The Newsletter of the New Mexico
State University Library
Vol. 12, No. 2
A University-wide Approach to Scholarly Information at NMSU
By Charles Townley, Dean
Back to Citations
I would like to propose a University-wide approach to assure the continued production of
useful scholarly information, to increase access to scholarly information, and to control
costs at New Mexico State University. This proposal is built around cooperation among
the faculty, administration, and the library. It is based on recent recommendations of a
joint panel of the American Council of Learned Societies and the Association of Research
Libraries. It is built on three primary principles:
First, faculty produce scholarly information and can consensually control the scholarly
• NMSU faculty will develop qualitative criteria, including peer evaluation and citation
analysis, to replace quantitative measures of scholarship.
• Faculty will agree to use these qualitative measures to evaluate colleagues.
• Faculty will discourage colleagues from submitting research to expensive journals or
serving on their editorial boards.
• Faculty will work with their professional organizations to encourage the production and
distribution of scholarly information on a cost recovery basis.
• Departmental funds will not be used to purchase expensive information resources.
Second, the university administration, along with other universities, can reestablish
control of the market by encouraging the return of some scholarly publishing to the
• The administration will support editorial costs of five or six academic journals in areas
of strategic university interest.
• The administration will support the Library in developing full-text bibliographic
systems in two or more areas of strategic interest.
• The administration will encourage the use of creative technologies to expedite and
reduce costs in publication.
Third, the University Library will adopt a utility approach to scholarly information;
providing access to all scholarly information; buying and holding those information
resources that are frequently used; and obtaining other resources as they are needed.
• The library will acquire and organize scholarly information in electronic, visual, and
printed formats, both inside and outside the library.
• The library will develop and use performance measures for the evaluation of library
collections, resources, and services.
• The library will focus the development of research collections in five or six areas of
high strategic interest to the university.
• The library will work to eliminate expensive per unit purchases and coordinate cost-
saving efforts, joint contracts, and reciprocal access to research collections with other
• The library will work to provide real time access to all scholarly information regardless
of its location or ownership status.
By implementing these principles, I believe NMSU will be in a stronger position to
encourage scholarship, to improve our reputation as a research university, and to improve
our cost effectiveness.
Focus On: Special Collections, Historical Collections, University
This issue of Citations features articles about three important library collections housed in
Branson Hall. These collections contain materials unfamiliar to the average library user
but that contain fascinating looks into the past and unique aspects of New Mexico and the
Whether used for historical research or simply to glimpse some of the literary treasures of
our area, a wealth of information awaits those who take time to visit the Special
Collections, Rio Grande Historical Collections, and NMSU Archives. See pages 4-9 for
Journal Cancellation Update
by Donnie Curtis, Acting Head, Collection Management
All academic departments were asked to send the library a list of the journals in their field
that could be cancelled. The target reduction was different for each department,
depending on how much the cost of their journals had increased since 1993. The average
reduction was 30%. Faculty discussion of this issue has resulted in the introduction of a
Faculty Senate Memorial recommending the implementation of short-term measures to
mitigate the loss. If the library receives partial funding for the retention of journals, we
plan to proceed in the following way: 1) identify those journals on the suggested list
which should not be canceled, due to high use or other factors 2) identify those journals
on the list which should be canceled, due to the rate at which their price has increased and
the availability of other means of obtaining articles (through electronic databases or a
document delivery service) 3) ask the departments to prioritize the remaining journals
that have been suggested for cancellation. Each journal is coded to one department. If
another department does not want that journal to be canceled, it would be able to "claim"
it for retention as it prioritizes its list. Departments would also have the opportunity to
suggest new subscriptions.
Academic Press IDEAL full text journals
by Donnie Curtis, Acting Head, Collection Management
One of our new electronic products is a collection of 100 scholarly journals published by
Academic Press. With any standard web browser and Adobe Acrobat (can be downloaded
free from the web), faculty, staff and students at NMSU can browse, read, download and
print articles using any computer at any location, without restriction. The articles are
available as image files complete with graphics. Journals from many disciplines are
represented in the database. Also available are the tables of contents and abstracts from
78 other Academic Press journals.
The full-text journals are those to which the NMSU Library, Los Alamos National
Laboratories and Sandia National Laboratories libraries subscribe. The product, known as
Project IDEAL, was made available to the participating libraries as members of the
Library Services Alliance of New Mexico, a consortium of science/technology libraries.
The library has signed a three-year license agreement with Academic Press. It will be an
opportunity to experiment with using journals in electronic format. The pricing is
creative: the library pays the electronic rate (10% less than the price for the print version),
with free access to the journals to which the other libraries subscribe. The print
subscription is available at about 25% of the regular price. This may discourage
cancellation of the print. Journals coded to 18 different departments are included.
The Project IDEAL URL is http://www.idealibrary.com.
Click on "automatic login." It is
also accessible through the library's home page: http://lib.nmsu.edu. Click on "Cafe OLE
Web", then "Electronic Journals".
