January 14, 2009
Dear friends and colleagues,
As you know, we are developing a new service model for the Library & Information Science Library. The COMM-LISS team submitted an interim report with a set of recommendations in November. The University Library's Executive Committee reviewed the report in December [reproduced below] and asked the team to move ahead with an implementation plan, which is now close to being finalized. We want to share the broad outlines of the coming changes with you now.
* The physical LIS Library will close. Its last day of operation will be Friday, May 15.
* Sue Searing and Sandy Wolf will continue to work full-time on building the LIS collections and serving information-seekers.
* The books and journals currently housed in 306 Main Library will be distributed to appropriate departmental libraries, with the majority of the print collection going into the Main Stacks. Seldom-used materials and works that are duplicated in the library's electronic collections are being transferred to the Oak Street facility.
* Sue and Sandy will have office space both at GSLIS and in the Main Library. Lori Carroll, long-time LIS Library staff member, has transferred to the Chemistry Library. Patsy Inskip has joined the LIS Library staff on a half-time basis through May.
* During spring semester, two independent study students will collaborate with Sue to identify and organize content for an enhanced subject portal to replace the existing departmental library website.
* The library will continue to acquire LIS serials and other publications in electronic format; however, it will NOT cease acquiring print, since much information in the field is still available only in print.
You may recall that the Library's Budget Group Plus recommended merging the LIS Library into the Communications Library to create a "Media and Information Studies" library. After further study by the COMM-LISS team, it was decided that the two libraries will pursue new service models independently. For more details, please read the interim report [ html | pdf ] and other documents generated by the team.
A great many people have contributed to the planning, including members of the COMM-LISS team (Katie Newman, Sue Searing, Lori Miller, Lisa Romero, Linda Smith, Brant Houston, and JoAnn Jacoby). We thank everyone who submitted written feedback, spoke up at forums, completed surveys, circulated petitions, etc. As we move into the implementation phase, we ask for your continued support.
During spring semester, the LIS Library will remain open as a full-service departmental library. However, work is already underway to facilitate the transition, and these activities will accelerate in the coming months. We ask for your patience and cooperation as we ready the collections for transfer and dedicate time to developing virtual content and services.
Paula Kaufman, Dean of Libraries
Sue Searing, Library & Information Science Librarian
Communications / LIS Services Team Interim Report Page 1
Interim Report of the Communications – Library & Information Science Services Team
Final draft, revised January 9, 2009.
The Communications – Library & Information Science Services Team (the Team) concluded that merging the Library & Information Science Library (LIS) and the Communications Library (Comm) was an imperfect solution that would ill-serve both constituencies. Due in large part to the low usage of the physical LIS library, the virtual needs of a large part of the LIS user base (the LEEP students), as well as the high degree of interdisciplinarity of library & information studies, the Team recommends that LIS close, relocating the bulk of the core LIS collection to the Main Stacks, dispersing relevant segments of the collections to libraries with which LIS shares affinities, and housing items that are seldom used or those with good digital surrogates in the Oak Street Repository. The LIS librarian, with the assistance of a staff member, will continue to collect and manage the collection, develop an even more robust Virtual LIS portal, engage in instruction and reference, and collaborate with GSLIS and University Library personnel. There should be space provided for them to work in both GSLIS as well as the Main Library. We recommend that the main LIS area in the Main Stacks be made to be a more comfortable and inviting area, and the LIS Reserves be served from the Central Circulation Desk; implementation of these suggestions could serve as prototypes for the implementation of several long-planned improvements in Library service. In regard to the Communications Library, in recognition of the growth of the communication studies programs and the high-level of usage, we recommend the addition of a full time staff member bringing the total to 1 FTE librarian and 2 FTE staff. In addition we recommend that the Speech Communication fund, resources, and responsibilities for serving the Department of Communication in LAS be transferred to the Communications Library.
Membership of the COMMLISS Team
Katie Newman, Biotechnology Librarian (team leader)
Lisa Romero, Head, Communications Library
Sue Searing, Head, LIS Library
Lori Carroll, Library Specialist, LIS Library/Communications Library
Linda Smith, LIS Library Liaison, GSLIS
Brant Houston, Chair, Library Committee, College of Media
JoAnn Jacoby, New Service Models Coordinator
In August 2007, Paula Kaufman, the University Librarian and Dean of Libraries, charged a small group – the Budget Group Plus, with representatives from the Library administration, faculty, and staff – to solicit and review proposals related to the improvement of services to Library users and the establishment of new service programs designed to meet the evolving needs of the faculty, staff, and students at Illinois. This group was reminded that:
Communications / LIS Services Team Interim Report Page 2
the mission of the Library is to support and enhance the teaching, research, and service missions of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the provision of world-class library collections and expert library services.
An interim report from the Budget Group Plus, issued in November 2007, recommended that the LIS Library and Education & Social Science Library (ESSL) be consolidated:
The LIS Library and the ESSL Library provide complementary collections and expertise in the social sciences and in the study of juvenile literature. Pursuing this proposal will facilitate a broader view of inquiry in Library & Information Science and will represent an important step forward in the further development of a social sciences "hub" within the Main Library.
After months of open meetings, discussion, and deliberation the Final Report of the Budget Group Plus
… combining [of] the collections and service programs of the Communications Library and the LIS Library to create a “Media & Information Studies Library” that will bring together complementary resources in a space that may continue to provide robust support for students and scholars in the constituent disciplines.
Among the considerations that led to their conclusion:
• the broadly interdisciplinary nature of research and teaching in communications and library & information science
• the limitations of current Library spaces
• the rapid demographic shifts in both programs, e.g.,
o the increasing proportion of LEEP students and faculty in GSLIS
o the growing undergraduate population as the College of Media shifts from a two to a four-year program.
• the transformation in local scholarship as these academic programs change with
o the creation of a CAS Concentration in Digital Libraries in GSLIS
o contributions of both GSLIS and the College of Media to new undergraduate- and graduate-level programs in Informatics
o the possible transfer of the Cinema Studies Program from Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) to the College of Media.
