Task Force on Primary Clientele --Purpose and Methodology of the Task Force

In January 1989 the Library held Target '95, a public service retreat aimed at identifying service trends and predicting technological and demographic factors that will influence how The Library will provide information in the 1990's. Out of Target '95 came a strong consensus that we should define services and collection access to primary and nonprimary clientele. There was a widespread perception that increasing demands on The Library's limited resources are resulting in a degradation of service and access for our primary clientele, the students, staff and faculty of the University of California at Berkeley.

As follow-up to the mandate arising from Target '95, Associate University Librarian Rita Kane, on behalf of the Public Service Department Heads, called together a task force with the charge of laying out

in order to

In preparation, the Task Force undertook a variety of investigatory steps:

  1. To familiarize ourselves with the issues involved, and to look at the current state of policy development, we conducted a literature review, and assembled a number of articles, management information produced by the Association of Research Libraries' Office of Management Studies and documents on a variety of topics, such as fee-based services, library mission statements and the like.
  2. We requested and received legal opinion from the Office of the General Counsel concerning the legal obligations of service to varying user groups. According to University Counsel, legislative intent and funding provision support the concept of service differentiation if conducted on rational and nondiscriminatory basis.
  3. We contacted other UC campuses for information about their use and fee policies. Very few had formal policies in place, although the issue was of interest to all. Several campuses had worked out innovative fee-based services to local businesses.
  4. We reviewed existing legal and contractual arrangements in which The Library is involved, such as interlibrary lending, membership in the Research Libraries Group and depository status.
  5. We sought comment from the Library units which had special problems or responsibilities related to user access, such as Government Documents, The Bancroft Library, the Media Resources Center, and the Circulation Department.

The Document

At present, within the library profession there is no consensus concerning restrictions of levels of service and access by type of clientele in order to serve best a primary clientele. In creating this policy, we tried to produce a document that would be based on broad principles that give practical guidance to the implementation task force. We also intend that the statement be used to inform the public, and give it a clear picture of The Library's mandate to serve first its primary clientele. For example, one of the principles of the document is that non-primary clientele should turn to their own institutions before they come to us for resources and services. The policy statement can be used as a point of departure for discussion with the various library networks of which UCB is a part; it has been intended to conform to already-existing agreements with these groups. By referring to contract-specific arrangements with individual institutions and entities, we wish to retain maximum flexibility for the Library to enter into the widest range of possible agreements consistent with the overall goal of the highest levels of access and service for our primary clientele.

Review Phase

After the initial review and comment by the Public Service Department Heads, the Task Force presented the draft document to a variety of Library policy groups: the Reference Service Committee, the Circulation Committee, the Collection Management and Development Committee, and the Technical Services Group. The document was discussed by the staff at large in an Early Bird the Morrison Room. The California-Berkeley (LAUC-B) was asked for comment. Task Force members met with the Affiliated Libraries Groups to discuss implication of the proposed policy, and the possibility of their making uses of it.

The underlying approach taken by the Task Force has been endorsed by all reviewing groups, and remains intact, although the document has gone through many drafts and wording changes as suggestions were incorporated.

Task Force on Primary Clientele:

Barbara Kornstein (Chair),
Acting Head, Humanities/Social Sciences Libraries Dept. and Head, Education-Psychology Library

Alison Howard,
Head, Optometry Library and Acting Head, Astronomy/Math/Statistics Library

James Spohrer,
Germanic Librarian, and Asst. Head, Collection Development/Reference Services Dept.

Lynne Wiepert,
Head, Interlibrary Lending

Patricia Kreitz,
formerly of the Collection Development/Reference Services Dept.

February 12, 1990

Copyright (C) 1995 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Document maintained by: Gail Ford.
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