Minutes of the December 3, 2010 meeting were approved without any changes.
The Agenda was approved, after moving the new Douglass home page to the second spot.
Tom offered a follow-up report on reference statistics. He has met with Jeanne Boyle, and since Jeanne is looking at statistics gathering at a higher level, New Brunswick is free to explore its own approach. Joe Abraham has developed an online reference stats tool that could be used across libraries and that creates a spreadsheet. Joe will discuss this with Mary Fetzer.
Tom has not yet met with Tibor Purger regarding a planned web page showing librarians' availability for reference in various formats and regarding VOIP.
Mei Ling has met with OIT folks and Sakai course sites will now give teaching faculty the option to include in their class Sakai sites the following: Libguides; introduction to libraries course Libguide; link to reserve page in IRIS.
Providing guest user accounts for HS students under 18 years of age, mostly in AP or International Baccalaureate programs whose schools have arranged library classes at RUL, has been rejected by lawyers from the University Counsel's Office. They claim there is a danger of the students being victimized by online predators. We might explore bringing the issue before User Services Council, and perhaps soliciting support from high school administrators and from relevant university outreach offices. Tom expressed his frustration at this shortsighted decision and felt it is very poor PR for the University and makes it more difficult to attract the State's finest HS students to Rutgers.
Tom and Rich demonstrated Adobe Connect Now, a free conferencing software that does not require special equipment or downloading on the part of students. RUL has a license for Adobe Connect Pro, a more powerful and sophisticated version, which allows for webinars linking as many as 40 users, but the free version allows text chatting, sharing of web pages and documents, plus optional video/audio connections among other features. RUL now has 4 licenses for Connect Pro, currently available through members of PCWG, but individual librarians can sign up for Connect Now, which appears to offer some excellent possibilities for one on one conferences with students-a very helpful complement to existing services like AAL and Meebo and in-person consultations. It is very simple to use. A student would simply arrange a time with the appropriate librarian, then go to that librarian's ConnectNow URL and sign in as an anonymous guest to initiate a consultation. Librarians might promote this through LibGuides and BIs. The consensus was that this is an interesting tool we should explore. Tom will forward additional information, and there will be a formal demonstration at the State of the Libraries, with workshops as a possible follow up. It was suggested that using the Connect Pro version might be an effective way of allowing remote site access to SAPAC events, especially as the events can be recorded. Rich is the coordinator for PCWG, and comments/questions on the technological aspects can be directed to him.
Jane and Michelle demonstrated a revised Douglass home page, with the intention of testing it this spring semester. Because Douglass librarians do not normally staff the reference/information desk, a LibGuide page offers at the first level photographs and contact information for the four librarians, including Meebo buttons, for immediate chat, when the librarians are available. The Douglass librarians are suggesting that this be the default home page on the Douglass Library computers. A number of concerns were raised: this approach effectively "buries" the RUL home page, perhaps making it invisible to some users; during evening and weekend hours especially, when the librarians are not present, it might not be readily apparent how to link to basic library resources (IRIS, databases); this sacrifices the standard appearance of the library computers, perhaps creating difficulties and potential confusion for students using our computers in various buildings. There was a lively discussion, and while the proposed idea has much merit, the consensus is to pursue the proposed pilot project only if a way can be found to return the computers automatically to the RUL home page during evening and weekend hours. If the pilot project does go forward, the Douglass librarians will development an assessment methodology.
Tom suggested more follow up to last month's discussion of our annual goal relating to reference, perhaps the creation of a task force to pursue certain ideas and issues further. NBISG felt this was unnecessary.
This discussion will be delayed until the next meeting. It was suggested that this be placed at the beginning of the agenda in February.
Laura noted that the Chat Reference Task Force is winding up its investigations, and asked that any comments or suggestions be sent to her or Melissa.
Tom noted that he, Mary Fetzer, and Kevin will be meeting to discussion reference norms, and this topic may be on the agenda of a future NBISG meeting (and perhaps on the USC agenda as well).
Joe reported that laptops at Art circulated 200 times last semester-a detailed report on this pilot, including user feedback, will be out shortly.
Judy reported that the new E-ZBorrow interface will be rolled out on January 25. Judy will share the discovery tool with librarians before that, allowing us to explore and familiarize ourselves. The company which created the interface appears open to future enhancements, but of course it is a consortial tool, so RUL preferences will not necessarily be gratified.
The meeting adjourned at 11:30 AM