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INDIGO News Volume 10, #2 Spring Summer 2004: Home

INDIGO Newsletter


Volume 10, #2 Spring/Summer 2004

June 11 Meeting Postponed-(Bob Hinton-IUPUI)The June 11 meeting featuring Superintendent of Documents Judy Russell has been postponed due to the the federal government being closed for President Reagan's funeral. An alternative date is being arranged. Note: This meeting was later rescheduled for and took place on July 23.

From the Chair: (Jackie Johnson-Indiana University Southeast): The rapidly changing world of government documents is of great interest to the library community. Nowhere was that more apparent than at the April Federal Depository Library Council meeting in St. Louis. This meeting drew far more attendees than usual. Even library directors showed up in record numbers! It reflected that we are living in a time of change (once again). We cannot expect that government information issuance will remain static while digital information and communications transform our world.

Public Printer Bruce James and Superintendent of Documents Judith Russell presented, explained, and defended plans to maintain a "Collection of Last Resort" (See May 15 Adnotes) for government information that was backed up by copious amounts of fact-finding reports. While it left many shaking their heads (disbelief, dismay, disgust?), I believe that most received the plan with favorable anticipation.

Here in Indiana, we are trying to jump-start the process for our state by securing space at IU Bloomington's Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF). Much like the federal plan, we are still in the discussion and planning process. Discussion of this plan will be on the agenda for our Spring Meeting at IUPUI on Friday, June 11. Please plan to attend to be a part of this and also hear Judith Russell speak about the aforementioned federal plan. We are both excited and honored to be able to have Judith attend our meeting. Be sure to thank INDIGO Program Committee Co-Chairs Kathryn Millis (also Chair-Elect), and Bob Hinton for their hard work and planning.

GODORT Chair Report 2003-2004-(Andrea Morrison-Indiana University-Bloomington) This summarizes activities and concerns of the American Library Association's Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT) for the past year. GODORT web pages are continually updated with information useful to library practitioners at Current national news related to GODORT is continually updated with links. DTTP: Documents to the People, GODORT's publication, is providing highly relevant articles to practitioners with a brand new look. Current summer 2004 issue article include "How Would You Assist Patrons With a FOIA Request?," "Web-Based Government Information--Four Projects"; and "Information Literacy For Government Documents-Part 1". Many of the columns are available in digital form from, including from the Chair and Washington report columns back to 1996. I highly recommend you subscribe if you don't have a subscription. DTTP is not available electronically and the articles are so useful you will be glad you did! Submissions are encouraged for aspiring writers. GODORT's Notable Documents panel prepares an annual article with notable documents abstracts in Library Journal. You are encouraged to make notable federal, state, or international documents, on the web form at
Changes in the Federal Depository Library Program and organizational changes at the U.S. Government Printing Office are major GODORT concerns. This past year Public Printer Bruce James declared a fact finding year to collect evidence to support effective change at GPO and for the FDLP. GODORT provided feedback to James and Superintendent of Documents Judy Russell. We organized a Working Group under our Federal Documents Task Force and a call went out on govdoc-l for volunteers to help draft letters of our concerns about change. Final letters to James and Russell were approved by the GODORT Steering Committee and mailed in Spring 2004. Copies of the letters and accompanying materials are available on the GODORT website under Communications from the Chair. To quote from the letter, a major concern shared by GODORT and ALA is that "Broad, no-fee access to government information is fundamental to our democratic form of government, and we believe it must be maintained, supported, and championed by the Public Printer of the United States." Access, preservation, and education were all major points covered by the letter, as well as the authenticity and usability of electronic government information. GODORT also encouraged GPO to take a leadership role in many areas including establishing metadata standards and partnerships with other institutions. GODORT will continue providing feedback to GPO as they develop their organizational plans.

