Table of Contents

  1. Government Documents at the Dawn of the New Millenium
  2. Susan Tulis Reports on the Fall Depository Library Council Meeting, Kansas City, MO, October 18-21, 1999
  3. Nonprofit Tax Returns Now Available Online
  4. Proposed Census Bureau Terminology Changes

(1) Government Documents at the Dawn of the New Millenium

Issues for the Profession of Government Information Librarians, March 15, 1999. A paper prepared for the Congress on Professional Education held April 30-May 1, 1999, Loews L'Enfant Plaza, Washington, D.C. Prepared by: Patricia Cruse, Chair, Education Committee, Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), with special assistance from: Ann Roselle, Sherry DeDecker, and other members of the GODORT Education Committee.


With the continuing development of new information technologies and other changes for libraries, there are many new-sprung challenges as we reach the year 2000. Arguably government information, whether federal, international, state, or local, has been impacted much more heavily than other areas in the library. This is true for several reasons:

Until recently, government information has operated in a relatively stable environment with libraries acquiring tangible materials, housing the materials in their collections, and providing access to a predictable group of users. Specifically, the Government Printing Office (GPO), and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) have operated for over 100 years in partnership with public, academic, state, and special libraries around the country providing access to the census materials, congressional publications, reports from agencies, and myriad other materials. However, in the last several years, there has been a dramatic change in the way that FDLP does business due to the increased reliance on electronic information. As of February 1999 FDLP Electronic Collection consisted of: This dramatic shift from paper to electronic environment is not only occurring with U.S. documents, but also with international, state, and local. Consequently, government information librarians are uniquely positioned to provide a valuable perspective on future impacts across the library profession.
  • The basic goals are the same, but new challenges have been added.

    Despite the focus on change and new technology, we should all realize that the basic goals of government information librarians and other librarians remain the same: to provide access for patrons to the information that they need. In the future, libraries will continue to acquire, preserve, and provide access to materials as well as provide reference service for patrons, answering their questions and directing them to information resources. The real challenge is how we achieve these goals as more resources move to electronic format, and furthermore how we can exploit new technologies to help us realize these goals. Below we discuss some of the key issues and considerations that we face as we move forward into the new century.

    Changes in training of government information librarians

    Because of the shift from a paper to an electronic environment, there is a growing need for better technological training for government information librarians. Gone are the days that providing access simply meant creating bibliographic records and shelving materials. Today access means that many of us must have a detailed understanding of both hardware and software, including computer networks, HTML code, perl scripts, and other programming languages. In a recent survey of 187 academic government information librarians, 72% responded that they participate in one way or another in the development of a World Wide Web (WWW) site. This survey also found that 45.7% of the respondents are "totally responsible" for providing links to government information for the library's web site.

    Besides providing access to government resources on the WWW, government information librarians also need to provide access to data contained on CD-ROMs. Most government information libraries have substantial collections of CD-ROMs issued by various government agencies. For many users, CD-ROMs are the preferred method of access simply because CD-ROMs allow for more user flexibility -- this is particularly true for users who are working with numeric data. Consequently, government information librarians must have the technical knowledge to support the CD-ROM workstations whether standalone or networked. The problem of providing access to the sheer number of CD-ROMs is compounded by the fact that there is no standard software or operating system and government information librarians must learn to successfully use many different search interfaces and extraction programs to assist users.

    In addition to providing access to government information via WWW pages, there is an ongoing need to integrate Internet resources into our online catalogs. Government information librarians and the GPO have been at the forefront of this effort. This has required government information librarians to become more familiar with not only cataloging standards, but also with online catalog systems and other knowledge access management systems. Educational opportunities in these areas must be made available to government information librarians to assist them as they continue their efforts to provide the best possible access to the full range of government information that is now available.

    Expansion of and changes in the user community

    As government information librarians, we no longer serve a predictable user community such as a congressional district, campus community, or local community. With the growth of the Internet, the pool of potential patrons for a particular service has grown dramatically. In a single day, we may answer questions at the reference desk from graduate students, professors, elementary school students, and others, as well as answer e-mail questions from around the world. In addition, any number of unknown users will use web pages and other technologies that we have created to access government information. With the increase in the patron base, there is a corresponding increase in patrons' interests, questions, and needs.

