New Brunswick Libraries
Information Services Steering Group
Annual Report (July 2003-June 2004)
The following are the highlights of the Information Services Steering Group
(ISSG). During this reporting period members of ISSG addressed a number of important
issues on behalf of the NBL Information Services Group. The members of the ISSG
during this period are as follows:
Stephanie Bartz, PC Coordination Team Leader
Ronald Jantz, CKDB Liaison
Penny Page, Branch Libraries and Vice Chair
Jeris Cassel, Kilmer Area Library Reference Team Leader and Vice Chair, NBL
Library Instruction Liaison
Ferris Olin, Dougalss Library Reference Team Leader
Kevin Mulcahy, Alexander Library Reference Team Leader and Generalist Team
Patricia Piermatti, Library of Science and Medicine Reference Team Leader
Myoung Wilson, Chair, New Brunswick Libraries Information Services Group
In June 2004 election, Jeris Cassel was elected as Reference Collection Team
Leader and will be representing NBL on the RUL Generalist Team. In June 2004
Kayo Denda was appointed as Acting Reference Team Leader of Douglass Library
- Information/Reference /Research Services*
- During this reporting period, 27,207 reference and research queries were
answered and 22, 426 directional questions were answered in person or by
phone by librarians, staff and information assistants. Additionally librarians
responded to 8,046 individual and advanced research questions and 369 directional
questions away from the reference desk. Altogether 58,048 contacts were
made between the NB information services librarians, staff and students,
and the public. This is an increase of almost 8000 more research/information
/directional assistances provided at all service points including in librarians'
offices than in the previous year.
- Due to the unusually grim budget forecast, members of the ISSG made a
decision early on to suspend all extracurricular experiments and activities
relating to alternate models of information services during this academic
- After many months of fine-tuning the elements of web-based statistical
forms for instruction and reference statistics, NB librarians began to regularly
utilize the web-based forms for reporting instruction and reference statistics
beginning July 2004. This online form centralizes the data collection in
a consistent and uniform manner eliminating the labor intensive and duplicative
work of unit instruction coordinators. The form resides at NBL homepage
at http://nbl.rutgers.edu. This is the first year that the entire instruction
and reference data are reported from this data bank and will serve as a
benchmark year for future comparisons.
- Members of the ISSG met with the following groups in order to better coordinate
information provision across all public services desks on NB campus.
- At its September meeting, PC Coordinators (K. McGuire, P. Johnson and
A. Joachim) joined the members of ISSG and addressed issues regarding
the use and allocation of PCs. One concrete result of this discussion
was a proposal for on-site training for basic technical skills for all
NB personnel. A document entitled Computer Training for Common Tasks:
A Proposal for On-Site "Mini" Training Sessions for Personnel
at the New Brunswick Libraries, was authored by A. Joachim and S. Bartz.
After a meeting with the RUL Training Coordinator Marylyn Wilt this proposal
was folded into more comprehensive system wide training program.
- At its October meeting, F.Tehrani, M. Sheehy, and G. Smulewitz attended
the ISSG meeting to explore better coordination between Information Services
and Access/Collection Services. A Seamless Information Provision Task
Force was formed; members were Jeris Cassel, F. Olin, M. Sheehy and G.
Smulewitz. The task force issued its final report in May, 2004. This report
will require further discussion with the NBL Administration and librarians
- At its November meeting M. Lo, C. Finlay, M. Kesselman and R. Gardner
joined the meeting to discuss issues pertinent to Branch Libraries. It
was affirmed that email communication is the most effective way to share
information; concern was expressed regarding the serious shortage of staffing
at some branch libraries such as at Math Library.
