O'Keefe Library
Annual Report 1995 - 1996
Departmental Reports

Director | Administrative Assistant to the Director | Circulation | Reference | Media Services | Acquisitions | Technical Services


The academic year 1995-96 saw the completion of the new library and thus the transistion from McMullen Library & Learning Center to the beautiful Evans Woollen designed new library. The building process began with groundbreaking on October 9, 1994 and culminated with opening day on March 18, 1996.

I had two major goals for the 95-96 year: first, to supervise and maintain quality services in McMullen Library, and second to manage a smooth transition to services in the new building.

The primary projects accomplished during the fall semester included: assisted about 340 students in fulfilling the library requirement; finished up the three year reclass project so all books are now in the Library of Congress system; finished up inventory and weeding project; conducted search for professional movers; shifted microfilm collection to new cabinets; compacted the periodical collection for easier handling during the move; ordered 60% of the year's acquitions list by December; and evaluated and withdrew all records from databases and shelflist for media items in formats no longer useful. All these tasks were done while also maintaining full service to our users.

After a very busy fall, we had no time to rest. We began immediately to plan all the details of the move. Many hours were spent in preparation, but all paid off in the orderly removal of books from McMullen and placement on the shelves in the new building. Hallett Brothers, professional library movers from the Chicago area provided excellent service. Jennifer Davis was given the charge to be the lead library person for the move. She, assisted by Jeff Forret, performed her tasks admirably. They micro-managed all the details of the move spending many extra hours planning tomorrow's tasks.

Shelving, furniture, and equipment (including computers) began to arrive in January. Nanette Miller began the task of preparing computers for different uses in their new high tech environment. With the help of Academic Computing personnel, the computers and the CD ROM tower were hooked up to the network. Software was installed which expanded access to all library services from four computers in McMullen to 15 in the new library.

A small disaster struck in early February. Due to extremely cold temperature, pipes in the vestibule froze and burst on a Saturday night and were not discovered until early Monday morning. Water poured under the front door, down the sidewalk, and, unfortunately, also into the basement. With the excellent quick help of maintenance, housekeeping personnel, library staff and campus volunteers we were able to move all items out of harm's way. The clean up was completed well ahead of the scheduled move.

On a rather cold day, the 6th of March, we celebrated the anticipated move with a ceremonial move of 114 books symbolizing the number of years of St. Ambrose History. Faculty and students lined up on the sidewalks between McMullen Library and the new building. After opening remarks by Dr. Rogalski from the steps of McMullen, he led the academic procession of the University Officers, faculty, staff and library personnel to the new library. Then the 114 books were passed from hand to hand along the chain of people and received by me at the front door of the new library. It was a chilly but very joyous day. The Choir sang Ambrosian Oaks. The media was there taking lots of pictures and the event was topped off with a treat of specially designed library-shaped cookies, and cocoa. Nancy Johnson-VanHecke was in charge of orchestrating the event. She did an excellent job and seemed to thoroughly enjoy the task.

After a week of very intense labor, the library opened for service on March 18th, 1996 at 8:00 a.m. I made the comment that probably for the one and only time in history, every book was in the right place.

Since our opening in March, we have continued at a fast pace. There have been many special occasions and visits by delegations from other institutions evaluating new libraries. There was an open house for donors during graduation festivities and many parents toured the library on graduation day. The library was closed from graduation through the end of June. This down time allowed staff to concentrate on tasks that could not be done while offering full service to users. Although it looked as though we were fully ready for business on March 18th, there were many jobs that needed to be done in order to be truly ready for full service. Thanks to Academic Computing staff we have added a significant number of computers which allow access to e-mail and Internet services. We also prepared a new handbook for faculty and one for students during this time period.

In preparation for expanded service requirements in the new library, we hired two new staff people: namely, Katie Dobbeleare, interlibrary loan clerk, and Patricia Kranovich, reference librarian.

We anticipate a wonderful year in our lovely new home. I thank the entire campus community for all the help and assistance provided to the library during this transition year. The faculty were very cooperative with the restriction on services as we prepared for the move. Book orders came in at the 60% level by December which helped us greatly. The orders were received, cataloged and processed. We are now working on the April orders which also will be ready by August.

