Introduction to Annual Report  | Boundary Spanning to  Visioning  |   Appendix A  |  Appendix B  |
User Services Annual Report

User Services Annual Report



Adjusting Organizational Development to Technological Change


The key factor that will spell the difference between development and decay is boundary spanning.  Within a library organization, boundary spanning centers on a convergence of public services and technical services.  In the broader environment, it ranges from a realignment of campus computing structures, to a redevelopment of consortium relationships, to a readjustment of the library and university=s dual mission to serve society through the electronic scholarly communication system.  BCharles A. Schwartz.  Restructuring Academic Libraries: Organizational Development in the Wake of Technological Change.  Chicago: ACRL.  1997.


No longer is the library the sole repository of scholarly information; that responsibility rests in a shared, distributed environment including government, private firms, scholarly societies, various campus departments, university IT services, and libraries.  The late 1990s have provided a glimpse into the transformational possibilities that the Internet holds for libraries, learning, and scholarship, once  technology has permeated all of the major facets of the university=s mission.

BSusan Rosenblatt.  Information Technology Investments in Research Libraries.  Educom Review, July/August 1999,


The realization that technological changes are drastically affecting our jobs and the library organization hit hard this year, as we questioned our long-standing perceptions of librarianship and our place in the university as well as the entire information provider environment.  As more and more students began relying on internet resources and electronic information for research, the traditional role of the reference librarian appeared to be headed in a different direction. We found ourselves, in many instances, providing technical assistance rather than answering informational questions or guiding a student through a research problem.  How would we fill the void left by the new technologically-oriented student who is more impatient than ever to find information quickly on the Net, rather than in hard copy books and periodicals and microforms?  By launching an all-out effort to make telephone and remote electronic reference services usable? by converting more materials, both books and periodicals, to electronic formats? by redefining our jobs as information literacy specialists and teachers? Or by concentrating on designing user interfaces for electronic research?


As we entered the spring semester and encountered the university=s strategic planning initiative as well as the NCA self study, we turned our attention to visioning and assessing our own organization against the new Standards for College Libraries.  Our visioning exercise gave us a chance to look at Athat perfect state that might never be reached, but which you never stop trying to achieve,@ using as components the organization=s culture, people, products and services.  The document which resulted is a product of our brainstorming, team work, consolidating ideas, and refining statements.  It still needs more work, and in our revisions, we should take seriously the advice of Duke University=s John Lubans, who consults and teaches on organizational issues for middle managers.

While strategic plans can be visionary and display bold leadership, too many I have seen are formulaic and anchored in the past. A modest proposal I have is to take the thousands of hours required by library strategic plans and put them into a Askunk works,@ encouraging alternative and contrary views.  Let the most inventive staff consider options and opportunities for experimentation.  Then keep what works.  

Here=s a real problem for a skunk works: many large libraries are in critical need of service and architectural solutions for the precipitous drop-off in reference questions.  Many users are using the Internet to find resources that were only available in the library building from librarian intermediaries.  The user still asks reference questions, but they are fewer and of a different kindBthey take longer to answer and are technologically richer.  A skunk works could consider the opportunities in this shift away from the traditional reference service.  They, in collaboration with architects, should redesign public service portals to engage the Anew@ type of questions.BLubans, John.  I Can=t Find You

Anywhere but Gone:  Avoiding Marginalization.  Library Administration and Management, 14 (2), Spring 2000, 67-69.

As the semester ended, we started planning the library=s self study in relation to the university self study.  Since many of the areas for assessment are included in the ACRL=s Standards for College Libraries, we began dividing into teams: Services; Instruction; Resources; Access; Staff; Facilities; Communication and Cooperation; Administration; Budget.

Meanwhile, the day to day business of the library went on, and this report documents what User Services accomplished in 1999-2000.  



