LIS Arts & Humanities Divisional Group — Notes from Fall 2011 Meeting

The LIS Arts & Humanities Divisional Group met on Thursday, September 29, 2011, in Special Collections in the Davis Family Library.

Attending:  Faculty: Holly Allen (AMST, Co-Chair), Claudio Medeiros (THEATRE), Elizabeth Morrison (for Ellie Bagley, RELI), Louisa Burnham (HIST), Mary Ellen Bertolini (Writing Program/CTLR), Jeff Buettner (MUSIC), Eddie Vazquez (HARC), Ian Sutherland (for Marc Witkin, CLASSICS), Brett Millier (ENAM), Stefano Mula (COMPLIT), Jenn Ponder (DANCE), Matty Woodruff (PHIL) ; LIS: Andy Wentink (Co-Chair), Carrie Macfarlane, Steve Bertolino, Jess Isler, Joy Pile; Absent: Louise Stein (FMMC); Representative from Studio Art (to be appointed)

Meeting was called to order at 12:15 by LIS Co-Chair Andy Wentink, who welcomed the group, reviewed meeting protocols, and requested members to introduce themselves. He announced that there was a change in the agenda. Video Recording/Storage Issues would be discussed first, since Claudio Medeiros, who proposed the agenda item, needed to leave early.

Agenda Items:

  1. Video Recording/Storage issues
  2. Moodle and Course Hub Implementation
  3. LIS/Faculty communications
  4. Liaison Program
  5. Need for more faculty carrels in library


1. Video Recording/Storage issues

Claudio voiced concern about the organization and storage of performed work by Theatre majors, including senior projects, performances, etc.

  • To date, most work has been recorded by faculty or students with equipment within the department, resulting in inconsistent, often poor, quality recordings with limited pedagogical value
  • Even with equipment borrowed from Media Services recordings made by Theatre students/staff/faculty with limited experience resulted in poor quality
  • What he wants from LIS is: the technical equipment and qualified personnel to create high quality recordings of enduring pedagogical value
  • The ability to store, catalog. And provide access (including online delivery) to these resources
  • An organizational workflow for scheduling tapings and arranging for professional equipment and qualified staff to operate it
  • Other faculty at the meeting agreed with the potential pedagogical value of producing recordings of student work across the curriculum

Jenn Ponder: The Dance Program has developed an efficient workflow for recording procedures; they would be happy to discuss with Theatre (interdepartmental communication)

  • Dance has made arrangements with Special Collections for depositing those sections of their archives not currently being used in the curriculum, where they will be cataloged and archived; plans for digitizing these recordings

Andy Wentink: Special Collections already archives Theatre, Dance, FMMC ; SC would be pleased to work out an archiving schedule for analog media recordings; digital files currently are not the purview of SC; at present, MiddMedia is most probably the appropriate place for archiving digital recordings;  will have to check with IT

Other questions raised:

  • Method of online delivery of media resources – iTunes–type streaming coming, but not yet available
  • How to transfer already existing analog recordings to digital
    • student assistants in DANCE and FMMC currently render this service
    • LIS offers training for faculty/staff/students from digital media tutors

Question of intellectual property/copyright was raised

  • Discussion of where fair use ends and copyright infringement begins
  • Creating archival copies was discussed: copyrighted analog recordings no longer in any other currently supported formats are transferred to DVD
    • These recordings are available for research and teaching with the proviso that the archival DVDs are used only in the Library, although exceptions to the rule might be considered under extraordinary circumstances
    • Carrie Macfarlane said she would look into this practice and report back to the Group
    • The question was raised regarding limited access (e.g., campus only) not only to the above resources but to student-generated works as well

Conclusions: 1) The discussion confirmed the value of enhanced inter-divisional communication in these Group meetings; 2) the role of LIS in resolving these issues will be raised; 3) these detailed minutes will be reported to FLAC and posted to the Blog for other Divisional Groups to review

2. Moodle and Course Hub Implementation

There was consensus that other than for the Faculty Test Group in the Spring, faculty was not happy with the Moodle/Course Hub implementation process; Faculty felt that they were not given the appropriate tools to implement new course sites in time for the Fall 2011 Semester

Librarians in attendance agreed that the training timeline, complicated by schedule conflicts for faculty and LIS staff,  and that addressing the challenge of training for faculty at different levels of preparedness, was problematic. Faculty was reminded that ongoing Moodle training was available in workshops offered by Alex Chapin and Bryan Carson and in tutorials offered by  Carrie Macfarlane acknowledged the scheduling challenges.

