Public Services and Communications
Jeanne E. Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Communications
Public Services and Communications
Activities within Public Services and Communications continued to respond to our increasingly digital
environment. Public services librarians throughout the library system worked to learn, document, and
teach new networked electronic resources, and librarians and staff worked successfully to transform our
Public service statistical trends for the last five and ten years show decreases across the board in
many traditional service areas. At the same time, there is a growing demand for electronic services and
resources. Similar changes are occurring in academic libraries nationwide. In response, the Association
of Research Libraries has launched a project to identify measures appropriate for the digital
environment. The statistical overview in the section of this report composed by our webmaster is an
example of measures that we have not traditionally counted but that show substantial and increasing use
of networked resources and services.
Our measures for 1999/00 reflect these trends. Numbers in all service areas remain high, but growth
occurred primarily in those areas where electronic enhancements have been developed. Electronic
reserves grew both in the number of items placed on reserve and their use; demand for the Ask a
Librarian (+127%) online reference service grew dramatically; and the size, scope, and use of our
website continued to expand. Interlibrary borrowing (+6%) and lending (+5%) and the Rutgers Request
Service (+2%) all increased. As our users seek assistance in selecting and evaluating information
resource from the growing wealth of digital information that is now available, the Libraries'
instruction program continues to grow. The number of classes taught (+1%) was steady, but the number of
students attending (+13%) increased. Reference questions (-42%) ask at our physical service desks had
the most astonishing decline and are at their lowest level since the current statistical series begun
in 1985/86. Circulation (-13%) declined for the third year in a row to a level last seen in 1987/88.
Total vended photocopying (-10%) declined again over last year and is substantially lower (-32%) than
our peak year of 1993. For the first time in many years, overall building use (-11%) declined, matching
closely a similar but short-lived decline in 1992/93.
In addition to the many accomplishments by departments and committees that are reported in the pages
that follow, a special project to develop a user initiated document delivery service is also described.
Our webmaster has contributed a new section on Web services. Appendices include the recommendation log
from the Public Services Council and statistics from access and copy services.
Thanks and praise for another successful year are due to many hands, heads, and hearts both within the
central division of public service and communications and throughout the library system. As we work
through the promise and challenge of A Bridge to the Future: The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative, we
are not only living our future but guaranteeing a more successful future for our students and the
Jeanne E. Boyle
Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications
ACCESS AND INTERLIBRARY SERVICES
Judy Gardner, Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services
- Overall circulation decreased by 13% from the previous FY (the number of times items were charged out, renewed, and charged from reserve collections), and reserve desk circulation decreased by 34%. During the same period students starting accessing reserve readings online, and we started collecting automated reserve circulation statistics from Unicorn.
- The Access Services Committee evaluated and tested the new Unicorn 99.2 Release in the test database during the fall. Access services staff attended wizards core training sessions offered by the cataloging and authorities training team, and hands-on working sessions covering properties, defaults, and new wizards offered by the new unicorn systems administrator. The working sessions were designed to support independent learning that takes place at circulation desks and in daily use of the system. Staff read documentation in preparation and brought questions and problems to work on in small groups facilitated by the unicorn systems administrator. Release 99.2 was fully implemented in January 2000 at all circulation desks and in access services functional areas.
- The Access Services Committee prepared a Y-2K contingency plan and, following extended system downtime in January, composed the "Access Services IRIS Contingency Plan." The plan describes staff functions and services available to users during 3 IRIS downtime scenarios. The group revised back-up paper forms and arranged to have them posted on the staff resources Web page.
- At the recommendation of the "Old Holds Working Group" and the Access Services Committee, the "A" team and unit library staff started to process a daily list of failed recalls and implement a new OVD-RECALL status in IRIS. Two new statuses were implemented in IRIS: "CHECKEDOUT (Recalled)" when an item is recalled, and "OVD-RECALL" when recalled items are not returned on time. Over 1,600 overdue recalls were processed between October 1999 and June 2000, providing users with better information about the status of recalled titles.
- As part of ongoing WorkFlows implementation, the Access Services Committee revised permissions for generic desk logins, eliminated use of named stations at each library, and changed system overrides. The committee created a list of outstanding Unicorn issues to develop as enhancement requests for Sirsi and initiated a preliminary study of library "users" created in WorkFlows by access and technical services staff.
- In preparation for the transfer of Criminal Justice Library records from IRIS to the Newark law library catalog, a new 28-day loan/no renewal/no recall circulation policy for CRIMJ items was implemented in WorkFlows in May. A special notice was sent to users with CRIMJ items checked out, and temporary brief item records were created to circulate CRIMJ materials.
- The borrowers charts were revised to indicate eligibility for remote access by user category, use of RUconnection cards and online records for validation, and the increasing number of guest borrower categories that are registered by university administration. Staff discussions with administrative computing services explored enhancements to the user data file including changes in privileges expires dates and the U.S. mail address format, and prospects for email address loads.
- Billing staff at all libraries completed a systematic clean up of the 029 delinquent account reports, placed timely diploma holds, and implemented the new fee and replacement cost schedule. The Access Services Committee affirmed the New Brunswick billing functional group recommendation that we maintain the 40-day overdue barring and the use of average replacement cost for out-of-print books.
- Packets of current public services and communications brochures and publications were distributed to unit libraries. Self services and recall bookmarks were created by the communications officer, incorporating ideas and visuals submitted by access services staff. A new visitor's guide brochure and Web page were created. Access services policy memos were posted to the staff resources Web pages. The Access Services Committee composed "how do I?" questions and answers to use as a framework for basic help documentation.
ELECTRONIC RESERVES & RESERVE
- The electronic reserves working group, copy center staff, and unit library reserve staff implemented an electronic reserve service with enhanced access to reserve readings through the IRIS reserve desk module. Library reserve and copy center staff began to process and scan photocopies of sample exams, overheads, syllabi, problem sets, lecture notes, and journal articles. A brief email survey was sent to participating faculty asking about their satisfaction with the electronic reserve service and their ideas for future enhancements.
- During the fall 1999 semester, 2,266 electronic reserve documents were created. For spring 2000 courses, 2,486 electronic documents were placed on reserve. In its first full year of operation, electronic reserves were well received by faculty and students. The library server's WWW access log measured a steady demand for electronic reserve documents.
- Two reserve service enhancements for instructors were introduced in the spring: an online form to submit reserve lists and an option to submit electronic files for reserves. Reserve request forms were made available on the "Reserves Services, A Guide for Faculty" Web page in March 2000. Instructors can copy and paste citations from IRIS and article databases onto the forms, which are then emailed to appropriate reserve staff at Rutgers libraries for processing. The electronic reserves working group planned and tested procedures for accepting electronic files as email attachments, and the Libraries began to process electronic files submitted by professors for reserve. A link to the "ereserve@rci" email account was created on the "Reserve Services, A Guide for Faculty" Web page and can be used by instructors to submit their electronic files.
- In July 1999, the Unicorn system began to collect automated reserve circulation transaction statistics for all Rutgers library reserve desks. A total of 77,237 automated reserve circulations were reported. Combined with 24,969 manual circulations, a total of 102,206 reserve checkouts were reported for the year, resulting in a 34% decrease in reserve circulation from last FY year. This decrease might partially be attributed to the users starting to access electronic reserve readings.
