Issued in reponse to
Task Force on Library Services to Undergraduates: Charge
March 9, 1998
There are numerous external forces exerting pressure on the Library that present both challenges and opportunities. Among these are the enormous amount of seismic work to be undertaken on campus, the burgeoning of electronic resources, and the introduction of instructional technology into teaching and research. Nonetheless, the Task Force feels strongly that the campus should balance decisions stemming from those external forces with the principles it first used to create an undergraduate library the need to provide our students with an entry place or gateway to a complex library system.
The Task Force on Undergraduate Library Services completed its work, including two surveys, in a very brief period of time. We recommend that more systematic surveys of our users be undertaken to uncover more information about what students want and need from the Library. After a brief history of undergraduate library services and collections at Berkeley, the report includes several specific recommendations, some longterm, some more immediate, under the headings of Services, Collections, Instruction, Access and Facilities. These recommendations are unanimous. They are followed by conclusions, an Appendix that explains the process used by the Task Force to gather data, and several attachments, including circulation data and survey results.
The core of the Task Force's recommendations relates to the continuing need for an undergraduate library collection and place, which includes instructional and reference support, easy access to collections, and a location and environment conducive to study and exploration of the resources held within all of Berkeley's Libraries. Although several options are considered and discussed, it is the recommendation of the Task Force that Moffitt Library be designated as the place for undergraduate intellectual life on the Berkeley campus. Many recent or imminent decisions can impact the flexibility of Moffitt as a space for undergraduate services, and on the efficacy of the current Moffitt collection. The Task Force recommends that all library decisions to be made in the near future take into consideration implications for the library needs of undergraduates as expressed in the recommendations in this report.
Return to Contents
The Task Force on Library Services to Undergraduates is pleased to provide the following report in response to the charge (Attachment 1) issued by University Librarian Peter Lyman. The report is based on input from the Task Force members, who include faculty, librarians, a member of Information Systems & Technology (IS&T), both graduate and undergraduate students, and from a number of other sources.
Undergraduates on the Berkeley campus are, by definition, a unique group. Although they are no doubt academically prepared to meet the challenges the university has to offer, they come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of preparation with regard to their knowledge and sophistication in conducting library research. Ninety percent of entering freshmen come from California high schools, and California ranks fiftieth of the fifty states in spending on school libraries. The majority have not used a large research library before coming to Cal, and have not experienced some of its distinctive characteristics: collection size of over 8,000,000 volumes; over 60% of materials in languages other than English; monographs interfiled with serials; historical and new materials interfiled; collections in compact shelving; over 3,000,000 volumes shelved in off-campus storage. Berkeley's collections are spread out in a number of locations. Doe Library, the Main (Gardner) stack, and Moffitt, all now interconnected, present a confusing maze to library users, and in addition there are over 20 Branch and Affiliated libraries.
The Library has a responsibility to serve the needs of undergraduates while they are at Berkeley, and to prepare them as they continue on to careers, to graduate schools, and as lifelong learners, to meet the challenge of doing research in an overwhelmingly fertile and complex environment of print and electronic resources. To do this, we must first draw students into the Library. Undergraduates benefit from an identifiable place and intellectual center in which they feel welcome to read, explore, study, confer with one another, and seek help for their research needs.
Return to Contents
Moffitt began as a traditional undergraduate library in 1970 and quickly became one of the busiest undergraduate libraries in the country. It served the traditional needs of undergraduate students at a large, research university: It housed a carefully selected, core or liberal arts collection of browsable "best books" for undergraduate students, including books and periodicals supporting student interests and circulating for short periods to ensure easy access; a Reserves collection of curriculum-related materials recommended by faculty, changing from semester to semester for course use, and circulating for two hours or one day. It was open long hours for late night study hall. The library had specially selected undergraduate librarians who provided reference for long hours, instruction, and collection management in close coordination with students and faculty. In 1979, a Media Resources Center was opened in Moffitt. Moffitt was the first library on campus to complete retrospective conversion of its catalog, and to replace its card catalog with GLADIS terminals.
