Part 3 - Comprehensive Standards
  

3.8.3  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. (Qualified staff)

Compliance
Partial Compliance
Non-Compliance

Narrative

Library services at the University of New Orleans are provided by the highly capable personnel of the Earl K. Long Library. The library employs 11 full-time faculty and 16 full-time staff, along with an average (per semester) of 25 student assistants.  With a unique combination of education, prior work experience, and ongoing training and professional development, the Library’s faculty and staff are well-qualified to address the mission of the university by providing expert support for the learning and research needs of students, faculty, and staff.

The Library’s mission clearly recognizes the centrality of its faculty and staff: 

The Earl K. Long Library is an essential partner in the learning, research, and service mission of the University. The Library unites knowledgeable staff, scholarly information, welcoming spaces, and leading-edge technology to inspire learning and enable information literacy and research. It enriches the campus and Greater New Orleans community by preserving and disseminating the local culture and the scholarly and creative output of the University. Its highly skilled staff encourages innovation, capitalizes on appropriate technologies, forges effective partnerships, and strives for excellence.

The Library’s Institutional Effectiveness Plan (Goal 4) emphasizes the Library’s commitment to “recruiting and retaining quality library faculty and staff who will establish and maintain a reputation for library excellence.” 

Library Faculty Qualifications

Library faculty are required to have an earned master’s degree from an institution accredited by the American Library Association. Several hold an additional master’s degree, and three have earned doctorates (one in English, two in Education).  The library faculty are identified by name, title, and qualifications in the Roster of Library Faculty. Librarians hold academic rank and are eligible for promotion and tenure, in accordance with the Association of College and Research Libraries’ “Guideline for the Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure of Academic Librarians”. Library faculty are hired according to the same policies as for other faculty, as outlined in the University’s Employee Handbook [Page: 35]

To assess the quality and growth of library faculty, annual performance reviews are conducted for all faculty, which assess productivity and accomplishments in the areas of performance, research and service (to the profession, to the university, and to the community). (instructions for review), (review form).  The position descriptions are reviewed each year at the time of the annual evaluation and revised as needed.  The department chairs and the Dean collectively review all faculty evaluations and ratings to insure a fair assessment in terms of both individual and library goals and needs.

Library Staff Qualifications

The Library employs 16 full-time staff, including 11 library assistants, two professional staff, and three classified staff.  Library assistants and professional staff (all are non-classified positions) are required to have bachelor’s degrees in fields relevant to their jobs. Several have earned or taken courses toward a master’s degree.  The qualifications and experience of the library staff are outlined in the Qualified Staff Roster.  Just as for faculty, staff performance and accomplishments are evaluated annually.  Position descriptions are reviewed and revised at this time as well. The three classified staff, who work at the Circulation Desk and in Library Administration, must meet the qualifications for their civil service grade level and they are evaluated annually through the State Civil Service Performance Evaluation system.

In addition to the full-time staff, the Library employs an average of 25 students each semester who work part-time under staff or faculty supervision in all units of the Library. Student assistants all participate in an orientation to policies and procedures, and they receive initial and ongoing training to provide them with the necessary competencies and service attitudes (See Student Assistant Handbook).  Contributions of these students are recognized by the Student Assistant of the Year Award, sponsored by the Friends of the Library. The selection is based on the quality and quantity of work, general attitude, dependability, and commitment to excellence in library service. 

Professional Development

To assist and encourage faculty and staff to broaden their knowledge and skills, the Library provides opportunities for professional development, continuing education and training. For faculty, the Research and Travel Committee annually reviews and revises Travel Guidelines and Library Research and Support Guidelines to outline funding, release time, and other support. Although there has not been an allocation for travel in the operating budget, travel and professional development are supported through Friends of the Library funds and through creative use of free and low-cost opportunities, including webinars and meetings within easy driving distance.  To provide a special incentive, an initial annual travel fund of $1,000 each was provided for the three untenured faculty members hired in February 2012.  Library staff members are also encouraged to engage in professional development opportunities.  Funding is provided annually for all faculty and staff to attend (and present at) the LOUIS Users Conference (LUC), which is the primary professional development and networking opportunity for the statewide academic library consortium. As an example of the level of professional development activity, library personnel in 2012 attended (and many presented at) 13 conferences, meetings, and workshops in four states and two foreign countries; 24 in-house training sessions, including 15 presented by vendors; 72 webinars and other online sessions; and 11 informal social events.

Peer Comparisons

Staffing levels can be reviewed using comparison data from the Academic Libraries Survey conducted by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.  The most recent data available is for fiscal year 2012.  Comparisons were made for two different peer groups: (1) the national list of peer institutions for UNO approved by the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors, and (2) the state list of the nine institutions in the University of Louisiana System.  

