Undergraduate Library Services

in the 21st Century

Prepared and Approved by the CQI Team on Library Services for the 21st Century Undergraduate, and submitted to the Dean of Libraries, February 1997. Dr. James F. Klumpp, Team Leader.

Comments on this report may be sent to Dr. Charles Lowry, Dean of Libraries, or Dr. Gerald R. Miller, Chair, University Library Council.

Table of Contents

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Executive Summary

Problem and Charge

In the spring of 1996 following consultation with the University Library Council, Acting Director of Libraries Anne MacLeod requested a study of the university's provision of library services to undergraduate students. The study was occasioned by three intersecting trends. First, dramatic changes in our society's construction of information and knowledge and subsequent changes in libraries and their use have reached a stage to compel planning for the electronic age. The undergraduate of the 21st century will not simply have more information available to him or her, but will face a vastly more complex task in accessing and integrating information and knowledge.

Second, a crisis in the funding of libraries at the university has deeply affected undergraduate services. In recent years, as material budgets remained flat and the cost of materials rose, the collections identified for undergraduate students have eroded dramatically. Mandated cuts in personnel have reduced services for undergraduates. These reductions have resulted in a steady flow of students away from the undergraduate facility in Hornbake Library into McKeldin Library in search of necessary resources. Space, staff, and collections in McKeldin are now being stretched to meet the demands of undergraduate users while distinctive undergraduate services housed in Hornbake are increasingly disconnected from their clientele.

Third, beginning with the Pease report in 1988 the university has engaged in a number of initiatives to improve the quality of its undergraduate programs. The most recent affirmation of that commitment is contained in the Strategic Plan approved in 1996 which establishes the strengthening of undergraduate programs as a top priority. Quality library services lie at the core of quality education. For centuries libraries have been the repository of the accumulated knowledge that universities seek to pass to new generations of students. But in this era, libraries also are the window on the world. Students at the university, and workers and citizens beyond, rely on libraries to negotiate the explosion in information made possible by the electronic age. More than ever before, using library resources to effectively and efficiently access information is a basic ability that our graduates must master.

History of the Project

In response to these three trends, Acting Director MacLeod organized the team under the university's Continuous Quality Improvement Principles and charged it with projecting the services required by 21st century undergraduate students, and recommending necessary steps to provide such services. Dean Charles Lowry arrived on campus in early Fall 1996, met and recharged the team, and encouraged its deliberations. The team's report will be made to him. The team conducted research through the summer and early fall of 1996. We read material and heard from experts on libraries of the future and trends in undergraduate teaching. We asked various constituencies within the library for their insights into our subject and queried them extensively about the library's problems and possibilities. We solicited faculty members for reports on the evolution in their teaching and shortcomings of the current libraries. We listened to the experiences of undergraduate students with the library through messages, surveys, and focus groups. Late in the fall the team deliberated and compiled the report included here. A draft of that report was posted on the team's web page and invitations to respond were sent to library personnel, the general campus community, with special notice to those having identified interest in the team's work. We met again early in spring semester 1997 to revise the report based on that response. The report we present is the result of this process.

Summary of the Report

Changes in libraries, instruction, and students that will define education in the 21st century

The most dramatic change in libraries will be the transformation created by electronics. In services, electronic access has meant that a student can reach the library even before walking through the front door. In collections, electronics have opened a vast base of new and timely information located within cyberspace and have built online bridges to a vast network of libraries. However, the replacement of the paper library by the electronic library is in the short term impossible and in the long term improbable. The libraries of the foreseeable future will be a mix of electronics and print that exploits the advantages of each. Organizing the electronic/print library is a fundamental challenge to librarians and mastering its logic will be a necessity to successful graduates.

The direction of changes in teaching will be toward a more permeable classroom wall. Instructors equipped with classroom access to electronic and interactive resources will bring more material into the classroom. Student learning will stretch beyond the classroom into assignments that call for students to interact with those same resources. The so-called "paradigm shift" from teaching to learning implies that the quality of a student's education will rest much more heavily on the quality of library services. Quite simply, poor library, poor undergraduate education.

The university does not expect large changes in the demographics of our students in the next two decades, but the world in which they live will leave them bringing an ever-greater variety of experiences to their college education. Many will continue to be commuters, others will live on campus. Some will come with sophisticated abilities to unleash the power of computers; others will have limited experience with electronics. All will find a quality education a more expensive investment; some will rely more than ever on university resources to assist with this cost. All will find more demand on their time as faculty require more group work, more projects, and more contact with the world beyond the classroom.

Recommendations of the Report

The second part of the report contains the team's recommendations to produce the library services necessary for this new mix of libraries, instruction, and students. Our recommendations point to three necessities. The first is adequate funding. The administration of the university must develop a more realistic assessment of the needs for financial support of library services in the information age. The deficiency in support is evident in a visit to our undergraduate library and documented in comparisons with our peer institutions. We found that despite the library's effort to distribute budget cuts proportionately, logical and mandated cuts in duplicate collections and staffing have impacted undergraduate services most severely. Today, the University of Maryland cannot claim its library services to undergraduates to be a reason for students to attend our institution; it is a hurdle that our students struggle to overcome in acquiring an education.

The second necessity is a renewal of the working relationship between instructional staff and the library. Instructors and library staff, both reeling under diminished resources, have learned how to do their jobs without the other rather than how to interact to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of each. The result of this estrangement is a limited engagement by our students into the rich resources of our library. In the coming years, more cooperation will help faculty succeed in bringing the advantages of the exponential growth of rich, accessible information resources to their students. Similarly, more cooperation will help librarians succeed in organizing the electronic threshold to bring our students ever more deeply into the information age. Through such cooperation, the tasks of each will be richer and easier; without such cooperation our undergraduates will be less prepared for the world they will meet beyond their diploma.

The third necessity is a reorganization of the provision of services to undergraduates by the library. Now is the time to redesign the services for the coming transformation to the new mix of electronics and print. We recommend that the reorganization center around perfecting three thresholds into the library's resources. The first threshold will be electronic. It will exploit the diffuse network of electronic resources increasingly available to provide remote access to the services of the library. Our recommendations urge that the library's efforts concentrate on developing electronic resources that are characterized by their ease of use and the richness of their content in guiding students into library collections.

The second threshold is physical: the door to the newly constituted central campus facility -- McKeldin Library. The task for the new library is to deploy its staff and services in a way that maximizes the patron's ability to effectively and efficiently negotiate the new mix of electronics and paper. Many points of separation in the current system -- undergraduate facilities versus graduate facilities, general use collections versus special collections, electronic medium versus paper medium -- must be reorganized into integrated pathways into the new library. We anticipate that this reorganization would include consolidation of many undergraduate services into McKeldin and opening that facility for full utilization by undergraduate students. Necessary to the success of this consolidation is recognizing of the unique needs of undergraduates, both in training staff and in redesigning McKeldin's physical space.

The third threshold is pedagogical: an entry point into the full resources of the library from ongoing instructional activity. On a campus where access to information and knowledge resources is an increasingly important skill in graduates, instructional contexts integrating electronic resources should include a threshold into the library. The third threshold would be a prominent feature of an information literacy and user education program to introduce undergraduates to the resources of the library.

Siting Undergraduate Library Services

While the team pursued its charge to envision the needs of undergraduates in the next century, we were continually reminded by all we consulted that a current problem in undergraduate services remains unresolved. No weakness stands out in our review of current undergraduate services as much as the deterioration of the current facility in Hornbake Library. Established as a site for an undergraduate collection, that collection is now so deteriorated that it no longer supports adequate services for undergraduate students. Yet, Hornbake provides necessary resources for undergraduates. Our commuter students, our on-campus dormitory students, and the increasing number of students engaged in group projects find the study facilities an essential part of their routine. The reserve room, the non-print media center, and the WAM computer lab in the facility continue to grow in popularity. We believe that the time has come to reconsider the strengths and weaknesses of our current arrangements, and redesign a siting for undergraduate services.

To that end, we recommend two major siting changes in the library system. First, we recommend that McKeldin Library be transformed from primarily a graduate library into a central campus library serving the needs of all researchers, undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Although many undergraduate students already use the McKeldin facility, their presence has overloaded the facility. So, our recommendation is that McKeldin be reengineered to become the primary site. This will involve extensive planning and some renovation of the McKeldin facility.

