The mission of the Library at Humboldt State University is to provide the information, collections, and services that are necessary to support the instructional programs, research, and outreach services of Humboldt State University.


Submitted to
Richard C. Vrem
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs


Sharmon H. Kenyon
Dean, University Library

December 2006


Introduction | Planning Initiatives | Status and Consequences of the Library Materials Budget |
Highlights of Other Library Activities | Trends in Library Usage |
Activities of the Units Within the Library
Access Services | Digital Literacy Closet | Humboldt Room/Special Collection |
Information Services | Library Advancement | Library Media | Systems

APPENDICES (Statistical Charts & Data)
Collection Size | Library Expenditures Details | Library Expenditures - State Funds |
Community Borrowing AND 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



The University Library continues to attempt to support the University’s instructional mission by providing both high quality information resources, as well as access to those we cannot provide on site.  Our goals support the University’s core values relating to intellectual growth through research and creative activities for students and faculty.

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In support of both the Library’s mission and the highest priority University goals, the Library’s goals for the year are listed below.  All of these goals contribute to the Library being able to offer better support and access to our collections and to information the campus about our activities. 

  1. Humboldt eScholar pilot project.  Since we did not complete the pilot in the ’04/’05 year, it was decided to finalize the project in this year.
  2. An Academic Senate resolution asking faculty to retain rights for posting their publication on our Institutional repository, Humboldt Digital Scholar, was proposed by the Library faculty and passed by the senate -   Resolution on Scholarly Journal Publication and Faculty Rights For Open-Access Archiving, (

  3. Review of Space.  Last year we were going to review both Humboldt Room/Special Collections space needs as well as review work space in Acquisitions/Interlibrary Loan/Cataloging.  As we worked on space needs and the review of workflow and positions due to retirements in our Acquisitions Department in the previous year, our efforts became more concentrated upon the latter.  Consequently our achievements were:
  4. Marketing the Library.  We have continued to work in partnership with the Multicultural Center to sponsor poetry readings and with KEET TV.

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The year was another mixed year for the materials budget.  We had $96,000 (in the ’04/’05 year we spent $11,000 and in better years we normally have spent approximately $250,000 for books) to buy books and videos, but at the same time had to cancel around  $30,000 worth of print serial subscriptions in order to offset unfunded inflation increases to our journal collections.  Last year we added 2,676 books, compared to the 967 from the previous year.  (In better years we were able to add approximately 9,000 volumes.)  Access to electronic books was increased with our subscribing to ebrary, an online book service. Thanks to very favorable terms negotiated by the CSU Chancellor's Office, we were able to convert our few remaining Oxford University Press and Springer journal titles into subscriptions to the full-title databases from these presses. So instead of access to only 6 Springer titles in print, HSU users can access 1,100 online. For Oxford, we have converted 12 print journals to 300 online. Additionally, the Chancellor's Office has begun to pay for our Nursing and Allied Health index, CINAHL, and has augmented it with full text for 1,155 journals plus other important materials.   Despite the good work at the Chancellor’s Office, the picture for supporting the university’s information needs is bleak and in the foreseeable future doesn’t appear that it will improve any.

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The trends continue to be mixed.  While use of the physical library declined by 9%, there were increases in uses of portions of the virtual library with more use of the electronic databases and electronic reserves.  Use of materials checked out of the Library increased due to increases in hits for electronic reserves and in the use of our video collection.  Electronic reserves are now offered in three different ways –ONCORES, our home grown system, which is 45% of the use, Blackboard with 40%, and Moodle with 15% (last year it was 40% ONCORES, 58% Blackboard and 2% Moodle).  Use of print materials within the Library declined. Use of Interlibrary Loan was essentially static with borrowing requests filled down 2% and lending requests filled up 1% over last year.  We remain a net lender, that is, the number of items we sent to other libraries was greater than the number of items we requested; but use of ILL by undergraduates declined 24% this year, after being up 7% the previous year. Our measures of hits to the Library’s main page and for our web-based instruction declined.  This is puzzling in the face of increased use of the electronic databases and of electronic reserve.  During the next year, we will be investigating possible reasons for the interesting patterns of usage we’re now observing.

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Access Services

The department made positive strides in many areas, a few of which have been highlighted below. Persistent budget problems over the past several years and, in particular, curtailments in the Library materials budget are having a serious impact upon the work of both the department and the Library as a whole. Troubling, as well, are the downward trends in certain key statistical benchmarks for the Library, for example, a 12% drop in the use of the book collections and a 9% decline in the exit gate count this year.

Nonetheless, there is reason to remain optimistic – Library personnel have shown continued resilience and flexibility in the face of such challenges and constantly seek ways to increase their levels of contribution and improve services to our primary users – the students and faculty of Humboldt State. As campus efforts to increase student enrollment come to fruition, it is likely that the Library budget will improve and that the usage of the Library and its collections will rebound.

