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Task Force on Library Services to Undergraduates


See also Report, issued June 1998

Background | Charge | Task Force Members


How can the Library best serve teaching and learning in the undergraduate curriculum? Our undergraduate library services must meet the needs of brand-new freshman students, of first-generation college students, of National Merit Scholars, of the rich e thnic and cultural mix of our students, of re-entry students, and community college transfer students. If these students come from California public schools, they come from schools that rank 50th in the 50 states in funding spent on school libraries. Wh ile they're unquestionably bright, our students may lack skills in effectively finding, filtering, and evaluating information or in understanding the publishing universe.

We have tended to think of Moffitt Library users and undergraduate library users as synonymous. While this impression was once true for undergraduates using the campus' social sciences and humanities collections, undergraduate use of Doe library has chan ged since the opening of the Main Stack in 1992, and Library branches play an important role, given, for example, the large number of undergraduate students coming to Cal as Engineering, Molecular & Cell Biology and other majors. A recent study of undergr aduate library use for the month of October, 1997 (a particularly high-use month for students writing papers, doing research), reveals that 80% of the undergraduate collection use on campus is of collections other than those in Moffitt; as striking, the study shows that the Moffitt collections are used as much by graduate students and faculty as by undergraduates. Here, then, are key issues in rethinking undergraduate library services.

At this critical juncture, we need to rethink our services to undergraduates across the campus: we need to reconsider issues of undergraduate collections, access, instructional technology, and special services. In considering the charge below, please add ress both branch and Doe-Moffitt services, define what services should be offered, and make recommendations on how to improve upon the strengths of the current program. As a part of your deliberations, you may wish to review current research and thinki ng about undergraduate libraries and/or high-use core collections? How do Berkeley's peer institutions provide undergraduate students with access to collections, services, and instruction regarding library and other information resources?


In order best to serve UC Berkeley's undergraduates, please consider the following questions about library collections and services, and their relationship:

1. Collections

2. Services

Based on these questions:

  1. Identify the needs and make recommendations for programs aimed at undergraduate students;
  2. Develop action plans and time lines for implementation;
  3. Identify initiatives that might qualify for bridge funding;
  4. Propose a plan for campus review.

Please endeavor to present preliminary proposals regarding the collections by April 20, 1998, and a final report with recommendations on all the areas above by May 31, 1998.

Thank you in advance for your help in defining these vital undergraduate programs.

Members of Task Force on Library Services to Undergraduates:
Ellen Meltzer, Head, Teaching Library, Joint Chair
Prof. Mark Griffith, Classics, Joint Chair
Michaelyn Burnette, Humanities Librarian
Prof. Laura Demsetz, Civil Engineering
Prof. Lewis Feldman, Plant Biology
Ann Jensen, Engineering Librarian
Laura Kim, Manager, Microcomputer Facilities, IS&T
Dr. Norma Kobzina, Natural Resources Librarian
Deborah Sommer, Planning Librarian
Darrin Bautista, Graduate Student
Kevin Muller, Graduate Student
Gina King, Student Representative, Committee on Library
Sara Kendall, Undergraduate Student

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Copyright © 1998 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Authored by: Peter Lyman, University Librarian, March 9, 1998
Last update 7/6/98. Server manager: Contact