GPO is about to accept nearly 12,000 volumes of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set from the Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library (BPL) for GPO's developing Collection of Last Resort. BPL, which was designated a depository in 1908, has agreed to return this important resource to GPO, where it will become one of the cornerstones of the Collection of Last Resort. The Serial Set volumes will ultimately be placed in GPO's dark archive, where they will be preserved as a backup for depository collections around the country. Libraries interested in transferring material distributed via the Federal Depository Library Program should contact Robin Haun-Mohamed, Program Development Specialist, at:firstname.lastname@example.org
Decision Framework for Federal Document Repositories
GPO has observed with great interest the movement toward shared repositories, or shared housing agreements, that allow two or more libraries to eliminate some of the redundancy between or among their collections. These initiatives are still in the early stages, but they are very important since they could help us address preservation of the legacy government documents collections in Federal depository libraries by moving toward a smaller number of comprehensive sets of tangible publications that can be more readily preserved.
GPO contracted with Center for Research Libraries (CRL) for the development of a Decision Framework for Federal Document Repositories that can be used to evaluate the level of assurance provided by print repositories based on their physical characteristics, resources, governance and other factors. While the framework is not yet complete, it is sufficient to permit us to begin active discussion about the essential characteristics of future repositories. The discussion draft is available at:
Comments on the draft can be submitted by e-mail to:
It will be discussed on Sunday, April 18, at the 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. plenary session.
GPO is working with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and others in the library community on a national digitization plan, with a goal to digitize a complete legacy collection of tangible U.S. Government publications to ensure permanent public access. The intent is to make sure that the entire legacy collection is digitized for preservation purposes while providing access copies to be derived from the digitized preservation copies. Recent actions include:
- GPO is conducting a survey of the depository community to develop a list of priority titles or series that should be among the early items to be digitized. There is a Web page with a list of the titles and series that have been identified to date. It can be found at:
Libraries wishing to add to the list will have until May 8 to do so. Following the analysis of the recommendations, GPO will ask the community to rank suggested titles and series for digitization. The ranking period that will begin by mid-May and last for two weeks. The results will be disseminated to the library community before the summer library association meetings. The identification of priority titles for digitization will be discussed on Monday, April 19, at the 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. plenary session.
- A meeting of experts on digitization and digital preservation was held at GPO in March. The meeting brought together practicing experts in the field of digital format conversion, as well as representatives of funding and other coordinating organizations, to discuss the current standards and specifications for the creation of digital objects for preservation and to put forward a proposed set of minimum requirements for digitizing documents for the legacy collection digitization project. The full report of this meeting may be found at:
Comments on the proposed specifications can be submitted from the webpage or by e-mail to:
It will be discussed on Monday, April 19, during the 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. plenary session.
Depository Services Consultants
GPO is working with the depository community to establish a team of 12 depository services consultants. The initial consultants will be housed at regional depositories that have agreed to sponsor them. Each consultant will visit libraries in their territory and participate in local and regional events. The interactions will provide training opportunities to partner libraries and additional opportunities for dialog. While the consultants will be GPO employees, they will be located in the community to work more closely with their assigned libraries. The intent is to share best practices and provide additional educational opportunities in order to strengthen depository service to the public.
Proposals to host depository services consultants can be sent to:
GPO is working with Stanford University and Federal depository library pilot partners to explore the applicability of the Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe (LOCKSS) technology (www.lockss.org) for the FDLP. This effort is divided into two phases:
- For phase I, GPO is preparing to install a LOCKSS cache that will receive test content from Sanford and participate in peer-to-peer auditing with other participating libraries and publishers.
- For phase II, GPO has endorsed Stanford's National Science Foundation grant proposal, which tasks GPO with collecting e-journal content from agency Web sites, adding metadata and digital signatures, and disseminating that content to Federal depository library pilot partners through a LOCKSS server.
