- 1 Introduction
- 2 Teaching and Instruction
- 2.1 Description of Teaching and Instructional Programs: An Overview
- 2.2 Analysis & Assessment of Teaching & Instructional Programs
- 2.2.1 How many students are taught?
- 2.2.2 Which Students?
- 2.2.3 Information Technology Literacy
- 2.3 Future Aspirations and Challenges for Instruction
- 3 Information Collections and Services
- 3.1 Description of Information Collections & Services
- 3.2 Analysis & Assessment of Information Services and Collections
- 3.2.1 Library Use & Satisfaction Rates
- 3.2.2 Media Services User Surveys
- 3.2.3 Comparing Use Statistics With Other Libraries
- 3.2.4 Comparing IT Facilities with Other Institutions
- 3.2.5 Responsiveness to Rapid Change in the Information Environment
- 3.2.6 Conclusion: Assessing Library and Information Resources Collections and Services
- 3.3 Future Aspirations and Challenges for Collections and Services
- 4 Appendixes
- 5 Standards
- 6 Supporting Documentation
Library and information resources at the Evergreen State College support students as they learn how to reason and communicate about freely chosen inquiries whose outcomes remain to be discovered or created (Smith, Standard 2)—in short, as they learn the skills of research, information literacy and media production. All areas of these services balance the open-ended demands of free inquiry against the need for stability, security and efficiency in systems and services. This balance constitutes the focus of how we evaluate our role in undergraduate education. Unlike traditional libraries, this work encompasses media production in all forms, across the curriculum. All areas of library and information resources are shaped by the primary mission of teaching and of providing state-of-the-art facilities for programs and individual students. Historically, the Library has been well funded because of how deliberately it has integrated teaching, services, facilities, and collections across the curriculum in response to the demands of open-ended inquiry. In fact, the high level of funding represents the strong collaboration among library and media staff, faculty, and administration, all of whom work in concert to develop the library as a center for teaching and learning.
When the founding Dean of Library Services, James Holly, wrote his “Position Paper No. 1,” he assumed that the library would be generic, “By generic I include man’s [sic] recorded information, knowledge, folly, and wisdom in whatever from put down, whether in conventional print, art forms, magnetic tape, laser storage, etc. By generic, I also eliminate physical boundaries such as [a] specific building or portion limited and identified as ‘the library.’” What Holly envisioned proved untenable because the college community expressed traditional longings for a bounded space. The generic library also proved impractical in technical terms and in budgeting practices. However, technology and community values have caught up with Holly’s founding vision. Today, laptops and networked data are ubiquitous, and most students expect to access information resources remotely. The library and information services have responded quickly and flexibly to the changes in information technology. Most significantly, a $22 million remodel connected previously disparate areas and created a more cohesive information technology wing, including media, library, and computer services. Reflecting these changes, this chapter considers information resources across several disparate administrative units: Library Services, which includes Media Services (administratively part of the Academic Division); Academic Computing (administratively part of the Finance and Administration Division); and the Computer Applications Lab (administratively part of the Academic Division, with a historical role supporting the science curriculum). The phrase "library and information resources" in Standard 5 should be understood to refer to these units collectively, while comments about separate areas will use more specific language such as the Library, Media Services, or Academic Computing.
Two broad roles define and distinguish library and information resources at Evergreen. This chapter first describes and evaluates teaching and instruction performed by library and information resources staff and faculty. Second, the chapter addresses the collections, tools, and services developed by library and information resources in support of Evergreen's academic program.
Teaching and Instruction
Description of Teaching and Instructional Programs: An Overview
Library and information resources faculty and staff instruct and teach in multiple modes, from basic skills instruction to more complex, content-driven teaching by faculty and professionals in the curriculum. In fact, the teaching faculty contributes substantively and collaboratively to information services, collections and policies. This dynamic collaboration between the faculty and the library information resources has shaped our primary mission to support inquiry-based education. Each area has developed structures to connect teaching and instruction closely to the faculty, the curriculum and the academic mission of the college.
Faculty Librarians and Library Teaching
In the case of the Library, Evergreen requires rotation between the librarians and the teaching faculty [Exhibit: Pedersen, etc. for full description]. To describe this rotation briefly, faculty librarians rotate out of the library to teach full-time on a regular basis and, in exchange, teaching faculty rotate into the library to serve as librarians providing reference, instruction and collection development. Faculty who rotate into the library leave with updated skills for developing information literacy within their programs and teams across the curriculum. Library faculty develop their subject specialties and enhance their ability to work across pedagogical and disciplinary realms. Perpetual faculty-wide interactions in faculty governance and team-teaching reinforce the strong connections between the library faculty and the teaching faculty. Librarians know the faculty as colleagues and teaching faculty know the librarians (probably the only basis for widespread and effective library instruction in a curriculum without requirements). Teaching teams also spread best practices in library instruction as older teaching faculty introduce their new faculty teammates to their library colleagues and the teaching they offer.
A loose liaison system links each librarian with a subset of the curriculum, based on subject expertise and personal alliances. Faculty librarians provide a wide array of library and information technology related teaching. Teaching outside the library in the curriculum at large, library faculty develop teaching and subject expertise which increases their competence and creativity as they work to match library instruction with individual academic programs. One-time workshops designed to introduce sources particular to the research projects within an academic program represent the most common format. Librarians and teaching faculty design these workshops with the assumption that the skills imparted are embedded in the interests and needs of the program learning community. At a minimum, the faculty for the program usually 1) create a research assignment which informs and motivates the students’ work; 2) attend the workshop and take part, adding his or her expertise and/or questions; 3) provide the library liaison a syllabus and a copy of the assignment and a t of the topics students are considering and 4) ask the students to begin considering their topic before attending the workshop so that they are primed to begin actual research during the workshop. Librarians teach in staged series of workshops most frequently in the graduate programs, in the sciences, and in the off campus programs. Each year one or more library faculty affiliates deeply with a program, meeting weekly to create stepped learning conjoined with research assignments [Exhibit: Sara H. syllabi?]. For several years an information technology seminar linked library internship opportunities with a hands-on web technology workshop. In that model, a small group of students explored contemporary questions in the world of rapid digitization and its social implications. They paralleled that study with real library work and web production practice, including wikis and webpages designed to support library functions [Exhibits: IT wiki, Rare Books page; SAIL page?]. The seminar and workshop provided a venue for library faculty, staff and Academic Computing instructors to gather and consider both the past and future of information technologies [Exhibit: internship syllabi]. Each year one librarian also offers research methods through the evening and weekend curriculum. [Exhibit: Randy Stilson syllabi]
Library support for the two major off-campus offerings, the Tacoma and the Reservation-Based, Community-Determined programs, focuses heavily on instruction. Students of these programs have limited access to the physical library, and must be directed to the many high quality resources made available to them on-line. Most years, librarians work closely with the Research Methods class at Tacoma, providing instruction on site several weeks per quarter. In Winter 2008, a librarian will offer a 2-credit research module linked to the broader interdisciplinary curriculum of the Tacoma campus. Library instruction at the Reservation sites of the Reservation-Based Community-Determined programs has varied widely. Recently the program has focused on building library methods into the lower division bridge curriculum, which has not involved the library directly. Rebuilding this connection should be a high priority, and a planned faculty rotation from the Reservation-Based program will be an opportunity to do so. See the supplemental discussion of new services for discussion of the many ways direct access to collections has been facilitated through new services to off-campus programs. [this will need to be a link to the specific paragraphs] [Exhibit: NAS and Tacoma resource pages]
Within the library, the Library Faculty see themselves primarily as teachers. They tend to understand the services of the library in the context of teaching, rather than as service providers. They take a proactive approach to the work, suggesting tools and strategies for designing library instruction, and finding the intellectual work in the world of research instruction. They position themselves to work across administrative as well as curricular boundaries and sustain an important role in the crossroads of traditional research methods, contemporary information technology and the world of the curriculum and teaching faculty.
Modes of Instruction in Media and Academic Computing
At the level of academic programs, all major computer and media labs provide group instruction covering particular applications or the tools of the relevant discipline. Media and Computing Staff teach workshops in different spaces and in different modes, depending on discipline and the technology. There are no constraints upon what facility may be used. In one quarter, a science program with a media component might have workshops in the Computer Center focusing on blogs; a math program might meet in the Computer Applications Lab; a history program might learn about video production in the Multimedia lab; and a library research workshop could convene in one of the general-purpose labs in the Computer Center. In this way, academic programs leverage staff expertise and facilities.
Teaching faculty must be able to easily identify and contact the appropriate staff member to coordinate ITL instruction which may also require significant logistical support: lab scheduling, equipment check-out, server space, password access, personnel scheduling and other details. In Academic Computing, staff members work with faculty in order to coordinate how programs will teach technology. For instance, the staff member helps set up file shares, web spaces, and schedules and teaches workshops. The Media Services staff also play a central role in how faculty design and integrate media into their programs. Like Computing Staff, they schedule all requests for media instruction, whether from programs or from individual students. Media faculty meet regularly with Media Services staff so that they can develop facilities, plan for access, and foster how academic programs integrate media into the curriculum.
Students who work independently on media or computing projects or who decide to tackle media projects within non-media oriented programs find many forms of instructional support outside of academic programs. Academic Computing offers regularly scheduled technology workshops, which are open to all. In addition, Evergreen students can access Lynda.com, which tutors students in software applications and programming languages. The Library recently subscribed to Safari Books Online, which supports the computer science curriculum, but which also answers the technical inquires of students across the curriculum. A Computing wiki began last year and hosts approximately 2,000 pages of instructions and tutorials. Increasingly, students, faculty and staff rely on the wiki to stay abreast of technologies hosted on campus. Students may access most media production facilities once they have completed a proficiency training session. Media instructors run hundreds of these quick, skills-focused instructional sessions annually, serving thousands of students, ensuring proper use of the equipment, and providing supportive technical background for systems. Finally, the Evening and Weekend Studies curriculum provides a coherent, regular pathway for instruction in use of the more complex production facilities, allowing students to gain the skills needed to apply media production resources to their work.
