HUMBOLDT STATE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
Dean, University Library
Introduction | Access
Services | Digital Literacy Closet | Humboldt
Room/Special Collection |
Information Services Library Advancement | Library Media | Systems
(Statistical Charts & Data)
Collection Size | Library Expenditures Details | Library Expenditures - State Funds |
Community Borrowing | In-Library and Home Use Circulation |
In-Library & Home Use Circulation Plus Databases and Full-Text Articles Accessed |
HSU Enrollment (FTEs) & Librarian-Taught Instruction AND Web-Based Instruction |
Number of Hits to Site / Exit Gate |
Library Summary Organization Roster
Highlights from the year included:
Status of Library Materials
We cancelled 472 periodical titles (29% of the print subscriptions) and 121 reference titles for a total of 593 titles. (In the last two years, we have cancelled 43% of our print periodical titles.) The criteria used to cancel were electronic duplication and/or low use over the last few years. One slight positive note in the cancellations was that 41% were available in electronic format. The downside was that only one third were stable versions from publishers. The others came from aggregator services where they have no control over what the publisher makes available to them. JSTOR, one of the reliable providers, has a 5-year embargo, which means that the most recent 5 years are not available online. In addition to canceling these titles, we also planned on reducing the amount spent to purchase books, videos, CDs by $64,000, but had to increase that to $112,000 and suspend the book purchasing plan mid-spring semester due to the need to pay the increase to our share of the campus shortfall. This suspension will have to continue throughout the next academic year, due to continuing campus budget reductions. This is a dreary scene and one which it is to be hoped can be addressed in the not-too-distant future, as we are losing ground very quickly in our efforts to collect the kinds of information needed by students and faculty for their courses.
Trends in Library Usage
Overall, we are continuing to see an increase in the use of the collections. There has been another significant increase in hits to our site - going from 17,452,392 to 27,913,762 for a 59% increase. Usage of the Online Workshop for Library Skills increased again this year - by 22%. Database accessions increased by 7% and the numbers of full text articles access increased by 5%. Where we saw the largest increase was in the use of ONCORES (electronic reserves) and hits to reserve readings available from Blackboard. Overall Blackboard article hits increased 47% from last year.
While internal use of print materials declined, there was a 9% overall increase in items checked out for home use for the second year in a row, making this the highest number of items checked out for use in the last 10 years. In analyzing the increased circulation, we have seen that video check out increased by 80%, audio CD by 16%, while items in the main collections declined by 1%. Usage of the electronic materials has shifted from 3 years ago when it was pretty evenly distributed from within the Library, on campus and then off campus to the heaviest use being on campus (approximately 51%); off campus (approximately 27%); and from within the library down to 22% (possibly due to the incredibly ancient equipment we are running in the building). The use of the physical building is remaining more or less status quo with an exit gate count decline of 2%.
In Interlibrary Loan, borrowing requests filled have increased by 13.6% (from 4,946 to 5,619) and lending requests filled increased 17.7 %( from 6,630 to 7,801) and for the second year in a row we were net lenders. We are able to continue to offer exceptional service as our turnaround times for borrowing requests of all kinds remains under 10 days. For lending requests, the turnaround time is less than 3 days.
Numbers of reference transactions continues to decline, but we also cut service hours as well. Analysis of the patterns showed that there has been an increase in the number of questions asked at the third floor reference point, where Humboldt Room and Government Documents are located.
Community borrower use continued to decline. This year we partnered with the
Education Department to offer extended services (to include video check out
privileges) to the Mentor Teacher program, however very few took advantage of
The number of students reached with course-integrated instruction was up by over 4% this year, and we saw growth in the enrollment of our formal instruction, or librarian-taught courses. We changed the Comm 280 course from a half-semester to a weekend intensive, and instead of 5 students completing the course, we had 33. Twenty-two completed it in fall, and eleven completed it in spring.
More details on various aspects of the Library's operation follow in the excerpts from the Access Services, Digital Literacy Closet, Humboldt Room/Special Collections, Information Services, Library Advancement, Library Media, and Systems reports.