Items used (includes Special Collections and Muskogee                                        200,677

(items checked out or used in house, provided through interlibrary loan, and searched electronically)  

Reference questions answered                                                                                   22,535

VTLS searches (author, title, subjectBJune-April)                                                           94,738

Access Systems, ILL, Document DeliveryB

Interlibrary loans for NSU                                                                                                 2,504

Interlibrary loans from NSU (Some items counted 2 times)                                                3,184

Document delivery-books                                                                                                      27

Document delivery-articles                                                                                                   774

                                                                                                                                 (6,383 pages)    


Turnstile counts                                                                                                             200,959

Days open                                                                                                                           284

Items placed on reserve                                                                                                    9,439

Items removed from reserve                                                                                              1,698

Reserve items checked out                                                                                              14,492

Electronic reserves                                                                                                          11,241


Government PublicationsB                    

Federal documents added                                                                                                 8,642

Federal documents withdrawn                                                                                           9,964

Federal documents added to JVL Main Collection                                                               659

Total number of federal publications (5/31/00)                                                               282,050

Oklahoma documents added                                                                                             1,437

Oklahoma documents withdrawn                                                                                         117

VTLS Processing of Government Publications

Item records built                                                                                                  6,356

Item records deleted                                                                                                922

Bibliographic records deleted                                                                                   923

Items checked in (Jan-May)                                                                                     918

Holdings updated (Jan-May)                                                                                      57

Item records changed (Jan-May)                                                                             111

Marc records changed (Feb-May)                                                                             76


Reference questions answered (On and off campus, in person, by telephone and e-mail)

Reference (JVL)                                                                                               19,985

Muskogee campus                                                                                             1,672 

Newspapers, magazines and microforms used in Periodicals                              75,275

Electronic searchesBend users                                                                           45,735


Resource CoordinationB

Books, audio, video, maps, microform, software selected for purchase                             2,894

Gift books selected for addition to collection                                                                    4,754

Serial subscriptions (including CD-ROMs, online access, microforms)                              1,876

Amount                                                                                                         $430,517

Approval books profiled and selected                                                                              2,220

Classes taught                                                                                                                                           

Campus (library instruction, LIBM 4611, College Strategies, MIS                           187

Outside                                                                                                                    53

Number of persons                                                                                              6,073

Program reviews                                                                                                                     5                       


Special CollectionsB

Campus patrons assisted                                                                                                 1,300

Off campus patrons assisted                                                                                               398

Items used                                                                                                                     5,262

Reference questions                                                                                                           878


Systems/Technology Support ServicesB

Building inventories                                                                                                               2

Computer inventories                                                                                                            2      

Service requests answered                                                                                                973


The complete User Services Activity Report, 1999-2000 is in Appendix A.

Public Relations and Marketing Initiatives

A User Services Newsletter was initiated in August 1999, and three issues were published in print and online during the 1999-2000 school year.

During the year there were 8 news items, features or ads in The Northeastern and other publications, including publicity on the library hours, Scholastic Book Fair, OKShare, and National Library Week.

The College Strategies (Freshman Orientation) video was replaced by a new rewritten and updated script and a presentation on Corel, complete with sound.  It introduces freshmen to the library=s floor plan, indexes available on the library=s Web pages, the Virtua Online Catalog, the LC classification, and the reference services available in the library and beyond.

Over 1,000 flyers were printed and distributed to all students in ACollege Strategies@ to market the LIBM 4611, AElectronic Information Retrieval@ class, fall 1999, and to inform students about remote reference services.  

Bookmarks with library hours and ways to avoid overdue fines were printed and distributed at checkout counters.

The library was represented at the Campus Connections and Transfer Days.  A list of transfer students requesting library orientation was collected, and the students were contacted during the month of September and invited to come to the library for orientation at their convenience.

The Director of User Services greeted all new faculty with a letter and a packet of information in September, 1999.  Resource coordinators were encouraged to contact new faculty, greet them and offer a personal tour of the library at the faculty member=s convenience.

Gary Cheatham announced a Class Assignment Library Service (CALS) in the October 1999 User Services Newsletter.  This service is available through the resource coordinator or the reference desk.

Thanks to Bonnie Tiner and her student workers, Cherokee Kimpel and Daniel Watson, there were interesting and informative displays on bulletin boards and in cases all year: holidays, shells, beaches and surfing, Scottie dogs, soup cans, spices, children=s books, mystery books, and many other themes.

The Scholastic Book Sale was held in the fall semester and the spring semesters and earned a approximately 300 children=s books for the Y Collection.  Katherine Ott, Diane Morgan and Harriett Hobbs were instrumental in making the sales a success.

National Library Week, April 9-15, called attention to the library=s resources and services during the week and presented several Live at the Library activities: Movie Day at JVL, Live at the Library Day, Dress Up Day at JVL, Amnesty Week, and Linking Libraries & Community, which promoted the Habitat for Humanity boat contest.

We worked with Campus Connections to provide rooms and reading materials for parents waiting for freshman students who are testing and enrolling.