Second, we recommend development of an Undergraduate Academic Center to include many day-to-day library services. We envision this facility as attracting into a central campus location the interdisciplinary and extra-disciplinary learning that defines the best in a vital university. Here students would find the resources for their classroom preparation including both individual and group study space, electronic resources for connection to the university computer network and the libraries, supplementary lectures and symposia opportunities, and planning centers for projects required in their classes. Here the student of the 21st century would find instruction in information literacy and library use. In addition, the services necessary for instructors to redesign their teaching to incorporate information resources would be concentrated in the center. The library component of such a facility would include the third threshold for undergraduates into the enriched McKeldin site where collections and services of the former undergraduate library would be consolidated as the home of the central university library. The center should become a core of learning at the university, a crossroads where students and faculty find facilities that improve the quality of the undergraduate educational experience. Our report recommends specific services that we find appropriate to such a facility.

Our report provides direction for a dramatic revitalization of the place of the library in the education of UMCP undergraduates. Our recommendations call for administration, faculty, and librarians to each contribute to the revitalization. The library we project -- accessible through electronic, physical, and pedagogical thresholds -- will enhance the participation of our students in the information age. Not only is such a revitalization central to improving the quality of undergraduate education, but it is an essential improvement if our university is to prepare its undergraduate students to become effective workers and citizens in the 21st century.

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Members of the Team

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Report of the Team

Section 1: Students, Instructors, and Librarians in the 21st Century

The Mix of Electronics and Print in the Libraries of the Future

Change in libraries of the near future is certain, the particulars of that change less so. We are comfortable predicting that the collections and access to the library will be increasingly electronic. Our inquiries into the various dimensions of that change leave us convinced of the following:

The Library without Walls

The changes brought by electronics are not simply in the physical form of library collections. Libraries will be changed in more profound ways.

In many ways, the library building's most important function in the 21st century will be to house the people -- the librarians -- who will assume increased importance to students and their instructors.

Envisioning the Undergraduate Student in the 21st Century

Despite long-standing predictions of an aging student population, the university does not anticipate great changes in the composition of the student body in the near future. We do anticipate, however, changes in the learning activities of the students.

Envisioning Instruction in the 21st Century

The electronic revolution will touch the classroom of the 21st century in profound ways. Not only will it affect the delivery, but also the objectives and content of instruction. As members of the team searched their own practices, talked to other instructors, received messages from faculty, and consulted educational experts, we came to understand that many trends, although today isolated, will dominate teaching in the next century.

Envisioning the Undergraduate Librarian of the 21st Century

Perhaps no era since the advent of the great libraries has been as exciting for librarians. The team believes that two skills librarians have brought to the era of the book for centuries will be essential in the coming century:

The result of these two skills and the reconfiguration of the library described above provides an altered picture of the activities typical of public service librarians.

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Section 2: Recommendations for Undergraduate Services

Recommendations for the Institution

In all changes as dramatic as those we are now experiencing, dangers of exaggeration and underestimation are endemic. The electronic age not only changes how scholarship is conducted, it fundamentally changes the ways that we perceive and measure information and knowledge. The metaphor that has dominated our thinking about libraries is the "storehouse" of information and knowledge. In that metaphor, the university acquired information and knowledge recorded on paper and the library maintained the store and managed distribution of its content. Today, the "storehouse" metaphor no longer captures the complexity. The less obvious responsibilities to locate, organize, evaluate, and integrate information and knowledge into ongoing activity at the university has come to the fore. Today's librarians are information managers and require the tools to fulfill that purpose.
Recommendation 1: Reaffirm the centrality of the library at the university's core
Finding: A library is a core service -- serving all of the university. Indeed, is there any other core service as central to the quality of a university? In an information age, with multi-disciplinarity prominent, a university attempting to prepare its students and compete for students, faculty, and prestige with other institutions cannot afford to ignore the vitality of its primary window on the world.

