updated Sat Apr 23, 2005 to reflect Bill Sudduth’s statement that he read Ridley Kessler’s letter to the DLC forum audience.
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The following notes were contributed by Sharon M. Partridge of the Jefferson County Public Library in Lakewood CO.
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.
The libraries wrote questions to give to GPO. Twenty-five of them were asked and either answered or noted yesterday, in half an hour. There were still some that we didn’t have time for and there were new questions from today so there were over seventy questions. The questions were entered into the computer as they were received so they could be displayed and T C Evans read the questions unless the person submitting it wanted to ask it themselves. This was a vast improvement over the traditional open mike format. People did have a way to ask a follow-up question if they needed one.
Bill Sudduth read a long letter from Ridley Kessler discussed the fact that GPO was giving us what we’d asked for over a ten-year span. He said that the electronic depository was a fact and what the public wants. Libraries opposed to giving up paper are Luddites in the path of progress. GPO can’t afford to support outmoded formats.
Michelle McKnelly (not a public librarian) and Laura Saurs (Newark Public) from Council attended the public library’s breakout session. Michelle brought up some of our concerns and said that if we were willing to abandon part of the population we at least need to acknowledge that is what we’re doing. Both of them did an excellent job of passing on the concerns of the public libraries.
It became obvious that the majority of the breakout sessions had discussed that many of the types of libraries didn’t have that much in common. There are also libraries that cover more than one category of library such as state libraries that are also state law libraries. Offering them the titles that are considered essential for their category ignores the multiple roles that some libraries serve.
The questions began and only some of the comments and answers follow:
The PKI software can create a digital signature for many of file formats but not for text files. GPO isn’t sure it will authenticate files in a proprietary format but they always have the option to change the format and note that in the bibliographic record if that is the only way they can offer the information. If the issue is format vs. permanent access the depositories have indicated they prefer the permanence. Judy said, “AT THIS POINT [emphasis is mine], selection of Essential Titles doesn’t mean that those are the only titles that will be tangible .” If agencies provide tangible copies, they will be distributed “AT LEAST TO THE REGIONALS [emphasis is mine].” Judy explained that the FDLP copies are usually paid for from GPO’s budget as extra copies of the agency order. Very few agencies pay to provide tangible copies for the FDLP. Migration to new formats is build into the plan for the electronic collection. If there is a paper report and the link for the record only points to an electronic summary, that is a mistake and needs to be reported to GPO. There was more discussion about how out-of-date the List of Classes is. Judy explained that the agencies decide when a publication has ceased and there is a procedure that GPO has to follow. Someone asked if GPO could send updates of sections of the LOC rather than waiting until the entire list was final and static. GPO was asked to revisit the POD idea to allow us to customize our wish lists. She said that the response had been so universally negative that they didn’t see there had been any support at all for the idea. The idea isn’t the problem, the implementation and limitations are.