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ALA Midwinter Meeting Minutes January 22, 2012



LLAMA SASS Circulation/Access Services Discussion Group (LLAMA-SASS)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dallas Convention Center, A304, 8:00-10:00am


Welcome & Introductions by Chelle Batchelor



  • Paul Sharp (from University of Missouri - St. Louis) is the new editor of Journal of Access Services as of January 1, 2012. To view a FREE online sample copy, go to: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/WJAS.  JAS, which is a scholarly and peer reviewed journal published quarterly, is always looking for submissions.  Given the nature of Access Services it doesn't always lend itself to scholarly pursuits but everyone has a story to tell and your colleagues can benefit from your knowledge and learning. JAS is trying to bridge the gap with special libraries and public librarians. Please contact Paul if you have article ideas.
  • The 2012 Access Services Conference will be held at the Georgia Tech Hotel and conference Center on November 8-10 in Atlanta, GA.  Please see http://accessservicesconference.org/. If you have suggestions for speakers please contact Stella Richardson at Georgia Tech.
  • FEAST (Future & Emerging Access Services Trends) – last year started this new event which featured multiple speakers and topics in one 90 minute session (7 lightening sessions on future emerging trend – 7 minutes each).  85 in attendance.  If you are looking to present this might be a good opportunity, please see Paul Sharpe.  Speakers for Annual will be finalized in April. 
  • Chelle Batchelor reminded attendees about the RUSA-STARS / LLAMA-SASS Cooperative Remote Circulation Committee that explores the junction between ILL and Doc Del and protocols and standards to promote interoperability of systems. Kerry Ward is trying to fix the online volunteer form.  If interested you can volunteer and join the committee.  They are especially looking for other LLAMA SASS members to join.  The committee is coordinating a program at Annual 2012 called “Sharing our collection.”  Orbis Cascade Alliance and Ex Libris will speak about library systems and creating floating collections.  Chelle stated that there will be a good mix of academic and public represented. 


Approval of Minutes

Minutes from ALA Annual in New Orleans 2011 were approved.  Look for the Community Tag on ALA Connect to find minutes from previous meetings.


Discussion Topics

The following topics were selected from responses collected through ALA Connect and CircPlus communication:

Topic #1: Theft in the Library (Jan Sung and Alan Grosenheider from University of Hawaii Manoa)



  • Summer 2011 U of H became a crime scene investigation as they received a call from rare book seller who had received a list of rare books that looked interesting and 6 books had University of Hawaii stamp on them.  Rare book seller wanted to verify if the books had in fact been de-accessioned and if they could sell them.
  • Titles were from U of H general collections but were valuable (ranged from $500 to $15,000 dollars). 
  • Rare book seller had name of suspect and U of H verified that this person was in fact using their library; student from previous year but had been disciplined and was not an active student.  
  • None of the books that the rare book seller had were checked out nor had they been de-accessioned.  The police were contacted.
  • While looking at the student’s blog library staff noticed that he would be moving to San Diego soon.  U of H kept things quiet during the investigation in hopes of getting the books back. 
  • Hand Writing analysis from lists he had sent to the book seller were analyzed.  Suspect didn't show up for the hand writing sample.
  • The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America called and asked if this story was true.  They asked if they could share information with their association almost instantly the media started calling for interviews.  Interviews handled by Alan, and he knew the focus would likely be on the cost the books.  Alan stressed it is the research and cultural value of the books and breach of the common trust.  
  • Building manager of suspect saw a picture of suspect on the news and noticed that the elevator had been blocked by a box on the same floor of the suspect.  Building manager pushed books into the elevator, locked it and called the police. Suspect couldn't be found but his attorney called immediately. 
  • All U of H books, except one, where in the boxes.  They believe suspect was on his way to mail to US and/or dump into the canal.  U of H Learned from Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association that one other book seller had been contacted. 
  • U of H placed stamp outside perimeter of all sides.  The suspect had marked withdrawn stamp inside back flap.  Police needed U of H to proof that books were still part of the U of H collection and that suspect had taken the books.  Police were shown empty space on shelves where they books normally sat and the catalog records but this was not good enough.
  • Inventory showed that they had handled the books 2 years ago but the police needed to see that the library had it in their hands a few months ago. U of H looked at circulation history which showed that the student had been using a community card on the self-checkout machines.  For 2 months he was checking out and returning books - 211 books were lost and 220 books were checked out by suspect. 
  • Suspect had left self-checkout receipt behind but the police said that someone could have used his card and this still was not enough proof.  Police asked for security camera footage.
  • Comments among the attendees about how no one keeps circulation records/logs due to privacy concerns and homeland security.
  • Conversation among attendees about the use of self-checkout machines.
  • Comment from Georgia Tech that all departments get information when student is suspended and they wouldn't then give out a community card in this situation. 
  • Stanford also has had this issue.  Stanford circulation staff shared information with other staff across campus at the other branches regarding unusual behavior of a person and that’s how they discovered the problem.   
  • Standard requires government issued photo and they are now taking photocopies of the ID cards.  U of H had the right name on the card but all other info was made up.  One institution sends the card to the address so they know that the address is correct. 
  • Comment made that this topic is timely as we move from closed stacks to open stacks we probably don't have a good grasp on the value of our books in our open collections - over time the value increases. 
  • UNLV experience a theft - student had gotten demagnetizing brick from radio shack.
  • Penn had a problem and also had a hard time getting police interested but it was the bad checks that finally got them interested.
  • U of H - last big theft 20yrs ago.  Suspect back then not arrested though later stole a car and was arrested. 
  • New Mexico State University had an employee that was prosecuted for embezzlement.  He accepted a plea bargain and is paying restitution through installments. 
  • Paul Sharpe - same situation at U of Houston.  Suspect used bleach to bleach off the property stamps.  Noticed the person just missed a few edges.
  • Sometimes university police will find lost backpacks with book in it and while they try to get backpack to the owner they will ask library for info on who as the book checked out.  Paul said that they would then call the person and not give the info out to the police. Many in the room agreed. 
  • William Weare at IUPUI had same problem last year except it was a large list of textbooks.  Textbooks are now high value books.


