JMU Libraries: Annual Report 2006-2007
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Flexible Collections :: Integrated Access :: User Centered Services :: Education for the Information Age :: Commitment to Innovation :: Optimal Environment :: Quality Workforce :: Strategic Partnerships

Flexible Collections

Materials Budget:  The Libraries received a five percent increase to the materials budget, bringing the total to $3,055,816.00.  It was the fifth consecutive year of budget increases to the materials budget.  Following a pattern established in previous years, actual expenditures for library materials continued to exceed the base materials budget.

Figure 1 shows a breakdown in materials expenditures by type.  Spending for electronic databases ($994,693) nearly approaches that for journals and standing orders ($1,160,684); expenditures for both represent almost two-thirds of the entire materials budget.

Materials Expenditures: 2006-2007

Figure 1

Source:  2007 Collection & Financial Report


Figure 2 below tracks materials expenditures for the past six years.  Expenditures for journals and standing orders actually decreased slightly this fiscal year, but the increase in expenditures for monographs continued to grow by over seven percent and expenditures for databases by 17 percent over the previous year.

Materials Expenditures: 2001-2007

Figure 2

Source:  2007 Collection & Financial Report

Monographs:  Over 26 percent of the materials budget was expended on monographic materials.  The number of monographs (including scores and maps) acquired rose by about five percent to 17,093.   The average cost per title remained steady, at $47.38 compared to $45.52 last year.  Figure 3 tracks the number of monographs purchased over the past six years.

Monographs Purchased: 2001-2007

Figure 3

Source:  2007 Collection & Financial Report

The Libraries added access to over 35,000 e-books through a subscription to ebrary’s Academic Complete, which added e-books in business, information technology, education, engineering, health sciences, international relations, and life & physical sciences to the existing subscription for ebrary’s humanities and social sciences collection.  The Libraries also added about 200 electronic titles through Oxford Scholarship Online, and about 275 Blackwell Reference e-books.

The number of approvals retained underwent a 63 percent increase over the previous year (6,580 as compared to 4,035), with a return rate of less than nine percent.  Of those returned, almost 50 percent were duplicates of titles received on firm order.

The juvenile collection was weeded and the remaining books were reclassified, relabeled, and transferred from the Carrier Library to the Educational Technology and Media Center (ETMC) in Memorial Hall by the end of Summer 2006.  

Serials:  This year, the Libraries added 715 new electronic journal titles, and 547 additional electronic journal titles were added through VIVA.  During the fiscal year, 104 print subscriptions were replaced with electronic access, and backfiles of 55 print titles were withdrawn due to the acquisition of their electronic counterparts.  At the same time, 30 new print subscriptions were added because print was the only available format.  Thirty-two microform subscriptions were cancelled, including microform subscriptions to many of the library’s newspaper titles.  

A snapshot of journal subscriptions is provided in Table 1.

Table 1

Journal Subscriptions:  FY 2006-2007












  Total Electronic






Total Subscriptions



Percent Electronic




Total Unique Journal Titles (including full-text through databases)



Data Source:  Collection Inventory Statistics as of June 30, 2007

Journal Usage: E-journal usage continued to rise, with 785,938 uses for 44,578 unique titles, or an average of almost 18 uses per title. Last year registered 652,655 uses for 41, 466 unique titles.  Usage increased by almost 17 percent over the previous year, while the number of unique titles increased by seven percent.  Serials staff continued to note the struggle by journal publishers and aggregators to adhere to COUNTER standards of statistical reporting.

Print and microform journal usage continued its steady decline as more titles became available electronically. Usage of microform reached the low point of below 1,500 for the year, prompting the decision to discontinue the microform use study.  Yet specific needs for the microform collection were evident:  the History Department used its own departmental allocation funds to purchase several microform collections. It also provided funds to purchase new lenses for our existing microform reader/printers that were better suited for viewing newspapers, and to obtain a new, all-digital microform reader printer.  Print journal collection usage was at 6,399 for the year, higher than the previous year when current and bound journal usage was around 5,000.  However, due to staffing constraints, usage statistics for both print journal and microform collections was halted as of July 1, 2007.


