Minutes of January 28, 1999 Meeting [SACOPS]

Susan Beck, Ben Beede, Natalie Borisovets, Jeanne Boyle, Ilona Caparros, Jeris Cassel, Tom Frusciano, Judy Gardner, Ron Jantz, Harriette Hemmasi, Jackie Mardikian, Ann Montanaro, Penny Page, Bob Sewell, Thelma Tate
Ellen Calhoun, Ann Scholz-Crane

Agenda and Minutes - Accepted as presented and distributed. Jeanne noted that the day would be flexible so that the database evaluation discussion could commence around 1 p.m. to accommodate members of NERS.

AUL/PSC Report

Jeanne Boyle began with a housekeeping process check about minutes: does the group still wish minutes of SACOPS and its subgroups still to be posted as email to the libraries e-distribution lists and to the web page? The answer is yes. All group chairs were reminded to send minutes in a separate mailing from the general distribution to the Webmaster with a note to post to the web page.

We made the tight deadlines for two workshop opportunities. Bobbi Tipton has been nominated with the endorsement of the Instructional Services Committee to attend the ACRL Institute for Information Literacy, and Thelma Tate has been nominated to attend the ACRL Think Tank 3.

At the last Cabinet meeting, Jeanne formally distributed the SACOPS priority and strategy worksheet for the long-range plan. Cabinet was asked to review, comment, and support projects as they develop by enabling librarians and staff to participate. Activities referred to the Library Assessment Committee were used as an example, and Jeanne noted that the LAC has already begun work in several areas important to SACOPS. In a memo to Cabinet, the LAC recommended changes in the Libraries statistical reports that parallel changes in the public services program. Intralibrary Loans is to be changed to Rutgers Request Service (RRS), RRS and Interlibrary Loan will have separate categories for Off Campus [Sites] and NB Campus Mail, and Ask a Librarian will be added to Reference Transactions. Jeanne distributed copies of a spreadsheet from Samson Soong that gives cost per search for our databases. Also at Cabinet, Catherine Geddis presented a proposal for developing a comprehensive training plan for librarians and staff. The first steps will be formation of a planning committee that will include representatives from throughout the library system, including instruction and other public service areas.

There is still time to send comments on the narrative Jeanne is preparing for the budget advisory committee for the long-range plan.

Jeanne distributed updated copies of the SACOPS Recommendation Logs for AY 1998 and 1999. She will follow-up on items outstanding, and the logs will be posted to the website.

UnCover Reveal is available. The service is being tested in central public services, and instructions and a formal announcement are being prepared for the website. Jeanne shared a draft of the instructions.

Jeanne attended with Harriette Hemmasi and Marianne Gaunt the full-day 2nd Information Services Council Workshop. Ryoko Toyama also attended for part of the day. The Council is one of the university strategic plan groups, and it gives grants for research in its area. Several items were of interest to the Libraries. Marianne is a member of the Council and gave a presentation about our acquisition of e-resources and digital developments.

Jeanne and Harriette co-convened a meeting to discuss online journal development. Those present represented the SCC, the CIIT, Systems, and the Webmaster. The meeting came about because the Libraries are involved in two journals - How(ever) and a journal of undergraduate research, and may work on two others - one from a language department and the Journal of the RUL. We will continue to review these opportunities as they arise to be sure they fit within our mission.

Jeanne asked if the group wished to make available the Digital Dissertations file that contains only Rutgers theses. The answer is: No.

Jeanne has spoken briefly with John Maxymuk and Ellen Calhoun about the Government Documents Special Interest Group. The group has not met in over a year, and it is time to review what issues need to be addressed and how best to do that. Jeanne and Ellen though it would be appropriate for the documents librarians from each campus and TAS to make a recommendation. The approach was accepted. Ellen, John, Rhonda Marker, and Wen Ren will be asked to consider what will work best for government documents.

Jeanne noted two items for future agendas: D21 and library location names in IRIS. The latter item was referred to LIS-PAC.

