University Publications - UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes

[UBC Library Staff Meeting Minutes] Mar 21, 1951

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MARCH 21, 1951, at 10:15 a.m.
Present:  Miss Smith, Miss Jefferd, Miss Lanning, Miss Rendell,
Mr. Lanning, Mr. Rothstein, Miss Fugler.
Miss Smith commenced by informing the meeting that
arrangements had been made to permit the continuation of the
Library bindery on its present scale.  Figures had been submitted
to the Finance Committee which showed that the University's
binding could be done more cheaply on the campus than elsewhere,
and the decision had been made to provide funds to keep the
bindery going with its present staff of four full-time persons.
This will involve the bindery doing binding for Law and Medicine,
who will pay approximately the rates they would pay to have the
work done outside.  It will mean that the Library will not be able
to bind as much as it would like, but there will be the great
advantage of having the bindery available1and of getting the
more urgent work done on the premises.
Miss Smith reported that requisitions were being
prepared for the Sedgewick Room books.  The Committee which chose
the titles have made roughly the following division:  Science, 100;
Social Sciences, 300; Humanities, 300; Fiction, 200.  Miss Smith
asked the opinion of the meeting regarding regulations for the
use of the Sedgewick Room.  Miss Rendell asked during what hours
the Sedgewick, Room would be open, and the reply was that if staff
is available, it will be open during the regular Library-hours.
This brings up the question of opening the Fine Arts Room in the
evening.  Experience during the past term has proved that the
evening use of the Fine Arts Room does not justify keeping it
open.  The Committee on the Sedgewick Room does not believe it
should be wide open and easily accessible, as Dr. Dunlap had
planned.  Some members of the Committee feel that many of the
books will disappear if access is too eas3^ and uncontrolled.  One
suggestion was that the rules for the use of the Room should be
clearly stated at the entrance... However, if access is to be
through the present Fine Arts Reading Room, which is always
•crowded, a difficulty will arise.  The Committee also wishes to
have students leave their coats, brief cases, etc., outside the
Sedgewick Room, and this presents the question of how such
articles are to be cared for.  The only contiguous area is the
present Fine Arts Reading Room.  Miss Rendell expressed some fear
that students and staff who now find the Fine Arts Reading Room
uncomfortably crowded will encroach on the Sedgewick Room.
Mr. Rothstein asked if a checking system could be set up
in the basement. Miss Smith agreed that this would be highly
desirable, but there is no money to provide such a service.
Mr. Rothstein wondered if a student or one of the student
organizations would undertake it as a concession.  Miss Smith
said she thought this plan worth investigating.  One difficulty
is that there is no one place where both men and women can leave
their belongings.  Miss Jefferd suggested that perhaps the cloak
room on the main floor could be put to this use.  It would be a
very good solution, but Miss Smith said that the room was for
the use of staff and should be kept for staff. Miss Lanning said
that a check room would make it possible for the Library to stop the students from bringing food and every other sort of thing
into the reading rooms.  Miss Smith said she would look into the
How to deal with the Sedgewick books was next considerede
Dr. Dunlap did not intend to catalogue or mark them in any way.
The books will have a special bookplate.  It was agreed that they
should be accessioned, plated and stamped, but not catalogued.
Mr. Rothstein suggested that the order cards would form a catalogue
for reference purposes, and that the orddr cards, requisitions, and
original requests would together form three files.  He would like to
keep the order card file in his Division.  There should be one
alphabetical file in the Sedgewick Room.  A small note inside the
back cover of each book would indicate where it should be shelved in
the Sedgewick Room.  The accession numbers for Sedgewick books will be
a separate series from the general Library accession series.  It is
probable that over 1000 of the Sedgewick books to be ordered will be
received. Miss Jefferd said she thought her Division should make
catalogue cards in brief form for the Sedgewick Room file.
Mr. Rothstein asked about reprints and out-of-prints.
Dr. Dunlap had not wished to have this type of book in the browsing
room.  Miss Lanning pointed out that there are some attractive .
reprint editions of many desirable titles.  The amount of poetry to be
included in the collection was also considered. Miss Lanning and
Miss Rendell agreed that there is very little interest in poetry.
Dr. Dunlap's plan had been to include one or two representative
items of worth-while individual authors, and that there should be
additions to and subtractions from the collection each year.
The general opinion was that a small, representative collection of-
poetry was all that use would justify.  Miss banning said she did not
think unattractive reprints should go into the collection, and she
