Libraries FY2013

Committee Details:

Committee: Libraries Committee
Committee Category: Standing Committees of the University Senate
Fiscal Year: 2013

Committee Description

Libraries: This committee works with KU libraries to develop long-range planning for and monitor the allocation of library resources, to promote communication with the library by students, faculty, and staff, to expand access to materials.


Chair: Ron Francisco, Pol. Sci.                                        College, Social and Behavioral Sciences (2014)
Marie Alice                                                                    Architecture (spring 2013)                                          
Stephen Grabow                                                            Architecture (2014) Returning Fall 2014
Min Young Kim                                                              Business (2014)
Marlesa Roney, Ed Leadership & Policy Studies               Education (2015)
Brian Rock, Civil/Environ/Arch Engineering                    Engineering (2013)
Doug Ward                                                                     Journalism (2015)
Alicia Levin                                                                    Music (2012)
Robert Hanzlik                                                               Pharmacy (2013),
Amy Mendenhall                                                            Social Welfare (2013)
Hui Zhao, Physics and Astronomy                                  College, Natural Sciences & Mathematics (2013)
Yan Li, East Asian Lang, & Cultures                                College, Humanities (2015)
Shawn Alexander, African/African Amer Studies.           College, International Affairs (2015)
Mechele Leon, Theatre                                                  College, School of the Arts (2015)
Kait Perry, Student, Vice Chair,   
MacKenzie Oatman, Student       
Clay Cosby, Student,
Seyool Oh, Student,
Jessica Small, Research & Graduate Studies, Unclassified Staff (2014)
Mary Ann Baker, Libraries, Support Staff (2013)

4 ex-officio members:

Lorraine Haricombe, Dean of Libraries
Joyce McCray Pearson, Law Librarian,
Shelia Orth, Univ. Support Staff library staff
Nikhat J. Ghouse, Library Faculty Assembly


Approved by SenEx: 5/29/2012
Approved by University Senate:9/13/2012

  • For further information or to schedule a meeting with SenEx to discuss charges or the committee’s work, contact SenEx chair Chris Crandall at
  • Please send minutes of each meeting to University Governance, at, for posting to the Governance web site.
  • Please send recommendations for changes to the University Senate Code, the University Senate Rules and Regulations, and the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations as early in the academic year as possible. Because of the waiting periods involved in changes to these documents, recommendations proposed after spring break may remain pending the following fall semester.
  • Please send a report of the committee’s actions on each of the charges, as well as any recommendations the committee wishes to make concerning charges or membership for the following academic year, to University Governance, at Please include the names of committee members and submit the report by April 1, 2013. If the committee still expects to conduct business after April 1, please submit a report by April 1 and later submit any addenda that may be appropriate.

Standing charges:

  1. Monitor the Libraries’ long-range planning and allocation of resources—staff, physical space, equipment, collections, digitally-based information, etc.—in light of the needs of different academic disciplines and the flat budget situation. Assess the adequacy of these plans and resource allocations to support teaching (including both undergraduate and graduate) and research. Report issues and recommendations for action to SenEx. (ongoing)
  1. Monitor the effectiveness of communication between the Libraries and students, faculty, and staff, about topics including but not limited to library-based instruction in classes and academic programs in support of university-wide learner outcomes. Report issues and recommendations for action to SenEx. (ongoing)
  2. Obtain a report from the Open Access advisory board concerning implementation, activities, and long-range planning for Open Access at KU. Provide an update on the progress of the implementation of the Open Access policies and the activities of the Open Access Board as they relate to faculty and students. Report issues and recommendations for action to SenEx by 4/1/13.
  1. Seek information from the KU faculty, staff, and students about their concerns by, for example, monitoring audience participation at the Dean of the Libraries “State of the Libraries” presentation. Report issues and recommendations for action to SenEx. (ongoing)
  1. Convene an open meeting with Libraries faculty and staff, including liaisons to academic departments, in the fall semester. Report issues and recommendations for action to SenEx by 12/1/12.

