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Sunday April 18th – GPO Update

To provide your own take on the GPO Update Session , please either comment below or send your notes and/or multimedia to dnlcornwall@alaska.net. Please let FGI know if we can use your name and affiliation.


The following notes were contributed by Sharon M. Partridge of the Jefferson County Public Library in Lakewood CO. Any hyperlinks were added by FGI staff.

All interpretations of documents and comments made are my own and do not reflect on my institution. These were typed on the day noted and subsequent days may have changed things. All mistakes are mine and feel free to post corrections.

Judy Russell looked forward to a “lively discussion.” Electronic is the “default switch” for format; unless it has been deemed an exception, that will be the format. We got a draft copy of two revised documents. One is the ID 71 (formerly SOD 71), Dissemination/Distribution Policy for the Federal Depository Library Program. The changes reflect the new names of departments (Information Dissemination rather than LPS) and allowing the conversion of both present documents and the retrospective collection from tangible format to electronic. The second document is ID 72, Withdrawal of Federal Information Products from Information Dissemination Collection and Distribution Programs (recalls of information already in FDLP). They seem to have removed the requirement to pass on Sales customers’ names except in national security cases, noted that there will be a record of removal with the maintenance of the bibliographic record and annotation about the withdrawal, and broadened the concept of an emergency withdrawal by eliminating the language about national security.

Judy announced that there would not be any discussion of the print-on-demand “allowance.” The offer has been withdrawn. There weren’t any protests since the libraries had argued that the allowance was too small to have any impact.

The Web discovery and contract harvesters concept will be tested by two different companies using the EPA website. They will each run against the same site to allow GPO to compare the results of the two different harvesting techniques they represent. The problem will be to get everything that is a document and nothing that isn’t. Judy knows this is impossible but they are hoping to refine the search rules to the point that the programs will be able to minimize the amount of human review required.

The LOCKSS (Lots of copies keeps stuff safe) concept will be tested with 10 on-line journal titles to be distributed to the regionals and the International Exchange Service partners.

They are getting closer to the Authentication and Version Control software. On Tuesday afternoon, they’ll show us what the digital signatures will look like (except for the watermark”). Right now, they are having to authenticate single documents but hope to have the bulk signing in place soon. They will begin by signing the 109th Congressional Bills.

12,000 components of the Akamaized (Akamai Technologies, Inc)system have been identified to help distribute information in the event of a catastrophic failure in GPO Access.

Per Council’s recommendation, the parts of the Strategic Vision are being merged into a single document. The National Collection, National Bibliography and Electronic Collection pieces are done and there is a draft of the authentification/Version Control piece.

The Sales Program has not only broken even but is even showing a slight profit but GPO can’t make the investment needed for expansion. Print-on-demand means nothing goes out of date or has to be warehoused. The RFI was a search for a partner for marketing and distribution rather than a request for a printer. Such a company could not privatize the documents.

Judy said she had told a library director that the changes would free staff from processing so they could be used in patron services. One of the Council members pointed out that we’d be moving from cheap student aides to expensive IT staff. Judy repeated that we have to expect “orderly but accelerating change.”

Responses to Council and library questions:

The OMB compact pilot has led to “Agency Direct.” This is a suite of software to allow printers and agencies to send the electronic versions of their documents to GPO. The testing has already gone beyond the Labor Dept. to include some other agencies.

The new ILS won’t allow GPO to “push” catalog records to our catalogs but that is considered part of phase two. The ILS will have testing and record loads in the last two weeks of May (hence the lack of cataloging during this time). They will have some depositories test the catalog in the first few weeks of June. It could “go live” for the public in mid-June.

The contracts for the harvesters have to wait for the move of the JCP from the House to the Senate. They will have 180 days to harvest and then some time to create their reports. NTIS has been approached to provide a third set of records to compare results. GPO is aware of the dynamic databases and the proprietary software that can not be harvested.

The PKI software is close to final certification and they presently have to authenticate on a single-title basis but hope to begin bulk signatures soon.

They are watching the Google digitization project but don’t see it as competition. They are open to using Google’s files if possible.

The pricing of government documents discussion has to wait for the RFI and RFP results but traditionally, the only required costs were for printing and distribution. I thought the question was really about charging taxpayers for information they’d paid for gathering but Judy read it as trying to recover the research costs.

They are working with OCLC to capture e-documents in content-DM.

There were more questions but we ran out of time and hope to get to them at another session.


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