North American Library Conference Held in Juarez
by Gwen Gregory, Head, Post-Cataloging
Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, just across the border from El Paso, was the setting for the
seventh Foro, the Transborder Library Forum or Foro Transfronterizo de Bibliotecas, on
February 20 - 22, 1997. This year's FORO was hosted by the Universidad Autonoma de
Ciudad Juarez (UACJ). The NMSU Library was a co-sponsor, along with the UTEP
Library. The FORO included educational programs, formal paper presentations, tours of
local libraries, and vendor exhibits. Barbara Ford, president-elect of the American
Library Association and a former Peace Corps volunteer in Panama and Nicaragua, gave
a keynote speech emphasizing internationalism and cooperation between libraries. Other
featured speakers were Special Libraries Association president Sylvia Piggott and Elsa
Ramirez Leyva, president of AMBAC, the Mexican Library Association.
Many librarians from NMSU attended FORO VII. Ed Erazo and Gwen Gregory served
on the planning committee. Molly Molloy and Ed Erazo presented separate
preconference sessions about Internet Information Sources. Marlo Brown and Gwen
Gregory presented a preconference session on the basics of Web page design. Valerie
Horton participated in a panel discussion about authority control as an international issue,
and Karen Stabler led a panel on US/Mexico library staff exchanges. Charles Townley
introduced several keynote speakers. Ed Erazo and Charles Townley also organized a
tour of Mesilla and Las Cruces, including the NMSU Library, for conference attendees.
Other NMSU Library staff at the FORO included Austin Hoover, Leilani Horton, and
The conference emphasized subject-oriented sessions with short presentations and group
discussion. Topics included school libraries, public libraries, user education, authority
control, and local archives. All sessions had simultaneous translation provided for non-
bilingual participants. Bob Seal of Texas Christian University and Daniel Mattes of the
Universidad de Anahuac presented a proposal for increased participation in the Mexico-
US interlibrary loan project. Libraries will send article requests through Internet email
and use fax or the ARL's Ariel system for delivery. Karen Stabler of NMSU and Amelia
Chavez of CICESE offered thoughts and suggestions on international staff exchanges. A
web page with US/Mexico staff exchange information will be created. Another idea is to
enable librarians to meet and communicate with each other using email. During a
meeting of public librarians, Mary Kay Hooker, director of the El Paso Public Library,
suggested creation of a journal for public libraries on the border. Lastly, the vendor
exhibits presented Mexican products which are not commonly found in the US, including
The NMSU Library has supported and participated in the FORO since its beginning in
1989. Next year, Foro will be at UC Riverside.
Special Collections: Branson Hall, Second Floor East
by Cheryl Wilson, Head, Special Collections
Special Collections in the University Library operates a program to collect, preserve, and
make available for research, published materials related to the history and culture of New
Mexico and the Southwest. Other acquired collections contain materials of value because
of their contribution to literature, the arts, or the sciences. During the past one hundred
years the library's special materials have been housed on a rare book shelf in the
librarian's office, in the rare book room and in Special Collections.
Collecting New Mexico materials for the library began in 1895 when the Board of
Regents asked for donations relating to the early history of the Territory. Some New
Mexico titles were kept on the rare book shelf in the librarian's office. They included El
Gringo; or, New Mexico and Her People by W.W.H. Davis, Journal of a Military
Reconnaissance from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Navajo Country by James H.
Simpson and The Story of the Outlaw by Emerson Hough. In 1928 the Class of 1920
gave $250 for an endowment from which the accrued interest would be used to purchase
books dealing with New Mexico. One of the items purchased was the Report of Lieut.
J.W. Abert, of His Examination of New Mexico in the Years 1846-'47.
While New Mexico was the primary focus for collecting special materials, notable gifts
now housed in Special Collections were given to the library. The Class of 1920 gave a
bound volume of the "Stars and Stripes," the official newspaper of the American
Expeditionary Forces. W.A. Archer, a member of the class, mailed the issues to the
library while he was stationed in France and the Class of 1920, of which he was a
member, paid to have the issues bound into one volume. The NMSU Library may have
the only existing original copies of the AEF "Stars and Stripes."
In 1941 a complete set of the first editions of Eugene Manlove Rhodes' works were
acquired for the library. Eugene Manlove Rhodes, novelist, essayist and poet, is one of
New Mexico's most beloved writers. Gene Rhodes' fiction was serialized in the Saturday
Evening Post; adapted for motion pictures, television and the stage; and published in
hardcover, paperback, and Armed Services Editions. The collection includes almost all
published items by or about Rhodes.
In 1954 Louis A. Freudenthal gave the library approximately 175 volumes pertaining to
18th and 19th century Russia. The books were part of the private library of Eleazer S.
Mashbir, who was Mr. Freudenthal's uncle. Several books in the Mashbir Collection
were published during the eighteenth century, including The History of the Life of Peter
I, Emperor of Russia by John Mottley.
During 1974 the NMSU Library purchased a large portion of the book stock of the
Gotham Book Mart in New York. Frances Stelloff founded the Gotham Book Mart in
New York in 1920 and the collection reflects her interests — poetry, literature, the theater
and fine arts. Several thousand volumes, including all of Miss Stelloff's personal copies,
were placed in Special Collections. Many of the titles are first editions signed by such
authors as W.H. Auden, William Burroughs, e.e. cummings, Ernest Hemingway, Henry
Miller, Diane Wakoski, and Tennessee Williams.
