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MN Library stores electronic state documents

As the depository community mulls the possibility of accepting deposit of digital materials from the Government Printing Office, I thought it would be helpful to highlight several libraries which are ALREADY collecting, describing, storing, and providing access to electronic government documents. Although most of these examples concern state documents, their storage and service requirements are directly applicable to federal digital deposit. For clarity, I will highlight one library per post.

Today’s library is the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. They currently store 1,452 electronic state document items taking up 4GB of storage space, for an average document size of 0.35MB. Their documents server has a 115GB hard drive, so they potentially have room for another 37,000 documents of average size.

The hardware for their system cost about $2000. Unlike the Alaska State Library, MN used an LSTA grant to develop a management system for their electronic documents. The grant provided $19,200 for software development. Now that the system has been built, the Legislative Reference Library says it is “our hope that this system could be emulated and adapted by other libraries considering similar archives of electronic files.” So other libraries adopting the MN system likely will not have to spend $19K reinventing the wheel. If I’m mistaken, I hope someone from MN will correct me.

According to the MN edocs page, LRL Director Robbie LaFleur is the official project contact. Her e-mail is rlafleur@lrl.leg.mn. Please consider this and other real-life examples of libraries taking responsibility for digital government documents before answering question 66 on the biennial survey. – Daniel

Sources:
Personal communication with Robbie LaFleur, 12/5/2005.

Final LSTA report MN E-Docs:
http://www.leg.state.mn.us/webcontent/lrl/mndocs/LSTAfinalreport.pdf

Minitex Reference Notes article by Sarah Quimby
http://www-minitex.lib.umn.edu/publications/refnotes/2005/nov2005.pdf

MN E-Docs page
http://www.leg.state.mn.us/lrl/mndocs/edocs/overview.asp

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