GODORT OF MICHIGAN NEWS
DECEMBER 1999

Table of Contents

  1. Accessing European Union Information, Fall Meeting Highlights, November 19, 1999
  2. Grand Rapids Export Assistance Center, Fall Meeting Highlights, November 19, 1999
  3. Membership Meeting Highlights, November 19, 1999
  4. Membership Meeting Highlights, April 22, 1999


(1) Accessing European Union Information

Since its founding the European Union (EU) with its size and global reach has had an impact on the economic and political flow of the world. On Friday, November 19, 1999, Barbara Sloan, Head of Public Inquiries, Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, spoke to the Fall meeting of GODORT of Michigan. Ms. Sloan provided an historical overview of EU documentation with an emphasis on legislative and business aspects.

The EU traces it roots to the early 1950s with the signing of an agreement surrounding coal and steel. With the success of this agreement and subsequent agreements, the Union has grown into the 15 member strong institution of today (a fuller history may be obtained from handouts given at the talk or on the web at: http://www.eurunion.org/profile/index.htm). Ms. Sloan spent a goodly amount of time comparing and contrasting the structure of the EU to the United States. She felt it necessary to go into detail so one could grasp the magnitude of information that is produced by the EU. The EU is a prolific publisher, publishing 10,000 monographs and 100 plus periodicals per year, all in its 11 official languages. Furthermore, because of the loose structure of the governing institutions (read: states retain a lot of power), there is great variance in the amount of information made available from the different bodies. "Everyone is independent when it comes to publishing," said Ms. Sloan.

The amount and quality of information that is published and distributed depends on the nature of the Directorates General (DG). For example, the DG for Employment and Social Welfare may make available speeches and proposals, while the DG for Budgets may provide only bare bones information about its mission. This is not to mention the problem with what Ms. Sloan called, "submarine literature." These commissioned studies have no formal means for distribution therefore causing great difficulty in obtaining these documents. "Of course," said Ms. Sloan, "someone will get a hold of one of these documents and foot note it for all others to see and then we have to try and track it down." Having a decent understanding of the workings of the EU will expedite the location of these and other difficult to find publications. After the first portion of the talk, one walked away with a much clearer understanding of the structure of the EU.

For the remainder of the talk, Ms. Sloan focused on the many web-based databases that are available to track down EU documents. There is quite a list of "Key European Union WWW Databases."

  1. CELEX (http://europa.eu.int/celex/) - official journal
  2. ECLAS (http://europa.eu.int/eclas/) - Commission's Central Library Catalog
  3. RAPID (http://europa.eu.int/en/comm/spp/rapid.html) - Press releases and speeches
  4. SCAD (http://europa.eu.int/scadplus/) - Bibliographic references for official publications
  5. MARKET ACCESS (http://mkaccdb.eu.int/) - Information on economies and regulations by industry
  6. EURLEX ( http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/index.html) - Status of legislation
It was, however, the Alphabetical Index to Subjects maintained by Ms. Sloan on the Delegations web site (http://www.eurunion.org/profile/index.htm) that appeared to be the lighthouse in the foggy realm of EU documentation.

Ms. Sloan closed by simply saying that her office would be very happy to assist any researchers or librarians trying to locate EU material. The contact information is: Delegation of the European Commission, 2300 M Street NW, Washington DC 20037; Telephone: (202) 862-9500; Fax: (202) 429-1766; WWW: http://www.eurunion.org/index.htm

Source: Shawn W. Nicholson, State Documents and Social Sciences, Michigan State University, E-mail: nicho147@mail.lib.msu.edu; Telephone: (517) 432-1749.


(2) Grand Rapids Export Assistance Center
Godort of Michigan Fall Meeting, November 19, 1999

On November 19, 1999, Tom Maguire of the Grand Rapids Export Assistance Center addressed the members of GODORT of Michigan concerning the services of his office. He noted that their job is to "help facilitate American manufactures in gaining a substantive presence in a foreign market." His office helps American businesses put together export market plans in "clear, concise and crisp" writing as well as help businesses "in trouble overseas." The Centers charge for some of their services, but the cost is much lower than getting the same information from a non-governmental source. Services offered by the Center include:

Mr. Mcguire noted that the Export Assistance Center does not do any work with imports. If a foreign company is asking for advice on how to sell in the United States they should be referred to the Customs Bureau or back to their own country where the same type of services should be provided.

Below is the contact information for the four Export Assistance Centers in Michigan.

Detroit U.S. Export Assistance Center
211 West Fort Street, Suite 2250
Detroit, MI 48226
Ph. (313) 226-3650
Fax (313) 226-3657 td>
Grand Rapids Export Assistance Center
301 West Fulton, Suite 718-S
Grand Rapids, MI 49504-6495
Ph. (616) 458-3564
Fax (616) 458-3872
Pontiac Export Assistance Center
250 Elizabeth Lake Road, Suite 1300 West
Pontiac, MI 48341
Ph. (248) 975-9600
Fax (248) 975-9606
Ann Arbor Export Assistance Center
425 S. Main Street, Suite 103
Ann Arbor, MI 48341
Ph. (313) 741-2430
Fax (313) 741-2432

Source: Laura W. Dickson, U.S. Documents Librarian, Michigan State University, 100 Main Library, East Lansing, MI 48824; Phone: (517) 432-8045; E-Mail: dickso15@mail.lib.msu.edu.


