Jeanne Boyle reported on further discussions concerning the "myRutgers" portal and problems regarding verification of patrons requesting library services. Dave Hoover has done some work with Bill Thompson on the problem. Jeanne has contacted Bill Thompson, Joe Percoco, and Matt Weismantel and has conveyed the library's position and concerns and stated our willingness to become active participants at a minimal level even before we are able to adopt Net ID verification.
Susan Beck and Jeanne Boyle will be attending the Reference and Access Service Conference at Columbia University, entitled, "Reference Librarian: Technologist or Scholar?" on March 12th. There is room for other RUL faculty and staff to attend.
At the recent VALE Conference, Steven Abram gave an interesting presentation on future behavior to which reference librarians will need to respond. His presentation is available at: http://www.micromedia.ca/presentations/VALE2.pdf
A discussion ensued concerning INFOLINK. Jeanne and Ann Montanaro have been serving on the INFOLINK Search Interface Task Force, which was charged to select portal/cross-searching software and that INFOLINK libraries could purchase at a substantial discount. In view of this approach, the State Library has acquired Autographic's Agent for use with "Jersey Clicks." Grace Agnew informed the group about efforts involving "meta-searching." She has been invited to join the NISO committee that is developing protocols and standards.
Judy Gardner reported on recent developments concerning Interlibrary Loan services at RUL. These new developments are:
a. New "Online Lending Form" that allows libraries to request items from RUL directly online.
b. A statement concerning no charges for articles requested through PALCI has been added.
Judy handed out a statistics sheet from the ARL ILL/DD Services Study that provided comparative costs, fill rates, and turnaround time for RUL in 1991, 1996, and 2002. Unit costs for mediated borrowing and lending have decreased; the fill rate for mediated borrowing and lending has remained stable, and the turnaround time for both mediated and user-initiated borrowing and lending has been reduced. All these statistics affirm that RUL is moving in the right direction for ILL activities.
Four questions and links to available institutional resources were introduced to direct the Council's discussion of RUL's "Undergraduate Service Review:"
a. Who are our undergraduates? (the group was directed to the Rutgers Fact Book at: http://oirap.rutgers.edu/instchar/factbook.html)
b. What services and resources do we currently offer them? (referred to PSPMs 1, 2, 3, 4, & 6 at: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/about/pub_serv_policies.shtml
c. Are there any barriers to their use? What are they and what can we do about them?
d. What additional services and resources are needed?
The discussion began by identifying the purpose of this review and what accomplishments are desired. Jeanne pointed out that we selected this review as a goal at a time earlier this year when budget problems were leading to cancellation of databases thought to be important to undergraduates.
Grace brought up the poor signage around the libraries and suggested that as an immediate area for improvement to undergraduate service. All agreed that this was an important issue. Judy reminded the group that signage was dictated by the university, not the libraries.
The Council turned to a lively and engaging discussion of the initial questions posed in the agenda:
RUL Demographics: The most significant feature of the current student population at Rutgers is its diversity, especially in Newark and New Brunswick. The age of undergraduate student remains between 18 and 24. While full-time students have increased, part-time students at Rutgers have decreased.
Current and longstanding problems involving undergraduate students were identified. One of the most problematic is the lack of student advising within the undergraduate colleges at Rutgers. Natalie pointed out the results of a University Senate study that confirms this problem. One idea that she introduced was to move the Learning Resource Centers into the library or bring the LRC's into closer collaboration with the libraries. This would bring library services directly to students' need for additional instruction.
This led to a discussion of international students, transfer students, and "students at risk." Some suggestions were offered to enhance library services, establishing in helping "students at risk:"
a. Contact undergraduate colleges (assistant and associate deans) to identify problem students.
b. Establish library liaisons with undergraduate colleges; identify where this relationship already exists and where programs can be strengthened.
What services do graduate students receive that undergraduates do not?
Examples of these services include Ingenta document delivery; the ability to book media for class projects; and differences in term loans for borrowing library materials.
The Council agreed that Ingenta was too complex to open up to undergraduate students. It also noted that faculty members can book media on behalf of undergraduate students. Another suggestion was to analyze recall and overdue statistics on undergraduate students. On this latter concern Judy Gardner will solicit the opinion of Access Services staff.
Additional Services and Resources Needed:
Specific titles suggested were the Encyclopedia Britannica, Merriam-Webster or American Heritage Dictionaries, and the World Almanac.
The Council agreed to revisit the ACRL definition of an undergraduate library and assess how RUL meets that definition.
Nothing to report.
The meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m.