Library Journal has just published their annual list of Notable Government documents, "Notable Government Documents 2011: Past as Prologue". This list of notable Federal, State, Local and International documents -- put together each year by ALA's Government Documents Round Table -- is a collaborative effort by the documents community to promote awareness and acquisition of government publications by libraries and use by library patrons. The list highlights the depth and breadth of the work of our governments. Check them out -- and make sure your library has them in their collections!
Just finishing up the first Webinar hosted by the ALA Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) entitled "Lions, and Podcasts, and Videos! Oh My!" Kathryn Yelinek from Bloomsburg University did a great job in showcasing audio-visual resources available from the US Government. Check out the following:
- Library of Congress National Jukebox
- Smithsonian Folkways
- National Gallery of Art podcasts
- National Zoo Animal Cams
While tangible print documents have dominated traditional government sources, the United States government has always produced information in a variety of formats. This session is intended to introduce librarians to the rich variety of online government audiovisual material. Come and learn how
to point your patrons to folk music recordings, historical videos, and more (there might be lions!)
About the Presenter: Kathryn Yelinek received her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and her MSIT from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. For the past seven years, she has served as Coordinator of Government Documents for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. While still a bibliophile at heart, she's becoming more aware of the educational benefits of audiovisual material.
The Spring 2012 issue of DttP:Documents to the People has an article that shows the power of librarians working together:
Laster, Shari. Crossing Institutional Boundaries to Build a Digital Collection. Dttp: Documents to the People, v.40, no. 1, p.25.
What distinguishes this article from others about building digital collections is that this was done under the umbrella of a state government documents roundtable with the support of a number of Ohio libraries. I find this to be an exciting model for collaboration elsewhere.
According to Ms. Laster, future plans of Ohio GODORT include adding new collections, which will probably require the development of a process for distributed digitization. All of us at FGI wish them well in that work and hold up Ohio as an example of how other state GODORTs might be able to collaborate on projects of statewide interest.
State Agency Databases Report 6/29/2011
There's been new activity for the State Agency Databases Across the Fifty States project on the ALA GODORT wiki. I've decided to start making occasional reports when it seems like there is enough activity to justify a report.
Databases removed from project pages due to dead and apparently unrecoverable links:
- Who's Who in Arizona GIS
- WRA/WRITE Project Database
- Brownfields Search Utility
- Brownfields SiteMart
- Bike project database
For details on the above, click on the "history" tab of the state page and click on a previous version.
If you know of a new link for one of the above items, please let me know.
Databases ADDED to project pages:
- Doctor Search (Arizona Medical Board)
- ADWR Image Records Database (Water Resources)
- AZURITE License Application Query Utility
- Project volunteers who have not updated their pages since January 2010 are being contacted about their continued participation in the project.
- Project pages without volunteers are in the process of being link checked.
If you have questions or comments about this project, feel free to contact me at email@example.com
A Happy Independence Day to all of our US readers! May we live out the values enshrined in our founding document, including a sincere belief that all people are created equal and have inalienable rights no state can take away. Not even the United States.
This is going to be the last regular installment of "Guide of the Week" because I have hit two milestones. With this guide highlight, I will have hit every subject page at least once. With this week, I have done roughly a year's worth of guide highlights as I started on July 12, 2008. I would end with July 11, 2009, except that I will be in Chicago attending the annual conference of the American Library Association. So it seems good to end this regular column today.
This isn't the total end of highlighting materials from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange, which you better have bookmarked by now. As I notice new guides being added, I will try and highlight them here. Additionally, if there seems to be an all consuming news topic that I can identify a relevant guide for, I'll highlight it. We have created an archives page for past Guide of the Week features at http://freegovinfo.info/node/2654.
If you are a govdocs blogger, I hope you will use the Handout Exchange as a source of posts. And like I've been saying almost every week in the past year, if you are a docs librarian with a handout, I expect you to share it on the Exchange.
Housekeeping done, let's move on to our last Guide of the Week:
Gender Equality (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)
This annotated guide is divided into three sections: U.S. Information, International Information and Nongovernmental Sources. Some of the resources include:
- Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 this the Department of Education's page on Title IX, it contains the law, along with guidance and publications on the law.
- United Nations Inter-Agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE) or WomenWatch, is "a central gateway to information and resources on the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women throughout the United Nations system, including the United Nations Secretariat, regional commissions, funds, programmes, specialized agencies and academic and research institutions."
- Women Working, 1800-1930 is a collection of digitized historical, manuscript, and image collections on working women from the Harvard Library collection.
In addition to this guide on Gender Equality, there are three other guides on women's issues on the Exchange. They date from the late 1990s. Think that is too few from too long ago? Then link to your more current guide or handout on women-related government information resources!
Although I've now hit all of the guide subject pages from A to Z, there is much more to explore in the Handout Exchange Wiki. So go forth and explore. And if you're a docs librarian, please link your favorite handout (or 12) to the Handout Exchange.
This page links to all of our blog entries highlighting librarian produced guides linked to the American Library Association Government Documents Roundtable (ALA GODORT) Handout Exchange Wiki. The bulk of entries accessible from the link below came from our "Guide of the Week" series produced from July 12, 2008 - July 4, 2009. More recent entries will come from occasional blog posting highlighting selected new or newsworthy guides.
