May Library Office Notes






ANNOUNCEMENTS: University Librarian Note
Our 2019 budget meeting with the provost was encouraging, with substantial and engaged questions, including some that suggest sympathy with (if not a promise of support) for Library initiatives. Before a recap of the meeting and inviting you to read the tea leaves along with me, I’d like to share some thoughts about the range of dynamics in these budget meetings. Read more…
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Library Building Project Update – 5/1/2019
Tom Teper, Associate Dean for Collections and Technical Services

Committees and Working Groups – Programming the Main Library
The Programming the Main Library Building WG last met as a group on April 30th. At that meeting, Jen Yu and John Laskowski presented summary findings from the Library Building Project Salons as well as data from the recently completed Ithaka Undergraduate Survey and earlier Ithaka surveys. Following that presentation, the group discussed workspace needs in the building (e.g., adjacencies, groups vs. individual workspaces, etc…). In preparation for a series of mid-May meetings with the programming and conceptual design team, the working group will endeavor to transfer information gathered thus far into a single “wish-list” of desirable attributes that can be taken into account as we work through the process. Kirstin Dougan is chairing the working group, and more information on the working group and its efforts can be found here:

Committees and Working Groups – Collections
The Managing the Library’s Collections Working Group last met on April 29, 2019. There are three more meetings for this group on the calendar: May 2nd, May 16th, and June 27th, 2019. In a recent summary document prepared for the Senate Committee on the Library, Paula Carns and Tom Teper indicated that the working group has been mining a homegrown database that incorporates metadata for 10.7-million physical items in the catalog and 8.3-million circulation transactions dating from 2002 – October 2018. The Office of Collections and Technical Services has run a series of reports on the use of materials in the Main Stacks. These reports are beginning to paint a picture of how the locally-held collections are being used. The same office provided statistics on the holdings in the Main Stacks with regards to formats: books, journals, etc. A rough calculation of the numbers puts a total number of volumes from the Stacks holding location that (a) had evidence of use in the last twenty years regardless of the publication date of the item, (b) had been published after 1970 regardless of circulation history, and (c) had come from sets that were associated with anything that had evidence of circulation, totaled approximately 2.6-million volumes.

The Working Group has met with the following individuals:

  • The Head of the Map Library – to discuss the maps held in the Main Stacks as well as in the Map Library;
  • The Head of the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library – to discuss the future of the microfilm collection attached to this unit, which currently is within the footprint of the Main Stacks;
  • And, the Head of Research and Information Services – to discuss the reference collection housed just inside of the entrance to the Main Stacks.

The Working Group also ran a campus-wide survey on the use of the Main Stacks. The number and type of participants were:
Survey Participants

Brief Summary of Results: 69% of participants said that they used the Main Stacks for getting books, while only 41% (of the total) said they used the Library Catalog (as opposed to browsing) to learn about books. In the comments, the majority of participants expressed the need for being able to browse physical books in the Main Stacks and hope that this option will continue. Others, however, requested that the Library provide more access to electronic books, as they prefer this format. One concern repeatedly expressed was the hope that, if the Library does move more books to Remote Storage, the Library will provide quick and easy access to materials. Most respondents said they prefer electronic journals (62%) and thus do not see the need to have these print counterparts housed in Main Stacks. Very few participants expressed a great use of reference materials.

The Working Group is keeping the results of the survey in mind as it moves forward.

The Collections Working Group has been working earnestly on the conceptual framework for the Main Stacks. They agree that limiting the collection to materials in the arts, humanities, and social sciences – as opposed to the current configuration that includes all subjects – would have several benefits. First, such a configuration would harmonize well with the departmental libraries housed in the Main Library. Second, the faculty and students in these disciplines use the Main Stacks the most. The Working Group has also been considering criteria to help guide the departmental libraries in their collection policies.

Its members hope to discuss some of their work at an open forum that will be announced in the coming month with follow-up discussions at the June faculty meeting.

In recent weeks, conversations have also turned toward the management of other media formats within the Library’s collections. For example, microform collections are currently held by multiple units, one of which (the History, Philosophy, and Newspaper Library) will lose its storage vault as the project progresses. We need to discuss the management of these collections going forward.

