The contract for PC Reservation will be extended thru the next year. Mary Fetzer wanted to prepay the next year on this year's money, and there was inadequate time to vet alternative vendors. We'll start looking at them early in the next calendar year and hope to have identified the vendor moving forward by next spring. PC Reservation is regarded as an industry leader, but a competitor might give us better control of time limits for individual accounts.
New student orientations for the summer: 13 sessions are scheduled for Livingston orientation from late June thru early August, and Jeris Cassel has placed a signup list for the Student Center Resource Fair in google docs. Tom says this is an enjoyable event.
Another category of orientation events are the campus tours' stops at individual libraries. Reference team leaders will train the student leaders of the orientation. Jill Nathanson prepared a one-page handout about LSM for distribution to student tour leaders, and other libraries might prepare similar handouts.
Yet another category of orientation are the Scarlet Knight events, of three kinds. Harry Glazer, Jeris, and Mary will discuss the role for RUL in these events. Marianne Gaunt is encouraging RUL participation in those venues where students congregate during the tours, e.g. the student centers. Library "lightning tours" didn't attract much interest among students, though. Bookmarks would be a good item to give out. Myoung showed the group two bookmarks produced for RUL: a red one for Rutgers faculty produced by Harry on heavy stock and a white one produced on lighter stock for study abroad students, suggesting that a bookmark for undergrads be produced and distributed by Access to every student checking out a book for the first time. Decided: ask Harry to produce a draft of a bookmark for undergrads, along the lines of the one for faculty, that can be considered by next week's USC meeting, produced in time for the June 20 orientation.
A discussion about QR codes on bookmarks or handouts noted that any linked web resource will only be useful if it is mobile-friendly, so for most purposes this is premature.
Individual libraries may produce simple handouts like the one that Jill produced for LSM; Tom will discuss this at the June 6 Alex Reference meeting.
Mary has signed an agreement with Altarama for its RefChatter product following a recommendation by the Chat Reference Task Force. Natalie Borisovets, Joseph Deodato, Melissa Gasparotto, and Bob Warwick will consult about implementation by September 1. Joseph says most of the difference from Meebo will be on the admin side, with statistics. For librarians the main difference will be in the ability to push pages.
In his first rotation he worked in Access, and in his second with Tom Izbicki and collection development. In his third this summer, he will work fulltime in DTS, especially on licenses due to his JD. Next fall he will work 25 hours/week in Information Services. Tom's ideas for his work are the following:
An additional suggestion was that he work with Eileen and her committee for disability services. Gideon has a JD and he may be able to offer guidance regarding ADA compliance.
Gideon will likely spend his residency year in Special Collections/University Archives. Send Tom G any additional ideas.
All New Jersey libraries are requested to participate in Snapshot Day. Recent RUL stats for this day revealed some libraries will smaller gate counts reported much larger reference statistics, thus revealing the inconsistency in our recording of reference statistics. Online recording, it is hoped, will move us toward greater consistency and also eliminate mechanical tasks associated with the stats' compilation. A free online program called Libstats has been used for reference statistics, but a superior commercial product called Gimlet may be used moving forward. Jill reports it costs only $10/month for Kilmer and company support is extremely responsive and easy to work with. She demonstrated the system online as it was used for the recording of reference questions at Kilmer during the month of May. In their current configuration there are entry fields for Duration, Question Type, Asked By, Format, Location, and to enter the text of the question asked. Most importantly, Gimlet produces reports in graphic and tabular form.
Mary signed off on the money for Kilmer's Gimlet account, and is ready to support its use by other libraries. The meeting agreed that using the Location feature to enable multiple New Brunswick libraries to record and display their statistics alongside each other would help us move toward greater consistency.
Tom Glynn demonstrated a simpler reference statistics tool created by Joseph Abraham at http://alexref.rutgers.edu/refdesk_tally/ that produces reports in spreadsheet output.
Mary suggested that we adopt one or the other of these, emphasizing that pricing, if reasonable, should not be an obstacle. Decided: we will adopt Gimlet, and announce the decision to the reference teams. The next NBISG meeting will discuss how to set it up. We can also use Gimlet for off-desk reference statistics. This would include librarians' research consultations, as well as questions answered at other service points, such as the circulations desks. We should include questions at other service points in our statistics, but currently we don't do this consistently across the libraries.
Hearing no announcements, the meeting was adjourned.