The economic downturn in the economy in California in the late '80s and early '90s had a major impact on higher education, and especially on UC and the Library. Due to cutbacks in staffing in the Library, and increased reference and instructional demands of non-UC clientele (high school, community college, state college students, and the public at large), it was decided to limit Moffitt access to UC students, faculty and staff, beginning in 1990, as a way of ensuring Cal students received the help and access to materials for which they were paying. This policy resulted in a significant reduction in the use of Moffitt, based on circulation statistics and turnstile counts. The Doe or Main Stacks, which had been closed to all but faculty and graduate students (and certain undergraduates), were declared open on April 1, 1992. Undergrads, then, most of whom previously could browse only in the Moffitt stacks for non-branch materials, could now enter the Main Stacks as well. A library-run microcomputing center was opened in a corner of Moffitt in the late 1980s, which later was given over to IS&T. Moffitt staff, services, and some collections surged out of the Moffitt building and into Doe for seismic retrofitting for seven months in 1992-1993.
Three years of Voluntary Early Retirements in the early 90s, coupled with budget cuts, had a dramatic impact on the libraries over 30% of library staff left campus. At this time, some Moffitt librarians were redirected to Doe collection development in an effort to continue to build collections, even as the staff decreased in size. This siphoning off of staff resulted in a decline in the ability to conduct instruction and outreach. In an effort to rebuild instruction in an increasingly electronic world, the Teaching Library was carved out in spring/summer 1993 from existing library staff. Its goal was to focus on and increase instruction for users, from freshmen through faculty, to ensure that the Cal community was information literate.
The new Main (Gardner) stacks and Moffitt were joined in 1994, and Moffitt Library was administratively unbundled in an effort to join like services in Doe and Moffitt, and to make it possible to create the Teaching Library. Doe Technical Services operations, which had been scattered throughout Doe Library, were brought together on to the second floor of Moffitt in 1996. This created economies of scale in technical services operations, but as a result, displaced several thousand volumes on the second floor of Moffitt to level D of the Main (Gardner) Stack and bifurcated the Moffitt collection into two buildings. The Moffitt reference collection was dismantled in the summer of 1996, with little fanfare, and staff at the reference desk was dispersed, in another effort to reduce costs by eliminating one service point. The Information Center in Doe library took over the majority of the Moffitt reference collection, added collections from the former General Reference Service, and became the beginning information and reference point for all Doe/Moffitt users faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and visitors.
In fall of 1997, the Information Gateway in Moffitt Library was opened a facility with 40 computers with access to an array of electronic databases and gateways. It was funded in part by a gift of the Pacific Bell Foundation. Minimal staffing was instituted at the desk. Imminent plans for the Moffitt building include an expansion of the Media Resources Center on the first floor, as well as a move of the Moffitt Microcomputing Center from the third to first floor to accommodate the Free Speech Movement (FSM) Café in its existing space.
In March of 1998, this Task Force was given its charge, to examine ways in which the campus, in a time of great change, could best serve its undergraduate students.
Future plans in Doe Library include the creation of an International and Area Studies Reading Room in a portion of the former General Reference Room, floor 2, along with the remainder of the former reference collection, minus materials removed to the Information Center. There are current plans for a Humanities Reference and Research Collection on the west side of Doe, to house core collections in the Humanities, and provide quiet reading space, as well as a conference room. In the former subject hall, plans call for a staffed Graduate Reserves Service (currently housed on the 5th floor of Moffitt, and moved previously from Doe Library) and an Electronic Text Center. These services are designed with faculty and graduate students chiefly in mind, and their nomenclature may reinforce that; however, undergraduates will not be turned away. It is assumed in their creation that undergraduates will be more directly served in other library locations.
Return to Contents
Report and Recommendations
The Task Force has been asked to address mid- and long-term recommendations, taking into account campus realities such as seismic surges and the ongoing work of the Commission on Campus Computing. The Task Force began its deliberations independently of the Blue Ribbon Committee. However, we have found ourselves coming up with some similar recommendations and conclusions with regard to an undergraduate collection. The Task Force completed two surveys: one of undergraduate students (Attachment 2) and a second of faculty (Attachment 3) to find out informally how students use the libraries and what they want from them, and what faculty perceive about undergraduate collections, student preparation for research, and ways of improving students' skills, among other issues.
This report covers the following closely intertwined broad areas: Services, Collections, Instructional Services, Access, and Facilities. All of these issues have an impact on each other, and it is very difficult and often inappropriate to treat them separately. Collections have an impact on physical space and vice versa; without friendly, efficient and effective services, collections can be underutilized; an attractive and comfortable physical space can make a crucial difference to the use of collections and services.
