Paul Schaffer asked if we would post this comment by him to the list.
I hope FDLP has pondered the staffing implications of FDsys accomplishing
its stated aims.
If the FDSYS intake arrangements are effective, the number of digital
documents crossing GPO’s radar screen will have to be at least double what
GPO was dealing with in the heyday of tangible publications. A decision
will be needed, on each one, as to whether it is “within the scope of GPO’s
Federal Depository Library Program.”
Eventually some alogrithm will keep track of FDLP’s thumbs-up and
thumbs-down decisions, to spare human staffers from sifting through the
obviously-yes and obviously-no digital documents logged by FDsys.
But for two or three years, a huge number of eligibility decisions will have
to be made by human staffers or contractors. If that phase of the effort is
fumbled, the value of all that nifty software will be seriously compromised.
The potential downsides are huge gaps in what gets catalogued, or letting
the GPO Catalog become a random sample of what’s in FDsys.
Paul Schaffer firstname.lastname@example.org 646 274 6246
Coincidentally, I got a message from the head of a social science library recently and she made this comment about the recent announcment: GPO Takes Major Step Toward Creating Digital Information Management System: “who is paying for all this now and in the future???”
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