STAFF RESOURCES

Annual Report
1999-2000
Public Services and Communications

Contact:
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 services.

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 entire university.

Jeanne E. Boyle
Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications

ACCESS AND INTERLIBRARY SERVICES
Judy Gardner, Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services

ELECTRONIC RESERVES & RESERVE

S

RUTGERS REQUEST SERVICE (RRS)

INTERLIBRARY LOAN SERVICES (ILS)

SHIPPING & RECEIVING

CITATION/LOCATION CENTER

Ask A Librarian
Natalie Borisovets, Coordinator

ASK A LIBRARIAN
September 1999-August 2000

  Questions
Received
Answers
Sent
Not
Answered
Percent
Answered
September 438 448 32 92.7
October 492 462 62 87.4
November 518 522 37 92.9
December 377 375 29 92.3
January 576 566 81 85.9
February 589 560 81 86.3
March 546 589 37 93.2
April 502 497 39 92.2
May 376 355 42 88.8
June 362 351 35 90.3
July 332 329 34 89.8
August 364 354 37 89.8
TOTALS 5472 5408 546 90.0%

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

  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
October 1999 23 23 17 21 15 10 8
February 2000 23 30 29 21 18 9 11

UNANSWERED QUESTIONS

RESPONSE TIME

ASK A LIBRARIAN
Response Time (Days)1

  Total
Responses
Same
Day
% Next
Day
% Two
Days
% Three/+
Days
%
Feb-June 2000 2352 839 35.7 1153 49.0 210 8.9 150 6.4
Feb-June 1999 1543 565 36.6 732 47.4 158 10.2 88 5.7

1Based on working days.

THE TEAMS

               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
Answered By:

  Reference Access
Services
Systems Rutgers Request
Services
Interlibrary Loan
Services
Other
Sep 175 127 6 63 74 3
Oct 177 123 17 39 102 4
Nov 221 121 6 43 125 6
Dec 146 90 6 29 101 3
Jan 200 169 5 74 102 16
Feb 226 137 23 76 91 7
Mar 230 127 10 50 162 10
Apr 193 82 2 41 163 16
May 118 83 6 21 122 5
Jun 139 63 6 21 115 7
Jul 124 53 18 19 114 1
Aug 140 75 9 26 98 6
Total 2089 1250 114 502 1369 84
% 38.6 23.1 2.1 9.3 25.3 1.6

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
1998-2000
Answered By:

  Reference Access
Services
Systems Rutgers Request
Services
Interlibrary
Loan Services
Other
Sept 1999-
Aug 2000
2089 (39%) 1250 (23%) 114 (2%) 502 (9%) 1369 (25%) 84 (2%)
Sept 1998-
Aug 1999
985 (33%) 489 (16%) 140 (5%) 255 (9%) 1081 (36%) 56 (2%)

COMMUNICATIONS
HARRY GLAZER, COORDINATOR

COPY SERVICES
DONNA CRYAN, SUPERVISOR

SCANNING

E-Reserves

Rutgers Request Service

Interlibrary Loan Services

Public Scanning

DANA

DIGITAL COPIERS, NETWORKED AND LASER PRINTING

Pilot Networked Printing Project

COPY CARD

COLOR COPIERS

PHOTOCOPYING

Decrease/Increase 
FY93/94 
FY94/95+ .94%
FY95/96- 6.04%
FY96/97- .56%
FY97/98- 7.70%
FY98/99- 9.49%
FY99/00-12.20%

MICROFORMS

COPY CENTER

INSTRUCTIONAL SERVICES COMMITTEE
JERIS CASSEL, CHAIR

PARTICIPATED IN INSTRUCTION AND TRAINING

ESTABLISHED CLEARINGHOUSE OF INFORMATION ON RUTGERS UNIVERSITY INSTRUCTION PROJECTS

CONDUCTED INSTRUCTIONAL FACILITIES SURVEY

EXAMINED INFORMATION LITERACY EFFORTS AT THE RUTGERS UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION LITERACY BEST PRACTICES NATIONWIDE

FACILITATED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF INSTRUCTION LIBRARIANS

EXPLORED ROLE IN DISTANCE LEARNING

COORDINATED SUPPORT FOR ENGLISH WRITING COURSES

CONTINUED DEVELOPMENT OF INSTRUCTION WEB PAGE

DEVELOPED WEB-BASED TUTORIALS

DEVELOPED COMMUNICATION CHANNELS WITH RUTGERS UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENTS AND CENTERS, SUCH AS THE TEACHING EXCELLENCE CENTER AND LEARNING RESOURCE CENTER

Teaching Excellence Center

Office of Print and Electronic Communications

Learning Resource Centers

Coordinators/Directors of Transfer Students

Rutgers University Undergraduate Teaching Conference

VALE

PUBLIC SERVICES COUNCIL
JEANNE BOYLE, CHAIR

USER INITIATED DOCUMENT DELIVERY TASK FORCE
JUDY GARDNER, CONVENER

WEB ADVISORY COMMITTEE
RON JANTZ, CHAIR

WAC GOALS FOR AY99/00

IMPROVING THE NAVIGATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE LIBRARIES' WEBSITE

RESEARCH GUIDES

DECOMMISSIONING THE OLD LIBRARIES' SITE

MANY MORE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

CHALLENGES AND ISSUES

PRELIMINARY GOALS FOR AY 00/01

WEB SERVICES
SAMUEL J. MCDONALD, WEBMASTER

BASIC STATISTICS - SIZE AND SCALE OF THE CURRENT LIBRARIES' WEBSITE

Pages

Links

Images

WEBSERVER USAGE TRENDS AND STATISTICS

Hour by Hour

Usage during the Week

Month to Month

Web Page Use

Web Page Use: March 2000 (outer ring) & January 2000 (inner ring)

APPENDICES

The following appendices were created for the original print version, but are not available online. For copies, see Jeanne Boyle.

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