- Reserve staff continued to develop their use of WorkFlows capabilities to streamline and improve reserve processing and workflow. Working with systems staff, reserve staff at Chang, Art, and Robeson began to use remove reserve reports in the spring, effectively eliminating a time consuming record deletion process. Reserve staff started to use the auto shelving scheme for reserve brief title records. The Access Services Committee and reserve staff recommended that systems revise item records displays in the reserve desk module and eliminate the call number link to ELECTRONIC RESERVE that users mistakenly click on to link to documents. To streamline and eliminate errors in data entry, copy center staff began to enter URLs in the 856 tags on WorkFlows electronic reserve records. Staff began to break down large electronic reserve documents into parts and use multiple 856 fields to decrease the time it was taking users to load and print documents.
RUTGERS REQUEST SERVICE (RRS)
- On a trial basis, Rutgers Request Service (RRS) staff at the Library of Science and Medicine, the Chang Science Library, and the Alexander Library in partnership with the copy center staff, began to send RRS articles to the Robeson and Dana libraries using Ariel scanning and transmission software. Robeson and Dana libraries transmit documents to each other. Turnaround time for receipt of articles improved. Assessment of equipment and staffing is needed before Ariel transmission of articles for RRS is expanded to other libraries.
- The "A" team received and processed 116,703 online requests for Rutgers materials. Of the 115,506 Rutgers requests assigned a final status in WorkFlows, 73,887 were for filled books, 25,984 unfilled books, 10,989 filled articles, and 4,646 unfilled articles. The "A" team placed 21,581 recalls.
- RRS staff at unit libraries processed and filled requests for 55,498 originals and 12,846 reproductions. Overall, the number of RRS book requests received and processed by RRS at unit libraries did not change for the year, and RRS article requests increased by 1%. The RRS service provided 225 originals and 888 reproductions to off-campus users during the year.
- Monthly turnaround time sampling was reported for RRS requests. Of the RRS book requests with a final status of "Filled" in WorkFlows, 71% were filled in 3 days; 75% of filled article requests were filled in 5 days.\
- The New Brunswick RRS functional group assumed a leadership role in evaluating RRS procedures and WorkFlows functions and making recommendations to the Access Services Committee. For example, staff decided not to implement the trap holds wizard; reviewed the RRS sampling survey to identify the occurrence of processing errors; revised local RRS staff keyboard express reply macros; revised instructions for New Brunswick faculty to set up departmental purchase orders for RRS articles; eliminated the override when placing holds on available items; revised and streamlined procedures for processing requests for RESV-LIB users; and began to process requests for "blocked" users locally.
INTERLIBRARY LOAN SERVICES (ILS)
- The Interlibrary Loan Services (ILS) office in Alexander Library came live with the first group of 15 other New Jersey libraries participating in the State Library's new statewide interlibrary loan management system, epixtech's Resource Sharing System (RSS). The Z39.50 feature of IRIS was enabled for use with this distributed interlibrary loan system. The Rutgers University Libraries are processing lending requests, and plans are underway to introduce the software at all Rutgers ILS offices and to use it for borrowing. Interlibrary loan staff attended RSS users groups meetings and are actively contributing their ideas and expertise to the statewide implementation of this system. The ILS Alexander Library office filled 774 interlibrary loan requests submitted by NJ libraries on the RSS system.
- The Rutgers University Libraries are participating in a beta test of the Research Libraries Group's ILL-Manager software. A training session for beta testers from several other universities in the region was conducted at Alexander Library in the fall. ILS staff tested ILL-Manager's network and interoperability features, borrowing and lending functions, and Ariel delivery with other beta testers and with RLIN interlibrary loan. A listserv and conference calls are used to share experiences, describe bugs and fixes, and suggest changes to the software. Rutgers is the only beta site testing ILL-Manager in an NT networked environment.
- The ILS office at Dana Library became a full service interlibrary loan site this year, borrowing all interlibrary loan requests for Dana users and lending all items that were requested from the Dana collection. Staff received training on OCLC from Alex ILS staff and began placing requests directly on the OCLC interlibrary loan system.
- ILS staff wrote "A Proposal to Improve the Delivery Time and Fill Rate of Interlibrary Loan (ILL) Requests for Current Monographs", which was reviewed by the library councils in January. A trial started in February 2000. ILS staff placed orders for current imprints directly with acquisitions and charged them to the central interlibrary loan fund. Users were notified when titles arrived, were cataloged, and were ready to check out. During the trial over 60 recently published titles were acquired, vastly improving the fill rate and turnaround time for interlibrary loan requests for current monographs.
- During the FY, Rutgers faculty, students, and staff submitted a total of 26,401 new interlibrary loan requests on IRIS. The interlibrary loan staff at the Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark ILS offices processed 9,640 (37%) new book and 16,762 (63%) new article requests.
- Of the interlibrary loan book requests that reached a final status in WorkFlows during the year, 6,782 (78%) were filled, 1,439 (16%) were cancelled, and 512 (6%) were unfilled. Of the interlibrary loan article requests that reached a final status during the year, 10,536 (76%) were filled, 2,693 (19%) cancelled, and 687 (5%) unfilled.
- Overall, interlibrary loan borrowing increased by 6% and lending increased by 5%. ILS staff filled 19,650 requests on interlibrary loan (7,531 originals and 12,119 reproductions) for Rutgers users, and loaned 16,176 items (8,713 originals and 7,463 reproductions).
- A study of OCLC and RLIN monthly statistics reports was conducted to determine interlibrary loan activity within New Jersey and out of state and to identify the Libraries top lending and borrowing partners. Of the 19,576 Rutgers borrowing requests reported filled on the two major interlibrary loan utilities, New Jersey libraries filled 12% and out-of-state libraries filled 88%. Of the 12,169 lending requests reported filled by Rutgers on the two major interlibrary loan utilities, Rutgers filled 52% for New Jersey libraries and 48% for out-of-state libraries.
- Rutgers faculty students and staff started using the online interlibrary loan form to request delivery of books and articles in the collections of the Camden Law Library and Ackerson Law Library (Newark) on July 1, 1999. Paper RRS forms for law library requests were eliminated, and interlibrary loan staff began processing these requests. ILS staff at Alexander also started to process all Rutgers user requests for CRIMJ materials.
- ILS Staff started to place recalls in WorkFlows for interlibrary loan materials recalled by lending institutions. The interlibrary library loan keyboard express reply macros were revised.
- ILS staff initiated systemwide compliance with changes in copyright law. RRS and ILS staff now send a copy of the actual copyright statement with single copies made from the Libraries' collections for users.
- The interlibrary loan borrowing and fee schedule brochure was updated, renamed "Interlibrary Loan Services: Lending, Borrowing Procedures and Fee Schedule for Libraries," reproduced as a brochure, and published as a Web page.
- A list of journal titles requested by ILS on the Copyright Clearance Center's online reporting service during 1999 was issued and merged with the 1998 report for a consolidated lists. Both lists were posted on the staff resources Web page for selectors to consult.
SHIPPING & RECEIVING
- In addition to normal mail delivery, shipping and receiving staff made off-campus trips to pick up exhibit materials for the women artists series, and special trips for gift books.
- Regular pickup and delivery stops were resumed at SERC as part of the evening RRS run. A fax machine was installed in the shipping and receiving department. A clothes allowance was budgeted for the staff.
- The shipping and receiving supervisor position was reviewed and reclassified.
- The Citation/Location Center received 2,616 requests for bibliographic verification and/or location of materials in 1999 from 230 New Jersey library network members.
- The Citation/Location Center received national attention with publication of the C/L Librarian's article "Cite-Seeing in New Jersey" in the November 1999 issue of American Libraries.
