Issue 23 Fall 2014
I am thrilled to write my first Library Newsletter column as the recently appointed University Librarian at UC Santa Cruz. It is truly an honor to lead this organization and to be part of the campus leadership. Thanks to your continued financial support, the Library has been able to remain the intellectual heart of this magnificent campus.
We had a busy year last year and I look forward to the year to come. For this issue of the newsletter I chose the theme of library assessment. I thought you would be interested in how we make decisions about what services to provide, how to improve them, and what is no longer necessary. What inspired this theme is the chapter that a group of UCSC Librarians and I wrote for the book Letting Go of Legacy Services, recently published by ALA Editions. Greg Careaga, Lucia Orlando, Sarah Troy, and former UCSC librarian Nicole Lawson co-wrote this piece to describe and document our process as we went through historic budget cuts and transformative change in the University Library.
We extensively surveyed users and analyzed usage data as we planned to move into the new McHenry Library. As the Associate University Librarian for Public Services at the time, I knew that our services needed to change, given that users were interacting with us differently, our staff was shrinking, and we were moving into a new facility. Technology drove many of the changes and we felt we needed evidence to support our hunches. What we learned in the process is that assessment never ends. We need to continuously check in with our users in various ways to make sure we are meeting their needs and fulfilling our mission.
A recent example of our assessment activity is our participation in the Local Faculty Survey run by Ithaka S+R, our friends that bring us the JSTOR database. We asked questions to learn more about faculty opinions about the role of the library, undergraduate research skills, their data management practices, and open access publishing activity. We are in the process of distilling the results and determining how we will respond to the needs uncovered through this process.
Greg Careaga, Kerry Scott, and Sarah Troy will contribute additional detail about our assessment activities in this newsletter. I hope you find it as interesting as we do! I welcome your feedback and ideas as we continue to evolve in support of the teaching and research mission of UC Santa Cruz.
Please come visit us and see what’s new at the Library! Thank you for your continued support of the UC Santa Cruz Library. All of us at UC Santa Cruz are truly grateful.
Your University Library exists to serve the research and education missions of the University. We measure how well we do so in myriad ways, most of them unobtrusive. It behooves us—from time to time—to impose on our users a little bit and ask them to give us more structured feedback.
Last year, University Librarian Elizabeth Cowell directed us to conduct the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey so that we might gain a better understanding of how our faculty members perceive the role of the Library in the academic enterprise, how they discover scholarly resources, how they organize and manage their research data, how they make the fruits of their research available to the academic community and the public, and how well their students are mastering their own research skills.
In April, all teaching faculty were invited to participate in the fifteen-minute survey and 299 completed it. We received responses from all academic divisions, in close proportion to the faculty population. Here are just a few of the things we learned:
● Faculty overwhelmingly value the Library for our work to acquire and make available scholarly journals, books, and databases.
● They also highly value our work to organize, maintain, and preserve our collections.
● They recognize that their students must master the ability to discover and critically assess scholarly resources.
● They recognize that the Library has a role in helping students discover and assess scholarly resources.
● Faculty in the Arts and Humanities tend to place a higher value on library collections and services, while faculty in the Physical and Biological Sciences and Baskin School of Engineering tend to place a higher value on library electronic resources.
Concurrent with our local efforts, UL Cowell worked closely with her counterparts at UCLA and UCSD. They also ran the Ithaka S+R Local Faculty Survey in the spring and we look forward to working with them to develop cohort data to put our faculty results in a larger context.
When we ask for feedback, it is incumbent on us to share what we learned with the people who took the trouble to give it to us, and to make good use of the findings. We are still parsing the survey, but the results will inform our collaborations with campus and University stakeholders, and they will help us define our operational priorities for the coming academic year.
Our work to conduct this survey would not have been possible without the good offices of the Vice Provost of Academic Affairs, the Academic Senate Committee on the Library and Scholarly Communication, and the Office of Research Compliance Administration. We appreciate their help and support.
In the coming year, we will conduct the Ithaka S+R Local Student Survey to see how well we are meeting the needs of our largest constituency. We look forward to working again with the Student Union Assembly. They have been a stalwart partner in recent years, helping us with a 2010 photo survey to help furnish and equip the renovated McHenry Library, a 2011 survey to measure student satisfaction with Library facilities and services, and a 2013 survey to measure the value of Library hours and their impact on student success.
