2007 Reaffirmation Teams
2.9 - 2007 Reaffirmation Teams
The institution, through ownership or formal arrangements or agreements, provides and supports student and faculty access and user privileges to adequate library collections and services as well as to other learning/information resources consistent with the degrees offered. Collections, resources, and services are sufficient to support all its educational, research, and public service programs.
The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) provides adequate resources and services, consistent with the degrees offered, to support the educational, research, and public service programs of the university. These resources and services are provided primarily through the University Libraries, but important learning and information resources support services also are associated with the activities of the Learning Resource Center and units included in the Department of Information Resources. The University Libraries consist of the Eugene McDermott Library (the main library facility) , the Callier Library  at the Callier Center for Communications Disorders, and a small satellite facility called MC2 in the School of Management building  .Library Collections and Services
The libraries provide a full array of academic library resources and services, use a variety of approaches to acquire and license materials, and provide members of the university community with access to relevant materials in the collections of other institutions when they are needed.
Access: Access to library services and collections is available in the physical facilities during designated hours that vary according to the patterns of the academic calendar . During academic semesters, the McDermott Library is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday from 8 a.m. to midnight, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 2 a.m. Each semester during the week of final examinations, the library remains open 24 hours per day. The Callier Library posts a service schedule of approximately 50 hours per week, but students, faculty, and research staff can receive training that will enable them to enter the library and use materials at any time they have access to the building in which the library is located . All UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff can access electronic collections (there are some exceptions when licenses prevent remote access) and services at any time by connecting via a computer to the McDermott Library’s website  and signing onto the library proxy server.
UT Dallas faculty, students, staff, and visitors may use materials from the physical collections whenever they are in McDermott Library or Callier Library. Due to license constraints, there are restrictions on access to some electronic resources by unaffiliated users, but whenever possible the library seeks to include in-house access for community clients in its contracts with online vendors as a public service. Borrowing privileges and loan periods vary according to categories of materials and user groups and are enumerated in the circulation policies published on the McDermott Library website . For students and faculty engaged in distance learning, the library maintains a special webpage to enable use of the collections as well as special library services for remote learners . Physical access to McDermott Library and Callier Library has been enhanced for users who have physical challenges by providing entry ramps, electronic doors, modified furniture, and personal assistance upon request. The Accessibility Office (MC 2.216) houses adaptive technology for use by visually impaired UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff. The hardware includes a computer, Optelec ClearView 700, Braille Blazer printer, and a scanner. Software includes Open Book, Jaws, Magic, Duxbury for Windows, and Dragon Naturally Speaking. .
In support of the collections, the McDermott Library provides services and equipment to make optimal use of the materials and to teach its customers how to use the collections and information available in other resources. The services include reference, circulation, library instruction and tours, media, interlibrary loan, and data services .
The librarians employ technology to provide and/or store information about what is owned and what is licensed. In addition to the online library catalog, which includes access to all ordered files, the library recently purchased Verde, an Electronic Resource Management (ERM) system. This system enables all UT Dallas librarians to access a variety of information about the library’s electronic purchases including where purchased, the cost for the current year and for past years, sales and technical support contacts, and the location of usage statistics. Another system harvests information from the online catalog and creates a real-time alphabetical list of all electronic journal materials for posting on the library web pages. A fleet of servers and other equipment is used to access and store digitized collections and databases. Additional information regarding these and the other electronic and computer resources described below is available in the response to Principle 3.8.1 .
The McDermott Library uses a variety of technologies to support access to the collections and to the Internet. It maintains 48 computer workstations and 48 laptops to enable customers to access the resources. In addition, customers can sit anywhere in the McDermott Library building and use wireless technology to connect their personal computer equipment to the university network.
The library’s Voyager integrated library system (ILS) provides the means for customers to know what resources are owned or licensed by the library; enables access to electronic resources from on or off campus; retains purchase records, materials budgets, and cost balances; allows for the inventory and description of items and records; maintains accurate customer accounts for the checkout of resources; and supplies statistics on the use of the collections. The Library Systems staff manages the database on servers within the university. Over 20 terminals are available for access only to the library catalog. The library has equipped a room for the instruction of students and faculty on locating and evaluating resources and to learn more about the services provided by the staff. The room is equipped with 48 laptops for hands-on instruction.
