University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Mar 11, 1952

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TUESDAY, MARCH 11, 1952, at 10 a.m.
Present: Mr. Harlow, Miss Jefferd, Miss Smith, Miss Lanning,
Miss Mercer, Mr. Lanning, Miss Fugler.
Mr. Harlow expressed regret for the delay in getting out
the Minutes of last week's meeting; they will be forthcoming in a
day or two.
Mr. Harlow said that he had heard several remarks about the
Library itself not being on display during Open House, and it was
generally agreed that perhaps next time there should be tours
through the building which would include the book stacks.
Miss Lanning remarked that, much as she disliked the prospect, she
felt that the Library should have conducted tours through the
building and through the stackroom so that the public could see the
books. She also suggested book exhibits by the Library. It was
noted that very few visitors found their way to the Serials
Division, which is off the beaten track. Miss Mercer said it would
be necessary to have staff prepared to answer questions, e.g., a
large number of people had asked about borrowing privileges, and
very many were interested in the Extension Library service, the
Library's chief contact with the public outside Vancouver. There
was some feeling that the Extension Library should have been open
to the public, but Mr. Harlow thought the physical limitations of
its present quarters made it impossible to deal with any large
number of people. He asked whether any interest had been shown in
the processing departments of the Library. Miss Smith believed
some people would have liked to see this aspect of the Library's
operation; Miss Jefferd said that at last Open House she had kept
her department open and that very few persons showed any interest
in visiting it. Mr. Harlow said that unless people are at work and
the processing is explained, a mere visit to the Acquisitions and
Catalogue Divisions would not have much meaning. He added that
his own office should be kept open on another such occasion, too.
It turned out that there were visitors, inquiries and telephone
calls to the Librarian's office all Saturday morning.
The good work done by Mr. Cameron Aird of the Student
Open House Committee was highly commended by the Librarian and by
Miss Smith, both of whom found him cooperative, reasonable and
firm in his attitude and undertakings* Mr. Aird said that next
time he would recommend what had been suggested by Miss Smith and
the Librarian, that the Reserve Book Room be used for displays and
the rest of the Library be left pretty much In its normal state.
\ / Mr. Harlow asked all those who had ideas on the subject, or
Y comments to make on how the affair was managed last Saturday, to
write down their suggestions and criticisms.  Such notes would
provide a useful guide for future Open House plans. The Librarian
remarked that the student exhibitors had done a good job of
clearing up afterwards and he praised them and Mr. Dyer, who had
put in many hours of overtime during the weekend, for their hard
work. . ¥
A chart showing the loan periods in force at the
Circulation Desk was submitted by Miss Lanning, who explained
variations and the reasons for them. At present, the day-use
and serials call slips are on the two sides of the same slip,
and this leads to occasional confusion. The Librarian thought
it might save some difficulty if each was on a distinctively
coloured paper. The 28-day loan period, without renewal, put
into effect to reduce the number of renewals, has in general been
enforced, but there are times when a request for renewal of a
28-day; book is acceded to. Loans to faeulty and to carrels are for
indefinite periods, but subject to call in case of demand. Use
determines whether a book can go out on 7-day or 28-day loan, and
only the Loan Desk staff know which period should apply.  Some of the
7-day books have a coloured slip in the back, but not all. There is
sometimes a mistake on the part of the student in thinking he has
a book for the longer period when it is a 7-day book, but each book
is date-stamped to indicate the term of loan.
The 7-day loan is the most usual one, and Mr. Harlow
asked whether the students were satisfied with it. Miss Lanning
replied that they were not, but that with a short term, the limited
number of books and the few copies of each book available, there
does not seem to be any alternative. When there is an essay
assignment, a student cannot do the work in the 2-hour periods
allowed for reserve books, and if a number of students are working
on the same material no one can be allowed more than a week's use
of it.  The cooperation of faculty in assigning essay subjects is
essential, and Miss Smith said that the present situation in this
respect is unsatisfactory. Miss Lanning said that the students are
making more use of periodical material, but that they have little
idea whether the bound volume which they ask to borrow contains a
few lines or a 20-page article, and this means a great deal of
handling of bound volumes.  Since the 7-day loan period is the chief
one in Circulation, Miss Smith will have the same period established
in Fine Arts. The loan period of extra-mural borrowers is 28 days,
and a maximum of 5 books. The Extension Library grants a 3-week
loan.  The rule is that faculty may borrow bound volumes of
periodicals for one month, but this is not strictly followed.
