The most important topic of discussion for our group was the elimination of paper reserves for articles. This is in keeping with the overall push for digital delivery of information in RUL, as well as in recognition of the continuing need to decentralize service in light of expected travel difficulties across the NB area with Rt 18 construction. All NBL reserve staff were notified of the change last week, and have begun processing fall04 records under the new protocol. Flexibility is urged above all else, as this is a transitional semester. Communication with faculty members is key, explaining the change and working with them to allay fears of image quality, file size, access, etc. I have distributed a draft of the text that I would prefer you to use when communicating this change to faculty. Also have on hand the user's guide to E Reserves to hand out to faculty and students. Judy is updating the online and print brochures, as well as request forms. Please keep me posted on any major changes. Remember, the only call number in the brief records field for articles is now "ELECTRONIC".
Jeanne Boyle was a guest at the E Reserve meeting, and reviewed copy write ramification on Eres. To sum up, the practices we have in place now do indeed assure, according to RUL administration and RU legal council, that we are in compliance under "fair use" guidelines. It was confirmed that our practice of removing all files at the end of the semester from all servers and returning material to teaching faculty is essential. In regards to archiving paper [and electronic] "originals" submitted by faculty, we are keeping these behind the scenes as a backup for the E file, but do return or discard these at semester's end. Do not save files to C:/ drive, I urge you to use the U:/ drive as the official back up for electronic files. We will use the rule of thumb of approximately 50% of a book for presentation as a copy. Part of the interpretation of fair use is that the intellectual "heart" of the material is able to be used. In other words, a few selected chapters of a book, incoherent outside of the whole, is recognized as not viable for teaching purposes.When in doubt, ask. There was confirmation that we may use the same brief record for consecutive semesters without recreating the brief title. Be sure to use proper expiration dates to avoid deletion.
A discussion about the role of Image Services in reserves confirmed a number of things. First, Image Services will continue to the primary processing point for Ereserves from SMLR and the Art Library as well as for overflow from other units. Daryl at Image Services will also be the principle contact for managing distribution and installation of Adobe and other software related to Eres. You can contact him and CC Roger on requests, questions on software versions, etc. Most of you have already seen a survey Daryl has circulated seeking to inventory software used for scanning across NBL.
It was stressed that we must limit and control FTP access codes. Daryl and Image services, working with Dave Hoover at systems, will manage the distribution of FTP privileges and logins. They will also delete old access codes no longer used. This is a connection to a secure server and security cannot be taken lightly for these files.
We reviewed our long standing limit of 1.4mb per file. At the time the service was originated, we had used that as a rule of thumb so that one file would fit on a floppy disk. Furthermore we maintained relatively small files in keeping with the prevalence of slower 56K dialup modems. Now, the primary means of downloading/storing files in a CD-Burner. Furthermore, there is far more widespread use of broad band connections on campus and in homes. However, the 1.4mb has not led to significantly unwieldy numbers of file-sections having to be created. We will continue to monitor this restriction. It is possible that we could design a use survey this academic year that would help determine the need to keep individual files small. Larger files would mean less work in scanning, as well as better resolution with higher DPI. It is noted that at the inception of the service staff were scanning at 120DPI and this has risen to 200- 400DPI.
Significant study is required on how best to use the reserve module to display E Books. There have been few request so far to use this material type. Limitations arise from the fact that many e book purchases place a limit on simultaneous users, indicating in effect the item is "checked out" when in use. This does not fit neatly into the concept of reserves, where multiple users are in fact able to view files simultaneously. Please contact Roger with instances where faculty are seeking to use these. The question has arisen when faculty request an E book for purchase. We will need to work with the subject selectors to make sure acquisition of these items falls within the desired collection development plan for that area.
The group reviewed reserve use statistics distributed at the Eres meeting and commented on trends and their implications for the future of the service.
The major agenda items that remain for discussion are file types, external linkage, and brief record formatting. We discussed the syllabus format, and decided that its continued use for music files is essential and that it had been a success in that area. We will continue to consider its wider implementation as articles are present only in electronic format, and we begin to make clear to professors the need to present organized reading lists ahead of time. Judy highlighted that we will continue to offer PDF as the principle file format, converting other formats when required and when possible. However, it was also noted that our policy states we will link to subscribed databases and even external sites (professor's pages, department pages) when asked to do so. The group will work on some sort of disclaimer statement to recognize RUL PCs may not have the software required to use files posted on professor's pages (MSOffice files, etc.). Furthermore, linking to subscribed databases/resources may not always work, as these sessions are timed and we have the same question of providing a "stable URL" as in the see also records. When in doubt, for now please print the article and scan as PDF (or convert online). We will need to explore this and set up a standard set of directions.
There was mention of an RUL system wide meeting being called before/early fall semester to specifically focus on file types, linkage and brief records formats. Stay tuned!
The "stable URL" process is working, with a few adjustments to the process due to the new release. Dean and Zohreh will finalize directions for distribution some time in the next few weeks.
Staff are using the Access Database for requests and reporting it very useful. Rita incorporated several suggestions from staff to better describe copy/volume information. We decided to continue using the estimated cost as provided by Amazon/BNP. If I can determine the standard discount off retail RUL is receiving from our book seller, I will ask you to apply that calculation when entering records in the database. More to come.
Dean briefly reported on the challenges inherent in beta testing 2004 version. Toolbars and icons are totally different, and represent a significant learning curve. More to follow on this at our next meeting.
Next Meeting - Wednesday September 15th