DOCUMENTS NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE
JUNE 1995

Table of Contents

  1. Governor Engler Announces Michigan Information Network
  2. Michigan State Government Web Site Announced
  3. Michigan Salutes Mackinac Island
  4. Can You Top This?
  5. Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries Highlights


(1) Governor Engler Announces Michigan Information Network

Governor John Engler has formally announced his plan for the creation of the Michigan Information Network (MIN), a strategy to link each public school, community college, state university, independent nonprofit college and library, creating a world-class, statewise interactive video and data access and exchange system.

"This plan--when fully implemented--will help the State of Michigan and our schools travel and explore the information superhighways of the 21st century," Governor Engler said on June 30th.

Today's children are growing up in a vastly different world. "Technology is changing so fast, we can barely keep up with what's on the information superhighway. But while the information age is speeding toward us, many of Michigan's schools, libraries, hospitals, and businesses don't appear to see it coming! And that- -ultimately--will make Michigan less competitive. Make no mistake, telecommunications technology has the power to bring us information and resources from around the world--instantaneously and cost effectively!"

Stating that he intends to practice what he preaches, Governor Engler noted that the MIN plan is available only on the Internet.

Governor Engler first called for the creation of the MIN in his 1993 State of the State address. The Legislature in 1993, as part of the Proposal A package, required the Michigan Department of Management and Budget to prepare a state MIN plan by June 30, 1995. On schedule, Governor Engler signed an executive order (E.O. 1995- 14) on that day creating the Office of the Michigan Information Network, which will consolidate different offices and functions in state government and carry out its recommendations. A MIN Advisory Board, with Rick Inatome as chairperson, will review these government functions.

Governor Engler has also expressed interest in placing computer kiosks in every county seat, perhaps at the county courthouse. Residents would be able to buy hunting and fishing licenses, register to vote, or get copies of birth certificates. County and local governments would also be able to make information available in this fashion.

Source: John Truscott, News Release, June 30, 1995; MICHALL SPRING MEETING, Kellogg Center, Michigan State University, May 5, 1995.


(2) Michigan State Government Web Site Announced

In a related development, Governor John Engler also announced the creation of the official Michigan State Government world wide web site. The URL address is [http://www.migov.state.mi.us]. Michigan residents with access to the world wide web, either at home or work or at their local libraries, can access this site to locate agency news releases, government reports, and other kinds of related information.

If everything goes to plan, before the year is over, Michigan agencies will also begin offering computerized access to services if they have not already done so.

Web construction has already commenced, with the heaviest activity taking place in the Executive Branch section. The Governor's Home Page, the first selection, has a number of photographs of interest, including the official Governor's photo, an Engler family snapshot, and several of Hannah Michelle, Margaret Rose, and Madeleine Jenny, the governor's three triplets. One can also find an official biography and copies of recent news releases such as the one announcing the Michigan Information Network, the recent Casino Gambling Press Conference Information, a news release announcing Dave Letterman's Home Office Moves to (Grand Rapids) Michigan, and a copy of the 1995 Michigan School Report. The URL address for the Governor's Home Page is [http://info.migov.state.mi.us/migov.html].

The First Lady's Office has a separate listing [http://info.migov.state.mi.us/fl.html]; as well as the Lt. Governor's Office [http://info.migov.state.mi.us/ltgov.html].

Links are provided to various departmental web sites and gophers including the Michigan Department of Education; the Michigan Jobs Commission; the Michigan Department of Management and Budget; the Michigan Department of Natural Resources; the Michigan Rehabilation Services Division Web Site; the Secretary of State's Office; and the Michigan Department of Treasury.

The Secretary of State's Office had by far the most information of interest, at least according to the RED TAPE editor; perhaps the Republican run agencies will respond to the challenge. Some of the choices included practical information such as Your Michigan Chauffer License; Notaries Public Guide; Driver's License and Identification Card; and Registration Numbers and Decals. There was also a link to the Secretary of State's Gopher, which provided access to Branch Office Locations, Hours, and Phone Numbers; press releases; Michigan Historical Center Info; Michigan Laws and Election Info; Vehicle Registration Statistics; How to Get a Copy of Your Driving Record; and links to other Michigan State Government gophers.

