Mid-Year Report
Public Services and Communications

Jeanne E. Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Communications

Access Services
Judy Gardner, Head, University Libraries Access and Interlibrary Services

Ask a Librarian
Natalie Borisovets, Ask a librarian Coordinator

Ask a Librarian Questions Received

September 1998


September 1999



October 1998


October 1999



November 1998


November 1999



December 1998


December 1999



January 1999


January 2000



February 1999


February 2000



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Harry Glazer, Communications Coordinator

Copy Services
Donna Cryan, Copy Services Supervisor

  • Copy Services has been instrumental in planning and implementing electronic reserves at the libraries. Working in cooperation with access services, Copy Services staff started during the summer 1999 with some limited class materials and then scanned and put on the Libraries' Web server more than 3,000 items during the fall semester. The spring semester is seeing increased usage. Material available now includes not only exams and class notes but also journal articles submitted by the faculty. Material for electronic reserves may now also be sent electronically. The scanning was done primarily at Alexander Library Copy Center with some scanning done at the Library of Science and Medicine.
  • The New Brunswick Libraries Copy Services has accepted the challenge of managing the Copy Services at the Newark Dana Library. Copy Services staff have worked with Lynn Mullins, director, and Kathleen Johnson, her former assistant, to transfer the responsibilities of the management of Dana photocopy to New Brunswick. Procedures acceptable to everyone are being worked out, and the transfer has gone smoothly.
  • Copy Services staff have proposed the purchase of new digital photocopiers for both the New Brunswick Libraries and Newark Dana Library. These photocopiers (some enabled to do networked printing) will be installed primarily in public areas of the libraries, will replace older analog copiers, and will help bring the Libraries along to the 21st century. Newark Dana's photocopiers will be purchased early this spring.
  • Using University SROA funding, Copy Services staff have installed two new Toshiba digital photocopier/printers in Alexander Library. They enable us to use the photocopiers both for public photocopying and public networked printing, using our debit card system for income recovery. Patrons are able to send printing jobs from any public workstation in Alexander Library to the Copy Center, where they are able to release them for printing. Students are utilizing the printing capabilities for printing both research materials and electronic reserve materials. The usage for printing during the first month alone was almost 4,000 prints. The previous standalone computer workstation for printing averaged less than 500 prints per month.
  • Copy Services began scanning articles from books and journals for the Rutgers Request Service with our Ariel software at the Alexander Library Copy Center. The articles are now transmitted electronically directly to Robeson Library and Dana Library rather than being sent by campus mail. The accounting for university departments using purchase orders for the Rutgers Request Service has been transferred to the staff of the Library of Science and Medicine Copy Center.
  • Copy Services staff are preparing to scan for interlibrary loan services, and Ariel software has been installed on the computer with the scanner attachment at the Alexander Library Copy Center.
  • Copy Services staff are evaluating a Canon color photocopier at the Art Library for possible purchase. It has been installed and the usage and copy quality are being monitored.

Instructional Services
Jeris Cassel, Instructional Services Committee chair

  • Instructional Services Committee members are Jeris Cassel (chair), Jackie Mardikian, Kevin Mulcahy, Leslie Murtha, Julie Still, Thelma Tate, Bobbi Tipton, and Lisa Vecchioli.
  • Librarians participated in a number of orientation sessions and taught several thousand students in classes requested by academic faculty.
  • The Office of the Associate University Librarian for Public Services and Communications sponsored a new series of workshops about networked electronic resources. Workshops about the Web of Science and CIS Statistical Universe conducted by professional trainers from the resource producers were offered in multiple sessions on the Camden, New Brunswick/Piscataway, and Newark campuses. More than 200 attended the Web of Science train the trainer and overview workshops, while nearly 50 attended the CIS workshops.
  • The Instructional Services Committee surveyed librarians for information on any active learning student exercises, tutorials, modules, etc. being used or developed for traditional, online, or distance learning courses. There were four responses to the survey from individuals beyond the committee. The committee will continue collecting information and make it available on the web through the Library Instruction & Tutorials web page. A related survey of library instructional facilities revealed unevenness in the capabilities and resources available at various sites.
  • The Instructional Services Committee sponsored a subject-based information discussion for the purpose of librarians sharing experiences and expertise in providing subject-based library sessions. This session also provided a forum for discussion of the then forthcoming instruction web page.
  • Instructional Services Committee members met with Michael Chumer, Media Services, Dana Library, to discuss the feasibility of a proposed group instruction project.
  • Jeris Cassel and Thelma Tate met with representatives from the Office of Television and Radio (now Office of Print and Electronic Communication) and the Teaching Excellence Center to discuss needs and interest of the committee working with these organizations. Eve Burris from OTR (OPEC) and Joe Delaney (TEC) provided a well-received workshop in the Scholarly Communication Center to which members of the SCC/Multimedia and Digital Library Services Planning Team were invited. The workshop covered the following areas: instructional web site strategies, types of interactivity, types of audio/video, instructional purpose of web audio/video, production training, streaming media, multimedia, and the Libraries'-TV network.
  • Jeris Cassel attended a three-day user education conference at the University of Iowa, "Educating the University Community in a Dynamic Information Environment," which featured current instruction practices in the United States and Great Britain and expectations for libraries in the near future.
  • In March, several members of the Instructional Services Committee will be attending "Virtual Library Services, The Curriculum, and Accreditation," a Middle States Commission on Higher Education conference in Philadelphia.
  • Jeris Cassel attended a workshop at the Western Monmouth Higher Education Center about conducting ITV classes.
  • Arrangements are being made for the Instructional Services Committee's involvement in a Saturday orientation session for Western Monmouth students in fall 2000.
  • The New Brunswick Information Services Committee and the University Libraries' Instructional Services Committee are exploring the two library campus TV channels being established in New Brunswick for distance learning possibilities.
  • In February, there was a discussion regarding the Instructional Services Committee's participation in developing library modules for eCollege. The committee agreed that an established leave time be given an individual working on this project. The committee desires involvement in this project as instruction consultants whether an individual from within or outside the committee is selected for the project.
  • Members of the Instructional Services Committee provide sessions each semester on library instruction services as part of the orientation for New Brunswick English 102 teaching assistants. In the spring semester orientation session, emphasis was on providing multiple developmental sessions and selecting resources from all campuses for the convenience of the classes. A draft web page of materials used for teaching English writing courses is in progress.
  • The library web-based tutorial "Knowledge Maze" was implemented in the Douglass College first-year mission course "Shaping a Life". Formal and informal evaluations were made. In January, two instructors from the program discussed the effectiveness and impact of the tutorial with the Instructional Services Committee. The instructors reported a positive difference in the course as a result of the tutorial and provided suggestions for making the tutorial more effective. English 102 coordinators and coordinators for transfer students and other new students programs were invited to this discussion.

