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Simon Fraser University Library Three Year Plan: 2001-2004

June 2001

Mission Statement:   At the heart of the University, the SFU Library is dedicated to providing access to collections, services and facilities of the highest possible quality  in support of the teaching, learning and research goals of the Simon Fraser University community.

 

1. INTRODUCTION

Over the next three years and beyond, the SFU Library will continue to be a core academic resource for faculty and students. Working increasingly as 'knowledge partners' (in the words of Jean-Claude Guédon, Université de Montréal and Chair,

With faculty and staff throughout the university, we will build on our current strengths and move in the directions demanded by our users and the changing academic environment.

2. THE PROCESS

In Fall 2000, faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students were surveyed to identify services which are most important to those groups, areas which do not meet expectations and preferred future priorities; the results of these surveys were a key component in the development of the Plan. Planned focus groups could not be conducted because the facilitator was unexpectedly unable to participate.

 

Library staff were asked 'What specific steps could the Library take which would help you to better carry out your job in the SFU Library?' Their responses formed part of the planning process. In preparation for the planning session held by the Library Council, staff were also asked to provide input by responding to the following two questions: '1. What factors in the university/publishing/library world may impact on library services in the next three years? 2. What should be SFU Library’s goals in order to respond to those factors and to service priorities identified by the recent surveys?' A draft plan was made available for discussion at several open staff meetings. The draft plan was also reviewed with the Senate Library Committee (SLC) at its June 18 meeting.

The SFU Library Three Year Plan (1999-2001) was formulated largely in response to issues raised in the 1998 Library Review. Appendix A summarizes the Library's success in meeting that Three Year Plan. Some goals from that plan need more work and are still important; they are therefore rolled forward into this Plan.

3. ENVIRONMENT

The VP Academic Three Year Plan ( http://www.sfu.ca/vpacademic/reports/3yearplans/2001-2004/VPA.html ) outlines the environmental context in which the University will continue to operate. As a key component to the success of both teaching and research at SFU, the Library is impacted either directly or indirectly by the same environmental factors. These factors are characterized as societal changes, demographic changes, financial challenges and local realities. This Plan also identifies a number of new initiatives; as these are developed, the Library must be an active participant in the process. The Library must also be proactive in reconfiguring its services and collections to support new initiatives.

The Institute for Health Research and Education, when fully operational, can be expected to bring to SFU significantly expanded research interests and therefore Library collection requirements. The Library can be expected to support this initiative through: identifying and pursuing increased sources of collection funding (including a portion of the identified startup funding); continuing to provide and support increasingly more sophisticated online journal access and delivery; and continuing to foster joint electronic collection development, for example through the successful Canadian National Site Licencing Project.

Planning is underway to assess the feasibility of moving the School for the Contemporary Arts downtown to the Woodward's building site.  In preparation for this possibility, different options to continue providing effective service, including relocated Library collections and services downtown and one-time and ongoing cost and space requirements, were outlined in a memo to Bruce Clayman and others.  Other factors may include an increase in downtown undergraduate programming to meet some of the SCA breadth requirements.  Taken as a whole, the possible relocation of the School is perhaps the most dramatic change which could occur in SFU's downtown programming from a library perspective. Although Belzberg Library services have grown and changed over the past 12 years and the library surveys indicate user satisfaction, it is timely to review downtown library services and requirements as a whole, in response to changing Harbour Centre needs.

The development of a TEC building on the East side of campus (or the occupation of space elsewhere) will further distance this part of the SFU community from the WAC Bennett Library. The costly funding of a traditional branch library is neither a University nor a Library priority. The accelerating transition to online journals will provide direct access to some materials, thus in part alleviating the problem. Nevertheless, there are possibilities for improving service to this community which should be explored and acted on. Over the last six months a pilot project showed that Interlibrary Loan article delivery directly to a computer in the MBB Reading Room considerably reduced delivery time. Other possibilities for improved cost-effective service should be explored.

4. SURVEY RESULTS

Library consultant Pat Cavill notes, “in my research, library survey respondents and focus group participants consistently tell us of:

  • The need for the librarian as a gateway and navigator to the increasingly overwhelming world of information and knowledge;
  • The need for the library as a place for research, browsing and meeting others; and
  • The need for the electronic delivery of full text information and graphics to the user's desktop."

It is noteworthy that all user types identified similar priorities in the SFU Library 2000 surveys. While survey responses were very positive in terms of existing services, the following areas emerged as having a gap between expectation and reality, or were identified as a top priority for the next five years:

  • Faculty, graduate and undergraduate survey respondents identified the importance of collections (print and electronic). Undergraduate print collection (but not electronic) needs are generally being met (though a concern was expressed about the length of time for recalls); however this was not the case for faculty and graduate students. Expansion of library collections was identified as a top priority for the next five years by all three groups.
  • All three groups identified a gap between the importance of the Library's physical space (especially furniture light and heating) and the actual conditions. Graduate and undergraduate survey respondents identified improvements in physical facilities, expanded hours, improved and cheaper photocopy, and computer facilities (possibly including the Wordstation) as a top priority.
  • All three groups identified a need to improve Interlibrary Loan delivery time.

As we look to respond to user priorities identified in the surveys, it is crucial that we continue highly rated services at the same level. All survey respondent groups rated staff service very highly, including consultation at reference, information, or loans desks, liaison, and instruction. Also highly rated were the Library's electronic infrastructure (including the Web site), and Interlibrary Loans.

5. GOALS

5.A. Library Collections


To be effective, the Library's involvement with collections must encompass not only the acquisition and retention of materials, but also the ready availability of supplementary collections. As the collection continues to grow, available shelving space becomes an ever more pressing problem; this issue is addressed in Section C. Physical Facilities.

5.A.1 Acquisition and Retention

There can be no question that acquisition of books, serials and (more recently) electronic materials is the most important function of the library to its users, as was demonstrated most recently in the 2000 survey. Yet it is at the same time very difficult to support collection development adequately in a university with a wide variety of programmes. Faculty, graduate and undergraduate requirements for materials are equivalent to those in larger and more richly funded institutions. The dramatic increase in costs over the last ten years, particularly of journals,  has meant that ever increasing funds must be allocated to journal acquisitions simply to maintain existing subscriptions. At the same time, demand for new materials is expanding with new programmes and faculty, a wider variety of research interests, and continual appearance of new quality research journals. In addition, noted library researcher Carol Tenopir notes that personal faculty subscriptions have decreased, no doubt owing to the same financial pressures ( Tenopir, Carol; King, Donald W. Setting the record straight on journal publishing: Myth vs. reality. Library Journal, 3/15/96, Vol. 121 Issue 5, p32, 4p, 2 graphs. on the Web:  search the SFU Library Ebsco database 'tenopir and personal and subscription') Nevertheless, the SFU Library collection has been well maintained through several increases to the base budget, and a one-time increase for 2001/02. The Library has worked proactively with departments and with the Senate Library Committee to continue to ensure that monies are allocated appropriately, and that journal dollar allocations are most appropriately spent. A significant shift to electronic collections is occurring, particularly through collaborative ventures such as the Canadian National Site Licencing Project (CNSLP) and through less formal alliances such as Consortia Canada. Over the next three years, a major goal must be to accomplish a transition to electronic journals while ensuring that continuing access to those materials is maintained (as is guaranteed in the CNSLP licence).

In the next three years the SFU Library will ensure that collection allocations match the University’s changing programs and research activities by:

  • Identifying collection requirements to support such new programs as Harbour Centre campus program expansion; Institute of Health Research and Education; Distance Education and online learning;
  • Articulating the ongoing collection requirements of new programmes to SCUP and the University Administration;
  • Seeking sources of funding beyond the University;
  • Advocating the regularization of infrastructure (including Library) support on top of research grants from all granting agencies ;
  • Continuing to emphasize gifts in kind as one means to strengthen Special and other collections within the Library’s Collections Policy framework.

Primary goal 6 of the VP Academic's Plan is to 'Extend the university more fully into its communities, reach out more effectively to our diverse community of learners'. In the next three years the Library will improve services for the diverse student population by:

  • Providing collections as reflected in the curriculum and the Library collection policies, consistent with primary goal 6 of the VP Academic Plan (through activities like, for example, the inclusion of an SFU collections librarian on the joint committee which is working on the development of a SFU/UBC Master of Intercultural Studies noted in the Faculty of Arts Three Year Plan).

5.A.2 Supplementary Collections

The recent surveys identified the Interlibrary Loan service as one of the Library's most successful operations, but showed user dissatisfaction with delivery times. SFU Library has emphasized this operation for at least fifteen years to overcome in part the impossibility of buying all materials available. Recently the direct costs and income from other libraries have been transferred to the Library's collection budget, in recognition of this relationship. By emphasizing efficient operations and reducing staff workloads and improving turnaround time by focussing on unmediated direct requesting by users, the Library has managed a four-fold increase in activity with few additional resources. In recent months, seventy-five per cent of borrowing requests have been unmediated. Our unit costs are well below national averages. (Borrowing 99/00: SFU - $13.51; mean for Canadian research institutions - $39.22; lowest Canadian 10th percentile: $21.64; lending 99/00: SFU - $4.87; mean for Canadian research institutions - $13.54; lowest Canadian tenth percentile $8.52). Our cumulative turnaround time from request submission to availability in the Library is also relatively good (SFU Jan-June 2001: 0-3 days: 33%  0-7 days: 70%; 0-14 days: 86%; 0-21 days: 92%; Canadian Research Libraries, 1996: 0-3 days: 4%; 0-7 days: 28%; 0-14 days: 58%; 0-21: 78%), as is our cumulative turnaround time to other libraries (SFU 9.0 days average; Canadian average 17.5; Canadian lowest 10th percentile 12.8 days)

Delivery services to departments have been limited in the past to campus mail delivery for ILL articles. This does however result in a few days delay in delivery. By establishing an electronic delivery centre in the MBB reading room, we have reduced this time without increasing our workload. During the next three years the library will:

  • Explore other options for delivery to on-campus sites;
  • Ensure library users are directed to the fastest, cheapest delivery sites;
  • Investigate the feasibility of purchasing books in lieu of providing Inter-Library Loans delivery in some cases.

5.B. Access

Because access to the Library's print collections is limited to opening hours, it is incumbent upon the Library to ensure that staff and other resources are allocated to provide optimal access to the collections. There are several ideas we plan to explore which should improve site access, and which may be done without taxing the Library's limited staffing. These fall under three categories:

1. Improving and increasing delivery service options to departments.
2. Investigating increased opening hours if this can be funded within the existing budget.
3. Ensuring that direct access to an acceptable collection level is available to support programmes at the Harbour Centre campus.

The advent of electronic resources, in particular electronic journals, has meant that greatly improved access to library materials can be provided from home or office. During the next three years, the Library plans to expand access to electronic collections by:

  • Developing criteria for print and online journal rationalization;
  • Migrating subscriptions to eJournals where appropriate, especially to support distance education and off-site access;
  • Continuing to emphasize consortium purchasing of online services and collections to achieve the best price;
  • Developing a transition plan for CNSLP;
  • Investigating provision of online access to multimedia resources;
  • Digitizing and enhancing access to unique SFU collections;
  • Ensuring continued archival access.

Course reserves are important to undergraduates and to the  teaching faculty. There is a potential for improvement in the Library's reserves services, particularly through employing electronic means. During the next three years the Library will:

  • Review our reserve policies and practises to determine how they can better meet current information needs for the SFU community, revise Reserve Policy and procedures where appropriate, and follow-up by communicating to Library staff and faculty. During this process, the following are representative of the issues or services which will be explored (ultimately costs or other limiting factors may preclude their being undertaken):
    • Multiple copies of course reserves;
    • Space and security issues;
    • Loan periods;
    • High demand non-course materials on reserve;
    • Short term loans for course-specific materials not on reserve;
    • Direct purchase of textbooks and return of multiple copies for resale;
    • Online requesting to place materials on reserve;
    • Clearance of copyright in order to digitize most Reserves “photocopy” material, depending on the status of digital copyright legislation;
    •  The possible digitization rather than taping of lectures (to be explored with the Instructional Development Centre).

The technical ability to provide online full-text access to theses is a reality, but before undertaking this on a wide scale, the Library will:

  • Work with Graduate Studies, the SFU Archives, and the National Library to change theses requirements so that the Library will be able to provide online full-text access to SFU theses.

The possible relocation of the School for Contemporary Arts would mean that the slide collections are not accessible to all current users even if, as expected, they are relocated downtown with their primary clientele. During 2001-2004, the Library will:

  • Investigate the feasibility of providing online access to visual resources;
  • Catalogue the slide collection.

The cataloguing backlog for new materials has been reduced by more than half during the last three year planning period. Possibilities exist for further improving materials processing. During 2001-2004, the Library will:

  • Investigate improved acquisitions/processing turnaround time so that materials are made available to users as soon as possible (particularly gift materials).

Special Collections is an important part of the Library's resources. During 2001-2004 the Library will expand the effectiveness of Special Collections by:

  • Cataloguing all finding aids (including those for the Contemporary Literature Collection) and making them available online;
  • Increasing outreach programs for specific campus groups.

Respondents to the survey expressed concerns about Library hours, particularly closing on Friday evenings and Saturday/Sunday mornings. Within budget constraints in 2001-2004 the Library will:

  • Investigate possible expansion or changes in opening hours to meet demand.

5.C. Library as Place

All three surveys provided evidence that, notwithstanding the variety of online materials and services, the Library as a place is still very important to users.

Complaints about the quality of the WAC Bennett Library building occur regularly and were identified by many users in the survey and by staff. While we remain constrained by the original design of the building, we plan to investigate methods of improving the building climate where possible. For example a grant in 2001/2002 will enable us to install security grilles on many windows so that they can be opened. During 2001-2004 the Library will:

  • Identify ways to upgrade the physical amenities for its users;
  • Investigate the feasibility of establishing additional lounge seating areas;
  • Investigate the installation of day-use lockers;
  • Explore the possibility of selling small items such as diskettes, pens, connectors, needed especially during hours other facilities are closed;
  • Explore ways to improve photocopy service without increasing costs to users;
  • Address heating, cleaning and lighting problems with Facilities Management, where feasible;
  • Improve navigational signage;
  • Plan for an automobile-accessible book return facility;
  • Improve access for sight-impaired and other users with disabilities, including a specialized computer and desk;
  • Provide graduate student study office(s) in the Lam Graduate Research Centre.

By the end of this three year planning cycle, the Library's shelves will be close to capacity. Notwithstanding the decrease in purchasing power of the collection budget, our very active gifts programme has in fact resulted in an increase in the rate of acquisition of new volumes in recent years. A high priority therefore must be to seek additional shelving space. Despite the reservations of some users, we continue to view the addition of a robotic storage facility (ARC: Automated Retrieval Centre) as the only feasible option. There is insufficient space to expand the Library on its present site if regular shelvng were used, and the costs of building and operating a traditional branch library elsewhere on campus are prohibitive. By introducing a variety of delivery services and delivery points on campus, and by carefully selecting the material stored in the ARC, it is hoped that some of the perceived problems will be alleviated.  Nevertheless, it is understood that users' concern about the loss of browsing capability for the materials in the ARC is real. During 2001-2004, the Library will:

  • Begin planning and fundraising for the ARC.

In many universities, libraries, computing centres, and instruction resource centres have collaborated in the development of facilities called Information Commons or something similar. SFU computing, library and teaching areas collaborate through the Instructional Development Group and through other less formal arrangements. The Wordstation, managed by Academic Computing Services (ACS), has for many years existed on floor 2 of the WAC Bennett Library. The Library, through a donation, its own one-time funding, and one-time funding from the University, will shortly open an instruction lab on floor 2 which will be available to other campus units. There is potential to significantly improve support and services within this framework; for example, on-site support for students in the Wordstation is provided only through occasional help from the Library's Reference Desk during less-busy desk time. During 2001-2004 the Library will:

  • Explore means for reconfiguring and renovating the second floor into a coherent, integrated, multipurpose 'Information Commons' facility in consultation with Academic Computing Services, the Instructional Development Centre, and the University Administration.

Harbour Centre programming has expanded since Library service and space requirements were identified in its early years. With the possible move of the School for Contemporary Arts downtown, and the potential for increased undergraduate programming, it is urgent that Library space, collection, and service requirements be reviewed and supported to appropriate levels for envisioned downtown programming. During 2001-2004, the Library will:

  • Examine expansion needs for Belzberg Library.

While Library systems were well supported in the Surveys, it is important that technical facilities within the Library be maintained and upgraded to support user online requirements. During 2001-2004, the Library will:

  • Expand and upgrade access to online facilities in the Library, including: improved computer access; wireless access;  and audio/video-multimedia support;
  • Purchase improved printers and investigate the use of self-service library check-out units to improve services and to allow counter staff to provide enhanced services.

5.D. Public Services

Public services encompass the Library's communication with users in support of access to information and information resources, be it at the reference or information desk, in a classroom setting, through online or phone help services, or through prepared handouts or Web pages. The goal of  public services is to optimize the users' access to research information.

