Standard 7: Library & Information Resources
The College mission statement commits us to "provide and maintain an intellectual environment," to "emphasize creative and critical thinking, scholarship and research," and to encourage "lifelong learning." "Our Plan" emphasizes the many roles information and technology play in support of academic programs. In particular, Theme 11, Information Technology, states "The College uses information and communication technology to enhance all aspects of its operations." Taken together, these commitments require a great deal from library and information resources. The College has recognized the prominent role of library and information resources, and has invested significant resources in their development.
Library and information resources are provided by many organizations at Keene State College. The main organization supporting Academic Affairs is the recently formed Library and Instructional Technologies which includes the Mason Library, the Curriculum Materials Library, the Holocaust Resources Center, and the Center for Media and Instructional Technology. The mission of the Library and Instructional Technologies is:
Library resources are supplemented by a number of departmental collections on campus, an art gallery, and many libraries locally, regionally, and across the nation. Academic information technology receives additional support from three organizations on campus: Campus Technology Services, Student Technology Support Services, and Administrative Information Services.
Rather than divide this self study by organization or information format, and in recognition that Library and Instructional Technologies coordinates support for all information resources, this chapter is organized by three central information issues: content, access, and support. The first section covers the content of the information resources. The second section addresses the intellectual, physical, and electronic access to library and information resources and some of the processes and policies in place to use them. The last section covers the services and staff which support these resources.Content
The Mason Library collection consists of:
The Curriculum Materials Library is a collection of curriculum and professional development materials. Primarily students in education methods courses and members of the New Hampshire educational community use these materials. The collection emphasizes vocational-technical education and K-12 math, science, geography, guidance, and AIDS/HIV education, and contains curricula models, videos, software, kits, and textbook sets. All Curriculum Materials Library materials are cataloged and accessible via Keene-Link, the on-line catalog listing materials in the Keene Public Library as well as Mason Library.
The Holocaust Resource Center is a non-circulating collection of books, videos, and other materials related to the Holocaust. Its purpose is to make available the lessons of the Holocaust in the hope that such a catastrophe will not happen again to the Jews or any group of people. The Holocaust Resource Center is open to members of the KSC community, as well as the general public. All Holocaust Resource Center materials are represented in Keene-Link. The Technical Services Department is in the process of converting all materials to the Library of Congress classification; approximately three-quarters of the collection has been processed.
The Historical Society of Cheshire County is housed in a building across Main Street from the campus. Records exist in the library's online catalog, Keene-Link, for its discrete collection of historical materials.
Satellite Collections are specialized collections located on campus outside the library. Some of these are cataloged and represented in Keene-Link, while others are in a processing queue. Fully processed collections include:
Collections that are in the queue or are being considered for processing include:
In 1990, the Mason Library and Curriculum Materials Library collections numbered 230,229 volumes, including periodicals and microforms. The ratio of volumes to a combined student and faculty FTE was fifty-seven to one. Twenty-eight percent of the total library budget was spent on books and information resources. Volumes added to the collection numbered 3,764. At present, the combined collections of Mason Library, the Curriculum Materials Library, and the Holocaust Resource Center number approximately 304,600 volumes, including non-book materials, an increase of 32% over 1990. In 1998, the ratio of volumes to a combined student and faculty FTE was seventy-four to one. Thirty-one percent of the total library budget was spent on books and information resources in the past year. The number of volumes added to the collection last year was 8,659. The number of current print periodical subscriptions is 1,078, and the print collection is supplemented by over 2,200 periodicals available electronically.
The library maintains subscriptions to many print indexes as well as CD-ROM databases. Increasingly, indexes are being made available electronically. Mason Library has collaborated with its sister libraries in the University System of New Hampshire on several electronic access projects. The latest collaboration has made WilsonWeb, with the full-text of 900 periodicals, available to the KSC community. Mason Library subscribes to approximately forty-two databases, including EBSCOhost and Gender Watch, both of which supply articles in full-text. Also available is Firstsearch, a collection of approximately sixty diverse databases.
The process of collection development has been completely re-examined and redesigned. The collection development policy has been revised and is available on the library's web page. Acquisitions funds have been reallocated to support all programs on campus, and librarians' subject responsibilities were reorganized according to the way subjects are taught on campus. As a result librarians interact with faculty in departments instead of smaller subject areas and have the opportunity to become knowledgeable about the literature in particular disciplines.
