Minutes of September 24, 1998 Meeting [SACOPS]

Boyle (Chair), Borisovets (Recorder), Beede, Calhoun, Fabiano (for Caparros), Gardner, Goodman, Montanaro, Page, Scholz-Crane, Tate
Beck, Cassel, Frusciano

I. AUL/PSC Report (Boyle)

A. The "Explore, Discover, Learn," brochure, a basic directory of Rutgers libraries and services, is being distributed to Circulation Desk contacts. There is one known error: the Institute of Jazz Studies address is incorrect.

B. The Extended Services Task Force met on September 23d. They are going to begin their task by writing profiles of the various student groups that need to be served. They are looking at having something for SACOPS to consider around March.

C. The 2d Rutgers Teaching Conference will take place in New Brunswick on October 2d. Library Faculty are encouraged to attend.

D. The following "SACOPS Statement on Cataloging Decisions" was submitted and discussed at the last Cabinet meeting:

"To accomplish our long-range plan for the Rutgers Digital Library Initiative, we intend to create electronic records for all items existing in the Rutgers collections. In this process, every opportunity to build the bibliographic database must be taken. When an item without an online record circulates, it should be forwarded for full MARC cataloging. When workflows for managing the collections are developed, they should include whenever possible an opportunity for manually cataloged or uncataloged items to proceed to cataloging."

This statement was supported by Cabinet, with the caveat that procedures should not be in conflict with the large recon projects.

E. As a result of our discussions at the last SACOPS meeting, Jeanne Boyle met with Harriette Hemmasi and Marianne Gaunt about the Sage Library. Sage does have a separate online catalog with it's own url. Marianne will meet with the Director of Sage; we may consider having a separate link to the Sage records on the Catalogs page, and exclude their records from IRIS. Rutgers users do make up a large portion of the Sage patron file.

F. Douglass Renaissance: Will be discussed at a SACOPS meeting when one or more of the principals involved can attend.

G. VALE/The N.J. Virtual University
  1. An online catalog of distance education courses is to be up by the end of December.
  2. We hope to have the VALE databases up by the early part of November.

II. Systems / LIS Updates

A. VALE (Montanaro): The servers have not yet arrived; to stay on schedule we may have to use our existing server.

B. Reports (Montanaro): Using the Sirsi REPORTS function effectively requires solid understanding of the database. The Reports Committee is working on instructions and training initiatives.

C. Authentication (Montanaro): Systems is working on establishing a procedure for authentication of remote database users who are not dialing directly into Rutgers. Users will be asked for their University password at the point at which they attempt to access the databases. It is hoped that procedures will be in place within the month.

D. IRIS (Scholz-Crane):
  1. Buttons: Have changed selection buttons on the SEARCH screen to red; hope will stand out more. PAC will be looking at the issue of there being no bottom buttons in this version of SIRSI; also need to address the problem that the ILL button stands out more than the REQUEST button, patrons are filling out the wrong form.
  2. BNA Record Displays: About 130-240 BNA approval records are being loaded into IRIS each week. About 10% of these will be rejected by selectors; items requested by users through RRS are automatically selected.

SACOPS Recommendations:

Library:  TSB.
Copy:      1

Once a final decision is made, there should be a short explanations of these records published in the AGENDA.

PAC will also be discussing the issues associated with the long CONTENTS notes in the BNA records.

E. Patron Files (J. Gardner):

  1. The first data tape load with the Registrar's data has been completed. There are some problems; there are cases of odd expiration dates and some graduate students have been given undergraduate statuses.
  2. A report was run that indicated that there were over 90,000 users in the database, about twice the number expected. The reason for this is not clear.

III. Middle States Report (Boyle)

On the whole, the Middle States comments on the Libraries were positive. They did voice concern about the need for collection support and for recon. There were also special concerns noted about the Robeson Library.

IV. Journal Cancellations /Impact on Public Services: Discussion

A large number of print journals are likely to be canceled, with subsequent increased reliance on our electronic journals collections.


Accessibility: Our workstation usage is frequently at maximum capacity. There is a need for more access points; in some locations it may be necessary to set time limits; time limits require policing.

Printers: Most library locations do not currently have printers available; users attempting to read articles on screen tie up workstations. If printing were available, we would have to be prepared at service points to deal with technical questions.


  1. Apply for some of the student computing fee monies to pay for printers/network printing.
  2. Have printers with coin boxes in the Libraries; students would still be able to print free from the Micro Labs.
  3. Have written instructions available for both users and staff.

Serial Records: Many IRIS Serial records are extremely long and confusing. The extremely long urls for e-journal links are incomprehensible to/missed by users.

Recommendation: Mask url; set hyperlink text as: "Click here to access journal."

Holdings: No holdings are given for RU-ONLINE; the only way to find out if an article is available electronically is to follow the links to the issue/article level.

Suggestion: Provide holdings statement for e-journals indicating when full-text begins.

Resource Sharing: Some providers, such as IDEAL, specifically prohibit the use of their resources for ILL.

Other Questions: Who reviews the decisions to add specific urls to serial records? Is there a contractual commitment on the part of UMI and other online providers not to drop titles? Can we make any real collection development decisions without such a commitment? Who's going to keep track?

It was recommended that Lida Sak be invited to PAC to discuss serial issues.

V. ERC/WAC (Boyle)

Jeanne Boyle has had discussions with and concerning the Electronic Resources Committee and the Web Advisory Committee. The latter group in particular has lost a lot of members and needs to be reinvigorated; the recent arrival of the new Webmaster, Sam McDonald, is also impetus for reinvention of the committee. The ERC has been concentrating on instructional technologies; the group might be refocused to concentrate on program issues.

VI. SACOPS' Long Range Planning Charges: Discussion

  1. "Create electronic records for all items existing in Rutgers collections." TAS is already working on this.
  2. "Provide information services electronically to remote users." In Progress: Extended Library Services Task Force; Ask a Librarian.
  3. "Work with Rutgers faculty, design instructional programs for students that incorporate information literacy to advance undergraduate learning goals." To be referred to revamped Instructional Committee. Possible discussion areas: Effectiveness of current first-year orientation programs; the need to define goals and principles prior to approaching teaching faculty; credit classes; longitudinal study of program outcomes; collaborative teaching of scope/methods classes; links between departmental and library resources/pages.
  4. "Develop programs in collaboration with TEC, RUCS, OTR, and other relevant groups for faculty use of instructional technology and multi-media services."
  5. "Design and implement electronic navigators and interactive instructional programs."


  1. Set a new committee to look at issues; include someone from Continuing Ed and a Douglass Renaissance member.
  2. Set up some small focus groups with faculty; attempt to identify why some resist the use of instructional technologies.
  3. "Implement user-initiated services, such a self-checkout of library materials, and journal article and interlibrary loan requests."
  4. Article and ILL request module implemented. Process to be used as model for future implementations: Participation of both librarians and staff at developmental policy and workflow stages vital for success; use of test groups.
  5. Services to be looked at in future: Self-checkouts; User-initiated requests in RLIN.
  6. "Expand and refine human resources development program."


  1. Some staff still report not being permitted to participate in development programs/workshops, etc.
  2. There is no financial support for staff participation in non-inhouse programs.
  3. SCILS will no longer waive the fee for Professional Development seminars.

VII. Annex Report: Discussion postponed.

Next Meeting: October 22d, in Camden.
November Meeting: Wednesday, November 18, in Newark. (Tentative)

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