The record of past UMCP administrations has not resulted in a library system commensurate with the quality of the remainder of the university. Our team has logged many weaknesses in current undergraduate services in Hornbake Library: a large but dated book collection, a serials collection that no longer serves basic undergraduate needs, too few reference librarians working a reference desk that is open too few hours. These conditions are largely driven by budget considerations. Furthermore, we can find no evidence that these shortcomings are induced by enhancements of other parts of the library at the expense of undergraduate services. The diminished quality traces to the general problem financing the libraries.

Many programs have been instituted to improve undergraduate education at UMCP. Yet, a crucial element that contributes to the quality of the education of every undergraduate -- the library -- has atrophied. The recent enhancement of the quality of undergraduate programs at UMCP will be limited if our students are not educated to fully access the expanding resources of the information age. That cannot happen without strong libraries.

Action: The central administration's recent commitment to address the needs of the library must necessarily be fulfilled. Specifically, we urge that the administration:

Recommendation 2: Recognize the altered economics of information access
Finding: We anecdotally hear of expectations that through electronic access the university can achieve faster gains in its deficiencies in library resources. This mistaken belief seems to have its origins in the general cultural expectation that technology brings efficiencies that cut costs. One has to go no further than the primary symbol of the computer age -- the desktop computer -- to see that principle at work. But applying this principle to the library will obscure the changed economics of library resources:

Action: The university's administration must work closely with the library to provide fiscal support in a period of great change. The administration must encourage rapid commitment to innovation and unlamented abandonment of eclipsed technologies. The administration should identify its library as a primary site for the changes that the new information age will bring to the institution.

Recommendation 3: Recognize the importance of human resources in the library of the 21st Century
Findings: Never has information and knowledge been as voluminous nor as immediately available to faculty and students as today. The sheer volume of this information creates the need for more sophisticated methods of navigation and evaluation. Librarians are vital in meeting this need. Their success in organizing the world of the book must now be repeated in a world which mixes print and electronics. Their leadership in designing systems to assist faculty and students in integrating information into their work will be vital to a vibrant campus in the information age.

One of the primary places where deficiencies exist in the current undergraduate services is in personnel. The staff providing undergraduate library services have decreased fifteen percent from FY91 to FY97, a cut only slightly higher than the library as a whole. The result has been decreased reference hours, and longer delays in services throughout the system. Yet, successfully bringing our undergraduate students into the information age will increase, not decrease, the demand for library staffing. Organizing information resources, training users in a new diversity of products, teaching students to evaluate new sources of information, and integrating new information products into the daily routine of instructors and students are activities that require human resources.

Action: The administration should authorize additional positions that support provision of services to undergraduates and that support programs to adapt the library to the new mix of print and electronics.

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Recommendations to the Faculty

Recommendation 4: Develop active and diverse programs to teach information literacy
Finding: Information seekers -- students who can aggressively locate and evaluate information and knowledge -- will be better equipped to participate in a world where the quantity of information is exploding and the quality is less regulated. We have found today's students generally unsophisticated in these skills. Those who are computer literate often favor electronic information sources without regard to the quality of the information and without knowledge of alternative information available in print. Our focus groups confess that they find use of the library so difficult that "first find, first use" governs their information practices. Students typically avail themselves of information literacy programs only when such programs are directly associated with a course in which they are enrolled.

Action: The teaching of information utilization skills should be enhanced through multiple strategies.

Recommendation 5: Recognize the increasing mutual dependence of librarians and faculty in the information age
Findings: For many faculty at UMCP, the library has been on the margins of their consciousness. For example, a recent Middle States assessment of undergraduate education prepared by a faculty committee failed to even mention the library's relationship to undergraduate education. Many faculty report a feeling of impotence in influencing library policies and practices. Yet, faculty have often expressed strong support for the central place of the library. A Campus Senate resolution in Spring 1996 specifically identifies the importance of providing sufficient resources to the library.

In the coming years, faculty who establish closer integration of library services into their classroom will increase their ability to respond to the new forms of information that can enhance teaching as well as student performance. New modes of presentation based on rapid access to electronic resources can add visual and activity dimensions to teaching. Student assignments can access the library-without-walls to connect students with more primary data. The number of products to accomplish such changes is increasing so rapidly that keeping current on the latest additions is difficult.