(3) Godort Membership Meeting Highlights

In the absence of chair Margo Zieske, Janet Schneider called the meeting to order at 2:45 on November 19, 1999 following the program on DOING BUSINESS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION.

Minutes:
Sharon Bradley reported that she will post minutes from the April 22, 1999 Annual Meeting in Red Tape.

Treasurer's Report:
In the absence of treasurer, Debbie Gallagher, there was no treasurer's report.

Fall Federal Depository Library Council meeting:
Ann Sanders reported that Council is beginning to take up the topic of deteriorating diazo microfiche; it has recommended that GPO attempt to locate the microfiche masters and draw up a plan for replacement. In accordance with its migration to a substantially electronic collection, GPO initiated discussion about discontinuing production of microfiche for certain titles (Federal Register, Congressional Record, and Congressional bills) that are available on GPO Access as well as in paper.

Internet Access in Depository Libraries:
Ann Sanders reported that some libraries are having trouble with access issues such as user authentication, tracking user history, and age restrictions. Both ALA and the Michigan Council of Depository Libraries have drafted Internet access principles and MLA has established a Committee to formulate a statement. Debbi Schaubman moved and Ann Sanders seconded the motion that the Executive Board of GODORT appoint a committee to develop a statement of principles regarding Internet access in depository libraries. The motion passed. Both Ann and Debbi are willing to serve on the committee.

Program Registration Fees/Use of Funds in Treasury:
Debbi Schaubman started discussion on this point, noting that there is no consistency in charges for GODORT programs. Some are free; others with charges do not raise enough money to cover associated expenses. Meanwhile, a sizeable balance has accumulated in the Treasury. Ann Sanders moved and Debbi seconded the motion that GODORT charge a $10 minimum registration fee for every GODORT program but allow GODORT student members to attend for free. The motion passed. After considerable discussion, Ann moved and Debbi seconded a motion that the Executive Board explore measures necessary to establish a GODORT scholarship/stipend fund. The motion passed.

Suggestions for the spring GODORT meeting:

  • Legal Resources for Smaller Libraries
  • FOIA
  • Internet Copyright Issues

    Announcements:
    Debbi Schaubman introduced two new Michigan State University librarians, Shawn Nicolson and Laura Dickson. Ann Sanders announced that Amy Salo has left Flint Public Library; Flint's new documents librarian is Angie Wesch, awesch@flint.lib.mi.us. At Kalamazoo Public Library, Lelane Hardie is reducing her work schedule to half-time; Joanna Lundberg is taking over documents responsibilities. Michigan Technological University has a new documents librarian, Tom Swaner. Ann Swaney, Osterlin Library, Northwestern Michigan College, has created a statistical compilation/community report covering the 5-county Grand Traverse Region; the report was developed by librarians and funded through a Rotary grant.

    The meeting adjourned at 3:35.

    Respectfully submitted by Barbara Glover, Secretary


    (4) Godort Annual Meeting Report, April 22, 1999

    Meeting called to order by Paula Kaczmarek at 1:24p.m.

    Minutes of the September 30, 1998 meeting were previously published in Red Tape. There were no corrections or additions and they were approved as published.

    Reports

    Old Business
    • Sally Lawler discussed the speaker's bureau and asked for volunteers to head up the program.Grace suggested that those who had made presentations could contribute their outlines or notes for other to use.
    New Business
    • Ann Sanders represented the documents community at Larry Hall's retirement party at Alma College. A card was circulated for signature.

    • Debbie Gallagher asked if the membership was interested by working with the Professional Association of Journalists in addressing the fact that the state destroys campaign finance records after five years. The membership indicated its interest and Margo will include it in her list of issues to address while President.
    Reports from Depository Library Council
    • Paula distributed reports recently published in Administrative Notes.
    • Migration of Physical Format Products to Online Distribution - Paula pointed out that because the government is committed to maintaining electronic versions of materials depositories would be relieved from obligation of maintaining paper copies.
    • Review of Draft Council Recommendations. Paula entertained questions from the floor. Remarks by other members who attended the council meeting.
    Election

    Richard Vettesse, chair of nominating committee, presented the follow slate of candidates who were elected by acclamation.

    • President-Elect/Program Chair - Debbie Schaubman, MSU
    • Secretary - Barb Glover, Eastern Mich.
    • Treasurer - Debbie Gallagher UM
    • Red Tape editor - Jon Harrison, MSU
    Adjourn at 2:24 pm

    Respectfully submitted by Sharon Bradley, Secretary

    Pointers
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