Ask A Librarian
Natalie Borisovets, Coordinator
- Ask a Librarian, the Rutgers Libraries electronic reference service, provides reference and information services in a virtual environment. A virtual "one-stop" library service point, AAL allows users to ask for information or get help with research strategies, resolve their checkout or request problems, renew or check the status of their interlibrary loans, and receive assistance in accessing electronic library resources and services.
- Despite significant decreases in demand for other library services, demand for the Ask a Librarian service continues to grow. Whereas in September 1998, the first month of the revamped AAL service, 132 questions were received, in September 1999 438 questions (+232%) were received. Between September 1999 and August 2000, an average of about 456 questions was received by the Ask a Librarian team monthly as compared to a monthly average of 245 in the previous year.
ASK A LIBRARIAN
September 1999-August 2000
As has been reported by other electronic reference services, daily volume patterns
tend to follow those normally experienced by on-site library services. Most questions
come in between 9 am and 7 pm; peak hours are usually between 1 pm to 4 pm. The largest
number of questions comes in during the first half of the week.
ASK A LIBRARIAN
Average Number of Questions Per Day
- Of the 5,472 questions submitted, 546 received no response. As a number of these could not be responded to (no/improper email address) or required no response (ads), about 91% of all questions that could be responded to received a response in 1999-2000, down slightly from 92.2% the previous year. While this is certainly a respectable percentage, in terms of the actual number of queries receiving no response it is somewhat disturbing. As the number of daily/monthly questions continues to escalate, it becomes an increasing challenge to ensure that no questions are overlooked.
- Somewhat surprisingly, the significant increase in the total number of queries received in the second year of the Rutgers Ask a Librarian service seems to have had little effect on response times. In the five-month period between February and March of 2000, 84.7% of the answered queries were responded to on either the same day or on the next day; a slight improvement over the 84% rate for the same period in the previous year. In 2000, 93.6%, as compared to 94.2% in the previous year, were answered within the "24 to 48 hours" specified in the Ask a Librarian guidelines. Of the remainder, many were follow-up or referred, rather than initial, responses.
ASK A LIBRARIAN
Response Time (Days)1
1Based on working days.
- As the number of questions escalated, additional personnel were recruited for Ask a Librarian teams. For much of 1999/2000 there were 28 library faculty and staff members, all volunteers, who participated in Ask a Librarian as an add-on to their regular responsibilities, including:
| ||9|| Reference Librarians|
| ||12|| Access Services Staff|
| ||5|| Interlibrary Loan Services Staff|
| ||1|| Rutgers Request Services Staff|
| ||1|| Library Systems Staff|
In 1999/2000, the largest number of questions (2,089) was answered by members of the Reference Team,
who accounted for 38.6% of the answered queries. Interlibrary Loan staff responded 1369 times (25.3%);
Access Services team members responded 1,250 times (23.1%); Rutgers Request Services 502 times (9.3%);
and Systems 114 times (2.1%). The remaining 84 responses (2%) were sent by individuals to whom AAL
questions had been referred - Special Collections staff, law library staff, Library administrative
personnel, etc. It is probable that the number of these responses was actually somewhat higher than the
recorded figure since there was some inconsistency in copying responses to the AAL list.
ASK A LIBRARIAN
September 1999-August 2000
As might be expected, in almost all instances, even when the overall percentage of responses in a
category decreased over the previous year, in terms of the total number of responses there was a
significant increase in workload. Partially as a result of the proliferation of electronic resources
and services, and the subsequent need for users to know their library PINs in order to access these
collections and services remotely, the largest increase (155.6%) was in questions relating to access
services. Responses to reference queries increased by 112.1%, request services by 96.9%, and
interlibrary loan by 26.6%. Only systems-answered queries showed a decrease of 18.6%. This should not,
however, be taken to mean that technical questions are no longer being asked. Indeed, they account for
a large percentage of the questions received each day. While members of the reference team may be
answering the largest number of questions while systems deals with the smallest number, reference is
actually answering most of what are considered to be "routine" technical and access questions.
Unfortunately, since the perception of what is routine tends to vary, these questions are also the ones
most likely to fall through the cracks.
ASK A LIBRARIAN
- The majority of the Rutgers Ask a Librarian participants are now in their third year of what can only be termed extraordinary service. Despite the escalating volume and workload, they have continued to provide quality services efficiently, effectively, and - perhaps most extraordinarily of all - cheerfully. Their dedication is to be highly commended.
HARRY GLAZER, COORDINATOR
- Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries' activities in the 1999-2000 academic year were varied and successful in drawing in diverse constituencies, prompting or acknowledging significant donations to the Libraries, and garnering press attention. Highlights included:
- Aficionados of the book arts and Friends of the Libraries came to the opening event of the year - a reception for the 'Art of the Miniature Book' exhibit in September. At the conclusion of the exhibit, Alden Jacobs (RC'40) donated a large number of miniature books from his personal collection, which were featured in the exhibit, to Special Collections and University Archives.
- National union officers from Washington DC and New York City, local blue collar union members, and labor studies students at Rutgers came out for the opening of the "Union in a Hurry: The 50th Anniversary of the International Union of Electrical Workers" exhibit in Special Collections and University Archives in December.
- The opening reception in April for the "Celebrate the Tradition: 30 Years of Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans Pride and Activism at Rutgers University" exhibit in Alexander Library packed the Pane Room. Attendees heard remarks from University Librarian Marianne Gaunt, Assistant Dean of Students Tina Sebekos, Director of Diverse Community Affairs Cheryl Clarke, and SCILS Professor James Anderson.
- Internationally renowned feminist literary critic and widely published author Professor Elaine Showalter delivered the Bishop Lecture in April, attracting deans, department chairs, university faculty, librarians, students, and members of the public. At the lecture, the Libraries publicly recognized and thanked Professor Showalter for her recent donation to the Rutgers University Libraries of over 500 volumes of 19th and 20th century books by or about British women authors.
- The John Cotton Dana Library on the Rutgers-Newark campus hosted a reception to celebrate the opening of the "Anaida Hernandez: Prints and Drawings, 1989-2000" exhibit at the library on May 4. The Rutgers-Newark Hispanic Civilization and Language Studies Program, the Center for Latino Arts and Culture, and the Latino Caucus of Faculty and Staff cosponsored the reception and the exhibit.
- Coverage of one or more of these activities appeared in the Daily Targum, the Rutgers Focus, the Princeton Packet, the Home News Tribune, and the Star Ledger.
- To familiarize faculty and librarians with the most comprehensive new acquisition for 1999-2000, the Libraries scheduled training sessions for the Web of Science on all campuses in February. To publicize these workshops, the communications office developed and placed ads in the Rutgers Focus and Daily Targum, prepared flyers that were mailed to university faculty on all three campuses, placed an announcement on the Libraries' news Web page, and prepared an RUL_Staff and RUL_Faculty e-list announcement.
- The winter 1999/2000 issue of the Report was mailed in February to Libraries' supporters, Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries, university faculty and administrators, and others. This issue included articles on the Mary Lou Williams collection recently donated to the Institute of Jazz Studies, the Libraries' new website, the newly endowed artist-in-residence program at the Mabel Smith Douglass Library, and the Libraries' expanded online offerings.
- To extend the Libraries' outreach to users, bookmarks were developed for distribution by circulation staff whenever books are checked out. Bookmarks have been printed for the Libraries' new website, UnCover Reveal, Libraries' self services, the Libraries' recall service, and the Web of Science. Anecdotal reports show that this new medium has been well received by librarians and users. Plans are underway to reprint some of these brochures, to incorporate changes or feedback from librarians, for the 2000/2001 academic year.