It should be recognized at the outset that some of the following recommendations will have an impact on the Library's budget and require either a reallocation of collections and personnel budgets, or, ideally, increases to both budgets. But we see our primary charge as being the formulation of recommendations for what is attainable and best, not simply what is most convenient and easily affordable; and in no case have we made recommendations that we believe to be impractical or unreasonably expensive.
The recommendations in this report are unanimous.
Return to Contents
The visible and symbolic place that has comprised the intellectual center of undergraduate life at Berkeley for the last 28 years is Moffitt Library, together with those branch libraries that serve as "home" to students concentrating in particular fields, e.g., Biosciences, Business, Engineering. Since the majority of incoming students have not yet declared a major, and do most of their work in the College of Letters and Science in departments that have no branch library of their own, the Task Force strongly believes that there is an ongoing need to maintain such a visible center for the intellectual life of undergraduates, particularly those in the Humanities and Social Sciences. In the following section of this report, we consider several options for housing an "undergraduate collection", and we conclude that our students and the campus are best served by continuing to designate Moffitt Library in this role. We also consider options other than Moffitt, but we wish to emphasize that if Moffitt is not to be used to house an undergraduate library, another place must be found for this purpose, most likely in Doe Library.
Our strong preference is that the University should reaffirm Moffitt's unique role as a center for undergraduate life at Berkeley. Indeed, the creation of the new FSM Café will provide an excellent opportunity to declare Moffitt once again a lively focus for undergraduates on the campus. It is also clear that electronic formats have caused a revolution in the way information is handled and transferred. For many undergraduates, use of the Web and other electronic media will be the first step in beginning research and finding information in general. The undergraduate library should address the need to access existing and new formats of information.
In the branches, the integration of undergraduate or novice and research collections and services appears to work well. In one relatively compact location, undergraduates have access to a core collection (including journals and essential reference works) in their field, together with expert staff who can help them use not only this collection, but also the rest of the library's print and digital resources. Course reserve lists are usually maintained there too, and staff can work closely with faculty in assessing current and future needs in relation to course offerings.
In order for Moffitt to serve once again as a center for undergraduate life, as do many of the branches, the restoration of a viable reference point staffed for longer hours with staff knowledgeable about undergraduate needs and a basic undergraduate-level reference collection is required. We believe that this is necessary to encourage and assist undergraduates to seek essential resources for academic and scholarly research and to facilitate the transition from high school or community college to Doe and the branch libraries for more advanced research. If Moffitt is not to be devoted to undergraduate services and collections, then these services must be provided elsewhere, presumably in Doe. It is not clear that these needs are being adequately met by the Information Center, which has many competing demands, including all levels of users (from faculty through the general public) converging on the relatively small space that serves as the Library's principal general reference service.
A revitalized undergraduate library facility and collection will also be the natural home and center of the Teaching Library, which has successfully begun to address all levels of instruction, but with particular focus on undergraduates. The gains made by the Teaching Library and branch instruction across the UC Berkeley Library should not be lost in the creation of a renewed undergraduate library; resources must be made available to ensure that both are supported.
Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) often represent the first, most visible, and most approachable face of the academic life of the University to undergraduates. They are eager to work with undergraduates, yet are not always aware of the library resources and services available in their work with students. They must be made more knowledgeable about these.
Over the years, staff has learned that both faculty and students are often unaware of services The Library already offers, and that these are some of the very services they desire and request. Faculty and undergraduate surveys bore these impressions out, as well as the recent CLIR Survey undertaken by The Library.
- Recommendation S1: We recommend that reference and research services in the Doe-Moffitt complex (including the Information Center; Government and Social Sciences Information Center; the new second floor services planned in Doe, Humanities Research and Reference Service, Information and Area Studies, Graduate Reserves, Electronic Text Center and other appropriate services in Doe; and the Information Gateway in Moffitt) be coordinated as a whole to determine the best configuration for providing services to our various categories of users in this large complex.
- Recommendation S2:We recommend that ongoing collaborative planning take place between Doe/Moffitt complex, Branch, and Affiliated library staffs to reinforce the idea that undergraduates receive library services throughout the library system, and to ensure that the parts of the system are rationally connected.
- Recommendation S3: We recommend continued support for the Teaching Library.
- Recommendation S4: We recommend continuing current policies for the branch libraries for collections, reference, and reserves, geared to the needs of undergraduates.