More information on the working group and its efforts can be found here:

Committees and Working Groups – Special Collections Research Center (SCRC)
The kick-off meeting for the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) was held on April 18, 2019 with Joanne Kaczmarek serving as the chair. Prior to the kick-off meeting, the entire Special Collections Division toured the Undergraduate Library in order to examine both public and back-office spaces, including the mechanical rooms that house HVAC equipment and emergency pumping equipment. During the initial kick-off meeting, the members began discussing and drafting an update to an existing vision statement for such a building as well as potential sub-groups that would be drawn upon to help address particular questions around topics such as: Exhibits and Outreach; Public Services; Environment and Storage; etc…. Moving quickly, the working group held its second meeting on April 29, 2019, discussing background information that might be provided to the consulting firms in the next couple weeks.

The framework under which these and other working groups directly associated with this project will work is posted here:

Committees and Working Groups – Library Consultation Working Group (Campus Level Cmte)
The Provost, Vice Chancellor for Research, and Dean of Libraries kicked-off a campus-wide committee on April 19, 2019. This short-term working group will work over the summer in order to provide input and guidance on the Library Building Project. They will be engaged to work with members of the University Library as well as the Programming and Conceptual Design Firm – Johnson, Lasky, Kindelin Architects.

Contracts and Firms
The University Library received approval to begin work with an architectural firm to help with the programming activities effective February 22, 2019. Chicago-based Johnson, Lasky, Kindelin (JLK) Architects is the approved firm, and they will be working with a firm knows as BrightSpot Strategy to help the University Library and our campus partners to begin developing the program for the Library Building Project. More information on JLK Architects, including information on other projects they have helped develop, can be found on the company’s website: BrightSpot Strategy’s website can be found here:

A kick-off meeting was held on March 14, 2019. Presently, the University Library is working to schedule a visit on May 14 – 16th for JLK and Brightspot in order for them to meet with working groups, members of the Library administration, members of the campus’ Library Consultation Working Group, and others in order to help bring together information gathered thus far. This information about the Main Library Building is being gathered as part of the Validation, Programming, and Space Planning Activities in the schedule below.

In the meantime, a separate contract is being prepared in order to bring JLK on board as a Programming and Conceptual Design firm for the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC). The hope is to dovetail these two projects. And, similar Validation, Programming, and Space Planning activities will be scheduled for that group.


  • Monthly Updates – As you know, there are now monthly updates about the Library Building Project distributed via LibNews. These will be posted in a separate section of LON. The intent of both is to ensure open communication of specific information related to the Library Building Project.
  • Quarterly Updates – The third Quarterly Update for the project was held on March 13, 2019, starting at 3:30 – 4:30 p.m. in 66 Main Library. The fourth Quarterly Update is scheduled for June 17, 2019 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. We anticipate that the live stream provided by the Media Commons will be available for this one as well.
  • Website – The Library Building Project has a website located at: Here you can read about the vision behind this program, seek answers to many of the Frequently Asked Questions that might arise, and read about upcoming events or project news. You can also submit additional questions to the project team at
  • ITHAKA Faculty Survey – The ITHAKA Faculty Survey went live several weeks ago and included some questions for members of the faculty related to the Library Building.

Facilities Schedules
The assigned project coordinator from F&S is Dennis Craig. Dennis has been involved in numerous projects across the University Library. He also serves as the Campus Historic Preservation Officer and is serving on the feasibility study being conducted related to the instructional facility that may be situated adjacent to the Main Library.

As noted earlier, the University Library recently received approval to work with JLK Architects and BrightSpot Strategies. Based on the kick off date of March 14, 2019, the schedule below represents the most current estimated project timeline for this phase – the highlighted portion representing where we are at present.

Long-Term Project Schedule
Following the completion of the initial Programming and Conceptual Design phase, the schedule below represents a best guess as to the project schedule through December 2024.

Outreach and Engagement
As noted in the last Quarterly Update, the Library held the last “Salon” for Library personnel in early April 2019.

The two scheduled focus groups for undergraduate students were canceled for lack of interest.

John Wilkin, Paula Carns, and Kirstin Dougan met with the Senate Committee on the Library on April 19, 2019 in order to discuss the activities of our Programming and Collections Working Groups.

Tom Teper met with the Staff Development and Training Committee in mid-April to discuss potential avenues for that body to contribute to the Library Building Project. After a follow-up conversation with the Dean and AULs, the committee will begin working with Michelle Guerro about possible sessions in the summer/fall related to Stress Management. The intent will be to hold sessions in both the morning and afternoon in order to maximize potential attendance.

