DATE: May 11, 2001

MEETING: 11 MAY 2001


Present: J. Cassell, K. Denda, H. Dess, M. Fetzer, R. Gardner, E. Gilbert, T. Glynn, B. Hancock,
S. Harrington, H. Hoffman, J. Mardikian, K. Mulcahy, H. Perez-Gilbey, P. Piermatti, J. Sloan, G. Smulewitz, L. Vazquez, R. Womack.

The meeting was called to order at 9:30 AM

1. The agenda was approved.

2. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

3. Robert Sewell, AUL for Collection Development and Management joined the meeting as an invited guest to discuss the budget process. Bob mentioned some of the difficulties with encumbrances-including encumbrances not paid during the fiscal year and "false" encumbrances arising as a result of two payments in the previous fiscal year-as well as difficulties caused by cancellations. All of these problem complicate the budget picture. Because of these uncertainties RUL focuses, after mid-May on paying down the cash balance in state funds (around $1,000,000 the day of the meeting), and that imperative of paying down the cash balance gives rise to the need for "big ticket" items-large expenditures with simple, quickly processed invoices. All of the "big ticket" item requests total around $380,000 (most from New Brunswick), and Bob suspects he can fund around $200,000.

We have already committed to an ongoing package of Nature e-journals (with no embargo on current issues); early decision saved RUL around $6000. In addition we're adding one more year of BIOSIS for $7000 and BIO-ONE for about $8500. Of the remaining requests, approximately $180,000 in Arts and Humanities (most one-time), $108,000 in the Sciences (about $70,000 ongoing), and $99,000 in the Social Sciences (most one-time).

Bob also reviewed the inherent delays in postings in Workflows, and the need to establish our allocations as quickly as possible.

Questions & Answers:

Jane questioned the use of 'big ticket" money to fund ongoing commitments. Bob noted that there will be some offset because of commensurate print cancellations.

Several librarians noted the problem we will face in making additional cancellations of journals when such a high proportion of the eligible journals are tied up in untouchable packages, like Science Direct from Elsevier.

Librarians asked if it is possible to use the remaining state money to partly pre-pay next year's subscription costs and thus minimize the need for cancellations. Bob responded that there are legal restrictions that prevent such a policy. Librarians asked if it is possible to request that the university and/or the state review such restrictions or permit a one-time exception, but Bob did not think so.

Mary asked about the status of Lexis-Nexis. Currently, we are negotiating possibly continuing the subscription once it is dropped by VALE, but we are also considering a combination of West-Law and Dow Jones (a package preferred by the Social Sciences librarians). It is hard to compare the newspaper coverage of DJ and LN-some overlap, some differences, and uncertainties about historical coverage. There is a consensus that RU needs either WestLaw or Lexis-Nexis. Bob believes we might be able to continue Lexis-Nexis for a year while taking a more careful look at WestLaw (perhaps including a trial).

ProQuest will disappear by September and EBSCO has already appeared in trial as its replacement. Kevin asked about updating IRIS to switch all the full-text links and clear those ProQuest journals to which we will lose access. Gracemary believes that a relatively seamless and universal change might be possible.

4. Chair's Report-H. Dess. NBL is down to about $50,000 in state money according to Workflows, which means probably a good deal less. Howard and Gracemary have been switching money from state funds with money to state funds that are overspent (we are obliged, of course, to pay for what we've purchased). While Howard tried to keep the main three areas discrete-that is switching money only within the Sciences or Social Sciences-now it has become necessary to do more radical transfers. More money is now flowing to the A&H and SS from the Sciences. Kevin noted that these transfers skew the allocation process each year, since we base allocations on expenditure data that is not necessarily accurate. Gracemary's staff is working hard to provide better analysis and evaluation of our actual expenditures. She will also provide a report on all periodical funds, showing what is active, what's inactive, and the actual cost.

The team leaders reviewed their groups' big ticket lists.

5. Elections-H. Dess. After some discussion, we agreed on A) six month rotating terms as deputy chair for the four sub chairs; B) all positions being held by tenured librarians; C) staggering the terms of the four sub chairs by electing the Arts & Humanities and Reference sub chairs for a single year this time, and henceforth for two year terms, while the Chair and the other two sub chairs would be elected for two-year terms this time and in subsequent elections; D) nominations and elections will be conducted by e-mail. Jane suggested working toward an ideal of greater selector involvement and autonomy and less of a hierarchical structure.

6. Reference Collections-E. Gilbert. The reference team leaders will be meeting to discuss reference collections, specifically print indexes and abstracts. The likelihood is that we will retain one paper copy of such titles, while eliminating others (when electronic equivalents are now available).

The meeting was adjourned at 11:04 AM.

Respectfully submitted,

Kevin Mulcahy