JMU Libraries: Annual Report 2004-2005
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Executive Summary :: Flexible Collections :: Integrated Access :: User Centered Services :: Education for the Information Age :: Commitment to Innovation :: Optimal Environment :: Quality Workforce :: Strategic Partnerships

Executive Summary

Another increase in the materials budget allowed the Libraries once again to significantly expand all types of collections. Monograph purchases increased by 22 percent. Thirty-one new databases were added, bringing the total to 302. Database use continued to grow dramatically, with the number of searches increasing by over 19 percent. Acquiring and managing new collections presented new challenges to an already over-extended staff, yet the year was highly productive with several new projects launched, including a redesign of both LEO the Library catalog, and the Libraries' web site. Technical Services began implementation of Innovative Interfaces' Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system which tracks contact, resource, and licensing information for most VIVA licenses; information on JMU databases will also be entered. Serials staff devised proactive procedures to track and catch changes in the Libraries' e-journal subscriptions before patrons notice a problem. Carrier Library implemented 24-hour access on a trial basis during Fall Semester 2004 finals week; the experiment was a success and 24-hour access during finals will continue. Digital Services began conducting usability tests this year of the redesigned LEO and library web pages. Liaison librarians initiated planning for a faculty development workshop in information literacy. Library staff were heavily involved in professional development activities both as participants and trainers. The Library completed projects funded by its $1 million grant with the Small Business Administration. Projects made possible by the grant included pioneering a reference linking service, software and hardware to support online learning, development of the Shenandoah Valley Business Link, an online business gateway, and the acquisition of a number of major business information collections. A new library facility on the East Campus moved even closer on the horizon, with the proposed completion date accelerated to 2008. The Design Collective of Baltimore was chosen as the architectural design firm.

Overall, the Libraries accomplished its strategic goals for 2004-05. Future challenges for the coming year include working with the architect, contractor, and Facilities Management as the new building project moves to the construction phase; integrating services throughout Libraries and Educational Technologies; and the development of a new strategic plan.

The following narrative highlights actions and achievements for the year. The report's sections correspond to the JMU Libraries' Strategic Goals.

Flexible Collections

Materials Budget: For the third year in a row, the Libraries received a $500,000 increase for materials, bringing the total base budget to $2,388,885. This represents a 26 percent increase over last year, and a 72 percent increase over the base materials budget during the steady-state budget during much of the 1990s.

Figure 1 shows the breakdown in materials expenditures for the year. Expenditures for journals and standing orders remains the largest category in the materials budget at 42 percent. Since a considerable portion of the materials budget's additional funding went toward the purchase of databases, expenditures for databases was broken out separately from journal subscriptions in this year's report. Databases represented 30 percent of the materials budget, or over $759,000, up from $429,000 last fiscal year.

Figure 1
Figure 1
Source: 2005 Collection & Financial Report

Serials: JMU now subscribes to 5,648 individual journal titles while VIVA journals add access to an additional 1,361 titles. When these two sets of holdings are combined with the holdings in full-text databases and free e-journals to which the library catalog provide access, over 22,000 unique e-journal titles are available to the Libraries' patrons, with thousands more titles available from more than one source--many without holdings overlap.

In FY 04/05, JMU purchased access to Kluwer e-journals through a consortium agreement with University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Radford, William & Mary, Old Dominion University, Washington & Lee, University of Richmond, and Norfolk State. JMU also subscribed to three new Sage Full-Text e-journal collections, Criminology, Political Science, and Psychology, as well as a new collection from the American Anthropological Association named AnthroSource and ProQuest's American Periodical Series. JMU Libraries also purchased archival collections of JSTOR General Science, Annual Reviews, and ScienceDirect's Social Science, Neuroscience, Psychology, and Nursing & Health Professions. In all, Serials staff currently track and maintain over 32,000 e-journal holdings statements in the Periodical Locator and our link resolver LinkFinderPlus for patron access, while continuing to catalog subscribed holdings directly from publishers in Leo, as well. The Library now is clearly in the position to provide journals that support a broad-based, demanding curriculum. The Library also has taken many steps to make those journals more accessible and easier to use.

Figure 2 shows the number of JMU and VIVA journal subscriptions by format.

Image004 Figure 2
Source: Technical Services' Collection Inventory Statistics

Table 1 below shows the portion of total materials expenditures that were devoted to electronic monographs, journals, and databases. E-books that are not part of searchable e-collections represented less than 1 percent of monograph expenditures, while electronic journals accounted for over 56 percent of journal costs. Taken together, electronic books, journals, and database expenditures amount to 50 percent of total materials expenditures.