The periodical collection was completely reevaluated in a process that involved the entire faculty. The result is a print collection one-third larger than it was in 1990. The periodical collection is now dynamic and the process of reevaluation now occurs on an annual basis.
A weeding project has been instituted to remove outdated materials from the collection. Typically, the librarian identifies materials and makes weeding decisions with the appropriate discipline. In an effort to involve all faculty, and recognizing that faculty who teach one subject may well have expertise in other areas, books under consideration for withdrawal are listed on the library web page. Faculty wishing to retain particular titles can simply e-mail the collection development librarian. The weeding project has enabled the librarians to examine subject areas for strengths and weaknesses, to purchase updated editions, and to choose more current materials, especially in subjects where currency is essential, such as the sciences.
In an effort to expand formats and to support the curriculum in film studies and music, the library began to buy videos and music CDs. There are at present over 739 videos and 500 CDs. The film studies and music departments choose materials for these collections, as does the collection development librarian. Naturally, members of the College community use these items for leisure purposes as well as scholarly study.Administrative Structure
The administrative structure of library and information resources on campus consists of the following bodies:
In 1996 the College Information Technology Committee introduced a Five-Year Technology Plan to guide the use and growth of technology on campus. The Plan identified the need for faculty and student support mechanisms that became Center for Media and Instructional Technology and Student Technology Support Services. The need for such a plan became obvious as electronic content increased together with demands for its delivery to classrooms and residence halls. The plan includes strategies for budgeting for the purchase of expensive technologies, improved training for support staff, and the implementation of sustainable academic computing labs. In spring 2000 the Committee issued a revised five-year plan (found in the workroom) with a primary focus on increasing and maintaining support for departmental and shared departmental computer facilities.Access
The library is undergoing a building project that will add 7,500 net usable square feet and convert approximately 2,500 existing square feet to usable space. Student seating will increase from the present 550 to 811. The project was conceived to make better use of existing space and to accommodate growing collections. In addition, the number of network access ports will increase from seventy-five to 350. In 1990, the library had 43,500 net usable square feet. A renovation in 1991 reclaimed space from an art gallery and a computer lab that had been housed in the building. After the current renovation is completed, the library will have 58,000 net usable square feet, an increase of 33%. In 1990, the ratio of library space (in net usable square feet) to the combined total of faculty and student FTE was 10.5 to one. After the current renovation, the ratio will be 14.7 to one.
Mason Library is open ninety-five hours per week when classes are in session, with expanded hours during mid-terms and finals. The reference desk is staffed sixty-one hours per week. In addition to one-on-one reference service, the librarians provide reference service for patrons who telephone or use electronic mail. The web page, accessing the library catalog, is available twenty-four hours a day. It provides general information about the library, its resources, and personnel and offers access to a variety of indexes, databases, and web sites that have all been vetted by librarians and faculty.
Keene-Link is the on-line catalog shared by KSC and Keene Public Library, which have collaborated successfully since l991. Patrons of each library have reciprocal borrowing privileges. KSC patrons have full access to the 100,000 volumes held by Keene Public Library, thus effectively expanding KSC's library holdings. Keene Public Library has a particularly strong children's literature collection, which complements Mason's juvenile collection and, of course, a collection of leisure reading materials.
Mason Library has reciprocal borrowing agreements in effect with all New Hampshire College and University Council institutions. Books, journal articles, and other materials are borrowed through OCLC's Interlibrary Loan Subsystem, a network of 6,600 libraries worldwide. In 1998, the holdings of KSC libraries were entered into the New Hampshire Automated Information System thus allowing full participation in the statewide network. In 1990, members of the KSC community borrowed 4,188 items; in 1998, 26% fewer items were borrowed. In 1990, KSC borrowed 1.1 item for each FTE student and faculty member; in 1998, that figure was reduced to .75. In 1990, the ratio of lending to other libraries and borrowing from other libraries was .6 to one; in 1998, that figure was 1.6 to one. Mason Library now lends more than it borrows. The number of journal articles borrowed decreased because of better access to computerized databases. In the event that materials are not available for borrowing, Mason Library purchases articles and reports from document vendors.
