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3.8.3

Library and Other Learning Resources: Qualified staff
The institution provides a sufficient number of qualified staff—with appropriate education or experiences in library and/or other learning/information resources—to accomplish the mission of the institution.

Judgment
  Compliant      Non-Compliant      Not Applicable

Narrative

The Robert W. Woodruff Library provides a sufficient number of qualified staff with appropriate education and experiences to support the academic program of Morehouse College. The Library employs 25 full time librarians, the majority with a double masters or doctorate degree or superior professional experience. The Library employs 54 administrative, professional, and paraprofessional staff with depth of knowledge and/or a college degree in their field.

The Library’s administrative support is provided through the office of the CEO/library director and includes human resources, budget and finance, library security, shuttle services, and facilities management.

All staff is able to participate in professional development for purposes of advancing the mission of the Library and for development of workplace knowledge and skills. Librarians regularly participate in meetings and committees of the American Library Association and associated divisions, e.g. ACRL and LAMA. Staff members conduct workshops and seminars at the regional and local level of library cooperation through ARCHE, GALILEO, SOLINET and AMPALS. In addition, as a result of the recent strategic plan, the Human Resources department is responsible for the Library’s general training program. This program will address new employee orientation, functional training for departments, and leadership training for managers. An annual Staff Day is delivered each year in May.

The performance management system works well; however, the planning process revealed an opportunity to be proactive about the evaluation process. It has been revised. Next steps include updating job descriptions, and a study of compensation and promotion is being considered. The Library is in compliance with the guidelines for hiring of professional librarians, as outlined in the standard published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. A profile of librarians and job descriptions is included. Official transcripts for all librarians ad professional staff are on file in the Library’s Human Resources office.

The Library’s vision of being the first choice and best choice for information for Morehouse College students and faculty means that we will need to revise some position descriptions and increase current levels of staff so that the academic change and growth of the University is matched with a requisite growth in the number of professional librarians, paraprofessional and support staffing.

As reported for the Fall 2006 semester, the collective student body enrollment served by the Robert W. Woodruff Library was 9,723 FTE, of which 2,943 FTE were students from Morehouse College. A collective total of 730 full-time faculty members are served; 195 are faculty from Morehouse College. Library support is received and library services are provided on the basis of these figures. Student enrollment and student to librarian ratio of each member institution is:

Morehouse College 2,943 FTE - Librarian to student ratio of 1:118
Spelman College 2,269.5 FTE - Librarian to student ratio of 1:91
Interdenominational Theological Center 327 FTE - Librarian to student ratio of 1:13
Clark Atlanta University 4,183.5 FTE - Librarian to student ratio of 1:167

In Spring 2007, the library embarked on a benchmark study for its Board of Trustees comparing RWWL with libraries of peer and aspiration institutions as identified by the AUC member schools. Statistical data were obtained from the libraries’ responses to the 2005/2006 National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) survey. Comparisons were made against several categories of information, including the number of staff and budget expenditures per student FTE (SFTE). The identities of the peer and aspiration institutions are not provided following the NCES statutory requirement. A comparison of the Morehouse College peer and aspiration institutions uniquely demonstrates that RWWL has twice as many librarians as its peer and aspiration institutions. However, Morehouse College’s peer and aspiration libraries’ expenditure levels per SFTE are significantly higher. RWWL/Morehouse College expenditure levels for materials and salaries per SFTE are calculated at $344 / SFTE. The Morehouse College peer library has an expenditure level for materials and salaries of $763 / SFTE. The Morehouse College aspiration library has an expenditure level for materials and salaries of $1,516 / SFTE. The RWWL/Morehouse College expenditure level is significantly lower than that reported for HBCUs ($516.44) and non-HBCUS ($538.33), according to the State of the Libraries at Historically Black Colleges and Universities report. Although the report’s expenditure levels were based on 2000 data, RWWL expenditure levels are an area for further examination.

*Comparisons with comparable and local institutions:

  • Hampton University enrollment is 5,800 students, 38 bachelor degrees, 14 masters, 3 doctorate, faculty of 9 librarians; Librarian to Student ratio 1:644
  • Tennessee State University enrollment is 9,024 students, 45 bachelor degrees/24 masters/6doctorate, faculty of 19 librarians; Librarian to Student ratio 1:474
  • Georgia State University enrollment is 27,000 students, 52 degrees across 200 fields of study, faculty of 42 librarians, 3 library facilities; Librarian to Student ratio 1:642
  • Agnes Scott College enrollment is 1,027, 30 bachelor degrees, 1 masters, faculty of 5 librarians; Librarian to Student ratio 1:205
  • RWWL-AUC total enrollment served is 9,723 students, 97 bachelor degrees, 10 combined bachelor/masters accelerated, 35 masters, 9 doctorate, and one Specialist degree, faculty of 25 librarians; Librarian to Student ratio 1:388
  • Additional statistical information is included from a report published in 2005 that details the Academic Libraries Survey as reported by NCES. This report is a one of a kind in that it categorizes historically black colleges and universities (HBCU). (see The State of Libraries at HBCUs: Comparative Analysis)

*Note: These are comparisons with comparable and local institutions. Current literature suggests to us a number of inputs and outputs for assessment of the manner in which library services are delivered and the way in which access to resources, aided by technology, is provided. The ratio of librarians to students is not the only reliable indicator that is considered when assessing the quality of RWWLibrary services. In addition, other factors which we feel impact the services resources and teaching and learning include the total number of library staff, physical floor space, local and regional consortia agreements, strength of the paraprofessional staff, transaction statistics, use of virtual reference systems delivering expertise of librarians from multiple sites anytime anywhere, library work flows, etc.

 
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