Professional Development

In the 'FDLP' Category...

NCLA GRS Annual Meeting & Workshop

Monday, June 23, 2014 11:42 am

Recently, I attended the NCLA Government Resources Section Annual Meeting & Workshop. This event was held on the campus of Elon University and was sponsored by the Carol Grotnes Belk Library. It was a wonderful opportunity to meet with colleagues, and discuss current issues and upcoming changes within the Federal Depository Library Program and the NC statewide depository program.

Here are some of the highlights:

Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Update
David Durant, GRS Chair & Federal Documents Librarian @ ECU
Beth Rowe, Federal Regional Depository Library Representative & Documents Librarian @ UNC-CH
During the 2014 FDLP Conference proceedings this past April, GPO unveiled a new strategic direction for the FDLP . Developed from external reports and feedback from library users and contributing institutions, the National Plan for the Future of the FDLPproposes some changes to the current program, while maintaining it’s original mission and core values. The plan has not yet been enacted, as GPO wanted to give member libraries and invested users an opportunity to provide input and feedback about what the program will become. The proposed changes include:

- a partnership with the Digital Public Library, which would serve as a host for collecting and housing materials.

- Rebranding efforts: (seems to be a trend, as GPO has adopted a new motto/slogan–Official. Digital. Secure.) FDLP (Federal Depository Library Program) will become FIALP (Federal Information Access Library Program). FIALP member libraries will become “Regional Federal Access Libraries” (currently Regional Depository Libraries) & “Federal Access Libraries” (currently Selective Depository Libraries). The possibility of changing GPO: Government Printing Office to GPO: Government Publishing Office was also mentioned (although there has already been a lot of back and forth discussion about this change with the increase of born-digital GovDocs).

- a collaborative network called the Government Information Access and Preservation Network, and a partnership program (the Federal Information Access Assurance Partners) to manage legacy print collections, promote investment in the preservation & digitization efforts, and to provide continued access to partnering government collections.

Because it is still in the planning phase, the plan is purposefully vague, presented without many details as to how the program will operate. During our discussion, concerns were expressed about how the proposed plan would impact current collaborative efforts by regional GovDocs consortia (such as ASERL). Additionally, some of my colleagues expressed their concerns over the varying tracks of focus that exist within Government Documents programs– one focused on access, and one focused on preservation, and how some depository programs may have to choose to prioritize one over the other. If you would like more information about the plan and current discussion about the proposed changes, please see GPO’s National Plan for the Future of the FDLP& ASERL Deans’ Letter to GPO re: “National Plan for the Future of FDLP”.

NC State Documents Update
Jennifer Davison, State Library of NC
Denise Jones, State Library of NC
The NC Government Publications Clearinghouseis currently focused on NC state digital publications and collections, and recent digitization efforts. The Clearinghouse manages more than 16,000 born-digital items, and 4,000 digitized items.

Jennifer shared some recent digitization projects that are available through the NC State Government Publications Collection, and some very useful Research Guides that pull together associated documents for themed NC research (such as ‘Agricultural Stats in NC‘ & ‘Native American History in NC‘). I am glad to know these exist!

Jennifer & Denise also discussed the challenges associated with managing digital state documents, such as collecting “Fugitive Documents“. These are online publications that meet all of the requirements for distribution through the government depository program, but were never submitted to the clearinghouse & therefore are not directly accessible to contributing libraries or agencies through the depository program. Apparently, it is estimated that about 50% of Federal documents are fugitive, and apparently, the percentage is even higher in NC state documents (!!).

Online Mapping Made Easy: Create a Map in 10 Minutes
Phil McDaniel, GIS Librarian @ UNC-Chapel Hill
Having a background in Geography, and an interest in datamapping and geocoding, I was admittedly jazzed for this presentation. Phil shared two mapping applications that are *free* and relatively easy for GIS beginners to create maps from their data– ArcGIS & Google Fusion Tables. Phil demonstrated uploading tabular data (that includes geographic values) with both programs, and how to modify the design and focus of your data map. Here is an example of a map that I created through the ArcGIS system, with data available from the Winston-Salem Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Winston-Salem Annual Average Daily Traffic (1981 vs 2013)

You may not believe me, but I’ve had three unique map requests from faculty members in the past year–not the typical reference request. Knowing what these programs are & the opportunities for data visualization that they provide is a good trick to have up my sleeve.
*sidebar: if you also geek-out over maps & all things GIS-related, drop me a line and let’s schedule a map-a-thon!

