Friday, December 1, 2006 | Baruch College, Newman Conference Ctr | 151 E. 25th Street, 7th Fl. | New York, NY [directions]



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ACRL/NY Symposium posters

Capturing the Costs of Virtual Reference Service

Lorraine L. Eakin and Dr. Jeffrey Pomerantz

School of Information and Library Science
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This poster highlights the findings of a study whose goal is to assess the costs associated with the implementation of a collaborative virtual reference service. Using budgetary data from libraries participating in a statewide virtual reference service, a cost model was created to measure the impacts of participation in this service and to enable a better identification of the factors that affect the return on investment (ROI) of virtual reference services in general.

The model allows financial assessment of the service’s upfront and ongoing costs over time. In addition, we outline a methodology that libraries can use to measure costs that may not have been previously measured, and may in fact not even currently be captured by these libraries’ budgets. This specification will enable libraries to monitor their costs more accurately.

The poster includes a presentation of the model with its cost categories, a description of the methodology used to derive these categories, and clarification of some of the means by which libraries can begin to capture this information if they are not already doing so.

The findings of this study will enable more rational economic decision-making by libraries about their participation in collaborative virtual reference services.

A Library Survey — Understanding Academic Clients
and Marketing Ourselves

Xiaoli Shirley Fang

Distance Learning/Reference Librarian
Congressman Frank J. Guarini Library
New Jersey City University


Internet search engines, especially Google are expanding into academic areas; course management systems with commercial information services, such as E-packs, have become a popular resource on campuses. Faced with increasing digitization and commercialization in information services, academic libraries need to find out if these changes are challenges or opportunities. We need to know how our clients are using the library, which resources they are using, how they feel about library services, and what they expect from the library.

During October 3 to October 31, 2005 our library conducted faculty and student surveys. 23% of faculty and 34% of student responded to the survey. This survey provided a close look at library usage in a changing world. The survey findings will be helpful to indicate the role and potential of the library in our university’s VISION 2010: A Strategic Plan of New Jersey City University, which could be viewed as a campus-wide marketing plan.

Contents of the poster:

Samples of both faculty and students surveys

Survey results

Findings analysis

Automated Access to Internet Resources

Kate Harcourt, Head, Original Serial and Monograph Cataloging
Melanie Wacker,
Iris Wolley,
Integrating Resources Cataloger

Butler Library, Columbia University Libraries

"Scalable and affordable—these will be important characteristics of the way we work going forward." (Columbia University Libraries Strategic Plan, 2006-2009)

Academic library cataloging departments continue to face challenging situations.

Technical service administrators attempt to streamline their service operations and workflows while trying not to let a “bottom line” approach impede access to resource discovery. At the same time, existing cataloging staff is burdened with the additional demands to catalog online resources as well as to maintain current cataloging and processing of more traditional formats. This situation calls for an innovative solution.

A workgroup at Columbia University Libraries' (CUL) Original Serial and Monograph Cataloging Department developed a solution that enabled them to comply with both demands at the same time: The CUL approach combines selector input of data in an online request form with an underlying program converting the information in MARC 21 format. Catalogers review the records and add subject headings and classification. The final record is an access level record. Average cataloging time was reduced by 44 percent.

An article on this topic has been accepted for publication by Library Resources & Technical Services.

Commercialization in Academic and Corporate Libraries: How Librarians Can Manage Long-Term Library Funding Resourcefully

Elizabeth Sher, MLS Queens College

The topic of this poster is an analysis of web sites, published academic librarian articles and library budgets that seem to reflect the time pressure in academic librarianship. The investigator gives examples of how library management grapples with these decisions. The issue that the researcher focuses on is a comparison of one academic budget with a special library budget. The researcher performs an analysis of how time pressure, limited budgets and downsizing play a part in corporate as well as academic library decision-making. As a solution to this problem, the investigator constructs diagrams of how corporations as well as academic libraries may tackle such an issue that is so pervasive in these types of libraries. The issue of where funding is coming from with the academic as well as the corporate library is addressed during the presentation.