Databases:  Database expenditures increased from $847,029 in FY 2005-2006 to $994,693, approaching the $1 million mark.  This year 48 new databases were added; 270 (68 percent) were provided by JMU Libraries and 127 (32 percent) were provided by VIVA.  This is a higher percentage of databases provided by JMU compared to the previous year’s 54 percent.  Fifty-seven databases were evaluated through formal trials.

Online Databases Provided by JMU Libraries, VIVA: 1997-2007

Figure 4

Source:  Digital Services and Serials units’ Annual Reports 2006-2007

Database Usage:  In FY 2006-2007, the collection and recordkeeping of database usage statistics transferred to the Serials unit.  Use statistics were available for approximately 335 of the Libraries’ 400 databases, including those obtained through VIVA. Of those, 183 were COUNTER-compliant. As with journals, the increased availability of COUNTER-compliant databases usage statistics is marked initially by a drop in usage numbers, but COUNTER ensures more accurate and standard statistical reporting. Approximately 2,304,392 searches were recorded in those 335 databases in 1,072,454 sessions.

Table 2 below lists the 15 most-searched databases.

Table 2

Databases with the Highest Use:  FY 2006-2007

  Database Name Number of Searches
1. Gale Literature Resource Center 145,605
2. EBSCO PsycInfo 142,230
3. ProQuest ABI/Inform 139,699
4. Gale Business & Company Resource 109,554
5. EBSCO Academic Search Premier 65,411
6. Gale Health & Wellness Resource 55,130
7. ProQuest Dissertations 51,005
8. ProQuest Ethnic NewsWatch Historical 46,768
9. OCLC FirstSearch 36,134
10. Wilson OmniFile 35,164
11. EBSCO CINAHL 34,897
12. EBSCO ERIC 30,006
13. Gale Academic OneFile 29,522
14. EBSCO Communication & Mass Media 29,475
15. Gale InfoTrac 28,317


Source:  Serials Unit Annual Report 2006-2007

Cataloging:  A record number of new book titles (15,848) were cataloged during the year.  In addition, the number of books with accompanying media (disks, etc.) increased by over nine percent from the previous year, continuing a three-year trend in this area.  Cataloging of tangible audio-visual titles increased by over 14 percent, while access to streaming video increased significantly from 55 to 711 during the year.  Original cataloging records were provided for 498 episode-level streaming videos as part of its participation in the statewide PBS-VIVA streaming video project.  These records have been made available to all VIVA-participating libraries.  Cataloging of tangible sound recordings titles increased by 20.6% from 652 in FY05/06 to 786 titles added in FY06/07.  Cataloging of tangible score titles increased by 26.9% from 490 titles in FY05/06 to 622 titles added this year.  In addition, the first electronic score title was added to the OPAC:  the Neue-Mozart Ausgabe (the complete works of Mozart.)  E-book cataloging continued, but at a lower rate from the previous year, with 10,171 added to LEO.

Special Collections:  A new Special Collections Librarian, Tracy Harter, was hired to replace Chris Bolgiano, who retired in 2006.  Beginning in Fall, 2006, Special Collections increased the hours open to the public from two days per week, Tuesday and Wednesday, to four days per week, Monday through Thursday, with the option of appointment times available on Fridays.  The increased hours allowed Special Collections to limit the service of items by Reference staff, thus easing the workload of those at the Public Services Desk and improving security.

The JMU Founding Documents Digitizing Project was launched as a web exhibit in May 2007, at The site includes links to numerous documents in JMU Historical Collection; it also includes an interactive, illustrated timeline of the decade taken from the "Annotated Historical Timeline of JMU, 1908-1959" written by Sean Crowley, Library Staff, December 2006. More images and selected documents are scheduled to be added in Fall 2007.

One Burruss grant award was completed this year:  Carol DeHart’s “Oral Histories for Virginia Wildland Fire Fighters.”



Integrated Access

LEO/Millennium/WebPac Task Force:  In FY 06-07, two groups were established to support LEO/Millennium. The LEO WebPac Task Force was formed to redesign the OPAC and resolve some outstanding issues with the interface, integrating new products and technologies available through the vendor, Innovative Interfaces. In addition to a new WebPac Pro platform, the task force began looking at the implementation of community reviews, relevancy ranking, spell check, search history, and other new features from Innovative.