Borrowing privileges were extended as a courtesy to all members of the NSU Board of Directors for the Alumni Association.

Room numbers were corrected over all doors in the building, and large numbers were replaced by workers from the Physical Plant.  Darren Tobey was responsible for surveying the building for incorrect room numbers.


Revised and loaded reserve pages on the Web, including Reserve Request Form, Fair Use Checklist, Copyright Clearance Request.  Set up Copyright Clearance Center accounts for TRS (transactional reporting service) and ECCS (Electronic Course Content Service to use copyrighted materials in electronic format).  Set up a demo account on ERes (Electronic Reserves system) to test its capabilities.

The Reserve Desk added a PPST workstation for the College of Education for students in the teacher education program.  

The Electronic Reserves Committee wrote a proposal and won a FASTT grant for electronic reserves.  When we learned that the ERes System had increased its price, the committee began looking at alternatives such as FreeReserves.  The FASTT Committee approved a change in the conditions of the grant, and at year=s end, Helen Hill had taken charge of the project.  The current plan is to use the Blackboard server to load electronic course documents.

Special Borrowers delinquent accounts were set up in Business Affairs.  Fay Simms researched the law on library theft, and Business Affairs began the process of turning over those who abuse the privilege to a collection agency and possible prosecution.

NSU faculty, staff, and students now have borrowing privileges at all OK-Share participating libraries in Oklahoma by applying for a library card at their own university library.

Copying Services. 
It was again proposed that we either install copy card readers on microfilm printers or discontinue charging for microform copies.  We participated in the process of renegotiating copier contracts for new public copiers to be installed in FY2001 to be equipped with ACCESS (Diebold) card readers only and $.15 coinop.  At the same time we requested card readers for the microfilm reader-printers.

A  new copier policy initiated by the university administrative offices turned over the day-to-day maintenance to 2nd floor reference and the reserve desk.  In addition, new change, card sale, and refund accounts were set up at the 2nd floor reference desk.

A Trans-AMIGOS Express Courier Service was entered into with pickup and delivery of interlibrary loan items for all participating libraries in Texas and Oklahoma.  The service is designed to save libraries money and time, with low-cost rapid delivery, 5 days a week in 24 to 48 hours.

The Reference Department added five new online databases, decided to replace SilverPlatter products with WilsonNet, and added the OCALD shared reference resource, NewsBank.  Reference increased the number of Web workstations from 6 to 15 and the number of public laser printers from 2 to 4.

The Reference Department, with Jim Winterbottom doing page maintenance,  revised the indexes Web page to make it more user friendly and provided greater access to indexes for remote users.

Government Documents, after a temporary halt in the barcoding and check-in projects, continued to provide greater access to documents through the catalog, and updated periodical holdings records as they are received..

User Services personnel participated in planning the Broken Arrow Campus library and made recommendations for a floor plan, furniture and equipment.

Library Materials/Collections

The Circulation Department acquired new shelving, moved oversized curriculum materials and continuously shifted to keep up with the influx of new curriculum materials.  The shelving restrictions created by the need for weight-bearing floors brought on a crisis which has been alleviated by a drastic weeding project and new guidelines for the CurrMats collection spearheaded by the Education resource coordinator.  Circulation, the User Services Director, and Katherine Ott proposed a radical weeding project for curriculum materials, and Katherine pulled materials off of the shelves to be approved for weeding by resource coordinators.

User Services and Technical Services personnel added 2,220 approval plan books to the collection and revised Blackwell approval plan profiles to make adjustments and provide greater relevancy in books acquired through this plan.

A team of User Services and Technical Services personnel wrote a Broken Arrow Campus Collection Development Policy which includes a Blackwell Opening Day collection of 6,000-10,000 monographs and approximately 300 periodical titles.

The Reference Department weeded or relocated several collections including the Rand collection, the PDK Fastback collection, and the curriculum materials.

User Services allocated the materials budget of $100,000.00 to the program areas, Muskogee, Reference, Special Collections, General, and Y Collection.  An attempt was made to adjust the allocations based on the percentage of the approval book budget each program area received; however, in reality the adjustment was too small to make much difference.  A different formula will be used this year as we try to make the allotment of the materials funds as equitable as possible.

Resource coordinators reviewed serials lists
and revised index subscriptions late in the spring semester.

Faculty were contacted for a last chance to request 16mm films before they were withdrawn and either sold or reassigned.  Films which could be located were distributed to all faculty who requested them.  The Mass Communications Department requested all the films which remained for instructional purposes, and they are now boxed up and ready to be delivered. (Note: the Mass Comm Department has now withdrawn their request, 7/6/00.)