The Vice President Academic's Three Year Plan states that 'Students should ... have acquired the ability to identify and evaluate information resources' [p.7]. This type of instruction is part of the subject-based library liaison services which were considerably strengthened as part of the implementation of the previous three year plan. The 2001 Survey results support the value of this direction. Moreover, available research suggests that 'outcome-focussed library instruction ... appears to lead to skill development, improved efficiency, and positive attitude change.'  (Daugherty, Timothy K., Carter, Elizabeth W. 'Assessment of outcome-focused library instruction in psychology' in Journal of Instructional Psychology, March 1997, v.24 issue 1, 29-33).

During 2001-2004, we expect to continue to strengthen those services by reallocating staff resources, by advocating for the increase in staff to comparative levels to our peer institutions and to historical SFU levels, and by continuing to expand services to groups such as the Native Students' Centre. In particular, the Library will increase user awareness of library services and facilities by:

  • Continuing to work with faculty to integrate library instruction on identifying, accessing, and evaluating information resources into classroom instruction;
  • Investigating the hiring or provision of awards for “student ambassadors” (students who would raise awareness of the Library within their peer group, and awareness of student issues within the Library);
  • Working with diverse cultural groups of students and student organizations such as the Native Student Centre or the Women’s Centre;
  • Continuing to advocate for the Library's central role in the research/instructional process of the University.

Increasingly, the Library's web site is an integral part of our public services; thus it is encouraging that user survey responses about the Library's web site were very positive. At the same time, the Library must continue to take advantage of emerging technologies to move to what is characterized as 'generation 4' web access, using a 'virtual mentor' model. A virtual mentor model web site  is oriented toward process;  provides a decision making guide; provides personalized recommendations; provides proactive communications; provides an 'enhanced community'; and includes a personal virtual tour guide. Integral to this direction is the continued and expanded collaboration with other campus units such as Academic Computing Services, Operations and Technical Support, and the Instructional Development Centre. During the next three years, the Library hopes to strengthen these relationships beyond technical compatibility and integration by exploring the feasibility for more integrated help services and instruction. While funding for the type of physical Information Commons developed at the University of Calgary and elsewhere may not be feasible, the development of a 'virtual knowledge commons' and some reconfiguration of the second floor should be achievable.

Until recently, the Library's provision of web-based help has been asynchronous; the availability of software tools now provide us with the opportunity to explore the provision of synchronous online reference service. This has potential within the Library, for example to provide public computer support beyond the immediate range of the reference and information desks; it also may allow us, through collaboration with other partners within BC and elsewhere, to extend the hours of some types of reference services. During 2001-2004, the Library will extend reference service within and outside the Library to meet users’ needs at the desktop by:

  • Integrating and expanding “my.sfulib” service consistent with the “my.sfu.ca” development, for example:
    • To allow users to select types of materials (by subject, call number, journal, index etc.) for periodic notification of new items;
    • To allow users to identify “favorite databases”;
    • To provide authentication and authorization, for example at the course level;
    • To include a "fourth generation" virtual mentor to help users select appropriate databases and journals for searching;
  • Investigating synchronous online reference service;
  • Expanding the use of online self-directed tutorials where appropriate (e.g., for Distance Education, and/or as part of classroom instruction);
  • Exploring the usefulness of increasing reference or information desk hours evenings and weekends;
  • Exploring the potential for providing 'shelf location help on demand' by student shelvers;
  • Improving the user focus of Library publications, web pages, and communications for the SFU community;
  • Exploring the potential for limited on-site support at strategic points on or off campus (for example, in the Sci/Tec building, or off-campus sites for Education programmes.)

5.E.  Library Relationships

By the very nature of its operation, the Library interacts with a very wide group of individuals and departments on campus, as is reflected in the rest of the Plan. In addition, in 2001-2004, we plan to:

  • Continue to work with campus groups to advocate for new models of cost-effective scholarly publishing;
  • Maintain ongoing consultation with Library users and continue to improve user feedback mechanisms, e.g.: focus groups ; targeted short surveys at service points; working with technical writing classes and/or statistics classes on library projects;
  • Review Library services and funding for jointly offered programmes, self-funded programmes, programmes offered at remote sites, and non-SFU users (e.g., Burnaby Mountain Community, Open Learning Agency, etc.);
  • Identify and improve services for the diverse campus population by: holding special orientation sessions; by  raising awareness among staff; and by liaising with other groups on campus;
  • Work with SFU Advancement to communicate Library funding priorities, identify potential donors and partners, and create supporting publicity materials, including a Library Advancement web site.