Even though I haven't mentioned every staff member by name in this report, I want to acknowledge my deep appreciation to everyone on the staff for their dedication to duty and their extraordinary contributions to the success of the entire library service enterprise during academic year 1995-96. It was truly a year to remember and celebrate.

Corinne Potter



This is the first year in the history of St. Ambrose University Library for the Director to have an Administrative Assistant. After thoroughly enjoying the challenge of being part of cataloging and processing books in the Technical Services Department for three years, I was hired to fill this new position begining January 15, 1996. In March I moved into a beautiful office adjacent to the Director's office on the third floor of our new building.

Cooperation and training from several staff members in different departments helped me get started. Nancy Johnson-Van Hecke from Acquisitions handed off the bookkeeping and supplies ordering duties, records, and computer files. Jennifer Davis in Technical Services passed on the job of acknowledging and recording all gifts to the library. Jeff Forett provided a tremendous amount of organizational work in the Special Collections/Archives room and Jim Corbly continued with cataloging its contents, both of which are essential so I can effectively assist and supervise our patrons in the use of those collections. All of the staff has been helpful in answering my many questions. Finally, Mrs. Potter has been a great support as we worked together organizing our offices and the Library Archives space in Special Collections room.

In addition to routine duties I was assigned to keep records of purchase orders and spending from the New Library Equipment Budget. Another large project was to assist in publication of the updated Faculty Handbook for the Library.

During the 1995/96 fiscal year gifts were received from 94 donors and consisted of 1,640 book titles, 52 periodical titles, 822 media titles, and two items of memorabilia.

I look forward to continuing my tasks of keeping accurate records of our budgeted accounts, maintaining a timely flow of invoices from the library to the business office, managing gifts records and acknowledgements, assisting our patrons by scheduling and supervising the use of the Special Collections/Archive materials, and assisting our Director and other staff as needed.

Kathy Byers



With the move into the new facility, many changes occurred and are reflected in this year's statistics. Because we were closed during Spring Break for the move, and closed for 6 weeks during May and June, our numbers were down. For a brief comparison of what we could have expected, I looked at last year's statistics for the months of May and June on the book count for students, fac/staff and reciprocal borrowing. While there was an increase in the numbers, the only area that actually surpassed last year's stats was in the reciprocal borrowing - it would have increased to 3,064, up by a couple hundred. Using totals from the months of March, April, May and June of 1995 for the turnstyle count, our usage would have shown a total of 92,784 - an increase of almost 10,000 over last year. We did notice upon opening in the new facility, however, that usage was up dramatically --but without a patron counter in place until FY96/97, there was no way to measure this. Another difference was seen in periodical usage. Although the number was down by 3,000, with the new facility we stopped having any periodicals kept in the circulation area for sign out since they would all be on first floor. The '95 and '96 periodical checkin statistics were 7,708 and 4,295 respectively, for a difference of 3,413. Pink periodical card checkouts were 967 in '95, and 704 in '96 for a difference of 263. Therefore, I feel the statistics for this year were affected just by the new setup of periodicals. With the new facility pretty much ready for a new year, FY96/97 statistics will be interesting to see.

There was an increase in student worker hours this year by 186.5 hours, but the best increase was the addition of a full-time evening circulation supervisor. David Buffington was added to the circulation staff as of July 1, 1996. This helped me immeasurably, and provided extra security for our new facility once we were in. With our extended hours, and the fact that we can't always rely on our evening student assistants to be there, it was reassuring to know that we would always give professional assistance to our users by having an evening supervisor in the building.

With our new facility we added two new copiers, for a total of four copiers available to all users. Again, Tom Pasmore and his company, Office Machine Consultants, have been consistently wonderful in their service and dedication to our copy needs.

Because of our new facility and the way we are now set up, we have pushed very hard to get all materials in the library up to speed in order to secure them as much as possible. This project was started in May with the closing of the library, and continues now, although very slowly, since we have to work around people, but with any luck will be completed by the time school starts in August.