    Other factors have also increased the number of patrons using government information. The organization of public service points for government information has changed over the last several years as documents and general reference desks have been merged at many institutions. An Association of Research Libraries survey of 88 libraries found that nearly 1/3 of the libraries had combined their reference services in the past five years. In many cases this has literally brought government documents out of the basement and into the mainstream of public service. Significantly, 33% of library respondents in this same survey found an increased demand for access to government information.

    Changes in the nature of patron training/instruction

    As the patron population and their needs change, user training and instruction becomes much more complex. According to Jim Gillispie, Head of Government Publications, Johns Hopkins University, "Teaching readers to find, use, and understand the collections libraries make available is the most important aspect of our profession." Government information librarians can no longer rely on the typical "reference interview" as the basis on which to evaluate the user's needs and to provide the necessary instruction. Many inquiries are no longer made in person, but by e-mail or telephone. In the case of WWW pages, we may never actually communicate directly with the patron. Rather, we must rely upon detailed help pages to guide the patrons through their information needs. Many of us have had to navigate users through web pages over the phone and guide them to the database that they want -- certainly, a different task than guiding users through a printed copy of the Statistical Abstract of the United States. Furthermore, along with instructing users about the content of a government publication, we are also faced with teaching patrons how to use the technology to access the materials. This can range from helping a user download a current version of Acrobat to helping unzip a data file and loading the data into a spreadsheet program.

    Increase in the scope of colleagues

    Technologies such as listservs, email, and web pages have had an enormous impact on who and how government information librarians communicate. In the survey of academic government information librarians over 70% of the respondents felt that they were developing closer ties with other government information librarians because of the Internet. In designing WWW pages, we frequently consult other government information librarians for assistance. More significantly, nearly 30% of respondents indicated that they are developing closer ties with individuals not directly associated with government information. Those of us that specialize in government data and census information have learned the language of GIS and spatial statistics, by interacting with geographers, statisticians, and other specialists. The development of new relationships also is occurring within the institution itself - "A total 47.8% of respondents felt that they were developing closer ties with their systems/automation unit." In sum, technology has expanded not only how we communicate, but also with whom we communicate. This has forced government information librarians to seek out experts in the field and apply new skills in the delivery of government information.

    Change in the nature of the collection

    As detailed in other parts of this document, many government information libraries are witnessing a decline in the acquisition of tangible (paper, microfiche, etc.) federal, state, local, and international publications. This is in marked contrast with the growing volume of government publications available online as detailed in other parts of this document. Government information libraries have had had to shift energies from the daily tasks associated with processing a physical collection to providing access to Internet resources. According to Jack Sulzer, Associate Dean for Campus College Libraries, University Libraries, The Pennsylvania State University, "*librarians now should be planning to convert their 'processing' time and resources to services."

    This issue has broader implications for government information librarians. Until quite recently government information librarians' expertise and knowledge was primarily based on their institution's tangible collections. For example, librarians with direct access to old government publications were often experts in historical research. However, a "just in time" approach to collection development requires new skills to provide access. Jim Gillispie states that, "'Just in time' often requires a highly proactive approach to acquiring information from the most expedient source and delivering it via the fastest available*." It requires that a librarian understand not only the content of the information, but also where it is located on the web, how it is arranged structurally, and how to manipulate it once found. All of these tasks require a new set of skills.


    The question is, "how can government information librarians best take advantage of the challenges in our profession?" First and foremost, there is a need to reaffirm our values and recognize that our goal of providing access to government information remains the same. How we most effectively achieve that goal requires that we:

    In order for real change to take place, all government information librarians must be able to take advantage of new technologies. For this to be achieved continuing education opportunities must be available to all.


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    (2) Susan Tulis Reports on the Fall Depository Library Council Meeting, Kansas City, MO, October 18-21, 1999

    The Fall 1999 Depository Library Council (DLC) meeting was held at the Hotel Phillips in downtown Kansas City, MO. The meeting began with an update by Public Printer Mike DiMario. In terms of GPO's budget, despite asking for only a $1 million increase for the electronic collection, GPO did not get it. Instead GPO will have to find the money from within their budget. As a result, some services will not be undertaken in the same way. It is DiMario's feeling that GPO's funding is ok, but they did have some personnel cuts. At present, GPO is down to 3200 employees, the lowest since before WWII.

    GPO has made strides in the electronic transition and DiMario thinks the number of paper products will continue to diminish. GPO will continue to produce products in the format the agencies ask them to, although DiMario hopes the agencies see wisdom in keeping some paper products.

