Minutes of July 27, 2006 Meeting

R. Sewell, N. Borisovets, A. Montanaro, J. Gardner, F. Puniello, M. Joseph (recorder), M. Kesselman, E. Stec

1. Welcome from/to new PSC convener.

2. Budget discussion

Final cut pegged at $66.1 m.

Concern voiced for students being asked to pay a steadily increasing share of the costs, and for library patrons "passed off" during reduced staffing period.

3. Policy Changes

New Brunswick Campus building and reference hours will be reduced at every library for 2006-2007. (Basically, cuts are to minimum use periods, e.g., late night/early morning hours: Bill Pugliesi is concatenating hours.) Special Collections and University Archives is in the process of addressing alternate models for reference reduction, (Subsequent to mtg., Dana, Robeson and Special Collections/University Archives hours were submitted.) There will be 109 fewer building hours all told.

Systems will also be trimming hours but will be able to meet emergencies by having a person "on call."

Access Services has prepared a detailed list of service cutbacks but will also increase certain services to offset service reductions elsewhere. These changes have been detailed as "Service Changes" under "Library Budget Reduction Impact" at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/news/06/07_budget_cuts.shtml.

In general, the Libraries will eliminate paper brochures in favor of Web documents, but retain core brochures such as the brochure on alumni borrowing privileges. Marty Kesselman volunteered to revisit the Visitor Guide.

4. NJ Knowledge Initiative

Discussion ensued as to whether there exists a clear and consistent understanding of the nature and purpose of the NJ Knowledge Initiative. Robert Sewell and Marty Kesselman volunteered to weigh the utility of organizing some training for RUL to put NJKI (and Q+ANJ) into clearer perspective.

5. Reference Services

A discussion of how RUL should recontextualize reference services to better address changing user needs and exploit the flexibility of digital tools modulated into a discussion about how RUL might participate in Q+ANJ. There was unanimous agreement that participation would improve service to the Libraries constituencies, but some hesitation to embrace an initiative that would stress thinning resources.

Eileen Stec expressed an eagerness to formulate a more nuanced reference schedule that would better illustrate the range and depth of reference services in which public service librarians are engaged. The was general agreement that the simple delineation of desk coverage we are used to provides a skimpy and misleading picture.

6. Reorganization

A belief was expressed that greater agency is needed at lower levels in order for RUL to stay abreast of evolving library paradigms and implement vital changes in practice. There was a similar sense that system-wide teams (faculty/staff) based on function would enhance communication and collegiality, providing RUL with greater uniformity and coherence.

It was noted that RUL might more elegantly integrate marketing and communications into the functioning of the library and expressed approval that CDC had already taken steps in this direction.

7. ALA

There was a discussion of ALA activities followed by a "round robin" (although a "round robin" is strictly speaking, a competition in which every contestant gets to compete with every other contestant, or, alternately, a small pancake).

Michael Joseph

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/psc/minutes/pscmin_06_07.shtml
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