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Public Services Steering Committee
May 17, 2000
Minutes

Present: Carol Turner, Jan Swanbeck, Pam Cenzer (for Carol Drum), David Hickey, Gary Cornwell, Rich Bennett

1.  SUS OPAC

Rich Bennett and Gary Cornwell gave a brief report on the SUS LMS OPAC meeting they attended on Tuesday to draft specifications for the new system. These will be used to create the RFP.
2. Baseline Services
The group discussed at length the plan to create a list of baseline, or essential, services provided by the library. Once the services are defined, the plan was to list activities that make up those services, and then define the process and who carries out the activities.

The question was raised as to whether this should be a process only undertaken by the public services division, or whether it should be a library-wide initiative. Carol Turner said she had spoken with Martha Hruska about it and that Martha was interested in doing a similar project in the technical services division. There may be some services that only affect one division, but there are others that involve two or more. In those cases, it would be helpful if all areas involved took part in the definition process.

One decision to be made is the intended meaning for “baseline services.” Does it mean these are the absolutely essential services, or is it the minimum level that is acceptable. One concern was that staff might interpret those services identified as baseline as the only ones the library provides, thus not assisting the patrons in further if possible.  If staff take part in the process, however, they will gain a better understanding and will have input on what they feel is important, based on their day-to-day work.

One suggestion was that library faculty and staff need to be more in tune with what it is like to be a student. Carol said she had spoken with Trudi DiTrolio about offering a series of seminars for staff on the changing university and what current students/patrons going through and expect.

Rich Bennett said most of the issue should be discussed in a library-wide forum, through LMG or some other avenue. Carol said she would discuss the idea of a strategic planning session with the directors. At such a session, speakers from campus (like the registrar’s or academic counseling offices) or from other universities could hold brief seminars on the changing environment and how libraries can adapt to it, and then the library employees would break into smaller groups to discuss and identify priorities and key strategies.  This would serve as a beginning point for updating the strategic plan and identifying key services on which to focus staff energy.

It was decided that Carol would talk with the directors about scheduling an all-day retreat during the August break week, probably on August 18. She would also talk to Trudi about formats and possible speakers.
 

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