In September, 2008, the Communications - LIS Services Team was charged to consider these issues and to “develop a service profile (or profiles) attuned to the evolving research and teaching needs in each of these fields.” The charge to the Communications – LIS Services Team [COMMLISS] clearly invited the Team to think broadly and consider all available data and options:
Identify how and where to most effectively provide Library services to all disciplines and all communities engaged in the fields of Library & Information Science and Communication Studies giving due consideration to the shifting demographics of these academic programs, the interdisciplinary nature of these fields, and the limitations of the available Library spaces.
Communications / LIS Services Team Interim Report Page 3
Methods & Data
Methods & Data: The Communications Library
The Communications Library is collocated with the College of Media in Gregory Hall. The College of Media includes four departments: Advertising, Journalism, the Institute of Communications Research, and WILL. There are currently 31 faculty, 903 undergraduate students, and 112 graduate students in the College of Media. (See Appendix I, for demographic data from the Campus Profile.) In 2006 the College of Media transitioned from a two to a four year program, with a concomitant expansion in course offerings and student enrollments. Agriculture Communications will be moved from the College of ACES to the College of Media in the Spring of 2009. Within the next few years, the Institute of Communications Research will become the Department of Media and Cinema Studies, which will incorporate the Unit for Cinema Studies.
In addition to serving the needs of the College of Media, the Communications Library has several subject areas that coincide with the research interests of the faculty and students in the College of LAS’s Department of Communication (formerly the Department of Speech Communication), e.g., communication technologies (new media), interpersonal communication, mass communication, public discourse, and the impact of mass media on its audience. The Department of Communication currently has 26 faculty, 670 undergraduates, and 59 graduate students.
The research interests of several GSLIS faculty also suggest that they would be users of the Communications Library for such topics as internet research, censorship, publishing, and book arts. Currently two GSLIS faculty hold joint appointments in the Department of Communication; another faculty member recently moved from GSLIS to the Institute of Communications Research.
Other departments and fields of study that regularly use Communications Library resources include Business Administration (Marketing), Political Science (political speech, politics in the media), Sociology (race, gender and class in the media), History, English, Comparative Literature, Art & Design (graphic arts), and Women’s Studies.
Services and Usage
Due in large part to the transition of the College of Media from a two- to four-year College between 2006 - 2008, the Communications Library has experienced a dramatic increase in its foot traffic and need for instructional services. The following is a snapshot of the increased demand experienced by the Communications Library:
• Gate Count Statistics: There was a 46% increase in the number of patrons who visited the Communications Library during the academic year 2007/2008 compared to those who visited it two years before, in 2005/2006 (49,791 compared to 34,192).
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• Head Count Statistics: There was a 113% increase in the number of people counted during head counts in the academic year 2007/2008 compared with counts made during 2005/2006 (23,379 compared to 10,971). Headcounts indicate that patrons do not just walk into the library and then leave; many stay to use the Communications Library. Staff report (and observation confirms) that these users are not just using the space as a study hall, but are consulting materials and seeking assistance with their research projects.
• Library Instruction Sessions: The number of requested library instruction sessions has dramatically increased. During the academic year 04/05 nine instruction sessions were provided; during 07/08, 26 sessions were provided -- an increase of 288%.
The FY06 and FY07 hourly and monthly room counts maintained by the Social Sciences Division Libraries (see Figures 1 & 2) also demonstrates that the average number of people in the Communications Library (CMX) has increased over every time interval measure from 2006 to 2007 and that the level of visitation is fast approaching that of very large units like Business and Economics (BEL) and Education and Social Science (ESSL).
Until recently, there was 1 full-time librarian, 1 full-time staff member (1 LTS), and 1452 student hours per year. In September, 2008 a half-time staff line was assigned to the unit, with the expectation that it would become a full-time staff line in 2009. This would bring the Library back to the level of staffing that it enjoyed until 2003, when a staff position was lost to attrition.
Hours of Operation
Due to inadequate staffing levels, the Communications Library has offered very restricted access, particularly in the summer and on weekends. Its current and proposed schedule:
Summer, ‘08: M-F: 1-5 PM
Fall ‘08/Spring ’09: M-Th: 9 AM-10 PM; F: 9 AM-5 PM; Sa: Closed; Su: 1-10 PM
Summer, ’09 (pending): M-Th: 9 AM-8 PM; F: 9 AM-5 PM; Sa: 1-5 PM or Su: 1-5 PM
Fall ‘09/Spring ‘10 (pending): M-Th: 9 AM-10 PM; F: 9 AM-5 PM; Sa: 1-5 PM; Su: 1-10 PM
Note: In the Fall of 2008, the Dean of the College of Media provided the Communications Library with one-time student wage money ($5000 or 645 hours) for the 2009 academic year, which allowed the library to maintain its hours of operation even though the student wage had not increased, schedule additional student staff during peak weekday hours, and extend its Sunday hours in response to the increased undergraduate enrollment of the College.
In an effort to ascertain the changing and growing information needs of communication studies researchers and assess the best way to meet those needs, a focus group of faculty and instructors from the departments of Communication (LAS), Advertising, Journalism, the Institute of Communications Research and the College of Media Student Services Center was convened.
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The group met once to discuss and provide input on programmatic changes involving their departments, new areas of research, information seeking needs, and various library services they deem necessary to support communication studies research. (See New Services Web site for summary report of Communications Library Focus Group www.library.uiuc.edu/nsm/comm_lis/Media_Faculty_Focus_Group.pdf.)
There were 4 major themes identified by the focus group. First, the College of Media and the Department of Communication are experiencing an increase in their undergraduate enrollments and expect this to continue. Second, they believe that the Communications Library is a strong partner in building the research competencies of their students (both undergraduate and graduate) and that the need for library assistance and instruction is increasing commensurately with the growth in their programs and the imperative for fluency in new forms of media. Third, students require space in Gregory Hall where they can meet, work on group projects and assignments, and do research; the Communications Library fills this need. And, fourth, the Communications Library needs to be open longer hours (especially during the summer) to accommodate communication studies students and scholars.