The Millennium Group worked on resolving issues, implementing enhancements, and improving workflow and performance for the staff client. The group rewrote the LEO competencies on the staffweb and formulated procedures for reviewing the system for any anomalies after upgrades. Members of the group represent each unit in Technical Services and all service areas and are responsible for sharing information from the group with their respective areas. More information on the Millennium Group’s work can be found at

Patrons can now log onto My LEO using their campus e-id and password; this change allows LEO to be included as a component of the campus portal.

The Libraries replaced its link resolver, LinkFinderPlus, with the Serials Solutions product, ArticleLinker.

The new RSS feed product for Millennium, purchased in FY 05-06, was implemented this year. It provides RSS feeds for New Browsing, New Title, and New Journal lists, as well as feeds for a number of different subject areas, such as business, biology, chemistry, and nursing.

In August, 2006, the first version of a new web application to provide access to the Libraries’ electronic databases and resources was introduced.  Developed in-house by Digital Services/System staff and nicknamed "R2,” this application provided a database-driven display of the Libraries’ database resources.  It included features to allow liaisons to edit their own subject database listing, subdivide and rank subject listings, create specialized lists of resources that can be pulled into other areas of the site, and to supply liaison contact information on the page. R2 continued to undergo revision throughout the year.   



 User Centered Services


Library Traffic and Circulation:  Carrier Library continues to be a busy destination for study and social interaction.  The gate count during the October 2006 sample week posted a new high, at 22,173. Table 3, below, shows the trend in traffic for the past five years.

Table 3

October Sample Week Gate Counts:  2002-2006

2002 17,614


2004 17,056
2005 19,446
2006 22,173

Source:  Circulation Services Statistics

Reference transaction counts for the October sample were down somewhat from the previous year (782 compared with 937).  FY2006-2007 marked the first full year that the Public Services Desk kept daily statistics.  Total reference question transactions for the year were 7,986.

Overall circulation at all library locations declined only slightly, with 174,395 checkouts or renewals, compared to 176,445 in the previous year.  In addition, ETMC had 5,565 checkouts, nearly 4,000 of which were books from the juvenile collection.  Reserves checkouts were higher than in previous years (21,817 compared to 15,931 in FY 2005-2006, or 17,371 in FY 2004-2005).  This year 319 questions were submitted to the Ask-a-Librarian email service.

CheckCite:  This interactive application that assists users in citing sources became available to the JMU community on the library web page, at the beginning of Fall Semester, 2006.

Interlibrary Loan:  One indicator of the impact of increased funding for collections is that for the first time JMU Libraries became a net lender in Interlibrary Loan.  The total number of materials (both returnables and articles) lent to other libraries was 14,668, while the number of all items borrowed was 10,365. 

JMU’s overall borrowing rate dropped by eight percent this year, on top of a 12 percent drop in the previous year.  The number of photocopies borrowed continued to drop, by nearly 25 percent over the previous year.  The number of returnables borrowed (books and other physical items that must be returned to the lending library) rose slightly.  Figure 5 below shows borrowing trends for the past five years. 

Interlibrary Loan: Materials Borrowed from Other Libraries

Figure 5

Overall lending increased by 34 percent, with the number of articles provided increasing by over 55 percent (8,035 compared to 5,176 last year).  Lending of physical items also rose by about two percent (6,633 in FY 2006-2007 compared to 5,728 in the previous year).  Figure 6 below shows trends in lending for the past five years.

Interlibrary Loan: Materials Loaned to Other Libraries

Figure 6



Education for the Information Age

Library Instruction:  This year, the Libraries’ instruction program reached 7,706 students, an increase of about 750 students over the previous year.  The number of instruction sessions increased to 295 (from 256), for an average class size of 26.  The number of students who used Go for the Gold was 3,205, slightly less than last year. 

Room 301 is used heavily (150 times this year) while Rooms 203 and Room 101 (IT Computer Lab) were used only two times each for course-related instruction.  One hundred and forty-five sessions were held in classrooms outside the library, in CIT, or Media Resources, an increase of 49 sessions over last year.

Information-Seeking Skills Test (ISST):  The online Information-Seeking Skills Test was required for the eighth year as a competency test that all first year students enrolled in Cluster One courses and all transfer students are required to pass. During the 2006-07 academic year, out of 3743 students who were required to pass the ISST, 3721 or 87% passed by May 7. Those who did not pass but remained at JMU had a registration hold placed on their records. About 20 students who did not pass met individually with a librarian for individual help in the Spring.

