GODORT International Documents Task Force Minutes

1999 ALA Midwinter Meeting Philadelphia, PA Crown Plaza Hotel, Constitution Room Saturday, January 31, 1999 2-4 PM

Attending: Jim Church (Assistant Coordinator), Enrico D'Onifrio, Chuck Eckman, Mary Fetzer, Megan Fitch, David Griffiths, Dena Hutto, Margaret Jobe, Kathleen Jones, Michael Levine-Clark, Rosemary Allen Little, Barb Mann, Sandy Peterson, Brian Rossmann, Debora Schawbman, Marian Shaaban, Helen Sheehy, Peter Van Leeuwen, Beth Walker, Julia Wallace.

1. Welcome/Announcements. Due to illness, IDTF Coordinator Andrea Morrison, Indiana University, was unable to attend the Midwinter Meeting. Assistant Coordinator James Church, University of California-San Diego, chaired the meeting in her absence.

2. Approval of Minutes of the IDTF meeting at the 1998 ALA Annual Conference were approved as published in DttP vol. 26, no. 2/3: 63-65.

3. Reports from IDTF Liaisons:

  • Helen Sheehy, Legislation Committee. The committee is working to support Government Printing Office appropriations (including continued funding for the Area Handbook Series). The committee is also discussing S. 22, which proposes a system for declassifying government information, and H.R. 354, the "Collections of Information Antipiracy Act."

  • Helen Sheehy, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). About 25 people attended a full-day workshop on international government information sources at the IFLA conference in Amsterdam last summer. Helen will be participating in additional workshops in Moscow, Bangkok, and possibly Beirut during the next year.

  • Wen-Hua Ren, Program Committee. The committee is planning the GODORT program for the annual conference in New Orleans. The topic will be "To Merge or Not to Merge," on the pros and cons of combining documents reference and technical services with other library units.

  • Beth Walker Publications Committee. The committee is discussing the current and future status of DttP: Documents to the People. Additional editorial staff and columnists are being added. A new publication design will be unveiled at the GODORT second Steering Committee meeting on Tuesday.

  • Kathleen Jones, Cataloging Committee. No report.

  • Barbara Mann, Government Information Technology Committee (GITCO). The committee is discussing web site updates, standards, and continuing education.

  • Rosemary Little, ALA International Relations Committee. Reported on changes in office staff, activities of the International Relations Round table Continuing Education Committee, planning for the 2001 IFLA conference, and work on an ALA International Relations Office mission statement.

4. Old Business

  • Discussion of the effectiveness of the IDTF Agency Liaison Program. Mercy Sanchez, ITDF Agency Liaison Program Coordinator, expressed concern to Andrea Morrison prior to the conference that she has not received any reports from liaisons recently. She asks whether this program is worth continuing. Several liaisons stated that their agencies often have not responded to letters. In the course of discussion, concerns were raised about international governmental organizations (IGOs) that have discontinued microform publication series in favor of web access. Sandy Peterson, FAO liaison, is specifically concerned about that agency's plans. It was noted that web sites do not contain all of the document series included in the microform collections.

  • "Notable Documents." "Notable Documents" panel representatives Enrico D'Onifrio and Peggy Jobe proposed that IGO publishers be encouraged to nominate documents for this Library Journal special issue. Suggestions from the discussion were that the "Notable Documents" editor send letters to specific IGOs encouraging them to nominate publications and provide review copies. IDTF plans to make this procedural change by the 1999 ALA Annual Conference. Letters would then be sent to encourage nominations for next year's issue. Agency liaisons were also encouraged to work with IGOs to increase their awareness of the "Notable Documents" issue.

  • Publication of the 1998 IDTF preconference. Because neither the coordinator nor the past coordinator of IDTF was present, there was little information about the publication of the 1998 IDTF preconference on international government information. Andrea Morrison did state in an e-mail message to Jim Church and Dena Hutto that she has discussed this with Mike Mike McCaffrey-Noviss and that he is behind on publication plans.

  • IDTF web site. Immediate plans for the web site are for Mike McCaffrey-Noviss to continue as webmaster. Sandy Peterson offered to represent IDTF at a GODORT webmaster meeting at this conference.

5. New Business Communication with international librarians. Discussed a document compiled by Andrea Morrison on ways of improving communication with librarians from other countries concerned about government information (also posted on INTL-DOC listserv prior to the meeting). Some suggestions and observations that emerged from the discussion:

  • Use participants in the University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign's Mortensen Program and international students in U.S. library degree programs as contacts to reach more librarians from other countries.

  • Expand the scope of the INTL-DOC listserv to include international participation. A first step would be to identify and contact listservs that cover government information at a national level in other countries, as well as organizations that foster government information access.

  • The ALA International Relations Round table's draft mission statement contains a number of points pertaining to this discussion.

6. Reports from Information Services.

  • Peter Van Leeuwen, Readex, reported that the Access UN database now indexes United Nations documents from 1956. They expect to complete the backfiles for this product within 2-3 years.

  • Matt Brosius, Deputy Head of OECD Washington Center, e-mailed Andrea Morrison prior to the meeting to announce that he is compiling a monthly e-mail notification of significant publication releases, events, documents, etc. at the OECD web site. Paper copies of the first e-mail were distributed at the meeting. To be added to the distribution list, e-mail matt.brosius@oecd.org. It was also suggested that the announcements be posted on INTL-DOC.

  • Patricia Finney, Center for Research Libraries reported that CRL continues its project to catalog and process a collection of foreign official gazettes deposited by New York Public Library. She expects this project to be completed within the next six months. Pat also described the Center's uncataloged international documents collections in paper and microform.

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 PM. Respectfully submitted, Dena Hutto, IDTF Secretary Reed College, Portland, Oregon