submitted by
Harriette Hemmasi
Acting Associate University Librarian
Technical and Automated Services


  1. Introduction
  2. TAS and A Bridge to the Future
  3. Highlights of TAS Departmental Reports
  4. TAS Departmental Reports
    1. Acquisitions (Jane Sloan)
    2. Cataloging (Rhonda Marker)
    3. Systems (Ann Montanaro)
    4. Statistics
  5. TAS Committee Reports
    1. TASC
    2. SACOTAS
    3. PC Working Group (John Maxymuk)
    4. LIS
    1. Access Services (Judy Gardner)
    2. Cataloging (Rhonda Marker)
    3. Public Access (Ann Scholz-Crane)
    4. Serials (Mary Page)
    5. Training (Linda Turzynski)


I. Introduction

Technical and Automated Services has made significant accomplishments during the 1998-1999 academic year. This report provides insight into the broad range of involvements and achievements by our staff and librarians.

Several themes run through-out the report. As might be expected, a central theme is the growing reliance on technology to facilitate all aspects of our work. Also, we have begun purchasing some technical services products, such as cataloging records and authority control processing, to help streamline our operations. Not only do we search for ways to automate and accelerate processes, we also demand that the end-results be of improved quality and service. Increased familiarity with Unicorn has led to these results. During this year we have produced more orders, more receipts, more cataloging, more reports – all at a faster pace and all with enhancements. With this taste of success, we are eager to increase the positive returns and continue to look toward automation and the purchase of technical services products and refining our processes as keys to efficiency.

While automation and purchased services generate impressive results, our greatest asset is still our library personnel. Library personnel are the link between technology and effective service. Another prominent theme in this report is the enormous amount of work that technical and automated staff and librarians through-out the Libraries accomplish and are expected to accomplish. As we continue to ask for more from our personnel, we also provide opportunities for staff and librarians to exercise and expand their skills and judgement. They are encouraged to perform their individual responsibilities with excellence and integrity; they are provided with on-going training and state-of-the-art equipment; they are relied on for valuable input into management decisions; and they are recognized for their outstanding contributions.

A by-product of this commitment to personnel is the emerging sense of a common cause, a team effort. During this year there has been a marked increase in the amount of cross-departmental sharing of staff and expertise within TAS, in the collaborative efforts among unit and central technical services staff, as well as a strengthened coordination across all library services. To meet the relentless demands of change and growth, we must continue on this path of teamwork. Flexibility both within and among departments is essential to accomplish our goals.

An area of expansion that requires more than the usual amount of teamwork is the support of electronic resources – also a theme in this report. The Acquisitions Department has positioned itself to assume many of the responsibilities during this next year that the Associate University Librarians initiated in 1998-99 as they established procedures and policies for acquiring networked resources. The Cataloging Department has provided access to an unprecedented number of electronic resources during the year and Systems has stretched its personnel resources to provide technical support. Demands for access to networked resources will continue to grow and must be matched by our growing expertise and cooperation to provide the level of support needed for these important resources.

I look to the next year with confidence that we will meet the challenges before us and will create new opportunities for service.

II. TAS and A Bridge to the Future: The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative

This year's technical and automated services departmental and committee activities were designed and executed within the broad framework provided by A Bridge to the Future: The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative, the Library's five year plan. The Standing Advisory Committee on Technical and Automated Services, in conjunction with the TAS Committee, identified the following points from the five year plan as technical and automated services priorities:

Technical and automated services will progress and change to accomplish these and other activities identified in The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative primarily by using existing staff, whether they continue in their current functions and/or are assigned new functions. On-going assessment of fundamental tasks and current procedures is essential to determine the need for and the type of changes required. A shift in the staff model from "generalist" to "specialist" is encouraged in order to increase expertise and productivity and to reduce unnecessary duplication. Designing a "start-to-finish" workflow is advocated to increase efficiency and to reduce multiple handling of materials. A marked increase in the number, remuneration, and expertise of technical support staff distributed among Library units is anticipated. Appropriation of up-front costs to support the automation and/or purchase of technical services products and functions is requested. Constant training, retraining, and retooling for new technology will be essential for all initiatives.

Immediate strategies for implementing the Libraries' five year plan include:

Automate technical services functions. Many technical services functions already incorporate a high degree of automation. Examples of functions that can be automated further include electronic ordering, producing book labels, generating order records from existing cataloging records, applying a database spell-checker and URL checker, updating the Rutgers Request Services procedures, and creating links to holdings. Several of these examples require the purchase of new software; others require time for staff to plan and implement changes with existing software; a few may require software developments or customized programming by experts outside the Libraries. The overall goal is to maximize the use of technologies that we have or will purchase and to provide enhancements to those systems as needed and as possible. The expected result is that staff will be freed of tedious, repetitive tasks and will be able to turn their attention to other tasks which require more analytical than manual efforts. A general shifting, though not reduction of staff is anticipated.

Purchase technical services products and processes. Acquiring cataloging records and authority control processing are primary examples of purchased products that will bring about long-term savings and efficiencies in both technical and public services of the Library. The number-one goal of The Rutgers Digital Library Initiative is to provide electronic records for all items existing in the Rutgers collections. Items requiring electronic records include over 500,000 titles for which manual cataloging exists, as well as a large number of materials (new and old) that have no cataloging.

As we acquire more cataloging records, the need to improve the quality of our database entries becomes more apparent. Authority control processing imposes a uniform structure for name, title, series, and subject entries and collocates variations among these entries under single, standardized headings. Providing consistent online access to our complete library holdings is fundamental to the mission of The Digital Library Initiative and will benefit our users whether they are on-site or remote.