Under the entry for the Michigan Historical Center, there were links to five different programs, including the Michigan Historical Museum System; Michigan History Magazine; Office of State Archaeologist; State Archives of Michigan; and the State Historical Preservation Office. The Red Tape Editor was familiar with the Michigan Historical Center located next to the Library of Michigan, but not aware that there were nine additional Satellite Museums as well as a map where they are located, and information about what is available at each site. If you have Netscape or Mosaic, you can see actual pictures of some of the representative offerings, ranging from prehistoric Indian Petroglyphs to a Civil War Battle Flag to a 1957 Chevy Corvette.

There was also a link to the State Archives of Michigan, including a listing of all the Archival Circulars available by mail or to those visiting the state archives. In addition, two sample circulars were available on the world wide web site, #10, Naturalization Records and #11, State and Local Vital Records (including information about Birth, Divorce, Death, and Marriage Records available on microfilm). Hopefully, more will follow.

Under the Legislative Branch, there is a link to the House of Representatives but none yet for the Senate.

There are likewise no links yet under the Judicial Branch.

Clay Reeves, Computer Operations Manager for the Governor, appears to be responible for setting up this web site. Congratulations and keep up the good work.


(3) Michigan Salutes Mackinac Island

One of Michigan's most popular vacation destinations is an island paradise known for its picturesque beauty and historic charm. To kick off the 1995 summer season, the state's most popular history magazine brings that beauty and charm to a national audience in a photo-packed special issue now on sale.

"Mackinac Through the Years" is the July/August 1995 issue of Michigan History Magazine, a special expanded edition devoted to the past and present of Mackinac Island and the unique Straits of Mackinac region. The issue coincides with the 100th anniversary celebration of Mackinac Island State Park.

Secretary of State Candice S. Miller, who serves as Michigan's official historian, observed that "a large part of Mackinac's lasting appeal--its magic--is due to the island's genuine celebration of its rich heritage.

"As early as the 1890s, island residents were concerned about the effects of modernization on their historic resources," Miller coninuted. So it was in 1898 that the village council imposed the island's current ban on automobiles."

Some of the state's foremost Mackinac experts have contributed to this special issue of Michigan History Magazine with articles about Mackinac Island during the 1890s; women authors who saw the island as both a retreat and a source of inspiration; the varied experiences of blacks visiting and working on turn-of-the-century Mackinac Island; and a look at humorist Mark Twain's 1895 world tour which included a public lecture at the Grand Hotel.

Rounding out the issue are articles that answer the most common questions about Mackinac and a discovery of French colonial life through the eyes of the commandant of Fort Michillimackinac.

"Mackinac Through the Years" is the fifth annual special expanded issue produced by Michigan History Magazine, following issues devoted to World War II (1991), the Great Lakes (1992), Michigan railroads (1993), and the Upper Peninsula's iron industry (1994).

Single issues of Michigan History Magazine are available for $2.95 each at selected outlets across the state. One-year subscriptions for $12.95 and single issues are available directly from the magazine by sending a check or money order payable to "State of Michigan" to: Mackinac Issue, Michigan History Magazine, 717 W. Allegan St., Lansing, MI 48918-1805. If you want to charge it to MasterCard or Visa, call 1-800-366-3703.

Source: Diana Paiz, Michigan Historical Center News Release, June 30, 1995.


(4) Can you Top This?

You never know what hidden gems reside in your depository collections and what "checkered" lives they have led.

Sally Lawler reports that "a few months ago while I was preparing a pathfinder on Needs Assessment, I came across a handbook called Common Human Needs published by the National Association of Social Workers, originally a Federal Security Agency pamphlet.

According to the preface of the 1987 edition, the Superintendent of Documents was actually ordered on April 5, 1951 to destroy all copies of this pamphlet that were still in stock, as well as the plates for the book! In a nutshell, the government document almost disappeared because it was mislabeled as being socialistic propaganda during the height of the McCarthy era.

And why was this? Apparently, the term "socialized state" was taken from the text and quoted out of context and used to justify the document being called socialistic. Ever vigilant against "socialized medicine", the President of the American Medical Association went as far as sending a telegraph to the FSA's Director in 1951, requesting that GPO stop printing the document and that the FSA stop distributing it. The head of the FSA tried gamely to point out his misconception but was totally ignored during the hysteria. In fact the critical letter was even reprinted in the Congressional Record, but not the answering response. Things only went from bad to worse, because the social work community would eventually protest the decision to withdraw the book and destroy the plates and resolve to continue publication of "the widely accepted exposition of basic social work concepts, practice and philosophy in relation to the common human needs of people".

