Date: August 2001
New Brunswick Libraries: Annual Report, FY 2000-2001
Ryoko Toyama, Director, New Brunswick Libraries
New Brunswick Libraries (NBL) have experienced another dynamic year with continuous improvement of the organizational infrastructure, accompanied by growth of individuals, particularly in the area of information technology. A series of 22 in-house training initiated by Access Services throughout the year, for example, illustrates staff's determination to learn new skills. Successful recruitment of new talents -- 9 faculty on the tenure track and more than 12 staff members -- have also made a positive impact on the organizational climate as well as on the culture. The newly hired personnel brought not only high-level technology related skills but also global viewpoints, reflecting the changing world from privileged-to-information to managing-information. NBL faculty/staff's collective aspiration for innovations continued to grow and the ongoing changes are accepted as a way of life. In addition to current recruitment efforts, NBL have also learned how to shape and reshape the organizational infrastructure and realign available human resources according to organizational goals and priorities.
Most of existing NBL research guides, disciplinary or by formats, were updated. The Electronic Ready Reference Shelf, for example, was selected for the New/Noteworthy Sites section of the Rutgers home pages in December 2000 (the site was accessed 23,934 times between July 1 and March 31, 2001)
Among new web guides developed at the SCC, the Numeric Data Research Guide calls for special attention. This is a web-accessible database to provide access to numeric and GIS data, a powerful research tool. Other innovative instructional sites developed at the SCC include: English Advice Manuals Online at Rutgers, World Resources, WILD (Women in Leadership), and an enhanced demonstration site for New Jersey Encyclopedia by RU Press. A web site for New Jersey Environmental Digital Library project was redesigned at request of funding agency, DEP's Environmental Data Exchange - ENDEX. With project funds, two high-capacity scanners were purchased, enabling digitization of the New Jersey map collection of Special Collections.
The overall digital initiatives are escalating to another level, an increase of servers and active use of non-proprietary software. The Digital Initiatives Librarian, for example, installed and maintains RealServer, Internet Information Server, Orion Java Application Server, and Jrun Java Application Server in NBL. The Humanities Librarian also added another Linux server in support of a well received Humanities database called The Spectator relating to 18th century English Literature. He is moving Lector Longinquus from HTML to XML. Index Antiuus has been upgraded to version 4 with a gift-in-kind from Inktomi Corporation. The Business and Economics Librarian perfected, BellJour, a subject-special portal for his clients. This is a model that other subject specialists are considering adopting.
The Social Sciences Data Librarian, together with Humanities librarians and the Head of Access Services, started a digital brittle materials pilot project. This project has already drawn the attention of teaching faculty members as well as some funding. Upon the completion, the project will provide useful data on the cost of digital preservation.
Research and development has been a founding motif of the SCC since its establishment of 1995. Currently, over 15 projects are being carried out through SCC servers with 4 competent staff members and a couple of grant funded assistants. The concept of reusable platforms has been a screening point in the evaluation of assuming a new project. With the new IT classification in 2000, staffing at SCC is in a good shape, enabling effective user services in the IHL, Teleconference/Lecture Hall and particularly at the Data Center. More users are learning and using high-end databases and hardware. The SCC's consultation services to graduate students and collaborative projects with teaching faculty members have also increased.
The Senior Art Librarian participated in Oxford University's Humanities Computing Center as fellow, learned the mechanics of humanities computing, the use of various software, the locations of some specialized electronic collections and the manipulation of appropriate programs. Along the same line, the newly hired Art Librarian, was selected to participate in the SUNY program, Learning to Look: New Media Classroom and Humanities. A tendency of faculty and staff to take full advantage of learning opportunities for high-level IT applications is another positive step towards a digital library.
The Global Outreach Program Coordinator has continued her proactive networking on campus as well as at the global level, has developed programs for more than 50 visitors, including librarians and scholars from out of state and abroad. The program provided valuable networking opportunities for RUL/NBL members. With her coordination, NBL's participation in civic activities, particularly with New Brunswick City, has increased. The most significant outcome from her outreaching activities of the year is the Books for Africa program through which NBL are donating excess collections to libraries in African countries through established channels. The program is considered a success by all parties involved and has raised a visibility of the university.
In FY 2000-2001, 30 NB librarians conducted library instructions, totaling 441 classroom sessions. A half of the sessions was geared for general research skills while the other half was geared to certain disciplines or application of IT skills. A new group of librarians who are specialized in instructional services or initiatives are spearheading the development of new methodology more appropriate in the digital library age. The library portion of Shaping-A-Life program at Douglass College has incorporated some of new approaches into the course work with a grant from ACIC (students' computing fee).
Additionally, librarians across NB campuses participated in Projects Super, a program for excellence in research for science in undergraduates.