Given the breadth of this task, current staff, alone, will not be able to accomplish this goal. Even as these services are purchased, staff involvement will remain essential in the planning and overview of operations as well as in adding holdings statements and resolving special problems and inconsistencies. New staff may need to be hired and existing staff reassigned to complete this major project. As the online catalog becomes both more fulsome and more reliable, we anticipate the eventual reallocation of staff to assist with other areas of technical services, such as updating existing cataloging records, exploring the use of US MARC holdings statements, creating finding aids for specialized materials, initiating digitization projects, and refining procedures for acquiring, cataloging, and posting electronic resources.

Combine technical services functions within TAS. The automation and purchase of technical services products and processes provides the option to reallocate staff and may facilitate the combination of technical services functions within TAS. One example demonstrating both of these results is the recent experiment in purchasing Blackwell's cataloging records for Approval Plan books. Not only has the purchase of records allowed Copy Cataloging and Acquisitions to reallocate staff but it has also helped the two departments to rethink and combine some of their functions, initially through cross-training and finally through new assignments. Movement has begun toward creating approval plan "experts" who handle these materials and are responsible for their start-to-finish processing.

The concept of the "specialist" is much preferred over that of a "generalist," or an employee who is cross-trained in a number of areas. Cross-training often serves the purpose of providing back up in areas that are sparsely staffed and allows flexibility in moving staff from one area to another in times of need. However, staff who are required to do many different jobs on an infrequent basis may not develop sufficient skills or judgment to do these jobs well. Other models of cross-training may bring more efficiencies: (1) cross-train staff so that they can observe and participate in various functions with an end goal of realigning or recombining these functions; (2) cross-train specialists to perform the same function in multiple locations (i.e., the cross-training focuses on the location rather than the task). Allowing staff to engage in this type of involvement will build pride in their work and confidence among their constituents.

To make the best use of our staff, new technologies, and new procedures, a continual assessment of fundamental tasks, procedures, staff assignments, and level of expertise is imperative. Staff and managers, alike, are challenged not only to assess the value and method of adding new procedures but also to determine which practices or services may be outdated and may need to be eliminated. Further, a thoughtful and comprehensive prioritization of assignments must be established. With more work and fewer resources (both staff and fiscal), we must face and make responsible choices about what can be eliminated as well as what can be added.

Combine technical services functions within units, particularly New Brunswick. Similar to the impact of combining functions within TAS, combining technical services functions within units, particularly New Brunswick, will result in potential savings of both manpower and resources and will permit reallocation of library resources. While cross-training is frequent in the smaller units and some functions have already been combined among the New Brunswick libraries, further review of whether centralizing more of these activities in New Brunswick to one or more locations is needed to determine if such a model would be effective and efficient. The projected trend of increasing electronic and decreasing print journal subscriptions may prove to have the most significant impact on technical services staffing in the units. As Recon activities increase, local technical services staff will be relied on heavily to assist in this project. Also, possible reassignment or sharing of these staff with unit access services activities may be appropriate.

Combine technical services functions between TAS and the units. Again, a careful evaluation of the impact of combining functions between TAS and the units is needed before definite plans can be put in place. Examples of possible areas of combination are serial ordering, receipt of materials, and technical support.

As more journals are being ordered and received in electronic format and are distributed for RUL access, the appropriateness of central ordering increases. Efficiencies could be gained by receiving materials at the location they are processed. Likewise, centralized assignment and training of technical support staff might bring added efficiencies and cohesiveness.

The underlying goal in combining these and other functions is to increase efficiency and cost-savings by reducing duplication of effort, expertise, and resources, and by avoiding fragmentation of workflow and multiple handling of materials.

Train and retool staff, particularly in technical competencies. As we continue to embrace new technologies, the need to sponsor onsite training and support attendance at remote sessions increases. Without resources to add significant numbers to our staff, we must make every effort to add significant competencies and enrichment to our staff so that they can continue to provide effective leadership and service to our library community. In addition to providing training, we must appropriate time for staff to plan and implement changes and to explore the value and applicability of other options of service offered at peer institutions. We must work together across all library functions as well as within the University, at large, to determine the most meaningful yet economical use of our resources.

Exploit computer systems' capabilities. Just as we intend to maximize the use of our human resources, so must we maximize our computer systems' capabilities. By including our complete library holdings in IRIS, we will be able to provide improved service to our users and to ourselves. IRIS can be used to automatically generate a number of statistical reports that were not compiled previously or that were compiled manually. IRIS report writing capabilities have only begun to be explored and are likely to be of significant benefit to all areas of library service. Systems staff have proposed customized programing to increase the automation of RRS procedures and overdue notices, and to automatically create order records from existing cataloging records. Exploring the use of holdings statements for online resources and working with software developers to create reciprocal links between holdings and online index entries will provide improved services to our users and will assist us with our own record keeping.

The total impact of exploiting our systems' capabilities is yet unknown. We believe that in-depth knowledge of our software and hardware will provide us the ability to accomplish more in a more timely fashion. To explore these possibilities, staff need release time from daily assignments and the benefit of additional training. They also need up-to-date equipment and software. Equipment must be replaced on regular schedules, suggested at the rate of approximately 1/3 of all computer workstations per year. New equipment and infrastructure improvements are needed to enable staff to accomplish all major initiatives.

Define, prioritize, and estimate amount of on-going and new activity in balance with existing, reassigned, retrained, and/or new staff. The oversight and administration that this strategy demands provides an opportunity to determine where inefficiencies exist and where efficiencies might be gained. Annual work plans and assessment measures are crucial in these times of financial restraint and constant change. Creative planning and assessment must be in the forefront of every library employee's mind and must be communicated openly and with the purpose of improvement.