ALA's Key Principles on Government Information updated and approved by ALA Council January 14, 2004 was sent with the letter to the Public Printer. GODORT was one of the major authors of the revisions. This document would be appropriate to link to your depository web pages or incorprate in your unit's mission statement and objectives.There are twelve principles and the first two are:

1. Access to government information is a public right that must not be restricted by administrative barriers, geography, ability to pay, or format.

2. The government has the responsibility to collect, maintain, and disseminate information to the public.

The letter was sent to the Superintendent of Documents and emphasized some GODORT concerns pertainign to specific FDLP operational issues with five significant recommendations:

1. Support integration of government information into commonly used bibliographic databases, indexes, and search engines. 2. Enhance classification to better integratee government publications into library collections. 3. More fully incorporate emerging technologies to expand the breadth and depth of delivery of GPO training materials. 4. Utilize emerging technologies to support depository librarians in sharing expertise, information, and service responsibility to the public. 5. Enhance existing depository tools to further support the work of Federal Depository Libraries.
GODORT's Legislation Committee continues monitoring and summarizing relevant federal legislation to GODORT members. Committee web pages provide excellent and ongoing information on subjects such as USA Patriot Act amendments, ERIC, Homeland Security, patents, Freedom of Information Act, and proposed regulatory changes at This web page also links to advocacy resources, GODORT resolutions, and related links.

The GODORT Education Committee has improved a web resource for government information providers by updating the Government Information Clearinghouse & Handout Exchange at This project's goal is gathering into one place many tools available to government information librarians to assist in successfully managing electronic government information and in building advocacy skills to promote access to this information. It incudes current information from the GODORT Handout Exchange previously hosted by the University of Michigan and provides information by topical pages, tutorials for using government information, and tutorials for training government documents staff.

The CD-ROM Documentation Project is an online searchable database to existing technical documentation and management information for CDs, DVDs, and diskettes, which is a cooperative undertaking merging hte work of GODORT's Government Information Technology Committee (GITCO) and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC or Big Ten schools.) It is hosted at the University of Iowa and kept up-to-date. It may migrate to new forms as GODORT works with GPO, but the project will remain.

There are many other issues GODORT provides information about including permanent public access to disappearing documents, archiving, and cataloging. GODORT-sponsored preconferences are extremely practical and useful with the current one for 2004 being Make the Most of What You've Got: Improving Access to Government Information in Your Online Catalog at being an example. The Cataloging Committee also sponsors an updated electronic resource entitled Toolbox for Processing and Cataloging Government Documents 9federal and international) at New librarians may be intreested in the GODORT-sponsored mentoring program.

I hope I've encouraged you to use some GODORT information and resources in your library. They are created by dedicated professionals and of excellent quality. It has been a pleasure to serve as GODORT Chair this past year. I realize that we have made an impace and difference in access to government information. Contact me by email if you have any further questions.

Purdue Libraries News (Bert Chapman-Purdue University) Purdue's new Dean of Libraries will be Jim Mullins. He begins his administration July 1, 2004 and his previous service includes being Associate Dean at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Libraries, the director of the Villanova University Library, and many years of service in the Indiana University Library system including the Director at IU-South Bend. Bert Chapman is putting the finishing touches on the book Researching National Security and Intelligence Policy which will be published by Congressional Quarterly (CQ) Press in July 2004. Purdue Libraries also continue making progress in retrospective U.S. documents cataloging and are nearly finished with cataloging Senate Governmental Affairs Committee hearings and prints between 1975-1994, numerous Interior Dept. environmental impact statements from the 1980s, and are beginning to catalog House Government Operations Committee hearings between 1975-1994. HSSE Library has featured exhibits of government documents on the federal court system, Library of Congress, and presidential and congressional memorial addresses. Purdue Libraries have also purchased the Lexis-Nexis Digital U.S. Congressional Serial Set.
Air University Center for Strategy and Technology-(Bert Chapman-Purdue University) This facility was established in 1996 and its mission is engaging in long-term strategic thinking about technological issues for U.S. national security. The Center's website provides a remarkable variety of information resources on technological applications of national security with emphasis on military aerospace matters. A valuable feature of this center is its Occasional Papers series numbering 33 titles from 1997-present. Examples of works in this series include Lasers in Space: Technological Options for Enhancing U.S. Military Capabilities (1997), U.S. Army Apache Helicopters and U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Forces: Implications for Future Military Operatiosn (2001), Unmanned Undersea Vehicles and Guided Missile Submarines: Technological and Operational Synergies (2002), and Directed Energy Weapons on the Battlefield: A New Vision for 2025 (2003).

