NEW BRUNSWICK COLLECTIONS GROUP:
ANNUAL REPORT FOR AY 2001/2002
Howard M. Dess, Chair, NBCG
July 19, 2002
A. Principal functions undertaken by NBCG during the year:
1. Budget Oversight:
a) Preparation of NB collection budget allocations, both state and non-state
b) Maintenance of oversight on NB collection budget expenditures and fund shifts
2. Oversight and coordination of collection weeding and consolidation projects:
a) Douglass weeding project
b) Consolidation study of serials runs covered by JSTOR
c) Consolidation/weeding of NB science journal print runs
d) Last copy policy
3. INGENTA investigation
4. Review of NB approval plan
5. Review and clarification of gift book acceptance and processing procedures
6. Access to CRL Holdings
7. Inquiry into Acquisitions Dept. backlogs
8. Management of diversity funds
9. Collection development policy statements
These topics are covered below in more detail.
B. NBCG Organization and Chair Positions
Participation in NBCG is open to all NB selectors. NBCG is subdivided into four subgroups, based on subject categories, with chairs as indicated for each of the subgroups:
* Arts and Humanities: Kevin Mulcahy, Chair
* Science: Jackie Mardikian, Chair
* Social Science: Mary Fetzer, Chair
* Reference: Kevin Mulcahy, Chair
H. M. Dess currently serves as chair of NBCG as a whole.
These four chairs, plus Gracemary Smulewitz, Head of NB Collection Services, also comprise the Budget Allocation Committee of NBCG, whose primary function is distribution of collection funds among the hundreds of individual state and non-state fund codes, and subsequent oversight of the expenditure of these funds during the academic year.
Summary of Activities for the Year:
1. Budget Oversight
The state funds budget for NB was received from R. G. Sewell in Sept. 2001 and totaled $3,370.095. This lump sum was then allocated by the NBCG Budget Allocation Committee among the numerous individual selector accounts. The process was aided this year by prior distribution of a “provisional budget allocation” by R. G. Sewell in advance of receipt of the final “official” budget from the university. This enabled the overall allocation work of NBCG’s Budget Allocation Committee to proceed more expeditiously than in previous years and entry of these provisional numbers into SIRSI early in the budget year also permitted the system to function properly. The overall RULS collections budget for this past year, $7,540,703, represented a modest improvement over the prior year’s budget, which eliminated the need for a major round of journal cancellations that had been anticipated earlier. Limited numbers of titles were cancelled on an individual basis by selectors who wished to apply the funds thus released to the acquisition of new titles that were determined to be more in demand by the faculty.
The NB non-state funds budget distributed by R. G. Sewell in October, totaled $1,119,915. The work of the Budget Allocation Committee in this case is limited to allocating phonothon funds plus funds from a handful of other gift and endowment accounts to individual selector fund codes.
About half way through the academic year the full impact of the state’s growing fiscal crisis made itself felt in the library: a freeze was imposed on new orders using state funds (for monographs, primarily), however, those orders already in the acquisitions pipeline were allowed to go through, and approval plan purchases were also permitted to continue with the use of state funds. The freeze did not extend to non-state funds. This freeze of state funds fell heaviest on the arts and humanities and social science subject areas, inasmuch as the state funds allocated to the sciences were 100% allocated to journal subscriptions and already fully committed for that purpose. Although continuation of purchases under the NB approval plan helped mitigate the situation, that alone was insufficient to compensate for loss of prospective purchase selections, especially for foreign language titles or any orders originating from non-U.S. publishers.
We end this academic year with great uncertainty and concern about our budget for the coming year.
2. Weeding and Collection Consolidation Projects
a) Douglass Project
This massive project continued throughout the first half of 2002 and engaged most of the NB selectors at various times in order to meet the completion target date of July 1. Kayo Denda oversaw this operation and assured its successful conclusion. Significant contributions were also made by Gracemary Smulewitz who expedited the generation of SIRSI print holding lists, by subject area, for the Douglass collection that were then distributed to individual selectors and eliminated the need to physically go to Douglass to scan the shelves. Important lessons were also learned about how best to coordinate this type of effort across all campuses to make sure that items not needed at Douglass were made available for review and possible selection for transfer to other libraries.
b) Consolidation & Weeding of Print Serials Runs Covered by JSTOR
This study was initiated by Ben Beede and completed by him early in the year. His work can now be used as a blueprint for consolidation of fragmentary print journal runs that are scattered throughout the system, and elimination of overlapping runs will free up shelf space that is urgently needed to house new materials. Next step for NBCG in collaboration with Access Services and Collection Services: develop an action plan to physically carry out the consolidations pointed up by the Beede study.
