STAFF RESOURCES

Minutes for June 3, 2005 Meeting

Present:
G. Agnew, S. Bartz, R. Bogan, J. Boyle, E. Calhoun, J. Cassel, L. Chester, K. Denda, H. Dess, M. Fetzer, T. Frusciano, J. Gardner, R. Gardner, M. Gaunt, R. Golon, T. Glynn, S. Harrington, K. Hartman, W. Hemmig, A. Joachim, L. Langschied, R. Marker, K. Mulcahy, L. Mullen, J. Niessen, F. Olin, P. Page, F. Perrone (recorder), P. Piermatti, F. Puniello, J. Shepard, E. Stec, R. Tipton, L. Vazquez, M. Weber, M. Wilson, R. Womack, Y. Zhang
Videoconferenced:
V. Pelote

Executive Summary

1. M. Gaunt led a discussion of staff engagement in decision-making. There was agreement to try to improve communication and information sharing.

2. A revised preamble to the Faculty Bylaws and an extension of voting rights were passed unanimously.

3. A revised Affirmative Action statement for use in job postings was approved unanimously.

M. Gaunt called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m.

1. The agenda was adopted.

2. The minutes of the faculty meeting of March 4, 2005 were approved.

3. Unfinished Business: Staff Engagement in Library Decision-Making

M. Gaunt had meetings with staff members in New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden to better understand RUL staff concerns, which arose in the data collected by Sheila Creth. She reported that although staff members do feel involved in decision-making, at least in respect to serving on committees, they reported a need for better communication and feedback. For instance, some staff members did not know who served on various committees, and asked for earlier distribution of meeting agendas and minutes. Others expressed a wish to attend meetings or have access to electronic mailing lists of committees of which they were not members. Occasional building meetings might help share knowledge of broader issues. Functional groups were considered useful and perhaps could be expanded.

Secondly, M. Gaunt posed the question whether the RUL faculty structure automatically excludes staff. Culture seems to be a more important issue than structure in staff concerns. Staff members feel that faculty members are independent contractors, which does not always move decision-making forward, particularly in the area of digital library development. Better communication and feedback would help bridge the gap between a staff culture of administration and hierarchies, and a faculty culture of independence. Discussion ensued. Some issues are organizational, and some concerns are common to both faculty and staff. Although demands of work have increased, many issues have not changed. Lines of responsibility are blurring, and growing demands are creating tensions. Librarians are traveling more to take advantage of technology-focused learning opportunities. Discussion arose over reporting on travel through written reports, blogs, personal interviews, or brown bag sessions using desktop videoconferencing to allow more people to participate. M. Gaunt has asked the Training and Learning Committee to draw up guidelines for committee best practices. She will ask the Planning and Coordinating Committee to discuss the question of opening faculty meetings to staff members. Staff is not homogenous: some high-level staff members travel as well. The issue of over-communication was raised. An emphasis should be placed on strategic communication: getting the right people the right information at the right time. There are fewer faculty members than there were thirty years ago. Faculty members have multiple responsibilities, so are not always available when needed. Some cultural issues involve misunderstandings over faculty schedules, exacerbated by the difficulty of finding people when needed. Faculty members were encouraged to post schedules and try to keep to these schedules. Many staff members also do their own research, which they should be encouraged to share. In answer to a question, M. Gaunt stated that she did not get an overall impression that staff felt demeaned by the RUL structure. The Planning and Coordinating Committee has been discussing making RUL_EVERYONE a moderated list for open discussion of issues, and creating another list for announcements.

4. New Business

a. Proposed Revision to Bylaws

R. Womack, Chair, Rules of Procedure Committee, introduced changes to the bylaws recommended by the Planning and Coordinating Committee. These changes address two areas. 1) In response to feeling that the existing preamble was not a strong statement and based on an examination of preambles from other institutions, a revised preamble emphasizing what the RUL faculty does, its commitment to academic freedom, and adherence to university regulations, has been created. 2) The Planning and Coordinating Committee recommended extending voting rights at faculty meetings to Librarian IVs and Vs, and also clarified the language regarding invited members. As a friendly amendment, J. Boyle suggested adding intellectual to academic freedom. F. Olin seconded. The change was passed unanimously. The revised statement reads: The University Library Faculty is dedicated to providing outstanding scholarly information resources and services to the University and its stakeholders, to incorporating the best practices of the profession of librarianship, and to fostering innovative scholarly and creative activity. The University Library Faculty is committed to academic and intellectual freedom and acknowledges the responsibilities and obligations inherent in these freedoms. These bylaws provide for the governance of the University Library Faculty and adhere to the applicable provisions of University Regulations, which supersede the bylaws in the event of conflict.

