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)
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.
Following are the primary areas of concern:
- Support for rapidly expanded classroom technology, an additional demand on top of general 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.)
- Weakened presence of faculty librarians as discussed in the next section
Staff Qualifications (5.D.2)
Most library faculty carry both subject and library masters credentials in order to support their teaching as well as their role as professional librarians. Thus 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 how the Evergreen staffing model diverges from comparable libraries:
An emphasis on paraprofessional staff who attend to the daily workings of the Library has been a deliberate strategy which differs from most 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. 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 contracts. This leaves even a smaller team in the library to cover work internal to the library beyond the reference desk, which is now rarely staffed with two librarians, as in the past. Librarians can’t attend as consistently to administration and they struggle to teach creatively in all areas of the curriculum, to keep up with solid attention to collection development, or to respond to the shifts toward evening, weekend and off-campus curriculum.
As if the case with librarians, many media staff and instructors also carry additional graduate training. Graduate degrees noted by staff other than librarians include three MPAs, two MFAs, an MA in Art History, an MEd and EdS, an MSE (Technical Engineering), an MS in Chemistry, and an MS in Computer Information Systems.
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 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 which provide distributed service and instruction 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. Increased emphasis on 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 is expected to address this issue.
Professional Growth (5.D.3)
The library faculty are fully funded for professional activities through the central faculty professional development funds and policies as well as through faculty institutes.
[Need description/reports on staff development here]
Organizational Structure (5.D.4)
The fundamental organizing principle of library and information resources at Evergreen is that an interdisciplinary curriculum demands integrated services. Beyond that, the founding vision aspired to provide 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 predominate 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 expanding 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 Reviewsuggested that the esxisting 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 Development (5.D.5)
Library and Information Resources Budgets (5.D.6)
The library is well-funded compared to other regional public baccalaureates in the state (WA State Public in the table below) and peer public liberal arts libraries nationally (COPLAC in the table below). This comparatively rich funding reflects a historical recognition of the demands of freely-chosen inquiry and independent research and the centrality of library research in a liberal arts education. Both funding and use rates closely match those of the private liberal arts libraries which predominate the DEEP (Documenting Effective Educational Practices), CTCL (Colleges That Change Lives) and CIEL (Consortium of Innovative Environments for Learning) peer groups. Thus the general funding level for the Evergreen Library compares closely to that of institutions with similar missions, services and roles within their institutions. For further discussion of the role of libraries in liberal arts colleges see Comparing Use Statistics With Other Libraries (5.E).
|WA State Public||11,415||15||$373|
As budget cuts have reduced both staffing and collections, diversified revenue sources have become a high priority for Library Administration. Generous biennial infusions from the central Academic Budget have withered since earlier study periods. Indirect funds from activity grants to the faculty, major gifts from donors, book sales, and fines for lost or destroyed books have all increased to make up important non-state sources for collection development. The development of facilities and programming have been supported through major donors with the Library Dean and the campus fundraisers focusing significant attention on these efforts.
The Edutech Edutech Information Environment Review discusses budgets in Area 4 and compares 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.