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Collaboration, cross-training, special projects, and "doing more with less" were significant themes once again this year. These themes were fueled in part by the University's ongoing budget crunch that started last year and is expected to continue for at least another year. In the Library, the budget woes have translated into the purchase of fewer print information resources, that is, book, periodicals, and serials, while electronic resources continued to consume an increasing share of the materials budget. The cuts have also meant that vacant faculty and staff positions have remained unfilled and student assistant budget allocations continue to be reduced, or, at best, remain flat.
Despite the challenges created by the budget reductions, department staff still have a number of positive accomplishments to report, including:
Noteworthy statistical highlights for the year include:
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DIGITAL LITERACY CLOSET
This year the DLC offered assistance on 945 projects to 544 faculty, students and Library staff. The five most requested topics for assistance were in using Photoshop, scanning, color prints, video and web page creation. The number of hours that the DLC was open remained steady state. An important project that the student assistants in the DLC worked on was the digitizing of the laser disks in the Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century. This project was started in the spring semester and completed over the summer.
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HUMBOLDT ROOM/SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Northwestern California Newspaper Project
The final report for this one-year project funded by the California State Library was submitted on July 28, 2004. The goal of developing a model for what it might mean to have been "surveyed" by the California Newspaper Project, as we were in summer 1999, was accomplished. We will be continuing for at least the next year to implement the primary portions of the model while looking at ways to further the project.
The photograph collections continued to be in the forefront of Special Collections activities this year. From the Palmquist family we received the working file of negatives (plus some copy prints) that Peter had maintained to continue researching northwestern California topics; this will be an invaluable contribution to regional photographic history once it is processed.
We created an Access database for the Humboldt County Photograph Collection thanks to the availability of a very skilled and motivated volunteer intern. She went on to enter the legacy data for all 2,844 photos into the database. We hope to begin the proofing and add subject headings early in fall 2004. With the addition of this database to those for the Ericson and Swanlund-Baker Photograph Collections, we were ready to seriously request and receive help from Library Systems staff to make these three collections web searchable in a single interface. This single searchable database will greatly increase both staff and patron access to our photograph collections; in addition, the 497 digital images in the Ericson Collection will be available in the database as well as continuing to be accessible through the Online Archive of California.
We continued to plan for the preservation and digitizing of the Shuster Aerial Photograph Collection. We have received a grant of $5,000 from the campus to pursue this objective during 2004-05. On another front, we collaborated with Carolyn Mueller, the Library's designated grants writer, to prepare an application to the National Endowment for the Humanities for $5,000 to purchase map filing cases and supplies to expand and more adequately house the Humboldt Room Map Collection.
Use of the Humboldt Room collections, as measured by reshelving statistics, continues to grow: 6,734 items this year. Last year's count was 6,688 items, up significantly from the prior year's 6,412 items. A major accomplishment was the addition of 985 new items to the Pamphlet Collection.
Within the context of Library-wide planning for space needs and the possibility of recovering all or a portion of the Basement ("BSS Phase 2"), a three-page report on space usage and needs for the Humboldt Room and Special Collections was prepared. Whatever the outcome is of this planning, the shorter term needs for space - for public access, storage of collections, and efficient processing of materials and collections - are approaching crisis level and will need to be addressed in the coming year.
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We reduced main floor Reference desk hours another 6.6% (5 hours) over last year's cut of 8.9% (5 hours), for a 15.5% total cut over the past two years. We were able to maintain third floor desk hours at the same level as last year. The number of transactions at the first floor desk dropped by over 24% this year, while third floor transactions increased again, this year by 7.5%. The third floor service point has seen a steady increase in the percentage of total reference transactions, as well. In 2001-02, it handled 19% of our total transactions; last year, 21%; and this year, 27%. Given the continuing increase of activity at the third floor service point, it would be interesting to see the statistics for the informal reference service point at the Periodicals and Media Assistance window. Perhaps that service point, too, would show an increase, further offsetting the continuing decline of requests for assistance at the main desk.
We added two new members to the Reference staff in 2003-04. Carolyn Mueller rejoined the Library faculty in August and immediately began training for work at the main desk. She and Liz Kimura Mottaz, Library Assistant III in Government Documents, were trained during spring semester for the third floor desk, and both began staffing there in July. Carolyn contributes 8 hours/week of Reference service, and Liz contributes 4.
We also explored participating in the 24/7 synchronous "live" reference project being funded by the CSU. Reference desk and other interested staff received training in fall, but we ultimately decided not to participate this year, due to uncertainty about whether the program would be continued after 2003/04 and because we felt unable to commit sufficient staff resources to the service.
