Minutes of July 31, 2008 Meeting
- S. Bartz (Recorder), E. Berger, N. Borisovets, J. Cassel (Chair), M. Defino, V. Dent, R. Gardner (for K. Au), T. Glynn, M. Kesselman, T. Kuchi, F. Puniello, C. Radick, C. Sterback, W. Ren, R. Womack.
- S. Beck, S. Harrington, J. Gardner
1. Approval of Agenda
The agenda was approved as distributed.
2. Chair’s Report
a. Chris Sterback is the Systems representative to USC until a new head of Systems is hired.
b. Web pages for the Council have been added to the Staff Resources pages under Public Services. The Council charge,
minutes, membership with contact information, and useful links have all been added.
c. A Sakai site was set up for the Council, including an email list to be used for discussions and distribution of
documents. The new list is usc at sakai.rutgers.edu and it replaces the Mailman list that was previously established.
Agendas and other documents will be posted to the Sakai site.
3. Discussion of Goals and Action Plan for AY 2008-2009
- There was a brief review of the summary of the development of the USC (provided by Sara Harrington). Based on content in
the summary document, it was decided that future agendas distributed to RUL_everyone will include both an invitation to
submit items for discussion and an invitation for interested parties to attend the meeting.
- The bylaws sections relevant to the USC were also reviewed.
- The “Public Services Summary of Action Plan Items and Progress” was viewed as possible groundwork for the work of USC.
The list is constantly changing and being reworked to make items more relevant. Valeda suggested that the Council focus on
the broader goals rather than on individual action items. Subsequent discussion of the Strategic Plan, Goals, and the Grid
took the form of a brainstorming session relative to each of the goals delineated in the “Summary”.
Goal I: Improve the quality of scholarly resources and information services that support the advancement of academic
excellence at Rutgers
- Investigate WorldCat Local
- Develop a user research agenda, to facilitate the development of new tools, services, library spaces, etc. based on user needs and wants
- Develop collaborations with faculty and across institutional boundaries
- Promote communication among units (e.g., share info on what’s happening in different areas/disciplines, problems being encountered, etc.)
- Oversight of public services in general including policies and philosophies
- Standardize statistics
- Determine what needs to be/should be done about instruction and develop a system-wide sense of instructional philosophy. How do we focus ourselves, develop a consensus among librarians, and respond to demand?
- Make better use of technology (e.g., embedded librarians, Web 2.0, blogs)
Two final points were raised
USC goals should make effective use of the group, rather than focusing on something that
could be done by a small team. USC needs to be able to respond to problems and issues as they arise.
Goal II: Enhance the effectiveness of library services for students and the development of library facilities as learning
- Facilities related work is heavily dependent on funding. Francoise listed the areas she’s concentrating on for the current year:
- Quiet spaces
- Wireless in all libraries
- More group studies (more are already planned for Alexander and under consideration for other libraries)
- Acquisition of artwork
- Café (already beginning work with the Procurement Office to develop an RFP)
- Building security is an ongoing issue that is already being addressed. A security audit of Douglass and Alexander is scheduled for next week. A public forum involving University Council and RUPD is being planned for the fall to allow for a broader discussion of public access, best practices, policies and procedures, and obligations to the public, etc.
Goal III: Improve awareness of the resources, services, facilities, and support available to all of the Libraries’s
- This is a critical issue since we are regularly asked for things that we already have available.
- Need to look at how the Libraries present things and have regular interaction with the Communications/Marketing Team.
- Need to be involved in website redesign.
Goal V: Continue to develop an organization and the human resources to achieve the Libraries’s strategic goals
- Evaluate the USC as it develops
- Recommend group subscription to Webinars for staff development
There was additional discussion of general concerns/ideas out of the context of specific goals:
- Develop a single sign-in option for all library resources
- Determine how to handle cataloging/retention of material born digital
- Repair/maintain/upgrade facilities (restrooms were particularly singled out)
- Improve access to RU dissertations (e.g., activate Research@ option from Proquest Dissertations & Theses, digitize older RU dissertations)
- Disseminate information on staff responsibility to people in the buildings during emergency situations (The Health & Safety Committee is already updating the emergency manual and information sessions will be planned later.)
- Make improvements to IRIS such as linking “Continues” and “Continued by” titles and cleaning up 856 links to eliminate duplicates, etc.
- Work with Computing Services to expand computer facilities
- Install Office suite on all library PCs
- Bring in people from other committees to discuss the activities of those committees to avoid working at cross-purposes and duplicating efforts
- Work to make users more self-sufficient and make the library easier to use
4. Next Meeting and Agenda Items
- The next meeting is August 28, 9:30 a.m., Pane Room
- The Council will continue discussing and prioritizing goals via email and at the next meeting.
- Other topics for future consideration are the status of the Public Services Software Evaluation Group, maintenance of Searchlight (e.g., adding new databases), and responsibility for setting database defaults.