Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library
Gustavus Adolphus College
Information for External Review, February 2003


Report from the Reviewers
Response from the Department


Purpose of the Review

Part One: Background /Organization /Instruction /Collections /Technology /Library as Place-Place of the Library
Part Two: Assessment / Assessment Plan Findings / Student Survey /Faculty Survey /Alumni Survey /Collection Evaluation /Other Findings / Comparison with Peer Institutions

Schedule



Purpose of the Review

The Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library supports the mission of Gustavus Adolphus College through services and collections that support teaching and learning. Our mission statement describes our overall commitment to the College; our Assessment Plan spells out in particular what we hope students will learn based on our efforts in collaboration with faculty in the disciplines. (See Appendices A,B, and C.)

Academic departments at Gustavus are formally evaluated every seven to ten years. Given that Media Services and Information Technology have also been reviewed recently, this seemed appropriate timing for the library to examine its effectiveness. We are both curious about how well we are meeting our goals and committed to improving our library. We hope this review will help us think ahead to where we want to be in the next ten to fifteen years and will provide us some ideas about what improvements we could achieve now, even with limited resources.

Toward that end, we want to explore the following questions:

How well does our current organizational structure work?

How well do we fulfill our mission to support the curriculum? How well do our library collections meet the needs of the community? Do we have adequate resources to meet technological challenges? Does the library as a place work as well as possible? What is the place of the library on campus? Part One: Background

Gustavus Adolphus College was founded in the nineteenth century largely to prepare its students for the ministry and for professions. It now has a national reputation as a liberal arts college of quality. Unlike many liberal arts colleges, we did not develop an extensive collection until after World War II, when the College's identification with the liberal arts became more intrinsic to its identity. However, the present library is deeply influenced by its traditional roots and by the vision of a long-term library director, Odrun Peterson, who from the early 1950s made clear this was a "teaching library." A brief history of the library can be found in Appendix D.

In 1994 we had our last external review (Appendix E). Though the library was applauded for having a strong commitment to service and a committed staff, low levels of staffing and funding for collections were found to be problematic. So, too, were issues surrounding internal communications and management. Since that review (and a North Central Association visit that suggested more funding for the library was in order) our collection received a significant increase in funding, though that increase has leveled off in recent years. Staffing levels have actually decreased. The library has tackled questions about communications and management through developing an innovative organizational structure  and a liaison program that have addressed many of the concerns raised in the 1994 report.

Organization

The library is staffed by six librarians, one of whom serves half time as the College Archivist, and by nine paraprofessionals, one of whom has a half time appointment. Librarians are members of the faculty with rank and tenure. One of the six faculty positions has never been regularized as a permanent position so has been filled by "visiting" faculty who serve no more than six years since it was created many years ago; a tenure track search is in progress for another position, with a visiting faculty member filling it meanwhile. The paraprofessional staff hold a mix of administrative (exempt) and staff (non-exempt) positions. A list of staff can be found in Appendix F.

Since our last review, the library has adopted a collegial management model that was inspired by similar models used at Dickinson and St. Olaf colleges, though with unique features.

At Gustavus each librarian has three roles to play: as a specialist (in government documents or systems, for example) as a generalist (collection development, reference, and instruction are tasks all librarians share) and as a manager (by exercising leadership and joint decision-making about the library's budget, collections, and curriculum). One of us takes on the additional task of coordinating efforts and serving as the chief liaison with constituencies outside the library. This is an add-on to the job and small adjustments in workload can be made to accommodate it, but the additional duties are minimal-because the work is shared-so we don't rotate out of our jobs or shuffle other responsibilities in any significant way. There is a small stipend for the additional work, the same as is paid to chairs of the largest departments.

Every three years the librarians choose a Chair through an in-house process of seeing who wants to serve and, if more than one person is interested, learning what each one sees as important and compelling about the task. There's a vote taken; the academic dean ultimately makes the appointment at her or his discretion. Whoever is put forward needs to be credible both within and beyond the library. Transitions aren't difficult because everyone is already, in a sense, doing the job-in fact, there's much less time needed to "get up to speed" than when a new director is hired. And seeking leadership from within our own library doesn't mean we lack fresh talent-it simply means we don't have the costly overhead of an executive search or, in fact, of an executive. Instead, we're able to pay competitive salaries at entry level and attract strong candidates who want to participate in managing the library and have the skills to do so.