24/7 was intended as a compliment to our asynchronous ASK US email reference service. ASK US continues to account for less than one percent of our total transactions. This year, the number of ASK US transactions was 65, down from 79 last year. The year before, the number was 69. These numbers are typical for the service. It seems to be working effectively, serving a small clientele but offering a unique form of access to our resources.
Use of our electronic databases has increased by almost 8% this year. Last year, we added some fifteen databases, many with key collections of full text, and saw an impressive increase in use of 24.4%. This year, our budget did not permit any such expansion of our holdings. Improved technology for accessing full text seems to have made the difference this year. The introduction of the SFX function, which simplifies access to full text by allowing one to connect with online full text supplied by one database while searching in another, and which has become the engine for our Periodicals List, appears to have been responsible for a significant portion of the increase in database use.
We have also begun to incorporate MetaLib, identified on our homepage as Xtreme Search (beta), into our database access offerings. MetaLib has many features. Most notably, it allows searching of multiple databases at once. It also permits the creation of custom lists of databases by patrons and allows bibliographers to create subject lists that include web pages and other sources outside the list on our Databases page. A new release is due soon, apparently much improved over the current one. We agree that MetaLib has great potential and may eventually replace our Databases page, but for the foreseeable future, we think it best to retain the designation "beta" and to keep testing it.
There were large percent increases in both borrowing (21%) and lending (15%) activity this year. Borrowing requests filled were up 10% and lending requests filled were up 18% over last year. Undergraduate use of the service has increased by 7% over last year. Even with these increases in volume of service, and some loss of personnel, turnaround time for borrowing requests of all kinds remains under 10 days. For lending requests, the turnaround time is less than 3 days.
Our library remains a net lender, with 1537 more lending than borrowing requests filled. The difference represents a 65% growth over last year, when the differential was 930 requests. Most of this growth was due to increases in lending requests by CSU, LVIS, and Out of State Academic libraries.
A concern is that the difference in ILL expenditures and income continues to
increase. This year, the gap is $16,008, an increase of $8135 (103%) from last
year. Three years ago the unit was essentially breaking even. Reasons for the
change include increased borrowing activity with associated OCLC transaction
charges, new costs charged to the unit (photocopying and UPS), replenishment
of document delivery accounts that were skipped a year, and decreases in public
library reimbursements. To help address this problem, an update to the 2001
ILL Lending Fee Schedule was approved this year that has higher fees for the
non-reciprocal libraries. These account for about 10% of lending volume, however.
ILL continues to move from a paper-based to an entirely electronic operation. Sometime next year, as the supply of paper forms disappears, only requests submitted electronically will be accepted. In preparation for this, a number of enhancements were made this year to improve the inputting of information on electronic ILL request forms, personal tracking of requests, and electronic delivery of articles.
The number of students reached with course-integrated instruction was up by over 4% this year, but the big story was the success of our formal instruction, or librarian-taught courses. We changed the Comm 280 course from a half-semester to a weekend intensive, and instead of 5 students completing the course, we had 33. Twenty-two completed it in fall, and eleven completed it in spring. We also offered a Religious Studies version of the course in the half-semester format and a World Languages and Cultures version in the weekend intensive format. Both were well received, but we seem to agree that the weekend intensive, typically team-taught by two librarians, is the most popular and effective way to deliver the basic research course.
We also had some success with our attempts to make information competence a campus requirement. The University Curriculum Committee subcommittee on information competence accepted our suggested additions to their report to the UCC, which included certification in basic information competence in one of three ways, passing a test to be developed by the library faculty; passing Comm 280; completing all the OWLS. We recommended that all students be required to obtain this certification within two semesters of enrolling at HSU. We also recommended that discipline faculty work with librarian bibliographers to design and implement advanced information competence instruction appropriate for the different majors. All of this was endorsed by the UCC subcommittee, but it will need to be approved by the UCC and then the Academic Senate before anything becomes official.
The new edition of the Online Workshop for Library Skills (OWLS) is nearing completion. It won't be unveiled until spring, 2005, but we will post notices on the main OWLS page and on each OWL's top page this fall announcing that the new OWLS are coming. This will give those who use the OWLS in their classes time to prepare for the change.