The library retains nine computer servers to facilitate off-campus access to resources and to house a number of digital collections. In addition, the Library Systems Department contracts out some support services to provide improved access to technology. For example, the library has contracted out server space and maintenance for a variety of systems including interlibrary loan, electronic reserves, electronic resource management, and link resolver. By having the server space and maintenance as part of a contract, the library enhances its ability to provide constant and consistent maintenance for these critical systems. The library uses a three-year replacement cycle for all customer and staff equipment and works to incorporate strong maintenance agreements as a means to ensure minimal disruption of services due to equipment failure.
Collections and Their Acquisition: In 2006, the McDermott Library collections included 1,343,202 volumes, 2,746,026 microform units, 6,117 videos and DVDs, 17,733 maps, and 169,629 government documents . The content and formats characterizing collection growth in recent years reflect the emphasis of the UT Dallas mission on innovative, high quality science, engineering, and business education and research . The size of the collection of electronic journals in 2006 was 27,418 and has grown to over 30,000 . In addition, the library owns 364,380 electronic books. Through the web, faculty, students, and staff have library-facilitated access to hundreds of thousands more electronic books .
The library budget allows for the acquisition of approximately 10,000 newly-published volumes per year, reserving the largest share of collection funds for electronic resources and periodicals . Since 1997, funding for library acquisitions has been supported in part by a per credit hour library fee. Initially, the library collected $2.00 per credit hour. The fee was raised to $7.00 in 1998, $8.00 in 1999, $10.00 in 2000, and $12.00 per credit hour in 2006.
The library purchases books through direct selection by a team of liaison librarians, by systematic acquisition from an established approval program, and from a variety of electronic book providers by means of collaborative purchasing, subscription, and direct selection. In addition, the library employs electronic means to license journal subscriptions and datasets. The selections for media purchases are not made through the approval plan process but rather are ordered directly from film distributors. Gift items from faculty members and the community are added to the collections as specified by the library’s collection development policy .
The customized approval plan through Blackwell NA  reflects the distinctive nature of the educational programs and research interests of the university. The plan was initiated with faculty input to support the curriculum and research areas of each program. As each school within the university has unique characteristics, the plan acquires those resources that would be of most benefit to faculty members and students. In that aspect, each approval profile is similarly structured, encompassing each program’s curricular criteria at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Librarians work within the approval plan framework to establish the subject, publisher, and non-subject parameters of each school’s profile. Also, during the annual budget analysis, costs of each profile are estimated in advance, and the liaisons adjust the profiles as needed. The profiles can be adjusted at any time. As the university adds new programs and faculty, the liaisons modify the approval profiles.
The liaison librarians use a separate budget to acquire books and media requested by faculty and students as well as other titles that support the educational and research interests of the university but are not provided by the approval plan. The liaisons review a series of selection aids to purchase recommended titles. These selection resources include scholarly journals that contain disciplinary book and media reviews; Choice , a standard selection tool for academic libraries; and bestseller lists prepared by Blackwell and Yankee, two large national book and approval plan vendors that focus on the higher education market. In addition, the librarians systematically acquire suitable award winning publications recognized for their quality by the Booker Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the American Library Association’s Newbury and Caldecott awards.
The Library Committee, comprised of faculty and students, participates in collection development in the UT Dallas libraries. The committee is charged to review library policies and procedures and make recommendations to the dean of libraries, to assist and promote faculty and student participation in the selection of library resources, and to evaluate periodically the library holdings and services and make recommendations for their improvement .