The departmental model of faculty peers working together needed to be extended to embrace the significant roles played by paraprofessionals. At Gustavus, we worked through a process of defining explicitly, in so far as it's possible to do so, where the locus for decision-making lies in different situations, acknowledging the fact that our paraprofessionals manage major functions of the library and make decisions about them routinely. Our previous organization chart was a map of who "reported" to whom, though in fact reporting relationships were not at all important. Librarians often "supervised" paraprofessionals who needed no supervision and knew their areas of responsibility far more deeply than their alleged supervisor. In many situations, the major point of contact between supervisor and paraprofessional was during an annual performance review-which gave the employee a chance to educate their supervisor, but beyond that was not particularly useful. The traditional organization chart didn't accurately depict our organization.

Our new chart (Appendix G) is a map of where decisions get made. Some decisions are made by individuals, some by committees and task forces, some by larger groups-the librarians make decisions together about collection development, paraprofessionals make decisions together about student staff training, for example-and a few decisions are made by the entire staff. The process is carried out with two principles in mind: we need to respect those who have the knowledge and experience to make decisions in the areas under discussion and we need to share information so that anyone who might be affected by a decision-or simply has a good idea-can add to the conversation. A fine balance has to be struck between autonomy and collegiality. Few of our decisions involve all members of the organization. People who know what they're doing should have a chance to call on their expertise without being second-guessed. A group charged with a task must be able to move forward without having to constantly check in for approval. It's also important that no one has a decision made that affects them without having a chance to be part of the conversation. Toward that end we have developed an organizational map that tells us where decisions get made and by whom and an organizational conversation that keeps us all informed.

The new organization chart was developed as paraprofessionals rewrote their job descriptions to reflect the variety of work they do and the level of responsibility they carry. The language of the old job descriptions, we found, was totally out of line with their actual work. So was their compensation; we requested upgrades for all of the positions and all but one has received some sort of improvement in their status. (The only one left behind is a position considered clerical in nature, a designation we feel is inaccurate.) Erasing the meaningless reporting relationships from our organization chart has also given us a chance to experiment with doing away with nominal supervisors. If problems arise, the chair will address them with the people involved. New employees will have established mentoring relationships to help them through the initial period of employment, but long-term employees no longer are evaluated by librarians but write an annual self-evaluation to document their work history for the Human Resources department.

We communicate and make decisions by means of regular meetings, the work of committees and task forces, and more informally through E-mail and personal contacts.

Instruction

From at least the 1950s the library has identified itself as a teaching library, with our collections and services geared to the curriculum. In the 1970s a bibliographic instruction position was formally created. Since then, the library's program has been quite an active one, in the Earlham tradition. In addition to course-related sessions, library faculty occasionally teach courses and we use the reference desk as a site of one-on-one teaching. In fact, in focus group and individual interviews with students, the reference desk is cited more often than formal instruction sessions as the place where they learn the most about doing their own research.

Our 1998 strategic planning process reinforced the importance of teaching and learning as the basis of the entire library program. Concerned that technological changes were leaving patrons confused and the library ill-prepared, we held focus groups with faculty across the curriculum who told us that electronic information formats and inadequate computer hardware weren't the problem.  The issue wasn't technology, it was pedagogy. One of the faculty members said bluntly "we have to change the way we teach." They felt the most valuable thing the library could do would be to provide faculty a chance to work with librarians and other colleagues to retool courses so that their students would learn how to articulate good questions, seek information in both print and online formats, make intelligent choices, and use what they learned to create new knowledge-in short, they wanted help making students information literate, though none of them used that phrase to describe what they meant. They were particularly concerned that we recognize print information posed the same critical thinking challenges for students as electronic and that they wanted to work with us on the problem.