Finally, we will be working in the spring to find opportunities for broader town-hall type discussions. The first of these will be an open forum with the Programming and Conceptual Design firm that was announced via e-Week and LibNews. It will be held on May 16, 2019 in 66 Main Library from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
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The members of the Research and Publication Committee would like to remind everyone that we have opened up requests for funding to tenured faculty and academic professionals this semester, and the fiscal year is approaching fast! Tenure track faculty should also continue to reach out to us for funding of course. Please see the RPC webpages at and read more about what we fund at Let us know if you have any questions. We are always happy to work with you on your grant request.

Also, consider indicating your interest in serving on this committee when the call for volunteers comes out!

  • Lynne M Rudasill (Aug 2017 – Aug 2019)
  • Merinda Kaye Hensley (Aug 2017 – Aug 2019)
  • Shuyong Jiang (Aug 2017 – Aug 2019)
  • David Morris (Aug 2017 – Aug 2019)
  • Seth Robbins (Aug 2018 – Aug 2020)
  • Jennifer Teper (Aug 2018 – Aug 2020)
  • Heidi Imker (ex officio – AUL for Research)

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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Robert Howerton Scholarship
The Research and Publication Committee of the University Library is issuing a call for proposals for the Robert Howerton Scholarship for Library Pre-Professional Graduate Assistant Research.

Robert Howerton worked as a Senior Library Specialist at the University Library for 15 years. In this capacity, Robert cataloged Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies materials, and mentored graduate students in the pre-professional program. He was passionate about education, music, and public service. His generosity and remarkable patience helped graduate students thrive and succeed as young professionals. Some of these students are now librarians and catalogers. Robert’s story is a testament to the many positive roles played by civil service staff on a daily basis.

The scholarship is designed to support pre-professional graduate assistants as they do research projects in reference and technical services with the goal of publishing their work. The Research and Publication Committee will administer the scholarship. Please contact the Office of Library Advancement at 217-333-5682 if you would like to donate to this fund.

Eligibility requirements:

  • Restricted to students with a pre-professional graduate assistantship position at the University Library;
  • Candidates must intend to pursue a career as reference or technical service professionals, and to present their project findings in the form of a research paper at a local, regional, or international conference or in a LIS journal;
  • Research projects should target improving access to library services and collections.

Possible funding targets:

  • Travel to archives and other institutions for research;
  • Incentives for subject participation in user studies;
  • Purchase of materials or ancillary cost.

The number of proposals the committee approves will determine the amount of funding of up to $500 per grant. This is not a travel grant. Please contact the iSchool or the Graduate College to learn about funding for conference related travel grants.

Students should go to to apply. The deadline for submission is May 22, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.

We are looking forward to hearing from these students so please share widely with the graduate students who work with you.
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Scholarly Communication and Publishing is happy to announce its newest publication through IOPN and Publishing Without Walls. Moving ahead with our monthly spring AFRO PWW releases, marilyn m. thomas-houston’s iBlack Studies was published Friday, March 29. This is our first publication to go live using Omeka and also the first using multiple platforms with an entry point through Scalar.

Title: iBlack Studies: An Interdisciplinary, Integrative and Interactive Approach
Edited by: marilyn m. thomas-houston

Synopsis: Rooted in long-incubated plans to use digital methods to explore the Black experience and from a 2006 gathering organized by editor marilyn m. thomas-houston, iBlack Studies introduces readers to the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary field of Black Studies. Serving as a hub for accessing collections of research and resources on the Black experience by providing a no-cost open access home for digitized and born-digital research and minimally distributed publications, its resources include but are not limited to fieldnotes, video and audio recordings, datasets, and conference papers and proceedings. The hub is expected to grow, with new sections contributed by scholars interested in the creation of an online, no-cost, open-source presence for their work.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Integrated Library System (ILS) Implementation
Michael Norman, Discovery Services Librarian and ILS Coordinator

As many of you know, the Library will migrate over to a new cataloging system by Fall 2020. In an effort to make the transition as smooth as possible, I will be communicating to Library faculty and staff via LIB-NEWS and providing regular updates about the project in each issue of LON moving forward (through implementation). A dedicated set of web pages devoted to the project are being created for internal reference and will be up and running soon. I’m also providing monthly reports to the Content Access Policy & Technology (CAPT) Committee and those appear in CAPT meeting minutes found here.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Holiday Schedule
President Killeen has announced that the University will be closed December 27, 30, and 31 for the holiday break.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Grant Announcements for External Fundraisers
As always, if you are interested in all grant opportunities across disciplines, feel free to subscribe to the OVCR’s list at

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Heidi Imker or Kathie Veach.

