Date: August 15, 2002
To: Marianne Gaunt
From: Ryoko Toyama
Re: Annual Report, 2001-2002
The hiring freeze and the freezing of book funds (firm orders) starting in January 2002, and the Early Retirement Incentive (ERI) program, have had a major impact on the NBL operations and their service capacity. While library faculty/staff members did their best to perform their duties despite these odds, not knowing the impact, both short-term and long-term, will make this report incomplete. In short, these budgetary constraints resulted in the sudden shortage of human resources and extremely restricted acquisition of monographs. Currently, NBL has 5 faculty and 13 staff positions unfilled. In the coming years, we hope there will be an improved economical framework for supporting more vigorous operations and the necessary growth of collections. Aforementioned constraints, on the other hand, have brought some positive aspects of the New Brunswick Libraries (NBL) to surface such as organizational resilience, in structural framework as well as faculty and staff morale, adaptability to new concepts and workflows, and creative ways of resolving problems on many fronts.
NBL’s full participation in the implementation of the MARCIVE project resulted in success. While the scope of the project is comprehensive, involving public, technical services and systems operations, the success was due to system-wide cooperation and the availability of sophisticated information technology. The Working Group for Adding Catalog Records for the Federal Depository Collections should be commended for their effective work with commitment to the enhancement of user services. Users of the two depository libraries, Alexander and LSM, will benefit from long awaited online access to government publications.
A group of LSM librarians developed web access to the map collections (http://nbl.rutgers.edu/topomaps). This digital initiative particularly benefits MARCIVE users who often need convenient access to maps.
A fully staffed Scholarly Communication Center (SCC) with substantive experience in digital initiatives has launched a major transition in the year. With the team comprised of 4 librarians covering Humanities, Social Sciences and Science fields, and also 4 well-qualified ITs, the Center has expanded its position as a locus for digital experimentation and innovation into a mature organization that offers unique and highly sought-after services to RUL. While digital research and development (R & D) is still the core component of SCC activities, SCC team members have reached a point of transition where they fully participate in the development of system-wide standards and make proactive contributions to digital initiatives of RUL. The SCC Department Head’s determination to move forward with this necessary transition and the arrival of a new AUL for Digital Library Systems certainly facilitated the process. In the coming year, we expect the SCC’s increasing engagement in projects with a more comprehensive nature. External grants awarded to the SCC in the year totaled $195,000.
The highlights of the year’s accomplishments include:
Report on global outreach endeavors is in the Appendix. Included here is a summary of individual librarians’ outreach activities incorporated into their service to the community.
Total class sessions offered by 32 librarians with instructional commitment exceeded 700 in the year. The sessions involved approximately 1,500 members of a target audience of which the majority was undergraduate students. Details of these class sessions are included in instructional librarians’ reports. Librarians’ full participation in the instructional programs such as EOF, PALS, McNair/TRIO, Shaping-A-Life, and University College Honors Course has continued. Positive feedback from students and faculty confirm the value of library instruction and we may face an increasing demand. More effective means to deliver such sessions in person as well as online are being explored. Requests for library instruction on the graduate level are increasing in Art History.
The area where the mid-year restriction on monographic orders hurt the most is foreign language publications, particularly in Humanities. While waiting for the recovery of the budgetary climate, more aggressive solicitation of target items and/or gift money from external sources is due. The year has seen some success in this area, e.g., over 1,000 volumes of gift books on Chinese classical studies from the Taiwan Information Center. Throughout the year, several librarians have conducted legwork for the solicitation of major gifts with the Libraries’ Development Officer. Target areas include American History, Hungarian Studies, Hindu Studies, and Women’s Studies in South Asia and Eastern Europe. Significant acquisitions of the year were reported to AUL for Collection Development and Management. “Framework for Collaboration Between the Rutgers University Libraries and American Hungarian Foundation,” prepared by the World History Librarian, is an example of a proactive shared collection development endeavor.
Heads of Access and Collection Services, and NBL selectors with the help of the Preservations Officer, were able to preserve 1,465 brittle books, particularly in the area of American History. The Head of Access Services successfully raised $22,500 in external funds to support this effort. Details of the project are available in her report in the Appendix.
As a part of the NBL Collection Rationalization Project, the D-21 portion (pre-requisite to the renovation of Douglass Library building) was completed. A total of 18,000 volumes were removed from Douglass Library of which 6,052 volumes were relocated to other New Brunswick Libraries while the rest were transferred to Camden or Newark campus libraries and the Annex. Successful completion of this labor- intensive project owes much to excellent leadership and enthusiastic across-RUL-units cooperation. In conjunction with the D-21 Project, the Subcommittee on Program Planning was formed on which 5 NBL librarians are serving.
Additional funding for the collections was provided from non-RUL sources, including $6,700 to the Latin American Studies Librarian for acquisition of scholarly resources at Zimbabwe Book Fair, $2,000 to the same librarian for Spanish/Portuguese materials, $15,000 for Social Work materials from School of Social Work, and $5,000 to the East Asian Library for acquisition of Korean language materials. A unique collection-related gift of $2,000 came from the Graduate Student Association to the Humanities Digital Initiatives Librarian for acquisition of Spectator Project-related materials.
The NBL Collection Rationalization Project has been continuing on in LSM and Kilmer Library while an aging portion of Alexander’s collections will be reviewed for preservation purposes on an ongoing basis.
NBL’s collection development and management is not possible without extensive service from both Access and Collection Services Departments. For example, a long awaited project, conversion of the LSM Government Documents Kardex check-in system to the Serials Control System in Workflows, was completed in the year only because of the extraordinary commitment of the involved staff members and cooperation between NBL and RUL Technical & Networked Services.
cc: S. Soong
Access Services report (F. Tehrani)
Global Outreach Services report (T. Tate)