SRRT (Social Responsibilities Round Table) RoundTable
I've written a piece for GODORT's journal Documents to the People (DttP) about the future of the national collection (aka FDLP collections). I hope you'll read and comment on "What are we to keep? Thoughts on the national collection" as well as the What are we to keep? FAQ which gives more context and additional bibliography.
The question of “how many copies” of print documents the FDLP should collectively keep is the wrong question asked for the wrong reasons and trying to answer it will only lead to the wrong answers and irreparable loss of information. For me, even thinking about answering it raises more questions. How can we know how many copies to keep unless we specify the purposes for which we wish to keep them? What are those purposes? How will we know if we are meeting our goals? How will discarding paper benefit users? How can we be sure that we are not losing information when we discard paper copies if we do not have an inventory of the paper copies that exist? How can we implement a policy that is so vague that it doesn’t define things like “a requisite number of copies,” and how decisions will be made, and which apparently treats a born-digital XML document created by GPO and an indifferent digitization without OCR text and missing its maps and foldouts as of equal value?
Let’s be clear. We are talking about the records of our democracy. Loss of even a single page could damage the ability of historians, journalists, economists, and citizens to understand our history and hold our government accountable for it successes and its failures. We have those documents now in our libraries; there are not hundreds or even dozens of copies of these documents floating around in used bookstores or elsewhere. They are in our charge.
DISCOVER THE LABOR AND AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY OF
SAN FRANCISCO AT ALA ANNUAL
A special bus tour for ALA members will trace San Francisco’s labor and African American history. The tour will explore labor sites as well as sites along San Francisco’s African American Freedom Trail.
The roots of labor and African American history run deep in San Francisco. A. Philip Randolph touched off the modern civil rights movement from San Francisco’s Hotel Whitcomb in 1935 when he convinced the AFL-CIO to certify the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and ban segregation in the labor movement. Other historic labor events and activities include the West Coast Waterfront Strike of 1934, support for the Montgomery bus boycott, the United San Francisco Freedom Movement, anti-apartheid activities, and the church-labor coalition.
San Francisco’s African American Freedom Trail tours the sites where African American pioneers locally changed the world. One of the most dominant features of Fisherman’s Wharf is the public art of Sargent Johnson, whose work adorns the front and back of the main building of the San Francisco National Maritime Historical Park as well as the stadium of George Washington High School. Among those who drew inspiration from his work were Maya Angelou and Johnny Mathis, as they matriculated there. Just up Hyde Street from the Maritime Park is the Russian Hill mansion where Langston Hughes wrote and partied with the Hollywood upper crust in 1934-35. Also near the waterfront is the apartment where Alex Haley wrote the Autobiography of Malcolm X and ROOTS.
The joint labor and African American Freedom Trail tour will be led by Oxford University Press historian and Trail curator John William Templeton. Raise your cultural awareness of our conference host city with the knowledge of where movements were born and the greats drew their inspiration.
Date: Friday, June 26, 2015
Registration Deadline: June 1, 2015
Time: 9:30am, tour will last approximately 90 minutes. Depending on demand, more times may be added.
Departs from: the passenger loading zone on the south side of Mission Street midway between 3rd and 4th Street directly behind the Moscone Convention Center.
Questions? Contact Jennifer Dorning at 202-638-0320 ext. 114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: this tour is not sponsored by ALA or RUSA.
At the last ALA conference held 2 weeks ago, the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) passed a resolution in support of the NTIS. The text of the resolution is below. While the resolution passed GODORT, it has been sent back to ALA’s Committee on Legislation (COL) to work on some wording before being sent to ALA Council.
Though it hasn't passed big ALA yet, we’re sharing the text of the resolution now in the hopes that readers — especially those in OK, MO, NE, AZ, MT and WI — will contact their representatives to tell them to SAVE THE NTIS!
