There have not yet been any requests from the University for givebacks. The Rutgers University Central Administration is trying to absorb cuts for the last quarter of FY 2003. Selectors should continue spending allocated funds, and we are still filling positions for which recruitment has begun.
Bob distributed an up-to-date Collections Fund Balance sheet for the current fiscal year indicating a total RUL free balance of $451,115, plus encumbrances of $1,138,156 and expenditures of $5,946,670. He noted that there are some false encumbrances, since, for example, Lexis-Nexis was paid from last year's funds. Approval spending is pretty well on target.
Bob met with the Scholarly Communications Committee, which is co-chaired by H. Dess and J. Niessen. This Committee continues the foundation laid by last year's Scholarly Communications Steering Committee and is designed to further educate faculty about publishing costs and get them to use more effective modes of publishing. Howard spoke of Dan Fishman's efforts to publish an e-journal involving case studies in clinical psychology. Fishman has met with RUL librarians, submitted a 10-12 point program, and would need qualified technical assistance. The question is what role should the Libraries play. For now, the Libraries will take a cautious approach and probably approve a pilot project of two years' duration. We need to see a business plan. The University Librarian has asked L. Langschied and R. Jantz to meet again with Fishman and to report back to Committee. The Libraries would not want to be involved in supporting any e-journals that were to be sold.
The Libraries are reviewing usage data for Science Direct and will look at ways to reduce cost and unnecessary access in FY2004. There will need to be a campaign to educate the faculty on the problems with S/D and this campaign needs to start this semester.
Bob has been working with the Systems Department to produce fund reports, showing allocations and expenditures, in the various broad subject areas. It was recommended that an encumbrances column be added. The first one done is for the social sciences. It does not include approvals (which will be covered in the general/interdisciplinary list), and the draft we looked at had some funds codes in the wrong category. These will be changed. Within a few weeks, there should be reports for Arts & Humanities, Science, Technology, and Medicine, and General/Interdisciplinary.
Bob reported that there are approximately 1,000 orders in the queue in the Acquisitions Department. Of those, about 500 are from Dana which should be entered by the end of the week.
A. Montanaro supplied database use statistics for July 2002 – January 2003. The chair noted that data is open to interpretation - vendors differ in definition of a search and price were inaccurate in some cases. When asked whether there are any national standards on pricing, we learned that there is an International Consortium on Library Consortia that has laid down some standards. There was also discussion on cost/search of specific databases, e.g. Science Direct, SciFinder, and Beilstein.
There was extensive discussion regarding our options in the forthcoming fiscal year. Significant sentiment was expressed that some of this year's $150,000 that Bob had allocated for new electronic products should be reserved to prepay subscriptions for next year. Bob stated that the University normally discourages prepayment but we will seek permission to do this in view of next year's budget. M. Fetzer recommended that any prepayments be prorated equitably among the various areas to preserve an appropriate ratio in use of the $150,000 free balance. It was recommended that prepayment of some portion of the approval plan would be beneficial to the arts & humanities and the social sciences.
While recommendations of the humanities, social sciences, sciences and generalist teams were vetted as circulated earlier by those teams, we were told that the University Librarian has said that there should not be any new ongoing commitments. Therefore, recommendations for all networked electronic resources with ongoing costs were tabled.
The decision to recommend two databases discussed previously by CDC will, however, stand. Those are JSTOR Arts and Sciences II and the New Jersey Newspapers/Philadelphia Inquirer subscriptions. (Subsequently to this discussion, I was determined that the $9,000 in new, ongoing cost for Collection II was not possible in view of next's year's budget. The other recommendation for the newspapers was carried out because there would be more than enough to cover the new subscription because of money freed up by canceling the print.)
MARC records for existing major microform sets (e.g. History of Women, Early American Imprints, 2d series, American Culture Series, etc.) will be purchased. Cost will be approximately $16,372.
The World of Learning database will be acquired, since we can recoup costs through cancellation.
Since ArcGIS is a local mount, purchase of this requires a signoff from Systems. M. Fetzer will investigate further.
Bob will get clarification on our prepayment options and continue trying to negotiate some discounts.
The chair distributed a chart of FY2003 State Collections Budget showing various one-time funds received and our $600,000 carryover from 2002. It is unclear if there will be any one-time allocations coming this year which have average about $700,000 for the last 3 years, but we will presumably continue to receive ICI funds again, approximately $200,000.
In distributing a second chart, FY2004 State Collections Budget, Bob figured in cuts based on a 2%, 5%, and 10% reduction. We probably will not know for until July what our budget will be but the University Librarian is speculating that RUL's cut may be in the 5-6% range, but could be as bad as 10%.
RUL will be looking at its various commitments with an eye to potential cuts. Will be looking at alternatives to Science Direct package. It is also likely that the Van Wagoner (Class of '32) funds, was set up as a quasi-trust fund, may be tapped to cover monographs in the social sciences and humanities in Alexander Library. Bob will be meeting next week with Senator Barbara Buono who is on the state appropriations and budget committees, and recommended we all do what we can to protest cuts to our funding as president McCormack has encouraged us to do. J. Nettleman recommended looking at duplication in our archival microform holdings for newspapers in much the same way that we looked at duplication among ABI Inform titles earlier to see what savings might result. Bob welcomed others to come up with other ideas.
The meeting adjourned at 11:10 a.m.