Some of the more notable departmental contributions this year included:

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Digital Literacy Closet

With much regret, we closed this unit during the year.  Due to our budgetary constraints we have been unable to the upgrade the necessary hardware and software and so can no longer assist the students with these tools.  Some of the uses students made of the DLC have been picked up by the Help Desk.  However, there is now no place on campus where students can go for instruction in how to insert power point slides and other audio or visual clips into their classroom presentations. 

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Humboldt Room/Special Collections

Shuster Collection.  This year saw the culmination of work begun in 2001 when Edie Butler identified the enormous historical value of Merle Shuster’s aerial photographs and worked with him to transfer his collection to the HSU Library.  We spent the last few years bringing this project to its successful completion:  2,300 images plus the finding aid online on the Humboldt Room web site; an outstanding exhibit in the Library lobby, curated by Joseph Wilhelm, February 14-March 13, 2006; a cover story in the North Coast Journal February 9, 2006; and a reception honoring the collection and its creator/donor on February 24, 2006.  We feel very fortunate that Merle was able to participate fully in the exhibit and reception; sadly, he died on June 4.

Northwestern CaliforniaForest Communities Collection.  The second major project involving Humboldt Room collections this year was the Local History Digital Resources Project (LHDRP) grant administered through the State Library.  The goal was to select, catalog and digitize 200 historical photographs to go on the California Digital Library/Online Archive of California (CDL/OAC).  Seven Library staff members plus a student volunteer and a community consultant actively participated in this project.  At present, the images can be viewed on the public project website, but they have not yet been incorporated into the CDL/OAC site.  In implementing the “forest communities” theme for this project, we selected 75 photographs from the Walter Warren Collection depicting the Little River Redwood Company and the company town of Crannell ca. 1908-1930, 25 maps comprising the Belcher Atlas of Humboldt County 1921-22, and 100 maps and architectural drawings from the LP/Hammond Lumber Companies Collection.  As an important component of this project, we contracted with Suzanne Guerra, a local environmental history and cultural preservation consultant, to provide the historical context for the Forest Communities Collection and to select the items from the LP/Hammond Collection, primarily documenting the original buildings and infrastructure of the company town of Samoa.  Thanks to a generous donation to Special Collections at the end of the year, Suzanne is continuing this summer to assess and document the collection in preparation for further processing and access, for which grant funding will be sought as needed.

As a bonus, at the end of the project, we were able to send 25 more photos to be scanned; we selected these from the already processed but not digitized Swanlund-Baker Collection showing tanbark logging in Southern Humboldt County ca. 1910. 

Humboldt Room use measures.  The Humboldt Room collections are continuing to grow and to be used in both their physical and virtual forms.  The primary physical use measure, reshelving count, is up from 5,881 in 2004-2005 to 6,391 in 2005-2006, returning to the level of the previous year.  A new and growing virtual use measure, accesses to the Humboldt Room Photograph Collections database on the web site, showed phenomenal growth from the time of incorporation of the Shuster Collection with its 2,300 online images and publicity in February 2006.  The first full year of the database, 2004-2005, showed a total of 2,264 accesses, averaging less than 200 per month.  In 2005-2006 the total count jumped to 40,469.  After the major spikes in February (14,191) and March (12,246), use appears to be settling down to approximately 2,500 accesses per month.

Space for Humboldt Room/Special Collections.   This continues to be an issue, as stated above.  Since it is clear that future space for Special Collections may not be available in the Library Basement in the foreseeable future, alternative planning is imperative.  To that end, a proposal to relocate the Humboldt Room to a newly constructed space on the second floor adjacent to Library 208 has been made and initial discussion started in Spring, 2006.   Further work on a space proposal will continue in the ’06/’07 year.

Processing of collections. 

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Information Services

Reference Service
We provided 63 hours of reference on the main floor and 42 hours of reference on the third floor, representing a 6% reduction.  Our total information desk contact hours are 105 hours, slightly lower than ’04-’05, which was 109 hours.  The total number of transactions dropped very slightly (only 2.2%) 

While better instruction and web presence may partly account for this slight down turn in use of reference, we believe that the decrease in our overall enrollment may very well play some role there (our FTES figure is down by 1.4% from 6,859 in ’04/’05 to 6,760 in ’05/’06)

ASK US is the email reference service begun in Spring of 1997 to reach remote users.  The last year’s figure, 89, though modest, is the highest in the last six years, which partly shows that more patrons are aware of the service and are taking advantage of it.