Question was asked: when would be a good time for training? One complicating factor was the late finalization of the contract with Remote-Learner the Moodle vendor.

3.  LIS/Faculty communications

The above segued into a discussion of LIS/Faculty communications

Mary Ellen Bertolini questioned the efficacy of LIS faculty communication with faculty. There was consensus among the faculty that

  • the “language” used by LIS in attempting to reach everyone who needs to be reached;
  • faculty are not likely to respond to generic subject lines, e.g., “Updates from LIS”
  • Louisa Burnham suggested and others concurred that faculty prefer subject lines that directly address important issues, e.g., “Are you reaching all students in Moodle?” or. “New Research Sources Available”

Mary Ellen Bertolini suggested creating a Moodle listserv to improve communication between LIS and Moodle users. There was wide approval of this recommendation among the group.

Nevertheless, most members of the group agreed that old habits/routines/lines of communication are hard to break, and many still bypass new procedures instituted by LIS and go directly to LIS staff they have worked with over years for LIS updates

4. Liaison Program

A discussion of the efficacy of the Liaison program ensued.

Continuing from the above discussion, Holly Allen initiated a discussion in which there was consensus that faculty appreciate and have had rewarding experiences with the Liaison program, especially in regard to the pedagogical value of librarians providing library orientation and research methods classes for FYSE, Jr. & Sr. thesis students, collection development, course page and, in some cases, syllabus creation.

There was agreement, however, that many faculty members have difficulty understanding the value of the “Primary Liaison” model, especially regarding technology issues, which they see as an impediment to direct and immediate access to expert LIS staff who have proved helpful in the past.

Librarians responded that contacting Primary Liaisons is not mandatory.  Faculty should be aware of these contacts especially for circumstances in which they don’t know whom to contact.

There was a recommendation for Librarians/Primary Liaisons to put other members of Liaison teams on departmental Subject Guides. Librarians recommended in turn, that faculty include their liaisons on their departmental pages

5. Need for more faculty carrels in library

Matty Woodruff raised the following issue:

“There is an urgent need for more faculty carrels in the library. Faculty members are always under pressure to ‘publish or perish.’  The expectations for publishing to get tenure have increased here. Hence the need for faculty members to have library carrels has also increased.

In my experience, a library carrel for a Humanities professor can be as important as a lab is for a Science professor: the essential space for research that leads to publishing that is required for tenure and promotion. A library carrel is far less expensive than a full lab. Yet there is a shortage of faculty carrels in the library and a waiting list of professors trying to get one.

By adding a door to a suite of already existing desks on the upper level of Davis Library, one could efficiently and inexpensively add another room of much needed faculty carrels. I’d be glad to show you what I have in mind.”

There was broad support among faculty for this suggestion.

6. Adjournment

Meeting adjourned at 1:25 p.m.

2 Responses

  1. Adding another faculty tower will take away carrels from students, so we might need to balance that by adding carrels for them elsewhere – the problem is where? Perhaps one faculty tower should be unassigned instead so that they can be used more efficiently (but assign nearby lockers)??

  2. Regarding the question about creating archival copies of VHS on DVD, here is what I have learned from Terry Simpkins, our copyright officer:

    The laws about copying entire works (as opposed to creating clips) are pretty specific and stringent. Individuals are not allowed to make copies under most circumstances. There are exceptions of course: fair use is one (but the criteria weigh against copying whole works under a fair use claim); making a copy of an item you own personally, for your own archival purposes (i.e., not to give away), is another, etc.

    Libraries can create “preservation” copies of material in “obsolete” formats, so long as we are unable to buy an unused copy at a “reasonable” price. In other words, we can create preservation copies of VHS tapes (being an obsolete format), if the film is not available unused as a VHS or as a newer format such as DVD/Blu-Ray, etc. Furthermore, if the library does make a preservation copy, that copy normally can only be used within the library.

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