JUNE 2000

Table of Contents

  1. Spring 2000 Meeting Highlights
  2. Photograph of Suzanne Vyse (left) and Laura Dickson

(1) Spring 2000 Meeting Highlights

The Spring 2000 Government Documents Round Table of Michigan was held at the Michigan State University Detroit College of Law on May 19, 2000. Attached is a summary of the program highlights:

Outreach Activities in U.S. Depository Libraries

In early March, Suzanne Vyse (Library of Michigan) and Laura Dickson (Michigan State University) delivered a presentation to the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) Legislative meeting. This outreach activity was the foundation for thetalk they gave to Godort of Michigan.

Ms. Vyse and Ms. Dickson discussed the process they went through in designing a presentation for a group such as the MASB. They suggested that there are three main stages to the process:

  1. Gaining background -- conduct a reference interview. In order to determine the types of material that will interest the group, it is important to ask as many questions as possible of the contact person. Do some research on the group if at all possible.

  2. Creating a body of work -- once information is gathered, it is necessary to put the material together in a logical and readable manner. It is also important to make the information as relevant as possible to the audience. They also spoke of coordinating a two-person presentation. In their case the proximity of their offices (Lansing and East Lansing respectively) made it easier to work together.

  3. Knowing the situation -- know where you will be presenting if at all possible. Become familiar with the equipment you will be using (bring your own laptop and projector, for example). Of course there will "always be things outside of your control". They spoke in a room where the projector pointed to a screen in the corner of the room, which had a distorting effect on the screen captures.
The Question and Answer session that followed the talk produced some valuable information about outreach activities and delivering talks, in particular. First, there was a proposal to develop a list of membership expertise to be used by the speaker's bureau. Second, there were a few software products that were offered s helpful in delivering semi-live demonstrations of databases or web sites. Two of the software products are available from Lotus, ScreenCam and StreamCam. See Lotus' web site for more information at http://www.lotus.com/home.nsf/welcome/screencam. The other software product mentioned is from RealNetworks. Information bout RealProducer may be found at http://www.realnetworks.com/products/producer/info.html.

Doing Legal Reference in the Non-Law Library

Ms. Carol Parker (MSU-Detroit College of Law) gave a talk on "Doing Legal Reference in the Non-Law Library". The talk focused on the importance of secondary legal materials. She emphasized that one cannot be certain to have the complete law using just primary law materials released by the government. Ms. Parker provided a bibliography and gave recommendations of materials to purchase. Some of the titles that were presented as materials needed for purchase include:

  1. Michigan Bar Journal from the State Bar of Michigan described at http://www.michbar.org/publiations/
  2. Black's Law Dictionary described at http://www.westgroup.com/products/
  3. Any of the West Nutshell Series described at http://www.westgroup.com/products/
  4. Michigan Court Rules Practice, published by West and described at http://www.westgroup.com/products/
  5. Michigan Basic Practice Handbook, Fourth Edition described at http://www.icle.org
A more extensive list of tools for conducting legal reference may be found at the following web page http://www.msu.edu/~parkerc3/subjects.htm

Miscellaneous Announcements

1. Ann Sanders will return full time on June 5.

2. Congratulations were extended to Jon Harrison for his dedicated work as editor of Red Tape.

3. There will be a self-study workshop on June 7 at the University of Detroit-Mercy. Contact Paula Kaczmarek for more information.

4. Read the May 1, 2000 edition of Administrative Notes for a complete report of the Spring Depository Council Meeting.

5. Timothy Sutherland of Indiana University Northwest gave a brief introduction to some of the outreach activities at his university. One of the programs he spoke about -- the Northwest Indiana Center for Data and Analysis -- provides regional economic, demographic, and environmental data to nonprofits and governments. You may contact him for more information at sutherla@iunhaw1.iun.indiana.edu

6. Ray Dickinson of Ferris State University's Patent and Trademark Depository Library mentioned that he is willing to provide instruction sessions in the area of Patents and Trademarks. You may contact him at dickinsr@ferris.edu.

Special thanks to Shawn Nicholson -- State Documents and Social Sciences Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries, e-mail: nichol47@msu.edu; telephone: (517) 432-1749 -- for providing this summary.

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