Cunningham Memorial Library

Library Faculty Assembly


LFA 06/07-10                                                             Approved:  7/5/07


Room 028


Present: Kathleen Gaul, Steve Hardin, Betsy Hine, Juliet Kerico, Rolland McGiverin, Valentine Muyumba

Ex-Officio: Myrna McCallister, Alberta Comer, Deb Robinson

Guests: Shelley Arvin, Michelle Boyd, Joan Evans, Tim Gritten, Beverly Grubb, Paula Huey. Carol Jinbo, Emily Symonds, Elizabeth Wright


I.                 Call to Order and Approval of Agenda


The meeting was called to order at 9:09 a.m. 


LFA Chair R. McGiverin proposed a new item for the agenda: the ISU Library Code of Conduct for Library Patrons, to be added to New Business.  He noted the Library Administrative Affairs Committee voted 5-0-0 to approve the Code.  B. Hine moved, and M. McCallister seconded, approval of the agenda.  The motion passed 6-0-0. 


II.               Approval of Minutes (LFA 06/07-08, March 15, 2007; LFA 06/07-09, April 12, 2007)


B. Hine moved, and K. Gaul seconded, approval.  The minutes were approved 



III.             Chair’s Announcements/Reports


R. McGiverin said the target date for the fall elections is meeting is August 8th.  The date may be changed because of vacations or other schedule conflicts.  The Vice Chair, B. Hine, will identify those willing and eligible to serve on various committees.  She will send out the ballot. 


R. McGiverin also mentioned the electronic votes taken earlier by the LFA.  For the record, they are included here: 






Approval of Minutes LFA 06/07-08, March 15, 2007








Motion to forward the Writing Center Proposal to LAAC for consideration (see writing center and floor plan)








B. Hine moved that the proposed Saturday hours beginning May 14th be changed to 12:00 – 9:00 p.m.  S. Hardin seconded.  (see calendar changes sent with agenda)








Motion to approve the changes recommended to the Library calendar (Approved 3-0-0 by LAAC) as amended by LFA








LFAC proposal to move from the TPAPR to a Goal and Objective processes for library faculty tenure, promotion and annual performance.








Approval of the Emergency Manual as presented by LAAC








Approval of the Library Organization Chart as presented by LAAC





He thanked everyone who voted. 


IV.            Remarks of the Dean of Library Services


M. McCallister said she had three items: 


A.    Regarding the floor plan for potential changes, one of the changes was the anticipated arrival in the library of a CIRT division called ATRC.  That division has apparently opted not to move here, although the Dean has not been informed directly of that.  The Writing Center is still on track to locate a facility in the library. 


B.    A committee has been formed to work on planning the faculty retreat.  Members include Tim Gritten, Steve Hardin, Anthony Kaiser and Marsha Miller.  The committee will meet soon. 


C.    She was not present at the April 12th LFA meeting, but she wanted to respond to remarks that were made there.  Her response is reproduced below:


The statement read at the last LFA on April 12, 2007, lacked context and is filled with errors, and I am dismayed to think someone might regard it as true.  So I would like to make a clarification to it. 


The April 12 statement said:

“I am reading this as a response to some public statements made by the Dean recently.”


This refers to the unit presentations made to the President’s Cabinet on April 10, 2007.  I will point out that I am the only dean or unit head who invites and encourages staff to attend this presentation.  All of the other deans appear alone or with only the associate or assistant dean.  And I am sometimes mildly teased for bringing a contingent of library employees with me.  For me, however, this is a sign of openness and collegiality on my part.  I regret that it is not seen thus. 


It is important to understand that contrary to what you read, the President’s Cabinet meeting is NOT a public forum.  There are no minutes kept, no recordings made, and no reporting outward.  It is solely for the information of the president and VPs.  My statements were not ‘public,’ nor were they intended to be, although I say this only for correcting the statement, not for any reason that what I said could not or should not be spoken in public. My statements have been taken out of context and recast to a personal version that is not correct.


However, on the other hand, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, on which we have a librarian serving this year, IS a public meeting, with minutes taken and distributed to all faculty on campus.  In that forum, our representative has felt free to malign the library administration, which contributes greatly to a library reputation on campus that is not beneficial to the library faculty and staff.  This is a source of negativity and ill serves the library as a whole.  In February the secretary of the Faculty Senate questioned me in aggressive and hostile terms on ‘reorganizing’ (merging the docs desk with reference) the library without a faculty vote: a vote which I had called a special meeting of the LFA to effect.  Over a dozen faculty senators apologized to me later on their own behalf for this public demonstration.  Such activity does not add to the estime of the library.