GPO continues to work on procuring a new platform to replace the WAIS search and retrieval software for GPO Access databases. Several interim solutions are currently being evaluated with the CIO and his staff with a target to make a recommendation to the Public Printer by April 30, 2004. Implementation of an interim solution will enable GPO to take existing WAIS data off legacy systems quickly and to complete the effort to establish a geographically separate mirror site. It will also enable the conversion of legacy databases to XML coded files while GPO continues to evaluate alternatives for a new platform that will take full advantage of XML encoded documents and plans to migrate all databases on GPO Access first to the interim platform and then to a new platform. This approach will help ensure continuity and ease of use throughout the site and the XML coding will support greater functionality and inter-linking of data.
In June 2003, GPO and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced a compact that will allow Federal agencies to select their own commercial printers using standard contracts issued by GPO. Under this agreement, the Superintendent of Documents receives an electronic copy and two printed copies of every publication directly from the printer. This contract provision should help eliminate fugitive documents and bring many more titles into the Federal Depository Library Program as the OMB Compact expands to other Federal agencies.
This agreement is currently being tested through a pilot project with the Department of Labor. Since the inception of the compact, there have been 109 offers made through the compact. 28 publications were selected from among the print orders submitted for cataloging and inclusion in the FDLP. PDF files are available for all of these titles. In addition, all of the files are being optimized for use in print-on-demand (POD). Those not selected were not within the scope of the FDLP.
Science.gov (www.science.gov) is an interagency portal that makes available selected authoritative scientific Web sites and databases of technical reports, journal articles, conference proceedings, and other published materials from science agencies throughout the Federal Government. GPO is currently working with the other Federal agencies in the Science.gov Alliance to enhance precision searching for Science.gov users and to improve public access to the Federal scientific information from each participating agency. Science.gov 2.0, scheduled to go live in May 2004, will implement enhanced searching capabilities, including fielded searches and improved search ranking. GPO will make the Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulation on GPO Access available via the Science.gov portal.
- A meeting of experts was convened in mid-March to discuss the future of the GPO Sales Program. The objective was to get advice and feedback on how to build a sustainable economic model for the GPO Sales Program that will generate $30 to $50 million in additional revenue for GPO annually. The model must be one that is acceptable to publishing agencies, complements free public access to government information through the FDLP, and avoids inappropriate competition with commercial publishing. A report on the meeting is available online at:
Comments on the report can be submitted from the webpage or by e-mail to:
Discussion of this topic will be on Sunday, April 18, at the 3:30-5:00 p.m. plenary session.
- GPO continues to identify publications that can take advantage of print-on-demand (POD) technology. The congressional materials formerly offered for sale by the Congressional Sales Office are now available exclusively via POD. In addition to GPO's own production facilities, contracts with four private vendors that can produce POD are being utilized to make more titles available. A content management system is being developed to handle the press-optimized PDF files and a draft specification for these files has been developed, so that Federal agencies can supply GPO with press-optimized PDF for POD purposes. Currently, more than 27 percent of the publication titles in the Sales Program have been set up for POD and there is an effort underway for rapid expansion of POD offerings.
- GPO is continuing work to implement the ONIX metadata standard and other publishing industry standards for its Sales Program. Adopting these standards will allow GPO to provide information to commercial publishing sales channels in an industry-recognized format that can be readily used to facilitate discovery and awareness of GPO's sales items, thus giving the Sales Program much greater visibility worldwide.
Economic Development Pilot Project
GPO is working with the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff (UAPB) to test the feasibility of an Economic Development Program (EDP) for Federal depository libraries located in economically depressed areas. This pilot project, located in UAPB's Watson Library, seeks to create community awareness of existing Federal, state and county resources available for small business development in the local area. GPO has enhanced the depository's collections by providing a dedicated computer workstation and a customized Web page template with links to area economic development agencies, small business concerns and minority business services and opportunities. GPO has also provided a collection of tangible resources to supplement the electronic resources. The EDP pilot also features training on Federal information products by staff from STAT-USA and the Census Bureau. Project measurements will include a user satisfaction survey and follow-up surveys on referrals. The goal of this pilot is to help better understand the relationship between the business community and a depository library with an active business collection.