- Recommendation S5: We recommend that Moffitt be reestablished as a center for undergraduate intellectual life, and that a complete reference service, with reference collection and staff adequately trained for work with undergraduates in both print and electronic environments be restored. If Moffitt is not to be used for these purposes, then equivalent services and staff should be provided in a location and form specifically designed to serve undergraduate needs. (See Recommendation C3).
- Recommendation S6: We recommend that customer service training be a top priority for staff and students working at public service desks to ensure a more uniform positive attitude toward library users (See Recommendation A3).
- Recommendation S7: We recommend that there be regular liaisons from the library to GSIs either through their departments or the Office of GSI Training. In addition, GSIs should receive more explicit instruction from the Library as to available library resources.
- Recommendation S8: We recommend that Library staff review and improve publicity for services identified in the user surveys as being under-publicized, e.g., drop-in classes, schedules, etc.
Return to Contents
Two points should be remembered in considering what an "undergraduate collection" should be. First, the distinction between "undergraduate" and "graduate/faculty" (or "research") collections is not hard and fast: many undergraduate courses and programs at Berkeley require students to conduct highly sophisticated research that could never be adequately supported by an "undergraduate" collection. This is one essential characteristic that draws undergraduates to a research university. Conversely, faculty and graduate students frequently consult "undergraduate" materials, especially when they wish to familiarize themselves with fields in which they do not themselves specialize. Secondly, the "undergraduate collection" at UC Berkeley has never resided all in one place. Over the last 28 years, Moffitt has housed a separate undergraduate collection (originally conceived as optimal at 150,000 volumes), together with a reference collection and undergraduate collection specialists; but in several fields most of the high-use "undergraduate" materials have been shelved in branch libraries instead (or as well).
The "undergraduate collection" should be a collection of books, periodicals, and other materials (digital, video, and other non-print media), designed, staffed, and maintained with four main goals in mind:
- provide an easily accessible, up-to-date, and browsable collection of the "best books" published in English in the fields covered by undergraduate study at Berkeley;
- provide basic reference materials of the kinds most frequently required by undergraduates;
- introduce undergraduates (and others) to the full range of research materials available in/from the University Library as a whole;
- contribute to a physical environment that is supportive of undergraduate study, especially for lower division classes.
The Task Force considered several different models and strategies for achieving these four goals, bearing in mind both the ideal (i.e., what we most would like to see in place at Berkeley, five or ten years from now), and the practical (what we have now, what changes have already been made, what policies are already in place on campus, and what is really achievable, given budgetary, seismic, and other constraints).
Opinions differ around the country as to whether a separately housed undergraduate library is intrinsically desirable these days. We see advantages and disadvantages to both a separate and an integrated collection, and have explored a number of different possibilities for the Berkeley campus.
Five options for the future of the "undergraduate collection" currently held in Moffitt and on level D of the Main (Gardner) stack have emerged from our deliberations. We list them in descending order of desirability:
Of these five options, the Task Force finds Options #1 and #2 to be clearly preferable to the other three, as only these would provide the select, coherent, and browsable collection of "best books" in key fields that we set out among our goals. Of the two, WE STRONGLY SUPPORT OPTION #1, since not only does this configuration (like Option #2) provide an accessible, browsable undergraduate "collection", but it also (unlike Option #2) contributes significantly to the creation of the place for undergraduate study, in which reference room and services, study areas, Teaching Library and Information Gateway and even a café would all be in close proximity to the collection. Moffitt would thus be (once again) a place where undergraduates would want to go to study, whether to review or to begin their research. If they find themselves in due course directed from Moffitt to Doe or one of the branches libraries for more specialized materials, all the better.
- Option #1. House the collection completely in Moffitt; weed and update it, emphasizing humanities and social sciences: tailor the collection to the currently available space (5th, 4th, and one-half of the 1st floors, about 100,000 volumes capacity, including study space). Restore a reference collection and 3rd floor reference area in Moffitt.
- Option #2. Move the collection out of Moffitt and shelve it separately in Doe, in fixed shelving. (This might allow a larger undergraduate collection to be maintained, c. 120-150,000. This option would also necessitate moving the equivalent number of books out of the Main (Gardner) Stacks and into NRLF or even more, if compact shelving is converted into fixed shelves for the "undergraduate" books.) Rely on the Information Center as the undergraduate reference collection and reference room/service point in Doe, close to these shelves. In this scenario, the Moffitt building can be converted for other undergraduate services, and used for study areas, computer labs, media resources, and other purposes apart from holding books.
