The following notes cover LSC meetings and member activities during the period: October 2022 to January 2023.
IPLC, ReCAP, and other partnerships
Anne Jarvis attended meetings of the Board of Governors of ReCAP (The Research Collections and Preservation Consortium), which convenes on a regular basis. Recurring agenda items include budget, operations, maintenance and construction matters, as well as resource sharing and IT initiatives.
Anne also attended meetings of the Library Directors for IPLC (Ivy Plus Libraries Consortium). Recent issues discussed and shared with LSC include governance questions, reshare (new BorrowDirect platform) implementation, scholarly communication, IPLC Steering Group, POD (Platform for Open Discovery), collaboration initiatives, and an open metadata framework.
Princeton University is a member of the Higher Education Leadership Initiative for Open Scholarship (HELIOS), which started in late 2021 following discussions held by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s (NASEM) Roundtable on Aligning Incentives for Open Scholarship. Anne and Wind Cowles have regularly attended monthly meetings as the University’s representatives and are engaged in a working group focused on best practices for open scholarship.
David Magier attended meetings of the IPLC Collection Development Group (CDG), focusing on the collective collection of the 13 IPLC libraries, developing coordinated collection plans, strategically reducing collection duplication, and working with other IPLC groups to improve discovery and access. The group held its first three-day in-person meeting since spring 2020 with ongoing monthly remote meetings in October and December. David also attended monthly ReCAP Collections Group meetings, which are currently focused on the Next Generation Discovery-to-Delivery project to expand our patrons’ access to collections held on campuses (not just those stored in the shared ReCAP facility).
Jon Stroop met with the IPLC IT directors in December 2022 to discuss new and ongoing themes across the IPLC. Major themes included controlled digital lending (CDL), future use cases for POD (the Platform for Open Data) in the context of the IPLC and beyond, strategies for discovering archival material, and digitization strategies.
Budget review and Transaction Authority review
Dina Conte, Director of Library Finance and Acquisitions, attended LSC meetings regularly to provide a strategic analysis of the Library’s budget accruals and expenditures and modeling to forecast future needs.
With Dina’s input, LSC reviewed the Delegation of Authority policy concerning Library expenditures. The authority to bind Princeton University Library (PUL) to agreements with outside parties and make financial and contractual commitments on the University's behalf is delegated to Anne, in her role as Dean of Libraries, according to the Bylaws and Resolutions of the Board of Trustees. She then delegates this authority to individuals employed by PUL, including specific dollar limits for different employee classifications.
LSC reviewed recent expenditures to ensure that PUL is aligned with University policy. This was a beneficial exercise as it highlighted some anomalies. Updated authorizations and expenditure limits were agreed upon and shared with relevant staff in January.
Last fall, Chrisoula Koenig and Liz Tarnok-Caputo replaced Kay Sylla as PUL’s Human Resources representatives. This change and a meeting between LSC and HR’s Senior Leadership Team in late October were an opportunity to renew the Library’s relationship with HR, aiming to improve communication and streamline processes.
Maintaining up-to-date job descriptions is critical to the Library’s relationship with HR and essential to ensuring equitable working circumstances for all employees. To this end, LSC, Daina Wilpon, and most management staff began reviewing or creating job descriptions for all Dean of Faculty and exempt HR staff. The goal is to develop a bank of job descriptions that use consistent language and a consistent level of detail and, going forward, to review them annually as part of the performance review process.
Access policy review
LSC reviewed and approved a document from Jen Hunter and LAT which updates and simplifies guest access and borrowing privileges. The committee wishes to thank Jen Hunter, Peter Bae, Joan Martine, April Miller, and many other staff who contributed to this effort.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
The DEI-focused Staff Climate Survey created by PUL staff members April Armstrong, Faith Charlton, Valencia Johnson, and Steve Knowlton, in collaboration with the Provost’s Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, was completed in Fall 2022. LSC received an Executive Summary of the survey results from the Provost’s Office, which Ufuoma Abiola presented at the LSC-LAT Away Day on January 20, 2023. Plans are underway to schedule staff town hall meetings to share the survey results with all PUL staff in Spring 2023.
Ufuoma has embarked on a listening sessions tour across all PUL locations. These sessions represent a large-scale strategic effort to learn more about PUL's people, services, and culture, which will help inform future decisions around DEI. Ufuoma is conducting in-depth visits/tours of all PUL branch locations and 2-3 hour 1:1 DEI listening sessions with PUL leadership and managers. Additional group DEI listening sessions with all PUL staff are forthcoming.
Ufuoma regularly shared information with LSC on campus-wide DEI initiatives with partners, including the Provost’s Office of Institutional Equity & Diversity, Campus Life’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion, Campus Life, and HR.
Firestone Lobby Task Force
LSC initiated a Firestone Lobby Task Force to identify opportunities to improve visitors’ experiences when they enter Firestone and engage with adjacent spaces, including Cotsen Children’s Library and the Milberg Gallery. Co-chaired by Will Noel and Wind Cowles, the task force included Jen Hunter, Peggy Kehler, Ken Kraus, Sara Logue, Barbara Valenza, and Stephanie Weiner, with additional guidance from Ufuoma Abiola, Beth German, and Brandon Johnson. This work is still in progress, initial outcomes include establishing a pilot library greeter program in the lobby.
Will shared regular updates regarding “Toni Morrison: Sites of Memory” and associated programming which has garnered significant press attention, requiring close strategic coordination between Office of Library Communications and campus partners, including the University Art Museum, McCarter Theatre, University Concerts, and University Communications.
LSC approved a Phase I proposal for an exhibition provisionally entitled “Sharing the Enlightenment: Sid Lapidus, collector, and philanthropist,” an exhibition celebrating the donor Sid Lapidus, scheduled for Spring 2025.
Priorities for 2023
In support of PUL’s North Star statements, LSC developed a set of priorities for 2023 over a series of meetings early in 2023. These will be shared in a separate message shortly.