Archive for September, 2008

Library Planning Process Underway

Friday, September 26th, 2008

In the wake of the chancellor’s retreat two weeks ago, we’ve begun the process of renewing the strategic plan for the Library. At Wednesday’s Management Council meeting, I gave a presentation on key points I took away from the retreat about campus priorities under the leadership of our new chancellor and about changing realities within the UC system, both in terms of the new president’s plans for the Office of the President and the California economy’s impact on state funding. We’re just in the initial stages of deciding on how the process will move forward, but as before, we will actively involve Library staff and extensively utilize information about user needs and experiences in the substance of it.

The campus has changed its process of calling for strategic plans somewhat from what it was three years ago. Now they are asking all campus units for a one-year academic or business plan, due early next year, with more extensive, multi-year strategic plans due from the units on a rotating basis. The Library doesn’t come up in that rotation until 2010, but we need to move forward now nevertheless. We will incorporate the process of creating our one-year academic/business plan (since the Library in fact spans those categories) into the process of creating the multi-year strategic plan so that they build on each other.

Just as we created an inclusive process for generating our current strategic plan, we will do so again. So what happens next? We plan to have all-staff open sessions to discuss topics for inclusion. Some of our progress on fundamentals, such as the YRL renovation, will be reflected in the new plan. Working groups will collaborate to create a draft plan. Management Council will review and take responsibility for the final product.

Your suggestions are welcome now, and as we move forward.

IT Strategic Planning

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

I have been asked to serve on a task force charged with examining UCLA’s information technology plan for the next five years.

The plan is to address:

  • What should UCLA establish as its highest priorities for strengthening and/or positioning IT over the next five years?
  • What is needed to sustain and enhance UCLA’s academic excellence and administrative efficiency?
  • Is the governance structure now in place appropriate for the future decisions and needs that face UCLA?
  • How can we drive more value and efficiency from UCLA’s IT infrastructure, including data centers, networking, communications, security services, disaster recovery, identify management, server architecture, and systems and applications administration?
  • How should we balance the needs of individual divisions and departments for applications that serve their needs against the benefits of integrated systems that are developed as institutional resources?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of the campus IT organizational, fiscal and operating structures that are currently in place?
  • How can UCLA develop improved project management, so that systems development proceeds on time and on budget and with consultation and communications as needed?

I welcome your suggestions and comments as I participate in this process.

On 9/11

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I spent 9/11/2008 at the Chancellor’s Retreat and was struck by the fact that no mention was made of the significance of the date until almost the end of the meeting. I had begun the morning with thoughts and memories of that fateful day in New York City.

I was in my office at Queens Library being interviewed by a reporter from Newsweek having delayed my planned trip to Washington, D.C. that day until around noon. My head of security, Mike Daly, rushed into my office, turned on the television to NY1, turned and said that the World Trade Center had been attacked. I was sure Mike was kidding. The reporter, Mike, and I sat there glued to the images flashing before us and the uncertainty of the reporter’s voice on air.

The reporter rushed off hoping to get back to Manhattan, and we immediately went into crisis mode and began contacting branches to attempt to calm folks and make sure that our 63 facilities remained open as long as people needed to be there. The city transportation came to a standstill. Internet in 23 of our branches was down because their lines ran through the Verizon center at the World Trade Cente. Cell phones were still working for the most part. By late afternoon, most were making their way to their homes or had arrangements of places to stay. A number of our staff who lived in lower Manhattan close to the site (thankfully all were at work that day) had made arrangements for places to stay. A number walked from their work back across bridges into Manhattan.

As I gathered senior managers into our control center, we decided we would open all branches the next day. The city had closed schools and other facilities, but we felt it important that we be open and ready to have people come in and they did. Thousands came to their branches as a place of connection and to get information.

The rest of the story would unfold, and I have many thoughts about how we handled it all. But those thoughts are too numerous for this. But I did want to make note of the anniversary, and that it impacted so many people’s lives for so long. As I sat at home that evening and watched from my terrace balcony the funnel of smoke and ash still rising from ground zero, I felt the world was a different place. And it certainly has been.

Do pause and reflect a moment.

Powell Society Dinner

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

ast Thursday night I hosted our third annual Powell Society Dinner at the Powell Library. The dinner celebrates the generosity of Library Associates who are members of the Powell Society. The Society includes those who contribute at least $1,000 each year to the UCLA Library or have designated endowment funds. Seventy-eight individuals came together to celebrate the UCLA Library.This event gives me the opportunity to personally thank our major donors and to cultivate their continued interest in our programs. Our donors have an opportunity to socialize with us in the rotunda of Powell and then adjourned for dinner in the adjoining room. It is such a great place to entertain our donors.

Our special guest this year was author Ray Bradbury. Now 88 he spoke passionately about books and libraries. A special part of the evening was the unveiling of a plaque noting the fact that he used the typewriter room at the Powell Library to type his first book Fahrenheit 451. He recalled going to the Bank of America and getting a bag of dimes and

NIH Public Access Policy

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

As many of you know, there has been further attempts to remove the requirements won by passage of the NIH Public Access Policy. To see the full discussion please refer to the Managing Your Intellectual Property Blog

The House of Representatives Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet, and Intellectual Property scheduled a hearing to address the copyright policy implications of the NIH Public Access Policy. The hearing will be this Thursday, September 11 at 1pm Eastern and can be viewed online.Several members of the UCLA community including the Director of Research, the Director of Office of Intellectual Property Administration, and the University Librarian today sent letters to the California delegation in support of the NIH Public Access Policy to make published research funded by NIH openly accessible after 6 months.Submit comments to your representative or the chair of the Judiciary Committee.

For more background on the issue, see the Library Journal article “NIH Public Access Policy To Face Copyright Challenge in Congress?”

I, along with the Vice Chancellor for Research and Office of Intellectual Property, have submitted comments on this issue.

Reflection on five years at UCLA

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Yesterday I passed the five year mark as University Librarian here at UCLA. It gave me pause to stop and think a bit about what has happened in that short time. First, it is like a dream come true€“sitting in the chair occupied by Larry Powell and Bob Vosper; following Page Ackerman, Russell Shank, and Gloria Werner. (I didn’t personally know the first University Librarian.) These university librarians laid the solid foundation upon which we build.

A lot has happened in these five years. Much of this has been framed by budget challenges and restructuring of higher education within California and particularly the University of California. UCLA has not been spared any of the examination and change. Nor has its library. Our strategic plan has helped us focus our attention and resources and will push us even harder in the coming months.

Next week I will attend the Chancellor’s planning retreat, and we will hear what is next. I will use this space to try to frame some of that direction for you. As we see the emerging “academic plan” for UCLA, it will help us position the library for our role in the future.

I am happy to be here as I work with some of the best librarians and staff anywhere in the country.