Like the library faculty, Media staff teach in a variety of ways—full-time, part-time, intensive, general, sustained, intermittent, specialized, individually, collaboratively. Many of the media staff are artists, professionals, and faculty in their own right, who have MFA’s in their fields. They teach photography, electronic music, web design, and digital imaging as adjuncts in Evening & Weekend Studies and in Extended Education. And their contributions to the curriculum are substantial and sustained, some of them having taught for over 20 years. Not only does their work support the Expressive Arts, it also provides access and instruction to students who don’t consider themselves artists but who are nevertheless engaged in technologies that constitute the visual aesthetics of science, history, political science, psychology, and visual narrative. Media staff who are adjuncts sometimes teach full time, as visiting artists. In general, Media staff are central to the success of media-based programs and are viewed as colleagues by the Expressive Arts faculty, whose programs they support, and as gurus by the faculty who are less media-literate. These working relationships form the backbone of Media Services. Photo, Electronic Media and Media Loan staff supervise 4 to 8 student interns who are critical to the effective functioning of labs and services. These students typically not only gain high level skills in technical production, but also develop instructional, collaborative and administrative skills associated with working closely with students and technical staff. Finally, all Media staff sponsor many individual contracts which provide opportunities for students who have identified intensive individual inquiries which are not supported in the curriculum at large.
Faculty institutes create valuable connections among faculty, library, media and academic computing instructors. Every summer, the Dean of Faculty Development asks faculty to propose institutes that will familiarize participants in new technologies. The Dean funds the proposals that generate the most enrollment, which means that the faculty and staff drive this avenue for development. Recent ITL institutes have focused on teaching statistics with Excel or on using online collaborative tools in foster learning communities. Faculty are also paid for self-directed work that focuses on their programs. In these instances, faculty evaluate technology, practice using it, and plan how to incorporate applications into their programs.
Analysis & Assessment of Teaching & Instructional Programs
The strong focus on teaching throughout library and information resources suggests the following questions: 1) In a college without requirements, does information technology instruction reach enough students to assure that the vast majority of graduates develop their skills broadly in support of their inquiries? 2) Which students are taught? Do students receive their information technology instruction in an array of disciplinary and developmentally varied situations or is it happening only in pockets of the curriculum? 3) Is it working? Are students acquiring cross-curricular information technology and media literacy?
How many students are taught?
Within recent years about 75% of the total FTE attends program-based library instruction workshops. [Exhibit: workshop statistics]. In media services, from 2000 to 2007, a total of more than 1500 workshops were offered to approximately 156 programs. The number of workshops given and students reached in 2005 and 2006 were each more than double the numbers provided in 2000. Workshops have increased along with new technologies, especially in Media Loan and in the new Multimedia and DIS labs.
Academic Computing instructors provide academic program-based training sessions and workshops throughout the academic year.
|Computer Applications Lab||50/1368||50/1248||52/1344|
Up until 2007, Academic Computing offered 30 to 40 general computer skills workshops per year in the Computer Center, attended by approximately 350 students. Professional staff focused these workshops on general technical skill building, independent of academic programs. Fewer students were attending these workshops, presumably because more students consider themselves technically literate. In response to waning attendance, Academic Computing redesigned the workshops as student-centered support sessions to which students bring their questions or projects. This student-centered structure should more effectively meet the specific demands of students. Computing will evaluate the success of this reinvented structure.
The number of teaching contacts across library and information resources shows how many students are taught, but not which students. In end-of-program reviews from 2001-2006, The Office of Institutional Research asked faculty, “Did your students use technology to present work, conduct research (including library research), or solve problems? If yes, How?” Not surprisingly, faculty answered, “library/internet research skills were the most commonly used, followed by some form of presentation technology. .” [Exhibit: http://www.evergreen.edu/institutionalresearch/pdf/assessment/epr/EPRsummary2006technology.pdf.]
The supplemental material in Appendix I provides a closer analysis of how planning units employed and taught information technologies. To summarize, library research appears widely but selectively across the curriculum. Significantly different technologies predominate in different parts of the curriculum and no standard set of applications comes into play, not even in Core programs. Analogously, computer and media staff provide instruction that they design to suit the particular inquiry at hand. The program reports show that media, library, and computing staff coordinate successfully with faculty, but only in those instances when faculty build such instruction into their planning. CTL and SI faculty report the least use of library research in their programs and have the fewest number of programs served by library workshops. Thus, the end of program reviews may be used as tools for identifying possible opportunities for greater collaboration. This analysis should not presume that more information technology instruction is necessary; the faculty often have logical and legitimate reasons to place their emphases elsewhere. However, assessing whether more information technology instruction or support would be welcome in some areas of the curriculum seems advisable based on this data.
Information Technology Literacy
Media/IT Literacy across the Curriculum: Where are we now?
Since its inception in the context of Holly’s generic library, Media Services has followed its mission to support media literacy and instruction across the curriculum. Over the last ten years, media services have changed dramatically as the personal computer has become the platform for entry-level media production and consumption. One measure of this change has materialized in how media staff have served programs through formal workshops since Fall of 2000. The scheduling data shows that almost 90% of formal program-based workshops serve Expressive Arts faculty. While this scheduling data does not cover equipment proficiency workshops or one-on-one instruction, it’s nevertheless clear that media staff focus their formal instruction on Expressive Arts programs, with an emphasis on advanced production applications, which are the exclusive provenance of expressive arts faculty. Media services further supports these advanced applications with labs, which were enhanced and expanded during the remodel. One effect of this specialization is that entry-level students have migrated to Academic Computing where the staff instructs them in basic skills. In fact, during Fall and Winter of 2006/07, 68% of the faculty who requested workshops in Computer Center were from planning units other than Expressive arts, and many of these workshops included media instruction (Photoshop, Imovie, Flash, etc.).
The Computer Applications Lab also shows a trend toward more broadly used applications. Although the CAL has traditionally focused on the science curriculum in ES and SI, these users have begun to share their space with those who have less specialized demands. Roughly 60%-70% of the classes in the CAL now work with statistical or numeric analysis, primarily Excel but also including Graphical Analysis, R, and SPSS. Ninety percent of CAL users prepare presentations, most often with Powerpoint, Word, Illustrator, and Excel. Approximately 60% of the programs meeting in the CAL still use analytical tools, including (in order of usage) ArcGIS, Mathematica, and Stella, which were once the focal point of all CAL applications. Science faculty have shifted their emphasis to on-site analysis, using advanced applications in specialized scientific labs in ways that parallel the shift in Media Services toward advanced applications. Meanwhile, the CAL and the Computer Center serve increasing numbers of students who seek instruction or support for the more and more powerful personal computing applications in media production, statistical analysis and presentation media.
Critical Approaches to Media
Although library and information resources set out to fuse teaching with program content, students are nevertheless free to access any media application or information technology beyond or without considering program content. Likewise, many programs focus entirely on skill building, without any formal attempt to link these practices to disciplinary content. And in other areas of the curriculum, such as CTL, critical media and information studies are taught in a theoretical mode, without recourse to technology—the thing itself—and thus without any basis for collaboration with library and information resources. The point is that, when skills are valorized over content—or when theory ignores practice-students neglect critical reflection on how technology impacts the message, the creators, the audience, or society. However, the generic library model—the founding principle for library and information resources at Evergreen—has emphasized and counterbalanced the tendency to isolate skills from content. Early on, a rotating faculty member who helped link instruction with critical media studies and with multidisciplinary programs directed Media Services. In many ways, the Library adopted and adapted the strategies of Media Services staff, who forged close working relationships with faculty. Today, library and information resources still struggle to build collaborative working relationships across areas and across the curriculum, relationships founded on a common interest in the critical study of media and information.
Teaching Information Technology Literacy (ITL) Across the Curriculum
During the first half of the self-study period, the Legislature mandated Information Technology Literacy (ITL) as a central focus for colleges and universities in the State. The ITL movement presented nothing surprising to the Evergreen Library, which has been engaged in these ideas and goals since the founding of the college. However, the legislative mandate created interest in evaluating our work. As used in this study, the term ITL encompasses every aspect of information technology, including digitized library research, but also includes concepts found in the literatures of media literacy, visual studies, and communications (critical approaches to media).
In order to assure that students have the skills to communicate about their open inquiries, library and information resources take a broad role in the curriculum. Two of the “Six Expectations of an Evergreen Graduate” relate directly to the library and information resources commitment to help students achieve intellectual independence, creativity, and critical acumen. Expectation Two states that our graduates will communicate creatively and effectively; Expectation Four, that our graduates apply qualitative, quantitative, and creative modes of inquiry appropriately to practical and theoretical problems across the disciplines. When students at Evergreen learn about media and information technologies, they also are immersed in disciplinary content that promotes their ability to "access, analyze, evaluate and create messages across a variety of contexts." Not only should literate students read and write astutely, they also should access, view, critique and produce digital media and information that is clear, eloquent and complete. In this way, digital scholarship merges seamlessly with individual and formal educational goals. [Footnote Sonia Livingstone article; Wyatt's definition; Caryn's position paper from the gen ed. process Nov. 27, 2000].
Library and information resources support ITL, including media literacy, as an agenda for students across programs, disciplines and media. Library and information resources collaborate with teaching teams as they instruct students in media and students who create films, multimedia or musical works for programs or for independent study. These are the challenges of the "freely chosen inquiry," –challenges that cannot all be met at all times. However, the location of Media Services administratively and physically within Library Services is meant to insure that media studies and media production are supported appropriately both within the programs that media faculty teach and elsewhere in the freely chosen inquiries of students.
Academic computing also provides access to—and instruction in-- information technologies through a balance of specialized and open computing facilities.. With the migration of many media applications to commonly available personal computer platforms, instruction and facilities to support media publishing have spread to academic computing and even to the library proper.
Does Library Instruction Result in ITL Gains?
The Library, consistent with college-wide practices, rejects requirements and embraces students who engage in open inquiry and independent judgment and who evince the ineffable quality of critical acumen. In this context, we support a fluid curriculum and respond to changes that drive the needs and expectations of an innovative teaching faculty. Because the Library shapes teaching according to individual students, a fluid curriculum, and highly diverse pedagogy, standard or standardized assessment methods do not apply. Instead, the Library commits to the intensive and never ending task of recreating learning goals, student-by-student, program-by-program. Context is everything, which obviates the role of abstract standards and measures.
