University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Mar 18, 1952

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TUESDAY, MARCH 18, 1952, at 10 a.m.
Present:    Mr. Harlow, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning, Miss Mercer,
Mr. Lanning, Miss Fugler.
Miss Jefferd pointed out that the word "catalogue" in lines 25 and
35 on p. 3 of the Minutes of March 11, 1952, should be replaced by "shelf list",
and the amendment was accordingly made.
In reply to Mr, Harlow's inquiry, the Division Heads felt that everyone
on the staff was now aware that there are no sessional appointments in the library,
all being for 12-month terms.
The University regulation, applicable to all staff, requires that the
annual holiday be taken at one time, and although a few days were authorized at
Christmas for some members of the library staff, in general practice, holidays
are to be planned in accordance with the regulation.    Only if it should be
difficult for a Division to operate without some split vacation periods should
the Division Head make such arrangements.    Vacations are also required to be taken,
as far as possible, during June, July and August, and Divisional time tables should
be made up with this in mind.    Sufficient staff must of course be available to
provide Summer Session service.    Each Division Head will be provided with a
statement of the holiday time accumulated by staff, less any time already used.
In counting days for holiday allowance, Saturdays are counted as full days and
Sundays are not counted.    The maximum holiday period in any year is three calendar
weeks.   When holiday time tables are completed they are to be checked in the
Librarian's office to assure uniform practice throughout the Library.
The Serials and Reference Divisions submitted charts indicating the
loan periods in force for their material.    In Serials, current issues of periodicals
remain in the library for the first month after receipt, then are loaned to faculty
for one month or to students in the library only for day use.    Mr. Lanning said
that the library does occasionally borrow current issues of a periodical from
another university and lends current issues.   Miss Smith remarked that off-campus
medical borrowers are complaining that the library's interlibrary loan service is
not fast enoughj requests are coming in faster than they can be handled.
Government documents are generally subject to the same regulations as
In the Reference Division, the ordinary loan, period for material for home
use has been 1 month, but this will probably be made 1 week to conform with the
most generally applied loan period in^Cjirculat^w.    If there is no great demand
for circulating rutfurunuu material nowevlrT^lneohe month loan might well apply*
Students and faculty may, with special permission, take certain reference material
for class or overnight use, but, this is not often requested.    Some students do
occasionally keep day-use material overnight, and a fine schedule should be adapted 0 w >...?
for this. Maps pose a difficult problem: they are sometimes loaned to faculty
for class purposes and are supposed to be returned after the specific occasion
is over, but some persons like to keep them indefinitely. Sometimes material of
this kind is loaned by one person to another instead of being brought back to the
Library and is difficult to locate. Maps have been date-stamped for day of loan
and do not bear a return date. Mr. Harlow thought that maps should not be loaned
for more than 1 month, and if it is needed for a longer time, a renewal of the loan
should be requested. He also recommended stamping the due date rather than the
loan date on the map slip. Miss Lanning commented that faculty do not always pay
attention to the due date, but the librarian said that the library would at least
know the date due and could then send a notiee, and the period of loan would be
indicated if the borrower wished to see it.
There was some consideration of the present method pf-jsharging out
reference material. Records are kept in § file and checked s§9§y, and overdue
notices are sent. It appears that the staff are inclined to be timid about
sending out notices to faculty. Mr. Harlow believes that with the due date stamped
on material, overdue notices can and should be sent as a matter of routine.
Faculty should know that the Library expects to have borrowed items returned.
Material loaned for class use might be charged out for the term. Miss Mercer
asked why the departments should not purchase material required for class use from
their departmental money* There is a case for this if it can be rightfully
considered as laboratory equipment, but Mr. Harlow reminded the meeting that the
Library is becoming more and more responsible for providing library-type material
for the campus. Maps are loaned to students for library or seminar use only; a
very few exceptions to the rule are made by special permission. Not even faculty
are supposed to take away detail maps, but occasional exceptions are made just as
they are for government documents. Miss Smith said that she would like to impose
the #2.00 fine for retention of library-use material overnight.
Pamphlets are used by students a very great deal, but they object to
filling out a call slip for every item of this kind, and as a result the staff at
the Reference Desk may put down "10 pamphlets" on a certain subject, without
further identification. Sometimes only 9 are returned and it is difficult or
impossible to know what is missing. Much of this material is of little permanent
importance, but some is valuable, and all may have current usefulness. Miss Snith
said that she would 3^|§e-%o havepamphlets mmmSmmm  and thus make each one
identifiable by the use of its number. If a pamphlet is lost, the entry could be
crossed out andf Reference would at least know that it is no longer available.
The original aefie^^^^would be a big job, but it might be done during the
summer months. Miss Lanning suggested that some weeding could be carried out at
the same time. Miss Smith felt that there is enough material of value in the
pamphlet collection to justify the work.
