University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the August 26, 2014 Meeting

Agnew, Askew, Boyle, Cohn, Fredenburg, Fultz, Gaunt, Glynn, Izbicki, Just
Golden, Kuchi

University Librarian’s Report - Gaunt

Gaunt reported that the Libraries Advisory Committee had sent a letter to the Executive VP for Academic Affairs in late July asking to review the financial support for the Libraries, especially as it applies to collection. They have received a reply that he values the important role of the Libraries, will review the budget status, and the budget will be discussed again during the search process for a new VP/UL.

We expect to have our FY14/15 budget late this week or next week. The University is in the process of finalizing the official documents with regard to reappointment and promotion of the NTT faculty that is similar in format to the one for tenure-track librarians. There are no changes in the process from what has been agreed, but we are reviewing the re-formatted documents and the University will be finalizing them shortly.

Gaunt noted the recent announcement that the KUALI Foundation is moving from its non-profit status to a commercial service provider status. The OLE project (VALID for VALE) is under the umbrella of the KUALI Foundation, but this change will enable the Foundation to have a new, more robust financial model to support development of the software, as well as provide support for it, thus returning funds for new development.

Video Analytic Tool – Agnew, Mills

Chad Mills provided a demonstration of the video analytic tool that the SCC has developed under three NSF grants with the Graduate School of Education. New functionality has been added including threaded discussion and streaming video; and now the analytic can be used on other technology formats including tablets because the Flash requirement has been removed. The current use by GSE is through RUcore with the educational videos from the Davis collection spanning a 20 year interval of students learning mathematics. Both faculty and graduate students here and at partner institutions create analytics for various aspects of the videos, and can use the threaded discussions to critique each other’s interpretations. The analytics can be “published” in RUcore when reviewed and completed. We have been invited to participate in an NSF webinar this week as one of several successful NSF grantees who have developed applications with the potential for usability beyond their original application. We can become eligible for a new NSF grant to develop the analytic further and/or commercialize it. Agnew noted the rise in use of video for instruction and research, and asked liaisons to think about how the analytic may be used elsewhere, especially in medical education.

Financial Update – Baker, Fredenburg, Gaunt

The Libraries do not know the specifics of our current FY budget but expect to hear within a week. The purpose of the discussion today is to strategize about what we do know, and potential future implementation. The University has said that they do not have the funds to cover our merger costs, the major issue being the $750K to provide access to all serials for both universities.

We have some other permanent deficits that will not be covered in our regular budget. These include the $500K for salary increases from last year that were not included in the base budget, and the $700K for inflation on our serials overall. Gaunt noted that all salary increases must come out of the unit’s budget. In the past we have had tuition increase funding to cover this, but we did not last year and it is unclear whether it will come this year. We will also need to cover the $125K for the one time bonuses for staff and faculty this year, but this is not a permanent addition to the budget. The increases for the CIC (collections, HathiTrust, Shared Print repository) will also need to be covered.

The most significant costs are related to collections and Izbicki has been working with the selectors to determine a plan of action if we do not get any increases in the budget. Regardless of the budget news, we must deal with the state-side deficit of $700K related to inflation. We may still be faced with a budget cut based on one of the scenarios Cabinet had to address in the spring of this year. Cabinet endorsed the overall approach of reduction targets based on past spending. Moreover, in response to the issues raised in the most recent meeting of the Library Resources Council, Cabinet endorsed a process of rebuilding budget support for monographs. With the funding for the Approval Plan due to run out in December, we also need to address the needs of the Social Sciences and Humanities to support scholarship in their fields. Consequently, Cabinet agreed to add $100K to the reduction target in order to support purchase of monographs in fiscal year 2015. This sum will be covered by a new calculation based on all collections spending over the most recent three fiscal years.

The most recent cancellation targets have been distributed among the disciplines. Izbicki will review the overall budget situation with selectors at Thursday’s brown bag lunch and have follow up discussions at the meeting on September 11 at 10 a.m. in the SCC. He will discuss strategies and address questions and follow-up with breakout sessions by disciplines.

Gaunt noted that if there are other reductions to our budget we will go back to the scenarios we described in March when we were asked to plan for potential budget cuts. She also said that all recruitment not currently in progress will be on hold until we know more about our budget. At that time, likely next Cabinet meeting, we will discuss finances and recruitment again.