The least successful library instruction project this year was an attempt to coordinate basic information competence instruction with selected English 100 classes. After the first two of a projected four sessions with the students, it was felt that we were not getting through. Tracy Duckart, one of the instructors involved and co-developer of the project was of the opinion that the students weren't getting the writing content of the course, either, and that that was what they needed to focus on. It was agreed to terminate the pilot project in November. Interest in the possibilities for introducing information competence to English 100 students is still there, however, and we intend to discuss it further at some point.
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In the fall of 2003, we received a $10,000 gift from an anonymous donor, which was one of the largest gifts that the Library has received. Carolyn Mueller worked with the donor, the Collection Development Librarian, and the Dean of the Library to identify priorities to be funded, resulting in allocation of $6000 for books to support the instructional and research interests of new faculty and $4000 for media materials in support of the curriculum.
Coordinating with University Advancement and in consultation with the Systems Librarian and the Digital Literacy Closet Team, a proposal to Fujitsu Laboratories for upgraded equipment for our public computer stations and for the DLC was developed. To date, we have received some monitors, keyboards, mice, hubs, and a PC that, with modifications, is now the server for the Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century project. There is the possibility that additional equipment could be available in future. Total estimated value of the gift to date: $9,965
Including the $10,000 anonymous gift (above), new gifts to the Library through May (last date for which data is available) totaled $14,577, and new gifts to Special Collections totaled $4,290. Gifts in kind (including the Fujitsu gift, above, and two video collections) are estimated at $19,500, and the Friends preview book sale raised $161.50, for a total of $38,528.50.
In consultation with and with assistance from the Special Collections Librarian (the principal investigator), a proposal for a $5000 National Endowment for the Humanities Preservation Assistance Grant was submitted. If funded, this grant will enable the purchase of four map filing cases and related archival supplies for the Humboldt Room. Notification is expected in December.
The Friends web pages (About the Humboldt State University Library, Friends of the Humboldt State University Library, Giving to the Library, Directions) were updated, and Giving to the Library was added as a hot link on the Library's home page.
In spring 2004, the anonymous donor of the $10,000 gift (above) offered an additional $10,000 as a match for new gifts received through December 15. An annual appeal letter was drafted, the gift form was revised, and a press release and Library home page banner text announcing the match were written.
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HSU Library's video collection enjoyed another year of solid growth
this year. Library Media staff assisted faculty members in further developing
media collection, which is an important teaching resource. The Library was the
recipient of more than 200 documentary and educational videos donated by Robert
Glore of Santa Barbara, whose grandson attends HSU. Many highly acclaimed PBS
titles were included in this generous donation. Also with a generous anonymous
donation, numerous educational video titles were added to our collection in
support of our new faculty. The Library sponsored a reading by a prominent Chinese
author, Yu Hua, who is regarded as one of the most influential authors in China.
This reading was made possible with Department of World Languages and Cultures.
Lastly, HSU Library became one of the 300 public libraries in the nation to
participate in the Human Rights Project created by National Video Resources
in partnership with the American Library Association Public Programs Office
during 2004-2005. The core of the program is a collection of 12 documentary
films selected by a panel of human rights professionals, librarians and filmmakers.
This project will be implemented in this coming year.
Video Collection Development/Circulation
Library's video collection grew to 5,478 titles during the past year. The trend to utilize videos in classrooms continued its dramatic increase again. Due to the popularity of some of the titles, the Library continued purchasing multiple copies of high-demand titles to accommodate as many classroom showings and course reserves as possible. With the new video checkout policy in effect, the circulation of these materials continued to increase greatly.
Media Resources Area
Media Resources Area ran quite smoothly thanks to the streamlined operation. The popularity of viewing videos and DVDs in the Library continued to increase during the last year. The demand for DVDs are becoming greater each year as more video titles become available in DVD format. This trend needs to be monitored so that the Library's Media collection can make a smooth transition from VHS to DVD formats in the coming years.
Library Media staff will be working on the Human Rights Project in the coming year to increase the public's awareness of human rights issues through the medium of documentary films. With the sizable budget cuts, Library Media staff will need to continue working with faculty and various departments on campus to collaboratively working on video acquisitions. Library Media will assist various departments on campus by helping with special events on campus such as HSU Week of Dialogue on Race, Diversity Conference and various film festivals.
