Team Activities & News

People Support Team
Status of Proposed New Job Specification
for Library and Staff Positions

I wish to apologize for any misunderstanding that resulted from comments I made at an ACT meeting about the status of this project. Things simply aren't as far along as some might have been led to believe. As you may recall, last fall a Staff Classification Committee (Alice Abbott- Moore, Neal Nixon, Amy Purcell, and I) developed, in consultation with Maureen Sullivan, a set of job new specifications for library-related staff positions to replace the outdated ones currently in place.

Under this system, Grades 6-8 would all become Library Specialist I; Grades 9-11, Library Specialist II; Grades 12-14, Library Specialist III; and P&A Grades 23-27, Library Associate. The proposal was submitted to University Personnel Services in November 1997. No response was received until April 6, when Hannelore and I met with Don Bowling to discuss the status of our request. At that meeting he indicated that the plan appeared to have merit and that we would need to work directly with the Compensation Office to determine where individuals’ current grade levels would fall within the proposed scheme and related details. He speculated that this might even be possible by July 1.

However (that nasty word!), when I contacted Compensation, I was informed that our proposal would have to fall in line behind that of several other units who have also submitted similar requests. So we are now officially in the queue. I plan to touch base with them on a monthly basis on this and will keep everyone better informed as well.

--Deborah Hawley

Selection Team
The Selection Team has been meeting regularly since February. We're having many of the same "growing pains" as other teams and we ask ourselves, how can we best function as a team? How can we organize ourselves? What kind of training do we need? How does our work fit with that of other Teams?

But fortunately, other discussions are unique and we are actively engaged in the work of selection that is our charge. Some preexisting groups have become subteams of Selection: EIS, the Ekstrom Serials Subcommittee; others will be formed as needed. For now, we have been concentrating on building a base of knowledge for the group as a whole, taking the lead from the staff of the "former" Collection Management unit.

Some of the things we've discussed include:

  • Department "allocations" for 1998-99.
    • How to improve communications with departments about ordering and changing our traditional patterns which have occasionally caused confusion.
  • Planning year-end purchases of higher-priced items.
    • The perennial favorite issues of creating collection profiles and monitoring the library approval plan
  • More theoretical and philosophical issues, including a new approach to journals management

Selection Team members are Andy Anderson, Carol Brinkman, Delinda Buie, Lee Caruthers, Jodi Duce, Gail Gilbert, David Horvath, Karen Little, Dave Meyer, Bill Morison, Glenda Neely, Bob Roehm, with Judith Niles as Team Leader.

--David Horvath

Technology Team
Knowing a Little Bit about
"Client/server" and "Relational Database"

"Client/server" and "relational database" are phrases hitting our ears more and more often these days, especially since our new library system, Voyager, IS a client/server type system running on a relational database. Another example is the University's new human resources system, PeopleSoft.

What are client/servers and relational databases, and why should we know a little bit about them?

In computer programming, client/server is a common form of a distributed system. In a distributed system, software is split between server tasks and client tasks. A client sends requests to a server through some protocol asking for information or action, and the server responds. This is like a customer (client) who sends an order (request) on an order form (protocol) to a supplier (server) who then dispatches the goods and invoice (response).

A relational database is a database based on the relational model, in which the data and relations between them are organized in tables. A table is a collection of records and each record in a table contains the same fields. Certain fields may be designated as keys, which means that searches for specific values of that field will use indexing to speed them up. Records in different tables may be linked if they have the same value in a particular field in each table. For instance, an "Address book" table consists of a number of records (information about a person or organization). Each record contains fields such as "LastName", "FirstName", "Address", "City", "State" and "Zip". Oracle and Microsoft Access are well-known relational database examples.

Knowing a little bit about "client/servers" and "relational databases" will help us understand the changes we are facing as we migrate to Voyager.

--Weiling Liu

Behaviors in the Team That ...
Help Hinder
Be on time, be prepared Be critical, negative
Participate, volunteer Attack personality
Engage in open, honest communication Dominate
Listen to understand; speak to be understood Engage in name calling, stereotyping
Stick to the agenda Be manipulative
Build on other’s ideas Jump from one topic to another
Be optimistic, positive about team Mask statements as questions
Criticize ideas, not members Selectively interpret
Perform promised follow-up Agree with everything
Pay attention, stay open-minded Avoid decision making or closure through sarcasm
Take problems seriously Seek sympathy
Be courteous, honest, trusting Express futility, resignation, or helplessness
Say what you feel/think Withdraw psychologically
Take risks Reflect boredom; don’t pay attention
Use “we” expressions and thought Use “you” statements
Support each other Don’t communicate, cooperate, or participate
Show commitment toward making it work Judge ideas, others
Display a sense of humor Don’t listen; engage in subconversations
Set realistic goals/time frame on goals Do other distracting work

Establish clearly defined roles