The largest single collection received as part of the Gotham purchase was the Gorey
Collection. Edward Gorey, writer and illustrator, since 1950 has produced small volumes
of drawings, illustrated book jackets, designed titles for television series, and displayed
his puckish humor throughout his literary endeavors. More than 370 works by Edward
Gorey are in Special Collections. His most recognizable work is the graphic art in the
title sequence for the PBS Mystery series.
Prior to July 1977 when the Special Collections unit was established in the NMSU
Library, the collecting focus for the rare book collection was New Mexico. However,
when the new unit was established, the collecting focus was broadened to include not
only New Mexico but also the Southwest and specific subject areas supporting University
programs. The Astronomy Collection falls into the latter category. The earliest printed
books in the library are a part of this collection of classic works in the field of astronomy.
Most of the 75 titles were printed prior to 1850 including several works printed during the
sixteenth century. Works by Galileo, Kepler, LaPlace, Watts, and Gelpke are represented
in the collection.
The New Mexico Collection includes books about New Mexicans (Anglos, Native
Americans and Hispanics), books published in New Mexico, and books written about
New Mexico. It includes the library's collection of Territorial documents. The collection
includes first editions by Mary Austin, Witter Bynner, Willa Cather, Oliver LaFarge,
Tony Hillerman, Richard Martin Stern, William Eastlake, Walter Satterthwait, and John
Nichols. Works about New Mexico artists including Maynard Dixon, Peter Hurd,
Georgia O'Keeffe, Pablita Velarde, and Allan Houser are also collected. The collection
includes books on farming and ranching, science and technology, and history and culture
of New Mexico.
In 1988 a former library staff member gave a generous donation to Special Collections
which was used to purchase 184 books, all New Mexico fiction. The criteria for
inclusion in the collection is that the novel's setting is either entirely or partly in New
Mexico. Some of the titles purchased were Bronco Apache: a Novel by Paul Wellman,
The Golden Quicksand; a Novel of Santa Fe by Anna Burr, Shadow Man by James
Kunetka; and Death in the Snow by Richard Martin Stern. Genres represented include
mysteries, science fiction, westerns, and romance.
Books in the Southwest Collection reflect the history of the region as it encompasses
New Mexico. Of particular interest are the books relating to the Indians of the
Southwest, mapping and exploration, frontier and pioneer life, flora and fauna, the cattle
industry, and overland trails. Classic works in Southwestern and border history are
represented in the collection.
More than 1,100 children's books with Southwest themes were purchased from a New
Mexico bookstore in 1992 to form the Southwestern Children's Book Collection. It is a
research collection of tales, stories, poems and songs written for children. The collection
is a treasure of artwork. Most of the books are illustrated, many by well-known artists
including Gerald Cassidy, Lorence Bjorklund, Beatien Yazz, Harrison Begay, Conrad
Buff, Fred Kabotie, and Paul Goble.
The Western Women Collection identifies more than 400 titles, both fiction and non-
fiction, which focus on the lives, accomplishments, and experiences of women whose
contributions continue to influence the history and development of the West. Of
particular interest are the personal stories of women told through their diaries, letters and
The most recent collections purchased are works by New Mexico poets Peggy Pond
Church, Alice Corbin Henderson and Leslie Marmon Silko. As new collections are
processed, a note is added to the bibliographic record in Ole (the library's online catalog)
that identifies the collection name, e.g. Peggy Pond Church Collection. As time permits,
notes will be added for all the named collections.
Special Collections is located on the 2d floor east in Branson Hall. The research room is
open 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon and 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and
Thursday evenings 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. For more information about Special Collections
call 646-3238 or 646-6122 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University Archives
Ever wonder what happens to the old records from NMSU? The University Archives is
the repository for the past records of the official activities of NMSU's programs and
administration. These records are the property of the university, and their disposition is
controlled by the Board of Regents. Those documents having continuing administrative,
legal, fiscal or historical significance may be transferred to the Archives, provided they
have become inactive and have little or no current administrative value. Records which
are accepted for deposit in the archives usually are those which document the
organization, function, policies, procedures, operations and essential transactions and
outcomes of administrative units.
Information contained in official publications such as annual reports, policy statements;
minutes of various boards, councils, committees, and similar groups; student records;
architectural drawings; general files of significant operations; photographs; and
documentary materials related to celebrations and special events usually have continuing
value. Access to materials which have not been printed, distributed, or released is
controlled by the creating office. Questions regarding the disposition of records and
archival operations should be directed to the Archives unit, 646-4727.
Art Historian Robert White to Speak at RGHC Spring Meeting
Dr. Robert White will be the featured speaker at the Rio Grande Historical
Collections Spring Meeting. He has done extensive research on New Mexico artists of
the nineteenth century and the Taos Society of Artists. In addition to numerous articles
on New Mexico art and history he recently co-authored Bert Geer Phillips and the Taos
Art Colony and was the editor of The Taos Society of Artists. The meeting is scheduled
for Monday, May 12 at the Las Cruces Hilton Hotel. Members and guests will gather for
coffee and conversation at 9:30 a.m., followed by the meeting at 10:00. The luncheon
will begin at 12 noon. Dr. White will give his slide presentation at 1:00. His topic is
"New Mexico Artists of the Territorial Period." For more information or to make
reservations, please call 646-4727.
