MARCH 1996

Table of Contents

  1. A Letter of Concern About Proposed Changes in the
    Depository Library Program
  2. Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries Meeting Minutes
  3. Accessing the Michigan Electronic Library
  4. Elections Home Page Established
  5. Michigan Historical Center Upgrades Web Site
  6. A Fugitive's Voice Heralds Black History Month
  7. Leap Into the Future

(1) A Letter of Concern About Proposed Changes in the
Depository Library Program

Mr. J.D. Young
Director, Library Programs Service
U.S. Government Printing Office

Dear Mr. Young,

As a Regional depository librarian at a major urban public library, I am writing this letter regarding GPO's transition to an electronic Federal Depository Library Program. The proposed changes are indeed monumental and numerous -- each one could be the subject of a separate letter of concern.

The issue which begs the most discussion and investigation is that of long-term storage and retrieval in the electronic environment. Regional depository librarians appreciate the need for storage-saving initiatives, particularly for low-use publications. But Regional librarians also continue to sacrifice tremendous library space and the freedom to deselect items because we believe in the value of our near-comprehensive level collections. As ephemeral as some documents may seem, we who work in the "library of last resort" for our geographic region know that material dated ten, twenty, or one hundred years ago is requested by citizens with surprising frequency.

We strongly urge G.P.O. to work with technology and archives experts to ensure the historic preservation of government materials. Depositories empower citizens to search for back- dated publications in the familiar setting of a library, with the assistance of a specialist. In a worst case scenario, we fear that long-term electronic storage will make information requests into a FOIA-style arrangement: the information will be legally available, but will require time, money, and too much effort on the part of the information seeker.

Our concern is not so much for the most current documents -- those we would expect to see mounted on an easy-access network -- but those in long-term storage. Also, the transfer of "no longer needed" materials from SuDocs' jurisdiction over to the National Archives seems to be an unclear procedure at this point, although we strongly advocate partnerships between GPO, the National Archives and the Library of Congress in general.

Additional concerns are as follows:

Our greatest concern is for consistent, format-compatible access to all published U.S. government information, now and as far into the future as one can imagine. The Internet is having an immediate and profound democratizing effect on educated American culture -- for the "haves" of our society, free government documents mounted on the Net represent a breakthrough in access. Twenty-four hour access, daily file updates, full-text searching, and the ability to download and print on demand are valuable services that we have been unable to offer in most depository libraries. But when a patron inquires about a space exploration report from the 1960's, this Regional depository can fill that request; will G.P.O. be able to fill a similar request for a 1990's publication in the year 2026? We are placing our trust in GPO and in the federal government that this will indeed be the case.

Thank you for your consideration.

Most sincerely,

Cassandra Hartnett
Manager, Government Documents
(313) 833-1025
fax: (313) 833-0156

Source: Cass Hartnett, GOVDOC-M, February 5, 1996.

(2) Michigan Council of Federal Depository Library
Meeting Minutes
January 31, 1996

Council members present at the January 31, 1996 meeting of the Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries were Cass Hartnett, Ann Sanders, Kim Ranger, Janet Schneider and Anne Birkam. Observer Sharon Bradley was also present.

Cass Hartnett introduced new council members Ann Sanders and Janet Schneider. Cass Hartnett and Ann Sanders talked about the most recent GPO inspections which took place in Michigan. Most of the 14 libraries inspected did quite well. Some librarians felt that the inspections did not offer enough constructive criticism, i.e., they were too easy.

Cass passed around a packet of information which she used for the orientation she held for new documents staff in October 1995. This session was well received.

There have been many personnel changes of depository library staff in libraries throughout Michigan. Libraries where changes have occurred or are occurring include:

Northern Michigan University expects a new documents librarian to start March 4.

Ann Sanders, the new depository librarian at the Library of Michigan, passed out a new staff reorganization chart with phone and fax numbers for the Library of Michigan. Ann's title is Depository Librarian and her duties include: regional responsibilities, editor of the Michigan Documents Checklist, Michigan Documents Librarian, Michicard and the State Data Center. Organizationally, Ann is in the Technical Services Department which is divided into two teams: periodicals, acquisitions, interloans, documents (PAID) and cataloging and processing (CAP).

Mary Karpinski the documents reference coordinator, is part of the Public Services Department.

Ann Sanders announced that the Library will become a gateway for GPO access during the first quarter of 1996. Access will be provided through the Michigan Electronic Library (MLINK). This access will reach 93% of the population in Michigan by dial-in- nodes.

Ann Sanders also announced that Kalamazoo Public Library will be undergoing extensive weeding (with the assistance of Michael McDonnell from Western Michigan University) before boxing up their storage collection for up to two years in anticipation of a move to a renovated building. They are being encouraged to catalog their collection once they have moved.