Students have only day-use of bound volumes of periodicals.
Interlibrary loans are for 28 days, and are rarely kept overtime;
there is no scale of fines for these.
It appears that some high school students regularly get
books from the University Library, but since they presumably do so
on the cards of their friends who are students here, it is difficult
to apprehend. There is always a careful check of the student's
library card at Reserve, but not always at the Loan Deslc.
y Mr. Harlow believes the student should be asked to show his card
before his call slip is taken and that the students should be trained
to follow this routine.
Both the Serials and Reference Divisions will bring to
u the next meeting information regarding loan periods applicable to
their material. INVENTORY
Miss Lanning submitted a proposed plan for the 1952
inventory, and these were reviewed. One problem was to get books
back into the Library from faculty. Mr. Harlow thought it might not
be necessary to get the actual book into the Library, and he suggested
sending to each faculty borrower a call slip for each volume charged
to him, with the request that if the book is still in his possession
he sign the call slip and return it to the Library; the Library would
then accept the signed call slip as evidence that the book is still
in possession of the borrower. The present charging system could
10 make no satisfactory use of the signed call slip and it was thought
that the usual typed list sent to the faculty member would serve the
same purpose.  There was some feeling that the Library can not be
sure that the book which the individual wants to keep is still
available unless the actual volume is returned for checking.
Mr. Harlow does not wish to discontinue service by closing the
Library during inventory, and this will necessitate a new approach
to the job. Miss Jefferd mentioned that Miss Shepard will probably
be working on the catalogue in April. Unless she is delayed in
getting her work done before she comes to the University, it is
iv  probable that her task here will be completed before May 3, the
earliest date on which inventory can commence. The present
plan is to call in the books, use as many staff members as will be
available for a week's intensive effort at shelf reading and tidying,
and then continue through the summer with the Circulation staff
i^ checking against the - &k&'k:&$g§fe..    Miss Lanning said that if the
Library was to give public service during inventory there would be
fewer people available for the checking, and she asked if it could be
made plain to people planning to work in the Library during that
time that there would be a certain amount of noise and disturbance,
"!;o although this will be kept to a minimum. Miss Smith pointed out
that to give service, and to have material going out on loan will
create a new problem in checking the books.
There was some discussion regarding the responsibility for
the continuing inventory. Miss Jefferd felt it was the Catalogue
^ Division's, since it requires relating the books to the sb4i$o3^rfe
cards. Mr. Harlow said that since it had to do wife the books on
the shelves it is therefore of great concern to Circulation.  Both
divisions will of course have to cooperate to complete the job.
Mr, Harlow suggested working out a tentative schedule and lining up
Ho the tentative teams to do the shelf reading. The first step is to
./ send the letter to faculty and try to get most of the books back on
the shelves: this task falls to Circulation.
■ >
Mr. Harlow reminded the group that it had been decided
earlier to include only material in the Library building in this
spring check.  The continuing inventory to be carried out during
the summer will reveal the state of affairs in the branch libraries.
It was agreed that the Librarian, Miss Jefferd and Miss Lanning
should confer and make definite plans for the undertaking.
Miss Lanning said that until examinations are over not much can be
done about planning inventory, but Mr. Harlow would at least like
the staff to be informed in advance. Miss Mercer pointed out that
annual holidays will cut into the continuing inventory during the
summer period and that it would be well to train one extra team to Let-
fill in from time to time as others are away. Miss Lanning remarked
that since she is now to have her staff throughout the year she will
be able to assign more holidays during the summer season.
Mr. Harlow mentioned that perhaps we should have to secure
as many as 15 new staff members by the opening of the Fall Term.
He has requested four new positions in the budget and hopes to get
them. He asked the Division Heads to anticipate as well as possible
probable resignations so that replacements could be secured for their
departments without serious delays. Miss Lanning said she would like
to have a statement circulated that all members of the full-time
staff are on a continuing yearly basis. Mr. Harlow has already
announced this to the staff, but not all have fully understood that
there are no longer to be sessional appointments, but that all
appointments are now on a 12-month basis.
There was some preliminary discussion of a proposed
change in the volume number indication on bound volumes of serials,
and it was agreed that Miss Jefferd and Mr. Lanning should get
together to discuss the question and that samples should be brought
to the next meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 12:20 noon.


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