Stockman Preservation Lab Opens in Archives
by Patricia McCann, Archives
Construction of the preservation lab funded by the family foundation of Hervey
and Sarah Stockman of Albuquerque and their son, Hervey Stockman, Jr. was recently
completed. It will permit the NMSU Library to undertake preservation treatment of its
historically significant manuscripts and archival holdings. The 346 square foot lab is
located in the Archives on the fourth floor of Branson Hall. It contains a large treatment
sink; a clean-up sink; shelves, cabinets, and drawers for storage of preservation materials
and small tools; special ceiling-hung electrical units with cords that conveniently reach
any work area; a central work island; and lots of counter space. There are several
interesting pieces of equipment for the preservation of documentary archives materials
and for exhibit preparation including a Wei T'o deacidification spray booth, a heat welder
for encapsulating materials in Mylar, a mat cutter, a dry mount press, and a large paper
cutter. Equipment for the lab was purchased with a 1994 appropriation from the New
The Archives contains approximately 12,000 cubic feet of materials and a
significant percentage requires some sort of preservation treatment. Many items only
need to be rehoused in acid free enclosures. Other treatments performed in the new lab
will range from neutralizing the acid in the deteriorating paper of unique and valuable
documents to flattening brittle, tightly rolled photographs. Preservation services also will
be available to other units of the library.
If you would like to see the Stockman Preservation Lab, please call the Archives
staff at 646-4727 to arrange a tour.
The Rio Grande Historical Collections: An Overview
by Austin Hoover, Director, Rio Grande Historical Collections
Some of the library's most interesting materials are located in the Rio Grande Historical
Collections (RGHC), the program that houses the library's manuscripts and other
unpublished materials. Its mission is to acquire collections of personal papers, records of
organizations, photographic images, and oral history interviews that document the multi-
ethnic cultural heritage of New Mexico and the Southwest and to make them available for
In collecting, the primary emphasis is on locating and acquiring research materials on
topics of special interest to a land grant university. Some of these subjects include:
• early settlement
• ranching, irrigated and dry-land farming, and other pursuits related to the production of
food and fiber
• management and use of natural resources including water, minerals, energy sources,
timber , range land, and wildlife
• science and technology, business, commerce and industry
• politics and government
• literature and cultural affairs
• military affairs
• education and social issues and conditions
The geographic scope of the RGHC collections includes all of New Mexico. Materials
from other geographic areas may be accepted provided they relate to New Mexico or
support the research needs of faculty and students of NMSU.
The RGHC contain about 6,000 linear feet of materials in a variety of media and formats,
including letters, literary manuscripts and speech and article files, personal memoirs and
oral histories, minutes and operating files of organizations, financial and legal records,
and maps and blueprints. About half a million photographic images on film, paper, and
video tape and thirty-six linear feet of nineteenth and early twentieth century trade
catalogs, one of the finest collections in the country, also are housed in the Collections.
The RGHC is a closed stack operation and materials held there do not circulate, since
almost all of the materials housed in the Collections are unique. Students, faculty, the
public, and visiting scholars may examine materials in the Research Room from 8:30 to
noon and 1:00 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. Researchers may use both hard copy and
computer finding aids as well as the knowledge of the staff to locate materials relevant to
their needs. Duplicating services also are available.
Those who have or know of documentary materials which should be included in the
Collections may contact the Rio Grande Historical Collections, New Mexico State
University Library, Box 30006, Las Cruces, NM 88003; telephone (505) 646-4727; fax
(505) 646-7477; e-mail: email@example.com.
Remembering a Gentle Scholar: Witter Bynner Holdings of the
by Marah deMeule, Archives
Creative writing is often a solitary art; usually only closest friends and editors
glimpse the process by which a poet, novelist or playwright develops and polishes his
works. The public is offered an apparently seamless and organic text -- proofed, typeset
words on smooth pages. Manuscripts of Santa Fe poet Witter Bynner startle the reader
with the realization that a single word can alter or undo an entire text. The poem,
inviolable on the printed page, is actually fragile and transitory. Tracing the evolution of a
Bynner text, the reader joins his struggle to replace, rework, and re-align the words,
spacing, and punctuation of a verse.
A loyal Harvard man, Bynner donated numerous manuscripts and photographs to
the Houghton Library during the 1950s-60s. His correspondence, with figures such as
Carl Sandburg, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, William Butler Yeats, Henry James and
A. E. Houseman, was also deposited at the Houghton. Only a minority of Bynner's
papers seem to have remained in New Mexico, his home of forty-six years. What does
remain is surprisingly rich.
The core of the Rio Grande Historical Collection's Bynner holdings consists of
materials which passed into the possession of Dorothy Chauvenet, Bynner's literary
secretary for twenty-two years. Including various stages of manuscript drafts,
correspondence, over 1,000 photographic images, and several pencil drawings, these
materials illuminate far more than Bynner's creative process. They document the
business of being a writer, the financial, legal and professional considerations an author
confronts in publishing his work. The materials also are largely personal, including
candid snapshots of a vacationing Bynner donning sombrero and serape, and casual notes
referring to friends.
