SUNYLA Discussion Forums

SUNYLA Council => September 10, 2010 @ Onondaga => Topic started by: Angela Weiler on September 03, 2010, 08:32:44 AM

Title: President's report
Post by: Angela Weiler on September 03, 2010, 08:32:44 AM
SUNYLA Executive Council Meeting
September 10, 2010

President’s Report:

***SCLD Executive Board Meeting – June 7, 2010:

I attend the SCLD Executive Board Meeting back in June.  Among topics discussed were   the Distinguished Librarian Award and the lack of nominees for it; problems created by NYLink’s demise (most specifically LAND); and the SUNY libraries strategic plan.  OLIS will be taking the lead on finding a replacement for LAND delivery as well as other components of NYLink; the NYS Library may be assuming a role with this. 

Some ideas that were floated to touch on in the SUNY libraries strategic plan were:
•   Outsourcing outmoded duties/services
•   Providing ubiquitous access to information
•   Community initiatives
•   Re-fitting spaces
•   Developing closer working relationships with IT departments

Considering the first bullet point in particular, it is in the best interest of SUNY librarians to provide as much input as possible into this plan.

***SUNYLA Survey – Strategic Directions for SUNY Libraries

In July of 2010, I developed a survey for SUNY librarians with input from the SUNYLA Executive Board related to the current development of a strategic plan for SUNY Libraries.  The survey requested that librarians respond as they think their ideal SUNY library SHOULD be in the future, not as he/she think  the library necessarily WILL be.  Therefore, these results should represent what SUNY librarians would like to see in their libraries in the future.

There were twenty-two questions.  I won’t discuss the results of each question; the results were already sent to the SUNYLA discussion list back in August.  However, I’d like to highlight specific areas as we head into this year of strategic planning, as I think they are pertinent:

Space:   87% of respondents (n=117) stated that their library space will either remain the same or increase.  Over half feel that about a third of the space will house physical collections and a third will house computers and other electronic equipment; but another 25% of respondents feel the amount of space for these purposes will be only 10 – 20%.  Anywhere from 10 – 30% of space is seen as going to quiet study space, study rooms, and offices, with 1 – 10% given over to archives, cafes, and/or galleries. 

Basically, SUNY librarians see current trends continuing:  Most think that a library presence should be found in several places instead of one.  Possible partners, in order of preference, include computer services and tutoring centers, with 91% and 82% saying these were a “good” or “very good” fit, respectively.  Results were mixed regarding arts/gallery, EOP/opportunity programs, or disabilities offices as possible partners.

Personnel:  Despite predicting that one-third to one-half of a librarian’s time will be spent in virtual activities, SUNY librarians still say that the number of librarians and staff should more or less correlate with the number of students, and 65% feel that libraries will need to have as much face-to-face contact as they currently have. 

Level of importance of areas of librarianship were loosely ranked as follows:  public services;  emerging technologies in general; virtual reference and instruction/teaching; traditional reference and instruction/teaching; acquisitions; and cataloging/tech services.  84% feel that librarian collaboration will be increasing.

Collections:   Most respondents feel that, overall, physical collections will not increase a great deal, but will rather decrease in many areas, with periodicals decreasing the most, followed by films and music.  Most feel that book collections and realia will be least affected, but will still either remain stable or decrease a bit.  They expect increased access to materials and increased use of open access/digital repositories.  And they were almost unanimous in expecting that most of SUNY will have some level of shared collections with other SUNY libraries.

While respondents saw wireless and mobile technologies as shaping the future, some also commented on retaining the need for face-to-face contact.  Other comments expressed:  Use of augmented reality will rise; there will be “less patrons in the library”; too much time will be spent chasing the latest technology fads; libraries may get too dependent on rented collections; e-books will become ubiquitous; there will be more cloud computing.  They feel that the need for helping students, and “people skills”, will remain important.

My favorite comment:  “Libraries are moving from the era of being collection warehouses to vital gathering and collaboration spaces for patrons.”
Respectfully submitted,

Angela Weiler
SUNYLA President