University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Jun 3, 1952

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TUESDAY, JUNE 3, 1952, at 10 a.m.
Present: Mr. Harlow, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning,
Miss Phelan, Mr. Lanning, Miss Fugler.
Miss Mercer was absent on holiday and Miss Phelan
attended in her place.
When people are sent from Divisions to see the Librarian,
it would be helpful if a telephone or intercom message could precede
them, to advise Mr. Harlow of the nature of the business involved
and of any pertinent facts which might affect his decisions. The
Division Heads reported that it was not always possible to get
through on the telephone or the intercom, but that this was usually
The Librarian asked if any division could provide luneh«»
time relief for Miss Vabre during the next three weeks while Miss
Fugler is away; Miss Jefferd very kindly offered to have Miss
Higginbottom do so.
The new oversewing machine is now in use,, being put into
operation this week* For the present, material sent to the bindery
should be considered as being out of use for two months; later, when
the plant is operating at full speed, it will probably be possible
to reduce the time. Once material has gone to the bindery, it will
be withdrawn before it is finished only in extreme emergencies* Mr.
Lanning reported that samples are not being sent to the bindery, but
that it will still be necessary to borrow some volumes from the
stacks temporarily in order to secure specifications. These volumes
will be away only a few hours, and will be returned to the Loan Desk
for reshelving. Blocks will not be placed on the shelves for them
during the few hours they are away.
The Librarian mentioned as a matter of interest that we
are at the point of not knowing precisely what to do about the
classification of medical books. The Library of Congress is about
to bring forth a new R classification which has been under
consideration for several years* If this is adopted here, it would
necessitate a certain amount of reclassification. The alternative
would be to adopt the U.S. Army Medical Library W classification,
which is now in use by many libraries* Mr. Harlow is making
inquiries about the date of publication of the new R classification
and about practices in other libraries. In the meantime, he -2- /0>
suggested that perhaps this Library should in general follow the
classification numbers provided on the L.C. cards. Occasionaly
we may go wrong in doing so, but in general it is economical to
follow their system. There are instances where our own usage should
have priority over the L.G. usage, however, which is admittedly
designed to fit L.C*'s own needs. One field in which variation
might be desirable is the biomedical sciences, having in view
the probable future development of a biologieal sciences reading
and reference room in another wing. When the Library buys medical
books, it shouldtry to classify them in a medical classification
as far as possible. Mr* Harlow has suggested that when Miss Fraser
orders material for Medicine, she should note a suggested classification number for the book on the Requisition. In general. Miss
Fraser will know more about the book than anyone else in the Library.
For the last two years, two loan periods of 1 week and
1 month have been in use, and a two-week period was discussed for
this summer. Books in demand are to be put on Reserve so that all
users may have a chance at them. Extra-mural readers borrow for
a month now but do not get the books that are in demand on the
campus. A two«*week period for out-of-town borrowers would not be
practical, because of the time required for carriage both ways.
It was decided to continue the 1 week and 1 month loan periods as
Miss Lanning reported that a borrower, stating that he
was a member of the Mining Department, took out a bound periodical
recently. It now appears that he is not a member of the University
Department of Mining and that nobody knows anything about him*
This raises once again the vexed question of who are faculty
members and how they are to be identified. By fall the Librarian
expects to have identification cards to be mailed to University
During Summer Session the doors to the Sedgewick Room
will be opened to provide freer access to the room. It is Mr.
Harlow*s hope that during regular sessions members of the University
Faeulty may give noon hour readings in the Sedgewick Room. There
was some feeling that students working in the Fine Arts reading
room might object to any disturbance of this kind, but it was also
felt that readings once or twice a week at lunch hour, with previous
notice, would probably be acceptable. All agreed that, it would be
pleasant to have sueh events in the Sedgewick Room.
The Howay-Reid Room will be closed during the summer, but
requests for its use will be referred to the Reference staff who
will make suitable arrangements* i0b
<m   3 **
It has proved unsatisfactory so far to produce both
catalogue cards and ordinary mimeograph work on our machine*
We are now experimenting with a new ink whieh will take longer
to dry and may call for the use of slip-sheets to prevent smudging*
The cards already made by this method are far more attractive than
the earlier ones but dry very slowly* Some experimenting will be
carried out during the next month or so, until a suitable procedure
is found.
Books purchased by the Socialist Club book Shelf have been
treated by the Library as being the property of the Club. The money
for these purchases, including that from Boag Foundation, is deposited
to the credit of the University, and the Librarian stated that the
books are in fact part of the Library1s collections. Because of
other requests for special book shelves, we are no longer able to
continue this kind of service and the Librarian proposes to get in
touch with the Socialist Club about this matter© Purchases in this
field will still be made with these funds, but fcteoks will be placed
in the general stacks. The Library will not buy out of funds
provided in this way any material of a caliber which the library
would not purchase out of its own funds. The President has approved
this policy.
Miss Lanning submitted a list indicating the purposes for
which she would like blocks to be used. These are: (l) the small
shelf list, which is easily carried around for cheeking small
collections and is useful in Inventory; (2) for oversize books; and (3)
for books shelved out of shelf-list order. It was agreed that bloeks
be retained for (1). The Librarian thought that books to be
permanently shelved out of order should have some symbol on the spine
to indicate their location. Mr. Harlow suggested, for example, that
he would prefer a symbol to a block for identifying and locating
oversize books. These are scattered on five floors. It was decided
to continue using blocks for oversize books for the present.
There is no clear distribution between material now kept
in the cage and the vault. It was both suggested that (1) we
reconsider the use of the vault, and probably take out much of what
is there; and (2) that improved ventilation be provided there and
that more material be put into the vault. Two symbols will be
needed to indicate these two locations: for material whiEh is to
be locked up because it is in such demand that it is likely to be
lost through use, and for material which is rare and to be used
only under supervision. Much of the material which now presents a
problem would go into a treasure room if the Library had one. It
was agreed to use a triangle to indicate rare material to be put
into the vault. Another symbol will be decided upon for material
in the cage,
:» «» 4 **
The Librarian thought that the symbol should appear on
the catalogue card as part of the call number. This raised the
question of marking cards already in the catalogue. Since the
routine at the Loan Desk is to cheek eall slips against the
location file, it was not thought neeessary to put the symbol
on the card.
The material in the vault and in the cage will be examined
in order to decide upon the proper location of the different types.
The Librarian is sending a letter to the Superintendent
of Buildings and Grounds asking that the patrol be watchful about
locking book stack doors as they make their rounds of the Library.
He commented that the staff has been doing very well with the
closing regulations.
Miss Smith presented a problem with which her Division
is finding it very difficult to deal, that of lending reference
material to faculty and not having it returned promptly. The
resulting lack of the material needed for reference work in the
Division is critical. Faculty use of reference and uncatalogued
material (including uncatalogued government documents) was formerly
very restricted, but professors say that they cannot understand
why they may not take reference material in the same way that they
do other books. It is obviously impossible to do reference work
if the reference material is not at hand. Miss Smith asked for
a statement of what the faculty's privileges are in relation to it.
There are only a few very bad cases of abuse. Mr. Harlow said that
material in Reference is for reference work, but that if it can be
spared, it should be loaned for a maximum period of one week, and
for lesser periods if necessary. Faculty must be held accountable for
its prompt return.
The meeting adjourned at 12 noon.


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