The agenda was approved, but the original item 2 was deferred until later in the meeting because of lateness due to car trouble.
Judy presented a report from the Billing Working Group (J. Gardner, Gillian Newton, Barry Lipinski, and Nita Mukherjee) for cleaning up old patron records-primarily records with delinquent accounts more than ten years old. The working group recommended that since "the likelihood of successfully resolving and closing these accounts is very low" they be purged. This will give the libraries "a more current database to migrate to a new system, minus uncollectible bills and expired user records." The Council unanimously endorsed the working group's recommendations.
Because of concern about the accessibility of research tools and tutorials for the visually impaired and a desire to better serve those users, the committee undertook a study of JAWS for Windows, a computer program used by the libraries allowing persons with visual impairments to work with PCs. JAWS provides users with synthesized speech, corresponding to screen images and text, and allows them to perform most standard computer work. The committee's study (testing JAWS on LibGuides, the library catalog, E-ZBorrow, RUcore, and Academic Search Premier) indicates that JAWS is complex and difficult to use, and offers at best mixed results. Committee recommendations include:
The council briefly discussed the report. At this time we have no idea about the number of visually impaired users or their needs and priorities. The Web Board has a team which will address these users as we migrate to a new system, ensuring that we abide by the relevant standards. An additional issue with JAWS is that librarian and staff member expertise does not last without regular use. Council members questioned whether visually impaired students might be pairing up with sighted students rather than using JAWS, whether better software exists, and whether there are JAWS user groups which might provide information and support for our committee and our visually impaired users. Please send recommendations about such groups to Eileen along with other relevant information. The council will revisit this issue in the coming year.
Bobbie reviewed the committee's charge and methods, and began a discussion of the recommendations and initiatives. Because M. Just and F. Puniello had to leave early due to a prior commitment, the council decided to carry this discussion over until next month's meeting.
Jeanne provided background on the university's current assessment efforts. She is serving on the Executive Council on Assessment, chaired by Vice President for Undergraduate Education Barry Qualls. There is a university level commitment to assessing learning, with work on the school and departmental level, and required learning assessment reports for academic programs and departments (Jeanne distributed the Assessment Checklist indicating the information that must be included in such reports). She sees this as a great opportunity for the libraries, which are further along in assessment efforts than most other units of the university.
A brief discussion (which will be continued in June along with the ILIAC report) raised several questions and issues:
Jeanne also presented the RUL MAAP Matrix (Mission Alignment, Assessment, and Planning).
Jeanne also provided examples of the kind of data the libraries have been gathering and asked for suggestions.
Grace Agnew reported that she has been working with the Committee on Scholarly Communication and the Cyberinfrastructure Committee on preparing RUcore for a major open access initiative. RUcore is developing an enhanced search interface, allowing users to search a single collection, rather than all collections. And RUcore has been cited by the Office of Science & Technology Planning for the Video Mosaic program, which will be moved to the next generation internet-GENIE. Chad Mills has been accepted as a presenter for the highly selective Open Repositories 2012 Conference where he will introduce our new video tool.
Tibor Purger reports that the university is now moving on building a back-up generator for TSB, with the project expected to take several months. The multimedia system in the TLH (Alexander Library) will be rebuilt. And the electronic classrooms in Alexander and Kilmer Libraries will be upgraded in the next two weeks.
Cathy reported on a sampling of electronic resource licenses which were reviewed for mention of alumni. One license (EBSCO) explicitly excludes alumni; all others provide categories and conditions which implicitly exclude them. The libraries could offer alumni some access by paying additional fees, but given the budgetary situation that is not feasible. One strategy is to refer alumni who complain about the lack of access to the Alumni Office in hopes that the Alumni Office will offer to underwrite the additional cost. Other than that, no action seems feasible at this time.
A Search Committee is reviewing applicants for the open Reference/Instruction Librarian position in Camden.
Key items will be continued on the discussion of the ILIAC report and the assessment efforts. Kevin cannot make the normally scheduled June 6 meeting because he is teaching in the McNair program (meeting Monday and Wednesday mornings). The next scheduled meeting falls during the NJLA conference as well. The chairs will send out a poll for a possible alternate date.