JMU Libraries: Annual Report 2002-2003
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Flexible Collections The 2002-03 fiscal saw a remarkable turnaround in the Libraries’ budget situation, ending on a positive note. As the library entered the fiscal year, the state’s budget problems and the threat of further revisions continued. The library was asked to plan for reversions of up to 15 percent of current funding levels. In response, the library implemented a moratorium on book purchasing, including the approval plan, in August, 2003. No allocation letters were sent to departments. As the fiscal year progressed, the budget crisis was resolved, and the materials budget suffered no loss of funds. Book ordering was reinstated in October, 2003; however, the loss in order time resulted in a 20 percent drop in the number of monographic purchases (books, scores, maps, etc.) for the year, from 9,693 in FY 2001-2002 to 7,754 this year (see Figure 1 below). The average cost of a monograph rose from $38.29 in 2001-2002 to $56.07 in 2002-2003.

Figure 1

Shortly before the end of the fiscal year, University Administration informed the library that it was receiving $500,000 in additional funding, plus a $500,000 increase to next year’s materials budget base. The one-time infusion was spent on prepayments for 2004 journal subscriptions. The budget increase also allowed the Library to purchase numerous database subscriptions (see Serials section below).

Figure 2

For the first time, liaisons submitted annual reports on collection development activities and concerns for their respective academic departments. Aside from establishing a record of liaison activity, the reports proved useful for the Collection Development Committee in determining particular subject area needs when reallocating budget resources for the following fiscal year. Serials: In response to projected budget shortfalls, the Library initiated a journal review in February, 2003 with the goal of targeting ten percent of the journals budget for cancellation. Near the end of the review project, the Library learned of additional materials funding, so actual cuts amounted to only $46,490 in low use and/or high cost journal subscriptions. The library also added $14,475 in new titles for departments who had identified journal cuts above the targeted amounts. In all, 171 journal subscriptions were cancelled. However, 430 new electronic journals were added, including BioOne and the JSTOR Arts Sciences II, Business, and Language & Literature Collections. BioOne is an alternative publishing model, a cost-effective publishing collaboration between scientific societies, libraries, and the private sector to provide online access to research journals. This acquisition helped the Library toward its goal of supporting alternative publishing models. Table 1 below shows the number of journal subscriptions by format over the past five years. All are subscriptions paid for by JMU Libraries, with the exception of VIVA journals, which are electronic subscriptions provided through the statewide consortium. Figure 3 below graphs subscription expenditures by format for the period.

Table 1
Journal Subscriptions by Format


Journal Subscriptions FY 98/99 FY 99/00 FY 00-01 FY 01-02 FY 02-03
Print 2,188 2,168 2,106 1,889 1,731
Electronic 82 423 1,707 2,065 2,314
VIVA Journals 293 399 748 1,022 1,107
Microform 465 461 461 425 277

Figure 3

In December, 2002, the library learned that divine,inc., the parent company for its serial jobber RoweCom/Faxon, was in financial straits and had not been paying publishers for subscriptions that its customers had prepaid. The companies later declared bankruptcy, leaving a great deal of uncertainty about whether publishers would get their money and libraries would receive their subscriptions. JMU Libraries was in good company with numerous libraries across the country, including some major research libraries that found themselves in the same situation. Eventually, Ebsco, a major subscription agency, agreed to purchase RoweCom/Faxon, while many publishers offered in good faith to “grace” 2003 subscriptions to libraries, so that the disruption and financial loss was minimal. Databases: Based on collection decisions made in the previous year, the Library cancelled the following databases: CollegeSource, SRM Database of Social Research Methodology, Criminal Justice Abstracts, Women’s Studies on Disc, and BHA: Bibliography of the History of Art. Access to Linguistics & Language Behavior Abstracts (LLBA) was switched from WebSPIRS to Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. In addition to these local cuts, VIVA canceled PCI: Periodical Contents Index, and moved access to Sociological Abstracts from OVID to Cambridge Scientific Abstracts. VIVA funding provided access to a few new database titles, including Media Review Digest (FirstSearch), and Global Books in Print from Bowker. The Library’s current subscription to Bowker’s UlrichsWeb also moved to VIVA. After a brief period of unavailability, VIVA again offered access to ArticleFirst and World Almanacs via FirstSearch. JMU Libraries added several databases that VIVA, our statewide library consortium, had been forced to drop last fiscal year when it suffered budget reductions. These included Reader’s Guide, Social Science Abstracts, and Humanities Index (covered in our subscription to Wilson Omni File), FactSearch, RILM, and Humanities Index. The Collection Development Committee approved the purchase or license of the following databases for the coming year:

Cataloging: Access to collection records was enhanced by the addition of contents summaries for videotapes and for Caldecott Award-winning juvenile books. In addition, 2,381 authority records were added to the catalog this year, a 23 percent increase from last year. Preservation: The Library continued its policy of binding only reference and selected high use new titles. Binding expenditures were reduced this year by over 23 percent; this was on top of a 45 percent reduction last year (see Figure 4).