believed that if a title was not obtainable in an attractive edition
it should be abandoned.  Miss Jefferd protested that this was a
most unsatisfactory basis for book selection.  Out-of-prints are to
be ignored for the moment; if something very desirable and in good
condition turns up, the Library will try to buy it for the Sedgewick
In reply to an inquiry Mr. Rothstein said that most of the
books were being ordered in the United States.  It is almost
impossible to know what is available in any of the older titles in
Britain, and with the discounts offered by American dealers, prices
are not higher than those of British books would be.  The cost in
time of trying to order books in Britain would be out of proportion
to any small advantage gained.  For the present, then, only books
which are readily available will be ordered.  Mr. Rothstein said he
would like to see a few good catalogues in the Sedgewick Room, and
it was generally agreed that this would be an admirable addition.
The Committee had suggested encyclopedias and similar reference
books, but Miss Smith said she had turned down the suggestion.
Miss Rendell and Mr. Rothstein said some of the new encyclopedias
were very interesting and that one or two might well go into the
Sedgewick Room.  Miss Smith said she thought such items ought not to
be considered at present.
The use of book jackets was discussed, and the decision
reached was that they should be used sparingly on the shelves and that most of them should be kept for display purposes.
Inventory was discussed at length.  One plan had been to
close the Library and spend a few days getting everything in shape,
and then go through the early part of the summer with well-trained
teams doing the checking.  Now, most of the staff who would have
done this work will be leaving early In May.  Examinations continue
until May 4, which leaves no time to make use of the extra staff
taken on for the session.  Miss Jefferd asked whether an inventory
was wanted, and whether the staff could handle it.  Miss Lanning
said she liked to have inventory, it is the best way of getting a
good view of the general state of the Library. Mr. Rothstein said
he believed it would be indicative this year of the effectiveness
or otherwise of the new stack access regulations in effect this
session.  It was suggested that students are taking material out
of the stacks.  Miss Lanning said that in order to prevent this,
there would have to be one person on police duty all the time, and
she cannot spare staff to spend full time at this job.  She pointed
but that her staff are expected to take their holidays during May
and June, and that Miss Mercer will probably be away for a month.
Miss Jefferd said she would like to see the inventory done in
sections, and Mr. Lanning supported this.  Miss Smith asked how
many were in favor of a complete inventory, and no one was because
no one felt that there would be enough staff to tackle the job.
Miss Smith then asked how many were in favor of a partial inventory.
Mr. Lanning said he would favor doing some part of the collection
each year and in the course of three years or so covering the whole
library. Miss banning and Miss Jefferd believed that some sections
should be done more than once a year.  This brought up the
difficulty of deciding which sections should be given more frequent-
attention.  Fine Arts, Reference, and the Reserve shelves will be
done in any case.  Miss Jefferd said that Law should be given
attention; many of the Library books borrowed by Law have been kept
in the Law Library so long that Law assumes ownership of them.
Miss Jefferd will retrieve from the Law" Library any books which
have not been properly transferred to it. Miss Smith asked
Miss Lanning and Miss Jefferd to confer together and then with her
on the question of how to deal with inventory. Miss Lanning said she
would like a general call-in of all faculty loans.
Miss Rendell said she had been requested to ask
Miss Smith if something could be done about the counter in the
Fine Arts Room. Miss Smith replied that unfortunately there was
no money to do anything at the present time.
Miss Lanning asked if the doors leading to the roof
could be permanently fastened to prevent students going on the roof.
One student fell off during a recent snowball battle and required
some nursing attention. Miss Smith said that no one seemed at all
perturbed by the incident except the Library staff, and she thought
the Library staff should not worry either.
Miss Lanning said that it had been remarked that some
of her staff were not always busy, and she agreed that this was
probably so because the work at the loan and reserve desks comes
in rushes.  She would be glad to have the people on duty at the
desks given work by other departments so long as it was understood that such work would be'done only when time allowed and that no
definite time could be allotted to it. Mr. Rothstein said that
if the leaves of books could be cut by the Circulation and Reserve
staff in spare moments it would relieve the bindery of this task.
Miss Lanning asked if she might add a service charge to
the bills now being sent out. The meeting thought there should be
such a charge, but there was some doubt that the ten cents proposed
by Miss Lanning was enough.
The meeting adjourned at 12:20 p.m.


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