Methods & Data: The Library & Information Science Library
The LIS Library users are primarily GSLIS students and faculty and the librarians and staff of the University Library. During the fall of 2008, GSLIS currently had 23 permanent faculty and 605 students; 560 students are earning the MS or CAS degree (including 313 LEEP students) and 45 are doctoral students. GSLIS also has a growing constituency of students who enroll through community credit – over 100 requested to enroll for the spring 2009 semester. GSLIS also employs many part-time adjunct faculty, including several at a distance from the UI campus.
The Library has 101 faculty, 45 academic professionals, and 195 civil service staff. These colleagues use the LIS Library to support both their professional practice and their research.
Additional scholars who utilize the LIS resources include computer and information researchers, cognitive scientists, historians, language and linguistics specialists, literary scholars, and many others. Information professionals in the field, including local librarians and far-flung alumni, also use the services of the LIS Library.
GSLIS currently offers several undergraduate courses as part of the campus-wide informatics minor, and is actively building up its undergraduate curriculum in order to offer a major in informatics.
GSLIS is a unique program on our Campus in that it is truly a 12-month operation – its teaching load is as busy, if not more so, in the Summer as during the academic year.
Services and Usage
• Head Count statistics:
Ever since the Social Sciences Division began keeping head count statistics in 2005, visitation levels to the LIS Library have remained flat at a relatively low level. The hourly head counts totaled 4,566 people in 2005/06, 3,845 in 2006/07 and 4,498 in 2007/08. For the most recent year (2007/08) this translates to an average of 1.58
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people per hour. For comparison, BEL reports 21.4 people per hour and Communications 11.2 people (Figures 1 & 2 for 2006-2007 data).
• Library Instruction Sessions:
o Academic year 2005/06: 59 instruction sessions (1254 students)
o Academic year 2006/07: 26 instruction sessions (939 students)
o Academic year 2007/08: 31 instruction sessions (933 students)
Thus, while onsite usage has been low, the demand for instruction has remained high. There is also some indication that the demand for online guides targeted to specific research and teaching needs is growing. Since the LIS Library began creating LibGuides for selected courses and assignments, one in particular—for LIS 502’s information policy tracking paper—has consistently been the first, second, or third most heavily used among LibGuides across the Library.
The current personnel consist of 1 FTE librarian, 1 FTE Library Operations Associate, 0.5 FTE Library Specialist, and 1,097 student hours per year. In 2003 one of LIS’s three full time civil service staff members was transferred to the Undergraduate Library. In fall 2008, one of the remaining two staff members was temporarily re-assigned to the Communications Library on a half-time basis. In fall 2005, the Graduate Assistant position in LIS was reduced from 0.38 FTE to 0.25 FTE, and in fall 2008 it was eliminated completely. A small one-time supplement to the student wage budget was provided for fall 2007 by the New Service Models Coordinator and this was matched by GSLIS to extend the supplementary student hours through spring 2009.
Hours of Operation
Summer ‘08: M-Th: 9 AM-7 PM; F: 9 AM-5 PM; Sa & Su: 1-5 PM
Fall ’08: M-Th: 9 AM-9 PM; F: 9 AM-5 PM; Sa: 11 AM-5 PM; Su: 1-9 PM.
Spring ’09 (projected) M-Th: 9 AM-9 PM, F: 9 AM-5 PM; Sa: 11 AM-5 PM; Su: 1–9 PM
Survey of University Library and GSLIS Faculty, Students, and Staff
A web-based survey of LIS Library users was conducted between September 28 and October 7, 2008. The survey instrument combined quantitative self-reports of library usage with open-ended questions to gauge the value that users place on various dimensions of library services. A separate Report of Results from the LIS survey is available on the New Services Web site www.library.illinois.edu/nsm/comm_lis/LIS_Library_Survey_Report.pdf, which includes the survey instrument and goes into more detail concerning the background, demographic data, methods used to analyze the responses, and sample textual responses.
Survey respondents reported much higher use of virtual library services than of the physical library. This trend was most pronounced among GSLIS faculty and students, especially those affiliated with the LEEP program. By contrast, Library faculty and staff reported almost equal use of the physical and virtual libraries; however, the Library faculty and staff’s use overall is low compared to the GSLIS faculty and students.
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In regards to virtual services, students placed the highest value on LIS-focused databases. Pathfinders prepared for specific courses were also frequently mentioned by students. Faculty, in contrast, valued the Virtual New Book Shelf most highly. Users of all types appreciate the convenience of a web site that presents pre-selected, discipline-specific information.
In regards to the physical library, users especially value: the coherence, depth, and browsability of the print collection; easy access to current and bound journals; and various specialized sub-collections. The LIS Library is perceived as a good environment for both quiet individual study and group work. Ready access to knowledgeable, friendly and helpful staff is of great importance; respondents praised both the staff’s expertise and their customer service ethos. Finally, the physical library has strong symbolic and affective meaning. To many it represents the strength and quality of GSLIS and the coherence of LIS as a discipline, and its existence fosters a sense of community among students and scholars.
In response to a question about desired services not already offered, many (over 20) respondents indicated that the current services provided by the LIS fulfill all their needs. However, nearly as many respondents made suggestions for improvements; these frequently focused on the present facility and equipment, particularly pleas for more electrical outlets. GSLIS users also desire more instructional services, both in person and online. Other recommendations ranged from beefing up certain subject areas within the collections and acquiring more in digital format, to serving coffee and organizing brown bags.
New Services Stuff Session
On September 10th, the COMMLISS Team was part of a New Services Stuff Session where we made a short presentation concerning the work of the team (we’d only had one meeting by then). Primarily we were interested in gathering feedback from the group assembled – mostly Library staff and faculty. The comments at the session mirrored the comments we would later receive during the survey. The LIS Library staff was valued for their responsiveness and knowledge; the new books list was appreciated, as was the bulletin board that highlights publications by GSLIS and Library faculty – “a great recruitment tool”. Some concerns were expressed, too: Would the LIS reference material be kept together for browsing? Where would the LEEP students find a library home when they come for their on-campus visits? Will the LIS collection budget remain intact?
GSLIS Faculty Input
In early September Sue, JoAnn and Katie attended a GSLIS faculty meeting, and updated them briefly on the work and charge of the Team. GSLIS faculty expressed support and interest in the work of the Team, but the discussion was not extensive.
