University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Sep 25, 1951

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TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 1951 at 10 a.m.
Present: Mr. Harlow, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning, Miss Mercer,
Mr. Lanning, Miss Mackenzie, Miss Fugler.
The Librarian reported that the Library Committee at its meeting last Wednesday
had approved his proposals for the use of the Dominion grant which the Library
expects to receive. These include restoring the three positions cut out of the
estimates for the current fiscal year(now already filled)and thus providing for
keeping the Library open at night, and the restoration of other items cut in the
estimates, i.e., in the book funds and supplies and equipment account. Other
recommendations were for the provision of an additional staff member, a Clerk 1, in
the Acquisitions Division, a Junior Librarian in the Catalogue Division, and
additional student assistant help. The Committee also considered the matter of
periodicals, and approved an appropriation of |1500 to be added to the current budget
of 17500. Subscriptions now amount to about $8500, and the Library must soon assume
the cost of about $500 for subscriptions paid by the Departments, and, eventually,
$360 currently paid out of research funds. The librarian also has requests for about
35 new subscriptions. Mr. Harlow said he thought the Annual Report should stress the
near tragedy that would have occurred if the Dominion funds had not become available.
At the time when the Library should be expanding it suffered a severe budget cut,
and the only way to prevent maiming the collection was to shorten the service hours.
Miss Smith remarked that the Library budget was not going ahead, that with the
increased costs it has barely held its own, and that by hard struggle. Mr. Harlow
said he was preparing figures to illustrate this point for his annual report. He
added that everyone faces the problem of rising costs, and that this library will be
fortunate if it gets the Dominion funds anticipated, since many libraries are being
cut. Mr. Harlow mentioned the public meeting to discuss the implementation of the
Massey Report on Thursday evening, and said that as many as could attend should do so.
The Library Committee also approved the policy of having all library material on
the campus purchased through the Acquisitions Division of the Library. Miss Jefferd
said this would create a need for more help in both Acquisitions and Catalogue.
The Librarian said he had this in mind and hopes to provide for one new position in
each division. He expects that the President will issue a directive regarding the
new policy, stating its purpose and describing the procedure to be followed.
Mr. Lanning asked if centralized purchasing applied to periodicals, and the librarian
replied that it did very particularly apply to this class of material. The new
purchasing procedure will call for a discussion of problems with Acquisitions,
Cataloguing and Serials regarding their roles. Mr. Harlow pointed out that full
cataloguing of departmental material would not be done at present, but there will be
a card for all such material in the authority file. He said that the record of all
material ordered on the campus will show, in addition to total holdings, how much
duplication has been avoided by the new procedure and how much has occurred in spite of it
The Library Committee discussed at length the tentative statement regarding
centralized library service, involving the relationship between the central library
and departmental reading rooms, which the Librarian presented for consideration. The
statement was not accepted at the meeting, and the motion to approve it was tabled.
This will give all departments an opportunity to go into the matter and realize what
the new policy, if adopted, would mean to them, Mr. Harlow later spent a couple of
hours with Professor Crouch in the Mining Department reading room discussing the
problems, and a few days afterwards members of other Applied Science departments and
Dean MacLeod conferred with the Librarian on the same question. Mr. Harlow emphasized
to the staff that centralized library service such as he envisages will eventually cost
the main Library a good deal in money, time and energy? but that it seems inevitable if
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He believes that many departments on the campus will approve the plan, but that
there are still many problems to be settled. He said the Library might be asked to
accept the Applied Science Reading Room as a special reading room for undergraduate
students, where current periodicals of limited scope could be read, along with
students' texts and similar material. The main Library may have to yield a little
more in the matter of allowing current periodical material to be loaned for a period
to such reading rooms. Eventual development may require that a member of the library
staff be responsible for library service in such areas as the Applied Science reading
room' and for supervision of non-professional personnel in charge of such rooms.
Much more than is now being done can be done for students in the reading 'rooms, and
the general opinion among the Applied Science departments is that the central Library
can probably give better service.
Professor Crouch also suggested establishing a small circulating library of
general material for some of the reading rooms in an effort to encourage students,
especially those in the applied sciences, to read more widely. Such a circulating
collection could be kept up to date, and could deal with a wide variety of subjects.
Miss Lanning asked about the hours during which the Applied Science reading room
Would be open, and the Librarian said there was some feeling in Applied Science that
it should be kept open longer than at present. He does not think there is good
reason, for keeping it open at night, the material to be used there would not justify
this course. Some of the Applied Science faculty are trying to encourage their
students to read more widely, and the reading room has a full-time clerk in charge
at present. Miss Smith suggested that it would be very useful if the persoh in charge
could receive some training in the main Library.
