University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Jul 26, 1949

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TUESDAY, JULY 26, 1949, at 10 a.m.
Present:  Dr. Dunlap, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning,
Mr. Lanning, Mr. Rothstein, Miss Fugler (as Secretary).
Dr. Dunlap commenced by stating that he thought the
staff should know some of his reasons for coming to the University
Library: he was attracted by the possibilities for development
in this Library and considered it a challenge to try to help
realize a few of them; he had found here a good staff, and a
good book collection in a spacious building; and he was particularly interested in living in the Pacific Northwest.
He proceeded to express some of his ideas about library
administration.  He believed that, in general, the staff should
know what happened in Library Committee meetings, and he proposes
to report to the staff accordingly.  It is his opinion that the
first essential is a perfectly honest exchange of information in
every direction, both within the library organization and in the
library's relations with the teaching departments.  One specific
problem was considered here, i.e., the time lag between receipt
of a book that has been ordered by a department and its being
catalogued and put on the shelves.  Certain departments had a
tendency to keep pressing the urgency of their requirements upon
the Library and thus got early attention, while others, which were
more patient, waited considerably longer for their books to be
made available.  This situation extended even to binding.
Dr. Dunlap felt that all departments should receive equal attention as far as possible, and that the appeal of any department
for special consideration should be submitted to the Library
Committee.  It was recognized, of course, that where a new school
was established and just getting under way, a special need arose.
Dr. Dunlap brought up the question of dealing with the
mail.  He suggested that all incoming first-class mail be sent to
Room B, where Miss Fugler would open and date stamp it.  She would
refer selected pieces to the Librarian to inform him of what was
happening throughout the Library, and then distribute it to the
various departments for action.  He also would like to see copies
of other than routine replies sent by the various departments and,
as a concomitant to this, suggested keeping a reading file of
correspondence in RoomB where all professional staff might read
it and know the problems facing the Library and how they are dealt
with.  These suggestions were warmly approved by the meeting.
Miss Smith said that she had found, while Acting Librarian, that .
the Librarian's office lacked complete information because so
little came directly there, and she thought that if Dr. Dunlap's
recommendation were carried out it would be a great improvement.
Each Department Head will decide what items of departmental
correspondence are of sufficient interest to go into the reading
file.  Purely routine correspondence will not be included.
This led to the matter of staff participation.
Dr. Dunlap hoped the Book Selection Committee would continue and
asked Mr. Rothstein to consider personnel for the Committee for
the coming year.  A display of the books purchased out of last year's fund will be arranged in the staff lounge, and a list of
titles will be posted on the notice boards.
Dr. Dunlap also thought it would be advantageous if
other professional staff members occasionally sat in on staff
meetings.  He also suggested a monthly meeting of professional
members which would further the professional advancement of the
staff and add to the interest in the Library.  Local speakers
could be invited to address the meetings, and he suggested that
the first invitation be extended to Mr. Robinson to speak to the
staff on the coming ALA Conference.  He would, he added, like to
be a member of the committee arranging such meetings.  The Department Heads will recommend other members for the committee.
Miss Smith was enthusiastic about this plan, but asked
if these activities were to be carried on in library time.  The
reply was "Yes".  Miss Smith felt that with the present small staff
it would be practically impossible to give service at the desks if
all members were not available at all times during library hours.
After general discussion it was agreed that the plan be tried and
then, if necessary, reconsidered at a later date.
Dr. Dunlap stated that a meeting of the Library Committee
was to take place on Tuesday, August 2.  The chief item of business
would be the allocation of funds for the purchase of library
materials.  Dr. Dunlap hopes to promote an aggressive acquisitions
policy, and suggested that a contact man be appointed by each
teaching department to deal with Acquisitions.  This would make it
possible for Acquisitions to develop an'effective relationship with
the several departments.  It was pointed out that it would also be useful to be able to ask one person in each department for advice
regarding gifts in that department's field.  Dr. Dunlap will discuss
with the Library Committee the need for having the Head of each
teaching department appoint such a representative to deal with
Acquisitions.  The suggestion was offered that the Library make out
requisitions for new books which are almost certain to be ordered
eventually by departments and send them to the respective Department Heads for approval0  Dr. Dunlap felt that most teaching
departments would welcome assistance from the Library in the matter
of book selection."
The plan upon which the Library should continue to build
up its collection was outlined.  The "indispensable works" in each
teaching field in the University should be identified and acquired.
In deciding upon these, the contact man from each department would
be of assistance, and bibliographically-minded instructors might be
glad to provide lists of material and cooperate with the Librae in
this way.
Dr. Dunlap went on to discuss the desirability of utilizing
subject bibliographies, saying that his hope was to build up a file
of the principal published bibliographies, whether they appeared
separately or as a list in a book.  The Library is always confronted
with the task of identifying material it does not possess and of
trying to find out where such material is located.  A good file of
subject bibliographies provides a means of tapping sources we would
otherwise not know about. The question of maintaining the Howay-Reid Collection
had been brought to Dr. Dunlap's attention, and he expressed the
opinion that the Library was under obligation to maintain the gift.
It appeared that the money that went into it was being spent very
judiciously, and some of the staff pointed out that Dr. Reid's
catalogue provided a source of useful information regarding prices.
Mr. Rothstein asked about a replacement for Mrs. Bryce
in his department, and Dr. Dunlap said he had discussed the matter
with Mr. McLean.  The applicant under consideration, Mrs. Valerie
Mjolsness, is to see Dr. Dunlap first and then Mr. McLean.  The
question of staff also arises in the Reference, Circulation, and
Catalogue Departments, and the whole matter will be given early
Miss Jefferd asked if Miss Lanning could give any definite
information on the results of inventory. Miss Lanning stated that the
first count showed 1847 missing books, a second check reduced the
number to 1521, and about 50 have been returned since them.  Of the
remainder, about 300 to 400 pamphlets have been missing for up to
four years.  The question of withdrawing the cards for missing books
from the catalogue was discussed.  Miss Lanning objected to it being
done right away, because some of the books may yet turn up.  The
opinion was expressed that the cards might be withdrawn from the
catalogue after six months and kept in a separate file, and that
cards for items which have been missing for two inventories should
be discarded altogether.
Dr. Dunlap mentioned the question of a suitable day for
staff meeting.  He preferred not to have it on Monday, and it was
agreed that for the present it be held on Tuesday morning.  Later,
when the winter session commences, it may prove difficult for
Miss Lanning to attend at that time, but the matter will be
reconsidered if this happens.
The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.


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