Minutes of November 2, 2011 Meeting

K. Anderson (via teleconference), S. Bartz, N. Borisovets, J. Deodato, M. Fetzer, R. Gardner, T. Glynn, D. Kuzma, Q. Hu, J. Mardikian, J. Maxymuk (via teleconference), K. Mulcahy, C. Pecoraro, Francoise Puniello, L. Sun, R. Tipton (via teleconference), G. Thompson (guest)
G. Agnew, V. Cvetkovic, J. Gardner, T. Purger

The agenda was approved as distributed; minutes had been approved prior to the meeting via Sakai poll.

Revised Charge for Library Catalog Committee (previously IPAC). Changes to the charge were mostly cosmetic, adding committees and clarifying LCC's relationship to User Services Council. The Council endorsed the revision as distributed. (See: approved charge) .

Link Resolver Issues have percolated up through a number of venues. Librarians feel that Get it @R all too often becomes a dead end or provides ambiguous results, creating confusion for students trying to understand if we have a journal. DIG has already had some discussion of the issues. Council suggested looking at a number of options: 1) Providing an addendum telling users "Please search the library catalog" when Get It @ R does not work; 2) cancelling the contract (we learned that the contract has just renewed); 3) Working with EBSCO to improve the product.

Several questions were raised, i.e. are users/librarians reporting errors found (the response was that it often happens while on a busy reference desk or during class instruction); reporting needs to happen if errors are to be investigated and corrected. Errors are best reported to DIG@sakai (just as subscription problems can be reported to rul_serials@email.rutgers.edu). Another concern was whether one gets different results in different browsers. It was suggested that we do a more exhaustive study of the problem. Joseph will take the matter to tomorrow's meeting of DIG and report back to USC at a subsequent meeting.

Historical Background of the Relationship between Rutgers and UMDNJ. J. Mardikian provided a rich analysis of the complicated relationships between the two entities going all the way back to the 1954 bond issue that proposed a medical school for New Jersey. She discussed the building of the Library of Science and Medicine in 1970 and historical shifts in relationships. She recommended a history that R. Tipton wrote for the Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries and also distributed a UMDNJ Fast Facts sheet. If a merger actually occurs, Rutgers would get Robert Wood Johnson, the School of Public Health, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. She also noted the complex funding issues, service and staffing issues, the challenges of separating RWJ holdings from those of UMDNJ and merging them into our Library Catalog, and the difficulties of working out licensing for our databases. Only limited discussions can take place at this point, since Legislative approval of the merger is still required.

Current Practices and Evolving Modes of Reference Scheduling. M. Fetzer discussed the experiments that are being or have been conducted regarding the scheduling of traditional desk reference in some of the units and said that while we may be at a crossroads in our scheduling, several issues need to be considered when embarking on a different scheduling pattern for a unit. Douglass has experimented with a new home page format after discussing it with her and with the Web Board; modifications in their original plan were made, and now, after a pilot, the librarians there have decided to abort the plan due to low use of the special Meebo box they installed for use from noon to 2:00 Mondays through Thursdays. J. Mardikian explained the experiment that LSM is trying this semester, i.e. limiting traditional desk reference only to reference librarians (no RAs or staff) and to the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., advertising it as an "expert" service. R. Gardner also briefed USC on an initial meeting that she, J. Nathanson and J. Sloan recently had with Anne Butman to resurrect the notion of a centralized telephone reference service for New Brunswick once VOIP is installed in all the libraries there. Since this would only be possible at this point for New Brunswick, they also need to involve Access Services and will bring the topic back to NBISG in December.

Fetzer's comments pointed to the importance of a number of factors regarding any proposed experiment:

One USC member asked whether those doing experiments might also investigate further whether they have been adequately promoting existing services and finding ways to become more user friendly. Desk location and the use of more approachable appearing RAs can make a difference.

New Web Pages Release. K. Anderson requested that librarians and staff keep comments coming to the Web Board. There's a lot of focus on mobile devices right now. RUL has been waiting for Rutgers to come up with its mobile app. Council discussed whether it would be advisable to move ahead in advance of the Rutgers mobile app, but concluded that we may as well take the time to continue tweaking our mobile website which will be capable of delivering access to the Library Catalog, Hours & Directions, and Ask-a-Librarian. J. Deodato has created a list of mobile-ready databases, which is available as a private LibGuide. K. Anderson has created a discussion forum in Sakai and would like to begin a discussion of testing and promotion of the mobile site. People are needed to test it with various products, i.e. iPhone, Droid, tablets, etc. It was decided that there are probably a sufficient number of people within USC and the Web Board to proceed with testing. The Mobile Team of the Web Board is meeting next week and Deodato will find out how team members wish to proceed. Some discussion of the complexities of moving on to providing access to mobile databases took place; librarians would probably want a cheat sheet explaining access protocols for each available database. The RUL Mobile Demo may be viewed at m.libraries.rutgers.edu/demo; the LibGuide for mobile databases is available at http://libguides.rutgers.edu/mobile. We also need further discussion of how we want to promote the mobile site. Fetzer suggested returning to the notion of publicity via signage on buses, signage that would advertise library availability not only of the mobile site, but also of Ask-a–Librarian, AAL, and a friendly face at the traditional desk to alert students to all our services. She, Anderson, and Mulcahy will discuss the possibility with H. Glazer and the Marketing Team.

Announcements: Fetzer referred to the excellent presentation regarding the income and outlays related to the 2011 state budget at Tuesday's Cabinet meeting. A revamped version of the presentation will eventually be made available to RUL faculty and staff. Non-state budgeting will be presented at a future Cabinet meeting. She also said that M. Gaunt has requested that anyone doing a public event and needing assistance of the Marketing Team or funding for the activity discuss the event first with her and Glazer. We also need to avoid overbooking events in a given period of time, thus creating competition for limited audiences.

Puniello discussed the road tour that she and Fetzer have been on, visiting the various New Brunswick libraries in preparation for a potential state-wide bond issue November 2012. M. Gaunt has sent forward seven needed projects as the Libraries' wish list for the University's bond issue submission. The overall University request will be for one billion dollars, and we will not know for some time what Library projects may go forward, but we need to be prepared. Overall RUL priority will go to completion of the shell at the Dana Library, but she has been setting up committees at New Brunswick Libraries to fine tune our initial submissions.

Agenda for December meeting: Topics may include continued discussion on mobile devices and marketing; the possibility of a program on evolving modes of reference services; an update on the link resolver discussion; input/brainstorming on the next RUL strategic plan, and the deferred discussion of extensible catalog. Mulcahy will send out a reminder to prompt thought regarding strategic plan activities.

Meeting adjourned at 11:48 a.m.

Submitted by M. Fetzer 11/3/11

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/usr/minutes/usrmin_11_11_02.shtml
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