Minutes of November 19, 2008 Meeting

Jeanne Boyle, Kayo Denda (coordinator), Marianne Gaunt, Helen Hoffman, Tom Izbicki, Martin Kesselman, Jim Niessen (secretary), Jane Sloan, Roberta Tipton (remote)

1-3. Call to order, Agenda, Minutes

The meeting being called to order, its agenda was adopted and the minutes for October 22 were accepted unchanged.

4. Report of the Faculty Coordinator

There was nothing to report.

5. Old Business (none)

6. New Business

State of the Libraries discussion and RUL Planning

Gaunt reported that the streaming webcast worked well and turnout was good. It was especially valuable for staff to participate with faculty in the discussions. Lila Daum Fredenburg is working on the compilation of the reports from breakout groups. In general these reports contained no surprises; there was no major divergence from our known core values.

It may be that we need to take our thinking to a higher level. New Jersey has long-term, systemic problems. We should set up a blog or other web place to collect ideas. Ideas may include revenue generation, eliminating reference desks, buildings, or e-reserve.

On Cabinet there was a general feeling that the State of the Libraries discussion was a useful exercise.

The committee discussed ways in which traditional paradigms could be modified to address budget cuts and user needs. How can we provide better integrate library services with a disparate user base? Half or more of our faculty collaborate outside Rutgers; can we create multi-institution librarian collaborations? We already do this to some degree in our professional activity. Can we form a virtual library support group for Philosophy, for instance, and get a grant for it? Cooperative collection development, remote storage, even cataloging are other potential areas of collaboration.

There might be a role for Rutgers in a state-wide system that would generate revenue for us. It might also bring in the Rutgers law libraries, in the same way that NYU has facilitated use of its OPAC by other institutions for many years. We're already doing this to some degree with NJIT and the American Hungarian Foundation. Shibboleth authentication should help us with this.

RUL could provide a service to the state with its calendar of scholarly events

Denda suggested that input from public service librarians is needed as OLÉ is developed. Right now the design is very task oriented. OLÉ should be on the agenda of the User Services Council, and IPAC should be informed and involved. Gaunt noted that those working on OLÉ are looking at user-oriented services ("service-oriented architecture"=SOA) and also reexamining how we think about processes. The system will be modular, and its vocabulary is changing. Public services personnel need to make sure the vocabulary is not just determined by the technical developers. We may expect the roll-out of OLÉ, with VALE involvement, in four or five years. We need to collaborate more effectively, but also be mindful of the benefits of keeping the RUL brand visible.

It is not easy to quantify the value of libraries and librarians in a way that resonates for users. Studies of faculty research practices, collection use, or specifically grad student collection use may be the best approach. There are troubling trends. For instance, we lost one business database for mergers and acquisitions and for current company reports. According to a member of the Assessment Council, the future of higher education is uncertain. Rutgers is unable to demonstrate the value of its degrees to graduates, and 30% of our students are transfers. We need to make the case about the impact of collections on the quality of student learning.

We can do more to document the degree to which we are already depending on other libraries. To what extent does this increase our case for support? Interlibrary loan statistics, which show us as a net lender, are reported in a compilation Judy Gardner prepared for the LRC. A lively discussion ensued on the question of how we can make the case for ownership rather than access of material. It is difficult to quantify, but we know that Interlibrary Loan does not mesh well with certain kinds of materials, not to mention students' study habits. Our reference statistics are flawed and often not the ones that end up being compiled anyway because of reference sampling.

We do know that more research-intensive institutions borrow more, even if their collections are larger. People are finding out more about resources because of the online environment, and demand more materials. But it remains a salient question what we ought to own locally.

Denda suggested collaborative collection development ought perhaps to be on the agenda of the Planning & Coordinating Committee. Gaunt asked: what data do we need for an examination of this topic? Let's identify the research agenda needed to move this discussion forward. We might invite Bob Sewell to a discussion of cooperative collection development, ownership and access, and the inter-institutional collaboration of liaisons.

7. Report of the University Librarian

Clement Price of Rutgers-Newark will chair President-Elect Obama's transition team on the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Rutgers has a new social initiative, RAH: Rutgers Against Hunger. Fredenburg is talking to Vice President Fehrenbach about a possible program on RAH in the Libraries.

Gaunt has asked Vice President Furmanski whether the projected give backs this fiscal year to be submitted November 24 will really be carried out. She is trying to make it clear how painful they will be.

Discussion ensued concerning various options for faculty recruitment:

1. CLIR interns. These are all in the humanities, can be used for sub-entry-level, or librarian V one- or two- year appointments. CLIR makes the match with the hiring institution based on need and availability, then the hiring institution pays the intern's salary.

Ask Boyle to see if recent CLIR interns have had specialties that we're interested in filling.

2. Diversity (or targeted) hires. This option is still alive, may be an option for RUL. The unit invites somebody in, and if there is a fit between the candidate and the needs of the unit, the Dean …presents him/her to Furmanski for funding.

3. Cluster hires. These must be initiated in an academic unit, but the Libraries could insert themselves into a cluster. For instance, dt ogilvie [NB: no caps!] spoke to Cabinet about a cluster hire in Newark to create an Institute on Entrepreneurship in Newark. Such a cluster might have a librarian. Gaunt doesn't know of any cluster hires in New Brunswick, but we need to investigate whether a librarian might be included in them.

Business/Science and Latin American Studies are areas with cluster hire potential for RUL. Business is working with many programs to hire business-related disciplinary scholars. A Latin American Area Studies hire would have the potential to come in via a cluster or a diversity hire. Joe Consoli, chair of that search committee, should be asked to explore this.

For 2. And 3., Rutgers provides half the salary for a three-year period.

8. Concluding Outcomes, Tasks and Accomplishments

9. Future Agenda Items

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Niessen, Faculty Secretary

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/fac_coordinating_com/minutes/coordcom_08_11_19.shtml
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