Minutes of Wednesday, Feburary 12, 2002 Meeting

Ka-Neng Au, Jeanne Boyle, Rebecca Gardner (Chair), Tom Glynn Sara Harrington, Theo Haynes, Dave Hoover, Sam McDonald, Leslie Murtha (recorder), Pat Piermatti

WAC welcomes Tom Glynn, the new liaison between WAC and the Collection Development Council.

Progress Reports

Design Group

All of the public Web pages have been converted to the new design format. Sam outlined a number of small changes to the design as a result of feedback about usability and aesthetics.

Mail-to forms are being developed to replace the mailto: links that have been used in the past to enable communication between users and the library faculty and staff. Anonymous e-mail is now disabled on most computers installed in public spaces, as a result of concerns about inappropriate use of resources. Sam is developing a template on which the forms will be based. The idea of basing the form on existing e-mail forms used for other purposes in the libraries was discussed at length. Consistency is an issue, but forms should also be as clear and user-friendly as possible. Decision to table discussion until next meeting to give Design Group a chance to compare existing forms and develop a new prototype.

A small red (New) designation [textual] is now being used in the alphabetical listing on the Indexes and Databases page to indicate newly acquired resources. The "new" text will remain in place for approximately 30 days after the link is moved from the Forthcoming Indexes page to the main Indexes page.

Libraries and Digital Centers has been renamed "Libraries and Centers."

The text that introduces the RUL search engine has been recast in a more positive light.

A new Finding Aid has been developed for collections on women available from Special Collections and University Archives.

General Notes

PopLine is now available free of charge. It will remain on the list of Indexes and Databases.

Left Index has changed vendors; the URL has been changed for all links.

Sam expects to be completed with outstanding projects late this spring; new projects are in development stages


Research Guides

Au and Rebecca were guests at the January meeting of the Collection Development Council, where they presented information about the development and maintenance of research guides, and the importance of collaboration between bibliographers and WAC to ensure that research guides are available for all major programs at Rutgers. Au distributed notes from the CDC meeting.

Tom Glynn has volunteered to be the liaison between CDC and WAC to facilitate this process. This is Tom's first WAC meeting.

The following orphaned guides have been adopted by Jim Neisson: Jewish Studies and Asian History. Jim also intends to develop guides on Medieval History and European History.

The long-postponed workshop for library faculty on the care and feeding of research guides in now scheduled for May 31.

After discussion, it was agreed that an e-mail announcement would go out to inform the faculty and staff that the development of a full suite of research guides would be a major project for the coming year. Heads of the four collections sub-groups will be asked to solicit volunteers in their areas to adopt the remaining orphans and to develop the guides on the "most needed" list. Au and Tom will be responsible for drafting the announcement. Jeanne will also make an announcement at the next Cabinet meeting. Tom will report on progress at the next WAC meeting.

Volunteers will also be accepted for other guides not on the current list.

An announcement of the workshop is also being drafted.

Some librarians have expressed an interest in direct access to the server to maintain their own material, but the extensive use of cascading style sheets makes this impractical for any but the most advanced users of HTML. Central maintenance is generally a better option; however, those who feel that they wish to pursue this option should talk to Sam. Systems can provide librarians with server access through a single IP address.

Immediate Things

Theo has reviewed the list of indexes and databases, and created a list of the descriptions that need to be updated or brought in line with the new description format. 75 database descriptions were identified as in need of attention. Packets of five databases were distributed to each member of the committee for review.

The format template and style sheet will be forwarded to everyone.

Bob Terrio can be consulted if there is uncertainty about the specific dates of coverage included in the RUL subscription.

If a consultation with the original author of the description would be helpful, Theo can be contacted to identify that person.

Target for completion of first round is February 27. The remaining packets will be distributed after completion of the first round. Sam will develop a master list author/updaters when they are submitted to him.

Instruction Liaison

Beginning with the fall semester, librarians on the New Brunswick campuses have been working to develop a more comprehensive and integrated library instruction program for the English Writing program. Beginning with English 201, Jeris Cassel and Stephanie Tama have worked with the coodinator of the program to develop some standardized options from which the individual instructors in the program may choose. These options allow the instructors to approach incorporating information literacy into their courses in a flexible manner. At the same time, they encourage more effective and creative approaches to pedagogy for library instruction. While there are still some administrative issues to be worked out, this program has been an overwhelming success. It is believed that approximately 90% of the instructors in English 201 have taken advantage of this program, and other instructors in the Writing Program have begun to ask to configure their library instruction similarly. Additional support for the program through the development of class/course-specific Web pages is a project for the future.

This success has brought with it some challenges, as we have a reduced faculty at all of the units where undergraduate instruction makes up a major part of the instruction program. We will need to review the program at the end of the semester, and consider how we can best maintain it. Some suggestions that have been put forth are the development of more tutorials, which is already part of our growth plan, and a move toward the "Train the trainer" model. Further discussion and experimentation will be necessary.

Other projects under way are the development of a collection of curriculum materials that will be available to teaching librarians, so that it will be easy to share teaching resources throughout the libraries, and the enhancement of the Instruction pages with examples of curriculum materials.

The Instructional Services Committee is for a mini-conference/workshop series on teaching for late in the spring semester. This will be an exciting opportunity to learn about new techniques and share ideas about teaching.

Due to the departure of Uma Swamy, who has been responsible for maintaining the database of instruction statistics for the last three years, new procedures and lines of responsibility will need to be developed to ensure that instructional activities are properly documented. This will take a little time, but plans are underway. For the time being, questions can be directed to Leslie.

Systems Update

As noted before, public e-mail is currently disabled on most terminals in public areas. On new machines, preferences have been locked down, so that it is not possible to make changes to the mail server.

Dave is continuing to troubleshoot problems arising out of the development of private IP address space at Rutgers, with the help of Bob Terrio. Problems encountered by users in RU housing should be directed to Dave. A more detailed explanation of the issue can be found in an e-mail message circulated by Dave last week to the committee.

RUCS has also begun to allow the development of virtual private networks on campus. This has the advantage for the libraries that it allows Systems to test problems involving private address space. It does, however, have wider implications for the process used to authenticate Rutgers users for remote access. As currently configured and administered, it allows anyone with a valid RU email address remote access to library resources, regardless of where they are located. This will make it easier for certain categories of users to gain more access that they are entitled to. We will eventually need to negotiate changes to the RUCS policy, or change the way in which we authenticate users.

The issue of registering new domain names was also discussed. It was decided that, at the present time, we do not wish to create "libraries.rutgers.edu" as a domain, but continue to use the "rutgers.edu" domain. The Foster Center will be registered as FosterCenter.libraries.rutgers.edu.

We will need to create criteria for allowing entities within the libraries to be given new domain names.

Dave is working on implementing phrase searching on the RUL search engine.

URL: http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/staff/groups/web_advisory/minutes/wacmin_02_02_13.shtml
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