Annual Report 2000-2001
Public Services and Communications
Jeanne E. Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Communications
Public services and communications activities during academic year 2000/01 continued to support the instructional and research needs of Rutgers students and faculty as well as the information needs of the broader Rutgers community and the general public. The area reports that follow this introduction detail the many accomplishments that librarians and staff achieved systemwide.
The statistical trends of recent years continued, with online services increasing and most onsite services declining. Use of Ask a Librarian (+27%) and electronic reserves (+42%) grew dramatically, with 10,300 documents placed on electronic reserve, almost double the number of the previous year. Such new services as subsidized online document delivery provided new measures, with 363 articles faxed directly to users at their office, lab, or home. Over 800 pages were added to the Libraries' website, which was visited by tens of thousands of information seekers. Basic service measures remain high, with 259,301 reference and directional questions answered, 708 instruction sessions for 14,433 students, 590,000 items loaned, and 18,407 books and articles received on interlibrary loan.
A number of events and programs were held throughout the year. Workshop sessions for Early English Books Online (EEBO), ScienceDirect, and Dow Jones Interactive were held on each of the three major campuses. The workshops featured a professional trainer from the database vendor or producer. A teleconference about the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act (UCITA) was also sponsored. Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries activities are detailed in the communications coordinator's report.
Librarians and staff throughout the library system participated in a variety of professional activities, presenting papers at both national and statewide conferences, and contributed to global digital developments hrough such activities as testing interoperability between interlibrary loan systems.
Academic year 1999/2000 has once again given us a record in which everyone should take pride.
Jeanne E. Boyle
Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications
Access and Interlibrary Services
Judy Gardner, Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services
Digital Initiatives And Enhancements
- The Libraries established an UnCover Customized Gateway and introduced a subsidized online document delivery service for Rutgers faculty and graduate students. Orders for 363 articles were filled and faxed directly to users, at an average cost of $18.98 per article.
- Over 10,300 PDF electronic documents were placed on reserve for the 2000-2001 academic year, almost double the number of electronic reserve documents available to students the previous year. Requests to the Libraries' Web server for electronic reserve files increased by 42%, and bytes transmitted increased by 54%.
- An audio reserve trial was conducted during the Spring 2001 semester. The trial was a collaborative effort involving the music library, music department, Libraries systems department, New Brunswick libraries, and public services and communications staff. A selection of audio files were converted to Real Audio, ftp-ed to a Real Audio server in the systems department, and made available to students through the reserve desk module of IRIS.
- Access services staff checked out over 590,000 items and over 57,000 reserve materials to library borrowers. Over 57,200 Rutgers books and 14,470 photocopies were processed and sent among the libraries for users on other campuses.
- The Rutgers interlibrary loan services staff borrowed 6,852 books and 11,555 photocopies from libraries at other institutions for Rutgers students, faculty, and staff.
- Interlibrary loan services staff placed rush orders directly with acquisitions for recently published titles, improving the fill rate and turnaround time for current monographs requested on interlibrary loan. 252 recent titles at an average cost of $41.91 per title were added to the Rutgers collections and delivered to users.
- Access services and interlibrary loan staff on all campuses participated in the Libraries' online "Ask A Librarian" service, communicating with patrons via email about their library record, checkouts, renewals, barcodes and PINs, overdue items, borrowing privileges, recalls, requests, and electronic reserve readings.
- Working with staff at the Research Libraries Group and OCLC, interlibrary loan services staff at Alexander Library tested interoperability between RLG's ILL Manager software and OCLC's ILL subsystem.
- Interlibrary loan services staff on the three major campuses loaned 8,262 Rutgers books and 6,231 photocopies to other libraries in the state, nationally, and internationally.
- The citation/location center responded to 2,090 requests for citation information from 186 New Jersey library network libraries during 2000.
- Access and interlibrary loan services staff processed and delivered over 875 Rutgers books and photocopies and over 170 items borrowed from other libraries to Rutgers users at off-campus pickup sites, research stations, and cooperative extension offices.
- The shipping and receiving department made eight pickups/deliveries to Jersey City and New York City for the women's artist series. In addition, pickups were made for New Brunswick collection services, libraries administration, the music library and special collections and university archives.
New Service Enhancements
- Four members of the access services committee completed reports training on the Unicorn WorkFlows system and, acting as resource persons for other staff, are running a variety of management and statistical reports.
- Rutgers request service staff at local Rutgers libraries began reporting monthly statistics to administration using online Excel spreadsheets available on local library servers.
- Beginning in January, the packing and shipping function of interlibrary loan was transferred to the shipping and receiving department. The shipping staff, including three new student workers, now processes UPS, Comet, and U.S. mail shipments. The supply budget for the department was increased to support the added responsibilities.
- The interlibrary loan services office at Alexander Library went "paperless" in January 2001 and started to track all interlibrary loan requests and status updates on electronic records in WorkFlows and ILL Manager.
- Access services staff tested and implemented two new Unicorn releases; access services committee meetings were held on the Newark and Camden campuses; remove reserve reports were implemented to automate the removal of reserve records at the end of each semester; off-campus "Rutgers Request Service" shipping responsibilities were transferred from interlibrary loan to Rutgers request service staff at the libraries; systemwide guidelines for waiving recall fines and for processing claims returns were adopted; and a preliminary discussion about user-initiated holds was held with a Sirsi consultant.
- The Libraries received a $170,000 grant from the New Jersey State Library to provide reference, interlibrary loan, and citation/location services to New Jersey library network member libraries.
- Recommendations in "Draft of a Proposal to Improve Library Infrastructure for Electronic Reserves and the "Rutgers Request Service" Using a Windows 2000 Network" were incorporated into the Libraries' "Reinvest in Rutgers" report. Equipment and software was funded and ordered, and it will be installed next year to support scanning for electronic reserves at local libraries and electronic document delivery to the desktop.
Ask a Librarian
Natalie Borisovets, Coordinator
Digital Initiatives And New Service Enhancements
- Ask a Librarian continued to grow, with more than 700 questions asked during the peak months of the spring semester. Questions received increased by 1,467, or 26.8%, over the prior academic year.
- A new support infrastructure for Ask a Librarian was developed and implementation begun. The workload was rationalized across the campuses, and many more librarians and staff now participate on rotations of six months. Cabinet recognized that Ask a Librarian is now a regular part of our service program and needed to be integrated into regular public services assignments. In addition, the knowledge shared among Ask a Librarian participants needed to be transferred more quickly and methodically to everyone serving on library public services desks. The recommendations were presented in "Ask A Librarian: A Renewed Systemwide Commitment", a report prepared for the Public Services Council and Cabinet in March 2001 and made available on the Libraries' website.
- Statistics for July 2002 - June 2001 are:
Harry Glazer, Coordinator
Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries
- The past year witnessed another year of successful programs sponsored by the Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries in terms of both attendance and press coverage. Additionally, the Friends program schedule was broadened to include a new special fundraiser event, and there was an increased level of membership recruitment activity.
- Working with the university's office of media relations and utilizing archival material from special collections, the Libraries' communications office promoted the exhibit "The Dust-Bin of History: Presidential Losers, 1796-1996" in a variety of forms. The exhibit received substantial coverage in the Home News Tribune (full article, with 3 photos), the Business & Entertainment Journal of New Brunswick (full front page article), the Rutgers Focus (large calendar page article with photo), the Daily Targum (article with photo), the New York Times (item in the Sunday New Jersey Section), and the HistoryTreasures.com website (paragraph on the exhibit and photo).
- The sixth annual book arts symposium held at the John Cotton Dana Library on Friday November 3rd drew more participants than seating allowed, prompting the library staff to telecast the proceedings to over-run seating in the media services study room. The symposium benefited from the cooperation of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, the Newark Public Library, the Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries, Ocker and Trapp Library Bindery, Inc., and prominent area book artists. It received advance publicity in the New York Times and the Star Ledger and a full article, after the fact, in the New York Times.
- The Pane Room at Alexander Library filled with faculty, librarians, members of the Friends, and others who came November 8, 2000 to hear book artists John Ross and Clare Romano present the 2000/2001 Bishop Lecture. The talks coincided with the opening of an exhibit of artists' work in the Special Collections and University Archives galleries at Alexander Library. A glossy catalog of the works featured in the exhibit was underwritten by the Florsheim Foundation.
- Professor Gerald Pomper of the Eagelton Institute of Politics led a spirited discussion October 29, 2000 on the topic "What's At Stake: The Major Issues in the 2000 Presidential Election." for the Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries. This event received generous coverage in the Home News Tribune and mention on that evening's broadcast of New Jersey Network cable television news.
- Recognizing departing Douglass College Dean Barbara Shailor's steadfast support of the Libraries over the years, the Friends' collection development committee held a formal farewell in April that also served as a library fundraiser. Dean Shailor, who served as an active member of the committee, provided her creative input into the development of the program. Fifty-five university administrators, faculty members, Friends of the Libraries, friends of the Dean, and others came out for the event. One thousand dollars was raised for Special Collections and University Archives. Additionally, collection development committee Chair Leonard Hansen presented the rare book History of the Kings of England (1675) that he will donate to Special Collections in Dean Shailor's honor.
- Spring 2001 Friends' events included a reception at the Dana Library for the exhibit "The Fabric Books of Lois Morrison," a trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and an opening event in Alexander Library for the exhibit "The United States and Latin America: Troubled Past, Complex Future."
- The traditional spring semester Friends Internet workshop was recast this year to focus on genealogy as a specialized topic. Nearly all seats in the electronic classroom were filled for the workshop, providing a strong endorsement of the idea of offering a focused topic.
- Based on suggestions made at a fall 2000 Friends' membership committee meeting, three new methods for membership recruitment were explored.
- Stand-up signs were placed at circulation desks and reference desks in all the major Rutgers libraries.
- More intensive involvement with the retired faculty association led to increased exposure in their newsletter and a jointly sponsored event featuring Ron Becker speaking on special collections.
- More intensive involvement with the Rutgers University Academy for Lifelong Learning led to a half-day event at Alexander Library where RU-ALL class members heard a presentation from a librarian, met the university archivist, toured a special collections exhibit, and received greetings from the university librarian.
Publications and Special Events
- Working with Glenn Sandberg, New Brunswick access services, a new series of Libraries "lifelike" bookmarks that more closely reflect the services they explain was developed. Two bookmarks in this series were produced - self services and recalls. Anecdotal evidence shows that these new bookmarks have been popular, and the self-services bookmark has already required a second printing.
- Two Friends calendars were printed and mailed in a timely fashion and featured attractive descriptions of upcoming events. A new emblem for the calendar was selected from among four alternatives by Friends leaders who were polled for their preferences. The new emblem was used in the spring 2001 calendar.
- Once again, the Libraries holiday card highlighted a work of art that was featured in a recent Libraries' exhibit. Cards were prepared in advance and mailed to all library supporters, university administrators, and others.
- Two issues of the RUL Report were prepared, printed, and mailed. The spring 2001 issue featured "Copyright Matters," a cover story that not only reported on library efforts on this issue but also provided a broad framework for the matters involved, offering a thoughtful perspective for university faculty, deans, and administrators as they engage in their work.
- On the invitation of the university human resources department, a concise and compelling "For Your Benefit" column was prepared for the University Human Resources News for A/P/S Staff January 2001 newsletter. This column summarized library services and resources of particular interest to university staff.
- Glossy pocket folders using the Libraries' logo were designed and printed for use in development visits and presentations to visiting special guests at the Libraries.
- A second edition of the press clips booklet was compiled for the year 2000. The 2000 compendium includes an introductory letter from the university librarian, summarizing the trends in news coverage of the Libraries over the past year, and more original copies of the news stories represented.
- In an effort to add a creative element to the annual state of libraries program, an informal and sometimes humorous video of various offices, librarians, and staff was prepared. The script was reviewed and approved by the library directors on each campus, who also either directly assisted and/or appeared in the half-hour video. The video was aired at the state of the libraries event in November and received rave reviews, including a few requests to borrow the film.
- The communications coordinator provided support for various public services initiatives, including creation, printing, and distribution of a postcard marketing ScienceDirect; creation and vetting of numerous announcements about new electronic resources and service updates; experimentation with the university automatic mailing lists; and support for vendor training programs.
Donna Cryan, Supervisor
Copy services is continually examining its equipment and personnel needs in all locations and adapting its personnel requirements to the changing needs of our patrons. We have integrated digital technology into all of our operations and continually update the skills of our staff members to accommodate these changes. Our major accomplishments this past year reflect the importance of these objectives.
- Copy services, working in cooperation with access services, has continued to be instrumental in the planning and implementation of electronic reserves at the Libraries. We scanned and put on the Libraries' Web server 4,171 items during the fall semester and 5,400 items during the spring semester. This material includes exams, class notes and journal articles submitted by the faculty. We accept material sent to us electronically, on disk or as hard copy. The scanning is currently being done primarily at the Alexander Library copy center. The Library of Science and Medicine, Robeson Library, and Chang Library also scan electronic reserve articles.
- Copy services has been instrumental in working to improve the Libraries' infrastructure for digital document delivery. The library systems department, the access services and interlibrary loan services department, and copy services have drafted a joint proposal to establish digital document delivery as the prevalent mode of document delivery among the Libraries and directly to library patrons. Our proposal will enhance and decentralize electronic reserves by purchasing scanners for other libraries reserve departments in addition to the equipment utilized at the Alexander Library copy centers. This proposal has been accepted and the equipment has arrived and has been installed. This equipment includes four new Minolta overhead book scanners, four new Fujitsu scanners with document feeders, and the hardware and software upgrading of two existing Minolta scanners. The new equipment is being placed at the Alexander Library copy center as well as the reserve departments of the following libraries: Alexander, Douglass, Chang, Kilmer, Library of Science and Medicine, Robeson, and Dana. Personal computer workstations with Windows 2000 operating systems have been purchased for each scanner; an additional staff PC has been placed at each location for a total of nineteen PCs. We will be using Acrobat software for scanning electronic reserves. The newest version of Ariel software is being purchased for scanning "Rutgers Request Services" materials. The scanners with document feeders are being placed at Kilmer Library, Douglass Library, the Library of Science and Medicine, and Alexander Library copy center. These feeders will greatly increase the speed and efficiency with which materials can be made available to our patrons.
- This decentralization process benefits not only electronic reserves and the "Rutgers Request Service" but eventually the interlibrary loan service as well, with planning being done for desktop delivery for our many patrons.
- Copy services prepared a proposal to utilize ELF funds in conjunction with libraries in New Brunswick/Piscataway, Camden, and Newark to improve the Libraries' microform resources infrastructure by providing digital access to microform resources. We have submitted this proposal in order to provide library patrons with microform reader/printers that can digitize microform images. This equipment will allow patrons to make higher quality prints, save materials on a floppy disk, or burn them onto a CD. It will allow the Libraries to utilize their microform resources by digitizing and transmitting them for use by the "Rutgers Request Service", interlibrary loan, and electronic reserves. The articles can be sent directly to student, faculty, or staff desktops via email or through the IRIS circulation system.
- There has been a steady trend away from photocopying and toward laser printer copying as more patrons copy information from on-line subscriptions, electronic reserves, and the Internet. Total photocopying this year was approximately 5.28 million copies. This represents a 9.6% decrease from last year. Vended photocopying represented 70% of total photocopying, administrative photocopying was 25% and service photocopying was 5%. Total vended photocopying for this fiscal year was approximately 3.6 million copies, down by 563,871 copies from last year, a loss in revenue of $56,871. This coupled with our loss of $13,416 for free copies given during our transition to our new card system, made a net loss of $70,287. Our total vended copying from photocopiers, microform machines, and laser printing was nearly 4.9 million copies.
- Copy services charges other library departments for only a small portion of administrative and service copying. The cost of the remaining copies is covered by copy services. This cost is substantial and includes the replacement costs of the administrative photocopiers.
- Interestingly while costs have remained fairly consistent over the past four years, income has gone down, making our deficit increasingly large. Our staff has increasingly been performing duties that are not income producing, such as electronic reserves, scanning for the "Rutgers Request Service", and other system-wide planning.
- Total microform copying was 78,357 copies down from 110,602 copies last year. Microform copying has been steadily decreasing by approximately 15% per year over the past five years. The decrease for this fiscal year is 27%.
New Service Enhancements
- Copy services has started scanning and printing for the public at Library of Science and Medicine. This is a new service. The Library of Science and Medicine has a color scanner donated by the New Brunswick libraries, and Alexander Library has a black and white scanner with a scanning area of 17" x 23", which is much larger than is conventionally available at other outlets. In the first year, Alexander Library did 28 jobs of 870 copies for $198.65. The Library of Science and Medicine did 9 jobs, 24 pages for $26.50. We intend to advertise and promote this service.
- Networked printing has been expanded to include the physics and chemistry libraries. The equipment has been purchased and installation is being completed now. This new equipment includes two new personal computers (one for each library), two new printers, two new Copy Card readers, and the appropriate software. The printers are not networked and will print only from the dedicated workstation. Networked resources are available at the workstation.
- Copy services has purchased an entirely new debit card system for all of our public photocopiers, microform machines, and laser printers. The new debit card system accepts all of the newly designed currency. The system is reliable. It is from Jamex, Inc. and was purchased through the Ikon Company. The New Brunswick libraries as well as Newark's Dana Library, and Camden's Robeson Library have received new Copy Card vending/value-adding machines. Alexander, Dana, Douglass, Kilmer, and the Library of Science and Medicine have receipt printers, further enhancing our self-service environment. Replacement of the debit card system has also required each photocopier, microform machine, and laser printer to be equipped with a new debit card reader unit. The transition to the new equipment began July 1, 2000 and was completed by September 1, 2000. Copy services enables patrons to exchange their old Copicards for new ones at the Library of Science and Medicine and Alexander copy centers. We provided extended hours at all of the copy centers during the fall 2000 Semester when the need for card exchange was the greatest. Each branch library access services department has also cooperated in exchanging old debit cards for new ones.
- Because of the nature of the exchange, it was necessary to round up the value of the patrons old Copicards when replacing them with new Copy Cards. The total value of old Copicards returned by patrons to copy services amounted to $64,633.90. The total value of new Copy Cards given away in exchange to patrons was $78,049.00. In essence, copy services has given away $13,416.00 in free copies during this transition.
- In July 2000, copy services purchased and installed twenty-eight new digital copiers. In the process, we replaced all of Dana Library's copiers and were instrumental in purchasing new copiers for Camden's Robeson Library by adding Camden to our proposal for digital photocopiers in Newark and New Brunswick. Administrative copiers were replaced in Dana and Robeson libraries as well as some locations in New Brunswick. Eight multitasking photocopier/printers were purchased for the New Brunswick/Piscataway libraries. These new multitasking copiers are by Ricoh and were purchased through the Ikon Company. They were added to the Toshiba digital photocopier/printers in Alexander Library and have been installed in the Art Library, Chang Library, Douglass Library, Kilmer Library, the Mathematical Sciences Library, Science and Engineering Resources Center Library, and two at the Library of Science & Medicine. These new multitasking photocopier/printers provide patrons with needed access to printing for electronic reserves, online journals, and other electronic resources.
- The trend for the past several years has been a general decrease in overall photocopying and an increase in printing. Between July 2000 and July 2001, 144,833 prints were made on our new multitasking photocopiers. This is up from around 30,000 last year and 50,000 during fiscal year 98/99. Last year's statistics were not accurate as we had two printers which were loaned from Xerox, and patrons were making unaccounted for prints because our Copicard units did not function on these printers.
- During June 2001, as part of the year 2000 copier bid, copy services has also planned for the replacement of all of our owned Xerox photocopiers and eleven leased copiers with twenty-eight new digital copiers from Ikon. They were being installed during July 2001. Ikon has helped us to improve equipment reliability, reduce costs per copy, expand our services to include networked printing, and change to a more modern and cost effective debit card system. Twenty-four of these photocopiers are for public use, with the remaining four being administrative photocopiers. These administrative machines were placed in Alexander Library collection support services, Alexander Library administration, the Library of Science and Medicine "Rutgers Request Service", and the Library of Science and Medicine serials department. Two of the twenty-four new public copiers also serve as printers. One was placed in the Science and Engineering Resource Center; the other will be placed in the Alexander Library undergraduate reserve room as soon as the new RU-Net 2000 has been installed.
- Copy services has purchased and installed two new digital color photocopiers, one at the Library of Science and Medicine and one at the Art Library. Color photocopiers are most needed in these two libraries because of the nature of their collections. Patrons are charged $1.00 for each copy instead of the usual $0.10 for black and white copies. The total number of color copies in the first eleven months was 1,767 in the Art Library and 1,960 in LSM.
- Three new Hewlett Packard LaserJet 2200 printers have been purchased for access services. One printer is being placed in each of the following libraries: Alexander, Kilmer, and Douglass.
- Copy services personnel have been instrumental in all areas of digital enhancements to electronic reserves, the "Rutgers Request Service", and interlibrary loan services. Our personnel are involved in the long-term planning of these enhancements, the purchasing and installation of the required equipment, and the training of personnel for this equipment. Copy services continually updates the skills of its staff members in network printing, scanning, and digital technology. We are also responsible for putting transferring many electronic reserve files to the library Web server as well as for the scanning itself.
- Copy services has been developing and producing training aids for teaching scanning to access services personnel. The Copy center staff and access services will train all local staff in scanning, putting materials up for reserve, and eventually scanning for the "Rutgers Request Service". Copy services is taking the initiative to provide technical support for scanning, Internet access, and other system-wide digital enhancements to the services provided by the Libraries.
- Donna Cryan was promoted from library supervisor I to library coordinator I. In October 2000, Neera Sondhi was hired to replace Joanna Leiva as the copy services evening supervisor (library assistant III).
Instructional Services Committee
Jeris Cassel and Leslie Murtha, Chairs
Members of the Instructional Services Committee were Vibiana Bowman, Jeris Cassel (chair, 1998 - 2000), Scott Hines, Sam McDonald, Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy, Leslie Murtha (chair, 2001-), Eileen Stec, Julie Still, and Roberta Tipton.
- Instruction librarians contributed content for the development of an online library course for students enrolled in distance education courses at the university delivered through E-College. Ka-Neng Au developed the course.
- An orientation video was planned and developed for use in the Rutgers College New Student Orientation September 3, 2000. Cook College also used it in their New Student Orientation program on September 2, 2000. The video was the outcome of the cooperation of the Rutgers University Libraries Instructional Services Committee, New Brunswick Libraries Information Services Steering Committee, Media Services, and the Office of Print and Electronic Communications in anticipating the availability of the RU-TV MediaVision campus cable library channels. Positive feedback was received from the Rutgers College orientation experience and constructive criticism was received from the Cook College orientation experience. Revisions are underway to incorporate changes and developments of the past year. The video is scheduled for use in the Fall 2001 orientation programs.
- ISC members Jeris Cassel, Jackie Mardikian, and Roberta Tipton collaborated in developing and facilitating a breakout session at the New Brunswick Faculty Council Conference on Undergraduate Teaching Conference, October 13, 2000, Rutgers Student Center, College Avenue. Jack Lynch, Assistant Professor, English Department, Newark also participated in the facilitation of this session. The breakout session entitled Web Information: Easy to Get, Hard to Evaluate and Cite! was offered twice. The New Brunswick Teaching Excellence Center informed us this was the most subscribed session, but actual attendance was very low.
- ISC member Roberta Tipton presented a breakout session entitled "Institutional Frameworks for Instruction: Can We Defeat the Blanche DuBois Syndrome?"" at the May 2001 LOEX conference in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
- Jeris Cassel, in collaboration with Susan Bissett of Union County College, presented a program at the New Jersey Library Association Spring Conference (May, 2001) entitled "Library Orientation on Video." The program dealt with the development and implementation of videos as tools for library orientation. The video developed by the Instructional Services Committee (see above) was one of the examples presented and discussed. The program was presented under the auspices of the ACRL-NJ User Education Committee.
- Leslie Murtha coordinated the development of a program at the New Jersey Library Association Spring Conference entitled " Matching Goals to Standards: ACRL Instruction Section's Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction by Academic Librarians." This program was designed to promote awareness of the recently approved ACRL document. The speaker was Carla List, of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh, and the chair of the Revision of the Model Statement of Objectives Task Force. The program was presented under the auspices of the ACRL-NJ User Education Committee.
- ISC committee members were active on the following state and national committees relating to user instruction and information literacy: ACRL Advisory Board, ACRL Instruction Section, NJ-ACRL Executive Board, NJ-ACRL User Education Committee, and NJLA Reference Section.
- Rutgers University Librarians taught approximately 23 classes for various community based groups, including students from local high schools and students enrolled in programs to encourage minority individuals to pursue higher education. More than 400 students participated in these classes. A more detailed analysis of instruction statistics will be available at a later date.
- Rutgers University Librarians taught approximately 740 classes, and provided instruction for more than 14,750 students.
- The Instructional Services Committee conducted a workshop on the development of Web-based instruction and on knowledge management techniques for creating complex digital teaching tools. This workshop enriched our understanding of the digital instruction environment, and helps to prepare us to develop effective online teaching tools to support the Digital Library Initiative.
- Roberta Tipton and Leslie Murtha competed successfully for the opportunity to attend Immersion 01, the ACRL-sponsored workshop on developing leadership in the field of library instruction. The workshop will be held in August 2001.
- The first Rutgers University Libraries instructional services policy was developed. The Public Services Council approved the document (Public Services Policy Memo #3) in December 2000 and by Cabinet in January 2001.
- A thirty-page document, Towards an Information Literacy Program at Rutgers University: A Preliminary Working Document was developed and distributed to the Public Services Council in August. The document provides for the first time (1) a detailed statistical survey in six tables of library instruction activities and information literacy efforts over 1999-2000 and (2) a survey of Rutgers University Libraries instructional facilities as of the end of 1999. This document also contains the theoretical and conceptual basis of an information literacy program. As a result of the information gathered for this document, ISC members are standardizing instructional statistics records and developing a database that will allow for more varied, comparative data output. Uma Swamy, Library of Science and Medicine, is maintaining this Microsoft Access database.
- A seventeen-page document, Supporting Library Instruction for the Twenty-first Century: Building the Technological Infrastructure for Information Literacy, was developed and submitted to the Associate University Librarian for Public Services. This document addresses the need for technological support for programs that contribute to the digital library initiative. Proposed plans for the development and configuration of user instruction labs, instructional development labs, and an instructional development Web server for the Rutgers University Libraries form the basis of this report. The proposal incorporates designs for the library classroom of the future, as well as technological support for implementing library instruction beyond the library walls, supporting online instruction initiatives, and provisions for research and development in instructional technologies in collaboration with non-library faculty.
Public Services Council
Jeanne Boyle, Chair
- Members of the Public Services Council were Susan Beck, Natalie Borisovets, Jeanne Boyle (chair), Jeris Cassel, Tom Frusciano, Judy Gardner, Marjorie Li, Ann Montanaro, Bob Sewell, Jane Sloan, Samson Soong, Mary Beth Weber, and Myoung Wilson.
- The Council of elected, appointed, and ex officio members met eleven times between July 2000 and June 2001, including two extended meetings.
- Among the topics considered were:
- Approval of Public Services Policy Memos 3 (Instruction), 5 (Weather), 6 (Cooperative Access Arrangements), 8 (Mail Delivery and Pick Up), and 9 (Communications).
- Telnet links, access to ceased files, and management of a training account for Ovid databases
- Cell phone use in the libraries
- Ask a Librarian renewal and expansion
- Suggestions for ELF funding
- PROP projects
- New concept for website
- Reference in APPs
- IRIS records, including authority control implementation, MARC holdings, workstation-bound e-resources, vendor-supplied records for e-resources
- Anonymous e-mail from public workstations
- Library instruction facilities planning
- Council recommendations are recorded on the recommendation log posted on the Libraries' website and attached as an appendix to this report.
- The challenges of the coming year are articulated in Council goals for 2001/02:
- Address how we fit into CAPS
- Review our services and determine what we may need to discontinue (ex., manual reserves)
- Bring up the new website design
- Allocate money for graphics since so much of what we do is now Web based
- Review new kinds of skills that we need to support the services we provide
- Revisit process for presentation and publication of new resources
- Market the Libraries to the university community
- Review systems' recommendations for Netscape vs. Internet Explorer.
Web Advisory Committee
Rebecca Gardner, Chair
Web Advisory Committee members were Ka-Neng Au, Vibiana Bowman, Jeanne Boyle, Constantia Constantinou, Rebecca Gardner (chair), Brian Hancock, Sara Harrington, Theo Haynes, Dave Hoover, Marty Kesselman, Sam McDonald, Leslie Murtha, and Pat Piermatti.
- In the fall 2000, a search engine was launched for the Rutgers University Libraries website. The webmaster wrote extensive help pages, with assistance from the chair of the Web Advisory Committee.
- Three new buttons were added to the navigation bar of the Libraries' homepage: "Search the Libraries Website" leads to the search engine, an "Ask-a-Librarian" button makes that service more prominent and accessible, and the "Welcome New Users" button links to a page which provides helpful information for new faculty and students, such as getting computer accounts, transcripts, bus schedules, library information, and much more.
- The library faculty/staff survey of the Libraries' website was analyzed during the summer of 2000, and several changes were made in response to comments received. These included; indicating electronic reserves on the top page, breaking "News and Events" into separate categories so that items stand out better, making subheadings on the top page clickable, etc.
- The "Indexes and Databases" section was completely redesigned to be streamlined and intuitive. In response to user comments, index and database titles on the first level are now direct links, alleviating the confusion encountered on the old pages as to where to connect. New features include a note next to each title indicating whether the resource is restricted to Rutgers users, or freely accessible to anyone (and, if restricted, a pop up mouse-over indicates that one can link directly to the "Remote Access Guide" from there.) A "go to" button has been added to each index's description page, so that it is no longer necessary to navigate back to the main "Indexes and Databases" list in order to connect to the resource. A single link to telnet access for all titles is provided at the top of the main "Indexes and Databases" page, instead of next to every individual title. Finally, anticipated "downtimes" are now listed in red on the top of the main "Indexes and Databases" page.
- "Subject Research Guides" continue to be created and updated by librarians with subject specialties.
- The immediate things subgroup prepared and announced approximately 25 new indexes and databases which have been added to the website this year.
- The design subgroup finalized a new prototype for the Libraries' homepage. The redesign is expected to be implemented for the fall 2001 semester. A major new component will be an instructional area, with answers to questions such as "How do I...." (Find a book? Connect from home? Find an item on electronic reserve? etc.)
Samuel J. Macdonald, Webmaster
The care-and-feeding of a very large service-oriented website goes beyond simply adding new Web pages. A great deal of time is also dedicated to the revision and maintenance of existing content; maintaining the underlying code and architecture, including documentation; and planning future changes and additions. The website is stable, very highly used, and is always improving as new projects are being planned and developed.
- The Libraries website has grown by over 800 Web pages over the course of the year. Most of the new pages have been created as part of such routine additions as the acquisition of new databases, posting news stories, and minutes and reports on the staff resources pages. The remaining pages are the result of the addition of new research guide pages and additional documentation about new services. Some of the typical additions are listed below, for more information about new content see the Web Advisory Committee report.
- The "Indexes and Database" pages are among the most highly used resources on the website. Consequently, the Web Advisory Committee and the webmaster focus very closely on adding and improving these pages. Over 50 resources were added with at least 15 forthcoming by the fall semester. The index pages were restructured and redesigned with the advice of the Web Advisory Committee. The process for getting the new resources mounted and announced has been greatly improved this year in order to handle the large number of new resources.
- The communications coordinator has written over seventy news items in the last year that have been expediently mounted on the "News and Events" page.
- Search engine software was obtained and integrated into the website as a new service.
- Maintenance of the website has three main aspects: updating content, updating the code and underlying technologies, and documenting the changes. Most content updates are requested by the original creator of the content, such as research guides, or the supervisor of the service that is being described, such as interlibrary loan documents. The remaining content updates are routine code cleanup, seasonal updates, or broken link fixes. With over 2,800 pages and over 40,000 links leaving the site, maintenance is an on-going process that is important as the creation of new resources.
- Seasonal updates include posting the hours three times a year, refreshing the Friend's calendar twice a year, and posting specific announcements for events such as system downtimes, renew and recall notices, and new resources.
- Routine content maintenance includes removing discontinued indexes/databases; maintaining Index/database URL's, dates and descriptions as necessary; maintain the three faculty and staff directories; posting faculty, clerical, and A/P/S job positions; updating staff resources consisting of minutes, reports, contact and membership lists; and updating the "Remote Access Browser Configuration" pages.
- Content updating not only consists of correcting outdated information, but also includes modifying text, headings and structure for usability issues. The Web Design Group receives recommendations via email, from Ask A Librarian, and directly from users. These suggestions are then considered, researched, and often integrated into the content of the site.
- Although the website is quite large and stable, it is appropriate to say that it is always under construction. Content additions, new services, and incremental, but important improvements, are always being planned, written, and developed.
- Several new sections/services are under development for Fall 2001. Some of these include: a new donors/supporters section; an online WindowEyes manual and feedback form; a section dedicated to e-book use and access; online forms for booking media titles; a revision of the index and database pages; and a major look-and-feel redesign of the entire website.
- The webmaster is currently revising the underlying architecture of the website to bring it closer to the new XHTML specifications and to be more adaptable and maintainable in the future. The main changes will be from a change in server-side include use and the use of cascading style sheets.
- A part-time website assistant was hired to help with such routine maintenance as link checking and code updating. This will free up a significant amount of the webmaster's time to work on other projects.
- Constant research and state-of-the-practice reviews are done to identify technology trends, processes and specific techniques and tools that can be utilized on the website or elsewhere in the organization.
Access And Interlibrary Services Statistics, 2000/01
Copy Services Statistics, 2000/01
Public Services Council Recommendation Log, Ay 2001