Increased telephone service to faculty was also considered, and Mr. Harlow is
anxious that as much as possible should be done in this direction. There are not
enough telephone lines to give the service we should like to be able to offer to faculty,
but the Library will try to do more than it has in the past. In orddr that lines may
be. clear for business purposes, private telephone calls should be kept to a minimum.
Along with improved telephone service the Librarian hopes eventually to establish a
delivery service to Faculty, and this also was discussed at the Applied Science
Mr. Harlow advised the Division Heads that he expected to be asked for 1952-53
budget estimates shortly, and in the next two weeks he would like to receive notes
regarding any new positions desired, with full justification for the requests.
Re-classification of existing positions should also be requested and supported by
presentation of evidence of the changes which warrant such reclassification. A
statement regarding student assistants should also be provided, and the Division Head
asking for student assistants should specify how many hours and what kind of work is
to be done. Equipment needs should likewise be specified, including requests for
furniture, acoustic tile, improved lighting, etc. Plans for special projects which
will require money should be given in sufficient detail to justify the requests.
Miss Jefferd asked if a sum could be requested to assist library personnel to
attend conferences. Miss Mercer said that staff are entitled to make requests for
assistance from the University staff travel fund, and that each person should make
his own appeal; requests for staff travel would need to go through the Librarian's
office, The librarian thought that an item in the budget for this expense might be
a good thing; but it was pointed out that in the past money has never been taken out
of the library budget for travel expenses.
Adjustment of working time arising from holidays was discussed. Miss Mercer read
last year's statement of how such adjustments were to be made and remarked that it
created complications in time-tables. It appeared that the ruling had been interpreted
differently in different Divisions and had given rise to dissatisfaction in the staff. 3.
Mr. Harlow said that since we are all on a 3& hour week, if a holiday falls on
Saturday, everyone works a 35 hour week; if a holiday falls on any other day, everyone works a 31 hour week. If this necessitates staff members working part time now
and then on what would ordinarily be their day off, there is no way to avoid it,
since the University defines the holidays in numbers of hours. The Division Head
must necessarily arrange the time-table accordingly.
The Division Heads were asked to submit in writing requests for furniture, etc.,
for the current year. In general, all library furniture is to be considered as in a
common pool, subject to transfer as need dictates. Requests for furniture and
equipment should be handed in this week, if possible.
The admission of honours students to the stacks was dealt with. Mr. Harlow
. said that the Library Committee has ruled that only graduate students may have stack
access. Miss Smith asked about medical students, and the Librarian replied that
on his own, he had tentatively ruled that first year medical students are 4th year
students in the University, second year medical students are 5th year students; the
latter might be able to go into the stackroom, but it will be up to the Library
Committee to rule on this matter.  [The statement on stack access, dated September,
1951,. supersedes this and following information.]
Mr. Harlow said he had talked with Mr. Lyon, President of the AMS, about a
Student-library committee, and that the question of stack access for certain members
of the student executive council had been raised. There is no academic justification
for admitting these students to the stackroom, but he feels that it might be vrorth
while to do so for this small group in the interest of student cooperation.
Miss Lanning said she had not given a stack permit to anyone except graduates and
has referred several persons back to their department Heads. One group of 5th year
Agriculture people had been referred to Dean Eagles. Miss Lanning said that if these
people were doing sufficiently important work to give them stack access, she would
like to have something in writing to justify it. She has allowed into the stacks a
few Applied Science students in their senior years who are writing essays. Mr. Harlow
said that wherever a line is drawn, the Library cannot be perfectly fair to
everybody, but that it should try to draw a line which will give access to the people
most likely to need it, and to as many others as we can control. Miss Lanning said
the first year medical students were granted stack access last year, but that they made
little use of it. Mr. Harlow said that it is sometimes worth while, for the sake of
goodwill, to meet special needs. Miss Mercer said she favoured keeping stack access
limited to graduate students. Miss Smith said she did not object to fifth year students
going into the stackroom, if the University registration is down sufficiently to limit
the number to controllable proportions. Miss Lanning said she would not like to
decide this point without knowing how many fifth year students are involved.
