Friday, May 28, 2010

Admin Strikes Back

In response to the publication that was the subject of the last post, "The Library in Crisis," the administration of the UC Davis library wrote their own statement of the case. Such a specific engagement of issues is not common in an atmosphere of conflicting policies and budgetary claims. In compressed form, the responses to the statements of the original document are as follows:

1. UCDavis has plunged in the ARL rankings from 25 to 60 where other UC libraries have maintained or improved.

ARL rankings do not tell the full story and must be considered in the context of the institution. Also, most of the other UC libraries have declined in rank in the same time period.

2. UCDavis's budget should be larger than other campuses because of its diversity of disciplines.

The proportion of lab science at UC Davis compared to other campuses has declined suggesting that UC Davis's requirement for a relatively larger library budget has decreased. Moreover, the UC Davis library has gathered a reserve fund of money for special needs.

3. Insufficient support for the Level 5 collection in Enology.

There is no backlog in purchasing materials for this collection.

4. Lack of essential titles for history and delays in interlibrary loan.

Some titles were omitted as part of clerical error during a shift in approval plans, and the missing titles have been purchased. Interlibrary loan rates at UCDavis are comparable to the other UCs.

5. Dissolution of the government documents department.

The subject specialists are available for consultation, and the consolidation of this department is consistent with a general trend among libraries. The trend is driven by the fact that 98% of government documents are available online, obviating the need for a physical collection.

Henry, Helen, and Gail Yokote. "UC Davis General Library Observations Related to 'The Library in Crisis.'" University of California, Davis, 2009.