Re: Annual Report of the New Brunswick Libraries,1999/2000
Date: August 4, 2000
To: Marianne Gaunt
From: Ryoko Toyama
The New Brunswick Libraries had another productive year in which many initiatives took place in operations, user services, projects, administrative services, facilities, configuration of human resources, and staff training. Since all libraries on New Brunswick campuses merged to form ONE campus library in 1997, each year the implementation of the team-based functional reorganization has progressed. In its third year, the newly configured organization has reached a stable state where increasingly high quality output was seen. Librarians/staff have developed and enhanced New Brunswick Libraries' internal as well as external communication channels, resulting in raised visibility of the Libraries within the campus community. The strengthened communication channels have promoted staff cooperation across functions and levels. Organizational maturity and its increased visibility directly contributed to positive outcomes such as the large number of grants and cash gifts received in the year. This was the highest of the past three years, amounting to over $250,000.
In the following, highlights of the overall accomplishments of NBL are described briefly. They speak for the committed and competent librarians/staff of NBL and reflect RUL's goal, Digital Library Initiatives.
Douglass for 21st Century Project (D-21) made significant progress, the establishment of the Margery Somers Foster Center in the Douglass Library, a research center for women and gender studies with digital archives on site. F. Olin, as the founding Head, will be responsible for developing the Center as a strategic initiative of the university and a national model of library collaboration in research and instructional support for women and gender studies.
The Committee to Develop a Vision Statement for the Kilmer Library for the 21st Century, chaired by F. Puniello, completed its report, reflecting the Library's unique strength in instruction.
In the 1999 fall semester, the SCC, CETH, Kilmer-based media services, including management of the smart classrooms, and Music Library media services were merged to form one unit, Multimedia Digital Library Services. J. Sloan was appointed as the first MDLS head and M. Kesselman became the chair of MDLS Planning Team, consisting of broad representation from NBL. One faculty position was converted into a high level IT manager and the subsequent recruitment was successful. We expect the first SCC IT manager this fall. Birth of this new group, overarching multimedia and digital technology, was a major organizational innovation in the year. While carrying through SCC projects and assuming new, the MDLS began to work with OTR on a new challenge, operation of two educational TV channels dedicated to NB campus audience.
The grant-funded projects of the year include: New Jersey Environmental Digital Library (L. Langschied/R. Jantz), Learning Links (L. Vazquez/M. Kesselman/Spanish Dept.), Archiving Documents of New Jersey Women Leaders and other Women's Studies (F. Olin), Interactive Instructional Program for Shaping A Life Undergraduate Course at Douglass College (L. Vecchioli/Scott Hines), and Spectator Humanities Databases (B. Hancock).
The Ernest McDonnell Medieval Studies Seminar Room was completed under F. Puniello's leadership, and J. Consoli coordinated the opening event in the Spring semester. The room containing selected collections donated by late Medieval Studies Professor E. McDonnell is now available for research and seminar use.
Access Services and Collection Services units were models for effective online communication. Staff members in both units handled a series of challenges professionally throughout the year, from SIRSI/payroll system related problems and continuous training to a major flood in LSM. On their own initiatives, they planned and accomplished a notable number of projects, including major shifts of the collections in several NBL locations, implementation of electronic reserve, and updating a large number of holding records. Heads of these units (F. Tehrani/M. Page) encouraged staff to attend a variety of training programs on and off campus, particularly in the area of effective use of software for operations analyses. The result was positive. Supervisors and staff members apply sophisticated operations analyses and generate useful output leading to ongoing improvement of workflow.
The Collection Development Group also has performed ongoing analyses of user needs in face of the rising cost of journals in print as well as electronic format. The current high cost of library materials forces us to rethink the way to obtain scholarly information and deliver to users. In order to support the university's largest campus community, the challenges that the NB Collections Group assumed throughout the year were enormous. H. Dess and the groupís members placed much effort into budget planning and communicating the status with researchers, particularly those in Sciences.
Information Services Group, under the lead of M. C. Wilson, implemented several innovations. Included is the implementation of the Service Desk Exchange program that enabled reference librarians to serve in different libraries. The result has been positive particularly in the following areas: identifying NBL's common user needs as well as location unique user needs, and learning new expertise from different working partners at the desk. The group also focused and succeeded in receiving a grant to implement a different type of information services, interactive web-based undergraduate course aid. A long-awaited NBL Telephone Information Services Plan was completed and its implementation began.
Instructional Services is the area of continuous growth. Over 250 library instructions, general and subject specific, were given by NB librarians and the orientation programs are becoming more technology rich.
Global Outreach Librarian, T. Tate, continued to create opportunities for librarians/staff to meet with visitors from all over the world and facilitated cross cultural learning.
NBL's Goals for FY2000/2001 are as follows: