Humboldt State University
May 13, 2008


Present: Ray Wang, Library (Chair); Mary Kay, Library; Benjamin Shaeffer, CAHSS; Tina Manos, COPS; Morgan Varner, CNRS; Daniel Suter, student guest; Robert Gonsalus, Vice President of University Advancement; Jennifer Sowle, Recorder


Minutes of December 11, 2007 were approved, with Tina Manos from COPS noting that the question from Item #2—How can we best utilize this committee to accommodate the university as a whole?—is a good question; she asked for clarification on the committee’s role. Mary Kay, Collection Development Librarian, explained that the committee works with the teaching faculty in each college to ascertain their needs and receive feedback. Morgan Varner of CNRS added that for his area, journal access is very important for research needs; being part of this committee is a good opportunity for developing solutions.
Library Overview. Ray Wang introduced guest Daniel Suter, a senior undergraduate student who is compiling the results of a survey he conducted for Anthropology 318 this semester; he has been working with several librarians on his project, and will continue to work with Ray and the Library over the summer. Ray also said that Robert Gonsalus, Vice President of University Advancement, would be joining the committee to discuss ideas on obtaining donors for specific purposes such as the Library’s Learning Commons.

Ray said that the Library will look very different by fall 2008 semester. A new Internet Café will be installed in the lobby along the windows to the west of the Circulation desk, with comfortable booth seating for 60 people, wi-fi capability, new lighting, vending machines (to include hot beverages) and computers. A new 40-computer lab will be installed in the current Food Friendly Area, while the Library’s Learning Commons Pilot Lab hosts 23 computers which are in 100% usage by students all the time. This Learning Commons area is exciting for the Library since campus academic support will be in one place, the “one stop academic fitness shop.” Campus units such as IT, Learning Center, Writing Center, Math Tutorial Lab, Student Services and other departments will be involved. A satellite desk will be staffed by different units during specific times throughout the semester. Another printer will be set up for student printing. Foot traffic will therefore increase by fall since more students will be coming into the building. The Library has funded part of the Learning Commons Pilot Lab, and has received one-time funding of $50,000 from the President’s reserve fund; most of this amount will be used by Facilities Planning in construction of the Internet Café in the lobby.

Ray mentioned that the original Learning Commons project in the Library basement is several years away, after seismic retrofitting of the Library building. But the seismic work may be questionable because we hear there are no capital outlay funds this year, usually tied to bond issues. The K-12 system has not used much of their capital outlay funds this year, which affected CSU’s ability to raise capital funds through bond issues. Knowing this, the Library will not wait for the plan for the basement to be clear, but will move forward with our Learning Commons Pilot Lab and Internet Café.

Ray updated the committee on the Library budget. In Academic Affairs, no further budget reductions are anticipated the rest of this fiscal year, but it is a moving target. Ray said to expect a flat budget for next fiscal year. A subcommittee was formed to look at areas for possible reductions next year. Last year the Library’s budget reduction was $165,000, the lion’s share of OAA reductions.  The Library’s book budget this year was about $50,000, which Ray hopes to keep the same for next year. We have a very small operating budget, helped by salary savings from those who have retired and those who are in the FERP program. This savings will basically become our book budget for next fiscal year. We have been seen as overstaffed in the past, but in reality have experienced staff attrition over a long time.

Mary Kay explained that because the dollar is weak, European databases are more expensive, so the Library is working to cancel less used databases and journals more recently covered by online sources. We cannot keep up with the cost of inflation, but try to use “big buy” packages.  For example, Marine Progress Ecology costs $7,000 for one title, so we must convert to online usage only, not online and print. Mary is compiling a list of titles to be canceled.

Vice President Robert Gonsalus of University Advancement spoke to the committee about his area. He came from Trinity University in San Antonio recently, where their library had updated and changed itself (due to grant funding) such that it became heavily used, and became the “heartbeat of the campus.” For fundraising at Humboldt State, how do we deploy our energies since many departments wish to receive donations? University Advancement is a lean operation, staffed by about 8-10 people. The cost for a donor solicitation is about 10 cents for every dollar earned at HSU, which is remarkable.

His department focuses on donors’ interests. Approximately 200 individuals or entities have been identified as possible large-gift donors to the university. Then he narrows this list down to the top 50, and takes the donors’ wishes into consideration. Often faculty/departments have specific project requests, but targeted solicitations often cost 20-25 cents to earn a dollar. Gonsalus works with the 50-200 donor list with all of the targeted projects in mind. For Library donors, he can work with them and the Library on specific targets such as the Learning Commons and Internet Café.

VP Gonsalus indicated that historically campus buildings were named for political and emotional reasons, but now a committee decides the names, usually tied to gifts.

He said that the Library’s regular annual appeal is good support for our ongoing materials purchases. Mary asked if we can initiate our own fundraising for small materials purchase support; Gonsalus cautioned that there is a limited universe of donors. His guidelines are for departments to produce newsletters or other informational updates in the fall, and send direct-mail appeals in the spring. University Advancement during the fall is involved in the Humboldt Loyalty unrestricted gift campaign, attempting to get donors used to giving on a regular basis. His department has increased the number of donors to 10,000+ who are ongoing donors, some of whom have multi-year pledges. A portion of these unrestricted gifts is used for salaries, but the donors are aware of it. Typically $10,000 is the minimum to create an endowment; this is considered a large donation. Basic sustained giving is Gonsalus’ goal, which he is reaching.

Danny Suter asked if the Library can solicit donations for specific book purchases; VP Gonsalus explained that the Library can receive these “restricted” gifts, and that we can solicit a particular donor for $10,000 or less gifts, but we should advise University Advancement so that they can help us with the solicitation if necessary.

VP Gonsalus added that his department’s two areas of self-assessment are total giving and enrollment/retention. They measure themselves against peer schools such as Southern Oregon, Sonoma State, East Bay, Stanislaus and San Marcos. Their aspiration schools are Loyola and Santa Clara, and possibly Seattle University. These are private schools. Gonsalus believes that we are “pulling away” from our peer schools.

Ray provided a tour of the Learning Commons Pilot Lab and Internet Café sites for committee members.



5-15-08:  Draft Minutes emailed to committee members for review.

Dist:           ULC members, President, Provost, Deans, Associated Students President, General Faculty President, Library