Let’s return to the unit presentations before the President’s Cabinet.  The format of the unit review presentations was thus: each dean was required to answer 6 questions in the presentation.  One of these questions was for the dean to describe the greatest opportunities for the library and the greatest challenges or problems.  I mentioned two challenges that I considered the greatest problems facing the library.  The first challenge was dissension in the library “between and among faculty and against the administration,” saying that it took up time that could better be spent on accomplishing the work of the library and in finding innovations that could make us a better service provider to the university.  I ended this section with the sentence, “Finding ways to share a vision and a mission harmoniously is a major goal of the next year.” 


The second challenge was the flip side of the first one, where newcomer librarians are exposed to a divisive environment, where they can at worst feel threatened, and where at best they find an unpleasant environment and may leave to find a situation where they can exercise their profession with less stress. 


Apparently issue was taken with my stating my perception that the library is a contentious and divisive environment.  I’m willing to bet, however, that not too many would disagree with my view of the library as such.  Otherwise why we would be spending the hours we do on these back and forth missives instead of passionately discussing the latest improvement we could make to library service?  Also, I have an obligation to state honestly my opinions to my superiors.  I am accountable to my superiors just as library faculty and support staff are accountable to me.  I was asked to discuss the biggest problem in the library and I quite frankly find the divisiveness to be the biggest problem.  And make no mistake about it, this came as no surprise to anyone in the room.  Activity other than mine and statements other than mine have made the campus aware of library faculty divisiveness.  My comments were to acknowledge reality and state that it needs to be addressed.  Would our senior faculty have found it preferable for me to lie to my boss about the state of the library?  To withhold information?  I choose to act in good faith and candor with my supervisors.


Another sentence in the April 12 statement was:

“[The dean says,] ‘Everything I do is for the students.’”


I was a little surprised that this statement, even out of context, could be of concern to anyone, but apparently it offended.  Let me provide the proper context for you.  At the end of every unit presentation, the dean is expected to take questions from the Cabinet.  The questions could be about anything in the presentation or anything at all not included in the presentation.  After I had finished my report, VP Greg Floyd asked how I make decisions for activities and innovations in the library.  I responded:  “When I came here for my interview, I said that whenever there is a decision to be made or multiple avenues in which to do something, that if you can step back and think, ‘what would be the best for the students?,’ that should lead you to the right answer.”  I think the lack of context and mis-quote failed to convey what I actually said, so I am pleased to correct it here.


There is a most important issue here.  I’d like to focus for a minute upon the statement made in the April 12 reading that, “one could and probably should put students at the heart of the University.”  Look at this again please: one COULD…probably SHOULD put students at the heart?  Is there in fact any hesitation or uncertainty at ALL about this?  And from senior faculty supposedly involved in the university?  Is it debatable?  If it is to anyone here, I urge you to look around the library and the campus and notice there are fewer faculty, fewer support staff, and the reason is that there are fewer students.  Believe me, students ARE the heart of the university and when they stop coming, we all suffer.   


Reading and re-reading the paragraph about how my statement above about serving students translates to NOT doing things for the good of library staff still puzzles me.  I don’t follow this convoluted logic that says since the dean tries to serve the students, and some hearsay says the senior faculty are the enemy of the dean, that therefore the senior faculty are against the students!!!!  This defies the rules of argument as I learned them in Philosophy 101.    I have done and continue to do all that I can for the good of library staff.  I take issue with the sentence that I have created a hostile work environment.  I think that has been done elsewhere and by others and really can only be rectified by these others’ good faith cooperation.  And to paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one but you can make you feel like an unworthy, unwelcome drudge. 


But let me offer you a few examples of behavior that I struggle with, and perhaps the collective wisdom of the group has solutions to such issues.


1.     The librarian who says, “I was hired to do such and such as my job, and I don’t intend to change the way I approach my work.”

2.     The librarian asked to perform a 5 minute task and who responds, “I decline,” with no explanation.

3.     The reference librarian who misses two desk shifts and the supervisor comes to me not knowing why or where the person is.

