Hongjun Yin, a Library Associate I in the Resource Management & Discovery unit of the MSU Libraries, has announced her intentions to retire on April 30th, after 18 years of service to the MSU Libraries and its users. A departmental retirement reception is planned.
Hongjun began full-time on April 9, 2001, after four years as a part-time employee. Dea Borneman, now the Head of Haseltine Library in the Greenwood Lab School on campus, was her second supervisor.
Her retirement plans include working on various projects at home, plus eventually some travel in the fall, including a trip to China. She has been granted emeritus status at the University. We all wish Hongjun the best in her retirement.
For the FY20 operating budget, which is in the process of being finalized, the MSU Libraries is facing a shortfall of up to $330,000, depending on several variables. This is approximately 5% of our annual operating budget of $6.5 million.
Multiple causes have contributed to this budget shortfall, including:
- Serials and E-Resource Inflation: Annual fees to provide access to the many e-journals and e-resources subscribed to by the MSU Libraries have been rising between 5 and 6 percent for many years now, while the Libraries’ operating budget remains essentially flat. While inflation does not remove funds from our operating budget, it diminishes our purchasing power, which has the same effect. Serials and e-resource inflation is a major contributor to our current budget shortfall.
- Rising costs in other key areas, such as services from third parties and consortial membership fees.
- A mandatory reduction in our operating budget. The Provost has stipulated target reduction figures for each cost center in Academic Affairs, including the Libraries. Anticipated declines in the number of students attending MSU next fall (a demographic trend that will continue for some time), along with the concomitant decline in university revenue from tuition and fees, necessitated these mandatory reductions, which must be permanent, not one-time, cuts.
The Budget Committee of the MSU Libraries met yesterday to discuss the situation and possible ways to address this substantial shortfall. Dean Peters will continue to confer with individuals and groups in the Libraries and beyond before making some difficult decisions and submitting our proposed FY20 operating budget to the Office of the Provost during the first week of April. FY20 begins on July 1, 2019.
Last week, during Spring Break, new whiteboards were installed in the small group study rooms in Duane G. Meyer Library on the Springfield campus of Missouri State University. This project was made possible through the generous support of the MSU Student Government Association. Workers from Grooms Office Environments, pictured here, did the actual installations. Thanks, Grooms and SGA!
In this second post in an ongoing series about the organizational changes coming to the MSU Libraries, we focus on two areas:
- Timeframe: Because the annual work plans for both library faculty and staff members follow the calendar year, the target date for implementing the team-based approach has been pushed back to January 1, 2020. This revised target implementation date will provide us all more time to establish the various teams to which most employees will belong, to undertake initial training, modify work areas, etc. Each team will focus its efforts on one of the 42 principal activities that have been identified.
- Portfolios of Principal Activities: The 42 principal activities will be divided into four separate portfolios. Each portfolio will be managed by the Director of Resource Management and Discovery, the Coordinator of Public Services, the Associate Dean, or the Dean. For example, Lindsey Taggart, the Director of Resource Management and Discovery, has the following tentative portfolio of principal activities:
|Acquisitions and Procurement
|Binding, Repair & Conservation
|Building Services, Space Design, Furnishings
|Cataloging and Metadata Services
|Consortial and Vendor Relations
|E-Resources (leased and purchased)
|Collections Maintenance (stacks, shelving, etc.)
At last week’s Missouri Conference on History in Kansas City, Tracie Gieselman-Holthaus spoke on how seemingly unrelated collections can be used to understand and interpret historical events. Using materials from the Ozarks Jewish Archives (OJA) and the Ozarks Lesbian and Gay Archives (OLGA), Tracie discussed the Interfaith AIDS Network, a community-wide faith-based organization. This group provided support to the AIDS Project Springfield (now AIDS Project of the Ozarks) during a tumultuous time in Springfield’s history. The Interfaith AIDS Network came together in 1990, shortly after the contentious production of “The Normal Heart” at Missouri State University’s campus. The history of the reaction to the AIDS epidemic in this Ozarks community is gleaned from a variety of collections.
Tracie Gieselman-Holthaus is the Archivist at Missouri State University. For more information on these collections or others, please contact her at 417.836.4298 or TGieselmanHolthaus@MissouriState.edu. You can also start your research at https://libraries.missouristate.edu/Archives.
Missouri State University Libraries faculty member Tracy Stout has been recommended for promotion to the rank of Professor.
