ALA Midwinter Meeting Summaries: January 21–23, 2017, Atlanta, GA

GODORT Research Round Robin

An informal discussion group met to talk about researching with government information collections and topics. The group talked about challenges and strategies for connecting research with other areas of practice, including: history, public policy, social science, library history, and best practices. The conversation space connected participants with new projects and ideas. Attendees agreed that GODORT should host similar events at future conferences.

Submitted by Shari Laster, GODORT Assistant Chair/Chair-Elect

Federal Documents Taskforce

FDTF met on Saturday, January 21, 2017, 10:30–11:30 a.m. We held a personal/virtual meeting. An update was provided on the status of the Interest Group issue and next steps were discussed. Richard Huffline spoke about electronic government documents and the possibility of providing those through a vendor such as OverDrive. Laurie Hall, Acting Superintendent of Documents, provided an update on preservation, regional discards, and other issues.

For detailed minutes and a recording of the meeting go to:

The meeting was recorded and is available on GODORT’s YouTube channel: .

Submitted by Susan Caro, Chair of FDTF

International Documents Taskforce

International Documents Task Force (IDTF) met on Saturday, January 21, 3–4 p.m. We held a hybrid in-person/virtual meeting. Ramona Kohrs, United Nations Dag HammarskjÖld Library, joined us remotely to provide updates about the UN Digital Repository and other updates for Depository Libraries, specifically that she would send out a survey of training needs. The following vendors joined us and provided product updates: Jim Draper, Readex; and Iain Williamson, OECD Publishing, who spoke about the UN iLibrary.

For detailed minutes, please visit the IDTF Minutes and Agendas,

The meeting was recorded and is available on GODORT’s YouTube channel:

Submitted by Kris Kasianovitz and Susan Paterson, Co-chairs of IDTF

Government Information for Children Committee

The Government Information for Children (GIC) Committee had an active discussion on several projects that the group has been working on.

Constitution Day Poster Contest—Members will promote the contest in their local areas and Connie and Liza will work together to design the contest poster.

National History Day—The group discussed the proposal from NoodleTools (NT) to partner with GIC. The consensus of the group was that working with a commercial database might create some conflict of interest since our group is committed to promoting and providing free government information and resources. Through emails exchanged between members of GIC after the meeting, it was clarified that NT offers free access for all National History Day (NHD) participants and their classes. GIC will discuss this in more details at a later date. The group agreed that the NoodleTools Express link on the GIC LibgGuide was fine since it’s free.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—Della Farrell from School Library Journal brought the two laws to the group’s attention.

ESEA provides funding for districts serving low-income students to improve the quality of school libraries.
ESSA was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015. The previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002.

GIC Webinar—the group discussed ideas for a webinar with GPO on free government information for children. There was one comment that some government information may not be prepared for children. Maybe government information librarians should work to fill that gap to provide government information for children. There were a couple of suggestions for the webinar. One was a “how to do it”: for example, how to read a USGS map or how to use a plate. Another was to “introduce tools” that would help students to learn. Everyone was asked to gather webinar ideas from Library of Congress, NASA, USGS, NPS, and other government agencies before deciding on one topic for the webinar. The group hopes to be able to host the webinar in the summer before school starts in the fall, so that teachers and school librarians will have new resources to prepare for a new school year. This webinar may provide school librarians and teachers with resources and ideas to improve the quality of their school libraries (ESEA) and help students to success (ESSA).

Outreach—Rachel Dobkin provided many outreach ideas to promote what GIC does. She suggested that GIC may reach out to federal or state librarians who specialize in government information for children or ask them to be consultants for the group or develop guides for all government information to children and teachers. The group already has a guide ( and will continue to add resources as we discovered them. Another idea is to educate other librarians on information that they should know. The GIC should designate an outreach person to promote awareness of their existence outside of the library community.

Submitted by, Siu Min Yu and Greg March, members of GIC

Cataloging Committee

The Cataloging Committee started the meeting with vendors and liaison reports.

Fang Gao of the U.S. Government Publishing Office gave an update on what GPO has done during the past year. One of the projects is the revision of the 1993 GPO Classification Manual. Timeline to complete this project is fall of 2017. GPO’s Library Services and Content Management is working on a pilot project to provide subject-based and instructional library guides to users. GPO will partner with a select group of FDL and will use Springshare LibGuides software for this project. GPO is also considering whether or not to create monographic series authority records for rarely used series titles. The GPO Cataloging Guidelines ( are almost all revised.

Jim Noel from Marcive, Inc. reported that Marcive has been busy adding new depositories to GPO’s Cataloging Record Distribution Program. Currently there are four to five libraries on the wait-list.

Valerie Glenn from HathiTrust gave an update on the HathiTrust Federal Documents Registry Activities. The registry has been available as a beta release at HathiTrust staff are working to reduce duplicate records. Future plans for the registry are the “refresh of registry data,” the identification of gaps between the registry and the HathiTrust repository, and research of the corporate author field since this field has had issues reported in the past. Currently, only the contributing library can alter or update the bibliographic data for a resource, but HathiTrust is investigating alternate methods.

Andrea Morrison, CC:DA liaison, reported on upcoming, significant changes to the RDA cataloging standard and the RDA Toolkit, to be completed by April 2018. There are two proposed changes to RDA cataloging of interest to GODORT members. First is to expand RDA—Laws Governing More Than One Jurisdiction. Second is Providing Greater Flexibility in Creating Variant Access Points (RDA Chapters 5-6, and 8-11.) Andrea recommended that GODORT review current RDA relationship designators and identify any new needed designators in addition to issuing body, sponsoring body, etc. Due to the ongoing RDA changes, GODORT’s Toolbox for Processing and Cataloging Federal Government Documents should be updated. Andrea also suggested planning an educational program on RDA and the IFLA Library Reference Model, which will incorporate new classes and elements related to cataloging government documents.

Finally, Simon Healy moved to set up a working group to work on updating the Toolbox and possibly transfer content to LibGuides. The motion was seconded by Sarah Erekson. Andrea will lead the group and provide content and Stephen Kharfen offered to help with editing. Cataloging Committee will recruit additional volunteers to help with this project.

Submitted by Siu Min Yu, Chair, Cataloging Committee

Legislation Committee

The Legislation Committee met twice during Midwinter. Saturday’s session was a joint meeting with the ALA Committee on Legislation’s Government Information Subcommittee (COL-GIS). COL-GIS endorsed the Legislation Committee’s memorial resolution for John Shuler. Acting Superintendent of Documents Laurie Hall gave an update on GPO’s preservation activities. The Preservation Working Group presented its draft resolution for ALA to urge Congress to fully fund preservation of Federal government publications; after much discussion, the resolution was sent back to the Preservation Working Group for further revision.

Sunday’s meeting was devoted to discussion of the Legislation Committee’s five-year plan, using the Government Information Next Initiative (GINI) ( as a starting point. Discussion revolved around the Legislation Committee’s dual role of advocacy and education, both within and outside of GODORT; the Committee will continue the discussion in conference calls leading up to the Annual Conference.

Legislation Committee meeting II was recorded and is available on GODORT’s YouTube channel:

Submitted by Hallie Pritchett, Chair, Legislative Committee


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