My plan for the remainder of the summer, is to update and modify both the procedures manual and the student assistant handbook. There was an upgrade to the CLSI/GEAC system this summer, so the "crib sheets" at the computer must be changed and the "tutorial" changed accordingly. Meanwhile, David is learning more of the duties I routinely perform since he will take over my daytime hours and the training of the new student assistants while I am on maternity leave this fall. With the increased responsibility of the new, larger building, our number of student assistants has increased as well. This will be quite a load for David in the fall since he will be responsible for training all of them. Luckily, all evening student assistants are returning students, so David shouldn't have to worry about overseeing any training with them and they are all very well-versed in procedures already. So, all in all, FY96/97 looks to start off with a bang and will make for a very interesting report next year.
Carol Anne DeMarr



The most significant development was the addition
of Nanette Miller to our reference staff. Nanette has served
the dual role of reference librarian and systems manager,
working with the Academic Computing staff. An entirely
new reference position has been approved, and we have
interviewed and chosen that librarian.

Where the Wild Things Are

Both Nanette and Marylaine have developed their web pages. Nanette created the library homepage. This will be immensely useful for students and faculty alike, since from any internet-connected computer, they will be able to see a list of our journal holdings, a list of our video holdings, and a list of newly acquired books and videos. Library policies, hours, announcements, bibliographies, and other information are also available on the page, as is the excellent page Nanette created for National Poetry Month, and a link to Marylaine's Where the Wild Things Are: Librarian's Guide to the Best Information on the Net. Wild Things has grown to a selective database of about 3000 links. These carefully chosen links include

  1. full texts of virtually every important historical document and (out-of-copyright) literary work
  2. news sites for both general news and news in specific fields such as science, medicine, etc.
  3. sites of special use for faculty and for college administrators--chances for collaborative learning activity on the web, research reports and statistics on higher education, etc.
  4. a hot paper topics file for students of full text articles and documents on all sides of topics students traditionally write papers on.
  5. important sites by major--selected by Marylaine and by faculty
  6. internet guides--including a great deal of useful training material
  7. job hunting, grad school preparation and general college survival material for students.
  8. a really good reference desk to answer almost any question you might have: statistics, dictionaries, voter information, reviews, biographical materials, and more.

In November and December, Marylaine converted every file on Wild Things so that it could be transferred from the web server to the Mac www server.

This weekly-updated site, which has gotten thousands of "hits" from on-campus and off, has been well-reviewed by Magellan, and has been linked in to over 222 other pages, including those of UCLA, Cal Tech, Swarthmore, the Chicago Public Library, Cornell University, the Library of Congress, Essential links (at Slonet), the Virtual Global College (South Africa), the University of Aberdeen, Pick: Quality Internet Sources in Library and Information Science, Recommended Reading Sources at interlog.com, High Profile Educational Resources at www.xe.com/, Boston College, Canisius College, the University of Michigan, Indiana University, and more. It has been honored as a "Creative Application and Example" of internet as an instructional tool by a History/Social Studies web site for teachers. The University of Massachusetts uses it as a primary tool for class assignments in a class on learning the internet. (The site also got a wonderful write-up in the March 3, 1996 Rock Island Argus.) We are pleased that the site is bringing positive publicity to St. Ambrose University.

The move to the new library, the weeding of the reference collection, and the addition of a great deal of new reference material we didn't have much time to look at, has made it necessary for us to relearn the reference collection and the new locations of materials. Marylaine created some quizzes/pathfinders for us to use to explore the collection a bit more.

The move to the new building also made it necessary to rewrite virtually every library handout. Reference staff have worked with the director on the new student handbook, the new faculty handbook, and new policy statements on everything from computer use to use of specialized building facilities. Nanette has been hard at work putting much of this on our web page. Marylaine had to totally redo the Periodicals Holdings List to indicate all titles on microfilm or in other special locations; she also had to input all the holdings, location, and format data for every title in Expanded Academic Index.

