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Reinventing Ourselves–Part II

I hope everyone had a nice and restful holiday.  May all the turkey you ate gave you the opportunity for some nice long naps and re-energized you for this week.

Since we are all feeling restful and sharp-minded, why don’t we take some time to think about how the depository system could reinvent itself.  Let’s throw in some ideas that will help the folks at GPO to do sme great things for us and them.  When thinking of these ideas, begin by creating in your mind your ideal depository.  Also, think about what  could GPO do for us that would help you with your work.

Just some things off the top of my head.


FDLP Desktop:

Since the FDLP Desktop is still in beta, this is a good time to make suggestions that will make it ideal for our work.

  • I would like to see the ability to tailor some tasks according to a depository’s profile.  For example, have the New Electronic Titles be tailored to your profile.  I would like to login, click on the NET link and it show me all the online publications that are part of our profile.  This way, we wouldn’t have to print the list, then scan through each one and compare it to our profile before being able to download it onto the online catalog.
  • The ability to download bib. records from the CGP.
  • Would like to see the manual dealing with Inactive/Discontinued lists of item numbers improved so you can differentiate between inactive and discontinued.  To me, these are two different things.  Inactive implies that it may return at some point in the future while discontinued means it has ceased and there is no hope of its return.  Separating the lists within the same manual would be good or creating a column for status detailing if it is inactive or discontinued would be helpful.

I do like the new look of the beta site of the FDLP Desktop.  You will be able to instant message, email,  and create buddy lists from within the depository community.  Seems to be better organized than the old Desktop website.  I like the calendar feature and the ability to order promotional items online is a great tool as well.


New Services Suggestions:

  • Creating a full-text database of government publication periodicals/serials.    The government offers a variety of interesting articles through its periodicals/serials and most people are missing out because most of them are not indexed by commercial publishers.  The great thing about this would be that depositories would have free access to this database while non-depositories would have to pay a subscription fee.  This would allow GPO to actually make money and, at the same time, provide a service that would be attractive to non-depository libraries.  The database could eventually become something like JSTOR which would include articles going as far back as possible.  Make sure there is a way to search for peer-reviewed articles as well.
  • A GPO Gift Shop that would allow you to promote the depository better like good cotton t-shirts with the GPO logo on it and customizing it with the name of the depository and the name of the employee so it can be worn at work.  Such t-shirts would also be bought by the general public just for the nifty GPO logo alone.  The handbags that were recently distributed at the Fall conference for attendees is a great idea as well.  I didn’t attend the conference but noticed at a recent depository meeting for WA State librarians that someone had one.  I admired it and one of the librarians at the meeting told me I could have theirs.  Ever since then, I have been using it for work.  Again, its promtoing the depository library and is quite an attention catcher….ah, remember the washable GPO tattoo that someone created for an event at their library?
  • Instruction on how to maintain a collection that soon will become archival.  How to do some basic repairs of tangible documents and how to preserve online documents.


New Digital Project Suggestions:

  • Would like to see the Congressional Record from 1876 – 1993 digitized.  Pre-1876 has been digitized by the Library of Congress via their American Memory collection and, of course, we have it available since 1994 via GPO Access.


Community Service:

  • Find ways to provide community services at the local level.  Oregon State University took a giant step at their library by providing limited day care at their library. 
  • Some depositories are providing services as passport centers.


What ideas do you have?






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