Around the Horn: How the UF Successfully Fielded a Team that Integrates Health Science and University Libraries
Brian W. Keith Associate Dean, Administration and Faculty Affairs, George A. Smathers Libraries Cecilia Botero Associate Dean of the George A. Smathers Libraries and Director of the Health Science Center Libraries Michele R. Tennant Assistant Director, Biomedical and Health Information Services, Health Science Center Libraries Bioinformatics Librarian, UF Genetics Institute
Our presentation will cover the 2009 integration of the UF Health Sciences Center Libraries and the George A. Smathers Libraries (main campus system) a.planning b.systems c.outcomes results and lessons learned
BackgroundUF library system as of 2008 consisted of 3 systems: 1.Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center (LIC)
BackgroundUF library system as of 2008 consisted of 3 systems: 1.Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center 2.Health Sciences Center Libraries (HSCL) Health Science Center (Gainesville) Borland branch library (Jacksonville) Veterinary Medicine Reading Room (Gainesville)
BackgroundUF library system as of 2008 consisted of 3 systems: 1.Lawton Chiles Legal Information Center 2.Health Sciences Center Libraries 3.George A. Smathers Libraries (Smathers) Special and Area Studies Collections Government Documents and Maps Humanities and Social Sciences Library Marston Science Library Departmental Branches Architecture and Fine Arts Education Journalism Music
BackgroundHistorically, there was extensive collaboration between the Smathers Libraries and HSCL, particularly in the areas of: the acquisition of library resources, Tenure & Promotion, and Library Management System
Integration PlanningFall 2008, the HSCL and Smathers Libraries were advised that the President had decided to integrate the 2 systems as soon as feasible. Negotiated an implementation of July 1, 2009.
Integration PlanningOctober 2008, Dean and HSCL Director agreed to work on an integration proposal to jointly submit to the Provost that would allow the HSCL retain autonomy in regard to servicing its customers needs.
Integration PlanningOn January 21, 2009, employees of the Smathers and HSCL libraries were enlisted to Integration working groups: Administrative Services (Human Resources and Financial Services) Access Support (ILL, Circulation, Library Wide Policies) Budget Preparation Development (Grants, PR) Digital Services/Institutional Repositories Facilities Public Services/Collections Management Systems Technical Services
Integration PlanningAsked to look at common functions and services in the two library systems and identify possible efficiencies; and also identify policies to be harmonized or new procedures that will need to be developed. The recommendations of the Work Groups were to be used by the Dean and Director for the consolidated integration plan as a basis for implementation of the integration.
Integration PlanningConceptually: The overriding goal of the HSCL Smathers integration was to ensure that services to our users were not compromised and it was hoped that work efficiencies and service quality would improve. A report from each work group was submitted by February 25th.
Integration PlanningWorking Group recommendations fell into 4 general categories: Fully Integrate New support for HSCL More integrated decision making and communications No Integration
Integration PlanningFully Integrate: Administrative Services (Human Resources and Financial Services)
Integration PlanningNew support for HSCL: Development (Grants, PR) Digital Services/Institutional Repositories Facilities
Integration PlanningMore integrated decision making and communications: Access Support (ILL, Circulation, Library Wide Policies) Public Services/Collections Management Technical Services
Integration PlanningNo Integration: Systems (IT)
Integration PlanningIn March 2009, Dean and Director, with input from other library staff, drafted the integration proposal to present to the Provost. The report covered: Integration Appropriate Funding for HSCL HSCL Renovation
Integration PlanningAs part of the Budget Preparation group, the Dean and Director had worked on the identification of critical funding needs at the HSCL and proposals for how to address these in order to improve services to HSCL patrons.
Integration PlanningThe report was posted on the internet and blog established for feedback from library employees and others on campus. The plan was approved by the Provost, with an effective integration date of July 1, 2009.
Other ConsiderationsIn February, 2009, current and possible HSCL representation on relevant governance, management, technical and advisory committees of the Smathers Libraries was reviewed by Dean and Director.
Other ConsiderationsIn the spring of 2009, UF experienced critical state budget cuts. The two systems engaged in a prolonged and detailed planning process in which prioritized areas, functions resources and positions for possible cuts were identified. As a deliberate result of these priorities established by Dean and Director, the Smathers Libraries absorbed these FY 09 10 cuts entirely, sparing the budget of the HSCL.
