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Faculty Senate
Faculty Senate

Last updated: 9/11/06

University of Nebraska at Omaha
University Library and Learning Resources Committee

Annual Report 2005-2006


Faculty: Charles Johanningsmeier, Maria Anderson Knudtson, Peter Wolcott, Laura Dickson, Dwight Haworth, Brent Bowen

Administrators/Staff: Sara Woods, Linda Mannering

Undergraduate Students: Jennifer Baber (graduated Dec. 05), Michelle J. Robinson.

Graduate Students: Elizabeth Elliot, Tara Fries, Monica Mora, Linda Sedjro

Ex-Officio: Steve Shorb

Charge to Committee

The University Committee on Library and Learning resources shall be responsible for reviewing and recommending policies and procedures pertaining to the functions and services of the University Library. The purview of the committee shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, the areas of resources, holdings, services, relationships to constituents, and overall programmatic development.

Meeting Agendas Summary

October 6, 2005 7:45 a.m. Library Office Conf. Room
  • Selection of Committee Chair
  • Review of Committee Charge
  • Dean's Update
  • Collection Development Plan

November 7, 2005 10:00 a.m. Library Room 100

  • Vision and Goals of the Library and the University Strategic Planning Goals
  • Rebalancing the Library Budget
  • Building expansion, space management, stacks, and removal of books and item.

January 30, 2006 10:00 a.m. Library Room 100

  • Joint Meeting with Departmental Liaisons
  • Collection Development Plan
  • Subscriptions to electronic sources
  • Building Expansion Update
  • Library Staff Re-organization

March 6, 2006 10:00 a.m. Library Room 100

  • Discard of Library Materials and Replacement with Online Availability
  • Redesign of the Existing Library Building Phase II
  • Demonstration of Online Learning
  • Committee Policy Recommendation on "Information and Visual Literacy"

April 10, 2006 10:00 a.m. Library Room 100

  • Recommendation on "Information and Visual Literacy"
  • Review Collection Plan Draft
  • Update on Library Building Expansion and Remodeling
  • Selection of co-chairs for the Library and Learning Resources Committee 06-07. Co-chairs will be Peter Wolcott and Dwight Haworth.

Summary of Proceedings for the Year

Dean Stephen Shorb, in his first year as Dean of the University Library, serves ex-officio and attended all meetings this year. Faculty and staff committee member attendance was excellent throughout the year. Student attendance was impacted by course conflicts at meeting times and the December graduation of some student representatives. All meetings were attended by at least one student representative. A joint meeting with departmental liaisons in January expanded the discussion of the Library Collection Development Plan to about 15 more persons. March and April meetings also were open to department liaisons. About four to five department liaisons attended the March and April meetings.

The November 7 discussion was about envisioning change. Strategies and opportunities aligned with the campus strategic goals were brought forward by the committee. A list was developed and discussed with Dean Shorb about expanding on community engagement. The enhancement of student focus and academic excellence goals also were discussed.

Throughout the year, the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from the current library structure to new expanded and modified space dominated the discussion. The January joint meeting with department liaisons focused on the collection development plan and budget challenges in conjunction with space issues. Criteria for developing the plan were presented by Robert Nash, University Library Professor. Committee members asked for a draft of the plan to review before the end of the academic year. It was understood that the new collection plan would guide 2006-2007 materials and online resources purchasing decisions.

Due to remodeling, stacks and materials are to be moved and in some cases discarded and replaced by electronic resources. Space freed up will be filled with newly acquired books and materials. A collection policy, the first draft introduced to the committee at the October meeting, will guide purchasing decisions. The collection development policy was discussed at every meeting this year. A list of materials scheduled for removal and a timetable for disposal was distributed by Dean Shorb.

Limited budget is an important consideration in determining the scope of collections and electronic databases that can be made available. There is ongoing concern among committee members about directing the total amount of library fees collected from students for library use.

Library committee members expressed concern throughout the year about the lack of faculty and student understanding about the resources available through the library. Laura Dickson, librarian and committee member, demonstrated the University Library website links and how to locate materials not available in the UNO library. The library committee articulated their support of the University librarians who offer instruction, advise and coordinate with the departments. The committee emphasized that librarians must keep repeating the message about the extensive resources and library services available.

The library committee developed a recommendation for information and visual literacy. The recommendation will guide the University Library in focusing on this growing field of study and interest. The recommendation follows the summary list of topics discussed in meetings 05-06.

A summary list of topics discussed:

ü The building expansion, Phase I and renovation, Phase II

ü Library mission and vision and UNO Strategic Plan goals

ü Redundancy of print and electronic materials and notification of disposal, budgeting challenges to increasing the collections.

ü The redirection of student library fees towards direct support of the library,

ü Space allocation for faculty, graduate assistants, student work groups, senior faculty and other space considerations,

ü A collection development plan that would adjust current allocations for purchases. The new proposed development plan makes a statement of priorities based on criteria with the intent of managing costs and budget available for purchases

ü Collection development policy

ü Shared access to resources across NU campuses and among NE libraries and locating materials not available from UNO Library

ü Library staff re-organization

ü Informing faculty and departments about the University Library website, the services available through UNO to get materials from other libraries, and availability of journals through electronic databases.

ü Information and Visual Literacy recommendation:

University of Nebraska at Omaha

University Library & Learning Resource Committee Recommendation

Information and Visual Literacy


The Library and Learning Resource Committee supports a visionary and leadership role of the University Library in information and visual literacy. Currently, the library promotes literacy through instruction and development of resources for students and faculty. Greater emphasis is needed to bring awareness of and focus to information and visual literacy. Information literacy relates to text-based materials where visual literacy is about graphics and images.

Courses that address literacy are emerging in several disciplines and it appears that some UNO general education courses are changing to incorporate literacy objectives and tools. A better understanding of the extent of information and visual literacy instruction in colleges and departments will aid library planning. While a stand-alone course dedicated to literacy is an option, the committee believes that literacy competencies will be best achieved through existing for-credit courses in the various disciplines.

The committee recognizes that the University Library is in the process of creating a comprehensive plan that will follow the ARCL model to address levels of literacy. Dean Shorb describes the direction the library is heading:

The role of the library in literacy should be to provide the tools (software, hardware, training) and resources (books, our own web guides, examples and comparisons) to reinforce these efforts as they are currently presented in the classroom. We also have a role in informing the instructional process by making the tools and resources known and valued.

The library committee recommends increased emphasis on and visibility for information and visual literacy including:

  1. well-articulated literacy goals in the University Library Strategic Plan,
  2. participation of library staff in campus literacy discussions and professional development opportunities,
  3. increased implementation and promotion of instruction, tutorials, and reference materials for improved information and visual literacy; at the library website and through organized library instruction,
  4. displays /exhibits that draw attention to information and visual literacy and the importance of the critical evaluation of textual and visual information,
  5. library-developed tools and resources that can be used by instructors to support course literacy objectives, and
  6. greater emphasis on visual literacy through instruction provided by the library.

The Educational Resources and Services Committee will be provided a copy of this document. The NCATE, National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, guidelines include literacy and there may be other accrediting agencies requiring literacy. The library committee plans to continue this discussion of directions and strategies to improve literacy and will add to this document as library plans unfold.