Standard 7: Library & Other Information Resources  


The Library has developed its own Mission and Goals Statement that drives its planning process. The Mission Statement requires that “quality services and collections support CCSU’s educational goals.”  The Mission Statement is accompanied by Goals that result from library-wide discussions and focus on electronic resources and technology (Exhibit 7.1).We have developed policy statements that assist us in the annual planning of the budget and all units participate in this process.  Our liaison system informs us of departmental changes that are taking place and our participation in the Faculty Senate and its committees informs us of university direction and focus. The Library primarily uses SCT Banner, GELCO, and the Microsoft Office Suite in managing its daily operations. 

In the years since the last NEASC evaluation, the Library’s budget has consistently improved.  In 1998 the Library’s operating budget was $1,686,000, and its budget for collections was $1,107,400.  The Library’s operating budget has grown from $1,816,501 in 2004-2005 to $2,352,785 in 2006-2007; an additional $100,000 allocation has been approved for 2008-09 to cover increases in the cost of online serials (Exhibit 7.2).

Professionally qualified library faculty administer Burritt Library, including its information resources and services.  The library staff includes 17 MLS library faculty members, two administrators, and 14 support staff (Exhibit 7.3).  In order to stay current with the rapidly changing environment, both professional and non-professional staff take advantage of the many programs provided by Nelinet, CLC and other library-focused programs to enhance their skills.

The Library trains and supports faculty, staff, and students in the effective use of the Library and of its information resources. To support CCSU’s General Education requirement for students to develop “computer literacy,” the Library offers at least three sections of our one-credit elective course in “Library Resources and Skills” (LSC 150) each semester in a computer classroom and at least one section of the course online; quizzes are given to determine how well the students are learning.  In addition, librarians teach specific classes that are requested by faculty or students.  Last year, over 5,540 students took part in 295 classes (Exhibit 7.4).    In the spring, a seminar is taught for faculty to update their library skills.                

Computers connected to the campus network and to CONSULS are available on all three public floors of the Library. Library personnel closely monitor technology resources to detect illegal or inappropriate use and carefully review database licenses and resource authentication. CCSU librarians recently contributed to a copyright policy available on the CSUS home page.   The staff is well informed about copyright issues and will not process materials for the collection that violate the policy.  Copyright notices are posted near all the copiers and printers. The Library staff adheres to the fair use policy in the provision of materials.  For example, requests to place reserve materials on line are processed through the Copyright Clearinghouse, and the Library will not borrow a title on Interlibrary Loan more than the number of times specified by the ILL code.

Burrittt Library makes available resources sufficient in quantity and currency to support and enrich CCSU’s academic offerings. The Library’s collections have also increased substantially since the last NEASC evaluation.  We had approximately 575,000 volumes as of June 1997, but our collection presently numbers 711,000 volumes plus substantial microform and media items, bringing our total collection to 1,274,951. We now have access to nearly 30,000 electronic journals and a small collection of electronic books. 

The collections are developed in consultation with the faculty, using a liaison system between the departments and the Library.  A collection development policy statement reflects the appropriate subject, level, diversity, and currency for each department’s collection (Exhibit 7.5).  Both students and faculty may request that the Library acquire materials.  In addition, library patrons may use the following alternative means of acquiring materials: CCSU Interlibrary Loan; iConn, the State’s collection of electronic resources; the Hartford Consortium for Higher Education libraries; and CT Council of Academic Library Directors libraries. Burritt Library also shares its online catalog with the other three CSU libraries and the State Library (Exhibit 7.6). Materials may be requested through CONSULS (our shared catalog) with the expectation of a 24-48 hour turnaround time.

The Library’s Reference Department ensures that students have available and are appropriately directed to sources of information appropriate to support and enrich their skills.  The Reference Department is open all hours that the Library is open and also provides online chat as well as the 24-hour InfoAnytime service to which the Library subscribes.  Term paper clinics are carried out in the Student Center and in classrooms, and students are able to take iPod library tours. The Library also offers a “best library research” award (Exhibit 7.7).

The Library ensures appropriate access to library and information resources and services regardless of program location or mode of delivery. The Library is open 86 hours a week when school is in session, although CONSULS is available 24/7.   Librarians, support staff and student helpers are available to provide services.  There is access to photo­­copiers, microcomputers and audiovisual equipment. 

