University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the January 26, 2010 Meeting

Boyle, Cvetkovic, Fetzer, Fredenburg, Fultz, Gardner, Gaunt, Golden, Puniello, Winston
Videoconferenced: Agnew, Sewell
Caroline Caviness

Report on Organizational Structure Comparison with Peer Institutions - Caviness

Gaunt began the discussion by explaining that Caviness was asked to do an organizational structure comparison that would be helpful research in our discussing the position profile for the AUL for Research and Instructional Services. The review would focus on the direct reports to University Librarians at peer institutions. Eight public research institutions were selected for comparison and their organization charts were analyzed. The report focused on four basic types of direct reports to the university librarian: administrative, functional, auxiliary, and intermediary. After the organizational charts were analyzed, Caviness formulated 13 questions that were sent to human resources and organizational development administrators. Six institutions responded by phone or email, with varying length, focus, and level of detail. The responses from each institution were then summarized based on the four classifications. From the survey responses, Caviness acknowledged that each organization has its own terminology, and an organization chart does not always reflect the complex relationships through which work is carried out. She also noted that everyone indicated that financial stress influences their planning process. There is clear tension between responding to immediate vacancies due to retirement and trying to engage a long term planning process.

While the research validated that our structure is not uncommon, which leaves us open to continue our dialog for the AUL for RIS position, several points were noted:

Gaunt thanked Caviness for her report and asked her to follow up with the same institutions studied to explore the relationship of faculty and administrative structures.

University Librarian's Report - Gaunt

Gaunt thanked Golden for the reminder that Governor Christie released 19 reports prepared by his Transition New Jersey subcommittees, which conducted thorough reviews of all departments, agencies and authorities of the state and made assessments and recommendations to improve, shrink and, in some cases, eliminate wasteful or inefficient government operations. The reports are available at

Gaunt noted that today's Star Ledger reported that Governor Christie announced that the state is $1 billion deeper into debt; Christie will be making an announcement in ten days on how give backs for this year will be addressed.

Nancy Hendrickson will be reviewing unit budgets with Cabinet members the next few weeks; will offer the option on an in-person or email report. The AULs and Directors should provide Gaunt with a prioritized wish list in the event that there will be year-end funds available.

Planning meeting with Executive Vice President Furmanski went well; he is happy with where the Libraries are going and what we are doing; we will be focused on developing a more transparent and predictable budge model. Fredenburg has been gathering information from other universities on budget models currently in use.

ALA Debriefing - All


Fetzer provided a written report of the ALA Large-Public Services Directors' meeting she attended, which highlighted laptop lending programs; textbooks and reserves (are institutions facing pressure to buy textbooks); course management system trends, particularly in migrating e-reserves; mobile devices; and providing services for distance learners. She noted that the state of California mandated that higher education move to e-textbooks. At the University of Michigan, there is a tool in their course management system that allows students to see their course readings early.


With the abbreviated schedule, Puniello attended meetings and did not attend programs. The Buildings for College and University Libraries committee is planning a meeting in Washington entitled "Zip Learning, the Commons in a Flash. " Individuals and information from 12 libraries that have developed commons areas will be located around a large room. The audience will rotate every 5-10 minutes. Each presenter will have extensive handouts with such topics as how their facility meets the learning objectives of their university, how they assess success, as well as detailed facility facts. This is an experimental presentation; expect a lot of comments on the evaluation form to see if this format can be used in the future. LLAMA tried a new format at this meeting whereby all sections and committees met in the same room and the last half hour was devoted to reports from all sections to share information broadly. Puniello also attended meetings of the executive committee of the Building and Equipment Section of LAMA, and as member at large will be researching the possibility of keeping the directory of new library building projects from being decommissioned, and acting as a conduit to the larger LAMA group about trends in our section. One big discussion theme was the use of "ALA Connect" as a communication tool and all the inherent problems with its use.


Boyle attended the Washington office update. A big standout for us has been the open government initiative letter, which we did. Attended a panel on grass roots advocacy; Boyle thinks that here at Rutgers when issues in state or federal legislature arise, we need to mobilize more people if we are allowed. Attended a meeting recommended by Fredenburg, in which the head of instructional services and partnerships at the University of Oregon discussed new campus roles for librarians. Instead of outreach, which they view as limited, librarians should establish partnerships with housing, the sports program, the first-year program, and focus on that. They want to reach the thousands, not just hundreds. Their brochure from housing had a huge write up on their library. Went to two meetings sponsored by Counting Opinions - Evidence based management where they ran through the performance assessment system part of the package. Fairly intensive task to set up and would take months. Attended a user group meeting; there are five people in the company, a programming group in Toronto, and servers in Montreal.. Attended first meeting of ALA research and statistics committee. Went to one LibQual meeting, at which Brinley Franklin and Colleen Cook spoke to people being trained.

Attended the Ebsco Executive Seminar; topic was the end of reading as we know it.


