Reflections from the Digital Preservation of Federal Information Summit

I was lucky enough to attend last month’s “Digital Preservation of Federal Information Summit”, 2 days chock full of discussion, brainstorming, scoping, strategizing etc. The group has now released its Reflections Report (PDF). The meeting goal was to “engage national leaders in a structured, facilitated dialogue on at-risk digital government records and information…and explore the development of a national agenda to address the preservation and access of priority content in this area.” And that it did. With this document, in conjunction with our recently published Strategic Planning part I and part II, I’m hopeful that there is a critical mass of librarians and archivists to actually put words to concerted actions. We’re planning next steps now, so let your administrators know that we’ll need all hands on deck.

On April 3-4, 2016, stakeholders from a variety of public and private organizations, including archivists, librarians, technologists, program officers, executive directors, and others gathered in San Antonio for the Digital Preservation of Federal Information Summit.The Summit focused on the important topic of preservation and access to at-risk digital government information.

The aim of the meeting was to 1) engage in a structured and facilitated dialogue with national leaders on these topics, and 2) to begin the development of a national agenda to address the preservation of access for the most pressing categories of at-risk digital government information. The focus was sustaining digital, not print, collections of government information. The summit offered facilitated sessions structured to produce several outcomes, including determining priorities for digital government records and information preservation action, and practical next steps to address these priorities.

A Reflections Report prepared by summit facilitators and edited by attendees is now available for feedback and input from other interested parties. Access the report here:

via Reflections from the Digital Preservation of Federal Information Summit | Government Documents Blog.

Strategic Planning part II: SWOT analysis for the FDLP


In our previous post about GPO’s National Plan for Access to U.S. Government Information: A Framework for a User-centric Service Approach To Permanent Public Access, we suggested two small changes to the Plan that we believe would improve it by giving it a clearer focus (on preservation for communities of users) and and a wider scope (to include the FDLP as well as GPO). We believe this would provide a foundation for strategic planning for both GPO and the FDLP that would create a truly collaborative infrastructure for a 21st century digital FDLP.


Strategic Planning, Part I: A Workable Plan for GPO and FDLP

The GPO’s Office of the Superintendent of Documents released its National Plan for Access to U.S. Government Information: A Framework for a User-centric Service Approach To Permanent Public Access in February. Our colleague Shari Laster has written a really thorough overview and background of the document, so we will use this post to analyze the Plan in more detail and suggest how it can (and should) be improved. In a follow-up piece, we’ll then move from strategic planning to an environmental scan and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the current FDLP as it relates to the Plan, including more context of what’s in place and what we feel is missing in order to build a sustainable digital FDLP ecosystem.


Internet preservation: what do we do now?

I’m at the International Internet Preservation Consortium General Assembly and Conference this week in beautiful Reykjavik, Iceland. Follow the flow of the conversation from the #IIPCga16 and #IIPCwac16 twitter hashtags.

Here are a few pieces of the week that have especially hit me as important:

  • The technologies and tools to collect, preserve and use Web archives are technically challenging, but getting better every day. The twitter stream includes MANY links to great tools and use cases for Web archives. I really appreciated British Library’s Andy Jackson’s presentation about his work “Building tools to archive the modern Web”, Brewster Kahle’s “Distributed Web” proposal, Harvard Library’s “Web archiving environmental scan”, but there’s a lot of amazing work going on in this space!
  • 30 national libraries are crawling and preserving their own domains. Government information is of great interest, and many countries have legal deposit laws that put them on sound legal footing to collect and preserve their countries’ Web content.
  • The US .gov/.mil End of term crawl 2016 is coming up quickly and we’re making plans. There will again be a link recommendation tool and perhaps other non-technical ways for the community to help.
  • Despite the great tools and very smart technologists, this group could really use input from subject/domain specialists. We’re the ones who have the specialized knowledge to know what to collect. It’s clear in my mind that the world needs MORE govt information librarians, not less! I highly recommend attending IIPC next year in Lisbon, Portugal (I’ll be there I hope!!) or in the future if the conference is in a city near you.

New Depository Library Council members named

Congratulations to Thomas Fischlschweiger, Cass Hartnett, Kirstin Krumsee, Lori Thornton, and Stanford’s own Beth Williams for being named to Depository Library Council to the Public Printer (which is now called the “GPO Director”). This group works hard to advise GPO on FDLP library issues.


WASHINGTON — Davita Vance-Cooks, Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), announces the appointment of five new members to the Depository Library Council (DLC). The DLC is composed of 15 members, each of whom serves a three year term. DLC members advise the Director on policy matters relating to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). In addition to experience working in various types of libraries, the new DLC members have experience with and knowledge of current developments in the fields of library science and U.S. Government information. With the increasing dissemination of information in electronic formats, these new members will help position the DLC and the FDLP for the GPO’s ongoing mission of Keeping America Informed.

“For more than 50 years, the Depository Library Council has been committed to working with GPO in adapting to the latest technologies that ensure the public continues to have free public access to U.S. Government information. I am proud to welcome these outstanding leaders in their field to Council and look forward to their contributions,” said GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks.

These five new DLC members will serve from June 1, 2016 – May 31, 2019.

Thomas Fischlschweiger currently serves as a Senior Librarian and the Depository Coordinator at the Broward County Public Library in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He has worked at the library for 23 years, with an emphasis on U.S. Government information. He brings to the Council extensive experience with public libraries and has participated first-hand in the evolution from print to digital information. Fischlschweiger earned his Bachelor and Master of Arts in History from The University of Florida and his Master of Library and Information Science from Florida State University.

Cass Hartnett has worked with U.S. Government information for 27 years. She is the U.S. Documents Librarian at the University of Washington Libraries and worked at the University of Michigan and Detroit Public libraries previously. She is an expert in Federal depository library collections and operations. Hartnett has taught Library and Information Science (LIS) programs for more than two decades and co-authored a textbook, Fundamentals of Government Information, now widely adopted by LIS programs for Government information courses. She currently serves on the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association. Hartnett earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Smith College and her Master of Information and Library Studies from the University of Michigan.

Kirstin Krumsee works at the State Library of Ohio as a Reference Librarian and as the Regional Depository Coordinator for Ohio. She works extensively with Federal depository libraries in Ohio, leading FDLP initiatives and providing training and instruction on a variety of topics. She is a member of the Special Libraries Association, the Ohio Public Library Information Network Content Advisory Committee, and the Ohio Government Documents Round Table, currently serving as chair of the State Plan Revision committee and a member of the Marketing Task Force. Krumsee earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from The Ohio State University and her Master’s degree of Library and Information Science from Kent State University.

Lori Thornton serves as the Depository Coordinator and the Public Services Bureau Chief for the New Mexico State Library’s Department of Cultural Affairs. Thornton brings more than three decades of experience in Government documents to the Council. She is active in the American Library Association’s Government Documents Round Table and Map & Geospatial Information Round Table. Thornton earned her Bachelor of Arts in English from Western Washington University and her Master of Librarianship from the University of Washington.

Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Williams serves as the Library Director of the Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford Law School in Stanford, CA. She is an expert in digitization and preservation issues and is the current Chair of the Education Committee for the Legal Information Preservation Alliance (LIPA) and a member of the American Association of Law Libraries. Williams earned her Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from the University of West Florida, Master of Arts in Philosophy from Marquette University, Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law, and Master of Library and Information Science with Certificate in Law Librarianship from the University of Washington Information School.


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