Gaunt reviewed with Cabinet the policies related to staff and faculty vacation accrual.
The annual May meeting of the Association of Research Libraries was held at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Many of the session reports will be available on the ARL website. The Special Collections Working Group reported that Special Collections should support their university’s goals and strategic plans. They should have collection development policies that focus on how the collections acquired and maintained provide support on achieving institutional goals. Not all unique materials are valuable, and having them does not constitute a value to the institution in itself. The cost of accepting, processing, preserving and maintaining a collection should be justified. Several ways to support university’s strategic plans include demonstrating that subject collection strengths help attract stellar faculty; staff work with students can include an undergraduate research experience, or work with communities to help achieve the university’s outreach mission. Archivespace, a new tool for managing special collections was discussed. Thirty-five institutions are now partners, and Lyrasis will be the home organization going forward. It combines the attributes of archon and archivist toolkit. It is something RUL should consider.
The new mandate from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to agencies with research award budgets of more than $100 million to preserve and make freely accessible the publications and data emanating from their grants was discussed. Each agency needs an implementation plan developed by August 2013. There is an opportunity for collective action from the academy to address this need, and ARL is working with other organizational partners on a potential plan for that support. This is something that the CIC might want to consider.
There was a discussion on the digital humanities where research faculty claimed there is no consensus on a definition of the digital humanities that is widely agreed upon by faculty and librarians. More needs to be known about digital methodologies. More linguistic, visual and spatial tools need to be developed to address “why” and “how” questions in the field.
OCLC commissioned a report on the perception of academic libraries by alumni and parents. The report will be released later, but the preliminary results show that we are generally rated highly compared to other facilities/units in the university; but we are not rated as high as we might expect regarding our place as a connector of various units of the university or for bringing students together one on one, or a place for students to explore new concepts. Our highest category is being at the heart of the university and a legacy institution. After disciplinary buildings, we rate second on where folks would want their name placed for philanthropic purposes.
ARL hosted an invitational forum on the role of academic libraries in supporting international programs and initiatives. The recommendations made at the forum cover collection development, international partnerships, and services. The report is linked on the Center for Research Libraries website and calls for new types of collaboration among research libraries in all these areas.
A panel of librarians reported on how to do “less with less” based on budget reductions that we all have experienced. Some of the areas implemented by panel participants were the cessation of laptop lending and “texting a librarian”, reduced customization, revisiting gift policies (many gifts cost more to accept than they are worth), reduction in the number of physical libraries, reduction in binding, automating certain functions, moving to web or virtual services, rationalizing work and workflow, and creating standard service definitions. PowerPoint presentations should be on the ARL website soon.
We learned a lot from the visit of the CIC team for libraries. It was helpful to know of the cooperative purchasing that they do not try to compete or interfere with local arrangements, especially state-wide consortia. They try to focus on more expensive research databases and large sets and backfiles. They are not negotiating for ScienceDirect. They were glad to hear of our interest in the shared print repository for back runs of journals and asked if we would consider contributing. Similarly, they were interested in what we might want to contribute to the HathiTrust of digital collections that would be unique additions. We should get a review of where our collection duplicates the contents in the HathiTrust. We should also consider where we might provide leadership to the CIC and projects that we might want the consortium to undertake. We will get a list of all the liaison meetings that will take place at ALA.
Mullen prepared a discussion document with background information and questions on e-journal publishing. How should we proceed from here? We are already publishing several e-journals, and the research services review undertaken by the Planning and Coordinating Committee recommends that this is something that the libraries should do to support faculty research. A number of issues were identified, such as the goals of an e-journal service, criteria for selecting journals, process for interested faculty to engage the libraries, point person and e-journal team, and alternatives for open access publishing through other venues. Challenges as well as benefits were noted, as well as considerations of e-journals having a separate process in digital priorities, or using the same process we recently developed with slightly altered criteria. We determined that a small group would address the goals, criteria, strengths of other alternatives, and naming a team. Mullen will take the lead and bring the recommendations back to Cabinet.
Following a discussion at the Planning and Coordinating Committee on issues that have surfaced related to our use of social media, the committee questioned whether or not we needed a social media policy. Since Cabinet approves policy it was decided that the issue of needing a policy be referred first to Cabinet. Gaunt shared the university’s “Best Practices for Running a Social Media Campaign” and “Guide for Rutgers Social Media Accounts,” as well as Princeton University’s social media policy, as an external example. It became clear that what the university has posted is sufficient policy guidance for the Libraries. University Relations provides an excellent “statement of use,” and we ask that all RUL social media sites use this or develop such a statement. We also noted that University Relations has a web page listing all the university’s social media sites by unit. The Libraries listing on the site maintained by UR may not be accurate. Fredenburg will ask Glazer to review our listing, and develop a list of all social media sites in the Libraries with the names of those responsible for them. The list could be provided to University Relations and also posted on our website for internal information. It may prove useful for those who coordinate social media sites in the Libraries to share information among themselves about successful best practices.
Golden: President Barchi met with the Camden Campus; it was an interesting meeting and well attended.
Boyle: The Newark Campus has a cultural programming committee that gives out grants; Dana Library was the recipient of three. Ann Watkins worked on two – a panel on Islamic Science, and another in collaboration with Special Collections on an exhibit and program about Frances Manola. The third was submitted by Vincent Pelote and will fund the jazz concert series for the coming year.
The Newark Campus will soon be without a Chancellor. President Barchi met with the Newark Campus recently.
Boyle circulated a handout about the opening of the Newark Archives Project, in which Agnew is very involved.