Information Literacy Test (ILT):  The ILT, which was developed jointly by the JMU Center for Assessment and Research Studies and JMU Libraries to assess ACRL Standards 1, 2, 3, and 5, was used by:

  • VCCS (many campuses)
  • University of Alaska Southeast
  • Florida State University
  • Castleton State College
  • NW Missouri
  • Bryn Athyn College
  • Christopher Newport University
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • Manchester Metro University
  • Hong Kong University

Lynn Cameron and Steve Wise received about 15 requests from other institutions for more information about the ILT following the publication of the article they wrote along with Susan M. Lottridge, “The Development and Validation of the Information Literacy Test,” published in College and Research Libraries in May, 2007.

Faculty Development:  The May 2007 Information Literacy Workshop focused on General Education.  Faculty members from Clusters 2-5 were invited to apply for the 3-day workshop; those who participated received a $1,000 stipend.  During the workshop 13 faculty (including two groups, one from Biology and one from Political Science) collaborated with six librarians to develop information literacy assignments. 

In April, 2007, Lynn Cameron and Charles Harris, Professor of Psychology, led an Information Literacy Curriculum Development Workshop to prepare graduate student instructors of GPSY 101, a GenEd Cluster 4 course, to integrate a common information literacy assignment.  GPSY instructors were paid a stipend of $500.  This assignment is being implemented in Fall 2007.



Commitment to Innovation

Delivery Service:  During FY 2006-2007, JMU Libraries began a delivery service among Carrier Library, the branch libraries, and Memorial Hall.  The first phase of the delivery system, initiated in May, 2006, involved the transportation of newly processed materials, in-transit items, and materials for ILL.  The second phase did not begin until May, 2007, due to delays in obtaining the delivery van. The second phase introduced the delivery of patron-requested items: any registered borrower may request that circulating books and media be delivered from one library location to another for check out, by clicking on the Request Item button in LEO, the library catalog.   Deliveries are made once a day, Monday through Friday.  This was followed almost immediately by the implementation of article delivery to JMU faculty, staff, and graduate students.  Articles in Carrier Library paper or microform journal collections can be requested for delivery through the Interlibrary Loan online request function.  Articles will be delivered electronically whenever possible, usually within 24-48 hours (during weekdays), and at no charge.

Streaming Media:  711 records for streaming videos were added to LEO this year, bringing the total number of streaming video titles in the JMU Library Catalog to over 1,600.  Of these, 498 were episode-level streaming videos added as part of JMU’s participation in the statewide PBS-VIVA streaming video project.  This project involved considerable collaboration among various members of the VIVA committee and others, as well as communication with experts at OCLC. In close collaboration with OCLC and Virginia Commonwealth University, JMU’s Cataloging Unit set up procedures for cataloging the streaming videos.  Following further communication with VCU, the records were made available to VIVA members who have loaded the records onto their OPACs.  The VIVA streaming video project was the subject of a presentation by Ralph Alberico at the Educause Australia 2007 conference in April. 

The total number of online video “hits,” or times streaming videos were accessed through the period July 2006 to June 2007, was 6,185.

Game Grant:  The health literacy game “Face the Case,” developed by Jennifer McCabe and Kevin Hegg, supported by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences, was completed and evaluated by approximately 75 undergraduate students enrolled in community nursing and health communication classes.  (The game is available online at  Jennifer McCabe and Kevin Hegg made a presentation about the game at the New Media Consortium conference in Indianapolis, IN, in June.

“Face the Case” currently has several hundred registered players.  Student evaluations have been invaluable in identifying design and functionality issues and providing qualitative feedback.  Players from the JMU community have responded positively to the graphics and functionality of the game.  The University’s upgrade to Internet Explorer v. 7 during the summer of 2007 revealed some performance issues with the game and the way Flash sent information to the browser, preventing fuller evaluation of the game.  Any further work on the game during the next year will be limited to bug-fixes and minor adjustments to the interface. 

Another game, the Citation Tic-Tac-Toe, is being developed to teach students how to interpret citations for books, journals, newspapers, government documents, and so on, a skill that many students find difficult.  This game is aimed for students in General Education Cluster One, and is intended to be a component of Go for the Gold. The game will be tested on several sections of GCOMM during the Spring 2008 semester to determine if it is an effective learning tool. 



