University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the September 23, 2008 Meeting

Agnew, Boyle, Cvetkovic, Denda, Dent, Fredenburg, Fultz, Gaunt, Golden, Puniello, Sewell, Winston
Au, J. Gardner, Mulcahy, Sterback

University Librarian's Report – Gaunt

Gaunt distributed a handout to Cabinet and reported on President McCormick's new initiative called Rutgers Day 2009. Rutgers Day is an all day New Brunswick campus-wide event to reinforce the connection between the university and the people we serve; it will open academic, cultural, and recreational facilities on four of the New Brunswick and Piscataway campuses and set up welcome centers, tents, stages, booths, and food vendors across campus lawns. The day's program will expand on the success of Ag Field Day and the NJ Folk Festival to give participants a glimpse of the exciting work being done at their state university; the event will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the George H. Cook, Douglass, Busch and College Avenue campuses. Rutgers Day will expand to the Livingston Campus in four years. Cabinet discussed the feasibility of the Marketing Committee taking on Rutgers Day planning; Puniello is a member of the committee and will bring it up at their next meeting on Thursday; plans need to be in to the university by December 1.

One of the initiatives mentioned in the President's State of the University address was hybrid courses, where part would be online and part in the classroom; Gaunt will seek more information about the university's approach. Winston noted that the nursing PhD program is entirely online and they seem happy with the results; he will talk to the acting dean of nursing about the program. We should think about how the Libraries can be supportive.

At a recent meeting of a number of ARL directors from the northeast, several topics that should be high on our radar emerged. Among these were preservation of our cultural heritage globally – collections both print and digital. How will we manage this huge task; how should we approach collaboration and cooperative collection development; who will fund such a critical and costly undertaking. We need to have this on the agenda of the next administration.

We discussed the difficulty of finding librarians with the talents to address our needs in the 21st century. The MLS degree does not provide all the skills for our programs, but it is difficult for a single school to cover the breadth of skills required for all types of librarians in various positions—schools, universities, public libraries, and corporations. Many academic libraries are hiring without the MLS but with other advanced degrees. It might be useful for a dialog with library schools on this issue.

We discussed the future of the "extended argument", which is the scholarly monograph. How will this be addressed into the future? Is there a place for open access or technology that will allow us to acquire more monographs, or change the publishing dynamics? How are the humanities, the prime area for scholarly monographs, changing the way they consider the extended argument? Do libraries and their presses have a role to play?

We discussed the visibility of our professional associations, librarians and libraries – both nationally and on campus. We have not been able to articulate our roles in understandable ways in the digital environment. We need to think about the vision that is compelling and understandable. We need to develop a higher profile related to the value we add and the role we play in the academy.

Gaunt and Puniello met with SCILS Dean Jorge Schement, who is invited to attend an upcoming Cabinet meeting. The discussion focused on SCILS/RUL collaboration, and partnerships and facilities.

Golden noted that there is a hiring freeze on the Camden campus and there are no searches being done.

Report on RLG Partners Annual Meeting – Agnew/Au/Mulcahy/J. Gardner

The librarians who attended the annual RLG partners meeting reported on sessions that they attended. The keynote was given by Dale Dougherty, editor and publisher of Make Magazine, whose topic was the importance of fostering community-based creativity: what roles can cultural heritage institutions play. He challenged members to reorient themselves to the creative and community aspects of scholarship. Thematic sessions addressed areas of RLG program work: the future of collections, modeling new service infrastructures, supporting new modes of scholarship, and renovating description and practice. There was much discussion on how archives, museums and libraries can work more closely together. There was also great interest in the "single point pf access" or federated searching or meta-searching. We need to expose collections at the network level, but also need integrated access at the institutional level. There were several sessions on the scholars' perspective of the impact of digitized collections on how they now teach, how students now learn, and how they do research. They agreed that using digitized primary source materials in courses allows them to introduce students to the kind of research faculty actually conduct, makes it possible for students to jump to high-level research, and integrates knowledge about primary resources with reading primary resources. Another scholar noted that there are silos of archival information and that all primary digital sources are not located in university libraries or archives, but in unusual places. How can they be linked to the scholarly community? How can archives be described so they can be searched across each other both topically and substantively?

Gardner updated Cabinet on the distribution of interlibrary loans through RLG SHARES partners, related to RAPID, PALCI, NJ libraries, and other sources. Gardner noted that there is a decline in the use of SHARES related to other sources, but there are some materials that no other libraries will lend that we get through SHARES and the turn-around time is good. Cabinet asked Gardner to examine the last year's requests or to monitor requests into this year to provide more precise information on the kinds of materials that SHARES provides to Rutgers to determine if we should continue participation.

LDAP for Sirsi – Agnew/C. Sterback

Chris Sterback gave a presentation on the feasibility of replacing the unique identifier in Unicorn Faculty/Staff records with NetID as a way of decreasing the risk of identity theft. While unique identifier's are never exposed to the public, nor used in patron transactions, they remain in our database as they are the way the university identifies faculty/staff. SirsiDynix supports authentication in IRIS with NetID/password by purchasing LDAP option; current Rutgers University users will only need to know their NetID/password to access secure IRIS features; this should reduce the number of patron PIN requests and alleviate some of the work done by Access Services; prepares us for the future for such things as the KUALI Student Services (e.g., Person Identity, Concierge, etc.). Need to purchase software and test functionality; goal is for the beginning of the spring semester. Cabinet gave systems the go ahead for LDAP implementation.

Draft Preservation Plan – Sewell

Cabinet agreed to place this agenda item on the next Cabinet meeting to allow more time for discussion. In the interim, Cabinet members should send any comments they have on the draft to Sewell so they might be incorporated in a revised document.

Update on the Collections Budget - Sewell

We are currently undertaking a cancellation program; although we received $1.2 million increase in the budget from VP Furmanski to put toward inflationary increases for serials and the NJKI decrease, it was not enough to cover our commitments; we had an additional $85K reduction to the permanent budget. This means that we have no contingency funds to cover unanticipated increases in subscriptions or for materials purchased last year and arriving this year. The state budget is barely covering our anticipated recurring costs and there are no state funds for books or new subscriptions. As a result we need to cancel continuing cost subscriptions to free funds. Sewell sent to Cabinet a copy of the email sent out to the selectors; met with NB collections group; discussed at the LRC. People are now reviewing the process and the data and we hope to move quickly; we need to make cancellation decisions by October 15. Selectors should engage in dialogues about potential cancellations; we need to consider the impact of keeping only one print copy for the system. Sewell will continue providing Cabinet with updates on the budget.


Gaunt: "My Infant Head: The History of Children's Poetry" exhibition opening is tonight from 5:00-7:00 p.m. in the SCC; encourage everyone to attend.

Golden: Picked up an interesting collection in haiku; will talk to Special Collections about finding a place for it.

Fredenburg: "Banned Books Week Celebrating the Freedom to Read" begins on September 28; the first event features documentaries; Jeanne Boyle will be facilitating a discussion afterwards.

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