Date: July 24, 2003
To: Francoise Puniello
Acting Director, New Brunswick Libraries
From: Myoung C. Wilson
Chair, Information Services Group
Re: Annual Report (July 2002-June 2003) of the NBL Information Services Steering Group

The following are the highlights of the Information Services Steering Group (ISSG). Members of ISSG addressed a variety of issues on behalf of the NBL Information Services Group. The members of the ISSG for this reporting period are as follows:

Stephanie Bartz, PC Coordination Team Leader
Ronald Jantz, CKDB Liaision
Penny Page, Branch Libraries and Vice-Chair
Jeris Cassel, Kilmer Area Library Reference Team Leader and Library Instruction Liaison Vice-Chair
Marty Kesselman, Dougalss Library Reference Team Leader
Kevin Mulcahy, Alexander Library Team Leader and Generalist Team Liaison
Patricia Piermatti, Library of Science and Medicine Reference Team Leader
Myoung Wilson, Chair

In June, 2003 election, Myoung C. Wilson was elected to a third term (2003-2005) as Chair of Information Services Group. Ferris Olin was elected as Douglass Reference Team Leader (2003-2204).

  1. Information/Reference/Research Services
    • During this reporting period, over 27,000 reference and research queries were answered and close to 25,000 directional questions were answered by librarians, staff and Information Assistants. Additionally librarians provided well over 2,800 individual and advanced research consultations away from the reference desk. Altogether approximately 50,500 contacts were made between the NB information services librarians, staff and students, and the public.

    • All major NBL units reference desks are now equipped with dual monitor system funded by the successful ACIC grant for 2001-2002. The dual monitor system has improved students learning process to navigate through the expanding digital collections.

    • The NBL wide reference exchange has been in effect.

    • NBL librarians continue to contribute to RUL "Ask A Librarian" and to real time virtual reference services during this time.

    • Under the editorial leadership of Jill Nathanson LSM Reference FAQ project has been completed. LSM quick guides update project under the editorial leadership of Patricia Piermatti, Maria Larson, and Mei Ling Lo has also been completed. Both of these projects should serve as valuable tools for both librarians and user community for the coming academic year.

    • A training checklist at Douglass Library was developed for new SCILS Information Assistants which includes important information regarding RUL, Douglass, and ways of conducting themselves on the desk such as the ALA RUSA Behavioral Guidelines.

    • Alexander Library integrated its Information Assistant Desk into the main reference desk service. The new arrangement should better integrated services offered from both desks and hopefully creates a better training environment for student workers.

    • Construction for Phase I of D21 project began during March, 2003. As a consequence, Douglass librarians and reference desk were relocated to the lower level of the building. Tony Joachim and Kayo Denda participated in D21 Implementation Coordinating Committee and oversaw the relocation of the electronic classroom and of appropriate print collections.

    • A web site was created as an information portal
      regarding the progress of different construction stages. Tony Joachim, the Unit Computing Specialist designed the web site.

    • The Douglass Reference Team continued its on-going survey of the community it serves to determine where students were most likely to perform their research.

  2. Instructional Services
    • A total of 572 class sessions (reaching a total of 11,667 students) were taught during AY 2002-2003 including summer sessions. Approximately 85% of the instruction sessions were for undergraduate students. These numbers are preliminary as of this reporting. For more comprehensive data and analyses on NBL instruction activities, please see RUL Instructional Services annual report.

    • Members of ISSG along with NBL instruction librarians began to address and assess the issues regarding NBL instruction strategy and necessary resources in order to respond to the increased demand for library instruction.

    • One of the goals of the FY 2001-2002 for ISSG was to refine the data collection for information/reference/research/ instructional services so that trends and needs of these activities across NBL can be identified, and effective service programs can be designed and coordinated. The members of the ISSG are extremely pleased to complete the two separate web-based online forms for instruction and reference statistics that will streamline the process of data collection. We acknowledge the outstanding leadership of S. Bartz for her efforts to complete and coordinate this project and acknowledge the technical support of the SCC staff.

    • As in previous years, much of coordination took place in providing orientations to incoming students at many different levels and schools. For details, see RUL Instructional Services Committee annual report.

    • For the first time NBL participated in the summer institute organized for Rutgers College Freshmen Interest Group (FIG) tutors. Stephanie Tama-Bartel taught the tutors how to teach the library resources to the first year students.

    • Nineteen (19) SCILS students served as student instructors for the Douglass College Shaping a Life program in the spring semester, 2003 teaching 44 instruction sessions. The participation of student instructors in this program minimized the use of NBL volunteer librarians and enhanced their own learning/teaching experience. Eileen Stec coordinated this collaborative effort with Professor Jana Varljes (and her students) at SCILS.

  3. Grants
    • Funds from the successful 2001-2002 ACIC (Advisory Committee on Instructional Computing) proposal ("To Build an Information Infrastructure for Undergraduates: A Proposal to Enhance Group and Individualized Library Instruction") were received in fall 2001. An improved technical infrastructure is in place via dual monitor system at major facilities for individualized instructions at reference desk. NBL is also equipped with dual monitor laptops for outreach programs. Installation of the new instructional software NetOp was tested and completed for classroom instruction in some locations.