On the other hand, the Library engages in qualitative assessment—a descriptive characterization of ITL teaching and learning. Annual faculty self evaluations consistently address successes and failures in library instruction during the year. Further, under the leadership of the Office of Institutional Research, the librarians designed a project that assessed students as they worked through real research inquiries. The study documented the techniques and processes—and to some extent, the thinking—of students as they collaborated intensively on research questions. Although the group involved was statistically insignificant, it did produce an interesting snapshot. For instance, the students were stronger in their grasp of content than they were in their command of library research tools for their specific inquiries. In other words, a question about history might not lead them to Historical Abstracts. They were also strong in their ability to develop their research questions and to evaluate and synthesize the results. And they flourished in the task of collaborating about their work. What these results suggest is that “Faculty may want to assess their students’ abilities to obtain information and offer tutorials or refer students to the Library when deficiencies are detected.”
Beyond the immediate results, this qualitative assessment suggested that students benefit greatly when they collaborate. Certainly, this observation is corroborated by the gains that students make when they work together in skill building instead of in canned computer workshops outside of programs. Additionally, peer groups are widely used across the curriculum as a way to encourage students to develop research topics and individual projects. Given the results of the qualitative assessment and given the widely practiced use of peer groups, library faculty should seek ways to implement collaborative research activities when they link their instruction to programs. This model of cooperation would build on the more isolated collaborations that take place, as a matter of course, between librarians and students at the reference desk. An enlarged vision of this basic transaction—discussion, exploration, and brainstorming—will enhance the relevance and effectiveness of library teaching and workshops. [Exhibit: http://www.evergreen.edu/institutionalresearch/pdf/assessment/informationliteracy.pdf]
The 2006 Evergreen Student Experience Survey asked "To what extent have your Evergreen experiences contributed to your growth in ... the following computer-related fields...?" For the category 'Studying or Doing Research via the Internet or other online sources":
- 30.5% of Olympia campus students reported at least some contribution;
- 47.5% reported quite a bit or a lot, for a total of 77.5%.
- More than 84% of Tacoma students reported at least some, of which 50% reported quite a bit.
- More than 93% of reservation-based students reported at least some contribution; 86.2% reporting quite a bit or a lot.
These statistics correlate well with the end-of-program review and instructional data cited earlier. Considering just how many students express self-confidence in their research skills, and as the internet provides so many increasingly powerful tools for personal research, it is heartening to see that a good majority of students recognize that they developed greater (and one hopes more scholarly) research skills as part of their education at Evergreen.
The ESES 2006 also asked about "Using the computer for artistic expression (e.g. music, other audio, still images, animation, video, etc.":
- Just over 42% reported Evergreen contributed "Some", "Quite a Bit" or "A Lot".
- Fully 36.8% said "Not at All"
- and 20.9% said "Very Little."
Evergreen students are more likely to learn about word processing than any other computer application. No single type of application is found in large numbers, but rather many types have small representation.
ITL Instruction: Conclusions
Overall, Library and information resources and the teaching faculty assure that information technology infuses the curriculum. On the other hand, the faculty has not embraced a single set of information technology skills. Instead, they choose and adapt technologies according to the pedagogical and disciplinary requirements of their chosen inquiry. In the immediate future, library and information resources should invite the teaching faculty into a discussion about whether the campus has any broad consensus about ITL. Long ago, the college committed to writing across the curriculum and allocated significant institutional resources to encourage that work—without proscriptive limits or standards. A wider discussion about ITL could produce a similar vision and a commensurate amount of institutional support. In the long run, such a vision will shape our understanding of digital scholarship in the liberal arts.
Future Aspirations and Challenges for Instruction
Because there are fewer librarians, the teaching rotations have taken their toll. Specifically, the librarians can’t attend consistently to administration; they struggle to support all areas of the curriculum; and they have not been able to respond to proposed increases in hours for the reference desk. Further, reference desk service has changed as the Internet creates patrons who access our resources from remote locations. Most immediately, virtual patrons do not benefit from the teaching that takes place at the reference desk. As the physical reference desk diminishes in importance, faculty who rotate into the library are limited in their opportunities to learn about library resources through interactions with patrons. These trends, challenges, and problems should inform the reference group as they consider how to proceed in allocating team responsibilities with or without an increase in the number of library faculty.
The reference group should evaluate service to areas of the curriculum that report or demonstrate less involvement in the various forms of information and consider whether more or different instructional support would be appropriate or desirable. For instance, one of the science librarians retired, leaving one librarian to cover all SI programs. Because this librarian teaches intensively in a few programs, many SI programs may be underserved. Thus, the next library faculty hire should probably emphasize scientific expertise.
The process-based ITL assessment project revealed that library faculty should encourage peer groups among student researchers as a means for developing research skills and strategies. The science librarian who does intensive, embedded instruction, works with students as they write bibliographies, which become the basis for evaluating the effectiveness of student research. Some of the other librarians evaluate bibliographies as well. This approach could be more broadly applied to programs across the curriculum, where students are required to research competently and to represent their work clearly in bibliographies, abstracts, research papers, essays and stories. Faculty librarians may want to explore evaluating research results more commonly as they develop their ties with programs and faculty in all disciplines. As librarians become more involved in each stage of research, including writing or production, they should be able to provide more consistent support to students. Of course, such a proposal might prove unmanageable, albeit pedagogically sound, because there are already too few librarians to meet potential demand from the curriculum. On the other hand, the academic year cycle generates intensive demands for instruction in the fall, with a significant reduction in some areas of the curriculum in the winter and spring. These quarters may provide opportunities for the kind of follow-through described here.
Academic Computing and the Library Faculty should explore connections with the Quantitative and Writing Centers. The many overlapping values and concerns of these areas seem obvious. In fact, the barriers that persist seem to reflect different philosophies of service—specifically, of public service—rather than intractably divergent views of teaching and learning. For instance, students do a great deal of the teaching in the writing center, whereas faculty librarians consider teaching to be the center of their work. Yet everyone agrees that student-centered instruction is one of the best modes of learning.
Today, commonly used media applications, once physically limited to Media Services, are now found throughout the facilities administered by Academic Computing and, to a degree, by the Library. Similarly, library resources, once physically limited to the library building, are found anywhere one can reach the web. Computers, once found only in the Computer Center, are everywhere. These shifts have accelerated over the past ten years and have changed the instructional roles of the areas and their relationship to the curriculum. Undoubtedly, library and information resources will continue to distribute their resources in support of wider access for programs and individuals. As technologies have changed, so have the relationships among the Library, Media Services, and Computing, which now share in the communal project of networking our information and technological resources. At this juncture, there seems little point in redesigning the administrative structures that oversee these areas because new relationships and responsibilities have evolved organically, based on need, demand, and interest. While the Library and Media Services collaborate, as a matter of course, with Academic Computing, the real challenge remains: How to engage the teaching faculty in the intensive and ongoing technological changes that surround and inform our work.
Cross Curricular Information Technology Literacy
Media Services has traditionally kept broad, cross-curricular, critical media literacy in the forefront of their work. Media Services does this by administering and developing the information technology delivery systems across campus as well as through instruction. At the same time, the locus of cross-curricular media instruction has spread, moving some media applications into Academic Computing and into the hands of students. While Media Services staff work heavily with Expressive Arts faculty, Academic Computing works more broadly across the curriculum with basic media and computing applications. As these shifts unfold, library and information resources should facilitate cross-divisional conversations about information technology literacy, making a special effort to include faculty who focus their teaching on media and technology. The goal of these conversations should be to thoughtfully engage everyone on campus who has a stake in how computing and media are taught. Library and information resources can foster collaboration by developing faculty institutes and faculty/staff summer working groups where participants can explore digital scholarship and best practices in the liberal arts..
Information Collections and Services
Description of Information Collections & Services
The academic community views the Library as a center for teaching, which means that our collections and resources reflect the curriculum. In fact, all of our services are defined by the fluidity of interdisciplinary and individual study. The Dean of Library Services strengthens the ties between academics and Library and Media Services through meeting weekly with the Provost, Associate Vice President for Academic Budget and Planning and the Academic Dean of Budget. Every other week, the Director of Computing & Communications and the Manager of Academic Computing also join the Academic Deans meeting.
Without the benefit of departmental allocations, the library faculty develops collections to support the changeable and interdisciplinary curriculum. The librarians build collections on the basis of their own teaching, governance, and affiliation with planning units. [Exhibit: list of librarian and staff dtf assignments]. The faculty at large develops the curriculum in planning units and at retreats, an ongoing process that is not subject to managerial or committee review. Because they participate actively in curriculum planning, the librarians know how to build relevant collections. This process is strengthened by faculty who rotate into the library and lavish their attention on areas of the collection related to their disciplinary expertise. Finally, librarians honor most initial requests for additions to the collection, working from the assumption that free inquiry and individual research are central to the library’s mission
The library has struggled to satisfy research demands that lie outside the boundaries defined by the evolving curriculum and independent student research, especially requests for more specialized materials. Recently, most books can be supplied through the SUMMIT system, which includes over 30 academic librarians from Oregon and Washington, all available within two or three days. Many of the more specialized materials are also now supplied by periodicals databases, which have expanded eight to nine times over the self-study period. Although parts of aggregated periodicals databases are often less than appropriate for academic research, specific titles and collections have been added thoughtfully, within the framework of the academic mission. Consortial purchases have reduced per-title costs dramatically and most consortial collection development is done with academic libraries. Finally, ILLiad, the on-line interlibrary loan system, brings journal articles to the mailboxes and email accounts of students within days (or even hours) of ordering. There are almost no discernable limits to accessing published information for any researcher except those who need to present within 24 hours. Nevertheless, Orbis-Cascade, the umbrella consortium which administers SUMMIT, is exploring collaborative collection development to ensure both the depth of the shared collections and the appropriate coverage of local collections. Ideally, students and faculty should be able to quickly find monographs to answer their widest and deepest inquiries.