The library received a two-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the fall of 1999. The goals of the grant were to provide support for better collaboration among librarians and faculty in the disciplines in a complex hybrid print/electronic information environment-and to use our work as a laboratory to gain a better understanding of how students learn. We began planning for this grant by articulating five basic assumptions:

The grant funded three activities: two summer institutes for librarians from liberal arts colleges in the region to share ideas; two week-long summer workshops for faculty who redesigned courses to more intentionally embed the development of research skills into them; and gathering and studying data from the courses to better understand student learning. A final report to the IMLS can be found in Appendix H.

The summer institutes and faculty workshops were well-received on campus. We have seen a rise in the number of instruction sessions since the IMLS grant, and have continued to work with faculty across the curriculum using a departmental grant funded by the Bush Foundation to hold an instructional design workshop for librarians and have a series of lunch discussions about student research issues with a dozen faculty from across campus. We have also conducted workshops for faculty teaching the First Term Seminar, have led discussions on student research issues in the "Teachers/Talking" series among other faculty development efforts.

We are currently working to make the reference desk a more visible and effective site of instruction. Several faculty are making assignments that require a consultation at the reference desk, a development that has been extremely successful in making students aware of what we can do to help them with their research. Our assessment efforts, described below, have also been helpful in refining our instructional efforts to better meet the needs of novice researchers.

In addition to instructional efforts, other services are designed with student learning in mind. For example, the circulation department is developing an in-house electronic reserves program that is in presently in beta testing. Interlibrary loan requests for books, videos, and articles can be made by the end user online and articles can be retrieved electronically by the requestor. We are working to make these services more accessible and transparent through a redesign of our Web site.

Collections

The library has over 280,000 volumes, 1,000 current periodical subscriptions in print, and over 20,000 electronic titles in full text, as well as government documents, videos, and material in other formats. Music scores and recordings are housed in a branch library in the Fine Arts building; maps are housed in a map library in association with the Geography department.

As part of our reorganization since the last review, we have established a liaison program that links librarians with departments and programs to discuss collections, instruction, and other library issues. Allocations to purchase "one time" items such as books and videos are made to departments according to a formula that takes into account number of faculty, majors, average cost and number of books published in the field, and the like. Decisions to purchase ongoing materials such as periodicals are made by the librarians with input from stakeholding departments. We annually review new periodical requests and every three years make a complete review of periodical subscriptions with the departments. These efforts have kept the percentage of our budget allocated to books from being consumed by the more rapidly increasing cost of periodicals, though some faculty feel we have built a stronger book collection at the expense of periodicals. A percentage of the budget not allocated to departments or periodicals is reserved to fill gaps in the collections, purchase reference materials, and buy interdisciplinary materials. Though our budget is tight, we make every effort to meet the needs of the students. Our Collection Development Policy can be found in Appendix I. It should also be noted that an extraordinarily active friends group, Gustavus Library Associates, has played a major role in raising funds for our library.

In 1991 we added fewer than 3,000 new volumes to our collection; in 2002 we added over 10,000. Some of that growth is due to having received significant gifts in recent years, but we have also made a serious effort to fill gaps and build a stronger collection. Since this building was designed to hold 300,000 volumes, we are approaching our limit. We are aware that room can be made-and the collection improved-through an intentional weeding program, something we have been working on with limited success.

At the time of our last review, most of our database searches were mediated by librarians using Dialog. Our first end-user databases were just becoming available through PALS, our online catalog utility. Since then, our electronic collections have grown tremendously, in part due to consortial arrangements and generous state allocations that depend on the state budget. We now subscribe to over 80 databases, ranging from general to specific. Included in these titles are 21,000 titles, though that number fluctuates depending on publishers' relationships with aggregators; use of Serials Solutions has helped us get a handle on what exactly we have. Almost all of the databases we subscribe to are available remotely through a proxy server. Making users aware of what's available and which databases are best for a given purpose is a challenge. Links to many electronic journal holdings are included in our online catalog. A list of electronic resources and their funding can be found in Appendix J.

Our print periodicals collection has contracted. Though we have been able to cancel some print subscriptions because of having the same text electronically, it is also the case that costs have prevented us from carrying some periodicals we feel we need. In the spring of 2000, we began holding discussions with faculty in the sciences, feeling our holdings were no longer supporting their programs adequately. In the following fall, we had an external review of our science collections conducted by Charles Priore (Appendix K) As a result of that process we have begun paying copyright fees for those requests that go beyond the 5/5 limit, we have added Scifinder Scholar and Web of Science, and are reviewing our science periodicals holdings, planning to add any titles that seem essential. Unfortunately, since Faxon/RoweCom has been our vendor, we are unclear what the immediate future holds for many of our 2003 subscriptions.

