Bob Sewell shared with the Assessment Committee the information he received at a recent meeting on bibliomining at which Professor Scott Nicholson of Syracuse University School for Information Studies described his current work in this area. Bibliomining is the combination of data-mining, bibliometrics, statistics, and reporting tools used to extract patterns of behavior-based artifacts from library systems. The datamining process includes extracting needed data from operating systems, refining data and dealing with missing values, using different techniques to discover actionable patterns, and take appropriate actions with or without the creation of predicative models to ascertain or discover additional user behavior patterns. Seeing potential utility of this type of behavior focused data-mining, the committee will visit some of the websites mentioned in the handout and decide what to do next, including inviting Dr. Nicholson to come to explain and describe more of his work, at its next meeting.
One of the goals the Assessment Committee this year is to apply the process assessment/improvement tool the Committee has identified to one of the Library mission-critical service areas the Cabinet selects. Such selection will take place later in the year, along with some other system-wide goals Cabinet identified during a recent Excellence in Higher Education (EHE) session which was facilitated by Dr. Brent Ruben and his associates of the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership. The EHE program is designed for use in the assessment, planning, and organizational improvement efforts in colleges and universities. As the EHE session was somewhat modified to facilitate also a discussion regarding the impact of the proposed merger with UMDNJ and NJIT, the Cabinet identified a large number of areas within the EHE self-assessment and planning categories that may be affected by the proposed merger. The Cabinet also identified three high priority areas for improvement and agreed on the needs to develop dashboard measures (quality/success indicators) that more closely align with library mission, vision, and values; establish process for regular review and improvement of key processes; and examine and improve ways of communicating, educating, and marketing to user community. It can be expected that the Assessment Committee will play an important role in these important areas.
In connection with another goal it has established for this year, the Committee also reviewed and discussed its proper roles in the coming years. The committee will certainly continue to do necessary assessment work and help other groups in the libraries to do evaluative work that support library activities and help bring about improvements in critical areas. At a previous meeting, the Committee had already agreed that it would collect data and do assessments only if the information gathered will be useful for the current environment, required by the organizations to which we belong, or needed by the projects Rutgers University Libraries participate in. The Committee also agreed that it would focus more on new resources and services and on the impact of latest technologies on libraries. Since the initial charge to the Committee is no longer appropriate, Samson will draft a new charge to be discussed at our next meeting.
The Libraries are participating in the ARL E-metrics project. At the request of the project coordinator, we have indicated which data that are prescribed by the project we will be able to submit for FY2002. ARL is waiting for responses from all participating libraries and has not called for the actual data.
Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 11 at 9:30 AM.