NC Open Government Coalition & Issues in Open Government
Jonathan Jones, Director of the NC Open Government Coalition
The North Carolina Open Government Coalitionis a nonpartisan organization that advocates for transparency in government, and the public’s access to government activity, records, and meetings. Jonathan shared with us the Coalition’s Mission and guiding principles, both of which are focused on ensuring and enhancing the public’s access to government activity, records, and meetings.

Jonathan also shared with us some common access issues that the NCOGC face, and exemptions to public record access laws (such as information related to criminal investigations, trial preparation materials, emergency response plans, autopsy photos, & email listservs).

There are some very useful resources available from the Sunshine Center’s website, aaand they have an app (NC Sunshine Center) that delightfully summarizes Public Record Laws, Open Meeting Laws, AND has a button to the NCOGC hotline (should you ever need clarification on your rights as a seeker of government information or a holder of government information).

All in all, a great meeting and workshop! I am looking forward to becoming more involved with the NCLA Government Resources Section in the future.

Wednesday in DC

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:42 am

The first session of the morning was a plenary council session dealing with the authenticity of online versions, particularly in the area of legal information. Mike Wash from GPO first addressed the group. He reviewed GPO’s mission, emphasizing the ideas of providing access to authentic information immediately, along with the capability of preserving the information. GPO is currently providing some authentication signatures manually and is working toward an automated process.

Mary Alice Baish presented an overview of a recent AALL (American Association of Law Libraries) State-by-State Report on Authentication of State Online Legal Resources. Key findings:

  • States are discontinuing print official resources and substituting online official resources.
  • Ten states & DC have designated as official one or more of their online primary legal resources.
  • Eight states have “official traits,” but evidence as the the actual status of the resources is conflicting.
  • States have not been sufficiently deliberate in their policies ad practices.
  • No state’s online primary legal resources are authenticated or afford ready authentication by standard methods.
  • Since AALL’s 2003 report, nine states have proveded for permanent public access for one or more of their online primary legal resources.

Conclusions from the report include:

  • Online legal resources are increasingly the sole official published source.
  • Official status requires authentication procedures (encryption, digital signatures, PKI, “chain of custody” informati0n).
  • The goal is that online legal resources will be as trustworthy as print.

Sally Holterhoff then gave a brief overview of the AALL National Summit on Authentication of Online Legal Resources that brought together various stakeholders to discuss the issues and brainstorm on ways to move forward.

Frank Wagner, Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court, addressed the group in his capacity as a representative of the Association of Reporters of Official Judicial Decisions (ARJD). Mr. Wagner reported that his group believes that there should only be one official version of judicial decisions and that, for now, that should be the print publication. When the paradigm does shift, the electronic version should be both authenticated and permanently available for public access.

The final speaker at this session was Peter Lefevre, Law Revision Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives. His group is a non-partisan office that reports to the Speaker of the House and is in charge of reviewing slip laws and Statues at Large publications and compiling the appropriate sections of law into the US Code. His office is concerned about authentication because they rely on the electronic version of the slip laws from GPO for their review. Mr. Lefevre made the point that even small errors can be significant: Supreme Court decisions have been based on the placement of punctuation in laws. His group deals with a lot of information. For example, an average session of Congress generates between 5,000 to 7,500 pages of laws that must be reviewed. Since 1975 they have used the GPO electronic database as their source of information. At the moment they are producing print a virtual versions of the Code. The online version differs from the print in that the formatting in the print is closer to the original laws; the print also goes through more checks than the electronic version. As a result, the electronic version of the Code carries a disclaimer that users should double-check the print version.

The second morning session I attended was an update from Library Technical Services. Director Laurie Hall reviewed approximately 40 – 50 projects that are underway, in addition to their day-to-day operations in acquisitions, shipping list preparation, cataloging, etc. Although this was an informative session for me, both for our library and for my position as GODORT Cataloging Committee Chair, I don’t know that anyone not involved in documents processing would have any interest in this information.

Since the afternoon sessions are devoted to a program concerning Regional depositories and Council working sessions, I am off to explore.

Mary’s Tuesday in DC

Tuesday, October 16, 2007 3:36 pm

Most of the sessions I attended today dealt with depository administration, not a topic to appeal to a broad audience, so I will try to hit some of the highlights.

