Gaunt reported that vacant faculty lines will need approval from the Exec. VP for Academic Affairs before they may be recruited. There was a recent announcement that Dean of the School of Pharmacy, Chris Malloy, and Prof. Kenneth Breslauer will have leadership roles for the life sciences that will assist Rutgers in the merger planning with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
In a recent meeting with deans in New Brunswick, there was a discussion of assessment and the current MAAP project. When asked about other areas that might be included to expand beyond the undergraduate experience, faculty productivity, research capacity, service as a land-grant institution, customer satisfaction, and diversity were mentioned.
Cabinet will discuss the budget and budget processes at the next meeting. While there was a decrease in tuition increases, the overall increase in enrollment helped mitigate major budget loses. All units had a small decline.
There is a workshop on faculty use of video in the classroom on October 20 in the Alexander Library and Gaunt encouraged Cabinet and their librarians to attend.
Gaunt also reported on the recent Association of Research Libraries meeting and the ARL Fall forum on collections in the 21st century that Tom Izbicki also attended. Gaunt is co-chairing the search committee for the Executive Director of ARL and is a member of the Diversity and Leadership Committee. Both met during the meeting. One important session she attended was on the RFP that ARL posted for a vendor to negotiate on behalf of ARL members (who wished to participate) in the purchase of university press e-books. ARL is negotiating now with the vendor that will get the 2- year contract. The most important aspects of the contract are the principles related to the terms of purchase/license. ARL is hoping that these principles guide all purchase/licenses related to e- books in which ARL libraries engage. Each ARL Strategic Direction Program reported out: Public Policy announced that Jonathan Band, legal counsel, will be speaking to our legal counsels at NACUA on ARL's code of best practices in interlibrary loan. He also noted that ARL is dealing with challenges to international ILL. ARL is asking the GPO to reverse their decision on joint repositories for government publications. The Scholarly Communications Committee is focusing on the licensing environment and model language in agreements – terms and conditions. They noted that licenses need to be reviewed at a higher level in most libraries, as there have been cases that international ILL rights have been excluded from licenses unknowingly. ARL is collaborating with AAU on library data management strategies. The Teaching, Learning, and Research Committee is working on recommendations/programs related to the need to transform staff for work in 21st century research libraries.
The collections forum focused very heavily on the changes in which collections will be acquired – more emphasis on patron driven acquisitions; assessing value of current serials and approval plans for use and impact; more cancellations of serials to purchase others of more value; greater emphasis on unique and special collections; digitizing unique collections; open access and open data. Several libraries are doing value-based pricing models, which includes a weighted algorithm for database/e-resources that includes use and citations, impact factor and SNIP, and cost per use. This is matched to size of programs being supported. One panelist spoke about “crowd sourcing” work which is getting people to work on a project for free, such as Wikipedia. One library talked about using the crowd to do transcriptions of hand-written diaries that resulted in 7,000 pages of quality transcriptions. Another mentioned putting entries for special collections in Wikipedia and linking to finding aids and/or digital copies. There was discussion on how digital materials are presented to make them more useful. One library mentioned “Recollection” software, which is a free platform that is easy to use for generating and customizing views of data, maps, timelines, and tag clouds. All libraries felt that liaisons needed to be more familiar and engaged with their special collections so that faculty and students are directed to them in the disciplines.
The Digital Public Library of America was discussed that is currently funded by the Sloan Foundation and managed by the Berkman Center at Harvard. An advisory panel of librarians is assisting the Center. They are looking at audience and participation; content and scope; a business model; and legal and technical issues. There was a session on the HATHI Trust that explained aspects of the legal challenge related to orphan works that appear to have no merit. There was a session on orphan works and due diligence for fair use. Digitizing foreign language materials due to greater interest in internationalization of the curriculum and research focused on the digitizing of collections through partnerships abroad. New open access collections were noted: Digital South Asia, Arabic and Middle Eastern Electronic Library, Afghanistan Digital Library, Bibliotheca Alexandria, Database of Iranian Periodicals. Some libraries are digitizing materials on receipt and adding metadata. The Center for Research Libraries is having a program in April on faculty use of primary materials. They are working with the Linda Hall Library to be the CRL site for engineering materials that would be accessible to CRL members.
The closing speaker, President John Lombardi of the Louisiana State University system, spoke of the importance of branding and selling “quality.” Try to establish your uniqueness and brand it. He noted that many in higher ed may not know of all the good work libraries do. When seeking funding from administrators, libraries need to demonstrate what the funding will bring to the university – increased prestige, move it to a higher level, attract better faculty and students, be more famous, etc. Convincing donors to support the libraries often attracts additional support from the university. Pay attention to who cares and who will pay. Invest in the stable center.
Gaunt thanked Brent Ruben and Susan Lawrence for attending Cabinet to speak about the Mission Assessment and Alignment Planning: the Undergraduate Educational Experience project underway on the New Brunswick campus. She noted that measuring the value of the Libraries to the institution is a major theme in the academic library profession, and that the measures on the grid distributed are those that have been discussed in ACRL as important to institutions. She also noted that it has been difficult to get crisp indicators of contributions. Brent and Susan discussed the purpose of the project, which is to: develop a sense of community with shared goals and activities; clarify our units' and our programs' contributions to those shared institutional goals; provide a foundation for greater collaboration across units in pursuing our goals; document and celebrate our successes and identifying areas for improvement; create a compelling story about the accomplishments of the university for internal and external publics, including prospective students, taxpayers, the legislature, and accrediting agencies; and coordinating our planning and improvement efforts across the campus, within and among academic and administrative units at all levels, so that we are heading in the same directions. There are six areas that have been identified with several sub areas for the matrix – a total of 21 success factors. They are: student recruitment; Rutgers pride; student engagement, leadership, and citizenship; learning; progress to degree; post-graduate success.
Each unit of the university will be asked to complete a grid marking the specific areas where they believe they contribute to the university's success, and to identify an area where they may be unique or most engaged. They will then develop measures to assess those areas, and develop a plan for annual improvement based on their assessment. Gaunt noted that it may be easier to identify where we believe the Libraries contribute to success, but less easy to demonstrate cause and effect to assess outcomes. She noted that the SERU survey completed by students each year does ask questions related to the Libraries and student satisfaction that touch on these areas. Susan noted that these reports could be used to generate effectiveness. She noted that Institutional Research can provide reports for us that drill down to focused sectors of the student population related to this data.
Several Cabinet members felt that the libraries were grouped with other units that were less similar – IT, facilities, etc. Susan and Brent said that they were looking for a grouping that represented a system-wide service or infrastructure, but they understood that we are an academic entity. Two possible placements were suggested, having our own line as a unique operation, or to be grouped with co-curricular units. We preferred our own line, as we are a unique academic unit. Susan also asked if the Libraries would consider being in pilot implementers group. Gaunt said she would discuss with Boyle when she returned, but regardless of the decision, the Libraries would continue to use the MAAP grid and work on our contributions/assessments. Brent noted that the Libraries are ahead of most units in working on assessment and understanding these applications. Susan also noted that this is the first step in the process that will likely expand beyond the undergraduate experience once all units are working on the current matrix.