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Newsletter of the Federal Depository Library Program

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Cumulative Table of Contents Vol. 1 - present [ PDF ] ( includes current issue )

July 1, 2003

GP 3.16/3-2:24/08
(Vol. 24, no. 08)

Summary, 2003 Spring Meeting
Depository Library Council
April 6-9, 2003
Reno, NV

Council Members present:

Paul Arrigo, Pennsylvania State University, Shenango;

Daniel C. Barkley, University of New Mexico;

Charlene C. Cain, Louisiana State University, Paul M. Hebert Law Center Library;

Cathy Nelson Hartman (Chair), University of North Texas Libraries;

Doris Small Hefner, California State University, Northridge;

Dena Hutto, Reed College, Portland, OR;

Barbara J. Ford, C. Walter and Gerda B. Mortenson Center for International Library Programs, University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

Greta E. Marlatt (Secretary), Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA;

Michele T. McKnelly, University of Wisconsin, River Falls;

John Phillips, Oklahoma State University;

Mary W. Prophet, Denison University;

Laura Saurs, Newark Public Library;

Lynn Siemers, Washington Hospital Center;

John A. Stevenson, University of Delaware Library

John C. Kavaliunas, U.S. Census Bureau was excused due to a conflict.

Sunday, April 6, 2003, Afternoon and Evening Council Working Sessions

Committee Chairs gave brief reports of the work of each committee. Council reviewed GPO’s responses to the Fall Recommendations and were pleased with the responses and the progress being made.

Some discussion was held regarding the letter from Tad Downing requesting Council’s input on GPO’s proposal to discontinue the printed version of the Monthly Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and the Serials Supplement. GPO indicated they do intend, however, to continue printing the U.S. Congressional Serial Set Catalog: Numerical Lists and Schedule of Volumes. Council was basically in favor of this but Dena Hutto wanted to seek some input from others before Council wrote it up as a recommendation.

The majority of the two sessions was spent working with facilitator Fynnette Eaton, Change Management Officer, Electronic Records Archives Program, National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). She worked with Council to brainstorm on the question of "wouldn’t it be nice if FDLP * * *". Council was asked to keep the discussion at a "50,000 foot level" since the purpose of the discussion was to begin to try to visualize the depository library of the future. A variety of ideas were proposed and considerable discussion took place. See the Envisioning the Future of Federal Government Information <http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/council/EnvisioningtheFuture.html> document for more details of this and subsequent discussion during the meeting.

Monday, April 7, 2003, Plenary Session, 8:30 a.m.

Council Members present:

Paul Arrigo, Dan Barkley, Charlene C. Cain, Cathy Nelson Hartman, Doris Small Helfer, Dena Hutto, Barbara J. Ford, Greta E. Marlatt, Michele T. McKnelly, John Phillips, Mary W. Prophet, Laura Saurs, Lynn Siemers and John A. Stevenson.

Opening Remarks

Robin Haun-Mohamed, Chief, Depository Services, welcomed everyone and informed them that the session was being video-taped <http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/council/sp03dlc_videos.html>. She gave the usual logistics and announced that this was the largest registered number of attendees for a meeting outside the DC area. Chair Hartman called the session to order. She introduced Martha Gould from NCLIS (National Commission on Libraries and Information Science) who welcomed everyone to Reno and acknowledged the efforts of the staff of the Washoe County Library.

Chair Hartman welcomed everyone, and thanked the GPO staff, Willie Thompson, Robin Haun-Mohamed and Nick Ellis in particular, for all their hard work with the meeting arrangements. After Council introductions, Chair Hartman conducted the usual Council aerobics to see how many attendees came from each area of the country. Students currently enrolled in library schools were also acknowledged since library school deans were specifically asked by GPO to send student representatives. She also asked how many attendees planned to gamble while in Reno.

