable place, both as to
location and appearance; and it was pointed out that if a reading-room
were established there for general cultural reading, music might
well be housed in the adjacent area.  The room will be examined to assess its possibilities in this direction.
Mr. Rothstein told the meeting of the new form for noting
gifts.  He hoped that if everyone on the staff would take the
trouble to have such a form completed at the time a gift is received,
much confusion and occasional embarrassment might be avoided.
In case gifts are offered by telephone and accepted at the time, a
note of the pertinent information should be made on the form for
information of the Acquisitions Division.  It will then be comparative^ easy to identify things which come in.  The practice of
accepting gifts without inspecting them first was questioned.  In an
effort to promote goodwill between the University and the public,
the Library has made it a fairly general practice to accept nearly
everything that is offered as a gift, on the understanding that
anything we can not use is to be disposed of as the Library sees fit.
However, as Dr. Dunlap pointed out, this means getting great
quantities of material which is useless and which w© then have to deal
with.  He would prefer that all large donations of books be examined
first, and then either refused or accepted.  He feels that the
exercise of discrimination in accepting gifts could not harm the
Library's relations with the public.  The practice of inspecting
gifts before accepting them will henceforth be observed.  The routine
of acknowledging and keeping records of gifts will be transferred to
the Acquisitions Division from the Secretary's office, so that the
whole job relating to gifts may be centralized.  The one exception
will be periodicals, which will continue to be handled by the
Periodicals Division.  Dr. Dunlap mentioned that it was desirable
that gifts of periodicals which were turned over to the Library
regularly be acknowledged once a year, and Mr. Lanning undertook to
have this done.  Mr. Rothstein asked if it would be possible for
someone to be always at the delivery door entrance.  It is planned
to have Mr. Armitage stationed there as soon as alternative quarters
can be found for Mrs. Cundill, but the nature of his work will take
him out of the office frequently.  It appeared that it was impossible
to guarantee that someone should be at the delivery entrance at all
Mr. Rothstein reported that a subscription had been
entered to the British National Bibliography, which it is expected
will replace the English Catalogue of Books and Whitaker.
Miss Lanning asked whether two books, which had been
bought for Pharmacy and had gone to Reference, should be turned over
to Pharmacy on their request.  It was agreed they should.  If Reference
also should have a copy, a second one should be ordered.  Miss Jefferd
pointed out that if the destination of a certain copy could be known
beforehand it would save her Division some work. After a brief
consideration of the problems involved it was agreed that it would be
impossible to do this.
Miss Lanning asked about the return of summer postage
deposits to students who had not asked for their credit balance.
It was decided that she keep the present amount until Christmas and
pay out requests, but that after that time the amount remaining
should go into Fines.  In future, a straight service charge will be
made for this service and thus obviate the need for bookkeeping in
the Circulation Division. The Library has recently acquired a set of the Geological
Survey of Canada from the Schofield library, and the question of
storage arises.  It is to be collated against the set already in the
Library and one set, as complete as possible, made up and kept in a
safe place. After discussion it was agreed that the vault was the
proper place for such material.
Mr. Lanning said that Dr. H. V. Warren had asked for the
Christian Science Monitor instead of the Toronto Saturday Night.
At present the Library subscribes to the Monitor and also receives
monthly issues from a campus organization.  The Library has the weekly
magazine section of this paper bound, but has always considered the
current issues expendable.  Dr. Dunlap recommended discontinuing the
subscription to the Christian Science Monitor, in view of the fact
that the New York Times will provide adequate coverage of foreign news,
The meeting adjourned at 12:15 p.m.


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