- Efforts continue to build and expand links between the Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries and groups with similar constituencies on campus. Harry Glazer, communications coordinator, spoke about the Friends' and their activities to a meeting of the Silver Knights in October, held a Friends' internet workshop for members of the Retired Faculty Association in February, and sent packages of Friends' calendars to the Rutgers University Association for Lifelong Learning in September and January.
- A faculty/staff book collectors' luncheon, sponsored by the Friends' collection development committee and held on November 23 drew over 35 people. They heard a presentation by Kristen St. John, newly hired conservator in Special Collections and University Archives, on "Preserving your Rare Books: Tips and Techniques." Participants included faculty and staff from SCILS, music (Mason Gross), physics, urban planning, the Libraries, and retirees. Many attendees expressed delight at the opportunity to meet colleagues who shared similar interests. The Libraries plan to schedule a follow-up event this coming year.
- In an effort to further the impact of a successful Friends-sponsored event, and to develop a novel (and inexpensive) gift for new members, Friends of the Libraries postcards that showcase an image from the "Art of the Miniature Book" exhibit were created. Batches of 10 were distributed to all Friends members who joined in the past two years.
- To aid the Libraries' development efforts and enhance our contacts with distinguished visitors, the communications office produced attractive and dignified gifts from the Libraries. Brass bookmarks were prepared with the Libraries' logo and website, along with a one-line summary of the Libraries' services and range of users. Wood finish pens imprinted with the Libraries' name and logo were also prepared.
- The Rutgers University Libraries received a 1999 public relations award from the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) at a breakfast at the NJLA annual convention in April. The Libraries received the first place award for program announcements, by libraries with budgets over $750,000, for their invitation to the opening reception for the "Art of the Miniature Book" exhibit at Alexander Library in September. Harry Glazer, communications coordinator for the Libraries, accepted the award on behalf of the Libraries.
DONNA CRYAN, SUPERVISOR
- The Copy Centers have dramatically expanded our user services during this fiscal year. We are carefully examining equipment needs in all locations and personnel requirements to adapt to the changing needs of our patrons in the 21st century. We are migrating from analog to digital technology to enable us to provide more sophisticated and personalized services with less hardware and less cost. We are gradually integrating digital technology into all of our operations. An important objective is to continually update the skills of our staff members to accommodate these changing needs.
- Our major accomplishments this past year all reflect the importance of these objectives.
- Copy Services has been instrumental in planning and implementing electronic reserves at the libraries, in cooperation with access services. We started this summer with some limited class materials and then scanned and put on the library Web server almost 6,000 items during the fall semester. The spring semester saw a marked increase in usage. Materials that formerly would be held on reserve in hard copy are now being scanned and made available on the Internet. This material includes not only exams and class notes but also journal articles submitted by the faculty.
- Professors, teaching assistants, or lecturers may submit reserve materials to any branch library. Each branch sends these materials to the Alexander Copy Center. The Copy Center scans the materials and saves them in a file according to subject, professor, and semester. The hard copies are then returned to the branch library to which they were originally received. This system makes reserve materials more easily accessible. It has also, however, contributed to the drastic reduction in photocopying, as patrons will be printing rather than photocopying reserve materials.
- We are also now accepting for electronic reserves material sent to us electronically. The scanning is done primarily at Alexander Library Copy Center with some scanning done at the Library of Science and Medicine.
Rutgers Request Service
- We began scanning articles from books and journals for the Rutgers Request Service with our Ariel software at the Alexander Library Copy Center. We send these articles directly to Robeson Library and Dana Library. The articles had previously been sent via campus mail. The accounting for university departments using purchase orders for the Rutgers Request Service was transferred to the staff of the Library of Science and Medicine Copy Center.
Interlibrary Loan Services
- We are preparing to scan for Interlibrary Loan Services using the same Ariel software that is used for RRS scanning.
- Scanning is now available to the public at Alexander Library. The price is $0.25 per page plus a service fee of $5.00 for every 10 minutes. This service is available by appointment only. The Copy Services' Joanna Leiva makes all the arrangements.
- The New Brunswick Libraries Copy Service has accepted the challenge of managing the copy services at the Newark Dana Library. We have worked with Lynn Mullins, the Director, and Kathleen Johnson, her former assistant, to transfer the responsibilities of the management of Dana photocopying to New Brunswick. We have worked out procedures acceptable to everyone, and the transfer has gone smoothly.
DIGITAL COPIERS, NETWORKED AND LASER PRINTING
- Copy Services has purchased new digital photocopiers both for the New Brunswick Libraries and Newark Dana Library. By coordinating the purchases of all the libraries, we were able to position the university into a competitive bidding situation. All major vendors submitted competitive bids, and Ricoh was the best buy. By purchasing digital copiers for all of the libraries at once, we were able to acquire each copier for essentially half price. These photocopiers (some enabled to do networked printing) have been installed primarily in the public areas of the libraries, replacing older analog copiers. This one large purchase brought us much closer to a balanced budget than a number of smaller purchases would have allowed.
- All of the photocopiers at Dana and Robeson Libraries have been replaced with brand new Ricoh digital copiers. This includes both the public and administrative copiers.
- Brand-new digital copiers will be placed in the following libraries: Art, Chang Science, Douglass, Kilmer, Library of Science and Medicine, Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering Resource Center, and Robeson. These new copiers will both photocopy and do networked printing. Networked printing will now be available at the following libraries: Alexander, Art, Chang Science, Douglass, Kilmer, Mathematical Sciences, the Library of Science and Medicine, the Science and Engineering Resource Center (SERC), and Camden's Robeson Library. Now from any public workstation in any of these libraries, patrons can print to new Ricoh or Toshiba digital copiers. Disks are no longer needed, and the price is just $0.10 per page.
- At any library public computer workstation, a patron just clicks on the print icon to print the current page or article and chooses from a pop up menu to indicate the pages he or she wishes to print. After everything has been sent to the network, the patron simply proceeds to the print release station, selects the documents, and prints them using a copy card. The price is the same as for photocopies. It has been lowered from $0.20 to $0.10 per print! This service is particularly useful now that reserve (e-reserves) and other research materials are available on line.
Pilot Networked Printing Project
- Using university SROA funding, we have installed two new Toshiba digital photocopier/printers in Alexander Library. These digital copiers can be used both for public photocopying and public networked printing, using our debit card system for income recovery. Patrons are able to send print jobs from any public workstation in Alexander Library to the Copy Center where they are able to release them for printing. Students are using the printing capabilities for both research materials and electronic reserve materials.
- Previously, Alexander Library patrons had to download from the Internet onto a disc and then print from their disc at a print station in front of the Copy Center. The usage for printing alone from the new digital copiers was almost 4,000 prints during the first month. In later months, an average of 3,400 prints was made. The previous standalone computer workstation for printing averaged less than 500 prints per month.
- Total laser printing was 29,998 copies, which represents an overall decrease of 20,561 copies or 41%. Public laser printing was 29,615 copies, or 98% of the total laser printing, with the remaining 383 copies (2%) being administrative. In Alexander Library, laser printing was $0.10 per page. There has been a 29% decrease in vended laser printing and a 96% increase in administrative laser printing. Public laser printing was free of charge in Douglass and Kilmer Libraries because the Xerox Corporation temporarily provided the equipment. We have since purchased this equipment. Since this equipment had no debit card system, there is no way of accounting for the relative percentages of vended and administrative copies. These percentages are somewhat skewed as a result. These changes also reflect the increasing importance of the Internet. Library patrons and staff are looking up and printing the references and documents that they need at their office or home.
