The terms "collection development" or "collection building" describe a library's acquisitions program involving purchase of information materials in a variety of formats: print, microform, audio, video, electronic. The key words here are "acquisition" and "purchase" because they imply ownership of resources. Acquisition has been an adequate term to describe the information gathering role from the earliest libraries of clay and papyrus to the great research libraries of our time.
But a paradigm shift has taken place. In the face of the late twentieth century knowledge explosion it is no longer possible for a library to physically acquire the diversity of resources which its patrons require. However, new information technologies have opened gateways to remote information sites, creating a kind of global marketplace of information. Libraries will continue to acquire and own information resources; they will continue to build and develop collections. But those activities are becoming recognized as one part of a broader program of information resources development, which includes planning and managing access to remote electronic databases. It also includes cooperative resource sharing arrangements with other libraries.
Information resources development at James White Library during the next decade will involve some new opportunities and challenges:
The nature of "selection" will be different. Never an easy process, selection has meant making difficult choices to maximize the budget available; money was the chief constraint. With potential access to an expanding array of full-text databases, the selection process may be not be any easier. Budget will of course always be a constraint, but the problem of deciding not only what to access, but how to access it effectively (given a range of options) will require careful work, especially given the factthat most electronic databases are high-cost items. Librarians making these choices must have an accurate idea of user needs, and understand the most effective ways of meeting those needs.
Electronic access is placing heavy demands on the library's reference service personnel. Helping patrons find information via electronic access requires new skills on the part of library staff, who must also continue to provide reference support for traditional materials. Professional staff time is also needed in planning and implementing electronic access.
The cost of electronic access is not limited to the direct costs of subscription or access charges. The equipment that is needed to simultaneously link increasing numbers of users to a range of remote sites will require a significant and ongoing financial investment. Upgrades of software, maintenance of hardware and software, equipment additions and upgrades, training of staff -- all these generate demands for budget support. But on the other hand, it should be pointed out that "ownership" of resources also comes with big price tags including costly shelving units and ultimately very expensive building space.
The notion that we face a future of libraries without books is just about as fanciful as the prediction that librarians are about to be replaced by computer chips. The facts are that libraries, librarians, books and chips will all be part of our cultural scene for quite a long time.
Serious writers do, however, predict some changes in the way that human resources will be allocated in the near-future library environment. Two long-term trends are worth noting here:
A corresponding rise in the employment of librarians in public services, especially information and instructional services. Library use is increasing, attributable at least in part to the user's ability to identify more materials through access to on-line catalogs, remote databases, CD-ROMs, and the Internet. More staff are needed in reference, database searching, and library instruction.
The transition from a card catalog to an on-line catalog has left a backlog of library materials for conversion to electronic format (Retroconversion). This work is labor intensive and needs to be completed as soon as possible.
Cataloging of acquisitions for the Adventist Heritage Center is also labor intensive, requiring a large amount of original cataloging. A full-time cataloger is needed for this task.
Department of Technical Services:
One additional full-time cataloger is required to handle Adventist Heritage Center materials, which by their nature require original cataloging and special treatment.
Additional assistance is also required to complete the Retroconversion project as quickly as possible.
During the next three years, we should study the feasibility of contracting some technical services to utilities which provide such services. This could result in a reduction of staff in the technical services area.
Department of Information Services:
Within two years there will be need for an additional librarian to support a projected increased demand for reference work, especially in library instruction. Much depends upon the library's future involvement in information technologies.
The effect of greater database access has meant an increase in interlibrary loan requests. The longer term effect is less certain as the library moves inevitably toward full-text electronic access for periodical articles.
Department of Patron Services:
An increase in circulation load may be an argument for installing self-service circulation terminals rather than increasing staff.
Extended library hours will add to staffing needs.
Department of Special Collections:
This department includes the two branch libraries as well as the Media Center. The closure of one or both branch libraries would result in reduced staffing levels.
Adventist Heritage Center:
This department is understaffed for carrying out the kinds of outreach and promotional activities which should be part of its work load.
A detailed Library Space Needs Assessment is being undertaken, and the resulting document will form part of a James White Library Building Program.