Ms. Stout began her time with MSU as a Graduate Assistant and student in the Industrial/Organizational Psychology program (2004-2006). She also attended the University of Arizona, graduating with a Master of Information Resources and Library Science degree in 2007.
Tracy returned to Missouri State in 2007 as a part-time reference librarian, before being appointed as a tenure track Assistant Professor with the Libraries in 2008. She was promoted to Head of Research & Instructional Services (RIS) in 2016 and has proven to be a skillful and innovative leader, focused on activities that align with the MSU Libraries 2020 Project.
Tracy has taken on an active role in the teaching and support functions of the MSU Libraries. She has spearheaded initiatives that have provided significant improvements to student services, including:
- RIS Subject Guide improvements
- Libraries website redesign
- Increased Blackboard presence
- Information literacy sessions
Congratulations, Tracy! Your contributions to the success of the MSU Libraries are truly appreciated.
The MSU Office of Assessment awarded Rachel Besara on behalf of the MSU Libraries a $500 assessment grant to enable a team of 5 employees, 2 of which were student workers, to attend a Workshop on Using Student-Led Focus Groups to Gather and Make Sense of Assessment Evidence.
The library trainees will focus on how to use student-researchers to better understand aspects of undergraduates’ library behaviors and use. Congratulations, and we look forward to the report from Lindsey Taggart, Paige Harp, Tericka Brown, Abby Harrison, and Rachel Besara about the results of this project.
On Tuesday, March 26, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Central Daylight Time, the Innovative Educators group will offer a webinar focusing on “First-Year Students and Libraries: Assessing the Impact of Information Literacy.”
The MSU Center for Academic Success and Transition (CAST) and the MSU Libraries have partnered to make this webinar available to MSU faculty and staff. More details and specific instructions for accessing the webinar will be coming soon.
Both community college and four year institutions have traditions of working with instructors needing Library instruction, and this tradition has created an atmosphere of both faculty and students requiring true understanding of Information Literacy. Various Colleges in Texas, including North Lake College, Southern Methodist University, and the University of Texas at Dallas, have placed careful emphasis on the discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge. Items such as the difference between high school “reports” and college “research” papers often confound the first year student, and information literacy plays a key role in that student’s understandings and expectations as they relate to the assessment. These Information Literacy programs are more than a class; they are a journey in educating the first year student in developing and refine search strategies, as well as managing and organizing searching processes and results. Instructor are charged with educating the first-year student on what is expected from them as college students, and with this process in place the faculty can be assured that the assessment process will have a clear outcome, as well as clean and clear documentation.
The MSU Libraries has begun the process of undergoing some organizational changes. We are moving away from a unit-based organization to one that is team-based. Each team will focus on one of the 42 principal activities of the MSU Libraries. Nearly all full-time employees — faculty and staff — will belong to several teams. The target date to begin implementing this new organizational structure is July 1, 2019. All employees will receive training and support for the principal activities with which heretofore they have not been directly involved.
The MSU Libraries also is working to consolidate three service points (Circulation Services, Research and Instructional Services, and Music & Media) into one, which will be located near the top of the interior ramp. The new consolidated service point will be implemented this summer.
A transition team has formed to undertake and complete this consolidation and the related changes. Team members include:
- Tom Peters
- Rachel Besara
- Lindsey Taggart
- RIS (Jessica Bennett)
- Access Services (Shirley Moentnish)
- Music & Media (Sue Reichling)
The transition team will work on several key components of the transition to a consolidated public services point:
- Inventory existing services provided at public desks (with usage statistics whenever possible)
- Design the new consolidated service point
- Determine how the time and talents of existing public services employees will be refocused as we transition to the consolidated public services point based on the peer-to-peer service model
- Develop basic service parameters, such as:
- Hours the service point will be staff
- Extent of services offered through the consolidated service point
- How the consolidated service point will coordinate other, higher-level public services, as well as other services offered by other cost centers
- Develop a Training, Cross-Training, and Transition Plan
- Explore and Convey Emerging Better Practices at other Academic Libraries
- Develop a Communication & Promotional Plan
- Develop an Assessment Plan for the Consolidated Service Point
Since being introduced into Duane G. Meyer Library several years ago, diner booths have proven to be very popular with library users, especially students. We currently have clusters of diner booths in the Main Lobby, on the Lower Level near the compact shelving, and on the Second Level under the skylight.
An area on the west side of the Second Level is being prepared to accommodate six more diner booths. No installation date has been set, but the work should be finished soon.