NEH Grants
There are no pending IMLS deadlines at this time.

06/12/2019 – Digital Projects for the Public
Output: Game/Simulation, Web Resources, Mobile App, Virtual/Augmented Reality, Curricular Materials

06/19/2019 – Digital Humanities Advancement Grants  NEW!
Output: Curricular Materials, Course, Book, Article, Report, Computer Programs, Database/Archive/Digital Edition

07/16/2019 – Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Output: Digitized Collection, Web Resources, Catalogs, Databases, Encyclopedias

08/15/2019 – Public Humanities Projects NEW!
Output: Reinterpretation Plans; Exhibition

09/19/2019 – Humanities Connections Planning Grants
Output: Curriculum, Community Partnerships, Faculty Development,                              Teaching Resources

09/19/2019 – Humanities Connections Implementation Grants
Output: Linked Courses, Curriculum, Community Partnerships, Faculty Development, Teaching Resources

10/15/2019 – Dialogues on the Experience of War
Output: Curriculum, Community Partnerships, Discussions Groups, Facilitator Training

12/04/2019 – Scholarly Editions and Translation Grants
Output: Book, Translation, Edition, Music edition

12/04/2019 – Collaborative Research Grants
Output: Book, Digital Material & Publication, Other Scholarly Resource, Themed issue of peer reviewed journal, Conference, Workshop

01/15/2020 – Sustaining Cultural Heritage Collections
Output: Preservation Supplies/Equipment, Reports on Preventive Conservation

01/15/2020 – National Digital Newspaper Program
Output: Web Resources, Digitized Newspapers

02/05/2020 – Public Scholar Program NEW!
Output: Book

02/13/2020 – Summer Seminars and Institutes for Higher Education Faculty NEW!
Output: Conference/Institute/Seminar

02/13/2020 – Summer Seminars and Institutes for K-12 Faculty NEW!
Output: Conference/Institute/Seminar
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Library Tip of the Month
The Library sends a monthly email to new faculty at Illinois during the fall and spring semesters. These emails introduce many of our services and resources to this important audience.

You can view the April LTOTM at

If you have ideas for future emails, please feel free to share them with Heather Murphy.
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Collection Development Committee Notes
The most recent meetings minutes of the CDC are posted at:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Content Access Policy & Technology Meeting Minutes
The meetings minutes of CAPT (including work group reports) are posted at:
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ANNOUNCEMENTS: Recognizing Excellence

Please forward journal editorships or editorial board membership, elected and invited external service appointments, honors, and awards information to Heather Murphy.
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HR NEWS: Vacancies

  • Library Specialist, Communications – interviews completed
  • Business/Administrative associate, BHRSC – Master Referral received, interviews in progress

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HR NEWS: Departures

  • Gil Witte, Retirement (May 31)
  • Miriam Centeno, Resignation (May 31)

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HR NEWS: In Memoriam

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IT NEWS: No Change Period
Library IT will observe a no-change period leading up to and through final exams. IT will make no changes to production services between 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 29, through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, May 10. Changes may still be made if necessary for stability or security, but as many changes as possible will be deferred until after commencement.
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IT NEWS: Skype for Business Persistent Chat Rooms to Retire

What’s Happening
Microsoft has announced that they will not include Persistent Chat Room functionality in the Skype for Business 2019 Server.

The Persistent Chat Room service will be retired on May 31, 2019.

What’s the Impact
Existing chat rooms and messages will no longer be accessible after this date. Private instant messaging and messaging in Skype for Business meetings (conference calls) will be unaffected. There will be minimal to no impact to the Skype for Business service.

Microsoft Teams supports persistent chats with threaded conversations, private discussions, and add-ons for items like Office documents, GitHub, Trello, and more.

You can access the web version or download Windows and Mac clients through the Office 365 Portal at or iOS and Android apps can be downloaded from their respective app stores.