- Option #3. Integrate the "undergraduate" collection fully into the Doe stacks. Maintain a distinctive system of dots or call numbers to ensure that undergraduate or core books are identifiable, and that they circulate for shorter periods of time so that undergraduates can access them in a timely manner. One Reference Room, with reference materials and staff trained to assist undergraduates in accessing the library's collections and digital resources, would serve undergraduates as well as graduates and faculty, and the public. A possible location for an enhanced reference room is in the room along the west side of the main N-S corridor of Doe, currently housing Interlibrary Services. This location would provide the space required for a full reference service, unlike the present Information Center's more limited space. Or, it could be housed in the Doe Core, with entrances from the Brown Gallery (under the main staircase) and from the N-S corridor (through the present ILS space). That would be a space fitting the role of a research center both functionally (optimum location and size) and as a symbolic statement that the "soul" of the UC Berkeley Library is the quality of its research collections and its support for a true research function.
- Option #4. As in #3, except that no distinction would be observed in indicating "undergraduate" materials and no different loan periods would be assigned.
- Option #5. Any hybrid combination of elements from #1-4.
The chief disadvantages of Option #1 (apart from possible constraints of space in Moffitt, in the short and medium terms), are that it leaves the humanities/social sciences collection in two locations (as it always has), Doe and Moffitt, and also requires two separate general reference collections and two staffing points. But we believe these disadvantages are clearly outweighed by the advantages mentioned above. Implicit in opting for Option #1 is the recommendation that ongoing funding for staffing of a viable reference point for Moffitt be established and that funding for a workable reference collection be allocated.
In Option #2, the building could still exist as an undergraduate service point, with study space, computing labs, Media Resources. By removing books from this location, however, the sense of place is lessened as an intellectual and study center. By removing the collections from Moffitt, we remove what makes it an attractive place for study books! Past efforts to relocate study halls to dining commons and other locations without books have been largely unsuccessful. Another serious disadvantage of Option #2 is the loss of precious shelving space in Doe for other ("research") materials, exacerbated by the need to maintain the undergraduate collection on fixed shelving for the sake of easy browsability.
As for Options #3-5: we acknowledge that good arguments can be made for integrating "undergraduate collections" with the rest of the Library's collections. As mentioned earlier, it is not always easy or even desirable to decide which books are suitable for "undergraduates," and which are more advanced or specialized. Certainly we would not want our undergraduates to get into the habit of thinking that the materials contained in a relatively small collection (100,000-150,000 volumes) represented all that they should be expected to know or care about in their field especially since ease of browsing in a well-stocked and accessible "undergraduate collection", conveniently housed in one separate area, might tend to discourage browsing in the less-accessible (but richly informative) shelves of the Main Stacks, and in the online catalogs. Some feel that it is preferable for all the materials on a given topic to be housed in one, rather than two locations. For these and other reasons, some of the faculty and librarians who responded to our survey would prefer to see "undergraduate" materials integrated into the rest of the collections, rather than kept separate. However, an added impediment to integrating the collections into Doe is that the current long ranges of compact shelving make the collections, at best, difficult to browse. If all users were using the Main (Gardner) Stacks for browsing, waiting to move ranges of books would become a common scenario. During periods when undergrads work intensively on their research and write papers, this could become very frustrating indeed. In addition, reshelving books with short loan periods in the Main Stack would be more difficult, thereby slowing down access to heavily circulating materials.
The arguments for a separate "undergraduate collection" seem to us decidedly stronger. A well-chosen and carefully maintained collection of "best books" (including duplicates of especially important and widely used items) is enormously valuable, both as a resource of its own, and as an introduction to a particular field and further bibliography in it. To integrate such a collection into the rest of the holdings in the Main Stacks would, we believe, make it much harder for inexperienced library-users to browse effectively or even in some cases to find the materials at all that they know they want. Even if some system of identifying "undergraduate" materials were implemented (colored dots; a numerical code; special catalog entry, etc.), these materials would be much more scattered and less easily browsable once interspersed among the many other materials (in various languages) on the shelves.
Furthermore, although there are some undergraduate students who are undaunted by the challenge of using Berkeley's multi-million volume collection as their primary library, and who benefit from this process (just as the graduate students and faculty do now), it appears that most undergraduates are much better served by a collection pre-selected for their use. The utility of such a collection presumes this collection is of a size and quality to meet the students' needs. In addition, such a collection must be supported by a good reference room and well-qualified staff to advise them on the use of the collection, and other relevant Library resources.