Support for Freely Chosen Intensive Media Production
Like the Library, Media Services serves the entire academic community, from programs to individuals. And, like the library, Media Services strains under the pressure of answering the needs of freely chosen independent study. Students working on independent media productions compete with Expressive Arts programs over scarce resources, from equipment to laboratories to teaching staff. In order to balance these competing demands, Media Services requires students and faculty to submit Media Request Forms, which are reviewed by the Media Services Manager and the Head of Instruction Media, who allocate resources, both human and technological. Individual Contract forms include a checkmark for special equipment or facilities, and the academic deans who review the forms use this as a safety net for screening intensive media use. In these ways Media Services assures that students who embark on media studies do so with the appropriate support. The Expressive Arts planning unit also instituted a Student Originated Studies (SOS) group contract in media in order to assure more consistently that students have access to facilities and instructional support as they pursue their independent projects.
Service Desks and Facilities
Faculty librarians have transformed the reference desk into a teaching space, which goes well beyond traditional service models. For this reason, there is generally a librarian at the desk during all hours that the library is open to the public. From this position, librarians are prepared to teach patrons how to develop and pursue their research topics. Each contact between a librarian and a patron represents an opportunity to teach and learn. In collections, web page design, signage, collection organization, and creation of virtual services, the librarians ask what can be taught through the new design, service or collection. For example, broad aggregate databases have been purchased because they are cost-effective, but the librarians also emphasize and teach comparatively expensive digitized indexes which refer students more deeply into the discipline-based literature of their inquiries.
Government Documents, Periodicals, the Sound and Image Library (SAIL), Circulation, Media Loan, Photo Services, including Photoland (Instructional Photo), and Electronic media all have public services desks which provide access to collection and/or allow patrons to schedule lab space, reserve equipment, and ask for technical help. From anywhere on campus, faculty can phone EM for assistance in using classroom technologies. For a complete list of information desks see Appendix III.
The Information Technology Wing
Library and information resources has devoted significant energy to networking across departmental boundaries. With the generic library as a foundation and the interdisciplinary curriculum as the context, merged collections and services build upon an alternative past. The major remodel planned and implemented during the self-study period substantially strengthened opportunities for networking services, facilities and staff. One central, broad entrance provides access to the Library, the Computer Center, Media Loan and the stairs to Electronic Media, Photo Services and Computing and Communications. A large staircase which hides this entrance from the view of individuals entering the building is being removed in the current, second phase of the library building remodel.
The remodel was shaped by a communal commitment to teaching and interdisciplinary study. Collaborative study spaces predominate, whether open area study tables, grouped lounge furniture, pod-shaped arrangements in labs or small group study and media viewing rooms. Wireless access (almost ubiquitous on campus now) allows informal group work around personal or library-owned laptops. Additional laboratory spaces provide easier scheduling for program work and more computers for individuals when classes do not use the labs. Limited quiet study areas provide an alternative for the solitary scholar, but group work is the norm and encouraged.
Art exhibitions invite patrons into lounge and study areas and help define the library as a public space. The new basement lounge, affectionately dubbed the Library Underground, hosts frequent campus gatherings and public readings, although flooding (a new issue since the remodel) has seriously disrupted the area. Groups from across campus meet and teach in library spaces, which are open to all.. The media collections are prominently located in the reference area, where SAIL staff work closely with the reference librarians. Contiguous with SAIL is the Assisted Technology Lab, an emerging resource that has become a vital meeting place for students to work but also to show their art and media productions. Again, SAIL and reference staff provide service and technical support for ATL patrons. As the physical reference collection continues to shrink, reference, SAIL, the ATL, and circulation will merge to form a more cohesive unit with a prominent public presence. Overall, the Information Technology Wing has shed barren hallways and utilitarian desks in favor of lounge areas and comfortable study spaces. Wireless connections, our collection of laptop computers, overstuffed couches and chairs, large tables, task lighting, and spacious collections all contribute to the spirit of conviviality that informs the work of shared inquiry.
The remodel also brought the Writing and the Quantitative and Symbolic Reasoning Centers into the main floor of the library, physically centralizing many academic teaching and learning support functions. This physical relationship has the potential to become an instructional and intellectual connection as well.
Blending Lab Facilities
As specialized labs have evolved over the self-study period, Academic Computing and Media Services have blended facilities. Historically, Academic Computing focused on the physical computer center and on-site teaching and technology training for students and faculty, usually covering specific skills such as Word. The specialty labs (CAL, MML, DIS, ACC) focused on more specialized, content-specific software and hardware. The specialized labs, with supporting instruction, assist students as they produce media, engage in collaborative critiques, and embark on specialized projects.
Today, students often come to higher education having already developed an array of computer skills. They often extend their skills through individual or ad hoc methods such as on-line tutorials and peer instruction, and working with personal computers. Distinctions among library, media, computerized information technology-- not to mention between academic and personal applications--disappear as the average laptop or workstation runs applications that once required specialized and expensive hardware and software. Accordingly, the distinctions between general and specialized technology labs have blurred. The main computer center includes many specialized scientific software packages such as ArcGIS and Mathematica, while standard graphic manipulation software, such as Photoshop and Illustrator, appear in the CAL. Similarly, the Computer Center supports high-level statistics applications such as R as well as digital music editing. The library computers provide basic Office applications and general web access in addition to library-specific searches, but specific library computers also provide GIS, Dreamweaver, Photoshop, assistive/adaptive technology and scanning applications. Additionally, Academic Computing has changed access to networked facilities to reduce distinctions for students working across lab spaces. One user domain and single sign-on mean simpler, more consistent access to networked resources across campus.
Some specialty labs have self-contained resources, such as large format printers and applications requiring more sophisticated hardware. However, the primary distinction among labs is the level of expertise and specialized knowledge of the staff. Students benefit when they know who to ask for help, no matter what facility they are using.
The Information Technology Collaborative Hive (ITCH) provides the most formal mechanism for collaboration around technology across the various parts of the college. Evergreen supports three ITCH groups: Academic, Administrative, and Core. The Academic ITCH meets at least once a month and includes professional staff from each of the primary technology labs, faculty, and interested students. The Academic ITCH coordinates general academic IT initiatives, helps develop general academic computing policy, and guides strategic planning. Professional staff members in each of the primary technology areas have developed strong connections to discipline-specific slices of the curriculum, faculty and academic administration. As ITCH develops, the members will explore ways to communicate and plan in cross-disciplinary and cross-divisional programs. ITCH provides one of the necessary cross-curricular and cross-division contexts for developing information technology across administratively distinct areas.
Analysis & Assessment of Information Services and Collections
Library Use & Satisfaction Rates
Although Library and information resources provides a wide array of services, the question still remains whether the services are effective. Institutional Research routinely surveys alumni and students about campus resources. Over time, responses regarding the Library and Computer Center have been strikingly positive. Students reported the Library and Computer Center among the most highly used services or facilities, with high user satisfaction levels as well. Library use rates were 99% in 1998; 97% in 2002; 97% for on campus users and 94.2% for off campus students in 2004. User satisfaction rates were 75.5% somewhat or very satisfied in 1998 and 85% somewhat or very satisfied in 2002. The student experience survey (ESES) of 2006 reports that 95% of respondents use the library. Computer Center users were 94% of respondents in 1998, 96% in 2002 and 92% for on campus students and 93.4% for off campus students in 2004. In the 2006 student experience survey, 88.5% of students reported using the computer center.
Despite the radically changing information environment, the physical library has experienced only a slight reduction in use: 4% from 1998 to 2006. The Computer Center also has enjoyed heavy use over time, with some reduction in 2006 as more and more students use their own laptops on campus; the survey that year showed that 91% of students have their own computers. Satisfaction rates for the Library and Computer Center remain the highest for any services on campus.
Starting in 2006, the ESES included questions about using library resources online and found that 85.2% of respondents use online library resources. Internal records also suggest phenomenal growth in online use of library resources. In 2000, when the library subscribed to three aggregate databases (Proquest, Ebscohost and JSTOR), users conducted 80,000 searches. In 2006, with approximately 30 subscription databases, there were more than 262,677 searches. Careful review of variations of use from year to year reveals the direct impact a fluid curriculum has on database use. For example, Modern Language Association International Bibliography statistics are quite erratic; one major project in a large academic program explains a five-fold increase of use in one year. As JSTOR has developed into a more deeply and broadly multi-interdisciplinary tool, use statistics show a shift away from heavy dependence on the less scholarly aggregates. Extensive lobbying by faculty and librarians encourages this shift toward use of scholarly resources such as JSTOR.
Media Services User Surveys
ESES also surveyed students about their use of Media Services, which showed 48% use of Media Loan and 89.6% somewhat or very satisfied. This data has been supplemented by Media Services staff member, Lin Crowley, who surveyed campus members about their use of Media Services for a Masters in Public Administration project. Ms. Crowley designed her project to include not only use statistics but also user satisfaction, in an attempt to elicit requests for additional services. Crowley’s respondents reported an average satisfaction level for each service ranging from 3.07 to 3.62 (out of 4), which indicated that those users who used current services are generally fairly satisfied with each of the services that they use.
Despite the fact that the respondents to Crowley’s survey were largely active Media Services users, many respondents were uninformed about some services. Although students supported investment in new digital technologies, most of these students were also unaware of new or planned digital facilities. One clear conclusion of the survey is that visibility and access could be better for some media services. For instance, some respondents suggested ways to improve access, whether through longer hours, more workshops or more facilities. The survey project director recommended that future follow-up surveys be conducted to compare whether the reasons people use each service change and to evaluate the satisfaction levels for each type of services by patron types. [Exhibit: Crowley, Lin. Media Service Survey]
Comparing Use Statistics With Other Libraries
In 2002, the Library entered SUMMIT, a consortium of 4-year public colleges and universities across Washington and Oregon, which allows students to make on-line requests, and have items mailed quickly to Evergreen. Of the five institutions in Washington which added the service at the same time, Evergreen had the fastest take-off. Evergreen patrons borrowed 9,723 during the first year, more than any other library, even though Evergreen is by far the smallest institution in the consortium. At ten times Evergreen’s size, the University of Washington borrowed just under 7,000 items during that first year. It took a year for the University of Washington to surpass Evergreen, while other institutions had not done so even in 2006. Although one might assume that small collection size drives this higher demand, the fact is that Evergreen students also use their local collection at higher rates than their peers in the SUMMIT consortium.