    The GPO Sales program is losing $1million per month - a situation that cannot continue. Therefore, GPO is looking to increase their prices by 15%, as well as cut costs. GPO is also raising their surcharge to the agencies.

    As for the future of NTIS - DiMario was testifying on a hearing the following Thursday on it. It was his belief that NTIS materials will be saved in some format, but he wasn't sure what that means.

    DiMario was followed by Francis J. Buckley, Jr., Superintendent of Documents. Buckley expressed appreciation of the partnership between GPO and depository libraries as there is more and more talk within the government about the provision of information via the Internet being public access. He relayed that at the ribbon-cutting ceremony last week to inaugurate PubScience, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson spoke about the unsung hero role of GPO (and by extension, that of depository libraries) in GPO's printing and distribution capacities and recognized us "for doing the Lord's work." A pretty high tribute!

    Buckley then touched on a number of general topics affecting the depository library program, starting with concern for permanent public access to electronic resources. This past July, Newsweek had an article titled, "History: We're Losing It," which called attention to the problem. So last month, DiMario convened a meeting of a number of stakeholder organizations to discuss measures that GPO or others are undertaking or might undertake to advance the goal of keeping essential Federal electronic information available to the American people. Represented at this meeting were the Library of Congress, National Agricultural Library, National Library of Medicine, National Library of Education, National Archives and Records Administration, National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, Department of Energy/Office of Scientific and Technical Information, and the Council on Library and Information Resources as well as a number of Congressional staff members, representing the Joint Committee on Printing (JCP) and the House Administration Committee. Attendees shared information about their particular organization's activities in the area of permanent public access, which spawned much discussion and ideas about cooperative ventures. GPO will organize and host future meetings of this group.

    As you may be aware, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) ended their Local Public Documents Room (LPDR) program as of September 30, 1999. GPO and NRC are working to maintain at least one microfiche collection in a depository library in each state. Twenty-eight depository libraries housing LPDR materials chose to retain the collections. Eighteen libraries that housed an LPDR chose not to retain this collection. Buckley is working to relocate the unwanted collections to 18 regional depository libraries.

    In the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittee report for FY 2000, GPO has been directed to undertake an analysis of the future role of the Public Documents Distribution Center in Pueblo, CO. GPO is in the process of getting clarification of the scope of this study and they are organizing the study team. The study and its recommendations are to be provided to Congress no later than February 1, 2000.

    In July 1999, the JCP approved GPO's request to enable them to expand their sales procurement to agency publications not printed by GPO but considered of public value. As a result, GPO will be able to work with other federal agencies to procure, purchase and sell government publications under two categories:

    GPO Sales has the deposition transcripts of the U.S. vs. Microsoft Corporation court case on CD-ROM for $52. The CD-ROM includes indexed, redacted transcripts of depositions taken between July 1998 and January 1999. In addition, printed copies and videotapes of individual depositions are available on demand. So, if you would like to watch 20 hours of interviews with Bill Gates, you can purchase 11 videotapes from GPO for only $341!

    GPO's latest cooperative endeavor with DOE/OSTI is PubSCIENCE, an electronic system that provides GPO and the public a distributed searching capability of a large compendium of peer reviewed journal literature with a focus on physical sciences and technology. This web site enables public users to identify journal articles of interest, view bibliographic citations and hyperlink to the publisher's site for full-text, if unrestricted, or via a site license, an electronic subscription or pay-per-view. As with our other partnership with DOE, Information Bridge, depository libraries and the public can enter PubSCIENCE via GPO Access.

    GPO will be publishing its version of the 1999 Tax CD-ROM, which will include 1999 IRS tax forms, instructions, and publications for individual and business filers, in addition to sets of previous years' tax forms. One can fill in the forms on the computer screen, save the data, print the completed forms, sign, and mail. GPO's CD-ROM is $20.00, $1.00 less than the NTIS/IRS version. The official CD-ROM edition of this material is the NTIS/IRS product; the one that will be distributed to the selecting depository libraries.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has asked GPO to help develop the Court's official web site. GPO is now engaged in the first phase of development, the graphic design, which may be the most challenging part of the project. No specific date has been set for activation of the site, but it will most likely be ready for public access during the current Court term. When activated, the site initially will contain slip opinions for the current term, the current schedule, visitors guides, guides for filing cases, Rules of the Court, biographies of the Justices, a brief history of the Court, the building, and information on the institution. Currently, the plans are to continue releasing Bench Opinions through the Hermes system, in which the Federal Bulletin Board is a partner.

