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Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Volume 24 Number 12 July 14, 2002

Libraries Study RLG and OCLC

RLG Logo

The Rutgers University Libraries have embarked on a review and comparison of their commitment to and use of services from the Research Libraries Group (RLG) and the OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. (OCLC). Rutgers primary commitment has been to participation in the Research Libraries Group, in which membership is held at the university level. We last studied RLG and OCLC in 1995, and many new services and capabilities are now being offered by both bibliographic utilities.

On the technical services side, a bibliographic utility provides a critical underpinning for the acquisition, cataloging, processing, and systems support for materials provided to our users. The services and capabilities of a bibliographic utility are of critical importance for workflow efficiency and level of service. In addition, such services as pre-processing and shelf-ready services have the potential for minimizing the impact of current staffing shortages. Finally, the effectiveness of SIRSI Unicorn, the Libraries' integrated library system, is impacted by the bibliographic utility employed, particularly given Sirsi's plans to support MARC and Dublin Core metadata schema in the near future.


Three technical services functional working groups have been appointed. Members are: Cataloging -Mary Beth Weber (Chair), Ruth Bogan, Harriet DeCeunynck, Ruth Dyer, Elizabeth Leister, Steve Perrotta, Bonnie Spaventa, and Steve Zahorbenski; Data Management - Ann Montanaro (chair,) Chris Sterback, Bob Warwick; Acquisitions Support and Value Added Services -Mary Page (chair), Ruth Bogan, and Rhonda Marker.

On the public services side, a bibliographic utility provides vital support for reference, interlibrary loan, and other services. The Libraries have used the databases from both RLG and OCLC for many years for reference searching and interlibrary loan, and Rutgers users have been able to take advantage of onsite lending programs from both organizations. With the recent commitment by technical and automated services to maintain accurate and current holdings in both RLIN and OCLC, it becomes possible for us to pick the best from each utility. Enhanced bibliographic database scope and functionality, varied citation database offerings, new linking capabilities, and other services have the potential for continued public service improvements.

A Reference and Interlibrary Loan Working Group has been appointed to review all of these public services issues. Members are Jeanne Boyle (co-chair), Jim Niessen (co-chair), Mary Belasco, Natalie Borisovets, Tom Frusciano, Judy Gardner, Helen Hoffman, Triveni Kuchi, Jennifer Muller

A joint technical/public services Vision, Business Plan, General Responsiveness Committee has been appointed to study overall issues. Members are Judy Gardner (co-chair), Rhonda Marker (co-chair), Ruth Bogan, Elizabeth Leister, Linda Turzynski, Myoung Wilson

Separate reports with recommendations for technical and public services will become available in August and September.

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NB Access Services' Open House an Open Success

Justin Capote, a part-time staff member, helps a patron at the graduate reserve desk on the third floor of Alexander Library. Photo was taken during the access services open house.

Jeff Teichman, right, shares some of the finer points of billing with staff member Stacy DeMatteo during the access services open house.

A few months ago Ann Snowman and Farideh Tehrani made plans to dispel the mystery of how New Brunswick access services works.

With the help of a number of access services staff members, the result was a creative open house program held in the afternoon of June 26th that attracted over sixty attendees from across the Libraries and drew praise from many quarters.

The open house, promoted through an email notice to rul_everyone, featured presentations by staff on the following topics:

  • Billing/Jeff Teichmann
  • Circulation/Michele Tokar
  • Collection Management/Andy Martinez
  • Reserve/Roger Smith
  • RRS/William McNelis
  • Security/Don Wilson
  • Slide Managers/Zohreh Bonianian & Megan Doyle
  • Student Workers/Rosalba Barbalace

After the brief presentations and a break with refreshments, access services staff provided demonstrations on these functional areas: reserve scanning for electronic reserve, placing a request for the Rutgers Request Service, a day in access services circulation, the billing training program, collection management's response to water damage, and student coordination and training.

University Librarian Marianne Gaunt praised the open house program, writing:

"Congratulations to the access services team members in yesterday's program. It was just fantastic. The level of expertise and the professional presentation skills that went into designing and delivering the program were wonderful. It was obvious that the access services staff are extremely competent and talented folks!"

