New Brunswick Collections Group Meeting Minutes
Friday, November 8, 2002 - 1:30 pm

Present: Ruth Bogan (guest), Kayo Denda, Howard Dess, Mary Fetzer, Rebecca Gardner, Tom Glynn, Brian Hancock, Helen Hoffman, Triveni Kuchi (recorder), Patricia Libutti, Mei Ling Lo, Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy, Laura Mullen, Pat Piermatti, Gracemary Smulewitz, Stephanie Tama-Bartels, Ryoko Toyama, Lourdes Vazques, Myoung C. Wilson.

  1. First things first

    NBCG agenda and minutes of the prior meeting were approved. Howard summarized the updated NB collections budget. Per SIRSI as of Nov. 7, the total collections allocation for NB was down by $146,570 from the prior year. However, receipt of one-time funds from the Reinvest in Rutgers Program (not yet entered into SIRSI) will reverse this and result in a current year increase of $153,430 over the prior year allocation. Bob Sewell is currently considering how best to distribute this incremental funding among various accounts. Approval plan expenditures are proceeding at a satisfactory rate, but the pace of purchases committed from the various monograph accounts needs to be stepped up.

    Howard announced that Bob Sewell had created a new central fund to deal with replacement monograph purchases: RPMX. From now on, replacement monographs should be ordered only via this fund. A missing books list needs to be distributed on a regular basis and Howard is going to contact Access services about getting such a list distributed to selectors. Howard also provided a journals cancellations update (525 titles were dropped; a large number of these reflected the switch from print to electronic access).

    NBCG selectors in the Arts & Humnaities and Social Sciences subgroups were encouraged to keep ordering materials from the state budget as soon as possible. Kevin mentioned that Acquisitions orders seem to be processed in timely (orders sent are almost being processed the same week except for specialized collections like foreign languages).

  2. Recon

    Ruth Bogan was here to share more information about the recon project plans. She pointed out that her outlook about recon went beyond the common definition of recon (taking existing catalog data and converting to machine readable version) and included a more holistic approach comprising of materials not cataloged, surrogate records, and some original cataloging. The initial project will involve looking at the "F" area in Alexander stacks that are New Jersey-centric, Books in NJ docs section and some New Jerseyana titles.

    More information will be placed on the website from time to time since currently there is a lack of information about what has been cataloged/available. She is currently also working on cost models for cataloging. For example, how much would it take for a particular collection to undergo conversion? And other similar types of questions will be addressed. A general idea of how much cataloging a particular type of collection costs in terms of money and time will be provided for librarians to make assessments for collections/gift allocation. Alexander is being used as a test bed for a couple of trial projects. Recon project is yet to be cleared for staff and budget issues. Coordination between selectors and the project is needed since the sections that need recon have to be weeded first before recon can begin.

  3. Diversity Funds

    Good News! $8750 has been allocated for the Diversity Collections (DIBM). With a carryover of $1084 from the previous year, a total of $9834 is available for monograph purchases for this fiscal year. The areas recommended for the diversity collection are:

    • Mental Illness/Health/People with Disabilities
    • African American Studies
    • Asian American writers in English and Hispanic American writers in English
    • Specific Foreign Language dictionaries
    • Building foreign language collection - African studies, Middle-east studies, Asian History

    Deadline: March 2003.

    Kevin and Rebecca volunteered to form a team along with Lourdes who will be heading this team to select these materials. (Note: several days after this meeting, R. G. Sewell announced that the amount actually available for diversity purchases in NB was $8050).

  4. Funding Strategies

    Discussion was continued on funding strategies as requested by Ryoko, and following up on a presentation by Julia Zapcic presented last month to NBCG. Mary mentioned that building collections in which we were already strong such as congressional materials would put us in a better category as a research library for those collections. Eighteenth century texts, American periodical series, standards for existing standing orders and reference books for science collections were mentioned. A need to discuss the issue further was expressed. Even though these seemed like a wish list it has the variety needed for identifying potential donors. In general, the future outlook for our collections budget looks gloomy, as publisher price increases continue to outpace budget allocations from state funds. So the need to cultivate alternative funding sources is urgent and important to consider.

Submitted by:
Triveni Kuchi