    GPO is working to revise a number of its Circular Letters, which are GPO's means of communications with its customers in the Federal community. These letters have to do with paper and web distribution of materials, both in the sales and depository programs; disseminating electronic government information products through the FDLP; guidelines for the provision of government publications for depository library distribution and the use of GPO form 3868, Notification of Intent to Publish.

    In terms of outreach, Buckley will be participating in the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) fall meeting - following up on a Spring 1999 DLC recommendation. Other outreach activities Buckley has been involved in include:

    Discussions are continuing with staff from the National Performance Review, General Services Administration, Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Geological Survey about the establishment of Access America, billed as a clearinghouse for accessing electronic government information.

    Gil Baldwin, Director, Library Programs Service, began by stating that this is the year that online electronic U.S. Government information became the number one dissemination and public access medium in the FDLP, continuing the trends of the past five years. The distribution of tangible products through the FDLP remained virtually unchanged since FY 1998. The FDLP Electronic Collection is growing rapidly; increasing to some 44% of the titles disseminated this year. While the trend toward online publishing is accelerating, we are seeing CD-ROM publishing dropping off.

    For the year the mix of products entering the FDLP is:

  • Online titles on GPO Access: 25%
  • Online titles on other agency sites: 19%
  • Paper, including direct mail & USGS maps: 20%
  • Microfiche: 35%
  • CD-ROM: less than 1%

    Baldwin addressed the migration of products from microfiche to an online version as a rational next step in carrying out the Congressionally-directed transition to a more electronic FDLP, when an official, reliable electronic version is available from the agency. Migrating tangible products to solely online electronic dissemination occur only in those cases in which LPS has a choice of dissemination media. In many cases the publishing agency has already made the decision to eliminate the tangible medium. Then LPS incorporates the online product into the FDLP Electronic Collection by describing it bibliographically and linking to it.

    The distinction between migration and conversion is as follows. Migration refers to choosing between available dissemination media when the agency publishes both online and tangible versions. Conversion refers to changing the agency's published medium to another, as LPS does when they convert paper documents to microfiche. At present LPS has no program to convert print products to electronic media, for example through scanning and digitization.

    During routine processing, LPS often identifies new products that agencies issue in both print and online versions. When LPS determines that the content of the online version is substantially equivalent or superior to the print version, LPS selects the online version for the FDLP. These decisions are made in accordance with criteria described in "Migration of Physical Format Products to Online Distribution," published in Administrative Notes in 1999 and in Appendix II of Managing the FDLP Electronic Collection. These titles are described as "EL" in the List of Classes.

    Budget constraints and the delays inherent in the processing, conversion, and delivery of microfiche, have resulted in LPS intending to begin actively migrating products currently distributed in microfiche and also available online by eliminating distribution of the microfiche versions. Whenever possible, the cessation of a microfiche serial title will take place at the end of a volume or annual run. Some candidate microfiche titles for this migration include titles with low selection rates, such as the New Publications of the Rocky Mountain Research Station, the Small Business Innovation Research Program annual report, and the annual Report on the Survey of U.S. Shipbuilding and Repair Facilities. Other titles under consideration for migration because they are currently offered in multiple formats with the online version available on GPO Access include the daily Federal Register on microfiche, the daily Congressional Record on microfiche, and the Congressional Bills on microfiche.

    LPS appreciates libraries concerns about the length of time between the submission of a depository library self-study and when a reply was received from LPS, but due to the staffing level on the inspection team LPS cannot give a thorough review to each self-study and respond in a timely manner. LPS still has a backlog of 219 self-studies awaiting completion of their evaluations. To reduce the time lag between submission and reply, LPS is changing the self-study process. Next year self-studies will be requested in three stages, with the first batch of requests due to LPS in May. Hopefully, this will give LPS time to catch up with the self-studies they already have.