We have been a federal documents depository library since 1941 and receive about 35% of items available. These have become more accessible by cataloging them using Marcive. The collection was studied and evaluated in 2002; see Appendix L.

Our special collections have never received adequate attention. We have been trying to gain a handle on what we have and what we can do with these materials. We feel these could have invaluable use in our liberal arts curriculum if we were able to improve accessibility. Additionally, the college has a church archives collection that for many years was supported by the work of a long-time faculty emeritus, Chester Johnson. Since his second retirement (he's celebrating his ninetieth birthday this year!) we need to make some decisions about this resource that is no longer being added to, but which has historical significance for the college and its affiliation with the Lutheran Church. (See Appendix M for more background on the College and Church Archives.)

Technology

Since our last external review, when the library wasn't yet on the campus network, the library has made huge strides in the arena of technology. We have added two electronic classrooms (available for public use when not reserved for classes) and created a replacement cycle so that we can keep our equipment sufficiently up to speed within budget constraints. The "Wireheads" technology committee solicits technology requests annually, prepares a budget, and sets priorities. In addition to the 68 public workstations (14 of which are provided by the IT department), wireless access to the network is available in most of the library and there are laptop plug-in facilities available. With 34 staff workstations to maintain as well, a replacement cycle is a critical challenge. Though students have requested an increase in the number of public computers available in the library, we do not plan to increase the number because replacement would be unsustainable. More information can be found in Appendix N.

Though we have managed to bring our hardware to an adequate point, we face an enormous software challenge in the near future: our OPAC, PALS, is going to be phased out as the consortium migrates to ExLibris's ALEPH, a new integrated system. As we face this daunting task, we lack a systems librarian. While we are in the process of a search, there is much uncertainty in both our local preparedness to deal with the transition without a seasoned systems librarian at the helm, and with the external process itself, which is proceeding at the University of Minnesota and at Beta sites in the PALS consortium, not without bumps and bruises. For our patrons, the change may not be terribly daunting. For the many staff whose work relies on key subsystems-cataloging, acquisitions, circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan, accounting-this migration holds some real concerns. Though a lesson of recent years has been nothing in this field is certain, and we've had much practice with ambiguity, this situation is more unsettling than most.

Library as Place-Place of the Library

It's an ill wind that blows no good, and the tornado that struck St. Peter in March, 1998 was no exception. Our building, now thirty years old, was well designed to be flexible in a changing environment, but furnishings and carpet were growing worn; the addition of the handsome new Hasselquist International Studies Room in the center of the main floor made the surrounding 1970s carpet and furniture look even dowdier in comparison. When the tornado forced us to replace furniture and carpeting, we were not only able to update the interior of the building, we were able to make it more reflective of contemporary student needs. Fortunately, the collection overall suffered less damage than the furniture, though we did lose materials; the Music Library in the Fine Arts building was particularly hard hit.

As long as we were moving a quarter of a million books, we decided to put them back where we wanted them. A committee had previously studied patterns of use and designed a new stacks layout that we were able to put into place. We added a new electronic classroom and more casual seating areas, which has been popular with students, as well as a rearrangement of some office space. Though a new Student Center was also built after the storm, and dorms now provide network access, the library has remained the most important gathering place on campus, a message we heard articulated strongly in a student survey last spring. As a measure of the use of the facility, our gate counts have gone up every year since our last external review, the only exception being a slight dip the year of the tornado, when the college was closed for a number of weeks.

When we wrote our strategic plan in 1998, technology appeared to be the most potent change agent facing us. Now we are realizing the library as a physical place and as a hybrid collection of print and electronic materials remains an important social and cultural resource. We would like to find better ways-beyond our existing instructional collaboration with faculty to achieve that goal and to make the library more central to students' intellectual and creative lives.

