University Library Committee

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April 11, 2013

University Library Committee (ULC)
Thursday April 11, 2013
405 Wendt Commons
Draft Revision: 05/09/2013

Members Present:  Cynthia Jasper (Chair), Ed Van Gemert, Susan Barribeau, Steven Barkan, Phillip Braithwaite, Karen Britland, David Britton, Karl Broman, Steve Bye, Arkur Desai, Ron Harris, Jody Hoesly (minutes), Anna Lewis, Mary Rader, Laura Rudquist, Nancy Graff Schultz


  • Approve  March 14, 2013 meeting minutes

Moved to next meeting.

  • News and Announcements
  • Go Big Read title will soon be selected by the interim chancellor.
  • Handout (attached):  Celebrate National Library Week (April 14-19) by starring in your very own READ! Poster. 


  • News from the Vice Provost (Ed Van Gemert)
    • Strategic planning update

There will be two phases to the strategic planning charter: 
Phase 1 will be to design a framework for all campus libraries to identify their priorities.
Phase 2 will be to define goals and objectives for each library.
The Memorial Library Committee will be actively involved in the charter.  Input will also be solicited through various online activities, focus groups, and in person interviews. 
Ed would like one or two representatives from the University Library Committee (ULC) to be actively engaged in the development of the Library Strategic Planning.  Please let Ed know if you would like to represent ULC in the Library Strategic Planning process. 

    • Library Space Study

Discussion and inventory of library space is being done to identify potential locations for new collaborative learning centers.  To do this, the library needs to think clearly and judiciously about how future decisions align with the library’s principles.

  • Other Business
    • WisCEL  (John Boske)

Professor Boske provided a brief presentation, distributed a handout (attached), and gave a detailed tour of the WisCEL facility.  The following is a summary of the presentation, highlights of the tour, and follow-up comments.

  • Evolution of Libraries – Professor Boske shared his personal discovery of the many facets and services libraries provide to patrons at various stages in their life, education, and career.  His stories illustrated a trajectory that showed how libraries have evolved over time which prevented them from becoming extinct.  He pointed out that libraries support the research and educational initiatives on campus and are not just about materials with staff to shepherd the collection. This evolution has made the library a more valuable asset for students and staff.
  • Libraries and the WisCEL Project – From the beginning, libraries were identified as a key partner in the WisCEL project.  They adapt to a changing information world, provide instructional support services for educational innovation, and already have a logistical infrastructure in place for managing multipurpose spaces.
  • Vision - The vision for WisCEL was for a collaboratory environment.  The project was the result of strategic initiatives established from reaccreditation efforts in 2007-2010.  The focus was to transform how education is designed and delivered to prepare students today to be global citizens for the 21st century.  To do this, it was apparent that it had to go beyond bricks and mortar to embrace technology and incorporate new teaching techniques.
  • Strategic Plan – The WisCEL project was methodically planned and implemented.  Throughout this process, the WisCEL team learned many things that can help the library as they move forward with their own strategic planning.   These include:
    • Avoid mission creep – Define the libraries core identity and articulate it to others.  It cannot be the same as it was years ago and must be compelling.  Like a new invention, it should not be too complicated or it will be harder to explain its function and keep working smoothly. 
    • Have soft boundaries – To have the flexibility to evolve, the boundaries must be loosely defined.
    • Identify and solve problems –As projects and goals are being implemented, problems will emerge.  Establish policies to help address these issues and communicate solutions.
    • Include support personnel – The plan needs to include who will lead and support the initiatives. For WisCEL, there is programming, technology and instructional design support systems.
    • Try pilots – Test before full implementation.  At College Library they tried various arrangements.


  • Functional Areas
    • Active learning lab (seats 100) – Allows for a flipped classroom.  Before class, students watch the lecture and may even take a quiz.  Class time is then used for discussion and application exercises.  This configuration allows the instructor to act as a coach while student learn from each other.  
    • Breakout rooms - Used for TA’s, small classes, faulty, and testing.
    • Lounge area – Provides a downtime area with lounge furniture and vending machines.
  • Features
    • Reliable
    • Easy to use
    • Layout that encourages active learning
    • Lighting that enhances performance
    • Interconnectivity to other learning environments
    • Multifunctional whiteboards (class notes, group projects, divides room)
    • Acts as teaching emporium during the day and learning commons at night and week-ends  (Libraries are ideal for this)
    • Daily schedule posted on the large screen TV and website
    • Flexible furniture for reconfiguring rooms
    • Monitors at each table for pushing content out or for small group use
    • Mobile TA carts
    • Glass walls for visibility
    • Noise dampening ceilings and carpet
    • Raised floors for wiring reconfiguration


  • Prioritizing requests to use WisCEL– Both WisCEL locations are at capacity.  There is a review process that must include how a class will use the space to be considered.  
  • Gender imbalance – It was mentioned that there were mostly men in WisCEL at the time of the tour.  This is probably typical because it is on the College of Engineering campus.  This is something COE is working on improving.
  • Testing - Night and week-end testing is an issue that is still being addressed.  Ideally, there could be a separate testing facility in the future.
  • ULC meeting schedule (NOTE: New time and locations!)

May 9, 10:00 am, 159 Education Building - the Wisconsin Idea Room (Was hoping to go to College Library, but it is instruction space and not available.  Hope to schedule a ULC meeting there next year.)