ImplementationOn July 1, the HSCL Director became Associate Dean and Director of the HSCL, reporting directly to the Dean of University Libraries who in turn reports to the Provost Director retained an non reporting relationship with the VPHA
ImplementationCentralized Fiscal Services and Human Resources offices of the Smathers Libraries were established. 2 fiscal positions were transferred from HSCL. FY 08 09 year end reports for the HSCL were generated and publicly posted and the FY 09 10 budget for the HSCL was established and allocated based upon directives of the HSCL Director.
ImplementationBeginning July 1, 2009, the Smathers Fiscal Services office produced, per HSCL specifications, and publicly posted monthly budget reports for the HSCL and maintained segregated fiscal accounts for the HSCL to ensure funds were not comingled between the HSCL and the rest of the integrated libraries.* Director retained authority over funds of the HSCL.**Communicating a sense of ownership to the HSC colleges.
OutcomesNo layoffs Minimal reassignments No reallocations of recurring funds
OutcomesIntegration allowed us to pool resources in those areas that we serve in common, which allowed the integrated library system to devote more time and resources to the areas that we each uniquely serve.
Successes @ UFThe centralization of the fiscal & human resources management functions provided a net savings of 1 HSCL FTE that was then repurposed to serve in a Access Services position, which in return, freed 1 full time librarian to serve the area of consumer health and community outreach.
Successes @ UFFurther, at the Borland Library, a Senior Fiscal Assistant position was reclassified to a Library Assistant II when the job responsibilities were changed from strictly fiscal processes to include more time spent on the reference desk.
Successes @ UFHSCL had never participated in the Universitys dual career program, but as a part of the University Libraries, the HSCL was able to place a Basic Biomedical Sciences librarian. The HSC Libraries received one of the Provosts jumpstart positions a Clinical Research Librarian. This position is critically important for the HSC, and it seems much less likely to have been funded had not the HSCLs request been part of the proposal submitted by the integrated library system.
Successes @ UFIntegration allowed HSCL staff to participate for the first time in the Smathers MiniGrant Program a competitive internal award program that supports projects benefiting patrons. The most recent HSCL award evaluated the use of tablets for point of care information services.
Successes @ UFThe combined system realized a change to the campus DSR funding method that provides the Libraries with a percentage of campus IDC rather than a fixed dollar amount, thereby allowing for future growth in pace with University research growth. The increased funding was added to the base HSCL material budget.
Successes @ UFSmathers Libraries provides funds to the HSCL for a variety of purposes, including a contract with an architect to begin planning for a phased renovation project. At the same time, the Dean has tirelessly pursued renovation funds.
Successes @ UFSignificant pay inequities existed for the HSCL employee salaries when compared to the Legal Information Center and the Smathers Libraries. This represented a major obstacle to a successful integration. Smathers HR successfully completed a review for faculty and staff, and implemented market equity plans (primarily, using HSCL funds).
Successes @ UFThe HSCL gained advocacy from the library Development Office including a grants manager. The HSCL had no such resources prior to integration and effectively competed for donors versus HSC units. Recently, the HSCL Director position was endowed!
Challenges @ UFThe need to include all library employees regardless of location when planning meetings, special events and other activities is a clear challenge. While distance can be solved by using technologies such as teleconferencing, the time demands related to being part of a large integrated library system are consequential.
ResultsSuccess is possible with planning and communication. Integration can address historic issues, inequities, and inefficiencies, and can allow leveraging of resources.
ResultsThe head of the new system, as a Dean, is positioned to serve as champion for the health libraries and integration may actually improve the standing of the libraries in the health center. The initial focus is on just achieving a functional integration, but true cooperation and opportunities may take time.
Pearls of WisdomGet on with it and implement to the best advantage of the libraries: patrons and staff are what matters and will suffer if leaders are not devoted. Trust must be developed through tact, honesty and effectiveness.
Pearls of WisdomBe candid about disadvantages to both units and mitigate these as best as possible. Be candid about advantages to both units and celebrate progress towards these.
Pearls of WisdomClarify the scope of authority. Consider maintaining distinguishable resources. Collaborate on important decisions.
Pearls of WisdomCommunicate the health library still belongs to those colleges.
Pearls of WisdomLearning and improvements will flow and harmonize both ways between the integrated systems.
Pearls of WisdomPeriodically assess the integration and results.
Around the Horn: How the UF Successfully Fielded a Team that Integrates Health Science and University Libraries ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00011332 Thank you!