Among the files Chauvenet maintained for Bynner were his permissions,
royalties, and contracts. The range of applications to reprint Bynner's work give a sense
of the audience he attracted: institutions including The National Academy of Sciences
and Harvard's Graduate School of Business, numerous scholars, and fellow authors like
Upton Sinclair. Several permission letters, such as one to Caroline Thomas Harnsberger,
include personal vignettes.
While much of Bynner's most important correspondence is at Harvard, it exists in
duplicate form at the RGHC. Bynner's secretary transcribed his personal
correspondence. Typewritten versions of letters sent and received were routinely saved in
black, imitation-leather binders. Eleven of these binders, encompassing the first half of
the century, are now housed at the RGHC. While the transcripts lack the artifactual value
of the original letters, they offer one advantage to researchers -- the typescript is far more
legible than Bynner's angular, small, heavy hand.
Among the original correspondence at the RGHC are letters from other poets.
Most contain references to recent works and publications. Some are charming. In 1965
Louis Ginsberg inquires of Bynner, "What think you of my son, Allen Ginsberg's
poetry." He closes by noting that "(There is a bent for it in my family: if we keep up the
bent, we'll be broke, for poets are born, not paid.)"
The most exciting portion of the Bynner holdings may be the photographic
images. Because of their sheer number and wide date span, they document nearly all
stages of Bynner's life. In a 1917 image the poet is seen on his first trip to China, a
country whose culture and poetry were vital to Bynner. The bulk of the images reflect
Bynner's years in the Southwest, many capturing the poet in happy moments with
friends. Several portraits were taken in Bynner's Santa Fe writing studio. His collection
of Chinese and Southwestern crafts and objects d'art are visible in the background, as are
a range of books in Chinese, French and English.
Approximately one linear foot of Bynner material is currently available to
researchers at the RGHC. In the coming year, the RGHC will process an additional three
and one-half feet. Much of the collection will require preservation treatment; many of the
papers are fragile, require housing in supportive enclosures, and may need deacidification
and encapsulation. The photographic images consist primarily of negatives, some on an
unstable film base unsuitable for research access and detrimental to long-term survival.
Bynner's influence is still felt in New Mexico, and encompasses genres other than
poetry. The Witter Bynner Foundation is a sponsor of the Border Book Festival, a three-
day event attracting prominent authors and large audiences to Las Cruces. In honor of,
and in conjunction with the festival, the RGHC plans to exhibit highlights and treasures
of the Bynner collection in March, 1998.
NMSU Library Use and Satisfaction Growing
Charles T. Townley, Dean, University Library
Students and faculty at New Mexico State University are using more library services and
reporting higher satisfaction with the University Library, according to a survey conducted
by the Center for Business Research and Services. More than 84 percent of the NMSU
community used library books and periodicals the last time they had a paper or project,
making the library the primary source of scholarly information for teaching and learning,
research and service. Satisfaction with library services has markedly increased during the
last five years.
Growth in use and satisfaction are a testament to the hard work of library personnel and
their creativity in designing services that are user-oriented and effective. During the last
five years, more than 10 major new library services have been created. Library personnel
have worked hard to design these services for local needs, present them in an
understandable way, and train the NMSU community to use them. The results of their
efforts and the success of the users are measured in this survey. One of the most well
received new services is Pegasus, the new faculty document delivery service, which is
used by 56.3 percent of faculty and receives a satisfaction rating of 4.5 on a 5.0 Likert
Use of traditional printed collections constitutes the bulk of library use. The most heavily
used library collection is periodicals (84.7 percent), followed by books (73.6 percent) and
microforms (63.9 percent). Most users (78.5 percent) find materials through OLE, the
online library catalog. Satisfaction with collections is lower than satisfaction with
services. Satisfaction with periodicals is the lowest of any item in the survey. However,
most researchers consider periodical satisfaction at 3.75 as acceptable or good. Public
services are also heavily used, with almost 80 percent reporting using reference services
the last time they had a paper or project. The current periodicals reading room is used
75.1 percent of the time, reserve 49.4 percent and circulation 46.6 percent. Satisfaction
with these services is high.
Other collections serve those with specialized research needs. Government Documents is
used by 37.4 percent of users. Special collections is consulted by 11.8 percent of users
and archives by 9.5 percent of users. The last two areas are probably under-represented
because of renovation activities taking place at the time of this study. Improvement in
library facilities is reflected in increased satisfaction between 1991 and 1996. Some 71.8
percent of users report using seating. Satisfaction on this item has jumped from 2.71 to
4.24, a result of the construction of New Library and Branson library renovation.
The library's electronic services also attracts users. The library homepage was used by
22.9 percent of users for their last paper or project. CD-Roms were used by 37.6 percent.