We must be prepared to make changes that result in over-all improved services. This over-all improvement will include adding as well as reducing and sometimes changing long-standing services, particularly as new technologies are incorporated into our work routines. Honest evaluations of what we do and why we do it are essential to this planning. Planning based on experience, self-assessment, feedback from library users, and exploration of new models is our most valuable tool in facing and embracing the future.

III. Highlights of TAS Departmental Reports

Increased familiarity with the Unicorn system has resulted in increased production. This year's statistics in ordering, receiving, and cataloging reflect a significant increase over those of last year during which time the system was being implemented and learned. Quarterly Unicorn software upgrades, particularly the WorkFlows client, present both challenges and benefits to the staff. Enhanced use of the system in areas such as generating automatic claims and cancellations, utilizing vendor-supplied reports, creating customized reports, and developing a tracking mechanism for Rutgers theses is underway. Additional enhancements are also being explored, particularly in the area of electronic ordering.

The Acquisitions Department, in conjunction with the Budget Office, has made significant progress in understanding and implementing the distinctions in types of orders available through Unicorn. This understanding has led to procedures that provide more detailed tracking of collection expenditures on Unicorn. These changes facilitate the centralized order and receipt of all paid Library materials. For example, individual firm orders are now being created for Music Library compact discs and scores, and individual line items are being created for LSM and some government documents publication packages. Duplication of effort on the part of units in receipt and invoice processing of materials will be reviewed.

TAS has made great strides in providing access to a bourgeoning number of networked resources, primarily electronic journals. A networked resources request form was made available on the Libraries' webpages, along with a regularly updated progress report for titles under consideration. The Serials Cataloging Section has created links to more than 1700 electronic journals available through ProQuest Direct and over 400 "free" ejournals for which RUL has paid, print subscriptions. Cataloging policies and procedures have been developed, and all titles are listed on an ejournal page compiled from Unicorn holdings by Systems.

After completing the request-for-proposal process in early fall, TAS selected an authority control processing vendor and is beginning to review system-wide training and workflow implications for implementing the authority control module in Unicorn. Full implementation of authority control is scheduled for January, 2000 and promises savings in cataloging time and enhancements to user searching.

To allow the greatest number of our users to gain access to RUL's networked resources, Systems implemented a proxy server. The proxy server provides a means of authentication for qualified Rutgers users who use an internet service provider from a remote site to access Library resources.

Dave Hoover of the Systems Department single-handedly provided technical support for the implementation of VALE. Dave's work in configuring and installing the server, loading the databases, and implementing local interface changes has been critical to the overwhelming success of this statewide initiative. During times of Dave's most intense involvement with VALE, other Systems staff temporarily assumed some of Dave's duties. Dave continues to provide technical support for VALE and has been able to resume more of his Systems' responsibilities.

In order to provide faster, more secure, and Y2K compliant access to electronic resources and other applications, Systems installed Windows95 on the more than 800 staff and public PCs and has upgraded all library servers.

Loading Chinese-Japanese-Korean records cataloged on RLIN into Unicorn and streamlining circulation activities by changing EAL (East Asian Library) from a library to a shelving location in Unicorn have resulted in improved access to East Asian materials.

Retrospective conversion of manual cataloging to electronic records has been identified as a major priority for the Libraries. Efforts to address a comprehensive recon plan included major weeding of the TAS shelf list, sampling 5 percent of the shelf list to estimate the number of titles requiring retrospective conversion, and querying several vendors to determine the approximate cost of recon services for RUL. Results of these efforts were documented in a preliminary recon proposal submitted to the University Librarian.

FastCat operations, merging receiving and cataloging functions, continue to increase in scope and are currently under review in order to develop an even more comprehensive operation. The purchase of cataloging records from Blackwell's for approval books and Camden Strand orders facilitated the merging of receiving and cataloging of these materials. Currently, FastCat includes Blackwell's approval books, Robeson Library purchases from the Strand bookstore, gifts from the Journal of the History of Ideas, and other current imprint gifts. TAS envisions the expansion of FastCat treatment for all materials, regardless of whether cataloging records are purchased.

At the initiative of the Acting Head of Acquisitions, Jane Sloan, New Brunswick selectors are involved in revising the Blackwell's Approval Plan profiles. Other initiatives include creating a single fund code for the purchase of New Brunswick approval books and the suggested use of Blackwell's Collection Manager software to enhance review of approval books and provide the option of online order requests. These changes hold promise for efficiencies in the order request and approval process for both the selectors and Acquisitions Department staff.

Celebrating its tenth year in the Technical Services Building, TAS could no longer ignore several much-needed building improvements. An office for the Head of Cataloging and a storage room were constructed. Additional shelving was installed to accommodate new receipts and books previously shelved in the Annex.

IV. TAS Departmental Reports

A. Acquisitions Department (Jane Sloan, Acting Head)

The Acquisitions Department finished its second year on Unicorn with an increase of 5,840 orders entered over the year before, almost 50% more. Also, there were 1,904 more recurring orderlines entered, over double last year's number. These increases are partly explained by the addition of certain special orders, like music and government documents, that previously were not tracked individually on the system. Firm order receipts increased by 3,236, or 27%, and total receipts increased by 15%, even though, as of March, gift receipts were no longer the responsibility of the department.

In the fall of this year, the Acquisitions Department lost a full-time line shortly after it hired to fill another open line. This allowed an amount of flexibility to develop the new position with the loss in mind. To accommodate this transition, the Rutgers theses were, for a period until April, processed outside the department. Concurrently, a range of initiatives engendered increased workloads, and, though balanced by the removal of the gift operation, all positions in the department are at present full with current and/or planned for assignments. This will inevitably change, most dramatically when electronic ordering becomes a reality.

