It’s not often that a U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) staffer gets to travel to a depository library and spend a day with the staff learning about all they do, but that’s exactly what happened this March! Kelly Seifert, Lead Planning Specialist in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit, traveled to the Albert S. Cook Library at Towson University in Towson, MD and spent the day meeting with the staff, learning about their depository operation, and instructing their staff in the use of GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys).
This day-long visit gave an 11-year GPO veteran a chance to get hands-on experience at a Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) library. Kelly began her day meeting with Debbie Nolan, Dean of University Libraries. Next, Kelly had an opportunity to meet with the library’s dedicated and enthusiastic Government documents group: Mary Gilbert, Assistant University Librarian for Content Management; Karen Fulton, Serials Library Technician 3; Rick Davis, Cataloging Librarian; and Carl Olson, Reference Librarian. Following this meeting, Kelly was given a tour of the recently-renovated library. After that, staff at the library attended an FDsys class on searching and navigating the system. Following a lunch where Kelly had the wonderful opportunity to sit and talk with library staff, she had the chance to meet with the Government documents group to discuss FDLP procedures in the library, processes, their library Web site, and their impressive Subject Gateway on Government information. Kelly then met with Mary Ranadive, Assistant University Librarian for Public Services, and spent some time at the reference desk observing students asking questions with her mentors in reference, Amanda Youngbar and Melissa Ravely.
Depository Coordinator at Towson University, Mary Gilbert, said of the experience, “Kelly’s visit to Towson University’s Cook Library illustrates not only the significance of the FDLP in libraries, but also the importance GPO places on providing authenticated Government information to the American public.”
“What a wonderful experience it was to be able to visit the library and the staff and spend the day exchanging information and learning about all they do! It certainly was a unique opportunity to be able to visit my alma mater for the day and be able to collaborate on a more personal level than I usually get to interact with our FDLP libraries. Previously, my time in FDLP libraries was exclusively spent teaching GPO’s formerly-offered GPO Access training classes,” said Kelly, a 2001 graduate of Towson University.
Towson University rejoined the FDLP in May 2011 after a 12-year hiatus; Towson originally joined the FDLP in 1979 and dropped from the Program in 1999. In September 2011, GPO officially welcomed Towson University back into the FDLP at a celebration held in the reference area of the library. The event kicked-off Towson University’s Constitution Week celebration and included such distinguished guests as Representative John P. Sarbanes (MD-3), who requested the designation; Maryland Senator Paul Spyros Sarbanes, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate from 1971-2007; Public Printer William J. Boarman; Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish; Deborah A. Nolan, Dean, Towson University Libraries; and others.
Towson University is a mostly e-FDL. GPO commends the library and its staff in its efforts to serve the public and provide free access to Government information with expert assistance. GPO thanks the staff at the Albert S. Cook Library for this unique collaborative opportunity!