The Government Documents Department continued the physical withdrawal of weeded documents, and in addition, weeded the entire paper collection of congressional documents during the summer 1999.  The annual GPO item selection update was done in June 1999.

All User Services Web pages, including Resources Selected by Librarians were checked and revised before being transferred to the UNIX library server in April.

Instruction/Continuing Education

Reference librarians/resource coordinators taught a total of 240 classes with 6,073 students during the spring and fall semesters.  This total included 2 sections of LIBM 4611, Electronic Information Retrieval.

The User Services Director rewrote the library orientation script for the College Strategies course for freshmen and produced a presentation on Corel with the assistance of Bonnie Tiner.

User Services personnel met early in the semester to discuss a focus or theme for the year.  The User Services Director suggested Boundary Spanning or restructuring our organizational development to broaden our scope from Abounded areas of library units, work flow processes, personnel, and budgets to campus-wide and geographically dispersed fields of opportunity afforded by networked information resources and services.@

The Reference Department, led by Sarah Brick Archer, focused on professional development as part of the boundary spanning theme. Several Apresentations and workshops designed to improve service and job performance@ were held: AEdgar and the Library Finance Web Page@-Gary Cheatham; ATroubleshooting Web Workstations@-Charles Veith; AIntroduction to NT@-Computing and Telecommunications; AHow to Do Basic Legal Research@- Park Medearis; APublishing, Presenting, and Poster Sessions@ panel discussion moderated by Sarah Brick Archer, Bela Foltin, Gary Cheatham, Jeanette McQuitty, Linda West.

The User Services Department sponsored a teleconference and discussion on October 27, 1999: ABuilding Earth=s Largest Library.@

The Reference Department/Resource Coordinators began visioning in response to the university=s strategic planning initiative and wrote a draft of a visioning statement which should be refined in the months ahead.

The User Services Department began planning a self study based on the NCA Self-Study Committee=s guidelines and the new ACRL Standards for College Libraries, 2000.  This self study is open to the entire library=s staff and will be continued in the summer and fall semesters.

User Services staff participated in 56 workshops, seminars, and other continuing education during the 1999-2000 year.

Government Documents Technician Connie Mnich attended the American Factfinder workshop in Tulsa on May 9, 2000. 

A grant proposal was submitted to FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education)to initiate an information literacy program at NSU and to provide for a complete teaching lab.  The proposal was not funded.

Milestones/Passages (Personnel)

Katherine Ott was named Reference Librarian/Resource Coordinator for Education and Psychology.  She replaces Melissa Cast who resigned last year to work for ACRL.  Joyce Varner served as interim librarian.

Darren Tobey was named Reference Technician to replace Sandy Medearis, who resigned last July.

Connie Mnich was named Government Publications Technician to replace Sherry Rhoads, who resigned in October to work at the Oklahoma Department of Libraries.

The Reference Department named three coordinators: Sarah Brick Archer, meetings and planning; Gary Cheatham, scheduling, Z/REF fund, and reference serials; Jim Winterbottom, technician coordinator.

Interlibrary Loan Technician Renee Ridge is now in charge of the Interlibrary Loan/Document Delivery Department.  Amy Roberts, Gina  Champlain, and Karalyn Ingalls have worked as document delivery technicians this year.

Helen Hill spent the summer training for her new duties as UNIX manager and traveled far and wide to receive her training.

User Services made the following personnel requests: full-time ILL/Document Delivery technician; 2 reference graduate assistants for extended library hours.  The requests were approved but not funded.

Several User Services personnel were certified for CPR BBonnie Tiner, Sandy Medearis, Fay Simms, and Jeanette McQuitty.

Access Systems and Technology Support were combined this spring to form a department of two: Helen Hill and Mike Shehi.  Earlier in the year, Mike Shehi was named library Webmaster and took over the responsibility of loading library pages and assisting library personnel with page composition.

Ben Etemad was employed as the Director, Muskogee Campus Library, and was trained during the summer and fall semesters by JVL faculty and staff.

Reports from each of the User Services areas are included in this annual report as Appendix B.

Introduction to Annual Report  | Boundary Spanning to  Visioning  |   Appendix A  |  Appendix B  |

                          Page maintained by: Jeanette McQuitty         
                           Last updated: November 28th, 2000