If you have any questions, please contact the Technology Services Help Desk at or 244-7000.
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FACILITIES: Facility Project Updates

  • ACES Funk Library – Additional Staff Offices – F&S finalizing consultant contract to design office space for staff on the second floor.
  • Library Programming and Conceptual Design – Johnson Lasky Kindelin Architects & Brightspot Strategies are the consultants for the project and a kickoff meeting took place March 14, 2019. Town Hall and Planning Meeting Set for the middle of May.
  • Main Library – Reading Room 200 Renovation & Room 220 Conceptual Design 95% construction drawings arrived for review and review set for May 9, 2019.
  • Main Library – 1st Floor Central Service Point Construction documents are complete and F&S is seeking cost from the Job Order Contracting group.

For a complete list of projects in planning and construction, please see:
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Staff Events Calendar
To see the most up-to-date staff events calendar, please visit
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Suicide Awareness and Prevention Workshop
May 2
1:00 – 3:00 p.m., 106 Main Library

May is Mental Health Awareness month. Sebastian Klein from Angel Forever Foundation will do a presentation on suicide awareness and prevention titled, Filling the Void.

“FILLING THE VOID relates to the biggest obstacle in suicide prevention; SILENCE. The SILENCE STIGMA creates a veil of ” we shouldn’t talk about our challenges with mental health”. It silences the individual and it silences us as a community.

FILLING THE VOID also means helping inform and educate on mental health awareness and the challenges that come with it. Often an individual struggles to express what they feel because they don’t understand what is happening themselves.

Simply, because of stigma, the veil it creates, and the silence that hides behind it, what is left is THE VOID.

Angel Forever hopes to help in making a difference by FILLING THE VOID.”
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: #ColorOurCollections Open House
May 2
3 – 5 p.m., 346 Main Library

#ColorOurCollections Event

Color with us at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library! We’ll have coloring pages from some of our favorites in the collection that you can take home, and the books that inspired the pages will be on view. Come see how your masterpieces stack up to the originals!

Snacks & coloring supplies provided. Refreshments will be served.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Research and Publication Webinar Series – Part 5 – Communicating Impact Using Data Visualization
May 8
1:00 – 2:00 p.m., 428 Main Library

You’ve collected all your data, analyzed the results, and are ready to present it to the world–but how? Data visualization offers a wide variety of options, but choosing the best method for relaying your findings is tricky. Differences in audiences and applications can be difficult to understand or navigate. This webinar will demonstrate principles and tools to help technical services units and staff communicate their work and research. It will include discussions of how audience drives the narratives we use, what data points are effective for particular stakeholders, and what tools can help best visualize those data points.

This webinar series is presented by the Research and Publication Committee of the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS).
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Strategic Planning Retreat
May 14
8:30 – 1:00 p.m., 200 Main Library

All Library employees are encouraged to attend the Library Strategic Planning retreat which will be held Tuesday, May 14 from 8:30am-1:00pm in 200 Library. The Library will be closed during this time. Coffee, hot tea, and water will be served in the morning and a lunch will be served at 12pm.  Again, we encourage everyone to attend. Those who do not wish to attend should work with their unit head to request a vacation day (or half-day) or make arrangements with their unit head to work in the unit that morning. For questions, please contact Library Human Resources at 333-8169.

Please register by going to the Staff event calendar,, by Tuesday, May 7, so we have a count for food and can make name tags.

A draft Strategic Plan, to work from, will be sent out soon.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: NISO Webinar: Libraries and the Move to Transparency
May 15
12:00 – 1:30 p.m., 428 Main Library

So much of library workflow and usage is shrouded from public view, sometimes due to the interest of protecting patron privacy, sometimes due to the assumption that the patron or the public would have no interest in knowing the process. At the same time, trust is most easily generated in the context of transparency. For example, the public needs to understand and trust the weeding process and/or the rationale behind off-site storage. What does your community understand or need to learn about the ways in which libraries operate in order to trust the library more fully? How can vendors and service providers support more transparency to users?
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Library Building Project Town Hall
May 16
3:00 – 4:00 p.m., 66 Main Library

Town Hall Event

Dean Wilkin will share the vision for the project, current planning progress, and what to expect next. JLK Architects and members of the recently charged campus-level committee focused on the Library Building Project will attend as well. There will be an opportunity for the audience to ask questions and provide comments.
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: ALA Webinar: The Importance of Being Inclusive: Diversity in Collection Development for Academic Libraries
May 17
11:00 – 12:00 p.m., 428 Main Library
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EVENTS AND TRAINING: Creative Connections
May 22
12:00 – 1:00 p.m., 428 Main Library
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If you would like to submit content for the June issue of Library Office Notes, please submit it to Heather Murphy or Tom Teper by May 24, 2019.