The library provides an analysis of the collection for each new degree program that is submitted to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) for approval. In writing the analysis, collections relevant to the proposed degree are evaluated. The librarians use a number of established means to determine the comprehensiveness of the library’s resources including books, journals, and other forms of information. The collection is evaluated against materials owned by other university libraries that have strong programs comparable to the one being proposed. Specifically, the librarians review the journals collection using the Journal Citation Reports from the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) and review the entire collection using OCLC’s World Collection Analysis software which allows for a direct comparison of UT Dallas’ collections to other selected libraries. An analysis of the collections in biomedical engineering is provided as an example in the supporting documents . Recently, several faculty members approached the liaison for the public administration programs to try to identify major treatises in that discipline that are widely owned by universities with a stronger, more established program. This analysis requires permission from several institutions and is ongoing. The analysis will provide the faculty and librarians a list of the titles owned in the discipline that are shared and unique to each university and UT Dallas.
The librarians use a variety of methods to acquire periodicals and databases, including consortial purchases through a plan administered by The University of Texas System (UT System) to acquire materials that can be shared between the component institutions and directly purchased following a trial implementation for evaluation of a product prior to the purchase. Whenever possible, the electronic format is preferred over paper for journals except when the quality of the digital copy is not equal or superior to the printed version. Over the past five years, customers have widely accepted, and frequently demanded, the transition of journals to electronic format. Library staff members scan the call number labels of all periodical volumes used in the reading rooms to track usage. During 2006, printed periodical volumes were used 5,910 times. In contrast, over 600,000 articles from electronic journals were downloaded in 2006 . At present, only 100 periodical titles are received exclusively in print. Over 30,000 other journals are available electronically.
Through direct acquisition and through the licensing of full-text databases, the journals collection has increased in size exponentially. The librarians achieved much of the increase in the number and quality of journals through the pooling of resources with other libraries of UT System  . Customers can access over 30,000 electronic journals including such packages as JSTOR, Wiley’s Interscience (Wylie InterScience Online Journal), Institute of Physics, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and the American Chemical Society Web Edition.
In addition, a new state-wide initiative, the Texas Digital Library , is preparing a digital infrastructure for the scholarly activities of all Texas universities beginning with four Texas Association of Research Libraries (ARL) universities - The University of Texas, Texas A&M University, The University of Houston, and Texas Tech University. UT Dallas holds an associate membership in The Texas Digital Library, enabling the library to contribute to its collections and to share its resources .
While the number of journals available continues to increase, the liaisons pay special attention to retain access to the journals having the highest impact factor as cited by ISI. The library also acquires all journals for which a UT Dallas faculty member serves on the editorial board.
The librarians employ a variety of means to acquire and license electronic books. The statistics on the usage of electronic books are high and significant when compared with those on the usage of printed books. Each month, the usage statistics generated by the libraries’ e-book vendors are gathered and evaluated by the senior associate director . E-book dissemination models vary greatly by vendor. Since UT System is aligned with NetLibrary , librarians from the component institutions select a large quantity of e-books from the NetLibrary collection. Each quarter, the library receives bibliographic records corresponding to its NetLibrary purchases to load into the library’s catalog. Items purchased through the NetLibrary subscription are supplemented by resources provided by other vendors. The library also subscribes to the academic collection offered by ebrary . In addition, the library has a subscription to the entire collection of Safari Tech  books in computer science, which complements the collection of printed resources. The library also purchases electronic titles from EBL and Greenwood Press. Finally, digital versions of many historic books, some more than 300 years old, are also available for electronic collections. The digital format limits the libraries’ exposure to collection problems such as preservation and storage that plague older institutions. While not all users are enamored with electronic books, two surveys conducted in 2004 and 2005 indicate that the majority of customers would use an electronic book. An analysis of the results of the surveys has been published and presented at an international conference  by the senior associate director.
The faculty and students of the School of Management and the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences use a variety of datasets to analyze problems. The libraries support this research through the licensing of a variety of datasets and services. At present, dataset expenditures comprise about 10% of the total library materials allocation. The libraries license a number of stock/bond products and policy/opinion products made available through Wharton Research Data Service (WRDS), an interface created by the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, through Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) at the University of Michigan, through Mergent, through Morningstar, and through iPoll.
