Membership Update

Following brief messages from two candidates for ALA president, Treasurer Rebecca Hyde proposed a revised budget for the coming fiscal year that reflects changes in expenses and revenues due to moving DttP: Documents to the People to ALA’s online journal platform. The chair of Legislation Committee, Geoffrey Swindells, moved that GODORT endorse in principle a resolution commending former director of the GPO Davita Vance-Cooks for her service. This was unanimously approved.

Councillor Bill Sudduth discussed an update on ALA Council activities, including a proposed increase in dues and preliminary discussions on further association-wide reorganization. Past-Chair Sarah Erekson provided an update on the Annual Conference Remodel, noting that the new program jury process presented hurdles for Round Tables and penalizes communities like government information librarianship for which speakers who are well known in our own circles may not have name recognition outside the community. Chair-Elect Hallie Pritchett gave an overview of the website revision process being undertaken by an ad hoc committee following ALA’s migration to a new Drupal site. As part of this revision, the wiki will be retired in favor of the Drupal site. The ALA Connect migration experienced setbacks in fall 2017 but is expected to proceed in spring 2018. Volunteers are needed to assist in the web migration.

Chair Shari Laster shared information about the role of the GODORT chair and the Steering Committee in ALA Washington Office’s work on Title 44 reform. Steering has endorsed a position statement on the FDLP, which has informed ALA’s position on substantive provisions in the draft legislation.—Shari Laster, GODORT Chair

Steering Committee

During the course of the meeting, Steering voted to approve the award winners as communicated by Ann Marshall, chair of Awards Committee, and to approve the GODORT budget with amendments as submitted by Treasurer Rebecca Hyde. Other reports were provided and acknowledged, and ALA Executive Board Liaison Andrew Pace gave a report. Also, the Chair’s Program for the 2018 Annual Conference was announced: a panel will discuss trustworthiness and government information.

Discussion took place regarding a proposal for GODORT to host Government Information Online (GIO), an email reference service provided independently but previously affiliated with GPO. The proposal was brought forward by Gwen Sinclair, chair of Education Committee, and Robbie Sittel, chair of Publications Committee, both of whom are currently involved in organizing and providing the service. Following the discussion, Steering unanimously approved the intent of the proposal for GODORT to fund GIO. Gwen Sinclair and Robbie Sittel will work with Gavin Baker of the ALA Washington Office to seek a partnership agreement with GPO.

A second proposal from Robbie Sittel came forward on behalf of the Depository Library Council (DLC), which is seeking an organization to host the travel fund initiated in honor of former DLC Chair Karen M. Russ. Following extensive discussion, it was determined that more information is needed about the sustainability of this award and whether it would be steered toward an endowed fund or only be provided while the initial funding persists. Clarification was also needed as to how GODORT could accept the money fundraised by a GoFundMe crowdsourcing campaign, noting that the award would need to be formally approved by ALA’s committee on grants and scholarships. Steering voted unanimously to endorse the project in principle. Robbie Sittel and Rebecca Hyde will work with the Awards Committee on next steps, with the intent to bring a formal proposal to Steering by Annual Conference.

Steering voted to approve the formation of the Federal Information Interest Group. The Interest Group chapter of the Policy and Procedures Manual can be amended as other interest groups are formed.—Shari Laster, GODORT Chair

Preservation Forum

After two excellent programs at the 2017 Annual Conference about different aspects of preserving government information, GODORT continued the conversation at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting with a forum that asked “where do we go from here?” Robbie Sittel from the University of North Texas and Marie Concannon from the University of Missouri discussed the Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI) Project, which, through support from IMLS, is engaging diverse groups of stakeholders in conversations around at-risk federal digital information. Cindy Etkin from the US GPO discussed GPO’s preservation initiatives to date and how the community can get involved. Both sections included lively discussion and active audience participation in brainstorming ideas to move preservation projects forward and help preserve information produced by every level of government so it remains available for future generations.—Hallie Pritchett, GODORT Chair-Elect

Research Round Robin

Government information librarians and others met to informally discuss academic research projects and challenges with major collection cataloging projects. No decision has been made as to whether to continue this series at future conferences.—Shari Laster, GODORT Chair

Bylaws Coordinator Report

My first priority as the new Bylaws Coordinator was to make changes in the current GODORT Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM) to reflect the major change resulting from GODORT membership’s decision at the 2017 Annual Conference to abolish the Bylaws Committee in favor of a new officer position of Bylaws and Organization Coordinator. References to Bylaws Committee throughout the PPM were changed to Bylaws Coordinator. This also necessitated the removal of the old chapter 13 (Bylaws Committee) and at the same time creating a new chapter 10, “Officer: Bylaws Coordinator,” which required renumbering the old chapters 10–12 to new chapters 11–13.

