Libraries Committee FY2022 Final Report

The University Senate Libraries Committee met for four meetings during the 2021-2022 academic year. The committee discussed items concerning the committee's charges, including the following:

  1. Review of charges and membership of the committee for FY2022.
  2. Discussion of the "Libraries strategic plan."
  3. The Watson Library renovation project.
  4. Challenges of negotiating big journal deals and collection planning.
  5. The library's activities and long-range planning for Open Access.
  6. A statement regarding Open Access publishing and negotiations principles with publishers.

Outcomes of the Meetings include the following:

  1. The committee's charges and membership: Committee members approved the current charges and membership. However, during the year, two issues were raised. First, the student representatives were not assigned until after the committee's second meeting, which affected the due representation of student voices in the critical discussions of the committee. Second, the committee's role concerning the Law Library was not clear. It is advised to make this relation clearer.
  2. Libraries strategic plan: Dean Smith presented the difficulties with the budget, especially the non-compensation for inflation and the recent increase in staff resignations. We recommend considering the effect of budget cuts and the non-compensation for inflation on the level of services provided by the libraries.
  3. The Watson Library renovation project: The committee members were introduced to the initial plans presented by representatives from the KU libraries and the project architects. Committee members applauded the initiative to incorporate students, staff, and faculty input during this process. We recommend continuing these efforts as the project progresses and monitoring the progress in next year's committee charges.
  4. Open Access initiatives: Discussions on Open Access initiatives dominated most of the committee's meetings. We received presentations and updates from KU libraries staff on the challenges of negotiating big journal deals, the collection planning, and activities and long-range planning for Open Access. We recommend including a further discussion of open Access initiatives in next year's committee charges, with specific details on the support for KU scholars publishing in Open Access formats (articles and books), negotiating deals with publishers, and initiatives regarding KU classes' textbooks.
  5. Open Access Statement: The committee drafted a statement regarding Open Access publishing and principles to guide the negotiation with publishers. The statement was sent for further consideration by the University Senate.


Dr. Rami Zeedan, Chair, April 17th, 2022.