Part Two: Assessment

The library, along with all other academic departments on campus, developed an assessment plan in 1998 (Appendix C). The plan focuses on our goals for student learning outcomes and lays out a sequence of assessments to be carried out annually. The results of these assessments are discussed among the librarians in planning our instructional program and are reported to the community in the library's annual report.

Assessment Plan Findings

Surveys distributed to faculty and students after instruction sessions are collected by individuals teaching the sessions and are discussed annually, though we don't compile the results. Overall, students are satisfied with the sessions; faculty are even more strongly convinced of their value. We have just started using a new instrument that will be less geared to measuring teaching effectiveness and will focus more on student learning, hoping to gain more useful information than we have obtained in previous surveys.

Annual focus groups have provided interesting snapshots of student perspectives. Though it's hard to generalize based on the remarks of a small group, it has given us a chance to discuss research skills with a cohort of students whose experiences with research have changed over time. The juniors we spoke with last spring seemed aware of the need to judge sources critically and understood that not everything was on the Web. Virtually all of the students used a mix of print and online sources. They have far more familiarity with and confidence in their use of library resources than they had as first and second year students. Each time we have held a discussion with this group we-and the students-come away with ideas.

A sample of 37 student papers were examined in 2000/2001 using the rough draft of a rubric for assessing whether student work reveals symptoms of information literacy. We found that students do, indeed, make distinctions between popular and scholarly sources and can find appropriate evidence for their work, though that ability is nascent in first year papers, far more pronounced in upper division work. We noticed that some students have difficulty understanding the purpose of the assignment, creating an "info-dump" rather than providing much focus or original thought, and that most students had difficulty citing electronic sources. In response to this final observation, we added a Web page to our site with models for the most-commonly cited formats. We are planning to do another examination of written work (and, perhaps, taped speeches given in public speaking classes) in order to test another iteration of an information literacy rubric this spring. It may take several years before we have a reliable scoring instrument, but even in the meantime, looking at student work offers some insight into how our students use sources.

A small number of seniors were surveyed in spring 2000. All of the respondents felt their confidence as researchers grew substantially in four years, that the library remained an important place even though much information was available across the network, and several mentioned they'd learned librarians were helpful allies in their research. We also asked how we could make the reference desk more approachable for students, and gained several suggestions.

Formal research presentations by students have been tracked in a database for many years; though we are handing the maintenance of this database over to the Office of Institutional Research this year, we intend to continue to use that data to see what our students are doing and to celebrate their accomplishments by displaying their research abstracts in the library.

The librarians held a retreat at the end of the 2001/2002 academic year to discuss assessment results. Of our four stated learning outcomes, we feel the first three are being met with some degree of success. Students are somewhat aware of the processes by which knowledge is produced and have some facility for pursuing information. Students to a large extent appear to be comfortable with the tools of their discipline, at least by the junior year, and feel confident they can conduct independent research in the future. They have a fairly sophisticated grasp of how to assess information sources for validity, though they are more skeptical of Web than print resources and know more strategies for evaluating them than print resources. We aren't certain to what extent they have met our fourth goal, to "develop a sensitivity to and an appreciation of the diversity and wealth of knowledge created by different communities throughout time." Students seem to find this library congenial, familiar, and a place they like to spend time. Unfortunately, an alumni survey suggests many students don't use libraries frequently after college.

Other Assessments

In addition to the measures called for in our assessment plan, the library frequently conducts occasional surveys or studies. The results of some of these are summarized below.

Student Survey

Two teams of students enrolled in a Market Research course conducted extensive student surveys in Spring 2002. They presented their results to library faculty and staff at the end of the term. Among their findings are these:
 

The most common answers to the open-ended question "what do you like about the library" were: The most common answers to "what do you dislike about the library" were: When asked "what improvements would like to see made?" most common responses were: The research teams recommended we extend evening and Sunday morning hours, have more computers available, have more areas for group study, and improve the lighting. In discussions with the teams, we learned that they feel the library as a place is extremely important to students. Though other group study areas and computer labs are available, most students prefer to be in the library over other campus buildings. Students in the survey showed a high awareness that library resources could be accessed from outside the library, but they emphasized the library is where they prefer to work. This is a cheering counter to the Chronicle of Higher Education story published in December 2001 that suggested academic libraries are not getting as much use as in the past. Our library is far from deserted; in fact students suggested we enlarge it to provide more gathering places.