Though much has been written on how libraries will develop in the 21st century, there is no documented body of knowledge dealing with the implications for building design. There is no blueprint for the library of the future.
Two assumptions can, however, be made with some confidence. First, the library of the future will require a revolutionary approach to space and design. The library building for the 21st century must be designed around the patron rather than the collection.1 The orientation will be service rather than storage. The design must provide for excellent instructional facilities. There may actually be a reduced need for traditional patron seating, since the networking of indexes and databases enables the user to do in the office, home, or residence hall what traditionally had to be done within the walls of the library. In its place there will be an expanding need for a range of group use and instructional facilities.
The second assumption about the future is that libraries will continue to purchase and house print materials in a variety of familiar formats. Book publishing is still experiencing a growth curve, albeit a much flatter one than we saw during the print explosion of the 1960's and 1970's. The old demands for vastly more stack space are being ameliorated by new emphases on collection evaluation and weeding, and by trends toward new forms of compact storage and off-site housing of low-use materials.
Focusing on the particular situation of James White Library, we note several needs in relation to space.
The need for a complete building renovation.
The existing building, constructed in 1962 with a major addition in 1977, has provided excellent facilities during a period of rapid library expansion. Several interior changes and renovations have been made during the past thirty years, on a piecemeal basis, to cope with functional reorganization and changing emphases. The result in 1994 is a structure in urgent need of interior re-design and re-decoration within a total plan or concept compatible with the requirements and expectations of an academic library at the threshold of the 21st century.
Several specific needs must be addressed in a renovated building:
The interior is beginning to show the wear and tear of age and needs re-decoration and vitality. It also needs a new approach to signage.
Temperature and humidity controls are quite inadequate in the present building. Environmental control is critical to the preservation of library materials, especially unique and rare materials. Large annual expenditures on acquisition of materials, without proper attention to climate control and water-damage protection, is neither a wise investment of funds nor a satisfactory response to the ultimate purpose of a library.
Security of the very considerable investment in library materials, including invaluable and irreplaceable resources, should be a primary concern. This relates not only to fire and water hazards, but also to security from theft of materials.
Redesign of the building should take into account the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Specific Space Needs
There are several specific needs for allocation of additional library space:
The Adventist Heritage Center requires at least triple the space it currently occupies. The Center urgently needs more office space, room for a materials preservation unit, increased storage space for collections, new or renovated areas for exhibits, and possibly space for storage of university archives. The interpretive display function of the Heritage Center is critical to its mission. Attractive, state-of-the-art exhibits should be created and changed regularly.
If the university establishes the Center as its repository for records management and archives, additional space and facilities will be required to support this function.
Special study should be given to the relationship of the Ellen G. White Research Center (which is separately administered under the White Estate of the General Conference) to the mission of the Adventist Heritage Center. There is good cooperation between the two centers which might be enhanced if they were more closely connected physically, perhaps with a common entrance point.
The information access and instructional support aspects of the future James White Library must receive prominence in space allocation. This might include a multimedia center and electronic classroom.
There is a pressing need for more closed carrels to support the needs of doctoral programs in the seminary and in education. More seminar and group study rooms are also needed, as are offices for teaching faculty who are engaged in research or writing projects.
Both of the satellite libraries (Architecture Resource Center and Music Materials Center) have desperate needs for additional space. Either the required space must be found in the departments where they are located, or their collections and services need to be re-located in an expanded James White Library building.
The organization of a new Technical Services Department requires that the existing periodicals processing area on the Lower Floor be moved to an enlarged technical processing area on the Main Floor as a matter of urgency. Target date: summer of 1995.
Priority must also be given to some expansion for the Adventist Heritage Center, as the first stage of greater development. Target date: 1996.
The use of compact shelving on the Lower Floor for most or all of the periodicals collection is a realistic and economic proposition. This installation would result in a fifty percent saving of space for periodical storage, and allow the library to postpone building expansion until 1999/2000. Target date: summer of 1996.
Weeding of the existing Lower Floor periodicals collection by a minimum of 5.0% will result in removal of approximately 4,500 volumes. Target date: summer of 1996.
