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UBC Publications

UBC Library News Jan 31, 1969

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Volume II, No. 1
January, 1969
Vancouver, B.C.
Because we are asked so often about our acquisitions policy and methods, it seems appropriate to begin this first issue of
1969 with a selection of articles explaining how and why certain items are added to the collection.
Materials are acquired by the Library in several ways and through the use of many different funds. The methods of
acquisition include:
1) Placing orders for specific titles
2) Subscribing to periodicals and monographs in series
3) Acting as a depository for government publications
4) Requesting items as gifts or exchanges
5) Instituting and maintaining "blanket" or "approval" programs for current materials. (Under such programs, booksellers in
various countries supply the Library with selected materials currently being published in those countries.)
The choice of fund is related partly to the method of acquisition and partly to the subject or nature of the material. There are
basically two groups of funds:
1) Those controlled by the Library
2) Those controlled by the academic departments
The Library is solely responsible for the purchase and renewal of subscriptions to periodicals, and for the purchase of
reference books, research materials, backfiles of periodicals, government publications, and current books. The teaching
departments are thus free to concentrate their resources on the purchase of older materials which they feel are necessary to back
up the courses they are offering. Each faculty Library representative is expected to see that his department's allocation (and any
other funds at its disposal, such as Canada Council grants) are spent wisely each year. To assist him in doing this he is invited to
turn to the librarians for help whenever he needs it.
The Bibliography Division, under the direction of the Assistant Librarian in Charge of Collections, assumes general
responsibility for the building of the Library's collections. The specific concern of the four bibliographers is to watch over the
field of current publishing and ensure that the right materials are being purchased as they become available. They do this by
keeping in close contact with the dealers who supply books on blanket or approval contract, correcting them when they are
wrong and reminding them when they are forgetful or careless. In this connection it is always useful to receive a note from a
faculty member when he learns of some more obscure new publication, for it is these which may be missed by our blanket and
approval dealers. Once we know about such needs, we can take steps to satisfy them.
Following is a brief guide to the personnel of the Bibliography Division:
1) Robert M. Hamilton (local 2740). The head of the division. All questions about general policy, allocation of funds, etc.,
should be addressed to him.
2) (Miss) Eleanor Mercer (local 3748). Supervises the approval purchase of all current publications that are:
a) humanities/social science
b) Canadian (English and French language)
c) British and American (English language)
3) (Miss) Gustawa Fiszhaut (local 2725). Supervises the approval purchase of all current Slavic language materials, those
published in the USSR, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia, as well as those published abroad by emiqre presses. Miss Fiszhaut also looks after the purchase of periodical backfiles in these areas.
4) Graham Elliston (local 3748). Supervises the blanket order programs for current books from Austria, Belgium, France,
Reports or monographs written by members of faculty which they would like to see placed in the Library for use by students
and others are welcomed by the librarians. They should preferably be submitted in duplicate. One copy will go to the
appropriate reference division for use, the other copy to the U.B.C. archives section of Special Collections.
The Library receives a number of requests each year for papers and reports written by faculty or sponsored by U.B.C.
teaching departments. Some of these may be difficult to locate; there is reason to suggest that the responsibility for supplying
copies rests chiefly with faculty.
Every graduating masters' or doctoral candidate at U.B.C. must present two copies of his thesis or dissertation to the Library.
As soon as these candidates have formally been granted their degree, i.e. each spring and fall, these are bound and catalogued.
U.B.C. theses and dissertations are all classified in the LE3 B7 section and may be found in the Main Library's card catalogue
under author, subject and series. All cards are filed in the Author/Title catalogue under "British Columbia. University," followed
by the degree for which the work was done. In the Special Collections Division there is another card file listing theses and
dissertations by department. Using this, a person may find out fairly easily what academic research has been pursued at U.B.C. in
a given field.
Archival copies of all graduate theses and dissertations are kept in the Special Collections Division. These may not be taken
out of the Division, and should be used only if no other copy is available. Second copies of most theses and dissertations (except
for some of the very early ones) are housed in the open stacks. These copies circulate for the normal loan period (2 weeks) and
most are kept on the third stack level in the Main Library. Some, however, are housed in branch libraries, as follows:
1) Forestry/Agriculture Library — All M.S.A. and M.F. theses; all Ph.D. dissertations written
in agriculture and forestry departments.