Some 31.0 percent of faculty reported using current awareness services
Data on library use and satisfaction reflects a general trend in research libraries with
people using a broader array of information and technologies to meet their scholarly
information needs. The data also indicates that most people continue to look to libraries
to organize and provide access to reliable scholarly information, for guidance in
identifying, obtaining and evaluating needed information. As a result, the NMSU library
will need to: provide new sources and technologies as they are developed; identify the
best possible mix of services for New Mexico State University; organize access to
information; guide users; and regularly evaluate our services and priorities.
Readers who would like additional information on this study are welcome to contact
Charles Townley at 646-1508 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
% Yes (Means*)
Book Collection 73.6 3.82
Periodical Collection 84.7 3.74
Reference Collection 65.1 3.94
Microform Collection 63.9 3.91
Special Collection 11.8 3.96
Archives 9.5 4.34
Gov't Documents 37.4 4.04
Current Periodicals 75.1 3.96
Seating 71.8 4.24
Reference 79.2 4.37
Email Reference 18.7 4.25
CD-ROM 37.6 4.17
Circulation 46.6 4.26
Electronic Renewal 15.5 4.51
Videotape 8.5 4.49
Reserve 49.4 4.34
Interlibrary Loan 35.6 4.17
OLE 78.5 4.08
Library Gopher 33.9 4.01
Library Homepage 22.9 3.95
Current Awareness** 31.0 4.36
Library Instruction 28.4 4.18
Document Delivery** 56.3 4.52
First Search 5.8 4.16
* 5.0 Likert Scale where 5 is the highest.
**This service is provided to faculty only.
New Web Pages for Bindery and Special Handling Items
by Myra Brown, Library Technician II
and Noemy Melendez, Library Technician I
The Post-Cataloging unit of the NMSU library is pleased to unveil two new Web pages.
These web sites are specifically designed to provide faster, easier access to staff and
materials in the Technical Services Department.
The Special Handling Web Page greatly reduces barriers between patrons and materials.
All patrons and Library staff can directly request materials that are listed as being located
at "Tech.Svcs." in Ole (the library's online catalog). This is a time-saving alternative for
both the user and library personnel. A patron at a remote location can conveniently send
requests directly through the Special Handling Web page from their personal computer.
Obstacles to prompt access are greatly minimized.
Still under improvement (although accessible), the Bindery Question Page provides a
web site where questions about bindery functions, including graduate student questions
about theses and dissertations, can be addressed. The page is designed without
restrictions on the user's possible questions and encourages the submitting of open-ended
questions and use of e-mail.
The Special Handling Page site has been received with enthusiasm and e-mail requests
for specially handled books are frequent.
Check out these two Web sites and let us know what you think. We welcome your
Special Handling Form:
Bindery Question Page:
Risk-Taking & Decision-Making: The van Reenen Workshop
Laural Adams, Reference Librarian
Risk taking and decision-making spur discovery, creativity, and innovation in our
personal and professional lives and are essential for fulfillment. They are necessarily
related: one cannot take a risk without first deciding to do so. For those working in
libraries, one of the greatest tasks asked of us is to risk responding to and participating in
the constant technological change we now witness in the information sector. NMSU has
adopted many information technologies sooner than its peer institutions, and we continue
to prepare ourselves to meet the demands of change and innovation in our field. To meet
the challenge, the Library invited Johann van Reenen to give a seminar in risk-taking on
February 28th, 1997.
Van Reenen is currently the director of the Centennial Science & Engineering
Library, University of New Mexico. Originally from South Africa, he has worked in
British Columbia and has a background in health administration. Van Reenen's
perspective as a relative newcomer to the field of Librarianship and his capacity to speak
frankly about the tendencies and limitations within the profession contributed to a
seminar that was both insightful and provocative.
The session began with an exercise in imagination. Participants pictured
themselves on a trapeze, readying to leap into the air without a net. They were asked to
trust that they would reach the extended arm of an imaginary partner. "This," van Reenen
said, "is what it feels like to take a risk." By rehearsing the scenario or a similar one, we
can increase our familiarity with the feeling of risk and reduce our discomfort with it. In
time, we can learn to respond more deliberately and with more self-assurance. Another
way to reduce the anxiety that accompanies risk-taking is to imagine the worst thing that
could happen, then imagine confronting the consequences. Visualizing a possible job loss
and the steps for contending with such a situation, for instance, can greatly reduce the
degree of uncertainty and can make taking risks at work less threatening.
"In fact, risk-taking and decision-making are powerful antidotes to anxiety," van
Reenen said. They are empowering because the act of making a choice provides us with a
feeling of self-efficacy. When we do something, we are less focused on and anxious
about controlling our circumstances. Van Reenen argued the virtues of risk-taking by
provoking us to consider that our lives could never be better if we chose not to risk.
"Our lives may not get worse," he said, "but the likelihood is that they will. If you
are dissatisfied with your job now, it will probably be worse next year if you do nothing.
If you fear technology and change today, you can be certain there will be more to fear
Van Reenen noted that exercising one's capacity to take risks is much like
exercising ones' muscles. Without use, the abilities atrophy. The biggest barrier to risk-
taking is the fear of conflict. Organizations can overcome this barrier, he said, by
conducting regular workshops in conflict resolution and communication.