Systems / LIS Updates

Ann Montanaro reported that authentication of remote users for database access is now available. Judy Gardner noted that circulation staff is involved in making barcodes and pins available by telephone and through Ask a Librarian.

Circulation Update

Judy Gardner reported that the Workflows Training Team has met and that training will occur during spring break.

Judy handed out two Unicorn reports: 1) Fall 1998 Term Loan Renewals, and 2) RRS Books and Articles Filled. The RRS report will be run six days each month. She cautioned that the system counts Saturdays and Sundays and includes them in the reports even though RRS does not run on those days, so "7" really means "5" working days. Delivery time is not included. For books, 580 requests, or 81%, were filled within 2 days, and 273 were filled in one day. For articles, 135, or 73%, were filled within 3 days. These reports mean that the staff no longer has to do paper logs. Judy will also be running reports for interlibrary loan.

Judy revised Appendix 1 to Public Services Administrative Memo 14,

Reciprocal Faculty Borrowing Program Procedures. Cards for this OCLC program are now done centrally by Judy and Janie Fultz as per our prior agreement. This appendix describes the procedures. There have been three requests since the beginning of the fall term. PSAM 14 itself is out of date and conflicts with this new appendix. Judy and Jeanne are going to review and revise all PSAM's. The OCLC name-address directory does not have much information from each institution. There is brief information in the program brochure, and copies are provided to each reference desk. It is still up to the host institution to determine what privileges it will extend. The individual libraries web pages have the most up to date information about privileges. In response to a question, Judy noted that there is no 50-mile radius rule in the OCLC program. She noted also that she has been getting requests from graduate students but this is a faculty program.

Judy reported that there is a new RRS brochure and that it has been distributed to circulation contacts. It will be updated on the web page. It is very detailed to account for request for special materials. The idea is to use the request service for everything.

Preliminary Inventory of RUL Uncataloged Holdings

Harriette Hemmasi said that it was important for SACOPS to review the preliminary inventory compiled by SACOTAS since there may be other materials. This is the first step in attacking building the bibliographic file. Priorities are of concern to SACOPS.

Microform sets were discussed as a likely priority area. There are not individual item records for all sets. There was a policy in the past to catalog newspapers and serials within microform sets. We need a list of microform sets from which titles were not cataloged. Since they are not listed anywhere, how to find them is a puzzle.

Government documents are another possible priority area because the topics covered are often important and timely.

TAS will want guidance on where to begin when they are ready to begin.

The discussion noted: it will take years to get to everything, we don't point people to items not in IRIS, the first priority is to get titles with manual records into IRIS, we have said in the five-year plan we want to get all materials represented in IRIS, we hope there will be funding for recon, recon will be done outside, the price tag will be high.

There are some high RRS-use microform titles that need to be cataloged right away. ERIC is one such title. Jeanne will post a query to RUL_SACOPS and compile a list.

After extensive discussion and brainstorming, two primary criteria for determining priority for cataloging uncataloged materials emerged: 1) items in high demand, and 2) unique, research, and comprehensive materials. It was recommended that high demand items be captured through establishing routines and that priorities and judgment be used for the rest. We need to identify what is most important and unique in each unit. We should look at items that are duplicated but we do not know why they are duplicated.

Linking in IRIS to Full-Text Journals: Abstracts, Full-Text, or Full-Image?

Harriette Hemmasi reported that a question was raised in SACOTAS about why some full text materials are cataloged (ProQuest) and some are not (ABI/Inform). Within ProQuest, full image, full text, and titles with some abstracts were all cataloged and linked. Titles with only abstracts were not cataloged. Based on our experience with ProQuest, here is what SACOTAS and SACOPS thought:

There was a long discussion. How do we know the presence of a URL gives our users the expectation of full text/image? They could want other information. Some of our links are causing confusion, as: a nursing journal site that links only to the lead article of an issue. Materials on journal web pages are changeable. Why not just link to all sorts of information? When we tried this approach library personnel wondered if IRIS was not working properly and users were confused and frustrated. We do put "abridged" in cataloging records. We could put a note in the URL field that the link may not go to the full resource. It is a PR problem if the link is not really to full text and the university administration thinks they all provide full text. Bob Sewell reported that ProQuest is working on a currency list. This is a hot topic among a number of libraries. UMI says that the publishers change their minds quickly. EBSCO and IAC have the same problem.

