GODORT International Documents Task Force Minutes

1999 ALA Annual Conference
Saturday, June 26, 2-4 PM
Presiding: Andrea Morrison, IDTF Coordinator


Newly elected officers were introduced: Barbara Mann, Assistant Coordinator/Coordinator-Elect Jeanne Fong, Secretary. Jim Church, IDTF Assistant Coordinator, will serve as Coordinator in 1999/2000.

Approval of Midwinter 1998 Minutes

Two corrections were noted to the Minutes of the Midwinter meeting as published in DttP 27, no. 1: 47-48.

  • Under the heading "Attending," Erminio D'Onofrio's name was spelled incorrectly.
  • The following correction to was received by Andrea Morrison via e-mail from Mercedes Sanchez, past coordinator of the IDTF Agency Liaison Program: "Lines 5-6 said 'She asks whether [the Agency Liaison] program is worth continuing.' Please inform people that the above statement is incorrect. I have never questioned the effectiveness of the Program, on the contrary, I have always been a strong defender of the Agency Liaison Program." The Minutes were approved with these corrections.

IDTF Liaison Reports

  • Helen Sheehy, IFLA. The Government Information and Official Publications Section held a seminar in Moscow during the last week of May for librarians from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe on "The Role of Libraries in Ensuring Public Access to Official Publications and Government Information." Helen also attended the opening of a legal information center, the start of a new depository program. As a follow-up to the Moscow meetings, organizers of the Crimea Conference on Library and Information Science are exploring the possibility of focusing on government information. Information on that conference can be found at In addition, Helen reported that a seminar similar in scope to the Moscow seminar is tentatively scheduled for October 4-8, 1999. The workshop is being planned in conjunction with a workshop for United Nations Depository Libraries hosted by the Dag Hammerskjold Library. Helen will also be attending the 1999 IFLA conference in Bangkok, August 19-27.
  • Kathleen Jones, Cataloging Committee. The Cataloging Committee is working on a "Tool Box for Processing Government Documents," to be located on the committee's web page. A monograph on cataloging government documents is in progress. The committee has also just established a listserv on retrospective conversion of pre-1976 U.S. documents, to be called "Govretro-L."
  • Education Committee. No report.
  • Helen Sheehy, Legislation Committee. Legislation is discussing CRS reports, revision of Title 44, and EPA legislation.
  • Barbara Mann, GITCO. A host site has been chosen for the CD-ROM documentation project. A form for adding information about CD-ROM documentation is being developed. The committee also will discuss maintenance of the government documents web page template.
  • Program Committee, Jim Church. IDTF has made a proposal for the main GODORT program that would consist of a panel of speakers on the topic of international data.
  • Publications Committee, (liaison not present; Andrea Sevetson gave an informal report). The committee is discussing these issues: distributing two free issues of DttP to all institutional subscribersmoving distribution of DttP to ALA by 2000publishing the revision of the PPM (Policy and Procedures Manual) in HTML only.

  • Rare and Endangered Documents Committee, Julie Wallace. The committee will discuss how to include documents librarians in alerts about library thefts without alerting thieves. She also reports that the League of Nations digitization project is on track.
  • Western Europe Studies Section, Sam Dunlap. The discussion group's topic will be electronic data on Western Europe.
  • IRRT, Rosemary Little. The International Relations Committee is discussing its "guiding principles."

Center for Research Libraries

Pat Finney reported that a project to catalog the collection of Foreign Official Gazettes (donated by New York Public Library) is nearing completiongazettes are cataloged through the letter "S."

Docworld-L Listserv

This electronic discussion group arose from an IDTF Working Group on Communicating with Foreign National Librarians. They were exploring how IDTF might facilitate communication between persons interested in sharing government information worldwide. Andrea Morrison launched the listserv in spring 1999. There are over one hundred subscribers to date. Andrea M. proposed expanding the working group to become an interest group for Docworld-L and other foreign government documents issues. Points of discussion included:

  • Distinctions between Docworld-L and Intl-Doc listservs in terms of scope and sponsorship. Intl-Doc is a forum for international government organizations' information and is not affiliated with GODORT or IDTF. Suggested that Docworld-L be defined specifically as a forum for national government information. IDTF sponsorship currently under discussion.
  • Desirability of creating one more listserv to read
  • Rationale for sponsorship of this type of discussion by IDTF, an American organization

The discussion concluded with two votes

  • First vote: Does IDTF support Docworld-L: Yes.
  • Second vote: Should IDTF sponsor Docworld-L: No.

