Priorities FY2019-2021

One Library - Four Missions

“The Rutgers University Libraries support and enrich the instructional, research, and public service missions of the University through the stewardship of scholarly information and the delivery of information services.” - Rutgers University Libraries Mission Statement

The annual planning process is a demonstration of the all-hands approach undertaken by our colleagues. In preparation for the University Librarian’s Cabinet retreat this April, both local and central units consulted with groups representing every type of work we do in order to assess the needs, priorities, and grassroots initiatives taking place in every corner of the Libraries.

Collaborative planning in a complex environment means creating robust support structures for local plans. We needed to prioritize central infrastructure projects that would support the way our units carry out their four distinct missions to serve their unique academic goals and community aspirations.

What is crucial is that we see the through-line in these four missions that elevate the need for infrastructure projects that serve our collective success. Rather than seeing competing priorities, we view problems and opportunities from multiple perspectives to gather the information needed and distill the local goals into a set of aspirational and achievable priorities to guide our activities in the following year.

To effectively support these robust local plans, we identified crucial infrastructure projects that strengthen the role of each individual campus while advancing the mission of the Libraries as a whole. In the cabinet’s next retreat in May, these infrastructure projects were refined further and over the next month initiated for FY2019.

The major central infrastructure projects are:

  • Instruction Infrastructure and Leganto includes hiring an instructional technologist, piloting Leganto for School of Social Work this summer, making Nimblywise Education available for all campuses to pilot this Fall, promoting Instruct aka Credo on Demand and developing analytics measures in relation to assessing outcomes for the University.
  • Special Collections Infrastructure to implement a single ArchivesSpace installation with collections and finding aids.
  • Acquisition Workflows and Fund Codes to define and document acquisitions workflows that appropriately utilize Alma functionality, and to develop and implement a simplified fund code structure that represents the collections budget while taking into account local allocation needs and statistical reporting requirements.
  • College of Law migration to Alma presents an excellent learning opportunity as RBHS would like to explore a similar setup for the health sciences. This project will append the law library onto our existing Alma/Primo installation.
  • Post-migration cleanup will review and optimize the data migrated from SIRSI to Alma.
  • Website Redesign to launch four unit-specific library websites in support of one library-four missions and in service our unique constituents’ needs.
  • Media workflows to redefine and document central workflows related to the procurement and provision of media resources.
  • ILL Infrastructure to review and optimize ILL workflows and to balance central and local involvement as appropriate. 
  • Server migration as part of the framework of consolidating shared central and university-wide services. This also involves investigating a solution to outsource journal hosting and decommission OJS, which would potentially enable us to take on new journals.
  • RIM/SOAR project to identify and implement a solution for the management and discovery of information related to institutional research including faculty scholarship, researcher profiles, funding opportunities, and research impact.
  • Proactive chat – following the results of a successful pilot program, we are pursuing a more permanent proactive chat tool on our websites.
  • New staff resources website – We have designed a new staff resources website to improve information sharing. Although this is a lower priority project while others are in progress, we are in the early stages of building out the new space.
  • Google Books – this is a priority in partnership with other BTAA institutions that contributes to greater open access and the “collective collection” of resources available on the web.

These obligations will be development- and resource-intensive, but will ultimately facilitate a range of future goals and objectives. Projects not approved during this year’s planning due to a variety of constraints and dependencies, will be reevaluated at the completion of our other priorities and include:

  • Database portal – Redesign A-to-Z database list to make it easier for users to locate specialized resources in their area of study. This is a high-impact item would be better considered after improving Special Collections Infrastructure and the website redesign.
  • One-button – this project will streamline ILL requests, reduce duplication of effort and improve the user experience for students and faculty across all units. To be reassessed after completion of ILL Infrastructure.
  • RHBS Alma customization – As Rutgers Law proceeds with a similar project, we are encouraged that the lessons learned will have a positive impact on future discovery enhancements for health sciences.
  • Fedora/RUcore – While we are building the libraries infrastructure in other areas, a decision about the Fedora platform, along with decisions about the digital exhibits platform, Omeka, and the platform for electronic theses & dissertations (RUETDs) depend upon, or have the potential to be integrated with, other infrastructure projects over the next year.