We discussed the summer brief record and control record removal. Individual reports for each unit are available on the TSB T drive, common, reserves. We also discussed the remaining brief records (94) from spring/summer reserves that were retained due either to charges or remaining fines. We decided to follow suit with the spring semester's amnesty on fines, and once I recieve a report detailing this item with fines I will distribute for removal with instructions.
The group discussed changes in the RUL homepage structure, where course reserves are listed under "services" and the links include reserve request forms, facluty guide, eres guide, link to IRIS reserve desk and media pages. It was agreed this service as a more coherent presentation to reserve using faculty and students.
As we are in our busiest time right now it was indicated that if backlog develops, communicate with the FG coordinator to arrange for possible assistance. In addition, it is a standing policy that image services will handle overflow. I would send a "heads up" email to ereserve@rci (and CC'd to me) that articles are being directed to them.
The group discussed standardization of capitalization in professor's names and course titles. Standardized capitalization of professor's names is hindered by the fact that some professor's will have data loaded records (all CAPS) and others will have been registered at CIRC desks with only 1st letters in caps. We do, however, create a significant number of patron records for professors with reserves, and to make a trend toward uniformities sake, we decided to enter all course names in ALL CAPS. This may be a quick clean up project for a voucher student later in the semester, taking a list of courses on reserve and editing as needed to contain uniform capitalization. A concern was issued whether we should continue to utilize course names as listed in the online catalog. We decided yes even when these contain severe abbreviations. Patrons searching for reserves can still match on professor's name and/or course number.
A reminder was forwarded that the course number formats follow the convention of ##:###:###:##(LIBRARY). Course numbers should also match information displayed in the only course catalog.
We discussed the possibility of moving the 20 title limit upward. This limit was imposed years ago when reserves had major considerations of space (for both books and photocopies) and for the time it took to process reserve items. Now that we are often encountering courses that opt for electronic only reserves, and often get the files submitted in an electronic format (burned on a CD or emailed), processing time is lowered, and space considerations on shelves and file drawers is lessened. The elimination of multiple copies has also significantly decreased processing time and shelf space. In addition, it is becoming more difficult to enforce the 20 title limit as it is perceived as being nowhere near the requirements of the professors teaching those classes. Once the 20 title limit is breached, usually the floodgates open and we see requests for 40 or more items. Asking professors to divide material into 'halves' of the semester with the first half coming off before adding more material meets with limited success because professors often want the material on reserve and available throughout the term.
The group was in favor of raising the 20 title limit. Considering that if we had a reasonable limit that could actually be enforced, we could keep numbers of items within processing time. A two tiered limit was suggested: for courses that are eres only, and the items are submitted in an electronic format; 40 titles. For classes with a mixture of books and photocopied material; 30 titles.
I will need to submit this as a recommendation before the text of faculty guidelines can be changed, and before we can start utilizing this when communicating with faculty members. So please hold until confirmed.
Likewise we discussed a revision of the due dates for reserve submissions from faculty members. Currently, Spring Reserves are due November 15th, Summer Reserves May 1st, and Fall Reserves July 1st. It was felt that the spring and summer dates, being 8 weeks or more before the start of the semester, are not workable. We almost never get reserve submissions by these deadlines, and faculty members are not even thinking about the following semester as they prepare their last lectures and get ready for finals. The group did confirm the importance of maintaining a deadline though, as a date to point to when faculty members need a reminder that reserves do indeed require processing time. The line in the faculty guide that is most crucial will remain:
"Requests submitted during the first weeks of classes may be delayed due to large volume of reserve processing at the beginning of each semester."
The group suggested moving the fall deadline to August 1st, and the spring deadline to December 1st. It was felt that these dates represent a more realistic view of when faculty members could be expected to provide organized, complete course reserve requests for the following semester.
Again, this will have to be submitted as a recommendation before any alterations to documentation or communications can be taken. Please hold off on quoting this until confirmed as policy.
As part of this discussion, it was pointed out that professors often do not know of these deadlines. It is crucial that when handling incoming reserve lists, staff engage whenever possible in a dialogue with the instructor, explaining title limits and due dates. Hand out the 'green sheet' faculty guide. Furthermore, we have an established format for upcoming term reminders, the text of which will have to be edited if we make changes to title limits and deadlines. There may be an option of directing a message to all RU fac/staff through the net id's. This will have to be investigated.
See-also records procedures were distributed. Please consider this a "working document" and submit any critiques that you may have. I will look to review it one more time before including this on any official reserve documentation online.
Our group reviewed the statistics gathering page for paper/eres use. We clarified some terms and remobed one category that was not tracked through last year. We discussed the decreased number of reserves in the science brances. Speculation is that faculty members are adopting technology that they manage on their own to make available supplementary course readings, such as e-companion, blackboard, WebCT, etc.. I will investigate on the Busch campus and would appreciate any comments and ideas this trend. The consensus in the group indicates we should be able to make a strong case for a paperless service at the end of this academic year.
All reserve documentation is being updated on the staff resources page (RUL). At the NBL level, documentation is being prepared for the new Access Services Home Page, Reserve FG documentation session. I may ask that subgroup that met with me earlier in the summer to get together once more when workflow permits to review the planned documentation section.
Reports are running under a new format, including LC catalogued material. Please train closing staff as needed. Please backdate discharges when handling. Let me know if questions or problems arise.
Next Meeting - Wednesday, October 15th 2:30-4:30 pm.