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UW-Madison General Library System
Annual Report Highlights of 2001-2002

The principal management strategy of the library system in recent years has been to compensate for the weakness of the acquisitions budget by strengthening services to faculty and students. The past academic year witnessed the full maturity and success of these service programs. During the 2001-02 academic year, the UW-Madison Libraries completed the implementation of a campus-wide system of remote access and resource sharing. Enhanced resource sharing is one of the most important strategic directions of the CIC, UW System, and UW-Madison Libraries.

Another important achievement of the past academic year was documented by the assessment of the information literacy component in the Communication Requirement, Course A and Course B. Promoting information literacy among students has been a perennial strategic theme among UW and CIC libraries. We are especially proud of the UW Madison Library and Information Literacy program which now provides more than 2000 instructional programs for more than 25,000 students each year.

The strategic directions of the UW-Madison Libraries in 2001-02 were organized around the following goals:

  1. Expand resource sharing and document delivery
  2. Cooperate with other UW System libraries in managing journal collections and databases
  3. Promote change in scholarly communication
  4. Scale up UW digital collection in collaboration with faculty
  5. Upgrade interlibrary loan and document management software
  6. Complete conversion of the card catalog to improve access to print resources

Achievements in the 2001-02 Academic Year

  1. Resource Sharing, Access, and Document Delivery

    Over the past year the libraries have focused on developing increased access to materials on- and off-campus, the delivery of online services, and sharing of resources. Several new programs were implemented that exemplify those goals, including the enhancement of distance library services, a new document delivery service, further development of the electronic reserves service, a live help reference service, and participation in the "My UW" Web portal. Enhancements to services for distance learners and a partnership designed to serve Wisconsin small businesses are also highlights of the 2001-02 year.

    Cooperative Collection Management

    The UW-Madison Libraries participated in a cooperative cancellation project in an effort to manage the growing cost of the journal collection. It was the first cooperative effort involving all the libraries in the UW System to cancel costly journal subscriptions while attempting to maintain the most complete subject coverage possible. More than $700,000 worth of journal subscriptions were canceled System-wide ($500,000 of that total by for the Madison campus libraries). At the same time the libraries increased the number of licensed electronic journals available to the entire community and expanded the acquisition of other electronic resources.

    Nature Online

    The negotiation of a license for online access to the leading scientific journal Nature was a significant achievement during 2001-02. Although highly valued by faculty and students, the initial licensing terms offered by the publisher were unacceptable. Successful completion of the licensing contract required months of negotiation. The weekly scientific journal Nature can now be read throughout the state on the desktops of all UW System faculty, staff, and students, thanks to a license negotiated by UW-Madison Libraries. The licensing agreement also includes the family of publications: Nature, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Genetics, Nature Immunology, Nature Medicine, Nature Neuroscience, and Nature Structural Biology.

    Enhanced Book Transfer System

    The UW-Madison Libraries implemented a book transfer system to support resource sharing among campus libraries. Library users can request books electronically from any library on campus and have the book delivered to a library convenient to them so that they no longer have to travel around campus to check out the books they need. The libraries also have an open return policy so that books can be returned to any campus library. Under the continual pressure of rising costs, campus libraries can no longer afford to duplicate book collections. In the past, campus libraries purchased overlapping collections in many fields. Today, the library system strives to build a single integrated collection and to make it convenient and accessible to all UW faculty and students.

    "Live Help" Implemented

    UW-Madison Libraries and the Library of Congress are two of only a handful of libraries nationwide providing virtual reference, and it is proving to be successful. The libraries recently implemented a pilot project called "Live Help" – a virtual reference project designed to provide instantaneous responses to questions over the Internet. Users can click on the Live Help icon on UW-Madison Web pages to chat in real time with librarians on campus. The help is immediate, as compared to the delay of e-mail reference, and does not require a telephone call to the library. Librarians have been able to help with questions on the use of databases, the library catalogue, and other resources. During the pilot program many of the calls came during the night when traditional reference service is not available. A video conferencing application may also be added in the coming year.

    Library Participation in My UW-Madison Web Portal

    In November 2002, the My UW-Madison Web Portal was introduced to all students on campus. This personalized online service provides campus information according to user preferences. The UW-Madison Libraries participated in the UW-Madison portal by providing access to library resources, such as the main libraries Web site, MadCat, subject and reference guides, and bookmark pages for personal use. There is also access to the library tutorials, course reserves, e-mail reference, and individual library information. The library component of "My UW-Madison" will be further developed over the next year to add features that alert students, staff, and faculty to new resources in their areas of interest and to maintain subsets or lists of those resources of particular relevance to them.

