Bob Sewell welcomed Farideh Tehrani to the council in her new position as preservation officer. Farideh's sabbatical research focused on preservation issues and led to visits to libraries around the world. She will be involved in preservation fund raising, planning for a new storage facility (one of RUL's priorities), and helping to develop a comprehensive policy on preservation--including a determination of what should be preserved. VALE is exploring preservation issues, and Bob Sewell is serving on the Cooperative Collection Management Committee which is studying last copy policies, a shared preservation facility, and the WorldCat Collection Analysis Tool (which was demonstrated at RUL late last year). OCLC's new representative wants to meet with RUL regarding a patron-driven e-book plan from NetLibrary, where there is no payment until the second use. Bob also welcomed Gracemary Smulewitz to the council, where she will bring her expertise in collection and budget analysis.
Mary Page reported that ordering is quite up-to-date, with perhaps a two-day turnaround for domestic orders and a week to two weeks for foreign orders. Receiving is also current. Some of the fund codes changed in last year's revision need to be entered into GOBI, but that process is under way. Migration to the new "N" code for irregular serials has also begun, an ongoing process that might take a couple of years because of the irregularity of these publications. When completed it will provide better information and allow for more accurate allocations. The move to shelf-ready approvals in New Brunswick is proceeding well. New Brunswick librarians need to determine proper locations for a few call number ranges, but we should be ready to implement the shelf-approval delivery for the next fiscal year. Mary is continuing to work with YBP on refining the psychology profile and developing a reference profile (allowing reference books received on approval to be appropriately cataloged, labeled, and located).
Ann Montanaro reported that the Electronic Resources Access Task Force is studying what features would be needed for electronic resources management, open URL, and federated searches, with the hope of having a RFP ready for next fiscal year. The task force has met with vendors for various products. The budget situation might of course slow implementation in this area. Systems department is also working on video conferencing problems, trying to identify the causes and solve the current problems. One difficulty might be that we are using products from two different vendors, and even though they are supposed to meet the same standards, there appear to be compatibility issues. New software might be required, and perhaps an eventual move to a single vendor. The switchover from social security numbers to RUIDs is under way. Once that is complete, Systems will be able to load MARC records for Eighteenth Century Collections Online and Literature Online. The next release of the Repository (RUCORE) is coming next month. And Ann encourages librarians to explore LUNA, which now has 60,000 images, including many that are not restricted to classroom use.
Ron Becker reported that the IMLS grant funding for the New Jersey Digital Highway is due to expire on September 30, 2006. RUL is working with the State Archives, State Library, and other repositories to explore a possible source of funding. By September 30th, The NJ Digital Highway will feature around 10,000 images with rich descriptions, primarily on immigration and ethnic identity. Rutgers is also involved in a pending proposal for a grant of $500,000 for political papers. Ron also reports that the next redaction of the Strategic Plan will be finished soon.
Not all subjects and disciplines are yet covered by appropriate research guides, and others are out-of-date. The following statement from Cabinet was presented to CDC for it consideration at this meeting:
Cabinet recently discussed research guides and concluded that the creation of research guides is an appropriate and important professional way for selectors to keep current in their selection areas, to provide help to their clientele, and to share their expertise with their colleagues. Selectors are expected to be expert in their assigned subject areas, in print and electronic resources, and it is a value of our profession to share information. Since this is an expectation, then Cabinet finds it difficult to reconcile that with the absence of more guides in areas of importance to the university and the lapse in currency of others. We will seek advice from the Collection Development Council on how to weigh the development of research guides in reappointment, promotion and tenure, and the FASIP process.
A lively discussion ensued. Research guides have been used to evaluate librarianship only in a positive situation: the librarian has produced a good research guide. But the fact that a librarian has not produced a guide or produced a poor guide or has not updated the guide for some time has not been noted in evaluations. Some librarians question whether course specific guides are more valuable than broader disciplinary guides. There are questions regarding the proper format(s) for guides, the intended audience, and the appropriate author(s). [There is, in fact, lengthy documentation on all of this and more on the WAC webpage.]
Suggestions of collaborative authorship and maintenance--crossing campuses and perhaps including librarians and staff from other areas were offered -- similar to the model of the Networked Resources Teams. Notions of accountability and responsibility were debated. One suggestion was that the University Librarian stress the value of such guides in the next RUL faculty meeting. CDC members said they will convey to their colleagues the importance of the research guides.
State budget projections are poor, with the university being asked to model 8% cuts (though we have hope that the cuts will not be that severe). Any cuts to collections would be added onto inflation, also projected at perhaps 8%, though Bob Sewell noted that because of various strategies (prepayments, cost cutting) we usually pay less than the published inflation rate. We are preparing an RFP for serials vendors, in effect asking them for the services we desire at the lowest costs.
While there is a hold on new ongoing electronic resources, Bob believes that we will be able to move forward with some of them, pending additional study of the actual costs and further word on the budget. We should look at possible cancellations allowed by new databases (e.g. print annual reviews; microfilm and paper subscriptions to newspapers in the Access America database from NewsBank) and continue to look at databases that might not be needed (superseded by or inferior to newer databases). Electronic Resources Team members can continue to bring databases forward for CDC approval, though actual ordering will be contingent on the ultimate budget. We'll be exploring strategies like prepaying databases or accelerating payments this year on multi-year but finite commitments. We are also working on a variety of fund-raising initiatives. Bob will continue to work on budget analysis, for example the impact of Knowledge Initiative.