The seven goals articulated and elaborated in this section are intended to reflect the unique nature and mission of Andrews University, including its global significance within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The goals also emphasize the "Beyond Walls" concept of the library's strategic plan.
REFLECTING OUR UNIQUE MISSION
To reflect the university's mission of passing on Christian moral and religious values to its students in appropriate ways:
By fostering Christian characteristics and an attitude of caring, friendly service on the part of all library employees.
By giving special attention to creating within the library building an aesthetic decor, as well as a motif or symbolism that reflects the religious nature of the institution.
By developing and promoting the display of quality art works and sponsoring appropriate cultural exhibits and events.
When we talk about integration of faith and learning on an Adventist college campus, we generally mean elements such as classroom instruction, daily worships, chapels, and campus recreational programs. Whether the library gets any attention and how it is included is often less clear. . .
How does one implement the uniqueness of Adventist educational philosophy within a school library? Should it matter that the campus is Seventh-day Adventist? Indeed, does the library of an Adventist college or university have any unique role?1
If we affirm that every Adventist academic library does have a faith role, that reality must be especially true for the James White Library. Not only is Andrews University the direct "blood" progeny of the first Seventh-day Adventist educational institution, Battle Creek College, but it has a particular place and influence in the world work of the church. This presents a special challenge to this library--named in honor of Adventist pioneer leader, James White--to search beyond the walls of its existing philosophy and practice, to explore ways of creating an environment of faith around its collections and services. One might suggest that James White Library has a modeling role within the Adventist library world.
In resources development, the faith objective does not signal particular restrictions in collection development or access to information. As one writer quipped: "The universe is fireproof; it is safe to light a match anywhere."2 It does however suggest--require even--that James White Library will place a special emphasis on acquiring materials that reflect Christian perspectives or values; that the library will seek out resources compatible with a Christian perspective or worldview, wherever these materials occur in any subject discipline. The library of Andrews University ought to become recognized in academia not only for its emphasis on Adventist materials, but also for a strong collection in the integration of Christian faith and learning.
The goal of fostering faith also has implications for the library's employees, whether librarians, support staff, or student assistants. Employment here ought to mean something more than selecting resources, cataloging books, providing circulation or reference services. It should also mean a commitment to the mission of the church and the university, a purpose to model Christian behavior and search for ways to create an understanding, caring service environment.
The library building--the space environment--should also reflect the unique mission of James White Library. In interior design and re-decoration, as well as in its plans for building expansion, attention should be given to creating a visual sense of faith and purpose. There are several ways in which this might be achieved--through the use of symbols, the choice and representative placement of art works or objects, and special design features such as an alcove featuring the life and work of James White (for whom the building is named) or a "chapel of the mind" where a unique space might be set aside for study, reflection and meditation in an environment of faith-supporting materials.
The library's program of cultural events and exhibits may also contribute to its Christian mission. Lecture series, events and exhibits may challenge the mind, broaden understanding, focus on social needs, and contribute to the development of whole persons.
ENHANCING THE ACADEMIC PROGRAM
To enhance the quality of instruction and independent learning within the institution, in partnership with academic departments and appropriate campus agencies.
To collaborate with campus computing specialists in establishing information technologies which support and enhance instruction, research and knowledge creation.
To embrace opportunities for partnership with academic departments in program planning, so that appropriate library support is part of new program implementation.
To provide information services, including rapid document delivery, in support of off-campus programs, so that students in distance learning programs are not academically disadvantaged.
The primary purpose of the library is to support and enhance the academic function of the university, in both teaching and research. In order to do this well, the library must be an active participant in the academic process, both at the program planning level and at the teaching level. It is especially important that librarians be accepted as partners on curriculum planning bodies such as the university's General Education Committee.
Lacking this close liaison with the academic planning process, the library's program of resources development is likely to be off target. By contrast, library participation in the early phases of program planning should help to ensure that an adequate budget is provided to acquire library resources in support of the new program, and that adequate resources are on hand by the time the program is implemented. The objective should be to create a good match between development of information resources and the needs of particular programs or classes.
