University Librarian's Cabinet: Minutes of the October 28, 2014 Meeting

Askew (VC), Boyle, Cohn, DiPaolo, Fredenburg, Fultz, Gaunt, Glynn, Golden (VC), Izbicki, Just, Kuchi
Hlaing Hlaing Gyi and Yin Win Htike (Myanmar Librarians)

University Librarian’s Report - Gaunt

VP for Finance, Michael Gower, recently provided the University Senate Budget and Finance Committee with a report on the university’s debt policy. He noted that the Board of Governors has developed a policy and guidelines covering university debt. While debt is a tool that can be used for many financial purposes, such as cash flow during the year, Rutgers does not use debt for operations, only for capital (buildings) projects. For the most part, Rutgers would incur debt to construct buildings that pay for themselves over time, such as dormitories or other auxiliary services where there is an income. The university would also incur debt through financial opportunities, such as the state bond issue where the state might match each dollar invested by the institution with three additional dollars. There are best practices related to debt management which states that an institution should not carry more than 5% of its overall budget. Rutgers is well below that percentage. He noted that the university refinanced its debt when it merged with the University of Medicine and Dentistry, and saved money. Rutgers was recognized with an award among institutions with medical schools for managing the financial process so effectively. The merger was unique.

An article in today’s Inside Higher Education online publication noted that three CIC schools are offering degree programs based on competency-based outcomes rather than the successful completion of a specific number and type of courses. Purdue is offering trans- disciplinary bachelor’s degrees in business education. Wisconsin is offering a certificate though bachelor’s degrees, and Michigan is offering a master’s degree for health care professions. All of these programs are online and meant to serve the adult community or those with previous experience. Since these are CIC institutions, others may be watching how successful they are. Would be interesting to match the competency assessment with similar degree program outcomes that are offered face-to-face through standard courses.

Discussion with Myanmar Librarians – Kuchi

Two Myanmar librarians have visited Rutgers for a one month study tour: Hlaing Hliang Gyi from the University of Yangon, and Yin Win Htike from the Universities’ Central Library, Yangoon. They are part of a group of eight Myanmar librarians taking the study tour and visiting in groups of two, the four U.S. partner libraries: Arizona State University, University of Washington, Northern Illinois University and Rutgers. The study tour is the result of a visit to Myanmar by Rutgers faculty and those of 11 other institutions arranged by the Institute for International Education and the U.S. State Department. The purpose was to explore potential partnership opportunities within higher education. The focus on libraries in higher educations was one of several outcomes of the visit. The goal of the study tour was to introduce the Myanmar librarians to the broad array of activities conducted in major research libraries in the U.S. Each of the four institutions has their particular strengths, so collectively the eight librarians will be exposed to a wide complement of services. The librarians spent time in major units of the Rutgers Libraries and visited several campuses as well as other libraries in the area. Golden noted that the librarians did not visit Robeson and reminded all that it is important to be inclusive, as each unit has something to offer. The Myanmar librarians are finishing their tour with two weeks at Northern Illinois and then returning to Myanmar where they will compare experiences with the other librarians who visited the three other institutions. We expect to discuss next steps based on their experiences. Cabinet discussed professional organizations for librarians in Myanmar, technology, special collections, digitization, professional development, and librarian outreach with faculty. The Myanmar librarians felt they had learned much on this visit, and look forward to exploring potential future partnerships in focused areas, such as preservation and conservation, and digitization being among the top priorities. Gaunt thanked Just and Kuchi for organizing and shepherding the program along at Rutgers.

Budget Update – Gaunt/Fredenburg/DiPaolo

Gaunt and DiPaolo reviewed where we are related to planning to meet our budget shortfall. At the last meeting we agreed to fund $800K from soft funds to ameliorate some of the reductions this year. Of that total, $150K would go for collections, and $650K would be used to support the units. Gaunt reminded everyone that these are one-time funds, so if they are used for regular, annual expenses, we will have to make permanent cuts next year if our budget does not increase. We are only pushing the problem to the next year. Regardless of how Izbicki wishes to allocate the $150K funds, the selectors must still meet the cancellation targets, as we will either this year or next have to implement the total cancellations. As of today, the selectors have not reached their total cancellation targets. Cabinet has placed a deadline of November 7 to provide those lists or we will make the cuts based on usage and cost per use data provided by DTS. A significant problem is that we are at invoice time and need to make decisions. The longer we wait, the more financial obligations we incur. DiPaolo, Fredenburg, and Gaunt will be talking with the units about their cuts and any restorations exclusive of collections. We will use the unit scenario plans for the 4% cuts as a starting point. Units will receive some of the soft money based on all the funds available to them as well as the strategic needs of the library system. We will use the same target date of November 7 to finalize those plans.

Update on the Policy Statement for Management of Patron Records on Public Computers - Just

Just reviewed the policy statement for the management of patron records on public computers that was approved at the August 2014 USC meeting; the patron file contains data from every registered user and the log file contains records of each log in. Once created, user accounts remain in the patron file indefinitely. At a recent User Services Committee meeting, we revisited the policy and are reconfirming that the log file be deleted daily (it must be kept for a short period of time to enforce the two-hour daily log in limit per user). The patron record will be purged regularly to remove individual patron entries with a last log in date that is more than one year old. This new practice limits the amount of personal user information we keep on file. It is proposed that we add a message stating that If you are unable to login with your username/password, or would like to update your registration information, please speak with a library staff member, and that public computer accounts inactive for a year will require re-registration. This information will also be added to service desk procedures manuals.


Just: Met with the key players within the Libraries who are involved in closing the physics library; have a plan in place to move forward after the upcoming meeting with campus stakeholders.

Cohn: The post-integration survey, “Do you use the libraries health sciences resources? Your opinion counts!” was posted on the Libraries web page. The survey is to help us better understand and meet information needs, and is intended for faculty, students and staff in the life sciences and related disciplines. We are doing a big push to get people to complete the survey; it will be up for four weeks.

Askew: On Saturday, November 15, in conjunction with the James Moody Democracy of Jazz Festival, Gary Walker of WBGO Jazz88.3 FM will moderate Jazz City: Newark’s Jazz Legacy, a forum featuring a distinguished panel of musicians and writers discussing Brick City’s continuing influence on jazz. Admission is free.

Boyle: October 15 was the deadline for the Strategic Plan action grid; have only received one submission as of today. Please return your completed grids as soon as possible.

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