New Brunswick Collections Group Meeting Minutes
September 8, 2006

Present: Jeris Cassel, Kayo Denda, Howard Dess, Mary Fetzer, Constance Finlay, Rebecca Gardner, Sara Harrington, Karen Hartman, Helen Hoffman, Marty Kesselman, Mei Ling Lo, Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy (chair), Laura Mullen, Jim Niessen (recorder), Mary Page (guest), Pat Piermatti, John Shepard, Jane Sloan, Lourdes Vázquez, Ryan Womack, Connie Wu

1. The agenda was approved.

2. The minutes for March 17 and April 21 were approved.

3. Report of the Chair

A nine-column Fund Reports spreadsheet for FY07 with comparative figures for 2005 and 2006 was distributed. The total state allocation for RUL is showing 88% of the same allocation for FY06. State funding for the YBP Approval Plan is currently above the figure for last year because one-time collections money was assigned to it. Bob Sewell has announced that Van Waggoner will no longer be used to fund the Approval Plan.

Non-state allocations have not yet been made. They will likely be less than last year.

The flip side of the handout, entitled Approval Trends , shows there was an alarmingly large increase in Approval Plan expenditures in 2002-2006, and especially in the expenditure of non-state funds for the Approval Plan.

4. The Cancellation Process

Ongoing vendor negotiations mean the targets for cancellation savings are still uncertain. Roughly $100,000 in total additional savings is still needed from subscriptions to print periodicals, databases, and monographic series.

Roughly $30,000 (out of over $179,000) of the increase in approvals expenditures from FY 05 to 06 was due to standing orders, including those in the sciences, moving into the Approval Plan budget. When we switched to YBP, we switched the standing orders for all disciplines, including 32 in the sciences, to the AP in order to increase the discount for these titles from 10% to 18%. Consequently $30,000 was moved from various selector funds to GEAB. Then GEAB shrank as the state allocation proved inadequate to fund the AP, so that the moved-over money “disappeared.” Then we ended up funding the moved-over s.o.'s with Van Waggoner money. GEAB is used NBL-wide, and we mistakenly used Van Waggoner NBL-wide despite its limitation to Alexander.

The group expressed concern over the lack of clear responsibility for GEAB. Invoices are currently paid by the Budget Office as needed, and it was suggested that overpayment should be made more difficult. It was MOVED and unanimously APPROVED that the NBCG Chair should be the liaison to YBP, along with Mary Page, and have responsibility for monitoring the AP fund, GEAB.

5. Team Leader Reports

Teams are working on cancellations and AP reductions.

6. Refinements to the YBP Approval Plan

We discussed an Approval Expenditures handout and another entitled Representative Science Titles . Examination of the sample science titles reveals that we received them because of “interdisciplinary aspects” in their profile, and for no other reason. If we can do without these items, we should exclude these aspects from the profile.

It appears that many books listed as part of the approval shipments were actually firm ordered after coming up as slips.

Selectors should consider the audience level General Academic as a possible exclusion factor. Some find this an acceptable exclusion factor for their fields, but others do not.

Exclusions to the profiles should be made by the end of September . Send all changes to Kevin. He will make his own changes to the profiles at that time if he has not received any from the respective selector.

It would be helpful for the purpose of revising the profile if selectors could once again view the AP books on the shelves in Acquisitions. However, the books are not arranged in call number order when shipped, so it would require considerable work by Acquisitions to go back to placing them on the shelves in LCC order.

“Journalistic treatment” came up as an exclusion factor, but its use by YBP seems to be very subjective. Selectors can default to paper in their profiles as a way to save money.

Not every selector accepts the blanket exclusion of those publishers that do not permit a discount. It does appear, however, that we can identify fields and subjects (like most of K and GV call numbers) that are lower priority and can be excluded.

There was inconclusive discussion as to whether we might incentivize larger cuts to the profile by awarding extra firm order money to those who make them. It is difficult to do this across the board, but team leaders might find some way to do it with their non-state shared funds.

Mary Page will seek to provide data on the impact of “interdisciplinary aspects”. She will also get us information on the ratio of firm orders to books shipped automatically in YBP's AP report, further investigate the question of the science standing orders, and determine if it will be practical to shelve AP books in call number order.

7. Updating the Selector Database

All should consult the database and let Kevin know if their subjects are assigned correctly. Also consider whether you are “actively collecting” the subjects associated with your name, and make note of any anomalies. Sam McDonald should be informed about sabbatical replacement responsibilities so he can make the changes on the public Web.

8. Planning for the Year

The library budget is 1.7% of the Rutgers budget, and collections are 0.6%. According to one calculation the state funding for books is $5 per student.

The group agreed it would be useful to write a White Paper (or Black Paper) about the state of budgeting for collections. It is desirable to get our message out about what is happening to the budget, and the current restructuring makes it timely consider the place of NBCG and of NBL collections within the RUL system.

It might increase the impact of the White Paper if we addressed global studies on campus. There is an ongoing Global Initiatives Campaign, there is a November 1 deadline for Capital Campaign proposals, and there is a new Center for Race and Ethnicity on campus. All of these present potential opportunities for a focus on collections.

Respectively submitted,

Jim Niessen