The Team was also informed by an earlier letter (March 1st) to Paula Kaufman & the Budget Plus Group from the GSLIS Faculty wherein they objected to the proposal to merge LIS with the ESSL, pointing out that the interests of GSLIS have expanded beyond the social sciences to include book history, data curation, and bioinformatics. They expressed the fear that a merger with the already-full ESSL would mean only a minute fraction of the LIS Library would find a home in ESSL. They also stressed the need for the LIS Librarian and staff to retain their
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autonomy and flexibility in order to remain innovative and responsive to the needs of their remote users.
Conclusions & Recommendations
The Communications - Library & Information Science Services Team concluded that the proposed merger of the LIS Library and the Communications Library would not provide better service to either constituency, so the service recommendations for the two libraries were dealt with as separate projects with some discrete areas of overlap.
Recommendations for the Library & Information Science Library
Close the LIS Library
During the development of the New Services Models process, several merger proposals were entertained as possibilities including merger with the Communications Library. However the Team concluded that better service would not result from such a merger for either set of patrons since merging would result in decreasing the browsing print collection for all involved and would relocate the core LIS collection and staff to a building apart from its two main constituencies. Instead we are recommending that the LIS collection be moved into subject-appropriate spaces, including a core collection in the Main Stacks, with the LIS librarian and staff providing robust and user-responsive services in a Virtual LIS library.
The Virtual LIS Library will bring together digital content, enhanced online discovery tools for non-digital content, and increased face-to-face and virtual presence for subject specialist library faculty and staff in the spaces where the users work and study. Print resources will continue to be collected and preserved, reflecting the hybrid nature of scholarly communication in LIS, but current acquisitions will be housed in the Main Stacks or other subject-appropriate locations such as the Education and Social Science, Grainger Engineering or the Communications Library.
Among the factors that led to this conclusion:
• The on-site use of the LIS Library in 306 Main Library has declined significantly over the past decade. We must question the cost-effectiveness of a physical departmental library in these times of constrained resources.
• Declining foot traffic and decreased staffing levels have led to cuts in evening and weekend hours. We are approaching the point where it no longer makes sense to aggregate resources behind doors that are closed when materials and expert assistance are most needed.
• The LIS field has become increasingly interdisciplinary, as evidenced by recent faculty hires and PhD dissertation subjects at GSLIS. This makes it less and less feasible to represent the breadth and depth of the field in a single departmental library. While the LIS Library holds core materials in traditional aspects of library science that are not duplicated elsewhere on campus (the 020 call number range), its holdings in specialized fields such as book history, web interface design, and social implications of information systems -- to name just three salient interdisciplinary foci of the GSLIS curriculum and research agenda -- are necessarily complemented by the holdings of numerous other departmental libraries. The University Library’s 2006 survey of the faculty also affirmed the interdisciplinary foci of LIS users; users who indicated that the LIS library was their
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primary library identified many other libraries as primary too: Main Stacks, Engineering, ESSL, Reference, Undergrad, English, the Rare Book Room, Agriculture, and Biology. (Figure 3).
• The transition from a mostly-print to a mostly-digital information environment is well underway in LIS. The recent survey of LIS Library users revealed that most information seekers access LIS Library services and collections predominantly through online channels. The current journal and report literature in the field has almost totally migrated to web-based dissemination, and, in order to serve the LEEP community well, the LIS Library has been aggressive in acquiring online access whenever possible. (It must be noted, however, that the availability of electronic backfiles is still uneven across the sub-fields of LIS.) Reference books and monographs are migrating more slowly, but the LIS Library is building sizeable digital collections of these publication types, too, through purchase, licensing, and local digitization efforts. Services such as course reserves, reference, and information literacy instruction are offered both face-to-face and via the Web.
• Regular librarian office hours at GSLIS, established several years ago, have proved quite successful as a way to deliver reference and instructional services to faculty and students – so successful that Dean Unsworth has moved Sue to an office of her own in a high-traffic area. GSLIS has clearly demonstrated its support for an “embedded” librarian.
• All books and serials related to children’s and young adult literature, along with the funds to support ongoing acquisitions in this sub-field, have recently been moved from the LIS Library to the Education & Social Science Library.
Improve Main Stacks Environment for LIS Core Materials
The core collection of the LIS Library falls in the 020 call number range – library science and its sub-topics. Currently these materials are housed in a dismal, cramped section of the 2nd floor of the Main Stacks. However, by the summer (2009) there will likely be room for them on either the 3E or 4E section of the Main Stacks – both brighter areas with windows and higher ceilings. Climate control, however, remains an issue, especially during the hot summer months. The current restrictions on bringing bags into the Main Stacks may work at cross purposes to making this a space where students and scholars can engage in research, as it is very inconvenient to pull laptops, files, PDAs, and copy cards out of a bag and then try to hand carry them along with any materials pulled from the shelves. As the Bookstacks become less of a warehouse and more of a working collection, it is hoped these restrictions will be relaxed.
We propose that an effort be made to make the 020 call number area in the Main Stacks a more comfortable environment. Instead of serving as a warehouse for seldom-used materials, which can now be housed in the Oak Street repository, the 020 section of the Main Stacks would become a place for browsing collections and using them in a comfortable environment with some individual and small group study tables. The Team has been assured that the present carrels and folio stands could be removed or retrofitted as individual or group study space. There are numerous electrical outlets in the stacks, so users can bring their computers. The photocopier currently located in the LIS library could be moved into proximity of the main 020 collection. The long hours that the Main Stacks are open will be a boon to the scholars who use the LIS collections and the location is convenient for Library faculty and staff.
The LIS Librarian would continue to oversee this collection, providing active collection development and management. An extensive project is underway to move the seldom-used LIS
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books, annual reports, and serials, whether housed in the LIS Library or the Main Stacks, to Oak Street. Those remaining are expected to provide a robust browsing collection in the Main Stacks.