The staff of the Acquisitions Department is an exceptionally flexible group, used to changing priorities on a regular basis; they have a reliable ability to respond to deadline pressures. This year, each has demonstrated a willingness to look closely at and change the ways the department responds to the needs of the system and selectors who drive their work. Given current new developments like FastCat and a streamlined approval process, it would be advantageous for the department to take on the work of acquiring electronic resources.

Ordering and Receiving. Unlike Innopac, Unicorn requires a separate order or order line for each line on an invoice. Beginning this year, bibliographic (Item) records began to be created for these items, making a more complete record than possible with checkin receiving. At present, approximately half of all monograph series/sets are being received centrally; the other half are received in the units, checked in as a subscription, then received for a second time centrally.

The receiving of some firm order monographs has been integrated into a FastCat operation since spring 1998 in the form of Strand Bookstore (bulk) purchases, the Journal of the History of Ideas gifts, and the purchase of MarcPlus records for items obtained through the Blackwell's approval plan. All individually ordered items are still received by one person in acquisitions and sent to copy cataloging in the traditional manner.

Changes 1998/99. In the Fall Acquisitions/Invoicing Procedures (#1) were developed to facilitate the communication of monograph series bibliographic information to central Acquisitions. To respond to the concerns of the units regarding monograph series, particularly the more complex orders, a model for central receipt of a "recurring order" was developed based on the World Bank publications package. It requires the selector to review the materials in TSB. This model "recurring order" has been successful, and has provided a method for the continued solving of package order receipt problems. The solving of receipt problems, which necessitates the creation of item records in Unicorn, has contributed to a decision to catalog all invoiced government documents.

Additional changes include: (1) at times of order backlog, individuals from other TAS departments are trained to enter order records; (2) individually ordered annuals are added immediately, instead of being sent to the cataloging backlog; (3) ongoing staff training in searching IRIS and other online databases, and in understanding the results; staff encouraged to attend relevant workshops; (4) Music Library orders for individual CDs and scores added to Unicorn, February 1999; (5) as of June, all serial subscription requests and changes are reviewed in the unit technical services/collection support prior to ordering through Acquisitions; (6) Acquisitions/Invoice Procedure #4 states replacement/back issue requests be ordered through the Acquisitions Department.

In-process 1998/99. Through the creation of Item records for all "recurring" orders, Acquisitions has gained expertise in organizing these orders and familiarity with their contents. Based on success in the area of government documents, a proposal to shift the receipt of all separately cataloged monograph series and sets to Acquisitions will be forthcoming. This is a major change that remains to be implemented. Implementation of this proposal will significantly streamline all receiving, will reduce duplication of effort currently expended by staff within the units, and will lessen the need for problem solving communication between the units and Acquisitions.

Because of the interim nature of the process determined for Music orders, involving, for instance, catalog abbreviations, and the copying and mailing of records between Acquisitions and the Music Library, a better solution to getting specialized orders online continues to be sought. A proposal will be put forth for next fiscal year, incorporating the needs of Media, Music, the Institute for Jazz Studies, the Criminal Justice Institute.

Relation to Copy Cataloging. A version of FastCat has been operating in TAS since the spring of 1998, when the Camden Strand orders were received directly in the Copy Cataloging unit. This operation left a gap in order tracking until September, when the order part of the operation was returned to Acquisitions. Subsequently, the purchase of MARCPlus records from Blackwell's appropriately placed the order/receipt process for half the items back in the FastCat operation. The Strand FastCat process parallels a similar combined receipt/catalog using MARCPlus records process for the Blackwell's approval plan.

The Copy Cataloging and Acquisitions units have intently focused on the collaborative process during this year, and worked hard to meet the challenges attending the above two operations.

In-process 1998/99. Efforts are underway to expand the FastCat operation to more incoming materials, to acquire cataloging records from Blackwell's for firm orders, and to further streamline the FastCat process. Currently under consideration are the possibility of importing full-level bibliographic records at the point of creating the Unicorn order and working with SIRSI and Blackwell's to facilitate the automatic generation of order records to accompany the purchased bibliographic records.

Relation to Selectors. In the past, one person in the department was assigned all priority, foreign, and other "specialized orders." As the amount of and time involved with such orders increases, so the backlog in those areas increases. The department now utilizes the superior expertise of this person in a more hierarchical manner, on problem solving and vendor assignment, while dispersing the actual creation of such orders throughout the department.

Changes 1998/99. Selector and orderer initials were reinstated as essential information to be included in each order record. Staff were encouraged to engage in direct and immediate communication with the selector regarding problems and questions, and a form developed for the regular and timely return of orders that are duplicates or assigned overspent funds. A procedure initiated to tie firm order requests to the Approval process through the time of "Pending." Assignment of Camden orders was made to one person to facilitate control of overlapping orders; this successful model of specialization may be used in response to similar needs in the future

The selector review area was made more accessible to review shelves, and more comfortable by enlarging and arranging a telephone and PC nearby. May 1999 memo presents guidelines for serial and monograph requests, and distributes revised forms In-process 1998/99. We are working to establish a method for determining items "Not Yet Published," or "Forthcoming" in the verbiage of Blackwell's approvals. This will be easier when Blackwell's Collection Manager attains all the functionality available in their NTO database. The goal is to return such items to the selector or connect titles to the approval plan.