Topic #2: Ebooks impact on Access Services: Reserves? Interlibrary Loan?



  • Ebooks taking the forefront.  U of Washington, Bothell: Chelle Batchelor reported they have purchased ebooks with single user license, but instructors are asking that the ebooks be placed on reserve. 
  • ILL is also struggling.  Can we negotiate with vendors for access for ILL use.  University of West Florida reported that some vendors will work with you and allow multiple use.
  • Some ebooks allow printing.  Some feel their ILL shop is turning into a print shop, especially if your school has an epreferred policy and part of consortia agreements.
  • With III’s INN-Reach product you can't catch it but if using Iliad you can catch it. 
  • Orbis Cascade Orbits has policy if owned and available they won't send request through.  It really depends on how you list your holdings with OCLC.
  • Boston library consortium can display holdings in WorldCat Local but you have to drill down to A-Z list to get this info. 
  • With INN-Reach there is a policy choice to not display ebooks but policies don't allow others to use so why display if others can't use it - it will only upset people. 
  • Multiple user licenses more expensive than single user. At Penn State the problem is there interface which requires the student to actually log out and check it in to allow another user to get the ebook.  At Penn State they only use multi user for reserve items.
  • U of West Florida had faculty request to place an ebook reader on reserve.  They lend ebooks but haven't done this for reserves yet.  They have 50 texts on 6 different Kindles.  Kindles are locked down and you can't change titles for this class.  U of West Florida stated there is nothing to stop students from reregistering the device with their user name and password on Amazon but you will lose the 50 titles that the library loaded.  Library can go reregister and load titles back on again when Kindle is returned.  Stanford’s kindles get reregistered all the time.  U of West Florida get a lot of personal PDF’s loaded all the time and they have to clean it off.
  • Some wondering if there are any ADA issues with using ebooks?  National Federation of the Blind is monitoring ebook devices. When it is a mandatory reading you can’t make Kindles the only media.  Ann Snowman (Penn State) recently received complaint from NFB.



Topic #3: Organizational Changes: how have we responded to budget cuts?



