STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes of October 25, 2006 meeting

Present:
H. Dess, M. Fetzer, R. Gardner, M. Gaunt, S. Harrington (recorder), K. Hartman, M. Joseph, R. Marker, J. Maxymuk, J. Sloan, E. Stec, R. Tipton, R. Womack

1. The meeting was called to order at 9:34 a.m.

2. The agenda was adopted.

3. The minutes of the September, 27, 2006 Planning and Coordinating Committee minutes were approved.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator

A travel policy has been written that will appear on next month's Planning and Coordinating Committee meeting agenda.

5. Old Business

Phase 2 Faculty Reorganization Group (M. Joseph and H. Dess)

The following handouts were distributed:

M. Joseph offered thanks to the members of the group for their efforts. In providing an overview of the group's proposal, he noted that it is not revolutionary, but rather, offers a still-evolving structure, with plenty of room for discussion. The faculty bylaws provide, in M. Joseph's words, an elegant definition of Councils. Councils are not merely advisory, but also have broader functions. The group examined Councils from a number of perspectives, including how many Councils should exist to most efficiently and effectively advance the work of the Libraries. The group settled on a dual Council structure; the two Councils have been tentatively named the User Services Council and the Library Resources Council. Ideally, any newly constituted Councils should be written into the faculty bylaws, since the bylaws both reflect and guide faculty decision making. In this proposed Council structure, the Council chair would be an elected member, and an AUL would serve in an ex-officio capacity, and not as chair. AULs sitting on the envisioned councils would however meet with council chairs in order to collaboratively craft agendas. The Councils would report directly to the University Librarian.

The reorganization group believes that the Planning and Coordinating Committee should remain a combined committee and continue to focus on long-range planning.

In concluding his remarks, M. Joseph noted that the ideas presented to the Planning and Coordinating Committee represent but a partial proposal, and that more work remains to arrive at a fully fleshed out vision.

H. Dess next presented ideas on the constituencies of the Councils. H. Dess underscored that the ideas offered by the reorganization working group are the product of frank and creative discussion, and are still a work in progress.

The User Services Council would deal with all matters affecting public services. The Library Resources Council would examine all issues involved with the running of the libraries. In both cases, an emphasis on transparency and clarity should prevail. H. Dess pointed to the written report, which detailed a proposal for the constitution of the councils, including the number of Council members by campus, subject subdivisions, the inclusion of staff members, etc.

J. Sloan thanked the Group for their considerable efforts, and opened the floor for discussion. A wide-ranging and nuanced discussion ensued. It was noted that the proposal was intended to integrate technical services, a long-standing and traditional areas of library service, with digital services. One discussion participant questioned whether or not it is necessary to characterize the work of the proposed Library Resources Council as predominantly 'behind the scenes'-since traditional areas of library activities are merging, there is necessarily some inclusion of public services in all library activities. Is there thus a sufficient recognition of the potential overlap in the work of the Councils?

Councils in the proposed structure would be able to invite the formation of task forces and ad hoc working groups. Members of task forces and working groups could and should be drawn from the full faculty and staff of the Libraries, and should not be limited to Council members only.

There was significant concern that the proposed Council might hew too closely to an overly traditional library structure and concept of libraries, and that more attention should be played to the Libraries recently released strategic plan, and particularly, to the Libraries efforts in the development of a digital infrastructure, including data curation and data preservation, as well as other issues related to scholarly communication. How will any future structure we develop within the Libraries faculty move the Libraries as a whole forward?

The discussion then moved to an exploration of how AULs might work within the proposed Council structure-would they bring forward agenda items and larger issues to the Councils to consider? There is a perceived disconnect in the proposed Council structure, as AULs do have responsibility for particular areas, but the Councils neither report to nor are chaired by AULs. There was also some consideration given to how meetings would be conducted-are these intended to be open meetings? Would open meetings serve to engage faculty and staff? Or should faculty members consult with the representatives that they elect to bring issues to the Councils?