For those of us who work in Collection Development and User Services & Resource Sharing, assessment of both the use of our collections and user behaviors has long been a fundamental part of the work we do. We have always tracked Interlibrary Loan activity, circulation, print and electronic journal use, course reserve use, and building use—in short, staying aware of what our patrons are using and when they are in the building has always been a core part of our work. We have used this information to make decisions about staffing, open hours, and purchases. What has changed for us most recently is the specificity with which we can assess usage and user behavior. This is because more of our collection is coming in electronically than ever before.
The advent of e-books has allowed us to determine which titles our users are most interested in and for how long.When a patron checks a print book out, we can’t tell if the book was actually read or was of use to the patron—all we know is that the book left the building. With e-books, we can tell how long anonymized patrons are actively engaging with the book—which speaks to the utility if not the value of a title. This shifts the kind of assessment we are able to do for the monograph collection in fundamental ways that we are just beginning to explore.
Additionally, we have always tracked the number of questions asked at the reference desk and have historically used a set of broadly defined categories because we were more focused on quantitative rather than qualitative measures. This year we bridged the gap by incorporating a system called the Reference Effort Assessment Data (READ) Scale (developed by librarians Bella Karr Gerlich and G. Lynn Berard, co-researchers on a 2007 Mellon Grant funded research study), which categorizes the levels of questions being asked at the service desk and the skills needed to answer them. This assessment tool will enable us to determine, for example, what exactly five questions answered in a one-hour shift means in terms of both the workload and the expertise required. The results of our data gathering will enable us to make meaningful adjustments to our staffing and training plans and ultimately serve our patrons more effectively.
Finally, as we prepare for the Science & Engineering Library renovation and building project, Collection Development and User Services & Resource Sharing are using both the traditional and new assessment methodologies discussed above to make decisions about which collections to keep on site, which collections to store, and how to accommodate changing user needs and expectations. Regular headcounts demonstrate that students highly value the library as a space to work collaboratively and study individually. We anticipate that our renovated space will combine the best of both worlds: collections of utility at the moment of need in thoughtfully designed spaces that both support and inspire our diverse user community.
Like clockwork every Wednesday, Rolf Augustine shows up on the 4th floor of McHenry Library to say hello. Not a quick hello—oh no! He strolls down the hallway of the Administrative wing of the Library. One by one he stops and chats with each of us about music or current events, asking questions about our work, our children, and our projects. He remembers it all. Rolf has an ironclad memory for many things. That’s probably what made him such a successful cataloger for the UCSC Library.
Rolf St. Clair Augustine was born in 1937 in Berkeley, California, the son of Waldemar Rolf and Marguerite St. Clair Augustine. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1960, and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Southern California in 1962. When Rolf came to Santa Cruz in 1965, the University Library was located in the Carriage House.
Rolf retired from full-time work in 2001 but hasn’t really slowed down. He can be seen around town at a variety of musical venues or at his favorite breakfast place: Cafe Brasil. Rolf continues to volunteer for the cataloging department led by Marcia Barrett. He gives generously of his time and talent. But Rolf gives more than that. He has given several financial gifts to support the important work we do at the UCSC Library.
Among many other gifts is the Rolf S. Augustine Fund for Original Cataloging that was established in 1996 in honor of Rolf’s lifetime commitment to providing generations of faculty and students with accurate and effective bibliographic access to the UCSC library collections. In 1998, a family inheritance enabled Rolf to make an additional gift to further endow his fund. His generosity continues to support project catalogers and other descriptive work performed on items found in our online catalog.
Rolf is one example of the many friends we have at UC Santa Cruz who give generously of their talents and resources in a variety of ways. All of us at the Library are grateful for the continued support we receive from friends like you. Please think about how you can continue to give to the Library in creative ways just as Rolf has. Drop us a line at email@example.com.
In 2015, UC Santa Cruz will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. During this important moment in the University's history, we want to acknowledge and thank our supporters who have chosen to provide for the Library in their estate plans. Their foresight ensures that the Library remains the vital heart of the campus. Estate or planned gifts to the Library have allowed collections to be enhanced, materials preserved, and the facility itself to be expanded.
The Library has greatly benefited from planned gifts from the following estates:
- Esther Rice, a dedicated volunteer who identified and organized the Library's historical photographs of the Santa Cruz community, bequeathed funds to Special Collections to preserve, protect, and digitize the photographs. The Historic Photo Room is named in her memory.
