STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of Coordinating Committee Meeting for the Sept. 27, 2000 meeting

Present:
Au, Calhoun, Consoli, R.Gardner, Gaunt, Hancock, Haynes, Langschied, Mardikian, Marker, Olin, P.Page, Sak, Weber, Wilson, Womack
Absent:
Beede

Decisions

1. Wilson welcomed new and returning members of the committee and reminded all members to notify her or Deputy Coordinator (Langschied) if they are unable to attend. Members may send a representative, but please notify Wilson, Langschied, or P.Page before the meeting. R.Gardner was welcomed back to the committee as a guest. As former chair of PPAAC, she served on the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Line Use, whose draft report was on the agenda for discussion at this meeting.

2. Minutes of the 6/14 meeting were approved with one small change to the last paragraph. RUL is considering the possibility of selling spill-proof mugs (but not coffee) for use in the libraries. Page will send this correction to McDonald to post in the minutes on the webpage.

3. Old business:

Draft report of the Ad Hoc Committee on Faculty Line Use (Olin, R.Gardner, Weber)

Several corrections were noted by Wilson and Gaunt. The Ad Hoc Committee was convened by the University Librarian and Faculty Coordinator (but not Deputy Coordinator, pg. 3), and the report on recruitment was issued in June to the University Librarian only (pg. 5). Also, the new SCILS undergraduate program is in Information Technology and Informatics (pg. 10). Gaunt noted that Librarian Vs are the equivalent rank of assistant instructor, non-tenure track, but there are no limits to their number of reappointments (pg. 16). Librarian IVs hold equivalent rank of instructor, but these are tenure-track lines so there is a limit to number of reappointments. In the summary of recommendations (pg. 1), the last item under Professional Qualifications should refer to non-tenure track appointments or persons rather than lines.

The Ad Hoc Committee presented a summary of their charge, methodology, findings and recommendations. They emphasized that this report was prepared as a discussion document and was the culmination of six months of intensive study of practices and procedures at RU as well as other academic libraries around the country. In addition to literature and web searches, the committee members examined position postings, RUL bylaws and related documents, and they also conducted personal interviews with RU and non-RU personnel. In their findings, they noted that one of the problems with recruitment at RUL may be that we only accept the MLS degree for our faculty. There are many more jobs than applicants at present, and many potential applicants choose to go to industry where pay is better. There are now two ALA-accredited MIS (Master's in Information Science) programs at UNC and Indiana . The Ad Hoc Committee recommended that we start our recruitment process earlier by developing and maintaining a relationship with these institutions and that we consider changing our criteria to match what is happening in the field at large–for example, being less rigid in our requirements for academic library experience. The 1999-2000 Planning Committee conducted a number of exit interviews with people who have recently left RUL, and one theme that emerged from these was the need for more mentoring. We also need to give librarians time off to work on special projects for the libraries, and the committee recommended that the full Coordinating Committee endorse the PROP (Program Reinvention Opportunity Project). We should also consider a program to help staff broaden their skills.

The report was opened for discussion. Gaunt stated that the most important question was what do we want in the next five years? She noted several issues that she felt needed more discussion:

Several committee members re-affirmed the importance of hiring for subject expertise, although this is not needed for all positions (for example, data librarian in SCC works across disciplines). Hancock noted that subject expertise and technological skills are not mutually exclusive. Marker suggested that RUL be more proactive in meeting its needs–i.e., instead of waiting for lines to become vacant and then re-evaluating our needs, we should examine our needs now and then create our own opportunities by reassigning positions if necessary. We could also have job descriptions ready to go when lines become vacant.

In terms of experience requirements, many members felt we might be losing potential applicants due to our requirement for previous academic library experience. Other kinds of experience might be acceptable (public library, business), including non-MLS experience. There was also a question as to whether one year's experience had to be required for Librarian IVs. PPAAC was asked to check on this with the Human Resources Office. Most committee members felt that we should be more flexible in our requirements. Regarding the MIS degree, several members questioned what the differences were between this and the MLS. Under what circumstances might one degree be more appropriate than another? The committee felt this would be a good discussion topic for the upcoming RUL faculty meeting.

