COMMITTEE ON LIBRARIES
1997-1998 ANNUAL REPORT

Bruce E. Konkle (Journalism and Mass Communications), Chair

The Faculty Committee on Libraries membership in 1997-1998 included elected members Bruce E. Konkle, Chair (Journalism and Mass Communications), Ronald Baughman (Art), Owen Connelly (History), Sarah H. Gable (Medicine), James Teng (Business Administration), Dwight Underhill (Public Health) and appointed members John Catalano (Lancaster), Scott Goode (Chemistry), Ezra Greenspan (English) and Randy Mack (Art). George Terry (Vice Provost and Dean for Libraries and Information Services) served as an ex-officio member. Tom McNally (University Librarian for Public Services) assisted in coordinating committee meeting activities. The committee met four times (October 13, November 13, February 23, April 7) during the academic year.

The breaking of ground for a much needed off-campus library annex/storage facility did not become a reality this academic year, but an appropriate site was selected (off Farrow Road near the new South Carolina History Center, a 15-minute drive from campus), building blueprints were drawn up and groundbreaking recently took place. Completion of the facility in early Spring 1999 should tremendously lessen the overcrowded conditions at campus library facilities.

The library annex will house materials in a temperature- and humidity-controlled environment. Less-in-demand materials, determined by library staffers and each academic unit through discussions, will be available upon request from the main campus with same-day delivery service provided. Patrons needing to work with large numbers of volumes housed in the annex will have the option of using these volumes in the annex's reading room or have them delivered to campus. The structure will house materials in a compact manner arranged by size, so that many more items can be stored per square foot than is possible in library stack areas. In addition, the annex's location will allow for additional storage units to be built in the future, should the need arise. The storage facility will also house a state-of-the-art preservation lab which will enable librarians to treat fragile and deteriorating items and also to store them in such a way as to prolong their usefulness. Until the library annex is completed and operational, however, library patrons will have to endure continued overcrowding. Thomas Cooper Library, which opened in 1976, has an optimum capacity of 1.5 volumes. It currently houses more than 2 million of the 3 million volumes on the Columbia campus and adds more than 70,000 volumes annually. When the time comes to relocate materials to the new library storage facility, members of the committee will work with the library staff to coordinate many aspects of the move.

In November, the committee wrote and unanimously passed a resolution concerning inflation and library materials. In short, the resolution asked the University administration to Amaintain annual increases of the library's materials budget at a minimum of seventy-five percent of the annual serials inflation rate. The resolution was sent to Jerry Odom, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

In February, committee members checked out DISCUS and Web of Science, two new library offerings, in Cooper's multimedia classroom (level 3). DISCUS, a virtual library of Internet-accessible, full-text databases including: Expanded Academic, General Reference Center, Business and Company Profile, and Health Reference Center, offers users citations and abstracts as well as many full-text articles from more than 1,000 magazines. Web of Science, the Institute for Scientific Information's new proprietary Web-browser, allows users to search a comprehensive database comprised of the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index, and the Arts & Humanities Citation Index. Articles from more than 8,000 journals are updated weekly, with data files going back to 1986.

In April, committee members were updated on the developmental activities of Carol Benfield as she coordinates the library development effort as part of the University's Capital Campaign. By late April 1998, more than $500,000 had been raised towards the library program enhancement goal of $5 million, which includes $2.5 million for collection building, $1.5 million for preservation, and $1 million for electronic resources. Committee members wished to become familiar with the library campaign so they could help educate their colleagues about the great needs of numerous campus library facilities.

Ronald Baughman (Art) was elected to chair the Faculty Committee on Libraries in 1998-1999.


This page updated 25 August 1998 by the Office of the Faculty Senate,
and copyright 1998, The Board of Trustees of the University of South Carolina.
URL http://www.sc.edu/faculty/senate/98/annual/98.libraries.html