Minutes of Thursday, May 23, 2002 Meeting
- Gary Golden (guest), John Maxymuk, Judy Gardner, Rebecca
Gardner, Jeanne Boyle(chair), Grace Agnew, Tom Frusciano, Marty
Kesselman, Natalie Borisovets, Leslie Murtha, Myoung Wilson (recorder)
- Robert Sewell, Ann Montanaro
1. AUL report. Jeanne Boyle
- The workshop on research guides still has a few seats available. It is
scheduled for May 31st and Au will be the facilitator.
- The Budget scenario changes daily and nothing is firm to date. Among
many budget- related issues, G. Agnew emphasized the system-wide focus
on the PC distribution and redistribution process so that scarce
resources can be put to the best, most effective, and equitable usage.
She has charged the PC Working Group to address these issues.
2. Camden report. Gary Golden
Shared the sad news that Theo Hayne’s father passed away last week.
Theo will be out of town for a while. Members expressed their sympathy.
- Robeson Library has lost one third of its staff to the Early Retirement
plan. Three open lines are currently frozen. Gary is seriously
considering a major restructuring in affected areas. He also noted that
the retirement of experienced staff leaves a huge vacuum of knowledge
that is not necessarily written down in any manual or procedure.
- Camden campus commencement exercises will be held tomorrow in front of
the Robeson Library. The library will be closed.
- Noted that all renovation funds are frozen; some shifting and
re-arrangements of seating are planned. Also recognized that under the
current budget contingencies, other campus needs may take priority.
- Updated on several new developments in downtown Camden near the campus
and how they might affect future library use and services.
3. Live reference report. Natlie Borisovets
- A report summarizing the pilot project was distributed ahead of the
meeting. N. Borisovets noted that the pilot project was to provide and
test a basic “chat reference” service. The facts were:
- The pilot project was conducted during a 6 week period at the tail end
of the spring semester (April 8th through May 17th); it was held Monday
through Friday from 1-4 p.m.; ten librarians participated in the
process; 110 attempts (sessions) were initiated by users but only 67
sessions were successful, an average of two to three questions per hour;
an average session lasted about 6 ½ minutes. 40% responded positively
to exit interviews, and the total cost of using this software package
(LiveAssistance) was $250.00. Participating librarians met to discuss
and share the experience.
- Inadequate workstation capacity (particularly those lacking sound
cards) was a significant hindrance in addition to slow network
connections. G. Agnew responded that minimum requirements for
workstations be shared in advance of such pilot project. Strengths
(e.g., availability of session transcripts makes referrals possible) and
weaknesses (e.g., does not allow users look at what the librarian is
doing on the other end) of this particular software product were
- While exit interviews indicate a high level of user satisfaction,
participating librarians expressed frustration due to inadequate
equipment, lack of time to process the query properly, etc.
- All agreed that live reference should be viewed primarily as a means of
getting users started, with follow up email communication if necessary.
N. Borisovets noted that while it was not a unanimous decision, the
participating librarians recommended the continuation of the pilot
through the summer and the fall semester (2002) using the same software
package but offering services at different time slots (e.g.7-10 pm
Sunday through Thursday). During this second phase of the pilot, the
group will also test the additional features of the software that were
not tried out in the first phase.
- It was also noted that, unlike the public library environment,
reference queries from academic library remote users are very
localized. Staffing models were also briefly discussed, noting that in
some situations, part time librarians are hired either on an hourly
basis or as paid based on the number of questions answered.
- PIN number questions (either via email reference service or live
reference service) are to be referred to the online form or to an Access
service phone number. Further discussion regarding how to handle future
PIN questions will follow.
- The Council endorsed the continuation of the pilot project as
recommended. J. Boyle will seek an additional funding of $ 1300.00 to
continue the project through the fall semester, 2002.
4. Webpage for Faculty. Jeanne Boyle, Marty Kesselman, Leslie Murtha
- J. Boyle, M. Kesselman and L. Murtha formed a workgroup to develop a
faculty tool kit for online instruction. It was suggested that the
working title be revised as “Using libraries for online instruction” for
clarity. The purpose is to develop a tool kit for teaching faculty who
are using courseware, blackboards, and web pages, and to encourage them
to integrate the library generated e-course materials such as
e-reserves, research guides, selector’s email address, etc. into their
e-syllabi. The group will work on draft report.
- L. Murtha noted that the development of the new page will make it
necessary to revamp the existing page for Off-Campus Support.
5. System-wide Hardware/Software Needs. Jeanne Boyle
- In preparation for the next year’s budget request, J. Boyle asked the
Council to review and prioritize system wide hardware and software
- J. Boyle reviewed information on PSC Funding Requests Review,
1999-2002. While funding requests for such items as off-campus library
services are still outstanding, funding in Reinvest in Rutgers enabled
the library to successfully implement e-reserves, networked printing,
and most recently, web documents delivery. Many other products and
services (such as Metalib/SFX for cross database searching/linking and
PALCI for direct borrowing) are still outstanding or under
consideration. Public Services and Communications Equipment Leasing
Fund (January, 2001) was also reviewed.
- G. Agnew noted that to be effective self-check out needs the new
security gates recommended in the preservation report; the value of
end-user scanning in certain environments (e.g. non-circulating
collection) was also discussed, but not considered as a primary service
area. A portable projector would also be valuable for presentations and
instructions. A task force that can study the new capabilities beyond
scanning per se should be considered.
- The need for the acquisition of developmental software for
instructional purposes also brought in wider discussion on ProCite vis a
vis EndNote. The implementation of Z39.50 was considered as high
priority. G Agnew also noted the lack of technical expertise in RUL
(e.g., a digital programmer who can work with overall RUL data
architecture will be a critical position).
6. RLG/OCLC Review J. Boyle
- A joint work group of Public/Technical Services Councils is being
chaired by Judy Gardner and Rhonda Marker. Myoung Wilson was appointed
as a third member. The joint committee will study and investigate
overall business plans/vision of these two bibliographic utilities. J.
Boyle has also appointed a task force for Reference and Interlibrary
Loan Uses; the members for this group are T. Frusciano, H. Hoffman, J.
Niessen, T. Kuchi, J. Gardner and N. Borisovets. One or two staff
members will also be added.
- G. Agnew noted that these two utilities are in a state of flux planning
their own futures. It is critical that RUL understands these new
developments and their implications for the future of RUL. An RLG
representative will be on campus in the week of July 15th.
7. Web Document Delivery (WDD). Judy Gardner
- Reinvest in Rutgers fund enabled the library to purchase Ariel 3.01 and
scanners. The WDD working group tested the new service with staff and
ILL users and incorporated their inputs and comments.
- The desktop delivery of articles in PDF form will commence in July.
Training will take place on each campus. J. Gardner reviewed FAQs and
other language that will be introduced with the WDD. The desktop
delivered ILL articles will remain for 21 days after the initial email
notification. Users must understand that the email address must be an
official university email address—if they wish to use an alternate
address, it is up to the individuals to go into the official email
address book and change it.
8. Uncataloged Items—N. Borisovets
- N. Borisovets urged that RUL consider cataloging the American
Periodicals Series set (on microfilm) and the PCI Full Text (Periodical
Contents Index) journals, many of which date back to earlier issues.
Considering the current budget reductions, we should focus on making
existing collections accessible via the online catalog. M. Wilson
shared the upcoming faculty meeting agenda item from the Planning
Committee where the recon project will be considered as a priority task.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:50 pm.