NB Libraries Annual Report, 1998-1999

1998/99 Annual Report
New Brunswick Libraries
Ryoko Toyama


As seen in other academic libraries with a similar setting, size and scope of service operation, in 1998/99, a year of continuous movement toward a digital library, the New Brunswick Libraries assumed notable challenges, experienced new and resolved some of outstanding problems, and most importantly produced results. The work force, consisting of over 50 librarians and 100 staff and skilled part-time employees, has continued to tackle worthwhile challenges. They included provision of scholarly resources in different formats with different protocols for retrieval for the user community, rigorous instruction in effective information retrieval, and application of new operational systems for more efficient end-user services. In doing so, the work force collectively demonstrated an admirable degree of commitment, flexibility and ability to learn new skills. Librarians and staff at large took a more leading role in information services projects, library-based or jointly with other non-library units, and at the same time, implemented a large number of just-in-time training. In many cases, staff could not wait for formal training due to the urgency of on-the-job needs, which resulted in conducting in-house training of each other, sharing collective expertise. The size of the overall staff helped such cases. There was always someone within the New Brunswick Libraries who excelled or had the skills in certain operational aspects. After a full two-year experimental period, the organizational framework of the New Brunswick Libraries has settled in with five major functional groups and two think- tank/project groups being managed by respective teams. As an overall assessment, I find the year 1998/99 productive as a learning organization. In the following, a summary assessment is applied to selected categories.

Organizational framework and human resources:

Ninety percent of the non-faculty positions in the New Brunswick Libraries belongs to either the Access Services or Collection Services Group. In the previous year, each group had identified its overall responsibilities, established subgroups, articulated their primary assignments, and defined overall coordination and communications protocol. In 1998/99, after a one-year trial, functional groups further refined their organizational framework towards simplification within and between. the groups. For example, processing of government publications was streamlined with general,collection services such as serials check-ins, claims, changing of local holdings record and binding. The Access Services Group focused its efforts on the analyses of collection management of all locations of the New Brunswick Libraries and Annex, and as a result, staff planned and conducted major shifts of the collections at the Math Library and LSM. More than a half of the staff members of the two groups worked in different locations, temporarily or for a longer term, with common standards for operation. Development of an in-house training program with manuals, followed by immediate implementation was a major achievement by the staff at large. Administrative Services Team, including the directors, also streamlined its operational structure and workflow. The team created several common databases essential for operation and developed a back-up service system so that seamless administrative services were offered throughout the NB Libraries. In the above transition, organizational dynamics were seen at every phase of change, and the collective growth of the staff was evident. They played a major role in initiating changes while department heads or group leaders assumed the artful facilitators role.

Allocation of the collections budget, revision of collection development profiles, journal cancellations, selection and acquisition of networked resources and their effective interface with information services system at large... all these issues motivated Collections Group librarians for further cooperation and making necessary decisions in a timely manner. Formation of broad subject subgroups such as Art and Humanities, Social Sciences, Science and Reference is one of the Group's attempts to address an efficient mechanism to produce the result. The New Brunswick Information Services Group. reflecting the rapidly changing environment, took more time to put forth its organizational framework. The Group, however, was able to address concrete areas such as the development of a Common Database, a useful tool for provision of information services, a staff training program and standards, and coordination of Information/Reference desk services of the New Brunswick library locations. While the Technology Group identified its role as proactive consultant to all New Brunswick sectors m regard to information technology and pertinent training needs, the Scholarly Communication Center, Center for Electronic Text in Humanities, and Media groups, are working on a major structural revision, an integration of a variety of functions into one body that will be able to address overall technology needs with special focus on digital media in the age of RLJNet 2000. The revision so far is heading for further simplification of the existing framework. Once completed, the revised structure will link all necessary expertise and related projects, intellectual as well as technical, in a cohesive manner, resulting in the enhancement of collective services. For users of SCC/CETH and Media, the new direction will be extremely beneficial, while services are provided by one-stop shopping, they receive truly high quality services. In early 1999, an information services librarian position at Douglass Library, was expanded to encompass global library services including outreach efforts. New position, Global Outreach Services Librarian, was born. Under the leadership of New Brunswick faculty chair, a New Brunswick Faculty Handbook was developed, immediately providing useful guidelines for essential faculty duties and practices at Rutgers University Libraries including the orientation program for new librarians. Another important area that faculty at large worked on was academic position profiles and the procedure to develop one, taking common as well as specific needs of the New Brunswick libraries into consideration. The result is an increase of General Information Services Librarian Vs. A number of talented librarians -- at least ten at any given time -- in this category are contributing with a variety of expertise and fresh energy. In addition to A/P/S Performance Appraisals and FASIP, there were four faculty rank reviews, two post- tenure reviews, and five annual review cases of non-tenure track librarians. A group of talented librarians, Lourdes Vazquez, Ryan Womack, and Brian Hancock, joined us as library faculty on tenure track while Irwin Weintraub and Jia Mi left for opportunities outside of the Rutgers. The year was also able to honor two FASP cases. In short, the year was marked by simplification of the organizational structure and more outcomes. Facilities

Report By Francoise Puniello

Goals for 1999/2000


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