GODORT International Documents Task Force Minutes

1996 ALA Annual Conference Meeting Javits Convention Center, Room 1E3 Saturday, July 6, 1996 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Attending: Duncan Aldrich (Assistant Coordinator/Coordinator Elect), Mary Gay Anderson, Daniel Blazek, Alex Briels, James Church, Erminio D'Onofrio (Coordinator), Christof Galli, David Griffiths, Peggy Jobe, Carolyn Kohler, Kate Lee, Rosemary Allen Little, Mike McCaffrey-Noviss, Andrea Morrison, Michael Oppenheim (Substitute Secretary), Sandra Peterson, Margaret Renton, Mercedes Sanchez, Lauren Sapp, Debbi Schaubman, Marian Shaaban, Helen Sheehy, Diane Smith, Kathy Tezla, Peter Van Leeuwen.

Erminio D'Onofrio called the meeting to order at 2:05 pm.

1. Introductions

Erminio explained that Secretary Mariaane Ryan, recently married and honeymooning, was unable to attend the Conference. Incoming IDTF Secretary Michael Oppenheim agreed to commence duties one meeting early.

2. Minutes

All agreed to postpone approval of the Minutes of the 1996 Midwinter Meeting in San Antonio to the 1997 Midwinter Meeting in Washington, D.C., as the June 1996 issue of Documents to the People is not yet available.

3. Old Business

  1. Marian Shaaban reported on the status of Guide to Country Information in International Government Organization Publications: it is out, and two copies may be seen at the CIS booth. Cost for the handsome, 343-page volume is $195.00each of the 33 contributors may purchase a personal copy at half price. Up to 200 copies will be given to developing countries, as in past practice. Attendees applauded Marian, Editor-in-Chief of the Guide.

  2. Andrea Morrison reported on the status of the new edition of Guide to Official Publications of Foreign Countries, edited by Gloria Westfall. Over 100 countries are completed76 (with "very fugitive" documents) remain, for which contributors are urgently needed (these countries include Finland, and some of the former Soviet Union). Potential contributors are urged to contact Gloria as soon as possible (at westfall@indiana.edu), particularly if the hoped-for fall publication deadline is to be met. ILL and photocopy charges (the contributors' incidental expenses) are significantly eating into the advance royalty provided by CISoriginally $689.68, it is now down to $396.50. Diane Smith volunteered to investigate whether CIS could expand, or supplement, the royalty, and she will communicate what she learns about this matter to the GODORT Steering Committee.

  3. Helen Sheehy presented a most substantial detailed report of her attendance in June at the European Documents Centres (EDC) meeting in Brussels, at which serious problems with the gradual but steady disappearance of European Union (EU) documentation were only one of many major issues addressed--and this is definitely an issue about which GODORT needs to be officially concerned and vocal. The European Information Association, for example, has shown very little interest in the preservation of EU information, for which U.S. EDC libraries might serve as permanent archival and access sites. In addition to the 9 or 10 librarians from EDC libraries in the United States who attended the Brussels meetings (conducted in English and French, with simultaneous translations), were attendees from the UK, France, Russia, and other EU member states. (The EU is making a point of sending people to EDC meetings, to build bridges between EDCs and other institutions, including American EDC libraries.) The EDC would like to make "Europe by Satellite," an electronic information service similar to C-SPAN, available to EDC librariesthey are working on this project with CNN. Also discussed was a "help-desk" service, to be made available to EDCs and European Information Centres. Visiting the European Parliament, Helen learned about various "Eurobases Initiatives," including the French-language "APC," a bill-tracking service for the Parliament for which EDC libraries may be able to receive one free password. Another initiative is a Windows interface for Eurobases, to replace a very "user-unfriendly" command language. EURO LIB PER, developed under the aegis of the European University Institute, is a database of EU libraries' holdings which may also come to function as a document delivery service. Helen also reported on her upcoming IFLA activities, including attendance at the meeting on "Access to Human Rights Documentation" in Beijing, starting August 27, 1996. GODORT member Al Kagan will moderate that program. Helen will make a presentation on human rights documentation on the Internet. She has been elected Secretary of IFLA's Government Information and Official Publications Section (GIOPS), and she invited IDTF attendees to sign up to receive the IFLA Newsletter.

  4. Updates were reported by the IDTF liaisons to the Government Information Technology Committee (GITCO) (Andrea Morrison), the Cataloging Committee (Dan Blazek), the Education Committee (Kate Lee), the Legislation Committee (Duncan Aldrich), and the Program Committee (Erminio D'Onofrio). Erminio noted the perennially frustrating problem of the IDTF meeting taking place *before* so many other GODORT meetings.

4. New Business

  1. Mercedes Sanchez presented her proposal to revive the long-dormant IDTF Agency Liaison Program, for which she distributed copies of operational guidelines (previously approved by IDTF some two years ago), and an "invitation-to-participate" flyer. Several attendees expressed desires to volunteer. Mercedes--who is already acting, voluntarily, as Coordinator--will post a call to GOVDOC-L (noting which agencies need liaisons).

  2. Mike McCaffrey-Noviss announced that he will soon be running a new listserv (based at Northwestern University) for international documents: "Intl-Doc" Details will also be forthcoming on GOVDOC-L.

  3. IDTF Assistant Coordinator/Coordinate-Elect Duncan Aldrich spoke on the "new" *and* "old" business of new IDTF liaisons to other committees. Andrea Morrison will become liaison to the Cataloging Committee, Dan Blazek to GITCO, and a "person-to-be-named-later" (i.e., soon) to the Education Committee. A Program Committee liaison is still neededDuncan--who, as IDTF Coordinator, would ordinarily be that liaison--does not think he will be able to serve in that role in 1997. Also, should GODORT approve the expansion of the GODORT/MAGERT/RBMS Joint Committee on Rare and Endangered Government Documents, then yet one more IDTF liaison will be needed.

  4. Erminio announced the Workshop on United Nations Resources taking place at the U.N. on Tuesday, July 9this led into a discussion of concerns about problems with the U.N. depository program and related EU documentation problems, which ultimately resulted in the passage of a motion, written by Helen Sheehy, to ask the Chair of GODORT to write a letter to M. Guida (Directorate Generale X), M. Porto (European Parliament), and other appropriate persons expressing our appreciation for Internet access to the full text of EU documents and expressing our concerns regarding permanent access to those materials. The letter should also express GODORT's willingness to explore, with EU institutions, ways to ensure their access.

  5. Duncan proposed an IDTF Web page (pending approval, if needed, of the Publications Committee). Mike McCaffrey-Noviss agreed to consider creating and overseeing such a site.

  6. Rosemary Allen Little, on behalf of the Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) of ACRL, distributed a flyer announcing the Marta Lange/CQ Award.

5. News from the Field

  1. Diane Smith announced and distributed a prospectus for a new CIS index/full-text information service, Global Issues Sourcefile, to be an international counterpart for its recently-released, U.S.-based Current Issues Sourcefile. Call Diane to arrange a personalized, "one-on-one" marketing survey with her.

  2. Peter Van Leeuwen announced plans Readex has to put its United Nations Index on the Web, and to include full-text documents along with the index. The Web version would duplicate current Readex products on CD-ROM, as would the pricessimilarly, subscribers who purchase the microfiche would have free access to the UN Index on the Web. The fiche collection will definitely continue as it has been, in full. Readex will consider putting the documents on CD-ROM, but CD archival quality remains in question.

  3. Alex Briels, of the United Nations, invited librarians to speak with the Head of the U.N. Library at the Workshop on Tuesday. The meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.