The group welcomed Judy Gardner and Joseph Deodato, the Digital User Services Librarian, to the meeting. Joseph began with a presentation about library mapping which can be found online at http://prezi.com/ul5md6zn_nni/library-mapping/ . The group examined four different methods for creating and maintaining online maps which are used by various other academic institutions.
Joseph's presentation started with listing the advantages of having an online map for patrons. Many new patrons have a hard time understanding how the classification systems used by libraries work, which discourages them from looking for materials. An online mapping system would help alleviate this problem by directing patrons to the general location of the book that they are looking for.
The first method examined was the Static Image method where each call number range is linked to an individual map. While this method requires the least amount of technical skill to create, it is very time consuming to maintain because the individual maps would have to be updated with every corresponding change to the collection. Additionally, the time required for maintenance would increase corresponding to the level of detail because it would require more maps to obtain greater accuracy. An alternative method is to use an overlay that allows an individual area to be highlighted on a larger map, but the range numbers in this method would still be static images.
The second method uses vector coordinates to dynamically update map data. The call numbers are entered into a database which changes the location without having to alter the individual images with every change in the collection. Maintenance of the maps would be accomplished by updating the database, but the creation of a vector based mapping system requires more technical skill as well as additional processor power when the maps are accessed.
The third method was to use global positioning systems to create maps. While this method would make it very easy to integrate maps into handheld devices, it has a low degree of accuracy, is costly to develop and would not function if there were no access to a GPS signal.
The fourth method was a combination of a static and vector mapping techniques. A vector coordinate database would feed map data to dynamically update highlighted overlays on a static image. The maintenance of the system would be accomplished using the same database management as a solely vector based map. The number of static images is also greatly reduced while allowing the user to identify which specific range the book that they are searching for is shelved on.
The group evaluated several examples of these different types of maps and most agreed that the static/vector hybrid map used by McGill University would be the best option to use as a model for the Rutgers Libraries maps. (http://info.library.mcgill.ca/floorplans/index.php/search/viewplan)
Judy recommended that the level of detail be at the range level, but cautioned that this version would be a lot of work for the programmers to create. Joseph recommended testing an online map at one of the smaller branch libraries as a starting point for a larger map project. The group was enthusiastic about the project. Joseph and Judy said that they would follow up by contacting the Web Services working group to see if they would be able to create a static/vector hybrid map. Judy also recommended contacting Mary Anne Koruth, the library's graphic designer, who would be able to unify the designs for the static images.
Jamie and Eddie reported from the subcommittee charged with organizing how new projects are initiated. The group is exploring the creation of a project queue to organize how projects are initiated and prioritized through Distributed Technical Services. This will help facilitate many of the transfers that are planned in the coming years to streamline the collections at each of the Rutgers Libraries.
Some of the upcoming projects that Jamie mentioned that would be organized by the new project queue system were:
Jamie promised to keep the group appraised as the subcommittee worked on the new project queue and its new workflow.
Rob discussed many of the recurring issues involving the monthly In-Transit lists. Each of the two lists generated for Alex had individual problems. The In-Transit From lists primarily focus on items from other Rutgers Libraries being shipped from Alexander to their home locations. These items should also appear on the In-Transit To lists of the corresponding library. The current policy was that books that are not found at the end of every month should be discharged by their home library and then charged to the missing user for that library. However, there are books on the Alexander In- Transit from lists that have been In-Transit for years, going back to as late as 2003. Judy suggested automating the procedure so that books that have been In-Transit too long are automatically charged to their appropriate missing user.
The In-Transit to lists for Alexander also had problems with books that were arriving from TSB for In-Processing before being added to the collection. The problem seemed to be unique to the Alexander library because all processed at Alex are put on the new book shelf and if the shelf becomes full it creates a backlog. These backlogged books appear on the In-Transit list and can add hundreds of items each month. The group was not able to come to an immediate solution to this problem, but agreed that it should be examined further.
The group ran out of time and tabled information sharing until the next meeting.
Next Meeting: TBA.