[click to return to Agenda past issues] The Agenda - Published from the Office of the University Librarian
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey Volume 24 Number 18 November 17, 2002

State of the Libraries
Looks Ahead

Acting University President Norman Samuels greeted attendees at the State of the University and offered a perspective from the university administration.

Ron Jantz, far left, explains some of the finer points of the Realti digital preservation project to Bob Sewell and Myoung Wilson.

Ana Maria Ramos listens as Thelma Tate explains the parameters of the JAWS screen reading software for visually disabled patrons.

Attendees at the 16th annual State of the Libraries on November 11th didn't just get to mingle with their colleagues and see demonstrations of some of the latest digital projects under development in the Libraries. They also got to glimpse the future of their workplace.

In an address on Phase II of the RUL Digital Libraries Initiative (DLI), University Librarian Marianne Gaunt sketched an outline of impending developments in information technology, user services, and digital content in the Libraries. She noted first that the initial results of the DLI were an increase in funding for collections and equipment, enhanced electronic services, an expanded website, database development projects with faculty, greater recognition by faculty of Libraries' and librarians expertise, and technology-enriched facilities. The challenge now is to take the DLI to the next stage.

Marianne pointed out that the goal of the next phase of the DLI will be to build an information technology infrastructure that will support security, sustainability, and interoperability for shared information resources. This infrastructure will allow these information resources to be re-purposed and used contextually and will provide for enhanced information services that will extend their use.

Some practical steps of the next phase of the DLI will be to build an open-architecture repository infrastructure, to develop a common service suite with a metasearch engine across collections, to fashion a data architecture that operates through managed metadata in a variety of forms (administrative, technical, descriptive, structural, and meta-metadata), and to implement and/or refine our use of interoperability protocols such as OAI (Open Archives Initiative), METS (Metadata Encoding and Transport Standard), SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and others.

With inside information like this, participants in the State of the Libraries were able to return to their work with an informed sense of the state of their Libraries - present and forthcoming.

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Goals of the Rutgers University Libraries for FY2003

The University Librarian's Cabinet adopted the following system-wide goals for Fiscal Year 2003, to further advance the Rutgers Digital Library Initiative, the Libraries' strategic plan. Recognizing that public research universities in New Jersey are in a period of major transition, the Libraries will continue to review and adjust their strategic goals and activities as the university's plans develop.

  1. Using the Excellence in Higher Education Model, Strengthen RUL as a Learning Organization
    • Develop quality indicators/measures for excellence that align with our mission, vision, and values
    • Examine and improve ways of communicating, educating and marketing to the user community
    • Establish process for regular review and improvement of key processes
  1. Expand efforts to engage faculty in issues of scholarly communication
    • Evaluate and implement recommendations from the Scholarly Communications Steering Committee
    • Use a discipline focus to engage faculty in discussions of scholarly communication issues
  1. Develop a sustainable information technology infrastructure
    • Develop a system-wide server management plan, a networking and information security plan, a digital storage solution, a back-up recovery plan, digital project management lifecycle testbeds, implementation of Open Archives Initiative data transport protocol, and an application software and OS versioning and management plan
    • Develop and implement the metadata core registry for interoperability ("RUCore"), evaluate and implement a metadata strategy in support of an educational portal, and support for a distributed institutional repository and distributed Luna participation
  1. Improve access to electronic resources and services
    • Evaluate and recommend the purchase of Open URL and other software to expand access to full-text and discovery e-resources
    • Develop requirements and implementation strategies for a Web content management system and begin website conversion
  1. Continue to expand access to library collections through RECON
    • Develop and implement a plan to recon and preserve NJ local history in LC class F and New Jersey documents
  1. Implement further the recommendations of the "An Investment in Learning" Report
    • Expand Institute for Library Leadership in Digital Environment, encompassing both the Supervisory Development Series and the 2003 Leadership Institute.
    • Design and implement RUL technical skills development strategy, including expansion of the Training and Development website, and participation in videoconferencing series, e.g. OCLC Institute 'Steering by Standards'.
  1. Enhance the external support of the Libraries and reach our capital campaign goals
    • Transition the Friends of the Libraries from a membership organization to a donor-based organization to strengthen the level of contact/communication between RUL and its supporters, and raise the overall level of support to RUL.
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Spring Survey of E-Journal Use
Provides Perspective