4.     The librarian who for more than a year has not been able to accomplish an assigned job task and offers no reason for it.

5.     The librarian who refuses to assist in a program because, ‘it’s just silly,’ and, ‘not my cup of tea.’

6.     The librarian who encouraged community members to boycott a library program with the statement that she had not been invited to participate (which was not true).

7.     The librarian who makes disparaging comments about ISU to a candidate during an interview.

8.     The librarian who told an administrator that I was forcing him to take leave time for a university event, when I had already previously granted leave time.

9.     The librarian who told me that students did a better job providing reference service than did the faculty, but who was shocked by my suggestion that we eliminate reference librarians in that case.

10.  The two librarians who complained to Faculty Senate Executive Committee about reduction of phone lines without a word at all to me about it before or after.

11.  The librarian who said to an untenured librarian, about to read a statement to the LFA, ‘be careful that you don’t crash and burn,’ meaning it could cost him tenure.

12.  The librarian who says that if he can’t determine the policy of a library initiative, he will no longer participate in it. 

13.  The academic department chair who calls me in confidence saying they want library instruction for their faculty but NOT if their reference liaison is the one to teach it.


It was stated that the dean doesn’t like the concept of shared governance and that I didn’t exactly say that, but acted like it.  This again is not correct and the insinuation needs to be seen for what it is.  I am somewhat new to ISU, but not at all to the concept of shared governance.  Librarians have had faculty status in all of the libraries I’ve worked in and in two previous positions, I served on the institution’s faculty senate.  I HAVE said that shared governance, as it is practiced in this library, is cumbersome, ineffective, self-serving, slow, protective of mediocrity, resistant to change or innovation, and effective only in taking time away from real work.  Often there is no quorum.  Confusion surrounds process.  Items are tabled and committeed and shelved until no one remembers what is going on. 


I do indeed believe in and heartily support shared governance.  But in my experience shared governance ALSO means shared responsibility, shared accountability, and shared professional growth.  In 4 years, I have heard no debate or discussion about what the library needs to do differently or do better, no dialogue about shifting our paradigms to correspond to the changing library role.  Librarians, particularly those who have been here for decades, should be coming up with ideas and should be passing their passion for their profession on to the newcomers.  I am very supportive of a librarian mentoring program, but I worry who would mentor the mentor?  Do we want faculty who refuse to come to meetings, who refuse to participate in community activities, who complain and resist, who are not up to date in their library skills to be mentoring our newcomers?  Is this what we want to pass on to them? 


I have tried very hard and am continuing to try to bring some kind of understanding and cooperation to our library situation.  The support staff had a fairly successful retreat and seem to be moving along with the momentum that came from it.  I have offered a similar retreat to the faculty, but to date only three librarians have responded to my invitation and request for suggestions.  Faculty retreats are frequently cited as one of the most democratic and collegial tools of governance, planning, and goal setting practiced today.  It’s a golden opportunity for library faculty to brainstorm and influence policy at all levels.  But is it worthwhile to spend the time and money on this in the face of such apathy?  I continue to be amazed at the overwhelming lack of interest, especially when viewed alongside the creative work of the support staff. 


I’ve arranged an informal meeting and discussion with our student workers.  I continually ask for volunteers to work on initiatives, such as search committees, the strategic planning committee, staff development workshops, and so forth that have been mentioned to me as desirable.  But it seems all that comes of this is more of the same: the dean doesn’t respect us, the dean doesn’t consult us.  I respect all individuals who take their work seriously, do a good job, and work towards a common successful future for the library.  I find it tiresome to wallow in pity, negativity, self-entitlement, and steadfast contemplation of the past.  Of course change is hard for all of us.  Of course change can be frightening.  One has said that the only way not to be fearful of the future is to make that future for oneself.  Our library could do that, or we could continue waving the banner of faculty status and shared governance as a way to stave off facing a different future.


In my first month here I sent out an e-mail asking for volunteers to help me in making physical changes to the library.  I called it the ‘building task force’ and hoped we could make improvements on a small budget.  No faculty member volunteered for this.  I was surprised, ‘do they not care?’, I wondered.  I phoned librarians and asked for their participation and a few finally agreed.  As we started to work and did a few things, I suddenly got input from faculty.  ‘Hey, they said, this group isn’t authorized to do these things!  We should be involved!  This is faculty work!’  So I discontinued the group and got nothing more thereafter from faculty. 