  • With organizational changes - communication is key!
  • Harvard reported that 2 1/2 years ago they hired consultants who looked at their organization.  Ground level staff has not been involved in the conversations.  Working towards becoming one library rather than many different libraries.  They will hear something next around February 15th in terms of the changes coming.
  • UNLV reported some changes also.  One set of changes worked ok and another not working so well.  They are working now on succession planning.  As an FYI Nancy Kress leaving UNLV in another week heading to NCSU. 
  • U of Washington, Bothell - two rounds of layoffs and very confidential - union environment - can't have conversations until after a certain point - difficult to know this knowing you can't control when you can communicate to your employees.  Conversations at administrative level going on for a while previously.  Hard to deal with rumor mill and speculation.
  • In 2006 University of Cincinnati went through this same experience. Union environment.  Some moving people around and some lower level staff just lost their jobs. No help from department head when they lost people quickly.  It would've been good to have help from administration when you lose several people all at once so you can deal with the aftermath left behind while keeping working moving forward.
  • At Stanford - need for constant staff development and looking at what the skills are and how to get the right competencies.
  • New Mexico State University - as way to save money have to keep positions open to pay for retirement incentives.  They also see the need to do more staff development but hard to have the resources for staff development: travel, training or webinar money.  At the recent Access Services Conference there was one session on this. 
  • Some spoke about strategy of throwing everything up in the air to see if you can get the right people in the right positions based on existing skill sets, but hard to do this in a union environment but for those who can do this it is great. 
  • Stanford doing staff development more informally.  Example - hourly person who shelved and made his way to become the shelving supervisor but discovered he is good at web 2.0 and is now in systems and doing great work. 
  • Northeastern University did a skills inventory - simple database. Distributed survey to collect info which let administration know what skills people have in-house. This process also clued the staff into what skills were needed for future.  For committee work they can go to this database and determine what skills are needed and then select staff with skills asking them to participate.  Were people scared of this skills inventory?  More were afraid of what they don't have vs. what they have.  People don't want others to know that you don't have x, y or z skills. It was mandatory process but information would not be used against anyone.  It’s all about how you roll it out and how you use the information. Example – they discovered one of their staff had PR skills and this person is now the library's media person. 


 Open Call - other Topics to Discuss?



  • How many people have textbooks on physical reserves – 12 and of those 9 purchase the material or report some combination of purchasing.
    • Northeastern policy that they don't buy them at all.  University of Arizona has the same policy; however, there are many items in our library that faculty use as required texts even though they are standard textbooks.
    • 2 institutions partner with student government to buy textbooks
    • Auburn, UNLV, and Stanford purchase core textbooks. 
    • Eastern IL University has a rental textbook program.  Students don't want to buy books. 
    • For those who buy what is the range of your budget?  U of West Florida trying to get 2 copies of all textbooks, and while they don’t have the money yet, they are looking at needing $200-$250,000 for 12,000 students. 
    • At U of TX San Antonio they have 12,000 for the entire year.
    • University of Arizona working with student government and faculty on finding alternatives to textbooks and also thinking about piloting some electronic textbooks as a way to save students money.


  • Weeding - William Ware IUPUI – I know this was a previous discussion here but do others recycle material? 
    • Penn State - yes big green initiative on campus so they used to send everything to a landfill and now they compost everything for recycle.  Some effort to resell things.  You can pay people to scissor out the text to help with this process. 
    • U of South Florida worked with Campus recycling.  They hired outside contractors to come and remove runs of journals - be careful they lost some runs they didn't want to get rid of. 
    • U of Nebraska, Lincoln - don't leave dumpsters outside; Geology faculty went through and dug out books and campus newspaper also took picture and talked about library throwing out books.   
    • U of Arizona campus requires us to go through campus surplus when we weed collection.
    • NMSU big green initiative.  Many institutions have rules about what you can and can't do.  Some will send their material to World Books http://www.betterworldbooks.com/.


  • Libraries open to the public and security systems?
    • Northeastern has 3m security gates their pharos computer system has helped reduce the community issue.
    • Northwestern installed new system called EasyLobby Visitor Management System http://www.easylobby.com/ which requires cards to be scanned. Times community out after 5pm.


  • Anyone using StackMap?  Stanford developed.  They are at the conference as exhibitors.  Expensive. http://stanford.stackmap.com/  Easy to use but hardest part is getting stacks staff to input the ranges.  Location data.  It is good at range signs - beautiful maps it produces if you do a shift. Stanford has anecdotal data that this is really great. They have assessment data on number of clicks of maps. Grad school project but Stanford was 15th to implement live for only 8 months now.  U of Toronto ahead of Stanford.  You can look at it in Stanford's OPAC. 


Wrap up:

  • Call will go out for topics to discuss at Annual in Anaheim.  Please let us know issues you want to discuss.
    • An activity to help people find colleagues who would like to work together on common issues or projects.
    • Textbooks on Reserve
    • Managing student employees
    • Library Security
    • Technology
    • Customer Service Trends
    • Role of Access Services in the Commons
    • Role of Access Services in the Digital Age
    • Skill sets needed for Access Services
  • Call for New officers at annual.  Norice willing to serve as Chair and Robyn willing to serve as Vice-Chair.  Will need a new Secretary to join the team.  You can also put your name in for other officer positions.  Nominations and elections will take place at annual meeting in June.
  • Login sheets posted on ALA Connect but because our personal info is here you have to join.  If you are an ALA member you can join.  In ALA Connect go to online docs (right hand side) to get to the minutes. 


To subscribe and/or for access to list archives:

LIB-circplus@princeton.edu – Library Circulation and Related Issues