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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Elizabeth's Project Proposal

Have you ever wondered if SLIS students have an advantage with access to library materials and services over all other departments? Well, I have.
The question I asked myself is: "Which academic department(s) have an advantage when it comes to provision of library collections and services? Which academic department(s) are at a disadvantage?"
Advantage (and conversely disadvantage) is defined by a number of variables:
1. Number of undergraduate and graduate students within each academic department (a variable that all other data will be relational to) (as of Spring 2005)
2. Distance of academic department to associated library
3. Distance of each department's Spring 2005 classes/classrooms to associated library
4. Each campus library's Spring 2005 hours
5. Each campus library's 2004-2005 FY budget
6. Each campus library's 2004-2005 FY budget spent on collections
7. Number of volumes held by each campus library
8. Number of active journal subscriptions in each campus library
9. Number of staff (including full-time, part-time, LTE, and students) in each campus library
10. Square footage of each library
While in reality there are many more variables to consider, I believe that these numbers will be easily attained within my time constraints. There are obvious flaws in this project. I'm missing a large user population by not including faculty/staff/research assistants, but that information is not easily available. In addition, there are many features within libraries that could be accounted for, such as reference desk hours, number of computers, etc. Also not included in this picture is data that deals with electronic resources, online reference, etc, because those numbers are hard to come by. But I'm satisfied that I have a solid base on which this project rests, and am waiting to see if SLIS students have a distinct advantage in regard to libraries.


At 9:46 AM, Blogger Molly said...

Elizabeth, I think that you are right in thinking that SLIS students have an advantage, at least physically, in access to our needed library materials because the library is where everything in and for SLIS happens. I am glad that you are going to do relational comparison because some departments are gigantic compared to others, and therefore have a larger mass of materials related to that discipline in campus libraries.

I am wondering how you will compare the departments who have materials in libraries like Memorial. Are you going to pool all of the departments who depend on memorial for most materials together? If not, I'm wondering how you will link the size of the various dept. with Memorial's collection size and budget and number of journal subscriptions in order to begin to make comparisions with departments like SLIS - deparments that have their own library.


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