The Evergreen community adapted quickly to SUMMIT because Library and information resources communicated effectively about the service, offering instructional support across the main campus and its satellites. The Circulation staff willingly bore the burden of this task from the outset. Lower early use rates at other institutions may be the result of staff deliberately implementing the service at a more measured pace. On the other hand, Evergreen implemented SUMMIT at full force, bravely and successfully assuming the institutional impact of this significant change.
In 2004, liberal arts college use statistics were compared with those of small masters level universities (Carnegie Class Masters I), with surprising results.
At the first level of use, the walk into the library, Evergreen’s average gate count per FTE was 1.8, Masters universities were at 1.4 and Liberal arts colleges averaged 2.77. At the next level, the patron checks out a book. At the third level, the patron identifies materials from libraries beyond his own and requests an interlibrary loan (ILL). Because SUMMIT statistics are counted as either circulations or interlibrary loans, depending on how individual library report, these latter two categories of use must be combined. The comparisons speak to Evergreen Library’s dynamic patronage: students borrow (via ILL and circulation) an average of 36 items, while the masters level institutions borrow only 1.55, and the liberal arts colleges nationally borrow an average of 34.
The same dramatic distinction between liberal arts colleges and universities appears in the SUMMIT consortium, which covers the full gamut of colleges and universities in Oregon and Washington. Following is a chart which ranks the top half of the 31 libraries in the region based upon their rates of use of SUMMIT, and shows Evergreen high on the list of the higher ranked liberal arts colleges, all well above usage rates at more comprehensive institutions.
|Library||# Items borrowed||FTE||Items/FTE|
|G. Fox U.||14,427||2,392||6.03|
|E. Ore. U.||4,620||2,306||2.00|
Looking at national data, the following table compares the averages of various commonly used Evergreen peer groups:
Evergreen students use their library in ways that reflect a strong commitment to the practices of liberal arts colleges. Colleges that significantly surpass Evergreen’s use rates often engage in particular academic practices which require extensive research, in particular, the senior thesis project. For instance, Reed College shows 120 items per student and New College of Florida, 89.
Comparing IT Facilities with Other Institutions
The information technology consultant Edutech compared Evergreen’s budget for IT with peer institutions. Edutech compared Evergreen to similar schools on the basis of physical environment, enrollment numbers, education goals and aspirations, residential nature, tuition, and governance structure and determined that Evergreen devotes considerable resources to IT and is consistent with its peers in that regard . In 2005, Evergreen’s expenditure on IT—expressed as a percentage of total institutional expenditures—was 6.7%. This percentage aligns with the 6.7% reported by Computing in a 2006 survey of public four-year colleges. The average for all institutions was 6.5%.
Responsiveness to Rapid Change in the Information Environment
Among the organizations included in Library and information resources, the Library is the largest and most embedded in professional traditions and may be the most invested in pre-existing structures and assumptions. The question remains how well Library and information resources balances the competing demands of conservation, teaching, and technological adaptation and innovation. In fact, as librarians devote themselves to teaching, they may neglect other responsibilities, from management to collection development in the digital age. As librarians rotate into the full-time curriculum, they temporarily leave behind reference work, management, administration, and collection development. Any sustained work, such as web-page development, is interrupted by these regular absences. On the other hand, full-time teaching faculty rotate into library as neophytes who need training and who present with widely disparate skills, abilities, and ambitions. Beyond the system of rotation—with its concomitant duties-- librarians are contractually obligated to participate in college governance, curriculum planning, not to mention their own scholarly projects and sabbaticals. Further, librarians have nine-month contracts and are often absent during the summer sessions when the Library is minimally staffed. These organizational facts mean that Evergreen has no managerial class of librarians. Instead, the team of faculty librarians share management with staff. Paraprofessionals head almost all departments, including Government Publications, Periodicals, Technical Services, and Acquisitions. Their year-round presence and regular workdays provide consistency for development of services, maintenance of collections, public service, and supervision of both classified staff and students workers. In this collaborative environment, staff often lead the way in adopting new services. The tremendous commitment by the staff grounds the library and makes it an ideal teaching environment. The success of the Library’s flat organization can be measured by the ways in which the group has responded to institutional and profession-wide challenges. Appendix IV lists major changes in services, faculties and collections implemented during the study period—most responding to opportunities provided by technological developments.
Conclusion: Assessing Library and Information Resources Collections and Services
Library and information resources has been deeply influenced by the organizational habits of the college, habits of collaboration, egalitarian ideals, fluidity, face-to-face interactions, non-departmentalization, and interdisciplinary inquiry. The result is a responsive, flexible, evolving set of services and resources. Library and information resources faculty and staff work across the digital divide, regardless of where services reside administratively, in order to fuse traditional library services, information services, computing, and media. Library and information resources assesses technology within the context of Evergreen’s particular curriculum and implements new applications incrementally in collaborative processes involving all three areas of service and the teaching faculty. As part of that work, Library and information resources has had the distinct historical advantage of presuming that information comes in all formats and that it is not only possible but advisable to break down as many barriers as possible to access information in all its forms. In this, Library and information resources is shaped by its founding vision, the generic library, an idea whose time is now.
Future Aspirations and Challenges for Collections and Services
Continue Blending More Functions within Library and information resources
Library and information resources supports a surprisingly diverse infrastructure of technologies and media in the curriculum. For greatest efficiency, Library and information resources should considered more coordination across boundaries to provide technology support. For instance, students should be able to move more seamlessly between different areas, such as CAL, MML, and the Computer Center. Certainly, the pathways between areas could be more clearly articulated by evaluating common services, including printing, building and maintaining image sets, server filespace, and common software. By taking better advantage of the network infrastructure, students will experience less confusion, and IT staff who directly support the curriculum could dedicate more energy toward coordinating, developing and designing IT strategies with academic programs instead of maintaining redundant infrastructures. Of course, such changes would require Academic Computing staff to work more intensively in curriculum planning, a change of focus by IT specialists who previously devoted themselves more to infrastructure. In support of these possibilities, Library and information resources should discuss models for integrating curricular support and instruction.
Library and information resources needs to develop a shared perspective on its public presence. One possibility for representing the blended facilities and services is a central help desk for the information technology wing. Once the central staircase is removed, the shared entrance to the wing will become a prominent architectural feature and an opportunity to reshape the community’s understanding of what we collectively represent. A central help desk would provide basic information about facilities, services, and staff, and it would help facilitate how efficiently patrons move between the various floors of the wing. Continued attention to the best use of the Library Underground should be part of this process; a large, flexible teaching and gathering space is developing there and appropriate equipment will be needed to support that vision. Concurrently, assuring safe conditions for the adjacent Archives and Rare Books Collections is critical.
Construction of the Center for New Media will begin soon. This project has distinct relevance to the changing roles of Media Services, the Library and Academic Computing within the evolving digital liberal arts. The CNM will comprise a collection of media production studios and equipment to complement and complete existing Media Services and Academic Computing media resources and provide the primary bridge between the campus media infrastructure and networked digital resources. For a discussion of the CNM and related curricular projects see Appendix V.
The Library will continue to actively develop a new library front page and database search pages. The library is currently engaged in discussions with the college web designers who may be willing to maintain the library front page without exerting too much control over content. The Orbis-Cascade consortium may develop a shared catalog front-page, which the library will consider as well. Currently, the reference group is researching the commercial options for federated searching to replace Meta-find, which was found to be completely unacceptable as currently formulated.
The last self-study emphasized the library audio/visual collection. Since then, one-time funds have frequently been infused, and the collection has grown significantly. SAIL staff and selectors have emphasized both new titles and replacement of older formats and worn copies. The library anticipates circulating the collection through SUMMIT, which will increase wear.
SAIL has demonstrated its continual need for supplemental funds, which provides a strong argument for a permanent increase in the budget allocation. Selectors should still have the flexibility to purchase various formats from their funds for print monographs, but a stable and larger allocation for the SAIL budget would lessen the need to do so and reduce irregularities in expenditures, workload and processing. During Winter of 2008, the reference group will review the materials budgets with the intention of reallocating funds according to the curricular demands for video and digitized reference resources. If these discussions result in a larger budget for SAIL, more staff will be required to order and process the additional items. Additionally, the staff will be more deeply involved in researching web-based media collections. This process will develop in concert with the push to digitize archival collections, including photographs, video, and copies of faculty artwork. The Center for New Media will take the lead in this ongoing project.
During the self-study period, the budget for purchasing monographs was cut, starting with $49,000 reduction in 02/03. In 04/05, $25,000 was transferred out of the monographs budget and into Periodicals/Reference. These cuts have been partially restored through a yearly allocation of $45,000 from Indirect Cost (soft money produced largely from grant activities involving research) and $10,000 from Library Fines, leaving a cut of $20,000. There have been no new allocations in response to inflation. The monograph budget should be restored, even as periodical titles continue to grow in number and inflate in price, and even as we commit more resources to SAIL. Any new (or reinstated) funding should not automatically be applied across the board. For instance, cuts in science monographs are balanced by burgeoning periodical titles, which tend to answer more inquiries in the sciences than do monographs.
Because of the SUMMIT and ILLiad systems, the collections do not need to be designed to support individual students who engage in inquiries that lie outside the collection profile. However, SUMMIT use will allow the library to identify weaknesses in the collection that result in areas of high borrowing rates from other institutions. The data from SUMMIT should be analyzed in three years, at which point we will decide if such data are useful in developing the collection. Additionally, the library will participate with other SUMMIT institutions in shared collection development.
The library will continue to take advantage of the significantly increased purchasing power created by consortial agreements for periodical and other database purchases. The library needs to keep an eye on the time and expertise necessary to keep up with the ever-increasing work of evaluating these agreements, purchases and contracts and the technical work to support electronic resources and may want to consider creating a position for managing electronic resources. A centralized specialist working on electronic resources would potentially help the selectors, by consistently researching and disseminating information about new products.
