New Brunswick Collections Group – September 21, 2007

LSM Special Collections Room


Present: Kayo Denda (recorder), Howard Dess, Mary Fetzer, Rebecca Gardner, Sara Harrington, Karen Hartman, Helen Hoffman, Tom Izbicki, Marty Kesselman, Triveni Kuchi, Jackie Mardikian, Mei Ling Lo, Kevin Mulcahy (chair) , Laura Mullen, Pat Piermatti, Bob Sewell, John Shepard, Donna Schulman, Jane Sloan, Farideh Tehrani, Ryan Womack,


The agenda was approved with the following s addition of Migration of the RLG Databases to OCLC.


The minutes of the July 20, 2007 meeting distributed via email on September 4, 2007 were approved.


Chair’s Report.


Budget: Kevin Mulcahy distributed a handout with the FY 2008 Budget. He noted that the standing orders funds have been allocated and inflationary funds have been established. It is expected that the Budget Office will soon allocate NBL the non-state funds. This will enable the NBL allocation team leaders (Jeris: general, Lourdes: arts & humanities, Rebecca: sciences, and Ryan: Social sciences) to start allocating selectors’ funds. Kevin reminded that the selectors should start spending the funds already allocated.


Approval Books: The fiscal discipline imposed by profile refinements during FY 2007 has resulted in significant savings compared to previous year. In 2006, the average cost per book was $50. In 2007, the average is lower at $39 per book. At the end of September, Kevin will prepare a report with the data reflecting the first quarter of FY2008.


CDC Update: The CDC’s networked resources subject team leaders will be asking selectors to present priorities of the databases submitted for central funding. Bob mentioned that the Central Fund Requests list is now posted on the SAKAI site named Selectors/Liaisons, under Resources.  Bob reiterated the importance of such “wish list” as an instrument of budget advocacy as it provides useful data comparing RUL with other peer and aspirant institutions. The document Peer and Aspirant Institution 2007 is available on RUL page under Planning and Assessment > Reports > Assessment > Peer and Aspirant institutions.


Migration of the RLG databases to OCLC. The handout RLG Database Stats with database titles, total usage for FY 2007 and pricing for 2008 was distributed. Kevin asked the selectors to submit the titles of essential databases for their subject areas. Some concern was articulated on potential disruptive transition period that might impact negatively the access to these resources.  Also another issue raised was how RUL was planning to communicate the users about this migration as this will most likely result in change of interface, etc.


Ebrary Demo: The demo was conducted on September 20, 2007. The product offers attractive search features and has different packages: (1) subscription packages by subject areas and (2) individual book subscription. On the issue of multiple user access, since Ebrary follows the guidelines established by each publisher, there will be differenced among titles in the package. Major characteristics of the above packages are:


1. Subscription packages by subject areas:

·         Ebrary selects the titles in the package.

·         Cost: $3/FTE, although consortium membership, etc. affects the price.

·         Less used titles are dropped from the subscription in the following year.

·         This model might work for subject areas focused on currency.  


2. Individual book subscription:

·         Cost: 150% of the list price in print.

·         Perpetual access as long as we add books. 


A potential use of Ebrary could be in reference to textbooks, which are excluded from our collection development policy. A package of textbooks could serve as an argument for collection budget increase that would benefit our constituents, especially the undergraduate students. A recent calculation of the distribution of state funds per student comes to approximately $145. This figure barely covers the cost of a single textbook useful only for one semester. The Ebrary titles are available via YBP’s GOBI. Selectors with stable funding can purchase/subscribe using his/her own funds.


CDC will organize additional demo of other e-book vendors for consideration and enlightenment of all. Kevin solicited suggestions for e-book vendors.


CDC approved the JSTOR Arts and Sciences III.


Preservation Issues.


Farideh Tehrani led a general discussion on preservation issues and practices at RUL. Despite isolated efforts that have addressed specific collections/titles, there is a need to create preservation standards and procedures that include all formats. Another issue is the RUL’s role in a larger context, such as regionalization of responsibilities with our partners in VALE, PALCI, etc. A taskforce of NBCG volunteers: Tom Izbicki and Jane Sloan will work on this issue with Farideh and report back to NBCG with recommendations.


Farideh distributed copies of the RUL Gift Policy and forms. Farideh has a staff, Sharon Grau, with a split appointment with SC/UA, who will be assisting the NBL librarians with inspection and preservation of gift collections. All gift material received, in accordance with existing policy, should be sent to Sharon Grau with a processing slip indicating duplication policy. The preservation lab inside the East Asian Library (currently being refurbished) will be the location where gift books will be on display for selectors’ inspection. 


Current imprint books to be added to the collection should be sent directly to DTS (for arts & humanities, Susan Brower @ Alex, and for the sciences, Melody Tomaszewicz @ LSM).


Acknowledgement of Gifts will be centralized under Bob Sewell. Selectors should send requests for acknowledgement with appropriate information to Laura Friday.


The discussion of gifts led to the need for a position dealing with gift issues. The individual in this position could serve as the point person to field calls/inquiry regarding gifts from other RU units and beyond, working closely with the Development Office. The retired and retiring faculty expressed to the librarians working on a project to expand library services to the retired faculty[1] that a librarian with gift responsibility would greatly help making their transition into retirement. Through gifts, this position could also explore/identify resources that could become part of RUCore. It was suggested that a fuller discussion be continued at a future NBLF meeting addressing issues of scope of responsibilities, qualifications, full-time vs. part-time, etc.


CDC Subcommittee on Data Analysis.


This subcommittee (Karen Hartman, Kevin Mulcahy, Gracemary Smulewitz, and Ann Watkins) was charged to study and analyze the meanings and conclusions that can be made from various patterns of data that can be extracted from Workflows via Director’s Station. The group will also attempt to do a historical analysis and see if there is any correlation between new academic initiatives announced by the university and patterns of book circulation and usage.


A suggestion to invite a Camden campus representative to serve on this committee was expressed. Kevin and Bob will issue an invitation to the colleagues in Camden.


Foreign Order Issues.


There has been an enduring concern among the selectors regarding the length of time it takes for items to move through the technical services and its arrival on shelf at units. This pattern has been consistent to all firm orders outside GOBI, including domestic orders and media material, not limited to foreign orders. This scenario is particularly detrimental in the sciences where the currency of the material is imperative. If a book fails to be available to users in a timely manner, the usefulness of the book declines rapidly.


At present, we have no tools to measure the health of this workflow. The brief record of items “on order” limit significantly the information discovery process, especially for media items as users might use access points other than title words such as director or producer’s name, actor’s name, etc. Another issue is the impact of this delay on the Budget Office’s ability to pay the order within the fiscal year. This has serious implications for the selectors’ ability to manage and monitor his/her funds.


Possible reasons for the aforementioned situation are many, including vendor timely response, and staff shortage at the technical services departments. Kevin solicited examples to evaluate the situation before bringing the issue to the attention of other units. 


A NBCG taskforce (Gracemary S., Jane S., and Kayo D.) has been working with ISAWG on this issue. Chris Sterback has extracted initial data for this purpose, but some data such as “date when selector sent the order” or “unit arrival date” are not extractable from Workflows. The taskforce will continue its efforts and report back at a later date.


Kevin offered a belated welcome to Donna Schulman, the new SMLR librarian.


The meeting was adjourned shortly after 11:30AM.





[1] Capturing Intellectual Capital: Retired Faculty and Library Services. Karen Hartman (PI), Myoung Wilson, and Kayo Denda. Grant funded by the Rutgers Research Council.