1995 Spring Assembly

LAUC-B Spring Assembly
Thursday, May 11, 1995
8:30-10:00 a.m., Morrison Library

By Chuck Eckman

1.   Call to Order.

2.   Address by University Librarian Peter Lyman: "The Future of 
Academic Librarianship: What Characteristics will Practitioners Need".
Traditionally, libraries serve as a common space within the academic community. They provide equal access to information irrespective of the patrons ability to pay. In addition, disciplines and departments subdivide but rarely disappear. And libraries provide the record of disciplinary changes for future scholars. However, there are several structural trends/factors leading to changes in the traditional roles of the library. a. Current changes in intellectual property laws. Historically the library has been a place for subsidized and equal access to information. But as information supplants manufactured products as the major commodity, libraries are often on the losing end of legal battles to protect intellectual property as a common good. b. Price increases. ARL libraries have increased their collection budgets 114 percent in the last decade, but this increase lags behind the actual costs of materials, particularly in the science-technology-medical fields. c. Legitimation crisis. Current debates over copyright and intellectual property are taking place within the Department of Commerce, not the Department of Education. This is symptomatic of the changing nature of economic production in modern society (information supplanting manufacture), and bodes ill for the library. Transferring the concept of "fair use" from the print to the networked environment is proving an extremely challenging proposition. d. Privatization of knowledge. Libraries are becoming fee-for- service centers. They are serving as bookstores for publishers. Libraries exist at the boundary of the market and gift cultures. The library needs a new model to sustain itself in the long-term, or it will relapse into management by attrition. In order to do this, the library needs to think about where it will be ten years from now, not just 6 or 12 months from now. The faculty have not been very responsive to concerns about the declining ratio of librarians to faculty. They are more concerned about the ratio of the library budget devoted to collections (1/3rd). They consider this too low. In this environment, the two priorities for the library should be two: (1) train the faculty; and (2) build the collections. Within the library, we need to discuss whether the current reward system for librarians reward individuals who take risks and incorporate flexibility into their daily practice. Or does it reward a static vision of practice? These questions have already been addressed to CAPA and the discussion should move forward. 3. Fall 1994 minutes approved. 4. Chair's Report. Barbara Kornstein welcomed new CAPA member Mary Young. She announced that Terry Huwe was the new Townsend Fellow. She reviewed the statewide committee appointments. A letter has been sent to review initiators indicating that the Librarian IV review to Librarian V is a discretionary and not a mandatory review. V. CAPA Report. Of 54 cases this year, 30 have been completed. Six ad hoc committees are working on cases (this is a much higher number than usual). There have been many delays, especially for promotion cases. CAPA's relationship with the Vice Chancellor's and Library Human Relations' offices is going smoothly. VI. Nominations Committee Report. Debbie Sommer reported on the Committee's activities, including a review of the nominations for LAUC officers and committees. She called for nominations from the floor. VII. Open Forum on Travel Guidelines. Barbara Kornstein introduced the current status of travel guidelines. Peter Lyman is interested in providing support based on level of participation in organizations. The sense of the group was that the Librarians Office should be allowed to handle differential allocations for its contribution (currently about one-quarter of the total travel allocation). VIII. Open Forum on the Academic Services Strategic Plan Report. The sense of the group was that a series of separate meetings should take place to discuss various aspects of the report.