Committee Chairman Senator Charles Schumer, who could not attend the hearing, in a statement, praised Vance-Cooks for her leadership and urged colleagues to confirm her as the 27th Public Printer.
If confirmed, Vance-Cooks would be the first woman and first African-American Public Printer of the United States.
More from the GPO press release (PDF):
The U.S. Senate’s Committee on Rules and Administration held the confirmation hearing of Davita Vance-Cooks to be Public Printer. The hearing was chaired by Senator Angus King and attended by ranking member Senator Pat Roberts and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Senator King read into the record an introduction of Vance-Cooks submitted by Senator Mark Warner. Vance-Cooks answered questions on her leadership, accomplishments and experience in the private sector and while holding executive positions at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). Vance-Cooks explained how GPO is no longer just a printing operation, but has transformed into the digital information platform for the Federal Government. “I have an unwavering belief in the vital mission of GPO—Keeping America Informed,” said Vance-Cooks. “I will ensure that GPO stays dedicated to that mission.”
Library Journal has just published "Notable Government Documents of 2012: Looking Back, Moving Ahead." Every year a panel of judges from the ALA's Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) receive submissions and compile a list of notable state and local-, Federal-, and international documents -- including links to and distributors for all of the documents. Check out the amazingly diverse topics covered by govt documents including bees, FOIA, the space shuttle, zombies (yes zombies!!), CA high speed rail, birds and dragonflies and damselflies (oh my!), Documents.OK.gov, cannabis, water and many more. Great job by the community and the committee. Every library should have all of these items in their collections at the very least.
FYI, The 2013 process will soon begin. You too can submit your favorite new documents to committee.
The Library of Congress recently released its Annual Report of the Librarian of Congress FY 2012 (PDF) (get LC's annual reports 2000 - present here and 1866 - 2007 at HathiTrust). Quite an impressive list of statistics!
FY 2012 LC Fast Facts:
- Responded to more than 700,000 congressional reference requests and delivered to Congress more than 1 million research products and approximately 30,000 volumes from the Library’s collections
- Registered more than 511,539 claims to copyright
- Provided reference services to 540,489 individuals in person, by telephone and through written and electronic correspondence
- Circulated more than 25 million copies of Braille and recorded books and magazines to more than 800,000 blind and physically handicapped reader accounts
- Circulated nearly 1 million items for use within the Library
- Preserved nearly 6 million items from the Library’s collections
- Recorded a total of 155,357,302 items in the collections:
- 23,276,091 cataloged books in the Library of Congress classification system
- 12,638,773 books in large type and raised characters, incunabula (books printed before 1501), mono- graphs and serials, music, bound newspapers, pamphlets, technical reports and other print material
- 119,442,438 items in the nonclassified (special) collections, including:
- 3,420,599 audio materials (discs, tapes, talking books and other re- corded formats)
- 68,118,899 manuscripts
- 5,478,123 maps
- 16,746,497 microforms
- 6,589,199 pieces of sheet music
- 15,704,268 visual materials, as
- 1,354,126 moving images
- 13,640,325 photographs
- 104,270 posters
- 605,547 prints and drawings
- Welcomed nearly 1.7 million onsite visitors and recorded more than 87 million visits and 545 million page views on the Library’s website (at year’s end, the Library’s online primary- source files totaled 37.6 million)
- Employed 3,312 permanent staff members
- Operated with a total fiscal 2012 ap propriation of $629.2 million, including the authority to spend $41.9 million in receipts
[HT Gary Price at InfoDocket!]
Vint Cerf, Google's "Internet Evangelist," speaking at the Computer World Honors awards program on Monday, warned about the dangers and difficulties of long-term digital preservation. He said what's needed is a "digital vellum" to do long-term digital preservation in the same way as physical media has been preserved. Perhaps he needs to talk to libraries ;-)
Cerf warned that digital things created today -- spreadsheets, documents, presentations as well as mountains of scientific data -- won't be readable in the years and centuries ahead.
Cerf illustrated the problem in a simple way. He runs Microsoft Office 2011 on Macintosh, but it cannot read a 1997 PowerPoint file. "It doesn't know what it is," he said.
"I'm not blaming Microsoft," said Cerf, who is Google's vice president and chief Internet evangelist. "What I'm saying is that backward compatibility is very hard to preserve over very long periods of time."
The data objects are only meaningful if the application software is available to interpret them, Cerf said. "We won't lose the disk, but we may lose the ability to understand the disk."
It's not just PowerPoint slides either, he said. The scientific community collects large amounts of data from simulations and instrument readings. But unless the metadata survives, which will tell under what conditions the data was collected, how the instruments were calibrated, and the correct interpretation of units, the information may be lost.