Access to all electronic databases is available from computers in the Library and through the Library’s Web page, elsewhere on campus, and off-campus locations.  It is available to students, faculty and staff. The Library’s Web page permits students to access our entire online serials collections as well as to our electronic reserve collection, specific indexes and abstracts and catalogs of other libraries.

tc  \l 2 "Exchange of resources and services"Print materials not in the collection can be acquired through Interlibrary Loan also available to everyone. This service makes use of several consortia including the New England Library Network (NELINET), Online Computer Library Center (OCLC), and reciprocal lending and borrow­ing arrangements with over 100 academic libraries in the New Eng­land region. 

The Library has undergone a number of physical changes in the last ten years that have provided a more conducive atmosphere for study (Exhibit 7.8).  Furniture and carpeting have been replaced on each floor; and furniture, new computers, and larger printers have been added to the classrooms and to the reference department. Copiers have been installed on Floors 2, 3, and 4 and on Stack 7. Reference has also received a new reference desk and some new carpeting, and the department will soon be getting new tables and chairs for the public. Library users can now access the Internet with their own laptops via the Library’s wireless network.  The fourth floor has been designated as a quiet study floor, allowing the second floor to support group study.  Jazzman’s Café now serves library users throughout the regular school year in the Library’s foyer.



Instructional and Information Technology

The current information technology strategic plan was drafted and approved in 2002.  In May 2005, the University Planning and Budget Committee (UPBC) drafted and presented to the Faculty Senate for approval a main goal, and five sub-goals, directed specifically at the use of Information Technology (IT) resources by faculty, staff and students.  This goal was approved by the faculty senate and became goal number 13 in the University Strategic Plan. 


In spring 2008, the UPBC integrated slightly revised objectives from Goal 13 into the University’s new Strategic Plan. The current CIO has been charged with developing a new strategic plan that reflects the advances in IT over the last 5 years and fully integrates with the University’s new Strategic Plan

The Information Technology Committee (ITC), a standing committee of the Faculty Senate, plans for the use of IT resources to support the academic mission of the University.  The Banner Coordinating Team (BCT) is the planning body for resource use by the administrative functions of the University, particularly the use of the SCT Banner ERP system.  The financial planning for the use of IT resources falls under the direct control of the CIO; however, during the annual university budget formation process, the input of these committees, as well as that of the UPBC and the collective input of the University Executive Committee, have substantial influence.


The approved operating budget for IT for the current fiscal year is approximately $1.25 million, which is relatively consistent year to year.  In addition to these funds, the University went through an extended review of exceptional resources needed by all departments during the budget preparation cycle for fiscal year 2007 to best identify those areas needing additional one-time funding for specific projects.  As a result of this planning and review process, the IT department received $0.9 million out of a total fund pool of approximately $3.5 million to fund the identified one-time, high-priority projects.  IT resources are also funded by an Institutional Technology Fee assessed to each student, as well as bond funds allocated by the State of Connecticut.  Bond funds vary from year to year but have ranged from $0.8 to $1.5 million annually.  Financial resources generated by the technology fee remain constant with enrollment and generate approximately $2.2 million annually with the funds mandated to be expended directly, and only, to enhance technology resources for the student population.

The annual allocation of resources to support instructional and information technology has remained consistent and adequate during the review period.  The daily, ongoing allocation of IT department financial resources, personnel, and equipment is directed by the CIO with consistent input from the academic Information Technology Committee, the administrative Banner Coordinating Team, and ongoing and regular input from the University’s Executive Committee.


CCSU commits extensive information technology resources in support of its academic mission. The University has one large computer laboratory with 204 PCs and 10 Macintosh computers.  Connected to the main lab is a fully-equipped PC classroom with 34 PCs and a fully equipped Mac classroom equipped with 25 Macintosh computers.  Entry to the computer lab (and classrooms) is closely monitored and averages 1,200 distinct visits daily during the school year.


