Minutes of January 28, 2016 Meeting

Natalie Borisovets, Leslin Charles, Janet Croft, Joseph Deodato, Roberta Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Gardner (Co-Chair), Melissa Gasparotto, Melissa Just, Yu-Hung Lin (Co-Chair), Mei Ling Lo, Christie Lutz, Aletia Morgan, Tibor Purger, Elizabeth Surles, and Zara Wilkinson.

1. Approval of the Agenda (All)

a. The agenda was approved as presented

2. Discussion on "Proposed Policy on Proctoring Exams and Study Halls" (J. Croft)

a. It has been discovered that proctoring (in some form) is a service that is offered by some of our locations.
At RBHS, computers are certified in accordance with test requirements. This takes approximately one hour per computer.

b. In Camden, there have been few instances of library staff proctoring and in each case it was because a student had no other option. It was always based on librarian availability. A conversation needs to be had to determine if this is a service for which they are responsible. Camden County Public Library, which has a branch at that location, provides proctoring services.

c. In New Brunswick, the Office of Disability Services reserves group testing spaces and provides proctors as needed.

d. We all agree (system wide) that we do not proctor study halls and we do not take IDs.

e. At the Directors Group level this policy has been discussed. They await details of the functioning at other locations. The disabilities policy also needs to be integrated into the policy. At some locations the students self identify.

f. Action Items: It appears that there should be a broad policy with local variations. Janet Croft will work on crafting this. Roberta Fitzpatrick will send some information. We will need feedback from each location. Zara Wilkinson will seek out information for Camden. Roberta Fitzpatrick will bring the issue to Judy Cohn.

3. Report on the USC statement presented to the Planning and Coordinating Committee (All)

Yu-Hung Lin led the discussion on the USC statement that was presented to PlanCo on January 27. See Appendix.

a. The four priorities of the University Librarian were reiterated:

b. The following questions were addressed:

What is needed from this council in the interim while we await new structures to be established?
Items are being brought to the Directors Group that might have been addressed in this forum. The example put forth was the charging of the new Chat Reference Service Task Force. It goes back to the principles of having the ability to assign work and to hold people accountable. Although there will be discussions in this forum, the work will be managed elsewhere in the organization. Discussions here should still be fruitful and effective but there is not much clarity on what will be addressed in this group at this time.

What is the ideal flow of information and how are items that relate to user services to be managed?
It was noted that there are many changes at the university level. There are 5 entities that we serve: all 4 universities and the system itself. So we need to be responsive to their needs.
It was also noted that the Events Assessment Task Force and the guest login issues were both dealt with at the council level. However, what is missing is representation from public services staff.
There is need for further conversation at this level on the list of functional areas.

Should conversations begin locally and then brought to AULs and Directors?
The example presented was LibCal and its various capabilities.
The conversation can address how we get our work done considering this tool as a possibility. We would not be looking at work assignment but an efficiency that is worth investigation.
AULs on the council can take items to Cabinet and the Directors Group. One example was the bulletin board policy.
It was also noted that in the new model it would be vital that opportunities exist for issues to be brought from both directions (administration and staff).
The point was also made that we need to develop a model that creates buy in and compliance when decisions are made that apply across the system. The example presented was the food and drink policy.

c. Other items discussed:

An idea that was put forward at the PlanCo meeting is being taken to the University Librarian. This is in regard to suspending elections in areas not mandated by the By-Laws. This is in response to the changing environment. Some members have already agreed to stay on in their respective roles.

4. Access Services & IIS Director Reports (J. Croft and T. Purger)

Tibor Purger:

  1. IIS has been working on switching to CAS for authentication purposes. E-ZBorrow, media reserves, the catalog and VuFind have been scheduled for Tuesday, February 2 but the latter will not happen because the CAS module that SIRSI delivered is not integrating with VuFind. We are doing well compared with the rest of the institution.
  2. There will be a unification of all login pages to explain why in most cases there are login options. Login is not just a single step. It involves authentication and authorization. There needs to be some instruction to our users.
  3. Working on unifying the logout pages because users need to understand that logging out of some services does not mean logging out of the browser.
  4. Cloud services: we are moving in this direction.
  5. Phones were down this morning but it has now been resolved
  6. Change to a Chrome browser is pending. It would be better if we had a backup system in place. Need to determine the threshold of where to assign staff. There is also no guarantee that these updates will take place in one hour. It became apparent during the report that clinical conferences start at RBHS at 7 am. They may want to sign on earlier. T. Purger indicated that this information would drive the timeline.