- One of our major goals is to provide prompt and efficient service to all our patrons and to do this while being environmentally, fiscally, and socially conscious.
- At the beginning of July 2000, a new copy card system from Jamex will replace the old system from Copicard, Inc. This new system will be as simple to use as the old system. It will also take the new $5, $10, and $20 bills. Patrons simply buy a card from the vending machine for $1 and can then add value to the card in any amount from $1 to $20. It may be used for photocopying and microform copying in any Rutgers library in New Brunswick/Piscataway, Newark (Dana), and Camden (Robeson) libraries. It may also be used for networked printing in any Rutgers library in New Brunswick/Piscataway and Camden (Robeson). The copy card vending machines at the Alexander Library, Dana Library, Douglass Library, Kilmer Library, and the Library of Science and Medicine can print receipts.
- This change was necessary because the system that we had was antiquated. It did not adapt well to networked printing, and it could not read the new $5, $10, and $20 bills.
- Patrons can redeem old Copicards for new copy cards at the Alexander Library, Library of Science and Medicine, and Dana Library Copy Centers, and also at the access services desks of Kilmer Library, Douglass Library, the Science and Engineering Reading Room (SERC) and Chang Library. There is no time limit on redeeming cards. Card exchanges will always be honored.
- The Copy Centers at Alexander Library and the Library of Science and Medicine will have extended hours from July through October for the convenience of patrons who wish to switch their old cards for new ones.
- We are pleased to announce that color copying is now available at the Art Library and the Library of Science and Medicine. Both libraries have each received a new Ricoh color copier for public use.
- Now patrons can copy in color from the Art Library's large collection of non-circulating photographs, prints, and books, and from LSM's scientific journals. Patrons can also make color transparencies. 8 ½ X 11" copier photocopies are $1, and 11 X 17" photocopies are $2. Color transparencies are $2. The Copy Center supplies the transparencies.
- In December 1999, we installed a Canon color photocopier at the Art Library on a trial basis. We eventually purchased a Ricoh as part of the overall purchase of new photocopiers described above.
- Past experiments with color photocopiers have not proved cost effective. Market forces, however, have slowly but surely driven down the cost of color photocopiers; and we have taken advantage of this trend.
- The trend in coming years will be away from photocopying and toward laser printer copying as more patrons copy information from online subscriptions, electronic reserves, and the Internet. We are planning and preparing for this reduced photocopying trend. We are becoming increasingly active in the scanning of materials, and we are moving to digital copiers that can also print from the network.
- Total photocopying this year was approximately 5.84 million copies. This represents an 11.5% decrease from last year. Total vended photocopying decreased by 11.2%. Vended photocopying represented 72% of total photocopying, administrative photocopying was 24%, and service photocopying was 4%. Total vended photocopying for this fiscal year was approximately 4.2 million copies, which is more than 10% lower than in 1999 and 32% lower than our peak year of 1993.
- Our total vended copying from photocopiers, microform machines, and laser printing was nearly 4.9 million copies, which is approximately the same as in 1986 and down by 33% from our peak year of 1993.
- Library administrative photocopying is down by approximately 210,706 copies or 24% overall. Printing from the World Wide Web and the use of e-mail have contributed greatly to this decrease. The Copy Center charges other library departments for only a small portion of administrative and service copying. The cost of the remaining copies is covered by the Copy Center. This cost to the Copy Center is substantial and does not include the cost or replacement of the administrative photocopiers.
- Total microform copying in New Brunswick / Piscataway was 107,862 copies. Microform copying has been steadily decreasing by approximately 12% per year over the past five years, particularly at the Kilmer and Douglass Libraries as subscriptions are dropped. The decrease for this fiscal year is 32%.
- On July 1, 1999, Nancy Makarenko, Evening Supervisor (Library Associate II), officially retired. In October 1999, this position was reclassified as a Library Assistant III and filled by Joanna Leiva, who worked for us as a student voucher before graduating from Rutgers College. Joanna Leiva will be leaving the Copy Center at the beginning of August 2000, leaving this position vacant.
- An important objective is to continually update the skills of our staff members to acquire new skills and knowledge in the ever-changing technologies that seem to revolutionize our duties almost daily. This year our staff has received new training in networked printing, scanning, and digital technology.
INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
JERIS CASSEL, CHAIR
- Instructional Services Committee (ISC) members were Jeris Cassel (chair), Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy, Leslie Murtha, Julie Still, Thelma Tate, Roberta Tipton, and Lisa Vecchioli.
PARTICIPATED IN INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING
- Librarians participated in approximately 795 library instruction sessions and reached an estimate of 16, 733 individuals, including faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and high school students, as well as others, in outreach programs. September, October, February, and March continue to be the highest instruction activity months. The following represents some examples of the activities beyond course and discipline integrated sessions offered across the libraries. Two three-credit research courses were taught by librarians: "Research in the Information Age", developed by Ann Scholz-Crane as an Honors course at the Robeson Library, Camden, and "Bibliography and Research Techniques," developed by Jeris Cassel, a required summer course for juniors in the McNair Scholars Program. The Dana Library provided an Internet training program for small business executives in which Wen-Hua Ren and Ka-Neng Au conducted workshops for small business executives in collaboration with the Small Business Development Center. Lisa Vecchioli led efforts in working closely with the Douglass College faculty in designing a new library component that included library research assignments and the Web-based tutorial "Knowledge Maze" for the shaping a life course for first-year Douglass College students. With the guidance of Jackie Mardikian, "Online Library Tutorial for Biomedical Issues of HV/AIDS" was presented to 500 students this year. This fulfilled the science requirement for Rutgers College undergraduates. Librarians also participated in numerous summer programs across campuses, including EOF (Dana Library and Kilmer Library), Academic Foundations (Dana Library), LEAP (Robeson Library), and TEEM: The Engineering Experience for Minorities (LSM).
- The Office of the Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications sponsored
a new series of workshops about networked electronic resources. Workshops about the Web of Science and
CIS Statistical Universe conducted by professional trainers from the resource producers were offered in
multiple sessions on the Camden, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Newark campuses. More than 200 attended
the Web of Science train the trainer and overview workshops, while nearly 50 attended the CIS
workshops. Rutgers librarians conducted further networked electronic resources workshops across all the
libraries either as part of regular reference meetings or library faculty meetings. Resources covered
include Web of Science, Beilstein Crossfire, CIAO, Dow Jones, and ABI/Inform.
ESTABLISHED CLEARINGHOUSE OF INFORMATION ON RUTGERS UNIVERSITY INSTRUCTION PROJECTS
- The Instructional Services Committee surveyed librarians for information on any active learning student exercises, tutorials, modules, etc. being used or developed for traditional, online, or distance learning courses. There were four responses to the survey from individuals beyond the committee. The committee will continue collecting information and make it available on the Web through the Library Instruction & Tutorials Web page. A related survey of library instructional facilities revealed unevenness in the capabilities and resources available at various sites.
CONDUCTED INSTRUCTIONAL FACILITIES SURVEY
- In conjunction with developing a clearinghouse, a survey of instructional facilities was made in the fall. The survey reveals unevenness in the capabilities and resources available at various sites. The survey also revealed increasing demand for library instructional facilities by departments outside the Libraries.
EXAMINED INFORMATION LITERACY EFFORTS AT THE RUTGERS UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION LITERACY BEST PRACTICES NATIONWIDE
- The committee continually examines the core content of basic library instruction and reviewed an earlier outline of the Libraries' information literacy program. The committee is preparing a document on current information literacy efforts at Rutgers University Libraries, including teaching methods and philosophies, and the basis of "best practices" information literacy programs across the United States. This document will be completed by the end of August 2000 for distribution to the Rutgers University Libraries Public Services Council.