New Brunswick Libraries Director Ryoko Toyama wrote:

"Congratulations to all! The program was well thought out, and was carried through professionally and effectively. The collective focus of the presentation, materials selected, and manner of presentation, were first rate. Your program can be incorporated into a program for ALA/LAMA, ACRL, NJLA or even a SCILS class. It is my pleasure to work with you. Thank you."

Summing it all up, Ann Snowman wrote to access services staff:

"I am unutterably proud of your performance at today's presentation. I heard nothing but positive comments, 'wonderful', 'very professional', 'helpful', 'impressive' to quote a few. Today's program was the culmination of four years of progressive team work and dedication. It really showed. I could not have asked for a better group of people with whom to work."

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Lunchroom in Cyberspace?

Sometimes you need a place apart from the regular work forums and settings to discuss organizational concerns, share perspectives, and request feedback on professional issues.

The Rutgers University Libraries recently established an appropriate medium for informal discussions on matters related to the activities, services, and policies of the Libraries. This 'lunchroom in cyberspace' is an unmoderated online distribution list entitled rul_discussion.

Thus far over 40 people have subscribed to rul_discussion. Anyone currently employed in the Rutgers University Libraries is free to subscribe and unsubscribe to this list. To subscribe, send a message to listserv@email.rutgers.edu, leaving the subject blank, and typing 'subscribe rul_discussion (your first name) (your last name)" in the message area.

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Library Faculty Early Retirements

Library faculty electing to take the "Early Retirement Incentive Program" are Marjorie Li who retired April 1, 2002, and Lida Sak, Ruth Simmons, and Addie Tallau, retiring on July 1, 2002. Congratulations! We will miss them at RUL.

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Personnel Changes as of July 2, 2002


  • Patrick Huey, Web Developer, NBL


  • Robert Terrio, Library Associate II, TAS

ERI Retirement

  • Stella Evanowski, Library Assistant II, PSC
  • Keith Jones, Library Assistant II. NBL
  • Margaret Mahoney, Library Assistant II, NBL
  • Elaine Navarra, Library Supervisor I, ROBESON
  • Geraldine Neely, Library Supervisor III, TAS
  • Mickey Onofrietto, Library Associate II, TAS
  • Judy Odom, Library Supervisor III, ROBESON
  • Pathmosothy Padmanathan, Library Associate II, NBL
  • Phyllis Palfy, Library Associate III, NBL
  • Margaret Papai, Library Associate I, TAS
  • Marie Priante, Library Supervisor II, PSC
  • Inta Sams, Administrative Assistant II, NBL
  • Edward Skipworth, Library Associate II, PSC
  • Mary Steele, Library Supervisor III, ROBESON
  • Bernice Weinberg, Administrative Assistant II, NBL
  • Gloria Windham, Library Associate III, NBL
  • Patricia Womack, Library Supervisor II, DANA
  • Enid Yourstone, Library Associate III, NBL


  • Frederick Onorato, Library Assistant II, to Math/NBL
  • William Torres, Library Assistant II, to Alex/NBL
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Comments from One Satisfied Library User

Rebecca Gardner, right, advises Dr. Anne Bellows on the some of the features of a new Libraries database as both work on a PC at the Chang Library.

Twice in the past few years, Rebecca Gardner of the Chang Library arranged library training programs for students from a colloquium class that I teach with Rutgers Nutritional Sciences Professor Mike Hamm, entitled "Local Food Systems in a Globalizing Environment."' In the class, students work on special research projects for which review of library databases is very helpful. Rebecca organized great classes, was prepared with examples pertinent to the class, and made the training interesting as well as relevant.

So when I needed library help recently, I knew where to go. Actually, that gives me too much credit. I wrote to Rebecca last week with a question about a new electronic library acquisition, and she offered to show me how to use it.

Who could resist?

Anne (Anni) Bellows
Post Doctoral Fellow, Nutritional Sciences Dept.
Cook College

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June 16, 2002
May 19, 2002
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Grace Agnew, Anne Bellows, Jeanne Boyle, Mary Gerber, Margaret Hodes, Wei Huang (photos of access services open house), Jeff Teichman. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.