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 VOL. 23, NO. 11DECEMBER 5, 1997 

University Releases Libraries, AcIS Plan

Four Strategic Initiatives Proposed

A comprehensive Libraries and AcIS Action Plan, focusing on four major investment areas, was released last week by Elaine Sloan, vice president for information services and University librarian.

  "This Action Plan builds on the strong foundation provided by our distinguished historical print collections and the rich array of networked resources and services that we deliver to the Columbia community," Sloan wrote in a Nov. 24 letter accompanying the plan. "It is our goal to continue to be a leader among our peers in the development of print and digital libraries."

  According to Sloan, strategic investments are required in four areas to make necessary improvements and to maintain the robust information infrastructure. The following objectives were selected as the highest priorities from the Library's long-range strategic plan:

  1. To Recruit and Retain Gifted Staff for the Library, the plan calls for:

    • Increasing the professional staff merit pool to 4 percent starting in 1998-99;

    • Hiring additional staff to improve services in essential areas as described in the plan;

    • Enhancing professional development and training opportunities.

    To meet the same staff goals for AcIS, the plan calls for:

    • Making salary adjustments averaging 15.8 percent in January 1998 to provide more competitive compensation;

    • Increasing the professional staff merit pool to 6 percent starting in 1998-99;

    • Hiring additional staff to improve services in essential areas as described elsewhere in the plan.

  2. To Maintain and Improve Essential Infrastructure of the Library, the plan includes:

    • Completing the retrospective conversion of the card catalog by 2006;

    • Completing the renovation of Butler Library by 2004;

    • Creating an Off-site Shelving Facility by 2000;

    • Enhancing the repair and refurbishment of branch libraries;

    • Targeting selected branch libraries in need of renovation as fund-raising priorities;

    • Introducing the next generation on-line catalog system by 2001;

    • Establishing a three-year replacement cycle for equipment in the Libraries;

    • Hiring additional staff to support equipment in the Libraries.

    Similarly, the Infrastructure plan for AcIS calls for:

    • Replacing and enhancing the campus network;

    • Enhancing existing classrooms and wide-area connectivity;

    • Increasing and upgrading the modem pool;

    • Hiring an additional network applications specialist for Internet2;

    • Hiring additional staff to support existing labs and public workstations, electronic classrooms, as well as the new computer labs planned for Butler and Lerner and for faculty desktop support;

    • Upgrading equipment in AcIS facilities on a three-year cycle.

  3. To Improve User Services of the Library, the plan calls for:

    • Hiring additional staff to improve stack maintenance operations;

    • Completing one-time projects designed to improve stacks use and reduce maintenance costs.

    To Improve User Services for AcIS, the plan includes:

    • Expanding the size of the Help Desk and extend its hours of operation;

    • Creating an Instructional Technology Support Center to support faculty development of instructional materials;

    • Hiring additional staff for faculty desktop support.

  4. To Continue to Develop the Columbia Digital Library, the plan includes:

    • Hiring additional technical staff to support the Columbia Digital Library;

    • Accelerating the acquisition of digital resources.

    Similarly, to further the development of the Columbia Digital Library, AcIS plans on:

    • Hiring additional staff to support the digital library infrastructure.

      Interested members of the University community are encouraged to join in discussions of the Action Plan. Meetings are being arranged with the Trustee's Committee on Education Policy and the State of the University, the new Provost's Advisory Committee on the Libraries and AcIS, and with the Committee on Libraries and AcIS of the University Senate.

      The plan will also be discussed with various University Planning and Budget Subcommittees, including Information Systems, and Resources and Priorities, as well as with the Council of Deans and other academic and administrative groups.

      Columbians may call Elaine Sloan's office at 854-2247 with any questions or suggestions about the document, or email her at sloan@columbia.edu.