Expressed concern for those experiencing problems during the recent flooding; there were problems at Douglass Library; hoping that Risk Management will address chronic issues.
Participated on a special task force to consider the issue raised by VALE at the December meeting of the New Jersey Presidents' Council regarding VALE's desire to form a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and its relationship to the Presidents' Council. The small group consisted of a few members of the Presidents' Council – Edward Yaw, County College of Morris, Chair, Rich Levao, Bloomfield College, George Pruitt, Thomas Edison State College, Arnold Speert, William Paterson University, David Pinto, Stockton, and Gaunt as President McCormick's representative. The group agreed to endorse the recommendation that VALE become a 501(c)(3) corporation; it will go to the Presidents' Council for review.
Gaunt and Fetzer attended separate meetings with student leaders in New Brunswick on March 10 and March 11. Gaunt attended Vice President Greg Blimling's meeting with 20-25 student leaders and presidents of various organizations on campus to discuss how the library communicates with the undergraduates, recent changes in hours, and Rutgers R.I.O.T. Found the students to be knowledgeable, they are library users and like the libraries, and they were willing to talk for a long time. The change in hours was communicated via a Targum article, but they said it would be good to have signs in the library to let people know the hours have changed; related to longer hours, they would also like more seating in Alexander Library. They indicated that Facebook is not a good way of communicating; they might see it, but they use Facebook primarily for information about their friends. A number of students have already taken the Customer Satisfaction survey on the Libraries' web page, and thought it was good. The Targum editor was at the meeting, and said he'd be happy to do an article when the results are ready. They indicated they did not find the randomness of the survey coming up on the web page annoying, but also said they don't use the home page that much. Some students indicated they have already used the R.I.O.T. tutorial and said it was good; they liked the animation and the way it was done. Thought it would be good to have a link from the course management system. They think the best way to publicize something like R.I.O.T. is through the teaching faculty. The students were unaware that there are subject librarians to help them in their work. The students love MEEBO and asked that we not take it away. They use ILL for articles we have, but there is confusion on how far subscriptions go back; they also mentioned that they have a hard time finding the right databases to search. They asked if we could do something about students who leave their belongings on chairs in Alexander to save their places while they're doing other things. Gaunt suggested that it might be a good idea for Fetzer to be on the agenda of this group once a semester.
Fetzer attend President McCormick's meeting with RUSA to respond to student issues presented by RUSA on November 5, 2009. Fetzer said they brought up no issues concerning the Libraries and seemed happy with us; their only request was for lockers. An interesting comment made that was not in the context of libraries was a complaint that it takes ten minutes to download an article. Don Smith said that while they have increased the bandwidth, the demand is rising to meet the increase. They need to meet with students to set priorities on how they are using the Internet. Gaunt suggested that even though this meeting was New Brunswick focused, Golden and Winston should touch base with equivalent student groups on their campus to ensure the libraries are addressing their needs.
Governor Christie presented his budget proposal for fiscal year 2010-11 last week. Under this proposal, Rutgers' direct state operating aid in 2010-11 would be cut 15.1 percent and therefore would be $46.6 million lower than the university's original appropriation for the current fiscal year.
The governor has also proposed to merge Rutgers with Thomas Edison State College and take over the operations of the State Library and State Museum. Rutgers appreciates the confidence expressed by the governor's proposal; however, the task of vetting this proposal and performing due diligence will require consultation within and beyond the university community and would ultimately require approval by University boards of governors and trustees.
Gaunt distributed to Cabinet a copy of the NJLA Legislative Updates highlighting how the current proposals affecting state and local library funding will affect New Jersey libraries.
We have no idea at this point what our piece of the cut to Rutgers is going to be. The unknown is how much the university is willing to raise tuition. Need to be as flexible as we can to address any terrible eventuality; might want to consider whether we want to freeze all new staff vacancies and any existing ones until June 30. Freezing doesn't mean losing; gives us the option of deciding what to do; will look at particular hardships on a case by case basis. Also need to think about scenarios for each of our units if we have to take an additional 5% cut; these are due to Gaunt by April 15. Will need to have a discussion of core services, but think about how these activities would mesh with what you think are core services for the libraries; will put a discussion of core services on the next Cabinet agenda.
Cabinet discussed the Governor's proposed merger of the State Library with Rutgers University. The university is doing due diligence on all aspects of the proposal that will take some time, and we will be providing input. Any questions should be referred to Gaunt.