Distribute Parts of the LIS Library Collection to Appropriate Departmental Libraries
A significant portion of the LIS Library print collection falls outside the 020s. While there are works in nearly every segment of the Dewey system, the collection clusters in several areas that might be absorbed by other departmental libraries, including Grainger Engineering, Communications, Education & Social Science, Rare Book & Manuscript, Ricker Architecture & Art, Undergraduate, Business & Economics, and History, Newspaper & Philosophy. The LIS Fiction collection might be welcomed by the users of the Undergraduate Library. Dispersal of the relevant LIS Library holdings to departmental libraries will require collaboration with selectors in the receiving libraries. A preliminary scan of the LIS circulating collection, showing the linear feet by subject, class number, subjects, and likely homes, is provided in Appendix II.
Maintain the LIS Collection Budget
Although the LIS Library may cease to exist as a separate room in the Main Library, the collection will remain and will need to continue to grow to serve the needs of its constituents. The University Library has clearly stated its commitment to “supporting a network of subject focused collections” as part of the New Service Model initiative. The LIS Librarian will continue to select materials in her multidisciplinary field, targeting most for the Main Stacks, but also purchasing some that will be housed in other locations – Communications, Grainger Engineering, Undergrad, etc.—following a model that has been successfully used for Africana, Biotechnology, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Women’s Studies and other fields for many years.
It will be crucial that, as journal backfiles become available in this field, they are purchased.
Move the LIS Reserves Collection
GSLIS supports a robust and literature-intensive graduate program, thus it is of great importance that the access to LIS Reserves is not disrupted during this transitional year. It is critical to determine as soon as possible the eventual home for hard-copy reserves. In a typical semester, GSLIS professors place over 200 books on print reserve (in addition to their extensive use of electronic reserves) and this number is expected to decrease only slowly over time.
Currently several LIS e-Reserves books are available through our Safari package (Safari is a provider of online books, primarily in the computer science area), but it’s possible that even more titles could be made available through this package if our Safari title list were expanded with an infusion of funds. In some cases faculty put a whole book on Reserve but actually only require students to read selected chapters; in which case, we should be able to make these materials available through e-Reserves.
The Team considered the advantages and disadvantages of housing the reserves in the Undergraduate Library, ESSL, Grainger, Communications, and Main Library’s Central Access Services department and recommends that Central Access Services take over the Reserves
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service. In the same spirit as our recommendation about the 020 section of the Main Stacks, this solution will serve to test the concept of Centralized Reserves in the Main Library building, which has been discussed for many years and arose as a point of strong consensus at a recent retreat for members of the Library Executive Committee, Administrative Council and Administration facilitated by RTG Consulting. Implementing this change will require remodeling the main circulation desk (a project that is already being planned as part of the implementation of the Stack Services Team report) and training staff. We acknowledge that the Central Access services department is in the midst of tackling several major projects and appreciate their willingness to consider this. It is an attractive option because it offers long hours of access, collocates reserves with the proposed home of the core LIS collection in the Main Stacks, and provides convenient access to photocopiers, copy card dispensers, scanners and the study tables in Room 200. Having Sandy Wolf available to help with the planning, set-up, materials processing and training during the launch period would help ensure a smooth transition.
If Central Access Services is not feasible, our second choice is the Communications Library. The Communications Library is an attractive option because its reserves policies are very responsive to faculty needs, it has space for the collection, is conveniently located for GSLIS students, is quiet, and would expand its hours to include Saturday in the spring of 2009. On the other hand, in order to satisfy the needs of the GSLIS students, the Communications Library will need to be open at least a few hours on Saturday and during the evening in the summer. In order to meet these requirements and to handle the added processing workload, the Communications Library will need additional staff, which we argue below, the Communications Library needs in any case in order to keep pace with a growing academic program and high level of onsite usage.
Much of the LIS Permanent Reserves will likely be merged with the LIS reference collection, as discussed below, or returned to the circulating collection.
Move the LIS Reference Collection to the Main Reference Room
There is space for the LIS Reference books in the Reference Room and Central Reference has offered to incorporate these materials into their collection. The LIS reference collection has been reviewed and significantly trimmed within the past year. However, as noted above, the LIS reference collection will be expanded through the addition of books currently coded as permanently on reserve.
Find a Home for the Unbound LIS Periodicals
The LIS Library currently receives approximately 300 print serials. Some are of ephemeral value or are gifts, and may be discontinued. Others may be available electronically and the print version could be discontinued. But for the time being, it is expected there will remain a core collection of materials that should remain in print and available for browsing.
The Team has considered several options for where to put the unbound periodicals. As an outgrowth of the Stacks Services Planning Report, a group has been formed to consider the disposition of the unbound serials currently housed in the Main Stacks (Sue Searing serves on this “Serials in the Stacks” group). One possibility we would like to ask that group to consider is establishing a Periodical Room for this purpose. The disposition of unbound periodicals that do
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not fit well within the collection parameters of existing departmental libraries will continue to be an issue as other units reconfigure their physical collections and realign their services.
Another possibility would be to locate the bulk of the currently received LIS serials in the ESSL, which appears to have room for the LIS titles with the addition of a few shelving units. On the other hand, if the Main Stacks unbound serials are dispersed to the departmental libraries, ESSL may find itself swamped with additional unbounds.
The LIS Library staff is evaluating LIS serials receipts and expects to downsize the number of gift serials considerably. Some serials that are currently held in three-ring binders might be accommodated in the Main Stacks. Putting unbounds in Princeton files might also be a possibility, though intershelving by call number has some drawbacks. At this point the Team awaits the recommendations of the Serials in the Stacks group and has no firm recommendation concerning the future location of the LIS unbounds. The Team will work with the Serials in the Stacks group on this.
Move the “Cataloging Table” Resources to the GSLIS Building
The Cataloging Table brings together print tools and reference works that must be consulted in advanced cataloging assignments. This “lab” environment must be preserved, perhaps at GSLIS rather than the library. Consultation is already underway with faculty who teach in this area and must also include the Library’s catalogers.