Action: We recommend that faculty become proactive in bringing advances in library resources to their undergraduates:

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Recommendations to the Library: Reorganizing Access to the Library's Resources

Our library is now reaching the end of a period in which electronic products were add-ons to supplement the paper collection. The challenge of the next few years is to transform the library into a place that integrates electronic and print resources into a seamless web of information.
Recommendation 6: Design electronic sites as a first threshold to the changing configuration of library resources
Findings: The most frequent complaint by undergraduates in using our library's collections is the overwhelming volume of material they confront and the complexity of navigating it. The library-without-walls threatens to intensify that problem. The problem focuses attention on tools through which the library directs patrons to its resources. Improvements in those tools are warranted.

Action: The library website coordinated closely with the PAC should become the primary threshold into the library's services. The goal should be to provide students with assistance to design strategies for their research, guiding them into the library's building with specific needs identified. Much of that work is now underway. We recommend that the work proceed with the following priorities:

Recommendation 7: Design the physical layout of the library to integrate material in various media
Findings: In the past, the library has often organized materials according to media: microforms located in a particular location in the library, nonprint media in another place, and so forth. In this era of electronic materials as add-ons, the library has followed this pattern with electronic resources. The new Electronic Resources Room is located in a remote section of the library and open limited hours. We recognize that such an organization gains the advantage of efficiency by locating expensive equipment in a cluster. The multiplication of media sites, however, has made it increasingly difficult to utilize the full collection. Such a configuration encourages students to organize their research by the arbitrary floor plan of the library rather than by the logical demands of their project.

Action: The library should work toward providing more integrated location of resources around subject matters. This implies distributing workstations with electronic access throughout the print collection. The distribution of VICTOR terminals offers a model.

Recommendation 8: Institute "Square One Project Planning Centers" to assist students in accessing electronic resources and in integrating electronic and print resources into a research plan
Findings: Students report that they are more likely to learn the library when they have particular projects on which they are working. Only the most sophisticated undergraduates acknowledge that library use is most efficient when they develop a concise plan to frame research on their project. The juxtaposition of these two findings suggests an opportunity to improve instruction on library use and information literacy.

Actions: We recommend that the library establish a center identified as a place where undergraduates can begin their project with assistance in developing a strategy for their research. The center staff should carry students through the formulation of a research plan and refer more advanced questions to the reference desk. The center should be designed specifically to meet the needs of undergraduate users although not restricted to them.

Recommendation 9: Reengineer the process for introducing products with the goal of integrating new products into the daily activity of patrons
Findings: The proliferation of new products, particularly electronic products, has been so rapid that even library staff have told us they have difficulty staying current with the capabilities of new products and instructions for their use. The library has concentrated on informational rather than marketing techniques to announce new products. When resources have been devoted to assisting patrons in using the new products, emphasis has been on training to use complicated instruction sets rather than working with product developers to simplify access. In a world where new products were introduced at a slower pace, ad hoc processes could lead to eventual absorption into daily use. But today's accelerated pace of product introduction leaves the paradoxical situation where the library is investing major expenditures in products that patrons do not use because they do not know they are there, do not know their uses, or do not know how to use them effectively.

Actions: We recommend that the library examine its procedures for introducing new products from evaluation of products to their integration into the daily use of patrons.

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Recommendations to the Library: Renewing the Librarian/Faculty Relationship

Recommendation 10: Strengthen cooperative relationships between faculty and librarians
Findings: We find considerable confusion in the relationships between faculty and librarians on the UMCP campus. Formally, the current system seems to have an hourglass shape with departmental faculty liaisons and library bibliographers serving as formal links between faculty and librarians. This system does not work well, however, with bibliographer positions unstaffed in the library and liaisons in departments of varying commitment. Many faculty do not know who their liaisons are. Liaisons report that the library uses them primarily to shift responsibility for collection cuts. Informally, many instructors do work directly with particular library personnel on a project by project basis, but these contacts are often momentary and content specific.

Yet, faculty and librarians each possess knowledge important to the other in the new information environment. Increasingly faculty will require information specialists to assure that their teaching contains the latest in information resources on the subjects they are teaching. Such mastery will be dramatically easier if librarians are available to assist in the task on an ongoing basis.

