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Unity = Strength; Strength = Endurance; Endurance = Longevity

Mary Alice Baish Assistant Public Printer, Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO).

Welcome to our May FDLP Connection which is chock-full of informative and timely updates from LSCM about the preliminary results of the 2011 Biennial Survey, the terrific work of LSCM’s Document Discovery team, and our newly launched Depository Selection Information Management System (DSIMS). Also, special thanks to Depository Library Council (DLC) members Helen Burke and Donna Lauffer for their excellent summary of the March conference of the Public Library Association. I join them in soliciting program proposals from our public depository librarians for the fall 2012 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference. There are 199 public libraries in the FDLP, and we value each and every one of them for their contributions to the Program and service to the public.

2011 Biennial Survey Results

We were very pleased to have a ninety-eight percent response rate to the 2011 Biennial Survey. Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey with such care and thought. While the biennial survey is required to report on “the condition” of each depository library, the results inform our decisions about prioritization for our collection development efforts and the services you most value. The responses to the questions about training—your preference for face-to-face or virtual education opportunities and suggestions for training topics—are especially helpful as one of LCSM’s top priorities will continue to be training. We will continue to enhance our training offerings in terms of content and frequency, and we appreciate your suggestions very much. I’d like to thank our Education and Outreach staff, especially Melissa Fairfield, for their thorough analysis of the survey results that will be posted shortly to the FDLP Desktop.

LSCM Training

We’ll let you be the judge of our efforts, but I do want to brag about the remarkable number of virtual training sessions provided by LSCM staff during the month of April. Check this out:

  • Two sessions on “FDsys Training: Using FDsys to Navigate Federal Government Information” were held on April 3 and 30, and they filled up within hours of being announced on FDLP-L. Thank you for your interest! The training sessions covered: basic and advanced searching, browsing, retrieving by citation, FDsys help tools, and working with FDsys search results. For those of you who missed these sessions, stay tuned as we will be announcing additional dates and are considering providing monthly sessions to meet your learning needs. Many thanks to Kelly Seifert, who led both sessions, and to Amanda Colvin, Ashley Dahlen, Cindy Etkin, and Heidi Ramos, who monitored questions and comments.
  • Also in April, our FDLP Forecast Study team participated in eight virtual and phone sessions providing an overview of the project and reviewing the FDLP Library Forecast Questionnaires, the State Forecast Questionnaires, and State Focused Action Plans with depository librarians in Rhode Island, Virginia, Louisiana, North Dakota, Texas and Arizona. Thanks to Barbie Selby for sharing information about the April 9 Virginia event on Regional-L which was then picked up by Boston Public Library.

We were also pleased to be invited to two sessions held for our colleagues in North Dakota. The first one on April 16 was with representatives from the two regional depositories (thank you, Kathryn Thomas and Lisa Martin!), and the second one brought together the regionals and selective librarians to collaborate on the State Forecast and Action Plan. Last but not least, project team co-leads Cherie Givens and David Walls participated in a webinar, “Law Librarians and the Federal Depository Library Program: Working Together for a Successful Future", held by the American Association of Law Libraries on April 19.

Since November, our hard-working staff have participated in 20 learning sessions (reaching almost 500 attendees) on the Forecast Project, and three more have already been scheduled for May: for regional librarians on May 1; Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire on May 9, and Ohio on May 18. It’s not too late to join the bandwagon, and I invite you to schedule a session for your state or multi-state regional by contacting Cherie Givens.

We will adapt the presentation to meet your specific needs. For example, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) staff members, Cherie Givens and David Walls, recently joined the Arizona Depository Library Council’s spring meeting for a discussion of the FDLP Forecast Study.

The attendees decided to go through and answer the State Forecast Questionnaire with GPO staff on hand to clarify questions. They shared initiatives from their ambitious State Action Plan, one of which has 14 parts. They will continue to whittle down their list to the top five or so to include in their State Focused Action Plan. We are very impressed! Arizona regional librarian Janet Fisher expressed her appreciation for our collaboration on this project and commented that, “It was very useful to hear and see the overview of this project and discuss how the survey responses will be used in planning for FDLP’s next steps. We also spent some time discussing the survey questions and formulating our state responses. We were able to question Cherie and David during this process. We felt more informed and look forward to providing our state input to GPO.”

GPO Press Release on 100th Anniversary of Sinking of the Titanic

Thanks to the quick responses of many of you in the FDLP community (and you know who you are!), GPO was able to include specific information about the 1912 Congressional hearings and report in our April 12 press release, The Sinking of the “Titanic”: Results of Congressional Investigation Available Through GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program. You all helped us immensely by identifying the original Senate documents, helping us shine light on the value and importance of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, and most importantly, sharing information with us about the special exhibits many of you had already developed to showcase these important historic documents. The sinking of the “unsinkable” Titanic raised enormous public interest at the time, leading Congress to hold hearings just four days after the tragedy, summoning more than 80 witnesses in New York City and on the Hill. Congress concluded the investigation, and GPO published the final report just six weeks later.

GPO Hosts Annual Meeting of the CUAC

Kudos to Joe McClane, a founding member, for suggesting that GPO host the Cartographic Users Advisory Council (CUAC) 2012 meeting here at GPO on April 26-27. It was a special pleasure for me to welcome the Advisory Council and, at the same time, learn about the issues facing this knowledgeable and friendly group of map experts. The two-day agenda, which included nine presentations by key Federal officials, struck me as a perfect synergy between the creators of cartographic materials and their stakeholders. Laurie Hall, Director of Library Technical Information Services, presented the closing session about GPO’s bibliographic control of cartographic materials before the Advisory Council members ended their meeting with a tour of our 150th Anniversary Exhibit. The meetings attendees raved about the meeting by commenting, “Wonderful, friendly employees around every corner,” and “Thanks for hosting us. We appreciate the staff you have.”

Quick News Items

Last month, the FDLP Connection shined the GPO Staff spotlight on our trio of remarkable administrative assistants: Debbie Smith, Glenda Carmichael and Jeannine Ballard. They embody the theme of the April 25, 2012, Administrative Professionals Day, “Admins, the pulse of the office” and we enjoyed celebrating their terrific work and cheerful attitudes last week!

  • Kids explore a beta version of the upcoming redesign of Ben's Guide to U.S. Government Web site during GPO's Bring Your Child to Work Day.
  • In other news, Kelly Seifert was one of 10 GPO staff accepted for the 2012 session of the Excellence in Government Fellows Program, Partnership for Public Service. This is an intensive year-long program, and Kelly is just back from the two-day April kick off session. She returned full of great ideas to better promote the mission of the agency. Many LSCM staffers have, in the past, participated in this special program that combines innovative coursework, best practices benchmarking, challenging action-learning projects, executive coaching, and Government-wide networking. As co-editor of the FDLP Connection, I’m hoping Kelly will share her experiences with you in a future issue.

    At the end of her busy first month, new LSCM director Jane Sánchez feels right at home at GPO. Jane has spent many hours meeting with our managers and staff, learning about our operations and workflows. Last week she participated in our annual Bring Your Child to Work Day that was great fun. I suspect you won’t be surprised to learn that, once again, the favorite activity of the day was the hands-on session Karen Sieger and our wonderful Web Content Management team provided. Jane also held her first LSCM Town Hall Meeting and has already, in many ways, proven herself an asset to our organization!