Archive for July, 2009

“A” Level Renovation Update (7)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

The wall comes down and reveals the new garden reading room today. Please do not cross into the construction zone as it is not Library space as yet. This is still a construction area and is dangerous. But a look-see is welcome.


The stairs open up and one begins to see the expanse of space that will soon be ready to receive our users into this exciting new space.


This view shows the canopy above the elevators and access by the stairway.


One has a “straight-ahead” view of the media wall with the stairwell to the right and entrance to Special Collections ahead of the staircase.


Work continues to finish the ceiling in the reading room. Cork flooring is being laid (note the brown paper covering it at the bottom of the picture), and lighting is in. Once a few modifications are made to venting in the ceiling, the tiles will be installed and then the finishing begins.

UCLA Library Web Redesign (1)

Friday, July 31st, 2009

Library Website Redesign

I am pleased to announce that the Library will kick off its Website Redesign beginning Fall Quarter 2009. We will be taking a bit different approach to this initiative than we have in the past. I have chosen this approach given the reality of our resources. While this process may be different, my commitment to the UCLA Library as a learning organization remains high and the need to redesign our web presence must move quickly.

I will provide milestone updates in my blog as the redesign project is unfolding. In this first update, I would like to share with you details about the redesign process.

Redesign Process

Library Web Services (LWS) recalibrated the redesign process in April/May 09, since it had become apparent that the process initially proposed was staff intensive and therefore, too expensive to implement in the rapidly evolving fiscal climate. While the key principles remain intact from the initial proposal, such as transparency and evidence-based methodology, LWS was also charged to develop a process that addresses affordability, efficiency, and productivity. Key characteristics of the recalibrated process are summarized below:

1 Year Iterative Developments: A one year roadmap has been developed to complete the redesign; within the year, the redesign will be phased into timely deliverables based on the importance of user goals;

 User Focus and Transparency: The redesign will open up to users directly, including both end users and library staff, and LWS will solicit feedback to improve the new site throughout the one year project and beyond;

Agile Team: A small and agile, expertise-driven team will be charged with recommending and prioritizing site enhancements based on user feedback; a various expertise from other library units will be invited into the team as needed later in redesign. The current team members are:  John Wang (Chair), Head of LWS; Kevin Rundblad, eLearning Librarian; Sharon Shafer, Web Services Librarian; and Chris Cabrera Thompson, Web site Administrator;

Speed Interface Work with Design Firm: We will source necessary design expertise just- in- time to deliver high-scale and professional user interface and site functionalities, rather than developing in house design expertise or hiring a full-time employee;

Parallel Redesign Site: LWS will design, prototype, test, improve, and implement a beta redesign site in a parallel environment, alongside the existing Web environment. This will allows LWS to continue full library services as the new site is developed. It will also mitigate security risks to the current Library network, expedite the up-scaling and down-scaling of infrastructure needs, and properly test new suitable Web technologies. The parallel site will be linked from the header section of the current Library Website to ensure maximum accessibility and visibility to library users.

Keeping up with Redesign

LWS will host WebTalk (brown bag events) to communicate with staff in person periodically; the WebTalks will complement my blog posts on redesign.

Staff may also use the LWS Team Site as a repository for redesign documentations, including the redesign plan, prototypes, user research data, user feedback, technical white papers, etc.

Finally, staff may get real- time updates via the Redesign Beta Site. John will send the URL for this site as soon as it is live.

My intention is to keep you informed through regular updates here as the process moves forward.

Winter Holiday Closure Plan for 2009-10

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009


Campus Human Resources
Health System Human Resources

July 28, 2009


To the Campus Community:

RE: Winter Holiday Closure Plan for 2009 – 2010

As you know, the University of California Board of Regents has adopted a furlough plan, to be effective starting September 1, 2009, in response to the University’s budgetary needs. The systemwide plan provides that starting with September earnings, eligible employees will begin to accrue furlough days as paid days off in accordance with their reduced annual compensation. The furlough schedule is available at:

As in previous years, UCLA plans to observe a Winter Holiday Closure during the 2009 - 2010 holiday season. This annual closure has allowed UCLA to achieve significant energy savings and continues to be a highly effective approach to power conservation for a specific period of time. The campus is scheduled to close for 16 days between Saturday, December 19, 2009 and Sunday, January 3, 2010, and will reopen on Monday, January 4, 2010. This period includes several University paid holidays (December 24, 25 and 31, and January 1st). However, six days (December 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30, 2009) are not paid holidays and employees are encouraged to use them as furlough days to cover the time off. Staff employees and those academic employees who accrue vacation may use furlough days in combination with vacation time, earned compensatory time off, or leave without pay for these days.

We anticipate that additional closure periods may be added later in calendar year 2010, thereby allowing employees to apply their available earned furlough days.

Please note the following:

· For employees participating in the furlough plan, furlough days to cover the 6 days of unpaid time during the Winter Holiday Closure may be used in advance of accrual, as is also the case with vacation leave during the campus closure.