Action: The library should adopt specific measures to strengthen the library-faculty relationship.

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Recommendations to the Library: Reference Services for Undergraduates

Recommendation 11: Recognize the unique needs of undergraduate students in using libraries
Findings: The American Library Association's ACRL Undergraduate Librarians Discussion Group identifies the following characteristics of undergraduate library users arriving on campus:

These coincide precisely with the problems that we heard from undergraduates in our focus groups.

These problems are most obvious in a reference service. In the library of a research university, perhaps no librarian's task is as difficult as the reference librarian. In rapid order questions may come from advanced faculty researchers whose knowledge of library resources in their specialties are as thorough as the librarian's, and from the new undergraduate asking how to find a book on the shelf. Understanding the question being asked, assessing the knowledge of the patron who asks the question, and deciding the sophistication appropriate in the action is a difficult task.

No problem in their library use surfaces as frequently in focus groups of undergraduates as fear of approaching the reference desk for assistance, and no complaint comes as freely as encountering what is perceived as hostility or scorn from a librarian when a question is asked. At the same time, no library experience is as warmly recalled by undergraduates as a reference librarian who listens to the student's question, provides clear and understanding suggestions, and remains patient through follow-up questions when unforeseen barriers are discovered.

We suspect that two factors at UMCP exacerbate the frequency of this student response. First, the distinction between Hornbake and McKeldin libraries often turns on their identities as the "undergraduate" and the "graduate" libraries. Our focus groups' undergraduates report a frequent feeling of being unwelcome in McKeldin. We have heard anecdotes of comments made by staff and patrons of McKeldin indicating that undergraduates are "in the wrong library." Although we cannot verify the validity of the comments or their interpretation, students report comments from the reference staff in McKeldin that they interpret in this way. Second, there is a distinction reported by reference librarians in the UMCP system between "specialists" and "generalists." Naturally, the specification of specialities channels the work of reference librarians into narrower circumferences of knowledge. We believe that generalists are often more important in assisting the undergraduates. Yet, undergraduates frequently reach levels of specific need that require specialists. Few undergraduates can perceive this distinction among reference staff.

In general, undergraduates report greater satisfaction with the helpfulness of the staff at Hornbake, but frustration that the advice they receive there often leads them to McKeldin where follow up questions require a return to Hornbake or starting over with another reference librarian at McKeldin.

In addition, undergraduates report the difficulties resulting from limited hours in a reference department. Perhaps no service of the library is as important to undergraduates learning information literacy skills as available reference services at crucial times. Yet, reference services are unavailable during many hours that the library is open. A substantial portion of our undergraduate students work and commute in patterns that shift their library use outside standard working hours. Although the library has often recognized these patterns in open library hours, it has not recognized the extension of the need to reference services.

Actions: We recommend review of current reference services for undergraduates by a team including a wide spectrum of reference staff and users, with particular attention to developing strategies to overcome these barriers to undergraduate use. Particularly, we recommend that reference services meet the following criteria:

Recommendation 12: Examine and reengineer the provision of reference services for undergraduates to recognize the altered demands of the information age
Findings: We find considerable frustration among staff and undergraduate students in the reference department related to the rapid change in library use.

Actions: Current reference services should be evaluated and reengineered with the following examined:

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Recommendations to the Library: Reserve Services for Undergraduates

Recommendation 13: Move toward electronic reserve systems in which most reserves are accessible through controlled internet accounts
Findings: Copyright issues, security details, and technical capabilities seem near the point which would allow electronic access to reserves. Iowa State University has already implemented an archetype.

Actions: Electronic reserve systems should be implemented. Paper reserves will remain necessary for some material, but the advantages of an electronic system in providing access beyond the reserve room, simultaneous access by several students, and greater efficiency of staff use suggest a high priority on its implementation.

Recommendation 14: Work with faculty to develop integrated resource websites for particular courses
Findings: One of the advantages provided by web-based reserve sites is the possibility of integrating internet sites, scanned paper material, and material provided in electronic or print form by faculty. When we invited faculty to comment on our task, no comment came as frequently as the need to expand the scope of materials eligible to be placed in reserves. These comments came from instructors in a range of departments. Often reserves are thought of merely as a system to place specific library materials on a restricted check-out to ensure their wider availability. Many faculty consider this view too restrictive.

