July 16, 2002
||Director, New Brunswick Libraries
||Myoung C. Wilson
||Chair, Information Services Steering Group
||Annual Report (July 2001-June 2002) of the NBL Information
Services Steering Group
The following are the highlights of the Information Services Steering Group
(ISSG). Members of ISSG addressed a variety of issues on behalf of the NBL Information
- Information/Reference /Research Services
- During this reporting period, over 32,000 reference and research queries
were answered and close to 20,000 directional questions were answered by
librarians, staff and Information Assistants. Additionally librarians provided
well over 5,000.00 individual and advanced research consultations away from
the reference desk. Altogether approximately 57,000.00 contacts were made
between the NB information services librarians, staff and students, and
- The NBL wide reference exchange has been in effect.
- NBL librarians continue to contribute to RUL "Ask A Librarian"
service during this time based on the newly mandated 7 (NBL) 2 (Newark)
1 (Camden) staffing formula.
- In search for an alternate model of information services in the fast changing
information environment, ISSG appointed a team of librarians to explore
library outpost service options. A team of working group was established:
they are StephanieTama, Trevini Kuchie and Laura Mullen; The chair of the
ISSG and Stephanie Tama met with the Associate Dean of Rutgers College Lenore
Neighborne and the Rutgers College Student Center Director Kathleen Kuhnert
to make arrangement for the pilot project. A spring pilot project was then
planned and implemented at the Busch Campus Center under the theme "Librarians
without Borders." The team concluded that the library outpost service
was used less than anticipated. The team's final report is available at
- Marty Kesselman and Ryan Womack (Natalie Borisovets and Marty Kesselman,
co-chairs of the Real Time Reference Task Force) were active members in
conducting a pilot real time reference service initiated by the RUL Public
Services Council in the Spring Semester, 2002.
- During this reporting period, NB librarians taught over 700 class sessions.
- Members of ISSG ( Scott Hines, Pat Piermatti, Kayo Denda, Kevin Mulcahy
and Jeris Cassel) and the Director of New Brunswick Libraries (RyokoToyama)
participated in the Rutgers College Parents' Information Fair held on August
- Leslie Murtha coordinated the New Student Orientation Office of the Rutgers
College and Scott Hines and Jackie Mardikian participated in the TA orientation.
- Douglass College based "Shaping a Life" course was again team
taught by New Brunswick Librarians. For the first time, SCILS students were
recruited as instruction assistants. Over eighty (80) sessions of this course
was taught by New Brunswick Librarians. Eileen Stec was the coordinator.
- Stephanie Tama and Jeris Cassel coordinated instruction activities for
writing classes across NBL.
PC Coordinating Team
- Funds from the successful 2000-2001 ACIC (Advisory Committee on Instructional
Computing) proposal were received in August 2001. With this funding forty-seven
(47) new public PCs were purchased and distributed throughout the New Brunswick
Libraries to help students gain access to advanced databases.
- ISSG shepherded another successful ACIC grant entitled "To Build
an Information Infrastructure for Undergraduates: A Proposal to Enhance
Group and Individualized Library Instruction " in the amount of $50,000
for AY 2001-2002. An improved technical infrastructure is expected at four
major facilities for individualized instructions at reference desk and outreach
programs, and for classroom instructions with new instructional software
NetOp. ISSG appointed a team of librarians to work on this proposal. The
team members were Stephanie Bartz, Marty Kesselman, Leslie Murtha, and Stephanie
Tama. Stephanie Bartz coordinated this successful team effort.
- Recommended and coordinated computer equipment purchases and reallocation
of existing computers throughout the year.
- Compiled and submitted an end-of-year computer equipment request for NBL.
- Arranged for existing CD-ROM stations in Alex, LSM, Kilmer, and Douglass
to be replaced with ELF funded PCs; also for additional PCs to be added
to the Kilmer Instructional Alcove.
- NBL PC coordinating team initiated a cooperative arrangement between the
NB PC Coordination Team and the Administrative Team so that Administrative
Team members can serve as basic backup for PC Team members and write trouble
tickets for machines in their building.
- Members of the ISSG developed guidelines governing the reporting structures
and responsibilities of temporary librarians. The guidelines are available
as Section IX a) and b) of the NB Libraries Reference Manual.
- A new worksheet was introduced to develop a plan for the below the line
voucher requests. While this worksheet was designed for the immediate benefit
for the reference team leaders, it was also aimed to take a proactive approach
in budget request in more systematic ways rather than being reactive to
the available fund. One of the long-range goals for this worksheet is aimed
at establishing an optimal staffing level for the purposes of information
- With the resignation of Beth Sawickie (LSM PC Coordiantor), and her departure
in July 2001, Tony Joachim, the Douglass PC coordinator expanded his responsibilities
and provided coverage for LSM. This was the result of NBL wide cross-training
efforts in PC coordination that allowed us a capability of emergency staff
- A new LSM PC coordinator, Isaiah Beard was hired in November 2001.
Pat Piermatti chaired the search and coordinated his orientation program.
- Reference Team Leaders at LSM(Pat Piermatti) and Alexander (Kevin Mulcahy)
and Chair of the ISSG participated in the annual review of two librarian
Vs. Pat Piermatti, Marty Kesselman (Douglass Team Leader) and Jeris Cassel
(Kilmer Team leader) participated in the annual P4P review for information
and technology specialist at each unit.
The NBL Information Services Steering Group (ISSG) met monthly (except October,
2001 and June, 2002) during this reporting period and addressed the following
(among others) issues:
Goals and Objectives
- The role and staffing of general reference desks-this discussion was initiated
by Ferris Olin.
- Location and number of public access terminals with headphones were discussed.
- Review of emergency procedures and public safety post September 11 was
- Email alert and other features that can be activated in electronic databases-Trevini
Kuchi initially brought this issue to the Group's attention. It is now referred
to RUL Public Services Council.
- "MyLibrary" concept was discussed and demonstrated at the NBL
- The Group has been regularly updated on the development of D21.
- The NBL Reference Manual was updated on personnel issues and two new sections
(NBL Reference Exchange and Ask a Librarian) were added.
- On behalf of NBL, the chair participated in the testing and evaluating
Ariel 3.01's electronic document delivery system, and in the general discussion
of the potential RUL membership in PALCI (Pennsylvania Academic Library
Consortium, Inc.) for consideration of direct borrowing privileges.
- Continue to search for innovative alternate models of information, instruction
and research services within NB academic community
- Continue to explore information service models appropriate for digital
- Continue to refine the data collection for information/reference/research/
instructional services so that patterns and trends of these activities across
NBL can be identified, and effective service programs can be designed
- Work toward the next level of integration of NBL wide training programs
in information services; work closely with Access Services and identify
common areas of training and service.
- Foster a culture that value learning and continue to seek ways to train
librarians and staff on Internet based resource
- Develop and design more effective "marketing" and "public
relations" programs regarding the role of librarians, and library information
resources and services.
cc: Members of ISSG