Françoise asked each subcommittee chair to relate any progress in their individual areas.
Kevin reported that while everything is still very preliminary, he feels it makes sense to downsize the reference collection while increasing our on-line resources. A smaller more flexible reference desk was also mentioned or possibly a combination Reference/Circulation Desk mentioned by both Judy and Kevin. He said he would be bringing these topics up at the next Reference Team meeting.
Jeff has developed a monthly report, which reflects the reference titles that are in use. The accuracy of this report was questioned as many users are observed using reference books but returning them to the shelves themselves. The possibility of using sampling days was mentioned.
Valeda stated that the training involved in recruiting assistants to aide in any ethnographic study would be extremely time consuming and unlikely at this present time. However, she believed she might be able to use one or two assistants for observing the habits of our students while in the library.
Judy met with Tim and Jeff to discuss various ways to alter the current configuration of the lobby. Because the amount of funding cannot yet be determined, they felt minimal (and less costly) measures made the most sense. Some of the possible changes included resituating the Welcome Desk to the center of the lobby; removing outdated signage and possible changing the use of Gallery 50. Some thoughts were to open up the walls to enlarge the lobby or turning the space into a study area for students. Also mentioned were possible changes to the stairs that lead from the Reference Room down to Special Collections, perhaps better signage. Another suggestion was to remove the glass wall that separates the lobby and Reference Room.
Mary Beth and Françoise discussed the disposition of the card catalogs. Bill (with the assistance of Jeff) measured the catalog files and the space they occupied. Bill then made up a schematic showing the current layout of these files with all measurements detailed. Mary Beth stated that there were 3,088 individual drawers and also noted that no cards had been filed since 1990. It was mentioned that the possibility existed that there could be some things in the card catalog that could not be accounted for anywhere else. Other points brought up were the possibility of removing only the machine-readable cards, which could be very labor intensive; that the catalogs might be used for historic purposes and the question was posed as to whether or not the catalog might be on microfilm. It was decided that both Ron Becker and Mary Fetzer should be invited to the next meeting to get their thoughts and input. They have both been extended invitations via email.
Sites for field trips to the following libraries were discussed:
Baruch College; NYU; SIBL; Princeton Public Library and East Brunswick Public Library. Francoise will coordinate the visits slated for the week of January 14 - 18.
The agenda items for the next meeting will include: reports from committees; status of microfilm catalog; discussion of the data center; increasing the new book display in lobby.
Next meeting - Thursday, January 31 at 2:15 in Seminar Room (406/407 Alexander - 4th floor)