New Brunswick Collections Group Meeting Minutes
Friday, February 13, 2004


Present: Howard Dess (chair), Kevin Mulcahy, Jim Niessen, Laura Mullen, Mei Ling Lo, Mary Fetzer, Tom Glynn, Matthew Sheehy, Karen Hartman, Jackie Mardikian, Sara Harrington, Gracemary Smulewitz, Ryan Womack, Helen Hoffman, Martin Kesselman, Triveni Kuchi, Rebbeca Gardner, Myoung Wilson, Constance Finley, Lourdes Vázquez (recorder).

  1. Approval of Agenda: Agenda was approved.


  2. Approval of Minutes: Minutes from the previous meeting were approved.


  3. Budget Update: Howard Dess reported on the status of the budget planning process as outlined in a recent communication from Bob Sewell. Improvements sought or recommended include: (a) Stabilize the base budget by incorporating into the base the annual one time funds that we normally receive from the VP Academic Affairs, plus the contribution from computing fees; this would greatly improve predictability and also speed up the process. (b) Seek to obtain agreement from the administration on some level of annual increase in the library budget. (c) Apply for supplemental funding (over and above base budget) for collection needs identified as "areas of academic excellence". More information is needed about this new program to be introduced by the administration, but selectors should begin thinking about areas of our collections that need strengthening and how best to document the need for such "mini-grants" to help address the problem.

    A two-page handout entitled "NB Collection Budget Update Summary" was thoroughly discussed. The handout included the status of state and non-state funds as appears in Workflows.

    NBCG recommended that the spending limit on state monograph fund codes should be increased from 110% to 120%. The reason: uncertainties about how and when Acquisitions is applying the vendor discounts. Comments from several people who keep accurate records of their submissions to Acquisitions indicate that in a number of cases the discount had not yet been reflected in SIRSI and this results in a false indication of a premature spend out in that particular fund code. Then, toward the end of the fiscal year, the records are corrected but too late for orders to be executed and, in effect, the money is lost to other needs.


  4. The Approval Vendor Proposal Committee announced the vendor demonstrations that will take placed in February.


  5. Supplemental charges for online journal access. Gracemary Smulewitz- Vendors are notifying the libraries on a title-by-title basis of supplemental charges for subscriptions that have had "free online access" but now the publishers are charging for that access.   Evaluation of current invoices has shown that the charges are not from a single publisher and the problem is not with only one vendor.  All subject areas are affected to varying degrees, but the sciences are most heavily impacted. The frequency of these notifications has increased within the last few months.   Bob Sewell has been aware of the problem and met with Mary Page and Gracemary Smulewitz to determine how best to deal with these incremental charges. The following procedure was adopted: For those titles where the incremental online access fees are under $100, the invoice will automatically be paid from the selectorsí budget allocations, if such funds are available.  If selector funds are not available, then Central will pay (Bob will make funds available to cover such contingencies in the case of these low level supplemental charges).

    When supplemental charges exceed $100 a different procedure will be applied. Selectors will be contacted to determine if any other funds under control of the selector can be used or if the online option should even be accepted. If selector funds are not available, then the Collection Development Council must be consulted about alternative funding options. Usually in such cases, ELPX (Central) will ultimately be charged. Fortunately, there have thus far been only a limited number of cases where the supplemental charges were much in excess of $100.

    Selectors expressed concerns about the inability to track expenditures by discipline in ELPX. Under our current system, ELPX serves as a huge, and growing, catchall covering all of our e-journal commitments, from journal packages to individual titles, to electronic databases. This feature, coupled with the rigidity of SIRSI, makes any kind of analysis difficult, if not impossible. NBCG selectors are very interested in following and controlling expenditures in their respective subject areas, and to see how spending in various subject categories fits in with our overall budget picture. We needthis kind of analytical information to help in formulating future budgets and tracking the growth of services to various academic constituencies. NBCG recommends that CDC investigate how (or whether) SIRSI can be programmed to provide the needed information.

  6. Revising fund codes by selectors subject areas---Helen Hoffman. Some science fund codes originally created to cover specific subject areas have become inadequate and misleading because of curricular changes and evolution of research interests into more interdisciplinary channels in recent years. The fund codes in these subject areas need to be revised to better reflect the growth of these new multidisciplinary subject areas. The Science librarians will proceed to develop a plan to deal with this matter.


  7. Selector interviews with faculty re DLI-2. Many questions have been raised about this project and selectors sought guidance about how best to proceed. Different approaches were discussed including the web-based survey form developed by the Science librarians. Selectors were finally advised to use their own discretion about who to contact and how best to conduct the interviews. It was noted that MIG had already sent an email message to campus provosts and deans regarding the Libraries' plans to update DLI, and this would serve to lay the groundwork for selectorsí later contacts with faculty about this program.


  8. Update on the new South Asian fund code---Jim Niessen

    The new South Asian Studies Fund is of interest to the NBCG for two reasons: because its genesis may constitute a precedent to be followed in the future, and because selectors in various fields will be invited to collaborate in the use of the fund. During the fall of 2003, the Library Committee of the History Department prepared a request that additional funding be provided to the Library for African and South Asian history because the department has made senior hires in these fields. At the same time, FAS appointed a Committee on South Asian Studies to consider the growth of this field at Rutgers. In response to proposals from these two groups, Vice President Furmanski, Marianne Gaunt, and FAS all contributed funds for South Asian Studies collections, and a new non-state fund, GSAMA, was created. Jim enumerated the departments represented by the sixteen South Asian Studies faculty listed in the report of the CSAS, and invited the relevant selectors to consult with him about the use of this fund: history, anthropology, agricultural, food & resource economics, women's & gender studies, sociology, religion, linguistics, economics, political science, and comparative literature.

  9. NBCG Gift book policy was distributed. Selectors were asked to review this policy and consider whether it needs to be updated in any way.


  10. Jim Niessen announced that the NB Faculty Councilís Library Committee is preparing a resolution concerning Reed Elsevier, scholarly communication, and alternative publishing initiatives.


  11. Submitted by Lourdes Vázquez
    02/14/04