ProQuest/GODORT/ALA "Documents to the People" Award

About the ProQuest/GODORT/ALA "Documents to the People" Award  The ProQuest/GODORT/ALA "Documents to the People" Award is a tribute to an individual, library, institution, or other non-commercial group that has most effectively encouraged the use of government documents in support of library service.

Administered by:

Government Documents Round Table logo

2012 Winner(s)

Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) Collaborative Federal Depository Program (CFDP)


This award is given to the ASERL CFDP as it offers an achievable and sustainable plan for the development and preservation of comprehensive depository collections on a multi-state level. The elements noted in the nomination are:

  • Excitement & Interest: The ASERL plan has excited and energized the “documents community.” This is one of the first cooperative/collaborative plans that has gathered enthusiasm from within and interest and envy from those not a part of ASERL.
  • Inventorying & Cataloging: By collecting, cataloging, and providing access to federal documents collections on an agency-based, incremental basis, the goal of ASERL Centers of Excellence is to insure permanent public access to these collections.
  • Discards Database: ASERL has created the ASERL Documents Disposition Database, the first depository discards database allowing all libraries in the region to see discards from all of the participating southeast states, vastly expanding the possibilities for improving collections around the region.
  • Raised Profile with Library Administrators: The ASERL is putting government documents collections in the limelight – in a good way. Library deans see the value of focusing on a portion of a collection – making it more discoverable and improving its quality and comprehensiveness.
  • Provoked Discussion: The initiative has also provoked discussion, spotlighting the need for more flexibility in the program, especially in the legal requirements for regional depositories.
  • Position for Future: The ASERL Collaborative Federal Depository Program positions depositories in the southeast to move seamlessly into a future government information environment rich in online - born and digitized - resources as well as firmly grounded in geographically distributed print collections. Public access is enhanced because libraries are committing to a high level of service for their Center of Excellence collections.
  • Ensure Continuing Access: Centers of Excellence sign a Memoranda of Understanding that they will inventory, catalog, preserve, and retain the materials. Libraries are identifying Centers of Excellence in areas that are, and will continue to be important to their institutions.
  • Comprehensive Collections: An IMLS grant supported the creation of a “gap analysis” database. This database will allow Centers of Excellence and other depository libraries to load short bibliographic records for their collections, and facilitate comparisons among collections and will help establish what a true comprehensive collection of U.S. government documents should contain.

The ASERL CFDP concept takes advantage of today’s technological advances and challenges librarians to think beyond their own environment and to envision a truly cooperative depository world, where the ultimate goal is actively promoted government information collections, a dedicated service environment, and protection, for all time, of the unique and powerful content of government publications. This embodies the phrase “Documents to the People” and makes this award a well-deserved one.