    Interlibrary Loan

    UW-Madison Libraries have traditionally had very large interlibrary loan (ILL) borrowing and lending operations. An examination of interlibrary loan activities provides an indication of the strength of the physical collection – libraries with strong collections will have more requests. Over the last several years, UW Libraries have been second only to Minnesota in lending. Last year UW-Madison campus document delivery and Library Express operations were merged with the traditional ILL operations. Many ILL operations on campus now provide desktop delivery of articles acquired from other libraries. Across the campus, ILL borrowing and document delivery activities have generally been increasing steadily. Interlibrary loan borrowing increased about 21 percent from 2000 to 2001. Requests for articles increased almost 24 percent between 2000 and 2001.

    Library Express Expansion

    UW-Madison has the largest operating system of document delivery of any American university. Library Express, which provides electronic delivery of journal articles to computer desktops, was expanded to all UW-Madison faculty and graduate students last spring. Library Express has expanded at a significant rate. From July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, there were 36,892 Library Express requests. Campus libraries were able to fill 91.2 percent of those requests. The General Library System pays most of the costs of the services, permitting the library to keep costs very low for users. Articles are free when they come from a journal the library does not carry. A $1 per-article fee is charged for articles owned by campus libraries for the convenience of using the service.

    Improvements in the Online Catalog

    Significant changes were made to update MadCat, the UW-Madison library catalog. The new MadCat features an updated design to improve navigation and several improvements in search options. Many more links have been added from the MadCat record to the electronic versions of journals as well. Library users are appreciative of the improved access provided by the online listing of licensed electronic journal titles at http://www.library.wisc.edu/journals.

    Electronic Reserves Expansion

    The use of electronic reserves expanded considerably over the last year. The E-Reserve system was developed to support the instructional needs of UW faculty, staff, and students. Materials that used to be photocopied and housed in the library as reserved course readings are now scanned and made available to students electronically. This service continues to grow at a significant rate each year. There are close to 900 courses that are currently using the electronic reserve system. The total number of reserved items increased almost 21 percent from approximately 13,800 items in 2000 to more than 17,000 items in 2001. Usage of these files also increased dramatically. In 2000 these files were accessed approximately 820,000 times. In 2001 usage was close to 1,243,000 – more than a 50 percent increase.

    New Distance Library Services

    Distance library services are now offered to members of the UW-Madison community living outside of Dane County. These include students taking "distance" courses, students in study abroad programs, faculty members on sabbatical, and dissertators living away from campus. Services include books delivered to home addresses, articles delivered to desktops, access to e-books, online journals, and newspapers, and help via phone, e-mail, and online tutorials.

    Wisconsin Technical Information Partnership

    In the spring of 2002 the libraries led the development of a partnership program called The Wisconsin Technical Information Partnership (WisTIP). The program is a collaboration with UW-Extension's Small Business Development Center, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, and the U.S. Small Business Administration. WisTIP will provide free information to service entrepreneurs and start-up technology companies, offering them access to information regarding science, business, medicine, law, and engineering.


  2. Library and Information Literacy Instruction Program

    Campus librarians conducted more than 2000 instructional programs for more than 25,000 students. The online library tutorial was used by 5,500 students in connection with course related instruction. Instructional guides, workshop materials, and other online instructional resources had on-line hits of close to 90,000. The inclusion of information literacy in the Communication Requirement ensures that students have the opportunity to learn information retrieval and research skills beginning early in their academic careers and provides skills for lifelong learning.

    Librarians in campus libraries teach approximately 4,000 students in 300 Communication A Requirement sessions each year. The Libraries also provide instruction for over 6,000 students in 300 sections of the Communication Requirement B each year.

    Results of Verbal Assessment Committee Report

    The results of the Verbal Assessment Committee's 1999 study of the Communication B Requirements indicate that students with such a foundation feel more confident about their library skills and less anxious about using the library. These findings are further supported in a forthcoming report by the Verbal Assessment Committee (Draft Executive Summary, June 28, 2002) that evaluated the effectiveness of the general education communication program by measuring graduating seniors' satisfaction with components of Communication A and Communication B. Students who completed the general education communication program reported less library anxiety, (which was attributable to students' academic quality and curricular experience), and a greater confidence in skills including writing, library research skills, and public speaking.