Figure 4


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Integrated Access Periodical Locator: The Library implemented an enhanced version of the Periodical Title Search function, now called Periodical Locator. The new system is ASP-based and utilizes holdings files from Serials Solutions, an authoritative source for journal holdings information. Data from Serials Solutions is now updated monthly rather than bi-monthly. ENCompass: Technical Services and Systems staff continue to work on configuring ENCompass for use, and on editing and creating Document Type Definitions (DTDs), XML files, XSL and Java programs. Serials staff implemented the DCDot metadata harvesting and editing tool developed by the UK Office for Library and Information Networking, and entered over 700 records into ENCompass for various pilot projects with the help of DCDot, including a Biology subject guide page, a database of databases, and the SBA gateway. Millennium: A Library task force recommended the upgrade of the current Innovative Interfaces library management system to Innovative’s Millennium system. Work in proceeding with JMU Procurement on negotiating the contract, and Technical Services staff members are investigating issues related to data migration, including possible reindexing of the database.


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User-Centered Services Circulation: After a small uptick last year, initial checkouts were down slightly again this fiscal year, going from 112,416 in FY 2001-02 to 103,692 this year. With enrollment continuing to increase slightly, the ratio of checkouts per student continues to drop (see Table 2 below).

Table 2
Initial Checkouts per Student: 1998-2003


Initial Checkouts Student Enrollment Checkouts/Student
1998-99 120,444 14,414 8.36
1999-00 111,685 14,814 7.54
2000-01 105,883 14,961 7.08
2001-02 112,416 15,152 7.42
2002-03 103,692 15,612 6.64

Source for student enrollment figures: JMU Institutional Research Table 2.1

This year marked the beginning of combined Reserves and Circulation Services at Carrier Library. Reserves checkouts at all library locations totaled over 40,700. Library Traffic: Carrier Library’s gate count continued to fluctuate: during the typical sample week in October, 2002, the gate count was 17,614, down from a high of 21,235 in 2001. The number of reference questions during the typical week dropped from 876 in 2001 to 739, a 16 percent drop. Interlibrary Loan: Registered users on the Illiad system total 4,075 at the end of the fiscal year. The number of journal articles borrowed fell by 18 percent, from 7,771 in FY 2001-02 to 6,348 this year. The average turnaround time for electronic delivery of articles dropped to a remarkable 4.7 days based on 24/7; in 1999-01 the turnaround time was 8.8 days. The number of requests for returnables (materials that must be returned to the lending library) increased from 5,202 last year to 6,348, a 22 percent increase. The average turnaround for physical items was 9.47 days, slightly less than the 9.9 reported last year. Figure 5 below charts the levels of ILL borrowing for both photocopies and returnable materials for the past ten years.

Figure 5

ILL lending increased by less than three percent overall in the previous year. Returnables loaned dropped by somewhat less than four percent, from 4,159 to 4,008; but the year saw an increase in photocopies loaned, moving from 3,854 last year to 4,226, an increase of almost ten percent. ILL was able to fill 76 percent of lending requests. Figure 6 below tracks the amount of ILL lending for both photocopies and returnable materials for the previous ten-year period.

Figure 6

E-Reserves: A task force was formed this year with Brian Cockburn, John McGehee, Susan Nichols and Mike Riggs as members to examine policies and procedures needed to move e-reserves from a pilot project to a full service.


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Education for the Information Age Library Instruction: Both the number of instruction sessions and total students who attended dropped slightly. In 2002-03, the number of class sessions was 252, down from 273; the total number of attendees was 6,543, down from 7,104. The average class size was 26 compared with 27 last year. A total of 3,616 students used Go for the Gold during the 2002-03 academic year. The following librarians taught credit courses:

GenEd Cluster One Faculty Training: During August, Rebecca Feind provided information literacy training to 35 Cluster One faculty members from the Writing Program, Speech Communication, Media Arts, Business, History, and Philosophy (Critical Thinking).

Training topics included:

ISST: For the fourth year, the online Information-Seeking Skills Test, or ISST, was required as a competency test for all first-year students enrolled in GenEd’s Cluster One. This year 87 percent of first-year students passed the test by the August deadline, a higher percentage than in previous years. Multiple versions of the test were added, which increased the test’s validity.

In cooperation with the Center for Assessment and Research Studies (CARS), the library also supported the use of the ISST by the Virginia Community College System. Information Literacy Test: The library collaborated with CARS to develop a test instrument called the Information Literacy Test that can be marketed to other institutions. The test addresses ACRL Information Literacy Standards I, II, III, and IV, and uses ADaptex software developed by CARS instead of the HTML frames currently used by the ISST and tests for majors. The new test does not link to databases, catalogs, or the Internet, making it easier to maintain than the ISST. Items in the test have been completed and a first version will be piloted on entering freshmen on Assessment Day in August. The test should be ready for commercial distribution by late 2003.


