Chief Librarian's report, to include remarks on her goals for the Library in her new term of office:
The Chair reported that at the most recent meeting of Academic Board, the Provost announced the re-appointment of the Chief Librarian. His announcement was both made and received with great enthusiasm. On behalf of Council, the Chair congratulated and thanked Carole and presented her with an orchid. The Chief Librarian thanked everyone for their kind wishes and said she is looking forward to the years ahead. Her goal is to be engaged in collaborative processes along with the planning process and she presented these highlights:
Staff Renewal: a significant turnover is expected due to retirements; although there will continue to be budget constraints, some new positions and ongoing funding will be made available, including staffing for the Help Desk. One-time-only funding has been approved for an initial 24x5 pilot project, giving access on weekdays during term to the first and second floors of Robarts. Following discussions with involved groups, details of the project will be announced. Gerstein construction will begin next month. There will be OTO funding each year for some updating of essential servers and new workstations. Once the funding is in place, everything will move ahead. The acquisitions budget, which is subject to continuing review, will be protected for at least one more year.
The not-so-good news is that if provincial and federal government funding does not cover the huge deficit, a clawback will be required. All units of the University, including the Library, need to be prepared for this possibility.
At the beginning of the last planning period, the Library predicted that by this year, materials in electronic format would account for about 25% of our use statistics, and this has turned out to be accurate. By 2004-5, this should rise to about 50%, so we need to be prepared to accommodate this level of use.
Another goal of the planning process is to make sure that the Library plays a significant role, collaborating as appropriate, in making materials accessible worldwide. As an outstanding example of such a project, she spoke about the G8 Information Centre, led by Peter Hajnal, which involves faculty, librarians and students. The web site has become the G8 Information Centre for the world. This is a collaborative project in which the Library has had a key role, with Marc Lalonde and Sian Meikle involved as well as Peter. When the President of Italy visited the University this year, he asked to see a demonstration of the web site and to visit the Centre. Carole noted that this is an extremely rewarding and exciting project, which shows how the University is seen in the world.
Many other areas of the university, including Dentistry and OISE, also have very good international projects. The Tyrrell Project, funded by the Millennium Project, is the latest, making accessible unique archival materials of interest to Canadians and to researchers around the world. These projects point the way of the future, for the University Libraries to be repositories of material in paper and in digital format. She stressed that this is where the emphasis will be for the future. In conclusion, Carole said our goals are to support faculty and students at the University and to become a leading information provider in the world, but pointed out that in many ways she feels the Library is already there. She reminded everyone that our staff will continue to be looked at as the experts to access all this information.
Questions arising: Could the clawback be required at any point during the year? Professor Sedra has indicated that it would not happen until the last quarter of the fiscal year. Everything is still very uncertain.
Will money be made available for research chairs in the humanities? Carole said the research chairs are mostly in the sciences but some money may become available for the humanities in different ways. The Library is requesting funds related to providing infrastructure for the research chairs.
Policies and Guidelines for the Collection, Access, Preservation and Storage of Electronic Information Resources:
Sandra Langlands said that EIRC recognized years ago that guidelines were required. A document drafted under Sharon Brown's leadership was presented to Council in October 1996; at the time, it was felt that the Data and Map Libraries needed to review the document, and it was never finalized. It came back to the EIRC agenda this year and was substantially revised. Sandra thanked Elaine Goettler for her work in bringing the various parts together. Council reviewed the Report.
Questions arising: A member commented that the report is an excellent document. As chair, could Sandra say to what extent the guidelines are being followed now? The idea is that the EIRC will be working towards implementing the policies and guidelines. A number of them relate to the Coordinator of Digital Acquisitions position, held by Sara McDowell, who has asked for further discussion or clarification of some points. Sandra moved approval of the policies and guidelines, with the understanding that some changes may be required after the discussion/clarification requested by the Coordinator of Digital Acquisitions. All Council members voted in favour of acceptance.
The Chair asked if there is a member of the DMGIS staff on the EIRC. Sandra said that staff from DMGIS attend meetings when matters of interest to them are on the EIRC agenda. The Chair then thanked Sandra Langlands for the time and effort she has devoted to chairing the EIRC in Graham Bradshaw's absence.