GODORT International Documents Task Force Minutes

1998 ALA Annual Conference Renaissance Washington, Room 7 Saturday, June 27, 1998, 2:00pm - 4:00 p.m.

Attending: Mike McCaffrey-Noviss (Coordinator), Barbara Agosin, Duncan Aldrich, Mary Gay Anderson (Secretary), Dan Blazek, Debora Cheney, James Church, Sam Dunlap, Chuck Eckman, Mary Fetzer, Patricia Finney, David Griffiths, Peter Hajnal, Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Dena Hutto, Margaret M. Jobe, Michael Levine-Clark, Rosemary Allen Little, Barb Mann, Vida Margaitis, Andrea Morrison, Emily Newman, Bridget Reischer, Margaret Retton, Tatana Sahareck, Mercy Sanchez, Marian Shaaban, Helen Sheehy, Catherine Shreve, Lynne M. Stuart, Lorraine Pellicano Waitman, Beth (Estes) Walker, Julia Wallace, Christopher Woodthorpe, Grace York.

1. Welcome and Announcements

Michael McCaffrey-Noviss called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. and reshuffled some of the agenda items to accommodate speakers’ schedules. Patricia Finney of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) gave an update on the foreign Official Gazettes (FOGs) project. CRL is continuing to process the New York Public Library’s deposit of FOGs, adding records to their online catalog and proceeding alphabetically by country. The project has currently finished the "M’s". Pat is already to the "S’s" in inputting CRL’s own holdings of FOGs. Pat extended an invitation to the IDTF members to attend the CRL session at the American Association of Law Librarians (AALL) in Anaheim. The discussion will focus on prospective partnership agreements for the collection of FOGs to replace New York Public Library’s efforts. Evidently, CRL is really looking for participation and input. It was suggested that IDTF request a membership on the project committee.

2. Approval of Minutes

The Minutes of the 1998 Midwinter IDTF Business Meeting in New Orleans, as published on the IDTF website http://www.library.nwu.edu/govpub/idtf/m_mid98.html, were approved with no discussion.

3. Reports from IDTF Liaisons

  • GODORT Cataloging Committee - Andrea Morrison reported that the PURL issue with Federal Documents and the revision of Cataloging Government Documents would be the focus of the meeting.
  • GODORT Education Committee - Debora Cheney reported that when the committee meets on Sunday, the discussion will center on its web page.
  • GODORT Legislation Committee - Helen Sheehy was delighted to report that there were no issues before the Legislation Committee.
  • GITCO - Dan Blazek reported that the committee would meet on Sunday to continue working on their CD-ROM documentation project, mostly for federal CDs.
  • GODORT Program Committee - Margaret Jobe reported that the IDTF Preconference was well received. The 1999 program was discussed
  • GODORT Publications Committee - Beth (Estes) Walker announced that Andrea Sevetson has agreed to become the web manager for the GODORT web pages. This has been a troubled year for Documents to the People (DTTP). With the shift to ALA publications, DTTP should be back on schedule.
  • ACRL - WESS (Western European Studies Section) - Sam Dunlap reminded everyone of the WESS program: Digitizing a Continent: National-Level Planning for Western European Libraries on Monday, June 29, 9:30-11:30 a.m. at Loews L'Enfant Plaza
  • ALA International Relations Committee - Rosemary Allen Little reported the ALA/IRC Washington staff will have two openings.

4. 1998 Preconference Debriefing

Mike McCaffrey-Noviss gave a brief description of the program. Seventy-seven paid participants filled the room to overflowing. Although the preconference only expected to cover the conference costs, it appears that it cleared over $1000. Mike suggested using the money to transcribe and publish the conference papers. After much discussion, the group agreed to approach the GODORT Publications Committee, since GODORT and DTTP have the right of first refusal. The Journal of Government Information might also be willing to publish the papers. IDTF passed two action items for GODORT consideration. The group requested that the Chair of GODORT write thank you letters to the preconference panelists, presenters and organizers. Special thanks should be extended to Barbara Sloan and the Delegation of the Commission staff.

5. Agency Liaison Program Report

Mercy Sanchez read a report, [all liaison reports will be posted to the web on the IDTF pages]. Highlights include:

  • The UN has appointed 3 new UN depository libraries in the US.
  • The last quarter of 1997 UNDOC will appear this fall.
  • The UN is replacing UNDOC with United Nations Documents Index. Publication schedule and price to be announced soon.
  • World Trade Organization has made Bernan-Unipub their exclusive sales agent in the US.
  • Bernan will NOT supply Eurostat publications on a standing order basis.
  • FAO ceased their microfiche subscriptions at the end of 1997.

