1. Ask-A-Librarian Management Software
Natalie demonstrated a management software package developed at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) for their "Ask-a-librarian" activities. The program is a MySQL database and is transformed into HTML for web presence by the use of a PHP script. Consisting of several functional sections, the software offers several key benefits for managing AAL activity, including an administrative function that produces several reports (quantitative and qualitative; response time; service request by users with affiliations). UNO has developed this application and intends to offer it as freeware. Natalie has registered RUL as one of their users and will continue to investigate the system throughout the semester.
2. AAL Report and Q&A New Jersey
Natalie reported on the tremendous increase in AAL activity (+147%) but expressed concern over the 1,089 PIN requests received in September. She would like to see the automation of responses to these requests placed as a priority for systems development. Judy cautioned that there are other, more pressing Access Services issues in need of assistance from Systems, and she believed that only a small number of these PIN requests could be done without human intervention.
Natalie also reported on the first gathering of Q&A New Jersey that she and Jeanne attended. They both concluded that it was not in our best interest to join this enterprise at this time. VALE is looking at the possibility of becoming a "Q" in Q&A NJ. The role would be as an "academic Q" staffed by academic librarians from VALE institutions.
3. AUL Update
Jeanne reported on several developments that are important to public services.
4. Evaluation Questions for Promotion Process
Jeanne distributed copies of a memorandum from Marianne Gaunt and Myoung Wilson requesting that each RUL Council develop questions in their specific area that would be used to assess a candidate's performance "in light of expanded roles in the digital environment." A very lively discussion followed with several concrete examples offered. Council members decided that a small group convened following the meeting to fully develop these questions and circulate them to the Council for reaction.