Other inhibitors include the fear of failure and the fear of uncertainty. As van
Reenen points out, the irony is that even when we strive for complete security in our
lives, the moment we attain it, we become insecure about losing it. When assessing the
tradeoff between risk taking and security, van Reenen prompted participants to evaluate
their motives for opting for security over risk, then to compare the benefits of such
security to its costs. For instance, to some, security's appeal is a dependable and regular
environment. The trade-offs, however, are inertia and boredom.
Organizations trying to cultivate an atmosphere of risk-taking must recognize and
support employees' calculated risk-taking initiatives, regardless of the success or failure
of their ventures. Rewarding the behavior, not the outcome, can reduce the fear of trying
something new. Additionally, smart organizations make the most of the conditions under
which people are motivated to change. Common motivators include the need to address a
crisis in one's circumstances; the desire to follow a charismatic leader; and the desire to
choose one's destiny. The last, van Reenen said, is the most powerful motivator and
impels the greatest commitment toward change efforts.
He noted that, even though organizations are occupied by people with many
different values and goals, change initiatives require a strong, singular vision for guiding
day-to-day decisions. In order to foster a shared set of guiding values and principles, it is
essential that an organization's leadership clearly communicate a potent vision.
The most successful change efforts are lead by risk-takers who are tolerant of
bureaucratic constraints but driven to find ways to work around roadblocks. They also
acknowledge that taking a risk means accepting that one is accountable for one's actions
and they are not debilitated by this reality. They confront the fear of failure directly.
It is the times of turbulence, notes Van Reenen, that offer the opportunity for
greatness. This requires the courage to step out ahead, to envision the possibilities, and to
follow through with sound actions. The caveat, van Reenen noted, is not to take high
risks during severe crises. For instance, if a firm has laid off a third of its employees on a
given day, then this is not the day to try rallying the remaining employees to adopt a new
total quality approach.
Van Reenen offered some rules of thumb for determining when conditions are
right for taking risks: "never risk more than you can afford to lose; don't risk a lot for a
little; and consider the odds and your own intuition." Additionally, he proposed that risks
should be taken under the least embarrassing conditions for others involved, that it should
always be done without 'name calling', and that risk-takers should never corner people,
especially those in authority. Some of the pitfalls to watch out for include: doing too
much too soon; striving for perfection instead of results, and focusing too closely on
details. When opponents of change argue that initiatives have already been tried and
failed, he advised risk-takers to note the value of such experience and to solicit in detail
past conditions so that history is not repeated. Additioanlly, proponents of change should
ask resistant parties to "show cause" for their opposition.
To integrate a pattern of risk-taking into one's personal or professional life, van
Reenen recommends devising detailed action plans. Do not start new initiatives, he said,
without being very clear what activities, behaviors, etc. you are going to stop. Van
Reenen reminded participants that education is always the first step towards change and
that we must educate ourselves and others thoroughly in the facets of the risks/changes
under consideration. Also, he advised living with dreams and cultivating them in others,
celebrating risk-taking, learning to be assertive but not aggressive; and holding firmly to
a set of core values when choosing which risks are worthwhile.
Van Reenen's advice to those that, even after his suggestions, find they are still
unable to take risks is to provide support to those that do. The difficulties of "stepping
out" alone are more bearable when supported by one's colleagues. Van Reenen also
recommended that employees find a small group of colleagues to meet regularly to
discuss the risks they are contemplating and provide feedback and support to each other.
This reduces the sense of isolation and makes people feel more secure in their ventures.
Finally, the world will inevitably continue to change at a faster and faster pace. If
we are unable to make decisions and take risks, we have essentially chosen to react to our
environment rather than act within it. Under these conditions, we will most certainly be
left behind while those more capable of risk-taking explore the opportunities in an ever-
unfolding set of new circumstances.
Government Documents: A Cost-Effective Collection
Jeanette C. Smith, Head, Government Documents/Codes and Standards,
Wouldn't it be nice to have a library that receives thousands of current items every year
without paying a cent to acquire them? It's here, in the "library within a library," the
Government Documents Unit of the NMSU Library, which receives its collection of U.S.
federal publications at no charge from the world's largest publishing house, the
Government Printing Office. A member of the Federal Depository Library Program
(FDLP) since March 19, 1907, the NMSU Library celebrated its 90th anniversary as a
depository this spring. The library is eligible for membership in the FDLP because of
NMSU's land-grant university status.
The average cost of a GPO title is $11.00. By the end of FY 1995-1996, the
library's U.S. documents collection totaled 835,720 physical pieces and 459,604 titles in
paper, microfiche, and other physical formats. At an average cost of $11.00 per title, the
current value of the collection is at least $5,055,644.00. Because most GPO publications
go out of print very quickly, virtually all of the collection is irreplaceable. In FY 1995-
1996, 7,809 titles (30,215 pieces) were added to the collection for a one-year added value
of $85,899. Add to these physical formats the increasing amount of electronic
government information, and it becomes apparent that the depository program is a
bargain. Many electronic files usually available through subscription only, such as Stat-
USA, are available free through depository libraries.
