Middlebury @ Mills: Summer Review

On Tues, Oct. 6, 2009, a group of us met to discuss how LIS support for the Middlebury@Mills language schools program went this summer. Notes from the meeting are below.

Terry
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Present: Terry Simpkins (notes), Joseph Watson, Joy Pile, Michele McHugh, Rachel Manning, Bill Warren, Dan Frostman, Abbie Bennett (phone), Alma Garcia (phone)

Positives

The information (segue) page for Middlebury at Mills was helpful – Mills linked to it from their catalog page. Mills folks wondered if there was a need to password-protect it in case there was any sensitive information on the site.

The process of shipping books to California and emailing the MARC records to Alma generally worked well. Mills placed colored “Middlebury at Mills” stickers on the spines of the language materials sent to them, in part to help their staff recognize these materials.

ILL requests were generally processed and received quickly.

The program as a whole seemed to go reasonably smoothly

Room for improvement

There were a couple of minor errors with the items/MARC records we sent that Mills caught and corrected on their end. E.g. missing locations (on some reference items); some of the items we sent had our Browsing call no. in the record, not an LC number.

The Spanish collection was rather modest – we should consider beefing up for next year.

Middlebury acquisitions noted that the process of purchasing materials for the Middlebury at Mills program via using money from the Language School budget and specifying a variety of fund codes (vs. having additional money transferred into the LIS budget) was burdensome and inefficient. For next summer, they advocate strongly for simply transferring money to the LIS budget, and LIS can provide any reports and information the Language School program might desire for tracking purposes.

Some of the URLs in the student handbook for off-campus access to resources differ from the on-campus URLs. This was noted at the beginning of the handbook, but the examples throughout the handbook tended to use the on-campus URL. We should review these and make sure the links are not misleading to students.

Mills mentioned a few problems after registration in seeing available classes.

Mills noted that a handful of faculty (primarily in the French program) were not included in the Banner feed, which required adding them into the library system on the fly. Dan noted this also happened here.

Mills noted that there were some student concerns about the Mills library hours. They will review their staffing needs/abilities before next summer, with an eye toward possibly extending hours somewhat. The only pay copier is in the library, which contributed to the demand for evening access to the library.

Mills noted a few patrons had difficulty generating requests for items held by Middlebury. They will send more details when Michael (Mills) is back from vacation. We need to review and possibly revise this process before next summer.

Open questions

Will the student handbook be printed again next year, or just online?

ILL received ca. 20 total requests from ca. 6 patrons, although a couple patrons did not pick up their requested items – perhaps a result of the accelerated class schedule of the Language Schools.

We have asked Mills for circulation statistics for the Middlebury at Mills materials we sent, and also any issues that come to light once the evaluations have been reviewed.

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