Rachel Maddow had some examples of how the sequester -- or as she so elegantly put it, the "nearly universally agreed-upon to be stupid self-inflicted problem we made for ourselves in Washington" -- has negatively effected the US, with last friday being a mandatory furlough day for 115,000 federal employees. Maddow pointed out that this was the "largest govt shutdown since the '90s."
Oh come on! ProPublica has a story out today "As Need for New Flood Maps Rises, Congress and Obama Cut Funding". This shows the absolute -- not to mention dangerous -- idiocy of our Federal legislators' feverish obsession with cutting the US budget. People, please, the US budget deficit is under control and shrinking faster than the CBO originally estimated. Meanwhile, our public infrastructure is crumbling before our eyes -- another bridge collapsed a few days ago, this time in WA -- and our emergency preparedness is in dire need of being updated. This is not the time for austerity (see Krugman, "How the Case for Austerity Has Crumbled.").
The maps, drawn by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, dictate the monthly premiums millions of American households pay for flood insurance. They are also designed to give homeowners and buyers the latest understanding of how likely their communities are to flood.
The government’s response to the rising need for accurate maps? It’s slashed funding for them.
Congress has cut funding for updating flood maps by more than half since 2010, from $221 million down to $100 million this year. And the president’s latest budget request would slash funding for mapping even further to $84 million — a drop of 62 percent over the last four years.
In a little-noticed written response to questions from a congressional hearing, FEMA estimated the cuts would delay its map program by three to five years. The program “will continue to make progress, but more homeowners will rely on flood hazard maps that are not current,” FEMA wrote.
The cuts have slowed efforts to update flood maps across the country.
In New England, for instance, FEMA is updating coastal maps but has put off updating many flood maps along the region’s rivers, said Kerry Bogdan, a senior engineer with FEMA’s floodplain mapping program in Boston.
“Unfortunately, without the money to do it, we’re limited and our hands are kind of tied,” she said.
Many of the flood maps in Vermont — including areas near Lake Champlain that have recently flooded — are decades out of date. “There are definitely communities that really need that data,” said Ned Swanberg, the flood hazard mapping coordinator with Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation.
Unfortunately, there was a technological glitch and I didn't get to finish my presentation on digital preservation at the 2013 House Legislative Data and Transparency conference. I've attached my presentation notes (PDF) in case anyone is interested. I'd be interested to hear comments.
The 2nd annual House Legislative Data and Transparency conference is now streaming live. Here's the agenda and speaker bios for the conference. Note that I'll be on a panel on digital preservation at 2pm eastern/11am pacific with Lisa LaPlant from GPO and Marc Levitt, Byrd Center for Legislative Studies. Should be fun :-)
Not Your Grandfather's Web Any More, a project briefing from the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) spring 2013 member meeting by David S.H. Rosenthal of LOCKSS and Kris Carpenter Negulescu of the Internet Archive, is now available on CNI's video channels:
What are the practical and theoretical archiving problems posed by the newer parts of the Web, like social media, scientific workflows and Web services? How can the challenges of these latest developments be met, if at all? This presentation reports on the results of a workshop held at the Library of Congress under the auspices of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, where practitioners of Web archiving reviewed these questions. More information about this talk, including presentation slides, is available on the CNI site.
Happening now: Webcast on Public Access to Federally-Supported Research and Development Data and PublicationsSubmitted by jrjacobs on Tue, 2013-05-14 10:10.
The webcast for public comments on Public Access to Federally Supported R&D is happening today and tomorrow (14 – 15 May 2013), starting at 9:00 a.m EST. Here's the agenda and already-submitted written statements. In a few days, the video archives from the webcast will also be available (same URL), and eventually the full transcript of the meeting will also be found on the same page. Check it out. It's heartening to hear so many scholars, academics, policy wonks etc coming out in support of open access to scientific information and data.
This message is just a reminder that the Public Comment meeting on Public Access to Federally Supported R&D: Publications will occur tomorrow and Wednesday (14 – 15 May 2013), starting at 9:00 a.m. The agenda is attached.
The link to the webcast is on the front page of the agenda, but here it is again: http://sites.nationalacademies.org/DBASSE/DBASSE_083052
If you are interested, the written statements that were received as part of the registration process can also be downloaded from a link on that page. In a few days, the video archives from the webcast will also be available (same URL), and eventually the full transcript of the meeting will also be found on the same page.
We look forward to seeing all of you who will attend in person, and hope that those who watch by webcast find it a useful meeting.
Meredith A Lane, PhD
Director, Board on Environmental Change and Society
Project Director, Committee on Population
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
National Research Council
Keck Center, 500 Fifth St NW, Washington, DC 20001