University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the May 27, 2008 Meeting

Agnew, Au, Boyle, Fredenburg, Fultz, Gaunt, Joseph, Puniello, Zapcic
Videoconferenced: Golden
Denda, Dent, Sewell

University Librarian's Report - Gaunt

Gaunt reviewed the annual ARL membership meeting she attended May 21-23 in Coral Gables, Florida with the theme of Institutional Strategies Supporting E-Scholarship and Multidisciplinary Research. As ARL President, she developed the program to explore some of the ways that research institutions are encouraging and supporting innovative e-scholarship within and across disciplines. ARL hopes that this meeting will promote the development of leadership capacities that support change in the roles of libraries within the broader research and higher education communities. NASULGC President Peter McPherson opened the program with remarks on the importance of universities valuing their intellectual property and the role that intellectual property plays in the academy regarding the development of new knowledge. The program continued with experts providing a more detailed examination of three dimensions of this complex and exciting environment: distinct disciplinary practices in the life stages of scholarship and implications for the information infrastructure requirements; assessing quality in new forms of scholarship and scholarship inquiry; and, institutional policies and practices affecting the use and re-use of scientific in a semantic Web environment. John Wilbanks, Executive Director, Science Commons, spoke on "Institutional Libraries: Hubs of the Research Web." Presentations and discussions featured researchers and librarians involved in collaborative efforts to support e-research. The program concluded with a plenary session focused on open source strategies in academic institutions.

Library Toolbar Demonstration Mei Ling Lo/Choong Hoong Liew

Cabinet was given a demonstration of the Rutgers University Libraries' LibX Toolbar Pilot Project. The toolbar, which was developed by Mei Ling Lo, Math/Computer Science Librarian and Choong Hoong Liew, web designer, can be found at the following URL:

The toolbar acts as a companion to the Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browsers. Once installed, it provides instant access via a drop-down menu of links to library resources and services; other functionality includes a toolbar, right-click menu, embedded cues, and auto links.

The toolbar is constantly changing; the user can add their own links; might want to put on the training page a blog where users can contribute their own tricks or tips; encourage users to share with each other and not assume we are always the trainers. The development team is working on letting the user customize their settings. The goal is not to replace the libraries' web site or to distract, but to put the library brand out there and bring the users back physically or virtually; it is hoped the toolbar will increase our web traffic; will need to assess web statistics surrounding the use of the toolbar.

Mei Ling thanked Puniello and Agnew for their support; the team won an NJLA award for the toolbar. There is a plan for publicizing and rolling it out; hope to have it available on all Computing Services public terminals.

Report on the Student Focus Groups to Get Input About Library Services and Facilities Puniello/Boyle/Dent/Fredenburg

Three student focus groups were held in New Brunswick during spring semester 2008 to ask students what kinds of spaces they wanted in the library; there was also a desire to know from students their perceptions and desires in regard to reference services; a possible redesign of the Graduate Reading Room was also discussed. The focus groups provided very good information, and we will build specific actions to address needs into the budget.

Budget Strategies Update Gaunt

Gaunt distributed to Cabinet the final budget reduction scenario plan that was sent to VP Furmanski on April 21, 2008; we received no feedback asking us to change plans.

Our current focus will be on plans for the collections shortfall; second will be on prioritizing vacant faculty and staff positions; then on operating funds. We depend heavily on salary savings for operating support. We may adjust the use of salary savings to 40% to units and 60% for system-wide support. We are planning to meet our goals without layoffs, unless the cut is more than what we were asked to model. Gaunt, Fredenburg, and Hendrickson will continue to work on refining the plans.

Cabinet should plan to send to Fredenburg in the next week priorities for filing faculty and staff positions. Units, such as Special Collections, that receive external funds for operating that are also being cut, will be given special attention.

Have not heard that funding will be restored for the NJKI, and it appears that early retirement incentives will not be offered to higher education.

For our next meeting we will discuss priorities for filling the vacant positions; if you are unable to attend, please have your priorities sent in. This will be the first review before finalizing the plan. We will ask Sewell to model a collections budget with $1M restored as well as a 3 and 7% cut.


Boyle: At the next meeting we will start the process of setting goals for next year.

Fredenburg: The Administrative Services Task Force in New Brunswick will have its report at the next meeting; P4P letters will be sent out tomorrow.

Agnew: Finishing plan for rolling out some of our software as open source; hope to go live in the summer when the development team could make a presentation; working with Boyle on the license; getting requests for WAAND directory architecture; starting to work on making it open source; customizing vocabulary; will use the same software for the Newark Archives project.

Golden: Will be receiving more campus computer money to upgrade from 20-40 work stations.

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