Minutes of August 21, 2008 Meeting

Grace Agnew, Ron Becker, Mary Fetzer (Chair), Karen Hartman, Laura Mullen, Jim Niessen (recorder), Bob Sewell, Gracemary Smulewitz, Roberta Tipton
John Maxymuk (sabbatical substitute for Julie Still), Kevin Mulcahy, Cathy Pecoraro, Vincent Pelote, Glenn Sandberg, Farideh Tehrani, Mary Beth Weber


  1. Approval of Agenda
  2. Approval of Minutes of July 17th Meeting
  3. Chair's Report and Organizational Matters
  4. Budget update - Bob Sewell
  5. Preservation plan -Bob Sewell, Farideh Tehrani (invited guest)
  6. Stem Cell Research Guide - Tom Izbicki and other contributors
  7. Electronic Resources team(s) - Tom
  8. Selectors' Tool Kit - Laura Mullen
  9. Agenda Items for future meetings
  10. Adjournment

1. Approval of Agenda

2. Approval of minutes of July 17th meeting

Draft minutes will be approved at the subsequent LRC meeting and then posted to the rul_everyone list and the web.

3. Chair's Report and Organization Matters

Fetzer is seeking to coordinate the work of the LRC to some degree with Jeris Cassel as Chair of the User Services Council. She will send out all LRC communications using Sakai.

LRC meetings are open, but interested guests should clear requests to attend in advance with the Chair. In the future, we should be able to webcast meetings from the Teleconference Lecture Hall in the event of a topic of unusually broad interest. We should also make it clear that if the elected representative cannot attend, s/he should designate a substitute and notify the Chair of this. Fetzer collected home phone numbers of all LRC members for emergency purposes, and distributed the LRC charge as it appears in the RULF Bylaws and on our Sakai site.

4. Budget Update and Goals from the Action Plan (Sewell)

Members were requested to consider the Action Plan and its three major goals for collection development. Bob will distribute these prior to our next meeting.

Sewell distributed a "2009 Collections Budget Reduction Scenario" and said that there is an overall administrative effort to protect collections this year. The overall target for cancellations is 3% of our total budget. This means a $85,592 target for budget reduction. However, the state budget will likely cover fixed costs, so we probably will not need to pursue cancellations more aggressively at this time.

We need to beware of subscriptions funded by grants whose funding ends at some point and must then be funded in another way. In dealing with academic units that supply such funding, selectors must communicate clearly about RUL budgetary procedures and policies.

Grants from foundations and agencies have various requirements that we need to clarify in terms of their implications for collections expenditures. It may be that we need a policy about the use of grants for acquisitions. The University Library and Bob Sewell believe that grants, whether from an outside agency to RUL or to an academic unit that then provides a portion to RUL, or from the unit's discretionary budget to RUL, should be monitored by the Library Development officer.

There will be no mandated cancellations in the coming year due to savings that were found in various ways. Smulewitz reported that the ongoing analysis of duplicate subscriptions, pursuant to last year's discussion, presents opportunities for savings, and a spreadsheet identifying these opportunities will be distributed next week. We identified an initial duplication total of $800,000, and pared it down to a list totaling $250,000. Now it is up to the selectors to further reduce the list. Selectors will receive a target date. Conversion of subscriptions from print to electronic is not automatic. Selectors will be consulted and must come up with additional funds, e.g. for the 25% increment stipulated by Blackwell for the conversion of its titles. All new subscription requests should go to the Serials Team. Money freed up by selectors' de-duplication cancellations will initially go into the central reserve fund under the direction of the LRC as end of year money. Sewell anticipates we will not have much discretionary money or salary savings in the coming year.

The Approval Plan is now being financed largely by non-state funds. The principal of the largest "quasi-endowment" fund has been reduced by half and at the current rate of expenditure will last only about two and half more years. Fundraising goals to address this foreseeable crisis on a stable and sustainable basis should be high on the agenda of the new Development Director, expected to be hired soon.

Liaisons should tailor their services to the needs of their units and centers and go to the Development Director to identify long-term funding needs. The creation of new academic centers at Rutgers has typically not involved additional support for the libraries, and it should.

5. Preservation Plan (Sewell, Smulewitz)

In Farideh's absence, Sewell distributed Farideh Tehrani's "RUL Preservation Policy Recommendations DRAFT" for preliminary discussion and noted that Rutgers Libraries pay far less attention to preservation than our peer libraries. Still, it is not necessary to preserve every brittle book and repair every damaged one. The LRC should have the role of defining the direction and scope of the preservation program. We should also ask whether Interlibrary Loan is sufficient to supply the needs of certain programs.

