The agenda was adopted with no amendments.
Francoise reported on all of the facilities project underway or contemplated in all of the New Brunswick libraries. The highlights are as follows.
Alexander Library: Older windows are being replaced. Francoise hopes to have new carpeting installed in the government documents area and is waiting to see if facilities has funding. We have received money for a café, which may be located in the current periodicals room. A café' committee is working on this. We have to see if we have enough funding. The cell tower project on the roof is complete. The Libraries collect rent for the use of this space. The welcome desk for the lobby is nearly finished and the Alexander librarians have been working with Francoise to design a new reference desk.
Douglass Library: The consolidation of media at the Douglass Library is nearly complete. A committee is working on the creation of a new music seminar room. In the future, a new electronic classroom, to replace the one now in a corner of the ground level, and a Women & Gender study room, which were originally part of the D21 plan, will be built when funding is secured.
Library of Science and Medicine: We are installing additional electrical outlets. New study space will be created in the old Distributed Technical Services area. We continue to plan for consolidating some branch library collections into LSM.
Chang Library: Pricing for a group study room is being developed.
Art Library: There is a space problem at Art. To alleviate this we may install compact shelving. We need new furniture for the building, as it is a highly used library.
Math Library: We hope to add a group study room and take steps to improve the general appearance of the library. The front entrance will be redesigned.
Douglass, Alexander, and LSM will get electronic bulletin boards. In most of the libraries the filament light bulbs will be replaced with energy-efficient bulbs. Some of our security cameras record to a VCR. Other buildings on campus use DVD. The Libraries administration wants to update our system and feels that the University should pay for this. Facilities has refused to do so. Francoise is getting estimates for how much this would cost.
There was some discussion generally about the sources of funding for all of these projects. Francoise has no budget. In some cases the money comes from RUL administration. This year Francoise has submitted a list of priorities to the University Librarian. In some cases we have raised money from outside the Libraries. The new welcome desk in Alexander Library, for example, was funded by the Class of 1950. Mary has also contributed Research and Instructional Services (RIS) funds for projects, such as the new reference desk in Alexander Library and furniture for Kilmer. Mary has also submitted an end-of-year priority list to the University Librarian.
On March 11 Mary attended a town hall meeting organized by the Rutgers University Student Assembly. Also in attendance were President McCormick, Executive Vice President Furmanski, Vice President Barry Qualls and other university administrators. There were no questions directly related to the Libraries. The students seem to be very happy with the extension of library hours, which came about as a result of concerns they raised last fall.
Marianne Gaunt, University Librarian, met on March 11 with Gregory Blimling, Vice President for Student Affairs and New Brunswick campus student leaders to discuss the Libraries. The meeting made clear that we need to do more to make students aware of our expanded hours, especially with signs in the Libraries. The group also discussed ways to publicize RIOT, the new online information literacy tutorial. The University Librarian reported that the students were not aware that subject specialist librarians are available to help them with their research. We need to work on this as well. And the students also said that they often find it difficult to choose the appropriate database to use when starting a paper or project.
There was a brief discussion of LibGuides. It was stressed that this product is reasonably priced, just $3,000 a year, and will, among other things, help students select the proper database for their research. Mary said she would be happy to fund this from the RIS budget. It was suggested that this is really an issue for the Library Resources Council. However, the New Brunswick librarians felt it was important to go on the record to support a subscription to LibGuides and voted unanimously to do so.
The chair and deputy chair of the New Brunswick Libraries will meet with the AUL for RIS to develop goals for the coming year. These will be used as part of the "action grid" maintained by the Associate University Librarian for Planning. Also, chairs of groups reporting to the AUL for Research and Instructional Services should submit a mid- year report by March 22. Mary stressed that this will make it easier to write the annual report. There was some discussion of the format we should use. In the past few years we have been told to structure the reports to address the five goals in the Libraries' Strategic Plan. A member of the Peer Evaluation Committee pointed out that such reports are not very helpful in assessing colleagues for the Faculty Compensation Program (FCP), that structuring annual reports along the lines of the 1-L form, with sections for librarianship, scholarship, and service was more useful for the committee. There seemed to be general agreement that the older format made it easier to summarize our work and highlight our accomplishments.
