Budget – We still do not have the final information on the budgets. The University is working with each of the three units, and we have heard that some unions are closer to an agreement than others. We are hopeful that the reductions will not be as great as our original target, but there is concern that next year's budget may be even tighter, as stimulus funds will no longer be there. We might get some guidelines on how to make plans this year for possibilities of reductions next year. If there is any news about the budget while Gaunt is away in the next two weeks, it will be communicated to the Libraries by Fredenburg.
Representatives from the New Jersey State Library have been serving on the Statewide Broadband Planning and Coordination Committee, which is being led by Adel Abeid, CTO of the State of New Jersey Office of Information Technology (OIT). This committee, working with Kimball Associates, a consulting company that was chosen by OIT, is charged with providing input related to a statewide proposal to improve broadband connectivity in New Jersey. The proposal will be submitted by August 14 and will seek to obtain funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) and, more specifically, through the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Although the State Librarian has yet to see an actual draft of this proposal, the information obtained to date suggests that most public libraries will not be direct beneficiaries as was originally envisioned. More details will be provided once there is an opportunity to see the proposal, but there may be a new state-wide network that will connect to all community colleges, as well as K-12, hospitals, and some businesses that NJEdge would manage. This would mean that higher ed is not the main focus of NJEdge.
Heidi Lynn Cramer, Coordinator of Public Relations, Programs, and Outreach and Past President, New Jersey Library Association has asked VALE for participation in the next "Snapshot: One Day In the Life of New Jersey Libraries," scheduled for Wednesday, October 7, 2009. On February 19 over 250 libraries participated in a similar event, including Rutgers. She is asking that more college and university libraries join in recording statistics and capturing the day with photos and quotes from customers. It is important for Rutgers to participate in this important day so that the State Library and others can advocate successfully for libraries in New Jersey to legislators by demonstrating impact. Gaunt asked Cabinet to recommend someone from RUL to coordinate our activities for this day.
Gaunt will attend the New Brunswick Libraries' Faculty meeting on Friday, August 14 to discuss the vacant position for the AUL for Research and Instructional Services. As this was a new position, now is a good time to reflect on what we would want to do in a new recruitment. She will also place this on the agenda for Cabinet discussions.
Gaunt gave a brief overview of the framework for this review. When reviewing the task force report on Cost Savings and Efficiencies, Cabinet determined that some recommendations could be implemented or investigated, others were already in progress, and a few could not be implemented. Most of the recommendations were straightforward and could be assigned to individuals or groups for investigation or implementation. One of the recommendations was more complex and involved a review of positions for cross training, cross unit functionality, and realignment. Cabinet determined that we would need process guidelines for a review. A subgroup group was asked to draft these for Cabinet (Agnew, Dent Goodman, Fredenburg, Winston) and they were discussed at the previous Cabinet meeting. We are now selecting the functional areas for review and confirming the process. It was agreed that out of a list of ten areas, we would start with a small group and test the process. The areas for review are reference services, grants, and document delivery services (ILL, RDS, E-Reserves, and Media). A steering committee will oversee the process and include Mark Winston, chair, Jeanne Boyle, Vibiana Cvetkovic, Lila Fredenburg, Judy Gardner, and two additional members to be named. The steering committee will select the review teams for each of the areas, and it was recommended that the teams should be small and not have members in the areas they are reviewing so there can be a fresh look at functions. The steering committee should provide each team with a set of review questions (unique and/or uniform for each area), points of analysis, and deadlines for their reports.
Cvetkovic noted that there had been questions from staff following the last Cabinet minutes regarding the intent of the review. Cabinet noted that the goal is to review the way we do things so that we can do them better and more efficiently. We may need more cross functionality, and/or different structures or work processes to ensure that we've utilized all of our staff as effectively as possible.
Gardner noted that the original recommendation was interpreted to mean a much broader environmental scan of personnel across the system in response to the budget cuts we've sustained over the years; could have been to look at every position and how much time we are devoting to each area and what we're doing with our resources. Gaunt noted that we can collect this broad level data now behind the scenes; and that the current review process can gather the more granular data (amount of time and positions in each area) as part of the functional review.