Approximately 20 smaller discipline-specific computer labs exist for teachers and students, as well as 15 general-purpose fully-computerized classrooms.  Of the remaining classrooms, approximately 235 in total, 134 of them have been equipped with permanently installed technological enhancements that include teacher computer workstations, Internet access, projectors, speakers, cable television and DVD players.  All of these are available as regularly scheduled classrooms.  The department of Information Technology operates the main computer laboratory, the computerized classrooms adjacent to the lab, and manages or assists in the management of the majority of the other computer labs. All publicly available computers on campus are connected to the campus network and Internet. A full suite of general purpose and discipline-specific software may be run from each system in the public labs. Smaller labs host specialized software for the teaching needs of the various departments that control them. 


All computers in laboratories and general purpose classrooms are on a three-year replacement cycle.  The University spends approximately $500,000 per year to replace student-used computers.  The money for these replacements comes directly from a technology fee paid per semester by each full-time student.


Online or hybrid course delivery is available using the Blackboard Vista software package.  Figures for the latest semester indicate that the system has been utilized by 35 percent of faculty and accessed by 75 percent of students.  Both categories reflect an increasing usage from semester to semester for the last two full years.   Online education for the four Connecticut State universities has historically been managed and delivered centrally through “CSU Online,” but in 2007 the CSU System adopted a decentralized model that allowed each university greater autonomy in the development and delivery of online instruction.  The CCSU ITC has already received approval from the Faculty Senate to pilot online courses during the 2008-09 academic year.


Information Technology has a staff of 55 full-time IT professionals, as well as student workers and University Assistants.  All full-time positions minimally require a four-year degree in a computer science or related field, and all full-time personnel receive continuous training, both on campus and off, to keep their skills and education up to date.  CCSU’s IT staff is also supported by more than 40 centralized IT professionals, who service the CSU System.

The IT Help Desk is available 58 hours per week via telephone for technology support and assistance. Complementing the Help Desk, the IT department staffs a walk-in support center and offers “ResNet” support to students living in the residence.  Hands-on technology development workshops are regularly offered to faculty and staff.  Incoming students who attend orientation receive instruction in the use of computer resources and information about available technology resources. The IT department publishes an annual listing of CCSU’s complete technology resources in its Tech4u booklet and makes additional information about its services available on its Web pages.  The IT department also frequently responds to specific help requests by utilizing our Faculty Computing Center (FCC) and/or visits to the requesting member or department.


The IT department has technologies in place to protect the infrastructure of campus systems and respond to any allegation of wrongful use by, or from, an outside person or agency.  All computers attempting to connect to the network are electronically screened for acceptable conditions of operation and to ascertain that they are free of harmful or illegal software.  Network usage monitoring is enabled and reviewed as warranted.  CCSU continues to participate in, and support the development of, system-wide security standards and procedures being put together under the leadership of the central office for the University System.  This process is ongoing.  IT has established computer use policies and procedures, which are published on its web page.

All publicly accessible computers are constantly monitored and maintained for best use.  All public areas are staffed with full-time employees as well as student workers and University Assistants to make sure that each student has the opportunity for uninterrupted use of technology resources.

In 2000 the University moved to employ the SCT Banner system as its Enterprise Resource Planning software.  This software is used by the majority of administrative offices on campus in the day-to-day operation of their specific functions.  The advising module of the software allows for the direct access to student records by involved faculty.  The campus utilizes Microsoft Exchange Services, including email and calendaring, to allow for collaboration both on campus and off.  Microsoft Office Suite is the desktop standard for productivity software.  Several large-scale software packages are used by individual functional units to assist them in the conduct of their work including the GELCO travel software used by the business offices; specialized softwares used by the student judicial and residence hall management staff; the Ad Astra  room scheduling software used by the Registrar’s office; the TPS timekeeping system written by the CSUS office for campus use; FsaAtlas, a software program that performs reporting functions of U.S. Immigration Forms (SEVIS and non SEVIS) and international student recruitment and enrollment; specialized hardware and software used by the campus police and safety personnel; the use of the State of Connecticut CoreCT system used by the Human Resources offices; and functional-specific software such as SPSS for statistical analysis.

ITS also provides services to other campus areas to complete projects that use technological software and applications to serve faculty, staff and the campus community.  The new FsaAtlas for immigration, mentioned above, and the new graduate planned program Banner system interface are two examples.



