Part 1: Library and Information Resources
" I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library
." Jorge Luis Borges
Stewart Library provides a broad range of information resources and services
in support of Weber State University's mission and goals. Library
services are provided at the Stewart Library at the Ogden campus and at
the Davis campus in Layton. The campus library/information commons
is a branch of the Stewart Library. Off-campus access to resources and
services is available 24/7 through the library's website http://library.weber.edu
collections include print, electronic and audio-visual resources as well
as access to an increasingly large number of electronic databases.
A staff of 47.6 FTEs provides service to the university community. The
library is a member of the Utah Academic Library Consortium and the OCLC/BCR
network. It uses the Horizon integrated library system from epixtech,
the 3-M Self-Check System, the Docutek E-reserve system, and the EZProxy
system for off-campus access to electronic resources and services. Use
of the library and its resources are open to the public. Borrowing privileges
are available to members of the community through the purchase of a
"Community Borrower's Card."
and weekend hours are maintained to accommodate patron needs at both campuses
and electronic access is available 24/7. The Stewart Library is open approximately
105 hours/week; the WSU Davis Library approximately 75 hours/week. Reduced
hours are in effect throughout summer semester and during semester breaks.
library supports and promotes the American Library Association's Bill
of Rights, Freedom to Read Statement, Intellectual Freedom Statement,
and Electronic Bill of Rights .
Stewart Library's mission is to advance the instructional, scholarship,
and community service mission of Weber State University through the development
of on-site collections, access to off-site resources, personalized assistance
in the use of library and information resources, and instruction on research
strategies and tools.
support of WSU's mission to "provide students with high-quality comprehensive
programs in professional and liberal arts areas as well as studies in
advanced professional fields," the library has adopted the following strategic
to improve the quality and relevancy of the collection by systematically
assessing the information resources needs of the academic community and
developing a focused, core collection of print and electronic resources
to support instructional and research needs.
access to information resources by subscribing to electronic databases
and full-text journals and, in consultation with faculty, canceling print
subscriptions for titles available full-text online.
a comprehensive instruction program that includes for credit, online and
on demand instruction in order to graduate students with information literacy
the library's budget by increasing private donations by approximately
& Services (5.B.1 - 4)
on feedback obtained from biennial surveys and interviews with WSU students
and faculty, library resources and services are perceived to be adequate
to support the university's curricular offerings. However, this was
not always the case. The 1994 and 1996 Commission reports stated that
there was "dramatic need for a major increase in support for library staff
and materials" to meet accreditation standards. WSU was in full agreement
with those reports, and took significant steps to assure that the library
was in compliance with NASC standards. Actions taken included increases
in the library budget, in both state and gift funds, improvements in the
collection (overall growth, greater use of technology, increased relevancy,
increased user satisfaction), and increases in FTE staff.
a result of those efforts, the Commission's 1999 Regular Interim Report
stated that: "Much has been done to improve the
Stewart Library since both the 1994 and 1996 visits. Improvements are
clearly evident in three areas, Resources, Staffing (service) and Technology.
Consequently, at this time there does not appear to be any question
that the WSU Library meets the Standard IV, Library and Learning Resources."
Holdings Table" reflects the significant progress made in improving
and procedures for systematic development and management of information
resources in all formats are available on the library's website.
full-text is now our preferred method of providing journal articles, newspapers,
and reference materials to library patrons. In 1997/98, the Utah Legislature
provided $900,000 of ongoing funds to the Utah Academic Library Consortium
(UALC) for consortia subscriptions to electronic databases. This funding
provides students and faculty within the Utah system with access to a
continually increasing number of electronic full-text titles. Using
a PC with an Internet connection, students and faculty are able to access
these resources from anywhere in the world, twenty-four hours a day.
Consortia funding of electronic databases has enabled the Stewart Library
to use funds previously spent on database subscriptions to acquire additional
electronic and print resources, and to make funds available to new faculty
to secure core titles in their areas of interest.
part of its ongoing transition to a more digitized library, the library
will continue to increase its reliance on electronic full-text journals,
supplemented by 24-hour document delivery for articles not available otherwise.