In February the Libraries Assessment Committee conducted an online survey to guage how Rutgers students, faculty, and staff use the e-journals accessible from the Libraries website. The survey was designed with help from staff in the Scholarly Communication Center and the Libraries webmaster.

The results were collected and analyzed, with consideration of current literature in Libraries journals on similar surveys. The expanded survey report was recently posted on the Libraries' staff pages.

From the 141 responses received in a two-week period, results indicated:

  • the most frequent e-journal users are graduate students (nearly 50%),
  • the highest use comes from those in the natural sciences (nearly 25%) then those in the social sciences (over 20%),
  • most respondents access e-journals from their offices (over 40%).

Some other interesting trends revealed by the survey included:

  • 77% of respondents reported that they read articles on the screen and then print paper copies.
  • 64.5% of respondents wrote that they read more e-journals than print journals
  • Over 50% of respondents read e-journals on a weekly basis.

The Libraries plan to consider the survey results in future planning for the placement of e-journals on the Libraries website and in the marketing of these resources to different university constituencies.

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NJLA Scholarships Available

The New Jersey Library Association will award scholarships for academic year 2003-04. These scholarships are offered for study leading to a graduate or postgraduate degree in librarianship. Awards are made on an evaluation of credentials and personal interviews with candidates. All awards are to be used for a graduate library education program that allows the graduate eligibility for a New Jersey Professional Librarian Certificate. Previous applicants and recipients are eligible to apply.


  1. Applicants must be legal residents of New Jersey at the time of application.
  2. Scholarships are to be used only for tuition during the 2003-04 academic year.
  3. Applicants must demonstrate financial need.
  4. Applicants must demonstrate academic ability through submission of transcripts.
  5. Recipients of awards must matriculate in a graduate library education program that is eligible for a New Jersey Professional Librarian Certificate. ALA accredited programs are acceptable. (A list of ALA accredited programs is available at http://www.ala.org/alaorg/oa/lisdir.html)
  6. Applications must be postmarked no later than February 7, 2003.
  7. Applicants agree to be available for an interview. Interviews will be held on March 14, 2003. (Snow date is March 21, 2003.)

Scholarships to be awarded include:
     $ 3,000
     $ 2,000
     $ 3,300
     Full Tuition to Attain MLS Degree
     (Includes Internship at NJLA Office)

For information or application forms, please contact:
Renee Riczker, Scholarship Committee Chair
West Orange Public Library
46 Mt. Pleasant Avenue
West Orange, NJ 07052
(973) 736-0198
OR Go to: www.njla.org

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The Agenda Transitioning
To Online Issues Only

The paper Agenda is no more.

The main goal in introducing an online version of The Agenda six months ago was to make the publication more accessible, more searchable, and more flexible for Libraries staff and faculty members. Given the positive feedback The Agenda online has already received, it seems clear that this version has already met this goal successfully.

To bring this change full circle, and to fully reflect the spirit of the Digital Library Initiative, we will be ending the paper distribution of The Agenda with this issue. Librarians and staff are encouraged to utilize the online version, with the many new capabilities it offers, to the fullest extent. Readers may, of course, print individual copies from The Agenda's Web pages if the need arises.

We are grateful to the staff members and librarians who offered their input, over the summer, which contributed greatly to the development of the online version of The Agenda - Brian Beyer, Jeanne Boyle, Sam McDonald, Dean Meister, Antoinette Peteet, Kayla Reichart, and Connie Wu.

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November 3, 2002
October 20, 2002
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Penny Page and Samson Soong. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.