Public Services Council
Jeanne Boyle, Associate University Librarian for Public Services & Communications

  • The newly formed Public Services Council of elected, appointed, and ex officio members met six times between July 1999 and February 2000. Members are Susan Beck, Natalie Borisovets, Jeanne Boyle (chair), Jeris Cassel, Tom Frusciano, Judy Gardner, Harriette Hemmasi, Marjorie Li, Ann Montanaro, Bob Sewell, and Myoung Wilson. Jane Sloan was invited to join the Council beginning with the January meeting. Among the topics considered were IRIS display and links, serials Web of Science, government documents, annual work plan, book labels, authority control, interlibrary loan, Encyclopedia Britannica Online, finding aids, and the indexes web page. Council recommendations are recorded on the recommendation log posted on the Libraries' website and attached as appendix A of this report.

User Initiated Document Delivery Task force
Judy Gardner, Convener

  • Members of the User Initiated Document Delivery Task Force were Veronica Calderhead, Judy Gardner, Jim Nettleman, and Myoung Wilson.
  • The Task Force was charged to develop a subsidized online document delivery service that will provide subsidized document delivery of articles that are not owned or licensed by the Rutgers University Libraries and that will link indexing and abstract tools to full-text journals and other holdings of the Rutgers University Libraries and, where possible, to online document delivery services.
  • In its report issued in January 1999, the Task Force recommended that the Libraries establish an UnCover Customized Gateway. Work on the Gateway is underway.

Web Advisory Committee
Ron Jantz, WAC Chair

  • Web Advisory Committee members are Ka-Neng Au, Jeanne Boyle, Rebecca Gardner, Harry Glazer, Brian Hancock, Theo Haynes, Dave Hoover, Ron Jantz (chair), Vibiana Kassabian, Marty Kesselman, Sam McDonald, Steve Perkins, and Pat Piermatti
  • The Web Advisory Committee successfully launched the new Libraries' website on July 12, 1999. This major milestone was a significant event and in accordance with the Committee schedule established in January 1999.
  • The navigational structure of the Libraries' website has been improved with the addition of a research shortcuts feature, a site index, and an alpha listing of indexes.
    • Research shortcuts enables efficient and more direct access to information sources on the website and is intended for the more seasoned users.
    • The site index is a manually created index that is being built incrementally from user comments and experiences of the Web Advisory Committee. The index provides another access path to resources on the website that are sometimes hard to find. Index terms from users are welcome and it is expected that the Index will grow in usefulness over time.
    • Because of comments from librarians, the Web Advisory Committee has implemented an alpha list for all of the indexes. This approach enables an easier and more efficient access if one already knows the name of the index. The user can also do alpha browsing.
  • In addition to the above accomplishments, our webmaster has researched and selected a search engine (htdig) for the Libraries' website. The search engine characteristics were reviewed by the Web Advisory Committee and approved. Implementation will proceed, and summer 2000 is a target timeframe for availability on the Libraries' website.
  • The research guides group within the Web Advisory Committee has reviewed the various academic programs in order to assess where additional guides are needed. The approach is to encourage librarians to create or update their guides and to provide the technical support to do this more quickly and efficiently. Where there is not the possibility of a Rutgers-created research guide, the Committee will look for external guides that might serve the purpose. Since July, the following guides have been added: agricultural science, alcohol studies, environmental studies, medical & health sciences, newspapers, pharmaceutical sciences, philosophy, and religion.
  • The old Libraries' website (rulib) was decommissioned on December 20, 1999.
  • In addition to the above, there were many other accomplishments that resulted in significant improvements to the Libraries' website. These are briefly listed below:
    • Through the work of the i'things subgroup and the webmaster, 14 new indexes have been advertised and put up on the web.
    • The design and implementation of the staff pages is underway.
    • Jake, a unique indexing tool, has been added to the website. Jake allows you to 1) determine which research database indexes a particular journal, 2) determine which research database contains full the text of a particular journal, and 3) expand journal abbreviations (e.g., art bull, or j struct le)
    • The Web Advisory Committee has made a decision to do a website evaluation by first conducting a survey of librarians. The Committee is also examining approaches to obtain comments from users.
    • New forms were created including a reserve form, copyright conference form, digital resource request form, and a copy center form.
    • The news page was significantly redesigned.
    • The index categories are being redesigned to provide more consistency and uniformity across the set of primary indexes and see also groupings.
    • The Web Advisory Committee posted for two positions that had been vacated because of members leaving Rutgers University. Many good applicants were received, and Brian Hancock and Vibiana Kassabian have recently been added to the Committee.


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