It will also continue to monitor carefully the use of print subscriptions
and, in consultation with academic departments, selectively cancel titles
that are not heavily used or are available electronically. Print subscriptions
to relevant academic journals that are not yet available electronically
will continue to be added as needed.
ensure that the online and on-site resources added to the collection are
relevant to curricular needs, a librarian is assigned to each college.
Subject librarians are responsible for consulting regularly with faculty
and students in their assigned subject areas to assess instructional and
research needs, and to collaborate with faculty in developing the collection.
Assessment surveys indicate that as a result of librarian/faculty collaboration,
the collection is increasingly more focused and relevant to the curriculum.
the Stewart Library and the new Information Commons area of the Davis
Campus provide students and faculty with the full-range of services expected
of any academic library, including expert reference service and a bibliographic
instruction program that includes for-credit, online and on demand instruction.
purpose of our instruction program is to provide WSU students with the
skills and knowledge needed to effectively identify, find, evaluate and
use information for academic success and to support lifelong learning.
Computer and information literacy competency is required of all WSU
students. The information literacy component of this requirement may
be met by taking an exam or one of the library's for-credit courses.
In addition to its for-credit courses, the library provides instruction
sessions for English 2010 and First Year Experience (FYE) classes, and
a continually growing number of course-integrated, subject-specific sessions.
Students in the English 2010 and FYE sessions complete an assignment
demonstrating their ability to effectively use library databases and internet
In addition to their collection management/faculty
liaison responsibilities, subject librarians provide course integrated instruction
to inform students and faculty of library resources available in their areas
of interest, which we believe is essential if those resources are to be
used. Academic faculty and librarians collaborate on the information to
be covered in these sessions and students demonstrate their ability to use
the resources in the research papers required for the course. The library's
commitment to subject specific instruction is evidenced by a 124% increase
in the number of sessions offered over the past seven years - rising
from 71 sessions in 1994/95 to 159 sessions in 2001/02. An annual growth
rate of approximately 10% for the next three to five years is expected.
of Information Resources and Services
As indicated in the "Utililization
of Resources and Services Table", the library's resources and
services are used. During
the past year, there was a significant increase in the number of visitors
to the library's website and in the use of the EReserve System. The
relatively small 1.8% decline in circulation results from a decrease in
the use of printed journals, which follows a national trend and confirms
that students prefer to use ejournals when given a choice. Contrary
to what other academic libraries in Utah are experiencing, the use of
the book collection remained stable rather than declining. While "user
assistance" types of questions answered at the various service desks decreased
only slightly, the number of reference/research questions answered showed
an overall decline of 20%. We believe this is attributable to an easier,
more stable method of off-campus access and increased student familiarity
with technology. Interlibrary lending requests from other libraries
increased by 14.6%, reflecting the improvements that have been made to
the collection and the quality of service provided.
and Access (5.C.1 - 5.C.2.)
facilities at both the Ogden campus and the new Davis campus are pleasant,
inviting, and adequate for information resources, equipment, and personnel.
The Stewart Library is centrally located on the Ogden campus within
easy walking distance of classrooms and parking lots, and the Information
Commons at Davis is a state-of-the-art facility ideally located to serve
students and faculty. Both meet ADA requirements, are adequately wired
to support library technology, and are "wireless" to support the computing
needs of students with laptops. Electronic access to library resources
and services is available to WSU students and faculty anytime/anywhere.
the renovation of Lampros Hall is completed and some of the (non-library)
departments and a student computer lab(has moved to Lampros
Hall) now housed in the Stewart Library are relocated,
there will be additional growth space for collections and space
to add a badly needed third electronic classroom.
Management, Planning (5.D.1
- 5.; 5.E.1 - 2.)
1995/96 to1999/00, when much of the campus was in retrenchment, budgeted
library staff positions increased from 39.2 FTE to 47.6 FTE (21%). Part
of the increase came about with the addition of four staff positions in
1997/98 funded by new E&G funds. Funds for a fourth position were
used to extend contract commitments for existing employees, which increased
their FTE. An internal reorganization, economies of hiring, restructuring
of several positions, and extending some nine-month faculty positions
to 12-month appointments have all contributed to the increase in FTE.