Faculty Survey

A survey was sent to faculty in Fall 2002. With a return rate of about 42%, most faculty responding felt the library did a good job providing services to support student learning and that the library faculty support their teaching well when they help students find and use information. Most feel quite strongly that the library will continue to be an essential resource on campus. They were less convinced that the library provides the resources students need or support for faculty research needs, though many added parenthetically that this was due to limited funding, not poor management of resources. They were even less sure that Gustavus students have a good grasp of research in their major discipline or in general-though again, many respondents added that they felt this was the responsibility of faculty in the disciplines and a wider curricular issue, not the fault of the library.

There were some differences across disciplines. Those in the humanities and the sciences were least sanguine graduates were generally able to find and use information independently. Those in the social sciences appeared the most dissatisfied with the library's ability to support their research needs. Quite a few respondents (10%) had no opinion on whether the majors in their programs had a good grasp of library research in the discipline and a much larger percentage-21%-would not venture to guess whether Gustavus graduates are able to find and use information independently. These findings suggest that, while our services are considered quite good, our collection not bad, and the library itself still important, faculty are not sure whether students are learning to use it. Perhaps that question-and the larger issue of whether Gustavus students need these skills-needs wider discussion.

Many faculty added comments to the surveys; the following comments are a sampling.

Alumni Survey

In Fall, 2002, a sample of fifty alumni who graduated three years ago were sent a brief E-mail survey. With a 50% return rate, we found that graduates by and large felt they had learned to conduct research in general, and felt even more confident they could conduct research in their major field of study, but only about half of respondents currently use a library on a regular basis and only slightly over half agreed or strongly agreed that what they learned helped them in their current work. Eight respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they wish they had more opportunity to learn how to do research while at Gustavus. Three strongly disagreed, while about half of the respondents were neutral on that question. Among comments added to the surveys:

"I was able to find my way around the library just fine while I was at GAC.  If I ever did have questions, you were more than helpful."

"I relied more upon library staff than the computers, which were somewhat confusing. The staff were eager to help and seemed to enjoy assisting the students. They did a great job deciphering the library labyrinth. Don't forget the human aspect!"

"I am back in school now and struggling with how to do research especially online and it would have been helpful to learn more there."

"I recommend making the library tour a MANDATORY part of first-year orientation, and would encourage faculty members to require library research in their course requirements.  You wouldn't believe how many students I know who never even checked out a book at Gustavus!"

"I'm a freelance writer, so I'm in and out of more than one library *constantly*.  GAC's library staff gave me plenty of help in orienting myself without being too intrusive to let me learn by doing. Good work."

Collection Evaluation

Given that a synopsis of library holdings is a standard part of departmental self-studies for external reviews held on a seven- to ten-year cycle, we are trying to provide for each department an evaluation of the part of the collection that supports their department. This would mean we will have reviewed essentially the entire collection is some depth every ten years. In practice, it has been difficult to manage, simply because the departments under review often neglect this part of their self-study and we aren't aware their review is under way until it's over. Another issue is that we rarely hear what comments, if any, the reviewers had about the library. Still, we hope to build a regular cycle of collection analysis on a subject-by-subject basis by tying it to reviews of departments and to date have conducted reviews of quite a number of subject areas.

We have also made an effort to review interdisciplinary areas and fill gaps in our collection through a variety of means, including checking core lists, reviewing interlibrary loan requests routinely, and building areas that are new to the curriculum. New faculty in tenure-track positions are provided "start up" funds to build their subject area beyond those funds otherwise provided to departments.

Other Findings

In Spring 2000, a student conducted a study of how students use space within the library; results of this observational study confirmed that some of the post-tornado changes in study space suit current student preferences and suggested some changes we could make to the arrangement of carrels to offer more desirable study spaces.