- Dorothy Nadine Emigh, a book lover, made a bequest that launched the Library's expansion campaign. She also bequeathed over 600 volumes of antique liturgical works and books to the Library.
- Virginia Campbell, the executive assistant to UC Santa Cruz's founding Chancellor Dean McHenry for more than 30 years, bequeathed an endowment supporting the Special Collections Campus History Fund.
- Colin Fletcher, an author and trailblazer for the modern backpacking movement, made a bequest that established the Colin Fletcher Writers Endowment in Special Collections. The endowment preserves and promotes Mr. Fletcher's works, while also supporting writers whose work reflects Mr. Fletcher's interests and values.
- Randy Rogers, a UCSC alumnus (Merrill ’77) an insurance consultant, bequeathed funds to name a Library reading room in memory of his professor, Ching-Yi Dougherty.
Currently, 39 people have shared that their estate plan includes a provision for the Library. Many of these people are former library staff members, which speaks volumes about what the Library means not only to students and faculty, but to the people who keep it running. These supporters enjoy membership in the 21st Century Club, UC Santa Cruz's circle of donors who have provided for the University in their estate plan. Members enjoy exclusive events with the Chancellor and recognition in the 21st Century Club Honor Roll. Best of all, they know they are playing a vital role in the future of the Library.
A planned gift can be as simple as including a bequest in your will or trust or making the Library a beneficiary of a retirement or life insurance policy. There are also planned gifts known as life income gifts that offer tax savings, charitable deductions, and lifetime income for you and/or a beneficiary that you designate.
We encourage you to let us know if you have made a provision for the Library in your estate plan. It's important that your will, trust, or beneficiary designation include the correct language so that your gift is directed where you intend. All planned gifts are confidential and your name will only be listed in the 21st Century Club Honor Roll with your permission.
If you are interested in exploring a planned gift, please call the UC Santa Cruz Office of Gift Planning at (831) 502-7112 or visit http://plannedgifts.ucsc.edu/ to get started.
A new exhibition titled “Outlaw Publishers: Selected San Francisco Literary Presses, 1945–1968” recently opened in Special Collections and Archives at McHenry Library. This exhibit traces the genesis of San Francisco’s alternative print culture from its roots in a World War II Civilian Public Service Camp in Waldport, Oregon, to its convergence with the San Francisco literary renaissance of the 1950s and 1960s. Printed works from Untide Press, White Rabbit Press, Centaur Press, The Auerhahn Press, and Wallace Berman’s Semina demonstrate cutting-edge developments in the fields of book arts, typographic design, illustration, and literature. These works will be on display at Special Collections and Archives through the end of November.
As a student assistant, I had the exciting privilege of assisting alumnus Gregory Graalfs in creating this exhibit. Through this opportunity and with the guidance of Mr. Graalfs, I strengthened my appreciation for San Francisco’s enduring legacy of avant-garde printing. I hope my fellow students and the rest of our community will learn as much from this exhibit as I have.
During fall quarter, Special Collections and Archives will be open weekdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 noon and 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
On August 2, a new exhibition opened in McHenry Library's Brittingham Family Foundation Dead Central. “All the Pages Are Our Days: The Books of the Grateful Dead” showcases the literary heritage of the band and the broader phenomenon inspired by the Dead. From the roots of their name to their Bay Area bohemian heritage, the exhibition traces the remarkable cultural impact of the Grateful Dead through the books that influenced them and that they in turn inspired. In addition to the more than 100 books displayed, the exhibition features a wide range of supporting materials, including galley proofs, posters, manuscripts, and photographs. As the third major exhibition from the Grateful Dead Archive, “All the Pages Are Our Days” explains how the Dead created such a rich, compelling, and complex literary history.
Contributors: Elizabeth Cowell, Greg Careaga, Sarah Troy, Kerry Scott, Nick Meriwether, Virginia Rivera, Bonnie McLeskey, Kelsey Lewis and Ethan Henderson
Production: Linda Hunt
Copyediting and proofreading: Mark Engel
Carolyn Lagattuta, Elena Zhukova, Mary Vidnovic, Linda Hunt and Ethan Henderson
Outlaw Publishers – Kelsey Lewis and Jess Spencer Waggoner
Grateful Dead- Richard Biffle