Additionally, the library employs approximately 21 FTE student assistants.
provide the quality and quantity of library services needed to adequately
support the information resources and service needs of the university
community, our goal is to increase staffing by five positions.
faculty and staff are well-trained, have expertise in their areas of responsibility,
and are committed to providing quality library services to the WSU community.
All have current and accurate position descriptions in which authority,
responsibility, and expectations are clearly delineated. All faculty and
staff are reviewed annually and mutually agreed upon goals are set for
the following year. Ongoing training and professional development are
essential, and resources are allocated to support the costs associated
with improving the knowledge and skills of faculty and staff.
library is committed to the team concept and is organized into functional
areas: (1) Systems & Access Services (Circulation, Interlibrary Loans,
Media/Reserve, Library Systems), (2) Bibliographic Services (Acquisitions,
Cataloging, Serials, Binding), (3) Collection Management/faculty liaison,
(4) Library Instruction, (5) Reference & Information Services, (6)
Archives & Special Collections. The Davis campus branch library
reports to the Head of Reference & Information Services. Strategic
plans for the various areas and teams are available in the NASC Team Room
and on the library's website.
faculty serve on the WSU Faculty Senate and on university committees.
The most relevant committees include: Academic Resources and Computing;
Curriculum and General Education; Teaching, Learning, and Assessment;
Research, Scholarship, and Professional Growth; Salary, Benefits, Budget,
and Fiscal Planning. Faculty (and some staff) are members of the Utah
Library Association, the American Library Association, the Association
of College and Research Libraries, the American Society of Information
Science & Technology, and the Special Libraries Association. Faculty
also serve on a number of Utah Academic Library Consortium committees.
a unit within the Academic Affairs Division, reporting to the Provost,
the library is fully involved in institutional planning. The University
Librarian sits on the Deans Council and is a member of a number of university
committees. Subject librarians regularly communicate with faculty and
students in the departments for which they have collection management/faculty
liaison responsibilities, and serve as an advocate for the information
resource needs of those colleges/departments within the library.
1996, the institutional curricular planning process has included mandatory
consultation with the library. Subject librarians review all new course/program
proposals in their subject areas to assess the adequacy of educational
resources to support the new course/program prior to its approval by the
Curriculum and General Education Committee. On those very rare occasions
when resources are determined to be inadequate, funds are allocated to
acquire the needed resources prior to the time the new course is taught.
Excellent working relationships exist between
the library and other departments on campus. As information resources
are increasingly web-based, the library works especially closely with departments
located in the Information Technology Division and relies heavily on the
strong support it receives from Computing Support Services, Systems and
Networking, and Telecommunications.
library receives operating funds from three sources:
& General (E&G) monies allocated to WSU, both ongoing and one-time
monies allocated to the Utah Academic Library Consortium (UALC)
illustrated in the "Library
Budget Table", the total library budget from all three sources
has increased substantially, rising from $2,296,224 in 1994/95 to $3,947,935
in 2001/02, an overall increase of 72%. These increases in E&G, UALC,
and gift funds have enabled the library to make significant progress in
improving its collection of information resources.
the exception of funds to acquire additional staff, the library's overall
budget (E&G, UALC funding, and gifts) is minimally adequate to meet
basic operational needs. This assessment of adequacy is based on the
assumption that if information resources and facilities are perceived
to be adequate, as is indicated in our various assessment surveys, then
the budget providing them must also be adequate.
of Resources and Services
the quality of our resources and services and making improvements based
on the information received from our assessment efforts is an ongoing
priority. The data cited below reflect, from a user's perspective, recent
efforts to enhance library services and improve the collection and make
it more relevant to the curriculum.
From 1996 - 2000 WSU annually administered the Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction
Inventory (SSI) to approximately 1,000 students ( http://weber.edu/ir/surveys.htm)
The SSI includes two statements which are relevant to the
library: "library staff are helpful and approachable", and "library resources
and services are adequate". Based on a Likert-scale, four-year trend
data indicate WSU students' satisfaction levels with library staff, resources
and services have increased. The SSI will next be administered by WSU
Results from interviews conducted in 1998/99 and again in 2001/02 with
over 200 students who were using the library indicated strong satisfaction
with library resources and services. Approximately 90% of the students
interviewed in 1998/99 and over 93% of those interviewed in 2001/02 said
they were satisfied with both the assistance they received and the resources
available to them.