We expect significant progress in the review by the end of December, and we will put it on the Cabinet agenda on September 15 and subsequently for updates.
Boyle will review the Cost Savings and Efficiencies task force report to make sure there are no recommendations there that overlap with the functional area reviews, and then send it out to the individuals/groups who will be implementing or investigating the recommendations agreed upon. The report grid will be posted on our website.
Boyle reviewed a handout made by Caroline Caviness that included library dashboards created by the University, a sample of ARL measures, and a sample chart showing changes in our ARL measures over time. The library dashboards created by the University for the Middle States review were for volumes and expenditures and compared the Libraries to AAU public institutions and AAU aspirants. Cabinet members agreed that certain dashboards would be useful. Boyle will prepare a set of dashboards that includes the two measures selected by the university and that concentrates on service measures. She will look for measures that support the organizational review.
Boyle reported that preparations for the in-library use survey were proceeding and that the survey is planned to run in New Brunswick in November. She is working on setting up our Counting Opinions LibSat survey and believes that it will be available early in the fall semester.
Fredenburg reported on the management development curriculum, which was revised, updated, and implemented in Newark. The Libraries have been trying to launch a professional development curriculum for some time; began with the supervisor's series but it was clear that Cabinet wanted something broader as well as more in depth. When Winston began his position in Newark, he asked that we develop a new curriculum and volunteered to work with Fredenburg and Wilt to design a program.
Winston noted that eight supervisors at Dana were invited to participate – mainly staff, but a combination of individuals who supervise or were poised to take on a supervisory role. The goal was to have a plan for a series of programs for the entire year. Christina Bilinski from University Human Resources facilitated the series, and began with "giving and receiving feedback." At the end of the series the group identified a wish list for other topics they wanted covered in the program. In addition to the first session, there will be a session on "The Big Picture." Winston, Fredenburg, and Wilt will facilitate. One of the challenges is that while facilitators from outside of the library world can address the broad topics, they sometimes have a difficult time providing relevant examples. Nonetheless, evaluations were done and the response was good.
Fredenburg distributed the list of core programs; would like to have something system-wide. Cabinet agreed that the program looked excellent and provided a good professional development opportunity for those attending and that is should be expanded to New Brunswick and Camden. In Camden we may want all or some of the program to be offered campus-wide program so that it can be offered on the campus and have a sufficiently large number of participants. Cabinet also likes the idea of a library or university certificate program that designates those completing the series are recognized for their professional development, continuing education credentials.
Sent out the reports from the RFPs for key vendors and recommendations are proceeding. Have done some additional negotiations with vendors, and we are concluding the process. About to begin negotiations with Elsevier on a new contract; need to develop a statement to educate faculty to the issues surrounding bundled packages.
Boyle announced that quantitative results from the ethnographic study of our website would be available around mid-September, and that the team is currently considering options for completing the qualitative portion. She is working on arranging the comments so that they can be sent to relevant groups for review and inclusion in current goal setting.
Boyle has completed a review of the return on investment model developed by the University of Illinois and Elsevier and recommends that we continue to watch further developments in this area but that we not attempt to replicate the study at this time.
Seven Library faculty and staff members participated August 7 in a viewing of the human subjects certification film and are now certified. Other showing will be scheduled.
Other work has included consideration of Rutgers participation in a bundled license study, support for a branch review, and updating annual statistical charts on our staff pages.
Boyle reported that she and Gaunt are working with SPARC and the Rutgers Washington office to get support in the House for a bill that parallels the Senate's Federal Research Public Access Act.
Please mark your calendars for the Scholarly Communication Symposium which will be held on October 9 from 8:30-1:30 at the Cook Campus Center; presentations will be made by Karla Hahn (ARL) and David Shulenberger (Association of Public and Land Grant Universities), and several Rutgers faculty members. Hahn will arrive the afternoon of October 8 and visit the Libraries.
Next meeting: September 15. Winston will be on the agenda to give an update on the steering committee for review process.