Miss Mercer said that if fifth year students in some courses are to be granted access
fourth year honours students ought also to have the privilege, and at this point the
restriction is thrown open and control vanishes. As to total registration, Mr. Harlow
said there was a feeling that this year would be the low point of the cycle, and that
expansion was probablgi in the next few years.
Miss Mercer remarked that if the Library expands its book buying more shelving
will be required. The Librarian said there probably would be considerable expansion
of the book buying program, and asked Miss Lanning for a statement regarding shelving
requirements. Mr. Lanning s^M much would depend upon whether the medical section
expanded into the Green Room, as was anticipated sometime ago. Mr. Lanning asked
whether new stack space should be considered or a re-arrangement of the present
sections and expansion into what space is now available. Mr. Harlow said that the
staff should try to visualize how the stackroom should expand, the possible shifting
of section^., and, if another stack area is added, how it should be arranged in relation
to classification. He asked that all Division Heads give this problem special thought. r
Mr. Lanning said this presented the problem of where the next stack area should be,
and Mr. Harlow agreed. Miss Smith said that floor 2 had the upright installed,
and should be provided with shelving first, then the well should be developed.
Mr. Melanson told Miss Smith last year that it would be less expensive to deal with
the well than to stack the higher levels of the stackroom.
A new treatment for North West books was suggested. Rare books in this
collection will be absorbed into the Howay-Reid collection and become HR books,
retaining the old bookplates to indicate origin. If there are not too many other
N.W. books, they will all be moved into the Cage. The Reference Division will try,
for the period of one month, to provide supervision for reading N.W. books and
theses. Miss Lanning said she would like to take to the Reference Desk both the
book requested and the call slip, and leave both in the care of the Reference staff
who will supervise the use of the material. The supervised area will be behind the
Reference Desk, and, if this accommodation is not adequate, use will be made of
Room 562. Mr. Harlow said that judgment should be exercised in deciding what
material needs to be read under these conditions, only rare items should require
close attention. He added that if the Library does not take the trouble to care
for rare material it is not likely to receive gifts of this sort of thing.
Miss Lanning said she did not like having restricted theses in the Cage
because of the number of student assistants who work at the Loan Desk. It was
agreed that they should be sent to the Librarian's office and placed in the vault.
If they are Restricted for reasons of national security the cards pertaining to
them should be removed from the main catalogue.
The meeting adjourned at 11.45 a.m. NOTICE OF MEETING
A meeting of the Division Heads of the Library will be held
in the Librarian's office on Tuesday, October 2, 1951, at 10 a.m.
\^L\     Stack access
ts^.     Staff members taking courses
i#f   Statement re  extra-mural fees,   fines,   rental  account
Blind students
f.     Closing Library
^.    Acquisitions program
Neal Harlow,
Oct. 1, 1951 University Librarian
i^-ijT.  B
education, but is a disciplinary measure for an infraction of University rules.
Microfilm and photostats which are ordered for a department and sent to the
department for its permanent use, will be charged to the department in the same way
as other acquisitions. Photographs in lieu of interlibrary loans (costing about
$2  or less) will be paid by the Library as an interlibrary loan charge.
The Librarian said he had invited Mr. Fraser to attend today's meeting
because he is the newest professional staff member and is the Library's representative
on the newly established Student-Library Committee. Several weeks ago the Librarian
talked with Mr. Vaughan Lyon, President of the AMS, and suggested the formation of
the Committee as a means of improving student-Library relations and of dealing with
common problems. The AMS executive appointed Miss Anita Jay as Student Council
representative, and she called upon the Librarian recently, met Mr. Fraser and
discussed the purposes for which the Committee was established. Miss Jay will be
Chairman and will try to get committee members who are interested and will be willing
to spend the time necessary to do a good job* She will report to Mr. Fraser the
results of a Student Council meeting at which the Student-Library Committee was
discussed. So far the development has been exploratory. The Library, as a gesture,
will give stack access to members of the Student Council.
In reply to a number of student inquiries concerning the current regulation
admitting only students with Bachelor's degrees to the stacks, -Mr-, Harlow has explained
the necessity of not crowding this reseacch area and pointed out the predicament he
would be in if he grants access to all those who made special pleas. He is anxious
that the Library be used to capacity and has asked the students to consider the
problem and make suggestions for its solution. Some good suggestions have been made,
and as a result the Librarian is trying to estimate the number of final-year students
in honour courses; if it is a small enough group some arrangement for their
accommodation may be possible. *[] Miss Lanning said she was worried about extra-mural
readers who are supposed to see the Librarian about stack access: they cannot always


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