The benefits of liaison go beyond the resources management function. It is also important that the library's instructional program be geared to the needs of students in particular programs. Teachers and librarians should be encouraged to consult with each other so that library instruction programs are successfully integrated with class content and objectives. Experience elsewhere demonstrates that the highest level of educational quality is achieved when library instruction and use is well integrated into the undergraduate curriculum.
Advances in instructional technology, including multi-media, are opening unique opportunities for teaching faculty and librarians to cooperate with computing specialists in the design and development of dynamic learning environments. Already significant developments are taking place within institutions of higher learning. Experimental facilities such as the "Information Arcade" at the University of Iowa point to the enormous educational potential of the multi-media technologies.
In a similar way, communication technologies create new opportunities for resource sharing with other academic libraries in the Michiana region, and for the development of rapid document delivery between libraries throughout Michigan. The new opportunities extend to library support of off-campus programs. Technologies open up new vistas in distance education. They facilitate remote electronic access to information databases, and allow rapid document delivery at remote instructional sites.
FOCUSING ON THE PATRON
To re-focus library operations and services in the direction of patron/user needs, in several ways:
By recognizing the increasing diversity of the Adventist population nationally and globally, and by surveying the needs of discrete student groups such as multi-cultural students, adult and part-time students, so that library services can be geared to meet the specific needs of each group.
By providing adequate hours of service.
By implementing change and innovation in the provision of information resources in all formats, so that faculty and students have the best possible access to both in-house and remote databases.
By bringing the library building into conformity with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
By cooperating with federal, state and local agencies and consortia in meeting the information needs of the larger community, including participation in creation of a national information network.
Even when we have attempted to shift our emphasis from materials to services, our focus has tended to be on the "generic patron." The reality is that our clientele has characteristics and needs which are diverse and exceedingly complex. The information needs and patterns of library use of architecture students, for example, are very different from those of seminary students, and different again from those in education programs. We must employ recognized principles and techniques from the business world in understanding and exceeding the expectations of our students and faculty for the services that the library provides.
The shift from a perspective centered on either collections or systems to a focus on students and faculty as customers represents a formidable challenge for academic librarians and their colleagues. However, just as library staff have learned to cope with declining budgets and manipulate a dizzying amount of information resources and technology, so too can they successfully make the transition to establishing customer satisfaction as their overriding goal.3
We must also be sensitive to cultural differences. The multi-cultural mix of the Andrews University student body reflects the increasing ethnic diversity within the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It has implications for the ways we interact with our patrons, and presents some real challenges to our program of library instruction, not to mention the range of patron services we offer.
The library's hours of service should also be re-examined with user needs in mind. A comparison of James White Library hours with those of other private and public institutions offering doctoral level programs, reveals that we may have some distance to go in meeting the needs of our patrons. During the past ten years there have been repeated demands from both students and faculty for extended hours of service, and the most recent library user survey in 1994 highlighted widespread complaints about the library's restricted hours. Extended hours should meet the research needs of doctoral students, including many international students who are under considerable time pressure to complete their programs and return to their jobs.
James White Library already possesses a good reputation for quality service to its patrons. By heeding the diverse needs of the campus subcultures, the library will be on the way to providing truly outstanding service.
SUPPORTING A GLOBAL MISSION
To support the global mission of Andrews University by providing appropriate information services to the world-wide membership of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and providing special assistance to the libraries of the church's post-secondary institutions in developing countries.
To incorporate a global perspective in development of information resources in all formats, including significant materials originating outside the United States.
To assist in upgrading the libraries of institutions affiliated with Andrews University. This includes consultation site visits, assistance with acquisitions and cataloging, and more involvement of librarians on auditing teams.
While recognizing its primary responsibility to the Andrews campus community (itself a complex, international, multi-cultural community) James White Library cannot ignore an even more diverse group of potential users. These include:
Students in off-campus programs
Students of Andrews extension programs worldwide
Faculty and students at world-wide Adventist institutions that are affiliated with Andrews University
Alumni of Andrews University
Community residents of Berrien Springs, Berrien County, Southwest Michigan, and beyond
Through the years, James White Library has reached out in several ways to Andrews affiliated institutions: librarians have prepared special bibliographies, conducted on-site consultation visits, assisted with ordering materials, facilitated shipping of donated books. These kinds of assistance must continue, indeed there is a perceived need to provide more organized help such as, for example, an acquisitions/cataloging service.
Beyond these traditional forms of support, James White Library has embarked upon a program that involves global sharing of information databases via the Internet. While most Adventist institutions outside North America are not yet connected to the information superhighway, the future options for network participation include access to each other's library catalogs, access to unique Seventh-day Adventist databases such as the SDA Periodical Index and Obituary Index, and participation in consortia for sharing access to major electronic databases, including some full-text services.
A recognition of Andrews University's global commitments and the international character of its student body ought to be reflected in its resources development policy. We must be responsive to a developing consciousness of global relationships and responsibilities in society at large. We have not recognized this enough in past collection development. We are part of a church that is increasingly non-American in composition and outlook, and a deliberate effort must be put forth to develop resources that reflect the international and multi-cultural nature of our constituency.
DEVELOPING AN EXCELLENT STAFF
To pursue excellence in the development of the library faculty and staff.
To develop a skilled and well-motivated support staff, with appropriate opportunities for advancement in rank and pay.
To continue to provide employment opportunities for students, with a goal of developing their skills and leadership potential.
To create a working environment that is collaborative, efficient, innovative, and sensitive to the needs of employees.
The automation revolution in libraries has led to a blurring of the lines which traditionally divided professional librarians and support staff. According to Allen Veaner:
Virtually all employees of academic libraries in reality have become knowledge workers. . . Whole categories of work have totally disappeared and are no longer even available for assignment to a lower level of staffing. Work itself has become more and more complex, more intellectually demanding--exactly opposite to the expectations of early automation pioneers.4
Rapid developments in information technology have placed significant demands on library staff at all levels. Never has it been so critical for librarians to attend conventions, be involved in professional organizations, read the professional literature, and be pro-active and assertive in planning and creating future scenarios. In the words of Joel Barker: "You can and should shape your own future. Because if you don't, someone else surely will."5
Support staff must also be given maximum opportunities for in-service training. Their role as knowledge workers and information providers is particularly important in view of James White Library's heavy dependence upon untrained student assistants, many of whom are performing tasks typically associated with the job descriptions of support staff.
In summary, we need to re-define and re-evaluate the roles of both our librarians and our support staff. Quoting Veaner again: "Academic librarianship is an academic service business, not a bibliographic factory."6
REMEMBERING OUR ADVENTIST HERITAGE
To recognize the importance of the Adventist Heritage Center not only as a unique depository for research purposes, but also as an interpretive facility capable of educating and inspiring students and others in understanding the historic and contemporary role of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
To increase the interpretive role of the Center through state-of-the-art exhibits, greater participation in appropriate campus/church events and commemorative activities, and such means as special publications, sponsored lectures, etc.
To utilize electronic technology including imaging techniques, where appropriate, to help preserve and make widely available Seventh-day Adventist research materials.
To clarify the role of the Center in collecting and preserving rare materials that are not directly related to the primary mission of the Center.
To work with the Ellen G. White Research Center in developing cooperative collection development policies.
A major goal of libraries is to preserve the written record of humankind, to serve as society's memory. In the Adventist context, a major goal of James White Library is to preserve the published and unpublished records of the church. The biblical injunction to "remember" encompasses more than the passive role of preserving history; it includes an active component of drawing attention to that history because it serves a vital purpose of helping to keep the church on course both in its theology and mission.
The Adventist Heritage Center must carry out both functions well. In its preservation function, it must provide an environment of security and conservation. This includes use of modern technologies, including imaging techniques. In its interpretive role, the Center must explore ways of promoting its use, including preparation of guides and displays, publishing articles, network sharing of electronic databases such as the SDA Obituary Index, etc..
The potential role of the Center as a repository of university archives will also receive attention. Whether the function is to be strictly that of an archives, or whether it includes the pre-archival function of records management is a matter for discussion and decision.
There is need for increased cooperation between heritage centers in Seventh-day Adventist libraries world-wide. Unique and valuable collections exist in widely dispersed locations, and researchers at any institution deserve to know what is held and preserved elsewhere. Cooperative rather than competitive effort is needed.
The existence of the Ellen G. White Research Center on the Andrews campus (indeed, within the library building) cannot and should not be ignored. Although the Center is administratively and fiscally separate from James White Library, it shares a degree of common purpose with the library. An effort should be made to develop a closer liaison between the two entities, and to find a mechanism for cooperation, including technical assistance to the Center in the bibliographic control of its resources. Consideration might be given to appointing the director of the White Research Center to a library advisory committee such as the University Library Council and as an invitee to the library's Resources Development Committee.
SECURING FINANCIAL SUPPORT
To secure adequate financial support for the library, including provision for its space needs, recognizing that the library is central to the academic enterprise as it continues to support emerging networked information services.
To project the building renovation and space needs of the library as targets for university fund-raising.
To appoint a task force to study the role of the existing branch libraries in Architecture and Music, with consideration to the factors of economy and service.
To actively solicit grants for project support and development.
To establish a "Friends of James White Library" organization as a means of providing a service outlet for interested persons and a source of support for special library projects.
It may no longer be useful to define annual library expenditure in terms of the three traditional segments: employee costs, acquisition of materials, and operating expenses. Information resources are no longer limited to "hard" commodities. It makes more sense to analyze library expenditures in terms of resources (broadly defined) versus technical services. A multi-dimensional approach to library budgeting has been suggested by one administrator.7
While rising employment costs place a strain on budgets, one real crisis of funding comes from the consistently excessive inflation of periodical prices. One solution to this problem is found in new information technologies such as CD-ROM and off-site electronic databases, including the full-text of thousands of current journals. While it is true that the new modes of periodical access involve high costs, they do appear to provide relief from the annual battle of huge subscription increases. In that sense, the library's investment in electronic database access may give promise of a more manageable budget scenario in the future.
In a broader sense, the library must become a more active player in plans for the university's academic development. The library has much to offer the instructional program, both on and off campus. It can add strength to the university's quest for quality in its academic program.
Urgent attention must be given to the future space needs of James White Library. A variety of elements must be considered and assessed for their space implications: the future of branch libraries in Architecture and Music, the relationship of owned print resources to off-site electronic databases, changing patron service functions, the future of technical services, the development of a collection weeding policy, and collection storage options including compact shelving and off-site storage of low-use materials.
1 Clouten, Keith. The Library of Faith. Journal of Adventist Education, 56 (1), October/November 1993, p.14
2 Heppenstall, Edward. Academic Freedom and the Quest for Truth. Spectrum, 4 (1), Winter 1972, p.35
3 Millson-Martula, Christopher and Menon, Vanaja. Customer Expectations: Concepts and Reality for Academic Library Services. College & Research Libraries, 56 (1), Jan. 1995, p.47.
4 Veaner, Allen B. Paradigm Lost, Paradigm Regained? College and Research Libraries, 55 (5), September 1994, p.390, 392
5 Barker, Joel A. Future Edge. New York: Morrow, 1992.
6 Veaner, Allen B. ibid. p.400
7 Atkinson, Ross. Crisis and Opportunity. Journal of Library Administration, 19 (2), 1993, p. 33-55.