Table 1: Comparison with National Peer Group

National Center for Education Statistics

Academic Libraries Survey Fiscal Year: 2012

Peer Institutions as approved by the University of Louisiana System, 2014

Averages

Librarians

Librarians and Other Professional Staff

All Other Paid Staff

Total Staff-including student workers

Total Staff Per 1,000 FTE Students

Total FTE 12-Month Enrollment

Comparison Group Average

19.42

24.26

28.06

68.05

6.01

11,371

University of New Orleans, LA

13

15

15.5

47

5.33

8,810

Sul Ross State University, TX

6

7

8

21

9.71

2,163

Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL

39.67

43.72

76.85

155.76

8.98

17,343

University of Nevada-Las Vegas, NV

49

72

60

163.97

7.49

21,900

Rutgers University-Newark, NJ

23

25

28.9

62.4

6.65

9,377

University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, MA

15.57

21.57

14

51.41

6.39

8,049

University of Baltimore, MD

12

13

10.25

27.82

6.13

4,542

University of Memphis, TN

21

31

59

102

5.59

18,236

University of Southern Mississippi, MS

24

37

29

78

5.47

14,270

CUNY City College, NY

20

21.62

24.42

67

5.44

12,309

Wichita State University, KS

17

17

27

64

5.42

11,798

Prairie View A & M University, TX

10

13

12

39

5.23

7,462

Jackson State University, MS

7

8

8.5

35.5

4.73

7,512

Southern University and A & M College, LA

11

12

12

28.75

4.69

6,130

The University of Texas at El Paso, TX

21

22

35

82.18

4.68

17,564

University of Massachusetts-Boston, MA

15

20

16

42

3.53

11,914

 

Table 2: Comparison with University of Louisiana Peer Group

National Center for Education Statistics

Academic Libraries Survey Fiscal Year: 2012

UL System University Libraries Comparison

Library Name

Total FTE 12-Month Enrollment

Librarians

Other Professional Staff

All Other Staff

Total Staff

Total Staff Per 1,000 FTE Students

Nicholls State University

5,727

10

0

16

26

4.54

Grambling State University

4,815

5

1

11

17

3.53

University of New Orleans

8,810

13

2

15.5

30.5

3.46

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

15,050

16

1

33

50

3.32

Northwestern State University

6,979

6

3

12

21

3.01

Southeastern Louisiana University

12,822

18

0

19

37

2.89

McNeese State University

7,419

12

0

9

21

2.83

Louisiana Tech University

9,243

11

1

14

26

2.81

University of Louisiana-Monroe

6,853

10

Not reported

7

17

2.48

 

LibQUAL+® is a suite of services that libraries use to solicit, track, understand, and act upon users' opinions of service quality. These services are offered to the library community by the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). The program's centerpiece is a rigorously tested Web-based survey bundled with training that helps libraries assess and improve library services, change organizational culture, and market the library.It is a tool that many libraries use as a performance measure and comparison to national, state, and peer libraries. In 2005 and 2007, the Library participated in the annual LibQUAL survey. In 2005, there were 583 responses and in 2007, there were 937.  The results of both surveys showed that library patrons indicated a high level of satisfaction with library services. In all areas of service the Library scored positively and had the smallest negative superiority gaps. This means that the desired service and the perceived actual service were closely matched. The areas measured included, employees who instill confidence in users, employees who deal with users in a caring fashion, giving users individual attention, dependability in handling users’ service problems, employees who understand the needs of their users, and employees who have the knowledge to answer user questions.

Following are selected comments about Library personnel and the services they provide:

Faculty Responses

·       “I have used other university libraries and the UNO Library is the best one I have ever experienced.  The main reason is the professionalism and helpfulness of the staff.” - Sciences Faculty

·       I have found the library staff to be helpful, knowledgeable, and courteous each and every time I’ve had contact.” – Liberal Arts Faculty

·       I feel that the UNO Library has offered me the best university library experience I've had over two decades working in Academia. Other libraries I have used in both bigger and smaller universities did not have the same level of professionalism and respect for the needs of a researcher.”— Sciences Faculty

Student Responses

·       “The overall impression is that every person here at the library is always ready to help me and I really appreciate that!” – Undergraduate, Liberal Arts

·        “The service I have received at the library is fabulous.”—Undergraduate, Humanities

·       “I would like to commend the library staff who, in spite of the problems we are all experiencing in New Orleans, have remained consistently helpful and efficient…The people there are a wonderful support and resource for me.” Graduate student, Education

The educational background, professional development, and commitment of the library faculty and staff, along with the recognized high level of service, indicate that the University of New Orleans provides a sufficient number of qualified staff who contribute to the teaching, learning, and research mission of the university.

Supporting Documents

Document Description
Document IconACRL_GuidelineAssociation of College and Research Libraries Guideline for the Appointment, Promotion and Tenure of Academic Librarians
Document IconALA_StatementAmerican Library Association Statement on the Terminal Professional Degree for Academic Librarians
Document IconClass_Emp_Eval_FormClassified Employee Evaluation Form
Document IconLibQUAL+_Gen_InfoLibQual+ Survey General Information
Document IconNonclass_Perf_Rev_FormAnnual Performance Review Form for Non-Classified Personnel
Document IconUNO_Employee_HandbookUNO Employee Handbook
Document IconUNO_Library_Fac_Report_FormUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Form for the Library Faculty Annual Report of Activities
Document IconUNO_Library_Fac_Report_InstrucUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Instructions for the Library Faculty Annual Report of Activities
Document IconUNO_Library_Fac_RosterUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Faculty Qualifications
Document IconUNO_Library_IE_PlanInstitutional Effectiveness Plan and Assessments for University of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library
Document IconUNO_Library_MissionUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Library Mission
Document IconUNO_Library_Org_ChartUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Organization Chart
Document IconUNO_Library_Pro_Ten_GuideUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Promotion and Tenure Guidelines for Library Faculty
Document IconUNO_Library_Research_Support_GuideUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Research and Support Guidelines
Document IconUNO_Library_Staff_RosterUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Staff Qualifications
Document IconUNO_Library_Student_Asst_ManUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Student Assistant Policy and Procedures Manual
Document IconUNO_Library_Student_AwardUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Friends of the Library Student Assistant of the Year Award
Document IconUNO_Library_Travel_GuideUniversity of New Orleans Earl K. Long Library Travel Guidelines