Removal of the religion periodical collection from the Main Floor to the Lower Floor would provide space on Main Floor for expansion of the book collection. Target date: summer of 1996.
Growth of the book collection will not exceed 7,000 volumes per year for the next six years. This total includes growth of both the Architecture and Music branch collections.
Weeding of the existing book collection by a minimum of 4.0% will result in removal of approximately 20,000 volumes. Target date: 1998.
The Media Center will undergo a degree of metamorphosis and develop at least in part into a multi-media laboratory/instruction area. Target date: 1997.
Questions for Study
2. What is the future role of James White Library in support of instructional technology both on the campus and in extension programs?
3. What is the future of the existing satellite libraries in Architecture and Music?
4. What policies should the library pursue in relation to weeding of its collections?
5. Does the Adventist Heritage Center have a future role as the depository for Andrews University archives?
Two conclusions emerge from this discussion. First, it is clear that the Andrews University master-plan must incorporate an expansion of the James White Library -- it is not a question of if, but when. Appendix F contains statistics on the existing stack capacity of the building, and a projection based on current rates of growth.
Second, there are some urgent needs which must be met by 1996. These needs include: re-location of periodicals offices, some expansion of Adventist Heritage Center, and installation of compact shelving for periodicals.
On the longer planning range, several needs must be met by the year 2000:
Adequate space for the Adventist Heritage Center.
Additional space for group study, conference rooms, classrooms.
Additional closed carrels for doctoral students.
Provision of an after-hours study area with a separate entrance/exit to provide security for the major library departments and collections.
Re-design of the library interior to incorporate a "chapel of the mind."
Re-design and possibly relocation of several library areas, including director's office, Information Services and reference, Patron Services, Multi-media Center, White Research Center, Technical Services, etc.
Provision of an exhibit area.
Re-planning of temperature and humidity controls.
Bringing all library areas into conformity with ADA requirements.
Provision of new elevators, possibly new public entrance, possibly office space for library services to affiliated institutions.
1 Henshaw, Rod. The Library as Place. College and Research Libraries, 55 (4), July 1994, p.283-285
The preceding sections of this plan have explored the changes driving academic libraries, and how James White Library plans to respond in terms of goals. The shifting scenario has financial implications which need to be addressed.
Personnel / Resources
Comment has already been made on the relationship in spending between personnel and library resources. The respected Association of College and Research Libraries Standards1 recommend that between 35% and 45% of the library's budget should be spent on materials, between 50% and 60% on personnel, and up to 10% for operating expenses. Recent budgets for James White Library have provided between 36% and 40% for materials, between 54% and 57% for personnel, and approximately 7% for operating expenses. In a setting where salary and wage levels are below the national average for academic libraries, and where there is unusually heavy dependence on low-cost student labor, one should expect expenditure on materials to be greater in relation to personnel costs. On the other hand, one must recognize that branch libraries (such as the Architecture Resource Center and the Music Materials Center) and special collections (such as the Adventist Heritage Center and The Media Center) add to personnel costs, especially in a relatively small institution. Another short-term factor of note is the library's cataloging retroconversion project which is labor-intensive.
The relationship between spending on resources (both "owned" and "accessed") and personnel should be monitored carefully and continuously, with a view to maintaining a strong budget commitment to information resources. Spending on resources should not be sacrificed quickly in times of budget restraint.
Professional Development Opportunities
To be a successful academic librarian in this time of rapid change is to keep abreast of developments and trends in the broad field of information access, storage and use. It is imperative that our librarians be encouraged to attend and participate in conferences, workshops and seminars on a regular basis. This will require an increase in budget support for this purpose.
Ownership / Access
The traditional concept of resources as print or "hard" items acquired and owned by the library is being replaced by the idea that resources may be either owned or accessed. Movement in the direction of increasing reliance on access, as opposed to ownership, is being encouraged by escalating costs of certain kinds of print materials (especially periodicals and indexes) and by increasing availability of materials in full-text electronic format.
The 1994/95 year will see the first, relatively modest, shift in James White Library budget expenditures from purchase of resources to electronic access. This must be seen as a trend which will no doubt escalate in the future. It is a conscious shift of philosophy from a "just-in-case" to a "just-in-time" scenario, and will expand dramatically the universe of documentary information which our patrons may have at their fingertips.