Table 1
Expenditures for Electronic Books, Journals, Databases
Format Expenditure
E-books $1,580
E-journals $621,474
E-databases $759,355
Total $1,382,409
Total Materials Expenditures $2,764,818
% Electronic 50%

Journal usage: In FY 2004-05 JMU Libraries joined Project COUNTER to support of COUNTER- compliant usage reports. Throughout the year, Serials staff continued to record and analyze use statistics and pricing for the JMU Libraries' collection. Usage of e-journals increased by 25% in FY 2004-05 over the previous year for those e-journals for which statistics were available. Usage statistics were available for all but 13 of the JMU/VIVA e-journal collections this year, down from the 28 collections which failed to provide use statistics in 2003-04. Of those collections for which use statistics were available, only eight were not COUNTER-compliant.

Because of the dynamic nature of e-journals and the fact that many publishers/vendors do not regularly report changes, JMU Libraries' Serials staff have devised procedures to track and catch changes in the Libraries' e-journal subscriptions before patrons notice a problem. Serials staff continuously activate and modify print and e-journal title and collection holdings in Serials Solutions (the system that drives the Libraries' Periodical Locator). Staff also reconcile holding information with LEO and LinkFinderPlus, the Libraries' link resolver, to further improve users' access to full-text journal articles.

Monographs: The percentage of the materials budget expended on monographs dropped to 18 percent, from a level of 25 percent in the previous year. This reflects a decrease in expenditures, down by 15 percent from the previous year; however, this drop was due to closing out the deposit account with the Libraries' primary book vendor rather than an actual decrease in purchases. In fact, the number of monographs (including scores and maps) acquired rose to 14,586, up from 11,958, a 22 percent increase. The average cost per title dropped from $43.09 in FY 2003-04 to $30.80 in FY 2004-05. Figure 3 shows the number of monographs purchased over the past ten years.

Figure 3
Source: 2005 Collection & Financial Report

The Libraries experienced significant delays in delivery turnaround with its primary book vendor in FY 2004-05, the last year of its contract. The Libraries initiated a Request for Proposal for firm orders, approvals, and standing orders, and new contracts were awarded to Coutts Library Services and Yankee Book Peddler, effective July 2005.

Databases: Thirty-one new databases were added this year, bringing the total to 302, up from 276 last year. Electronic reference materials (databases) expenditures totaled $759,355 in FY 2004-5, almost a 56 percent increase from the previous year's expenditure of $428,859. The number of databases trialed totaled 29.

Figure 4
Source: Digital Services Annual Report 2004-2005

Database use continued to grow dramatically. For those databases that provide search statistics, JMU users entered a total of 1,354,527 searches or queries. Last year's total was 1,092,919, an increase of over 19 percent. Digital Services staff undertook various promotion efforts to make users aware of the new resources, including a pilot project in which postcards promoting RefWorks were sent to all faculty. The project was well-received, and postcards targeting specific subject databases were created on a per-department basis, in coordination with liaisons. Table 2 shows the most highly used databases.

Table 2
Databases Ranked by Number of Searches
Databases Searches per month (2004-2005)
InfoTrac OneFile (Gale) 12,814
PsycINFO (OVID) 8,989
Health & Wellness Resource Center (Gale) 7,490
Expanded Academic ASAP (Gale) 7,417
Business & Company Resource Center (Gale) 7,149
OmniFile Full Text Mega (Wilson) 6,096
LexisNexis Academic (LexisNexis) 5,430
ABI/Inform Global (ProQuest) 2,911
WorldCat (OCLC) 2,568
Literature Resource Center (Gale)* 2,547
ERIC (OVID) 1,725
Biography & Genealogy Master Index (Gale) 1,696
SportDISCUS (OVID) 1,671
American National Biography 1,496
Source: Digital Services Annual Report 2004-2005

During FY 2004-05, Technical Services began implementation of Innovative Interfaces' Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system which tracks contact, resource, and licensing information for most VIVA licenses. Technical services is also in the process of recording license, contact, and resource information for JMU databases in ERM as well.

Staff also began the design and implementation of the new Multisearch feature for searching across multiple databases, working with members of the Web Projects team and liaisons for Nursing/Health Sciences, Biology, Geology/Environmental Sciences, Communication Sciences & Disorders, and Biography.

