NEWS FROM AROUND THE STATE
JUNE 1998

Table of Contents

  1. Legislative Info on the Net Developments
  2. Lansing State Journal Conducts Lawmaker Survey
  3. Favorite Michigan Documents
  4. New Michigan Documents Depository Libraries
  5. Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries Meeting, March 20, 1998


(1) Legislative Info on the Nets Developments

A package of bills has been introduced in the 89th legislature that would require certain legislative information to be made available on the Internet. The bills would amend the Legislative Council Act to require that the following documents be offered online:

The bills passed the House in late October and currently are in the Senate Government Operations Committee.

The Michigan Legislature Web Site at http://michiganlegislature.org provides the following information online:

Source: Roger Peters, Michigan Legislative Service Bureau, ICLE Connection, January 1998, Vol. 1, issue 4.

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(2) Lansing State Journal Conduct Lawmaker Survey

With more lawmakers touting the wonders of the Internet and the need for more computers in the classroom, the State Journal ran its own e-mail test.

Each House and Senate office that has e-mail -- about 10 do not -- was sent an indentical message February 13. The e-mail asked where to find more information on the state budget, which was unveiled the day before.

The results:

So don't count on a response.

Most House and Senate offices have had e-mail for more than a year. Senators can check e-mail from their desks on the chamber floor and House members each have a laptop computer they can take to sessions or meetings.

Yet some residents who contact lawmakers regularly have stopped trying to get through with their computers, relying on faxes instead

Analysts say the Legislature typically has been slow to adapt to new technology -- and the instant, largely anonymous nature of e-mail presents a difficult change from the traditional face-to-face world of deal-making and vote-seeking.

So for every legislator who responds via e-mail, there are an equal number who do not.

Source: Lansing State Journal, March 11, 1998, p.1A and 4A.

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(3) Favorite Government Documents

In an attempt to generate some feedback, the RED TAPE editor recently polled the current subscribers of Red Tape to name their five favorite Michigan documents and their five favorite U.S. documents. Special thanks to Grace York, who took the time to answer:

"My two favorite Michigan documents are the Michigan Compiled Lawsor MCL and the Michigan Magazine Index. The single most frequent e-mail question I receive is for the MCL, which isn't on the web. Who asks for the MCL? Lots of divorced fathers with access to the web who live out-of-state. Michigan Magazine Index, which hasn't been issued for ages, because it indexes local interest material, particularly on the environment, that isn't picked up by the national indexes."

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(4) New Michigan Documents Depository Libraries

The network of State Documents depository libraries has been far from static this year. Here's a recount of some of the changes: The Library of Michigan has created an online Directory of Michigan State Documents Depository Libraries at http://www.libofmich.lib.mi.us/services/midoclibs.html to help the public keep track of existing depository libraries. For more information or to correct an entry, contact Ann at asanders@libofmich.lib.mi.us or call (517) 373-9489.

Sources: Linda Neely, lkneely@libofmich.lib.mi.us, MICHLIB-L, May 15, 1998; Ann Sanders, GOVDOC-M, March 25, 1998, and e-mail, May 18, 1998.

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(5) Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries Meeting
March 20, 1998

The Michigan Council of Federal Depository Libraries held a meeting on Friday, March 20, 1998, at the Library of Michigan. According to the agenda, the Council reviewed the latest draft of the revised State Plan (available on the Library of Michigan website at http://www.libofmich.lib.mi.us/services/mifedplan.html) as well as drew up plans for the spring geographic area meetings.

Council members attending were Paula Kaczmarek, Michael McDonnell, Ann Marie Sanders, Janet Schneider, and Anne Birkam, plus Tish Kingaby (recorder).

The minutes from the last council meeting (January 23, 1998) were unanimously approved.

Announcements from the Field:

Electronic Discard Lists. The software for the electronic discard lists has been adapted and is ready for installation at Detroit Public Library, as soon as they are set up for it. Volunteers to test the system include Michigan State University, Northern Michigan University, Schoolcraft, Monroe County, Livonia and Madison Heights. Ann Sanders will coordinate the pilot test with Library of Michigan's network and information systems division and the volunteer libraries.

