James Madison University
Libraries & Educational Technologies
The 2001- 2002 fiscal year marked the second year of budget reversions due the states continuing fiscal crisis. In the 2000-2001 fiscal year, the Libraries rolled back over $20,000; about half of the amount came from the materials budget, where reversions were achieved primarily by cutting the preservation budget. In 2002, the Libraries reverted over $90,000 back to the University. About $30,000 of this total amount came from the materials budget, primarily from contingency and document delivery funds, while over $45,000 was reverted from the Libraries operating budget. Indications are that the fiscal crisis could be more serious in the next biennium, threatening funding for both JMU Libraries collections, and VIVAs digital collections. In a more positive note, the Libraries received supplemental funds from university administration to support the purchase of Endeavor EnCompass hardware and software, enabling the Libraries to launch a pilot project using LinkFinder Plus to facilitate linking to journal articles, and to enable searching multiple databases at the same time.
This year saw a slight decrease in firm orders for books, videos, and other one-time purchase items, from 6,685 last year to 6,597, a 1.3% drop. This reflects steady-state budgets and low inflation. Fewer approval books were received due to refinement of the profiles. The return rate dropped to 8.8 percent, the lowest return rate since JMUs approval plan began. A total of 3,739 books were accepted compared to 3,948 in the previous year. The Libraries added a free collection of 58 University of California Press E-editions to LEO.
Looking strictly at print materials such as books and musical scores, the total purchased dropped by 3.6 percent from last year (9,693 compared to 10,051 in the previous year); however, the number of books purchased has dropped nearly ten percent from its high in 1998-99. The chart below tracks books purchases for the past decade:
Preservation: The preservation budget was slashed by nearly 45 percent with savings used to help maintain the book budget at a near static level. The Library continued its policy, established last year, of binding only reference and music materials. The Library continues to purchase lower-cost paperback editions when available, a policy that began in the early 1990s.
Journals: A total of 160 titles were cancelled in FY 2001-02. Most of these cancellations were in keeping with JMU Libraries policy of canceling print subscriptions when an electronic version is available, and moving to electronic holdings only. Print subscriptions canceled included titles from MIT, Blackwell, and Erlbaum publishers. Print subscriptions of Elsevier titles were also cancelled, even though continuation of the complete ScienceDirect online journal collection is uncertain after 2003. General interest magazines and professional library journals were also reviewed internally and sixteen of these titles were cancelled.
A modest number of new subscriptions were added in FY 2002, mainly as a result of canceling print titles and purchasing access to online journal collections. JMU Libraries now offers access to:
The Libraries also purchased new sets of law serials to replace materials that were removed when the county Law Library relocated to Massanutten Regional Library.
Electronic Reference Resources: The Dictionary of Old English Corpus, a five-year backfile of Biological Abstracts (1985-89), and the PsycArticles online journal collection were all added. The Library also added a subscription of RILM Abstracts of Music Literature after this resource was dropped by VIVA. The Library canceled subscriptions to Current Issues Sourcefile and Marcive WebDocs.
New electronic resources provided by VIVA this fiscal year included the InfoTrac OneFile, a Gale meta-database that enables cross-searching of Gale databases; seven online journal titles from the American Mathematical Society; and a return of Britannica Online.
VIVA anticipates it will have to deal with a projected $850,000 shortfall over the next biennium. In response, VIVA acted to cancel the following FirstSearch databases (effective July 1, 2002): Business and Industry; Business Dateline; Business Organizations, Agencies and Publications Directory; Business and Management Practices; DataTimes; Disclosure Corporate Snapshots; Education Index; EventLine; FactSearch; General Science Index; Humanities Index; Newspaper Abstracts; Readers' Guide Abstracts; and Social Science Index. VIVA also voted to cancel 172 Academic Press journals (effective December 31, 2002) because of steep price increases.
Government Documents: In FY 2002, 11,092 monograph documents were added (including online titles, microforms and print), as well as 351 serial titles. Over 60 percent of JMUs monthly download of government documents records are now for materials in electronic form.
Special Collections: Major accomplishments this year included cataloging and archival description of the unique inserts in the Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, and completion of processing of the Shenandoah National Park oral histories, although 45 interviews still lack legal releases. Special Collections began using Encoded Archival Description (EAD) for its finding aids.