Cataloging: The increases in the materials budget continue to have a major impact on cataloging workloads. New print cataloging increased 26 percent from last year, and audio-visual cataloging increased 69 percent. Cataloging of e-monographs increased 2 ½ times over the previous year, due to the number of electronic collections purchased that were cataloged at the title level and added to LEO. The work also involved editing or merging existing records to provide ease of access. The number of e-books cataloged in FY 2004-05 was 11,524, compared to 3,267 in FY 2003-04, an increase of 253 percent.

A total of 3,346 journal records were added to LEO in FY 2004-05, up from 2,745 in FY 2003-04. Of the FY 05 total, 2,536 were for new, non-government document journal titles; of these, 1,386 (or 45 percent) were in electronic format. Cataloging of government documents saw a significant decrease of 37 percent from FY 04, however.

For the first time, records for streaming video were added to LEO, integrating titles from the Center for Instructional Technology (CIT)'s MDID steaming media project to existing records, or adding new records in LEO the library catalog. A total of 364 new titles were made available to through LEO. During the year, the Libraries acquired digital distribution rights in perpetuity for over 1,100 video titles from Films for the Humanities and Sciences.

Preservation and Binding: The preservation unit completed a total of 5,114 reports in FY 2004-05, up from 3,432 in the previous year, a 50 percent increase. The volume of commercial binding increased by 36 percent over the previous year, with binding costs rising to $64,580 from $40,595 in the previous year. Binding of periodicals increased 15 percent, monographs increased six percent, picture covers are up 77 percent, binding of theses and dissertations increased 49 percent.

Integrated Access

LEO Redesign: LEO's new look was launched on April 1, 2005, with new features including a search box on the front page, advanced keyword searching, sorting options, book cover art, detailed results lists, some predefined searches, and more FAQs. The project was a collaboration between Digital Services and the Serials unit, with Cheri Duncan, Deb Fahrney, Jennifer Keach, and Paul Wampler as the major contributors.

Web Redesign: With the hiring of Digital Services Librarian Jody Fagan in August, the Web Projects Team began the process of redesigning the Libaries' web presence began in earnest. Work completed during FY 2004-05 included:

  • Implementation of new, improved site searching using Thunderstone
  • Mockups of front and secondary pages for all subwebs (Carrier, CISAT, Media Resources, Music, Special Collections) giving each of these a unified look
  • Creation of InfoApp, an ASP.NET database applications for news announcements, featured connections, FAQs, and StaffDir, which provides a central database of staff information for the staff directory. These applications were developed by Bill Hartman.
  • Rough draft of a new L&ET logo created by Craig Baugher of CIT.

The first phase of the new web site was scheduled for release in August 2005.

User Centered Services

Library Traffic and Circulation: Carrier Library continues to be a busy place for study and social interaction; however, the gate counts and reference transactions did not reflect any upward trends this year, possibly because our “typical week” sample unfortunately was scheduled for the week that included fall break weekend. The gate count sample taken in October, 2004, was 17,056, down slightly from last year's 18,033. Reference transactions were down, with a total for the sample week of 710, down from 970 in 2003. Circulation was also down slightly from the previous year, with 175,233 checkouts at all locations, compared to 179,718 in FY 2003-04 (separate counts of initial checkouts and renewals is no longer available from the Libraries' circulation system.) Checkout of reserves (physical copies) was 17,371 in FY 2004-05, a full 30 percent drop over FY 2003-04's level of 24,840. This was likely due to inroads made on closed reserves by E-Reserves and faculty's use of Blackboard to post readings.

Carrier Library implemented 24-hour access on a trial basis during Fall Semester 2004 finals week, following a request from the President of the Student Government Association. The experiment was a success, with moderate to heavy use recorded throughout most night-time hours. Attendance counts indicated that peak usage hours were from 11 to 3 a.m., when between 125 and 500 students were in the Library. Even the hours between 4 to 5 a.m. had a strong showing with between 80 to 100 people in the building. Based on the student response, Carrier Library is continuing to offer 24-hour access for study during finals week. One student made the most of the round-the-clock access by pitching a tent.

Figure 5

Digital Reference: 396 questions were submitted to the Ask-a-Librarian e-mail service, a negligible increase over recent years.

Table 3
Email Reference Questions: 1999-2005
Email Reference
Total # of Questions

The most popular hour to submit questions this year was the noon hour, which received nine percent of the questions asked (last year, 3-4 p.m. was the most popular).