The Library has sponsored a number of successful events over the past few years, for example the recent workshop on digital theses, a BC Library Association event for interested faculty, graduate students and administrators, the annual Friends of the Library event, and a farewell to George Bowering. During 2001-2004 the Library will:

  • Seek ways to expand its cultural role at SFU by strengthening the poetry reading and exhibition programs and investigating and supporting events of interest to the broad campus community.

5.F. Support for Library Staff

It is crucial that Library staff be supported appropriately in order that they can provide the most effective Library service; in particular, issues relating to recruitment and retention for librarians and for staff have been identified in two recent reports. In 2001-2004 the Library will:

  • Continue to improve orientation for all Library staff;
  • Provide appropriate information service training for Loans Counter staff to complement that provided for the Information and Reference Desk staff;
  • Provide a basic level of public ‘help’ training for all Library staff, e.g., all staff should be able to answer a standard list of basic questions.
  • Where feasible provide appropriate career development support;
  • Recognize the ongoing contributions of Library staff to the success of the Library;
  • Continue to advocate with the University Administration for adequate Library staff and ensure adequate resources to do the job.
  • Continue to work at improving internal staff communication.

6. SUMMARY

The SFU Library's Plan for 2001-2004 is based on the results of surveys of faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students and library staff; on our knowledge of and expectations for the changing educational environment; and our understanding of the potential for new library services. While our user survey results show, as always, that library collections are most important to users and that the gap between need and availability is widest, they also indicate the importance of liaison librarian activities, the library as a place, and electronic delivery to the desktop. A summary of the major actions we intend to take over the next three years follows:

A. Library collections. We will:

  • Ensure that collection allocations match the University’s changing programs and research activities by:
    • Identifying collection requirements to support such new programs as Harbour Centre campus program expansion; Institute of Health Research and Education; Distance Education and online learning;
    • Articulating the ongoing collection requirements of new programmes to SCUP and the University Administration;
    • Seeking sources of funding beyond the University;
    • Advocating the regularization of infrastructure (including Library) support on top of research grants from all granting agencies ;
    • Continuing to emphasize gifts in kind as one means to strengthen Special and other collections within the Library’s Collections Policy framework.
  • Improve services for the diverse student population by:
    • Providing collections as reflected in the curriculum and the Library collection policies, consistent with primary goal 6 of the VP Academic Plan (through activities like, for example, the inclusion of an SFU collections librarian on the joint committee which is working on the development of a SFU/UBC Master of Intercultural Studies noted in the Faculty of Arts Three Year Plan).
  • Explore other options for delivery to on-campus sites;
  • Ensure library users are directed to the fastest, cheapest delivery sites;
  • Investigate the feasibility of purchasing books in lieu of providing Inter-Library Loans delivery in some cases.


B. Access. We will:

  • Expand access to electronic collections by:
    • Developing criteria for print and online journal rationalization;
    • Migrating subscriptions to eJournals where appropriate, especially to support distance education and off-site access;
    • Continuing to emphasize consortium purchasing of online services and collections to achieve the best price;
    • Developing a transition plan for CNSLP;
    • Investigating provision of online access to multimedia resources;
    • Digitizing and enhancing access to unique SFU collections;
    • Ensuring continued archival access.
  • Review our reserve policies and practises to determine how they can better meet current information needs for the SFU community, revise Reserve Policy and procedures where appropriate, and follow-up by communicating to Library staff and faculty.
  • Work with Graduate Studies, the SFU Archives, and the National Library to change theses requirements so that the Library will be able to provide online full-text access to SFU theses.
  • Investigate the feasibility of providing online access to visual resources;
  • Catalogue the slide collection.
  • Investigate improved acquisitions/processing turnaround time so that materials are made available to users as soon as possible (particularly gift materials).
  • Expand the effectiveness of Special Collections by:
    • Cataloguing all finding aids (including those for the Contemporary Literature Collection) and making them available online;
    • Increasing outreach programs for specific campus groups.
  • Investigate possible expansion or changes in opening hours to meet demand.

C Library as space.

