logo ULC Annual Report 1993-94



The University Library Committee (ULC) has 19 members: 8 elected faculty, two from each division, with four-year terms; 2 appointed academic staff, with four-year terms; 2 elected library staff, with two-year terms; the Director of the General Library System (GLS); an elected representative of the Library Coordinating Council (LCC); 2 appointed representatives from the Office of Budget, Planning, and Analysis and the Office of the Provost; and three appointed students. The 8 faculty, 2 academic staff, and 3 students have voting privileges (see Faculty Policies and Procedures 6.46 A). A list of members for the two academic years spanned by this report appears at the end of the report. Margarita Zamora chaired the committee in 1993-94.
The charge to the ULC (see Faculty Policies and Procedures 6.46 B) is to recommend policy in the areas roughly corresponding to the standing subcommittees described below. The committee reviews, consults on, advises on, plans for, and receives reports and recommendations on library performance, automation, budget, administrative structure, allocation of resources, and administrative searches. Responsibility for keeping the faculty informed of major issues, and for creating opportunities for the faculty to discuss priorities also falls to the committee.
The ULC has five standing subcommittees to enable the charge to the committee to be filled in a timely and informed manner. These are Automation, Budget, Campus Libraries, Intellectual Property, and Serials and Collections. The Intellectual Property subcommittee was newly-formed this spring (1994) to consider issues pertaining to the production, publication, and usage of scholarly information. It meets jointly with a subcommittee of the Memorial Library Committee (MLC). Members of the ULC serve in the MLC and University Archives Committee and attendance at ULC meetings by campus library staff assures a voice in ULC recommendations of all units affected. The full committee meets eight times per academic year. The subcommittees meet or communicate as needed.
Our campus libraries are numerous and highly decentralized. The General Library System includes Memorial, College, Steenbock, University Archives, and 12 other member libraries. The collections budget for Wendt Engineering Library is also under the GLS. There are three independent professional libraries, Health Sciences, Law, and Engineering. There are 24 Special Purpose Libraries/Information Centers. These are referred to as the Special Collections and Libraries Group (SCLG) in this report. In accordance with an agreement established between the University of Wisconsin and the State Historical Society in 1954, the State Historical Society Library is the library of record for American History for both our campus and the UW System. Although it does not receive its base budget through the University, it receives substantial annual support from campus. There are also numerous small, excellent collections and reading rooms not subsumed under any of the above library headings.

The Library Coordinating Council collectively represents the campus libraries and coordinates their policies and activities. The LCC consists of the directors of GLS, State Historical, Law, Engineering, Health Sciences, and Steenbock Libraries, and one librarian from the SCLG. While no single person administers or officially speaks for all of the libraries, Kenneth Frazier as Director of GLS has been representing the campus libraries' case to the administration and beyond, and has been entrusted by the administration to distribute special campus library allocations.

The costs of maintaining and developing core research and teaching collections and library automation continue to present a serious challenge to Campus and UW System resources. Yearly price increases for serials and monographs that far exceed the rate of inflation, and the accelerating pace of publication have resulted in a decline in the purchasing power of library collection budgets over the past decade, requiring strict monitoring and coordination of acquisitions and the cancellation of subscriptions to scholarly journals. Electronic access to research materials and Interlibrary Loan have the potential partially to alleviate incompleteness of collections, but bring with them the problems of purchasing and maintaining current hardware and software, licensing and copying costs, and the costs and difficulty of timely retrieval and delivery of materials associated with interlibrary loan systems.

An additional local challenge is the traditional decentralization of libraries on this campus. This gives many departments convenient access to a specialized collection and specialized technical help from their librarians. But the administrative decentralization and duplication of some acquisitions have economic drawbacks and pose certain policy problems. Space continues to be a problem in some of our libraries. It is, or soon will be, acute enough to be a space crisis. How we organize and locate our libraries will have an impact on the expansion and distribution of additional space for library materials.

The ULC has been engaged in discussion of these challenges throughout the period covered by this report. The summary of activities below presents the content of those discussions in greater detail. Committee discussions this academic year have focused on four related priority areas. They are a) how to increase faculty involvement in the development of core research and teaching collections, b) how to enhance the teaching component of our libraries' mission, c) how most effectively to use automation to improve access to research and teaching materials, and d) how to reorganize libraries in a way that will be responsive to both issues of economy and faculty convenience.

The ULC invites comments from faculty on any of the issues discussed in this report, or other issues of particular concern to Faculty Senators and their constituents.

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