Interlibrary Loan: JMU's rates of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) borrowing (that is, obtaining materials from other libraries for JMU users) increased by six percent over the previous year (see Figure 6 below). The number of requests for returnable materials rose by 17 percent from 5,580 to 6,549. The number of articles requested dropped by two percent to 6,228, compared to last year's 6,377. The ILL unit realized significant decreases in article turnaround time for articles this year.

Figure 6

ILL lending of materials to other libraries increased by more than nine percent this year, with most of the increase accounted for by lending of returnable items, which was up by 15 percent (5,540, compared to 4,804 the previous year). Lending of photocopies continues to remain steady (see Figure 7 below). Costs related to OCLC'S electronic ILL Fee Management system were up 12 percent over the previous year.

Figure 7

Usability: JMU Libraries conducted its first three usability tests this year. These were:

  • A cognitive walkthrough on three library front page prototypes, using library student workers.
  • A usability test of the new LEO using five JMU students and one faculty member, with bookstore gift certificates as incentives.
  • A usability test of a revised front page prototype and a research databases interactive prototype using one library student worker and five JMU students. Bookstore gift certificates were again offered as incentives.

Education for the Information Age

Library Instruction: Both the number of instruction sessions and total number of students who attended were lower in FY 2

004-5 than in the previous year (see Table 4). The number of instruction sessions dropped 261 to 241, while the number of students reached was 6,228, down from 7,394, for an average class size of 26. The number of students used Go for the Gold was 2,932, down from 3,199 the year before.

Number of Students
Number of Sessions
Average Class Size

Information Literacy: Information literacy tests in five majors have been developed by liaison librarians:

  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Social Work
  • ISAT
  • Sociology

Both the psychology and geography tests were revised and administered to seniors in the major this year. An information literacy test for social work was administered to a small sample in the Spring. The newly developed information literacy assessment test for ISAT was administered to all ISAT first-year students in Fall, 2004, and to all ISAT juniors enrolled in ISAT 491 senior thesis proposal class in the Spring. An analysis of test results showed a high correlation between higher test scores and higher numbers of library instruction classes attended by the students. Development of the sociology assessment test is in process.

The ILT was used by Virginia Community College students again in 2005. Lynn Cameron and Steve Wise made a presentations to librarians and instructional technology people at University of Richmond in March 4, 2005 and were guest speakers at the Pennsylvania Library Association College and Research Libraries Section Spring Meeting in Harrisonburg on May 20, 2005.

Faculty Development: Kathy Clarke, Claire Clemens, and Lynn Cameron developed a proposal for a three-day, faculty development workshop that will focus on developing information literacy assignments to be held in May, 2006. The workshop will pair up faculty and liaison librarians to work on an assignment together. The Center for Faculty Innovation has agreed to cosponsor the workshop. Pending success of the workshop, it may be developed into an ongoing program for faculty development.

The Library continued its support for General Education faculty by again offering a Summer Workshop on Information Literacy. Librarians also offered faculty training on the new RefWorks citation manager service.

Instruction Resource Repository: Jennifer Keach and Jennifer McCabe repurposed CIT's Collaborative Digital Archive to form the Collaborative Library Instruction Repository (CLIR). Librarians have begun to submit curriculum materials into CLIR to help other librarians developing new lesson plans.

Commitment to Innovation

Streaming Media: As of the end of FY 2004-05, members of the JMU community could access approximately 300 videos from the Libraries' collection of Films for the Humanities and Sciences and other publishers. Anticipated uses for the online videos include classroom viewing, coursework assignments, and independent research. The online video collection can be accessed in two ways: through the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) at , or through LEO, the library catalog. To find the entire list of titles in Leo, users can do a Word search for the phrase “online video.” Direct links to the individual titles can be pasted into Blackboard, web pages, e-mail, etc.

Document Delivery on campus: Interlibrary Loan implemented electronic delivery of materials to the CISAT Library beginning in February.

Improving the Library Web: Behind-the-scenes improvements on the Library Web went beyond the interface redesign. After more than a year without a reliable link checker, the Libraries purchased Link Defender and reinstituted broken link reports. Systems and Digital Services staff also evaluated and purchased Contribute as an interim content management system for the website. Contribute allows authors to easily publish to the site using templates and a WYSIWYG interface that produces cleaner HTML markup than FrontPage typically does. All authors to the public and staff websites will begin using Contribute instead of FrontPage beginning in August.

