Annual Report 1999-2000: Introduction
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We connect students and faculty to ideas.
In 1999-2000 the JMU Libraries set its goals and objectives for its Strategic Plan. As the first sentence of the Libraries' mission statement above notes, the strategic plan reflects the importance of people, ideas and the technologies of connection. Its objectives emphasize flexible collections, integrated access, service to users, commitment to technological innovation, an optimal environment for users and staff, a quality workforce and strategic partnerships.
Flexible, Dynamic Collections
In collections, the Libraries took a dynamic response to another year of flat budgets and increasing serials costs. In cooperation with teaching faculty, the Libraries conducted a review of its journal collections. As a result of the Journal Review, over 100 high-cost, low-use journals were cancelled for a savings of over $140,000. Savings will be used to cover journal inflation, purchase about 60 new titles, subscribe to ISI's Web of Science database, and fund document delivery.
1999-2000 brought a new emphasis on electronic resources. Subscription expenditures for electronic resources increased by over 25 percent from the previous year. Access was added to over 400 electronic journals, bringing the total of e-journals in the collection to over 800. VIVA's funding of major online databases freed library funds to purchase other online resources.
Services to Users
The Libraries made major steps in its objectives of empowering users and providing user-centered services. With Illiad, the new Interlibrary Loan software, users can now receive articles electronically and track the status of requests online. ILL went to the exclusive use of an online request form, and an online form was implemented for placing items on Closed Reserves. In Spring Semester, Circulation Services implemented use of e-mail for all overdue notices.
Concerted outreach was used to integrate Go for the Gold and the Information-Seeking Skills competency test into the GenEd curriculum. A grant from General Education funded workshops to familiarize GenEd Cluster One faculty with Go for the Gold and the new competency test. Improved scoring technology enabled the Libraries to track Go for the Gold online usage for the first time.
The Information-Seeking Skills test was adopted as a required competency test for all freshmen in Cluster One. The test measures learning objectives covered in Go for the Gold, as well as survey items that cover attitudes and experiences. Of the 2,671 students who attempted the test, 2,468 passed as of the April 28, 2000 deadline.
Commitment to Technological Innovation
In 1999-2000, the Libraries moved ahead with two technologies that greatly improved access to materials and services for the JMU Community: the proxy server and Illiad ILL management software.
With the proxy server, JMU faculty, students and staff can now access web resources previously restricted by IP address--a major step in providing access to electronic resources for distance education students and others reaching the Libraries' resources from off-campus.
With Illiad, patrons can get electronic delivery of articles. They can also place ILL requests online, track that status of requests, and receive email notification when ILL orders are filled or cancelled. The system also generates a variety of reports, such as status reports, turnaround time, a list of most requested journal titles, and requests by department.
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