Computer Labs-In the past, labs grew as a result of grants or other short-term funding sources. There was no unified plan for staffing, maintenance, and replacement of equipment. In part, the creation of the Center for Media and Instructional Technology resulted from the need for coordination of public and department computer labs and the need to support faculty use of technology. The Center works with deans and departments to implement technology plans for enhancement and support of departmental and shared department labs. Media and Instructional Technology undertook a planning process which involved the entire campus, and introduced a strategy for upgrading equipment. Currently there are twenty-five labs with approximately 250 computers available for student use distributed throughout the campus, thirty-four of which are available in the library. (A list of these facilities will be found in the workroom.)
Network-Campus Technology Services, the Center for Media and Instructional Technology, and Student Technology Support Services implemented enhancements to expand data and video services to faculty and students. At present there are over 1,300 network connections in the residence halls. All classrooms have data connections. Off-campus network connections number nearly five hundred. Three-quarters of the student population has e-mail accounts.
Campus Technology Services and the Center for Media and Instructional Technology are involved in equipping classrooms with technology, providing TALENT grants (Teaching and Learning Employing New Technologies) to faculty in the amount of $20,000 per year, and establishing a series of week-long faculty technology workshops on integrating technology into the curriculum. These offices contract with an internet service provider for off-campus access. Their staff cooperates with Continuing Education in an on-going distance learning initiative to offer classes online and ensures that campus technology can accommodate digital media formats, since industry standards are changing from analog to digital. Between 1994 and 1997, these services participated in a three-year interactive television pilot program with full-motion video at all three USNH sites.
The Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery encourages a broader and deeper appreciation of the visual arts through a year-round schedule of high-quality shows and exhibits, including a semi-annual faculty exhibit and an annual student exhibit. In addition, lectures, workshops, and other events foster a better appreciation and understanding of the arts. All events are free and open to the public. The exhibits and other programs support and complement the academic efforts of the Art Department, the Commission on the Status of Diversity and Multiculturalism, and many other groups. The Gallery partners with disciplines such as Women's Studies to produce programs that are cross-disciplinary in nature. In an effort to bring art where it will be easily accessible, the Gallery exhibits in the Redfern Arts Center and the Young Student Center.
The Mason Library Lecture is an annual event that brings scholars to campus whose works or publications have contributed significantly to the disciplines in which they specialize. When possible, the lecture complements an academic theme or intellectual initiative on campus. The lecture series seeks to provide students with learning opportunities outside the classroom, and to contribute to the academic life of the campus community. The lecture is free and open to the public. Speakers have included such dignitaries as Jamaica Kincaid, Steven Pinker, Carol Gilligan, Tracy Kidder, and Pulitzer Prize Winner Doris Kearns Goodwin.
Mason Library participates in the life of the campus through changing exhibits in the lobby area. The exhibits, usually done in collaboration with faculty or staff from other parts of campus, range from student artwork to an attractive display of rocks, courtesy of the Geology Department. The new book area features books that have just arrived, and are often about current affairs or "hot" topics.Support
Performing the work of the Mason Library and the Curriculum Materials Library are ten librarians, all possessing a graduate degree from an American Library Association-accredited program, 11.25 FTE support staff, including one grant-funded FTE and 1.75 FTE ancillary positions. In addition, 6.8 FTE student assistants are employed. In 1990, the ratio of combined student and faculty FTE to library staff was 225 to one; currently it is 205 to one. A historian who is also a librarian heads the Holocaust Resource Center, aided by a half-time support staff member.
All personnel are encouraged to participate in the life of the College and in professional activities as appropriate. In recent years, librarians have been active on the General Education Committee and the College Senate, among other campus initiatives. Off campus, librarians have been members of the State Library's Task Force on Librarian and Trustee Education and Leadership Monadnock. In addition, library personnel perform volunteer work in the community at large. Both librarians and Center for Media and Instructional Technology personnel have been active in distance learning initiatives.
Library and Information Technologies offers a range of services that support the College's mission and goals. The librarians are dedicated to educating students in finding, using, and evaluating information resources. Librarians share the responsibility to provide course-integrated instruction and one-on-one training. They recognize the need to deliver instruction on a point-of-need basis and are working with faculty to integrate research skills and evaluation of information into the curriculum. Collaboration with the computer science faculty led to a new, experiential exercise that teaches students to critically evaluate information found on the Internet. The librarians hope this exercise can be used as a model in other discipline areas. In addition to traditional instruction, the librarians make available a series of pathfinders and guides to help patrons navigate the library and its resources.