Seismic retrofitting presents the imminent possibility of the 5th floor of Moffitt being used by the Environmental Design Library from spring of 1999 through June of 2001. This proposed use would entail the loss of undergraduate study space and space for 35,000 volumes, as the floor is currently arranged. We strongly urge against further delay in providing an integral core collection for our students, but if there is no other possible surge space for the Environmental Design Library, we regretfully accept this necessity.
If a new Visual Arts Library were created in Doe Library or elsewhere on campus, forming essentially a new branch library, the majority of visual arts collections in Moffitt, as well as the Art History displays on the first floor of Moffitt, could be moved there, freeing up additional space on floor one for collections or for an augmentation of the current expansion of MRC and other instructional technology space.
- Recommendation C1: We recommend there be funding for a core undergraduate collection at a level appropriate for a collection size of approximately 100,000 volumes, including monographs, serials, non-print media, and materials in other electronic formats, and that a selector or selectors continue to select for such a collection with undergraduates in mind, and that current drastic weeding of the Moffitt collection be suspended. Collection development for undergraduates should continue in the branch libraries to support appropriate use.
- Recommendation C2: We recommend Option #1: that a core undergraduate collection be housed completely in Moffitt Library,
- Recommendation C3: We recommend (Option #1) that a reference collection be housed in Moffitt, in close proximity to the Information Gateway and Circulation desks, computers, and seminar/training rooms, with funding designated for such a collection (See Recommendation S5).
- Recommendation C4: We recommend that reference staffing at the Information Gateway be made appropriate to undergraduate library use patterns and needs, and that funding be assigned to this.
If Option #2 (a separate undergraduate collection housed in the Main Stacks) is selected, we recommend that further study be undertaken on future uses of Moffitt. In any case, at least a minimal level of staffing at the Information Gateway should be maintained to support the large numbers of students using computers on the third floor, as well as Reserves.
If Option #3 (an undergraduate collection integrated into the Main Stacks) is selected, we recommend that mechanisms for denoting "undergraduate" books, both on their spines and in the catalog be established (see also Access Section, Recommendation A1).
If Option #2 or #3 is selected, we recommend that the Library explore appropriate additional places for reference and research services in the Doe-Moffitt complex.
Return to Contents
Access to material is not enough. Students also need the ability to use materials effectively and efficiently. They need to know what is available, how to get it, how to evaluate its worth, and how to incorporate references to the material in their own work. Students have always required this ability, but the "evaluation" aspect has taken on increased importance in a world in which electronic searches can yield hundreds of results. The explosion of easy-to-access information means that more information is available to undergraduates (and the rest of us!) than ever before. However, much of this information has not gone through the "filters" that were applied to scholarly (and even popular) sources in previous decades. The Library plays an important role in helping students gain the ability to use information resources in the collection and elsewhere. In the past three years, library staff has increased group instruction by over 100%. In 1996/97, librarywide staff reached over 20,000 users in this way. However, there is anecdotal evidence that the academic departments, The Library, and other units could be doing more to promote "evaluation" and "reference" abilities.
In the surveys we conducted, a majority of faculty responding reported that students were not well prepared to do research using print and electronic resources. Only 11% of faculty responding to this question felt that students were well prepared to do research at Berkeley. About 50% of undergraduates responding to the survey were aware that the Library offers training outside of class, which means that 50% were unaware of these services. The Library must meet the needs of our students in as many ways possible, recognizing students' busy work schedules and varying learning styles.
We commend departments and programs that integrate use of libraries, tied to assignments such as term papers, as part of required coursework, as in Biology 1B and History 7B, and suggest that such models be expanded on campus. Required library sessions should be integrated into courses after students declare their majors, in the junior year. Examples are in History 101 courses and honors thesis courses. Increased instruction will have an impact on academic programs and on library staffing needs. The advantage of this approach is that students in the sciences and mathematics as well as social sciences and humanities would be required to become familiar with the tools in their majors.
- Recommendation I1: We recommend that academic departments be encouraged to phase a course-integrated instructional program through their academic curriculum. In such a program, librarians would instruct class sessions at both the lower and upper division levels to teach students to best utilize library and information resources in their academic areas. We recommend that the Library staff or Librarians Association of UCB (LAUC-B) and the Faculty Senate Committee on Educational Policy (CEP) or other appropriate committees work together to discuss such issues.