FACILITATED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INSTRUCTION LIBRARIANS
- The committee sponsored a subject-based information discussion in the fall for the purpose of librarians sharing experiences and expertise in providing subject-based library sessions. This session also provided a forum for discussion of the then forthcoming instruction Web page.
- Committee members met with Michael Chumer, Media Services, Dana Library, in the fall to discuss the feasibility of a proposed group instruction project.
- Jeris Cassel, the chair, and, Thelma Tate, a committee member, met with representatives from the Office of Television and Radio (now Office of Print and Electronic Communication) and the Teaching Excellence Center to discuss needs and interest of the committee working with these organizations. Eve Burris from (OTR/OPEC) and Joe Delaney (TEC) provided a well-received workshop in the Scholarly Communication Center to which members of the SCC/multimedia and digital library services planning team were invited. The workshop was held in March and covered such areas as instructional website strategies, interactivity tools, instructional purposes of Web audio and video, and production training.
- In November, the chair attended "Education the University Community in a Dynamic Information Environment," a three-day user education conference at the University of Iowa that featured current instruction practices in the United States and Great Britain and expectations for libraries in the near future.
- In March, several members (Jeris Cassel, Jackie Mardikian, and Lisa Vecchioli) attended a Middle States Commission on Higher Education conference in Philadelphia, "Virtual Library Services: The Curriculum, and Accreditation.
- In May 2000, several members (Leslie Murtha, Roberta Tipton, and Lisa Vecchioli) attended LACUNY Institute 2000 "Information Literacy: Laying the Foundations". Leslie Murtha and Lisa Vecchioli presented a poster session "Integrating the Knowledge Maze into Shaping a Life". The poster session is available at http://lacuny/cuny.edu/institute/poster.html.
EXPLORED ROLE IN DISTANCE LEARNING
- In August, the chair attended, with the AUL for Public Services and Communications, a workshop at the Western Monmouth Higher Education Center on conducting ITV lessons.
- ISC members will be participating in orientation sessions for distance education students at Western Monmouth scheduled for Saturday, September 9, 2000.
- The New Brunswick Information Services Steering Group and the Libraries Instructional Services Committee are exploring the two library campus TV channels established in New Brunswick for distance learning possibilities.
- In February, there was a discussion regarding the Instructional Services Committee's participation in developing library modules for eCollege. The committee recommended and agreed that an established leave time be given an individual working on this project. The committee desires involvement in this project as instruction consultants whether an individual from within or outside the committee is selected for the project.
COORDINATED SUPPORT FOR ENGLISH WRITING COURSES
- A Web page of materials used for library instruction sessions for English writing courses is in progress.
- Members of the group provided sessions each semester on library instruction services as part of the orientation for New Brunswick English writing program teaching assistants. In the spring semester orientation session, emphasis was on providing multiple developmental sessions and selecting resources from all campuses for the convenience of the classes.
CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF INSTRUCTION WEB PAGE
- Three tutorials were added to the instruction Web page: Knowledge Maze, Scientific and Technical Writing-Guide to Library Research, and the Online Library Tutorial for Biomedical Issues of HIV/AIDS. Further development work is in progress.
DEVELOPED WEB-BASED TUTORIALS
- The library Web-based tutorial, "Knowledge Maze", was implemented in the Douglass College first-year mission course "Shaping a Life". Formal and informal evaluations were made. In January, two instructors from the program discussed the effectiveness and impact of the tutorial with the committee. The instructors reported a positive difference in the course because of the tutorial and provided suggestions for making the tutorial more effective. English 102 coordinators and coordinators for transfer students and other new students programs were invited to this discussion.
- Further development was done on two science-based tutorials: "Scientific and Technical Writing-Guide to Library Research" and the "Online Library Tutorial for Biomedical Issues of HIV/AIDS." The ISC reviewed these tutorials carefully and would like to see the scientific and technical writing tutorial expanded to included information beyond the science libraries since sessions of the course are taught on College Avenue and Livingston.
- Other Web-based tutorials are in progress. Lisa Vecchioli and Scott Hines received a grant for further Web-based enhancement of the Douglass College Shaping a Life program.
- Numerous successful efforts with Web-based enhanced instruction are evident across libraries and campuses. These included Web-based guides for library sessions in specific courses, such as those available on the Dana Library Web page and the online information for the three-credit honors course "Research in the Information Age" developed at the Camden Robeson Library by Ann Scholz-Crane and colleagues. The three-credit "Bibliography and Research Techniques" course is being Web-enhanced with WebCT by the chair. This course is taught in the summer for the McNair Scholars Program.
DEVELOPED COMMUNICATION CHANNELS WITH RUTGERS UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS AND CENTERS, SUCH AS THE TEACHING EXCELLENCE CENTER AND LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER
Teaching Excellence Center
- Joe Delaney, with Eve Burris from OPEC, provided a workshop on instructional technology to the committee in February. He has also agreed to provide other workshops (e.g., Dreamweaver and Adobe PhotoShop) and assistance to us as individuals or as a group.
- Monica Devanas reviewed the ACRL Information Literacy Standards documents and set up a meeting with Susan Forman and the ISC chair to discuss the feasibility of a grant for sponsoring a pilot program. This meeting took place in May. Dr. Forman responded positively to the possibilities of such a program.
- Monica Devanas served as a catalyst in forwarding the idea of librarians providing a program on information literacy at the fall 2000 Rutgers University Undergraduate Teaching Conference. Dr. Len Hamilton, coordinator for the fall conference, contacted the ISC chair regarding participation of several librarians participating in conference program planning.
- Monica Devanas and other TEC staff worked with Jackie Mardikian on the WebCT tutorial for a biology course on "Biomedical Issues of HIV/AIDS".
Office of Print and Electronic Communications
- A video is in production this summer for viewing on the New Brunswick Libraries TV channel. As chair of ISC and member of the New Brunswick Libraries Information Services Steering Group, Jeris Cassel has served as liaison to OPEC on this project. The Rutgers College New Student Orientation Office will use this video, which will represent the entire Rutgers University Libraries system, for the fall 2000 orientation. The video will be viewed over the campus cable TV library channel in the ARC building on Busch Campus, and the video will be shown at regular intervals at the Rutgers Campus Center.
- Jeris Cassel has been working with the New Student Orientation Office in making these arrangements instead of large groups of students touring the Alexander Library and Library of Science & Medicine on the Labor Day weekend activities. Copies of the video will be available for other campuses not having access to the campus cable channels in fall 2000. The Learning Resource Centers have requested that copies be placed in their respective locations.
Learning Resource Centers
- The ISC chair called a meeting of directors of learning resource centers on all campuses to discuss possible partnerships. Dr. Karen Smith and directors of the LRC's for College Avenue, Douglass, Livingston, and Busch attended. Information was shared on the differences and similarities in the activities of the Libraries and learning resource centers. There was discussion of the possibility of expanding the library research tutor model currently on College Avenue to other LRC's or bringing LRC tutors into the Libraries. These projects are being explored for the future, while other joint activities are being planned for the fall.
Coordinators/Directors of Transfer Students
- The ISC chair called a meeting of the coordinators/directors of transfer students for Rutgers College, University College, Douglass College, and Livingston College in May. The Rutgers College and Livingston College coordinators/ directors brought information on the newly developed courses to be offered in fall 2000 to transfer students. Library sessions have been incorporated into both courses for the month of October. Library workshops geared to transfer students are also be organized across the campuses for October. Registration and publicity will be handled by Lisa Evrard's office on Busch Campus. Information will be available on the website for transfer students. The content of the publicity is being planned jointly with the ISC.