The Library of Michigan will be deselecting Y4 microfiche since they buy CIS microfiche. They will be looking at dual format titles much more closely in the future.

Some librarians have noticed that they have not received all the Bound Congressional Records on microfiche that they are supposed to get.

Regionals have been requested by GPO to stop sending inquiry forms about supposed duplicate Sudocs numbers. This is a VERY low priority with GPO.

Detroit Public Library has offered duplicate Congressional Records to Michigan Documents Libraries and over Govdoc-L. They will be discarding them in the near future. Census materials will be offered next.

The Great Lakes Patent and Trademark Center opened at Detroit Public Library in their Science & Technology Department in November 1995. They offer teleconferencing with patent attorneys in Washington DC for patrons. They are considering the best way to handle copyright questions.

Cass and Ann will remind librarians at the Geographic Area Meetings to put dates of documents on disposal lists. Ann is interested in obtaining Kensington Software which would allow regionals to merge discard lists. This would be a great time saver for the regional libraries.

Both Schoolcraft College and Grand Valley State College have teleconference centers.

Kim Ranger mentioned that there is an ad in a recent Library Journal for software that allows libraries to keep their public Internet workstations secure.

The Library of Michigan conducted a survey of Michigan Documents Depository Libraries. The state depository system will begin exploring electronic formats in the very near future.

The e-mail buddy system needs to be reviewed at the Geographic Area Meetings. The registration form for the meetings will have a line for e-mail address which should assist in finding out how this is going and how to proceed with this system in the future.

Meeting participants next discussed their reactions to the transition to an electronic federal depository library program. Sharon Bradley was at the meeting where the transition was first announced. She commended on the positive attitude librarians took (as opposed to hand wringing) and the high level of expertise they showed in the areas of technology and the legislative process.

At 2:00 Darlene Pierce from Northern Michigan University was called and participated via telephone in the rest of the meeting. She was asked to be the coordinator of the Northern-Upper Peninsular Geographic Area Meeting. Tentative meeting dates and places were set up with coordinators:

Detroit Area
Cass Hartnett, Coordinator
Friday, May 3, 1996
Eastern Michigan University

Lower Peninsula (not Detroit)
Kim Ranger, Coordinator
Wednesday, May 8, 1996
Alma or Calvin College

Upper Peninsula
Darlene Pierce, Coordinator
Tuesday, May 21, 1996
Marquette or Traverse City

A tentative schedule for each meeting follows:
9:00 - 9:30
9:30 - 10:00
10:00 - 11:00
11:00 - 12:00
12:00 - 1:30
1:30 - 2:30
2:30 - 3:30
Registration and Coffee
Documents Librarians and News from around the State
Washington DC Report; E-mail Buddy System
GPO Access Demonstration
"Ventilation" Hour
Action Plan for the Electronic Depository Library

Ann Sanders (and possibly Mary Karpinski) will be conducting the GPO Access Demonstration. Good technical requirements and tips on teaching patrons how to use it will be included. Cass will help Ann with some role playing.

Kim Ranger will work on the Action Plan section and compile a checklist (using the minimum technical guidelines) that libraries can use to be ready for the electronic library transition. Darlene offered to help Im via e-mail. The ultimate goals is for libraries to be where GPO wants them to be by October 1996. Also to be discussed during the Action Plan section are methods and places to get technology grants. Librarians who go to Washington in April will bring back whatever handouts GPO has on grants and Ann Sanders will provide information on LSCA grants.

The Geographic Area Meetings will be targeted at federal depository staff, technical staff, and any reference staff who play a role in providing government information to their patrons.

Anne Birkam brought up the subject of the core paper documents list. Librarians who go to Washington in April will bring a list of titles to add to the core list to give GPO.

Ann Sanders brought up the issues of revising Title 44 to meet the needs of providing government information to citizens in the electronic future. She also expressed concerns about archiving electronic information.

Cass Hartnett mentioned that the Michigan State Plan for Federal Depository Libraries would need to be revised to encompass electronic government information. The Council decided to discuss this at the next meeting in September. Council members will need to reread the plan as well as solicit ideas at the Geographic Area Meetings on what depository librarians will need in the changing electronic environment.

A tentative date of Wednesday September 11, 1996 was set for the next meeting.

