November, 2010

Some Recent Issues Considered by the Stony Brook University Senate Library
Services Committee

The responsibility of our University Senate Library Services Committee is to advise on
all aspects of the library. We have representatives on our committee from Humanities and Fine Arts, Social and Behavioral Sciences, Natural Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering, and the Melville and Health Science Libraries. At our meetings, which are usually held monthly during the academic year, we get updates on the status of the library from the library representatives on our committee. At certain times we also invite the interim Dean and Director of the university library, Dr. Andrew White, to present a report for our meeting.  The minutes of our committee meetings are accessible on the Senate archives.

We have discussed a number of important issues in our meetings over the past several
years. We briefly mention some of these. A major issue is the funding for the library. An-
other issue has been the proper balance in how these funds are allocated for the purchases of digital resources/access versus conventional media, such as books (and CD’s for the music library). Some publishers of scientific and biomedical journals have increased their subscription prices much more rapidly than inflation. This has had a considerable impact on the allocation of library funds. Some other issues that we have discussed include the structure and organization of the library, relations between library personnel, storage of volumes in off campus facilities when there is insufficient space in the on-campus library buildings, the interlibrary loan program, installation of more computer terminals for enhanced student access to the internet, library hours, the construction of the library at the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University (which President Stanley had to close as a cost-cutting measure) and connections between the Melville and Health Science Libraries. In Sept. 2009, an external review committee visited our university library and submitted a report for our administration. In fall, 2009, Provost Eric Kaler appointed a new Dean and Director of the library, Dr. Andrew White, to succeed the former Dean and Director, Chris Filstrup.

Our Senate Library Services Committee is continuing to work to make sure that the library serves the students and faculty of our university as well as possible within current financial constraints.

Robert Shrock
Chair, University Senate Library Services Committee
Professor, Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and
Physics/Astronomy Department
Stony Brook University