Mary has been extremely busy with personnel issues. She has done her own evaluations for the twenty-nine faculty that were reviewed by the Peer Evaluation Committee and is working on thirty-one SCP awards for staff as well. She stressed the importance of our annual reports as a basis for FCP merit raises generally and next year in particular, when we hope to have a new AUL for RIS. Also, we have hired an administrative assistant at LSM and a Library Associate II for the Fordham Lab. We will need to replace the administrative assistant at Alexander shortly. There have been two post tenure reviews this year. There are no tenure or reappointment actions scheduled for next year.
There was an extensive discussion of target of opportunity hires. Under this program, a unit proposes a new position and provides the names of prominent minority candidates to recruit for it. If the line is approved and filled, the University pays half of the new faculty member's salary for the first three years. The University Librarian will propose three positions to Vice President Furmanski, a Science Librarian at the Dana Library, a Web 2.0 Librarian at the Robeson Library, and a Digital Preservation Librarian in Special Collections. These proposals can be submitted to the University at any time, but in the future the University Librarian plans to do this on a three year cycle. It was stressed that the New Brunswick libraries, on the largest campus, with the greatest needs for library services, should benefit from target of opportunity hires. But it was also pointed out that the sole intent of the program is to increase the diversity of the Rutgers faculty. Especially Dana and Robeson have been very proactive in taking advantage of this program. We should be prepared with our own proposals.
Rutgers Day is coming up on April 24. There are events scheduled at Alexander Library and the Art Library. Mary encouraged us to participate, so that the New Brunswick Libraries are represented by librarians as well as staff.
Election of officers for the New Brunswick Library Faculty and the New Brunswick Collection Group will be held in the spring. There will be a call for nominations shortly.
Triveni will be meeting with the Acting AUL for RIS to discuss the charge for a group that will address planning in New Brunswick Libraries, especially as it relates to open lines. This group could help us make progress in regards to target of opportunity hires.
Triveni has asked the University Librarian for a status update on recruiting an AUL for RIS. Caroline Caviness, the RUL diversity intern, recently submitted a report to Cabinet on how similar positions are configured at peer institutions. She found that at most academic libraries similar to RUL there are not separate campus directors, that most have a system-wide administrator for public services analogous to the AUL for RIS. Caroline is working on a second report that looks at how library faculty at those institutions report to and work with library administrators. We then discussed the AUL for RIS position and the need to fill it. There was some concern expressed that comparison reports might omit some complex issues unique to RUL. One member asked if we could simply initiate a search with the existing job description. Triveni responded that the University Librarian wants first to hear from Mary and Judy Gardner regarding the configuration of the position. Mary said that this will probably be addressed at the Cabinet's upcoming retreat.
The Douglass Information Services Group discussed book sales at a recent meeting. When the Music Library held sales in the past, it always had control over the money they made, but this year, Eileen, the reference team leader at Douglass, was told the proceeds would have to go to a general book fund. Triveni later confirmed this with Charlene Houser, the Business Manager in New Brunswick. Charlene also said that written procedures will be developed in the future and that for now we should inform her or Nancy Hendrickson, the RUL Budget Manager, if we plan to hold a book sale.