    • ISSG shepherded another partially successful ACIC grant for this academic year, entitled "Capitalizing on a Past Investment: A Proposal to Upgrade Instructional Facilities in the Alexander Library," The writers of the proposal for this year were S. Bartz (coordinator), R. Jantz and K. Mulcahy. While the proposal requested funding to upgrade facilities at the Alexander Library SCC Data Center and Information Handling Labs only the Data Center portion was funded.

  4. PC Coordinating Team
    • The team has assumed control of the maintenance, development, and reorganization of the NBL web site and moved NBL server to the SCC. The move was necessary for security reasons and to insure physical maintenance and updates of the site content regardless of staff changes with a back up system.

      The updated NBL home page now serves as an important working tool for collecting data, containing directory information, policy documents and archived materials.

    • Continued to work with the allocation and distribution of new and recycled computers and other equipment for NBL.

    • The team participated in the PC Replacement plan for NBL.

    • The team created the policies regarding the use of laptops for NBL.

    • Increased meeting dates to twice monthly to allow for additional time for group work on the NBL web site.

  5. Personnel
  6. A large amount of time and effort has been expended on personnel issues by reference team leaders in order to maintain staffing requirements to fill the gaps created by leaves, retirements and other emergencies. Team leaders also participated in the P4P for Unit Computing Specialists and Information Technology and Specialist.

    • The following temporary librarians were recruited and trained during this reporting period. Reference team leaders formed a search committee in the fall semester, 2002.

      Jordan Brewster (Alex) , Maria Larsen (LSM), Kathleen Creegan (LSM) Ann Bemis (Kilmer) , Cathy Pontoriero (Dougass) and Anita Kreitman (Douglass).

    • A new LSM PC coordinator, Pamela Johnson was hired in March, 2003. Pat Piermatti chaired the search committee (Stephanie Bartz and Arlene Minch, committee members, Myoung C. Wilson serving as ex-officio), and coordinated her orientation program.

    • Two PC coordinator positions (at LSM and Douglass) were reclassified as Unit Computing Specialist from Information and Technology Specialist.

    • Pat Piermatti, Mary Fetzer and Myoung Wilson participated in the annual review of librarian Vs.

    • As in previous years, Reference Team Leaders at LSM (Pat Piermatti), at Douglass , Marty Kesselman (Douglass Team Leader) and Jeris Cassel (Kilmer Team leader) participated in the annual P4P review for the two unit computing specialists and one information and technology specialist.

      As a consequence of this year's evaluation, members of the ISSG developed guidelines governing the standard evaluative criteria for the purposes of P4P performance for unit computing specialist. The ISSG also recommended a workshop be provided for those staff affected by P4P regarding self-assessment portion of the process. This recommendation was communicated to RUL Training and Development Office.

    • During the spring semester, 2003, ISSG hosted internship of RUL/SCILS Minority Intern Angel Falcon. Falcon was assigned both at Alexander and Kilmer Area Library reference desks and participated in instruction activities. Chair of ISSG coordinated his orientation activities; K. Mulcahy and J. Cassel served as site supervisors. All three librarians participated in the annual evaluation session of Falcon.

  7. Monthly Meetings
  8. The NBL Information Services Steering Group (ISSG) met monthly (except, August, October, 2002 and January, March 2003) during this reporting period and addressed the following (among others) issues:

    • At the request of NBL Director discussed the priority wi-fi zones in all NB libraries and recommended the areas by priority order. The members of ISSG acknowledge the participation and the contribution that Mei Ling Lo made for this deliberation.

    • To better coordinate and communicate the work of ISSG, the PC team created a listserv for ISSG.

    • Began to address NBL wide instruction programs for strategy, coordination, cooperation and innovation. The chair of the ISSG met separately with NBL instruction librarians in May of 2003 and requested a short term (one year) and a mid-term (three year) plans for NBL instruction activities.

    • S. Bartz, J. Cassel and M. Wilson met with the staff members of Rutgers College Students Center and CAC RUCS staff to explore the possibility of library presence in the

    • Members of the ISSG discussed and explored different ideas and programs regarding alternate information service models (such as "librarians without borders" at Busch Campus Center and services at other non-academic sites). Although a preliminary meeting took place with the staff of RC Student Center and RUCS CAC staff, the forecast of the severe budget and personnel shortage for the coming academic year compelled the Group not to create or extend additional services for the coming academic year.

    • As a result of ISSG discussion and recommendations, "a home away from home" offices have been set up in major units in NBL.

    • Issues of NBL reference service responsibility to the New Jersey Network and Statewide Library Services have been discussed and clarifications were made via the office of AUL for Public Services and Communications.

    • The Group has been regularly updated on the development of D21.

    • The NBL Reference Manual was updated on personnel issues and two new sections on Bomb Threat and Public Access to Government Records Law were added.

  9. Goals and Objectives
    • Continue to explore within the NB academic community innovative information, instruction and research service models appropriate for digital library environment.

    • Identify and assess the information needs of students and faculty during the times when reference desk is not staffed.

    • Work closely with Access Services and identify common areas of training and service.

    • Foster a culture that value learning and continue to seek ways to train librarians and staff on Internet based resources.

    • Develop and design more effective "marketing" and "public relations" programs regarding the role of librarians, and library information resources and services.
cc: Members of ISSG