[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 25 Number 7 June 8, 2003

My Word:
Message From the University Librarian

Here we are again at the end of another academic year. Annual reports are not due for a while, but I expect the collective list of accomplishments to be long and very impressive. This year we engaged in the development of the second phase of our Digital Library Initiative. Many new groups were established to learn what it means to develop a robust, interoperable, secure and sustainable architecture and infrastructure for a multi-media digital library. We are well on our way to creating and managing such a library.

The Libraries Training and Learning Committee did a yeoman's job in bringing both soft and hard skills development programs, to support this major change, to librarians and staff. Many of our new groups participated in designing and delivering this series of engaging programs.

Change is inevitable and ongoing, and the more experience we have in dealing with it, the easier it is to move forward. While the changes of this year will continue into the next, we also have some major personnel changes that will impact the libraries. Ryoko Toyama's retirement as Director of the New Brunswick Libraries, Samson Soong's leave to become the University Librarian at the University of Science and Technology of Hong Kong, Dr. Joseph Seneca's return to the teaching faculty, and the recruitment of a new Executive VP for Academic Affairs will certainly effect the style, if not the substance, of what we do.

In the next week the search committee for the Director of the New Brunswick Libraries will be established with the first order of business to design the job description posting. We are engaging a search firm to help manage the process by delivering a robust pool of candidates. Before Samson leaves on June 27, we should have temporary responsibilities for his position assigned until decisions are finalized on how to move forward on a permanent replacement.

Because of budget concerns we are moving cautiously into next academic year. Discussions are still underway on the details of how we will meet potential budget reduction targets. I recently received a letter from Dr. Seneca thanking us for the reception we held in his honor. He noted again the great progress we have made over the last few years, and our commendable positioning for the future. Regardless of any budget constraints, the exceptional abilities of our librarians and staff will always overcome the challenges put before us. Next year is no exception.

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Library Faculty Meeting

All library faculty are invited to attend the Library Faculty Meeting on:
Friday June 13, 2003
Teleconference Lecture Hall
Scholarly Communication Center
Archibald S. Alexander Library

Coffee and networking at 8:45 a.m.
Meeting at 9:15 a.m.
At 11:15 a.m. Professor Brent Ruben, Executive Director of the Center for Organizational Development and Leadership at Rutgers, will discuss developing quality indicators for the Libraries. This part of the meeting is open to Libraries staff.

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FY 2003-04 Libraries Budget
Planning/Reduction Principles

The Rutgers University Libraries' budget planning decisions should preserve and enhance the values that make the Libraries both critical and successful in support of education and research at Rutgers. The principles are placed in the context of previous permanent budget reductions over the last ten years and the aspirations of the new president to elevate Rutgers to the top echelon of public AAU institutions. The University Librarian's Cabinet has adopted the following set of principles to guide the budget planning and reduction process for FY 2004.

  • Base budget planning/reduction decisions on data and analyses for long-term service implications, thereby striking a good balance between flexibility, long-term sustainability, and temporary measures.
  • Implement budgetary decisions with full consultation with appropriate library advisory committees, academic administrators, faculty, staff, and student representatives, and ensure a user-focused and transparent process for making budget reduction decisions.
  • Sustain the second phase of the Digital Library Initiative as the top priority whereby staffing, critical technology, and data and digital architecture infrastructures for the long-term delivery of both content and services are assured.
  • Protect the excellence of the Libraries' service programs. Consistent with existing and future users' needs, maintain as much as possible direct user services where demand and need is the highest. Evaluate the development of new user services based on high return on investment and to the budget extent possible.
  • Assess the balance between access and ownership in decisions related to collections acquisition and delivery, keeping in mind the difference among disciplines and institutional excellence/priorities.
  • Use access and consortial agreements to mitigate budget reductions and to expand access to services and collections.
  • Leverage improved and streamlined processes, organizational restructuring, and more effective use of information technology to maintain and improve the quality, effectiveness, and delivery of user services and staff support based on return on investments.
  • Seek new sources of support to mitigate necessary reductions, e.g., grants, gifts, ICR funding.
  • Avoid/minimize layoffs to the extent possible by realigning positions to current priorities and future needs.
  • Communicate information and decisions in a clear, concise, and timely manner to all segments of the Libraries and campus community.
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Librarians Publish Report on
RU Scholarly Communications Initiative

Congratulations to Howard Dess and Myoung C. Wilson, whose article “The Bewildering New World of Scholarly Communication: Helping Faculty Understand the Issues” was published in the April 2003 issue of College and Research Libraries News.

The article summarizes the Libraries efforts to develop a greater awareness at Rutgers on concerns of cost and access that have arisen, as scholarly communication adapts to the digital era. Myoung and Howard also showcase the work of the Libraries Scholarly Communication Steering Committee, convened by University Librarian Marianne Gaunt, first to survey faculty views and experiences across different disciplines and then to encourage university faculty members to take action to address some of the issues.

Well done, Howard and Myoung!

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Libraries Grads

We are proud of the following Libraries colleagues, who completed their studies and received degrees this semester:

  • Janie Fultz, University Libraries Administration - Master of Social Work, School of Social Work
  • Sara Harrington, Art Library - Ph.D. in Art History, with a specialty in 19th Century French Art, Graduate School in New Brunswick
  • Eugene McElroy, School of Management & Labor Relations Library - Bachelor of Spanish, University College
  • Jennifer Muller, Media Center - Master of Library Science, School of Communication, Information, and Library Science
  • Ana Marie Ramirez, Douglass Library - Master of Library Science, School of Communication, Information, and Library Science
  • Samson Soong, Libraries Administration - Ph.D. in Political Science, Graduate School in New Brunswick

Congratulations Janie, Sara, Eugene, and Samson!

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Librarians Speak At Regional Institute

Triveni Kuchi and Laura Bowering Mullen shared their perspectives on an experimental program in a session at the Library Association of the City University of New York (LACUNY) 2003 Institute, held at LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City on Friday May 16th.

Laura and Triveni discussed their work on the New Brunswick Libraries' pilot project “Librarians Without Borders” in the spring 2002 semester. They described the planning and design of the pilot study, results from statistics and user surveys, user comments, librarian experiences, conclusions, and recommendations. Their presentation also featured a video clip of the Libraries station at the Busch Campus Center, to give participants a better perspective on the setting of the pilot project.

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NB Libraries Access Services
Holds Open House

Sometimes it's friendlier to make introductions on a broad scale.

The New Brunswick Libraries Access Services Department hosted 90 colleagues for a luncheon on April 15th to introduce staff members hired since July 2002 and to 're-introduce' staff who transferred between New Brunswick access services units to take on new responsibilities. The program featured ample socializing time and a slide show of New Brunswick Libraries staff in action.

These staff members were spotlighted at the luncheon:

New Brunswick Libraries

  • Matthew Sheehy, Assistant Head - Access Services

Alexander Library

  • Peter Anderson
  • Christopher Lee
  • Irina Loutchkina
  • Priscilla Lee
  • Roselyn Riley
  • Brian Stubbs

Art Library

  • Erika Moore

Chemistry Library

  • Megan Doyle

Douglass Library

  • Mike Mansouri

Kilmer Library

  • Don Wilson
  • Paul Young

Libraries Annex

  • Stacy DeMatteo
  • Marilyn Herod

Library of Science and Medicine

  • Roger Smith
  • Rita O'Donnell
  • Edward Suarez
  • David Warner

Physics Library

  • Megan Ingegno

SERC Reading Room

  • Raymond Balter

We are pleased to welcome new colleagues to the Libraries and to welcome “old” colleagues to their new assignments.

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TAS Conducts
Bring Your Child to Work Event

Visitors to the Technical and Automated Services building on April 24th, who weren't informed about the special activity planned that day, might have wondered if the Libraries were hiring good talent right out of grade school.

That day the Technical and Automated Services department held its first annual “Bring Your Child To Work” day. The goal of the day was to show the children of staff members what happens in library technical services on a typical work day. They hosted fourteen children, from age six to age seventeen. Grace Agnew, Associate University Librarian for Digital Library Systems, welcomed the children and their parents, and the children got to say hello to Public Services Council committee members through teleconferencing with the Alexander Library. In order to maintain professional standards, the children wore personal ID tags with pictures and the title of “Future Information Manager.” They also received T-shirts printed with “Future Information Manager.”

The welcome hour was followed by a “Treasure Hunt.” To complete their checklist, the children had to visit various departments in the building. They received hands-on experience requesting a book online as a patron, visiting the acquisitions department to search and order the book, then receiving and sending it to the cataloging department. The children learned why and how a book is assigned a call number and saw how a requested item is processed before it is sent to a library. They also paid a special trip to the main computer room, where they learned about behind the scenes database management and operational systems.

To make it fun, during their search the children were asked to collect items used in Rutgers University Libraries such as barcodes, priority flyers, printed catalog records, and computer discs. After lunch they moved to the digital environment and concluded the day by building a Web page to save their memories of the day. You can see the participants and their work, led by Grace Agnew, at the following site. http://libserv4.rutgers.edu/kids2work

At the end of the day, everyone participating went home exhausted but well informed. For the children who participated in the day, the meaning of the word "library" has changed forever. For some, hopefully, it opened another door to the future.

The Bring Your Child to Work ID badge worn by Jonathan Gonzaga, Nicholas's son.

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May 11, 2003
April 13, 2003
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Marianne Gaunt, Triveni Kuchi, Juliana Ritter, Matthew Sheehy, and Farideh Tehrani. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.