Actions: Our vision transforms reserve librarians from processors of information into proactive partners in creating effective reserve sites.

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Section 3: Siting Undergraduate Library Services

In the previous two sections of this report we have described the forces that will shape library service needs for undergraduates in the 21st century and have offered recommendations to structure the required services. Our emphasis follows from the team's charter: we were charged with a focus on services and a focus on the 21st century. Despite our best efforts, many who offered evaluation and advice diverted our gaze to the past and the present, emphasizing what most consider a crisis in the state of the current undergraduate library in Hornbake.

We do not wish to deviate from the focus on services because we believe that the most important improvements required are improvements in services. Nor do we wish to abandon our emphasis on the need to plan for the future because we believe that too much emphasis on today's problems will leave us unprepared for tomorrow's. Nevertheless, services require siting and matters of physical space are important constraints on the achievement of satisfactory and up-to-date facilities. And we will end up in the future configuring our service sites in relation to the space problems that we face today. In this section of the report, therefore, we address questions about current service sites and the siting of undergraduate library services required in the 21st century.

Findings Regarding the Current Undergraduate Library

The current undergraduate facility located in Hornbake reveals both crisis conditions mandating change and glimpses of the virtue of a separate undergraduate facility. Many characteristics point to the crisis:

At the same time, our investigation indicates key strengths of today's undergraduate facility:

Siting Demands in the 21st Century

The vision of library services that we described in the first section of our report and the recommendations in the second section do dictate certain needs for students in the next century:

We would summarize these needs by noting a distinction between students' intensive or research needs and day-to-day intellectual needs. For intensive use, their need is for a consolidated research site that provides full access to the resources any researcher requires with special attention to their unique needs as less experienced library users. For day-to-day use, their need is for a a familiar and welcoming environment that sites a more general range of services from study space to instructional programs.

Evaluating Siting Options

The question then is: How does the library solve the problems with the current undergraduate library while preparing sites that will create a space for the services needed by undergraduates in the coming century? While decisions about services are manageable by our team, decisions on site introduce vastly more complicated variables. Several factors complicate the framing of recommendations on siting of services at the University of Maryland:

The team, therefore, considered our recommendations on spacing in terms of the benefits to undergraduate students. We anticipate that further deliberation will be required on these matters, fitting our recommendations within the framework of the various space needs of the library system. Within the constraints established by these factors, the team presents the following recommendations.

Creating the Consolidated Facility in McKeldin

Recommendation 15: Create a consolidated research facility in McKeldin Library, open to all students, with service points that recognize the unique characteristics of undergraduate users.
We are recommending that collections, including periodicals, and reference services from Hornbake library be consolidated in McKeldin. We believe that this consolidation is, however, but a first step toward improving undergraduate services. We believe that implementation of our previous recommendations, particulary recommendations 8, 11 and 12 are essential to a successful consolidation. In addition, we recommend:

Consistent with McKeldin Library's mission as the central campus research library, the consolidated site for undergraduates should concentrate on providing services that guide students through research projects.

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An Undergraduate Academic Center

The consolidation of intensive research facilities into McKeldin Library leaves the siting of day-to-day services for the 21st century undergraduate still to be addressed. Where we see no viable option to the consolidation for intensive research, we do believe that the siting of the day-to-day services is open to a broader range of options. The team believes that these day-to-day services are no less vital to a library's role in the life of undergraduates than the intensive services required at the time of major research projects. We have attempted to characterize a single site that we believe brings these day-to-day services together in a facility that will place the library at the center of the campus' academic life.
Recommendation 16: In consultation with and through support from the central administration, create an Undergraduate Academic Center to house day-to-day library services for undergraduates.
The Center should be designed to serve as a central crossroads for interdisciplinary campus academic life. When the team surveyed UMCP's peer institutions, both comparable and aspirational, we found that six of the nine institutions maintain a separate facility of some kind identified as an undergraduate facility. The library literature often indicates that the so-called undergraduate library movement peaked in the 1970s and is now in decline. Our survey indicates that this is not true in our peer institutions. Nevertheless, there seem to be considerable changes taking place in the mission of these libraries. Some are moving toward highly technologized sites, others are focusing on information literacy. The movement is toward a reassessment of undergraduate facilities to match their configuration with the needs of particular campuses and of the new era of libraries. Major examples are the Information Arcade at the University of Iowa, the renovated Lawrence Clark Powell Library at UCLA, the Media Union at the University of Michigan, and the planned renovation of the Robert B. House Undergraduate Library at the University of North Carolina.