The Center for Media and Instructional Technology provides specialized faculty training semi-annually on such topics as web courseware. The Center offers specialty training every year during PEPT week on such topics as creating professional web pages, the use of graphics in web pages, operating a complex digital camera, using PowerPoint in the classroom, and grading with a spreadsheet. The Center also coordinates the faculty workstation upgrade process. Currently the process is by petition on a semi-annual rotation. A faculty committee makes decisions about each application and awards are based on demonstrated need and academic usage. Workstations are recycled elsewhere on campus, thus extending the rotation. The new five-year technology plan will continue an annual process for replacement of desktop technology for faculty and staff. Campus Technology Services assists faculty in the transfer of data, installation, and removal of workstations. Last year Campus Technology Services installed 130 faculty/staff systems in addition to assisting users with transfer of data and removal of workstations.
The Campus Training Program, implemented in January 1999, provides a broad range of technical and computer training opportunities. Workshops are offered on a monthly basis and are available to all faculty and staff. During the first six months of 1999, thirty workshops were offered and attended by 250 people.
In addition, campus technology organizations provide support for computer software to facilitate standardization and communication through the purchase of a campus-wide Microsoft site license. These organizations also support Datatel, a relational student information database that automates many tasks in Admissions, Financial Services, and in the offices of the bursar and registrar. It also provides an alumni information system, Benefactor, which manages alumni, donor, and constituent information. It is anticipated that the module WebAdvisor will provide an Internet platform for student access to information and services. Faculty will use a text-based interface to access more detailed information.
The Faculty-Staff Help Desk (reporting to Campus Technology Services) responds to network, i.e., voice/data/cable, issues and desktop hardware/software maintenance, upgrade, and support requests. The Help Desk is open forty hours a week and averages 80-100 calls a week. Last year the Help Desk received and completed 5,182 calls.
Administrative Information Services was formed in 1997 to meet the growing administrative information needs of the campus. It led the projects to implement and now administer the major administrative information systems for the College including Colleague and Benefactor, Datatel's student and alumni information systems, along with campus scheduling, and Outlook, the network groupware which is loaded on new PC workstations. Administrative Information Services provides support and integration of the USNH fiscal and human resources systems, and the parking and maintenance management systems. In addition, it oversees the migration of POISE data management systems to Y2K-compliant solutions and provides support to College Relations in managing the College's web structure.
Student Technology Support Services provides technical support and training for students by students. Its staff includes four PAT positions and over sixty student technicians who staff a help desk sixty hours per week, staff and maintain public-access computer labs, and responded last year to 2,588 calls for support in using voice, data, or video equipment. Student Technology Support Services assists students with computer-related problems, provides training for its student workforce, and offers training for all students covering such topics as using the web for research purposes and using e-mail accounts. It provides students with valuable work opportunities that allow them to learn important technological skills and gain experience applying what they have learned. Upon graduation, students are able to bring these skills with them into the workplace. Student Technology Support Services personnel have been involved in such curricular activities as First Year Council and the First Semester Advisor Program.
While great strides have been made in library and information resources, we anticipate further improvements in content, access, and support.Content
Library and Instructional Technologies was formed when two distinct organizations, Mason Library and the Center for Media and Instructional Technology, merged. While we are indeed hopeful that the two organizations will reach full integration, that has not yet happened. At present, we are engaged in a dialogue to discover how best to use the human and technological resources of each organization. One thing is clear, Library and Instructional Technologies has a better opportunity to remain viable and sustainable than either Mason Library or the Center for Media and Instructional Technology operating as discrete organizations. Support received from the Center for Media and Instructional Technology will be of paramount importance to Mason Library as we continue to see the proliferation of electronic databases and new technologies. The library's web page represents the library and its collections to the public. A web team has recently been formed which includes representatives from the library, the Center for Media and Instructional Technology, and College Relations.