During the year we have prepared and/or updated handouts, including the FirstSearch instructions and tutorials, the business and marketing bibliographies, CINAHL instructions, Preparing for the Job Interview, and Netscape instructions. Marylaine, in conjunction with her other column, BookByteshas written a number of bibliographic essays and expanded and revised a dozen annotated bibliographies of "Books Too Good To Put Down," developed in their original form a few years back for Ann Austin's reading classes.

Marylaine also updated the manual describing procedures for all aspects of periodicals management, from selection through checkin, claiming, and binding.

Collection Development

We did significant work with the faculty of Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy on documenting desirable new journal subscriptions. We also worked with Bea Jacobson on adding several women's studies titles, as well as building the book collection in this area. In the absence of a director for the Social Work program, Marylaine spent 80% of the social work book budget, primarily on works published by the social workers' professional associations, and ordered several new journals in social work. When Kathylene Siska was hired, Marylaine worked with her on spending the remainder of the social work book budget.

Accreditation Reporting

Pending the arrival of Kathylene Siska as director of the Social Work program, Marylaine prepared documentation of all the books ordered from the Social Work budget and all the existing and newly-added journal titles that support the social work program; she also presented information about the social work page she has placed on her web site, Where the Wild Things Are. In July of 1995, Marylaine met with Robert Kaper to discuss the impact the ACCEL program would have on library services.

Information Technology

The move to the new library was a substantial technological leap for St. Ambrose University. The new building was wired for hundreds of network connections, so the move necessarily required a lot of equipment preparation. We were basically providing the same information services, but the newer, more powerful computing environment significantly increased the possibility of access to information resources. With the help of the Academic Computing department, specifically the enduring patience of Colin Young and Margee Crawley, the presence of automated information resources more than tripled. This migration required standardization, security, and a sensitivity to the needs of the growing campus community.

In order to make the transition as smooth as possible for faculty, staff, and students, we felt that it was important to have a high degree of standardization, not only throughout the library, but also with the rest of the computer resources available on campus. The first step in the process was to create a computer policy which would meet the needs of the growing student body and preserve the mission of the library. We felt that it was becoming increasingly important to provide word processing stations, but we did not want the word processing stations to out number the information resources. The new computer service policy reflected this concern by clearly stating our objectives and defining our personal roles in terms of the increased number of applications available at each terminal.

The second step was to manually configure the computers to maximize the amount of information alternatives available. Handled in conjunction with the staff of Academic Computing, this process required a superior knowledge of hardware and software applications, memory management, as well as troubleshooting techniques. The goal was to customize the configuration to have as much flexibility per terminal, as possible. This resulted in more than fifteen information terminals which were equipped with all available automated information services: Quad-LINC, Expanded Academic Index, ERIC and CINAHL periodical indices, the INTERNET, and advanced searching via OCLC's FirstSearch. Software to secure the information resource terminals was installed as the final step in the computer set up, with Nanette trained as administrator of the software. The move provided an excellent opportunity to train Nanette, as she observed and documented troubleshooting techniques applied by the Academic Computing Staff. faculty workshop on FirstSearch, Internet (4 faculty)

Classroom Instruction:

August 15met with new student seminar instructors to discuss the
library requirement, schedule for the new building, etc.
August 30 Rev. Brian Miclot: Intro to Philosophy (25 students)
Rev. Brian Miclot's 2 Ethics classes (60 students)
Christine Malaski, OT Methods, 2 classes (60 students)
September 7 Pat Deluhery, Senior Seminar, 2 sessions (30 students)
September 11 OT and PT faculty here for demonstration of FirstSearch and Internet
September 12 Corinne Winter's new student seminar (5 students)
Pat Deluhery, senior seminar, 10 students
September 13 Pat Deluhery, senior seminar, 15 students
September 15 Bill Lynn, Small Business Management (20 students)
September 18 faculty workshop on internet and FirstSearch (5 faculty attending)
September 19 Craig Shoemaker's new student seminar (17 students)
September 20 Jon Stauff's new student seminar (15 students)
September 25
September 26 Shiela Funderburk's new student seminar (20 students)
October 2 John Byrne's new student seminar (14 students)
Reid Christopherson's new student seminar (16 students)
October 4 Nanette begins working for us
October 9 Faculty workshop on FirstSearch, Internet (2 faculty)
October 11 Roseanne Cook's new student seminar (15 students)
Meredith Beno's new student seminar (12 students)
October 16 Ann Austin's new student seminar (12 students)
Marty Shockey's new student seminar (14 students)
Faculty workshop on FirstSearch, Internet (1 faculty member)
October 18 Robin Shaffer's new student seminar (15 students)
October 23 Faculty workshop on Internet and FirstSearch (1 faculty)
November 2 Dennis Shaw's new student seminar (18 students)
January 17 3 faculty workshops on Internet and FirstSearch (6 faculty)
January 25 Craig Shoemaker's Marketing Research (15 students)
Pam Watkins' Special Ed 593 (4 students)
January 30 Bonnie Lindemann's Business Policy class (4 students)
February 1 Suzanne Seeber, Secondary Reading in Content Area (15 students)
February 11 Jim Mullins' senior seminar (15 students)
February 13 Jim Mullins' Senior Seminar (14 students)
February 27 Bea Jacobson's English 360 (6 students)
March 18 open in new building
March 19 Bill Parsons' Urban Politics class (6 students)
March 22 Brian Miclot's Intro to Philosophy (15 students)
Brian Miclot's Ethics class (12 students)
March 28 Dean Marple's Social Studies Methods (8 students)
Roseanne Cook's new student seminar (4 students)

Bibliographic Instruction

Because of the move, the majority of library instruction was done during the fall semester this year. We stopped doing the library requirement in December, 1995. As a consequence, we only put 337 students through the requirement instead of the 530 we have been averaging (the remaining students will have to be put through along with next year's anticipated 550 entering freshmen and transfer students). Of these, 257 filled out the evaluation. Responses indicated a high level of satisfaction with the workbook and the instruction given by the librarians (95-98% of the responses were 5's and 4's, on a scale of 1-5, unsuccessful to successful).

As always, we have written new library workbooks for the 1996-97 academic year; in this case they were revised to introduce the new building to students, and to provide better internet instruction.


Please help us evaluate the library workbooks. Let us tell you what we tried to teach you in this exercise, and you tell us whether we succeeded.

1. By taking one topic and following it through the various kinds of resources in the library,
and by giving you a model of this method to take with you, we tried to show
you a research strategy that you can apply to your own future projects. Were we successful?

(Successful) 5 4 3 2 1 (Unsuccessful)

2. We wanted to show you the usefulness of a subject encyclopedia to show you the scope of the topic, varying perspectives on it, and recommended reading about it. Were we successful?

(Successful) 5 4 3 2 1 (Unsuccessful)

3. We wanted to show you several ways of obtaining subject headings to search with--from subject encyclopedias, from the Subject Headings List, and from catalog or index records. Were we successful?

(Successful) 5 4 3 2 1 (Unsuccessful)

4. We wanted to show you both subject and keyword searching in the Quad-LINC catalog and Academic Index, so that if a subject search doesn't give you what you want, you can still find it anyway. Were we successful?

(Successful) 5 4 3 2 1 (Unsuccessful)

5. We wanted to show you some of the kinds of information publicly available on the INTERNET, and some techniques for finding them. Were we successful?

(Successful) 5 4 3 2 1 (Unsuccessful)

6. Your comments?

Workbook Evaluation Report

Ever since the Library Requirement was established in 1985, we have been asking for an evaluation of the process from those who completed it. We told students what we tried to teach them with the workbook, and they rated our success on a scale of 1-5, unsuccessful to successful. This year has been no exception to the overwhelming success of this eleven year old program. Approximately 500 students, mostly freshmen, complete the workbook each year. This early learning strategies to retrieve books,articles, and Internet sites, and to develop critical thinking skills helps students all through their college career and stands them is good stead for life long library use. I consider this requirement to be one of the major contributions to total library instruction services on this campus. The success has been measured in other ways as well. It is noticed by library staff that our students are much more self-reliant and make more sophisticated use of the library's resources following completion of this requirement. (C. Potter, editor's note)

Satisfaction Survey Results



Interlibrary loan was once again very busy for the 1995-1996 year. There was an increase in both borrowing and lending activity, as well as a new ordering procedure that was implemented and new staff that handled the duties of I.L.L.

