At President McCormick's Annual Address to the University Community on September 16, he focused on seven specific ways in which Rutgers can advance its greatness now and can lay the foundation for more to come, one of which is to extend our international reach in strategically selected countries. He has identified five countries for particular focus. One of these is Liberia. Rutgers is leading an effort there to build inclusive, gender-sensitive centers of excellence in agriculture and engineering at the University of Liberia and at Cuttington University. As part of a USAID grant, the Rutgers Libraries are building a “library in a box” for engineering information, as there is no Internet cable to Liberia at present. The University of Liberia is headed by a former Rutgers faculty member, Dr. Emmet Dennis. The other countries of focus for Rutgers are India, one of the fastest-growing economies in the world; Brazil, where we are involved with an initiative called Science without Borders; Indonesia, where a new U.S.-Indonesia Higher Education Committee has been formed; and China.
President McCormick also focused on the proposed integration of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School into Rutgers.
Gaunt, Fetzer and Gene Springs met with SC&I's ALA External Review Panel. Under Claire McInerney's leadership, they did a very good job on the self-assessment report. The panel does not make recommendations; they just report on what they've found. They asked us about the financial support for collections because it wasn't clear how the funding was actually done; they also discussed our support of distance education.
This week is Banned Books Week. There will be readings from banned books in the Scarlet Latte from 12:30-1:30 every day. There was a panel discussion on global censorship yesterday afternoon, and there will be two film screenings this week.
Cvetkovic noted that renovations at Camden have started to back up; there is no date for the completion of the Camden County library. Students have approached the associate dean for student life requesting that the computer lab stay open longer that the library's current hours. Robeson has done this previously over the summer; during this time there are no library functions operating. There will be a meeting to discuss this; the most important thing is to have adequate security. Camden is considering revisiting the idea of having a self checkout machine; will follow up with Judy Gardner. The new faculty orientation at Rutgers Camden was done as a social day; all new faculty members were taken on a bus tour; at the library we will outreach to the new faculty through liaisons.
The week of September 12, Cvetkovic presented at the Second International Visual Methods conference at Milton Keynes in England; the host university was the Open University; it is completely online. It was interesting to contrast how library operations are arranged in other countries; the reference librarians were located behind a glass partition.
Following the discussion at the previous Cabinet meeting concerning communication, the topic for the day was the role of Cabinet and Cabinet's relations to councils and other groups in the library; will address both purpose and process. Fredenburg started with Cabinet's mission and then moved to regular topics for Cabinet meetings, such as budget, grant funding opportunities, new library policies in the libraries, University Librarian's Report, local/unit initiatives, and issues at the university level/professional level with impact on the libraries, and items requiring timely decisions. Because some Cabinet agenda items are of immediate timeliness, Cabinet agendas can be set four days in advance; documents can be made available up to one full business day before the meeting.
In addressing Cabinet's relationship to the Councils/committees, it was noted that Cabinet is where the broad discussions across multiple areas takes place. Cabinet members who sit on Councils/committees provide a conduit for policies. They can bring issues/topics to Cabinet. They can keep other Cabinet colleagues informed informally. Normally any Council/committee issue that relates to policy, has budgetary implications/needs, involves actions or new programs involving multiple areas should come to Cabinet for discussion. A separate issue is the role of librarians representing the campuses who service on Councils and committees and their responsibilities related to communication to their AUL or Director.
Fredenburg will organize the points made, extract values, list the things on which there was agreement, and continue the discussion at the next meeting.
Boyle explained the Opportunity Index to Cabinet and noted that a new set of reports giving the Opportunity Index for each campus and library is now available on the RUL Assessment Reports Sakai site. This report helps slash through all the data and get to priorities for improvement. Many questions in our Customer Satisfaction Survey (Counting Opinions) ask our users to rate satisfaction and importance on a 7-point scale. The Opportunity Algorithm is based on the following formula: Importance + (Importance – Satisfaction) = Opportunity. This formula is calculated for each ranking question, and the number of respondents to each question is displayed for help in selecting priorities for improvement. Boyle distributed a definition and the Opportunity Index report for all RUL locations. In general, the greatest opportunities for improving user satisfaction relate to collections and the services that provide easy access to collections, and the emphasis is on the digital. Another strong opportunity is hours of operation and access. Lower opportunities are seen for service desks, group study rooms, and instruction. The data does not change much from location to location. The questions that received the highest number of respondents may be the areas to target for improvement first.
At the next Cabinet meeting Brent Ruben and Susan Lawrence will discuss MAAP (Mission Assessment and Alignment Planning). MAAP is the NB SAS initiative to align units and missions of units with the missions and goals of undergraduate education. They have identified the mission and goals and want to assess units in relation to these goals. The blank sheet that Boyle gave to Cabinet is a sample; this is what they are proposing that each of the units would complete. We want to make the case that we participate as a separate unit on the academic side of the shop. They are open to having us use whatever assessment tools we might use. They looked at how we night take SERU and map all the units using that. A chart coded to show how library specific and other relevant questions place RUL on the chart was distributed. We need to make a case for being a part of the process and included under important academic areas such as major and minor learning goals, academic success, etc. Boyle is interested in working with institutional research on assessment challenges in the areas that might advance the ACRL values initiative, and working with institutional research in the MAAP initiative would help.
Agnew: You're invited to a public Web Board meeting on Thursday, September 29, 2011, from 3:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. in the Pane Room at Alexander Library; videoconferencing will be available to Dana and Robeson libraries. The Web Board's Mobile Presence, Search, and Information Architecture teams will give updates on their activities. You'll see a demonstration of core library services for mobile devices, a demonstration of a prototype tabbed search apparatus, and an initial proposal for the new website's information architecture and navigation.
Boyle: Strategic Plan forms are due October 15. A PDF version is on the Planning and Assessment staff pages.