RESOLUTION ON PRESERVING PUBLIC ACCESS TO SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL REPORTS AVAILABLE THROUGH THE NATIONAL TECHNICAL INFORMATION SERVICE
Whereas some three million scientific and technical reports are held by the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), thereby promoting research, innovation, and business;
Whereas since 1940, NTIS has been co-operating with federal agencies to collect, preserve, catalog, and provide their reports in paper, microform, and digital formats;
Whereas many federal agencies choose not to maintain collections of their own reports and to depend upon NTIS to provide these reports;
Whereas many federal agencies do not have statutory responsibility or the resources to provide permanent access to these reports and depend upon NTIS to provide them to other government agencies and the public;
Whereas the process of federal agencies entrusting their reports to NTIS ensures permanent access to the public, eliminates duplication of effort, and saves tax dollars;
Whereas since many of the federal agencies that published these reports no longer exist, many of their reports are only available through NTIS;
Whereas over two million of these reports are held only in paper or microform by NTIS and are not available in digital form from any source;
Whereas NTIS has the statutory authority to provide information management services to other federal agencies, including such programs as the Social Security Administration Death Master File used by insurance and annuity companies and the Drug Enforcement Agency Controlled Substances Registrants Data Base, which enables members of the medical community to prescribe and handle controlled substances, and the Federal Science Repository Service which supports the preservation and long-term access of participating agencies content;
Whereas the “Let Me Google That For You Act” ( S. 2206 and H. R. 4382) would abolish NTIS, and the “Frontiers in Innovation, Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) Act” (H. R. 4186), as amended in the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, would repeal the law that authorizes NTIS;
Whereas these bills make no provision for the preservation of the reports and their cataloging data;
Whereas these bills do not provide libraries such as the Library of Congress, the national libraries, and libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program an opportunity to help “determine if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;
Whereas the American Library Association has long supported the provision of all federal government reports and publications, at no charge, to the public through libraries and other services;
now, therefore be it
Resolved, that the American Library Association (ALA)
1. urges the United States Congress to appropriate funds to ensure that the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) continues to act as a central repository for scientific and technical reports;
2. urges United States Congress to fund the provision of these reports to the federal agencies and the public at no charge;
3. urges the United States Congress to consult with librarians at the Library of Congress, the national libraries, corporate libraries, and the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in determining “if any functions of NTIS are critical to the economy of the United States”;
4. urges the United States Congress to put NTIS under the umbrella of the Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, “Increasing Access to the Results of Federally Funded Scientific Research” (February 22, 2013); and
5. urges the United States Congress to fund a digital preservation plan for scientific and technical reports, which would be developed by NTIS, CENDI (formerly Commerce, Energy, NASA, Defense Information Managers Group), the Government Printing Office, the National Archives, federal publishing agencies, and the library community.
Jim Jacobs and I have analyzed and have some comments on the FDLP Task Force's final report. You can find the comments at http://freegovinfo.info/node/8840 or below. We hope our comments are taken as constructive criticism. We appreciate the committee's work, but were left wanting so much more. Hopefully our comments will spur the committee, ALA, and the documents community forward to a better FDLP.
Sunday, June 29, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Las Vegas Convention Center N211
Denise Scott, 2014 winner of the Miriam Braverman Memorial Prize, will give a brief presentation about her paper “Deconstructing the ‘Books for Boys’ Discourse.” Scott’s paper examines the “Books for Boys” rhetoric, which labels some books as being specifically “boy books” in order to encourage boys to read. The paper analyzes the prescriptive nature of gendering and the problems that accompany the discourse’s reliance on gender stereotyping.
Also on the agenda: John Chrastka, Executive Director at EveryLibrary, the first nationwide Political Action Committee for libraries, will speak about EveryLibrary and answer questions. EveryLibrary is an organization dedicated exclusively to political action at a local level to create, renew, and protect public funding for libraries of all types. It provides tactical and operational support to local voter awareness campaigns, seed and sustaining monies to local ballot committees and PACs, as well as conducting direct voter advocacy in support of library taxing, bonding, and referendum.
For more information:
2014 Braverman Award Winner Announcement
EveryLibrary: Building Voter Support for Libraries
Please make plans to attend the Progressive Librarians Guild Meeting and Conversation at ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia.
Sunday, January 26, 4:30 - 5:30 p.m., Pennsylvania Convention Center 202A
Conversation Topic: Libraries and Poverty
ALA’s Policy Statement “Library Services to the Poor” states that “it is crucial that libraries recognize their role in enabling poor people to participate fully in a democratic society, by utilizing a wide variety of available resources and strategies.” What policies, services and programs do you think libraries should be implementing to respond to the crisis of increasing economic inequality and the needs of low-income people in the communities we serve?
For those interested, here are two readings to give our conversation a shared point of departure:
Classism in the Stacks: Libraries and Poverty
2005 Jean E. Coleman Library Outreach Lecture by Sanford Berman
Extending Our Reach: Reducing Homelessness Through Library Engagement
As part of Sunshine Week -- and in conjunction with the White House's new policy on Open Access to federally funded scientific information -- a small group of government information librarians has started a petition on petitions.whitehouse.gov asking the Obama Administration to assure that there is free permanent public access to ALL authentic government information.
we hope you'll sign the petition and forward on to all your friends and social networks to help us reach our goal of 100,000 signatures by April 11, 2013! Thanks in advance!!
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Require free online permanent public access to ALL federal government information and publications.
1. Assure that GPO has the funds to continue to maintain and develop the Federal Digital System (FDsys).
2. Raise ALL Congressional, Executive & Judicial branch information, publications & data to the level of federally funded scientific information & publish ALL government information as "Open Access."
3. Mandate the free permanent public access to other Federal information currently maintained in fee-based databases - including the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER), the National Technical Reports Library (NTRL), & USA Trade Online.
4. Establish an interagency, govt-wide strategy to manage the entire lifecycle of digital government information w/ FDLP Libraries - publication, access, usability, bulk download, long-term preservation, standards & metadata.