Keep a Full-time Librarian and Full-time Staff Member Associated with the LIS Collection and Services
In order to sustain the high level of customer service and responsiveness that the LIS Library has provided to date, a full-time staff member must remain assigned to work with the LIS Librarian. One of the recurring themes noted in the LIS survey was the high value users place on knowledgeable and responsive staff. The human interface will be even more important as we move away from a physical library and into a more virtual service model. This person will select materials, maintain and improve the Web site, manage the Main Stacks collection, and other tasks as needed. Further, as tasks associated solely with a physical library diminish (e.g. supervising student desk workers and shelvers, and processing hard-copy reserves), the staff member will increasingly share responsibility for information literacy instruction (both face-to-face and technology-mediated) and the development of an enhanced Web portal to LIS information. Having both a librarian and a highly qualified staff member will allow LIS Library services to remain highly visible both in GSLIS and the Library.
Sandy Wolf, the likely candidate for this position, is qualified as a Library Operations Associate with an MLIS to handle many reference questions and is respected by the users of the LIS Library. Her knowledge of information sources in LIS and of the curricular and research priorities at GSLIS is not easily replicated, nor can the professional relationships she has nurtured with Library and GSLIS faculty be reconstructed easily. In Sandy’s current role as the main contact with the LIS Library for LEEP students, she provides outstanding trouble-shooting of both research and access problems; the need for such services will surely grow as we transition to a more virtual environment. If Sandy cannot continue to provide LIS library services, or cannot do so full-time, Lori Carroll is also highly qualified in this area. Lori holds the MLIS and has worked in the LIS Library for a decade. If Lori were to assume all the duties mentioned
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here, a reclassification to a higher rank than Library Specialist should be pursued. In the short run (and, we suspect, in the long run as well), the success of a new service model for the LIS Library will depend on sustaining strong connections between users and staff.
To determine if this staffing model is the optimal arrangement given the new service environment, review and assess the impact and effectiveness of it one year after implementing the recommendations.
Provide Space for the Librarian and Staff Member in the Main Library
GSLIS has assigned an office to the LIS Librarian, from which Sue Searing and Sandy Wolf currently provide reference and consultation services three hours per week. With the closing of the physical LIS Library, their time at GSLIS could increase to as much as half-time. However, in order to serve Library faculty and staff and to accomplish collection development and maintenance tasks efficiently, they will also need a home base in the Main Library.
Additionally, the LIS staff should investigate the possibility of participating in in-person reference service at an existing service point such as the Reference/Information Desk or the ESSL reference desk.
Provide an LIS “Easy Search”
A GSLIS student, Josh Bishoff, has programmed a federated search tool for Library Literature, LISA, and LISTA. Acquiring the code and adding this tool to the LIS Library portal should be a priority. The Social Sciences option on Easy Search could also be enriched with these additional databases. LIS could also appear as a separate, selectable option on the “More Options” Easy Search menu < http://search.grainger.uiuc.edu/searchaid/searchassist.asp>.
Provide a More Robust LIS Web Portal
The LIS web site should be enhanced to provide additional services such as an IM widget for subject specialist virtual reference assistant when the librarian and staff are available online, and a link to the Info Desk service when the LIS specialists are not available.
Although it is not possible to move the LIS Library to the GSLIS building, it may be possible to provide a Virtual Library of bibliographic and metadata records for the LIS area, which students could work on, gaining real-life experience by enhancing the records with metadata, etc.
Improve “New Titles @ UIUC Library”
A very popular and beneficial service currently offered by the LIS library, mentioned multiple times in the LIS Services Survey, is the Virtual New Books Shelf
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A similar service can be provided through the “New Titles @ UIUC Library” utility
The New Titles @ UIUC Library service works well for physical libraries and for research interests that neatly map to specific call numbers. However virtual libraries that have no “location” are not well served, nor are subject collections that do not map neatly to either a single location or to a discrete set of call numbers (e.g., Africana, Women & Gender Resources, Mandeville Collection in Parapsychology and the Occult Sciences)
The Team would like to see the “New Titles @ UIUC Library” utility further developed:
• Provide an option to search by fund code, to support the generation of lists for virtual libraries, interdisciplinary collections, and collections housed in multiple locations (essential)
• In the display, provide the Syndetics-derived photo of the cover and a link to the table of contents (desired)
• Explore the possible convergence of “New Titles” with VUFind, or other mechanisms for including reviews, user comments, user-supplied tags, and so on (desired)
Preliminary discussions with Peggy Steele and Jon Gorman have indicated that the first two improvements are theoretically possible, but need to further investigate the system resource requirements, estimate the staff time needed, and ascertain the relative priority for this to other critical projects pending.
Adding the ability to scope by fund code would be of great benefit across the Library, especially for those who have continued the laborious processing of compiling their own lists because the current functionality does not meet their needs.
Maintain and Enhance Services for Off-campus GSLIS Users
Students in the LEEP program now constitute more than half of the students earning MS and CAS degrees at GSLIS. Their academic success depends on a high level of personalized guidance, especially for those who are geographically isolated and/or technologically challenged. The LIS Library’s provision of electronic information resources greatly benefits LEEP students, but there is an ongoing need to troubleshoot access problems. (For example, Sandy Wolf recently spent many hours and involved several other Library staff members in resolving a persistent difficulty students have in opening articles downloaded from Haworth journals.)
With the closing of the Academic Outreach Library Services next summer, and the transfer of those services to Central Reference Services and the IRRC, it will be important for the LIS Library to continue to partner actively with the other library service providers who interact with LEEP students to ensure consistency of service during what will be, for LEEP students and faculty, a double transition in terms of the delivery of Library services.
It is important that the toll-free phone line, currently part of Academic Outreach, be maintained.
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Recommendations for the Communications Library
Move Liaison and Collection Responsibilities for the Department of Communication from ESSL to Communications
The Communications Library collection includes several subject areas that coincide with the research interests of the faculty and students in the Department of Communication (formerly the Department of Speech Communication, College of LAS): communication technologies (new media), interpersonal communication, mass communication, public discourse, and the impact of mass media on its audience. However, liaison responsibilities to the Department of Communication are currently provided by Lynne Rudasill in ESSL, who also serves as fund manager for speech communication.