Training. Ms. Sanders announced that CEUs have been allotted for standard GPO Access training, which will appeal to library staff from non-depository libraries. Volunteer trainers include Cynthia Teague, Paula Kaczmarek, Kelly Eastwood and Ann Sanders. Ms. Kaczmarek has completed three GPO training sessions, and at least 40% of the class had never had training on these programs. Ms. Kaczmarek said that basic computer skills training should be emphasized in the proposed State Plan.

Self-Study. Ms. Sanders said training will be offered by congressional district, in an effort to keep numbers down to no more than ten people in a class. Libraries must be encouraged to begin the self study process soon in order to complete it on time. A set of the self-study questions can be downloaded from the web and updated as needed. Ms. Sanders has scheduled GPO training at Grand Valley State University at the end of July and asked that the Council consider how to structure this administrative training. Libraries must be aware that many items, such as collection development policies, should be in place for their self study.

Detroit Public Library. Ms. Kaczmarek announced the Government Documents office has a new library assistant, Kajah Prince, supplementing Curtis Hatchell who has gone back to school. The Arts and Literature department has no documents librarian at this time. Frank White is the new director at Marygrove which is installing email for all staff. GPO Access training dates at DPL: February 10, 18, and March 19, 27.

Miscellaneous. Anne Birkam inquired whether others were experiencing problems receiving microfiche shipping lists. Ms. Sanders offered to try and find out the cause of the problem and to duplicate fiche if necessary. A message could be sent out on the MICHGPO listserv to find out if others were experiencing this problem.

Geographic Meetings. Ms. Kaczmarek distributed an informational handout to be sent to various library agencies, outlining the need for revisions to the State Plan, and the dates of the geographic meetings. The council agreed an agenda be completed by close of meeting. The Council will convene following the geographic meetings to review comments regarding the State Plan and prepare the document for ratification by late fall. Since the directors of each depository library must sign off on the new Plan, it is vital that the geographic meetings be promoted and that as much input into the Plan be collected as possible. A letter will be sent to the directors, along with a paper copy of the meetings announcement, and a list of the major changes to the Plan.

GODORT of Michigan Meeting. The next GODORT meeting is April 29, 1998. Ms. Birkam will remind those attending about the State Plan revisions and provide copies at the meeting, along with registration forms to the geographic meetings.

MICHGPO. Everyone who is listed as the depository library contact in the directory is registered on the michgpo, with the exception of two libraries which have two staff listed. Ms. Kaczmarek will compose text regarding the michgpo for the appendix to the State Plan.

1999 Biennial Meeting. Based on several responses and comments from the First Congressional District regarding training, Ms. Sanders said indications were given that half day meetings were less justifiable than a two day conference in conjunction with something like GODORT's STAT-USA training. Ms. Sanders proposed that for next year's meeting, we invite GODORT to hold a joint meeting with us, and perhaps consideration be given to inviting Fran Buckley as a keynote speaker. Agenda could include library promotion, depository promotion, maps, document processing, with breakout sessions on various topics: picking 5-10 electronic resources, hands-on CD training, etc. Other partners might include State Documents, State Data Center, and University of Illinois-Chicago to demonstrate their site. Ms. Kaczmarek suggested inviting vendors, which would help defray the cost. After the April 29th GODORT meeting, the new chair elect/program chair will be known and can be contacted regarding this. Ms. Kaczmarek or other attendees to Washington can sound out the possibility of Mr. Buckley attending. Although some doubts were expressed regarding attendance at a two-day meeting, the council agreed to move forward on a two-day plan.

State Plan. Minor modifications were made to the proposed State Plan. Discussion was held regarding Appendix E, Disposal of Documents, and the need to list fiche on the disposal lists. Ms. Sanders sent out a listserv message regarding this issue and received responses from only 12 institutions. One of the regional librarians will post this on the regional listserv and find out what other states are doing. This will be added as an agenda item on the geographic meetings to solicit more input, and brought back to the next meeting of the council in order to make a decision.

The next Michigan Council meeting is scheduled for June 12 from 10:00 - 5:00 at the Library of Michigan. Agenda items include the latest on the state plan (including the disposal of microfiche) and the plans for next year's biennial meeting. Anyone interested in running for Council in August might want to consider attending. For more information, send an e-mail to govdoc@libomich.lib.mi.us.

Special thanks to the Michigan Council for allowing RED TAPE to publish the minutes prior to their final approval on June 12th.

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