b. Proposed Affirmative Action Statement

Eileen Stec, Chair, Personnel Policy and Affirmative Action Committee (PPAAC), introduced the revised statement. PPAAC wanted the statement to be unique and positive. After a brief discussion, the statement was approved unanimously. The statement reads Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action employer. The Libraries are strongly and actively committed to diversity, and seek candidates who will contribute creatively to the University's multicultural environment.

5. Report of the University Librarian

M. Gaunt reported on several developments from the most recent Association of Research Libraries (ARL) meeting. 1) An ARL sub-committee is discussing criteria for membership and ARL ranking, since current measures do not reflect the digital environment. While continuing to collect traditional data, ARL will eliminate the ranking system, and is examining other ways of measuring library quality. 2) A speaker on copyright and the public domain brought up important points including the "fair use" exception. 3) Steve Jones of the Pew Internet and American Life Project reported differences between student and faculty use and perceptions of the Internet. He discovered that students' primary method of communication is the cell phone. His final report will be released shortly.

Finally, there has been no additional news on the university or library budget. Nothing definite will be known until after June 30.

6. Report of the Faculty Coordinator

The Planning and Coordinating Committee had had a full agenda this year. The committee has addressed issues raised from Sheila Creth's data including workload and committee composition, as well as bylaws, faculty salaries, and mentoring. The committee charged PPAAC to examine the Libraries' Affirmative Action statement used in job postings, and compare RUL beginning salaries to those at peer institutions. The committee recommends that starting salaries for Librarian Vs should meet the NJLA minimum for beginning librarians holding the MLS degree. S. Harrington and R. Tipton have surveyed workload at other institutions. As a way of addressing redundancies, the committee has composed a self-study questionnaire for all committees. After reviewing the report of the Task Force on Diversity, the Planning and Coordinating Committee recommended holding a workshop on mentoring for all librarians. Finally, the committee reviewed and advised on the guidelines for research salons developed by the Scholarly and Professional Activities Committee (SAPAC), and the Faculty Coordinator has reorganized the faculty Web site. J. Cassel thanked committee chairs Eileen Stec (PPAAC), Sara Harrington (SAPAC), and Ryan Womack (Rules of Procedure Committee) for their work this year. She also thanked Deputy Faculty Coordinator Mary Beth Weber, M. Gaunt for providing information, and Sandra Troy and Mary Gerber for administrative support. M. Gaunt thanked J. Cassel for her leadership this year. M. Weber will be Faculty Coordinator as of July 1.

7. Communications: None.

8. Report of Members Serving on University Bodies

The New Brunswick Faculty Council has passed resolutions on scholarly communication, which will be followed up.

9. Reports of Standing Committees

No additions to reports previously disseminated via electronic mail.

10. M. Gaunt adjourned the business meeting at 11:05 a.m.

Open Session for All Library Faculty and Staff

"Rutgers University Libraries Institutional Repository: What is it, Where are we now, and Where are we going with it?" --Grace Agnew, Associate University Librarian for Digital Library Systems

G. Agnew defined the institutional repository as a new collection and service platform for RUL. It provides secure, robust, accessible storage and access to digital resources; centralized access to applications and technologies to support access and use of digital resources; and an enabling platform for digital library collection building. It will support the changing academic environment, RUL's collections and services, and RUL's vision and mission, through strategic collection building; support of faculty teaching, research and administration; and state, national and international collaborations. Initial projects include preserving and making available important RUL collections; SAKAI integration; support for research projects and collections in areas of strategic importance; and continuing existing commitments that are viable. The repository uses Fedora Repository Architecture developed by Cornell and the University of Virginia. It should be ready to go live in late December.

Respectfully submitted,
Fernanda Perrone
Faculty Secretary



 
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