The librarians rely on requests from faculty members to develop the media collections. Most items are used for class presentations, but the materials are made available for use in the library or for checkout. The media collections are utilized heavily in film and other humanities courses and also are used by management, criminal justice, and behavioral science instructors. The library collects video materials in both VHS and DVD formats and owns a limited collection of audiotape and other sound recording materials. Demand for audio materials is also supported through subscriptions to databases such as the Classical Music Library. The Multimedia Services unit provides resources and equipment to view films and listen to audio recordings. The collection supports the curriculum and research mission of the university.
The Interlibrary Loan Service uses funds from the materials budget to expedite the purchase of materials requested multiple times by faculty and students. Such expenditures must meet a rigorous set of criteria: the date of the publication must be within the last three years, the item must be written in English, the publisher must be academic, the cost must be under $100, the content must be relevant to the disciplines taught at the university as specified in the approval plan, and the item must be acquired within three to five days.
McDermott Library has been designated as a partial government depository for both federal and Texas state documents. The majority of this information is electronic. The library uses the depository collections to support university programs in political science and policy studies in addition to those in the natural sciences. The library’s collections are also augmented through the purchase of several microfiche libraries supporting programs in management and engineering. In addition, at the special request of student groups, the library now offers a small collection of bestsellers in print and audio formats that has become a popular library resource.
Assessment of the Collections: The library uses a variety of methods to determine the adequacy of the collections and to make sure that the resources are relevant. The liaison librarians consult standard review sources for academic libraries such as Choice and read many scholarly journals which publish reviews. In addition, the librarians select titles through an online module with the approval plan vendor and review lists of academic best selling titles. Lists of award winning publications are also examined. Also, librarians review lists of borrowed materials requested through Interlibrary Loan Services to identify frequently requested books and journals that should be owned by the library.
The librarians review the most cited journals in which faculty members at the university publish articles. Those journals having a high impact factor are identified using the Journal Citation Reports from ISI for the programs offered by the university.
When examining the depth of the collections, the librarians have access to OCLC’s WorldCat Collection Analysis tool  and can compare the resources available in any subject to those at a peer or peer-aspiration library. The librarians use bibliographies and other published resources to determine the completeness of the collection.
The library uses LibQUAL, the library services survey instrument developed by the Association of Research libraries in partnership with Texas A&M University , to study the service needs and expectations of academic and research library users. In response to items dealing with the adequacy of information resources provided by the library in 2007, the total pool of respondents judged the printed collections and electronic resources to exceed the minimum level required for adequacy (p. 29 - whole pool, p. 55 - grad students, and p. 68 - faculty) . Graduate students found the printed materials collections to be slightly less adequate than the minimum level they deemed acceptable, and faculty respondents were less satisfied with electronic information resources available. The responses of graduate students and faculty indicated some dissatisfaction with the “print and/or electronic journal collections I require for my work” . Many respondents cited the lack of resources in very specific areas such as practical art books on painting techniques, poetry, history and literature titles covering Latin America, multiple copies of textbooks, and computer science titles. These comments were forwarded to the subject liaisons to provide suggestions and direction.
Special Collections: Located on the third floor of the McDermott Library, the Special Collections Department  is an area designed to meet the needs of researchers and visitors. The library administration established the Special Collections Department in the mid-1970s to house rare books. In thirty years Special Collections has grown to include the History of Aviation Collection, the Wineburgh Philatelic Research Library, and the Louise B. Belsterling Botanical Library. A display area is located in the front of the department to attract people passing by the department. The research area contains seating for researchers and a large conference table for customer use. The public area contains a wide-format microform reader, scanner, printer, and a dual VHS/DVD machine connected to a television to enable access to the diverse materials included in Special Collections. The department uses an electronic storage system to make available many photographic, audio, and video collections.
Information Services: The library provides a number of services to support and instruct its customers and maximize their success in locating, using, and evaluating the information they seek. In addition to traditional checkout services facilitated by its Voyager ILS, the Circulation Services Department also provides assistance to customers in locating and recalling items. Whenever possible, the library alerts patrons that requested items are available and that checked out items are soon due for renewal. The Circulation Services staff is responsible for providing an inventory of the locations of the collections and the timely reshelving of all items used by patrons so that the material can be easily located. UT Dallas students, faculty, and staff are eligible to obtain a card at the circulation desk that will enable them to borrow materials in the collections of other Texas libraries that participate along with UT Dallas in the statewide TexShare Card Program.