Janet Croft:

  1. Experimentation with different intervals between meetings will continue so that group coordinator meetings are effective so that reporting to smaller groups go out.
  2. At the meeting this afternoon, room reservation will be discussed.
  3. Weather closure and what lessons can be learned will also be discussed. Some proposals are on the table regarding planning for future.
  4. RUPD has reportedly not been accommodating to the student workers as they request escorts after work.

5. AUL Reports (M. Just)

  1. Winter storm Jonas affected all Rutgers locations this past week. We were able to respond to most of the local needs in each of our locations. In New Brunswick, we are investigating our ability to remain open during some weather situations to serve on campus students. This will require us to coordinate with other units on campus.

6. Announcements and Committee Updates (All)

  1. The events tracking form was endorsed by the Directors Group. So there will be a standing committee that meets next year.

7. Review and Future Agenda Items-All

  1. Web content came up as a potential agenda item and it was tabled. We need to consider this issue within the broader context and a USC conversation may be premature.
  2. The Director of Communications is seeking to find out how she can work with us and is looking to attend a future meeting.
  3. Reminder that next USC meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 17.
  4. Members were encouraged to go back to our constituents to see if there are any agenda items to be brought to the council. In this interim time, agenda setting is challenging and we want to maximize the use of our time at these meetings.
  5. Mei Ling Lo would like to report on how LibCal is working.

Minutes submitted by Leslin Charles

Appendix: USC Statement to PlanCo

To: Tom Glynn
RUL Faculty Coordinator

From: Rebecca Gardner and Yu-Hung Lin
USC Co-Chairs

January 20th, 2016

The User Services Council co-chairs were asked to provide a statement or bullet points regarding RUL Groups. At the same time, a new Directors Group, composed of the Dana, New Brunswick, RBHS and Robeson directors was formed. USC met in late December to discuss the issues. The conversation was continued via email. USC recommends that the following points, considerations and questions be taken into account when thinking about the relationship between the new Directors Group and USC, or a scenario in which USC no longer exists:

Current USC


1. Representatives with expertise from all different universities, subject areas and departments are at the table to discuss matters common to all. Allows for collegial feedback and consultation.

2. RUL faculty and staff know where to bring user services issues for consideration.

3. Each university has a unique culture. USC allows for people to hear from others about issues for which they had no original knowledge/interest, but that become learning opportunities.

4. Discussion with the council helps create "buy in" from those involved.


1. Meeting monthly is too infrequent and hampers productivity, especially when a meeting has been cancelled. But gathering such a large group together more often may be problematic.

2. Although membership may seem too large, some groups (like public services staff) are not represented.

3. Some topics don't have direct impact on all members.

4. USC is not always composed of the right stakeholders (i.e., faculty and staff) to solve challenges that come to the table.

5. The lines between system-wide and local issues are not always clear.

6. Communication does not always go back to local level for directors' input; directors feel disenfranchised, directors need to "know what they don't know".

7. Need to clarify who USC makes recommendations "to"-whether to an AUL, the directors, or Cabinet.

New Directors Group

1. The Directors Group will meet monthly to coordinate public services across the system.

2. Directors have the authority to coordinate and assign work.

3. May be able to manage/handle local user services issues in a more timely manner than the current USC.


1. If USC no longer exists, what mechanism would there be for anyone from RUL to suggest a topic of discussion regarding user services? (Currently, everyone knows to contact their USC rep to bring ideas/issues forward.)

2. Perhaps USC could become a "think tank" or community of practice, rather than a deciding body for user services issues. What would the membership be? Appointed, elected or self-identified? Where would their ideas/recommendations go? Perhaps a core group could organize open meetings around certain topics, which would then be open to a larger community of practice.

3. In place of USC, it may be valuable to create groups that represent reference, instruction, outreach and other public services responsibilities, similar to the New Brunswick reorganization, but this would be difficult to do on a system-wide scale. Would there be duplication of effort?

4. Directors must determine how they will identify and resolve public services issues. (i.e., do they need a group of representatives from each campus, or?) How would those reps be identified?

5. How will the Directors Group get input from Access Services, IIS, etc.?

6. How will decisions made by directors be communicated? To whom? What is the relationship with PlanCo, USC (if it still exists), and Cabinet?

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