30th / VRA 20th Joint Conference , Hyatt Regency, Union Station, St. Louis,
Missouri - March 20-26, 2002
Librarians Discussion Group, Saturday, March 23, 2002
After welcoming everyone, Eumie asked the
group participants to introduce themselves.
She distributed the agenda for the meeting,
noting that the agenda was derived from topics sent to her via ARLIS-L prior to
the conference. At the same time, Eumie also distributed a list she compiled of
members who expressed interest in participating in the discussion group.
Discussion then ensued on the topics according
to the agenda: Staff Cutbacks, Outsourcing, Off-Site Storage, Automation,
Fund-raising, Policy Setting and Time Management and Multi-tasking.
On the topic of Staff Cutbacks, strategies arose
relating to increasing staffing, the pros and cons of using volunteers, and
types of projects and duties to assign volunteers. One participant talked
of how they outsourced work to a local nursing home and day programs at the
hospital. The attendees who use
volunteers noted and agreed that it is important to keep track of the total
number of hours contributed by volunteers, with the suggestion of using a log
manual to track hours. It was also noted that it is important to prepare a job
description for volunteers just like one would for a salaried position, that
volunteers should be interviewed for positions, and that employers should have
the same expectations of volunteers as they do for salaried employees.
Other comments arising from the discussion of volunteers in libraries
were the high investment of time spent in training for value of work performed,
perception by administrator’s and others that “anyone can work in a
library,” and the amount of time needed to be spent to prepare procedures for
volunteers to follow.
The discussion of time for value then shifted to
student workers and student interns. Discussion in relation to student workers
revolved around the change over of staff per semester, what kinds of projects
could be assigned and how to manage the student and projects assigned. Paul
Glassman told of an eight-week project working on the artists’ files at the
Library of the New York School of Interior Design. Paul suggested having a work
plan based on the semester time frame and having a contract with the student
performing the project.
The next topic to be discussed was Outsourcing.
Paul Glassman addressed this issue outlining how it works for the New
York School of Interior Design. He told the group that NYU does the cataloging
for the New York School of Interior Design and the students at his institution
have reciprocal access and borrowing privileges.
Paul outlined the fee per title charged for the cataloging and for the
reciprocal access and borrowing privileges.
Outsourcing companies such as Marchive (San Antonio, Texas) were then
discussed noting the fee structure charged for cataloging per title for original
and copy cataloging.
The discussion then moved on to Off-Site Storage
and Automation. The group discussed consortial arrangements for automation and
contrasted it with the purchase of small online systems.
The George Eastman House spoke of their arrangement with the University
of Rochester. Small systems mentioned during the discussion were: CASPR, Follett,
Alexander, and In Magic.
Fund-raising was the next topic of discussion.
The conversation generated discussion on utilizing Friends groups,
different approaches to soliciting funds, the importance of having a list of
wants and working with the development office at your institution.
The discussion then briefly covered Policy
Setting, the development of policies, mission statements, sources for the same
and the plan to share policies through the Museum Libraries Group.
The final topic discussed during the discussion
group was Time Management and Multi-tasking. Suggestions made were to set target
dates for goals and to track workers using Excel or another spreadsheet program.
The Solo Librarian’s Discussion Group was so
lively that it ran overtime. Eumie thanked everyone for coming.