- Recommendation I2: We recommend that the Library explore and evaluate the use of Web-based tutorials for instructing students in use of the library and its resources.
Return to Contents
An area of critical importance to all library users is access to materials. Issues raised in the undergraduate survey included shelving turnaround time, loan periods, the need for careful discharging of materials so that patrons are not unnecessarily billed, a desire for consistently helpful staff; for ready assistance in the stacks, for better recall procedures, and better ways of publicizing them, and for more efficient methods of reserving the group study rooms in Doe.
- Recommendation A1: We recommend the following in order to attain the goal of optimizing use of collections: shelving turnaround time should be studied and improved; shorter loan periods for faculty should be put in place in the Main (Gardner) Stacks in order to make library materials more readily available; careful discharging of materials in all libraries should be a top priority.
- Recommendation A2: We recommend that circulation staff wear identifying tags, and that part of their responsibility in the stacks (particularly the Main Stacks) explicitly be to help people find materials or to refer them to reference points in the library.
- Recommendation A3: We recommend that customer service training be a top priority for staff and students working at public service desks in order to have a more uniformly positive attitude toward library users (See Recommendation S6).
- Recommendation A4: We recommend that the Library explore and implement more effective and efficient recall procedures. For example, notifying users of overdue or recalled materials via email, as Stanford does, would speed up the recall procedure. We also recommend that recall procedures be made more widely publicized, for example, by noting on GLADIS and Pathfinder that a user can recall materials from another borrower; that holds can be placed on materials that already have holds on them.
- Recommendation A5: We recommend that the Circulation Department explore the possibility of allowing students to reserve study rooms in Doe via phone or the Web.
Return to Contents
There are several ways Moffitt as a physical facility must be changed to accommodate current and future needs, and to endure as an attractive center for student life. Along with the addition of the FSM café, the building should be renovated and upgraded to accommodate high-speed transmission of data, audio, video, and anticipated formats throughout, if our students are to be able to access the vast resources digitally available now and in the future.
A "facelift" of the building should be undertaken, and should include new paint, flooring, and, particularly, new furniture to replace the original, worn 1970s furniture with which the building opened. The chief manner in which the library could better serve students, as reported in the undergraduate survey, had to do with study and physical space. As one undergraduate student member of the Task Force put it, "Currently, many undergraduates avoid going to Moffitt simply because it is old, lacks comfortable furniture, has ventilation problems, and seems like a maze. To better serve undergraduates, we need to focus on the quality of the environment in which they are being academically served." Mentioned in the Task Force's deliberations was the appealing nature of some current bookstores, where there are comfortable browsing areas, and in which customers are encouraged to linger and read. This is an atmosphere we would like to encourage in Moffitt, one of pleasure in learning in a welcoming atmosphere.
- Recommendation F1: We recommend Moffitt Library be rewired throughout to accommodate broad data, audio, and video transmission, and to be ready for new and existing methods of access and transfer of information, including the ability of students to use their laptops with network connections.
- Recommendation F2: We recommend Moffitt be given a physical "facelift". This should include new paint in the interior of Moffitt and, particularly, new furniture to replace the original, worn 1970s furniture with which the building opened. Comfortable study areas should be added to the building to create a warmer atmosphere.
- Recommendation F3: We recommend that the Library explore mechanisms to create mixtures of quiet and group study spaces in the libraries, as well as adding additional group study rooms in the libraries. This is a high priority for our students.
- Recommendation F4: We recommend that the Library and IS&T address connectivity and security issues for laptop users (assignment of IP addresses, authentication of users, etc.) particularly in the Doe stacks, so that these issues are resolved by fall 1998. The Library could thus enable many more users to exploit its resources by activating network connections in the libraries, enabling students to use their own laptops in the stacks.
- Recommendation F5: We recommend that the Library explore the possibility of a permanent 24-hour study hall in Moffitt, to see if this service would be cost-effective or desirable as compared with other services.
- Recommendation F6: We recommend that every effort be made to keep down the cost of photocopying to our own students, and that we publicize well the price breaks we give to students, and how students can obtain lower photocopying rates.
Return to Contents
The Task Force on Undergraduate Library Services completed its work, including two surveys, in a very brief period of time. We recommend that more systematic surveys of our users be undertaken to uncover more information about what students want and need from the Library.
