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Minutes of Rights & Responsibilities Meeting

October 21, 1997




Present: L. Marcus (chair), S. Britton, B. Burg, M. Hamilton, A. Kozbial, S. Milstein, K. Rutter, L. Shirey, D. Whitesell (minutes)

1. Three new committee members, all of whose terms expire 6/00, were introduced: Scott Britton, Lamont Library; Ardys Kozbial, HP&RE Library; Susan Milstein, Fine Arts Library. The committee's charge and operating procedures were reviewed.

2. Lawrence Marcus made the following reports: a. He is working to place the "Carpenter Report" and its recent update on the committee's web site. b. Executive Committee news: Michael Leach has been reappointed as Chair of the Librarians' Assembly. The three standing committees (Communications & Orientation, Professional Development, Rights & Responsibilities) will soon be joined by a Benefits Committee. This year the Executive Committee will draft a procedures manual to supplement the Assembly Bylaws.

3. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to revision of the Handbook for Librarians & Professional and Administrative Staff in the Harvard University Library (most recent ed.: Sept. 1991). The following decisions were made:

  • The committee will devote the next few months to Handbook revision, then proceed to other projects.
  • The target audience will be HUL librarians. The Handbook is to be an authoritative central source for basic personnel and policy information.
  • The revised Handbook will be published in electronic form. A print version may be considered if there is sufficient demand and if funding can be found.
  • Technical issues: Lawrence Marcus will manage the web site, obtain server space, etc.
  • Decisions as to form, content etc. will be made by consensus.
  • For the time being, the committee will retain the present Handbook format and organization. Later, Handbook content may be reorganized depending on the opportunities presented by web-based publication.
  • Editorial procedure: The committee will proceed section by section. Work on each section will be coordinated by a section leader, who may assign responsibility for various subsections to other committee members. The section leader will e-mail other committee members with comments on suggested changes and text needing revision; section text will then be reviewed by the committee as a whole at its next meeting(s). Revised Handbook text will be mounted on the committee's web site as it is completed. Text is subject to review by the University Library Council.
  • Handbook content will remain general, i.e. to include information pertinent to all HUL professional staff. More specific information concerning policies and procedures relating to, say, HCL librarians may be made accessible via web links.
  • Data entry is to be minimized through scanning, web links to existing sites, etc. Section leaders should investigate potential web links.
  • Ardys Kozbial volunteered to serve as section leader for Handbook Section I: Organization of the University Library.

    4. The committee's next meeting will be on Tuesday, 18 November, at 3 p.m. in the 1st floor conference room of the Law School Library (Langdell Hall). Tentative agenda: revision of Handbook Section I.


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