Biennial surveys are conducted to assess student satisfaction with the
services provided in the public service areas of the library. The results
of these surveys indicate an overall high level of student satisfaction
with the services provided. Over 95% of the respondents in 2002 indicated
they were satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of service provided
in the various Access Services areas. Student satisfaction with Reference
& Information Services was similarly high. Over 94% of the respondents
indicated overall satisfaction with the assistance provided by reference
staff; 89% were satisfied with the electronic resources; and 88% expressed
overall satisfaction with the library's website.
Faculty satisfaction with library resources and services is assessed biennially
also. Consistent with the student feedback cited above, the results
of our faculty surveys indicate strong faculty satisfaction overall with
library resources to support their teaching and student assignments, and
with the general knowledge, efficiency, and helpfulness of library staff.
On a one to five satisfaction scale, nearly two-thirds of the faculty
respondents in 1998/99 and over 80% of the respondents in 2001/02 indicated
they were satisfied or very satisfied with library resources, and 95%
(1998/99) and 97% (2001/02) indicated similar levels of satisfaction
with the library staff.
Student evaluations are collected for all library courses, for the sessions
provided for English 2010 and FYE classes, and for a representative
number of subject-specific sessions. During the past year, 96% of students
surveyed subsequent to course-integrated instruction sessions in English
composition and First Year Experience courses indicated satisfaction with
the instruction provided by library faculty and staff.
The library routinely uses student and faculty focus groups to assess
and help improve specific services. A recent example is usability testing
of our website. Focus groups provided important input on what they didn't
like about our old site and that information was used in developing the
new site. Focus group testing of the new site resulted in additional
improvements that made the site more intuitive, user friendly, and graphically
SIGNIFICANT CHANGES SINCE 1994
our mission has not changed since 1994, we have made a number of important
changes - some in response to recommendations contained in NASC accreditation
reports and thers as a result of our various assessment activities.
Significant changes include:
Improvements made to the on-site and online collections (see Table).
Our instruction program was redesigned to meet information literacy standards
established by the Association of College and Research Libraries. The
newly designed program was acknowledged nationally in 2002 when it was
selected by ACRL as one of the top ten programs that model best practices
in information literacy programming for undergraduates.
A full-range of library services are now available at the Davis Campus
Because of the growing importance of web-based resources, the library's
website was redesigned and professionalized and ongoing usability studies
Off-campus access to electronic resources was significantly improved
and simplified with the installation of EZProxy software.
An electronic reserve system (Ereserve) was implemented, which allows
students to have 24/7 access to materials placed on reserve by their professors.
The use of the system has more than tripled in the last year.
A document delivery service now delivers library owned and interlibrary
loan materials to faculty and staff on campus and at WSU Davis.
More than 65 additional PC's have been placed in the public areas of the
library to better meet the computing needs of students. The library
will be completely "wireless" by the end of the 2002/03 academic year.
Library hours have been increased to 105 hours per week during regular
semesters, which is comparable to those at the University of Utah, Utah
State University, and Brigham Young University libraries.
The Friends of the Stewart Library organization was established and has
grown to approximately 450 dues-paying members.
STRENGTHS and CHALLENGES
The library faculty and staff - they are well-trained, knowledgeable in
their areas of expertise, dedicated, and give high-quality service to
students, faculty, and the community.
The improvements that have been made to the online and on-site collections.
The progress we have made in becoming a much more digitized library
and in making our e-resources more easily accessible. As stated in
the 1999 NASC Regular Interim Report, " In the area of technology,
[the Stewart Library] is no longer behind, but is most likely among
the top 20% of electronically connected academic libraries in its class
(i.e. comprehensive four year colleges and universities)."
Utah Academic Library Consortium funding and consortia e-resources.
information literacy focus of our instruction program.
