Public Services and Communications
Jeanne E. Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Communications
Judy Gardner, Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services
- The Libraries established an UnCover customized gateway and introduced a subsidized online document delivery service for Rutgers faculty and graduate students. Orders for 106 articles were filled between August and December 2000, at an average cost of $18.06 per article.
- The interlibrary loan services staff at Alexander Library tested interoperability between RLG's ILL Manager software and OCLC's ILL subsystem. The Rutgers Interlibrary Loan Services staff borrowed 3,432 books and 5,963 photocopies from and loaned 4,003 books and 2,948 photocopies to other libraries.
- 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.
- Four members of the access services committee completed reports training on the Unicorn WorkFlows system; and, as resource persons for other staff, they are running a variety of management and statistical reports. Access services staff tested and implemented the Unicorn 99.4.2 release.
- Over 4,100 electronic documents were placed on reserve for the fall 2000 semester, almost double the number of electronic reserve documents available to students the previous fall term.
- Draft of a Proposal to Improve Library Infrastructure for Electronic Reserves and the Rutgers Request Service Using a Windows 2000 Network was incorporated into the Libraries' Reinvest in Rutgers funding proposal.
- Rutgers Request Service staff at campus libraries began reporting monthly statistics to administration using online Excel spreadsheets available on local library servers. Over 28,000 books and 8,500 photocopies were sent among Rutgers libraries.
Ask a Librarian
Natalie Borisovets, Ask a librarian Coordinator
- Twenty-eight librarians and access services, interlibrary services, and systems staff were participating in Ask a Librarian at mid-year. The service continues to grow, and it is anticipated that the number of questions submitted will reach 700/month during the spring semester.
- A new support infrastructure for Ask a Librarian is being developed. Cabinet has recognized that Ask a Librarian is an important feature of the virtual library and has directed the Public Services Council to develop a way that participation can be broadened and development of the service assured.
Harry Glazer, Communications Coordinator
- The sixth annual book arts held at the John Cotton Dana Library on Friday November 3, 2000 drew more participants than seating allowed, prompting the library staff to telecast the proceedings to some attendees in the media services study room. The symposium benefited from the cooperation of 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.
- 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 the 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 Eagleton Institute of Politics led a spirited discussion on the topic "What's At Stake: The Major Issues in the 2000 Presidential Election" for the Friends of the Rutgers University Libraries, Sunday, October 29, 2000. This event received generous coverage in the Home News Tribune and mention on that evening's broadcast of New Jersey Network cable television news.
- 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 2000 and received rave reviews, including a few requests to borrow the film.
- Working with the university's office of media relations, and utilizing archival material from Special Collections, the Libraries communications office promoted the Special Collections' exhibit "The Dust-Bin of History: Presidential Losers, 1796-1996" in a variety of forms. This exhibit, which opened in September 2000, 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).
- Printed and mailed in early August 2000, the fall 2000 issue of the RUL Report featured articles on the donation of the New Jersey Senator Lautenberg donating his official papers to Special Collections, the growth of electronic reserves, and new research guides in computer science, mathematics, and statistics. One of the articles received glowing, unsolicited praise from a Rutgers alumni and Friends leader, who reported that he had made good use of the statistics research guide in his work.
Donna Cryan, Copy Services Supervisor
- Copy Services purchased and installed twenty-eight new digital copiers. All of the copiers at the Dana Library were replaced, and new copiers for the Robeson Library were acquired by adding Camden to the proposal for digital photocopiers in Newark and New Brunswick. Administrative copiers were replaced in the Dana and Robeson libraries as well as some locations in New Brunswick. Eight Ricoh multitasking photocopier/printers were purchased for the New Brunswick libraries. 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 January 2001 alone, 62,773 prints were made on our new multitasking photocopiers.
- Copy Services has purchased an entirely new debit card system for all photocopiers, microform machines, and laser printers. The new debit card system will accept 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 the Dana Library, Newark, and the Robeson Library, Camden, have received new copy card vending/value-adding machines. Replacement of the debit card system has also required each photocopier, microform machine, and laser printer to be equipped with a new reader unit. The transition to the new equipment began July 1, 2000 and was completed by September 1, 2000. Patron acceptance has been good and the transition has gone smoothly.
- Copy Services has purchased and installed two new digital color photocopiers, one at 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.
- Copy Services, working in cooperation with access services, has continued to be instrumental in the planning and implementation of electronic reserves at the Libraries. During the Fall Semester, 4,171 items were scanned and put on the library web server. The spring semester has already seen 3,890 new items. This material includes exams, class notes and journal articles submitted by the faculty. The scanning is done primarily at the Alexander Library copy center. The Library of Science and Medicine, the Robeson Library, and the Chang science Library also scan electronic reserve articles.
