What is GODORT?
GODORT, or the Government Documents Round Table of the American Library Association, serves many purposes. It provides a forum for the discussion of problems and concerns and for the exchange of ideas among librarians working with government documents. It is also a force for initiating and supporting programs to increase the availability, use and bibliographic control of documents. GODORT strives to increase communication between documents librarians and other librarians and contributes to the extension and improvement of education and training of documents librarians.
Who can join GODORT?
Anyone with an interest in government information may become a member of GODORT; the only requisite for joining is membership in the American Library Association. Basic personal membership in ALA begins at $66 for first-year members. Discount are available for Library Support Staff ($47), retired Librarians ($47) and Students ($34). Personal and institutional members are invited to select membership in GODORT for an additional fee of $20 per year (only $10 if you are currently a student). For more information about joining ALA and GODORT, please consult the ALA Membership page.
How will membership in GODORT benefit me?
GODORT provides its members with many opportunities for discussion, continuing education and participation. GODORT is comprised of a number of committees that are currently involved in projects relating to a diverse range of government information issues; one is bound to match your interests! See the section "What are the GODORT Committees" to learn more about the committees. For information on how to become involved in a GODORT committee please refer to the section titled "How can I get involved in GODORT" below. Membership in GODORT also includes a subscription to GODORT's official publication, DttP: Documents to the People.
How can I get involved in GODORT?
Attending committee meetings can help you learn more about the committee's current priorities and allow you to voice an interest in assisting the committee in achieving its goals. Participation can involve serving as a member on the committee or, if you feel you cannot commit to serving a full term, helping out with specific short-term projects. The Chair-elect appoints committee members, so if you are interested in serving on a specific committee it is a good idea to contact that person. Consult the Committee Directory to locate the names and contact information of the current chair and members of the committee; they should be able to direct you to the Chair-elect.
Any GODORT member is a member of a task force in which he or she has an interest and is encouraged to attend the task force meetings at the annual conference or midwinter meeting. You may also contact one of the elected officers of the task force to express a willingness to get involved. Consult the Task Force Directory for contact information. For more information about the task forces see the "What are the GODORT Task Forces" section below. For more information about task force committees, groups, and officer positions consult Chapter 9 of the Policies and Procedures Manual.
If you are interested in running for any GODORT office it is a good idea to get in touch with the Nominating Committee (see the Committee Directory for contact information). You can also express interest in serving on a committee or running for an office by completing the GODORT volunteer form.
Examples of how current members got involved:
"I went to committee meetings of groups whose activities interested me and I also ran for election to one of the committee offices. If you want to get involved try different approaches and don't limit your options!" --Marilyn Von Seggern
"I responded to a general invitation to serve on a committee and was appointed as a "virtual member" of the Membership Committee for a year, and am now serving a two year term as a regular member of the committee. When I was initially appointed to the committee I was a brand new member of ALA and GODORT with little experience as a Documents Librarian. I can attest to the fact that experience doesn't matter - all that counts is enthusiasm and a willingness to contribute!" --Becky Lutkenhaus
Where can I find conference information?
For the dates and locations of future conferences consult ALA's Upcoming Conferences and Events Web site. As information about specific conferences becomes available it is posted at ALA's Events and Conferences Web site. Information regarding the current GODORT schedule can be found on the GODORT conference schedule page. The GOVDOC-L listserv is a useful source of GODORT specific conference/meeting information and activities such as the location of the happy hour, reception (Annual only) and the GODORT conference hotel.
See the descriptions below and link to the specific committee Web pages for information about current projects, meeting minutes, and a list of members.
Selects the recipients of the annual Round Table awards
Serves as a liaison with similar groups in the American Library Association and with government agencies, other library associations and bibliographic networks to identify needs and projects to resolve cataloging issues
Responsible for planning and facilitating the Annual GODORT Awards Reception.
Identifies and solicits funds from external sources of support; develops a list of potential individual and corporate donors and private foundations; researches and develops various fundraising projects for the purpose of supporting the scholarship endowment and subsidizing group events, speakers and programs; plans and implements fund raisers for GODORT activities; aids the Chair with solicitations and contacts as needed; coordinates with the ALA Development Office, as necessary
Identifies needs and issues concerning the education of users of government documents and proposes projects to resolve these needs and issues
Promotes government information in order to engage K-12 students in learning about history, culture, science, and government through games and other interactive activities; assists teacher/school librarians, public librarians, academic librarians, parents, and the general public with locating teaching aids, lesson plans, and exciting tools to enhance students' learning; provides all populations with a collection of free government resources – designed for children – to advance their personal and professional needs.
Identifies issues requiring action; prepares and advises on resolutions; assists the ALA Washington Office on issues affecting federal government legislation; coordinates legislative action with other ALA bodies; and maintains the National Action Alert Network to elicit responses on issues requiring immediate attention
Actively promotes membership in ALA and the Round Table and fosters the participation of Round Table members in ALA and Round Table activities. The Committee also maintains communication with state and local affiliates and assists and advises on projects, interests and activities
Coordinates the nominating process, nominates and recruits candidates and prepares for the election to be held by mail ballot
Proposes, plans and implements the annual program(s)
Coordinates, publishes and disseminates information through venues such as DttP, GODORT Policies and Procedures Manual, the GODORT Web site or through other publications and correspondence to member affiliates; approves any publications produced under the auspices of ALA/GODORT; compiles information with the assistance of the Editorial Review Board on publication options and procedures; reviews all publication projects and makes recommendations on publishing to the GODORT Steering Committee; maintains a Notable Documents Panel responsible for the compilation and publication of an annual list of significant government documents
Identifies rare and endangered government publications; evaluates materials for preservation and conservation; plans programs or workshops on the preservation of these materials
Established and maintains open links of communication between documents librarians and others involved in the life cycle of U.S. government information. Plans the GODORT Update that takes place at all conferences and meetings.
Seeks to improve dissemination of and access to international and foreign national government information, and works to resolve problems related to theseinformation sources.
Facilitates dissemination and retrieval of state and local government information sources through the creation of toolboxes, directories, bibliographies, and other tools.