Center for Technology and National Security Policy (Bert Chapman-Purdue University) Located at National Defense University, the Center for Technology and National Security Policy (CTNSP) seeks to promote the infusion of useful technology into the U.S. military and use this technology to meet security challenges such as terrorism and weapons proliferation. CTNSP's website provides a variety of informative information resources. These include reports such as Effects of Directed Energy Weapons (2003) and Information Assurance: Trends in Vulnerabilities, Threats, and Technologies (2004). An additional noteworthy feature from CTNSP is its Defense Horizons series summarizing research in various areas of defense technological security. This series consisted of 38 items as of early June 2004 with retrospective coverage going back to 2001. Sample titles in this series include Small Security: Nanotechnology and Future Defense (2002), The Virtual Border: Countering Seaborne Container Terrorism (2002), Biology and the Battlefield (2003), Hydrogen as a Fuel for DOD (2003), and Dirty Bombs: The Threat Revisited (2004).

Indiana Links to Government Information(Cheryl Truesdell-Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne) INDIGO's website, Indiana Links to Government Information, needs sponsors for its web content. The purpose of this site is providing links to pages that provide selected quality presentations of electronic government information. In other words, not just a list of links, but enhanced guides to the best most useful government information. These enhanced guides to government information need to be created, housed, and maintained on the sponsor's own web server. INDIGO's Indiana Links to Government Information will then link to the site you maintain. You are the author and maintainer of the content for INDIGO. We need more contributions to the website. For examples of what other INDIGO members have contributed to to Indiana Links to Government Information and look at the link from Indiana Statistics listed in the first column and under Browse Subjects look at the links from Agriculture, Arts, Culture, & History, Criminal Justice, Foreign Affairs, National Defense, and Recration & Travel. Please think about being a contributor and content sponsor for Indiana Links to Government Information. If you are interested contact Cheryl Truesdell, IPFW Helmke Library, by email:, or call 260-481-6506.
Government Information For Those Doing Their Own Litigation: Serving the Pro-Se Patron* (Miriam Murphy-Lilly Law Library-Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis) A major component of government documents information is legal information produced by various governmental branches. Providing public access to government laws, rules, and regulations is the main mission of legal reference. Inspired by the leadership training program Lead-In sponsored by the Indiana Library Federation, INCOLSA, and the Indiana State Library; a group of librarians serving the Indianapolis community have formed a Pro-se Task Force to assist public patrons seeking state and federal government laws. The task force consists of librarians representing the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library, Indiana State Library, Indiana Supreme Court Library, Marion County Law Library, and the Ruth Lilly Library, Indiana University School of Law. Task force goals are informing librarians and the public about legal and government information sources and providing legal reference service guidelines. The task force's first goal is assisting the legal researcher by informing them of law-based library services available at each Indianapolis library. Each library will be profiled concerning the scope of their law collection and basic data such as location, hours, borrowing privileges, and equipment availability. This profile will be added to a selected listing of community services and relevant legal and government information sources. A consolidated web page and resource guides will be made available for public use. Because there are questions about who can give legal advice (answer: only Indiana licensed attorneys) and what constitutes legal advice, the task force hopes to provide assistance to librarians in determining appropriate responses to legal questions. Future plans could call for instructional programs for librarians throughout Indiana. *A pro-se patron is one who acts as their own attorney in a legal matter.

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