University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the January 6, 2009 Meeting

Agnew, Boyle, Denda, Dent, Fredenberg, Fultz, Gaunt, Puniello, Sewell, Winston
Videoconferenced: Cvetkovic, Golden
Executive Dean Douglas Greenberg, SAS

UL Report - Gaunt

Gaunt opened the meeting with a moment of silence for Janet Howard, assistant head of acquisitions, who had passed away unexpectedly over the school break.

She also noted that the remarks about the state budget in the Star Ledger implied that the governor would not be asking for give-backs from higher education this fiscal year. An update on the Libraries' budget and staffing would be an agenda item for the next Cabinet meeting.

She reminded everyone that the RUL Natural Accounts Definitions document was distributed with definitions of budget object codes. She asked that attention be paid to using the correct codes when making commitments and paying invoices. This will allow us to better track the Libraries expenditures and compare cost centers.

Assessment Program Update - Boyle

Boyle distributed a draft assessment plan and gave a progress report on the various aspects of assessment already undertaken. She noted that the Assessment Council, the Center for Teaching Advancement and Assessment Research, and the Office of Institutional Research and Academic Planning are our partners in assessment. She outlined the many choices we have in using existing assessment tools, and the variety of methods available to gather information from users, and their particular value.

Our strategic plan is the top level planning document. Our goals for 2008/09 for assessment include conducting a return on investment study of the use of the Libraries for sponsored research that is based on the University of Illinois study; developing a pilot methodology for program cost analysis; reviewing and initiating regular use of available library and university data sources; and developing an assessment plan and outline. Based on discussions of what data we need to know and additional priorities, Cabinet agreed that we continue to emphasize a culture of assessment, as accountability is a major emphasis at the university and beyond; that we have assessment measures for all the statements in our yearly action plans; and that we combine assessment planning with our annual goals development. Instead of broad-based, umbrella surveys like LibQUAL+®, Cabinet members expressed a preference for learning about how our users do their work and how their work is changing. Instead of how many times someone visits the Libraries, for example, we would prefer to know why he or she comes.

SAS Executive Dean Douglas Greenberg Discussion - All

Gaunt welcomed the dean to the discussion with Cabinet about his plans and goals for SAS and where these intersect with the Libraries goals and plans. Greenberg noted that he was a Rutgers undergraduate and he frequented Alexander Library as a history undergraduate. He pointed out how the library has changed since he was an undergraduate in the late sixties. He gave an introduction to his previous experience and characterized it as a different trajectory than the typical academic dean, but with significant scholarly society administrative experience that is more closely associated with libraries. He was interested in humanities digital projects early in his career, had spoken on the topic at the libraries in the eighties, and had undertaken a major digital project at the Shoah Visual History Foundation.

Greenberg emphasized his goals of enhancing the undergraduate experience capitalizing on the reorganization of undergraduate education. He noted that he wants to develop curricula to focus on languages, literatures, and cultures. The Rutgers student body is very diverse with many students being the first in their family to attend university and having parents who are immigrants. Many of the students do not know very much about their own cultural heritage. He noted that with the sciences he hopes to make the connection with citizenship and outreach.

Cabinet spoke of our efforts in the area of scholarly communication and open access and plans underway for a forum in the Fall semester. Cabinet noted the cost of information and the decisions we have made in budget reductions. Greenberg is very aware of the issues and the importance of discussing these with the faculty. He is anxious to participate in the Forum and its planning. In the area of undergraduate education the Libraries emphasized information literacy and our efforts to connect to the curriculum noting how beneficial it would be for librarians to be included on curriculum committees. We mentioned the nursing tutorial as one information literacy example, and the work in New Brunswick with the various campus deans on the first-year experience. Developing a university information literacy plan was a recommendation in the Middle States Report. We also noted our work on open source software, leadership in the state on digital projects, and the need to upgrade Rutgers' network bandwidth to support current and new initiatives.

Greenberg agreed to visit Cabinet at least once per year, and Gaunt will meet with his leadership team as well.

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