While the ESSL and Communications Library staff have always worked cooperatively to insure that the collections and services supporting communication studies meet the needs of its scholars, it has become increasingly clear that the needs of speech communication researchers can be better served through integrated collections and services. This is not surprising given the fact that the areas within communication studies have become more interrelated during the past several years, as reflected in the scholarly literature, courses taught at this university, the research interests of our users, and the increasing number of Department of Communication faculty making requests for books and videos to be purchased for the Communications Library. During the 2006 Fall Semester the Communications Librarian, Lisa Romero, met with Lynne Rudasill and Nancy O’Brien (ESSL) to discuss the communication studies subject area. Specifically, this meeting addressed how services and collections relating to all areas within communication studies might be coordinated differently to facilitate library operations and scholarly research in the field. As a result of those deliberations, it is proposed that the services and collection responsibilities for speech communication be transferred to the Communications Library.
By housing all communication studies materials in one location, the collection would be more easily browsed by users, would make the collection development process easier, and it would make access to the collection more convenient for the Department of Communication faculty (located adjacent to Gregory Hall in Lincoln Hall). When the Communications Library Focus Group met, several faculty, including the representative from the Department of Communication, noted that “it would be reassuring to have all of the communication studies resources in one library location so that when I browsed the collection, I wouldn’t have to go to another library to search its collection” and that currently, students “don’t understand why communication studies resources are located in different places.”
Transferring the current speech communication collection and its responsibilities would involve transferring the existing collection (20 linear feet of books and 11 linear feet of journals) from ESSL to the Communications Library, transferring some of the monographs to the Main Stacks or Oak Street, updating the online catalog, reassigning the service and collection development responsibilities from Lynne Rudasill to Lisa Romero, updating both libraries’ websites, and communicating the proposed transfer with the Department of Communication and College of Media faculties. The Communications Library currently already houses reserve materials for some courses in the Department of Communication.
In November 2008, Lynne Rudasill (the current library liaison to the Department of Communication) and JoAnn Jacoby met with Barbara Wilson (Head, Department of
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Communication) and Dale Brashers (Associate Head, Department of Communication) to discuss the proposed transfer. The departmental leadership was very receptive to the idea, provided the collections funds remained distinct and that there be a name change to signal the expanded scope. Talks are on-going, and it is possible that some Speech Communication materials will remain in ESSL (e.g., interpersonal communications, which overlaps with the social sciences); the collection and liaison work would be turned over to the Communications Librarian. Negotiations are also still going on concerning the necessity of changing the name of the library, which the Library would prefer remain as is.
Provide Adequate Personnel for the Communications Library
If the Communications Library is to remain open as a departmental library and be able to provide adequate support and services to its growing base of users it must be adequately staffed.
• Position the Communications Library as a resource center for the growing population of resource hungry communication studies students
• Facilitate the educational mission of the College of Media by partnering with teaching faculty to provide integrated research support, including targeted instruction and online resources to support the explorations of resources on relevant topics (e.g., diversity in the media) and approaches (e.g. data gathering for journalists)
• House a more comprehensive collection in communication studies (including Speech Communications, Agricultural Communications, and relevant subject areas from the LIS Library such as censorship, information and society, internet research)
• Provide robust services for communication studies researchers
• Provide strategically placed and better skilled staff resulting in longer service hours and improved service.
In order to accomplish these goals, the Communications Library will need additional staff. Specifically:
• A second full-time clerical staff line must be added (bringing the total staff FTE up to 2). This person will assist in collection processing and maintenance and routine reference assistance. They would also be expected to, on a staggered schedule, work with the other staff and faculty to cover some evening and/or weekend hours.
• Graduate assistant or hourly staff to provide more in-depth reference assistance, assist with library instruction, assist with Web site maintenance and enhancement, and the development of handouts and other finding aids.
• Student hourly staff so that the library may be open Saturday afternoons during the academic year and, during the Summer, on weekday mornings, evenings, and weekends.
With additional staff and a staggered schedule for permanent employees, the Communications Library would be able to meet the growing needs of the College of Media and other communication researchers such as those in LAS and ACES.
The following are specific ways the Communications Library could accommodate the growing needs of these departments and provide a more robust service profile:
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• Extend weekend hours during the academic year and extend daytime, weekend, and evening hours during the summer.
• Expand the availability of highly skilled staff with the training and capability to do more than just keep the library doors open, allowing them to better meet the service needs of the growing undergraduate communications population.
• Promote library instruction sessions to the various departments. Integrate instructional support more systematically into graduate student training.
• Offer more of a variety of different library instruction sessions (tours, hands-on sessions, lecture, demonstrations, one-on-one sessions) that will suit the many needs of students in the College of Media and the Department of Communication (LAS).
• The library should provide a more robust array of handouts, online guides and tutorials. These could serve as a supplement or even as a substitute for in-person training.
• Regularly promote/advertise the library, its facilities, collections and services to students in the College of Media and Department of Communication (LAS).
• Train all Communications Library staff in basic reference skills and give them the tools to assist with library research assignments so library users are provided with quality service any time they use the library. During the week, College of Media classes are taught in Gregory Hall until 9 PM, resulting in a high level of evening library use.
• Update and enhance the Communications Library Web site on a regular basis.
• Work with faculty to identify and digitize sections of the D’Arcy Advertising Collection for use in classroom instruction.
• Allow the Communications Librarian to devote more time to reference, instruction, collection development, staff training, and fund raising/development.
To determine if this staffing model is the optimal arrangement given the new service environment, it is recommended that an assessment of the impact and effectiveness of it be undertaken one year after implementing the recommendations.
Keep Cinema Studies in the English Library for Now
The group considered whether to transfer responsibility for collections and services for Cinema Studies from its current home in the English Library to the Communications Library in anticipation of the creation of the Department of Media and Cinema Studies, which will incorporate the Unit for Cinema Studies. After broad consultation within the Library and with faculty and administrators involved in planning this transfer, it was decided that this decision should be deferred. While the move will transfer administrative responsibilities to the College of Media, constituent faculty are likely to remain in the home units (e.g., English and Comparative Literature) and it is not yet clear whether the research and teaching needs of the relocated Unit will warrant a realignment of the Library collections and services.
