New Brunswick Collections Group Meeting Minutes
March 17, 2006
Pane Room, Alexander Library

In attendance: Kevin Mulcahy (chair), Jeris Cassel, Kayo Denda, Howard Dess, Mary Fetzer, Constance Finlay, Rebecca Gardner, Tom Glynn, Sara Harrington, Karen Hartman, William Hemmig, Helen Hoffman, Martin Kesselman, Triveni Kuchi, Mei Ling Lo, Jackie Mardikian, Laura Mullen, Patricia Piermatti, John Shepard (recorder), Farideh Tehrani (guest), Ryan Womack, Connie Wu, and Ying Zhang.

  1. The agenda was approved.

  2. The Minutes of the 27 January 2006 meeting were approved.

  3. Chair's report (Mulcahy):

    Kevin Mulcahy circulated two spreadsheets one showing NBCG fund reports for FY 2005-2006, and one showing the current balances for 26 state acquisitions funds with more than 25% of initial allocations unspent as of 16 March 2005. He urged all selectors to spend down state funds as soon as possible, because they otherwise might be reclaimed by the AUL for Collection Development and Management for late-year central budgetary needs, especially with the likelihood of bad news about the forthcoming state budget. Karen Hartman and Triveni Kuchi reminded the group that there are sizeable discounts (18%) from YBP through the Gobi ordering system, so that selectors may be misled by list prices into assuming that their funds are spent out. Kevin added that funds may be over encumbered by 15%, and he urged selectors to maintain spreadsheets for their funds and for keeping track of orders. He also reminded the group that the nominally non-state funds which were allocated late last year (funds identified with five letters beginning with D or H) are also subject to being recalled for central uses, so these funds are a second priority for spending down after state funds.

    Collection Development Council: Kevin said that as yet there is no news about the 2007 budget. In the 16 March 2006 meeting of the CDC, it was reported that cuts of $100,000,000 were proposed for higher education in the state, and that 33% of those would go to Rutgers. Robert Sewell (AUL CDM) will pre-pay some of the Libraries' memberships for the coming fiscal year in anticipation of cuts.

    The CDC also approved a one-time purchase of 50 streaming video titles from Films Media Group, with special pricing arranged through VALE. If these titles are appraised favorably by faculty and students, the Libraries could consider purchasing additional titles. Triveni Kuchi asked for a list of titles, and Kevin said that it would be e-mailed to NBCG. Laura Mullen said that the initial purchase included titles in the sciences.


    Allocation process.

    There followed a general discussion of the allocation process for non-state funds. Kevin indicated that gift and Phonothon funds were variable, depending on the success of fundraising and solicitations. Endowed funds allocations each year are dependably 4% of the principal. Unspent allocations at the end of each are rolled back into the principal; as a result, the next year’s 4% allocations will be higher than they would have been if the previous year’s allocations had been spent out. In response to a question from Mei Ling Lo, Kevin said that even if there is an increase in overall allocations in a given year, monograph allocations are a “roller coaster” because of the need to support variable serials subscriptions prices. Mei Ling indicated that in 2006, her non-state funds were lower because of fewer gifts and lower return from the Phonothon drive.

    Kayo Denda raised the issue of encumbrances being passed from one fiscal year to the next. In late 2005, a $10,000 firm order was charged to a fund’s 2006 allocation because the order was not unpacked until July; in general, selectors seem to have no control over when payments are posted in WorkFlows. Kevin responded that selectors should look at their funds and order as early as possible. Materials may arrive, but because of limited staff the cartons may not be opened right away, and invoices are not sent for payment until the cartons are opened.

    Helen Hoffman said that it seems that TAS does not know how to order e-books. Kevin suggested that for the time being, it would be best to cancel such orders and order something else while the funds are available.


    NBCG election planning:
    Kevin announced that there will be elections for NBCG Reference Team Leader and Arts and Humanities Team Leader. He encouraged nominations and self-nominations for an April election and suggested an e-mail ballot.

  4. Team leaders' reports

    Ryan Womack, Social Sciences Team Leader, urged that selectors send in their orders charged to non-state endowment funds.

  5. Preservation report (Tehrani)

    Farideh Tehrani that currently there is no preservation program in the New Brunswick Libraries: no budget, no staff, and no equipment. Farideh has been given the assignment of looking at the preservation programs in other libraries and producing a plan to develop a preservation program for RUL. She said that librarians and staff working on digital preservation report to Grace Agnew and Robert Sewell, and that after digital preservation decisions are made by selectors, the technological work is carried our by Technical Services. There is still the question of whether such work should be done by RUL alone or by a consortium. In regard to preservation of paper-based collections, there is first of all the question of what to preserve? A large amount of money is committed to the binding and enclosures for print. Alexander Library is now 93% full. Before making preservation assessments of these collections, should we not weed the collections of unused or unneeded titles? Kevin asked if there is a procedure for weeding. Triveni Kuchi said that Collections Services can generate usage reports on LC classes. Laura Mullen said that there is a highly developed weeding process at the Library of Science and Medicine. Kevin asked if this process could be shared with the other libraries. A general discussion ensued of ways of sharing LSM's process.

    Kevin elicited a group consensus that the collections at Alexander Library should be weeded. He noted that many books in the McDonnell Collection are moldy, and he reminded selectors of their obligation to say “no” to collections with such preservation problems. Laura Mullen said that the newly promulgated gift policies would help guide selectors in decisions about gift collections. Farideh Tehrani worried that rejecting some gift collections may turn away potential monetary donations. She suggested that in addition to gift policies, a workshop for selectors on gift procedures (and diplomacy) might be organized. She added that Access Services student workers should not be allowed to accept gifts at the public service desks. Constance Finlay urged that funds should be raised to process gifts, if collections do not come with monetary donations.

  6. Net Library (Mei Ling Lo)

    Mei Ling Lo reported on her meeting with Mary Page, Robert Sewell, and the NetLibrary representative about NetLibary (http://www.netlibrary.com/) titles available to Rutgers affiliates. She distributed reports generated by NetLibrary with statistics on the number of users turned away from viewing a long list of titles, because NetLibrary only allows one user at a time to view each title. Based on these figures, she reported the decision to cancel access to 240 titles in the computer-science e-book collection, while 80 new titles will be added in the same discipline. She added that for e-book titles listed in Gobi, a hidden cost is an annual access fee equivalent to 15% of the cost of each title. Discussion ensued about various existing and proposed models for access to e-book titles. Discussion on access will continue with Mary Page.

  7. SCOPUS (Dess)

    Howard Dess distributed a flyer about SCOPUS, a new Science, Technology, and Medicine database, to which Rutgers users have access for a one-year trial period. He urged selectors to use and evaluate the database; because of its price, RUL can subscribe to SCOPUS or Web of Science, but not to both. Howard said that SCOPUS of the best things that ever happened to Web of Science, because now there is competition. Web of Science is making some improvements that have been requested for a long time. Discussion ensued about differences in coverage and user interface between the two databases. Howard said that if RUL is to subscribe to SCOPUS, the confirmation must be conveyed in October. The price will be $130,000.

  8. Table of contents database investigation (Denda)

    Kayo Denda discussed the problem that YBP does not provide tables of contents for books as Blackwells N.A. once did. This deficiency has a major impact on federated searches in IRIS, creating a de facto prejudice against newer titles whose records lack chapter titles. Kayo distributed a summary document she and Jane Sloan prepared; the document summarizes the reasons for restoring TOC access and proposes a method for restoring access: in records which include a link to TOCs provided by the Library of Congress, catalogers should enter the full text of the TOCs to the catalog records. Karen Hartman asked if this procedure would be retroactive, and Kayo said that it would not. Some potential problems with the procedure were raised, so Kevin said he would discuss it with Mary Beth Weber.

  9. Transition to shelf-ready approval books (Mulcahy)

    Kevin Mulcahy reported on a change of procedure for approval books until the preparation of shelf-ready books by YBP is fully implemented. He said that invoices for approval books still arriving at TAS could be paid more quickly if the staff were relieved of the task of sorting the books by LC class. CDC already agreed to the ending of the sorting of the books, but there nevertheless was spirited discussion about this fait accompli. There was more discussion of the few outstanding questions about subject locations for shelf-ready books, and Kayo Denda asked if there was still a plan to have a separate collection profile for reference books. Kevin said he would ask Mary Page again about that question.

  10. Collection teams: possibility of moving toward team-based selection. [Tabelled]

  11. Announcements/Other

    Kevin Mulcahy suggested inviting Nancy Hendrickson and Robert Sewell to come to a future NBCG meeting to speak about the budgeting process.

  12. The meeting was adjourned at 11:35 a.m.


    Respectfully submitted.

    John Shepard, recorder