Table of Contents

  1. Michigan Council of Federal Depostory Libraries Meeting Report
  2. Laura Dickson Attends Meeting at White House
  3. Detroit Public Library Documents Staff Update

(1) Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries
Geographic Area Meeting Report
Submitted by Laura W. Dickson, Michigan State University

As required by our State Plan, Michigan Regional Librarians Ann Sanders and Paula Kaczmarek, conducted three geographic area meetings throughout Michigan in November of 2000. I attended the November 6 meeting held at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. Since the agenda is the same at each meeting, this report should reflect the discussions held in each location.

Report from Washington

The meeting began with an update from the Federal Depository Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference held in Washington D.C. from October 22-25. The Library Programs Service Update was reviewed emphasizing issues as follows:


Depository libraries will have two free subscriptions to the STAT-USA online service. Libraries do not need to register for the increased access to the service. The current passwords in use by registered libraries allow an extra user to access the database. Information concerning this can be found in the August 15, 2000 edition of Administrative Notes:

Format Changes to Electronic (EL)

Libraries will see physical distribution of many titles that have been changed to EL format. The contracts under which these products are ordered are in the process of being changed, and it may take the Federal agencies some time to make the changes. The changes will eventually catch up with each title, and the title will then be disseminated only online.


There has been staff turnover in the inspector positions at LPS. Because of this, there has been a postponement of self-study submissions. Two new inspectors have been hired while one inspector position will remain vacant. It is thought that the earliest inspections will resume will be this spring. Those last inspected in 1994 will be the next group to be inspected. Get those self-studies ready!


The August 2000 edition of the Federal Depository Library Directory was recently distributed to all depository libraries. The Instructions to Depository Libraries, July 2000 edition was distributed to all depositories in September. The Instructions are available for downloading from the FDLP Desktop at:

PURLs and Access to Online Resources

At present, approximately 11,000 online resources are made available through GPO produced bibliographic records. Most records are accessible via OCLC's Persistent Uniform Resource Locator (PURL) software. As URLs change, the PURL that is input into a record seamlessly redirects users to the most recent active link. Use of PURLs allows catalogers to spend their time cataloging rather than maintaining links by changing URLs in bibliographic records.

PURL Links and Checking

Each weekend, PURLs link checking software is run to identify PURLs with broken links. GPO personnel attempt to restore access to broken links and also attempt to discover more direct links to publications than may have been present when the document was cataloged. People who know of broken links and who know of better, more direct access to online works are encouraged to send this information to Theodore Defosse at

LPS Annual Report

The Library Progams Service FY 2000 Annual Report to the Depository Library Council was also discussed. This report can be found at: One of the major issues in the report concerns the $2 million decrease in funding for the Library Program Service in a year when it will be printing and distributing the 2000 edition of the bound U.S. Code at a cost of $1.6 million. The report also discusses electronic content partnerships, digital archiving, permanent public access and a simplified purchase agreement that may decrease the number of fugitive documents, as well as other topics. Check it out!

Federal Depository Library Council Draft Recommendations

Paula passed out the draft recommendations, commendations and action items of the Federal Depository Library Council from the meeting held October 22-25 in Washington D.C. Recommendations concerned cataloging priorities, GPO participation in governmentwide initiatives, PURL identification, permanent public access, the draft Superintendent of Documents policy statement concerning the dissemination/distribution policy for the Federal Depository Library Program, official status of online bills, and fugitive online products. When finished, the final version will be posted at:

Results from Recent Survey of Michigan Federal Depositories

Carolyn Gaswick of Albion College, representing the Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries, discussed a survey that was distributed to all federal depository librarians in Michigan concerning depository collections and the cataloging and collection maintenance issues involved in electronic publications. Specifically, the issue concerning substitution of electronic items for tangible items was discussed. Currently, the Michigan Regionals are not allowing selective depositories to discard items less that five years old that are on the Substitution List: Official FDLP Permanent Full-Text Databases ( The Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries would like your input on this issue. Do you want to be able to weed the items that are less that five years old that are on the FDLP Permanent Full-Text Databases site? The Regionals note that they are required to have one tangible copy of everything, but it may not be a print copy. If we rely only on Regionals for tangible copies of this information, it may be a microfiche copy. Please contact a member of the Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries with your input on this issue.

Why Be a Depository in the 21st Century? What is a Documents Librarian?

Paula and Ann presented a handout from the Federal Depository Library Conference titled "Questions for Reconsidering Depository Status." Many issues were discussed; including, what you will not have access to if you leave the program. Also, leaving the program does not necessarily mean that you can cut back on staff, you may need staff to track down what is still wanted from the program. In addition, withdrawal procedures can take a long time. Sheila McGarr, Head of the Library Division of the LPS has said that it is easier to get out than it is to get in. But, Ann informs us that it can take as long as seven years to get out of the FDLP in Michigan. If you choose to leave the program you will have to provide a list of your holdings to the Regional libraries so that they can claim the items they need. Then the list is sent to the selective depositories in the state to choose what they would like for their collections. Finally, the library choosing to leave the program can choose to keep what they would like from what is left on the list.

Another handout from the Federal Depository Library Conference titled "Balancing FDLP ACCESS with Library Missions and Community Mandates" was distributed and discussed. Ann noted that libraries need to have policies in place that are made with community, legal and GPO staff input. When writing a policy, you should focus on the behavior you wish to prohibit. What is unacceptable no matter what? This is what needs to be defined in a library policy.

Ann also noted that the Michigan filtering law will be revisited in the next legislature, and it could be expanded to colleges and universities. The balancing act continues!


Ann distributed the Census 2000 Data Products at a Glance sheet ( to update us on the time frame for dissemination of 2000 census products. She reminded us to get to know the American Factfinder ( as it will be the primary mechanism for delivery of census data.

Back to table of contents

(2) Laura Dickson Attends ALA Briefing at White House

On October 25, approximately 100 members of the American Library Association met with Administration officials at the White House to be briefed on various information policy issues. The ALA attendees were a mix of librarians including specialists in academic, school, public, and government document librarianship. Also present were members of the ALA Washington Office, ALA President Nancy Kranich, as well as some agency staff.

The briefing was given by four administration officials; Bethany Little, Associate Director, White House Domestic Policy Council, Peter Fowler, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Richard Huff, Co-Director, Office of Information and Privacy, Department of Justice and Thomas Freebairn, Agency Expert, Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services Administration.

Bethany Little, Associate Director, White House Domestic Policy Council, discussed the Administration's education priorities including increased funding for Head Start and the hiring of 100,000 new teachers for K-3 classrooms as well as funding for repairs of schools and a modernization bond program. These issues were of particular interest to the school librarians and they asked that funding be expanded to school librarians given that there is a shortage of professionals in the field.

Peter Fowler, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office discussed the work of his office noting that by 2006 they will take in 1 million trademark and million patent applications a year. He noted that the U.S.P.T.O. patents database has patents back to 1790 as of October 1, 2000. Fowler discussed Congressman Coble's database protection act (H.R. 354, the Collections of Information Antipiracy Act) saying that it won't be enacted in the 106th Congress, but he believes it will be reintroduced next Congress. The bill would protect database creators by making their databases copyrightable.

Richard Huff, Co-Director, Office of Information and Privacy, Department of Justice, discussed Freedom of Information Act information distribution by federal agencies through the Federal Register, reading rooms located in the agencies and electronic reading rooms accessible through agency web pages. He noted that you could link to other agency FOIA electronic reading rooms from the Department of Justice web page.

Thomas Freebairn, Agency Expert, Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services Administration, discussed the development and purpose of FirstGov, the new federal government search engine. He asked for feedback on the search engine but noted that they will not respond to the feedback due to the privacy protections currently in place that strip all personal identifiers from the feedback to ensure anonymity. Freebairn noted that FirstGov does not compete with GPO Access because it does not produce new information and does not archive. Instead, it provides access to what is currently available. Currently FirstGov has no legislative basis and no appropriation, it was a response to a gift given to the government. In a few years FirstGov will need appropriations to continue. FirstGov is currently getting questions concerning the government that they do not know how to answer. They are considering referring these questions to local libraries. Ann Miller, the current Chair of GODORT, presented Freebairn with GITCO's (Government Information Technology Committee) report concerning FirstGov. Freebairn said that he would post it on the feedback section of FirstGov.

Submitted by Laura W. Dickson, U.S. Documents Librarian, Michigan State University, October 31, 2000

Back to table of contents

(3) Detroit Public Library Documents Staff Update

There have been many personnel changes associated with documents work at DPL. The pension fund is strong and our normal retirement is 30 years and out, with early retirement available at 25 years. If someone stays longer than 30 years they can get to a point where the difference between a pension check and a paycheck is negligible. We have many new retirees this year. And we have many excellent people interested in government information who can fill their slots. As I write this the Sociology and Economics department and the History and Travel Department are very short of personnel, with 3 librarians remaining in SE and 2 librarians in HT.

Uzoma Onyemaechi, Librarian in Sociology and Economics (U.S. documents), was assigned to be Assistant Manager at the Gray Branch in August.

Barbara Filimon, Senior Clerk in Government Documents, retired on September 22 after 33 years at DPL. Before being promoted and coming to documents in June 1996 Barbara worked in Acquistions with children's ordering, in public relations, and in interlibrary loan. Her position will be filled by Denise Perry, who will be transferring from Public Services where she currently works for the Assistant Director for Main Library and the Associate Director for Public Service. Denise has previously worked in the Monteith Branch, Mark Twain Branch, Film Department and Burton Historical Department. Denise will not move to Government Documents until her current position is filled.

Jean Frazier, Senior Clerk (U.S. Documents) in Sociology and Economics retired on December 14 after 34 years at DPL. She had been in Sociology and Economics since approximately 1977, and was specifically assigned to U.S. documents in 1990.

Sybil Levenson, Librarian in Sociology and Economics, retired on December 19. She came to DPL/SE in 1985 and was the Michigan documents person. Sybil says she is going to now dedicate some time to campaign finance reform!

And in the History and Travel department, Manager Jeff Tong retired on August 25, and Map Specialist Michael Knes retired at about the same time.

Anthony White started in Government Documents in August, just in time to meet Barbara and documents visitors from Russia before DPL experienced two more emergency closings. What with temporary reassignments he has already worked at the renovated Conely Branch preparing for reopening, and spent a week at the Campbell Branch Annex at Holy Redeemer school gym. He is a Clerical Assistant (page) and attends Marygrove College where he is a music education major.

I hope to send several names of newly assigned staff next time I send in an update on DPL.

Paula Kaczmarek

Back to table of contents

  • Back to RED TAPE Home Page
  • Back to Jon Harrison's Home Page
  • Back to MSU Libraries Home Page
  • Assistance Requested
    • Thanks for visiting the RED TAPE Home Page. Each issue is continuously updated and expanded during a three month cycle, so check back soon for the latest changes.

    • If you have any comments, notice any glaring inaccuracies, or would like to forward any relevant information concerning this Home Page, please send e-mail to: Jon Harrison

    Standard Disclaimers
    • MSU is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Institution.

    Ownership Statement
    Jon Harrison : Page Editor
    Social Science Reference Librarian
    Main Library Reference
    Michigan State University Libraries
    100 Library
    E. Lansing, MI 48824-1048
    Voice mail: (517) 432-6123, ext. 123
    Fax: (517) 432-8050
    Last revised 11/14/00

    This page has been visited times since June 1, 1996.