It was noted that in ProQuest there are many items where the image cannot be printed since the publisher will not give permission. Such articles must be requested by fax.

We have purchased journal packages like Project Muse, Ideal, and JSTOR that happen to have an index. We have purchased indexes like ABI/Inform that happen to have full-text, but we cannot link to the journal level and the indexing is selective. ProQuest is a hybrid of the two and unique in the challenges it presents.

If we choose links more broadly, where is the decision to be made and by whom? By the cataloger? Who would determine what to indicate in the note with the link? Will the user read the note? It is not feasible to judge on a title by title basis. We could put a note in all 856 fields that the resource may not be complete.

It was noted that PAC is making changes to the 856 location and text. We need to see those changes and to consider these matters further.

CDPER is a related issue in that records with CDPER are now no longer accurate. The holdings for most CDPER titles are closed.

New Brunswick Information Services Steering Group Implementation Plan

Jackie Mardikian distributed copies of a revised implementation document and organization chart. The Group includes all that work in reference and information services. The various team leaders make up the Steering Group. Unit team leaders compose the Coordinating Team. Ilona Caparros reported that the Reference Collection Team has been working on the budget and reviewing duplication with CRL. Jackie said that the Telephone Team is considering a service centralized at Alexander Library and staffed by Information Assistants. A question was asked about how this would affect the statewide service contract. Jackie noted that there would probably be a direct line to libraries in areas of the contract. Ron Jantz reported for the Common Knowledge Database Team that their goal is to provide overall aid for librarians and information assistants with information to be printed on the RUL web page under staff resources. The first cut of items to include is: "secret databases", core reference, holdings of the various libraries, such RUL information as library to library directions, links to policies. They will put prototypes up as part of the RUL web page development.

Ovid/VALE Database Transition

Bob Sewell reminded everyone that Ovid files for Periodical Abstracts 2, ABI/Inform, and CINAHL are no longer being updated. The VALE files are still being accessed remotely, and the interface will not improve substantially until it is available from the VALE server. The group recommended that we keep Ovid available until the VALE search system is local and changed. The desire to be able to limit to full-text within Ovid was expressed.

Lunch was served, and the round robin took place:

Harriette Hemmasi reported that IRIS would be down for at least 24 hours. Six databases were corrupted. It will hopefully be up by Friday am. The problem arose because pointers became inaccurate as the system worked.

Jackie Mardikian announced that Mike Giarlo is now the new system support specialist at LSM. She will begin working with a SCILS intern tomorrow.

Natalie Borisovets has been working on Ask a Librarian statistics. There have been about 150-200 questions each month, and the largest percentage are from Rutgers. Laura Mullen from LSM will be joining the team; Irwin Weintraub will be leaving. If you jump in to answer a question and you are not scheduled, send the scheduled person an email to forestall a question being answered twice.

Ben Beede reported that the Coordinating Committee met yesterday and had a vigorous discussion about the SACs.

Jeris said that the Instructional Services Committee had its first meeting in January and is working out what it will do and its priorities. They are cutting down the general workshops for the spring and conducting only a few specialized ones. Minutes are on the web page. Jeris passed around a chart being developed at Kilmer that shows the differences among the various database search systems.

Bob Sewell reported that he is working on budget documents for the long-range plan. At ALA, he will present survey results of materials budgets to the group of chief collection development officer of large research libraries.

Thelma Tate said that two temporary librarians have been hired at

Douglass. She has recently moved to the Alexander Library as Coordinator of Global Outreach Services and will be working with the international and local communities. Congratulations and good luck, Thelma!