In spring, 2002, a student conducted a study of what parts of the collection students used by observing students throughout the building three times a day and noting what students were actually doing-which parts of the collection they were using, whether they were working individually or in groups, whether they were using computers for information gathering, e-mail, or writing. The results showed that individual use is surprisingly high, considering that students often ask for more group study accommodations, that more students were in the library than during a similar study a year ago, and that the computer facilities in the library are not only in demand, students use the computers to compose papers and check e-mail more frequently than to search the Internet or our databases. Though we are not likely to add additional computers to our replacement cycle, it may be worth noting in campus-wide planning that the library appears to serve campus-wide functions well beyond use of the materials.

In Fall of 2002 a research team at Minnesota State University, Mankato conducted a useability study of our library Web site. This has been useful both for instructional planning and in redesigning our Web pages. We anticipate a major redesign to be complete in time for Fall 2003.

Comparison with Peer Institutions

Though many of the Oberlin Group libraries have historically rich collections and resources far beyond our means, there are institutions in the group that our college feels comfortable considering our peers. However, comparing our library with the libraries in the lowest quartile of the 74 Oberlin Group libraries suggests that, in spite of gains, the findings from our 1994 review in one sense still pertain-there remains a pattern of "low input/selectively high output" or as the previous reviewers put it more colloquially: "Gustavus has been getting a lot of bang for its bucks from the library" (Appendix E, p. 2). Though this college has a well-earned reputation for efficiency, we may be suffering from an excess of that quality in some areas. As before, our service indicators are relatively strong compared to peer institutions. Inputs have improved, but we remain "in the red" in many areas that require more than energy and goodwill. We do believe that the value of the library and its needs are understood by the current administration, however. We are viewed not as a mysterious black hole, but as an asset and budget-setting priorities within the institution reflect that understanding. Comparative statistics and analysis of our standing compared with peer institutions can be found in Appendix O.

In conclusion, the world of libraries has changed enormously since our last external review, and so has the Bernadotte Library. Much progress has been made and many changes have occurred, some of them fortuitous, others totally unexpected. We hope we will be able to use what we learn in this review process to make improvements and see a bit more clearly the road that lies ahead.

[attachments ommitted]

Schedule

Saturday, February 22nd
10:22 a.m. Damon arrives at MSP airport-Dan will pick up and drive to St. Peter with lunch en route.
4:07 p.m. Barbara arrives at MSP airport-Michelle will pick up and drive to St. Peter.
Dinner in St. Peter.

Sunday, February 23rd

Morning on own: breakfast in campus center beginning at 9:00; Chapel Service 10:30 etc.

11:30-12:15 Tour of Lund Music, Moline Map Libraries and Bernadotte libraries-Dan Mollner
12:15-12:45 Meet with Barbara Fister
12:45-1:15 Meet with Michael Haeuser
1:15-1:45 Meet with Anna Hulseberg
1:45-2:00 Short Break
2:00-2:30 Meet with Edi Thorstensson
2:30-3:00 Meet with Michelle Twait
3:00-3:45 Question 1: How do our Library Collections meet the needs of the community-Heritage
4:00-5:30  Reception with Dean Mosbo and Associate Dean Braun and library faculty at  Dan's house 526 College Avenue
6:30-- Dinner in Mankato with library faculty

Monday, February 24th

8:00-9:00 Meet with Associate Dean Mark Braun-Carlson Administration Building
9:00-9:30 Rolls, juice, coffee and tea with full library staff-Library Staff Room
9:30-10:00 Question 2: How well does our current organizational structure work?
10:00-10:30 Chapel break
10:30-11:30 Question 3: How well do we meet our mission to support the curriculum?
11:30-12:45 Lunch with Faculty members from other departments-Campus Center
12:45-1:30 Question 4: Do we have adequate resources to meet technological challenges?
1:30-2:15 Question 5: Does the library as a place work as well as possible? What is the place of the library on campus?
2:15-3:00 Meet with student users of the library
3:00-4:00 Damon and Barbara meet alone prior to exit interview with the Dean
4:00-5:00 Meet with Dean John Mosbo
5:00-- Dinner to be decided

Tuesday, February 25th

8:15-8:30 Depart for Twin Cities Damon to MSP airport and Barbara to meet friends-Dan will drive.
11:35 a.m. Damon's flight leaves
3:12 p.m. Barbara's flight leaves



Fall 2004 / bf