Three months ago I asked LFA to work with me on a new method of using travel funds equitably and within our budget.  Two months ago I asked the faculty to consider the move of the Writing Center to the Library.  On both accounts, I still have nothing, no recommendation.  We can’t move at this pace.  I heard that the faculty wanted a retreat so I e-mailed faculty asking for suggestions on it.  I’m still waiting for suggestions.  You say the dean doesn’t listen to you?  I say the dean is listening but nothing is being said!  Except the same old, ‘the dean doesn’t listen to us.”  For me to listen, you have to say something.  I ask for advice and recommendations and nothing emerges. 


I think we should all be proud of our library.  I seldom cross campus when somebody doesn’t say to me how much they appreciate the library and its new look and concept.  Why wouldn’t you be pleased to be part of a successful operation?  Why wouldn’t you take ownership of it?  Why wouldn’t you want it to be even better?  Why do we not celebrate our success and try to top it?  


I work with some amazingly talented and devoted people in this library, people who inspire me and who excel far better in their work than I ever could.  I am proud to have these people as my colleagues.  And none of this above is involving them.  But to those who are in the role of being unhappy and malcontent with me, I extend an offer.  The more we know people and the more we associate with them, the more we come to understand and appreciate them.  I ask you to find some times to stop by to chat with me, to go to coffee or lunch out of the building.  Let’s start a one-on-one association where we don’t even talk about work.  Let’s begin to understand and appreciate each other.  I want a harmonious and pleasant work place.  I think you want that too.  Why would you not?  So I extend my hand and ask you to take me up on this.  With good faith on both sides, surely we can achieve civility. 


V.              Remarks from Library Support Staff


D. Robinson began by saying, “Bravo!”  She then said that at the last LFA meeting, B. Hine asked her about an evaluation form.  She (D. Robinson) spoke with Margaret Pearman and Wilma Turetzky, but apparently there’s not much information available about a new form.  While thought is being given to creating a new form, there will be no new for this fiscal year.  HR administrators want to test the form before using it for an entire year’s evaluation.  She concluded that she hates to be vague, but that’s all the info she has. 


VI.            15-Minute Open Discussion


B. Hine announced the last of the movies in the Italian Film Festival, Johnny Stecchino, starts this evening at 6:00.  She said she’s been pleased by the increasing attendance for the films. 


M. McCallister said that on the morning of June 15th the 21st Century Scholars want to bring 75 7th and 8th graders to the library for a series of programs.  We’ll entertain them with Dance Dance Revolution and WII.  We’ll also have a scavenger hunt on an INSPIRE database.  Tim Gritten, Ben Wright and Abby Wright will be demonstrating it.  It starts at 11:00 a.m.  There was extended discussion about WII and Dance Dance Revolution. 


B. Hine also said that starting next Monday, the wine class will start.  And on May 24th, there will be three other persons visiting from the Apicius Culinary Institute in Italy.  They’ll be talking with President Benjamin about getting an agreement signed between ISU and Apicius.  They’ll be talking with interested faculty about exchange programs in Florence. 


VII.          Old Business




VIII.        New Business


A.  Code of Conduct for Library Patrons

B. Hine moved, and K. Gaul seconded, approval of the Code.  J. Evans recommended amending the statement “Photographing the library or its users without permission of the library dean” to “Photographing the library or its users without permission of the library dean or the designated person in charge.”  K. Gaul suggested formally labeling the bulleted steps under “Progressive Enforcement” as “1” and “2.”  A. Comer and J. Kerico said that designation is acceptable. 

P. Huey said she was concerned about minors in the building without adult supervision.  She fears the library could be liable if something happens to them.  But we can’t chase them and baby-sit them.  A. Comer said we have a separate policy for unaccompanied minors.  The library administration will remind everyone of the standing policy on unattended children on Monday messages.    Extended discussion on enforcement and responsibility followed. 


C. Jinbo said the use of cell phones will be hardest to enforce.  A. Comer said signs would be posted about the policy.  D. Robinson said we had an incident one evening in which someone was very loud using a cell phone; A. Comer had to ask the patron to be quieter.  A. Comer noted this patron was someone with whom we’ve had encounters at other times.  Extended discussion on how to handle cell phones followed.    


M. McCallister asked whether we shouldn’t run the policy past Public Safety Director Bill Mercier.  A. Comer volunteered to do that. 