Chair Hartman then introduced the format of the session and the visioning process that was to follow. She also gave a brief introduction of Fynnette Eaton who would be facilitating the process. Chair Hartman then introduced the Honorable Bruce R. James, Public Printer of the United States.

Welcome and Remarks by the Honorable Bruce R. James, Public Printer

Mr. James began his remarks by talking about what an important time this is and that GPO is at the crossroads. He has talked with the over 3,000 GPO employees about the need to face the reality of the trend toward an increasingly electronic world and the need to change and "leap over the 20th Century into the 21st Century." He commented that depository libraries and librarians also need to think about what their future will be. As he outlined in his Senate hearings, he is proceeding with a 3-step plan, the first part beginning with fact finding. It is necessary to determine strengths and weaknesses as well as problems and opportunities and to get everyone to agree on them so they can then proceed to build a strategic plan to present a new vision of the GPO. He expects this to be done by the end of the year and said it won’t be done in a vacuum. He wants to build the best strategic plan possible and then take it to Congress. The plan will include what we would like Title 44 to look like in the 21st Century.

He has been visiting libraries to see first hand what’s going on and how things are done. He knows a lot about printing but didn’t know much about depository libraries so wants to learn. He believes in the NCLIS (U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science) Principles of Public Information, especially the first and second ones:

1. The public has the right of access to public information; and

2. The Federal Government should guarantee the integrity and preservation of public information, regardless of its format. http://www.nclis.gov/info/pripubin.html

He indicated he doesn’t have an end in mind, only a beginning.

Visualizing the Depository Library of the Future

Fynnette Eaton described to the audience the process she was going to use and gave a little of her background in facilitating workshops within NARA to move their records management process forward. As well as setting the ground rules, she indicated the morning discussions were going to be kept at a high level, that is, at the 50,000 foot level, not at the daily or operational level. She read to the audience the information that had been compiled from Council’s discussions from the previous day. See the Envisioning the Future of Federal Government Information document <http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/council/EnvisioningtheFuture.html> and the video <http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/council/sp03dlc_videos.html> for more details of this discussion.

Monday, April 7, 2003, Plenary Session, 2:00 p.m.

The visioning process continued and audience participation was encouraged during this session.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003 Plenary Session 8:40 a.m.

Chair Hartman introduced the various GPO staff members who gave updates in their respective areas.

Judy Russell, Superintendent of Documents

See remarks, Administrative Notes, May 1, 2003 (v. 24, no. 5) http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/pubs/adnotes/ad050103.html#2

Gil Baldwin, Director, Library Programs Service

See remarks, Administrative Notes, May 1, 2003 (v. 24, no. 5)


Ric Davis, Director, Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services

See remarks, Administrative Notes, May 1, 2003 (v. 24, no. 5)


Information Exchange

Charlene Cain asked about the restructuring at GPO and for clarification about the merging of activities.

Judy Russell briefly described what was currently being envisioned and commented that the new organization was still in rough draft outline form. This plan will include groups that will do things such as management, marketing, web harvesting, agency outreach, cataloging, management of GPO Access, tangible collections, storage and shipment, etc.

Dan Barkley asked Gil Baldwin to expand on his comments about the "building the collection of last resort." How is GPO going to acquire it?

Gil Baldwin responded that GPO has a number of ideas under consideration and several things already planned. There are also several things already in motion, i.e., for the past several months they have been capturing a copy of everything that has been sent to depositories. They regularly transfer information/publications to the National Archives but are now holding discussions with NARA and GPO may take those publications that are waiting to be transferred and keep them instead of transferring them. Other ideas include: as depositories weed their collections, GPO make take some titles; GPO can use the Congressional Sales program and work with needs and offers lists; and as libraries leave the program GPO can take some of those collections back. GPO is also considering scanning some publications. These are just a few of the ideas GPO is exploring. GPO will also consult with Council on these and other ideas.

Paul Arrigo asked about the search engine results: are the documents themselves being made accessible or just the web pages?