More discussion followed regarding the text about Docworld-L on the IDTF web site. It was observed that the IDTF web site may reference the listserv and that the description may note that the listserv grew out of GODORT and IDTF discussions. However, GODORT and IDTF should not be referred to as sponsors of the listserv. Andrea Morrison offered to make these changes to the IDTF web page. Other suggestions of listservs where Docworld-L may be announced may be sent to Andrea Morrison

IDTF members who volunteered for the working group at the 1999 Midwinter meeting: Andrea Morrison, Bernadine Hoduski, Dave Griffith, Erminio D'Onofrio, Mary Fetzer, Helen Sheehy, Jim Church, Kathy Jones, Sandy Peterson, Marian Shaaban, Mike Van Fosen.

Agency Liaison Program

Marian Shaaban, new program coordinator, presented a final report by outgoing coordinator Mercy Sanchez. There are currently 23 liaisons covering 26 international government organizations, yet only 3 liaisons have sent reports to Mercy. Andrea read a message from Mercy thanking IDTF for the opportunity to serve and affirming that she will continue to be involved in the program as liaison to Bernan Unipub.

IDTF Program for 2000 Annual Conference

Jim Church presented a proposal with the working title, "International Data: A Crash Course for the Non-Specialist." Co-sponsors to date include GODORT, IASSIST, WESS, and BRASS. There is a partial list of speakers, but more will be solicited. After some discussion, the working title was amended to "International Statistical Data: A Crash Course."

Cooperative Projects

No report.

IDTF Web Pages

Since the Midwinter Meeting, Northwestern University asked that the IDTF web pages be removed from their server. Because of unfortunate circumstances, the former coordinator and webmaster wasn't able to assist at all with this process. After consulting IDTF members via e-mail, Andrea Morrison then moved, updated, and maintained the IDTF pages at Indiana University. Points of discussion were: responsibilities of the IDTF coordinator, webmaster, and authorsmaintenancecontentand creation of a web oversight group within IDTF. Another point of discussion was where the web pages should be and who should be the webmaster. Observations and comments made during the discussion:

  • Mike McCaffrey-Noviss created an excellent site in his role as past IDTF coordinator and webmaster, and IDTF should continue to take advantage of his talents and knowledge.
  • Suggestion made that the role of web administrator should be separate from that of IDTF Coordinator.
  • Jim Church volunteered to serve as IDTF webmaster and move the site to UCSD.
  • A web oversight group is needed to deal with long-term issues such as maintenance.

This discussion culminated in two voice votes.

  • First, appoint Jim Church as web administrator -- Yes.
  • Second, appoint a web oversight group consisting of Barb Mann, David Griffith, Debbie Schawbmann, Andrea Morrison, and Jim Church -- Yes.

Old Business

UN Sales Catalog report: a representative of the United Nations Publications informed IDTF of their decision to publish a printed catalog for this year and next year. No decision has been made about continuing the printed catalog on a permanent basis.

New Business

IDTF Unit Description from the Policies and Procedures Manual -- needs to be updated. For lack of time, the incoming coordinator was charged to consult with IDTF members via e-mail and get the update to Andrea Sevetson by July 15th. The University of Sussex has a grant proposal to create an online union list of serial official publications of continental European countries. They have permission from GODORT to use contents description notes from the 2nd edition of the Official Guide. News on grant funding expected by mid-July.

UN ESCAP Publications

tabled due to lack of time.

Report from Vendors

Helen Sheehy reported for Readex that Access UN now includes indexing of United Nations publications from 1956 through 1999. Production of UN microfiche backfiles is on schedule. Announcements (additional) DttP: John Shuler, editor, brought attention to the new and improved format and encouraged all to submit articles. In addition, new International Documents Roundup column editor is sought (Chuck Eckman is stepping down). This item was left for next year's IDTF. Needs and offers: Kathy Jones asked whether it is appropriate to use the Intl-Doc listserv for needs and offers requests. Meeting attendees said, "Yes." New book: Helen Sheehy brought attention to Peter Hajnel's new book on G7/G8.

The meeting adjourned at 4:30 PM.

Respectfully submitted by Dena Hutto, Secretary, with the assistance of Jeanne Fong, incoming Secretary.