· For those employees not participating in the furlough plan, either accrued vacation, compensatory time off, or leave without pay may be used for the unpaid days during the Winter Holiday Closure, as in previous years.

For represented employees, the requirements of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) will be observed.

During the planned break period, the UCLA Health System and essential-service facilities will continue to remain open. Deans, Vice Chancellors or Organization Heads to whom this responsibility has been delegated will need to determine if any facilities under their management will need to remain fully or partially open during the closure and arrange for appropriate staffing. These approval decisions need to be submitted to Facilities Management, with a copy to the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost.

In early December the Office of the Administrative Vice Chancellor will provide detailed information regarding campus services available and the status of buildings during the expanded 2009-2010 Winter Holiday. Energy-saving tips, pre-closure questions, and closure emergency contact numbers will be available on Facilities Management’s website.

Any questions or comments regarding human resource policy or furlough questions related to the 2009-2010 Winter Holiday campus closure may be forwarded to Campus Human Resources at or Health System Human Resources at


Lubbe Levin
Associate Vice Chancellor
Campus Human Resources
  Mark A. Speare
Senior Associate Director
Patient Affairs, Human Resources and Marketing

Budget Update from the Chancellor

Monday, July 27th, 2009

UCLA Office of the Chancellor

To: Faculty and Staff
Dear Colleagues:

As I write this, the California state budget has finally been passed, but it makes no change in our fiscal situation or our plans to address the shortfall.

I’m sure many of you have questions about the implementation of the salary reduction/furlough plan submitted by UC President Mark Yudof and approved by the Regents at their July meeting. I am pleased, as I know you are, that President Yudof followed many of the recommendations we submitted to him, including, for example, preference for furloughs, protection of employee benefits, graduated salary cuts, and flexibility for the campuses with medical centers to develop alternative plans in order to avoid unnecessary disruption of health care operations. Those alternative plans are currently under review, and health system employees will be kept informed.

For the rest of the campus, implementation details for the salary reduction/furlough plan are still under development, but I want to tell you about the decisions that have been made. The plan will take effect on September 1, 2009, at which time eligible employees will begin to accrue furlough days as paid time off that is intended to be used during the 12 months of the furlough plan. Please understand that for those employees included in the plan, paychecks, reflecting the cut, will be the same amount for each of the 12 months, starting with September earnings, regardless of when employees use their furlough days.

Under separate cover, you will soon receive notification about UCLA’s plan to extend this year’s Winter Holiday Closure. We will encourage employees to use furlough days as part of this plan, which will provide an extended period of time off during the holiday season. It also will help the campus accrue more energy savings than our previous, shorter closures. However, during all break periods, the UCLA Hospital System and certain essential-service and research facilities may be designated by deans and vice chancellors to remain open.

Beyond campus closure periods, each school and organization will develop plans for how it will implement remaining furlough days for those who accrue them. This approach will allow units to tailor the process to meet their business needs while also providing the flexibility to meet employee needs. I know you still have many questions related to the furlough process. Campus Human Resources is working with departments throughout the campus to provide additional information regarding the furlough plan, and the UC Office of the President will issue additional Q-&-A materials that will help provide answers. Each school and organization will communicate its process for implementing furlough days to its staff and faculty.

For represented employees, the salary reduction/furlough plan is subject to requirements of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA).

I also want to share with you the information that I presented to the UC Regents last week regarding the status of our budget cuts and their impact on UCLA. Please see:

As further decisions about the budget are made, we will communicate them to the campus. I have asked Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Scott Waugh to consult with vice chancellors and deans and provide me with recommendations for achieving a targeted reduction in chancellor’s commitments by September 1, 2009. In addition, a task force is being formed to recommend other targeted cuts; it will report to EVC/P Waugh by October 1, 2009.

I want you to know that I am fully aware that although the cuts will affect all of us, they will be harder on some than others. I am enormously grateful for your dedication and support. UCLA remains an amazing institution. On so many counts – including excellence of students, faculty, and staff; amount of research funding; and honors and distinctions earned across campus – UCLA is extraordinary. I do believe that we will emerge from the current difficulties poised to continue our progress as one of the world’s greatest research universities.


Gene D. Block

Work Begins on Access Services Space on “A” Level

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Work began this week on the renovation of space to accomodate the work stations and offices for Access Services on the ‘A” level.


Team meets to coordinate the “kick-off” of the project.

We are fortunate the final bids were much lower than our original constuction estimate. Cannon was the winning bidder at $320,000. The orginal construction estimate was $740,000.

“A” Level Renovation Update (6)

Friday, July 24th, 2009


Portal installation to the entry into the CRIS office space. A portal and new doors will be installed for the entry to Special Collections, and it will be similar to the Reading Room portal on the first floor.


Librarian’s office with view out to outside.


Workstations for support staff.


One of two conference rooms available for consultation within the new staff office area.


Staff workroom and receiving area.


Work proceeds in finishing the ceiling in the reading room. Ceiling tiles go in next and then the floor coverings. We are progressing on schedule for a fall opening of the space.

