American Library Association Annual Meeting Report: Several members of the Council reported on their ALA meeting activities.
Jeanne Boyle attended the RLG's Services and Collections advisory group which discussed implementation of the "open URL" from Eureka databases linked to full text resources. She also attended sessions concerning intellectual property, and a pre-conference session on advocacy. In addition, she reported that we have been invited to participate in the direct borrowing service of the Pennsylvania Academic Library Consortium, Inc. (PALCI) using URSA software. The software enables users to place their requests online themselves, and the requests are then sent directly through the system to a holding library. Use of this software was pioneered by Columbia, Penn, and Yale, who have an active service running. We are looking to expand our borrowing partners, and this invitation is being carefully considered. Ann Montanaro attended the RLG meetings which discussed changes to implement RLIN on the Web. The RLIN database will be accessible through Google and similar searches. The interface looks like OCLC's with similar icons. She reported that AbeBooks now automatically does searches for rare books that they don't have direct access to. She also learned of electronic ordering and other acquisitions functions updates in SIRSI resulting in better integration between receiving and cataloging functions.
Ryan Womack attended the business related meetings and participated in pre-conference planning for a one-day course in business resources. He also reported on the Business Reference Section's program on "marketing the library."
Robert Sewell attended the "big heads" meeting. Standards are being developed for licensing metadata. The Center for Research Libraries has a new director and new strategic plan. CRL has received a $500,000 Mellon Grant to support the plan. They have cataloged 22,000 of their foreign dissertations, out of the 100,000 + total. The Library of Congress demonstrated its "portals to the world" reference guide for many countries—there are 66 altogether with the number growing rapidly. The URL is: http://loc.gov/rr/international/portals.html
Associate University Librarian Report: Robert Sewell announced the creation of the Binding Working Group. The preservation consultant recommended that RUL use one binding company. The working group will look at our binding priorities, review our current practices, and develop a "request for proposals" for a centralized binding contract. Members of the group in addition to Bob Sewell are Ian Bogus, Kristen St. John, and Grace Mary Smulewitz. Colleagues from Camden and Newark will send information to the group and will review the RFP.
A second working group will formulate collection development and management criteria for evaluating new and ongoing digital projects. The group will hold its first meeting this summer and anticipates only two or three additional meetings before issuing the criteria. Among the points to be considered will be:
Regarding the closing of the FY01/02 budget year, Nancy Hendrickson has removed the $500,000 carryover to be used in 02/03. There still remains a substantial cash balance. As is typical, a large amount of funding is encumbered, but not yet spent. Options that we discussed were prepaying some expensive membership costs and/or purchase large ticket items. Large ticket items suggested were a Black Drama Collection. Covering the period, 1850 to the present, this electronic resource is form Alexander Press and contains an excellent interface. It includes published and unpublished plays, manuscripts, playbills, posters, and other material from North America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Another was backfiles of Biosis. Both would be one-time purchases.
Systems Update: Ann Montanaro reported that we are getting a new server and currently doing some electrical work. A new Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) will be acquired.
Acquisitions Update: Robert Sewell reported for Mary Page that the acquisitions open house was a great success. We are looking into future sessions. The Netlibrary computer science collection was discussed. We need continuing access to some titles and should delete those that are outdated. Au will review usage of the computer science titles and make a recommendation for what to maintain and what to replace with updated editions.
Liaison Relations Report: Connie Wu and Tom Glynn gave a summary of their survey of Library Liaison Relations. The most important modes of communications are email and face-to-face contact. Their final report will be presented at the July CDC Meeting.
FY2003 and Tenative Target for Cancellations: Robert Sewell distributed a working collections budget for FY02/03. If matching funds are not available, the base budget will be reduced by $250,000. With cancellations of duplicate titles, elimination of unnessary e-resources, and savings from utilizing a single binding contractor and the carryover from FY2002, much of the budget cut will be absorbed. We will be about $80,000 short and we are formulating a plan to cover it. Sewell noted that the humanities and social sciences were hurt most by the stopping of new monograph orders in late January and this will have to be addressed in the allocations for FY2003.
Next meeting: The next council meeting will take place on Thursday, July 18th at the Robeson Library in Camden.