University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Aug 2, 1949

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■AUGUST 2, 1949, at 10 a.m.
Present:  Dr.- Dunlap, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning,
Mr. Lanning, Miss Fugler (as secretary).
Mr. Rothstein was absent on holiday.
The first question discussed this morning was the
advisability of having other professional, staff members attend
the weekly meeting.  Dr. Dunlap said he did not think it would
be an advantage to have others present if discussion were to be
less free, but he also thought that if it were made clear to all
that whatever transpired in the meeting was confidential no
difficulty should arise.  After general discussion it was agreed
to try the plan.  The nomination of one staff member to. attend
for the next month was then considered and Miss Doreen Fraser,
of the Reference Department, was named.
Dr. Dunlap reported that the Professional Staff Committee,
consisting of Miss Mercer, Miss McDonald, and himself, had
discussed plans for staff meetings.  He presented the report
drawn up by Miss Mercer and Miss McDonald at his request, which
contained suggestions for the kind and frequency of meetings, and
a list of speakers who might be invited to address the meetings.
All professional and other staff members who could be spared'
from their work at the time should be invited to attend.  The
report had suggested that meetings be held in the staff lounge,
but after considering the matter the Department Heads recommended
using one of the seminar rooms with a table for the convenience
of the speaker.  The suggestion was also made, and welcomed,
that Miss Bassam, who is at present visiting the City, be asked
to speak to the group if a date can be arranged before she
returns to Toronto.
Dr. Dunlap asked if a justifiable figure could be given for
the number of volumes in the Library.  The matter of including
pamphlets entered into the discussion, and Dr. Dunlap suggested
that they be counted according to the shelf space they occupied.
For instance, ten pamphlets in a box which required as much shelf
space as three average sized books should be counted as three
This led to discussion of the block system, which Dr. Dunlap
hoped would not have to be continued. . The very large, heavy volumes
of newspapers and magazines are a problem: if placed upright on
the shelves the binding suffers; if laid down flat they should,
for the sake of the binding, be laid alternately back to front;
and if more than two are placed together in this way the problem
of handling them arises.  Dr. Dunlap asked if there was any spare
shelving which could be used to accommodate this material.
Mr. Lanning was disposed to shelve such volumes on the old wooden
shelves along the side of the stackroom. Miss Jefferd brought up the matter of circulation of periodicals,
Miss Smith stated that in theory no periodicals, bound or unbound,
should be circulated.  The practice, however, had been to allow
periodicals to be taken out by faculty members who had a special
need for them.  This had turned out to mean a fairly general circulation, and Miss Lanning expressed the view that unless the stacks
were closed it would be impossible to prevent material on the
shelves from going out.  It does happen sometimes that books are
taken from the stacks without checking them out, but the faculty,
on the whole, has been meticulous about returning such material.
Dr. Dunlap asked if losses had been serious, and said that he felt
that the loss of unbound numbers, while bad enough, was not to be
compared with the loss of bound volumes.  Miss Smith expressed the
view that it was better to have the material used, even with the risk
of loss, than to have it so restricted that it served no purpose.
Miss banning said she would find it hard to refuse what appeared to
be reasonable requests by faculty for volumes of periodicals.
The present practice will be continued, with the Library taking all
possible precautions to ensure the return of its material.
It was pointed out that if photostat copies of articles in
periodicals could be provided quickly and cheaply it would solve to
a great extent the problem of circulating such periodicals and reduce
the demand for departmental libraries.  In practice., however, the
photostat process required more time than the Reference Department,
which was responsible for this work, could give to it.  And, in .
addition, copyright restrictions had to be observed.  These limitations had 'prevented photostat copying from solving, to any
significant degree, the difficulty that.arose in dealing with
Mr. Hunter Lewis, in charge of the Art Gallery, has asked that
a grill or barricade of some sort be placed between the stackroom
on Floor 2 and the Art Workshop.  The Library would like to have
this done on its own account, because the classes using the Workshop
are very noisy and the noise resounds all through the stackroom.
Dr. Dunlap informed the meeting that the student Publications
Board had asked for a floor plan of the Library which could be put
into the new issue of the student handbook, and that he had given
them the chart produced b}f the Extension Department for the Library
last spring.  He had, before doing so, changed the designation of the
floors, calling them basement, first floor, and second floor, to
avoid the confusion which results from using stack level numbers and
"Main Entrance" and "Main Concourse" floors.
Dr. Dunlap spoke of the need for better personnel records in
the Library.  He suggested preparing a form to be completed by each
staff member, and would like to receive annually a brief report on
the performance of each staff member, from the Head of the Department concerned.  Such reports would be kept with the completed questionnaire in the folder provided for each employee.  The meeting
agreed that this should be done.
Miss Jefferd asked whether the five-day week would continue during
the Winter Session.  Dr. Dunlap stated that the service departments,
which have late evening periods- to provide for, should arrange a
five-day week if they wished.  Miss Lanning preferred to do so: she
had found it easier to draw up a schedule for her department on the
o basis of '.a five-day week.  Miss Smith expressed the opinion
that she would require more staff to function on a five-day week
than she would for a six-day week.  Mr. Lanning's department, which
has little contact with other University offices, may open on
Saturday morning or not, as Mr. Lanning decides.  Miss Jefferd's
department may operate on a five-day week, since they have little
to do with students or faculty.  On the other hand, the Acquisitions
Department, because of its relations with other University business
offices, should be open on Saturday morning.
Miss Lanning asked to have the new carrels on Floor 3 numbered '
and painted, so that they will be available for the opening of the
Winter Session.
Miss Smith requested that a blind be provided for the window in
the microfilm reading room.
Mr. Lanning reported that he would have cleared up the Royal
Canadian Institute material shortly and expected to start next week
to bring to the Library the material now stored in the Stadium.
Miss Lanning announced that the books purchased by the staff
Book Selection Committee would be displayed in the staff lounge
next week, commencing Monday, August 8.
The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.


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