Several additional changes were made at the request of Steering Committee: (1) the threshold requiring Steering Committee’s approval for expending funds was raised from $50 to $100 in the Treasurer’s chapter; (2) a new section was added for the Virtual Meetings Coordinator in the Special Officers chapter; (3) due to the request by the Federal Documents Task Force to dissolve itself, the section on it was removed from Task Force chapter (giving it the status “retired”) and all mentions to FDTF throughout the PPM were removed; (4) information regarding Emerging Leaders and Larry Roman Mentorship Award were added to the Awards chapter; and (5) a new chapter 27, “Interest Group,” was written and presented to Steering Committee at the 2018 Midwinter Meeting.

In the process of making the preceding changes, it became clear additional changes needed to be made to the PPM to update it so that it accurately reflects the changes over the past few years. Working with several of the committee chairs, I was able to make these additional changes to the PPM: (1) references to “internal liaisons” still existed in several of the committee chapters, so they were removed; (2) references to the GODORT Hotel and ProQuest Breakfast meeting were also removed since they are no longer valid; (3) the conflicting information regarding external liaisons from GODORT to other organizations was addressed by removing outdate dreferences and adding new listings while trying to streamline for clarity the listings of existing, active external liaisons; (4) several chapters were updated with wording about committees being entitled to interns if they want them; (5) with the inconsistency of the numbers of committees members indicated in various places within the PPM was fixed; and (6) the “Notable Documents Rating Chart” in appendix F was revised.

Eighteen revised chapters and two revised appendices of the PPM were sent to the GODORT webmaster for uploading onto the GODORT wiki before the 2018 Midwinter Meeting in February. At that time two chapters were still waiting for final approval of their revisions by their committee chairs, and seven chapters were on hold pending changes to be made after the Midwinter Meeting.—Vicki Tate, GODORT Bylaws and Organization Coordinator

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee met virtually in a closed session on January 19. The committee reviewed the nomination packets for the 2018 GODORT Awards and reached a consensus on the awardees. The committee also briefly discussed next steps in the awards process.—Ann Marshall, Chair

Cataloging Committee

The Cataloging Committee met February 10, with two members attending virtually. GPO’s representative, Stephen Karfen, presented the Library Services and Content Management and US GPO update. Jim Noel gave the Marcive update. Invited speaker Valerine Glenn gave a HathiTrust documents registry update based on questions previously submitted. She also discussed the process for cataloging record corrections and copyright releases. The GODORT Toolbox for Processing and Cataloging Federal Government Documents is nearing final editing offline. Because GODORT is moving information off the wiki to ALA Connect and GODORT LibGuides, the Cataloging Committee formed a working group to learn LibGuides. Volunteers are welcome. The International Documents Task Force sent feedback that they are soliciting volunteers to work with us on updating the Toolbox for Processing and Cataloging International Government Documents. In addition, the Committee created a working group to establish best policies and practices for cataloging government documents in RDA: Resource Description and Access and will check into possible collaboration with other ALA groups, such as MAGIRT. Finally, the Committee discussed best options for an educational outreach initiative concerning cataloging government information and agreed to gather ideas.—Andrea Morrison, Chair

Development Committee

The committee met virtually on February 19. We discussed the amount ALA notes is a fully funded $3,000 scholarship ($135,000) and agreed we would pursue that for the Rozkuszka Scholarship. In spring 2017 the committee tried an email solicitation that netted very little, so this year the committee will be looking into a fundraising letter. In June 2018 we will also be auctioning the vacations at the Readex properties in Chester, Vermont, and Coral Gables, Florida, in support of the scholarship.—Andrea Sevetson, Chair

Education Committee

The GODORT Education Committee met in person on February 10. Members and guests discussed the style guide and timeline for the GODORT website revision and how the Education Committee’s pages should be organized in the new structure. Updates to the wiki will no longer be made and decisions must be made about which parts of the wiki content should be put in LibGuides and which should be on the website.

The committee endorsed accepting responsibility for oversight of the Government Information Online virtual reference service if Steering were to accept the proposal for GODORT to purchase a subscription to LibAnswers to host the service. The service is currently hosted by University of North Texas Library.

The committee discussed ways that it could help LIS programs offer government information courses and support librarians who teach such courses. Suggestions included proposing a program for the 2019 Annual Conference and setting up site listing resources such as syllabi and curriculum for LIS government information courses. The committee could also post a list of resources such as webinars and other continuing education opportunities on its website.

GODORT received an inquiry from the Society for History in the Federal Government regarding assistance with its outreach program for federal history. Committee members discussed ways GODORT members could contribute, such as having a Wikipedia edit-a-thon and possibly a request for volunteers to work on historical resources for “dead” agencies.—Gwen Sinclair, Chair

Federal Information Interest Group

The FIIG discussion topic for the Midwinter Meeting was “Using Government Information in Library Instruction.” Participants shared strategies they have used for incorporating government information into instruction, assignments and research topics they have found successful, and best practices they have developed through experience.—Justin Otto, Interest Group Leader

Government Information for Children Committee

The Government Information for Children Committee met on February 10. Memebers met in person and virtually. The committee briefly discussed plans for a National History Day webinar. Greg March, Connie Williams, Debbie Abilock, and Tiffeni Fortno will begin planning in late spring for the webinar, tentatively planned for summer.

The committee discussed promotion ideas for Constitution Day (September 17). A suggestion was made to promote Constitution Day in March and again in August so K-12 teachers will be aware and plan for it. The committee will use social media and education discussion lists to send out information to teachers.—Liza Weisbrod, Chair

International Documents Task Force

The IDTF held a virtual meeting on Tuesday, February 6. The following presenters joined us and provided updates on their projects and products: Ramona Kohrs, Thanos Giannakopoulos, and Bojan Grozdanic, UN Dag Hammarskjöld Library; Sherri Aldis, UN Publications; Devika Levy, World Bank Group; and Iain Williamson, OECD. An update was also provided on a request from the Cataloging Committee for volunteers to help update the GODORT Toolbox for International Government Documents.

For meeting notes and a link to the recording, please visit the IDTF wiki.—Catherine McGoveran, IDTF Coordinator

Legislation Committee

The Legislation Committee met jointly with ALA Committee on Legislation’s Government Information Subcommittee on February 10. Cindy Etkin from the Office of the Superintendent of Documents was a guest speaker and discussed GPO’s position on the Committee on House Administration’s discussion draft of legislation to revise Title 44. ALA Washington Office staff believe it is the House committee’s goal to introduce the legislation in the near future, which will likely reflect revisions since the discussion draft was initially circulated. The two committees also discussed a draft tribute resolution for Davita Vance-Cooks, former director of GPO, who left federal service last fall. GODORT Legislation voted to endorse the resolution in principle.

The Legislation Committee met on Sunday morning, with four committee members, two observers, and the GODORT chair, assistant chair/chair-elect, and immediate past chair in attendance. After a brief recap of the joint meeting with the COL Government Information Subcommittee from the day before, the bulk of the meeting was devoted to a discussion of how best to involve the GODORT membership in the anticipated revision of Title 44 of the US Code. The committee decided to send an email alert to the membership after the conference that will urge members to use the recently revised “What is the FDLP?” one-pager to inform legislators and government affairs staff at their home institutions about the value of the program. The meeting ended with a brief discussion of topics for virtual meetings over the next several months.—Geoffrey Swindells, Chair

Publications Committee

The Publications Committee met virtually on December 12, 2017. The committee discussed the Occasional Papers Series and received updates on DttP management and a treasurer’s report. We are nearly a year into DttP being offered virtually via ALA’s Open Journal Systems platform. The Publications Committee will review use and cost and report back to GODORT Steering and Membership. In addition to regular business, the committee discussed nominations for Notable Documents chair and DttP editor, which are currently being sought.—Robbie Sittel, Chair

Rare and Endangered Government Publications Committee

The REGP held a virtual meeting through ALA Connect on Thursday, February 22. The group covered a variety of topics, including how the Title 44 Revisions might affect the number of fugitive documents, and the uptick in missing or moved documents. Some librarians shared that documents they or their patrons knew where were available can no longer be found, and David Walls (GPO) and Shari Laster shared the work that the Preservation of Electronic Government Information (PEGI) Project is doing. It was a well attended meeting with robust conversation and we look forward to continuing in person at Annual Conferenc in June.—Aimee Slater and Susanne Caro, Co-Chairs


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