Equipment for the copying of print and microform materials is available in the Library Copy Center adjacent to the reference materials and journal collections. In addition, the Library Copy Center maintains equipment to digitize microform and print resources. Color copying and scanning equipment are also provided.
Reference Services: Reference librarians are available at reference service desks to help customers begin their library research and improve their use of resources. In addition, they provide traditional information services such as assistance in deciphering citations and locating specific information. The Library Reference Department operates two service desks-one desk is located in McDermott Library while the other is an electronic-only facility called MC2 that is located in the School of Management. The business liaison librarians and the data librarian manage this facility. At the Callier Library, the Callier Librarian assists clients with their reference and information needs.
The Reference Department also provides reference service using e-mail and chat. UT Dallas reference librarians participate in UT System’s “Ask a Librarian” chat reference service , which provides customer support for students at any participating UT System institution. In addition, UT Dallas librarians use e-mail to answer questions from faculty, students, and staff. In 2007, McDermott Library implemented the “IM a McDermott Librarian” program. This program allows patrons to send an instant message for assistance from a reference librarian live through the internet. The service is driven by the Meebo messaging program, a single in-browser instant messaging program which supports multiple IM services, including Yahoo! Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, AIM, ICQ, and Jabber .
Distance Learning: A full array of library and learning resources is available for students taking distance learning classes . Remote students have access to the UT Dallas electronic databases, electronic course reserves, electronic books, electronic journals, and governmental documents. They also can access RefWorks, a citation manager, and they can directly contact either the UT Dallas Distance Librarian or one of the other reference librarians. In addition, distance learners can receive reference support by participating in the UT System chat reference service. Those UT Dallas students enrolled in distance learning courses that are hosted by the University of Texas System TeleCampus (UTTC) have access to additional reference support provided by the UTTC . More information about the services provided by the UTTC is available in the responses to Principles 3.7.3  and 3.8.1 .
To reach beyond the physical constraints of the building in promoting service to its local customers, the McDermott Library has established an innovative program, “Librarians on the Loose,” designed to reach students who may not otherwise be regular visitors to McDermott Library. Twice per week during the fall and spring semesters and once per week during the summer, UT Dallas librarians go “on the loose,” setting up temporary booths around campus. By taking advantage of wireless internet technology, the librarians are able to access and demonstrate library databases to students . The various options for remote access to UT Dallas reference assistance, as well as reference desk service hours, are listed and briefly described on the library’s “Ask a Librarian” services web page .
Information Literacy: The goal of the library’s Information Literacy program  is to improve the ability of every student and faculty member to locate and to evaluate information and to navigate traditional and digital resources. UT Dallas librarians work with faculty members on course assignments and prepare and teach sessions about library research. Additionally, the professionals work on an individual basis either in person or online with faculty and students concerning research assignments. The liaison librarians also create online tutorials and research guides to assist all users in strengthening their library research skills. Additional information about the library’s Information Literacy program can be found in the response to Principle 3.8.2 .
Interlibrary Loan: As a member of Amigos Library Services , the libraries collaborate with libraries throughout the nation in many library programs including resource sharing . Through its resource sharing unit Interlibrary Loan Services, publications that are not available in the libraries’ collections can be obtained from other institutions. Books are borrowed from other libraries by Interlibrary Loan Services for short term use by students, faculty, and staff. Most article requests are now provided electronically to the requestor’s desktop. The Interlibrary Loan staff works to support all aspects of distance learning. The staff digitizes articles and chapters and lends books as needed. The Interlibrary Loan statistics show a steady rate of growth. The library is now a net lender of materials for the first time in the last decade. During 2006, the library borrowed 8,679 items for customers while it loaned 8,863 items to other institutions for use by their customers.
Interlibrary Loan Services has established a new service called Faculty E-Delivery  to provide electronically more materials from the collection to faculty members. Faculty members can request items that are available only on microfiche or paper, and Interlibrary Loan will digitize the article and e-mail it to the requestor. Creation of a full document delivery service for faculty is one of the objectives cited in the Library Strategic Plan . Since its introduction, 423 articles have been delivered. With this new service, UT Dallas faculty members have desktop access to most articles they require for research. Interlibrary Loan staff began supplying articles from selected electronic journals whose licensing allows for interlibrary loan.The Learning Resource Center
The Learning Resource Center (LRC) has evolved considerably since UT Dallas added its first freshman class. Originally housed in the Student Union with offerings of a small math lab, graduate test prep reviews, and individual appointments for math and writing, the LRC is now a multi-faceted organization providing services from many different locations on campus (though it is housed centrally in the McDermott Library). The LRC offerings now include but are not limited to:
- supplemental instruction in historically difficult courses,
- math lab,
- administrations of state and national exams,
- proctoring of individual exams for UT Dallas and other universities as well as exams for various credentialing and licensing agencies,
- graduate exam prep courses for the LSAT, GRE, and GMAT,
- developmental courses in reading, math, and writing ,
- individual appointments for assistance with writing, statistics, and math,
- study skills course in conjunction with various academic programs that have probationary students, and
- a Texas Higher Education Assessment (THEA) advisor to counsel, advise, and register students who are not Texas Success Initiative/THEA compliant.
During the first seven months of the inception of the THEA Advisor in Learning Resources, the advisor counseled 671 individual students with a total of 964 contacts. Information concerning the effectiveness of the Center’s supplemental instruction program is presented in the response to Principle 3.8.2 .
The goals for the LRC are determined by various processes in order to provide appropriate resources to support the university’s teaching, service mission, and research. After each semester or large event such as freshman orientation or a national test administration, the staff meets “roundtable” to evaluate what was good, what was not, and what can be done to improve. The LRC utilizes qualitative methods of assessment to obtain responses from students, parents, and other members of the university community. Quantitative measurements are also examined in determining goals for Learning Resources. Customer contacts for various services and the influence of services on GPA for participants in the supplemental instruction program are among the service items monitored and assessed by the LRC using UT Dallas’ web-based assessment tool, AT6 . The annual report is indicative of this type of data  . In addition, comparative data of participants and non-participants are collected to assess the effectiveness of supplemental instruction. New goals are formulated as a result of a decision to expand LRC services and as a result of requests for new or expanded services.
After a probable list of goals is established, the director, with the assistance of the LRC staff, evaluates the financial resources, facilities, equipment, and staffing to determine the likelihood of being able to accomplish the goals. The goals that are attainable without any additional resources are usually implemented as soon as possible. Those that require additional resources are considered for the next budget cycle in the funding requests. Occasionally goals can be accomplished by the reallocation of funds or other resources and then are implemented as soon as the necessary paperwork is completed and the changes are approved and authorized.Academic Computing
UT Dallas Information Resources provides centralized information technology services to the UT Dallas community. Academic computing activity is directly supported by the Academic Computing and User Support Department of Information Resources where three units-Media Services, the Computer Labs Group, and Help Desk Services-provide instructional multimedia for classroom use ; troubleshoot and advise students, faculty, and staff when they experienced hardware and software problems  ; and run student computer labs in two classroom buildings and the McDermott Library , with a total number of 186 seats. Adequacy of this lab space is determined by monitoring the utilization of seats and is reviewed each semester. The maximum hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 2 a.m., and weekends, 12 p.m. until 10 p.m.
The campus wireless network is available throughout most of the campus and focuses on open areas where students have access to seating and electrical power. Access to this network requires a valid NetID but otherwise is constantly available. The wireless network extends to the on-campus student housing.
To assist UT Dallas faculty in utilizing the university’s online course management system, Information Resources has created a cross-departmental UT Dallas eLearning Team that combines the skills of three system administrators and two instructional technologists to provide customer support, communication, and education . This unit also conducts training in the use of applications software for faculty and staff.