Investment in Technology
Access to the world of information does not come without cost, and one can foresee that financial support for expanding and maintaining information technology will translate into a significant part of the annual budget in future years. The university has made a significant investment in electronic technology for James White Library. Protecting this investment means not only providing funds for replacement and upgrading of equipment, but for the growth and expansion of the Innopac system. Specific provision needs to be made in each annual budget for:
Innopac enhancementsExpenditure on electronic technologies should be viewed as a sound investment by the university in the future of Adventist education. The beneficiaries of the investment are not only students and faculty on the Andrews campus, but students and faculty in extension programs, affiliated institutions, and ultimately individuals in every part of the world where there is access to modern communications technology. In other words, it is a global investment.
Addition and replacement of electronic equipment (computers, terminals, etc.)
New multi-media technologies in support of education and classroom instruction
Separate from the annually recurring budgetary needs is the need to provide for renovation and expansion of the existing library building. This requires a special capital fund-raising campaign, which is coordinated through the university's Office of Development.
Other Sources of Funds
Conditions of financial restraint motivate James White Library to explore sources of supplementary funding, not for operations or even for library resources, but for special needs and projects. The library has not been aggressive in the past in seeking public and private grants, but plans to do more of this in the future.
One of the goals of this strategic plan is establishment of a "Friends of James White Library" organization. Such groups have been highly successful in hundreds of academic settings in supporting library needs and funding special projects. Given the international influence of Andrews University and the significance of James White Library in the Adventist information network, we are well suited to the concept of a Friends group.
2. That a target of 40.0% of the James White Library annual budget be allocated for information resources, both owned and accessed.
3. That a Convention Travel budget be set up separately from the library's Travel budget to provide greater opportunity for librarians to attend professional conferences and workshops.
4. That an Information Access budget be funded annually, with the understanding that this expenditure is part of the library's total budget commitment to information resources.
5. That study be given to finding a source of annual income, separate from the library's general equipment budget, for maintenance and upgrading of the electronic systems. This special income should be earmarked for Innopac software and license fees, as well as hardware to support the JeWeL system, including CPU upgrading and maintenance.
6. In support of the library's goal of participation in instructional technology, it is recommended that a campus-wide ad hoc committee be established to explore and develop a plan for the use of informational and multi-media technologies for:
enhanced classroom instruction on campus
individualized and life-long learning, both on and off campus
development and sharing of global information resources.
1 Standards for College Libraries. Revised. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 1986.
Experience reveals that detailed time-lines extending beyond two years are generally unrealistic. They usually require major revision before implementation, reflecting a scenario in which change is rampant and often unpredictable. Flexibility and adaptability will be essential characteristics of a strategic plan in this period of shifting paradigms.
For this reason we must regard the James White Library strategic plan as dynamic and evolving rather than static and fixed. Success in its implementation will require an annual review and updating which may involve modification of goals, revision of strategies, and in-course corrections.
Following is a projected program for the next few years.
Launching of the JWL Strategic Plan.
Establishment of study groups/committees to report by 30 May, 1995:
Request the Adventist Heritage Center Committee to study future needs of the Center, including space, staff and function.
Request the JWL Resources Development Committee to develop a comprehensive resources development and weeding policy.
Completion of a library space assessment study. Appointment of a consultant to work with library staff in preparing a James White Library Building Program.
Add one full-time librarian for the Cataloging Unit in Technical Services (budget permitting).
Renovation of Technical Services area to incorporate space for periodicals processing.
Completion of Building Program document.
Develop and submit a grant proposal for a pilot "Information Arcade"-type project.
Commence periodicals weeding project, to be completed by June 1996.
Review of Strategic Plan by Strategic Planning Committee.
Target date for installation of compact shelving on Lower Floor, and housing of all periodicals on one floor.
Target date for first stage of expansion for Adventist Heritage Center.
Launch plans for a Friends of James White Library.
Annual review of Strategic Plan by Strategic Planning Committee.
Target year for completion of building expansion.