The Recruitment Report was approved earlier by the Coordinating Committee and submitted to the University Librarian in June, and most of those recommendations have already been implemented or are in progress. In the Summary of Recommendations for the discussion document, the item on establishing "recruitment relationships with ALA-accredited MLS/MIS degree-granting institutions" should be moved from the section on Recruitment to the section on Professional Qualifications. Discussion of the full draft report will continue at the October Coordinating Committee meeting. Members may also send comments via email to Wilson or Langschied by 10/11, and these will be included in their monthly discussion with the University Librarian.

4. New business

  1. Proposed dates for AY 2000/01 RUL faculty meetings were approved: Nov. 10, March 23, and June 1 (annual business meeting); all are on Fridays. P.Page cannot attend the March 23 meeting; Weber volunteered to serve as secretary for that date.
  2. Fall faculty meeting agenda items (Nov. 10): will include discussion on MLS v. MIS degree. Gaunt suggested forum on wireless technology and portal technology to be held at conclusion of regular meeting.
  3. New posting for vacant AUL position (Gaunt):

    Gaunt is initiating discussions with Cabinet, Coordinating Committee, and TAS regarding the new posting for the vacant AUL position. The main issue is to determine what will work best for RUL. She distributed a short list of areas of greatest need, all of which focus on the need for leadership and support for the Digital Library Initiative. She suggested revamping the vacant position into an AUL for Information Systems and Technology who would be directly responsible for the technological infrastructure and training needed to advance the DLI and who would work with other librarians to encourage and develop new digital applications. Committee members expressed enthusiasm for this approach, but several stressed the importance of recruiting applicants who have a grounding in some area of librarianship as well as a high level of technological expertise. Gaunt stated that this position will require the MLS degree. What happens to traditional technical services (cataloging, acquisitions, processing) under this new model? Not yet determined. Gaunt felt that the middle management responsible for these areas was already very strong; they might not have a direct reporting relationship to the new AUL. She would like to start recruitment before end of October. Once we have decided what we want, she will put the search committee together and they will write the job posting. Send any further comments to Gaunt.

5. Committee action plans for AY 2000/01:

Scholarly and Professional Activity Committee (Womack): Will be scheduling a fall program, probably to be held in the afternoon after the RUL fall faculty meeting.

Research Leave Review Committee (Mardikian): Will review the PROP (Program Reinvention Opportunity Program) to explore its possible relationship to the Short Research Assignment (SRA) program.

Appointments and Promotions (Calhoun): Will advise University Librarian on appointments, reappointments and promotions.

Public Services Council (Weber): Will be discussing goals in 9/28 meeting.

Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (Marker): Will review the "Library Faculty Position Review Form" and the "Procedures for Filling Open or Newly Created Library Faculty Positions" to update and reconcile any conflicts. Exploring a possible joint activity with the RUL Diversity Committee in February 2001.

Technical Services Council (Sak): TSC examined its 99/00 goals and decided to retain them for 00/01 since they are multi-year. Creating electronic records for all items in RUL's collections remains a high-priority item. Authority control implementation not yet scheduled–may happen as late as spring 01. Will continue to assess impact of library technology and will realign, retrain, and expand staffing as needed. Will also be looking further into emerging metadata schemes. TAS is creating inventory records for all direct receipts and gifts and plans to use those records to machine-match to full records via RLIN' Marcadia service.

Newark Campus report (Au): Sixth New Jersey Book Arts Symposium coming to Newark campus next month. Information on the webpage.

6. University Librarian's report (Gaunt):

Need to have future discussion on PROP and how it might relate (or not) to the SRA program (referred to Research Leave Review Committee).

FASIP: Gaunt will be focusing on how individuals have contributed to the advancement of the DLI.

Respectfully submitted,
Penny Page
Secretary



 
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