University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the May 18, 2004 Meeting

Agnew, Boyle, Fultz, Gaunt, Golden, Mullins, Puniello, Sewell, Zapcic

University Librarian's Report - Gaunt

ARL Meeting Debriefing - Gaunt

Gaunt attended the 144th ARL Membership Meeting and the ARL Board of Directors meetings May 11-14, 2004 in Tucson, Arizona. The theme of the meeting was "Systemic Change in Research Institutions." Program sessions included "Rethinking the Undergraduate Curriculum," "Transformation of Campus-wide Support Services," "A Response to Systemic Changes," "Promotion & Tenure Trends," and "Organizational and Technological Interoperability." ARL governance, a collaborative digitizing project, global resources, and the strategic plan are some initiatives that were discussed. Gaunt distributed the following handouts from the meeting: "Improving Undergraduate Research Skills," by Wendy Edelstein; "Dealing with the Future Now: Principles for Creating a Vital Campus in a Climate of Restricted Resources," by Alan E. Guskin and Mary B. Marcy; "Interoperability between Library Information Services and Learning Environments - Bridging the Gaps: A Joint White Paper on behalf of the IMS Global Learning Consortium and the Coalition for Networked Information," by Neil McLean and Clifford Lynch, and "Scholars Portal Project Report, May 10, 2004."

Organization Review - All

Cabinet discussed how our organizational structure could better support the activities that the Libraries are undertaking now and into the future. Some candidates for the NB Director search mentioned that the Libraries were complex. Does our structure add to that complexity or does it support the way we need to work; what are the important characteristics of an organizational structure; what are the strengths of our existing structure; what challenges does our structure present. Many points were made for each area. It was agreed that a major challenge as well as strength is the fact that we work as a system and that both local and system-wide activities need to be initiated and supported. We have challenges in the sustainability of projects that become permanent activities. Do we have redundancies in activities that can be rethought. This may be more of an issue for the New Brunswick campus because the system-wide units reside on the same campus. Is there a better mix of responsibilities that would use our resources more effectively. Cabinet decided that it would be beneficial to engage a consultant to help plan a library-wide discussion. As we think about the kinds of activities that we will be contemplating for the future, the organizational structure needs to be sufficiently flexible for change. Gaunt agreed to contact Shelia Creth, retired university librarian from Iowa and Tennessee, and former Personnel Officer at Columbia who is now Organization Development & Human Resources Consultant. Sheila has subsequently indicated a willingness to work with us.

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