Specific Charges:

  1. Collect information on collaboration with KUMC Libraries Committee. Report on the issues associated with this initiative and make recommendations as warranted. Report issues and recommendations for action to SenEx by 4/1/12.
  1. Monitor the “Changing for Excellence” initiative as it applies to Libraries.
  1. Monitor the changing role of Libraries in “Bold Aspirations.”

Meeting Minutes

Contact University Governance, 864-5169 or

Final Reports and Outcomes

FY2013 Final Report of the University Senate Libraries Committee

Reports on Standing Charges:

  1. The University Libraries are well aware of spatial needs. Materials have filled one annex and another is filling up now. Vacated space is redesigned for educational research support such as the writing center, group study rooms, the center for digital scholarship, and the IT section of the libraries.
  2. Communication is desirable and at KU it is effective between the libraries and the university as a whole. Dean Haricombe is well aware of the need to communicate library resources and services to the university as a whole. She regularly issues reports on ways KU faculty and students may enhance their research capability. The libraries have also started a freshman orientation course to familiarize students with library resources and to show them how to  conduct research. This all fits well with the libraries' strategic plan to support “Bold Aspirations.”
  3. While we have not sought a report from the open access advisory board, we are confident that open access, which KU pioneered, continues to be a major focus. Certainly the Dean believes this as do most library administrators. The principal obstacles in this quest are publishers who always seek proprietary control of research. This developed into such a problem in mathematics that several high-level mathematicians got together and started their own journal. More of this sort of entrepreneurship would help to free research from proprietary control.
  4. We monitored complaints in so far as we could and found little criticism of the libraries. The new acquisition-on-demand took some getting used to, but it is a more cost-efficient way to acquire materials in support of learning, teaching, and research versus unused books in the library stacks.
  5. We had two open meetings with library faculty and staff and insert our report here.


Notes from Discussions with Librarians on 11/12/2012 and 11/19/2012

Librarians feel that their profession is under siege. This is not the work of the libraries or its administrators, but rather the changing nature of information accession. This problem is locally linked to the Huron report, even though that report was discredited. The principal complaint is that when an MLS librarian leaves, that position is replaced by an unclassified professional.

We found a pervasive view that librarianship is under attack: (1) Columbia University’s library school is one of several that has closed; (2) we’re watching the demise of reference librarians; and (3) librarians must now train unclassified professionals who do not have MLS training or degrees.

Widespread concern also focuses on the information technology situation. Most librarians want the libraries front and center in the IT universe. This may not be possible given programming requirements. However, librarians would like as large a role for the libraries as is feasible in order to support IT library work.

Criticism targeted library carrels and the general shape of the stack. Many believe that if the carrels were made more attractive that more graduate students and faculty would use them and take care of them. One librarian suggested that the central stack elevator be a project of graduate mechanical engineers. Apparently these students could fashion a replacement for the elevator.

Generally, most agreed by most that the liaison librarians work well with whomever they serve. We noted a dispute about collection space: some librarians seek increased collection space while others seek individual space for private study.

The library administration was praised for its support of librarians and the service KU libraries render to patrons.

Funding is a sticky problem. A few librarians suggested an increase in (1) the library share of the tuition fee; and also (2) brought up the possibility of asking professional schools to do more to support their specific collection development and their libraries.

Specific Charges:

  1. The Dean consults regularly with the KUMC librarians and works to coordinate activities. We do not see communication among librarians as a problem.
  2. Much of the libraries' strategic plan fits within the Changing for Excellence campaign. We hope  to append the strategic plan to this report.
  3. The libraries are enthusiastic participants in the “Bold Aspirations” program, the library administration is working hard to reorganize its structure to better fulfill its operations. The plan provides for new assistant deans to manage various innovative functions for libraries as well as to strengthen their traditional service activities.

Other Comments:

The libraries have taken the initiative in the new capital campaign and have already committed a great deal of money. The libraries receive about $23 million, mostly directly from state funds, but also from indirect costs on federal grants. To the extent that the libraries can supplement this with philanthropy, everyone will benefit.

Dean Haricombe already has re-established the Friends of the Library, reconstituting it as the Vosper Society. This organization is instrumental in aiding and celebrating libraries. Previously eliminated   by a former Dean, but the resurrected Friends group should prove effective.

Ronald A. Francisco, Chair

Libraries FY2013