The Code was approved 5-0-0 (one faculty member had left earlier).  [Secretary’s note: S. Hardin will create a clean copy incorporating J. Evans’ and K. Gaul’s suggestions and place it as Appendix A following these minutes.] 


IX.            Committee Reports


A.    Library Administrative Affairs Committee


E. Wright said the LAAC met twice in March and didn’t meet in April, although it did have an electronic vote.  A new charge about the Writing Center has been received; the charge about travel is waiting for information from Michelle Boyd.  M. McCallister said the request for information on travel money was a request from one LFA member about how money was spent.  Michelle’s information is a point of interest. 


B.    Library Faculty Affairs Committee


R. McGiverin said he hopes the LFAC will meet this summer and finish the work on the Promotion and Tenure Oversight Committee document as well as new faculty orientation. 


C.    Personnel Committee


S. Hardin reported the Committee hasn’t met since the last LFA meeting. 


D.    Search Committees


J. Kerico reported the Head of Reference search is coming to a close; there will be a meeting this week to compile pros and cons for the final candidates.  She noted the Committee had not received many evaluation forms. 


E. Wright said the Humanities Reference Librarian search will have three candidates coming in next week. 


E.     Senate/University Committees


No reports. 


X.              Remarks of the Faculty Senators


No reports. 


XI.            Adjournment


B. Hine moved, and M. McCallister seconded, adjournment.  The meeting was adjourned at 10:10 a.m. 


Respectfully submitted,


Steve Hardin



Appendix A: 

ISU Library Code of Conduct for Library Patrons

Cunningham Library exists to serve the ISU faculty, staff, and students in conducting research and information-gathering for their curricular or individual needs. While other members of the community may have access to the facilities and materials of the library, ALL users of the library must conform to a standard of behavior that maximizes resources and creates a positive and pleasant atmosphere.

The following are examples of inappropriate or unacceptable behaviors that could result in sanctions against the person engaging in such activities:

  • In compliance with our posted noise policy, loud, excessive, and unnecessary noise
  • Use of cell phones, except in posted designated areas
  • Intoxication or use of illegal drugs
  • Use of threatening, abusive, obscene language, or behavior
  • Minors without adult supervision
  • Mutilating, defacing, or otherwise damaging library materials or property
  • Smoking in the building or near entrances and exits
  • Use of smokeless tobacco
  • Being in unauthorized areas of the library, remaining in the library after closing or when requested to leave during emergency situations, drills or when not abiding by the Library's Code of Conduct Policy.
  • Opening emergency exits except in emergency situations
  • Carrying deadly weapons in the library unless authorized by law
  • Causing a disturbance or engaging in behavior which interferes with library activities or patrons
  • Solicitation of any kind
  • Photographing the library or its users without permission of the library dean or the designated person in charge
  • Not complying with university or library policies or state and federal laws
  • Removing or attempting to remove library materials, equipment, or other property without proper checkout or other official library authorization
  • Not stopping when library's theft detection system is triggered. Not allowing staff to search bags and/or clothing when the theft detection system is triggered
  • Sharing your university or library ID, barcode, or password to allow others access to library databases, services, or materials
  • Concealing or sequestering library materials or property, or personal property, within the library for the exclusive use of an individual or group without permission of library staff
  • Rollerblading, skateboarding or skating within the library
  • Misusing, misappropriating or damaging library furniture, buildings, or equipment, including computer systems
  • Bringing animals, except service animals, into the library

Sanctions for inappropriate or unacceptable behaviors may include any or all of the following:

  • Being reported to the police
  • Being asked to leave library premises
  • Suspension or loss of library privileges
  • Referral to student or campus disciplinary process
  • Criminal prosecution

Progressive Enforcement

1.     If you are not observing the ISU Library Code of Conduct for Library Patrons, a staff member will ask you to comply and give you a flyer describing the compliance policy.  In most instances if you comply, no additional action will be taken.  Your cooperation with library staff is expected.  Library staff will be polite toward you. Library users are expected to be polite to others in the library, and respect other library users.  If you do not cooperate with staff or comply with the request, the process moves to Step 2.

2.     If you are asked a second time to comply and/or you do not cooperate with the request politely and quietly, you will be asked to leave and/or campus police will be called.



This policy does not supersede any university policy.