Source: Anne Birkham, Hoyt Library, Saginaw, Michigan

(3) Accessing the Michigan Electronic Library

As you know, the Library of Michigan and the MLink Program have joined together to provide Michigan's citizens with access to important Internet resources and services. The result of this collaboration is the Michigan Electronic Library. The following text explains how citizens can access MEL. Please make a copy of this text for your public service desks. You may also wish to pass this information on to your local systems office or computing center help desks. The text is also available on the World Wide Web at

  • Accessing the Michigan Electronic Library

    A new statewide resource for citizens of our state has being created by the Library of Michigan and the University of Michigan's MLink Program. Called the Michigan Electronic Library, MEL (formerly known as GoMLink) will be the only generally available service on MichNet, Michigan's telecommunication network. MEL provides access to thousands of resources on the Internet with a special focus on those supporting the information needs of the citizens of Michigan.

  • Accessing MEL with a Graphical World Wide Web Browser

    For those using a graphical web browser such as Netscape or Mosaic, the URL for MEL is

  • Accessing MEL via MichNet Dial-Up Lines

    Because of the new Merit policy that will no longer allow anonymous access to MichNet as of August 1, 1995, some changes will take place in how Michigan citizens who do not have Internet accounts with an access provider can dial into MEL from their homes & offices.

  • Special Considerations

    Please note: people who have an Internet account (e.g.,,,,,, etc.) should NOT use this access method! They will be restricted to only using MEL resources and thereby lose their ability to surf the net!

  • Accessing the Michigan Electronic Library via modem

    Set up your computer to 8-N-1 and VT100 or VT220 emulation. Dial into your local Michnet node. You will see the following prompts. The users' typed responses are in bold:

    You will see a welcome to the Michigan Electronic Library. Choose the link for Connect to the Michigan Electronic Library.

  • Finding Your Local MichNet Number

    For a list of MichNet numbers, have your modem dial 313-998-1300 -- making one long distance call -- and type help at the host prompt. You will see several choices for locating local phone numbers.

    Information about MEL is available by calling or messaging MLink:, 313-764-4000.

    Users with Internet accounts should contact their Internet access providers for assistance.

    Source : Sue Davidsen, MICHLIB-L, January 22, 1996.

    (4) Bureau of Elections Establishes Home Page;
    Will Include March 19th Presidential Primary Results

    Secretary of State Candice S. Miller's Bureau of Elections has established a Home Page that offers information about a wide-variety of elections and campaign finance information, including up-to-the-minute unofficial results of the recently completed Michigan presidential primary.

    State election officials promised to post the primary results as soon as they received them from county clerks on the evening of March 19th, after the polls closed and the votes were tallied.

    Citizens can access the results directly from the Bureau of Elections Home Page or indirectly through the parent Secretary of State Online Home Page.

    Election data is broken out in three categories: results by county; results by congressional district; and, total number of voters by county.

    Regular features available on the Bureau of Elections Home Page will be information on voter registration, campaign finance and lobbyist registrations. Ultimately, browsers will be able to access on-line information on candidate listings and campaign finance statements.

    The Secretary of State's Home Page has been in place since early 1995. It offers an interactive link to everything from Michigan laws and vehicle registration statistics, to a collection of recent press releases from the Department of State and the Michigan Historical Center's Home Page.

    Visit the Bureau of Elections Home Page on the World Wide Web at

    Source: Secretary of State News Release, March 18, 1996; for more information contact Elizabeth Boyd, (517) 373-2520.

    (5) Michigan Historical Center Upgrades Web Site

    Beginning January 22, 1996, the Michigan Historical Center's Web Site will offer additional glimpses of exhibits, photos, and archival material at the Museum in downtown Lansing.

    Browsers can take mini-tours of the galleries, read from the journals of early settlers, and even see the originial Michigan Constitution.

    Secretary of State Candice Miller, whose department is responsible for the Michigan Historical Center, and who demonstrated the new site to elementary school children in Lansing for local reporters, hopes that the web site's new offerings will be of particular interest to the state's children and perhaps encourage them to visit the real thing, along with their family and friends.

    Museum information is broken out into five major sections : "Explore!", "This Season", "New Stuff", "Kids Stuff", and "Teachers Stuff".

    Under "Explore!" browsers can read from a "Journal of a Trip to Michigan in 1841" by Lansing B. Swan, who was traveling from Rochester, New York, to visit relatives in Niles in the southwestern corner of the state. In turn, Swan takes a steamship to Detroit, a wagon to Ann Arbor, a stagecoach to Kalamazoo, and finally a horse and wagon to Niles.

    The home page also offers a look at the museum's collection of photos of pioneers and artifacts, including a spinning wheel that belonged to Elizabeth Campbell Anderson of St. Joseph County around 1838.

    Under "Kids Stuff", browsers can learn more about plank roads, the forerunners of today's roadways. Made of thick, 8- to 16-foot oak or pine planks laid on top of boards called stringers. [Pictures are also provided of the remains of a plank road recently discovered on Grand River Avenue beside the MSU campus.] Under "Teacher's Stuff", tips are provided on how children can make their own plank roads using popsicle sticks and glue.

