Minutes for:
New Brunswick Libraries
Faculty Meeting
September 17, 2004
Alexander Library, Pane Room

Attendees: S. Bartz, J. Cassel, K. Denda, H. Dess (recorder), M. Fetzer, R. Gardner, T. Glynn, B. Hancock, S. Harrington, K. Hartman, W. Hemmig, R. Jantz, L. Langschied, P. Libutti, J. Mardikian, K. Mulcahy, L. Mullen, J. Niessen, F. Olin, P. Page, P. Piermatti, F. Puniello, J. Shepard, E. Stec, T. Tate, M. Wilson, K. Wenk, R. Womack

1. The agenda was approved.

2. Minutes of June 18, 2004 meeting approved.

3. Welcome to New Members-F. Puniello

A warm welcome was extended to our newest member of the faculty, John Shepard, Music/Performing Arts Librarian.

4. NBL Exploratory Committee Report and Discussion-J. Cassel

Discussion focused on the draft of the position description for the Information Literacy/ Instructional Technology Librarian. Numerous and diverse suggestions were offered about how better to define the duties and responsibilities for this position. Some of the principal strands of this discussion are summarized below.

MK: responsibilities should be broader and NB-campus-wide.
JM: functions should include scheduling for all of NB and for more equitable use of librarians instructional capabilities.
PL: greater use of web-based technology is needed.
ES: management of the overall NB instructional program should be specified.
RJ: better balance is needed between actual instruction, and the planning, acquisition, and implementation of instructional technology. Open source software is abundantly available, so there's no need to spend substantial sums on proprietary systems. We need more to emphasize up-to-date instructional skills and knowledge about open source products/systems in prospective candidates for the position with the goal of amplifying the productivity of instructional librarians.
LL: the PD qualifications should specify knowledge of open source software.
PL: noted the need for some specific commercial software packages.
FP: offered guidance from MIG who encourages us to ask for what we believe we really need for this position and not, at this point, be inhibited by concerns about funding.
RW: requested that the reference to Career Services be removed from the PD.
TT: we need a fuller discussion about the importance of instruction at RU.
KM: cautioned that we should not try to define the position too narrowly.
JC: (in response to a question from JM) as the PD is now written, the position is not responsible for serving as a consulting resource for other librarians to help them develop and use course management software.
FP: should this line be converted to a technology line, with consulting responsibilities attached?
LL: the NB instructional librarians need their own group to discuss problems and share out work in an equitable manner. This is viewed as a voluntary, cooperative type of endeavor, with no formal management structure as such.
RJ: PD should include examples of software specifics about which we expect the candidates to be knowledgeable

A number of specific recommendations were distilled from this discussion for modification of the existing PD language, submitted for a vote, and approved by the group (with five abstentions). J. Cassel kept note of the specific changes that were mandated and will shortly issue the revised PD for final review.

Attention then turned to the preservation position. Jeris solicited guidance from the preservation committee of CDC, as well as from the NB faculty-at-large about how best to describe the position requirements and qualifications. The current scope of the position spans two distinctly different needs and skills: print preservation and digital preservation. Can or should both of these needs be filled by the same position/individual? Marianne Gaunt noted in a prior meeting with the exploratory committee that RULS already has personnel, with requisite skills, carrying out print preservation functions, and that perhaps we need to concentrate more on the digital preservation aspect.

Francoise stated the need to have both of these position descriptions finalized in time for review by Cabinet at their October meeting. Please send ideas, including more detailed justifications for positions, to Jeris as soon as possible.

Somewhat tangential to this discussion, MW announced a clarification to a recent announcement concerning the outpost program. She stressed that this was strictly voluntary and not part of the normal schedule. The current effort should be viewed as an "extraordinary" short-term program to increase the visibility of RUL. It was not intended to be mandatory and will be handled by Access Services personnel and a few librarians willing to volunteer at this time.

5. Director's Report-Francoise Puniello

The primary focus here was on the budget: current status and near-term outlook. Unfortunately, the news was not encouraging. Contrary to earlier indications, the state is now anticipating a shortfall in revenues that could ultimately translate into a request for budget give-backs from the University, and, of course, the library. With this scenario in mind, our administration is already looking at ways to conserve funds, and Marianne Gaunt has affirmed that, in contrast to last year, she will not be able to offer any incremental funds to assist in collection development. As reported earlier by Bob Sewell, we currently only have about $206,000 available in state funds to cover both firm monograph orders and the monograph approval plan. Unless money is obtained from other sources, we will once again find it necessary to utilize various non-state funds (especially Van Wagoner) to match last year's spending level. One possible bright note: the NJ State Library Knowledge Initiative in Science, Technology, and Business was funded by the legislature for FY2005. This program is intended to pay for selective database access in these three major subject areas thus affording RULS some as yet unspecified measure of fiscal relief. As of now we still have no reliable estimate as to the magnitude or timing of savings that might accrue to us from this program, or from other options currently under study by our administration.

6. Bylaws Revision Question: Voting in NBLF Meetings by Librarians IV and V-K. Mulcahy

The changes recommended below for section V of the library bylaws, and unanimously approved by NBLF, are in accordance with University Bylaws (section 2.1.1.): librarians V who have served less than 2 years and librarians IV who have served less than 1 year, are invited to attend but shall not vote.

7. Future NBLF Meeting-Locations, Agendas, Refreshments-K. Mulcahy

Kevin offered the suggestion that NBLF meeting sites be rotated among the various NB libraries during the course of the year. The attendees agreed to this change, but scheduling of specific libraries for the balance of this year remain to be established.

The group also accepted another proposal, namely, part of NBLF meetings would be utilized for special demos or lectures about topics of interest and relevant to RULS operations.

Finally, it was agreed that responsibility for providing refreshments for these meeting would be rotated among the tenured librarians. Kevin will issue a schedule.

8. Miscellaneous Announcements

* Francoise: announcement from Leslie Fehrenbach, Assoc. V.P., Admin. & Public Policy, regarding email privacy at Rutgers. Under the Government's OPRA regulations, university business is considered to fall in the same category as government documents, and therefore open to the public. So be aware that any of your email messages might, under some circumstances, be subject to public scrutiny. There is interest on the part of some faculty members in exploring the implications of this policy.

* Thelma: on Nov. 10 we will be visited by some library delegates from Scandanavia. Please contact Thelma for additional information about possible meetings or presentations.

* Linda: point of information for anyone seeking help to digitally preserve library works of interest. Priority is given to 16th century manuscripts, and other items which are unique to RUL or quite rare.