Optimal Environment


New Library: The East Campus Library (ECL) building project moved into the construction phase.  The contractor is Nielson Construction Company; the building was designed by The Design Collective of Baltimore, MD.  The project broke ground in September, 2006, and continued apace throughout the year.  The project continues to be on or ahead of schedule, with the anticipated completion date sometime in the Spring of 2008.  As the new library took shape in the Skyline Area of the East Campus, it became evident the building will be one of the most visible landmarks on campus.

The ECL will house the science and technology book collections.  All circulating books from the Q, R, S, and T call number ranges will be located in ECL.  The library will also house a Learning Commons on the first floor, to provide library users with access to information resources and computers with academic software applications, media production technology, and support services.  Formal and informal study spaces for individuals and over 40 study rooms for small group study are also incorporated into the facility.  A section of the building is designed for 24-hour student use with a secure entrance, study seating, and a computer lab.  The first floor will also contain a coffee bar. 

The building’s design consists of a five-story, rectangular edifice that will contain the collections, study rooms, meeting rooms, and offices, combined with a three-story, curved extension that wraps around part of the exterior.  The modernistic extension features large windows that will provide natural light for the lobby, Learning Commons, and reading areas on the first and second floors.  Much of the fifth floor will be devoted to faculty use, housing the Center for Instructional Technology, and the Center for Faculty Innovation.  The fifth floor also will include additional study rooms, a video studio, teaching lab, and a faculty seminar room with dramatic views.

A web page documenting the new library building project was launched in October ( )



Quality Workforce


Strategic Planning:  Libraries and Educational Technologies launched an Academic Program Review (APR) and strategic planning process starting in March, 2006. The APR was completed by June, 2007; the strategic planning process will continue through the end of 2007.

The strategic planning effort included a steering committee, later called the Strategic Planning Team (SPT), and a documentation committee to collect existing supporting documents.  Members of the SPT included five Library representatives and three Educational Technologies, while three Library representatives and one Educational Technology representative comprised the Documentation Team.

The Team’s primary goals were to produce a self study report of L&ET’s activity over the previous five years; conduct an environmental scan of JMU and the external situation; draft new mission, vision and value statements for the organization; and recommend future goals and objectives for the next five years based on the findings.

The SPT collected a tremendous amount of data from a variety of sources with the help of the Documentation Team. The SPT also collected data through meetings with various stakeholders including college deans, vice-presidents, librarians, Library unit heads and the Provost. A group of Team members facilitated multiple focus groups to collect input from instructional faculty and students. All Team members read and summarized articles and reports.

The SPT next synthesized the collected data and produced a full report of the findings. Subgroups of the SPT wrote major portions of the report and three members compiled and edited the entire document. Simultaneously, the SPT formed another group to draft new mission, vision and value statements for L&ET.  This group was facilitated by Dr. Phil DuBose, Associate Dean of the College of Business, and included members of L&ET outside of the SPT. The final version of the Self Study Report, which included draft mission and value statements, was made available to L&ET and the public in December, 2006.

In January, 2007, the SPT hosted a visit by an External Review Team, a required component of the APR process. This hand-picked team included librarians and technologists from Duke University, Cornell University, University of Nevada Las Vegas, and New Jersey Institute of Technology, as well as a member of the JMU Nursing faculty, and the Dean of JMU University Studies, who chaired the External Review Team. The SPT had arranged many meetings and interviews for the External Review Team, including L&ET faculty and staff, instructional faculty, undergraduate students, graduate students, deans, department heads, Informational Technology representatives, the Center for Faculty Innovation and the College of Graduate and Outreach Programs. The External Review Team presented their findings to the L&ET organization at the end of their visit and submitted a full report in April, 2007.

In October, 2006, before the Self Study Report was finished and the External Review Team made its visit, the SPT began drafting five-year strategic goals and objectives for L&ET. While the Team had hoped to include the strategic goals in the Self Study Report, this process was put on hold until after the External Review Team visit. Starting in April, 2007, the Team again took up the task in close collaboration with the Dean and the Leadership Team. The draft goals and objectives were vetted throughout the organization for feedback and input during the summer. Annual priorities associated with the six-year strategic plan will be established in the coming year.