Technology training and consultations have been increasing. The NBL-wide Digital Initiatives Librarian conducted workshops on Cold Fusion, Web Design and Information Management Instruction for MBA Students, WebCT, PowerPoint, The Engineering Experience for Minorities (TEEM) Summer Enrichment Program (2000). The Social Sciences Data Librarian also offered IT oriented instruction sessions in response to faculty requests from SCILS, Econ, Ag-Econ. These sessions included Digital Library Management, Digital Preservation, Using Data in Economic Geography, Introduction to the Data Center, and Digital Library.
Centered at the Livingston campus, librarians continued to contribute to EOF program by providing a numerous instructional sessions.
The Chair of New Brunswick Collections Group (NBCG) made a special effort for selectors to comprehend and/or participate in the budget allocation process. He has also helped selectors in monitoring of the year's expenditures. Total NBL state fund was $3,250,077, non-state $1,281,649. While SIRSI management reports continue to present certain inflexibility, NBCG members have learned an overview of publishing world and its changing nature, and complex pricing structure. Most importantly, by working together as a group, selectors have gained an insight into the disciplines beyond her/his assigned areas.
NBCG took initiatives in the following projects in cooperation with Collection Services and Access departments. The members identified the issues needing action, made necessary decisions, developed guidelines and plan of action, and have begun implementation.
Although the acquisition of the following e-journals and databases were for RUL, the following titles generated enthusiastic responses from the NBL user community. They are: Beilstein, SciFinder Scholar, the Nature e-journal package. There have been several notable hard copy gifts to NBL/Special Collections and University Archives such as gifts from Professor E. Showalter and the late Professor Remigio Pane.
(See AUL's report)
New Brunswick Information Services Group (NBISG) contributed to many enhancements. Highlights of the year included:
Access Services implemented several pilot projects to assess the physical usage of different libraries in the age of the library without walls. Usage sampling at LSM and Physics indicated a major drop in user population during intersessions and the summer. A sampling of Alexander Library indicated a drastic drop in user population after midnight during the semester. As the result, Access Services has been reconfiguring staffing patterns throughout the year and assuming more projects such as retrospective conversion of Douglass collections in support of D-21 project.
Collection Services consolidated serials check-in activities into two locations, Alexander Library and LSM, resulting in a more efficient and timely operation with increasing accuracy of records. The department also integrated the government publications operation into the overall workflow, instituting a reliable backup system. This is the unit that actively uses ACCESS and EXCEL software, and during the year they generated extremely useful collection analysis reports, helpful to selectors as well as D-21 project planners.
(see her report attached)
The year has seen retirement and resignation. Emily Fabiano, Education Librarian, and Roger Tarman, Music Librarian, have retired, leaving legacies of accomplishments in user services and collection development. Nine librarians were hired for tenure track positions during FY 2000/2001 and most of them are already on board. They are: Stephanie Tama Bartel, Tom Glynn, Sara Harrington, Scott Hines, Triveni Kuchi, Patricia Libutti, Hector Perez-Gilbe, James Niessen, and Eileen Stec. Angel Falcon Jr. joined as the second intern for the diversity program. Two positions related to Digital Initiatives are currently being posted and posting of Music and Performing Arts positions will follow shortly. For each vacancy, faculty or staff, an extensive analysis has been applied in the context of a digital library and in support of RULís goals. So far, all NBL positions posted in FY 2000/01 have been totally reconfigured or incorporated dynamic changes. The year has seen 1 reappointment, 6 post-tenure reviews, 5 performance reviews of faculty on tenure track and 4 on non-tenure track, 2 sabbatical leaves, and 66 Pay-For-Performance cases.
New Brunswick Libraries (NBL) has completed its fourth year. Following Emily Fabiano, the founding chair of NBL Faculty, Mary Fetzer, the current chair, has kept the group moving forward with ONE library principle. She chaired monthly meetings, facilitated educational programs and faculty communication, and updated NBL faculty guidelines. Among the chair's contributions, the most significant was new faculty orientation, not only organizing the program but also participating as an instructor. In January 2001, NBL faculty participated in a conference entitled "Putting the User at the Center" with an invited facilitator. The group reviewed the past in different aspects and explored future needs including new services. Entering its fifth year, the organizational climate is changing, particularly with an increasing number of NBL faculty and staff members without the memory of the reorganization of 1997. For those who are hired for NBL, shifting of service locations or working together in a functional team are a natural courses of action.
NB librarians campus-wide services have also increased such as the Senior Art Librarian's participation in the Task Force on Arts together with Dean of the Mason Gross School of Arts, Director of Zimmerli Museum and Head of Art History Dept. under the leadership of Associate Dean of FAS.
In spring semester, it was decided that the smart classroom operation would move to Teaching Excellent Center, leaving the development and management of Media collections to the Libraries. Follow-up procedures have been developed and staff's reporting lines have changed. The Media Center operates in two locations, Kilmer and Douglass, enhancing Media collections and their full circulation.
The Media Center has also begun to implement the management of two TV stations, however, the process depends upon the RUNet 2000 project and the Office of Print and Electronic Communications. In order to concentrate on the development of Media collections and new services such as TV stations, the Media Center and the SCC have returned to their original organizational configuration, two units.
The goals of NBL in the next year are: