Librarians and library staff of the Rutgers University Libraries provide Rutgers students, faculty, and staff with access to the services, collections, and facilities that support their scholarly activities. The public services program includes all the activities where we directly touch our users: reference, instruction, circulation, reserves, interlibrary loan and document delivery, photocopying and scanning, online catalog and website design and structure, and media services, whether in traditional or digital formats, in or out of the library, and whether at service desks or through individual consultation.
The Public Services Council oversees the policies and general direction of these activities and developed the following three strategic areas with contributions from various subcommittees and central public services units. Public services developments will continue to be dependent upon support from and collaboration with collection development, technical services, and library computing and will need to be in harmony with our developing institutional repository.
We present our users with a wonderful and often bewildering array of resources and services. We need to find ways to simplify their work and ours.
User-centered libraries are distinguished by their commitment to redesign and continual process improvement in support of user success.
The library is the university's intellectual center for scholarly activities, functioning as a crossroad that provides readily available academic and research support and that encourages intellectual growth. The Library as Place is utilitarian as a symbol of the library as a refuge - a place to study, a place to escape, a place to just get away, a place to meditate, a place to reflect. Valued by all of our users, the Library as Place is especially important to our undergraduates, who use our space to study, reflect, conduct research, collaborate, and socialize.
1 Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association, 2000. See the section entitled "Information Literacy Defined," and in particular, Note 1, at http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/informationliteracycompetency.htm#ildef, accessed January 31, 2005.
2 People Come First: User Centered Academic Library Service, by Dale S. Montanelli and Patricia F. Stenstrom. Association of College and Research Libraries, 1999. P.177.