Ric Davis responded that the HTML web pages are being indexed. Static PDF - those not resident in a database - are also being indexed.

Judy Russell indicated that the Department of Energy is working with Google to load its indexes and abstracts so that database information will also be searchable.

John Stevenson asked about the problem of large files. Many files are too big to download easily.

Ric Davis responded that anything over 750K poses potential problems and they will break them up and "akamize" them. (Akamai <http://www.akamai.com/> is a company that provides a service to make heavily used documents more quickly available. The document is saved in many places and the system knows to take the user to the quickest/closest site for downloading the document.)

John Phillips asked if GPO had collected statistics on the new regulations.gov site <http://www.regulations.gov/>.

Ric Davis said they are gathering them and they are getting a lot of hits. He will share the statistics.

Greta Marlatt expressed disappointment in the lack of fanfare regarding the launch of the new GPO Access website. It seemed like they would have wanted to really make a big deal about it and hoped that they would do more sooner for future releases.

Judy Russell indicated they didn’t know if they were even going to be able to get the URL <http://www.gpoaccess.gov> until the week prior but wanted to go ahead and make it accessible as soon as possible. They do plan a formal rollout sometime in May and appreciated the comments.

Julie Wallace, University of Minnesota, expressed her excitement about the expansion of the Monthly Catalog. It is a big challenge and a good direction. She asked if it would be possible to add a visual representation (e.g., something like the black dot) for the existence of a physical document. She also thought the proposition of a GPO collection was exciting and cataloging of the pre-1976 documents would be great.

Bill Sudduth, University of South Carolina, asked how GPO would be identifying libraries to participate in the economic development pilot.

Judy Russell responded that GPO was still working on it and they were still trying to refine the process.

Susan Tulis, Southern Illinois University, asked about the rules and regulations and GPO’s discussion of doing different things for different types of libraries. Since we’ve always been told before that GPO couldn’t do, how is it they can now?

Judy Russell responded that since GPO wrote the rules/instructions, they can change them. The process needs to be thought out and examined to see where there are excessive or unnecessary burdens.

Linda Fredericks, King County Library Systems, Seattle, WA, asked about the organization chart and where public services belonged.

Judy Russell responded that the existing nomenclature pushed them into specific directions that weren’t necessarily what they wanted so they looked at making some changes that would be more suitable. They were trying to get away from historical titles so this will fall into the area of Managing Director for Public Products and Services (Judy’s position) which will be responsible for taking government information out to the public.

Barbie Selby, University of Virginia Law School, wanted to reiterate Julie Wallace’s comments about MOCAT and to ask that libraries and vendors be given adequate advance notice before large numbers of records for tangible formats are added into MOCAT which in turn will be added to library ILS’s through vendor record loads.

Ridley Kessler, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, asked who he should talk to regarding giving input related to the FDLP Desktop website.

Gil Baldwin responded that it would be him.

Dan Veach, Atlanta University Center, suggested that the GPO web address should be something people can remember or guess at and GPO isn’t it.

Judy Russell said GPO would look into acquiring relevant aliases.

Barbie Selby, University of Virginia Law School, asked if GPO can participate with the Library of Congress and the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program. See <http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndiipp/> for more information about this program.

Judy Russell indicated GPO is looking into it and that they had recently joined CENDI, an interagency working group of senior scientific and technical information managers from nine U.S. Federal Agencies. See <http://www.dtic.mil/cendi/> for more information.

Bernadine Abbott-Hoduski, Government Information Advisor, commented about the enhanced cataloging and that GPO should consider using the expertise of Federal libraries. She applauded GPO for taking back publications from the National Archives.

Gil Baldwin indicated it was a good idea to work with the Federal libraries and they would look into working with FLICC (Federal Library and Information Center <http://www.loc.gov/flicc/>.

Judy Russell said she was already talking with FLICC.

Tuesday, April 8, 2003, Council Working Session, 7 p.m.