Cabinet should have a copy of the draft University proposal and the grid detailing proposed signatory authority for the Libraries. The University's proposal is an attempt to get a handle on who in the University is signing things, and fits nicely with the work we are doing with licensing and contracts. It's important to find out what kinds of contracts or memorandums of agreement you are signing, and then you can make it as specific you want it to be. With the proposed signatory policy, need to turn the examples into what you actually sign. It is quite a process to delegate; only Gaunt can do this. Once the process is formalized and each unit responds, thereafter, only those people whose signatures are noted will be accepted. Cabinet should review the list again, look at their areas, and send a revised list to Boyle or Fredenburg within a week.
The last review and evaluation of system-wide statistics being collected took place about ten years ago. In light of the elapsed time, as well as evolving requirements for statistics and the availability of new tracking technology, Gaunt asked a small task force of Georgina Alonzo, Bob Warwick, and Nancy Hendrickson to complete a quick review for further evaluation. Their charge was to review and account for system-wide statistics, determine their relevance to current needs, and recommend to the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian appropriate statistical collection going forward by March 5, 2010. The task force met 2.5 times and did a fabulous job of finding out all the things we currently collect, where, how often, and where it goes. We need to make a determination as to whether we should keep doing it this way and or what we will need to give to LibPAS to make a transition to a more integrated technologically modern way of collecting and reporting data. This will help us set up LibPAS. We can set up with edit checks so if someone enters something with a total smaller than last year, they get questioned. This spreadsheet and emails sent out will be consolidated and automated. Only a few things they are recommending for eliminating; concentrating on the library systems responsibility to the larger organizations we are obligated to. The biggest group for elimination was the imaging services data they were collecting centrally and locally. The criteria for the framework was anything that needs to be reported externally; if we could get this merged and going for next year, we could do a call for what things you want to keep in your department and expand the software. None of the staff financial numbers are there; those come from Hendrickson. There is some conflict between some of the agencies we report to. It was noted that RRS should be RDS. Boyle and Fredenburg will look over recommendations and get automated reports for as much as we have and use systems we have now to generate things. Gaunt thanked the team for their work. Any questions should be directed to Boyle or Fredenburg.
Central Technical Services is reviewing and revising its structure to focus on strategic and emerging areas of interest for the libraries, while maintaining a strong level of service for existing workflows. As CTS makes changes, we will be alerting you to changes in responsibility and contact people that may affect your work.
Melissa De Fino and her unit will be managing E-Monographs acquisition and cataloging. This will include setting up vendor tests and integrating vendor records into IRIS as well as acquiring and cataloging individual e-monograph titles. This also includes metadata creation for e-monographs digital collections in RUcore.
Jane Otto and her unit will be managing multimedia, including the Robert B. Davis Institute of Learning video collection, funded for digitization via a National Science Foundation grant. She will also work closely with the Institute for Jazz Studies at the Dana Library to integrate their collection workflows into CTS and with the Media Center at the Douglass Library to integrate open access and commercial video from the VALE Media Committee and NJVid project into IRIS and RUcore. This unit will also create metadata for multimedia digital collections in RUcore.
Other changes will be coming as Mary Beth Weber, the CTS Department Head, and her CTS managers and staff work through their structural and workflow reviews.
In the process of setting up a Task Force on LibGuides, a resource that will enable our library liaisons to update and make changes to their subject research guides without the need to send each change through the Webmaster. Have asked Agnew to involve systems and sent out a call to Newark and Camden for members.
The final report from our Ethnographic Research Project has been completed by the Project's Core Team. "Studying Students to Enhance Library Services at Rutgers University: Principles and Priorities for Moving from Research to Redesign and Development of the Libraries Website: The Final Report of Our Ethnographic Research Project" is at: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/ethnography/reports.shtml.
Also available on the same Web page are reports from our survey and interviews as well as analyses of survey comments by various RUL committees and other groups.
The VALE Assessment Committee is planning a statewide Assessment Fair for academic libraries to be held May 25; the ethnographic study and Counting Opinions will be featured. We will be well represented and hope you attend.
Mandela Part 2 will be held Thursday, March 25 in the Lecture Hall; we reached out to professors and have several classes attending the presentation.
Golden and John Gibson ,Instructional Technology Specialist at the Paul Robeson Library, are recipients of an NJLA CUS/ACRL-NJ Technology Innovation Award for 2010 for the "Access in the Stacks Project," which consists of the development of and implementation of software that runs on an all-in-one touch screen PC. This software provides automated assistance to library patrons and includes the use of sound and video.
Doylestown resident Mary Ann Bowman will discuss her exhibit "HerStory": interpreting women's history through altered books, on March 25. The exhibit is on display at the Paul Robeson Library. Altered books are recycled by creative means into a work of art.e arts, a writer, and visual artist is a retired art educator.
The 2010 Celebration of Recently Published Faculty Authors Reception and Exhibition will be held on March 24. All are invited to attend.