    Right now, only a few of the museum's galleries are on-line, but within a few months all exhibits will be accessible, according to Roland Gurk. Additional information will also be provided for the nine other museums around the state beyond the current photo and map.

    Visit the Michigan Historical Center on the World Wide Web at

    Source: Detroit Free Press, January 22, 1996, p.1B and 3B; Lansing State Journal, January 23, 1996, p.1B.

    (6) A Fugitive's Voice Heralds Black History Month

    Throughout the 19th century until the end of the Civil War in 1865, a number of escaped slaves dedicated their lives to defeating the southern slave system. In Michigan, escaped slave Henry Bibb found freedom and joined other abolitionists in lifting their voices against slavery.

    Bibb's horrifying story of enslavement and escape appears in the January/February 1996 issue of Michigan History Magazine, on sale now. The article, written by Midland resident Janice Martz Kimmel, heralds February as Black History Month.

    "Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman are perhaps more widely known black abolitionists on the national scene, but here in Michigan Henry Bibb was a prominent figure helping to shape this state's antislavery movement," said Secretary of State Candice S. Miller, Michigan's official state historian.

    "Even after the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 forced Bibb to flee to nearby Windsor, Ontario, his influence in Michigan continued," said Secretary Miller. "His newspaper, The Voice of the Fugitive, was a strong advocate of fugitive slave emigration to Canada."

    Born in 1815 as human property in Shelby County, Kentucky, Bibb successfully escaped bondage and settled in Michigan in 1842. He quickly became one of the foremost speakers on the abolitionist circuit and was active in the Underground Railroad in the Detroit area, aiding countless slaves to freedom.

    According to author Kimmel, Bibb's 1849 autobiography, Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Henry Bibb, An American Slave, is "distinguished as an accurate portrait of the horrendous slave system, a thrilling account of escape and a story of triumphant hope."

    Other stories featured in the January/February issue of Michigan History Magazine include a cover story on a 12,000-year-old mastodon skull discovered in mid-Michigan; a tour of the historic Belle Isle Aquarium; a look at Michigan's worst Civil War colonel; and a profile of the pilot who cofounded the World War II women's air corps known as the WASPs.

    The nation's leading state history magazine, Michigan History Magazine is a colorful bimonthly published by the Michigan Department of State's Michigan Historical Center. Single issues are available at retail outlets across the state. One-year subscriptions for $12.95 and single issues for $2.95 each are available directly from the magazine by sending a check or money order payable to "State of Michigan" to: Michigan History Magazine, 717 West Allegan Street, Lansing, Michigan 48918-1805. For Visa or MasterCard orders, telephone Michigan History Magazine's toll-free line at 1-800-366-3703.

    Visit Michigan History Magazine and its family of publications on the World Wide Web at

    Source: Michigan Historical Center Press Release, January 23, 1996; for more information contact Diana Paiz Engle at (517) 335-2716.

    (7) Leap Into the Future:
    2nd Annual Michigan Data Users' Conference
    Tuesday, March 26, 1996
    Lansing Center

    The U.S. Bureau of the Census and the Michigan State Data Center are sponsoring the 2nd Annual Michigan Data Users' Conference which will be held Tuesday, March 26, 1996 at the Lansing Center (333 East Michign Avenue, Lansing, Michigan).

    Featured speakers will include:

    8:45 - 9:00 a.m.
    9:00 - 9:20 a.m.
    9:20 - 10:20 a.m.
    10:20 - 10:30 a.m.
    10:30 - 11:45 a.m.
    11:45 - 12:30 p.m.
    12:30 - 1:30 p.m.
    1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
    2:30 - 3:30 p.m.
    3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
    Continental Buffet/Sign-In
    Welcome/Opening Remarks
    Meeting Challenges in an Information Age. (John Kost)
    Data Access Issues (Panel Discussion: Dwight Dean, Moderator)
    Michigan Information Network (Linda Schatz)
    Census 200 Update (Jay Keller)
    Data Access & Dissemination System (DADS) (Valerie Gregg)
    Internet Connection

    Registration costs $35 (but includes luncheon and conference materials). Make checks payable to "State of Michigan". Send registration to Michigan Information Center, P. O. Box 30026, Lansing, MI 48909. Deadline for registration : March 19, 1996.

    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 Collections Supervisor
    Michigan State University Libraries
    100 Library
    E. Lansing, MI 48824-1048
    Voice mail: (517) 432-6123, ext. 123
    Fax: (517) 432-8050
    Last revised 04/08/97

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