Minutes of October 20, 2005 Meeting

G. Agnew, S. Beck, V. Calderhead, S. Harrington (recorder), K. Hartman, J. Howard, K. Mulcahy, L. Mullen, J. Nettleman, B. Sewell
J. Boyle, R. Becker, A. Montanaro

The meeting was called to order at 9: 40 a.m.

1. AUL Report

State Fund Allocations

2. Review of Networked Resources Policies and Procedures

CDC's team leaders (S. Beck, Generalist, S. Harrington, Arts & Humanities; K. Hartman, Social Sciences; L. Mullen, Sciences) met with B. Sewell on Oct. 18 to discuss procedures.

In the wide-ranging CDC discussion, it was noted that there is much information on policies and procedures regarding networked resources in different locations on the CDC website. While the policies are generally founded on principles that remain sound, several concerns were expressed.

Specifically, it was decided to centrally track requests for networked electronic resources on a web page that will list such requests, and is found here or by going to staff resources>collection development>reports>central fund requests.

It was stated that a status field would be needed to track the status of the requests.

The charge includes a clause that existing resources (in addition to requested resources) should be continually reviewed. It was acknowledged that this is a daunting but important task, as it is imperative to consider the overall utility of an index, as well as content duplication across indices. Careful evaluation is needed in order to ensure the most efficient use of funds. It was noted, however, that there may not be competition among some databases in the humanities, and that some databases will consistently have low use, but are nevertheless important. Usage statistics should thus always be interpreted contextually.

A number of additional questions and issues were raised. For example, when a product is cancelled, where does the money go—to a product in the same discipline, or elsewhere? If the pool of money does not return to the selector's general discipline, what incentive exists for the selector to cancel in his/her area? Generally there are two cases why products are cut: to meet a cancellation target in a bad budget year and to pool funds for a new purchase in the same general area. In the case of meeting a cancellation target the funds just disappear. In the latter case funds are reinvested in a new product.

Crucially, the ongoing review of both requested and extant indices and databases is to be based on what evaluative criteria, and according to what timeline? S. Beck and H. Dess had previously offered a document that included criteria for the evaluation of networked electronic resources, and there will be an effort to locate this document. Ideally, they should be review annually.

CDC members also noted the important role of the RUL serials team. The team provides useful analysis of, among other issues, cost savings, and the cost of a potential product to RUL. It was decided that the role of the serials team would be included in CDC documentation.

CDC members also considered the issue of costly single subscriptions to e-journals. Should these subscriptions considered separately from packages? Should we even consider this type of request via the central electronic request form? It was decided that the request form should include mini FAQ that includes the issue of single journal titles. The FAQ should indicate the central purchase of single titles is a rare case, as most journal titles are funded out of individual selector funds. If a single title is centrally purchased, there is a specific reason.

It was noted that C. Pecoraro has some concerns about both the central and the selector electronic request forms. The existence of two forms generates some confusion, as the forms are not consistent in the information they require. K. Hartman will represent CDC in discussions with C. Pecoraro to understand the nature and scope of her concerns. Any policy ambiguities will be clarified and forms will be reviewed and then revised as necessary.

A related issue then emerged: when selectors can cover cost of journal, but that journal impacts other selectors/constituencies, a conundrum emerges, namely, of “who needs to be told what when.” Indeed, it is also the changes to packages and databases that affect users. It was noted that RUL as a whole must take into account new services being offered, such as open url and refworks. In this vein, G. Agnew stated that Systems would shortly hire an applications manager.

3. Final 2006 CDC Goals

There are six goals for the year, with numbered objectives subsumed under each goal. The goals are posted the following pathway:
RUL homepage/About the Libraries/Staff Resources/Collection Development/Reports/2006 Collection Development and Management Goals or go here.

While the full goal statements will not be repeated here, the following issues were mentioned in a discussion of the goals.

The goals were approved.

4. Review of LibQual Results Related to Collection Development

S. Beck was thanked for her role in interpreting and sharing the LibQual data with the RUL community. For CDC, S. Beck noted that LibQual was all about user perception—“it's what people think.” The survey results are divided into categories including affect of service, information control, and library as place. In many cases, RUL is not better than the users' perceptions of what minimum standards should reach. Yet at the same time, the minimum standards desired by RUL users are higher than at other institutions that participated in the LibQual survey. In other words, RUL ranked highest in what users desire—users' expectations of RUL are quite high. While undergraduates are the most satisfied with our services, many users (including undergraduates) think that we are not giving them the resources and web tools they need to do their work.

Collections remain of paramount importance to faculty members, while library as place is of lesser importance to them. S. Beck noted that she is running reports that look at the issues from a variety of perspectives. What RUL might ask after fully reviewing the data, is, as one CDC member noted, “Can we do something about these issues?”

The meeting was adjourned at 12:12 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Sara Harrington

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