In the Fine Arts Room, most of the collection goes out on 7-day loan to
students, on indefinite loan to faculty, with a varying "reserve" group. Books
for which there is not much demand may be borrowed for a month. Those in heavy
demand may go out overnight or for a slightly longer period. The approval of
Miss Snith or Mrs. Sinclair is required to borrow any material that is ordinarily
non-circulating. Faculty may have too liberal borrowing privileges, especially for
books with fine coloured plates; Architecture faculty seem to have the most freedom.
Periodicals are not circulated to students, except for library use. If much of
this material can be bound during the summer it will help bring the situation under
control. At present Architecture has its own funds, out of which has been purchased
much of the material in this field now housed in the Fine Arts Room . -3-
In Fine Arts and the Bio-Medical Reading Room, only the staff actually
dealing with the material knows the demand and how to regulate the loan period.
The librarian is a little concerned about faculty who may be ignoring the
regulations. The library is a central agency serving the whole University, and
service even to a privileged group like the faculty must not work a hardship on
others. We must be precise and careful about establishing the terms of a loan
and conscientious about notifying borrowers when the period is over. A borrower
will hardly be more meticulous in such matters than the lender expects him to be.
The Bio-Medical Reading Room has what is chiefly a specialized reserve
book collection, although some books go out to faculty on indefinite loan. Unbound
periodicals are loaned to faculty for one month, to students for day-use. The
current issues of periodicals remain in the Library for the first month after
receipt. Bound periodicals and government documents have the same circulation as
unbound periodicals.
At the end of the review of loan periods Mr. Harlow summed up by saying
that he had learned that the lending period is based more upon logic than rule.
He added that t he library should be sure, when rules are codified, that they are
enforced. Miss &nith pointed out that when the knowledge of an individual is the
basis for deciding a loan period, it is very difficult indeed for a substitute,
without specialized knowledge, to do the work adequately at a loan desk. Too much
depends upon the knowledge and judgement of an individual.
Mr. Harlow inquired whether a week was perhaps too short a period for
most loans, and with this Miss Lanning agreed, but she does not know whether longer
loans would be practicable unless books are regularly returned as soon as they are
due. Miss Mercer remarked that often, in the case of a book in great demand, even
a week is too long for one person to have it, Mr. Harlow repied that the library
can hardly expect to have enough copies of any one book for a class assignment
which requires many persons to read the same material. He believes that the Library
is probably penalizing the whole University for the sake of a few emergencies, and
he advocated a two or three week loan period. Material needed for assignments
could be sent to Reserve by the Loan Desk for the period of greatest use. Much
difficulty would of course be avoided if the library were advised in advance of
class assignments, but some members of faculty do not provide this information.
The School of Architecture does give notice, and this helps somewhat in arranging
loan periods in the Fine Arts Room. Mr. Harlow requested Miss Lanning and Miss Saith
to consider the desirability of establishing a different loan period, perhaps to
become effective at the beginning of term in September, to apply to all circulating
material except that on Reserve. He also suggested having the present whii& call
slip labelled "Home Use". Miss Smith asked about having a special call slip for
vertical file pamphlets. The whole matter will be given consideration.
The letter to faculty and staff asking for return of books will be
revised this week and preparations made to have it sent out before the last day
of lectures. Miss Lanning said that it had been suggested that it would be better
to have txno well-trained teams in Circulation working on the continuing inventory
during the summer than the half-dozen contemplated. Mr. Harlow recalled that the
intention was to use a large part of the staff only for the shelf reading.
Miss Lanning remarked that she did not believe two teams could do the job in the
time available. She will have to train people for the work, since there are very
few who have had any experience, and she will have to take into consideration time
off for holidays* Miss Jefferd said that she wished all the cataloguers to work
during the first week at shelf reading, and that she would thereafter put one to
work on the snags. It is not known how many cataloguers can be assigned to this
task, allowing for holidays and the normal work of the Catalogue Division. «4«
Inventory will be considered further at next week's meeting.
The occurrence of conference during the summer was mentioned.
B.C.L.A. will hold its meeting during the first week-end in May, and C.L.A.
in June.    The Librarian wishes to know, as soon as possible, how many members
of the staff are planning to attend conferences.
The Librarian asked that the best use of the space available in the
Library parking area be made by having each car parked as closely as possible
to the preceding one, starting with Mr. Dyer, who arrives first, and working
down towards the road. If this is will be provided for a car or two
more than at present.
Since the word "Dominion" is no longer to be used as part of the title
of the Bureau of Statistics of Canada, Miss Jefferd proposes to change entries
under this heading to "Canada. Bureau of Statistics." The present cards will
not be retyped, but the word "Dominion" will be crossed out, and under
'^Canada. Dominion Bureau of Statistics" reference will be to "Canada. Bureau of
Statistics." It appears that entries relating to the Bureau of Statistics are
the only ones requiring this treatment. Miss Jefferd also referred to the
many cards in the catalogue which are soiled and dog-eared, but said that the
work of overhauling can not be done because of lack of staff.
Mr. Harlow announced that Mr. Inglis Bell, who worked in the Serials
Division for a year, will join the staff here after his graduation from
Library School
The meeting adjourned at 12:05 noon. "i


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