We have made great progress in the area of collection development in the past two years, but it has not come without some controversy. A few faculty members, particularly in the History and English Departments, took exception to a specific weeding project and to the reallocation of acquisitions funds. They expressed the opinion that any weeding of the collection is inappropriate and were distressed that the discretionary funding available for their subject areas was reduced. Librarians worked closely with each department to address their specific concerns. Potential withdrawals are now listed on the website for everyone to see. All faculty members now have the opportunity to give input on the withdrawal or retention of items, even those outside of their teaching areas.
The College recognizes the need to continue developing library collections: the collection development budget is one of only two areas that received an increase this year. As a point of comparison, we looked at three COPLAC institutions: University of North Carolina/Asheville, Ramapo College, and Fort Lewis College. All are fairly similar in terms of student and faculty FTE. The University of North Carolina/Asheville has a volume to FTE ratio of 123:1; Fort Lewis College's is 83:1; and Ramapo's ratio is 39:1. Keene State College's ratio is 74:1. UNC/Asheville spends 38% of its library budget on materials, while both Ramapo and Fort Lewis spend 25% of their budgets on materials. Keene State College spends a respectable 31% on materials. The process of acquiring books has been improved by the use of an approval plan, primarily in the areas in which the collection is noticeably outdated, i.e., the sciences and mathematics.
Special Collections is an area that has promise, but needs attention. Several collections, such as the College Archives and the Children's Festival Collection Manuscripts, are potentially of interest to researchers. There is, however, no plan for access, preservation, and cataloging of materials. According to the American Library Association's Preservation Policy, libraries have a responsibility to provide for the preservation of their collections, including the provision of "appropriate and non-damaging storage conditions, remedial treatment to keep materials usable for as long as they are needed, preservation of materials in their original format when appropriate, and replacement or reformatting of deteriorated materials." The Mason Library must address these issues and the issue of appropriate access to its special collections.
A Service Assessment Team has been formed as a standing committee to assess the services of Library and Instructional Technologies. The Team's purpose is to develop measurements and collect data that will help the organization to continually improve and achieve its mission. In addition, the Service Assessment Team is charged with designing a process that will involve the entire staff in analyzing data and developing recommendations for setting goals and priorities for improving services.Access
The renovation of Mason Library will result in a building that is attractive and handicapped-accessible, with increased space for study areas and for growing collections. We anticipate that funding for the second phase of the project will be approved by the governor and legislature in spring 2001. Phase II will include renovation of the east wing, completion of all mechanicals for the building, and the acquisition of additional library shelving and furniture. Special Collections, the Holocaust Resource Center, and the reference wing, will also receive attention in Phase II.
The staff works hard to ensure that full service is maintained during the renovation period. While a large part of the book and periodical collections is not accessible to patrons, all materials are paged and available within hours of the request. The Library is acutely aware of ADA guidelines and the needs of persons with disabilities. Adaptive technology has been acquired to meet recognized campus needs. To meet additional needs will require a cohesive campus-wide program to identify gaps and acquire additional supportive technologies.
Essentially all of the electronic resources available on campus today have been developed in the past decade, most in the past few years. The data network now connects every office, classroom, computer lab, and campus resident (3,100 outlets). Cable video is delivered from a central point on campus to every residence hall room and classroom (1,500 outlets). A television production studio and sixteen channels are reserved for academic purposes. The College provides over 800 computers on campus, while approximately 50% of resident students have their own computers. There are twenty-five computing facilities spread across campus. A Microsoft site license has been purchased to make standard software available to all employees and computing labs. Focusing on Y2K compliance, administrative computer systems have been replaced or upgraded. We have established a significant web presence for the College and make available web support for instruction. All publicly accessible databases, including the library catalog, have been made available in the past decade.
The Library's online catalog, Keene-Link, is available either text-based or via the web. Database quality control is an ongoing priority and authority control is exercised over all subject headings. An upgrade of the system is included in the new five-year technology plan. Keene-Link and other electronic databases are universally available around-the-clock, allowing students and other patrons to access a portion of the library's collections whenever they need to. There can be an element of frustration as patrons attempt to use unfamiliar databases with complicated search mechanisms. Unfortunately, we have little control over this. We can only hope that search interfaces become increasingly intuitive.
Students often use computers in the public labs to access the library's electronic resources. Although there are now twenty-five labs on campus, there are still not enough computers to meet the demand. The media equipment, which gets quite a workout now that video cable has been installed campus-wide, is used quite heavily and is aging rapidly.