Rutgers University Undergraduate Teaching Conference
- The ISC chair arranged for the participation of the library faculty in the third annual undergraduate teaching conference, fall 1999. The chair served as the facilitator for a breakout session on "The Role of the Libraries in Instruction" and Ann Scholz-Crane, Veronica Calderhead, and Jeanne Boyle served as facilitators for a breakout session on "Copyright, Cheating, and Ethics." The chair has communicated with Professor Len Hamilton, the conference coordinator, regarding the fall 2000 conference and participation of library faculty.
- The chair was invited to organize and facilitate a breakout/panel discussion on "Library Instruction and the Changing Librarian's Role" for the first VALE users' conference, January 7, 2000. I solicited the following panelists: Robert Mackie, Rider University, Susan Bissett, Union County College, Mary Ladany, Caldwell College, and Ka-Neng Au, Rutgers University-Newark. The session was held twice and was well attended with 25-30 people for each session.
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, Harriette Hemmasi, Marjorie Li, Ann Montanaro, Bob Sewell, and Myoung Wilson. Jane Sloan was invited to join the Council beginning with the January meeting.
- The newly formed Public Services Council of elected, appointed, and ex officio members met ten times between July 1999 and June 2000, including two full-day meetings.
- Among the topics considered were:
- Introduction of Web of Science, including user and train the trainer training, publicity, and reference support.
- Authority control training
- IRIS, including display of electronic resources, direct links to electronic indexes, and procedures for planned and emergency downtimes
- Serials, including the need to update 930 tags and when to close journal holdings when cancelled
- Encyclopedia Britannica Online
- Library designators, including spine labels and expanding library names in IRIS to full words
- A pilot project for purchasing current monographs requested on interlibrary loan
- A new series of public services policy memos, and PSPM 1 and 2 were approved
- Indexes, including adding Rutgers-created indexes on the Web page and display of UnCover gateway and generic versions
- Finding aids and their use as an alternative solution for access to uncataloged collections
- Government documents issues and subgroup affiliation
- Council recommendations are recorded on the recommendation log posted on the Libraries' website and attached as an appendix to this report.
USER INITIATED DOCUMENT DELIVERY TASK FORCE
JUDY GARDNER, CONVENER
- Members of the User Initiated Document Delivery Task Force were Veronica Calderhead, Judy Gardner, Jim Nettleman, and Myoung Wilson.
- The Task Force was charged to develop a subsidized online document delivery service that will provide subsidized document delivery of articles that are not owned or licensed by the Rutgers University Libraries and that will link indexing and abstract tools to full-text journals and other holdings of the Rutgers University Libraries and, where possible, to online document delivery services.
- In its report issued in January 1999, the Task Force recommended that the Libraries establish an UnCover customized gateway. Work on the gateway is underway.
WEB ADVISORY COMMITTEE
RON JANTZ, CHAIR
- Members of the Web Advisory Committee (WAC) were Ka-Neng Au, Vibiana Bowman, Jeanne Boyle, Rebecca Gardner, Harry Glazer, Brian Hancock, Theo Haynes, Dave Hoover, Ron Jantz (chair), Marty Kesselman, Sam McDonald, Steve Perkins, and Pat Piermatti.
WAC GOALS FOR AY99/00
- WAC successfully launched the Libraries' new website on July 12, 1999. This major milestone was a significant event and in accordance with the WAC schedule that had been established in January. Following this event, WAC had several discussion and brainstorming sessions that were largely devoted to determining goals for the new academic year. As a result of this work, the group determined that the three primary goals for AY 99/00 were:
- Improving the navigational structure of the Libraries' website
- Adding new research guides
- De-commissioning the Libraries' old website
Through the brainstorming and discussions, two additional goals were identified and considered very important: 1) developing the staff pages and 2) assessment and evaluation of the Libraries' website. The remainder of this report will describe the accomplishments and progress in these areas.
IMPROVING THE NAVIGATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE LIBRARIES' WEBSITE
- In the navigational area, we have made significant progress as follows:
- Research shortcuts - This new feature enables efficient and more direct access to information sources on the website and is intended for the more seasoned users.
- Site index - The site index is a manually created index that is being built incrementally from user comments and experiences of WAC members. The index provides another access path to resources on the website that are sometimes hard to find. Index terms from users are welcome, and it is expected that the Index will grow in usefulness over time.
- Alpha listing of indexes - because of comments from librarians, WAC has implemented an alpha list for all of the indexes. This approach enables easier and more efficient access if one already knows the name of the index. The user can also do alpha browsing.
- Search engines - Our webmaster and systems representative have researched and selected a search engine (htdig) for the Libraries' website. The search engine characteristics were reviewed by WAC and approved. WAC has also reviewed an early implementation of the search engine. The WAC design group will work with the webmaster to customize the search engine for the Libraries' use. We plan to launch the search engine for the fall semester, 2000.
- The Research Guides group within WAC has reviewed the various academic programs in order to assess where additional guides are needed. Our approach is to encourage librarians to create or update their guides and to provide the technical support to do this more quickly and efficiently. Where we do not have the possibility of a Rutgers library-created research guide, we will look for external guides that might serve the purpose. Some of the more recent guides that have been added to the Libraries' website include the following: agricultural science, alcohol studies, careers, computer science, East Asian studies, environmental studies, Jewish studies, mathematics, medical and health sciences, newspapers, pharmaceutical sciences, philosophy, religion, and statistics. Research guides that are in the queue include dissertations, jazz, numeric data, and nursing.
DECOMMISSIONING THE OLD LIBRARIES' SITE
- The old Libraries' website (rulib) was decommissioned on December 20, 1999.
MANY MORE ACCOMPLISHMENTS
- In addition to the above, there were many other accomplishments that resulted in significant improvements to the Libraries' website. These are briefly listed below:
- Through the work of the I'Things subgroup and the webmaster, seventeen new indexes have been advertised and put up on the Web during the course of this academic year.
- The design of the staff resources pages has been completed. These resources are now available on the Libraries' website; content is, however, still being added.
- jake, a unique indexing tool, has been added to the website. jake allows one to 1) determine which research database indexes a particular journal, 2) determine which research database contains full the text of a particular journal, and 3) expand journal abbreviations (e.g., art bull, or j struct le)
- WAC has made a decision to begin the Libraries' Web evaluation by first conducting a survey of librarians and staff. This survey has been completed, and we are beginning to analyze the results. We are also examining ways to obtain comments from users.
- New forms were created including fifteen reserve forms, a copyright conference form, and three digital resource request forms.
- The news page was significantly redesigned to include downtimes, employment opportunities, and exhibits.
- The Index categories have been redesigned to provide more consistency and uniformity across the set of primary indexes and "see also" groupings.
- WAC posted for two positions that had been vacated because of members leaving Rutgers University. We received many good applicants, and two new members have become members.
CHALLENGES AND ISSUES
- There are many challenges and issues that we encounter in the process of continually improving the Libraries' website. Listed below are a few that are prominent in our discussions:
- We have an incredible amount of diverse information on the website. Finding ways to improve navigation in this large website will continue to be an important issue for WAC. Use of vocabulary and customization to specific groups will continue to be areas that we investigate for possible improvement.
- Obtaining comments from users is a task that will require special skills and a significant expenditure of effort. We have not yet determined the best approach.
- A search engine can be a powerful addition to the site. We also recognize, however, that it may create confusion. Effective placement and use of the search engine will be a significant task. We want to make sure that students understand that they are not searching our online catalog when they use the search engine.