For 1995-1996, St. Ambrose University students and faculty requested 1,011 books and articles. We received 928 of those requests, for a fill rate of 92%. SAU students requested 627 items and the faculty requested 384 items. The library received 2,787 requests from other libraries for our materials and we were able to fill 2377 (85%). We had 639 OCLC requests and 2,148 fax, mailbox and picklist requests, filling 429 and 1,948 respectively. These totals were an increase from last year, in which we requested 995 items and received 888 and sent out 2,235 items. We would have had more requests from both the SAU community and other libraries, but I.L.L. was shut down from February 15 until April 1 because of the move. This is usually the busiest time for I.L.L. because this is when term papers are usually assigned. We were also closed to the public for six weeks in May and June 1996, so no requests were made during this time. That meant that the students taking summer classes were not able to use I.L.L.

There was also a new interlibrary loan ordering system that went into effect in January 1996 called Picklist/System-Wide Holds. This allowed other libraries to use the existing GEAC library computer network to place holds on books that belonged to other libraries in the River Bend Library System. A list was then sent every weekday morning to the libraries that had books put on hold. The libraries then would check in the book, in order to trap the hold, and then send it to the requesting library. That library would then check the book out to their patron and then check the book back in when the patron was finished with it. This system has helped to streamline the I.L.L. process by doing away with much of the individual mailbox requests that were once sent, creating less paperwork. At first, there was some apprehension to this system, but most of the libraries now agree that the Picklist is much easier than the old system.

There was also another change in the I.L.L. routine in that the Circulation department took over the I.L.L. duties. This may account for the increase in activity in I.L.L. since the Circulation department had more time than the librarians to search for and fill the requests. This gave the Reference department more time to help students answer important research questions.

St. Ambrose should see another busy year in 1996-1997 for Interlibrary Loan.

David Buffington



We moved!

Included in the move was a good deal of time spent sorting and packing. Determinations were made as to what should move to the new building and what should be left behind. The non-print collection was completely weeded with only the most current materials moving to the new facility. Faculty were given the opportunity to take dated or little used materials for their personal collections if they desired, but very little was taken and that which was taken was quite esoteric. The entire video collection was moved to the new facility.

Approximately 200 volumes were added to the video collection. Classroom viewing of video programs continued to show a steady increase. Also, showing a marked increase in use was video recording of classroom presentations by both faculty and students. An increase in videotaping of guest presenters was also noted. We were also involved in a video recording project with a faculty member doing research for his doctorate degree.

The use of 16mm films dropped to an all time low of four for the year. It seems amazing that the media that was going to replace the classroom teacher has now almost ceased to exist. Will the same happen to computers in the future? The classroom teacher seems to be a needed and durable breed.

An attempt was made to meet individually with new faculty and discuss with them the services available through Media Services and through the Library in general. Meeting the new people on campus is one of the more enjoyable functions of Media Services.

Harold Krubsack



Acquisitions this year seemed busier than usual--maybe it was the big move to the new building! In preparation for that move, we asked department chairs to submit book orders totaling 60% of their assigned library budget before the end of first semester. Departments were wonderful in complying with our request and acquisitions was inundated with book orders. January was spent completing the ordering process, then logging and receiving the books as they arrived. New books were inventoried, boxed and moved to the new building to await processing after the move had been completed.