Staff Training and Development Workshops:

  • First Amendment Rights in the Information Age: Brown Bag and Video, August 16, 2006
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Workshop, August 30, 2006
  • ECCO and Sabin databases workshop, Sept 6, 2006
  • Outreach/Communication/Marketing Brainstorming session, Oct. 27, 2006
  • Teaching Tips for Librarians with Dr. Jim Benedict, November 1, 2006
  • Online Communities and College Life Information session, November 8, 2006
  • Libraries in a Google World Brown Bag, December 13, 2006
  • Collection Development Training, Meris Mandernach, January 5, 2007
  • Coutts OASIS Training, February 22, 2007
  • Rubric Workshop for Liaison Librarians, February 28, 2007
  • Contribute Training, Greg Brown, March 9, 2007
  • Identifying Error Rates for Aggregator Databases, Faculty Leave Presentation,  Jennifer Keach, March 14, 2007
  • RSS and LibX Demo Brown Bag, Cheri Duncan and Jennifer Keach, March 14 and May 18, 2007
  • Diversity Experience, L&ET Diversity Council sponsored panel, March 30, 2007
  • JMU Founding Documents in Special Collections Presentation, May 3, 2007
  • RefWorks Training, May 15, 2007
  • Search Widget Workshop, Jennifer Keach, May 24, 2007
  • Information Literacy Program Presentation with Bob Glass, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, May 25, 2007

New Staff

Abernathy, Mary Frances

CISAT Library Assistant

Belcher, Robert J


Brown, Gregory H

Info Technology Specialist, Digital Services

Christy, Kathleen Marie

Serials Assistant

Fox, Titus E

Applications Specialist

Garner, Elizabeth A

Stack Maintenance Coordinator

Gimbert, Douglas Markey

Info Technology Specialist, Media Resources

Harter, Tracy

Special Collections Librarian

Miller, April J

ILL Document Delivery Assistant

Roth-Mullet, Sarah Elizabeth

ILL Borrowing Specialist

Thomas, Susan Michele

HR Coordinator



Strategic Partnerships

VIVA:  JMU continues its strategic partnership with VIVA for access to electronic databases and journal collections, and for Interlibrary Loan.   JMU also continued its participation in the statewide PBS-VIVA streaming video project, with JMU personnel helping to determine the technical requirements for access to streaming video for VIVA institutions.  This project involved close collaboration among the various members of the VIVA Streaming Media Committee, OCLC, and with Virginia Commonwealth University in establishing of procedures for cataloging the streaming videos. 

Center for Faculty Innovation:  This year saw further collaboration with the Center for Faculty Innovation (CFI).  CFI was again a co-sponsor the Libraries’ second annual May Information Literacy workshop.  Several library faculty members presented at CFI campus workshops. Starting this year, CFI became a partner with L&ET in the planning efforts for the new library.  CFI will share a portion of the East Campus Library’s top floor facilities with the Center for Instructional Technology, including a teaching lab, a faculty seminar room, and offices for CFI and CIT.

Looking to Next Year

JMU Libraries faces one of its most momentous years when the East Campus Library opens in Spring 2008.  Library staff members are beginning to grapple with the implications of the division of collections and personnel between the East and West Campuses.  Hiring will begin early in the next year for a number of classified positions and one librarian to handle the opening of the East Campus Library, and to staff the facility.

Also during the coming year, L&ET will look to implement the goals and objectives that were developed through the strategic planning initiative.  Selected top-level objectives for the Libraries will include:

  • Define and implement a learning commons model for library public services
  • Collaborate with faculty in designing instructional programs that emphasizes information and technology literacy
  • Develop a unified communications and marketing strategy
  • Strengthen and support the liaison program and other partnerships with faculty
  • Develop a strategy for creating L&ET instructional content
  • Expand faculty developing programs
  • Implement tools to improve knowledge discovery, information retrieval and delivery
  • Assess collections for quality, comprehensiveness, format appropriateness, etc., in alignment with curriculum needs.
  • Investigate issues related to digital content.
  • Develop, communicate, and carry out plan for opening the ECL
  • Develop and implement user-oriented space utilization plans

Complete information about the Strategic Plan's Goals and Objectives can be found at