The meeting came to order at 9:35am.
The agenda was adopted.
Womack reported on his visit to the University Senate's Research, Graduate and Professional Education Committee (RGPEC), where he presented on the Libraries' research services report. RGPEC members were interested and supportive of the Libraries' efforts and looked forward to future collaborations. Also, the retired library faculty member who had expressed interest in joining the faculty blog site has been added. There are no technical issues with adding retired Libraries faculty to the faculty blog site. The blog administrators will continue to notify the faculty coordinator of future requests for access.
Womack introduced the plan for the second phase of the Librarians of 2023 survey. It will be a brief survey. After the survey, all the anonymous comments along with survey results will be released. The poll will be split into three parts, each on a different set of qualities and skills (personal qualities, communication skills, and specialized skills). There will be two ways of ranking the skills and qualities. In the part on specialized skills, respondents will also be asked to estimate how many people need to have a particular skill. The group endorsed the plan.
There are three vacant faculty lines in the RUL, two in RIS and one in TAS. The group reviewed the draft job descriptions of these three positions.
The Undergraduate Experience Librarian line replaces the retiring liaison to SC&I. The liaison responsibility of the newly structured position will be limited to the Department of Communication only (the other SC&I programs are covered by existing RIS selectors). Its main responsibility will be to meet the needs of undergraduates in New Brunswick (e.g. Aresty Program), including engaging the technological aspects of serving undergraduates. During the discussion, some changes were suggested for the job description:
The Scholarly Resources and Research Data Metadata Librarian position has been converted from an NTT to a tenure-track position. The draft job description aimed for a balance between cataloging continuing resources (serials) and research data. The incumbent must have experience of cataloging serials. During the discussion, the group recognized that cataloging continuing resources (including both paid and open access resources) is a challenging area that will keep growing, and we need a dedicated person for it. Research data covers a wide range of specialized materials and would benefit from its own dedicated staff. The group suggested focusing this position on continuing resources, adding responsibilities for cataloging open access journals, and removing references to ETDs and research data in the job description. The group questioned whether this APP might be describing two positions rather than one that seems quite complex.
The Humanities Librarian position replaces the retiring Humanities Librarian line. The incumbent is expected to play a leading role in digital humanities and also have liaison responsibilities to several smaller humanities departments in New Brunswick. After reviewing the position description, the group suggested that the primary responsibility of the position should be in digital humanities. Because liaison responsibilities can be assigned based on the incumbent's disciplinary background, there may not be a need to require specific language skills or disciplinary background in the job description. There are a fair number of humanities Ph.D.s who have worked on digital projects on CLIR or ACLS postdoc fellowships, and some of them may be interested in pursuing a library career. In order to attract this group of potential applicants, can we waive the MLS degree? Gaunt responded that we can use the PhD as the terminal degree requirement. Even though we would lose the MLS degree, as a tradeoff this group of potential candidates can bring in digital humanities expertise, in addition to their subject background.
Womack and Weber will bring the feedback to M. Just and G. Agnew. Some minor inconsistencies between the job descriptions were also noted by the group.
Gaunt reported on the following issues:
The Librarians of 2023 poll was approved for distribution. The committee gave constructive feedback regarding three proposed faculty lines.
There will not be a June meeting unless it is absolutely necessary. The agenda for the June faculty meeting agenda will be discussed at the May meeting. Womack called for May meeting agenda items.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:45am.
Submitted by Tao Yang, Faculty Secretary