Gaunt noted that the Senate Committee on Research and Graduate and Professional Education is expected to receive a charge related to open access. As it is late in the academic year, it is likely that the real work would take place beginning in the fall. The Libraries should be preparing to provide support and information to the committee, and to consider how we might be able to assure a successful outcome through general faculty support. This topic will be on the agenda for an upcoming Libraries Advisory Committee meeting.
We should expect to receive a budget target for next fiscal year within the next two weeks. We are hopeful that it will not be significantly greater than the reduction for which we have already prepared a scenario. Nonetheless, all units should submit their plan for an additional cut of 5%.
We have submitted two documents to VP Furmasnki and VP Ray Caprio (who is preparing a coordinated response document) related to the proposal to merge Thomas Edison College, the State Library, and the State Museum with Rutgers. The document focuses primarily on information regarding the State Library and the impact of such a merger. We do not know when the Board will be deliberating their response.
Some schools in New Brunswick are looking at the 2TOR service as a way to move into online courses. This service supports the development and hosting of course designed by faculty.
Gaunt thanked those who attended the RUL/SCI program on changes in libraries. Ross Todd, Roberta Stevens, and Karin Trainer represented the three types of libraries and reflected on current and future issues.
The Libraries had stopped the development of new open access journals until an assessment of the costs, impact, and benefits of such development could be ascertained. It was agreed to use the development of New Jersey History as a digital, open access journal as a case study. Langschied discussed the development of New Jersey History employing RUL's installation of Open Journal System (OJS) platform. Following the New Jersey Historical Commission's request to partner with RUL and New Jersey Digital Highway to develop NJH as an open access e-journal, the Committee on Scholarly Communication charged an ad-hoc committee to oversee the project development and track all costs from the initial proposal to the journal's eventual launch in September 2009. Cabinet approved the project under the condition that a resource analysis be conducted while the project progressed. Based on the findings, Langschied suggested that another round of testing to confirm the information gathered in the report's analysis would be necessary before a decision about the status of RUL/OJD be made. Developing an additional one to two journals will help determine if the work of the Ad Hoc Committee meets that standards recommended by CSC, and whether the organization is committed to the regularization and long-term support of the RUcore service and technological platform. The biggest issue is cost, impact and value for us to do it. Much discussion ensued on the value to RU of promoting a service to develop open access journals. Gaunt summarized the general consensus, which is that RUL may wish to publish open access journal on a selective basis, but there was no agreement that this be a service that is widely promoted. She noted that when this discussion came up in the Libraries Advisory Committee, there was no significant support for RUL engaging in this activity as a regular service. While the costs developed as a result of the NJ History did not appear to be significant, they do take Libraries resources from other activities, and we need to consider when this is advisable. Gaunt noted that there may be times when we do want to create an open access journal, but we currently have no definition of how we select such projects. The discussions we've had thus far focused on our unique collections like New Jersey history and jazz. Gaunt will meet with Agnew, Boyle, and Langschied for further discussion, and will place on a future Cabinet agenda.
Boyle distributed to each Cabinet member a folder with reports and comments on their areas based on the Libraries' online customer satisfaction survey for the period 10/1/09-3/22/10. She included a copy of the survey instrument, statistical reports with data, a summary of the various reports, and areas needing attention in their libraries. The packet also contains a list of passwords where the results may be viewed online via the customer portal at www.countingopinions.com . The survey indicates that users spend a lot of time giving feedback and are positive; people are not aware of all of our services. This will be useful for marketing; Boyle has asked the marketing team to devise a plan to gather back the information. Might be useful to place a story in the Targum about the results and post a notice on the web page that says "we responded." Managers need to pick out areas where they need to work, and we should decide how frequently we want counting opinions reports. Data from the reports should be included in mid-year and annual reports; Gaunt will add this to the outline.
At a previous Cabinet meeting discussing the budget, members believed that we should have a discussion of core services as resources become more constrained. We need to keep in mind future activities and not necessarily what we are doing now. We also need to consider what our users are telling us through the "In Libraries" and Counting Opinions reports. In basic terms we need to bring the world's scholarly communication here and the intellectual capital developed here out to the world. Many of the services we are now doing may be considered core, but they might not necessarily be conducted in the current way. Our organizational review may be helpful in defining new methodologies. Our strategic plan and our mission statement are our guides. As an exercise in focusing our own thinking, everyone was charged to identify five areas that they believe are core services and five areas where we might cut or cut or cut back. The services should include your area, but can also be in other areas. What we would ideally like to do is define a process by which we might define those areas. This discussion will be continued at the next Cabinet meeting on April 20.