7. Cooperative Projects

  • League of Nations Digitization Project: Northwestern University has mounted a prototype website for League of Nations full text at http://www.library.nwu.edu/govpub/collections/league/. They have applied for an IMLS grant and are looking for partners to expand the scope of the project.
  • UN Voting Records: Helen Sheehy at Penn State reported that her faculty member might be willing to put his database of pre-1984 voting records up on the web, but they are having difficulty locating post-1984 date in computer format. ICPSR does not initiate and create databases, but Debora Cheney will contact them. Peter Hajnal suggested the Canadian Peace Research Institute might have this information, but Ms. Sheehy had been unable to get a response from them. Staff from the Dag Hammerskjold Library indicated that the UN was aware of the demand for this information and that it was a small file. Further discussions centered on the need to be able to search by subject, country, resolution title or number, and time range and various schemes for mounting the voting data for the entire span of 1946- present.
  • Consortial Purchases of IGO Datasets: Mike floated the idea that libraries might enter into an ad hoc consortial-type arrangements with particular IGOs to acquire certain databases. This suggestion was welcomed by both the IDTF librarians and some of the sales staff present.

8. IDTF Web Pages

Mike McCaffrey-Noviss is willing to maintain the IDTF web pages at Northwestern for the immediate future.

9. News from the field

  • CRL International Proposal: The proposal was greeted with interest. Helen Sheehy praised the direction of CRL’s thinking, but thought we should try to move CRL toward digital data and preservation issues involving electronic formats. Sam Dunlap and Mary Gay Anderson will follow-up with CRL.
  • UN Sales Program - Christopher Woodthorpe thought the UN would welcome the idea of consortial buying. However, he really wanted feedback from standing order customers on UN sales numbers and categories. The sales section is considering revamping the sales categories to be more reflective of topics and regions, not based on UN agencies. To this end, the UN is hosting a focus group meeting on Monday 9-12 at 666 11th St. NW, Suite 730. All are invited.
  • Sadly, Mr. Woodthorpe did confirm that the UN treaty database would no longer support free access. By September, it will be subscription based. More focus group discussion will be done at AALL. The group asked about inclusion of more fugitive agency publications in the UN sales program, such as UNICEF. Mr. Woodthorpe explained some of the difficulties. The group reiterated their preference for dealing with the UN sales program and not a third party vendor.

10. Report of a Consulting Trip to Africa

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski was recently invited by US Information Agency (USIA) to serve as a consultant to South Africa and Zimbabwe concerning government information programs and depository arrangements. In South Africa, the issue is incorporating the former homelands into the existing depository arrangements. The program is an ambitious one, including all levels of South African governments, guaranteeing access and open meetings, protecting whistleblowers, and the idea of bookmobiles for government information in areas without libraries. Ms. Hoduski met with national librarians, interest groups, new library associations, and political groups. She also participated in a workshop hosted by the American embassy for government ministries, government printers, librarians, and provincial officials. USIA librarians demonstrated GPO Access to an appreciative audience. Ms. Hoduski pointed out that our concerns and solutions were influencing librarians and governments all over the world. In many ways, her trip to Zimbabwe was more shocking. The library community there is much less able to meet the needs of the country. There is little library automation. Aid is difficult due to the political situation. The national film archives had little basic information or expertise to deal with preservation issues critical to the setting. However, several meetings with key players did result in a depository library bill, written in the span of three days. Ms. Hoduski reminded us of the necessity of reaching across national boundaries to help our fellow librarians safeguard their access to information. She mentioned a Southern Africa LISTSERV for librarians, information and staff exchanges, and volunteering as important ways to contribute.

11. Other business

Peter Hajnal gave a short report on the recent G8 summit and the 11th annual meeting of ACUNS (Academic Council on the United Nations System) in Halifax. Hosted by a peace-keeping center, the session was split between the military and civilian concerns involved with peace operations. The group can now boast the first General Secretary as a member. Mr. Hajnal reminded the group of ACUNS major journal Global Governments. It was also noted that Mr. Hajnal would be available to sign copies of his new book International Organizations on Sunday, 3PM at the Libraries Unlimited booth. The group was also encouraged to look at the new subscription service called Columbia International Affairs Online (CIAO).

The meeting was adjourned at 4:00 p.m.
Respectfully submitted by:
Mary Gay Anderson Government Documents Librarian University of Florida