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Commitment to Innovation Systems continued its efforts in development of the ENCompass system in connection with the SBA business gateway, focusing on federated search capabilities and using the ENCompass Oracle database for database-driven web pages. Wireless Networks: The library and Media Resources in cooperation with Information Technology completed the implementation of a wireless network throughout much of the Carrier Library building. Media Resources began offering wireless laptop computers for circulation to students this year, encountering few practical problems with this new service. During the year, Media Resources recorded approximately 1,000 check-outs for laptops. PDAs: Through a grant in cooperation with the College, the CISAT Library received 32 Toshiba e740 PDAs with built-in wireless Access in December 2002 in order to explore ways to use this new technology in the Health Sciences Informatics class. They were distributed to students and faculty in the Health Informatics class in the Spring of 2003 and again in the fall of 2003. PDAs were also circulated to faculty in nursing, the physician assistant program, health sciences, communication sciences and disorders, geography and the Library. Library and ISAT faculty continue to work with the devices and discuss ways to integrate them into various classes. New Hardware Installations:

Library Web Improvements: JMU Historic Photos on CD: Special Collections completed the digitalization of the JMU historic photos, publishing the photos on CDs with TIFF images. Twelve sets of CDs were housed in notebooks; four were given to appropriate campus offices; three were retained for archival back-up; and five were made available for check-out. Several sets were checked out within the first week they became available.


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Optimal Environment Noise Policies: The Library drafted a new Noise and Cell Phone Policy for Carrier Library to be implemented at the start of Fall Semester, 2003. The policy was in response to user comments communicated through the Library’s Student Advisory Committee and the LibQual survey. Through the policy, the Library established the following Quiet Zones in Carrier Library: First Floor
Periodicals Reading Room
Center for Arts and World Culture Study Table
Second Floor
L - M stacks area
Entire Third Floor, except group study rooms
Second to fifth level stacks
The Library also designated areas where group study was allowed. These areas, termed "considerate zones" are: First floor
Study tables outside Computer Lab
Study tables in Government Documents area
Reference Area Second floor
Study tables outside Microforms room
Group Study room 247, and Study Carrels 231, 233-237 Third floor
Group Study rooms 305-310 only The cell phone policy asks users to turn off cell phones when in the building, and to limit phone conversations to the lobby and enclosed stairwells.
New Microform Readers: Two new microform reader/printers were purchased, including one connected to a PC allowing scanning and saving of documents to disk. Users were enthusiastic about these changes. New Building in the Future: In November, 2002, the voters of Virginia passed a bond referendum that will allocate $900.5 million for new facilities and renovations to existing buildings on campuses throughout the Commonwealth. While every university, college and community college in the state will benefit from the bond issue, JMU had the largest dollar amount of projects of any college or university in Virginia in the referendum, with seven projects totaling just under $100 million. One of the projects will be a new library facility for the CISAT campus. The library will allow space for specialized science and technology resources and will augment the resources at Carrier Library. The planning phase for the new facility is estimated to begin in 2005.


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Quality Workforce Staff Development Events: The Staff Development Committee hosted 11 workshops or training events during the 2002-2003 fiscal. The Committee also conducted a library-wide survey to assess future training needs. Survey results showed that the highest ranked topics were: database searching skills, email, database-driven web pages, and organizational communication. Employment Changes: Gordon Miller retired after serving 25 years as a history and reference librarian at JMU. Judy Breeden, Circulation Manager, retired in June after 32 years of service; Maggie Funkhouser retired after serving 30 years in the Cataloging Department. Julia Merkel was hired as the new Preservation Manager. Other new hires included Jen Edwards in Systems, Rob Kloetzer in Cataloging, Jeremy Magoon in Circulation, and Cindi Sandridge in Serials.


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Strategic Partnerships JMU maintained its strategic partnership with VIVA, with Dean Ralph Alberico continuing to serve as chair of the VIVA Steering Committee. Chris Bolgiano and several other library worked with the JMU Photography Office as it launched a pilot project to digitize over 15,000 photos filed with the office since 1972. Library personnel provided assistance in designing the project to meet with library standards. SBA Grant: In 2002, the Libraries and Educational Technologies division of James Madison University received a $1 million grant award from the U.S. Small Business Administration to develop materials that will help small businesses, business students and educators become more efficient and more knowledgeable consumers of digital information. This project is a partnership involving JMU Libraries & Educational Technologies, the College of Business, CISAT, the Small Business Development Center and other agencies. The effort will produce

The project provides L&ET with the opportunity to purchase new hardware and software technology in order to develop and improve digital information and learning resources. The resulting gateway will offer innovative ways of delivering information and instruction, and to strengthen the University’s distance learning programs at the same time it is expanding support for small business in the region.


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