Many felt that this policy is unfair, that a good deal of time and effort goes into organizing these sales and that the monies realized should benefit the local unit. They also stressed that each library needs a modest, flexible fund to draw upon to for small, miscellaneous purchases and that book sales are a good source for such funds. Others said that the money generated by the sales was unimportant to them, that they are simply a good way to share books with readers and are good public relations for the Libraries. One member advised that we should distinguish between creating general, petty cash funds at the libraries that hold the sales and funds that are used specifically for collections. Normally the books we sell are either withdrawn from circulation or donated as gifts. In either case, state or personal property, there is a reasonable expectation that money we make from selling it be used for collection development. There are presumably other funds to draw on for small, miscellaneous purchases. It was decide that Jim Niessen, Jeris Cassel, Tom Izbicki, and Eileen Stec should meet with Charlene to discuss this. They will find out if it is possible to create a book fund at a library for the proceeds of that library's book sales. They will also ask if there is the equivalent of a petty cash fund available either at local libraries or for all of New Brunswick.
Tom Glynn was elected last spring to a two-year term on the Rutgers AAUP Executive Council. Although this is an at-large election, in practical terms, we can consider him a library representative on the Council. In the past, when there was no one to represent the Libraries, our union served us poorly. In the current contract there is a clause that grants an eight-week paid leave to new parents, but it applies only to faculty members in teaching departments, not to librarians and other faculty members who do not teach in the classroom.
The current contract runs through June of 2011. The AAUP has requested that faculty across the units confer and report back to the Executive Council the issues they feel it is most critical to address in the upcoming contact negotiations with the RU administration. There was a wide-ranging discussion of several concerns. We stressed that the union should negotiate the same contract for all of its members, and, if for any reason the negotiating team bargains for a benefit that applies to some faculty but not others, that should be made public and justified to the membership before the contract is finalized. Also, as a matter of fairness, all AAUP members should be granted the eight-week family leave referred to above.
There was support for a dental plan for retired faculty. Also, one member felt the new contact should allow us the option of switching from a twelve-month to a ten-month contract. There was some concern expressed over this. Some felt this would send the wrong message to the RU administration at a time that we are trying to secure additional lines. There was also a complaint about the condition of the parking lots, particularly in light of the high cost of our parking permits. This would probably not be something negotiated in the coming contract, but might be an issue the union could take up with the administration.
There was an extensive discussion of librarians teaching credit courses. At present, if one of us teaches a Rutgers class outside the Libraries, the salary is apparently placed in a general RIS fund. Many of us felt that this is unfair, that the monies realized should go to a fund that somehow benefits the librarian who teaches. For example, when faculty in the teaching departments lead an honors seminar, they are granted a $3,000 research fund. It was suggested that, in the case of the Libraries, the money should go to a research fund or at least a fund that the librarian controls, such as a book fund. It was stressed that these classes have been taught entirely on the librarian's own time, so that colleagues are not closing ranks when this happens. It is not clear that this is an issue that the AAUP can grieve.
We also discussed the clause in the current AAUP contract in which the RU administration pledges to create approximately one hundred new lines with a new Faculty Development Fund. It is not clear in the contract or in any communication from the union how those lines are allocated. Certainly the Libraries have never been granted additional lines, although the language in the contract would seem to apply to us as well as to the teaching faculty. Tom will ask the AAUP how and where the new lines have been added.
The Instruction Task Force continues to meet. They will begin a discussion of instruction for Writing Program classes at the next NBISG meeting, on April 2.
In order to launch a Wiley ebook package, we need to start with at least twenty-five titles. We are encouraged to select Wiley ebook titles that seem worthwhile.
On March 11, Ryan sent an email to NBCG explaining what will happen to the development and phonathon funds at the close of the fiscal year. "D funds" (beginning with the letter D) will be reclaimed and not carry over into the next fiscal year. If a "P fund" (beginning in P) is not spent down, the money allocated to it next year will be reduced by the amount left unspent. Ryan also said there would be funds created to tide us over until collection monies are allocated next fiscal year.
We should let the team leaders know if we intend to submit big ticket items for end-of-the-year purchases.
Melissa announced that she has received a grant to present a program on "None on Record" in the Teleconference Lecture Hall on April 6. None on Record is an oral history project that collects stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Africans from Africa and beyond. For more information, see noneonrecord.com.