Association of College & Research Libraries

The 13th annual Interagency Depository Seminar 2000

Charmaine Henriques is the U.S. Federal Documents librarian in the Government Publications Department atthe University of Iowa, e-mail:

An introduction to government sources

Approximately 60 participants attended the 13th annual Interagency Depository

Seminar in Washington, D.C., from May 30 through June 7. The seminar, a unique training experience that introduced documents staff new to the depository system to various U.S. Government information sources and products, was coordinated by the Library Program Service (LPS) and sponsored by several federal agencies.

Each day, a different group of federal agencies discussed and demonstrated their services and products; agencies included were, but not limited to, the following: Government Printing Office (GPO), the Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and the Library of Congress Copyright Office.

An overview of GPO

Following opening remarks, Michael DiMario, public printer, summarized the functions and funding of GPO. This was a topic of discussion due to the proposed appropriation cuts by Congress. There was a tour of LPS followed by a group presentation titled “Impact of the Electronic Environment on Collection Development, Public Service, and a Depository’s Web Presence,” which addressed substitution guidelines, work stations, electronic service guidelines, and challenges to GPO and the depository libraries.

Vicki A. Barber, Thomas A. Dowling, and Robin Haun-Mohamed gave a presentation on the “Ins and Outs of LPS Processing.” LPS is responsible for sending a myriad of government documents to depository libraries. The complexity of this process was surprising.

In her session on “Depository Self-Study Process and Depository Responsibilities,” Sheila McGarr, chief, Library Division, provided insight regarding the purpose of an inspection by LPS, which is to verify compliance with Chapter 19 Title 44 of the U.S. Code. Some of the things inspectors look for are: sufficient storage space, whether stored items are being made available in a reasonable fashion, whether record keeping is to the piece level, and whether staff is participating in continuing education and staff development activities. This procedure should not be a stressful event and actually should be helpful.

Selene T. Dalecky, an analyst from the Office of Electronic Dissemination Service gave an overview of GPO Access. GPO Access was mandated by Public Law 103-40 and is, among many things, an electronic storage facility for federal information. Its purpose is many fold and should improve access to government information in electronic formats, provide official and complete information, and ensure permanent public access.

Today GPO Access has more than 176,000 titles and almost 1,500 databases, such as the Code of Federal Regulations, Commerce Business Daily, and the Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. Dalecky took us through several of the finding aids and did a demonstration of the Federal Register.

Census 2000

David Wycinsky Jr. showed us how to use American FactFinder to find housing, population, economic, and social information on a national, state, and county level. He also showed us a function called Quick Tables, which provides a table for frequently requested information for a particular geographic area.

During the Census 2000 Data Dissemination Plans and Products session John Kavaliunas told us of some of the changes that have taken place on the new census. For example, respondents may select more than one race, and the Asian and Pacific Islander category was split into Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Other Pacific Islander. There are new race categories and a new question on grandparents as caregivers.

A lot of the participants of the seminar were dismayed with the news that a majority of the census products will not be distributed to depositories in print.

Cheryl Chambers did a presentation on the American Community Survey, which is an on-going survey that will replace the long form in 2010 and give more current demographic, social, housing, and economic statistics and information.

Patent, transportation, naval, and peace resources

Representatives from the Patent and Trademark Depository Library Program showed us a video entitled How to Conduct a Patent Search at a PTDL. Claudine Jenda, PTDLP Fellowship librarian, introduced us to some of the tools used in a patent search, such as the Official Gazette, Index to Patents, Pan I and II, Index to the U.S. Patent Classification System, and the Manual of Classification.

Michael White, librarian training specialist, took us through the seven-step strategy for conducting a patent search, and did a CD- ROM demonstration of CASSIS.

Presentations on the National Library of Transportation, the Naval Historical Center, and the U.S. Institute for Peace highlighted some lesser-known resources.

In accordance with the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, Congress established the National Library of Transportation. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics (home of the National Transportation Library) is developing relationships with public and private organizations to obtain transportation data and make it available to the public in an electronic format.

The National Transportation Library has a collection of more than 6,000 documents from 330 databases, and 150,000 Web sites. One of its features is TRIS Online; a Web-based database of journal articles, books, and technical reports on transportation research that supports multifaceted searching.

The Navy Department Library, a branch of the Naval Historic Center, has the most comprehensive collection of literature pertaining to the U.S. Navy, and is older than the Library of Congress. The Web site for the Naval Historic Center has bibliographies and historic overviews of naval history, and contains a frequently asked question page that provides information on topics, such as Women in the Navy, USS Constitution, Cuban Missile Crisis, Pearl Harbor Attack, and Wars and Conflicts of the U.S. Navy.

Congress created the U.S. Institute for Peace in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan federal agency. It is dedicated to research, professional training, and education on issues pertaining to international conflict prevention, management, and resolution. Its Web site has information on grants and fellowship opportunities, special reports, and listings of publications from the U.S. Institute of Peace Press. The U.S. Institute of Peace Library has a circulating collection of more than 6,0 books, made available through interlibrary loan, and maintains the Peace Agreement Digital Collection and the Truth Commissions Digital Collection.

Peaceworks(a monographic series) and Peace Watch (a bimonthly newsletter) are made available through the depository system, and most publications can be obtained for free by writing the U.S. Institute of Peace. ■

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