Agnew's report on OLE was moved up to the fifth item in the Agenda, and the minutes for November 19 were approved.
The subgroup on planning held a meeting and agreed that Boyle would give a talk under the auspices of SAPAC in February that would focus on resources for library assessment made available through the RUL web page.
Niessen reported on the meeting with SCILS Dean Jorge Schement that P&CC had requested he hold as SAPAC chair for the purpose of exploring opportunities for the co-sponsorship by SAPAC and SCILS faculty of research presentations. He reported Dean Schement was very supportive, and encouraged him to meet with the coordinator of the brownbag presentations for the Library and Information Science (LIS) department. Niessen will be meeting soon with the new coordinator of this group, Smaranda Muresan.
Agnew distributed a printout of her recent PowerPoint about the OLE (Open Library Environment) Project. She reported that RUL's rationale for participation in OLE is the increasing disjunction in the functionalities of our current Integrated Library System (ILS) on the one hand and our mission and the needs of our faculty and students on the other. Furthermore, participation in a multi-university project will lead to economies of scale.
The information that we want to archive and make available is changing, involving not only metadata for analog and licensed material of our own and shared with others, but also Open Access (OA) text and data. Our roles have changed too. The patron and creator may be the same person, so there is a need for more sophisticated authentication and authorization. Digital Rights Management (DRM) enables OA, and the institutional repository should be integrated with the public catalog. All our resources should be integrated in the same place.
We need to replace the ILS because it no longer meets our needs. We're subject to the arbitrary business decisions of a commercial enterprise that have nothing to do with our own workflow or with real costs, for example we pay additional overhead to SIRSI when the number of records increases. This is not an additional expense for SIRSI.
We're not going to have OCLC forever, either. We could get records via smartport from any library today rather than relying upon WorldCat. The moral imperative to use OCLC is weakening; what are we paying for? At the same time OCLC is diversifying into information management.
OLE is a good model for collaborative cataloging. Many libraries in the Northeast are interested in it, for instance Columbia attended the OLE meetings at Rutgers. PALCI's success has led RUL in the direction of greater resource sharing. The timeline for the development of OLE is as follows:
a. Design Phase, led by Duke; Rutgers is in the group, too. Process modeling, including two workshops at Rutgers. The next step will be in January. In May 2009 the Build Team will be identified. The granting agency, Mellon, wants this phase fast tracked.
b. The Build. We should have OLE built within three years. RUL might not be a builder, but Lehigh might. The build might cost $1 million. VALE will be heavily involved. RUL will surely be an early adopter. Columbia and Princeton will be partners; how can we leverage OLE to build a tri-state research library?
Agnew will be one of the RUL presenters about OLE at the VALE conference in January.
A key question for future development is the evolving role of different information formats. Analog book circulations are declining and resource sharing of analog materials is becoming more economical. The role of e- books in OLE is an open question. We need a more flexible understanding of information, relationships among resources, and their use.
Rutgers and Wisconsin received $3 million from the NSF to develop a video research library for the School of Education. In conjunction with this project we are developing a tool called RU Analytic that will enable us to code and analyze the resources. Terminology and language are the starting point. Suitable taxonomies must be incorporated into the project because Library of Congress classification and subject headings don't work. If we approach cataloging issues from the perspective of subject knowledge, we can head off many problems. Natural language processing is a strong interest of SCILS/LIS. They might collaborate with us on a project for taxonomy mapping in RUcore.
"Everything needs to be digital because that's how scholars will work."
Gaunt provided a clarification of the relevant terms:
a. Diversity Cluster Hires (DCH): The Rutgers President initiated this procedure to increase faculty diversity and interdisciplinary work across departments, support research on diversity. The university will provide half of the salary of these hires for three years. Gaunt knows of two potential DCHs; neither cluster has proposed actual hires as yet: Urban Entrepreneurship in Newark and Latin American/Caribbean Studies in New Brunswick/Piscataway. RUL can't initiate a DCH, but we can propose that a librarian be added to an existing group. Newark might be interested in adding a librarian to the Urban Entrepreneurship cluster. We don't know how far along the Latin American/Caribbean DCH has come. We would need to do the legwork to identify and recruit individuals for any DCH participant. The academic units would have to agree that the hire is important to the cluster.
b. Diversity Hire (DH): This involves the hiring of a single individual. The unit identifies someone whom it wishes to recruit to Rutgers . The candidate is brought to the university to see if there is a fit, then a formal interview is conducted and a proposal and justification is made to Exec. VP Furmanski for a DH. Someone from a conventional search, for instance our Area Studies Librarian search, might be proposed to Furmanski as a DH. If accepted, the university would pay half the salary for three years as in the case of the DCH. This kind of hire might also be somebody for whom you don't have a preconceived position. Both DCH and DH fall under the auspices of Rutgers' Office of Faculty Diversity Initiatives as a Target of Opportunity recruitment. Diversity for these hires are considered as racial and gender diversity. The latter might not apply to RUL because of its female majority.