    Baldwin highlighted some staff changes in LPS during 1999. Sheila McGarr was appointed Chief of the Library Division in June. Her new duties include oversight of the Depository Administration Branch, the Cataloging Branch, and the Depository Services Staff. Laurie Beyer Hall was appointed Supervisory Program Analyst in March. Her duties in this new position include supporting all of LPS' developing and legacy automated systems, coordinating the requirements analysis for a future integrated library system (ILS), and managing LPS' budget preparation. George Barnum, a former Electronic Transition Specialist, is now LPS' first Electronic Collection Manager (ECM). In this new librarian position, he will establish, review, maintain and modify comprehensive plans to assure permanent public access to products in the FDLP Electronic Collection. Judy Andrews, an Electronic Transition Specialist, left LPS in August 1999 for Portland (OR) State University. She has been replaced by Steve Kerchoff, a librarian from the Library of Congress' Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC), and one of his first areas of concentration will be on developing additional partnership opportunities with agencies and depository libraries. John Tate was appointed Chief of the Acquisitions and Classification Section of the Depository Administration Branch (DAB) in August. He supervises acquisitions and Superintendent of Documents classification of products in all media for the FDLP.

    In PY 1999, LPS staff concentrated on implementing the plans for the FDLP/Electronic Collection. A cross-organizational work group from LPS' Depository Administration and Cataloging Branches, the Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services (OEIDS) and others has been working to define the possibilities, identify the issues and develop strategies for dealing with the issues. The work group has since been re-configured into an ongoing "Electronic Collection Team," which is examining and evaluating electronic products for inclusion in the Electronic Collection. While looking at these products, the team develops the processing procedures necessary to fully incorporate electronic resources into the FDLP. The Team also maintains the Pathway Locator service tools and the PURLs applications that enable users to access electronic titles.

    One critical step in the transition to a more electronic FDLP is to establish a digital archive for the FDLP Electronic Collection (FDLP/EC), especially since a significant portion of the FDLP/EC consists of titles at agency sites to which GPO points. Most of these more than 59,000 titles reside on servers at agencies or institutions with which GPO has formal agreements that provide for permanent public access (PPA), but there are about 2,000 other titles in the FDLP/EC that are not under GPO's control. It is GPO's goal to assure PPA to the electronic products to which they point and link since, by definition, pointing and linking makes those products part of the FDLP/EC and means that GPO has a permanent public access responsibility for them. This requires bringing agency-disseminated Internet resources under GPO's control by incorporating them into a digital archive.

    The FDLP/EC digital archive is a cooperative venture within GPO. The next step is the development of an integrated service to bring under GPO control selected individual electronic products that originated on other agency sites, and for which GPO does not have interagency or partnership agreements for PPA. Although GPO can capture agency files from the Internet at a particular point in time, without an agreement or a notification process in place GPO will face difficulties assuring that the publishing agency does not subsequently modify or supersede the product.

    A new server and a backup initially configured with two years' projected storage capacity were procured specifically for the digital archiving project. The first of the new servers was delivered in July and has been configured for use as the prototype digital archive. Functionally, the prototype FDLP/EC archive will be populated with electronic source data files by FTP transfers, downloads, file captures, or other means. The initial set of test files consists of source data files captured by LPS staff earlier in FY 1999 in conjunction with processing additions to the Browse Electronic Titles service. The files will be accessible through a persistent naming application and made freely accessible to public users through a Web interface. Users will be able to search cataloging or Pathway locator services record descriptions linked directly to the content described. We plan to open the FDLP/EC archive for public use later in 1999.

    In terms paper products, 20% of what is distributed through the FDLP is in paper, but the problems with physical shipments have been taking up 80% of LPS' attention. Recent physical distribution issues include having some "direct mail" titles placed in regular depository shipments thereby producing substantial savings in postage costs, disruption in established pattern of receiving shipping boxes from LPS due to the contractor deciding to subcontract deliveries to Roadway Package Service instead of United Parcel Service, and the batching of shipments deliveries. LPS will solicit for a new contract with requirements designed specifically for depository library distribution, but this new contract will not be in place until well into 2000.

    T.C. Evans, Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services, gave an update on the continuing growth and development of GPO Access. The value user feedback cannot be overstated and work is already underway on collecting user feedback to continue the improvement process. An online user survey is currently available through GPO Access with a deadline for participation of December 15, 1999. Data from this survey will be used as part of GPO's Biennial Report to Congress on the status of GPO Access.

    Efforts to continue improving system performance have been very successful. Data indicates that the implementation of the additional bandwidth and server controller array have definitely provided a superior balancing of the user load and effectively distributed the workload throughout GPO's resources.