Penny Page brought a request from Coordinating Committee that SACOPS facilitate a discussion on database evaluation at the March 5 faculty meeting. We would prepare background readings and lead an overall discussion that would enable the entire library faculty to contribute to this important topic. The decision was tabled until after the discussion.

Ron Jantz gave a progress report from the Web Advisory Committee. There has been good progress. He got some helpful comments from SACOPS on the first prototype. WAC is meeting next week, so more input would be timely. The review process will be one of concentric circles, beginning with SACOPS and moving outward. The Design Group is beginning to look at the next level, especially the indexes and guides. The prototype now is only the first level. SACOPS could also look at the indexes page. A similar scheme of indicating subjects will be used on the subject guides page. The Web Guides group is identifying orphan pages and developing standards. The Immediate Things Group is working on its process. This group needs to respond quickly to changes on the current page. The process is in place and just needs priming.

Ilona Caparros handed out copies of the handout developed for an Alexander librarians' workshop on VALE and ProQuest. This was based on problems encountered at the reference desk when helping patrons to download and e-mail.

The topic for the afternoon session was database evaluation. Howard Dess, chair of the Networked Electronic Resources Subcommittee of SACCDM, participated.

Jeanne Boyle noted that concerns about database selection and evaluation had been voiced at prior SACOPS meetings. Members had noted that networked databases have largely replaced ROARS, which is a public services program. Susan Beck was appointed SACOPS representative to NERS, and NERS was invited to participate in an in-depth database evaluation discussion. To facilitate the discussion, Jeanne distributed a list of possible criteria adapted by Chris Mills, graduate assistant, from Selection and Evaluation of Electronic Resources by G.K. Dickinson (Libraries Unlimited, 1994). She invited Howard Dess to give an overview of NERS membership, purpose, and activities.

Howard Dess said that NERS works on the acquisition and evaluation of electronic resources with an emphasis on big, high cost, widely used databases for use at Rutgers. He distributed a list of databases under consideration. Bob Sewell added that the focus of NERS is large databases when funds must be pooled. If an individual selector is ordering, they may send their information directly to Harriette Hemmasi for implementation. ProQuest and VALE were acquired through consortial opportunities. It was noted that ProQuest has worked for our users.

Howard gave NERS criteria as:

  1. subject content - the database must be relevant to Rutgers
  2. affordability - vendor price less cost offsets from cancellations and the like are reviewed
  3. user-friendliness.

Points in the discussion that followed were: A question was raised about such additional concerns as reliability of data and accuracy of the database. Are those tested? The Instructional Services Committee is interested in user-friendliness and is putting together a recommendation. The interface we test is often different from the one we see when a database is made available to the public. We could review a database as it appears to the public by looking at it live at another institution. Some of the differences come from how it is accessed on our network. We could also ask other institutions to share their experiences like we did when we selected our online catalog vendor. It is difficult to plan for our electronic future development when we have never budgeted for electronic resources. Without budgeting, we cannot prioritize properly. We need pre- and post-purchase assessment, but it is most important when making our initial decision. We need to balance among the disciplines, and we need to balance indexes and content, which can be gotten via interlibrary loan. Within the selection process, the final decision on any networked database maybe cannot be one person's. It was suggested that the flow of money has to change, but it was pointed out that there is already a well-established process for this. The Web of Science was mentioned as an example of a wonderful resource whose high price raises questions. Is it valuable to undergraduates? Is it top on everyone's list? Would we purchase it and cancel content?

