Telephone Reference Meeting Minutes: February 9, 1999

Present: Ben Beede, Laura Mullen, Pat Piermatti, Myoung Wilson, Lisa Vecchioli

Telephone Directory Listings:

The New Brunswick-Edison Area phone listing and the RUL Phone/Staff Directory were reviewed and approved with the following changes:

Library Hours:

Myoung Wilson stressed that the centralized telephone service should have fixed hours not contingent on any specific New Brunswick library. Ben Beede expressed concern that, because many telephone inquiries are regarding circulation questions, hours should align themselves with circulation desk service points as closely as possible. Lisa Vecchioli pointed out that the Self-Services function allows patrons access to their borrowing records and may reduce the number of circulation, Rutgers Request or ILL phone questions. Laura Mullen pointed out that when the telephone information service is not staffed, a message board should direct users to the RUL web site for hours listing, holdings information etc. Myoung Wilson stressed that we need to get the service up and running and then evaluate the usage to adjust hours and staffing. Myoung Wilson suggested that telephone information hours align themselves with the University calendar. Questions in the beginning of the semester, for example, tend to be more directional. As students and faculty progress with their research, questions become more in-depth. Hours for the Spring Semester, for example, would be:

1st 3 Weeks:
Mon-Thurs: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Friday - 9:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday- 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday- 12:00pm – 5:00pm

4th Week through the end of the Semester:
Mon-Thurs: 9:00am – 9:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday- 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday- 12:00pm – 5:pm

Spring Break:
Mon-Friday: 9:00am – 5:00pm
Closed on Weekends

Sunday before classes begin:
12:00pm – 5:00pm

Spring Exam Period:
Mon. – Thurs: 9:00am – 7:00pm
Friday: 9:00am – 4:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm – 5:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm – 5:00pm


Issues surrounding level of staff needed for this service and training were discussed. Because the proposed location is the Information Desk at Alexander Library, it was suggested that current staff receive additional training for this expanded service. Laura Mullen pointed out that the Training Team is developing guidelines that would be applicable for this service. Myoung Wilson proposed that, at least initially, one or two librarians participate in staffing the telephone information service for evaluation purposes. Pat Piermatti suggested that the NBCTIS meet at Alexander Library in the near future to assess the space and layout of the Information Desk. It was agreed that Telephone Information staff should be thoroughly trained in searching IRIS and have a good knowledge of Rutgers University Libraries.

Myoung Wilson suggested drafting a report as soon as possible to initiate the planning of this service in order to meet the proposed rollout date for fall ’99. Pat Piermatti asked if Myoung would outline the report, which will be the subject of our March 9th meeting. It was agreed that this report will address three areas:

  1. Scope / Mission of the New Brunswick Telephone Information Service.
  2. Requirements related to budget, staffing and necessary telephone lines.
  3. Evaluation and assessment of this service by the NBCTIS team.

Meeting adjourned.

Minutes submitted by Lisa Vecchioli.

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