Collection Development Policy – Boyle, Izbicki

Boyle noted that in reviewing our policies, we do not have any statement related to intellectual freedom if we have a challenge to our collection development policy or acquisition of collections. The most appropriate place is in our Collection Development Policy, so there is a statement added at the end. It has already been reviewed by the Library Resources Council and been endorsed. Cabinet also endorsed the policy statement that provides for a written response to any challenges and an appeal process. They also noted that the Health Sciences Libraries need to be added to the list of individuals to whom the first challenge is made.

Annual Action and Metrics for the Strategic Plan – Agnew, Boyle

At the last Cabinet meeting Agnew and Boyle were asked to review the template we are using for annual goals of units and groups related to our strategic plan. She distributed three documents. The first was a list of definitions to understand the documents – defining goals, activities, contribution/outcomes, and indicators. The second was our Strategic Plan broken into Strategic Goals (expressed as library-centered items), Outcomes (expressed as user-centered outcomes), and Metrics (methods by which we would achieve or make progress towards our outcomes). Cabinet endorsed the approach and how it was outlined in the document, which was broken down by foundational elements and themes. The definitions were used to understand the annual action plan calendar where units and groups should list their goals for the year as related to the appropriate item in our Strategic Plan. Boyle noted that units need not have goals for every item in our plan, but for those appropriate to their unit’s work. The form lists foundational elements and themes, a place to enter the activity being proposed as a goal, the contribution/outcome where one lists how the group targeted will benefit, the indicator where one lists how we will measure or know that we have accomplished our goal or progress, the Cabinet oversight noting who is responsible overall for the area, mid-year and year-end status where progress is noted.

We are getting started a little later this year because of our new Strategic Plan and a review of the templates, so Cabinet agreed to complete the annual action plan for their units and return the document to Boyle by October 15.

Rutgers Affiliates Only in the NB Libraries after 11 p.m. – Just

For a number of reasons, the NB libraries have noticed an increase in non-Rutgers users in the late evening, which creates problems for students seeking study space in the Libraries. After conversations with campus police related to a change, Just is proposing that we move to exclude non-Rutgers users after 11 p.m. RU police have agreed to patrol the building for the first several weeks to ensure compliance until people become familiar with the policy, as we do not have a swipe card way to restrict users after a certain time. We do not expect this to create any adverse situations, but be beneficial to our users. Cabinet also agreed that building access can be specific to the needs of particular campuses where the situations and contexts may vary. Cabinet endorsed the request. A new Building Hours Listing will be made that notes the change.

Food and Drink Policy – Just

Just proposed to change the food and drink policy for the NB Libraries from no food and drink except in designated areas, to food and drink in the Libraries except in designated areas. We limit food and drink to a small number of areas in the building, and it is much easier for staff to enforce that policy. The Food and Drink policy is included in the User Conduct and Security Policy of the Libraries. Cabinet agreed that policies on food and drink can vary among the Libraries and that the policy statement should be clear on which libraries vary. Suggestions were also made related to the text itself, including the addition of e-cigarettes under the non-smoking statement, removing wording that is too interpretative, such as “to be considerate of others,” or “unreasonably” interferes; adding the word “programs” to services and resources in the paragraph on appropriate use, as we often have programs open to external users. It was also suggested that the last sentence of the opening statement concerning users who do not adhere to policy be repeated/consistent in the section near the end on Non-Compliance. Where possible, any reference to university policy should be made. Cabinet asked to see the revised policy.

Business Librarian Position APP – Just

The position is on hold until next Cabinet meeting when we know more about the budget.

Digital Humanities Lab Space Proposal – Just

Just reported on the request from SAS and its units to provide a space in the Libraries where faculty and students could use specialized software to work on digital humanities projects and also discuss issues related to the digital humanities. A team in NB libraries was formed to address the DH needs, and Melissa has been examining space in Alexander where a DH lab could be set up. The best choice is to use the two seminar rooms outside the TLH. They are used, primarily by the Libraries but occasionally by others, but the use is not very high. This space could be a start for a DH lab, and from there we could determine future needs. Just noted that we do not have the funds to implement such a space, but will determine what is needed and what it would cost to implement, and then try to secure the funding. Agnew noted that staffing is an issue, and should be included in the costs. Cabinet endorsed the selection of the space, and agreed that a financial plan is needed.


Cohn: The Health Sciences schools have been in full session since August 11.

Fredenburg: State of the Libraries is November 5; please save the date. Ask your staff to please come forward with showcase items. Fredenburg will send out another announcement.

Just: ARL is working on a plan to determine the role the association can take in supporting liaison activities among its members, and a group has been pulled together to launch it; Just has been invited to be part of that group to help ARL develop a plan of action.

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