The first part of the second semester was spent finalizing plans for the March 4 ceremonial move and assisting in getting acquisitions ready for the actual move during Spring Break. The ceremonial move took place on the morning of March 4, 1996, when hundreds of students, staff and faculty stood side by side to form a chain between the old library and the new. Dr. Rogalski carried an antique Bible from McMullen to the new building. He was joined by the University Vice-Presidents, the Academic Deans, our campus authors and our library director, Corinne Potter. Once these folks had reached the new building we passed 114 books along the chain to ceremonially mark our move from old to new, from past to future. After all books had been passed along the chain, special "library" cookies and cocoa were served. From all accounts, the ceremony was a success.

It has been a productive year. We are finally digging out of the backlog of work created by the move. Our new "digs" are splendid and even with the huge number of books that were on hold during the move, we have more than enough shelving and carts to accommodate the books without tripping over them! It's truly wonderful and we are looking forward to our first full year of operation in the new building.

Nancy Johnson-Van Hecke



It goes without saying that the most exciting event in the Technical Services Department this year was the transfer of library operations from McMullen Hall to our new building. In this endeavor, the members of this department played an especially crucial role. Jennifer Davis, for example, not only served as the contact person between the library and our mover but also helped plan and coordinate the entire moving process. Other technical services personnel inspected McMullen Hall several times in order to insure that any usable materials in that building were relocated to our new unit. I myself supervised the preparation, loading, unloading, and initial organization of the archival and special collections materials. I also worked with our Academic Computing department, the Online Computer Library Center, and the River Bend Library System to successfully transfer all automated systems to our new building and have them up and running by or shortly after our opening day, March 18.

Many of the special projects we have engaged in during the past several years were successfully concluded. Chief among these was the reclassification project in which all of the old Dewey books were integrated into our Library of Congress classified collections while their corresponding bibliographic records were converted into machine-readable form to allow accessibility to these materials via the Quad-LINC database.The target date for this enterprise was April 30, 1996. We not only beat this deadline by over four months but also finished under budget! This was due in large measure to the dedication and excellence of the staff of this department, to whom all users of the library owe a debt of gratitude.

Since last March, we have occupied ourselves with two major assignments. First, due to the tasks related to the move, all normal departmental functions were suspended between January 1 and March 18. A backlog was therefore created which we have been dealing with ever since. Although books have continued to arrive this summer, the number of those in the backlog has been significantly reduced.

Secondly, the archives and special collections materials have been reorganized in a manner which is worthy of the unique nature of these tomes. I have been busy cataloging, classifying, and preparing for public use these books which for far too long languished in various locations of McMullen Hall, unused by the majority of our patrons simply because there was no approach to them. It is gratifying to know that the demand for these items, now that they are available, has dramatically increased in our new building. I must quickly add that I did not labor in special collections by myself. Jeff Forret, currently a student at the University of North Carolina, completed many assignments in the archives area, including compiling an index for Bees and Bur Oaks, a history of St. Ambrose University.

Jim Corbly


This past fiscal year (1995-96) provided the Technical Services unit with many interesting and fast paced challenges: keeping pace with new book/media arrivals; the completion of the Dewey project (five months earlier than originally planned); coordinating the move of all library materials to the new building (three months earlier than originally foreseen); and collection maintenance (repair and mending books). There were also three staff changes, which required an additional training workload specific to the unique tasks we were completing. To say the pressure was on is an understatement.

The total new and gift book/media titles cataloged and fully processed in 1995-96 was up 7.7% and total volumes was up 12.75% over 1994-95. This continues the basic trend since 1986-87 of an increase of a little over 100 titles per year. The number of titles processed in FY 1992-93 was an unusually large because of the additional books purchased through the Title III and Lilly Grants.

86-87 1520 11 1531
87-88 1575 13 1588 3.72%
88-89 1574 85 1659 4.47%
89-90 1765 84 1849 11.45%
90-91 2133 93 2226 20.39%
91-92 2216 83 2299 3.28%
92-93 2262 78 2340 1.78%
93-94 2103 130 2233 -4.57%
94-95 1909 118 2027 -9.23%
95-96 1991 192 2183 7.70%

As in previous years the ‘new books' category was
the largest proportion of total items cataloged. This category
has varied in the past four years between nearly 75% and 85%
of all items. This is excluding the work done on the Dewey
reclassification project. When the Dewey project is added,
it becomes the largest portion of the overall workload.
As indicated in the following section on the
Dewey project, it was begun in April, 1993 and
completed in December 1995. For the past three
years this additional project more than doubled the
overall workload of the Technical Services unit.
Since this additional work only affected the first
six months of 1995-96, the staff completed the
equivalent of the previous year's entire Dewey
workload in just six months.