While there have been impressive gains in technology, the College still has needs to address in classroom equipment, adjunct faculty computers and training, and upgrading and technical support for department labs. Funding sources for these labs have been clarified in the new technology plan.Support
The mission of Library and Instructional Technologies is to support teaching and learning on campus. Taken in that light, all of our work is essentially support work. The recent emphasis on collection development has resulted in strengthened librarian-faculty relationships as librarians work to develop useful collections for faculty and students. Librarians also work with faculty to teach students research skills on an individual course basis. Real inroads have been made with Computer Science 101 and English 101; students in these courses get an introduction to library research and the critical evaluation of information. In 1999, nearly 82% of graduating seniors felt that they were able to perform research using library resources. However, all students need to learn these skills. This is not possible unless the College adopts a general education program that requires information literacy throughout the curriculum. In addition to enhanced research skills, survey results from both the senior survey and alumni survey show steady improvement in students' perceptions of how the curriculum and their experience at KSC have enhanced their ability to use computers.
Our multi-faceted campus technology support structure (Administrative Information Services, Campus Technology Services, the Center for Media and Instructional Technology, Student Technology Support Services, and the Mason Library) sometimes leaves users unclear where to go for support. There is also a perception across campus that the current campus technology support structure lacks sufficient collaboration, coordination, and communication. There is also much work to be done behind the scenes-coordination and collaboration of all technology support organizations needs to be improved. To further complicate the support issue, users have become increasingly sophisticated and the support organizations have not kept pace. Furthermore several disciplines which have acquired their own computer labs find themselves orphaned, with no single entity responsible for technical support and upgrades, and no budgetary plan for repair and replacement. Acquisition of better software or of hardware upgrades seems to occur on a "catch as catch can" basis.
The College has undergone a recent period of transition and expansion in instructional technology and support. We have hired a full-time Academic Web Developer, but the office manager for the Center for Media and Instructional Technology remains an ancillary staff position. A Campus Technology Training Program was implemented in 1999; however faculty are sometimes dissatisfied with the level of support they receive. Monthly workshops span a broad range of topics and are offered on a monthly basis to faculty and staff. In Mason Library, the growing emphasis on user education, special collections, and cataloging external collections points toward the need for an additional librarian.
Phase II of the library renovation project is slated to start construction in May 2002, with the whole project complete and the building resettled in January 2003.
During fiscal years in which the College has been level-funded, the library's collection development budget has received an inflationary increase; we need this trend to continue so that we can expand library collections of books, periodicals, and other resources. We will continue to catalog the College archives and satellite collections on campus, digitize unique holdings and make them available online, and redefine library special collections and preservation.
Coordination of library and information resources is becoming increasingly important to the College's academic programs and administrative services. Since the merger of Mason Library and the Center for Media and Instructional Technology, the two organizations have been working to integrate and become mutually self-supporting, with some success, e.g. human resources in each organization are better used. We will continue to examine the results of this organizational change to ensure that outcomes are desirable. We also foresee an expansion in campus involvement in the development and utilization of library and information resources. The challenges become how to assess the impact of this expansion and to channel finite resources to best support the students, faculty, and staff. A Service Assessment Team is currently developing methods to review, evaluate, and improve library and information services. We expect this to be a continuing process, which may become a model of service assessment suitable for application to other technology support organizations.
The College will upgrade the library's automated system and other administrative systems and expand access to electronic information resources. The library will provide more electronic resources and services, refine the web-based resources for instruction, and expand their use. We will also upgrade library equipment which supports various material formats. An essential part of this effort will be a clearer definition of the normal life-span for computers, connection devices, and other hardware, in order to establish a plan to upgrade and replace these items.
Implementation of the new five-year technology plan will begin in summer 2000. The plan contains a recommendation for a review of the structure of information technology on campus.We will participate in benchmarking studies with comparator institutions to evaluate administrative and academic computing. Specifically, we need to determine that spending on academic computing meets national norms for comparable institutions.
While CMIT offers support and training throughout the year, the College is committed to providing more technology training to faculty, students, and staff and to expand support services. Training initiatives will require the reallocation of positions to technology support and the development of technology staff skills. The library staff is also working to develop information literacy skills for faculty, students, and staff.