From their website, here is a description of the purpose of the Exchange:
The goal of this GODORT Education Committee project is to gather into one place the many tools available to government information librarians to assist in the successful management of electronic government information and in building advocacy skills to promote access to this information.
Please feel free to add your handouts, guides, and tutorials to the Exchange to assist your government information colleagues. We don't need to reinvent the wheel. We can provide templates for one another to save time, share models, and work smarter.
Here are the most recent titles:
Anecdotes are not data. If you want data, you should turn to today's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki:
Finding Statistical Resources (Sherry Engle Moeller, Ohio State University, 2005) CC Last updated 9/6/2006
I especially like this guide because it is more than a list of statistical resources. Sherry Moeller has a whole set of questions to help guide people to the right resource. She starts out with:
Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the subject of interest? (Topic)
Examples: Crime, Economics, Education, Health
- Who or what is being counted? (Unit of Analysis)
Examples: Individuals, Families, Households, Businesses, Farms, States, Countries
- What level of geography is desired?
Examples: World, Country, State, County, City, Census Tract, MSA, Zip Code
- Do you want data for a single location or multiple locations?
Examples: Ohio, Great Lakes Region by State, All U.S. States
- What time period should the data cover?
Examples: Most recent available, 1870, 1900-1950
- What frequency of data do you need? (Are you looking for figures for a specific point in time or are you comparing data over a period of time?)
Examples: One time, decennially, annually, monthly, daily
- What variables are of interest?
Examples: Race, Sex, Acreage, Gross National Product
Sherry also gives this practical suggestion:
If you don't know who collected or produced the data, can you make an educated guess? (Who would need this kind of information?)
Examples: Number of airplane crashes in the U.S. - U.S. Department of Transportation?; Number of AIDS cases by country - World Health Organization?
Once she has given you some focus, Sherry's guide moves into the following sections: General Sources, International Resources, Foreign Government Resources, U.S. Government Resources, State and Local Government Resources and Other Resources. Among the many annotated resources listed are:
- Statistical Abstract of the United States
- World Development Indicators (World Bank)
- Statistical Agencies [By Country]
- Energy Information Administration (DOE)
- Statistics at the State and Local Level
The full guide is well worth your time if you have any interest in statistics whatsoever.
Aside from this guide, there are about three dozen other guides to various kinds of statistics available from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange. Go check them out at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/Exchange_Subject_S#Statistics
Did you know that today (June 6, 2009), asteroid Asteroid 2004 FY15 is flying by the earth at 35 times the distance to the Moon? Or that the 52nd Session of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space is going on this week? You would have if you had spent some time exploring this week's Guide of the Week from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki:
Space and Astronomy (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)
The events above came from the Space Calendar listed in the "US Government Information" section of the guide. This is also the section to pay close attention to if you're at all interested in highlighting Apollo Program resources in honor of the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.
Other sections in UCB's guide include: International Information, Nongovernmental Sources, Resources in the Catalog and Related Topics. Some of the resources highlighted in these sections include:
- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
- Hubble Space Telescope Images
- Electronic resources on space exploration or astronomy from UCB Library's Chinook catalog
- Image Databases
There is a lot to explore. I hope you will boldly go and explore the rest of this guide. And if you are a documents librarians with a handout or guide, I urge you to confidently go and link it to the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki.
With North Korea once again pushing its way to the front of the headlines, this is a good time to show off a librarian produced resource guide from the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki on this pariah nation:
North Korea Country Guide (University of Colorado at Boulder Government Publications Library, 2008)
Like the other excellent country guides produced by the UCB govpubs library, this guide is broken into the following sections:
- Government Information
- Country Profiles
- Articles & Databases
- Diplomatic Relations
- Peacekeeping & Military Information
- Resources in the Catalog
- Related Topics
The Government Information section indicates that the main official page for North Korea is a dot com and appears to be linked to an organization called the Korea Friendship Association. In addition there are two unlabeled portraits on the North Korea home page. I suppose they are current leader Kim Jon Il and his father Kim Il Sung. But I guess the North Korea web authors feel that only people who know that for sure will be visiting the North Korea web site.
As mentioned in other highlights of UCB country guides, the Country Profiles section features profiles of North Korea from many international organizations and a number of individual countries. If you question the impartiality of US assessments of North Korea, this section may give you a more well rounded view.
One of the resources featured under "articles and databases" is the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Declassified Documents database at http://www.foia.ucia.gov/. Typing in North Korea yields 1,154 results. Some of them serious and some of them light-hearted like "Agency hosts movie premier and sneak preview" which talked about a showing of the movie In the Company of Spies at CIA headquarters. This particular document also shows the ridiculous secrecy practice by the CIA as this movie press release has a number of redactions, including this bizarre one in the following paragraph:
No visit to the agency would be complete without a trip to the [REDACTED] reports that between 9:30 and 10:55pm, guests spent 2/3 of an average day's sales, carting away cart-loads of t-shirts, caps, and infants/children's outfits.
The secret's out. The CIA has a gift shop. The redaction would look somewhat less silly and pointless if they had just redacted the gift shop manager's name.
But I digress. The good librarians at the University of Colorado at Boulder have provided a wealth of resources for anyone who wants to take a peak behind the screaming headlines of this deeply insular and often confusion producing country.
Are you a librarian with a handout or guide to an issue in the news? Then link it to the ALA GODORT Handout Exchange Wiki.