2009-10 Library Budget Q & A — 1

Monday, July 20th, 2009

There are a few questions that have been asked about my budget post that I can address now and have included them here. Please keep in mind that there are not yet complete directions and answers concerning every aspect of what we will face this current budget year. I will have more information in a few days as we receive more information.

Q: Is UCLA’s cut in its general fund allocation of $117million for FY 09/10 from the overall state allocation to the UC of $813 million?

A: Yes, it is part of the overall UC cut.

Q: Is the $37 million in salary savings/furlough UCLA’s portion of the total UC $184.1 savings? Or are these cuts that UCLA is imposing, in addition to what OP is describing?

A: The $37 million in salary savings/furlough is the UCLA portion of the total UC cut. It is not in addition to the $184.1, but a part of it.

Q: Does the “additional cut of $1,129,000 associated with salary reductions” mean that we’re facing an additional salary cut, on top of the one the Regents approved yesterday?

A: No, the $1,129,000 is the UCLA Library’s portion of the salary reduction approved by the Regents. That amount has now been allocated to the Library as its reduction target.

Q: Is the $1+ million for energy, deferred maintenance, benefits, and retirement contributions for the period of April 1, 2010 or for the whole year?

A: The portion of the $1+ million is the total of two calculations. The first is for a full year of cost share for energy, deferred maintenance, and fringe benefit costs and the second is for employer contributions for retirement from April 1 through June 30, 2010.

Q: When will I know what the instructions are for the days of furlough or salary reduction that I will personally have to take?

A: We are waiting for further instructions from the Office of the President and the campus and Library Human Resources will communicate those specifics once they are known.

As you have questions, please forward them and I will attempt to provide answers as we are able to clarify the information that we will need to proceed forward.

Budget Impact on the UCLA Library 2009-2010

Friday, July 17th, 2009

In a memorandum I received this week from the Chancellor, the Library has received its targeted reductions for 2009-10. In general, the Chancellor states:

“The Office of the President has notified UCLA that its General Fund revenues will be reduced by $32 million in 2008-09 and by $117 million in 2009-10. $14 million of the shortfall in 2008-09 has carried forward to 2009-10, so we must address a total shortfall of $131 million this year.

“We will achieve this budget reduction target with a combination of permanent reductions and one-time transfers from reserves. The state’s deep financial distress means that the majority of the cuts—at least $100 million—must be permanent. Steps we are taking include the following:

  • $7.5 million in new Education Fee revenue will offset the reduction in state funds, after faculty merit increases are funded.
  • We will apply $23.5 million in campus reserves toward the cuts on a one-time basis.
  • We anticipate $37 million in General fund savings from a salary reduction and/or furlough program. This estimate may be adjusted after the Regents have approved a detailed plan.
  • Deans and vice chancellors will implement across-the-board general fund reductions totaling $33 million.
  • I am approving an additional $30 million in targeted cuts.”

The Library will need to provide approximately $1,011,051 to cover allocated charges for energy, deferred maintenance, fringe benefit cost increases, and employer contributions to retirement commencing on April 1, 2010. The Library has been directed to make a five percent reduction of $1,830,201 which we anticipate will be a permanent reduction in our over-all budget. It is estimated that there be an additional cut of $1,129,000 associated with salary reductions once the Regents have acted. (See my post of yesterday for link to President Yudof’s letter.)

I am working to finalize the impact of these cuts and reductions before the end of July and will be outlining those shortly. We will have much to accomplish in making sure that the Library moves through this challenging and difficult period and retain our position as one of
North America’s premier research libraries. I know I can count on each of you to help in meeting this challenge.

President Yudof’s letter on furloughs/ salary reductions

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

UCLA University Communications

President Yudof has issued a July 16 letter to faculty and staff regarding the Regents’ approval of systemwide furloughs/salary reductions. His letter may be viewed at

Collecting Los Angeles To Be Launched

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

I’m delighted to announce that the Library is about to launch its first project made possible by the recent gift from the Arcadia Fund. “Collecting Los Angeles” will gather, preserve, interpret, and make accessible collections documenting the remarkable multiplicity of cultures and at-risk hidden history of this region.

Joining us as curator of this new initiative will be Susan Anderson, an accomplished historian, author, editor, and project manager. Susan received her BA from Scripps College and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School. She has consulted for the California State Parks Foundation and the California Endowment, taught at Pitzer College, and curated a statewide touring exhibition on the California African-American community of Allensworth. Most recently, Susan has served as the Managing Director of the “LA as Subject” program at the USC Libraries.

This new project will accomplish numerous goals, including transforming the way we engage with local communities, which not only supports our collection building but also aligns us with Chancellor Block’s goal of civic engagement; enabling us to develop multiple new connections among existing collections and attract new audiences to their use; and offering a new model of the collection development specialist as curator. Susan will join the Special Collections staff, and her first day will by July 27.

Please join me in welcoming Susan to UCLA, and look for further details of this exciting new initiative.