I attended a session entitled “Offering Services: 24/7,” which turned out to have a different focus that I supposed from the title. Following a recommendation from the Spring Depository Library Council, GPO staff have been working on developing a registry of government information librarians who have special areas of expertise and who are willing to be avaible to assist in research. The session mainly focused on a discussion of whether this registry would be available only to other librarians, or would be open to the public.

The next session was on the redesign of the FDLP desktop. GPO is working toward a more web 2.0 approach, with more interoperatibility, rss feeds, etc. We were given a good overview of the new pages and it looks like a much more useable site. At the moment site access is limited to depository coordinators; however, after the Biennial Survey is completed the site will be open for others to register. Many of the news and other information features are accessible without registration, so you may take a look if you are interested.

After lunch I attended a session on the new Public Access Assessment program being developed by GPO. GPO is legally required to review depository library services to make sure each depository is meeting its requirements to provide free public access to materials it receives through the FDLP. Some of you might remember a time when we actually had inspectors come to our depository libraries and check out our collections, cataloging, signage, use-policies, librarian’s reference knowledge, etc. As staffing shortages limited the GPO’s inspector program, libraries were then required to complete self-studies, covering many of the same service components. Now, GPO will use a library’s responses to the Biennial Survey and an overview of the Library’s webpages to determine if any follow-up is necessary for questionable or unclear policies. Following a brief description of the new program, Council and the audience discussed several scenarios that might cause barriers to access and what steps might be taken to overcome those barriers. As has always been the case, we were reminded that GPO likes to see comparable and accommodating policies and services applied to the documents collection, not necessarily the exact same policy as is applied to the general collection. In general, ZSR is doing very well in providing open and accommodating access and service for our documents collection; however, this is something that we must keep in mind whenever we review or create policies and procedures that create any limits on access.

My last session of the day was a Q&A session with the Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) staff of GPO. Really technical stuff here, so I’ll spare the non-depository librarian audience. More tomorrow!

Monday at DLC/FDLP Conference

Monday, October 15, 2007 3:59 pm

The morning began with remarks by the new Public Printer, Robert C. Tapella. In fact, Mr. Tapella is so new to his position, that this was his first public appearance since being confirmed. Mr. Tapella said that his vision as Public Printer is to keep the best aspects of the FDLP in place, while adding new features and improving service. Ric Davis, Director, Library Services & Content Management, Acting Superintendent of Documents, GPO, then gave the traditional GPO update. Some key points from Ric’s update include the fact that a working group has been established to deal with the distribution backlog; several GPO/library partnerships have been renewed, or are in the process of being renewed; and the establishment of shared regionals is moving forward. Some other announcements: the Biennial Survey is online (due Oct. 31); the “Final Draft” of the FDLP Guidelines has been posted; several enhancements have been or are being made to the ILS.

I had a nice lunch with Marion Parker from PCL and Beth Rowe from UNC-CH. Marion is currently a member of the DLC, so it is fun to hear about some of the inner workings of the conference.

After lunch, James Mauldin from GPO gave an update on GPO’s transition from PURLs (persistent URLs) to Handles. I’m sure a member of the Tech Team could give a much better explanation of what a handle is than I can. GPO has performed a small beta test of converting PURLs to Handles. Mr. Mauldin assured the audience that the problems that currently exist with the PURLs will be resolved before they are converted to Handles. Also, the conversion should be seemless to the end user; we shouldn’t have to modify any of the 856 fields in our cataloging records because the PURLs that currently reside there will point to a proxy server that will resolve the links.

Mr. Tapella then announced the Depository Library of the Year: the St. Charles City-County Library. Check out one of their excellent services: UncleSam for Kids.

The last session of the day was devoted to a discussion of the necessity for updating the Guidelines for the Federal Depository Library Program, since there is a newly revised Handbook.

Mary to DC

Monday, October 15, 2007 2:38 pm

Hello All. I had a great trip to DC and arrived to find a nice fall weekend. I was able to take in the Edward Hopper and J.M.W. Turner exhibits at the National Gallery before moving on to my official purpose for being here the first part of the week: the fall Depository Library Council (DLC)/ Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Conference. The conference is being held Monday, October 15 – Wednesday, October 17 at the Doubletree in Crystal City/Arlington, VS. The hotel is located near one of my favorite spots, Petagon City, but I will hold off on the shopping until the conference is over.


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