Furmanski has not indicated any limits to the salary that might be offered to such recruits. The hiring unit's 50% contribution would come from an existing line, and the new hire would enter the tenure track. Increasing the diversity of our library faculty and attracting 50% for salary through both of these initiatives is a good opportunity, and we should bring prospects to Gaunt's attention.
P&CC should recommend that Valeda Dent Goodman contact Latin American/Caribbean Studies about the DCH opportunity.
Sloan as chair of New Brunswick Libraries Faculty proposed the holding of an open forum regarding the creation of new administrative positions in the framework of diversity hires. Gaunt clarified that the creation of administrative positions within the bargaining unit (such as Head of the Margery Somers Foster Center, Head of Cataloging, Head of Acquisitions, Head of Access Services, etc.) are at the discretion of any unit director, and are not considered "administrative" positions for the purpose of diversity hiring, and they are also considered tenure-track positions.. The Newark position falls into the same category as other library faculty administrative positions in the bargaining unit.
There is an Office of Faculty Diversity Initiatives; Gaunt will request its list of "Presidential Postdoctoral Fellowships."
Gaunt noted that this issue came up some years ago. In other states, legislatures have raised it in the context of responsibility and accountability; the University of Maryland produced a large report on efficiencies in all its units and demonstrated to the state its accountability. In light of major budget challenges this topic is likely to emerge again. The New Brunswick Faculty Council raised it and several units have already begun addressing it, for instance SMLR. The question is how to distribute activities within a unit in a way that everyone in the unit will feel they are contributing fairly. If we performed such an analysis in the course of the preparation of our July 2009 budget cut, would this help make the mandated decisions? Rutgers units have no uniform model of how to do this.
Many ARL libraries have stated they see no prospect for the restoration of budget cuts within the next 3-5 years. Cooperative collection development will escalate; for instance, California is already sharing selectors across campuses. RAPID is working well for Rutgers document delivery. It appears likely that collection development decisions will increasingly be shared, for instance within PALCI. This will have implications for workload. Gaunt will keep us posted. Please talk to colleagues at ALA about what is going on at other institutions and what shared responsibilities have emerged.
The future RUL infrastructure may generate revenue streams if applied across the state, and we must factor the return on investment into our analysis.
Boyle has hired an assessment assistant, Theresa Kirby. They are currently looking at circulation and access. There is a return on investment study at Illinois sponsored by Reed Elsevier the purports to correlate the use of the Libraries' electronic resources with grant revenue, but some have argued that the methodology is "not compelling." E-Reserves is an area meriting study. Valeda Dent Goodman has sponsored a web assessment project in consultation with SCILS, and an anthropological study is in the offing. We should explore better ways to gather "suggestion box" information, and look at revenue enhancements. One possibility is an increase in charges for community borrower cards, and fines.
Boyle distributed a handout, Toward User-Centered Assessment. There are various alternative forms of assessment: home grown vs consortial; sweat of brow vs purchase; survey vs other methods. LibQual has strengths, but for our purposes it was not statistically valid. Many of our users found it difficult to complete. We must determine at the beginning of any assessment effort: What is it we want to know?
Boyle distributed another handout, Assessment Jumpstart Tools. It is composed from http://libraryassessment.org/, sponsored by the ARL, University of Virginia, and University of Washington. We will be examining it to see which of the methods outlined here are appropriate for us. Surveys might not be appropriate for us. For anything we do, there should be a commitment to follow up on it, and continuous assessment of the validity of our follow-up. Do we need group studies, and is there the danger of steering or prompting the responses? Several members of P&CC agreed that we should engage our student workers more, but it is not clear who should judge whether this is a valid idea and whether our methodology is appropriate. The committee also discussed the fact that there was minimal follow-up from LibQual aside from issues of the website and facilities. It was hard to know how to analyze LibQual and follow up.
Postponed for next month.
a. The Library Advisory Committee (LAC) supported the idea of a scholarly communication forum. A meeting of Gaunt, Sewell, Boyle, and Niessen came up with a plan for a half-day symposium, which Gaunt then presented to the LAC. The committee agreed, changing the proposed title slightly and offering some ideas of speakers to invite. It liked the idea of a half-day conference and the idea of broad collaboration with the Senate, faculty councils, and undergraduate teaching. The list of invitees will be refined. The LAC was very interested in ways of measuring scholarship, e.g. by impact and other means, and thought a significant outcome would be for VP Furmanski to ask academic departments to redefine how they assess scholarship for promotion and tenure decisions. Another potential outcome would be a Rutgers statement, perhaps by the Senate, in favor of faculty output in OA publications. LAC was very interested in authors' rights, concerned with the notion that OA had a negative image, meaning lack of peer review, and favors change from the top. VP Pazzani argued that the PRC has often been more open to alternative publishing than individual academic departments have been.
b. PALINET and SOLINET have agreed to merge; they will go to their members with a plan to implement this. Gaunt, who is a member of the PALINET board, thinks it is a good idea. There will be a vote on the proposal in early January, and possibly an announcement in late January or early February..
Jim Niessen, Faculty Secretary