Library and Information Resources

To a considerable extent, the Library has been fulfilling its mission and meeting the evolving needs of its patrons.  It has, in the past ten years, developed from a print-oriented facility to one that is highly involved with electronic materials.  We have a sizable collection of electronic journals and are slowly beginning to develop a collection of e-books. Our ability to cooperate with our sister institutions within CSUS has made it possible to share resources more easily, and having CSUS purchase core materials jointly for all schools has allowed us to purchase materials more specifically focused on Central’s curriculum.

Prior to the arrival of the current administration, Burritt Library found it difficult to maintain a solid level of financial support.  However, in the past two years, the Library’s financial situation has significantly improved.  The Library sees a consistent and sufficient level of support as well as an effective level of maintenance and improvement of information resources and instructional and information technology. The Library’s budget has increased in the past several years and has received substantial support from the Provost to purchase necessary equipment. ContentDM is one example, as is the recent replacement of the planetary scanner.  Although IT replaces library computers and terminals every three years, the number of terminals is not adequate for a library serving this volume of students and faculty. For example, the Library does not have sufficient computers to provide instruction in library resources for all student patrons.

Facilities and space issues in the Library require serious attention.  A study 10 years ago concluded that the Library needed considerably more space, and it recommended a large addition.  This was to have been completed in 2007, but is now predicted for 2020.  To compound the problem, portions of the first and third floors have been given to other units, including the Farmington Valley Archaeological Project, the Honors Program, Instructional Technology Training rooms, the Italian Resource Center, and Admissions storage.

The Library’s space problem for print materials and staff has grown much worse.  To attempt to relieve some of this problem, a large portion of our duplicate print journals collection has been removed.  The Library has also stopped binding any of our JSTOR journals and has developed a sharing project with Eastern Connecticut State University.

Despite the removal of print journals, the Library is still not creating enough space to accommodate a growing collection of other print materials.  It has been projected that the Library will be out of space for collections within five years. One viable but expensive solution is remote storage.   Another solution under consideration is to keep only two copies of any print document among the four CSUS libraries.

According to the LibQual study completed in 2006, the Library does not provide a physical atmosphere conducive to study and research.  Respondents to the LibQual survey completed in 2006 gave extremely low ratings to the Library’s physical space. A planned renovation of the first floor has been delayed for several years. This renovation would provide accessibility to the building from the first floor, a particular boon for the physically challenged.  It would relocate all of the Access Services functions to the ground floor. It would also allow full elevator access to the restrooms on the ground floor.

The Library’s ratio of staff positions to library faculty has also been quite low for the size of the Library and its operations, according to ALA’s Association of College and Research Library’s Standards. There should be twice as many support staff as faculty. There is no backup for individuals in some departments. For example, only one employee in the Circulation Department is scheduled to work on Saturdays; if she cannot work, there is no one to take her place.  Also, increased demand for technology has placed additional stress on some departments.

Instructional and Information Technology

The technological infrastructure of the University provides a stable, current, and reliable platform on which to deliver those services most called for by the faculty, staff, and students.  The IT department reviews its effectiveness in terms of services provided and technologies in place; and the departmental management group, under the direction of the CIO, meets weekly to discuss current levels of delivery and enhancements to be considered.

User Support Services, which comprise mainly Level 1 (Help Desk) and Level 2 (On-Site and Face-to-Face) services, regularly reviews its effectiveness in terms of problem resolution rate, the timeliness of services provided, and the courtesy with which the services were delivered.  For the last complete calendar year, 2007, the positive response rates were 92% for problem resolution, 93% for timeliness, and 99% for courtesy. 

The Media Services department, under the leadership of a new director, has taken a number of steps to better serve the University.  In conjunction with the Provost, the Media Services department is implementing new ways to assist faculty with instructional design as they move into the delivery of online courses to our students.

Comments made during the Town Hall meetings indicate that the services provided, and the manner in which they are provided, are rated very high by respondents.  While the quality of services provided by the IT department to the University is well received, there is a lack of university-wide direction about which services and technologies the IT department should provide now and in the future.  No assessment process or instrument exists that addresses whether the services being provided are those best suited to meet the needs of the University, particularly the needs to support the academic mission of the University.  During the past 12 months the CIO has met with many individuals and groups involved in the delivery of education to our students in the attempt to organize an effective methodology for governing the use of technology resources to best serve the needs of the academic mission

On the NSSE administered in 2007, 78% of seniors reported that their experience at CCSU had contributed “quite a bit’ or “very much” to their knowledge, skills, and personal development in using computing and information technology, whereas 59% of first-year students responded “quite a bit’ or “very much” to the same question. Since 1999, about two-thirds of graduates have reported that their ability to use a computer for more than word processing and email was moderately or greatly enhanced by their experience at CCSU.