    A comparison of congressional and other legislative resources available on GPO Access and other Government and non-government Web sites has recently been completed and copies of the results were provided to Council. Seven Web sites were selected for in-depth analysis: GPO Access, THOMAS,,, Lexis-Nexis, Congressional Universe, and The comparison was based on three factors:

    Findings indicate that GPO Access fares quite well by comparison to these other sites. The strength of GPO Access lies in its breadth of online legislative resources. Of the 22 resources in the comparison, GPO Access provides 19 of them, and it offers four resources that are not on any of the other Web sites in the analysis; its closest "competitor" is Lexis-Nexis, with 15 resources. However, GPO Access is not as strong in its scope of these resources; its coverage--strictly in terms of years--is greater than or equal to the coverage on the other Web sites for only eight of the 22 resources. Many of the noted differences between GPO Access and the other Web sites stem from GPO Access' mandate to provide free public access to authoritative electronic Government information from all three branches of the Federal Government.

    OEIDS has spent lots of time examining usage and the ways in which they measure GPO Access usage. The system changes necessary to improve performance and accommodate the growth of information forced GPO to change the way in which they capture the number of documents downloaded each month. Since the new method was employed in February, an average of over 21 million downloads per month have been recorded. Based on FY 99 data, this impressive figure is growing by almost 400,000 downloads per month.

    GPO Access now contains more than 101,000 electronic titles and points to more than 59,000 others - representing a 25% growth rate for the past fiscal year. There are over 1,300 databases available on GPO Access, also a significant increase over last year.

    It appears that fewer users are starting at the GPO Access home page, as it has fallen to fourth in popularity. Many users appear to be bookmarking pages for specific applications and returning directly to those pages in the future. The Federal Register application is the most popular starting point, followed by the page that allows multiple databases to be searched at the same time and then the page that allows users to browse that day's table of contents for the Federal Register. GPO's redesigned online bookstore has been rising in popularity as a starting point ever since the new page was released in April, appearing in the top ten initially at number nine, it has subsequently risen to number seven.

    GPO was surprising that none of the CFR pages show up in the top ten entry pages. It was determined that browsing appears to be much more popular than searching and many browsers are interested in only a specific area of the CFR. Each of these separate areas can be individually bookmarked so that the user can immediately go to the section that interests them most.

    The rising traffic on the redesigned Online Bookstore is translating into increasing electronic sales. Of particular interest is the indication that new users of the Online Bookstore prefer to print out their orders and mail them in rather than submitting them electronically, although users appear to switch to submitting their orders electronically as time goes on.

    Recent changes to GPO Access include:

    Upcoming changes to GPO Access include:

    Tad Downing, Cataloging Branch Chief, began with an update on cataloging operations. At the end of FY 99, approximately 29,000 works in various media were received for cataloging. Approximately 33,600 were processed leaving a balance of 9,400 pieces of work in the backlog - mostly serial titles. A backlog of approximately 145 Browse Electronic Titles (BET) entries remain to be cataloged. A new serials cataloger has been hired and procedures for processing serials have been changed in hopes of making progress on this backlog.

    In response to a Spring 1999 DLC recommendation, catalogers ceased producing availability records on Oct 1, 1999. Catalogers now maintain, update, and create, as appropriate, records that represent serials irrespective of the frequency of issue. This change should eliminate confusion caused by the production of piece level records for serials issued semi-annually and less frequently but not for those issued 3 or more times per year. The Periodicals Supplement will be replace by the Serials Supplement in 2001 and will include only titles issued 3 or more times per year.

    As of late September, approximately 3,400 PURLS have been assigned to electronic works available via BET and the Web Catalog applications. Over the years, an estimated 6,000 URLS have been assigned to various resources. Downing encouraged the reporting to GPO of broken or new links. A PURL's search form application is now available on FDLP pages of GPO Access.

    Lastly, Downing addressed the delay in Monthly Catalog distribution. It appears that June was the last issue distributed. The delay has been caused by assuring Y2K compliance at GPO. Distribution of the Congressional Serial Set Catalog has also been delayed. But these circumstances have not affected the timeliness of dissemination of the MoCat records to CDS of the Library of Congress (which then makes them available to vendors.) Also, records produced in OCLC are passed to the Web Catalog application within 24 hours after production. As of mid-September, it is estimated that more than 132,000 records are available at the Catalog. Nearly 10,000 of these records provide hot-linked access to electronic works published at GPO and other web sites.

    Robin Haun-Mohamed, Depository Administration Branch Chief, began with an update on products. Depository libraries are now able to use Northern Light's usgovsearch at no charge to the library. This program will search across government sites and content that is available without charge.

