Information Services Steering Group
Meeting Minutes
July 11, 2002

Attendees (members): Myoung Wilson (chair), Jeris Cassel, Ron Jantz, Marty Kesselman, Kevin Mulcahy, Leslie Murtha, Pat Piermatti (recorder)

Attendees (guests): Triveni Kuchi, Laura Bowering Mullen, Stephanie Tama-Bartels

o Reference team leaders for Alexander, Douglass, and Kilmer Libraries, as well as LSM will share their reference desk schedules (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc) with ISSG chair (M. Wilson) … main purpose is for information (i.e. learning best practices) and to provide emergency coverage
o M. Wilson will redistribute NBL monthly reference desk schedules
o L. Murtha will continue her work to clean up library instruction data and create reports to help analyze instructional needs.

1. The minutes of the May meeting were approved as submitted. P.Page will send May minutes to K.Wenk for posting on NBL webpage. The June meeting was cancelled. P. Piermatti will send July minutes to K. Wenk for posting.

2. Old business:

Explorations of alternate models of information services

a) Librarians Without Borders

After distribution of Memorandum: Outpost Services Team: Triveni Kuchi, Laura Bowering Mullen, Stephanie Tama-Bartels, Triveni led the group discussion. A summary of comments:

Kevin - as part of survey we should ask question if query is for a class assignment; how many faculty give assignments? We operate within a "noisy" environment; how to have our library information compete with this other information

Laura - we do need focus groups; why do (and why not) the students come and ask for our help; 15,000 people a day pass through the Busch Campus Student Center and need experienced reference librarians to staff outpost; queries can be detailed; outpost staff needs knowledge of organization and policies; "Ask-A-Librarian" heavily used by undergraduates

Leslie - automated systems fine, however must still maintain "face to face" contacts

Marty - we need to think of scalability; library kiosks; marketing of library services; whom does our RUL web site serve? evaluating web sites; user study a good idea; Dan O'Connor (SCILS) should be consulted; develop easier to use systems in the future; provision of persistent help; Q&A NJ gets 800 queries a day; they market very well

Myoung - standalone information kiosks in campus centers are disappearing; marketing is a continuing concern; information posters on campus buses ( as suggested by Marty) are a good idea; Go to the OCLC web site:
For an interesting study proposal about information seeking behavior of undergraduates (funded by OCLC); ISSG will not run another pilot "Outpost Services" project this fall; MCW will discuss with Access Services regarding PINs, etc; Many thanks to the team for their hard work and very fine report

Ron - regarding marketing, cannot count on delivering at time of student need; IRIS not easy to use; how many students know how to expand a search by clicking on subject headings?

Stephanie - the Outpost Services Team needs to do a user survey of the students

Triveni - survey can be done as spot interviews with selected laptop users or through focus group from student center users

b) Real-time Reference

Marty recommended continuing the real-time reference service. Plans for the fall 2002 semester include 7-10pm service on Sundays through Thursdays. There are new and cheaper software products on the market. Question Point ( is one example.

ISSG Timeline AY 2002-2003

Myoung distributed a draft of the ISSG timeline; she reiterated the need for it as an assist to the group in its recurring processes and for planning.


Myoung distributed a draft of her asking voucher budget. The group approved submission to NBL Director.

Library Instruction Activities

ISSG discussion regarding collection and reporting of instruction statistics has been ongoing. Structure of Access database presently in use is not adequate for generating numbers, graphs and charts to assist in future planning and to show utilization trends. The instructional services group has been working on data collection and statistics compilation. Leslie reported on her continuing cleanup of raw data. Myoung distributed a handout illustrating the data she would like collected:

a) 1st year classes
b) writing programs
c) undergraduate courses
d) graduate courses
e) faculty orientations
f) orientations or instruction for special groups (and for non-Rutgers groups)

Marty recommended a simple, common form for BI statistics similar to the one Jeanne Boyle developed for outreach statistics. Much discussion ensued. Kevin said that there is always ambiguity in data. Marty mentioned that our current statistics show that 75% of our BI efforts are for undergraduates. What is our potential pool of BI users? Shaping A Life was a major instructional effort for NBL. Did it make a difference? Can we afford to take on such major instructional programs with fewer librarians? We need basic level statistics for ARL. We need statistics on effectiveness; are we reaching our users at time of need? Students are interested in results not teaching concepts; Eileen Stec has collected such data from the Shaping A Life effort.

Additional discussion … Marty spoke about SCILS students teaching sections of Shaping A Life. Jeris heard at ALA that national demand for BI is increasing. In order to obtain the numbers, graphs and charts valuable for future planning and to show user trends, Pat recommended redesign of the NBL BI Access database by instruction librarians group … Marty suggested voucher or SCILS student help. Myoung will speak with Arlene Minch about obtaining technical assistance. Marty recommended a discussion on this issue at Public Services Council.

ISSG Training Initiatives

Myoung mentioned the ISSG training guide:

Laura spoke about the importance of training. Myoung spoke of the need to develop a plan for cross training with Access Services. Marty identified three levels of training:

1. basic - RUL/NBL structure … cross training with Access Services
2. information assistants (graduate students (i.e. SCILS) - for Alexander, Douglass and Kilmer Libraries … how to deal with customers; basic familiarity with electronic resources, IRIS, research guides
3. building specific collections
4. training librarians about new sources

Marty also said that we need a better communication structure for our IAS … perhaps a listserv, etc. Laura remarked that LSM Access Services staff want to be members of LSM faculty listservs. More discussion about training followed. Myoung recommended an NBL training program for IAS.

3. New business:

Information Services Staffing

· With NBL librarian shortages due to early retirement package and other circumstances, the fall semester (2002) exchange librarian program will be done on "need" basis and will be coordinated by Reference Team Leaders. ISSG will revisit in the future.
· Alexander Library reference services has incorporated information desk staff into reference desk staffing. With unavailability of collection services staffing at the information desk, Alexander librarians have more reference demands and are not as available as exchange librarians.
· Myoung, Kevin and Pat will form a search committee for two new Saturday librarian hires (one at Alexander and one at LSM) and discuss other part-time librarian needs.
· Marty mentioned that Catherine Pontoriero is filling a temporary librarian position in place of Ferris Olin who is on sabbatical leave.
· Some discussion of the exchange librarian program followed.

· Marty reported on staffing situation at the Douglass Library. Douglass Librarians will staff Sunday Douglass reference desk hours; Douglass librarians will therefore drop off of the Alex/LSM reference teams for the LSM/Alex Sunday reference rotations. Myoung suggested that Marty work with Access Services staff to explore weekend hours at the beginning of the fall 2002 semester; and utilize voucher funds for information assistants to help Douglass librarians.

· Reference team leaders for Alexander, Douglass, and Kilmer Libraries, as well as LSM will share their reference desk schedules (weekly, biweekly, monthly, etc) with ISSG chair (M. Wilson) … main purpose is for information (i.e. learning best practices) and to provide emergency coverage

· Myoung will handle redistribution of the schedules.

4. Reports

Public Services Council

Marty encouraged all to attend the July 17 Public Access to Government Records Law meeting at 10 is in the Pane Room. [Addendum:] A one-page handout for library faculty will be prepared.

D21 Updates

Myoung reported on meetings held … discussions dealing with construction details such as furniture, etc.

5. Next meeting September 12.

Respectfully submitted,

Pat Piermatti
Secretary du jour