- Copy Services has been instrumental in working to improve the Libraries' infrastructure for digital document delivery. Library systems, access services, interlibrary loan services, 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. The proposal will enhance and decentralize electronic reserves by purchasing scanners for other libraries reserve departments in addition to the equipment used at the Alexander Library copy centers. This proposal has been accepted and the equipment is being ordered. The proposal will also benefit the Rutgers Request Service and, eventually, the interlibrary loan service. At present, in addition to scanning electronic reserve materials, Copy Services also scans articles from books and journals for the Rutgers Request Service using Ariel software. These articles are sent directly to the Dana and Robeson Libraries.
- Copy Services sent a proposal to use equipment leasing funds in conjunction with the New Brunswick Libraries, Camden Libraries, and Newark Libraries to improve the microform resources infrastructure of the Libraries by providing digital access to microform resources. This proposal will provide library patrons with microform reader/printers that can digitize microform images and 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 use 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 students, faculty, or staff via email or through the IRIS circulation system.
Jeris Cassel, Instructional Services Committee chair
- Instructional Services Committee members are Jeris Cassel (chair through December 2000), Scott Hines, Sam McDonald, Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy, Leslie Murtha (chair beginning January 2001), Julie Still, and Bobbi Tipton.
- 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 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 comments were received from the Rutgers College orientation experience, and constructive criticism was received from the Cook College orientation experience.
- Committee 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 facilitating 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.
- Towards an Information Literacy Program at Rutgers University: A Preliminary Working Document, a thirty-page 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. Because of the information gathered for this document, committee 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.
- The first Rutgers University Libraries instructional services policy was developed. The Public Services Council approved Public Services Policy Memo #3 in December 2000, and Cabinet approved it in January 2001.
- Supporting Library Instruction for the Twenty-first Century: Building the Technological Infrastructure for Information Literacy, a proposed plan for the development and configuration of user instruction labs, instructional development labs, and an instructional development Web server for the Rutgers University Libraries was created and developed textually and graphically. The plan was submitted to the Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications in February 2001 for consideration as part of the Libraries' equipment leasing fund proposal and for inclusion in future facility renovations.
Public Services Council
Jeanne Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Communications
- Public Services Council members are Jeanne Boyle, Susan Beck, Natalie Borisovets, Jeris Cassel, Tom Frusciano, Judy Gardner Samson Soong, Marjorie Li, Ann Montanaro, Bob Sewell, Jane Sloan, Mary Beth Weber, and Myoung Wilson.
- The Council met monthly during the first half of the year, except for July, and made recommendations on the following issues: public service policy memos about resource sharing, weather, mail delivery and pick-up, and instruction; an information literacy program report; links to Ovid databases, Ovid training account, authority control implementation, a cell phone policy, adding URL's to records for print monographs, reference statistics, and a review of reference services.
Web Advisory Committee
Rebecca Gardner, WAC Chair
- Web Advisory Committee members are Ka-Neng Au, Vibiana Bowman, Jeanne Boyle, Constantia Constantinou, Rebecca Gardner (chair), Brian Hancock, Theo Haynes, Dave Hoover, Marty Kesselman, Sam McDonald, Leslie Murtha, and Pat Piermatti.
- In fall 2000, a website search engine was launched (htdig). Extensive help pages were written by the webmaster, with assistance from the chair of the Web Advisory Committee.
- In addition to the "search" icon, two other buttons were added to the top page. An "Ask-a-Librarian" button was included in the side bar so that it would be more prominent and accessible. A "Welcome New Users" button was also added. "Welcome New Users" links to a page, created by Leslie Murtha, that 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 in the summer 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 pages were completely redesigned to be streamlined and intuitive. In response to user comments, index and database titles are now direct links, alleviating the confusion on the old pages as to how to connect. New features include a note next to each resource indicating whether the resource is unrestricted or restricted to Rutgers users. If restricted, a pop up mouse-over indicates that one can link directly to the Remote Access Guide from there. 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 each title. Finally, anticipated downtimes are now listed in red on the top of the main indexes and databases page.
- New research guides continue to be added and updated. A workshop for creating and maintaining research guides, organized by the Research Guides Subgroup, is planned for the spring.
- The Immediate Things Subgroup prepared and advertised 39 new indexes and databases.
- The Design Subgroup prototyped several new possibilities for the top page. The group anticipates a redesign in the summer, at which point an instructional component, such as a "How do I..." (Find a book? Connect from home?) section will be added to the site.
Samuel J. McDonald, Webmaster
- Website request statistics indicate that usage is up about 40-50% from last year. It is difficult to capture an exact number because as of September the Ovid access scripts were no longer used for most of the Ovid databases (down from ~500,000 to 10,000) and because image files were counted last year but not this year.
- 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.