Our vision of an Undergraduate Academic Center creates a facility that draws upon the strengths of the current undergraduate facility in Hornbake, offers a site for the day-to-day library services that we identified as needed by 21st century undergraduates, provides a site where librarians and faculty can come together to provide instructional services to undergraduates, and expands the scope of services in such a site to create a central crossroads for academic life on the UMCP campus. The team envisions a site filled with the broad range of activities where members of a university community find the excitements of the mind and systematic inquiry. When we invited faculty to submit comments on the library, articulate members of the instructional staff expressed the wish for a central place where the intellectual life was celebrated and nourished without regard to specific subject matters. We seek to meet such a wish.

An academic center has particular attractiveness on the Maryland campus. As on all university campuses, our undergraduates' classes are scattered. The student union provides a central focus for entertainment and general lifestyle activities. But there is no central site around which the academics of the undergraduate experience revolve. No characteristic of the current Hornbake facility is as prominent in its success as the provision of study space for students. The nature of the Maryland undergraduate student body requires a place on campus conducive to study. This need promises to grow as more course-related activities require students to work together on projects. Where should this space be located? That it is located in a library facility seems to us a positive statement to and about our undergraduate students.

Building a viable facility

In recommending creation of an Undergraduate Academic Center, we recognize both that many universities have successfully established undergraduate facilities and that Maryland is ending a period when we have failed in the same task. So, the team has attempted to assemble a list of elements that we believe would shape a successful undergraduate facility:

Contents of the Undergraduate Academic Center

We have identified the current strengths of the undergraduate facility in Hornbake. Starting from this base we would expand the activities in the Undergraduate Center to make it a magnet for undergraduate students. Many of these programs extend beyond traditional responsibilities of libraries, but this extension is essential to create the central academic site on campus with a cluster of heavily used library services at its core. There is considerable room for discussion about what facilities would be appropriate to meet this vision. We would point, for example, to the following:

Locating the Undergraduate Academic Center

The location on campus of the UAC is less important to the team than providing a site for the services provided there. The demands on McKeldin Library seem too great to locate the facility there without eroding our vision considerably. We would urge exploration of the space freed at Hornbake by the consolidation we have proposed and by the departure of the Music Library. At the same time we recognize that the consolidation may well squeeze some facilities out of McKeldin, and Hornbake will be the largest space on campus for them. We would urge exploration of other options beyond the constraints of current space. For example, several non-library academic services for undergraduates such as career planning, individual studies, and Letters and Sciences are located in the office space adjoining Hornbake Library. Should such linkages be exploited to reconfigure the building to include those services into the UAC? Since our vision of the UAC contains facilities that are not directly library facilities, questions of siting the facility would seem appropriately addressed in cooperation with central administration.

Integrating the Library with the Academic Mission of the Campus

In the best of all possible worlds, questions of siting services would be simple matters of renovation and construction. The situation at College Park is dramatically more complicated. Taken together, our recommendations establish the library in a more central place in the education of undergraduates at UMCP. We believe this elevated station will benefit the library, instruction, and our students. In our recommendations, we have urged the library to think beyond its current practices to a changed world of print and electronics and prepare a library to serve the students who will live in that world. We believe that our recommended siting options -- consolidated intensive use services and an Undergraduate Academic Center -- will together offer a greater chance for that vision to occur. A vibrant library located at the center of campus activity, assisting our faculty to incorporate the new information rich world into their teaching, and preparing students for full exploitation of the new resources available in the information age should be the objective of a university planning to produce the graduates that will succeed as workers and citizens in the world of 2010.

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