Information Services Steering Group
Meeting Minutes, May 16, 2002

Attendees (members): Myoung Wilson (chair), Stephanie Bartz, Ron Jantz, Marty Kesselman, Kevin Mulcahy, Leslie Murtha, Penny Page (recorder), Pat Piermatti

Attendees (guests): Triveni Kuchi, Pat Libutti, Eileen Stec, Stephanie Tama

o Reference Team Leaders will calculate additional hours needed for voucher help through 6/18 and notify M. Wilson as soon as possible. They will also begin calculating voucher needs for next fiscal year and bring to June ISSG meeting.
o Librarians will forward current CV's for any candidates for temporary library positions in NBL (July-Dec. 2002) to M. Wilson as soon as possible.
o Librarians Without Borders will prepare a written report with recommendations to present at next ISSG meeting.
o M. Wilson will check with the Administrative Team regarding availability of office space in main NB libraries for librarians visiting from other units to do professional work.
o L. Murtha will work to clean up library instruction data and create reports to help analyze instructional needs.

1. The minutes of the April meeting were approved as submitted. P.Page will send February and April minutes to K.Wenk for posting on NBL webpage.

2. Old business:

Voucher Funds
There are $11,000 in information services voucher funds unexpended for current fiscal year. There's no time to hire additional voucher workers, but reference team leaders should calculate their needs (for special projects, additional coverage, etc.) up through 6/18 and submit to M.Wilson as soon as possible. Also, team leaders should calculate their needs for the upcoming fiscal year, and bring these requests to the June ISSG meeting. Need to be more careful in estimating so that the requested amount can be spent out within the given fiscal year. When making requests, we must be specific about how the hours will be used. Use the worksheets distributed last year to help estimate based on optimal number of hours, specific projects, and staff categories needed.

Temporary Librarians
Three NBL librarians (Beede, Consoli, Olin) are going on leave July-Dec. 2002, and we have funds to hire three temporary librarians for this period. ISSG has been asked to coordinate this. We need current resumes for any potential candidates, even if they are already in the system. The contract for the temporary librarian at Music was extended to October 30, but she will leave for a permanent postion in August. Filling the permanent position at Music has been moved to high priority, but in the meantime Douglass librarians have expressed concern about providing specialized music reference services, since these users tend to need a very sophisticated level of service.

Librarians Without Borders
S.Tama and T.Kuchi reported on experiences with this project, which ended 5/8. L.Mullen also participated in this project, and the team will prepare a written report to present at next ISSG meeting. The service was offered at Busch Campus Center Mon.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., and 7-9 p.m. Because traffic was very light, only one librarian was needed per 2 hr. shift. There were only 2-3 reference questions for most shifts, and they could all be answered on site via computer using electronic resources. Those who used the service were surveyed, and their response was very positive. Some initial recommendations from the project team:

o Don't offer this over the summer-traffic at Busch Center too light. Resume at BCC fall semester.
o Include an Access Services person the first couple weeks of the semester to register barcodes.
o Study the users and potential users (students studying/using computers at BCC) regarding their information needs and what they'd like to see from this service. Try sampling or focus group.
o Do more publicity and marketing. Try again to get Targum to do a story on the service.

There was discussion about whether a virtual library outpost would be more cost-effective, given the low traffic. Princeton installed BI instruction terminals upstairs in their new student center; maybe we should investigate their experience with this. Public Services Council is developing a toolkit for teaching faculty on how to incorporate library resources into their instruction. This would be used with their course websites and might be a good way to promote this outpost service.

Real Time Reference
M.Kesselman reported on this pilot project which finishes 5/17. At the debriefing session on 5/15 the participants reported a wide range of experiences. While the exit survey showed that users were very satisfied, some librarians were not. Some were concerned if they could not provide a direct answer online. Equipment was also a problem. We need to have a base level of equipment available to all librarians who participate. Librarians must be able to have multiple windows open simultaneously, and a sound card is also important to alert librarians to incoming queries. Also, not all librarians are comfortable with using a chat format. On the positive side, it was very easy to push webpages and to help users search our databases (although there could be potential problems with authentication for restricted resources). Also, the service included a transcript of each session which can be sent to the user and to other librarians for follow-up. Kesselman reported that he experimented with doing this service from home using a laptop with 56K connection and had no problems. Questions received were similar to AAL, including many access service questions; average time spent online with users was 5-6 minutes.

The project will continue in the summer with the same time slots of 1-4 p.m. Mon.-Fri. However, in the fall we might want to try a 7-10 p.m. slot Sun.-Thurs., to make this service more of an extension of our regular reference hours. Douglass is planning to try a virtual library outpost in their downstairs computer area for the summer. Other things to consider include voice chat and video chat. P.Libutti is experimenting with a service called Tapped In, which includes chat service and virtual office space. She plans to use this with students at Graduate School of Ed. in the fall. She will send URL for this service to ISSG members.

3. New business:

L.Murtha asked about finding office space for NB librarians to use when they're visiting other NB libraries for professional work. M.Wilson said there is an office for use at ALEX, and she will check with Administrative Team to see about availability at other libraries.

NBL Instruction Activities
M.Wilson received raw data for NBL-wide instruction activities for this year. Murtha distributed copies of preliminary report for NBL for current academic year, but these are rough estimates. She needs to go back for past two years to clean up data and fill in gaps. Wilson expressed concern that all NB libraries may not be collecting the same data. Statistics should be reported to ISC every month using their template (available from Murtha). Currently we can analyze instructional data by disciplines, campus, librarian location, number of classes taught, and ugrad/grad level. It is difficult to get actual course numbers from teaching faculty who request instruction. There is an online form on the Instructional Services webpage for teaching faculty to use to request library instruction; however, not all requests come through this form. NBL preliminary report shows that we are doing 75% of instruction for lower level (first and second year) undergraduates, which means we're doing a lot of repetitive basic instruction. How does this affect time available for more specialized and sophisticated instruction needs of graduates and faculty? Should we re-strategize our methods for delivering basic instruction in order to have more time to provide graduate-level instruction? The ISC will be discussing such issues in future meetings.

4. Next meeting June 7/13.

Respectfully submitted,

Penny Page
Secretary du jour