Following approval of these recommendations, the team has been charged to “plan the specific steps needed to implement the proposed service profile(s), provide a timeline for implementing these steps, define staffing needs and responsibilities and develop a plan for assessing the effectiveness of the new service profile(s)” by January, 2009. Some of these elements are outlined in this report, but will be developed more systematically and in greater detail in the Implementation Report.
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A number of unresolved issues depend on the cooperation of other Library units and the feasibility of implementing new centralized services. For example, Central Access Services is already fielding multiple demands and tackling other major projects. The disposition of LIS print reserves as recommended by this report depends on whether Central Access Services will be able to launch this as a test project in the timeframe required. We hope to have greater certainty around some of these issues by January, when the Implementation report is completed.
This Team has also suggested several solutions that have the potential to help other units deal with existing day-to-day challenges and eliminate time-consuming tasks (such as manual compilation of new title lists) that could be done better if we had more robust automated systems. These solutions might also lower some of the hurdles facing those who are considering reconfiguration of their spaces and realignment of their services. By the same token, any unresolved issues are likely to continue to be barriers.
The Library Faculty Executive Committee reviewed the Implementation Report at their December 11, 2008 meeting and approved it with amendments. Their recommendations have been incorporated into this Interim Report. Additionally, following EC’s suggestion, the Team will henceforth be split into two groups that will each submit a separate implementation plan, one for the LIS Library and one for the Communications Library. Starting in mid-January, 2009, Sandy Wolf (LIS Library) will be replacing Lori Carroll on the Team.
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Figure 1 Hourly Room Count, Social Sciences Division Libraries – FY06 & FY07. LIS = Library & Information Science Library; CMX = Communications Library
05101520259:30 AM10:30 AM11:30 AM12:30 PM1:30 PM2:30 PM3:30 PM4:30 PM5:30 PM6:30 PM7:30 PM8:30 PM9:30 PM10:30 PMAverage People /
0510152025309:30 AM10:30 AM11:30 AM12:30 PM1:30 PM2:30 PM3:30 PM4:30 PM5:30 PM6:30 PM7:30 PM8:30 PM9:30 PM10:30 PMAverage People / HourBELCMXCPLESSLLaborLIS
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Figure 2 Monthly Room Count, Social Science Division Libraries – FY06 and FY07. LIS = Library & Information Science Library; CMX = Communications Library
051015202530AugSepOctNovDecJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAverage People / HourBELCMXCPLESSLLaborLIS
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Figure 3 From the 2006 Faculty Survey. Ilinois faculty were asked to name their primary library(s). Those who indicated LIS as a primary library also identified other libraries, as indicated below.
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Campus Profile for the College of Media, GSLIS, and the University Faculty, 2007-2008. Also shown (next page) are the number who responded to the LIS Service Survey.
College of Media Headcount
Department of Communication
LIS Headcount (FTE)
University Library Headcount
Staff on state funds
Institute of Communications Research
Total Instructional Units offered
On-campus, academic year
Staff on All Funds
Academic Staff Headcount
Tenure System Faculty Headcount
Associate Prof Headcount
Assistant Prof Headcount
Visiting Faculty Headcount
Other instructional staff Headcount
Academic Professionals Headcount
Civil Service Staff Headcount
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Appendix I, continued
Responded to LIS Service Survey
(Some categories are not reported in the Campus Profile or were not clearly defined in the survey)
% responded (based on headcounts)
All GSLIS Faculty
On Campus GSLIS faculty
LEEP GSLIS Faculty
All MS & CAS students
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An early scan (September, 2008) of the LIS collection, showing the approximate linear feet by subject and the likely libraries whose collections might absorb these materials.
LIS Library Circulating Collection
linear feet by subject
Knowledge; information theory
Oak; STX; History
Systems; data processing; computer science;
Bibliography (as a subject)
Oak; STX; Education
Library science; gov. docs
Oak; STX; Education
Library science; library history
Oak; STX; History
Relationships of libraries, archives, and information centers (incl. marketing)
Oak; STX; Education; BEL
Oak; STX; Ricker
Oak; STX; Grainger
Technical processes; information storage and retrieval
Oak; STX; Grainger
Administration-Special types of material
Oak; STX; History; Music; Maps; other dept. libs
Administration-Specific types of institutions
Oak; STX; Education
Oak; STX; Education
Oak; STX; Grainger
User services (reference, instruction, circulation); binding; collection maintenance
Oak; STX; Grainger
Libraries, archives and info centers devoted to subjects and disciplines
Libraries of children's lit
Oak; STX; Education; Education Storage
Oak; STX; Education; Music; Law; other dept. libs
General libraries; private and proprietary libraries (incl. historical treatments)
Oak; STX; History
Public libraries (incl. historical treatments)
Oak; STX; History
Libraries for special groups
Oak; STX; Education
Reading and use of media
Oak; STX; Education
General encyclopedias and serials
Oak; STX; Ricker
Journalism; general collections
Oak; STX; English; Modern
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LIS Library Circulating Collection linear feet by subject
Manuscripts and rare books
Oak; STX; RBML 3
Oak; STX; Communications
Oak; STX; History
Social science methods
Oak; STX; Education
Communication, incl. CMC
Oak; STX; Communications
Information and society
Oak; STX; Communications; Education
Oak; STX; Communications
Information economy, information industry
Legal issues, copyright
Oak; STX; Law
Oak; STX; Communications
Oak; STX; Education
Oak; STX; RBML
Fairy and folk tales
Language, writing, paleography
Scientific information, bioinformatics
Technology, technical information
Oak; STX; Grainger
Oak; STX; Education
Engineering - IT
Management of personnel
Records management, content management
Books and printing (old class)
Oak; STX; RBML
Business aspects of LIS
Oak; STX; BEL
Oak; STX; BEL
Oak; STX; Ricker
History of printing and typography
Oak; STX; RBML; Ricker
Oak; STX; RBML; Ricker
Oak; STX; Ricker
Oak; STX; Ricker
Illustration, graphic novels
Oak; STX; Ricker
Mss. Illumination, graphic arts
Oak; STX; RBML
Micrography; television; puppets
Guides for authors and storytellers
Oak; STX; Education
Children's literature (about)
Oak; STX; Education
Biographies of librarians; genealogy
Oak; STX; History