A systematic assessment process that informs our efforts to improve services
and enhance resources.
The availability of comparative data reflecting, from a user's perspective,
a high level of satisfaction with library resources and services.
Strong donor support from the Stewart Education Foundation and others.
Too few positions. We're struggling to maintain our current level
of service at the Stewart Library and concerned about meeting the
demand for services at the Davis campus. WSU's information literacy
requirement has significantly increased the demand for library classes
- a demand we cannot meet without additional positions.
The ongoing need to increase private funding in order to off-set anticipated
decreases in E&G funds.
The cost of maintaining and enhancing library technology.
Addressing the changing library reference service needs of students and
Incorporating information literacy concepts into more upper-division courses.
Improving assessment procedures in the non-public service areas of the
The deteriorating infrastructure of the Stewart Library building - wiring,
elevators, ceiling tiles, plumbing, etc.
NEXT STEPS/ACTION ITEMS
The library will continue to seek E&G funding for five additional
positions. In the meantime, income from the Stewart Endowment will continue
to be used to fund two staff positions at the Davis campus. We will
also continue to explore all viable options for shifting staff from static
growth areas to growth areas such as instruction, collection management/faculty
liaison, interlibrary loans, and media/reserve.
There is growing recognition that state funds will never be sufficient
to adequately support the university or the library. To continue to
provide the information resources and services needed to support the university's
mission, the library must increase its fund raising and grant writing
efforts. A first step in this process is re-focusing the Public
Outreach Coordinator's position on grant writing and recruiting additional
members to the Friends of the Library organization. Additionally, beginning
in 2003/04, the University Librarian and the Curator of Special Collections
will scale back their various committee assignments in order to devote
more time to fund raising.
A comprehensive technology plan for the library will be completed in 2003/04.
Included in the plan will be a schedule for technology upgrades and
replacements and a proposed budget. Our technology plan will be incorporated
into an overall Utah Academic Library Consortium technology plan and included
in UALC's 2003/04 and 2004/05 legislative funding requests. We will
also pursue other sources of possible funding, including LSTA matching
grants and private gifts.
As evidenced by comments from students and faculty, changes in our statistics,
and an increasing number of articles in the library literature, the
manner in which students use library reference services is changing.
This change is particularly visible at WSU due to our large number
of working, non-traditional, and online students as well as the high
level of connectivity within the university community and in Utah in
general. WSU students want and need increased access to resources
and help in the virtual realm as well as a centralized location that
addresses all of their on-campus information needs, including help with
library resources, word processing and other programs, access to presentation
software and equipment, and a place to study alone and with groups.
Reference staff have traditionally provided help with library resources;
providing help with related services is a logical expansion of their
intend to combine the best features of the information commons concept
with the best of traditional reference service. During the 2002/03 academic
year, we will assess patron needs, explore different staffing patterns,
and develop a plan for the physical rearrangement of the Reference &
Information Services area. In 2003/04, the space will be reconfigured
into an information commons area.
Incorporating information literacy concepts into a greater number of upper-division
courses and working with faculty to develop assessment procedures and
learning outcomes will occur over the next three to five years. Subject
librarians will begin the process during the 2002/03 academic year.
While the library's assessment procedures for the public service areas
are ongoing and systematic, this is not yet true for all technical service
areas. Assessment procedures and outcomes need to be more fully integrated
into the work of Bibliographic Services (Acquisitions, Cataloging, Serials,
Binding/Processing.) Developing departmental outcomes and an assessment
plan will be completed in 2002/03 and implemented in 2003/04.
The renovation of the Stewart Library in the mid 1990's created a well-lit,
pleasant, and reasonably spacious environment. It did not, however,
address a number of infra-structure issues that have increased in severity
over the intervening years. Ceiling tiles throughout the building
are damaged or delaminating, the freight elevator is constantly out-of-order
and needs to be replaced, and ongoing plumbing and ground-water problems
are a continual source of complaints. Because the cost of addressing
these issues is so great, our action plan over the next several years
is to continue to make the university aware of the problems and aggressively
seek to move up in priority on the WSU capital improvements list.