CAPRA MEETING, APRIL 17, 2009
Present: Alan Calder, Bill Godfrey, Norm Goodman, Susan Lieberthal, Daria Semegen, Larry Wittie; guests: Daniel Kinney, Germaine Hoynos
The meeting started at 2:35 P.M.
Follow-up Discussion of Library Resources
Daniel Kinney and Germaine Hoynos discussed the funding situation at the Melville Libraries, with especial relevance to staffing.
There is considerable understaffing due to the lack of replacement of retirees. Since the Provost has a required a $0.5 million cut from the Library’s budget, this situation is not likely to be improved, especially since the inflation rate for items the library needs is higher than the standard inflation rate and the cost of journals is rising quite rapidly. At the present time, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) ranks Stony Brook 102 out of 113 libraries; Buffalo is ranked #27 and Albany #80. In terms of total staff, the Melville Libraries rank 106 out of 113 and 92 out of 113 for professional staff.
The staffing problem is particularly acute in the area of cataloging. There is a need to replace the three staff members who have retired. In addition, the knowledge base to train new staff has been diminished by these retirements.
There was some discussion of the issue of consolidating the libraries on both sides of Nicolls Road to provide more cost-effective and integrated services. In response to a question about the size of the HSC library, Dan indicated that he didn’t know exactly, but would find out and provide that information to the committee. (He subsequently reported that the HSC Library has 26 staff members, of whom 4 are Librarians.) The advantages and disadvantages of such an action were briefly discussed. In particular, the different needs of those providing medical services were mentioned. For example, the Melville Libraries provide $280K to DoIt to handle their IT. In contrast, the library in the Health Science Center has its own in-house IT because time is more critical for medical applications (e.g., surgeons may need to read a particular journal article shortly before surgery, and it must be immediately available for this purpose).
In terms of collections, again the Melville Libraries do not fare well in the ARL rankings. It is ranked 111 out of 113 institutions. The collection of monographs is particularly problematic. Universities ranked similarly have a budget for this purpose of about $1.0M, while the comparable Melville Libraries budget is about $400K.
Apparently, there is a new type of electronic publishing that is becoming prominent. An institution pays for a monograph the first year and then pays a maintenance fee yearly for continued access. This is the case with JSTOR. Negotiations are in the works with Science Direct. Science books are heavily used and more science books are needed. At the same time, the considerable cost of electronic journals from Elsevier, which are predominantly in science and engineering, make it difficult to provide adequately for the monographs needed by the Humanities and Social Sciences.
The question was raised about the library resources needed for the newly-created CASE and Confucius Institutes. The proposals for these new Institutes indicate either adequate existing library resources (CASE) or that funds will be provided (Confucius), though that has not yet been the case.
Norm stressed again the importance of each subcommittee providing a detailed written report on the issue it was studying, what it found out about these issues, what recommendations it offers to deal with problems that were identified. These reports should be sent to the committee members prior to our last scheduled meeting on May 8, 2009.
The issue of the renovation of classrooms through Graham Glynn’s auspices to make them more technologically up to date was discussed. Apparently, these renovations will lead to the Registrar controlling rooms that have in the past been under the control of the relevant department. The committee agreed to put this on our agenda of things that require more information.
A question was raised about a new SBU campus being established in South Korea. No information was available, and Norm indicated that he would seek further information on this from Provost Kaler.
The meeting ended at 4:05 P.M.