Unicorn Implementation/Overall Order Process. With the inauguration of claim and cancellation notices, and full understanding of Order Types, the acquisitions functions of Unicorn are most all being utilized, though "cleanup" continues to be needed.

Changes 1998/99. There has been development and implementation of a series of Order/Invoice Procedures memos. Continuing analysis of the use of "subscription" and "recurring" order types has meant many records still need to be edited according to the new standards. As Unicorn restricts changing an order type, many of these errors cannot be readily fixed until after the rollover. Analysis of order procedure resulted in workflow changes assuring that all orders entered any particular day are mailed that day.

As of March 1999, procedures were developed for the automatic generation of claims and cancellations for firm orders; the first RUL automated process in this area. Priority 1 orders are automatically claimed 21 days after order date; Priority 2s are claimed 60 days after order date and Priority 0s are claimed 90 days after order date. Vendor addresses now "fit" window envelopes as a result of acquiring new envelopes.

In-Process 1998/99. We continue to investigate approaches to electronic ordering; x12 transfer for serials is available in current version of Unicorn and needs analysis. A proposal was submitted to limit return of duplicates to confines of the order/receipt process. Work with SIRSI and Blackwell's has begun to automatically generate order records.

Approval book plans. Changes 1998/99. In the fall there was a presentation by Blackwell's and a memo to selectors describing use and availability of Blackwell's Collection Manager, as well as beginning the process of re-profiling our book and slip plans. Queries concerning approval plan and firm order functioning resulted in Blackwell's assignment of a new librarian-representative to Rutgers and an increasingly close working relationship.

In-Process 1998/99. Re-profiling of book plans.

Vendor relations. The Department works primarily by impression in assessing vendors and has no regular methods of assessment. Unicorn offers the potential for statistical assessment, but vendor relations is currently an area of unexplored need at RUL.

RUL's relationship with the Strand Bookstore, commanding a 50% discount, continues to be costly to manage, though much of the work is done locally by selectors. The current process has involved several negotiations meetings with relevant personnel, and requires ongoing careful orchestration of shipments, invoices, and tapeloads of MARCPlus records ordered from Blackwell's.

Changes 1998/99. In the fall of 1998 the meeting with Blackwell's began the analysis of Collection Manager as an acquisitions tool; currently, it responds to none of our immediate needs. Older imprints are now being sought through a variety of vendors, including a local business supplier able to supply best rush delivery.

In-Process 1998/99. There is a developing awareness of the need to make some systematic assessment of vendors and vendor relations in order to improve service and maximize expenditures.

Gifts. To facilitate the gift process, Acquisitions personnel were trained last fall to add copies and locations to catalog records. Current imprints were defined (last two years) and given priority. In March 1999, the processing of gifts and current imprints was assumed by the Copy Cataloging section.

End processing. During this year, the Department has increased its use of part-time students and occasional personnel from other TSB departments to help with end processing. As a result, the backlog was permanently lessened by the spring, 1999.

Responsibility for typing of pockets and date due slips, formerly done only for the Art Library, was transferred to the Art Library. In-Process 1998/99. Staff have begun to use a PC to generate labels and the review of software to automatically generate labels is underway.

Rutgers Theses Processing. Formerly a laborious handwritten and paper file process, a Unicorn order record was developed to accomplish the tracking of theses sent to bindery and UMI.

Personnel Changes in Acquisitions. Cheryl Brown was hired in November, 1998 as a Library Assistant II. On December 12, 1998 our friend and colleague, Carole Wolfe, passed from this life.

B. Cataloging Department (Rhonda Marker, Head)

This year saw an increase in the total number of titles cataloged, a major change in cataloging books received on approval, the implementation of a new staff interface for Unicorn, and planning for the implementation of authority control and for large-scale retrospective conversion of records into the online catalog.

Some of our previously successful endeavors were continued, including the cataloging of still more electronic journals and databases, the creation of more collection level records linked to electronic finding aids, and continued participation in the NACO program (Name Authority Cooperative Program).

Highlights of the year were:

Cataloged over 43,000 titles in FY 1998/99, an increase of ca. 17% over the previous year.

Completed the first phase of shelf list weeding in preparation for large-scale retrospective conversion. This involved removing all machine-printed cards dated from 1982-1993 (after which RUL no longer filed shelf list cards, relying instead on the online catalog as the catalog or record). Staff from all three TAS departments participated in this process.

Sampled the shelf list by systematically counting the number of drawers and measuring a random sample representing 5% of the shelf list in order to arrive at a projected total of titles at RUL requiring retrospective conversion. This was crucial for determining the scope of such a project. These figures were used to query several retrospective conversion vendors in order to arrive at cost estimates for "recon."

Prepared a proposal for accomplishing large scale retrospective conversion and sent the proposal to the University Librarian's Office. This proposal was based on the department's sampling, a description of the options available to accomplish recon, and a range of costs based on vendors' responses to non-binding inquiries.

Chose an authority control processing vendor. This process involved writing a Request for Proposal and reviewing bids from seven prospective vendors. The top three bidders also processed a sample database and the results were used to help determine the final choice of vendor. Full implementation of the authority control module in Unicorn is scheduled for January, 2000.

Began purchasing and loading records from the approval plan book vendor into Unicorn, and use those records as primary resource records for cataloging. By implementing FastCat (combining the receiving and cataloging functions in a single step), we were able to streamline the processing and reduce the repeated handling of most approval books. One staff from Acquisitions and one staff from Cataloging are currently engaged in this process. In addition, we began purchasing records for items obtained from the Strand Bookstore for the Robeson Library, and implementing FastCat for those items. One staff from Cataloging is engaged in this process. [The evolution of this inter-departmental workflow is given in the Acquisitions Department report.]