There are external forces exerting pressures on the Library, such as the enormous amount of seismic work to be undertaken on campus, burgeoning of electronic resources, and the introduction of instructional technology into teaching and research. Nonetheless, the Task Force feels strongly that the campus continue to bear in mind the principles it first used to create an undergraduate library the need to provide an entry place or gateway to a complex library system for our students, to house a collection of "best books" for beginning research, a place to learn to do library research and to be referred to the campus' rich resources beyond Moffitt, to access reserve materials, to maintain long open hours to accommodate students' busy schedules, and most important, to serve as an embodiment of the place or home for undergraduates within a large research library system, on a campus viewed by many as geared more toward graduate students, faculty and advanced researchers. The Task Force finds that these principles are still in force today.
Return to Contents
The Task Force gathered statistical information from the GLADIS circulation records on collection use. Input was solicited from Library Selectors, Reference Staff, Managers, and Affiliated Librarians (Attachment 7). "Unscientific" surveys were sent to two additional groups: undergraduates and faculty. A survey was sent via email to ASUC groups that identified themselves as being "Professional" or "Academic" in nature, to students associated with Berkeley Pledge Academic Support Units, and to students working in the campus Microcomputing Labs. We received 110 responses to the survey over a two-week period. Next, we surveyed faculty and instructors via email using the help of Library selectors, Departmental Library Committees, American Cultures Faculty, College Writing Instructors, and faculty associated with the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. These groups were targeted because they work intensively with undergraduate students. We received over 85 responses to the faculty survey in email and print.
The Task Force conducted a literature survey on undergraduate libraries, collections, and services. In addition, we were alerted to or examined an array of other documentation that included the Association of College and Research Libraries' (ACRL) "Guidelines for University Undergraduate Libraries"; "The Mid-Career UC Berkeley Undergraduate Experience Survey: Spring 1997", Office of Student Research (ues97pdf report); "Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America's Research Libraries", The Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University; an article entitled "Student Retention and the Use of Campus Facilities by Race", Mallinckrodt and Sedlacek, NASPA Journal, 24 (3) Winter 1987, pp.28-32; and a Web document, "Information Literacy at Florida International University", Patricia Iannuzzi.
The GLADIS Circulation data gathered from the Library Systems Office demonstrated that undergraduates use the branch subject collections in the Sciences, Humanities and Area Studies, and Social Sciences nearly as much as they do the humanities and social sciences collections in Doe-Moffitt (Attachments 4a, 4b, 4c). Therefore, it is important that staff in all libraries need to recognize the need for a welcoming and comfortable learning environment for undergraduates.
Undergraduate students who responded to our survey, when asked the question how the library could be changed to better suit their needs, mentioned the following issues in descending order of importance:
- study space issues, including need for quiet and group study space, comfortable study areas, etc.;
- circulation issues, including need for better methods of recalling and faster reshelving of materials, circulation periods;
- hours, especially need for longer hours;
- collection issues, including need for duplicate copies, and newer materials;
- instruction issues, (including several services we already provide, which leads to the need for better publicity of our services);
- staff issues (both praising and criticizing staff);
- other issues, including the high cost of photocopying (Attachment 5).
The survey of faculty (Attachment 6a) revealed a number of opinions and facts:
On a separate undergraduate library (6b):
- a majority of those responding favored a separate undergraduate library (42 responses or 51%);
- those who felt strongly that there should be an integrated collection numbered 17 responses or 20%, and those having no opinion totaled 24 responses (29%)
- Faculty also felt that the Library should continue to purchase and maintain duplicate copies of basic or heavily used books, even if the expenditure reduces the Library's ability to purchase other books (Question 7a).
- 11% found them to be well prepared.
On library training:
- 58% of faculty did not know how well the Library trains our students to use print and online resources;
- 36% said they are trained moderately or very well, and
- 5% said the Library does a poor job.
On use of library instruction:
- In response to a question asking how library skills instruction is supported in undergraduate courses (faculty could select more than one response), 28% relied on the Library's drop-in courses,
- 23% taught library skills themselves,
- 18% scheduled librarian taught skills sessions during class time,
- 13% directed GSIs to teach library skills in section,
- 9% scheduled librarian-taught skills sessions outside of class time (Attachments 6b, 6c, 6d).
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
Copyright © 1998 by the Library, University of California, Berkeley. All rights reserved.
Document maintained by: Nona Mikkelsen. Last update 8/4/98. Server manager: Contact