Discussion turned to defining the issue that led to this agenda item: Many dollars are involved in acquiring electronic resources. Why do we have user interfaces that are not good? Networked databases have essentially done away with ROARS, and the experts at database evaluation are not involved. Databases searching was once the responsibility of public services, but now it has moved to collections and away from the people who are expert searchers. It was noted that the experts may not be the best people to look at user interfaces, and reiterated that a review before making a database public may not be useful since the database is likely to be different when it is made available. We need review by both sophisticated and naive searchers. We need a group identified to do this. We need a test period for ourselves and time to prepare documentation. Bob Sewell gave the example of the Dow-Jones change where the database producer ended one mode of access. Our only choice was to move to the web. We need the opportunity for librarians to learn before making resources public. One idea is to put new databases on the trial page until documentation is available, and the selector could prepare documentation. Budget and price are at times a justification for purchasing one product over another. We need criteria for selecting core undergraduate and similar group databases when there is a choice, not when there is only one specialized database. Susan Beck shared information on evaluating reference resources that she compiled for her SCILS class. The list applies to the electronic, but it is more difficult to evaluate.

The group went into brainstorming mode, and Jackie Mardikian recorded on the white board ideas for criteria: map to subject heading, help when need it, print, email, log off, user friendly, screen displays, what you see is what you get, few steps to results, search capabilities.

It was noted that NERS deals primarily with content and suggested that there need to be two groups. Various possible processes were discussed. Howard was asked if there were different weights given to the three NERS criteria, and he responded that has not been done yet. It was pointed out that we already have a structure - the three SACs with the content people.

Databases are sometimes less than perfect, and there is no choice about what we acquire. We must do better at dealing with the products we do select in terms of our presentation to users and helping them grapple with it. This goes back to post-purchase evaluation. This should be regular in the first two months of ownership. An example is that we should not have cataloged the ProQuest titles until after this period, or we should just have done samples. There was an idea to develop a form for evaluation.

Harriette Hemmasi presented a summarizing list of possible criteria:

Another item is balance between the undergraduate and the researcher.

Selectors need to be able to make some decisions on their own. An example from the list of databases under consideration is the Index of Christian Art. Should the funding come from the individual selector or pooled funds? Since it is a specialized database, the discussion implies an evaluation would not be done. However, it is networked, so is it a systemwide matter?

Jeanne asked the group to consider the invitation from the Coordinating

Committee to facilitate a discussion at the next faculty meeting. There were no volunteers from SACOPS. Howard Dess volunteered, and the group asked Susan Beck, as NERS representative, to participate as well. Howard and Susan will develop a list of background readings and prepare a discussion outline. These materials can be shared on the SACOPS electronic discussion list.

The meeting returned to the agenda.

Ovid/VALE Database Transition

Bob Sewell explained that we have Ovid and VALE versions of ABI/Inform, CINAHL, and Periodical Abstracts. The Ovid databases are still available but are no longer being updated. The VALE database interface will not change until the databases are loaded locally. Ann Montanaro reported that one is ready to load, but the others are not prepared. The group recommended that the Ovid databases remain accessible and on our indexes web page until the VALE interface is improved.

Discussion Topic: RUL Brochures

Jeanne Boyle noted that a major new brochure about the Libraries would be prepared in time for the fall semester. She will be asking SACOPS for input about the content and for help in preparing it. She also would like to see our web page become the most current source of information about the Libraries. Her idea is that the web pages would be constantly updated, and brochures would be printed off using web page content on a regular schedule - say, twice a year, and refer to the web pages for undated information. We probably only need about a half dozen quality brochures. There was agreement with this approach. Jeanne asked the following questions: What brochures do we need? How should we write and maintain them? How should we distribute and recall them? What is the best way to communicate about new brochures to all faculty and staff?

Some ideas were: use small groups, the ISC wants to edit, get faculty and students to read, student readers should not be our workers, Kilmer has written a supplement to the remote access guide, the IRIS brochure could be referred to PAC, look at existing groups, use reference assistants in NB, don't use reference assistants in NB.

Brochures that are used most are those about remote access and how to download. We also need maps to the various libraries, directions, and parking information.

Jeanne will bring a list of brochures with date of last revision to the next meeting, and assignment of ownership will be made.

Submitted by,
Jeanne Boyle

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