From yesterday's Congressional bills on the Internet to agricultural statistics to
historical nineteenth century primary source material, the Documents collection has
something to offer everyone. Visit us in person on the second floor of Branson Library,
call us at 646-3737, e-mail us at email@example.com, or visit our home page at
Library to Lose Ground with Peers
Charles T. Townley, Dean, University Library
The New Mexico State University Library currently ranks 13th out of the 17 Commission
on Higher Education-assigned peer institution libraries on the key support indicators of
1996-97 library expenditures per student and percent of the Instruction and General
(I&G) budget going to the library. NMSU provides $438 per student compared to a
median of $468 among the 17, mostly western, land-grant institutions. The University of
New Mexico General Libraries spends $771 per student. With reductions in expenditures
mandated by the exhaustion of general obligation bond funds and reductions in staff
resulting from position review, the library expects to spend $409 per student next year.
This will lower our rank to 15th out 17 peers if other budgets remain constant. In
general, library budgets have increased every year since 1945.
The figures for 1996 reflect gains in library support achieved in recent years at New
Mexico State University. As recently as 1992, the NMSU Library ranked 17th out of 17
institutions in terms its expenditure per student and 15th in terms of percentage of I&G
budget. These increased expenditures, along with heroic efforts by the staff, have
allowed the library to improve its performance. We have moved from 16th to 12th in
terms of circulation per student. We have moved from 8th to 4th in terms of gate count
per student. We have increased our ranking in serials per student from 15th to 14th.
Anticipated changes for 1997-98 resulting from exhaustion of bond funds and personnel
reductions will cause the library to lose most of the recent gains compared with peers.
We will drop to 15th and 16th in terms of expenditure per student and percent of I&G
expended for the library. We will drop to 15th in terms of volumes added per student,
17th in terms of periodicals per student and 12th in terms of students per staff. These
reduced resources will affect our performance as well. We expect to fall to 14th in terms
of circulation per student, 7th in terms of weekly gatecount, 13th in terms of reference
questions. Only in interlibrary loan and document delivery do we expect to grow.
While the NMSU Library has been able to buy more periodicals, books, and electronic
materials than expenditures might suggest, the collection remains comparatively small in
terms of the number of students being served. The Faculty Senate Library Committee
and the Collection Management Advisory Committee are working with the
administration of the library and the university to identify additional funds for library
materials and services in the coming year. But, without significant additional permanent
support, the amount of scholarly information available at New Mexico State University,
both inside and outside the library, will continue to lag behind our peers.
The University Library appreciates the support it has received from the university and
state administrations. In the coming year, the University Library will work with
administration to share information about scholarly information needs and how they can
be met. Initiatives will include:
* An effort to revise the state-wide formula budget for academic libraries. The
existing state formula does not take the cost of periodicals or foreign
materials into account. As a result, the formula generates less than half of
what is needed to support reasonable access to scholarly information.
* Revising our organizational goals and structure to address new strategic plans
on the part of the library and the university.
* Proposing a systematic approach to scholarly information at New Mexico State
Commission on Higher Education Peer Institutions
1996 Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
1996-97 Rank 1997-98 Rank
Expenditure/Student $437.75 13/17 $408.52 15/17
% I&G Spent on Library 2.48 13/17 2.31 16/17
Volumes/Student 80.77 13/17 83.06 13/17
Volumes Added/Student 2.29 10/17 1.67 15/17
Periodicals/Student .62 14/17 .45 17/17
Student/Staff FTE 141.21 10/17 144.57 12/17
Circulation/Student 20.76 12/17 18.62 14/17
Weekly Gate Count/Student 2.14 4/17 1.81 7/17
Weekly Reference 0.12 10/17 0.105 13/17
Interlibrary Loan/Student 1.67 1/17 2.16 1/17
Communications Decency Act Reaches Supreme Court
M. Marlo Brown, Reference Librarian
The Communications Decency Act, part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, made it
unlawful for a person to make "indecent" materials available to minors over the Internet.
A person breaking the law could face up to two years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
Almost immediately after passing, the law was opposed in a suit by the American Civil
Liberties Union and blocked by a federal judge in Philadelphia. A federal three-judge
panel later ruled that the law is unconstitutional in its restrictions on free speech.
On March 19th of this year, the case, now known as Reno v. ACLU, was appealed in
front of the U.S. Supreme Court by Seth Waxman, a lawyer with the Justice Department.
Bruce Ennis, an attorney for the American Library Association, argued the case for the
ACLU. A decision by the court is expected this summer.
If found to be constitutional, the law will still be difficult to enforce, due to the vague
nature of its language and the fact that about 40% of material on the Internet originates
from outside the United States. Computer system administrators fearful of stiff penalties
may have to severely restrict Internet access in an attempt to comply with the law. On the
other hand, some of the justices' questions showed an appreciation for the technical
issues involved, and a ruling against the law would send a message to legislators,
educators, and parents that the Internet is a unique medium which cannot be restricted in
the same manner that television, radio, and newspapers are.
More information on the CDA can be obtained on the Internet from:
The American Library Association http://www.ala.org
WIRED Magazine http://www.netizen.com/netizen/97/12/index0a.html
The Electronic Frontier Foundation http://www.eff.org/pub/Censorship/HTML/hot.html#cda
Full transcripts of the hearing are available at: http://www.aclu.org/issues/cyber/trial/sctran.html
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