2) Law Library — All M.L.L. theses
3) Mathematics Library — M.A. theses and Ph.D. dissertations written in mathematics
4) Social Work Library — M.S.W. theses
The Location File in the main concourse near the card catalogue tells where to find any thesis or dissertation which is not in
the main stacks.
For budgetary reasons, the Library has had to impose limits on purchase of theses and dissertations written at other
universities. Its present policy is set out in a statement issued by the Senate Library Committee in September, 1968:
Germany, Italy, Netherlands (foreign languages only-not Dutch), Spain and Switzerland. Notable exclusions from these
blanket contracts are East German publications and the proceedings of international congresses and symposia. Faculty
representatives who wish the Library to acquire specific titles in these categories should send their requests to Mr. Elliston.
Mr. Elliston also looks after the purchase of periodical backfiles in the areas described above.
5) Gerald D. Palsson (local 3295). Supervises the acquisition of science and technology materials in all areas except the
bio-medical. This includes the fields of agriculture, astronomy, chemistry, engineering, forestry, geology, home economics,
mathematics and physics.
It should generally be understood that, although the bibliographers' main function is to ensure that the Library's acquisition
of current material is full and representative, this does not imply a lack of concern for the strengths and weaknesses of the total
collection. On the contrary, it involves them deeply in the whole business of collection building, so they are always pleased to
receive suggestions which assist them in this task.
o o
1) M.A. Theses.
It is not Library policy to buy M.A. theses. However, they may be borrowed on Interlibrary Loan for specific research
2) Ph.D. Dissertations.
Generally the Library does not buy Ph.D. dissertations. They may be bought, usually on microfilm, through Interlibrary
Loan or Acquisitions for specific research pursuits (preferably, though, in those relatively few cases where a particular
dissertation is an outstanding monograph on the subject.) On the authorization of the departmental Library representative,
a teaching department's library allocation is charged for such purchases.
3) Exceptions.
Naturally there are cases where the Library will purchase non-U.B.C. theses or dissertations. The most common involve:
— those containing data unavailable from any other source, past, present or future
— those which bear on some topic of particular interest to the university
— Ph.D. dissertations, usually of foreign origin, which are not available on Interlibrary Loan
The Library has recently received three substantial gifts which together amount to more than $12,000 in funds for book
A donation of $1,025 from Mabel G.J. Johnston is to go toward books related to Indian and Eskimo culture. Another gift
comes from the late Miss Florence Mulloy, who left $6,140 to the University "for the purchase of Library Books for its
Department of English".
The most recent donation of all is the $5,000 Master Teacher Award which was to have gone to Dean Walter H. Gage. In a
letter dated December 18th, Dean Gage states:
"I should like the amount of the prize to be given to the U.B.C. Library, to be used for the following purposes:
a) For the University Undergraduate Library-books to be chosen by the University Librarian -  $2,000
b) For the Engineering Undergraduate Library-books to be chosen by the Librarian in consultation with the Dean of
Applied Science —  $2,000
c) For the Mathematics Library-books for undergraduates to be chosen by the Librarian in consultation with the Head of
the Department of Mathematics - $1,000
It is my request that the books selected should be for the purpose of stimulating interest and that in general they should
not be of the text-book variety. Full discretion, however, rests with those named above."
It is hardly necessary to add that the Library is most grateful for all three donations.
A new and more durable multi-purpose form will now be used for all Interlibrary Loan requests. Made of cardboard, it
measures 81/2 by 11 inches and has a heavy crease across the middle for easy folding. One half is used for periodical requests and
the other for books or theses.
The information required on the form is still the same, and, as always, borrowers are asked to print legibly when filling it out.
One other point: do not tear off the unused half of the form. You may not need it, but the Interlibrary Loan Office does.
The new request forms may be picked up wherever the old ones were available-that is, at the Interlibrary Loan Office and
the Information Desk in the main concourse, all Main Library reference divisions, and all branch libraries.