Added outstanding Innopac records to current IRIS catalog. The Systems Department printed a list of records on Innopac that had been received by not yet cataloged. The original list of 4,000 pages was searched in Unicorn by staff in the Cataloging Department. Most titles were found, indicating that these items had been cataloged in the past year. The remaining items are being re-searched and added to IRIS by a team of section supervisors and librarians. This process is nearly complete. As a result, all outstanding items received but not yet cataloged are now available for searching in IRIS, and can also be requested for expedited processing through the online catalog.

Cataloged electronic journals for ProQuest Direct aggregator database and many individual subscriptions, bringing the total of full text or full image electronic journals cataloged in IRIS to over 2800. In addition, records for existing packages including JSTOR, Ideal, Project Muse, and the Ovid databases were added, deleted, or updated periodically in response to the changes in the title delivered in those e-journal packages. Likewise, cataloging records for a number of networked indexes and databases have been added to IRIS.

Cataloged books from Rowan University collection that were added to the Robeson Library collection; began routinely cataloging items from the Rowan University collection.

Transferred all gifts and direct receipt materials processing and cataloging to the Cataloging Department. This decision allowed for the consolidation of all receipt, initial processing, and cataloging activity in a single area in order to take advantage of the previous year's implementation of FastCat (receiving and cataloging in a single step) for gifts and direct receipts.

Brought into IRIS the approximately 2,500 Chinese-Japanese-Korean records that were in the RLIN "save" file after migrating from the previous automated catalog to Unicorn. Because our local system does not display the CJK vernacular script, we continue to catalog these records in RLIN. We established a procedure to bring CJK records into Unicorn, and were able to retrieve and import all the previously saved CJK records from RLIN during the Unicorn implementation period.

Achieved independence in contributing NACO (Name Authority Cooperative Program) headings to the Library of Congress Name Authority File. Our contributions to NACO no longer require review, and we continue to establish important headings to the NACO file. Rutgers contributed 242 new name headings (154 personal names, 88 corporate/geographical names); of this total, 72 were New Jersey-related headings. We also made changes to 106 existing authority records, 50 of which were New Jersey-related headings.

Sample headings established this year include:

     Rutgers–Newark, John Cotton Dana Library, Rutgers University. Libraries
     Special Collections and University Archives
     Mullins, Lynn S.

Began cataloging previously uncataloged international documents collections, including OECD, FAO, IAEA, and Unesco publications. This continues TAS's goal of acquiring and cataloging online all currently received government documents which do not arrive on depository. The Acquisitions and Cataloging departments are beginning to implement the online receipt, invoicing and cataloging of United Nations official records and publications.

Added several collection level records and corresponding online finding aids for Special Collections/University Archives, including:

     New Jersey Master Plans
     Nineteenth Century Children's Chapbook Collection
     New Jersey Related Sheet Music
     John DePol Collection

Additionally, the first collection level record/finding aid for a non-SC/UA library (Art Library), was established for art auction catalogs. This work has helped establish mechanisms for initial creation and ongoing maintenance of such records.

Personnel changes in Cataloging. Christopher Ross was hired in October 1998 to fill a vacant Library Assistant II position in Database Management. Linda Turzynski began a one-year half-time appointment as RUL LIS Training Coordinator in January, 1999. This is a newly created position. Elizabeth Leister, Librarian V, was hired on a temporary, part-time basis to accommodate the Department for Linda's involvement as training coordinator. Anna Ashikhmina was hired in June 1999 as Special Projects Catalog Librarian to fill a vacant Librarian V position.

Rhonda Marker was on FASP leave from July-December 1998. During that time, Mary Beth Weber was Acting Head of Cataloging, and Ruth Dyer, Acting Head of Copy Cataloging.

C. Systems Department

(Ann Montanaro, Head)

The implementation of VALE, its SiteSearch software and online databases, was an important achievement for the Systems Department. Even though the responsibility for the project was handled by Dave Hoover, several staff members took on additional work to compensate for the loss of Dave's time. VALE required the configuration and installation of a new Sun server, learning to use OCLC's SiteSearch software, working with the VALE Steering Committee to interpret the policies and decisions being made, interacting with the various VALE committees to help them understand the parameters of the software and the databases, implementing the local interface changes, and loading the databases at Rutgers. This year marked the inaugural of VALE and the department looks forward to being actively involved in the future development.

Making all of the Rutgers Libraries resources available to all qualified users was a charge taken on early in the year. Sho Nakagama worked for several months to outline the tasks needed to implement a proxy server, find ways to identify the people authorized to use the resources, and describe steps needed to keep the proxy list up-to-date. He and Mark Witteman developed a method of identifying and extracting qualified borrowers from the Patron File and loading them into a separate file to be used as the proxy authentication file. Qualified users, who prefer to use an ISP rather than dialing into the University, can now set the proxy configuration in their browser to be authenticated against the patron file extract and have access to restricted resources. A total of 965 individuals have used this service since December 1998 and many people are repeat users.

All ten of the Novell servers used throughout the libraries had to be replaced this year. The hardware was upgraded from 486s to Pentiums and the software was upgraded to Novell release 4.11. The servers are now faster, more secure, and Y2K compliant. Armen Varjabedian systematically upgraded one server at a time noting and correcting local variations and providing consistent access for users.

