University Librarian’s Report – January 2019

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you’ve had a restful winter break and are ready to tackle all the challenges of the upcoming semester.

Though we are between terms and the activity on campus may have slowed a bit, this is actually a busy time in the Libraries’ planning cycle. The library directors have just completed progress reports on their 2018-2019 plans, adjusting them to reflect progress as well as any changes in their goals for the rest of the year. In addition, the Discovery Working Group, Web Improvement Team, and Virtual Reference Group have updated their annual plans. We have now received news about our 2020 budget, so we will have solid information as we move into the 2019-2021 planning cycle.

We are also in Town Hall season. Last month the central units had a Town Hall, yesterday was Camden’s, later this week will be New Brunswick’s, and RBHS will hold theirs in February. This year, my Town Hall presentation has focused on our planning cycle. Although some of you have already seen the presentations, and others will soon, it is worth seeing a few times. Like all things Rutgers, the process is a bit complicated but the results are worth the effort. Here are the slides that I’ve been presenting:

As you can see, the Libraries operate on a two-year planning cycle that is tied closely to the budget activities of the university overall. It’s a three-phase, iterative process that includes establishing local priorities, taking stock of central capacities to support those priorities, and looking ahead to solidify a plan and develop related budget requests. This helps us stay focused on our core services while maintaining the flexibility to respond to important new requests as they come in.

Our priorities document for 2018-2020 has been added to our mission page and I invite you to read through to get a sense of where we’re headed in the months to come. And, if they haven’t already, your library director will soon be updating you on the local implications of the 2020 budget.

I know that it seems like a lot to juggle all at once, but sound planning ensures that we continue to build on the momentum we’ve gained and can make the best choices on behalf of all our users. I look forward to seeing all we will accomplish together in 2019.

Krisellen Maloney