The Libraries purchased and began experimenting with LinkFinder Plus to standardize and streamline linking from all of our Open URL-compliant databases to both full text content and our catalog. The early results, using a test database provided by Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, showed success.
The addition of online journal collections meant 898 journal records were added to LEO. (This was down from 1,565 in 2000-01 when titles in the ScienceDirect online collection were added.) Of the 898, 547 were new, non-government document journals, and 346 of these were in electronic format. New government document journals totaled 351, with 188 in electronic format. Selected Virginia documents records are being added to LEO; previously, Virginia documents were not cataloged.
Special Collections completed the digitization of the JMU pre-1985 historical photos collection.
For the first time in over five years, circulation checkouts in Carrier Library increased from the previous year, going from 105,883 in FY 2000-01 to 112,416 in 2001-02, an increase of over six percent.
During recent years when the circulation rate was declining, JMUs enrollment was increasing slightly (although the large jump in enrollment had already occurred). Table 1 below compares library circulation with student enrollment for the past five years:
|Initial Checkouts||Student Enrollment||Checkouts/Student|
Carrier Librarys gate count during its typical sample week in October, 2001, went from 17,702 to 21,235, an increase of 20 percent; however, reference questions were down by over eight percent from 955 to 876 during the sample week.
Interlibrary Loan (ILL): Borrowing increased slightly in FY 2001-02, with total filled loans rising from 12,183 in the previous year to 12,969 this year. Most of this increased borrowing was due to increased requests for returnables, which rose from 4,359 to 5,202, a 19 percent increase. (Returnables refer to books and other materials that must be returned to the lending library.) Photocopy requests dropped slightly, from 7,824 last year to 7,767 this year.
ILL lending remained at almost the same rate as the previous year, from 8,218 in FY 2000-01 to 8,013 this year. There was a slight drop in the number of photocopies lent to other libraries: from 4,061 to 3,854.
The Library ended its pilot project with Science and Math faculty that allowed them to order articles directly from CISTI (the Canadian document delivery supplier) using CISTIs online Table of Contents service. Faculty use of the service had been dropping. The Interlibrary Loan unit will continue to use CISTI as one of its science document providers. Eliminating the Table of Contents service saved the Library $5,000 but will increase CISTI ordering costs by $1.00 per article.
CISAT Library: The CISAT Library implemented E-reserves, with over 160 scanned or other electronically submitted documents posted during its first year. Students can locate E-reserves using LEO, and click on the link in the record to view reserve materials. The CISAT Library doubled the size of its reference collection, going from approximately 500 to 1000 items. The number of Carrier Library items delivered to CISAT increased by over 70 percent, from 367 in the previous year to 627 in 2001-02.
Music Library: The concurrent license for the RealSystem Streaming Media used to support the Digital Orpheus Project initiated by the Music Library to stream audio was upgraded from 60 to 100 users between the Fall 2001 and Spring 2002 semesters. This is the first streaming server the library has supported and it has provided 100 percent uptime even during heavy use on days prior to exams.
Pay for Print: JMU Libraries implemented fee-based printing at the beginning of Fall Semester, 2001. All printing jobs in the Carrier Library reference area are now sent to a central monitor where users can view costs before activating printing by swiping their JAC card. Cost is five cents per page. The new system allows for printing from all 43 computers in the reference area, an increase from the 19 workstations with print capability before the switchover. In addition, the new system also supports printing from the 16 computers in the Carrier Library computer lab. The main advantage of the new system is the elimination of waste printing. Paper and toner costs have dropped dramatically. Revenue from fee-based printing will be used to support other printing and copying services in the Libraries.
JMU Libraries had the support of the student activist group Project E.A.R.T.H. (Environmental Awareness and Restoration Through our Help), who promoted fee-based printing as a way to conserve paper. Possibly because of this support, student complaints about printing fees have been minimal. At Project E.A.R.T.H.S urging, the Libraries also began using 100 percent recycled paper, and was instrumental in moving JMU Procurement to pursue a statewide purchasing contract for 100 percent recycled paper.
Ask a Librarian Online Reference Service: With 374 queries last year, the service is not heavily used, although this number represents a 53 percent increase over the previous year. Interestingly, most questions are submitted during daytime hours, with additional peaks at 6-7 p.m. and 8-9 p.m.
Empowering Library Users
Database Use: Our use of VIVA databases continues to be some of the highest among the VIVA libraries, in some cases ranking with use levels of doctoral institutions. Use of several databases increased markedly over the previous year; some examples include Annual Reviews (581% increase over 2000-01), CINAHL (374% increase), PsycInfo (323% increase), Biological Abstracts (309% increase), Gale Literary Index (290% increase), and Web of Science (195% increase).
The charts below show comparisons of JMU database use and that of other Virginia comprehensive and doctoral universities for FirstSearch and PsycInfo databases:
Budget Impacts on Database Access: To cut costs, JMU Libraries reduced the number of concurrent users for two databases: Web of Science was lowered from 5 to 4, and the AP Multimedia Archive from 5 to 1. VIVA also acted to reduce the number of concurrent users for the OCLC FirstSearch database service from 31 to 18 (to take effect July 1, 2002). These actions mean it is much more likely that users next year will be unable to connect to these databases during peak hours.
Content Linking: Many vendors introduced or expanded the ability to link from citations to full text content available from other vendors. Examples include linking from FirstSearch to JSTOR, and from ABC-CLIO (America: History & Life and Historical Abstracts) to both Project Muse and JSTOR. OVID continued to try to implement OpenLinking, with varying success. Some databases began providing increased linking to library services, such as the links to our catalog in FirstSearch.
Interlibrary Loan Electronic Delivery: Interlibrary Loan continued to make improvements in its ability to deliver articles electronically to patrons desktops. As of 2001-02, 65 percent of all registered Illiad users had signed up for electronic delivery. The average turnaround for articles was 8.85 days.
JMU Libraries assumed responsibility for the proxy services after determining that a Windows-based proxy system was needed to access the new Gale databases. Formerly managed on an IT server, the proxy services now reside on the Libraries main web server.
Education for the Information Age
Library Instruction: JMU Libraries was identified by the ACRL Institute for Information Literacy as one of ten institutions or programs that exemplified best practices in information literacy programming for undergraduates. In June, Lynn Cameron and Rebecca Feind presented at the ACRL Best Practices Information Literacy Invitational Conference, along with Harry Reif, Assistant Professor of Business, and Violet Allain, Associate Dean of General Education (Kathy Clarke was also scheduled to present, but was unable to attend). The conference brought together those involved in model programs to collaborate on further development of best practice characteristics. As a result of the conference, a series of composite models for best practices will be developed.
This year, the number of library instruction sessions dropped from 306 to 273, but the number of students and faculty who attended instruction climbed to 7,104, up from 6,795 the previous year. The average class size rose to 26, compared to 22 in 2000-01.
In online instruction, 3,333 students used Go for the Gold during the 2001-02 academic year.
The following librarians taught credit courses:
| Brian Cockburn
| Music 600
HTH 390 (team-taught)
Efforts continued to encourage implementation of information literacy into the General Education curriculum. Rebecca Feind taught workshops again this year for Cluster One faculty to orient them with Go for the Gold, the new competency test, and to help them develop good information-seeking assignments.
Competency Test: For the third year, the online Information-Seeking Skills Test (ISST) was required as a competency test that all first-year students enrolled in Cluster One courses were required to pass. Eighty-five percent of all first-year students passed the test by the April deadline, a larger proportion than in previous years. The Assessment Center tested new questions for the ISST during 2001-02 and will use these questions in new forms of the test, improving its validity. Lynn Cameron also worked with the Assessment Office and the VA Community College System to modify the ISST for use by Virginia community colleges. Five community colleges used the test in Spring, 2002.
Commitments to Innovation
The Libraries purchased two Endeavor products, EnCompass and LinkFinderPlus, with the software being delivered at the end of June. System staff began testing LinkFinderPlus on a trial database from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts.
A new online scheduling program for booking library classrooms and meeting rooms was developed in-house in a cooperative venture between reference and systems staff. The new system allows inputting and tracking of instruction data, including the number of students in a session, level, department, and instructor name. Librarians can now schedule instruction sessions and check meeting room availability from their desktops.
JMU Informational Technology installed wireless network access in Carrier Library as part of a campus-wide project. The Library plans in the coming year to acquire a small number of laptop computers with wireless cards that may be checked out to use in the building.
