[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 17 January 25, 2004

My Word!
Perspective from the University Librarian

Working to Update the Strategic Plan

We have an ambitious agenda for the second half of this fiscal year. Many of our activities will focus on updating A Bridge to the Future: The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative, our long-range plan, which has successfully completed its five-year range. It's time to codify our plans for the next five years.

The first stage, which has just begun, will be gathering information from our users. We have asked our selectors to talk with the various departments and units they serve about their future needs for collections and services. The information collected should give us a broad disciplinary picture on important areas of growth and change. The results of our selectors' discussions will be compiled and shared with everyone.

Following this data collection process, we will hold focus group interviews on all the campuses with faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates to explore themes that arose from the disciplinary discussions and additional ideas that come from the Libraries. Completing this phase of pre-planning should provide significant input for those involved in writing our plan about what our users perceive as future needs.

There are two additional projects working simultaneously that will also steer our future planning. The first is a communications audit. We are in the process of selecting a consulting group that will conduct an audit of our media and our messages and recommend how to strengthen our communications processes. They will look at how we communicate internally within the Libraries and externally with our faculty and students. We expect to incorporate the results of this audit into our next five-year plan.

At the same time, the Libraries Assessment Committee has been working on the benchmark quality indicators for the Libraries that will allow us to add an assessment process to our plan. The committee is reviewing the draft indicators prepared by Cabinet and determining priorities for implementation and the groups or units within the Libraries that will take the lead in each of the assessment categories. Before we begin to use them, the indicators will also need to be validated by our users.

Libraries faculty and staff will have many opportunities to reflect upon the results of each of these projects at various stages and to add their own thoughts about where the Libraries should be moving through discussions coordinated in their units and through the Councils. We far exceeded the goals of our first plan that set us on an aggressive course to incorporate information technology into all our operations. Because we now have more experience with technology, our next plan can be more specific on implementations. It can also be more specific in other areas as well, including space, training and development, collections in all formats, and equipment.

This is an exciting opportunity for us, as our new president sets directions for the university and the Libraries set a course to support that vision.

Signature of Marianne Back to Top of Page

Libraries Shine at VALE Assembly

   see caption
   Brian Beyer answers a question during the ILL session.
   see caption
   Vibiana Bowman, standing, makes a point quite vividly during the marketing session.

Judging from the VALE Users Conference held earlier this month, Rutgers University Libraries personnel have a lot of skills and perspective to offer to their higher education colleagues across New Jersey.

Rutgers librarians or libraries staff served as the presenters or co-presenters at seven of the fourteen breakout sessions offered at the full-day conference: These sessions included:

  • New Jersey Digital Highway - Grace Agnew
  • ILL Management Systems: Determining Which One is Appropriate for Your Operations - Judy Garner, Brian Beyer, and members of the VALE Resource Sharing Committee
  • Publishing: An Authentic Learning Pathway - Patricia Libutti and Martin Kesselman
  • Managing Your Brand: Personal PR for the Average Librarian - Julie Still
  • Marketing Your Library: Sharing Experiences and Resources - Vibiana Bowman, with Luis Rodriguez (Montclair State) and Mary Martin (County College of Morris)
  • Transforming Library Services for the Digital Future: From Cataloging to Metadata - Ruth Bogan and Rhonda Marker
  • Super-Librarian or Super-Shusher: What Is In Your Mirror? - Patricia Libutti, with Susan Bissett (Union County College) and Ruth Hamann (Passaic County College).

Rutgers librarians and libraries staff also contributed three of the seven displays featured in the poster session, on topics such as Community Involvement: The Paul Robeson Library Experience (Theo Haynes and Donna Wertheimer). In a fitting cap to the Rutgers presence at the conference, at the lunch University Librarian Marianne Gaunt received a lovely vase, and applause from all attendees, for her five years of service as VALE executive committee chairperson.

Congratulations to all our colleagues who represented us so well as the VALE conference.

see caption
Julie Still talks with the participating in the 'Managing Your Brand' session.

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Libraries Receive Book Collection
on Basque Communities

The Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada, Reno selected the Rutgers University Libraries in the fall semester as one of the fifty exclusive recipients (gratis) of a limited edition set of fourteen hardcover books and a CD comprising the series: Urazandi: Basques Across the Seas Collection. According to the notification letter from the Center, it was the University's research excellence in these disciplines and the Libraries' records of inter-library loan requests for books on Basque topics that demonstrated that this collection would be frequently utilized.

The Center for Basque Studies and the Government of the Autonomous Basque Community in northern Spain published this extraordinary international research resource, which encompasses quantitative and qualitative sociological, anthropological, political sciences, and economic investigations of fifteen different Basque diaspora communities in the United States, Mexico, Uruguay, Spain, Argentina, and France and which features original Spanish Civil War exiles' personal testimonies.

The collection's CD contains the complete set of the Basque newspaper La Baskonia, published in Argentina between 1893- 1931. The Urazandi collection books and CD will be housed in Alexander Library and should be accessible to users in the near future.

Congratulations to Lourdes Vazquez for her efforts to arrange for this donation to the Libraries.

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January 11, 2004
December 14, 2003
The Agenda Archive

Contributors for this issue were Marianne Gaunt and Lourdes Vazquez. Contributions for future issues of The Agenda should be sent to Harry Glazer, editor of The Agenda, at hglazer@rci.rutgers.edu.