    Census Bureau's American FactFinder (formerly known as DADS) was released in the spring and everything on the database is available to all at no charge. The only applications currently being considered for future charges are big downloads of files and the do-it-yourself tabulations from Census 2000.

    As with other DLC meetings, there were a number of informational programs - too many for me to attend, including such things as basic issues concerning digital preservation, using continuing education programs to promote government information, the CORC Project, the ins and outs of LPS processing, consortia initiatives in loading documents catalog records into OPACs, what the Documents Data Miner can do for you, and more.

    The following are the draft recommendations, action items, and commendations resulting from this DLC meeting. Council will continue to work on them to get them into final form before presenting them to GPO.

    Action Items

    1. PubSCIENCE - Council commends GPO and the Department of Energy's Office of Scientific and Technical Information for sponsoring public access to PubSCIENCE, a web-based product that provides access to more than a million citations to journal articles in the physical sciences with connections to a growing number of full text articles. Council is especially pleased to see GPO and OSTI continue in their partnership to provide essential energy-related information to the public and hopes to see additional products available in the future.
    2. GPO Access Improvements - Council commends GPO for the significant improvements made to the GPO Access site, including the development of Site Search, the opening of GPO Access to Web indexers, and the reorganization of the GPO Access interface. These enhancements improve the intelligibility of the site through more intuitive organization and "search this site" capabilities and demonstrate a commitment to open public access to GPO Access by allowing Web crawlers that add links to GPO materials to Web search engines.

    --Susan Tulis, Carbondale, Illinois; telephone: (618) 549-4522; e-mail:; GOVDOC-L, October 25, 1999.

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    (3) Nonprofit Tax Returns Now Available Online

    Guidestar, a Web site produced by Virginia-based Philanthropic Research, Inc., and the Urban Institute's National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) has begun providing online access to the financial disclosure forms filed by charities with the IRS. Known as Form 990, the document provides specific information on a charity's revenues, expenses, executive salaries, programs, activities, and board composition.

    According to the New York Times, nonprofit experts believe the scrutiny of charities made possible by the wide availability of 990s will ultimately bring major changes to the financial practices of the $700 billion charitable world.

    "We are on the verge of a whole new era of nonprofit accountability," said Philanthropic Research, Inc. president Arthur W. Schmidt Jr. "The 990 will move rapidly from being this obscure, obnoxious reporting document to something informative and acceptable, and transform itself into a useful document."

    Form 990s for 140,000 of the 220,000 charities required to file the form are now available, free of charge, at the Guidestar Web site. The rest will be posted by year-end. As of Friday, October 25, the forms will also be directly available through NCCS.

    The project is being underwritten by a number of large foundations, including the Ford, Kellogg, and Mellon foundations. The Urban Institute is also helping to fund the project, and has given the IRS nearly $1 million over five years to scan onto CD-ROM the five million or so pages of information the IRS receives annually from nonprofit organizations.

    In addition to the 990s now available in PDF format at the Guidestar site, the Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and a number of other foundations have made grants to Philanthropic Research to digitize all 220,000 990s and put them into a database. Philanthropic Research will need to raise $2 million a year to continue the data entry until the IRS accepts electronically filed reports from charities, now scheduled to happen in 2007.

    Source: Foundation Center, Philanthropy News Digest, Vol. 5, Issue 42, October 19, 1999. URL:

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    (4) Proposed Census Bureau Terminology Changes

    Librarians interested in keeping up with Census 2000 changes may want to take a look at the October 20, 1999 Federal Register, page 56627-56644.

    Core-Based Statistical Areas to replace the current MA classification. The cores (i.e., the densely settled concentrations of population) for this classification would be Census Bureau-defined urbanized areas and smaller densely settled ``settlement clusters'' identified in Census 2000. CBSAs would be defined around these cores. This CBSA Classification has three types of areas based on the total population of all cores in the CBSA:

    1. Megapolitan Areas defined around cores of at least 1,000,000 population; (
    2. Macropolitan Areas defined around cores of 50,000 to 999,999 population; and
    3. Micropolitan Areas defined around cores of 10,000 to 49,999 population.
    The identification of Micropolitan Areas extends concepts underlying the core-based approach to smaller population centers previously included in a ``nonmetropolitan residual.''

    For more information, consult the Census Bureau's web page at

    Source: Shawn W. Nicholson, State Documents and Social Sciences Bibliographer, Michigan State University Libraries, 100 Library, E. Lansing, MI 48824-1048; E-mail:; Telephone: (517( 432-1749.

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