    Teaching Research Skills – Collaboration with Faculty

    Campus librarians worked closely to expand opportunities for students who had the opportunity to work with faculty on research projects. Many of the instructional sessions were done at the request of faculty for specific class research assignments. Some of the innovative programs included:

    • Steenbock Library's Instruction Program partnered closely with the CALS Honors Program in which students do "real research" with a mentoring faculty member. A Steenbock instruction librarian also serves on the CALS' Honors Committee.

    • Steenbock's program also provided instructional support for nine of CALS fifteen capstone courses which involve original research and are designed to create a bridge between academic life and the "real" life students will encounter following graduation. The instruction coordinator for Steenbock is working with the CALS Instructional Improvement Committee to formally integrate information literacy into the capstone curriculum.

    Information Literacy Across the Curriculum

    Over the past year campus librarians collaborated with faculty to expand information literacy into the core curricula. They accomplished this by building in required sequences of information literacy modules and linking them to core classes in a major. Such integration ensures that students develop, through repeated research opportunities in several courses in their major, the skills and strategies they need to search core resources and to select and evaluate retrieved information in that discipline. Each program was designed with faculty from that department, and coordinated course objectives, outcomes, and assignments with information literacy objectives. The inclusion of these modules into curricula across campus underscores the value that faculty and staff place on information literacy.

    Information Literacy Support for Faculty and Staff

    Campus instruction librarians also worked closely with campus programs and academic services to provide the faculty and instructional staff with opportunities for professional development. In May 2002, Library staff co-sponsored with the Teaching Academy, DoIT, and the Creating a Collaborative Academic Environment Program Office (CCAE) under the Provost's Office, a teaching symposium entitled "The Life of a Teacher: An Invitation to Reflect." It was attended by more than 200 campus faculty and instructional staff. Library instruction staff also collaborated with CCAE and the Teaching Academy in developing workshops and lectures for faculty and instructional staff including bringing Parker Palmer a nationally known "master teacher" to the university to speak. Several instruction librarians are on departmental committees that sponsor and develop brownbags, special day-long workshops, and symposia that focus on teaching for faculty and staff within those departments.


  3. Growth of the UW-Madison Digital Library

    During the past year the libraries greatly expanded the number of locally digitized resources by continuing collaborative efforts with faculty and departments. These collaborative efforts provided support for UW System course activities and increased worldwide Internet access to many collections. The following three priorities were established during the past year for evaluating digital project proposals: 1) the value of the resource to the university community for research, teaching, and learning, including indications of how they will be used by faculty, staff, and students; 2) partnerships with faculty and staff; and 3) reaching critical mass of resources in various areas, rather than larger numbers of specialized resources, which will be less likely to be discovered by users.

    The investments in the digital library resulted in greater visibility and higher use of university information assets. Last year the UW System contributed approximately $250,000 to UW-Madison Libraries to support the development of several digital projects. Campus libraries contributed approximately $550,000. These investments resulted in projects that enhanced research efforts within the UW System and also provided increased public access to materials that previously were not readily available. The following are examples of completed projects:

    • The Pioneer Experience represents the first product created through the UW System-wide initiatives, launched by expanding the UW Madison Libraries' digital infrastructure and expertise to support all the UW libraries. This is a collection of fragile and generally inaccessible material from Special Collections and from the historical archives of several libraries.

    • The Wisconsin Surveyor's Field Notes have been digitized and will soon be accessible as the result of a joint effort of the Libraries and the Wisconsin Board of Commissioners of Public Lands to make these original notebooks of information accessible over the Internet.

    Digital Project Partnerships

    An important aspect of the local digital projects is that more than 75 percent of those currently in production have faculty ties. These partnerships have allowed the libraries to greatly enrich their digital collection. They provide for expanded access to materials and encourage the development of new projects. Faculty ties have also been vital in initiating the publication of electronic editions of books through the library's Parallel Press.

    There have also been interested and potential partners outside of the campus system who are seeking to collaborate with the library and campus faculty on the implementation of digital projects. These partnerships include private foundations such as the Chipstone Foundation that are interested in developing educational missions through partnerships with academic institutions such as UW-Madison. These collaborations have proven to be very successful. A recent Internet resource review in Choice (July/August, 2002) of the Chipstone Foundation project, "Digital Library in the Decorative Arts and Material Culture," states that this digital library is a "fine example of how the Internet extends access to valuable special collection materials" and highly recommends this site for colleges and universities offering majors in decorative arts.