- At it December meeting A. Joachim and K. McGuire and a guest Intern,
Aryana Bates, joined the meeting to have a general session on better marketing
strategies of library services and explored alternate ways to reach students
- Encouraged by the newly developed Douglass online directory members
of ISSG agreed that a creation of NBL wide digital directory will be useful
for training and reference purposes. Toward this end Access/Collection
Services and Information Services jointly appointed task force to develop
NBL digital directory. The members of this task force are Megan Doyle,
Heather Huey, Kevin Mcguire and Karen Wenk. Stephanie Bartz and Ron Jantz
serve as consultants. The members of the task force are aiming to produce
a phase I of the NBL digital directory by the beginning of the fall, 2004
- On April 13, 2004, the ISSG chair organized a meeting with the residential
deans of Rutgers College in order to better coordinate the library needs
of students at dorms, especially the first year students. Jeris Cassel
and Karen Hartman joined the meeting. Twenty-one (21) Academic Community
Programmers (ACPs) who serve as the live-in peer counselors for the first
year dorm students will be trained in August in preparation for the fall
semester, 2004. Karen Hartman agreed to coordinate the training program.
- On October 20, 2003 the chair of ISSG met with the Deans Jolie Cizewski
and Barbara Bender at the Graduate School (NB) and the representatives
of RUCS (NB) in order to review library computing lab hours in general
and especially in the Alex Graduate Reserve Reading Room. After the review
of use statistics in previous years, NB RUCS agreed to keep the Graduate
Reading Room labs open during the intersession of spring, 2004.
- The NBL wide reference exchange has been in effect in limited numbers.
- NBL librarians continue to contribute to RUL "Ask A Librarian"
and to real time virtual reference services during this time.
- For unit and area specific activities and achievements, please see individual
team leaders' reports.
- Members of ISSG addressed a number of issues regarding NBL wide instruction
activities, coordination and strategies as an on-going topic during this
reporting period. The Group also had extensive discussions on a document
entitled Information Literacy and Library Instruction in the Rutgers University
New Brunswick Libraries: Report, Proposals, and Recommendations prepared
by the NBL Instruction Librarians Group. This document is still under review
by J. Cassel and K. Mulcahy for further discussion at NBL wide librarians'
- A total of 655 class sessions were taught during this reporting period
(217 of these sessions were repeat sessions) reaching 9,872 students. Among
those 655 sessions, 531 sessions (81.07 %) were for undergraduate courses;
89 sessions (13.59%) were for graduate students; 8 (1.2 %) sessions were
for faculty members; 7 sessions (1.07 %) were for EOF students; 8 (1.22
%) sessions were for other groups at Rutgers; and 12 sessions (1.83 %) were
for non-Rutgers audiences including 4 sessions for high school students.
- The instruction data also indicated the following breakdowns of instructors
of library classes:***
- 538(82.14%) sessions were taught by librarians
- 87 (13.28%) sessions taught by TA/GA/SCILS students
- 17 (2.60 %) sessions taught by course instructors
- 13 (1.98 %) sessions taught by temporary librarians
- Departing from its past practice, members of ISSG agreed to systematically
hire temporary librarians (our own part-time lecturers) in order to respond
to the increasing demand for library instruction at 100, 200 level required
** A more detailed analyses of NBL wide instructional activities will be
reported by Jeris Cassel who serves as NBL Instruction Liaison to ISSG.
*** The mid year report of ISSG contains two inaccurate numbers in this
area. The number of course instructors who taught their own library classes
from June through December 2003 should read as five (5) and the number of
temporary librarians who taught library sessions during the same period
should read as eleven (11).
Goals and Objectives
- Three Librarian V positions were developed and posted during this time
and successfully recruited. They are Ann Bemis (Kilmer), Heather Huey (Alexander)
and Kim O'Konis (Kilmer).
- As in previous years, Reference Team Leaders at LSM (Pat Piermatti), at
Douglass (Ferris Olin) and at Kilmer (Jeris Cassel), and the PC Team Leader
(Stephanie Bartz) participated in the annual P4P review for the two unit
computing specialists and one information and technology specialist.
The members of ISSG made considerable efforts and progress toward many
of the goals and objectives stated below from last year. We will continue
to work toward achieving these goals through specific projects by creating
- Review the organizational structure of ISG and ISSG in order to encourage
participation from all who provide information services; address those issues
that specifically relate to its leadership structure.
- Continue to explore within the NB academic community innovative information,
instruction and research service models appropriate for digital library
- Identify and assess the information needs of students and faculty during
the times when reference desk is not staffed.
- Work closely with Access Services and identify common areas of training
- Foster a culture that value learning and continue to seek ways to train
librarians and staff on Internet based resources
- 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