Library Council
University of Toronto Central Library System

Minutes of Library Council March 15, 2000

  1. Minutes of the February 14th meeting
  2. Business arising from the minutes
  3. Report of the Task Force on Services at a Distance - Helen Michael
  4. Annual report of the Reference Services Committee - Marian Press
  5. Question period: Elinor Fillion - "Could we have an update on the Web 2 Transition Team?" (Marian Press to respond)
  6. Loan Policy - Lari Langford
  7. Other business
Present: Bellamy, P., Bradshaw, G., Bravo, G., Cozzi, S., Fillion, E., Granatstein, E., Healey, R., Holder, R., Houtman, E., Jaffray, C., Langford, L., Martyn, K., Masters, A., McNair, L., Newman, S., Press, M., Rosenstock, M., Schlauch, E., Snow, J., Thierry-Broad, A., Wagle, I., Santeramo, A. (Recording Secretary)
Regrets: Chase, V., Cheng, A., Clapp, S., Clark, J., Cummins, M., Grof, G., Guardia, T., G., Hawrychuk, S., Lee, M., Leishman, J., Moore, C., Murray, C., Raic, J., Roddy, M., Socknat, C., Stone, S., Turko, K.
Guests: Bellamy, P., Clinton, P., DeDiego, I., Hagelaar, D. (St. Michael's), Holder, W., McFerran, N. (St. Michael's), Meikle, S., Michael, H., Samadzadeh, M., Scott, L., Tamura, E. (Scarborough), Tjaden, T. (Law), Weaver, K.


Minutes of the February 14th meeting:

The minutes were accepted as written.

Business arising

Peter Clinton provided Council with an update from the recent DRA meeting which was held in St. Louis . One major component of the TAOS system which will not be ready for September is the self-charge unit. Presently, self-charge units are used for 60-70% of loan transactions. The Serials module is scheduled to be ready for the end of the summer but the Acquisitions module will not be ready, so transferring Classic system data into TAOS would be required. Peter reported that he has asked for feedback from department heads on the recommendation he will make to the Chief Librarian to postpone full implementation of TAOS until September 2001. As an Early Implementation Site, however, we will move forward with a variety of things. The TAOS cataloguing module will be available, and it will be possible to proceed with the implementation of Web 2. We will also be working with the circulation module in test mode. Council was asked to send Peter any comments or suggestions on how to proceed.

Report of the Task Force on Services at a Distance

The report was distributed electronically before the meeting and paper copies were available at the meeting. The Chair, Helen Michael, thanked all members of the Task Force for their working to bring this project to a successful conclusion. The process and conclusions of the report were reviewed as well as the recommendations from the Task Force.

Questions, concerns or suggestions arising from recommendations:

Recommendation 1: Adopt a policy of support for users at a distance as part of the mandate for all Library departments.
A member asked that the Task Force keep in mind that equity should include services to persons with disabilities.

Some discussion ensued about how services will be offered and how affiliation is defined, as well as concerns with levels to be provided. It was made clear that services provided should be the same for everyone in the University of Toronto community.

Recommendation 2: Provide support in the form of reference services, delivery of materials, and technical assistance.
Some members felt that the services being suggested are not realistic. It was felt that there are many issues around this service at a distance; concerns were raised about the provision of print resources and of service to non-U of T scholars. It was asked if OISE/UT charges a premium for its services to students in distance education programs. The Chair of the Task Force felt that it would be very useful to have OISE/UT's experience with distance education and added that the report is aimed specifically at the University community at the moment.

Recommendation 3: Promote awareness and implementation of new relevant technologies.
It was suggested that awareness of certain barriers to users, especially users with disabilities, be considered.

Recommendation 4: Support distance education as it develops at the University of Toronto. It was felt by some that faculty liaison is critical in relation to this recommendation.

Recommendation 5: Develop internal and external partnerships as a means of increasing library support for services at a distance.
It was made clear that the collaborative services mentioned in this recommendation arose from the external review.

Recommendation 6: Investigate new staffing models for an expanded service.
Concerns were raised with providing new services with the current staff complement and with the possibility that "new staffing models" might mean redeployment of current staff, although the Task Force stipulates that consideration of existing service needs must be taken into account when staffing models are evaluated.

Recommendation 7: Establish a Committee on Services at a Distance as a standing committee reporting to Library Council.
It was suggested that this standing committee have as broad a membership as possible.

Recommendation 8: Establish the position of Coordinator of Services at a Distance.
The Task Force Chair pointed out that this would be a full-time position, reporting to the Chief Librarian.

Recommendation 9: Seek funding for the implementation and support of the services.
It was mentioned that that there might be a possibility of funding from the provincial government. It was added that cost recovery could be considered as well.

It was moved by the Task Force Chair, seconded by I. Wagle, and carried that the report be approved.

Annual report of the Reference Services Committee:

The Chair, Marian Press, reviewed the report that was made available prior to the meeting. The members of the Web Advisory Group, which reports to Reference Services, are as follows: M. Lalonde and C. Hagstrom from Information Technology Services, J. Mendelsohn, Earth Sciences Library, E. Tamura from Scarborough, L. Ferstman from Innis, S. Walker from Dentistry, S. Langlands from Gerstein Library and P. Bellamy, chair, Robarts Reference Department. This group meets once a month, after the Reference Services meeting.

The Committee Chair moved acceptance of this report and Council voted in favour. ("reference_report2000.html"Reference Services Committee Annual Report)

Question period:

Elinor Fillion - "Could we have an update on the Web 2 Transition Team?" Marion Press provided Council with a little history: The Web 2 Transition Team was the first to begin meeting (March 1999). The Team arrived at a model which they would like to see implemented. Input was gathered from various transition teams. Training was to have been made available but Web 2 wasn't stable or fast enough because of server complications, so it has been maintained in test mode since September of last year. In response to the Team's experience and feedback from staff and students, changes have been made. It was reported that Sian Meikle has added significantly to the basic DRA package; she has implemented almost everything which has been requested. Sian added that hardware issues were experienced in the early fall and added to the delay in receiving the server, which didn't arrive until January. The multi-process server was not appropriate in the end. UCLA has been consulted and their model will be followed, running a daisy chain of single process servers, which will be easier to maintain and will provide backup: if one server crashes, the others carry on.

Sian proceeded with a presentation of Web 2. It was added that the Task Force created all the help screens. Training will be made available in the near future. Marian Press thanked the Team for their participation.

Loan Policy:

Lari Langford reported that there has been growing interest from faculty, especially new faculty, for longer loan periods. It seems that the Library is out of step with its peer institutions in the United States on this issue. Representa-tions have come forward to the Chief Librarian and to the attention of the Advisory Committee on the University of Toronto Library System. Renata Holder and Lari have met with the Circulation Services Committee and the Council of Campus Libraries who have received the document, which was distributed to Council. Council was asked for comments to add to this proposal.

A guest from the Law Library stated that the proposal is a huge improvement. Various concerns were raised, and it was noted that the issue is not a new one. It was made clear that the proposed changes are for faculty only, although staff and students' concerns may be brought back to the Advisory Committee at a later time.

A member asked if there would be a change in the number of items that faculty can borrow. Lari said that the proposal is concerned only with loan periods; no change in the number of items or in the fine rate has been proposed. Some concerns were raised with this policy and that fact that it may make fewer materials available to undergraduates, since browsing plays such an important role in their selection of books. Lari said that this was not a concern in the central system, where faculty loans are a small percentage of the total, although the situation might be different in smaller libraries. It is unknown at the moment if this policy would require more staffing; presumably, the longer loan period would mean fewer renewals and less shelving as well as more requests for recalls. Now, in the case of faculty, it is common practice for books to be returned, reshelved, and then charged out again by the last borrower.

Annual report of the Resource Sharing Services Committee:

The report was made available to Council members before the meeting and reviewed. Jane Clark, Head of Resource Sharing, reviewed the report on behalf of the Chair, Susan Stone. It was mentioned that many important issues involving all three campuses were discussed during their very busy year. As the result of a survey, a proposal to improve campus delivery services will be submitted to Alfred Cheng, Director of Finance and Administration. The introduction of Prospero software will, when introduced, enable Resource Sharing to introduce desktop delivery to all three campuses. However, there are issues related to Canadian copyright agreements which will have to be addressed first; since all three campuses are parts of the same institution, it is hoped that there will be no problems.

A question was asked about borrowing duplicate copies from Erindale and Scarborough. Jane said that a pilot project for such borrowing, when copies downtown are charged or missing, was conducted. A tentative agreement has been reached to make this normal practice; Scarborough and Erindale, however, have pointed out that some campus libraries are still very restrictive about ILL lending. It is hoped these problems can be resolved soon.

Council voted to accept the report.

Other business:


The meeting was adjourned at 4:45 p.m.

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