Electronic Resources
Usage of electronic resources is up by 3.4% this year, to 171,000 uses based on IP monitoring.  The figures do not reflect the additional uses that are only recorded across databases via SFX, since this data does not carry original location information.  While slightly over half the usage (52%) is still coming from on campus users, over 40% are now coming in from remote locations and only 8% from within the library.  Five years ago the proportions were roughly balanced, with 37% of use of electronic resources occurring within the library, and 25% from off campus.  The implications are significant for library service desk staffing and for organization of the public reference area. 

Interlibrary Loan
Statistical trends in ILL were mixed this year.  Borrowing requests received were down 15% after being up 21% the previous year.  Lending requests received were down 5% after being up 15% over last year.   However, requests filled essentially held steady with borrowing requests filled down 2% and lending requests filled up 1% over last year. 

The CSU Resource Sharing System (RSS) borrowing was up 23% and RSS lending activity was up 61%.  A matter of concern is that RSS turnaround times for borrowing slipped again from 6.37 days in 2002/2003 to 8.05 days in 2003/2004 to 8.64 days in 2004/2005.  This is essentially no different than the regular ILL loan turnaround time of 9 days.

The most significant difference in borrowing was that undergraduate use of the service decreased by 24% after being up 7% last year.  Lending was a non-supplier for several weeks in May during the migration to Illiad (software that permits users to initiate their requests on their own) which depressed lending statistics for the year.  The turnaround time for lending of copies was significantly higher than previous years because of backlogs in the Copy Center.

We remain a net lender with 1,713 more lending requests filled than borrowing requests filled. This compares to the 1,537 net difference of last year and continues an upward trend.  

Library Instruction
Our statistics show that 2,663 students, or almost 40%, received library instruction in 2005-06.   This is a welcome result, given that in 2004-05, we were down almost 7% from 2003-04 in students reached. 

Course integrated instruction continues to be offered at all levels, with the highest percentage, 52.5%, at the upper-division level.  Lower-division courses accounted for 31.6% of our instruction, and graduate courses for 11.3%.  The instructional level was other or not available for 4.3% of the classes.  (Percentages total less than 100 due to rounding.)

These figures are quite similar to last year’s, with a slight increase in upper-division instruction from 47.6%, and a slight decline in the other categories, which were, 35.7% for lower-division, 11.9% for graduate, and 4.7% for other or not available.  We are also making efforts to include library instruction in as many FIGs as possible, and 26% of our lower-division instruction, 8% of our overall instruction, was for FIGs this year.

We were able to offer Comm 280, our one-unit information competence course, in both fall and spring this year.  This was gratifying, given that we had sufficient enrollment for only one offering in 2004-05.  Enrollments were low, however, 8 in fall and 12 in spring, for the amount of effort required.  We are hopeful that the planned Moodle version of the new SP 285 course will prove more satisfactory to us, as well as appealing and effective for students.

A highlight in the instruction area this year was getting our very own designated class for information competence SP 285.

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Library Advancement

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Library Media

As part of the HSU Campus Dialogue on Race in collaboration with the Multicultural Center in November, the Library co-sponsored a second annual Multicultural Poetry Reading with seven local poets.  HSU Library hosted another poetry reading with Zhai Yongming, a prominent poet from China, in collaboration with Multicultural Center, Chinese Studies Grant and the Dept. of World Languages and Cultures, as part of the annual Asian Pacific Heritage Celebration Week.  KEET TV, Morris Graves Museum of Art and HSU Library formed a partnership to work collaboratively after receiving a National Center for Outreach (NCO) Partnership Planning Grants.  The group was successful in receiving the NCO Connector Grant to continue working in the coming year.  The Library also received several hundred feature films, documentary and educational video donations from HSU faculty members, students and community patrons this past year. 

Video Collection Development/Circulation
The video collection grew modestly to 8,367 titles during the past year.  Despite the fact that the collection is growing slowly due to the continuing budget limitations, the trend to utilize videos in coursework and in the classrooms continued to increase again.   The circulation of video collection increased from 16% of total collection circulation during 2004/2005 to over 17% during 2005/2006. Considering that the video collection is quite small, 1.75% of total Library holdings, the circulation continues to grow annually.  Library Media began replacing VHS titles with DVDs as they become available and also are looking into streaming videos and other new technology.

Media Resources Area
Media Resources Area remains popular with heavy usage throughout the day.  The popularity of viewing videos and DVDs in the Library continued to increase during the last year.  The Library Media added more DVD stations to reflect its changing collection format.  

Other Projects
Library Media staff participated in creating the International Students webpage and recruiting international students for HSU.  Library Media staff visited several agencies in Tokyo, Japan for the second year in a row to boost enrollment of Japanese students at HSU. 
Library Media staff worked with various faculty on campus to host documentary screenings on campus.  These screenings coincided with Northcoast Education Summit, Campus Dialogue on Race and Celebracion Latina. 

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Collection Size



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Library Expenditures Detail


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Last updated: February 26, 2007

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