Cataloging and processing a title (book or media)
is the last step for any new title. This data does not reflect when orders are placed or when a title may be received.

This is especially important when looking at
1995-96. The importance of completing the cataloging
and processing of the Dewey titles replaced the normal
priority of working on new titles first. Additionally,
Technical Services personnel were tapped for the
preparation of the collection and the extensive
planning of its move to the new building. This
latter work took top billing from December, 1995
to the actual move, March 11, 1996. By virtue of
both of these "projects", a large proportion of new
title cataloging/processing was delayed until the final
three months of the fiscal year (April-June, 1996) and
carried over into the July-August, 1996 time period. More
titles were cataloged in this last quarter than any prior quarter.
The library's collection was increased
primarily in the social sciences, economics and
criminal justice areas (LC classification H), followed
by education (L), sciences and mathematics (Q),
and medicine (R). To a certain extent this reflects
the occupational therapy, physical therapy, and
social work programs which are the more recent
additions to the curriculum.
Another way to look at the library's
collection development, is at the percentage
of titles processed for each of the colleges and
the library. A comparision of the percentage of
titles processed in 1993-94 and 1995-96 show
minor changes in the totals for each college. The
decrease in the percentage of books and media
processed for the Library is due in part to the
lessening of Title III and Lilly grants. The increase
in the College of Human Services would be affected
by the addition of the Masters Degree in Social Work
in August, 1997. The College of Arts & Sciences
continues to order the largest number of materials.
The titles processed can also be examined
in terms of the materials processed for each specific
department this year. The English Department, Library,
Education Department, and the History Department had
the largest number of books processed. The books
puchased and processed for the Library are primarily
reference materials. The percentage of gift books processed
represents materials donated to the library, which have been
added to the collection.


The goal of the Dewey Reclassification Project was to completely merge the Dewey and Library of Congress collections before moving into the new library.
As the timetable for the move of the library
changed to an earlier date, so too did the target
date for completing the reclassification project.
An intensive effort by library staff at SAU and at
River Bend Library System during the second quarter
of FY 1995-96 (Oct-Dec) resulted in the processing
of 1,980 titles during that quarter alone. This represents
17.95% of the total titles reclassified by quarters.
A tremendous effort by the staff to conclude the project
before the library move accounts for the upsurge in
The Dewey Project concluded, with the
exception of some individual items requiring
original cataloging, in December of 1995.

Library staff first processed each of these
volumes by comparing the cataloging information
on each shelflist (catalog) card with the volume.
This ensured that River Bend Library System (RBLS),
our subcontractor, received accurate information
for use in choosing an appropriate record from the
OCLC database in Ohio.

RBLS downloaded records to the Quad-LINC
database, attached barcode information to single
volume records, and prepared new labels for every book.
David Bowles of Technical Services at River Bend is
owed a large measure of thanks for his timely services in this project.
In-house staff then matched the new labels from
RBLS to the new shelflist cards from OCLC, and
checked them both against each book for accuracy
before applying the labels to the books. Finally,
each record was checked on the Quad-LINC computer

A total of 11,029 titles (12,737 volumes) were merged with the existing collection during the course of this multi-year project. All books in the collection are now classified with Library of Congress call numbers -- goal achieved!

The upkeep of our circulating collection is also
important to the health of the library. The total
number of items repaired in 1994-95 was 442, and
this increased to 721 in 1995-96. This increase is
due in part to the identification of damaged materials
during the shelf-reading of the total collection in the
new library, as part of the completion of the moving process.


Return to the Annual Report Index

LAST MODIFIED: November 17, 1997

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Created and Maintained by: Nanette Miller
Reference Librarian

St. Ambrose University