With almost 800 PCs in the system, upgrading all of them to Windows95 was laborious process. The staff PCs were upgraded first so that staff were comfortable with the interface before the public machines were done. By the summer of 1998, Anne Butman and her crew of student assistants, had upgraded all machines in the staff and public areas. In addition, a complete inventory was done, sound cards were removed from public PCs, additional memory was installed, and the PCs were checked for Y2K compliance. Beginning in the summer of 1998, voucher funds from the Systems Department were used to co-sponsor voucher employees in both Camden and Newark. At each location a part-time employee was hired to provide PC support. The employees were trained by the Systems Department and worked closely with the Microcomputer Coordinators.

The Trouble Ticket software has aided in reporting, tracking, and solving PC problems. A total of 925 tickets were prepared by PC Coordinators at units. This number would be higher if all the requests for service in the Technical Services Building were recorded. During the year the hardware used to run the software was upgraded and additional modifications needed to make the software more complete will be made in the coming year.

The dynamic Unicorn software requires constant attention both to keep it up-to-date and to configure it to meet the ever-expanding demands made of it by users. During the year two major upgrades, 98.2 and 98.4, were installed, first to the test server and then to the production server. Mark Witteman carefully reviewed all the release documentation and highlighted areas of interest and concern for the LIS Implementation Committee chairs. They worked with their committees to test the new software while it was running on the test server, reviewed configuration options, and accepted the release once it was working to their satisfaction. Mark installed both releases into the production system without difficulty and both releases provided many new desirable features. The SIRSI client WorkFlows was introduced in 1999 and it has been implemented in various modules. The circulation module includes SIRSI's new Wizards which pre-programs circulation functional tasks. SIRSI will soon introduce Wizards for other modules and they will be implemented as they become available.

Bob Warwick, Kalaivani Ananthan, and Mark Witteman worked on many other Unicorn projects during the year. An extract of bibliographic records cataloged between July 1997 and December 1998 was produced and sent to OCLC for loading. A similar extract was sent to RLIN and almost a year has been spent working out the details of the record load with them. An extract of test records was sent the LTI, the selected authorities vendor, in preparation for beginning authority control.

An interlibrary loan form was added to WebCat as was an error reporting form. Reports for using these forms were developed along with statistical reports for ILL, RRS, and errors. A custom report was designed by Mark for the Budget Office to facilitate their operation. The East Asian Library records were changed during the year to make EAL items part of the Alexander Library rather than a separate library. This reduced the amount of work in the Alexander Circulation Department by eliminating a number of steps needed to discharge an East Asian Library book. Electronic reserves has been implemented for the 1999 summer semester. Systems staff has helped with the set up and document organization. A patron file data load from RUCS was reinitiated. For many years the circulation departments had added all new borrowers at the desk. Students, faculty, and staff are now regularly loaded into the patron file with data from payroll, the registrar's files, and UMDNJ.

Timely access to databases and e-journals is an ongoing Systems Department goal. Access to the RLIN files was changed in the summer of 1998 to provide access to RLIN's Web interface. The Ovid databases are updated regularly as new files are received and access to new database subscriptions handled as promptly as possible. The list of e-journals which appears on the libraries web page is compiled from Unicorn on a regular schedule.

Personnel changes in Systems. Sho Nakagama was hired in October, 1998 as a Microcomputer Coordinator. Chris Barrow was hired in March, 1999, also as a Microcomputer Coordinator. Mark Witteman resigned in April, 1999, to accept a position at SIRSI.

D. Statistics

V. TAS Committee Reports

A. TAS Committee

TASC discussions primarily included updates and review of departmental projects and goals. Other topics of discussion included: technical and automated services strategies for the five year plan; guidelines for use of TAS conference room; guidelines for use of the laptop; space allocation within the building; planning for reconfiguration of workstations in various departments; building an office for the Head of Cataloging; installation of additional shelving and a storage room; procedures for staff performance appraisal; planning training sessions for Lonnie Johnson, the RUL intern.


The following is an review of SACOTAS activities and decisions during the 1998-99 academic year. Significant progress on selected goals from the Libraries five year plan was made.

Create electronic records for all items existing in Rutgers collections.

Improve existing records to assist in more complete and effective retrieval.

Create finding aids for specialized materials.

Provide information services electronically to remote users.

Continually assess impact of library technology and realign, retrain, and expand staffing as needed.

Begin digitization projects.

Several major announcements were made at SACOTAS meetings by TAS departmental heads.




C. PC Working Group (John Maxymuk, Chair)

The PC Working Group is a subset of SACOTAS. Its function is to facilitate communication between Systems Department and library unit representatives (PC Coordinators).

Discussion items for the year included: status of RULS for Y2K compliance; upgrading of Public PCs to Windows 95; upgrading RULS servers; upgrading Public PC memory to 32M; updating of Support List for hardware and software; ISP authentication; public PC shutdown problems; instituting network printing; redistributing excess sound cards; moving RULS staff to Netscape Mail; updating virus protection software on RULS PCs; increasing use of home S: drive by RULS staff; plans for post-warranty Public PC repair.

Items of advocacy by the group include: replacement plan for older Public PCs; installation of software for disabled users on Public PCs; and increased applications support by Systems Dept.

D. LIS Committee

The LIS Committee continues to oversee the on-going implementation of Unicorn and its regular software upgrades. After Mark Witteman's resignation in April 1999, Bob Warwick and Kalaivani Ananthan ably assumed many of Mark's responsibilities. Bob attended the LIS meetings and Harriette Hemmasi became chair of the LIS Committee.

The LIS Committee sponsored two site visits this spring, one from Penn State University and the other from CUNY. The Committee demonstrated RUL's implementation and local customization of the Unicorn software.

