The April 2010 issue of College & Research Libraries News, had an announcement of the opening of the Diversity Research Center at the Dana Library. Assistant Chancellor and Dana Library Director Mark Winston will serve as director of the center and Dana Library Associate Director Haipeng Li will serve as co-director. Initial funding is from the office of the Chancellor.
Gaunt attended the Spring 2010 Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Membership Meeting on April 12 and 13 in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to two major plenary speakers, hour-long project briefings make up the bulk of the meeting. Because there are five to seven sessions going on at the same time, it's not possible to attend everything. There is, however, a project briefing book and the CNI web site contains the project briefing abstracts and presentations. Gaunt especially enjoyed the presentation by Columbia University Libraries on "Turning Curators into Web Publishers: Expanding the Digital Library Program within the Institution" which focused on creating digital exhibitions in addition to physical exhibitions. Columbia noted that they had done about 13 digital exhibitions in a single year for collections that had not been physically exhibited. The website attracted much more attention to their Special Collections than the physical exhibitions could.
Merger discussions related to Thomas Edison, the State Library, and the State Museum are ongoing; don't know when a Rutgers response will be made. Norma Blake held an online conversation yesterday explaining the impact of their budget cuts and what may be discontinued. The PowerPoint is on the web page at www.njstatelib.org.
The VALE Executive Committee meeting is this afternoon will include an agenda topic addressing priorities for academic libraries in discussions of State Library cuts. This information will be shared with Norma Blake as she considers options.
The Diversity Task Force consists of Fredenburg, Judy Gardner, Triveni Kuchi, and Mark Winston. The committee met four times and researched materials from peer institutions. There are good resources available. The Task Force looked at the compliance statistics the University uses; spent time with Sandy Troy to understand our current processes; and talked to recently hired librarians to get feedback on the interview process. The focus is of the task force's work is on recruiting a diverse pool of applicants and attracting individuals to accept a position at Rutgers. They are drafting their final document, which should be ready by April 30. The overarching theme is training – training search committees, the work force, librarians, and everyone – to pay attention to the recruitment process, how you recruit, what is appropriate, and what we need to do to get more diverse candidates. We need to have everyone understand both the importance of the issues and how we achieve success. Another emerging theme is to continue to be open to new methods and to what's going on external to Rutgers so we can take advantage of what's available. We need to change our thinking about how we describe positions and select requirement criteria and still maintain faculty status. The goal of the report is to provide some general, but specific recommendations with regard to the structure and format for a job, and a process for assuring there is appropriate language across all jobs that reflects organizational commitment to diversity.
As the Libraries anticipate continued budget challenges, Cabinet decided that a common understanding of what operations were considered core to the role of the Libraries and our strategic plan would be worth reviewing. This first discussion was an opportunity to consider at what level core services might be described, as we normally expect all our services to be core, but when subjected to budget cuts we may want to reconsider where we need more emphasis, where we might scale back, reorganize, or deliver in other ways. An initial review was used to determine where there was common thinking, where there was divergent thinking, and where there needed more discussion. We agreed that there might be an agreement on a particular "service" or activity being core, but the method of delivery might be an issue for discussion. Some services were described at such a high level that more scrutiny was needed to determine which of the many parts should be priorities. At the conclusion Gaunt agreed to provide a scenario that would include both an outline of what we have covered thus far, and a direction for the next discussion.