Virtual reference service is moving forward and the committee has had a couple of meetings. NBLF voted to support "chat" reference.
The Second Life project is moving ahead. The project members conceive of it as r & d/trial and error.
The World Language Task Force shared a document, a Welcome to the Rutgers University Libraries, which it plans to have translated in several and then many languages, linked to the RUL homepage. The WLTF strategy for facilitating the translation process is to use the RUL web to solicit volunteers who'll work on specific languages in two-person teams consisting of a translator and a reader (at least one of whom is a native speaker). Translating the most commonly spoken non-English languages in New Jersey will make up the top priority of the project, to be followed by other languages, where possible. The WLTF has considered the NJ census data and the languages taught at the University. The PSC expressed enthusiastic support for this project, and offered several suggestions for the task force to consider: Data on languages spoken at Rutgers gathered by University Research [ORSP?] might help to make the Welcome appealing to a wider number of students, and shortening the Welcome might heighten its impact.
Accompanied by Sam McDonald and Choong Hoong Liew, representing a collaborative project being undertaken by the SCC and the Web Master, Ron Jantz discussed rationalizing a process for updating the RUL Web site, and changing our current concept for the concept of a release structure. Among the immediate changes discussed were a content management system (in Wiki format), which would enable librarians to control content in their areas without the assistance of the Web Master, an RSS feed, and various individuated portals, which would give Library users access to information by library, collection, etc. After a lively presentation, the Council expressed its support, congratulating Jantz and the SCC for re-visioning the RUL Web site, and authorizing Release 1 to include:
Database support for Library indexes
CMS for research guides
Personnel directory with customization
There was a lively discussion on the statistics memo sent to PSC by Jeanne Boyle. Many members felt they could not make judgments based statistics which some feel have been kept in an uneven manner; we have a tendency to change our statistical collecting methodology and so that it can be difficult to compare one year to another. It was felt that the group could only at this point give anecdotal reasons why there were fluctuations. One example given of the difficulty of relying on statistics is the use of reference sampling days when some of them fall when libraries are closed or on a low use day like a Saturday.
Notwithstanding, some thoughts expressed on why there are fluctuations in statistics or how to study them are:
The group felt that it would be best to move forward and think what information do we really need to collect and to build a culture of assessment.
It was felt that this discussion could be continued by email.
Judy shared with us progress on this new service.