Another improvement was the in-house development of "InfoApp" and "StaffDir," ASP.NET database applications for news announcements, featured connections, FAQs, and the staff directory created by Bill Hartman. InfoApp automates the process of news announcements to the Libraries' web pages by allowing Web authors to create items and share them with other web authors by placing them in the InfoApp database. Web authors wishing to include these items can publish them to their pages. Web authors can limit items by category and date, so only pertinent and timely items will display. StaffDir provides a central database of staff information for publishing information about the staff for both the public website and the intranet.

Systems also implemented a new and improved site search on the Library web and staffweb using Thunderstone.

Optimal Environment

Traffic in the E-Reference Area: Network Services has increased the number of wireless access points to cover all of Carrier Library, but traffic at the desktop workstations continues to be high during the busiest times (usually mid-day during semesters). In response to a handful of student requests, we instituted two "Wait Here" locations. They have been warmly received by the patrons. Even during the busiest times, the line typically only builds to 5 people waiting and it moves quickly. Network Services also rewired the Reference Area, adding connections for more workstations throughout the area, allowing us to add more workstations in the future.

Repairs to Carrier Library: During the year, the tile roof on the old part of the library was replaced and drainage on the exterior of the building was corrected. These repairs addressed the leaks endangering Special Collections and the flooding in some basement areas that would occur during heavy rains.

New Building: The timetable for the new library facility on East Campus was greatly accelerated, with the estimated completion date now moved to Fall, 2008. The Design Collective of Baltimore, Maryland, was chosen to design the new library building planned for the Skyline Area (near the grove of trees and overlooking the track complex on East Campus. The firm is responsible for numerous higher education buildings including the Health and Human Services Library at University of Maryland, and the new library at Morgan State University, both in Baltimore.

Collections housed in the library will support science and technology curricula. The building will emphasize study spaces for individuals and small groups. The building will also include an Information Commons, a large space with clustered computer workstations near the Reference collection where students and faculty can collaboratively use information resources. Plans also call for a section of the building that will be open on a 24-hour basis with study seating, a computer lab, and a coffee bar.

The new library facility will also include space for Educational Technology services and will house the Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI) that will serve as a base for programs in faculty development. Karen Santos, Professor of Education, will be director of the CFI; she has been working with the Provost for the past five years of faculty development initiatives.

Quality Workforce

Staff Training and Development: Thirteen faculty and staff attended one or more off-campus job-related training events. The Staff Development Committee planned and hosted ten in-house workshops this year on various topics. The Committee also posted an online needs assessment survey with the assistance of Paul Wampler, using WebSurveyer. A total of 34 staff responded, for a response rate of about 40 percent. The survey results will assist the committee as it plans for next year's workshops.

New Staff

Ethan Booker — Circulation Night Supervisor

Li Chen — LinkFinderPlus System Administrator and Applications Specialist in Serials/Systems.

Jody Fagan — New Digital Services Librarian

Nicholas Liberty — Circulation Night Supervisor

Mark Purington — formerly in Acquisitions, became Senior Cataloger for Special Formats and Projects.

Matthew Prutsman — Microforms/Reserves Coordinator in Circulation

Jennifer Ross — Circulation Assistant

Rhonda Reedy — Fiscal Technician

Julia Stewart — Circulation Night Supervisor

Heather Stewart — CISAT Library Assistant

Strategic Partnerships

VIVA: JMU continues its strategic partnership with VIVA for access to electronic databases and journal collections, and for Interlibrary Loan. JMU also provided support to VIVA in implementing an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) for tracking VIVA licenses. JMU also formed alliances with other institutional partners for cost-effective access to particular resources. During this fiscal year, JMU purchased access to Kluwer e-journals through a consortium agreement with University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, Radford, William & Mary, Old Dominion University, Washington & Lee, University of Richmond, and Norfolk State.

SBA Grant: The Libraries completed projects funded by the $1million grant from the Small Business Administration (SBA). Projects made possible by the grant included pioneering a reference linking service, software and hardware to support online learning, development of the Shenandoah Valley Business Link, an online business gateway, and the acquisition of a number of major business information collections.

JMU Web Portal: JMU Libraries continues to partner with the IT unit on researching the purchase and development of a campus content management system and web portal. L& ET staff serving on portal committees include Ralph Alberico, Mary Ann Chappell, Bill Hartman, Jennifer Keach, Andreas Knab, and Sandy Maxfield.

Looking to Next Year

The new library facility continues to be a major initiative for FY 2005-06, as the project moves toward the construction phase. Another undertaking will be the development of goals and objectives as part of a new, integrated strategic plan to be implemented across the entire Libraries and Educational Technologies organization.