For the digitization of brittle books, we still need certain equipment. We need to investigate this and consider in each case whether the artifact and content are equally important for preservation.

We lack the infrastructure to pull together the preservation activities of DTS, TAS, and Special Collections and need to establish a Preservation Team. We need to focus on fragile, high-impact materials. Spot inventories are needed. With a Preservation Team in place, we could begin to accomplish inventory/analysis, decision making by liaisons, and develop a coordinated process and minimum standards for care and handling. Finally, there is need for disaster planning and analysis. Sewell, Tehrani, and Agnew will propose a Preservation Team to the LRC in September.

Once we give the preservation coordinator a title and define the job as full time, we should fill the position formerly occupied by Ian Bogus. This will be a staff position and report to Tehrani, be located in the former processing area of the East Asian Library. Tehrani is asking for approval of the concept and the draft plan. The preservation consultant that we hired urged upon us the concept that is in this report, noting in particular the need to address the poor condition of our Media collection.

LRC endorsed the plan, agreed that the hiring for this position should not be delayed until the establishment of the Preservation Team.

6. Stem Cell Guide (Izbicki)

The guide is in mock-up form and is progressing, with many people involved. There is no attempt to make all of the component parts uniform. The guide may go into production in the fall.

7. Electronic Resources Team (ERT; Izbicki)

Tom Izbicki distributed a document proposing the creation of a new layer between the LRC and the system-wide disciplinary teams, with representation from both the Serials Management Team and the disciplinary teams. The existing procedure has been to work with system-wide disciplinary teams led by the disciplinary representatives to the CDC. What is being proposed is different, with a larger tech services component. Agnew suggested the proposed charge for the ERT is too vague, and the new body would potentially be cumbersome.

LRC discussion revolved around the nature of tech services participation in the ERT. Selectors select, and what would tech services contribute? The current model of disciplinary teams is successful, but there is a need to address larger issues that cut across all four of them. In conclusion, Fetzer will meet with the disciplinary representatives and consult with Smulewitz about a way to ensure more regular input from tech services into the work of the interdisciplinary teams. The disciplinary area representatives will meet soon, discuss the charge, set up their teams, and evaluate what may be falling through the cracks and what issues may be neglected.

8. Selectors' Tool Kit (Mullen)

It was agreed to place this item on the agenda for a later meeting.

9. Agenda Items for Future Meetings

Fetzer will be inviting appropriate guests to our meetings to begin discussing various issues e.g. the Annex, weeding projects, and available shelf space; and Interlibrary Loan and consortial arrangements and how to get the most out of them. She will solicit questions from LRC members in advance of each guest's appearance. Becker will report on Special Collections and the IMLS grant at our next meeting. Agnew is exploring the possibility of a permanent license for the digital media collection. Digital media create different issues.

Recapitulation of LRC Decisions and Discussions:

  1. Guests may ask permission to attend the LRC.
  2. Substitutes may be designated for those who can't make it.
  3. Sewell will distribute the goals document.
  4. Cancellations will not be mandated, but we will aim at a 3% reduction and must continue to assess subscription duplication.
  5. We will aim to craft a policy on grants. This should be on the agenda of the Development Director when s/he is hired.
  6. Raising funds for the Approval Plan should be a development goal.
  7. Sewell, Tehrani, and Agnew will propose a strategy for a preservation work team. The preservation plan was endorsed, but the preservation program needs further definition.
  8. The Stem Cell Guide is progressing.
  9. Fetzer will convene the disciplinary representatives to see what issues in tech services, such as cataloging, need to be addressed.
  10. The Selectors Took Kit will be a future agenda item.

10. Announcements

Debriefing on the Society of American Archivists Meeting will be in the Pane Room, 12:30 PM September 16.

Agnew will attend the first meeting on OLE, the open catalog system project at Duke, on September 9-10. She stated that we will migrate to it eventually, and integrate it with Fedora and Sakai.

11. Adjournment

Respectfully submitted,
Jim Niessen

Rev. 9/18/2008

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/lrc/minutes/lrc_08_08_21.shtml
Website Feedback  |  Privacy Policy
© Copyright 1997-, Rutgers University Libraries