Information Services Steering Group
Meeting Minutes

Thursday, December 11, 2003
9:00am - 9:30am; adjournment; 11:00am - 1:00pm
Pane Room, Alexander Library

Present: Stephanie Bartz, Aryana Bates (guest), Jeris Cassel, Tony Joachim (guest), Kevin McGuire (guest), Kevin Mulcahy, Ferris Olin, Penny Page, Pat Piermatti (recorder), Myoung Wilson (chair).

Approval of Minutes - Minutes of November 13, 2003 meeting were approved.

Agenda with changes was adopted.

A. New Business

1. AAL/ive - P. Piermatti (LSM) began a discussion of the staffing of the AAL and AAL/ive services. In several instances, the same personnel (part-time and full-time) participate in both services. Piermatti feels that AAL/ive’s volunteer pool with part-timer(s) can be problematic for such special library services. A discussion ensued about AAL/ive. NBISSG is not the appropriate forum for full discussion … Discussion should take place within the Public Services Council (PSC). The issue of expanding NB library faculty participation in AAL arose. Suggestion is to recommend that all NBL faculty be in the AAL participant pool.

· Action Item: With further discussion, it was the sense of the group that M.C. Wilson initiate a discussion at PSC of AAL/ive … whose pilot project introduction has never been evaluated … contrary to usual RUL practice.

· Action Item: More discussion. M.C. Wilson will communicate our concerns and suggestions to AAL.

2. NBL Reference Hours, Spring 2004 - P. Page (Alcohol Studies) informed the group that she is collating the Spring 2004 Reference Hours. Ferris Olin (Douglass) reported on the special information services staffing needs of the Douglass Library for Spring 2004. The spring semester 2004 reference schedule will be the same as for Fall semester 2003.

Information Services traffic at the Douglass Library will be monitored and information services needs re-evaluated. Discussion followed. M.C. Wilson mentioned the possibility of 5pm closings at Douglass if evening information service traffic merits. The Douglass Reference Team will review reference statistics and continue to monitor them to determine staffing.


9:45am - 11:00am - Adjournment for attendance at special coffee for second candidate for NBL director position.

11:00am NBISSG reconvened and New Business continued.

3. Ferris Olin introduced Aryana Bates, a SCILS Intern.

4. NBL Reference Exchange, Spring 2004 - M. Wilson initiated a discussion of our reference exchange program for Spring 2004. A review of upcoming NBL faculty leaves took place. Additionally, a review of librarians currently participating in the NBL Exchange program took place; Mulcahy reported that P. Libutti will be out recuperating from a broken wrist and then surgery. As part of the Spring 2004 exchange program, the Alexander Library will consider providing a staff member to assist at reference at the Kilmer Library. M. Wilson will ask if C. Finlay can participate in the NBL exchange program.

5. "A Proposal for 'Mini' Instructional Sessions for Library Employees" presented by Stephanie Bartz and PC Coordination Team. Myoung thanked all participants for preparing an excellent report. Some discussion followed. NBISSG accepted the report with a title change. The new report title is: "Computer Training for Common Tasks: A Proposal for On-Site 'Mini' Training Sessions for Personnel at the New Brunswick Libraries."

· Action Item: The "Mini" Instructional Sessions … group will prepare a clean copy of this report and send to M. Wilson. M. Wilson will forward to Marilyn Wilt and also request a meeting with Marilyn, Stephanie, and Tony.

M. Wilson inquired which sessions should be the first to inaugurate this new program. NBISSG chose file organization and managing Netscape email.

  1. Plans for AY 2004 - 2005

After Reference Associates and a guest were introduced to the group, discussion of ways in which NBL information service operations might be enhanced followed. Suggestions included:

(Kevin McGuire and Jeris Cassel) – replacing information/reference assistants with instruction assistants; SCILS has an instructional assistants program and if NBL partnered with SCILS by offering work experience, this would be excellent preparation for future librarians. Kevin suggested that the appointment for research consultation mode might also work very well at the Kilmer Library.

(Ferris Olin) – Proposals will be forthcoming in January from the "Seamless Information Taskforce". This group is exploring ways of improving cross training between Access Services and Public Services staff. The use of video conferencing equipment to connect these front line staff with staff at a manned reference desk was also suggested.

The group then mentioned that the collection of reference statistics is not uniform between Access Services/Collection Services and Information Services. The "Seamless Information Taskforce" is opening new channels of communication between the two functional groups. In the coming year, we will be revisiting this discussion of alternate models of information service. Tony Joachim remarked that in one of his SCILS classes it was said that about 50% of all library users prefer the anonymity of an online information service (i.e. Ask-A-Librarian). More discussion.