In early June several LIS members attended the SIRSI Users' Group Meeting in Huntsville, Alabama. Ann Montanaro chaired a panel of Rutgers participants who spoke from various viewpoints on the future of technology. Gracemary Smulewitz presented a paper on the US-MARC holdings format, and Mary Beth Weber discussed RUL's local practices for dealing with electronic resources. Ann Montanaro and Harriette Hemmasi initiated discussions with Jim Young, president of SIRSI, to partner in developing SIRSI's capability to work with Blackwell's to automatically create order records for bibliographic records purchased from Blackwell's.

The following reports describe work in specialized areas of the LIS Committee during the 1998-99 academic year.

1. Access Services: Circulation, Reserve, Requests (Judy Gardner)

Major access services innovations in the Unicorn system during 1998-99:

While many groups (ILL Working Group, WorkFlows Training Group, Electronic Reserves Working Group) and individuals contributed to the above accomplishments, RUL's Access Services Committee formally assumed responsibility for developing and implementing policy decisions regarding the Unicorn circulation, reserve, and request modules. The committee, for example, eliminated user-initiated renewal of reserve items, twice introduced new overrides, removed the REMREQ command from staff logons, consolidated in-transit reports in one report (list) for searching by all libraries, revised the user category 1 policy table (Stat field on user record), set a default circulation period for ILL items, revised the pickup/delivery options on RRS and ILL forms, drafted procedures to begin requesting Rutgers law library materials online using the ILL form, revised text of overdue notices, revised "New Release Testing Checklist" and used it as a basis for testing functions in the Release 98.4. Two ad hoc groups were formed to address special issues: the Old Holds Working Group studied problems associated with old holds and presented a plan to identify and communicate with users about unsuccessful recalls, and a User Database Maintenance Team was formed to develop guidelines for expiring, purging and updating user records.

2. Cataloging (Rhonda Marker)

This year, the LIS-Cataloging Committee concentrated on evaluation and training related to new releases of Unicorn, and on preparing for online authority control in IRIS. While the chair of the committee was on leave from July through December, Mary Beth Weber capably represented cataloging concerns and followed through on several initiatives.

Mary Beth Weber and Tracey Meyer, members of the Committee, devised a checklist of functions and commands that should be checked each time a new release or other system change is made in Unicorn. This comprehensive list ensures that basic functionality is maintained and allows advance notice to users of changes in the system.

By the beginning of the year, the Committee had completed the Request for Proposal (RFP) for authority control processing of the bibliographic records in IRIS. This processing will lay the foundation for ongoing online authority control of name, uniform title, series, and subject headings in the catalog. The RFP was sent to several authority control processing vendors through the University's Purchasing Office.

Seven bidders sent proposals for authority control processing. The Committee evaluated the bidders' proposals, and made a preliminary recommendation to the University Librarian's Cabinet. In order to confirm that the bidders could deliver as promised in their written bid, a small sample of records was sent to the top three bidders. Upon completion of the test and evaluation of the results, LTI was selected as the authority control processing vendor. Serving on the Authority Control Evaluation and Selection Committee were: Harriet De Ceunynck, Harriette Hemmasi, Rhonda Marker (Chair), Tracey Meyer, Linda Turzynski, Bob Warwick, Mary Beth Weber, and Mark Witteman.

At the end of the year, 19,716 bibliographic records from the test catalog were sent for processing by LTI. The corrected bibliographic records and the new file of authority records will be loaded in the test catalog and used to test Authority Control Module implementation policies and develop local authority control training documentation.

An Authority Control Implementation Team was formed at the end of the year. This team has overall responsibility for implementing the Authority Control Module in IRIS and for coordination of training in the Authority Control Module in WorkFlows (the "staff side" of Unicorn). It is anticipated that full authority control will be available in IRIS by the beginning of Spring Semester 2000. Members of the Implementation Team are: Rhonda Marker (Chair), Harriet De Ceunynck and Tracey Meyer (Co-Chairs, September-December 1999), Kalaivani Ananthan, Harriette Hemmasi, Michael Joseph, Margaret Papai, Bob Warwick, and Mary Beth Weber.

A new staff user interface, WorkFlows, became available in the fall of 1998. At that time, Mark Witteman, the Unicorn Systems Programmer gave a presentation on using WorkFlows and several staff began using it. Additional training on using WorkFlows, customizing features, and avoiding mishaps was offered in Spring 1999. All Cataloging Department staff and some supervisors in the New Brunswick Libraries were provided this follow-up training in WorkFlows. As part of this training effort, a new Training Evaluation Form was written, which is now in general use for evaluating all LIS training sessions. WorkFlows Follow-Up Training Team members were: Mary Alice Cicerale, Rose De Land, Ruth Dyer, Roman Frackowski, Steve Perrotta, and Mary Beth Weber. Linda Turzynski, LIS Training Coordinator, was invaluable in assisting the training team to coordinate the logistics of training, trainees, and training venues.

In February 1999, the Committee tested new functions in Unicorn Release 98.4, prior to its implementation in March 1999.

3. Public Access (Ann Scholz-Crane)

The Public Access Committee addressed several major initiatives during this year:

4. Serials (Mary Page)

With no major upgrades or changes to serials functionality during the past year, the serials group met infrequently. The primary area we worked on was on claiming. Significant amounts of staff time was devoted to figuring out the claiming process and how to run effective claiming reports. Procedures are beginning to come together, but there is still much work to be done.

An ad hoc group comprised of Lida Sak, Bob Warwick, Gracemary Smulewitz, and Mary Page has been studying the MARC holdings format and how it might be used in the SIRSI system. Gracemary Smulewitz presented a workshop at the annual SIRSI users group meeting that was especially well-received.

5. Training (Linda Turzynski)

Linda Turzynski was appointed LIS Training Coordinator in January 1999 and since that time she has: