New Initiatives and Next Steps from the 2012 DLC Meeting and Conference

October 22, 2012

The 2012 Depository Library Council (DLC) Meeting & Federal Depository Library (FDL) Conference, held last week in Arlington, VA, was a historic one! This year marked the 40th anniversary of the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer, the 80th meeting of the Depository Library Council, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of regional depository libraries, and the 20th Federal Depository Library Conference. It was also the first time that participants could participate in some of the sessions virtually, via the iCohere platform.

As always, the program was packed with hands-on training sessions from federal agencies, educational sessions from Government Printing Office (GPO) staff, DLC meetings, and opportunities for networking and idea exchange opportunities among depository library colleagues from around the country.  We were pleased with GPO’s announcement of two new projects that will provide public access to authentic government information:

  • The Judicial Conference of the United States approved the national implementation of a joint program between the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and GPO to provide access to authenticated court opinions for U.S. appellate, district, and bankruptcy courts through FDsys.
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury is now making available historical documents within the agency’s library collections through FDsys. This month, GPO released the Treasury Reporting Rates of Exchange: 1956-2005. The digitized Official Register of the United States 1829-1861; 1879-1959 will be added to FDsys by the end of the year.

The real highlight of this year’s meeting was the presentation of the preliminary results from the FDLP Forecast Study. Collected over the last year, study questionnaires gathered data on the needs, vision, and environments of both individual depositories and depository regions to inform the strategic direction for the FDLP. Of the 1201 depository libraries, 775 submitted complete forecasts, including an impressive showing from depository law libraries. Thanks to all of you for the time and energy you put into developing your forecasts and state action plans.

GPO used the State Focused Action Plans, which were designed to document what states or depository regions have identified in their individual library and state forecasts as important issues, to identify common themes. Themes included training and marketing; program governance, including changes to Title 44; and issues related to preservation, digitization, harvesting, and authentication.

The chart below identifies the next steps from the Forecast Study. In Phase 2, GPO will reach out to specific libraries and regions for clarification on their surveys, conduct interviews and focus groups, and incorporate new data into their analysis. Phase 3 will focus on data sharing and collaboration for a National Action Plan for the FDLP. We expect to see White Papers on issues related to program governance issues and marketing, education and training due out this spring.

Program materials from the 2012 DLC Conference and FDL Meeting are available on the FDLP Desktop. As GPO and the library community consider the future of the FDLP, it is important for law librarians to make their voices heard. We encourage you to reach out to the AALL FDLP Task Force, chaired by Sally Holterhoff, to share your ideas and vision for the future. Currently the task force is collecting model language from depository library mission statements and collection development policies. If your library’s policy language reflects your depository status, please consider submitting the language to any member of the task force.


DLC Annual Meeting and Conference

October 17, 2012

The Government Relations Office staff is attending the Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference this week in Arlington, VA!

In addition to educational sessions offered by government agencies and librarians, the Government Printing Office will be presenting the preliminary results from the FDLP Forecast Study, and you can tune in online. More information is available on the FDLP Desktop, and a transcript will be available after the event.

For live coverage, follow us on Twitter at @AALL_GRO and #dlcf12, plus stay tuned to this blog for a conference recap next week!


Join the Team

October 9, 2012

By Elizabeth

Here’s a friendly reminder to complete our quick survey to become a member of AALL’s Advocacy Team if you haven’t already done so!

With Congress making cuts to Government Printing Office and Library of Congress funding, looming threats to eliminate crucial print legal resources, and important information policy issues competing for attention in the upcoming lame-duck session, now is the critical time to make your voice heard. Whether you’re new to our advocacy efforts or a seasoned veteran, the Government Relations Office would like to invite you to become a more effective, engaged member of AALL’s Advocacy Team by providing us with some brief information about yourself and your interests. The information you share with us will help us help you become your most effective advocate.

Take our brief Advocacy Team questionnaire today.

Whether you are an academic, private or public sector law librarian, joining the AALL Advocacy Team will provide a rewarding opportunity to participate in our Association and make a difference. You will help to implement public policies that ensure no-fee permanent public access to official, authentic legal resources, create an equitable balance in copyright laws, protect the privacy of library users, and impact other key information policy issues.

Our advocates have already racked up many successes at the federal level. For example, earlier this year, our members helped ensure adequate funding for the Library of Congress and Government Printing Office in this fiscal year. And, thanks to your help, the “We, the People” petition calling for open access to taxpayer-funded research surpassed the number of signatures required for review by the White House staff and is currently under consideration for action by the White House!

As former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill famously said, “All politics is local.”  Personal relationships and contacts are the most effective way to influence your legislators’ position on public policies. Once again, please fill out our questionnaire. Your responses will help us to identify how you can most effectively assist us with our advocacy efforts.

The Government Relations Office will call upon Advocacy Team members to influence the outcome on our important legislative priorities. We will only contact you when matters are urgent, so when you hear from us, you’ll know we really need your help. The information you provide will remain confidential.

Thank you for that you do! We look forward to working together.


FOIA Portal Now Open to Public

October 3, 2012

By Elizabeth

Monday marked the launch of the much-anticipated FOIAonline, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) “portal” or “module” aimed at streamlining FOIA requests and administration across agencies. Developed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Commerce Department, and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), the new website offers a “multi-agency, shared-services solution” for FOIA requesters and uniform tool for FOIA administration. Users may now submit and track FOIA requests using the portal, search and download requests and response records, correspond with processing staff, and file appeals. In addition to EPA, Commerce, and NARA, two smaller agencies, the Merit Systems Protection Board and the Federal Labor Relations Authority, have begun using the system to process FOIA requests.

Perhaps the best feature of FOIAonline is its ability to allow requesters and non-requesters alike to search a database of released FOIA documents. Users may search across agencies for similar FOIA requests or browse all released documents on a search term. The system also provides a new reports feature in which users can run queries on FOIA backlogs, average processing times of requests, and a variety of other criteria. OpenTheGovernment.org has provided this neat infographic of the site’s features:

Image

In previous discussions of the module, EPA, Commerce, and NARA noted that several other agencies were considering use of FOIAonline for their agencies’ requests, with the ultimate goal of directing all FOIA requests through the site. Remember, the content available on FOIAonline is only as good as the requests made. Users are encouraged to create an account to allow easy request tracking and can expect more information—and hopefully more agencies—on FOIAonline soon.


October Washington E-Bulletin

October 1, 2012

The October issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is now available on AALLNET.

IN THIS ISSUE

Vol. 2012, Issue 9

A LOOK AHEAD

ACT NOW

AALL IN THE STATES

ROUNDUP AND REVIEW


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