    Examples of recent collaborative efforts include:

    • The Digital Library for Decorative Arts and Material Culture consists of numerous resources related to both material and visual cultures. Initiated through a collaborative effort between the Chipstone Foundation and campus faculty, the Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material culture collects electronic resources for the study and research of the decorative arts with particular focus on Early America. Included are electronic texts and journals, image databases, and information on organizations, museums and research facilities.

    • The Digital Asia Library (DAL) is a cooperative project of the Ohio State University Libraries, the University of Minnesota Libraries and the UW-Madison Libraries. The DAL provides a user-friendly searchable catalog to high quality Web resources originating in Asia identified, evaluated, selected, and catalogued by specialists in each of the collaborating libraries.

    The Digital Content Group currently has 47 projects in production and 48 projects that are proposed or upcoming.


  4. Library Relations

    Library Communications

    The UW-Madison Libraries launched several new initiatives designed as both in-reach to campus and outreach to the state. Directed primarily towards alumni, donors, and community members, an expanded partnership through the On-the-Road program of the Alumni Association, has made presentations by the library staff the single most important program source in the campus speakers' bureau. In addition, illustrated lectures by the libraries' director were part of the Founders' Day events.

    The ventures of the Parallel Press imprint continue to support the Wisconsin Idea of making scholarship readily available to Wisconsin citizens. The Parallel Press is a print-on-demand book publishing effort that publishes print editions of books that are available electronically on the library's Web site. Recent examples include The First Draft Version of Finnegans' Wake by David Hayman, and Root Nodule Bacteria and Leguminous Plants, by E.B. Fred, Lawrence Baldwin, and Elizabeth McCoy. These works by well-known UW-Madison scholars were first made available electronically, and then, as a result of collaborative efforts with current UW faculty, the Parallel Press issued reprints of these books.

    Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries

    The Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries have been very active and supportive of programs and services of the libraries. One example last year was a lecture co-sponsored by The Friends and the Wisconsin Union Distinguished Lecture Series. The lecture by Robert Pinsky, poet laureat of the United States, 1997-2000, was funded by the Joyce Foundation, the Keller Family Foundation, and Associated Students of Madison, and capped off "Celebrating Books" week during which the UW-Madison library marked the acquisition of their six millionth book.

    Parents Enrichment Fund

    Gifts received through the UW Foundation Parents Enrichment Fund support student projects that are beyond the capacity of basic instructional programs funded through the university's operating budget. One focus of the Parents Fund in recent years has been the UW-Madison Libraries, a key support system for learning in all disciplines. These funds have enabled the libraries to greatly improve learning and study spaces which encourage students to visit the library and feel comfortable using the library as a place to study and connect with other students.

    The fund was used in 2001-02 to enhance the services and spaces in College Library (which completed the last of it's CURB projects) by providing new chairs and reading areas. More plug-ins with campus network connections were added for laptop use and several laptops were purchased for checkout by students. The west corridor of Memorial Library has been refurbished to provide additional study and meeting space for students. Services in the library have been greatly enhanced by the user education classrooms that were also made possible by the Parents Fund.


  5. Library Operations

    Improvements in Facilities

    Managing and improving students spaces and storage facilities are key components to improved access and services. During the past year the libraries refurbished heavily used student study areas in College Library and in the Chemistry Library. A major science shelving project was completed in Steenbock Library that provides shelving for more than 100,000 volumes. Remodeling projects were also completed in the Music Library and Physics Library.

    Technical Services

    Central Technical Services (CTS) provides the infrastructure to support the library collections and access. Without these services, the collections and services would not be able to grow as they have.

    • Conversion of card catalog
      Much of the work of CTS consists of ordering and processing materials. As part of these services during 2001-02, access to about 8,000 full-text electronic journals was enhanced by adding the titles and holdings to the libraries online catalog. Additionally, with the conversion of more than 48,000 titles to the online database, 99 percent of the titles published in Roman languages and assigned a Library of Congress call number are now available through the UW-Madison Library catalog.

    • Creation of systems for electronic journals management
      CTS has redesigned procedures for handling the order, payment processing, and cataloging of electronic resources. Additionally a database was developed that will assist the libraries in tracking information related to licensed electronic resources.


Submitted by Kenneth Frazier, September, 2002

 

 

 

 

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