1. Disability services: Rutgers has a new Executive Director of its Office of Disability Services (Bill Welsh, formerly of Penn State). There is a disability services conference today; we can learn more about campus-wide services. One thing we have already heard is that we can scan student textbooks and course materials in their entirety in support of student learning. The Libraries can investigate how we can accomplish this.
2. Open textbook initiative. Students are beating down the doors wanting a solution to the cost of textbooks. RUL's Reserves was approached about students donating textbooks to the Libraries; we are studying options, and will make it work if possible. The open textbooks student group has been talking to various stakeholders, and has met with Gaunt and Just. The Libraries have reached out to a couple of potential collaborators (OIRT, RU Press, for example). Students are going to talk to New Brunswick Faculty Council next to see if that group can't endorse an initiative. RUL can provide a platform, be a partner, or initiate a pilot. One of the talking points we discussed with the students was that in order for open textbooks to work, the academy will need to figure out what would incentivize faculty participation.
3. The undergraduate education conference will be happening in the fall. Martha Cotter and Marty Gliserman have reached out to the libraries to see if there are ways we can participate. Just will keep everyone posted. The conference is for instructors and used to be a regular event.
4. "Club Alex": There will be dance party at Alex. The party's committee is coming to Alex to check things out; there has been an unprecedented run on tickets. This is an annual event, but has been held in many other places in previous years.
A new aspect of our need to make some changes is the retirement of Mary Fetzer. It has been wonderful to have Fetzer as Deputy. We will not continue with this model, but this makes it more important that we move quickly on reorganization of RIS. Remember to fill out the form sent by in an email by Just to indicate your interest in participation in the task force. Just is interested in a layer in between the AUL and the larger faculty group. Just is interested in various models, rotation of the various positions being one model (but not constantly rotating). Suggestions included: disciplinary groups, collection development and public services, or having subgroups under other larger groups. What should these groups of people that are working together look like? We all wear many different hats in our current positions. People will be involved with a primary home, but will be interacting with colleagues in different groups. Questions came up about merit raises and other incentives for taking on new roles/leadership. There will be no changes in leadership responsibility; as an AUL, Just will retain her administrative role as "unit director" of RIS. Faculty processes, such as FCP (the Faculty Compensation Program), and promotion and tenure, will continue to be led by the RIS 'ad-hoc' chair.
This reorganization pertains to the RIS group (faculty and staff). Faculty will be ruled by our RUL bylaws. NBLF as a faculty unit will not be affected by this reorganization. Which pieces of our work fall under NBLF, and which under other groups' work and charges? RBHS will be another piece to work out in the future.
What is the goal for this reorganization? NB does not have an identity; a shared sense of who we are, and where we're going. There is an issue with our place in the system; we are in that space between university-wide and local responsibility. We have the system wide Council structure, for instance, and how would that fit into this reorganization? Liaison roles might work better as a group than the collections piece, but we do have a precedent for NB-based collections and public services, for instance. A disciplinary structure might be one option; to align somewhat by disciplinary responsibility. Some colleagues work across boundaries.
What is not working? Starting there might be good. Should we start this by forming the group, and then have something like a retreat, where we do a series of exercises that will start with faculty and then include staff at an opportune time later? We had a retreat in 2000. What does Just need? She will be bringing us ideas as we go forward with the task force. She will not be looking for a gatekeeper type model and would still be easily available but needs to have many small decisions made in a more distributed fashion. We need lots of viewpoints on the reorganization committee; not all new librarians or not all seasoned perspectives. Just asks NBLF to put their names in the hat; this group will start right away and work quickly (maybe complete this work within 6 months).
Gardner: Two candidates for Head of Access Services will be coming on May 9th, and May 21st.
Just: One more candidate for Dana Director will be coming on May 14th and 15th.
Sloan: DVDs will now circulate to undergrads. This will be a soft launch for now, and will be more widely communicated later. This will amount to involving undergrads in the booking process (all DVDs, all users). This will be a closely watched situation for now. You can renew DVDs. The service is somewhat limited but will mimic the current faculty/staff borrowing for now.
Chair's report: Glynn stresses that more participation is needed for English 201 and 302/303. Classes are interesting; try to find Research in the Disciplines sections that interest you. Some librarians want to teach, but feel they have not been invited as often as in other years. More participation would be good. This is an expectation that all librarians be involved in the program. This comes up in the promotion and tenure process. It is easier if everyone shares, meaning only two classes per librarian, per se. There will be a new focus on the "open call" to sign up.
"Flipping the classroom" task force will have a report next time. There is a new opportunity and there may need to be training. There could be a panel discussion upcoming.
Kuchi suggests that since the instruction group is meeting we might want to develop some aspect as a course that would be revenue generating.
Curriculum mapping is going to be very important in meeting the needs of other disciplines, for instance Psychology or other large disciplines that have their own information literacy standards.
Glynn reminds that there will be a webinar on May 15th at 2:30 in the Heyer Room about using discovery services for information literacy.
Each unit was asked to report back on Counting Opinions comments pertaining to their units. LSM had no formal report. Kilmer mentioned "comfort and quiet" as positives, also power outlets in the cubicles. Comments about Kilmer were not substantial. There are some issues with trying to analyze building-specific comments. It's hard to tease the general category comments out. Should we collapse "website" and "catalog" comments sections, for instance? Alexander: reported positives about online information delivery, and some negatives included issues such as parking, training of student workers, and others. Jim Niessen has a PowerPoint on all of the Alex issues, and can provide more information- as there were several hundred comments. See Niessen for this report if interested; it is also posted to the NBISG sakai site. There are many ideas coming in for improving facilities. At Art, computer issues are a negative. In the case of Alex collections, the positive outweighs the negative, but there are still some negative comments about databases we don't have. Chat transcripts could give us lots of information, as well as the email AAL. Wolff took note of this fact. At Douglass there were very few comments that are substantive enough to report on; one small thing, that exhibits are "too serious." Just reminds everyone that these reports are being collected for our use, and so we should find some effective ways to use the information.
While there is no definite budget news yet, Marianne's meeting with university financial officials appears to have gone well, leaving hope that the libraries will get at least some of the funds needed to cover integration and CIC costs. This would not solve all problems but would significantly improve our position. K. Mulcahy has looked at the last decade of Collection Development Annual Reports and notes that all three major components of our funding-the base budget, one-time state money, and non-state money-vary erratically from year to year. The uncertainty of funding from year to year poses a constant challenge to planning and managing collections.
K. Mulcahy offered for discussion a possible strategy for collections. His proposal is predicated on the drastic plunge in the number of books acquired over the last decade. The core of the recommendation is that the Libraries set aside each year an amount equivalent to 10% of the previous year's base budget and use that for books (and other one-time purchases-media, scores, etc.). Part of the money would fund the current NB approval plan; part could expand the plan to include science and math books (or give science selectors funds for individual selections); and other sums would provide support for area studies, foreign languages, media, SC/UA, and for the Dana and Robeson Libraries. This would provide needed support for book purchases across all disciplines and campuses. The downside would be the need to carve out money from the base budget through cancellations of current subscriptions, but the justification would be that fixed costs have, over the last decade or more, crowded out all state spending (and even some non-state spending) on books. Failure to take some action will result in the Libraries' inability to support research in numerous fields.
Discussion of the proposal was largely positive, with suggestions to include book packages, patron driven acquisition, and support for undergraduate textbooks. There was a consensus that the drop in book purchases is a major issue. Concerns were raised about the quality of possible packages and the need for selector input into any PDAs. Mulcahy will revise and bring to LRC for discussion there.
There was also discussion of RCM (Responsibility Centered Management)-what it is, how it will be administered, and its likely impact on the Libraries. All of this remains unclear. T Yang directed attention to the RCM pages at U Penn, a likely model for RU.
K. Mulcahy also presented the initial draft of a petition for greater support of library collections-intended to galvanize support from faculty and students. The basic premise of a petition was supported, and there was discussion of possible revisions. The initial draft might be too long, but a certain amount of information is needed to make the case. Suggestions included a shorter petition, with links to supporting arguments and data, and the possibility of variants of the petition targeted to specific disciplinary audiences. It was agreed that we aim for distribution of the petition in the early part of the Fall Semester (2014), perhaps working around the ongoing RBHS Health Sciences Task Force survey. It was suggested that the Qualtrics platform be used for the petition, and several librarians offered assistance. The idea of a petition will also be brought to LRC, for possible system- wide use.
12:00 Meeting Adjourned.
Laura Bowering Mullen
A short report about activities in DTS (Added after the meeting ended)