Section IV: COC Programs
3.8.3 The institution provides a sufficient number of qualified staff with appropriate education or experiences both in library or other learning/information resources to accomplish the mission of the institution.
JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE
NARRATIVE/JUSTIFICATION FOR JUDGMENT OF COMPLIANCE
The University provides a sufficient number of qualified staff with appropriate education or experiences both in library or other learning/information resources to accomplish the mission of the institution.
The Killam Library employs eight librarians holding the Master of Library Science Degree from a library science program accredited by the American Library Association (ALA). (Killam Library Roster of Instructional Staff: 2003-2004, Killam Library Roster of Instructional Staff 2002-2003) The Association of College and Research Libraries considers the masters degree in library science from a library school program accredited by the ALA to be the “appropriate terminal professional degree for academic librarians.” (Association of College & Research Libraries Statement on the Terminal Professional Degree for Academic Librarians) The number of librarians in the Killam library rates a grade of C using Formula B of the staffing standard in the 1995 edition of the Standards for College Libraries published by the Association for College and Research Libraries (ACRL). (Killam Library Staffing Standard Rating) Given the University’s enrollment, number of volumes in the library collection and number of volumes added or withdrawn annually, Formula B requires eleven librarians for a grade of A. Our eight librarians represent 72.7% of the full formula, falling near the upper end of the 60-74% of formula required for a grade of C.
The ACRL Standards for College Libraries 2000 edition contains no quantitative formulas or benchmarks, but recommends comparing the number of librarians to the number of students served and determining how well the staffing level is meeting service requirements. At the University there are currently 2.82 librarians per 1,000 students enrolled (FTE). In addition to the librarians, the library also maintains 20.33 FTE support staff including 17 full-time and 7 part-time employees. (Killam Library Staff Directory) According to the ACRL standard 4.4, the support staff shall be no less than 65% of the total library staff, not including student assistants. The 20.33 FTE support staff represents 72% of the total Killam Library staff excluding student assistant positions. (Association of College & Research Libraries Standards for College Libraries 1995 edition, Standard 4.4 & Killam Library Data) The library employs 22 student assistants and 3 workstudy employees to assist the regular staff. Student assistants perform many routine tasks essential to the functioning of the library.
User perception is an indicator of the adequacy of the size of the library staff. The results of the 2002-2003 annual user survey, the latest available at the time of this writing, has several questions relevant to the issue of staffing levels. In response to the statement, “I am able to get the help I need from the people at the reference desk, “ 86.5% of respondents indicated satisfied or very satisfied, 9.6% neutral and 3.9% unsatisfied or very unsatisfied. Applicable to circulation staffing, users responded 74.3% positive, 18.8% neutral and 6.9% negative to the statement, "overdue notices and fines are handled promptly, efficiently and fairly.” In reaction to the statement, “I am able to get the help I need with the computers and printers on the first floor (reference area) of the library”, 84.0% of the responses were positive, 11.0% neutral, and 5.0% negative. In response to a question about getting help needed to use microfilm and microfiche, 65.6% of respondents were positive, 27.4% neutral and 7.0% negative. When asked the same type of question in reference to help with the library’s photocopiers the respondents answered 83.6% positive, 13.4% neutral and 3.0% negative. Responding to the statement, “I am able to get the materials I need through interlibrary loan, “ users were 73.5% positive, 21.9% neutral and 4.6% negative. Although the survey questionnaire had a place to indicate that an item was “n/a” it is speculated that the higher number of neutral responses in reference to interlibrary loan may have related in part to an erroneous use of the neutral response to indicate no experience with interlibrary loan service. The support documentation includes a copy of the Killam Library Institutional Questionnaire, 2002-2003 and a report on the results of the survey. (Killam Library Institutional Questionnaire, 2002-2003 (survey form), Killam Library Institutional Questionnaire, 2002-2003)
In summary, positive user responses indicate that users perceive the size of the staff available to serve them as adequate.