Update from the Senate Library Committee Fall 2007

Library Funding and Use

In the 05-06 budget, the library requested a $4 million dollar increment over a three year period to alleviate shortfalls in the budget that have been met by staffing cuts and redistribution of labor. To date, the Library has received welcome increases in the collections budget ( in the nature of 3-5% plus $200,000) but nothing further.


The Library’s Development staff continues to work with its donor base and ended with an available balance of over $550,000 in restricted funds. The Peter Graham Scholarly Commons has proven to be a highly functional facility, providing a venue for events such as lectures, Library Associates’ events and other university sponsored events.

Physical Improvements/Changes

The Library’s café experienced a significant and disappointing delay in being built. This most anticipated facility is now back on schedule and should open by the end of the fall 2007 semester.

The Library has moved to the Warehouse or Hawkins low-use journals (pre-1996 volumes), low-use multi-volume sets, microfilm, materials pre-1971 with little or no circulation in the past 5 years, and selected government documents. All materials housed off campus may be recalled for use.

The Library has discarded some materials: selected journals available through JSTOR, selected outdated titles in general reference, some materials converted to e-version and selected duplicates.


DeAnn Buss became Associate University Librarian for Digital Programs. Angela Ramnarine-Rieks accepted the position of Web Administrator. Sean Quimby was appointed the Director of the Special Collections Research Center. In addition, Pamela McLaughlin was promoted to the position of Director of Library Communication.


The Library changed its administration of the collections budget and added central support in the form of designated bibliographers for arts and humanities, social sciences, and the sciences. These individuals will assist subject librarians in acquiring materials, budgetary matters, collection development , developing use statistics, and testing new products.

Subject librarians will continue to play an important role in collection development, ensuring effective communication with faculty and attention to curricular and research needs. By strengthening central support for collection development, subject librarians will have more time to devote to their liaison duties in the schools and colleges, and the library will be able to aggregate higher level information and data to support additional collection funding.

Master Plan

The Library and Campus Planning, Design, and Construction have created a master plan for the Bird and Carnegie libraries and the Belfer Audio Archive. The plan for the Bird Library includes collection placement on the 4th and 5th floors, a two-floor learning commons, and a research floor. The Boston architectural firm Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott provided support.

Web Access

The Committee met with a team of librarians and library IT staff to investigate and critique the web site. Some difficulties are intrinsic to SUMMIT. Suggestions were made that might improve ‘user friendliness.’ It was agreed that SUMMIT was no longer the most appropriate vehicle but that costs to replace the entire integrated library system are prohibitive. Alternative approaches are being evaluated.

Additional Issues

(1) As was reported in 2006 (and is still unresolved), the University needs to establish systematic policies to determine who is to have Library access. (This is part of a wider issue of identity management regarding access to sports facilities, parking, Internet, ID cards, etc.)

(2) Course materials that are reserved by faculty for students are now available through Blackboard. This requires that faculty familiarize themselves with the technology. For questions contact Marty Hansen mjhanson@syr.edu.

(3) The Library continues to petition for more funds through the budgeting process to meet the needs of its users. While some particular projects have been funded, the overall operating budget of the Library has not been increased.