In addition to addressing the known needs of the University constituents, the IT department spends a considerable amount of ongoing time addressing the comments, questions and directions set forth by the three separate auditing agencies; PriceWaterhouseCoopers (See Exhibit in Standard 9), the auditors for the State of Connecticut, and the auditors for the Connecticut State University System (CSUS).  One item cited by each agency has been the lack of a current strategic plan for the IT department of the University, the last known plan having been adopted in 2002.



Library and Information Resources

Burritt Library will increasingly make its collections available online and continue to acquire collections from aggregators and electronic publishers.  Renovations in the Library facility will increase the amount of computer work space for students. Renovations to the facility will need to plan for additional group work spaces.

Several retirements are anticipated in the next few years.  The positions need to be analyzed to see if they should be replaced or changed to fit other needs.  Further assessment of departmental needs also should be conducted.

The Library must collaborate with the Facilities office to address the most pressing needs for the renovation of the building.  The Library will continue to have ongoing renovation to correct lighting on the public floors and the electrical wiring to support the increased number of printers, copiers, and other equipment needed to operate a modern library. The HVAC system will be upgraded to control adequately for heat and humidity.  It also will be essential to explore how additional space can be made available to the Reference and Special Collections departments. As part of the CSU 2020 Plan, the renovation of Burritt Library will culminate in the largest new building and renovation project on the campus.


Instructional and Information Technology

The level of service provided by User Support Services is expected to remain at its current high level and be stabilized further with the move to replace some temporary workers (University Assistants) with full-time personnel.

The realignment of the services provided by the Media Services department to better serve the current needs of the University will continue.  Included in the funding request for the upcoming fiscal year is an approved project to make considerable physical changes to the layout of the departmental spaces to accommodate the expanding role of the Instructional Design and Technological Resource Center.

Efforts by the CIO will continue to establish a more-formalized governing structure for the use of the technological resources of the University.  This effort has been gaining attention throughout the University, particularly as it pertains to the academic use of technology.  The proposal by the CIO has the Information Governance Council recommending IT goals for the strategic plan and strategies for using IT to further the technology needs of the campus community.  The council also will be charged to recommend and assess policies for the use of IT resources for administrative offices in their relationships, technology practices, and communication with students, faculty and staff (Exhibit 7.9).  

The Provost has taken steps to form an ongoing, ad hoc committee comprised of membership from each school within the University to meet regularly with the CIO to discuss what is needed and the best ways to leverage existing, or acquire new, technology resources to meet the requests. 

The CCSU Strategic Plan, approved in spring 2008 by the Faculty Senate, includes seven items expressly focused on information and instructional technology. These goals will form the basis for an IT Strategic Plan, which will be developed in 2008-09.


Institutional Effectiveness

 The Library uses information technology to plan, administer and evaluate its programs and services. The CONSULS system provides the Library with extensive financial and collection reports. Burritt Library has also begun using the Association of Research Library’s LibQual to evaluate the adequacy, utilization, and impact of its library information resources and services.  In addition, the University sends a survey to recent graduates and includes questions regarding the Library.  Both of these are used as assessment tools for library services and collections (Exhibit 7.10).                


ITS monitors the use of specific technologies throughout the university community, both on campus as well as internet use.  The use of these technologies permits responding at the first sign of a problem; for example, every contact with the Help Desk via telephone or the Internet is logged and monitored to ensure adequate satisfaction time.  Monitoring and its subsequent evaluation also aid in planning to improve existing services and increase their effectiveness. ITS uses Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) as a resource for providing best practices and standards and to measure its effectiveness in terms of experiential learning as well as conference/seminar instruction.

The Chief Information Officer also regularly attends meetings of the faculty Information Technology Committee, the administrative Banner Coordinating Team, as well as other less formal technology use committees on campus for the purpose of hearing and responding to requests for new or expanded technologies or to comments regarding services that could be improved.  Information gleaned from all sources is used both for the long-term and the immediate planning needs of the IT department.

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Last Update: Wednesday September 10, 2008