College & Research Libraries News

From Inside the DLP


College and University Library Specialist, Training and Resources Branch, Division of Library Programs, Bureau of Libraries and Educational Technology, U.S. Office of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202.

In the last six months of 1971 and January

1972 I had the opportunity of visiting five academic consortia cooperating in various kinds of library activities.

My first visit was on July 27 to Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina to monitor an institute supported by Title II-B (HEA) for training thirty paraprofessional library workers. The Triangle Association of Colleges, comprised of five predominately black institutions from South Carolina (Voorhees, Allen, Benedict, Claflin, Morris) and another from Georgia (Paine), cooperated in this project to train supporting staff to work in their own libraries and in the school and public libraries of their communities. Most of the students were young black women but there were some older women, one of them white. I was very much impressed with the enthusiasm of the students and their instructors, the staff being headed by Claude Green, the Voorhees library director.

The Dayton-Miami Valley Consortium invited me to be one of the speakers at its meeting on the University of Dayton campus on October 20. I arranged to arrive early enough to be given a tour of the Wright State University library by its director, James Dodson. An especially interesting experience in this very attractive and effective library was a demonstration of the computer console by which its processing staff communicates with the Ohio College Library Center which is now providing processing services for most of Ohio’s academic libraries. After a quick tour of the beautiful new library building of the University of Dayton with Father Raymond Nartker the afternoon meeting began with speeches by officers from the consortium’s overall administration and from the local Model Cities Planning Council. The latter part of the afternoon featured librarians, one of them Dr. Frederick Kilgour, director of the OCLC located on the campus of Ohio State University, Columbus, who vividly described his successful cooperative processing center. The next morning I spent an hour or so in the Sinclair Community College library where very close cooperation is taking place with model cities agencies. Sinclair received a Type A special purpose grant under Title II-A (HEA) in 1971. Another consortium member, Wittenberg University, received a Type B, and the consortium as a whole qualified for a Type C. Originally organized in 1966, this group of twelve diverse libraries (including those of Wright-Patterson Air Force Institute and two predominately black universities) has achieved the publication of a union list of serial holdings of forty-four area libraries and provides, “through cooperative acquisition by voluntary agreement materials beyond the reach of the individual libraries.”

December 2 I was the guest of the Northwest Association of Private Colleges and Universities at their Microforms Center housed in Lewis and Clark College Library, Portland, Oregon. The twenty-three members of this group come from six states (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Utah, and Washington) and most of them “are facing space and budget problems of ever-increasing severity.” The host college for the NAPCU Center has committed itself to donate space in its new building and equipment such as readers and copiers “in return for the privilege of having the collection immediately available.” James Pirie, the Lewis and Clark librarian, is the director of the Microforms Center.

Organized in 1967, NAPCU received a special purpose Type C grant under Title II-A (HEA) in 1969 and a second one in 1971. A union list of serials held by the membership is in the final stages of publishing, and catalog cards for the collection housed in the Microforms Center are being distributed to participating libraries on a monthly basis. Many infrequently used sets such as the Chaucer Society Publications and older volumes of serial publications will be kept in the center to reduce the expense of providing shelf space and binding for duplication in several different locations. “The participating libraries have committed funds needed to staff the center and to cover operating expenses such as postage, telephone, and incidentals.”

On the morning of December 6 I visited the headquarters of the Cooperating Libraries in Consortium in the James J. Hill Reference Library, St. Paul, Minnesota. James J. Hill donated the building for this joint occupancy and the Hill Library has traditionally worked very closely with the local academic libraries. Some ten years ago when I first visited St. Paul the three small college libraries I saw had copies of the Hill catalog for their students to consult and there was considerable use of its resources occurring. In 1969, however, CLIC was formally organized by the libraries of seven private colleges of the Twin Cities and the Hill Library, which gave the consortium space for an office and bibliographic center on its premises. These eight units are dedicated to becoming in a broad sense one library. CLIC is governed by a Board of Directors made up of the head librarians of each institution. They employ a full-time coordinator, Mrs. Beth Kelly, whose office is in the Hill Library. The Academic Library Services head, Walter Fraser, at the Hill, administers the Bibliographic Center where a union catalog of the holdings of the eight libraries receives requests from its members by telephone. If its collective resources of over a million volumes do not contain the desired item, the St. Paul Public Library’s holdings are checked. If that fails to produce the reference, the holdings of the University of Minnesota libraries on microfilm in cassettes in the Bibliographic Center, are consulted. If the reference is found there, the Minitex operation at the university is contacted.

The Minnesota Interlibrary Teletype Experiment was begun in January 1969 with funds from the Hill Family Foundation and a special grant of federal funds authorized by the state Board of Education. It was a pilot project for “enriched and expedited” interlibrary loan service to a selected group of nine academic and two public libraries ranging from Southwest Minnesota (Marshall) to Duluth, with a teletype network connecting all the participating libraries. A special staff in the university library custom handles all Minitex requests, using student assistants as couriers to the many units of the library system. Most items requested were photocopied and mailed out the same day the request was received. Copying equipment in various departmental library locations on the Twin Cities campus was used to save delays in transportation, wear and tear on requested items, and the time the volume had to be out of its regular place.

After its pilot phase had proved Minitex to be a most successful operation it became available to many more libraries such as the CLIC members. They do not have to depend on mail or United Parcel Service, however, but send their truck which delivers loans among them to the Minitex headquarters twice daily. The resources the students and faculty of the several small colleges can now consult comprise well over 4,000,000 items since they participate in the Minitex services. The small fees for the service save them the much larger cost of duplicating on their campuses infrequently used or expensive items already available in their locality. CLIC is not limiting its activities to interlibrary loans, but is working on plans for cooperative acquisitions of periodicals, book purchasing, cataloging, and possibly common storage.

When I was invited to take part in a Model Cities—Title I (ESEA) meeting in Kansas City, Missouri the week ALA was having its Midwinter Conference in Chicago, I welcomed the opportunity to devote my last day in the city to a visit with the officers of KCRCHE (Kansas City Regional Council for Higher Education). That was the end of a very busy day that started with Dr. Herbert Wood, the president of KCRCHE for the past eight years, and the vice-president, Dr. Henry Halsted, taking me to visit their cooperative library center at Park College. The Periodicals Microfilm Bank’s holdings there now include most periodicals indexed in the three major periodical guides, Readers’ GuideSocial Science and Humanities Index‚ and Education Index for the period 1955 to the present. Using the KCRCHE telephone network its twenty member libraries can call the bank and have a printoff of desired material placed in the mail that day. Kardex listings of the bank’s holdings have been prepared thus far for ten libraries. A second service of the center is catalog card production which nine colleges are currently using. An interlibrary lending agreement among the KCRCHE institutions permits their students and faculty members to borrow library materials from other member institutions “on presentation of a KCRCHE card issued by the borrower’s home institution.”

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