Personnel are adequate in number and in areas of expertise to provide services in the development and use of library and information resources.
Sufficiency of Staffing (Standard 5.D.1)
5.D.1 The institution employs a sufficient number of library and information resources staff to provide assistance to users of the library and to students at other learning resources sites.
Library and information resources are generally sufficiently staffed, although rapidly expanding information technologies create weakness in some areas, despite reallocation of staff as media and technologies shift.
The Edutech Information Environment Review discusses staffing in Area 3. The report shows staffing when compared to similar institutions in terms of size, mission and culture, to be average. Support for classroom technology for Weekend and Evening programs was said to be weak and a position has been added to address this.
Following are the primary areas of concern:
- Support for rapidly expanded classroom technology on top of institutional growth
- Staffing for greater focus on curriculum planning and engagement with faculty in Academic Computing
- Staffing to support expanding electronic library resource collections (ordering, contracts, management, evaluation, etc.)
- Insufficient number of faculty librarians as in the next section
5.D.2 Library and information resources staff include qualified professional and technical support staff, with required specific competencies, whose responsibilities are clearly defined.
Most library faculty carry library and subject masters credentials in order to support their teaching in addition to their role as professional librarians. The credentials of the professionals are not an issue in the Library, however, the number of professionals may be. The library rotation model presumes that most of the professional librarians will function primarily as teachers. Thus management of the library is placed largely in the hands of high-level paraprofessionals. The table below shows just how strongly the Evergreen staffing model diverges from comparable libraries:
This has been a deliberate staffing decision which differs from traditional libraries. However, budget cuts during the self-study period lead to the loss of a library faculty line, further weakening the representation of professional librarians within the Library. This loss has been partially covered by reducing reference desk coverage, a change made in recognition of changing patron use patterns. As a result of the reduction in the number of library faculty, individual library faculty are spending more time out of the library teaching in the curriculum in exchange for the teaching faculty who rotate in. They are also taking more individual learning contract. This leaves even a smaller team in the library to cover work internal to the library beyond the reference desk. Librarians can’t attend as consistently to administration, they struggle to support all areas of the curriculum and keep up with solid attention to collection development, and they have not been able to respond to proposed increases in hours.
Many media staff and instructors also carry graduate degrees such as MFAs.
See List of advanced degrees among staff [to be compiled and uploaded]
See Modes of Instruction in Media and Academic Computing for a discussion of media instructors as artists and teaching faculty.
In the realm of technical IT support, the Edutech report recommended assigning "staff responsibilities more specifically." More specific responsibilities and positions have been implemented in Technical Support Services. In the smaller units where distributed service and instruction are provided (such as the CAL, Academic Computing and Media Services), this stricter delineation of support functions is not as clearly appropriate. Instead, it is often valuable for staff to be able to work on all or most aspects of the instruction or service required, in direct communication with the student, staff or faculty who needs help. For example, the liaison system in Academic Computing assumes that in most cases a faculty member will receive all aspects of support from one liaison, or that liaison will coordinate the support and instruction required.
All staff and faculty have engaged new skills as the information technology evolves. Multiple reclassifications have assured that staff job descriptions and pay scales match new expectations for technological expertise. Staff have also shifted the location of their work partially or in its entirety as budget cuts and new programs such as Summit and Illiad have changed where the greatest stresses occur. Great use of technology in many positions have lead to reclassifications and increases in salaries for some staff, resulting in compression of salaries for some managers. A campus-wide study of exempt salaries should address this issue.
5.D.3 The institution provides opportunities for professional growth for library and information resources professional staff.
The library faculty are fully funded for professional activities through the teaching faculty professional development funds and policies as well as through faculty institutes.
Library staff are funded through the campus Human Resources Department. This funding plan is in revision, moving the Library to a local professional development fund. Library-specific funding is requested in the 2009/11 college budget request currently under development.
See list of activities funded. [Need report here--inquiry out to Lee & Jean]
5.D.4 Library and information resources and services are organized to support the accomplishment of institutional mission and goals. Organizational arrangements recognize the need for service linkage among complementary resource bases (e.g., libraries, computing facilities, instructional media and telecommunication centers).
The fundamental organizing principle of library and information resources at Evergreen is that for an interdisciplinary curriculum, integrated services are critical. Beyond that, the founding vision aspired to providing all media, in any location. Contemporary networked technology and the expectations of students now create a climate in which barriers between different informations can and must be dissolved. For all these reasons, blended resources, facilities and services appear throughout Standard 5.
Today, media applications, once physically limited to Media Services, are located, maintained, taught and used throughout the facilities administered by Academic Computing and, to a degree, the Library. Similarly, library resources, once physically limited to the library building, are found anywhere within reach of the web. Public computers, once found only in the Computer Center, are everywhere, as are privately owned laptops. 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 budgets, facilities and staff to continue expansing access to information technology in academic programs and for individual students.
As technologies have changed, so have the relationships among the Library, Media Services, and Computing, which now share in the communal project of interconnecting, teaching and supporting 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 and will continue to do so. In order to make sure that these effective working relationships continue to develop, reinforcing connections such as joint staffing, deliberately planning together, and continuing involvement across the areas when hiring for new staff and particularly administrators must be emphasized.
The Edutech Information Environment Reviewat some points suggested that distributed structures were valuable, but recommended greatly enhancing the role and formal responsibilies of the ITCH in order to assure better planning in consonance with the mission of the college. See 5.E for fuller discussion of this recommendation. Edutech did not capture the centrality of the teaching role in major portions of the information resources environment at Evergreen. It is that teaching role and its development which assures the most important connections between the academic mission of the college, the educational program and IT services of all kinds. While the Library and Media Services collaborate, as a matter of course, with Academic Computing, the real challenge remains: How to more thoroughly engage the teaching faculty across the curriculum in defining the role of information technology in the academic careers of our students.
Engagement in Curriculum Planning
5.D.5 The institution consults library and information resources staff in curriculum development.
See Collection Development Procedures & Methods 5.B.1
Library and Information Resources Budgets (5.D.6)
5.D.6 The institution provides sufficient financial support for library and information resources and services, and for their maintenance and security.
The library is well-funded compared to other public baccalaureates in the state, in recognition of the demands of freely-chosen inquiry and independent research and study. However, comparing library funding with liberal arts peer groups, and comparing use rates, it appears that Evergreen's Library functions more like its more richly funded private peers. [Add WA regionals to this chart]
Since major budget cuts reduced both staffing and collections, fundraising activities have been a high priority for the Library Administration, with substantial support from the college fundraising staff. See private funds raised [to be uploaded].
The Edutech Edutech Information Environment Review discusses budgets in Area 4 which 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%. Generally, IT is funded comparably to institutions with similar missions and culture. The report recommended that budget processes should be addressed which take into account the heavy demands upon replacement, operation and maintenance as IT becomes ubiquitous in the classroom as well as labs.