Budgets and Support for Rapidly Evolving Information Technology
While the Edutech report gave Evergreen good marks for its budgetary support of information technology, the report also recommended that “to follow current best practices, the replacement cycle should be permanently funded and the operations budgets need to be raised regularly to reflect the increase in technology-equipped classrooms, the increased number of servers and desktop computers that must be supported, and other increases in the technology base.” The college has begun to address this issue, proposing permanent line items in the next biennium for replacing the core server and desktops. This movement toward more permanent allocations for replacement and repair will help ensure that the infrastructure can support the curriculum. Although ITCH can play only an advisory role, it has participated actively in the process of establishing permanent allocations, setting priorities, and sharing resources. Beyond budgets, Media Services, the Library, and especially Academic Computing need more instructors who focus on developing IT literacy across the curriculum. These specialists would work directly with the faculty and students, mentoring them through a technological landscape even more mutable than Evergreen's curriculum and should be a high priority for Academic ITCH in its role of advocacy for IT across the curriculum.
The remodeled Technology Wing created more teaching spaces and more technology. While labs are equipped with computers for each student, most classrooms include a computer along with projection and LCD display systems. The library plans to add more study lounges with computer access. But, most urgently, the library should convert one of its classrooms into a lab. At this point, Library and information resources and Academic Computer can adequately support the computer facilities distributed across campus, but that’s about it. As enrollment creeps up toward the target of 5,000, the college will have to add additional resources—human and technological.
Media Loan has the daunting task of providing portable digital equipment at the same time that it struggles to maintain older analog equipment, such as Super 8. This double-duty creates problems with storage, with the maintenance of equipment for which many parts are no longer available, and with and teaching both the old and the new. Methods for resolving these competing demands are not sufficiently developed and should be addressed.
The Media Services area brought on-line a Web-based circulation system that greatly improves the efficiency of Media Loan. Unfortunately the college hasn't been able to add a funding line for the annual maintenance contract and software updates. Electronic Media authored an extensive Filemaker Pro-based system for space scheduling, equipment tracking, inventory control and work order controls. Computing staff only minimally supported this effort. These systems are critical to the area operations, and need to be integrated into the broader campus programming support schema.
The Arts Annex does not enjoy media, a/v or networked technology. In order to project art images, the faculty must use Seminar II classrooms, far removed from their studio space in the Annex. Ideally, the Art Annex should be equipped with projection and networked equipment that will allow programs to integrate the many web-based image resources into their curriculum.
The Media Services chargeback system has been an important tool for supplementing equipment/software and student hourly budgets based on actual use. A white paper on the chargeback process was written so that the college administration could review this practice. [The white paper?] [The administration?] recommended that Media Services decrease its reliance on the chargeback system and, instead, transfer funds into Photo Services, Electronic Media and Media Loan to support the academic and production needs of the college. This is still under consideration. [Exhibit: Chargebacks in Media Services]
Appendix I: Information Technology Literacy as reported in End of Program Reports
The survey asks faculty to describe their inclusion of information technology in programs. While the descriptions and definitions are idiosyncratic, it is still possible to track patterns of technology use across planning units. The table below portrays response rates for information technology sorted into five categories and organized by planning unit or interdisciplinary status (core and interarea programs). Other than library research, the categories distinguish between in-depth disciplinary tools used almost exclusively by one or two planning units (media production and specialized scientific applications) and more basic, cross-curricular entry-level tools which might reasonably be taught in a wide array of contexts (presentation media and basic computer applications such as Excel, social software or courseware, or simple webpage creation). The two categories of cross-curricular tools (presentation media and basic computer applications), might be considered common components of basic information technology. Extremely widely utilized applications such as word processing are not considered at all, as they are nearly ubiquitous and thus rarely appeared in the reports.
|End of Year Program Reviews: ITL|
|Planning||# programs||Research||Presentation||Basic Comp||Media Prod||Spec. Comp.|
|*Includes Powerpoint, Illustrator; manipulated playback|
|**Includes Excel, classroom management applications, program blogs, tserv, webpages|
What emerges from this study is a picture of how faculty teach or include information technology literacy according to the content of their programs. Clearly, no single definition of appropriate information technology literacy applies across any significant portion of the curriculum. The data provides some insight into how students develop information technology experience at a college where there are no requirements or ITL standards. What follows is a summary of the various emphases and interests in information technology expressed through end-of-program reports, with an emphasis on planning units and curricular structures:
Predictably, the CTL planning unit reported the least involvement with information technology, even including library research. At 39% of programs reporting library research, CTL is lowest of all planning units except SI. More unexpectedly, CTL reports media production work at 19%, which is higher than either presentation technology or other forms of basic computer use. Obviously, a significant portion of CTL faculty focus on close reading and thoughtful engagement with assigned texts, avoiding the search for external authorities. They also are more likely to use media production as a vehicle for storytelling, analogous to texts.
· SI also places less frequent emphasis on library research, with 35% of programs reporting involvement. Perhaps original research—fieldwork and labs-- might supplant an emphasis on library research in some programs. The culture of the science planning unit may also presume that students are able to independently research their topics.
Despite a strong focus on non-scholarly and non-print texts and expression, Expressive Arts nevertheless works with library research in a respectable 43% of programs.
Core programs, where one might expect strong emphasis on basic academic skills development, report only 55% engagement in library research.
Remaining planning units report library research in between 50% and 63% percent of their programs
Inter-area programs, on the other hand, have the highest attention to research, at 63%.
A different picture emerges when planning units were surveyed about their use of more specialized media production and computer applications. That is, 63% of expressive arts programs report use of media production; and 48% of SI programs report use of specialized computer applications. Not surprisingly, SI reports 4% use of media production while expressive arts reports 0% scientific applications. There is modest use of media production in other areas (19% in CTL; 13% in SPBC) and almost no use of specialized computer applications in planning units outside of SI and EA.
Media production appears outside of its disciplinary home in Core and Inter-area programs. As faculty from EA move into interdivisional teaching, media production appears in 29% of Core programs and 39% of inter-area programs. Scientific computing appears in only 5% of Core and 6% of inter-area programs. EWS programs offer 16% media production and 10% scientific computing in their \more specialized classes. Although team teaching is one of the college’s strongest faculty development tools, specialized media or scientific applications do not appear to be spreading via team teaching. Media Production disseminates more than specialized scientific computing.
To summarize, planning units show clear preferences. For instance, SI focuses heavily on a combination of presentation media (often Illustrator posters) at 46% and on specialized computing with less use or at least less mention of more basic computer applications. ES and SPBC are the most balanced in use of basic information technology tools. ES uses presentation media heavily (49%) and a fair amount of basic computer applications (39%). SPBC also uses presentation media in a substantial number of programs (38%) with basic computing in 29%. EA reports 26% of each basic technology, showing a commitment to using many types of information technology.
The interdivisional curriculum and the broad EWS programs show a different pattern. With a more distributed student body and with shorter class sessions concentrated in off-hours, EWS strongly depends on basic computing to support communication outside of the classroom (46%). Surprisingly, Core reports low use of presentation media (18%) and modest use of basic computing (29%). Inter-area programs are a bit more ambitious, with 26% use of presentation media and 22% use of basic computing, although media production is fairly well represented in inter-area programs at 39%.
Overall, 42% percent of programs work in both presentation media and basic computing. In general, this work happens more in advanced curriculum than at Core, where faculty focus on basic reading and interpretation. On the other hand inter-area programs provide more opportunities to develop a wider range of IT skills, presumably because students are better prepared and more experienced. A significant majority of programs use media and computing information technologies, from general to specialized applications.
Off-campus programs are not represented in the table, although they were surveyed about how they used information technology as a tool for communicating and for accessing academic resources. When Tribal programs were asked, “To what extent has your Evergreen experience contributed to your growth . . . using computer technology to present work, find information or solve problems, students responded, "Quite a bit" 44.8% of the time. In stark contrast, all other categories of students ranked computer use as last or 20th of 24 categories [Exhibit: http://www.evergreen.edu/institutionalresearch/studentexperiencesurvey2006responses.htm question 19]as a skill developed at Evergreen.
Presumably, students in more conventional settings feel that they come to college with their use of computers well established, or they developed their use outside of the curriculum. In addition, a larger percentage of faculty teaching off-campus programs leverage the on-line collaboration tools such as Learning Management Systems (LMS) and eportfolios to facilitate communication within the planning unit outside of class time. This brings a technology focus to the forefront for off-campus students. The Tacoma program, which reports out as a single program, but represents many tracks for hundreds of students, always includes a research and a media production component.
How does this spread of information technology instruction and use across the curriculum correlate to the teaching and support provided by library instruction? Library workshops for 2003 through 2007 show that although Core program focus is not particularly frequent (55%) compared to much of the curriculum, yet library faculty work heavily with that part of the curriculum. Librarians gave workshops to 40 core programs over the time period, the highest commitment other than to EWS, with its very high number of individual programs and classes. Thus while library research may not be as heavily covered in the Core curriculum as might be expected, faculty in core teams are reaching out for assistance in this aspect of the work very actively and the library is providing strong support.
Inter-area and social science curricula are also well supported by library instruction with 26 and 22 programs served. Self-reported library research in programs (63% and 60%)correlates well to library-based instruction. Thus while one might expect that interarea programs are able to include more information technology in their programs, this is not simply because students are already prepared or assumed to be prepared in basic skills such as library research. There might also be recognition that library research at the core level will be very different from what is expected in subsequent years.
The science and environmental studies curriculum show lower use of library instruction, with 12 and 15 programs requesting workshops. CTL, an area which reported comparatively little use of library research in programs, also utilized very little library instruction: librarians provided workshops to only four CTL programs.
Appendix II: Major Facilities
Following is a description of the major information technology facilities supporting academic work.
[Provide map of labs at least in library building]
Academic Computing operates the Computer Center located adjacent to the campus library. Media Loan is adjacent in the Information Technology wing. The Computer Center includes a large unscheduled, general access space plus four teaching labs, including two Windows classrooms, a Macintosh classroom, an Advanced Computing Classroom (ACC), each seating 25 students. Five academic computing staff manage the center and provide instructional and faculty support broadly across the curriculum, as described under teaching and instruction above.
The Academic Division operates the Computer Applications Lab or CAL, also known as Scientific Computing, located in Lab II, site of most of the campus laboratory facilities and dedicated science classrooms. The Computer Applications Lab is operated by two full time staff plus 8-10 student workers and is equipped with 50 PC’s, 8 laptops, 2 macbooks, and 4 Power Mac G5 workstations. The CAL features two independent teaching spaces each with 25 PC’s and projection. In addition to general computing software (MS Office, OpenOffice, Adobe Suite, IE, Firefox), the CAL hosts and provides support for a range of scientific software including GIS (ArcInfo), math (MathCad, Mathematica), statistics (R, SPSS, PC Ord, Kaleidagraph) genetics and chemical modeling (CN3D, Mega, Chemdraw) and programming (Labview, Python, .Net,) software. The CAL supports faculty, staff, and students working in the physical and environmental sciences. Strategic planning and integration with the curriculum occurs primarily through discussions with individual science faculty, curriculum deans, the Environmental Sciences (ES) and Scientific Inquiry (SI) planning units.
On the first floor of the library, Media Services runs the following facilities:
-The Multimedia Lab, a specialty lab that supports the media arts, offering resources for non-linear video editing, audio multi-tracking, 2-D animation, web design, graphical programming environments and 3-D modeling. The applications t includes Final Cut Pro, DVD studio Pro, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, IDVD, IMovie, Bias Peak, Digital Performer, Maya, MAX/MSP/Jitter and other media specific utilities and authoring environments. The area is supported with a full time staff, student intern and 10 student lab aides all trained in the software.
-Similar applications reside in the 2 24-hour access Non-Linear Video Editing suites.
-The Audio Mixing Benches are computer suites optimized for audio mixing, production, MIDI sequencing and composition. They are equipped with audio peripherals, keyboards, and full bandwidth speakers.
-The 5.1 Mix suite is an audio production facility for mixing in surround (5.1) audio formats for multimedia and DVD audio authoring. It has the highest resolution audio interfaces, and specialized software for creating many formats.
There are additional facilities in the Communication Lab building across campus managed by Electronic Media, Including;
-The two Eight track and single Sixteen track recording studios, with an excellent cross section of analog audio signal control and routing systems and computer based multi-tracking and music sequencing/composition software.
- The four Music Technology Labs, again with excellent analog and digital synthesis peripherals, recording and monitoring systems, and complete computer based editing, sequencing, synthesis and analysis applications.
-2D and 3D animation facilities with lighting, cameras, staging resources and digital video production stations using Final Cut studio, Aftereffects, Photoshop as well as other image processing based applications.
-A large traditional 16mm animation stand with a motion control system is located with other film based animation equipment.
-Film editing and viewing suites are also located in the area.
-Open users from across the curriculum have access to the Digital Imaging Studio (DIS) for still imaging, graphics, and web design. The facilities include ten PC workstations, many flatbed and film scanners, and two exhibition quality large format inkjet printers.
-Instructional Photography offers facilities for traditional B&W and color photography as well as a state of the art Digital Imaging Studio. Brand new facilities include a B&W lab, a color lab with a 42” print processor, photo studio, print finishing area, and critique space.
-Classes, workshops, and independent experimentation occur in the Instructional Photography facility, known as the Photo Center. Students must take proficiency training in order to use the Photo Center's equipment.
Academic Computing support two computer labs at the Tacoma program. Right now they have two labs (PC and Mac) and up until recently it has been supported by one technology systems specialist who also teaches intensively in the Tacoma curriculum. [How is this changing? Also, many of the reservation-based program facilities are abysmal--is this on the radar of academic computing at all?]
In context of the recent remodel of the library facility, various adaptive and assistive technologies (AT) for people with disabilities have been upgraded, expanded, and collected into several central locations. Principal among these developments is the new AT Lab located on the ground floor of the academic library. In the lab, there are three PC stations with a range of AT software applications and peripherals. One station is specialized to support people with physical mobility, sensory, and dexterity problems. One is specialized support people with cognitive and learning difficulties. One is specialized for high-end graphics and digital photography work, with an electronic height adjustable table as the only disabilities-related accommodation. The lab also contains a CCTV reading station for people with visual problems. Circulation maintains a selection of headsets and other peripherals for check out for use in the Lab. The lab also provides necessary hubs and make software settings available to support such items owned by lab users.
The lab environment provides the privacy and quiet necessary to many AT applications, and it also provides a haven and separate place where students and others in the disabilities community can mix socially or sit quietly together among themselves. In partnership with Access Services and Student Affairs, the faculty librarians supervise the AT Lab, its users, and the student interns that have made it a living place of shared support and learning for the disabilities community here at the college. Matching the AT equipment and software in the lab are two stations across the foyer in the General Computing Center. Disability accommodations for mobility problems in particular are also maintained in the Digital Imaging Studio in Photo Services and in the Multimedia Lab. There is a need for more equipment in other areas of the college, as well as dedicated staff to administrate and maintain AT equipment campus-wide.
The library remodel included three teaching spaces. Although none is currently configured as a lab significant thinking has gone into equipping and using the library underground, including one of the classrooms and the many study rooms as a good facility for large classes engaging in a variety of activities (seminar, media presentation, computer lab work, small group discussion, etc.). The two additional classrooms have full computer, network and media viewing. For laboratory style teaching, co-location with the computer center makes scheduling and using computer labs very easy and convenient. Typical of the variation among the rest of the faculty, some of the reference librarians prefer teaching in the library classrooms, some the computer labs, and some in the many classrooms on campus which now have web access and classroom display options.
Students find the public library computers configured to mirror applications in the computer lab so that students can work in either area. Printing is free in both environments. A desktop link to the CAL system supports fluidity across campus from the library public access computers. The library circulation desk provides laptops for use within the library, although more and more students bring their own and take advantage of the wireless access. Two multi-media stations (one on the Mac platform) in reference support slightly more specialized applications such as Dreamweaver and Photoshop with scanners for reproduction of materials which do not circulate from the library's collections.
Appendix III: Service Points
Following is a t of the many service points where students, faculty and staff receive help with library, media and information technology.
- Desktop Support Services for Faculty and Staff
Technical Support Services provides desktop services and support to all faculty and staff. This group prepares and deploys new equipment to faculty and staff, provides a drop-in counter for technical assistance, and phone and remote desktop support.
- Desktop Support Services for Students
Computer Center help desk and Housing provide the majority of desktop support to students although this is typically ad-hoc and informal since there is no organization on campus formally charged with this responsibility. This is done through an informal network of student support by students for students, with the occasional help from professional staff.
- On-line services
Through coordination with the developers and systems managers within Computing and Communications, a number of on-line resources and services are available to students and faculty. New online services include myEvals (for managing and writing narrative evaluations on-line), my.evergreen (account and resource management) and other services currently under development. The college also manages a host of on-line collaborative services for programs wishing to use them. This includes a content management system (drupal) for managing on-line content for a program such as discussions, chats, image galleries and a host of other services. Learning Management systems are available through Moodle which is supported by Academic Computing as on-line courseware. This tool allows students to engage in distance learning and faculty to manage threaded discussions, provide materials and readings on line and conduct surveys and quizzes remotely. E-portfolios are also available for faculty to use if they are looking for alternative tools to engage students who are geographically distributed (such as the Tribal and Reservation-based programs).
- Information desks in the Library
A variety of help desks are scattered among traditional library services and collections. In addition to the Reference Desk, the library operates the Sound and Image help desk which supports both audio visual collections and some basic media equipment for playback and transfer; the Assistive Technology Lab in conjunction with SAIL; Government Documents; Periodicals; Archives & Rare Books; Archives; and Circulation. Some collections are accessed primarily on the basis of appointments, such as Rare Books. Most of the services other than Reference and Circulation are minimally staffed outside the normal workweek, with Reference and Circulation serving as general backup for those areas when questions arise during off hours.
- Media help desks include Media Loan, a very large collection of portable media equipment available to students across the curriculum. Media Loan has an inventory of over 4,000 items and circulates audio/video and photographic equipment to support the academic and business needs of the college. It also houses the extensive advanced audio and video/film production equipment.
- Electronic Media has a help desk where users of the 40+ A/V classrooms can get assistance, training and hands-on help with preparing materials for use. There is a satellite office in the Seminar II building where an additional full time staff provides help in the cluster's 20+ A/V classrooms. At the help desk students and faculty can receive assistance with their audio and video productions as well as schedule any of the labs, get help with technical issues, arrange proficiency for studios, and get help from any of the technical staff. The adjacent Multimedia Lab is typically staffed with student or full time staff, providing hands-on technical help with applications. EM runs the campus multimedia production labs (e.g. the Multimedia Lab, Animation studios, video/editing suites and audio studios). EM also provides technical production support and services for academic and campus events.
- Photo Services offers a wide variety of professional photographic advice and services including film processing, film recording, copy work, passports, scanning and digital printing plus a store that sells photo supplies. Staff also offers professional photography services for portraiture, events, and college publications.
- The Instructional Photography help desk answers questions from students, faculty and community members about analog and digital image processing/manipulation and printing.
- Virtual access
With the digital turn in information technology, the library's collections and services have moved extensively on-line, where appropriate for this curriculum and pedagogy. The two major off-campus programs have been great beneficiaries of the digital turn: a huge number of new periodical titles and reference sources are now online; students may order interlibrary loan (ILLiad) and (SUMMIT) materials on-line; a toll-free telephone option has been added for access to the reference desk; on-line holds in the library catalog will cause materials to be sent directly to the homes of students or their campus. The lag in getting almost any materials to off-campus students is a few days at the most and the instructional support which has been the historical focus of service to off-campus works to assure that students know how to access these services.
Appendix IV: Achievements/Changes
Following is a t of the new services provided and collections developed over the past ten years, as Library and information resources has made the digital turn:
We implemented Innovative as the circulation system and were able to collaborate with other Washington and then Oregon academic libraries in order in circulate thousands of books, videos and sound recordings borrowed and lent from regional libraries using on-line ordering through SUMMIT (previously Cascade). 1 million system wide thus far (2006) . Categories of items which are shared have expanded frequently, so that most audio/visual materials are borrowable. Through SUMMIT, Evergreen students have complete access to walk in and check out collections of 30+ academic libraries around the region
Intensive collection development and circulation were made possible through networking. Periodicals subscriptions have increased from about 2,000 titles to over 17,000 titles (13,000 online) plus over 1600 free online journals linked to the catalog. Much of this dramatic increase has been made possible through increased leverage via cooperative purchases made with the other public 4-year institutions in the state or with the Orbis/Cascade Alliance covering Oregon and Washington. Most indexes and abstracts are on-line, including many discipline-specific academic indexes are on-line. About 400 reference sources are on-line. Students at Tacoma, the reservation-based programs, and Grays Harbor as well as those who are homebound away from campus or traveling as part of their independent work have complete access to these resources. The public still may access most of the resources if they come to campus. Fall of 2007, Serials Solutions MARC record updating service for e-journals replaced the manual maintenance and updating of a little over 16,000 records representing almost 30,000 urls or links.
The ILLiad system was implemented so that patrons may now make interlibrary loan requests on-line, be notified by e-mail and even receive digitized versions of many documents also via e-mail. The campus has implemented e-mail as the required method of communication with students, so that the library may now consistently use e-mail for notification for these and other materials received. Almost 8,000 items were ordered on-line in 2004, a jump of 70% from the previous year, another testimonial to the efficiency with which the word gets out about new information resources and methods.
Students are automatically set up with library accounts when they register, allowing off campus web access to subscription databases, ILLiad and SUMMIT, holds, and management of their accounts. Students at the reservation-based programs may have books mailed directly to their homes automatically through the on-line holds system. Students at Tacoma may have materials sent to the Tacoma campus. In fact, all users of SUMMIT may have items sent to any participating campus that is convenient to the user. A free long-distance phone reference service was established for the students on the reservations.
At the start of the self-study period the Government Documents collection was almost invisible. A new Government Documents specialist was hired at about that time who immediately began to develop an extensive web presence, providing clear pathways into the rapidly developing online federal and other government world. He also created hot topic pages that attracted significant interest from on and off campus. Overlapping the same period (1997-1999/2005, the physical government documents collection was cataloged, including paper, microfiche and maps. In Fall 2007, the library began using the Marchive tape service for maintaining Government Documents cataloging records.
The Media Services area has brought an on-line Web-based circulation system that greatly improves the efficiency of Media Loan. An automated scheduling system began in 2001. Much of the analog media equipment is being replaced with digital. Media Services has upgraded the Digital Imaging Studio, and tripled the size of the Multimedia Lab. A new design lab was added to the Communications Building. Access to the Tacoma campus, located 40 miles to the north, was improved by adding a video conferencing system that links the two campuses in 1998.
Media Service's instructional support is facilitated by the Head of Instructional Media, who works closely with faculty and media staff on workshop planning and meets regularly with the Academic Computing staff to promote integration and coordination of teaching support.
Because of an overall reliance on computer-based systems, Media Services added or reclassified four staff as Information Technology Specialists.
The very large Seminar II classroom building came on-line. Audio-visual and web display capabilities grace every classroom, bringing the number of AV classroom spaces on campus to 49. Thus, at this time, most faculty may assume that they will easily be able to use audio-visual, computer and web technologies in their programs at any time, with the notable exception of the Arts Annex. The electronic media section of Media Services supports all these classrooms, with two new staff positions.
Photo Services created an on-line photo collection/archive that is accessible to the campus community. The on-line digital imaging services have been enhanced and now provide Web-page design support to the campus.
The Sound & Image Library (SAIL) absorbed the Washington State Film Library collection of 1,578 DVD’s, 738 16mm films and 3,208 VHS tapes in 1998. In 2001/02, the Library decided to circulate videos to students as well as staff and faculty. Circulation jumped from 3362 to 8277 and now has leveled off at over 12,000 items per year.
The Sound and Image Library also continues to maintain and circulate a collection of over 80,000 slides, primarily art history images. A few faculty continue to use slides, but use of the collection has dropped significantly from more than 10,500 in 1999 to 2456 in 2007. Subscription to ARTstor in 2007 appears to be the easiest and most efficient way to provide most of the high quality teaching images needed for the curriculum. The library is exploring using ARTstor to make local work available, primarily work submitted by past and present Evergreen faculty [Exhibit: grant application]
As the physical collection of videos and music shifts toward new digital media, SAIL has also moved toward the purchase of a few really exceptional web-based collections and tools such as an on-line sound effects database and the Smithsonian collection of traditional music. Subscriptions to web-delivered media are the preferred medium for the foreseeable future because of their accessibility for off campus programs and at all hours.
Library computers were opened up to enable use for writing and producing, not just research. Web access and Office suite were made available and free printing continued. Two multi-media stations support scanning, image manipulation with Photo Shop, and web publishing with Dreamweaver. An experiment with color printing failed under the weight of its own popularity and this is still a gap in campus information services generally. Large-scale printing and high quality color printing are available in media services for a fee.
Creation of a new library catalog and services website has been a long-term desire, but catching up to the demands of web support has been a problem. Within the library there was not sufficient expertise or time to support any major redesign and simple upkeep with the existing pages was a major issue [other areas need to discuss this?]. Extensive discussions in 2006 finally lead to agreements among the staff about how to reallocated some of the new work generated by new digitized sources and the expectation for a web presence generally. Two successful library faculty hiring processes increased the level of expertise in the reference group and an active catalog redesign working group is well on its way, with expectation for a new library front page within the year which will include a quick search of the catalog on the front page, bringing the library search closer to the front of the college web presence. Recruitment strategists and web page analyses are starting to note the attention potential students and their parents are paying to library services as a way to assess colleges. Perhaps the library will be linked from the front page some day.
Staff and faculty work has shifted throughout the period to respond to these changing needs: 1) Reference was reduced due to an opening that came about during budget cuts. The reference desk is no longer double-staffed during peak hours in response to lower use rates as web searching has become commonplace for basic information needs. Use statistics for reference are problematic and have been throughout the history of the library. A recent revision in method has produced a huge drop in reporting reference contact, as did a revision in 98/99; this data is not trustworthy. Nevertheless, general attention to the role of the reference desk within the entire range of information instruction and services should continue. The Government Documents Specialist helps cover hours, as does the Reference Specialist. Approximately one half of one FTE was deployed to teaching a library internship, which generated extensive student support in all areas which choose to take part [Exhibit: links to syllabi, discussion about future of this project from Unsel self-eval]. The Archivist, who had supported the reference schedule moved to Archives full-time during the academic year in part in recognition of the major new spaces in a newly remodeled special collections are in the basement. 2) Staff in interlibrary loan, technical services and circulation were shifted to accommodate the new workflows supporting SUMMIT (a service which may be seen as either ILL or circulation); 3) the Acquisitions Specialist and technical services staff took on the ordering, cataloging and processing of digitized subscriptions which were not really serial publications in recognition of the shift in expenditures away from print monographs and toward digitized collections requiring annual payments; 4) substantial cross area conversations lead to workload changes as the overload of government documents cataloging was addressed and a Marchive service initiated [update]; 5)leadership for library catalog web development returned to the reference group as the expertise became available.
Appendix V: The Center for New Media
The CNM re-imagines and rethinks the traditional television studio and associated Master Control facility. In the new environment of network-based content from web to HDTV resolution, the CNM replaces the outdated production core with a flexible, current, and comprehensive production system for open authorship, independent production, and instantaneous distribution of multimedia content for the college and beyond.
Some specific function for the NMC include:
Provide a technical foundation for skills building in media production from web to HDTV resolution.
Promote and facilitate media literacy and technological proficiency across the curriculum.
Prepare media students with knowledge and production skills necessary for independent, commercial and other computer-based forms of production and distribution.
Provide current technical skills and access to broadcast standard technologies.
Provide for faculty and staff professional development in the realm of technical skills, distribution standards, and modern production.
Create an easy to use, A/V presentation space for recording and distribution of lectures.
Bring faculty training institutes and production opportunities back to a broad cross-section of the college.
Create a centralized technical resource to support initiatives developing format standards for digital archives and content collections.
Expand the college’s ability to produce interactive and streaming media content for and about the Evergreen learning community.
Enable faculty, students, and staff to format, store, and publish media in the wide range of formats currently available (from web to HDTV to Blu-ray and HDDVD standards).
Scheduled to be completed and included in the curriculum for Fall 2009/10, the CNM will help connect the use of specialized technology in the general liberal arts and the media-focused curriculum. Promoting the use of the facility across the curriculum and across levels of user proficiency and skill will be one of the primary goals for the CNM. Cross-curricular use and instruction are central to both the mission and function of the CNM as is increasingly true for all other academic information technology resources on campus.
Currently, a key project is planned to address the complex problem of media silos in the curriculum through the CNM. In keeping with one of Evergreen’s traditional pedagogical approaches, an emphasis on grounded, project-based learning, Library faculty and Expressive Arts media faculty are working with Library Archives and Media Services staff toward a digital archives project meant to involved the whole Evergreen community. The Evergreen Visual History Archives (EVHA) project will focus on the current generation of faculty retirements and new hires, occasioned by the thirtieth anniversary of the college’s founding. It will bring together faculty from across the curriculum, and at every range of career tenure, into numerous media training institutes focused on digitally preserving and celebrating the college’s past. The EVHA project, with the CNM as its hub, will enrich, expand, and even reinvent the existing uses of digital technologies on campus as participating faculty incorporate their experience into their teaching. Several academic programs that combine digital arts with history, political science, law, and anthropology are in consideration for 09-10 curriculum, with EVHA and the CNM at their center. The expectation, in this and other projects to come, the broad integration of the CNM into the curriculum to begin with media specialists and then to disseminate outward through years of shared planning, team teaching, and independent student work.
The focus on archives and collection and dissemination of digitized liberal arts knowledge will bring library interests into the CNM project. Meanwhile, the instructional role of the library faculty will continue to involve more digitized formats and media. The influence of the web has already dramatically changed library teaching at the reference desk and the library faculty have reduced their commitment to the reference desk due to both reduced faculty lines and reduced traffic. On the other hands, substantial increases in the Evening and Weekend curriculum have created a set of additional demands, spread over a wide range of the schedule, to be satisfied with a smaller team. The need for consistent support for and engagement with off-campus programs remains a difficult challenge.