Minutes of February 26, 1998 Meeting

Susan Beck, Natalie Borisovets, Jeanne Boyle, Ellen Calhoun, Jeris Cassel, Judy Gardner, Susan Goodman, Harriette, Hemmasi, Jackie Mardikian, Ann Montanaro, Stan Nash (Recorder), Penny Page, Thelma Tate.

A. AUL REPORT (Jeanne Boyle):

1. The Webmaster position description has been completed by the committee assigned to this task (committee members: Mark Witteman, Jeanne Boyle, and Judy Gardner).

2. The Communication Coordinator position has been posted.

3. ASK-A-LIBRARIAN: Jeanne researched other comparable services and policies pertaining to the same at other universities. The Columbia format and the policy statement from Yale look like good models for us to consider. The Web Advisory Committee (WAC) will look into this and the relationship of FAQs the kind of service we want to offer.

Issues of confidentiality, with respect to the wide distribution of questions and answers that come through ask-a-librarian were discussed. After WAC deliberates further on the program SACOPS will again discuss this and other issues related to ask-a-librarian.

4. Jeanne will begin to keep a "recommendations log", listing and describing recommendations and decisions made by SACOPS because it appears that the minutes obscure these and they need to be apparent and readily available to parties concerned.

5. VALE (Virtual Academic library Environment) update: With regard to the sitesearch (OCLC's Z39 front end) demo, Jeanne reported that VALE is still considering whether to go this way or not but no decision has been made thus far. The $100,000 contribution to VALE from the State Library will be used to pay for whatever search engine is chosen.

6. Cabinet: Gary brought up the problems Camden librarians face attending meetings, given the current scheduling practices. The following were among the suggestions put forth by Gary to make travel less onerous for Camden people: avoid scheduling meetings in the middle of the day; give as much advanced notice of meetings as possible; try to group meetings together, in order to reduce the number of trips; give precedence to the ability of Camden librarians to attend when planning meetings; deploy devices such as speaker phone so that some travel can be eliminated altogether; and perhaps designate some days which we will not normally schedule meetings.

Newark of course has similar problems and Natalie stressed how cumbersome middle of the day meetings were, since travel plus meeting times rendered the day lost as a working day.

7. Jeanne expressed concern about the difficulty we have been having in completing the many items on our agenda, given the time we have allotted for SACOPS meetings. Suggestions of meeting twice a month or longer meetings were made. Tentatively we will try meeting for 3 hours (9am--12pm) and putting a time limit on discussion of each item, beginning with the next meeting on March 26.

8. Distance Learning: The University of Phoenix had asked whether they could obtain library privileges for their "distant leaning program" in New Jersey by purchasing corporate borrowing cards. This is being discussed with the University administration.

Rutgers and Brookdale Community College are cooperating to offer Rutgers courses off campus and we will discuss information services support issues at the next SACOPS meeting.

9. GOOD NEWS: Eureka RLIN access will be expanded--more simultaneous users will be possible.

10. Our two International student brochures have been referred to the Diversity committee for revision and updating.

11. On March 27th the Copyright Group will hold a workshop in the SCC--flyers will be forthcoming.


1. Ann Montanaro: Windows 95 has been installed on select staff machines in order to be sure that there are no server problems. By the end of April the installation will be complete for all staff machines. Shortly after this is done the public machines will be worked on.

March 17, 1998 TSB will host an Ergonomics Day. A representative from Occupational Health & Safety will be there.

On March 18 and 19 IRIS will be down at least part of each of these days. The WEB server will be down so that electrical work can be done.

Central has purchased 17 PCS for staff and 19 "guns" to replace circulation wands.

2. Judy Gardner: The Test Database is being used to look at accommodating the different loan period used by MEDIA. At present IRIS permits patrons to renew Media items for a term.

A pilot project at Douglass is underway to develop a reporting capability for RRS daily requests.

Advanced training for Circulation is planned for April and OPAC training for staff is being planned in which the trainer will come to the building in which the participants work.

3. Harriette Hemmasi: A PAC meeting will take place directly after today's SACOPS meeting to look at IRIS indexes and the tags they follow in order to facilitate more effective patron usage of the system.

Hariette will be collecting search problem (or stumpers) examples; this may lead to advanced workshops.

At the PAC meeting default records will be discussed as will hot links and where they lead.

A column for IRIS information is planned for the AGENDA.


After some discussion it was agreed that we will charge a flat fee of $10 for mediated searching of any database, including IRIS and the OVID files, for which we are not incurring a charge. However we will not print out results; instead we will download to disc or e-mail the search results. We will not charge the patrons for the disc. Only primary borrowers are eligible for this. service. Jeanne will revise the Public Administration Service memo accordingly.


Update- Reaching out to other institutions was not that helpful in terms of finding a solution to the problems of e-mail use versus research use of public PCS. Illinois uses signs, much the same as we have done at various RU libraries. The University of Michigan has express terminals(5 minutes). Syracuse has cheap e-mail terminals in the front of the building. None of these approaches seem to resolve the issues we are concerned with. Kilmer is trying an experiment to monitor the use of e-mail from public PCS. While we agreed that e-mail is often needed for research purposes, some still felt that at times it was being used by patrons for non-research reasons and preventing researchers from gaining access to library databases. Hopefully the Kilmer study will inform us more about the true nature of the use of e-mail at public workstations.


Coordinators of Library Instruction, the Electronic Resources Committee, and the Instruction Group for New Brunswick will be taking the initiative of integrating library instruction and orientation into the transfer student orientation program of the University.

F. RESERVE FINES (Judy Gardner):

The maximum fine for overdue reserve items will be changed from $50 to $25. All agreed with this proposal.

G. INTERLIBRARY LOAN (Stan Nash, Susan Beck, Judy Gardner)

A short discussion on this subject took place. Time did not permit the full discussion envisioned; therefore, this will be on the agenda at the next meeting.

During the brief discussion Stan asked that librarians be informed how to access the ILL subsystem. Most agreed this was a good tool for us to have in trying to give patrons on-the-spot ILL status information. Judy pointed out that a goal of ILL service will be that the DDS offices will be able to provide immediate help for patrons in the future.

Stan also expressed concern about turnover time but was informed that since using RLIN SHARES preliminary study shows that turnover time is dramatically improving.

A discussion began on limiting ILLs to grad students and above but this met with strong resistance.

Finally it was agreed to postpone the rest of this discussion until the next meeting.


Jeris distributed a copy of the new E-Journals page which will appear when users select E-Journals from the RUL WEB page and database comparison handout.

A new brochure for the Citation Location Center is now available

NEXT MEETING MARCH 26, 1998. 9am to 12pm. Place to be announced.

Sdn draft1 2/27/98, rev 3/3/98

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