c) Consolidation & Weeding of Science Print Journal Runs
Addie Tallau carried out a study that in some respects paralleled the Beede project, but focused solely on duplicate runs of print science journals housed in different NB libraries (including the Annex), and irrespective of whether or not they were accessible in JSTOR. A number of titles were identified that could be consolidated into a single run in whichever library was considered most appropriate for that particular title. The remaining duplicate volumes would be eliminated from the collection thereby freeing up substantial amounts of needed shelf space. This project is ready for implementation, pending receipt of final report from Addie.
d) Last Copy Policy
The Douglass weeding project pointed up the necessity to remind all selectors to follow a uniform “last copy policy” that would be applicable throughout RULS. R. G. Sewell issued an updated version which is shown below:
The last copy of a title is generally not withdrawn from the Rutgers University Libraries collection. Last copies will be housed in the appropriate research collection or in the library annex. After review by the appropriate selector, most textbooks, superseded editions of non‑fiction, material in unusable condition and not worth preserving, and e‑resources with inactive URLs may be withdrawn from the online catalog and the collection.
3. INGENTA Investigation
User complaints about INGENTA performance and access problems prompted a study by NBCG that confirmed the difficulties posed by this product. The conclusion was reached that INGENTA in its current form is unreliable, frustrating to use, and we would be well advised to evaluate alternative sources for document delivery. Numerous examples of problems were passed on to Judy Gardner who is overseeing the program..
4. Review of NB Approval Plan
TAS is seeking ways to eliminate bottlenecks in its operations and one area under study is the NB approval plan. Overall average rejection rate for approval books is currently 7.4% but some areas run as high as 10%. Our target is a maximum of 5% rejections. NBCG discussed ways to speed up the approval book review process and decrease the rejection rate. Some key factors presented for consideration include the following:
* Selectors should review and modify BNA subject profile as expeditiously as possible. Improvements in profiles will lower the rejection rate. With rejection rates under 5%, we can realize cost savings by having BNA ship preprocessed books (i.e., containing spine labels, barcodes, etc., which would reduce the in-house work load).
* The current practice of having many selectors review books is inefficient and too time consuming and should be replaced by a team approach that would employ only (say) three
* Reevaluate BNA as the purveyor of our approval plan. Other alternatives mentioned included
OCLC and RLIN.
Other questions raised were:
* Can we identify certain publishers of such high repute that we would automatically accept all of their monograph?
* Why not send approval titles electronically to each selector on a weekly basis?
The following specific decisions were reached for the near term:
a. Selectors must tighten BNA profiles for their subjects areas, via meetings to be scheduled with the BNA rep, by the end of the summer semester.
b. Books received that are out of spec with the revised profiles will be flagged to the attention of Mary Page who will notify BNA for correction.
c. Acquisitions Dept. will initiate a review of vendors other than BNA.
d. Beginning July 1, selectors will have a two week deadline to examine books and make a decision about acceptance or rejection. Any items remaining unexamined on the approval shelves after that time will be automatically accepted (subject to future review and modification).
(The suggestion about the team approach was tabled for now, subject to future reconsideration)
5. Review and Clarification of Gift Book Acceptance and Processing Procedures
The topic of gift books, and gift collections, has been the subject of periodic discussions at NBCG throughout the year, reflecting ongoing concerns about how best to deal with these acquisitions. The “Draft Guidelines for the Acquisition of Large Gift Collections” prepared by R. G. Sewell in 1998 (see Appendix 1) comprises the basic set of rules governing how such donations should be handled, but selectors are also advised to consult with their respective subgroup chairs for further guidance before accepting prospective large donations (arbitrarily defined as any gift that totals more than two or three cartons of books). Key considerations with large collections involving perhaps hundreds of books are our internal processing costs and limits on personnel availability to carry out the necessary work. Selectors were also reminded to discourage patrons from dropping off large quantities of material without prior consultation with the relevant selector(s). At the same time selectors must remain sensitive to the need for tact and diplomacy in dealing with donors.
6. Access to CRL Holdings
NBCG approved a recommendation by Lourdes Vazquez that CRL microfilm records be included in IRIS in order to increase awareness of CRL’s holdings that are available for borrowing by our academic community. Rutgers already pays an annual membership fee to CRL which covers borrowing rights.
7. Acquisition Backlogs and the Selection Process
Throughout most of the year NBCG was informed that Acquisition Dept. order backlogs were running at about two months, although in a number of specific cases much longer delays were documented (especially for foreign language materials, or orders involving certain non-US publishers). Selectors have expressed concern about the fact that an ongoing ‘average’ backlog of this magnitude adversely affects the selection process because selectors cannot then accurately know at any given time how much of the funding on any given subject code is still unencumbered
(or overencumbered). The selection problems relating to the Acquisitions backlog have been discussed on numerous occasions at NBCG, and in conference with Mary Page, who is addressing these matters. An Acquisitions Dept. open house in June provided a welcome opportunity for NBCG selectors to share ideas and concerns about various aspects of the acquisitions process, including the backlog, and to learn more about the functions performed by various members of the Acquisitions Dept.