New Periodicals Room: Current journals and newspapers moved to open stacks within a newly renovated reading room adjacent to the Reference area on Carrier Librarys main floor. The room also contains lounge seating with comfortable upholstered couches and chairs, study tables, and a photocopier, so users can copy articles without removing issues from the room. With the move to open journal stacks, JMU joins the trend of most academic libraries in providing open user access to current journals.
Funding for the renovated Periodicals Room was provided by donations from the Classes of 1951 and 2001. These two classes combined their fundraising forces and earmarked funds to renovate space vacated when the County Law Library moved to its new home in the Massanutten Regional Library in downtown Harrisonburg.
The microform collection moved into the space previously occupied by the closed periodicals collection. The new Microforms room has lowered lighting to facilitate viewing on microform readers. Additional study seating fills the space on the second floor opened by relocating Microforms. Closed Reserves, formerly located at the service desk on the second floor, are now located at the Public Services Desk.
Room 203 was added as a second library instruction room. It will be equipped with a whiteboard, screen, projector, and wireless access in the coming months.
The environment for the Juvenile Collection was enhanced to better meet the needs of College of Education students and faculty. Changes include furniture arrangements that allow for class meetings in the area, and displays of new books, thematic book lists, and posters.
Two librarians joined Carrier Librarys staff: Claire Clemens was hired in September as Education Librarian. Jennifer Keach was hired in May as the Electronic Services Librarian. A third librarian position in Technical Services remained unfilled after two unsuccessful searches. Mary Wilson Stewart retired as the Preservation Coordinator. At the end of the fiscal year, one librarian position and two classified staff positions in Technical Services were vacant.
Staff Development: The Staff Development Committee provided a number of training sessions for library faculty and staff, including Gale Business & company Resource Center, Gale Health & Wellness Resource Center, ERIC, and FrontPage. General interest development sessions included Dr. Dabney Bankerts presentation on the unique Anglo-Saxon Dictionary in Special Collections, and Who are Our Students? by Michael Walsh of JMU Admissions.
Strategic Partnerships JMU Libraries continued its strategic partnership with VIVA. The reliance upon VIVA by all academic libraries in the state is starkly apparent in the face of impending cuts in services and collections.
The Media Center collaborated with Informational Technology and the college technology coordinators to provide licensed software installation and use support. This includes distribution of installation copies of Office 2000 for PC and Mac to JMU faculty and staff.
LibQUAL: In 2002, JMU Libraries participated in LibQUAL, a national survey of library service quality. JMU was one of 169 academic and research libraries participating in the LibQUAL project. The survey measures library users perceptions of their librarys services and identifies gaps between minimal, desirable, and perceived levels of service. At JMU, all faculty and graduate students, along with a sample of undergraduates, were surveyed. JMU received the results of the survey in June. The results confirmed responses given in the Continuing Student Survey and in last years Faculty Morale Survey. Respondents were generally satisfied with services at JMU Libraries, but felt that book and journal collections were inadequate.
All user groups saw weaknesses in complete runs of journal titles and comprehensive print collections (gap was -.49 and -.25 respectively). This was heavily weighted by graduate student and faculty perceptions; for undergraduates only, the gaps in those two areas didnt run into negative numbers (.42 and .69 respectively).
The highest percentage of undergraduate respondents were business majors (24%). Next highest were social science majors and undecided (both 15%). Only six percent of respondents were humanities majors. (By comparison, approximately 24 percent of all JMU undergraduate majors are in business, seven percent are in social sciences, 15 percent are undeclared, and nearly 20 percent are the humanities.)
Graduate students registered the gap between minimum acceptable service and perceived service for journal collections at -.50, and for print collections, -.26. As expected given our graduate programs, most graduate respondents either were social sciences (27%), health sciences (24%), or education (16%). Humanities graduate students were present at seven percent.
Faculty registered the greatest perceived gaps in services for journal collections (-1.04) and print collections (-.97). Interestingly, the largest percentage of faculty respondents was in the humanities (18%).
Another measure, the library as a place, showed interesting results. For all user groups the perceptions were positive, but the highest score was from graduate students: .70 for all users, .78 for undergrads, .89 for graduate students, and for faculty .56.
A comparison of perceived gaps in service for all users and the three cohorts is shown in the chart below:
James Madison University Libraries & Educational Technologies