We will:

  • Identify ways to upgrade the physical amenities for its users;
  • Investigate the feasibility of establishing additional lounge seating areas;
  • Investigate the installation of day-use lockers;
  • Explore the possibility of selling small items such as diskettes, pens, connectors, needed especially during hours other facilities are closed;
  • Explore ways to improve photocopy service without increasing costs to users;
  • Address heating, cleaning and lighting problems with Facilities Management, where feasible;
  • Improve navigational signage;
  • Plan for an automobile-accessible book return facility;
  • Improve access for sight-impaired and other users with disabilities, including a specialized computer and desk;
  • Provide graduate student study office(s) in the Lam Graduate Research Centre.
  • Begin planning and fundraising for the ARC.
  • Explore means for reconfiguring and renovating the second floor into a coherent, integrated, multipurpose 'Information Commons' facility in consultation with Academic Computing Services, the Instructional Development Centre, and the University Administration.
  • Examine expansion needs for Belzberg Library.
  • Expand and upgrade access to online facilities in the Library, including: improved computer access; wireless access;  and audio/video-multimedia support;
  • Investigate the use of self-service library check-out units in order to allow counter staff to provide enhanced services.

D. Public Service.

We will:

  • Increase user awareness of library services and facilities by:
    • Continuing to work with faculty to integrate library instruction on identifying, accessing, and evaluating information resources into classroom instruction;
    • Investigating the hiring or provision of awards for “student ambassadors” (students who would raise awareness of the Library within their peer group, and awareness of student issues within the Library);
    • Working with diverse cultural groups of students and student organizations such as the Native Student Centre or the Women’s Centre;
    • Continuing to advocate for the Library's central role in the research/instructional process of the University.
  • Extend reference service within and outside the Library to meet users’ needs at the desktop by:
    • Integrating and expanding “my.sfulib” service consistent with the “my.sfu.ca” development;
    • Investigating synchronous online reference service;
    • Expanding the use of online self-directed tutorials where appropriate (e.g., for Distance Education, and/or as part of classroom instruction);
  • Explore the usefulness of increasing reference or information desk hours evenings and weekends;
  • Explore the potential for providing 'shelf location help on demand' by student shelvers;
  • Improve the user focus of Library publications, web pages, and communications for the SFU community;
  • Explore the potential for limited on-site support at strategic points on or off campus.

E. Library Relationships.

We will:

  • Continue to work with campus groups to advocate for new models of cost-effective scholarly publishing;
  • Maintain ongoing consultation with Library users and continue to improve user feedback mechanisms, e.g.: focus groups ; targeted short surveys at service points; working with technical writing classes and/or statistics classes on library projects;
  • Review Library services and funding for jointly offered programmes, self-funded programmes, programmes offered at remote sites, and non-SFU users (e.g., Burnaby Mountain Community, Open Learning Agency, etc.);
  • Identify and improve services for the diverse campus population by: holding special orientation sessions; by  raising awareness among staff; and by liaising with other groups on campus;
  • Work with SFU Advancement to communicate Library funding priorities, identify potential donors and partners, and create supporting publicity materials, including a Library Advancement web site;
  • Seek ways to expand the Library's cultural role at SFU by strengthening the poetry reading and exhibition programs and investigating and supporting events of interest to the broad campus community.

F Support for Library Staff.

We will:

  • Continue to improve orientation for all Library staff;
  • Provide appropriate information service training for Loans Counter staff to complement that provided for the Information and Reference Desk staff;
  • Provide a basic level of public ‘help’ training for all Library staff, e.g., all staff should be able to answer a standard list of basic questions.
  • Where feasible provide appropriate career development support;
  • Recognize the ongoing contributions of Library staff to the success of the Library;
  • Continue to advocate with the University Administration for adequate Library staff and ensure adequate resources to do the job.
  • Continue to work at improving internal staff communication.

APPENDIX A

Status of 1999-2001 Plan Goals

GOAL STATUS
Meetings of Senate Library Committee have a predetermined schedule Now meets Monday afternoons twice per semester.
Expand the Senate Library Committee membership Now includes more students, a librarian, and other staff member
Increase consultation with the SLC Ongoing. SLC now reviews annual collection allocation and endowment income expenditures, for example.
Strengthen the role of the liaison librarians; involve departmental reps and liaison librarians in allocation of the library collection budget within their subject area Liaison librarians now participate in the collection budget allocation, and decisions about electronic resources; departmental reps. review the collection budget allocation and are consulted about various collection and instruction issues.
We will increase the frequency of  meetings between the University Librarian and groups such as the SFSS, TSSU and SFUFA Meetings are scheduled with these groups and with others in consultation with these groups.
Improve the Library's Web pages Done; Ongoing
Establish cross-divisional communication channels This is an ongoing process. When projects are being planned, representatives from involved divisions are included on the planning teams.
Establish planning mechanisms which involve appropriate staff Library Council includes seven elected reps.
Improve orientation and training for library staff Some activities were undertaken. More work is needed.
Establish a staff newsletter Explored but abandoned as email has replaced it as a communication mechanism
Be proactive in our collection activities to respond to the changes in the scholarly publishing industry This is an ongoing process. A number of informational meetings and communications were undertaken.
Change collection policies and allocations to respond to changes in faculty and programmes Mechanisms are now in place
Continue to improve services through and to Interlibrary Loan, Distance Education, and other online programmes. Improvements have been made to the ILL system, internally and publicly. Liaison librarians collaborate with DE course developers on new courses and with faculty on online courses.
Prepare a written collections policy and communicate it to the university community Done
Prepare a written policy for determining appropriate uses for the Library's endowment funds  and communicate it to the university community Endowment income expenditure plans are reviewed annually with the SLC
Re-examine collection allocations in relation to current SFU programmes;identify criteria to be used to determine equitable allocations; examine present allocations to determine if they are equitable; and identify mechanismsto address any inequities Done
Adjust the Library's approval profiles Under way
Identify electronic alternatives to print in order to achieve cheaper and better access to collections Canadian National Site Licencing Project exit strategy will require this. This will form a part of any cancellation strategy.
Cooperate with other libraries in collection development, acquisition of electronic text, and document delivery Ongoing; SFU Library works with a number of consortia (ELN, COPPUL, Consortia Canada, CNSLP)
Provide electronic reserves materials where feasible; it should be noted that copyright restrictions limit our options at present Done for Profs notes on request.
Provide more timely access to electronic resources as we regularize procedures for acquisition financing and provision of electronic texts Procedures have been improved and staff resources reallocated
Reduce the processing backlog Done
Provide screens for windows which open on floors 3-4 Funding obtained 2001/02.
Examine ways of increasing Reserve materials security Ongoing
Identify funding for more shelf space when the current space is exhausted The proposal for an automated retrieval facility has been reviewed along with other alternatives; no other feasible alternatives are available because of space restrictions. Faculty and student concerns about the loss of browsing capability must be carefully considered during the planning
Ensure that Belzberg Library space and resources can support any future expansion More work needs to be done in this area. Alternatives for support for Contemporary and Fine Arts programming downtown have been presented.
Establish an Electronic Text Centre Done
Identify collection budget expenditures which are low priority or could be reduced or changed to effect savings (e.g. binding) Binding costs have been reduced significantly.
Expand Bennett Library hours Library hours were expanded but there continues to be demand for additional hours.
Make changes to the sorting room discharge facility as identified in a recent ergonomic report  Done
Produce online tutorials where they are identified as being most effective More work needs to be done in this area. An instruction librarian position has been created by reallocating staff resources.
Introduce electronically wired carrels on floors 2 and 6 Done
Identify services which are low priority or could be reduced or changedto effect savings (such as discontinuing the collection of  paper telephone books) The paper telephone books and a variety of other collections purchases and staff activities have been eliminated; this is an ongoing requirement.
Create a Help desk on floor six Done
Provide improved access to materials in the Fine Arts Room Some options were considered but not implemented. Depending on what happens with the School for Contemporary Arts FAR services may change.
Work with the University's Advancement Office to identify funding sources to augment the Library's budget A one-half time Advancement Officer has been funded by the Library.
Set fundraising priorities to support library collections and technology and facilities A number of priorities have been identified, in particular the Library's ARC.
Substantially increase the Library endowments SFU Alumni and others have generously supported the Library's endowments. Income from software development has increased the Library's Technology Endowment fund by $350,000
Investigate the potential for sale/licencing of SFU Library software Exploration of market potential led to a decision to Open Source software and charge for support (similar to products like linux). This has led to a modest income.
Identify ways of improving the checkout counter area layout Done. Improvements continue to be made.