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This had been a difficult year for the Systems Department, because of extremely limited budgets for both hardware and software. These difficulties have caused the department to focus more intensively on using available hardware, software and freely available open-source software. The results of this focus have been highly positive, allowing the Department to create new services even in difficult times.
Without a budget for hardware purchases to refresh the aging hardware in the Library, maintenance of the aging public hardware has become increasingly difficult. The twenty plus out-of-date Pentium II microcomputers serving the public areas of the Library have become increasingly unreliable. As hardware has failed, the Systems Department has been forced to take a number of stations out of service, leaving gaps in the workstations available to the public. The Systems Department is spending an increasing amount of time on hardware repair and rebuilding to maintain an acceptable number of workstations for the public. The lack of capable workstations has also prevented the Library from installing all of the disability access software that has been licensed by the University for public access. While the situation with public stations has been difficult, the Department has been able to maintain a reasonable number of stations for the public.
Endeavor Voyager Library Management System
The Endeavor Voyager system was upgraded from version 2001.1 to version 2001.2 early in this time period. The Voyager software continues to provide reliable support for both the public catalog and the staff functions of the Library.
During this time period the original Sun servers used to support the Voyager system began to experience hardware difficulties. The large Sun server used to serve the database was beginning to run out of disk space for the growing HSU database. The smaller Sun server used to provide a Web interface to the public catalog experienced a catastrophic hardware failure and had to be taken out of service. To remedy these problems and provide for future reliability the Library purchased a new Sunfire 250 server from Sun Microsystems and the Voyager system was successfully migrated to this new platform. While there was an initial expense for the hardware purchase and installation services from Endeavor, the move resulted in a considerable saving on long term hardware maintenance for the Library. With this new hardware in place, the Library should be able to support its online catalog and staff functions for several years with minimal server related expenses.
After many surveys of the existing network infrastructure in the Library, the Department participated in a final walk-through and revision of plans for installation of Telecommunications Infrastructure Initiative (TII) wiring. In this final review of plans, the Library was able to make some limited modifications to the TII planning to reflect areas of anticipated growth in demand for network services. Construction of network physical infrastructure within the building was completed during this period, but to date no electronics have been installed.
The wireless access in the Library was expanded beyond the initial installation of two access points in the Library's training rooms 114 and 208. The inexpensive access points purchased by the Library were replaced with Cisco hardware, more compatible with remote management by the University's Telecommunications and Networking Services (TNS) staff. The number of wireless access points in the Library was increased to four, expanding the Library's limited area of Wireless network access. As the new wireless access points were brought online, a new authentication system was deployed by TNS. This authentication system allows HSU users access to all of the Library's database services and most other Internet services. The guest logon provided by TNS is currently restricted to campus services only, making this wireless access much less functional than the Library's hard-wired devices. As of this writing, the issue of wireless access for unaffiliated users remains unresolved.
Reporting and Statistics
Production of timely, accurate statistics and reports for all Library Department has continued to be a high priority function of the Systems Department. Reports have been standardized and are run regularly for database use, web use, fund accounting, SFX use, Voyager online catalog searching, periodical list searching and use of the Library's touch-screen Kiosk. Additional reports are developed at the request of Library Faculty and Department Heads.
MySQL and PhP
The Department has focused on using free, open-source tools for the creation of new web-based services without software costs. This open-source strategy has been particularly successful this year, allowing the following new projects:
SFX and Metalib
The Department and the Systems Librarian continued to actively support and develop these two state-of-the-art systems shared among the CSU Libraries. The Library customized and configured Metalib to launch a new service named "XtremeSearch" for the fall 2003 term. The SFX linking system entered its second year of use, with an upgrade to a new version and considerable customization and configuration. The SFX system delivered approximately 32,000 full text articles in this year.
Digital Library Closet Activities (DLC)
The Department provided an increased level of support for the DLC this year. Two Department staff members participated on the DLC team this year, providing direct user support as well as technical support.
The DLC began a project of digitizing the over 40 hours of historic video found on the Video Encyclopedia of the 20th Century laser discs. This project was nearly completed during this year and indexing data for these video clips was purchased by the Library. The indexing data was used to create a database, mentioned under PhP and MySQL activities. The video clips will be linked to this database early in the next year.
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Last updated: October 24, 2004
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