Sally Lawler is proud to note that the Purdy/Kresge Library still owns the original 1945 edition of this document."


(5) Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries Highlights
June 1995

Table of Contents:

1. REPORTS FROM THE ANNUAL DEPOSITORY CONFERENCE
2. VINCENT KOUNTZ SHARES THE LATEST CENSUS INFO
3. PROS AND CONS OF USING ELECTRONIC DATA
4. GPO ACCESS
5. COUNCIL OF MICHIGAN DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES
6. GPO INSPECTIONS
7. MISCELLANEOUS ANNOUNCEMENTS


1. REPORTS FROM THE ANNUAL DEPOSITORY CONFERENCE

Due to the limited time available, Sally Lawler, Sandy Calemme, Cass Hartnett, and Carolyn Gaswick were only able to make brief remarks about their trip to the Annual Depository Conference. They reported in round robin format, starting with Sally Lawler.

"Each time I go to Washington, D.C., I come back feeling a little bit more like a 'quasi-government employee'. One of the benefits of going to the national conference is that you find out, depending on who's talking, how you are perceived in Washington.

First, documents librarians are seen as a subversive element, much envied by the younger bureaucrats inside the beltway, because we are geographically removed from national politics and can speak out more freely than they can.

Or, we're seen by the present Administration and the Congress as an increasingly unnecessary financial burden on the federal government, now that agencies are going electronic and publishing on-demand.

Or, conversely, we're seen as more important than ever at the local level, since software is not standarized nor even beta-tested and the Internet is in chaos.

Or, as the State Department put it enthusiastically, 'You've been doing a great job all along and we want to keep on working with you!'

Or, alternatively, as the Post Office Kiosk staff might be interpreted as saying, 'We can do better than you'.

Or, finally, as a staff member at a Representative's Office in Washington told me, 'I've never heard of the depository library program before'.

Folks, we still have a lot of public relations work to do!"

According to Sandy Calemme, "everything in Washington seems to be going electronic. Information is coming out first over the Internet, and second on CD. Everyone assumes we already have the necessary equipment to handle the electronic environment. Documents librarians at smaller institutions are doing their best to cope, but it is very frustrating during this transition period."

Cass Hartnett enjoyed Bruce Maxwell's presentation. Maxwell has recently published books on Federal Bulletin Boards, etc. According to Maxwell, GPO's bulletin board is the worst designed out of the 250 or so federal government bulletin boards. Ouch! Maxwell also thinks that the larger federal depository libraries in each state should get together and decide which CD Rom databases need mounting on the Internet and do it cooperatively. The Internet is seen by many as a way of making government information available to the masses. It would be a shame if government agencies end up restricting access to government information by only making it available over the Internet. Don't forget the need to preserve the historical record as well.

Carolyn Gaswick noted some of the same themes. "Cost recovery", "pay as you go", "revolving funds" to finance publication programs are alarming to depository librarians. The current political climate may result in some agencies being eliminated or consolidated. Government information sharing may suffer as a result. A specific example. It is imperative that you let the Census Bureau know that we need paper copies of the Statistical Abstract of the U.S.; otherwise you may end up having to access it only over the Internet or on CD ROM.

Sally Lawler reported that John Schuler from the University of Chicago-Illinois made some interesting comments. The Contract with America may make the depository program the last unfunded mandate. For every $1 spent by the federal government on information delivery, local depository libraries have to pay $4. He predicts that federal depository libraries/librarians will become either mini-GPO sites or else turn into state depository librarians. DOSFAN is a good example of how a local depository library in Illinois is working together with a federal agency to supply information. Consider adding value to government information in a similar fashion. Ask your Congressman if you can set up a home page for them.

There was also some discussion by various people about the WINGS (Post Office Kiosk) Program. Apparently, the implementation team hopes to make government information (federal, state, and local) available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, not a bad idea in itself. However, the Post Office employees never adequately answered the question as to why they were duplicating traditional library services or who will maintain information historically. Test sites will be implemented in Nashville, Tennessee, and in N.C.

Sue Davidsen reported that the Post Office, when all was said and done, was only giving lip service to librarians to limit public relations damage. Many questions go unanswered. Who is going to choose the information provided? Will various agencies share information (a privacy issue)? Will you need a national i.d. to access the information provided on the kiosks?


2. VINCENT KOUNTZ SHARES THE LATEST CENSUS INFO

Vincent Kountz, from the Detroit Office of the U.S. Bureau of the Census, shared with those attending the latest information from his office.

  • The Detroit Office if hard at work developing a World Wide Web Page that is scheduled to be up by the first of August. If all goes according to plan, it will be the third www site mounted by a regional office.

  • The future doesn't look good for printed reports from the 1997 Economic Censuses. Nearly everything is being planned for Internet or CD release.

  • In Washington, the Data User Services Division, the division that coordinated training and customer services, has been eliminated due to a downsizing of the Bureau of the Census. Duties will be reallocated to remaining units.

  • In regards to the 2000 Decennial Census, the Federal Data Users Survey was a disappointment. Only about 18 per cent of those who received the survey returned it. The Census Bureau was hoping to use the results to justify the long form for the 2000 Census.

  • Other proposed changes are in the works for the 2000 Decennial Census. There will either be no follow-up for non-responders or the Census may go with a 20% mail sample only. Individuals may be able to pick up Census questionnaires at additional sites such as post offices, libraries, senior citizen centers, etc. There will only be one set of statistics generated from the Census. Data users have been confused by the succeeding sets of data released after the previous censuses and have complained over which figures to consider official.

  • Landview II should be considered the "poor man's GIS". It will allow data users to aggregate STF1A data down to the block group level for a 10 mile radius focusing on a street corner.

  • Documents librarians may want to acquire the Tiger Street Index Guide to help real estate appraisers and other users match stree addresses to census tract numbers. It uses GO software.

  • Vincent also demonstrated the Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS). It requires a lot of memory to operate.


    3. PROS AND CONS OF USING ELECTRONIC DATA

    Sandy Calemme, Maria Danna, and Carl Katafiaz shared their observations on the pluses and minuses (challenges!) of making GPO electronic data available for the public to use. All underscored the necessity of developing and following your collection development policy in providing electronic data. You always have to fulfill the demands of your local user community. Remember that GPO has given all depository libraries three years to obtain proper equipment to handle all the new electronic products.


    4. GPO ACCESS

    Debbi DeSpain, Electronic Resources Librarian, Wayne State University Law Library, shared anecdotes about her efforts in making GPO Access work with a WinWeb browser in her library.

    At the end of the presentation, Debbi Schaubman announced that Michigan State University wanted to provide Web access, Dial-in access, and Telnet Access to GPO Access and would if funding became available. She pointed out that although GPO limited each depository to 10 IP addresses, other GPO depositories could loan some of their unused IP addresses to a Gateway providing access to the entire state, nation, etc, thus allowing more than 10 ports.


    5. COUNCIL OF MICHIGAN DEPOSITORY LIBRARIES

    Cass Hartnett announced that a ballot would be distributed soon to the directors of depository libraries so they could vote on a replacement to serve on the Council. The two candidates who volunteered to be on the ballot are Janet Schneider of Schoolcraft College and Cynthia Teague of Michigan State University. The winner will join Cass Hartnett, Grace York, Kim Ranger, Darlene Pierce, Ann Birkam, and whoever is chosen by the Library of Michigan to serve as Regional Depository representative.


    6. GPO INSPECTIONS

    If you want to know if your library may be inspected soon, contact Cass Hartnett. Depository libraries are of course notified prior to inspection by GPO.


    7. MISCELLANEOUS ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Grace York announced that the Documents Center at the University of Michigan is moving to a more-trafficked but smaller space in July. Since it maintains a CIS microfiche collection, it will be selectively weeding paper hearings and committee prints from the 97th - 100th Congresses. They will be offered generically through the disposal process.

    Grace York also reminded everyone that the University of Michigan Library purchases the information it downloads from the Commerce Department's Economic Bulletin Board and distributes it free-of- charge on its gopher as a public service. Since the Commerce Department obtained a trademark for the name "Economic Bulletin Board", the University of Michigan has changed the name of its gopher file to "Department of Commerce Economic Data".

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