8. Diversity Funds
Diversity funds provided by the University totaled $8433 this year vs. $7900 last year. This special program continued under the guidance of Lourdes Vazquez. The principal focus of this year’s selections, was middle eastern materials.
9. Collection Development Subject Reviews
The Social Sciences Subgroup reviewed a draft collection development policy statement for sociology and also requested that R. G. Sewell provide online access to existing collection development policy statements already on file in print format. Reviews were also carried out on selected electronic databases relevant to the social sciences and alw, especially Westlaw Campus and Lexis-Nexis.
DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR THE ACQUISITION OF GIFT COLLECTIONS
(2/2002 revised by R.G. Sewell)
Acquiring gift collections is one way to develop collections that can greatly benefit the Libraries. While initially free, however, gift collections involve significant costs for processing and maintenance. They must be selected according to the criteria of other collection development decisions: within the scope of current teaching and research at Rutgers; long-term cultural value; the quality or nature of the material must clearly advance these areas of interests; and the material must be accessible to users in a reasonable amount of time after the acquisition of the gift.
Bringing in large gift collections requires diplomatic skills with donors and library personnel, planning for staging areas, sorting, cataloging, permanent storage space, and potential fund-raising for processing. The following guidelines should be observed in considering gift collections, both large and small.
Initial Selection Decision:
· Selector must assess the gift collection on-site and determine its importance and relevance to collection and the extent of duplication. If the collection is largely duplicative of current holdings or is the Libraries is not capable of adequately processing the collection, the donation should either be rejected or only selectively acquired. Alternatives to donating the collection to the Libraries may be suggested, such as selling to second hand book dealers or donating to other libraries. In rare circumstances in which the comprehensiveness of the collection is of a particular research interest to Rutgers and the holdings include some materials of unique research value, entire collections may be acquired if this is a requirement of the donor and is on balance beneficial to Rutgers.
· If the selector decides that a large gift collection should be acquired selectively or in its entirety, he/she should notify the AULCDM and the appropriate library director. Cataloging will be involved in determining the workload impact and developing a plan and timetable.
· Any special stipulations of the donor must be determined and agreed to by the director and the AUL/CDM and in some cases the University Librarian. Stipulations may include maintenance as separate collection, limitations on the circulation of the materials, or continued development of the collection. The donor should be asked if they can contribute to the cost of processing or continued expansion of the collection.
· Acknowledgment letters
· If the donor requests a tax write-off, see Tax Considerations for the Donor below.
· Ideally, the donor should supply a list of the contents of the collection.
· On site, the selector should take notes concerning condition and special cataloging needs and make a brief inventory or summary of subject strengths and rare items.
· Ideally initial processing (rough, general arrangement and supervised boxing of material) should take place on-site.
Pick Up and Delivery of Collections:
Arrangement for picking up collection by the Shipping and Receiving Department must be made well in advance of pick-up date. See Public Services Memo 8 (Mail Policy–Deliveries/Pick Ups) (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/pub_serv/policies/pspm_08.html#delivery‑pickup).
· If collection needs to be sorted and arranged before cataloging, determine location for this processing and who will sort.
· Determine which material needs preservation treatment and whether it can be done in-house or needs to be outsourced.
· Plan for cataloging will be finalized and begin.
Determine Fund Raising Possibilities:
· Determine if the donor is able to make an accompanying gift of cash with the collection to ease the Libraries’ financial burden for processing and/or preservation. If so, work with the AUL/CDM, Library Director, and the Director of Development to secure such a gift.
· Seek out special funding within the university and Libraries.
· Explore grants with foundations or individuals possibilities.
Tax Considerations for the Donor:
· Gifts of property the donor believes to be valued at more than $500 but less than $5,000 may be eligible for a federal income tax deduction. You can advise the donor they can attach the IRS 8283 form to their federal income tax return when claiming this deduction. As a courtesy, you can offer to obtain for the donor an 8283 form from the Director of Development.
· If the gift, or if all gifts of similar kinds of property given by that donor during one year exceeds $500, the donor is required to obtain a “qualified appraisal” in order to claim a charitable deduction. We can provide a list of qualified appraisers, but we do not recommend any particular appraiser, and we do not pay for appraisals for the purpose of donor tax benefits. (For more information about this and other exceptions, see the Libraries’ Director of Development.) The donor must complete IRS Form 8283. The University Treasurer’s Office signs this form. The Director of Development can negotiate this process for you.
· If the non-cash gift is in excess of $5,000, the IRS requires the University to report the sale of such gift to the IRS if the property is disposed of within two years of the date of gift. Such a sale may affect the donor’s options when claiming the gift as a charitable deduction. Please contact the development office for more information about disposing of non-cash gifts.