UNIVERSITY OF ST ANDREWS Guide for School Library Representatives

Guide for School Library Representatives
Introduction and purpose of the Guide
As a Library Service, we have always valued the Library Representative service
in St Andrews University. Over the years, we have benefited from being able to
work closely with a chosen group of academics to help us enhance the
collections and services of the Library. In the Library, we are currently seeing
changes which lead us to believe that it is now a good time to review how we
work with the Library Representatives and that it might be helpful to spell out
more clearly what we expect from the Representatives and what they should be
able to expect from us.
The Library has over the last 18 months been subject to two separate audits of
its working practices, both financial and procedural. The auditors in their
reports highlighted the need for a clearer description of the role the Library
Representatives play in the purchasing process.
As the information environment has become complex, we as a Library Service
have felt the need for more frequent and on occasions more structured
communication with our user community. Perhaps the most obvious example of
this is in the area of electronic resources where we, on a regular basis, need
academic input to help assess the quality and relevance of the content in large
electronic databases. Last year we also found it beneficial to organize a series of
Arts & Social Sciences e-resources review meetings.
In January 2007, the Library appointed two liaison librarians to look after the
faculties of Arts & Divinity and Science & Medicine. The introduction of these
new posts into the communication chain has meant we must change the way we
as a service provider communicate with our community and will impact on the
way the Library Representatives from each school work with the Library.
As part of our planning for the refurbishment in 2008, we will be looking to
assess our open access collections to decide what material might be defined as
low use and therefore go out to store either locally or in a national store. We
need to review all the donated collections awaiting processing in our existing
Library stores to assign priorities and dispose of material which is not needed to
support teaching and learning. Both these activities will require input from
every School and we feel this will ideally be channeled through the School
Library representatives.
Responsibilities of the Library Representative
The responsibilities of the Library Representative fall into 6 main areas:
Selection and approval of relevant book content
Selection and approval of relevant journal content
Review and comment on electronic resources
Monitoring of the part of the overall Library budget allocated to each
Review and comment on donated materials
Representation of a Schools views on Library Services and policies,
either individually or as a member of relevant Library Groups.
In order for the Library to operate effectively, we need commitment from each School
Library representative to carry out the responsibilities outlined below. The Library
accepts, that in order for a representative to be able to carry out their duties, they must
receive appropriate support from the Library. The Guide therefore, as well as
clarifying the responsibilities of the Representatives, provides details of the services
we can provide to help support the work of the Library Representative.
Selection and approval of relevant book content
The Library Representative will be expected to:
Monitor all recommendations made by academic staff in the relevant school to
confirm that they are relevant to the teaching and research needs of the School
Work with the Library Liaison Librarians to ensure items recommended
reflect the broad range of teaching and research interests in each School
Encourage staff to make recommendations at regular intervals throughout the
year and will work to ensure the School Allocations are fully committed by the
end of March
Review any items reported as unavailable after 18 months of being on order
and notify the Library if they are still required for teaching or research.
Comment on the appropriateness of recommendations received from students.
In return the Library will:
On request, provide reports of material on order or material supplied, charged
to a specific School Library fund.
Ensure recommendations are processed and added to the Library Management
System within 7 days
Provide on request, access to bibliographic databases which can support the
recommendation process, and provide appropriate training where necessary
4 . Selection and approval of relevant journal content
The Library Representative will be expected to:
Review and discuss within the School, requests received by the Library to
subscribe to new journal titles. The Representative will inform the Library
once a decision has been made
Review existing subscriptions in August each year to confirm at the latest by
the end of September that subscribed content is still relevant and is considered
good value for money
In return, the Library will:
Provide reports on demand, listing existing subscriptions charged to a School
Fund with an indication of the current subscription cost
Pricing and other bibliographic information related to proposed new
Provide a copy of the major price increase reports produced by our agent to
help us identify titles where we have seen a significantly higher than average
price increase.
Aim to provide e-journal statistics where appropriate to help with the
assessment of the value of an individual title
Ensure all new orders received by the Library before the end of September, are
processed and activated in time for the new subscription year.
5. Review and comment on electronic resources
The Library representative will:
Provide comment on subject specific and generic resources being trialed by
the Library. The Representative, at the end of the trial, will provide a clear
opinion on whether the product content is relevant to the teaching and research
being carried out in the School
Encourage other academic staff in the School to comment on new electronic
Where agreed that the cost of a product should be shared between two
Schools, negotiate with the other party to agree how costs should be split
based on the subject content of the product
In return the Library will:
Provide pricing and other package information about any products of interest
to a particular School
Will advertise all current trials on the Library web pages and will make
accessible a list of products assessed but not subscribed to in any given year.
Will assess the functionality of any product and will provide feedback to
Schools on request
6. Monitoring of the part of the overall Library budget allocated to each School
The Library Representative will be responsible for:
Monitoring the School Library Allocation to ensure funds are spent up before
the financial year end.
Working with the Liaison Librarians and the Collections Team to encourage
steady spend of book funds throughout the year.
In return the Library will:
Provide web access to the Library management system fund reports
Provide on request lists of material ordered with the names of the staff making
the recommendations to help encourage a broad spread of recommending
across a School
Alert the School to any concerns relating to over expenditure and
7. Review and comment on donated materials
The Library Representative will:
Work with staff in the Collections Project Team to make an initial assessment
and more detailed assessments of material offered to the Library via donations
Will make time to review individual donations which have been identified of
being of potential value to the School on a regular basis
Will point Library staff in the direction of academic staff with particular
subject knowledge when necessary
The Library will in return:
Provide an identified staff resource each year to ensure donated material seen
to be of value to the University will be catalogued and processed
Provide short term accommodation to store large donations and individual
Provide staff resource to check if material is already in stock
8. Representation of a Schools views on Library Services and policies, either
individually or as a member of relevant Library Groups.
The Library Representative will:
Represent the School and its views on the Library User Group
Co-ordinate school responses when the Library is looking to consult on
matters of strategic direction or service provision
The Library will in return:
Ensure all papers for Library User Group meetings are circulated in good time
before each meeting
Provide an annual timetable of dates of meetings
Jeremy Upton
Collections Manager
25th February 2007