Five College Librarians Council

The Five College Librarians Council (FCLC) advances shared strategic goals that promote access to library resources among the Five College community

Role of the Librarians Council

The Five College Librarians Council (FCLC) oversees the Five College Library Repository Collection, a shared automated library system, and the consortial direct borrowing arrangement. FCLC also coordinates the work of Five College library committees and task forces, and manages the Five College library budget.

Strategic Goals

The FCLC's strategic goals include:

  • Provide unified access to library systems that are integrated and accessible.
  •  Actively steward digital resources consistent with national and international efforts.
  •  Reduce the cost of scholarly information and promote open access.
  •  Expand shared uniform access to electronic resources.
  •  Manage less commonly used materials.
  •  Expand the accessibility of physical and electronic resources.

The FCLC operates on the belief that collaborative work can enhance our service to our communities and seeks collaborative solutions that attract grant funding and further national conversations. To foster collaborative work, the FCLC promotes formal and informal communities of practice in which participants share information, foster innovative ideas for library services, share best practices and encourage professional development opportunities for library staff. The FCLC appoints representatives from the member campuses to lead and participate on committees, task forces, and working groups.

Librarians Council Members

Martin Garnar, Director of the Library, Amherst College

Rachel Beckwith*, Director of the Library, Hampshire College

Alex Wirth-Cauchon, Chief Information Officer and Executive Director, Library Information and Technology Services, Mount Holyoke College

Susan Fliss, Dean of Libraries, Smith College

Nandita Mani, Dean of Libraries, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Shonda Pettiford, Director of Operations, Five Colleges, Incorporated

Sarah Pfatteicher, Executive Director, Five Colleges, Incorporated

* current Council chair

Library Committees & Working Groups

The Access Committee coordinates policies and operational processes across the Five College libraries, providing consistent and seamless experiences for Five College library patrons by standardizing and synchronizing workflows and lending practices. The committee’s areas of responsibility include, but are not limited to:

  • Circulation policies
  • Inventory Management
  • Borrower Policies
  • Interlibrary Loan and Resource Sharing
  • Billing and Reconciliation
  • Course Reserves

The ALEPH Advisory Group oversees planning and projects that maintain and enhance the ALEPH integrated library system. This work includes needs assessment, training coordination, scheduling of system software enhancements and sharing and distributing information.

The Archives & Special Collections Committee advocates on behalf of archives and special collections, including institutional archives, manuscript and rare book collections. Areas of collaboration include grant projects, exhibitions, programming, collection development, standards, and use of technology.

The group acts as an advisory committee to the Librarians Council, consults with other Five College committees and undertakes joint projects to further the work of archives and special collections in the Five Colleges.

The COMPASS Committee focuses on Compass governance, priority setting, and planning.

The Five College Digital Stewardship Committee advocates for cooperative, formal, and informal digital stewardship projects, and, where feasible, advances solutions that lead to enhanced, integrated discovery and preservation of our local digital resources. The work of the Digital Stewardship Committee covers digital curation, digital preservation, and digital asset management, i.e., activities related to the digital object lifecycle and managing collections over time. The committee ensures transparency, communication, and continuity between Five College digital projects and encourages and supports digital stewardship-related collaborations of any size between Five College institutions. The committee includes representatives from the Five College museums and Museums10.

The Discovery Committee oversees, forecasts, and implements systems and tools to enable and optimize access to research resources in all formats. The committee leads Five College-wide efforts to optimize a suite of discovery and retrieval systems designed to help users access collections, leveraging relevant technologies to provide user-centric services for information. The committee works with other Five College library committees at points of intersection between resource development and resource discovery.

The FOLIO Electronic Resources Management Working Group (FERM) is tasked with reaching consensus on issues related to data conversion, data management, workflows, policies and procedures.

The group is concerned with the electronic resource life-cycle within FOLIO, including but not limited to: Licenses, agreements, orders, e-usage statistics, package management, organizations/vendors, data exchange, and historic data needs. The work of this group is primarily centered around the following FOLIO apps: ERM, E-holdings, eUsage, and Organizations (Vendors). Additionally, this group works closely with the Acquisitions Working Group on the order and invoice process as it relates to electronic resources.

The FOLIO Implementation Team (FIT) oversees planning and implementation for the Five College FOLIO project. This work includes needs assessment, migration, work-flow analysis, training, documentation, work group coordination, and sharing and distributing information.

The Innovative Learning Committee supports the pedagogical development of Five College Library staff. This committee brings together library and archives staff to develop formal and informal opportunities around teaching, learning, and assessment in order to strengthen instructional practices and meet the changing needs of our users. The committee seeks to capitalize on and promote the resources, technology, and expertise held across our campuses.

The Metadata Management Working Group is tasked with reaching and maintaining consensus on issues relating to metadata interoperability, workflows, and standards across multiple staff and patron systems. The group will be concerned with the metadata life-cycle within FOLIO and other dependent systems, as well as the practice of metadata management as a whole.

The Professional Development committee identifies, develops, and seeks funding for collaborative initiatives that directly support the FCLC strategic priorities. The committee:

  • coordinates, promotes and engages Five College library staff in professional development opportunities that further the work of the consortium
  • plans annual Five College library all-staff meeting, including speakers
  • administers professional development budget
  • works with Five College library committees to plan and coordinate smaller, more targeted professional development opportunities on a biannually/quarterly schedule

The Repository Advisory Committee coordinates the implementation of policies and operational processes for the Repository Collection providing consistent and seamless expectations and processes for depositing libraries and consistent experiences for Five College library patrons by following standard workflows and lending practices.

The Resource Management Committee advocates, coordinates, and negotiates to provide robust resources in support of teaching, learning, and research in the Five Colleges, maximizing access, and developing sustainable solutions to both print and digital resources. The committee’s areas of focus include:

  • Cooperative collection development and collection management (new initiatives; depository and last copy decisions; other issues relating to existing Five College collections)
  • Identifying new content and business models to pursue across the campuses
  • Adopting consistent and coordinated memberships, where possible (e.g., Center for Research Libraries)
  • Providing consistent and coordinated support for collections-related initiatives, where possible (e.g., HATHI trust, Knowledge Unlatched, etc.)
  • Assessment of resources

  • Engages the Five College libraries in collaborating to better understand the needs of library patrons.
  • Supports and develops a culture of UX in the Five Colleges by increasing capacity, knowledge, and understanding for practice of UX across the libraries.
  • Serves as a resource to Five College library committees and staff members regarding user experience, consulting on aspects of specific issues and sharing best practices for assessment of user experiences.
  • Investigates opportunities to improve shared technologies, interfaces, services, and content, in relation to user needs and experiences.