The agenda was approved with one significant revision. Item 6 on the agenda "Continuing Discussion: Instruction—Vision, Philosophy, Mission," will be moved to the March 26, 2009 User Services Council meeting. That meeting’s entire agenda will devoted to instruction and reference, including the exploration of instructional philosophy, as well as discussion of a potential reference pilot, and an examination of live chat software, and policies and issues related to instructional videos, if necessary.
The revised minutes of the January 22, 2009 USC meeting were approved.
J. Boyle shared assessment issues with the Council, and shared the document
"Toward User-Centered Assessment: An Assessment Plan for the Rutgers University Libraries."
J. Boyle touched on a range of issues, including:
LibPAS for Continuous User Feedback
J. Boyle presented the LibPAS surveys on library performance available from the firm Counting Opinions (www.countingopions.com). In short, the Libraries want to know what our users want from us, and what they do when the come to us. Our goal is to demonstrate the impact of our efforts, and to determine the relationship of our actions to its impact on our users.
The surveys available are customizable, are broad enough to cover a wide range of content, and gather both quantitative and qualitative data. The survey can be taken at one of two lengths: 5-7 minutes, or 12-15 minutes; and is completed in blocks of topical questions. The product also allows peer-to-peer comparisons, and may serve as a repository for Libraries statistics (in lieu of the Libraries current statistical repository). The subscription cost is $3,995 per year for two years; $5,995 per year thereafter.
J. Boyle also demonstrated the administrative backend. It is possible to generate various types of reports, including customized reports. Counting Opinions is also developing an 'online suggestion box' called "Inform Us."
The survey can be presented to users in a number of ways, either as a peel down on the upper-right hand corner of the Libraries website, or by appearing on the main page of the website after a certain number of clicks.
Two examples of in-library surveys (for LSM and Chemistry) were distributed. The Busch science libraries are being examined in support of, among other issues, the desire for a new combined sciences library.
J. Boyle also briefly discussed the READ (Reference Effort Assessment Data) Scale, an instrument that expands on our current collection of statistics. Reference questions, for instance, are assigned a six-point scale based on complexity, rather than a simple hash mark.
A revised list of peer and aspirant institutions has been monitored on the Libraries web site. J. Boyle is currently working on documentation of the numbers of faculty and students per library staff members and library budget per faculty and students, as well as examining elements of the University budget where the Libraries receive funding for Vice-President for Information Services and University Librarian M. Gaunt’s ongoing work with University administration. AULs J. Boyle and L. Fredenburg are currently working on a unit cost study for electronic reserves.
The Libraries is beginning to work on its next long-range strategic plan, and is also considering undertaking some kind of work-life study. It was noted that B. Ruben, SCILS, developed a study that may be of use in this regard.
The Council members thanked J. Boyle for her informative presentation.
C. Pecoraro demonstrated the statistics that are available for databases that are accessed through Searchlight. These statistics are able to differentiate between "session count" and "search count." Please contact C. Pecoraro for additional information and specific log-in information.
S. Beck inquired about the availability of statistics on individual database use, i.e, statistics on database access not through Searchlight (such as those A. Montanaro used to prepare), and noted that these statistics would be useful for upcoming collection evaluation efforts. C. Pecoraro noted that statistics for individual databases are also available.
Joe Abraham met with the Council in order to ask in what situations, and under what conditions, library personnel (including Unit Computing Specialists, faculty, reference assistants, Access Services staff, and other personnel) are allowed to ask for identification if there exists concern that a person is using a computer to which they should not have access.
Joe Abraham presented a specific incident that took place in February 2009 in New Brunswick in which a student gave out net id and password information to a University guest, in violation of University policy. Natalie Borisovets noted that theft of PC Reservation log-in has been a concern in Newark.
J. Abraham noted that he raised this issue at a recent Libraries wide meeting which aired and explored security concerns.
After some discussion, it was decided the USC Chair Jeris Cassel would consult with AUL Jeanne Boyle. In general, the USC recommends that it is appropriate to ask for identification. However, it was agreed that there should exist an appropriate ‘paper trail,’ i.e., all faculty and staff should be able to point to relevant parts of public services or other policies in order to explain the need to ask for identification. In addition, all policies should be applied consistently. J. Cassel noted OIT has a great deal of information that might be distributed to students about the privacy and security of net IDs and passwords. She will check on the availability of supplies of the literature for the libraries.
T. Glynn would like, if possible, to move forward with the Young Scholars Program. There is some concern about the charge and the name of the program. The issue is time sensitive, and therefore it was suggested that perhaps USC members could look at the program’s charge and other materials pertaining to the Community Users Task Force. All background documents can be found in the User Services Sakai site (pathway: Resources, Agendas and Supporting Documents, February 26, 2009, Community Users Task Force). Please post comments on the issue in the "Discussion and Private Messages" section of the USC sakai site in advance of next meeting. (This use of the Discussion section of the USC sakai site will in effect serve as a pilot test of the use of this technology for Council work.) USC members should submit their comments by a deadline of March 12, 2009.
Marty Kesselman will provide information about an alternate live chat software for the reference discussion to take place during the March 26, 2009 USC meeting. Marty is recommending moving to this software for live chat reference.
Mei-Ling Lo and Jill Nathanson presented a recent library instruction video they prepared on ordering an article through the Interlibrary Loan Article Delivery service. Currently, the video is available on You Tube and Rutgers iTunes. M. Lo and J. Nathanson are considering preparing additional instructional videos (beginning, perhaps, with Refworks) and brought a series of wide-ranging concerns to the Council in the document "Streaming Library Instruction Videos for Rutgers University Libraries.”"
These questions and concerns include, but are not limited to:
Marty Kesselman noted that the same issues exist with blogs, facebook pages, etc., maintained by Libraries personnel. S. Beck stated that Choice recently published an entire article on embedding videos and movies in instruction that might be worthwhile to review.
Some of these issues will be addressed by the Cyberinfrastructure Steering Committee (CISC). J. Cassel, M. Lo, and J. Nathanson will be attending the March CISC meeting to address issues such server space. The Instructional Services Committee recommended the creation of a Working Group of Libraries faculty and staff currently working on videos. The User Services Council may also return to the issues raised in this discussion during the March 26, 2009 meeting.
The Council thanked M. Lo and J. Nathanson for their leadership on the issue of instructional videos. M. Lo and J. Nathanson stated that they welcome feedback on their work.
This discussion has been moved to the March 2009 User Services Council meeting.
No additional reports were offered.
The next User Services Council meeting will take place on Thursday, March 26, 2009.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:40 a.m.