Council continued discussions about the visioning process and the issues that were identified. These issues included:

  • The need to change some of the existing regulations
  • The need to develop partnerships with the private sector
  • The concerns related to bibliographic control and cataloging
  • The idea of a "library of last resort" (U.S. Library of Public Information was suggested as a name by Gil Baldwin.)

Committees then reported back to Council on their various meetings and on the status of draft recommendations.

Questions were developed for Wednesday’s Breakout group sessions and Council members were assigned to each group to facilitate and take notes.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003, Breakout Groups by Library Type, 8:30 a.m.

Attendees were encouraged to participate in the breakout group that most closely fit their area of interest and/or employment. The groups were: Large Academic, Small/Medium Academic, Regionals, Public and Law/State/Special libraries.

Wednesday, April 9, 2003 Council Working Sessions, 10:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

Council members reported back the results of the various breakout group discussions.

Council then worked through the draft recommendations and commendations. Michele McKnelly nominated and Lynne Siemers seconded Mary Prophet as incoming Council Secretary. She was approved by acclamation.

Committee assignments were reviewed and updated. Incoming members will be incorporated at the Fall 2003 meetings. Assignments are as follows:


Doris Helfer (Chair)

Paul Arrigo

John Kavaliunas

Michele McKnelly

Barbie Selby


Laura Saurs (Chair)

Barbara Ford

John Kavaliunas

Cheryl Malone

Lynne Siemers

Electronic Preservation

Paul Arrigo (Chair)

Chuck Eckman

John Kavaliunas

Laura Saurs


John Phillips (Chair)

Duncan Aldrich

John Kavaliunas

Michele McKnelly

Mary Prophet

Laura Saurs

Subcommittee on Attrition and Retention (SOAR)

Michele McKnelly (Chair)

Duncan Aldrich

Paul Arrigo

Barbara Ford

John Kavaliunas

Mary Prophet

Laura Saurs

John Phillips

Wednesday, April 9, 2003, Plenary Session, 2:30 p.m.

Chair Hartman thanked everyone for coming and participating. She thanked Secretary Marlatt for doing secretary duties for two years and announced that Mary Prophet would be the new secretary.

Dan Barkley summarized the meeting and the Operations committee discussions and encouraged everyone to communicate both with Council and the Government Printing Office regarding operations issues.

Council read the draft recommendations and commendations, (for final text see <http://www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fdlp/council/rsp03.html>) then opened the floor to the audience for comments.

Elaine Winske, Florida International University, asked if the holdings of the U.S. Library of Public Information would be reflected in the online Monthly Catalog.

Tad Downing responded that they expected the ILS to be fully supportive of library operations and will include their holdings.

Julie Wallace, University of Minnesota, asked for clarification about the seemingly contradictory statements in Recommendation #2, (the U.S. Library of Public Information). If something is widely accessible and therefore circulating then isn’t this contrary to being permanently archived?

Dan Barkley commented that widely accessible means this library as a "place of last resort" will make requested information available in whatever manner possible (e.g., electronic file, fax, photocopy or Interlibrary Loan). Permanently archived means there will always be a copy there and available.

Chair Hartman thanked all of Council. She commented that this was a particularly challenging meeting and she appreciated that everyone helped to keep the conversations going and stayed focused. She thanked her class and recognized each member with a gift and then turned the meeting over to Chair Elect Dan Barkley.

Chair Barkley thanked Willie Thompson, Nick Ellis, Robin Haun-Mohamed and the GPO staff for all their efforts. He also thanked Chair Hartman and Secretary Marlatt and presented them and the rest of the out-going class with gifts.

Superintendent of Documents Judy Russell presented the outgoing members with certificates and thanked Chair Hartman for all her efforts as Chair and for moving Council and the meeting forward. She also commented on the value of the meeting and acknowledged the efforts of the depository community. She looks forward to helping to move the program forward into the 21st Century.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:10 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Greta E. Marlatt
Council Secretary