In terms of the mechanism for populating Councils, there are a number of issues to carefully consider, including, but not limited to, how elections would take place and how terms of office should be enforced. Would any members be appointed to the Councils? If so, by whom? It may be difficult for Newark and Camden to populate Councils due to the smaller number of faculty members present on these campuses. How stable should the Councils be? In practice there are often longer-term members, and other members who rotate in and out on well-defined terms. Perhaps, it was suggested, the Rules of Procedure Committee could examine these and related issues.

At the end of the discussion there was an emphasis on determining where RUL should move from here. Perhaps, it was suggested, the drafting phase should continue after consultation with Cabinet members? It was agreed that the Group would continue to work on the document, and that M. Gaunt would share the document with Cabinet members. J. Sloan suggested that perhaps Cabinet members would join a meeting of the Planning and Coordinating Committee drafting committee. In addition, J. Sloan will continue to work on the issue as well.

Faculty Input on Hiring Priorities (J. Sloan)

J. Sloan shared a handout titled Planning/Coordinating Advice to the University Librarian on Priorities for Faculty Personnel Recruitment. The Libraries are developing a structure to advise the University Librarian on future hiring priorities. J. Sloan invited Planning and Coordinating Committee members to volunteer to work with her on this important issue, and M. Fetzer accepted. J. Sloan noted that RUL is looking at these issues from a system-wide perspective, and needs to consider balancing elements such as the role of generalists versus specialists, annual versus tenure track appointments, etc. While it is important to consider impending retirements, such issues are rarely predictable. Overall strategic thinking is needed.

6. Agenda and Venue for Faculty Meeting (J. Sloan)

This is a discussion strictly about the best space to hold the faculty meeting. There are a variety of issues to consider and most rooms, including the TLH, the Pane Room, and Kilmer 010, have rather obvious pros and cons. It may be possible to meet in the future at either Dana or Camden, although parking may be a challenge at Newark and there are some limits on how many attendees the room at the Robeson library can hold. There was some sentiment that perhaps it would be useful to try to use the Pane room, providing that all attendees can comfortably fit in the room and that teleconferencing is available. The next RUL faculty meeting will take place on December 8, 2006. It was suggested that the next faculty meeting be followed with a special topics session on federated searching.

7. Report of the University Librarian (M. Gaunt)

Report on the Status of Open Lines

M. Gaunt distributed a Report on the Status of Open Lines in the RUL Libraries Faculty, dated October 25, 2006, as well as a position description for Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services. M. Gaunt invited editorial comments on the AUL position description, and noted that the position will be moved on quickly. A Cabinet member will chair the search committee, which will be comprised of tenured and untenured faculty members, staff, and potentially, a member of the teaching faculty. A brief discussion followed on the status of the open lines, and in particular, on the Instructional Technology Development Librarian position. As listed, the Instructional Technology Development Librarian has system-wide responsibilities, reports to the AUL for Research and Instructional Services, and will be mentored and evaluated for reappointment, tenure and promotion within the New Brunswick Libraries structure. M. Gaunt stated that as she understood it, this position description, and the East Asian Librarian position description, were being returned to NBL for further review. NBL has the opportunity to make a case for what the unit thinks is appropriate for recruiting, and the next level of review will be the Planning and Coordinating Committee. We will hear more about open lines later in the year.

8. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks, and Accomplishments

M. Gaunt recently attended the ARL meeting and PALINET. There was much discussion about re- imagining resource sharing, exposing information through Google, the future viability of ILS, cross-database searching, and supporting research through data curation.

IMLS and NSF are collaborating in relation to data repositories and the education of librarians to move into these emerging roles. There may be an opportunity for RUL to partner with SCILS in a grant proposal.

M. Gaunt was heartily congratulated for her election to Vice-President / President-Elect of ARL.

The meeting was adjourned at 12:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Harrington



 
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