On-going Business:

1. Instruction: Kevin Mulcahy reported that he and Jeris Cassel had met and have an NBL instruction plan for the spring. Myoung reminded the group that Jeris wears two hats; i.e. NBL Instruction Liaison and Kilmer Reference Team Leader. The NBL unit instruction coordinators need to communicate their needs to the reference team leaders. Team leaders then bring to NBISSG for Jeris and others to coordinate.

Jeris gave a quick overview of upcoming Spring 2004 instruction classes. She then reported on the two staff who are assisting Jeris with the NBL instruction program. Discussion about instruction budget, class preparation time and other pertinent matters ensued. K. Mulcahy mentioned continuing use of SCILS students. Ferris and Tony noted that Shaping a Life classes in Spring 2003 were taught by librarians and well-trained SCILS students. Eileen prepared a report on the Shaping A Life instruction activities for Spring 2003 and anticipated needs for Spring 2004.

·Action Item: Myoung requested a report from Kevin and Jeris so that NBL wide instruction activities can be discussed at the NB Libraries Faculty meeting.

Kevin responded that he and Jeris are proposing two classes each for 201 and 301 sections. In addition, one class each will be required for science and technology writing sections and business writing sections. Myoung mentioned the potential use of NBL reference team voucher funds for Spring 2004 instruction. Discussion about this followed. Jeris and Kevin will review needs and propose a semester by semester model for meeting these needs. Myoung concluded this discussion by saying that she is most willing to formally request not only reference voucher dollars, but also money for instruction staff.

2. Open lines at Alexander and Kilmer

The Librarian V line for the Kilmer Library vacancy has been posted. The search committee consists of Jeris Cassel, Stephanie Bartz and Triveni Kuchi.

The Alexander Library vacant line has been posted. The search committee consists of Kevin Mulcahy, Stephanie Bartz and Jeris Cassel.

3. Voucher expenditures

Myoung reported that the Information Services voucher expenditure reports are six weeks late. Charlene Houser is overseeing the voucher account.

·Action Item: Myoung will inform Charlene that beginning in January 2004, NBL unit administrators can obtain statistics from the NBL website (

4. Reports:

Public Services Council – Myoung mentioned the e-Learning Framework demonstration. PSC has a long term goal of developing online information literacy courses. Public Services Policy Memo #6 has been revised to include information about the American Hungarian Foundation. Lastly, Myoung said that in the upcoming year, PSC will be addressing undergraduate library services.

Douglass Library – Ferris Olin reported that it did not look promising that the first phase of D21 renovations would be completed by the beginning of the Spring semester. More likely the information services area would be "open" after Spring Break.

LSM – Pat Piermatti reported that LSM is in the midst of a major weeding of the book collection.

Alexander Library – Kevin Mulcahy reported that reference table indexes are being integrated into the regular reference shelves. This will free up tables for wireless users. The Alexander Library recon project is proceeding quite rapidly.

Kilmer Library – Jeris reported that library maps are being updated and that some shifting of the Kilmer PER collection is taking place.

NBL Reference Collection - Kevin Mulcahy reported that Alexander is investigating networked subscriptions to Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts and L'Année Philologique (the most comprehensive index for scholarly research in Classical Studies).

NBL Instruction – Jeris reported that work on a timeline on providing online information literacy tutorials has begun. In January 2004 there will be a review of content modules.

CKDB – Stephanie Bartz reported that Common Knowledge Databank content will be refreshed.

PC Team - group already reported.

Other Item:

Myoung then invited further discussion by NB ISSG guests of NBL reference services. Aryana Bates (Douglass) commented that library users frequently do not know where to start finding information. Pat responded that students are "Internet citizens" and come to our reference desks when "Google" fails. Kevin McGuire commented that students need to know about our services … especially individual research consultations. Stephanie commented that we had proposed at an earlier meeting that the consultation appointment form appear on our RUL website. Tony recommended more print advertising … in addition to web adverts … i.e. posters ….Discussion of the marketing of library services followed. Penny Page recommended more general information brochures … more discussion.

Action Item: Tony will draft a poster; other people were also given tasks to do (the recorder did not note the details).

Kevin McGuire commented that we do on the spot advertising when we provide friendly and courteous service. Myoung then said that Aryana’s point about shy users is a good one and that NBL should conduct non-use studies … an idea for a grant. Kevin McGuire responded that BI sessions provide major marketing opportunities. Additionally, Kevin recommended print advertising for the TARGUM … in the vein, "Google not enough?" … could run the week after Thanksgiving … Some discussion … Jeris Cassel commented that there have been a number of recent requests for group BI classes. Ferris noted that we should pursue this topic further with SCILS … more discussion. Myoung will speak further about this with Jana Varlejs.

Meeting adjourned at 1:10pm.