New Brunswick Collections Group Meeting Minutes
Friday, December 10, 2004
Approved by NBCG on Jan. 12, 2005

Present: Jeris Cassel, Kayo Denda, Howard Dess (chair), Mary Fetzer, Constance Finlay, Rebecca Gardner, Tom Glynn (recorder), Brian Hancock, Karen Hartman, Helen Hoffman, Trevani Kuchi, Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy, Laura Mullen, Jim Niessen, Pat Piermatti, John Shepard, Ryan Womack, Connie Wu

Agenda: Approved.

November minutes approved.

Budget Update-Howard Dess

The state funds budget remains unchanged from the last report. At the current rate of spending the approval plan will need another infusion of cash, which would mean dipping still further into the Van Wagoner fund.

The only potentially bright spot on the budgetary horizon is the Knowledge Initiative. This is a state funded project to give citizens throughout New Jersey access to a suite of business and technology databases. This was made a line item in the state budget and the State Library is currently negotiating with vendors for state-wide licenses. This means, potentially at least, we could recoup substantial savings from subscriptions we've already paid this year. Science Direct, for example, the most expensive item on our subscriptions list, is one of the products being negotiated. However, how much we money we'll actually save this year is a very big question mark. All of the vendors, for example, would prefer to give us credits for further purchases, rather than refunds on subscriptions we've already paid. Moreover, the new governor has placed a freeze on new spending, so there is considerable uncertainty about the how much might be recouped. The Collection Development Council discussed this at its November meeting and will compile at its December meeting a potential list of purchases, in anticipation of savings from the Knowledge Initiative.

YBP Approval Plan-Howard Dess

The volume of books coming in on approval has increased noticeably. Mary Page will attend our meeting next month to discuss the YBP plan. John noted that we are getting slips for books that are coming in as standing orders. Gracemary said that this will happen as long as we have standing orders coming in with the approvals. It's the only way we can get the standard eighteen percent discount for standing orders. Connie recommended the "Academic Essentials" link on the GOBI pages as a very useful collection development tool.

Survey of RU Digital Projects- Jim Niessen for the Scholarly Communications Committee

This survey, which was posted to the Web on November 24 (, is intended to give the Scholarly Communications Committee some idea of what kinds of material might be included in the Rutgers University Digital Repository. The Committee is eager to collect this information, as it is in the process of setting priorities and developing a mission statement. Jim emphasized that they are simply trying to get a "snapshot" of the directions in which the repository might develop. The survey was by no means intended as a scientific instrument.

A number of selectors, especially those in the sciences, expressed some concerns about the survey. They felt that it was impossible to give an accurate description of digital developments within the departments with the simple yes/no questions asked on the survey. They also stressed that a good deal of digital content resides on individual faculty web pages and that it would be necessary to contact those faculty members to understand what their intentions might be in regards to the digital repository.

A spirited discussion ensued.

It was decided to postpone the survey until selectors have a better understanding of the potential of the repository. The Scholarly and Professional Activities Committee will organize a workshop which will include key people in the development of the repository. SAPAC will invite Bob Sewell, Grace Agnew, Ron Jantz, and perhaps other as well

Strategic Planning- Howard Dess

The University Librarian is soliciting input from various library committees and groups as we continue to plan for our next five-year Strategic Plan. She would like us to submit a brief, one-to-two-page response by January 31 to Ron Becker, the chair of the Strategic Plan Steering Committee.

A general discussion ensued. Some key points that were made included:

Howard will prepare a first draft to get us started, drawing in part on the White Paper referred to above. All selectors are encouraged to contribute further to this discussion via the NBCG listserv.

Electronic Reference Works- Jeris Cassel

Jeris, as a member of the member of the RUL General Electronic Reference Team (GERT), reported on electronic resources that will be recommended to the Collection Development. The team approved Encyclopedia Britannica and Wilson OmniFile Fulltext, Mega Edition. It did not approve XreferPlus and Visual Thesaurus. It is still reviewing Oxford Reference Premiere and Oxford Reference Core. GERT hopes that we subscribe to the recommended products with monies free up by the Knowledge Initiative. Their review was also undertaken at the request of the RUL Public Services Council. One of PSC's goals this year is to focus on the needs of undergraduate students.

Guidelines for Handling Gift Books

This item was tabled until next month's meeting.

Respectfully submitted, Tom Glynn