Steven Whitty, Film Reviewer for the Star Ledger gave the Bishop Lecture last evening, and there was a story featured in today’s Targum.
The VALID Steering Committee (OLE open source integrated library system) held a Summit retreat on April 4 at Rutgers. The purpose was to assess where we are in planning, review the status of the OLE software, and to reflect on how VALID will help us reach the transformations we envisioned. Joe Lucia, UL, Temple University, who was responsible for the development of VUFind, the open source discovery layer software VALID will be using, provided some thoughts on the future of research libraries and how tools, such as OLE, can help transform services and operations. Carlen Ruschoff, AUL for Technical Services at the University of Maryland, is on the OLE functional team, and she provided a progress review on the status of the OLE software, some ideas about future planning, and the timing of software releases. Maryland is also thinking of a consortial implementation of OLE, which would be a good model for VALE. CIOs from the five alpha implementers (William Paterson, NJIT, TCNJ, Drew and Rutgers) were invited to attend, and are all on board with a consortial implementation of an integrated library system, and have suggested quarterly meetings going forward to assist in planning and implementation.
Gaunt, Boyle and Wolff attended an Academic Analytics (AA) webinar, and Gaunt saw a presentation of the software at the Deans Council. The software contains information on faculty research and scholarship – publications, citations, grants, awards, where they received their PhD, and year they were tenured. It also notes their department and whether they are a member of a Rutgers center, bureau, or institute. The database is updated annually, and has data on 350 universities, so that one can compare faculty productivity and ranking internally or against other institutions. Gaunt shared some highlights that have emerged from the use of this system by the creators. Usually it is only a few faculty members – one or two who are responsible for the high rankings of a department. Faculty are most productive after tenure is earned. Institutions usually hire the largest percentage of their faculty from their own graduates. AA identified the top journals in each field by consulting within each discipline; we will get first a list of top journals in which RU faculty publish; data is now up to 2102. There is a limit on passwords to the system, and each school has one. There will be a future demo at Cabinet.
The Advisory Committee on Responsibility Centered Management (RCM) is working through implementation planning this year. It is expected that next fiscal year it will be working as a shadow system with our current budgeting system in place. This will provide an opportunity to determine here we might have to make adjustments before a final implementation. The VP for Finance has shared the preliminary thoughts on budget models for the units. For the most part, it is planned that central units that provide services for the entire university will receive their funding from those units that get tuition revenue. It is likely to be based on an FTE count of faculty and students, which is common at other universities. There is a question about how schools with their own libraries will be counted.
The University is planning to provide more promotion over our entrance to the Big Ten and the CIC, as the athletics component will begin in the upcoming fiscal year. We were consulted on tangible benefits for the community, such as UBorrow (gathering data), Shared Print Repository, new collections purchases, HathiTrust, etc., and will be providing data and identifying student and faculty who can speak to the impact. This publicity will be spread over the year.
We are facing a $500K systemic gap this year, and it will carry forward plus inflation if not corrected. The collections analysis group is looking at content redundancy rather than title redundancy. Omnifile is being considered. The State Library will have a large cut, possibly impacting Academic Search Premiere and Ref USA. The State Librarian has said that she would like to retain at least one database important to the academic community, but it depends on the magnitude of her budget reduction for next year. We are looking at journal collections that are not packages, i.e., particular publishers. Databases that contain information we can find elsewhere, such as Statistical Insight, may be cut. We are looking at Web of Science vs. Scopus and need to consider what Mendeley and Academic Analytics (purchased for New Brunswick campus research faculty) can provide. We will cancel now all book orders more than three months out except for international orders. Currently maintaining book orders for six months is too long. Monographic series have been moved to non-state funds. There is no reserve on the collections budget right now. For this year, we have already identified how to recoup $200K from non-state funds. The Rutgers Parents Fund, which has been bringing in around $200K for collections, is going away. We also have a $750K shortfall for the merger and do not yet know if we will get additional funding to cover it. Libraries budget and planning meetings will be taking place in the next few weeks, so we may learn what is likely to happen for next year’s budget at that time.
There was a brief discussion of other places in the budget to get economies that can be applied to collections, but most other places are already proposed in the cut scenarios currently under review by the administration. Gaunt said she is looking at the ratios of operations/collections/personnel budgets at other CICs to determine if there is a norm. We know we are not funded to the level of our CIC peers in all categories.
We also discussed the PALCI patron driven acquisitions pilot, and it was noted that we need to discuss with PALCI how to set up such a shared arrangement and consider undertaking a similar project with partners we choose. We also need to develop better partnerships for journal subscriptions, i.e., improved models where we are collaborating more effectively.
It was agreed that we should use Academic Analytics to identify departments/areas that need to be strengthened, as well as build a case for collections needs based on data. Gaunt will provide some preliminary data.
Cabinet reviewed results of the priority setting survey. 119 librarians and support staff participated for a very good return rate of 44%. Cabinet reviewed results from each question, using the median/mean of the scores to identify leading and trailing priorities. Some of the statements could be subsumed into a broader statement; some were too granular, some were regular operations. Subgroups will now begin writing our plan: question 1: Cohn and Gaunt, question 2: Agnew and Mullen, question 3: Just, question 4: Fredenburg and Boyle. Drafts are due May 1.
Held until the next meeting.
Just attended one of the space planning town hall meetings. The slides presented will be released soon. The presentation was primarily for the New Brunswick campus findings, and libraries were heavily featured. The process is very student-centric. Since there is a desire to start some parts immediately, now is the time to launch unit space plans. Among many needed items potentially related to the Libraries were Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, socializing space, and lack of usable outdoor space. Libraries were among the top five places for study in the student survey. Need food/more outlets/more group study/comfy furniture/better bathrooms/etc. The VP for facilities noted that libraries are not dead. It was noted that OIT and the Libraries are collaborating re: computing. Some takeaways were: varieties among locations in New Brunswick should be valued and built on; libraries, student centers, etc., are hubs and should be built on; etc.
Remaining items were held until the next meeting.