Gardner attended the "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about ILL" workshop at the Boston Public Library. Particularly interesting was the "Getting it System Toolkit (GIST)" presentation by Cyril Oberlander. GIST uses APIs to provide users and staff with customized information on the ILL request form in ILLiad, for example-- local holdings from WorldCat, purchase information from Amazon, and URLs of free online sources from GoogleBooks. The GIST API widget requires the ILLiad 8 release, which we don't have yet.

Another highlight was a distance education discussion group meeting. The group began by acknowledging that services developed specifically for distance education students are also helpful and used heavily by on-campus students, and that on-campus students are enrolling in e-courses now. Consensus about Facebook is that it's OK for PR but not for instruction or interaction with students. A lot is being done in instruction with video tutorials and some librarians reported faculties are putting instructional videos into their course management systems.

The vast majority of libraries in the group are enthusiastic licensers of LibGuides, a web 2.0 application that allows librarians to easily create their own subject pages on the web, research guides, instructional portals, and pull in multimedia. A number of institutions reported they are migrating from Blackboard to Sakai and Moodle for budget reasons.


Wonston continues to be involved with diversity issues at the national level; Haipeng Li is very involved, as well. He is co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color. He and others held a fundraiser at the ALA Annual Conference this past summer and a more successful event at Midwinter. It was very well attended, with many key leaders being there. There is a lot of positive communication about it. They are also working with the ALA Office for Diversity. In November, Li led a delegation, including ALA leaders, from the United States to do seminars in China.

Two committees Winston is involved in: one editorial board and the LAMA editorial advisory board. Major issue is one that came up within ACRL which relates to how research and communication reach membership-- what comes out through the journal publications, but also in the longer formats, up to book-length publications. The focus is broader than just a decision on print or electronic, but on what people need to know and how that discussion lends itself to the type of publication and how the association supports the dissemination of research. The issue is certainly tied into professional development and continuing education.

CLIR Sponsors' Symposium 2009 Debriefing - Gardner

The symposium, "A Virtual Compass: Digital Technology and Resources as an Impetus for Change in Higher Education," included 4 speakers.

Jillian Wallis, a PhD student at UCLA, talked about her experiences as a member of the data management team at CENS (Center for Embedded Network Sensing). According to Jillian, inventorying data, writing standards, and passively asking scientists for comments are not successfull strategies. She emphasized the value of observing and participating alongside scientists in data collection, personal interaction, matching data management to scientists' work, and getting to know the community, all of which in her experience can take 5-6 years. She stressed the importance of descriptive metadata about the circumstances surrounding data collection, the need to capture cleaner data earlier and data that researchers may throw off, and to discover researcher's hidden assumptions about data. Data management requires a tremendous time investment with relatively low returns, and is not a role for all libraries. She suggested librarians that are interested in working in this area need institutional support and might begin by learning about large research grants at their institutions and initiating conversations with the PIs, asking what their plan for data management is and 'how can I help?'.

Harold Short, professor at King's College, talked about the new postgraduate curricula in the digital humanities at the Centre for Computing in the Humanities. CCH offers the first PhD degree in digital humanities, where students can pursue a wide range of study for applying computing methods in the arts and humanities.

Mark Scheid is president and CEO of Tan Tao University, a new private institution of higher education in Vietnam scheduled to open in fall 2010. He described creating a new university and the importance of the library building as the iconic, most university-like structure on campus.

Jerome McGann, professor of English at UVa, contrasted the collaborative approach described in Jillian Wallis' talk with research in the humanities where collaboration is rare and there is often resistance to digital projects. McGann cited Nines (Nineteenth Centruy Scholarship Online) as a successful model and Rice University Press as one to watch, but he believes that the model based approach must be replaced eventually by an institutional approach (King's). He concluded by noting that we still don't understand the power of the book. By modeling the book we learn what we don't know about it.



As part of our diversity education initiatives, we are presenting "Mandela: The Living Legend, Part 1" on Wednesday, February 17, 2010, and Part 2 on Wednesday, February 24, 2010 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Teleconference Lecture Hall, Scholarly Communication Center. The discussion following the screening of each part will be facilitated by Edward Ramsamy, Associate Professor in the Department of Africana Studies.

Two management development courses have been held; will have two more in March and two in June. Will also have a Capstone project; would like the AULs/Directors to start thinking about recommendations for participants and projects. There will be a ceremony at the completion of the program with certificates awarded and projects presented.


On February 2, Beatrice Crassous will arrive from France's L'enssib (National School of Library and Information Science) to do a practicum, studying trends in librarianship. Sara Harrington will serve as her mentor and supervise Ms. Crassous' research project; Harrington and Fetzer have met to discuss an orientation for her.

On Monday, Fetzer met with a small university committee on University of Liberia Relations chaired by Jim Simon of SEBS, and with President McCormick, Dr. Furmanski, and Emmet Dennis who is now the President of the University of Liberia. During the meeting the two Presidents signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the exchange of scholars and students with the University of Liberia. President McCormick is committed to helping rebuild Liberia's university, and the group is working with ARD and RTI (Research Triangle Institute) and seeks to become one of the participants in a large USAID FED (Food and Economic Development) Initiative in support of nation building in Liberia.

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