Minutes of April 17, 2014 Meeting

Bonnie Fong, Karen Hartman, Tom Izbicki, Rhonda Marker, Kevin Mulcahy (chair), Janice Pilch, Elizabeth Sosnowska, Ann Watkins, Michael Joseph (recorder), Tao Yang
Manuel Jusino
Grace Agnew, Barry Lipinski, Rhonda Marker, Vinent Pelote, Gracemary Smulewitz, Mary Beth Weber

1. Approval of the Agenda- All

The agenda was approved as distributed.

2. Approval of the Minutes from the March 20, 2014 meeting

Minutes were approved with the following changes:

3. AUL Report- Tom Izbicki

There is a storm of bad news for the collection budget. The most immediate concern is the substantial remaining deficit in the state budget, particularly in fixed costs. We are continuing to look for economies and making cancellations and transfers of funds as well. Subscription renewals will be looked at very carefully.

Integration of the medical libraries is a significant factor in the current budget woes-the Libraries have yet to receive any additional money from the state to cover the additional resources held by the medical libraries. We estimate that we have saved a very significant amount, but expenses of $750,000 remain unfunded.

Tom noted that it is difficult to compare state budget sums from year to year because the total each year depends on the base budget and a variety of one-time sources (student fees, salary savings, special funding from the state). Both the base budget and the one-time sources vary, often greatly, from year to year.

Cabinet has been asked to model several scenarios, including 2% and 4% cuts (affecting collections and all other areas), and discussions have focused on the impact on faculty, students, staff-and the university's stated strategic goals

Additional challenges include steady decrease in Phonothon money and the imminent depletion of the Van Waggoner fund (used to support the New Brunswick approval plan) which will not last past midyear of 2015.

Given the depletion of central funds, if selectors have an overage in one of their funds, it will be up to them to meet it in their own area.

Tom is exploring ways of allowing a longer window for direct orders. We'll reduce the waiting time (before claim or cancellation) for firm orders from 6 months to 3, and we are considering using remainder houses (e.g. the Strand) to fill firm orders that cannot be filled by our normal vendors.

We expect additional budget information from the university administration (regarding the costs of integration and CIC membership and the projected reduction scenarios) in May.

4. Chair's Report- Kevin Mulcahy

Mulcahy posted four spreadsheets to Sakai:

The spreadsheets project that book spending and receipts for 2014 will be significantly below previous low figures. They also demonstrate that book budgets have decreased as student enrollment has increased. Spending per student (on both total collections and books will fall below lowest previous year in the previous decade

A question about going to the faculty and students to solicit their support for increased collections funding was raised, and met with a favorable response. Mulcahy will follow up.

Concerns about low budgets were voiced: Low budgets will place untenured liaisons in untenable predicament. Selectors in the tenure stream might find it very challenging to get supportive letters from faculty who know them principally as the bearers of bad news. Will liaisons be scapegoated?

Tom suggested that we need to understand library component of accreditation process better to reinforce these arguments to faculty and Old Queens. The well-being of the library is a vital component of a viable university.

We might try to analyze RUL database holdings compared to our CIC partners.

On the topic of a petition, Janice Pilch recommended that we approach Newark teaching faculty who seek greater support from Dana. Emphasize those areas where faculty members are dismayed. She also suggested that the Libraries may be seen as inadequately staffed and budgeted to support Online and Hybrid Learning (a major university initiative).

Karen expressed concern that the university's new Responsibility Centered Management model might be similar to the Carnegie Melon model of self-supporting departments; richer departments will support themselves while the poorer departments will fail.

Tao urged us to gather information about instances where we have had to disappoint faculty. The accumulated weight of our data will build a compelling case for faculty support. Kevin suggested that a desiderata list will complete a picture of the gap between demand and our ability to provide. It was suggested that we create a Sakai site for gathering data.

Kevin will work on a petition and circulate it for discussion and revision. We will aim to present our petition in September.

Michael wondered if town meetings at which we make a public case for our petition might build support. Kevin suggested stage-management would be crucial to ensure meetings take a proper tack.

Karen wondered if we ought to slap a list of items we cannot or no longer provide due to budget cancellations on our website beneath the subhead: "This is due to budget problems."

5. Reports from SC/UA or IJS

Michael Joseph reported that there have been no major acquisitions.

6. Announcements

No announcements

7. Possible Agenda for May Meeting

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/lrc/minutes/lrc_14_04_17.shtml
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