- We continue to discuss the proper balance for information access and instruction on the website.
PRELIMINARY GOALS FOR AY 00/01
- The following goals represent a continuation of work already underway and possible new areas of focus for the next academic year. The new WAC chair, who will be elected in July, will want to re-visit these goals and brainstorm to identify other possible areas of focus.
- Implement the search engine.
- Analyze the faculty/staff survey results and determine improvement areas.
- Determine a methodology that will give us quality comments from end-users and launch this process.
- Continue to add content to the staff pages.
- Continue to add to our growing collection of research guides.
- Explore and develop partnerships with those working in the areas of instruction and distance learning.
SAMUEL J. MCDONALD, WEBMASTER
- The Rutgers University Libraries' website (http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu) sustained a strong period of growth for 1999-2000. Overall, the Web presence is strong as design decisions are made to balance issues of accessibility, user capability, and maintainability. For more information regarding specific content and design decisions see the Web Advisory Committee's portion of this annual report.
- All statistics are on a steady growth curve. These curves will probably stabilize in a few years when desktop computers and Internet connections become ubiquitous and users have overcome their initial learning curves. This is not so say that the library servers and information resources are not improving and expanding. As more information becomes accessible and we approach a point where there is 'something for everyone,' the growth will continue.
BASIC STATISTICS - SIZE AND SCALE OF THE CURRENT LIBRARIES' WEBSITE
- The following numbers represent a snapshot of the website in late June 2000. All numbers are conservatively represented and are probably 5%-10% lower than actual reported figures. Seldom does content ever get removed; however, the scope and size is continually growing as pages are revised, corrected, and amended. The actual working base of documents for the website is approximately three times larger than the active number of pages for the purpose of archiving original documents and for version control and administrative documentation.
- Total number of pages: » 2,091 (some pages are sub-sections of others)
- Total megabytes of pages: » 25.4 megabytes
- Average page size: 13.361 kb
- Total # of links leading off-site: »31,910 (gross) (»20,216 unique)
- Link-integrity: 98% (links leading off-site)
- Most of the 2% broken off-site links are dynamic links and therefore could not be resolved by the link- tester.
- Images links: 11,681 (icons etc. » 7-8 per 2,000 pages - i.e. 2,000 pages x 6 icons = 12,000 images (most staff documentation pages have no images at all)
- 866 unique images (many images are linked many times when used as standard page fixtures, e.g., blue bars, etc.)
- Total megabytes of images: »29.3 megabytes
- Image type breakdown:
- 525 .gif's
- 326 .jpg's
- Images are used: 25,534 times site-wide
- Average image size: 4 kb
- Largest image: 669.8 kb
- Smallest image: 42 bytes
WEBSERVER USAGE TRENDS AND STATISTICS
- The following charts and data are to be understood as trends, not as actual hard numbers. The calculation and comparison of Web statistics is inherently imperfect because not all factors can be known and explained. Since the delivery of Web-based documents is a negotiation between user (client) computers, webservers, and various routers and intermediary servers, the actual counts represented here are considerably lower than actual. Between caching factors, false hits, and error correction, the estimated numbers here may be between 20%-80% low. Most data represented are gross averages and are represented conservatively on the low side. It is important to note that the visualizations were carefully constructed to represent trend data; they are not to be used for specific numbers.
Hour by Hour
- The accompanying chart was created by taking the number of requests reported by the server for each hour averaged across a single month. A request, commonly thought of as a hit, is actually a user's browser requesting, and being sent by the server, every separate page element. Every icon is a request or hit on the webserver. A user's use of a page is therefore not one hit/request, but several. The front page of the Libraries' website is ten hits; one for the page, seven for the icons and divider-bar, one for the background, and one for an invisible page spacer. Following links to sub-pages reduces the hits to usually no more than five - the page itself, a 'back to top' icon, perhaps a light blue divider, a different Libraries logo, and a different Rutgers logo. Pages after this will then only have one request-- the page itself. The reduction occurs because a user's browser 'caches' the previously downloaded, and repeated, icons, etc., and reuses them without making another request.
- Every month for which data was available from 1996-2000 was entered for each hour. This data set was summated for every month in the year and plotted on its own curve. The 2000 curve is low due to the fact that the summation for six months (all the available data) is only half that for the others. A conservative doubling of the existing 2000 curve demonstrates that it will be higher than previous years but will exhibit the same behavior and general shape.
- The shape of the curves is exactly what is expected. The university population does their research tasks mainly between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m., with the high point being in the middle of the afternoon. Equally interesting to note are the significant values for the hours between midnight and 8 a.m. when no libraries are open. Even at the lowest point (about 4 a.m.), there are about 100,000 'hits' (1999). An estimate to measure a task, such as locating an index or website might be between 40-60 hits (less the caching effects). This works out to be between 1,500-2,500 tasks being done by users at the very lowest usage point for the library server. The usage during these hours is now taken for granted. Seven years ago, however, library services and materials were simply unavailable when the buildings were closed.
Usage during the Week
- The following curves sampled from 3 weeks during a single semester demonstrate how usage patterns change across the term. The change, although interesting, does not actually statistically vary to any great degree (when unknown factors are considered). The most intriguing part of the usage curves is for the weekend; unexpectedly, usage seems to be at about 55% of mid-week usage. Although little hard data is available at this time, it would be interesting to determine if the unexpected usage is from off-campus users who are 'dialing-in' rather than commuting to campus.
Month to Month
- The chart immediately following demonstrates the usage curve over an entire calendar year. Predictably enough, the summer months show less usage than during the fall and spring semesters. Also, as expected, usage tends to peak around midterms and continues at a high level until finals. There are two anomalies in the curves that must be observed. The first is the sharp decline in the spring 1999. During this period, the Libraries installed a proxy server to allow the authentication of Rutgers users so that remote access to databases could be done. Part of this installation involved a caching mechanism. Had this caching not been used (for the efficiency of the systems and services), the curve would be similar to what can be observed for the same months of 2000. The 'dips' in the curves for May and December may be due to the fact that most research has been completed for the semester (before break and finals), and papers are being written and exams taken.
- The following chart uses the same data as the previous. It is, however, much more explicit in showing the total growth of use and cyclical 'dips' for summer and winter breaks. The differential between 1998 and the following two years of 1999 and 2000 is not as great as actual and is also due to the before mentioned installation of the caching system installed in spring 1999.
Web Page Use
- The following diagram shows ratios of use for some of the major sections of the website. Due to the large and complicated sets of numbers, only two months are represented: March 2000, a heavy-usage month around midterms, and January 2000, a low-usage month used as a control. A summer month was not used because academic use is not as easily compared. As expected, the front page of the site gets the most usage. This high degree of usage comes from at least three basic factors:
- most websites link to the front page of the site (such as the main Rutgers page)
- most library computers have the main library page as the default home page
- users often return to the front page and navigate down 'gopher' style
- In addition, as expected, the index pages receive nearly 50% of the hits over all other pages. It is important to note that IRIS, the Libraries' online catalog, is on its own server and system and cannot be represented in this diagram at all (or in any of the above charts).
Web Page Use: March 2000 (outer ring) & January 2000 (inner ring)
The following appendices were created for the original
print version, but are not available online. For copies, see Jeanne Boyle.
- ACCESS AND INTERLIBRARY SERVICES STATISTICS, 1999/00
- COPY SERVICE STATISTICS, 1999/00
- PUBLIC SERVICES COUNCIL RECOMMENDATION LOG, AY 2000