On January 2, 1969, the Science Division handed over circulation control of its unbound periodicals to the Circulation
Division. This means, in effect, that all unbound periodicals housed on Level Five of the Main Library will now be borrowed and
returned in the same way. Science periodicals may now be signed out at any of the four stack turnstiles (not just at the one in the Science Division, as
was formerly the case). They will be returned through the ordinary book return slot, like Humanities and Social Science
This will be done on an experimental basis for the spring term; but, if satisfactory, the arrangement will be continued.
Faculty members who place holds on Main Library books may not be aware that they need not pick up the material in
person. Those who prefer to have it delivered should tell the desk attendant at the time the hold is placed. As soon as the book
becomes available it will automatically be sent via Library Delivery.
If you would rather pick up your books in person, please note that "held" books are kept at the Main Loan Desk until four
days after the due date, or, if returned late, until four days after the date of return. If the books are returned a week before the
due date or more than a week late, a notice is sent by mail.
Because of the short loan period and heavy demand, material in the Reserve Book Collection is held only a few hours before
being reshelved.
At a meeting on December 12th, the Client's Committee accepted the report of the User's Committee on requirements for a
second undergraduate library. The Board of Governors will be asked to approve the appointment of an architect at its meeting of
January 7th, 1969.
By using the Sedgewick course file in this way, and by placing books on 1-day loan primarily in response to real (rather than
just probable) user demand, we feel we have achieved a good measure of success over the past two years. For example, here is a
comparison of Sedgewickcirculation statistics for parallel 3-month periods in 1966 and 1968:
Faculty response to last month's article on reserve books indicates that some misunderstandings may still exist. To dispel
them, and to explain the librarians' point of view more fully, we offer the following.
1) A reserve loan period in our terminology is 2 hours or 1 day(3days for a few items in the Main Library). These are the
loan periods which students have consistently found too short for practical purposes.
2) The normal loan period in the Sedgewick Library is 1 week. This may also seem unreasonably short to faculty and
graduates. However, it has proved to be exceptionally well suited to undergraduates, who much prefer it to the reserve
loan period.
The Sedgewick Library contains both reserve and "normal" stack books, shelved together according to subject. It also
maintains a course file, near the card catalogue, which includes all titles appearing on course reading lists, regardless of loan   '
The course file was set up to allow a more positive response to undergraduate requirements and to the numbers crisis. To
make the best use of it, we ask faculty to submit for inclusion in the course file broad lists of recommended titles which will be
housed in Sedgewick, but will not necessarily be placed on short-term loan. In this way the number of titles on 1-day or 2-hour
loan can be reduced, and students can be introduced to a broader range of alternate titles available on 1-week loan. The course
file thus serves as a bibliography containing required, recommended, and suggested titles and alternatives for each course. The
adjacent collection, in turn, not only contains each course-related title listed but places it beside other material dealing with the
same subject.
: n
14,498  J
35,672   j
(35% of total)
(12% ai total)
From the above it can be seen that, while total borrowings for the 3-month period rose by almost 36,000 in 1968, the
percentage of all items charged out on a 1-day or 2-hour basis has dropped from one-third to one-eighth of total loans.
Significantly, the number of items processed and prepared for course reference in response to faculty requests rose by
approximately 10,000 in 1968 over 1966. One other point worth noting is that the percentage of renewals made by borrowers
has dropped in 1968. This seems to indicate not only that more items are being charged out, but that a wider selection of titles is
now being borrowed.
These statistics are highly significant to faculty who are moving—or who wish to move—away from the lecture-text and/or
reserve-book compromise. They will of course, be less important to those who continue to use the standard formula: five
required reading titles for the course, one to be purchased by the student and four to be supplied by the Library, either by
buying multiple copies or by lending the available ones on short-term loan. The choice remains with the individual faculty
However, it will become increasingly difficult to ignore measured and documented undergraduate reading requirements, or
the daily requests made and repeated by undergraduates at service points throughout the U.B.C. library. The greater pressure,
from faculty as well as students, is in the direction of more titles and alternates available for reasonable loan periods. And, in all
honesty, we support this trend, because one of the commitments of any modern university library is to broaden the scope of
undergraduate reading.
Editor: Mrs. E. de Bruijn
Information & Orientation Division ■«"^J


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