FDLP Forecast Study Sessions: Sharing Preliminary Results

The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Forecast Study was featured during all four days of the Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference (Meeting & Conference). Each afternoon was devoted to sharing preliminary quantitative and qualitative results from the Library Forecast Questionnaires, the State Forecast Questionnaires, and the State Focused Action Plans and discussing the Study overall. All FDLP Forecast Study sessions were broadcast as webinars; the recorded sessions and handouts are available for viewing by all stakeholders, including the public.

Each of the four sessions featured a different aspect of the FDLP Forecast Study.

Monday, October 15, 2012: Methodology, Study Phases, & State Forecast

The kick-off Forecast session presented the Study’s overall methodology, which is based on a mixed methods study approach, and reviewed with attendees how the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is analyzing and utilizing the data collected. Superintendent of Documents, Mary Alice Baish, set the stage for the attendees, describing the intent and importance of the FDLP Forecast Study. GPO staff members Cherie Givens and Paul Giannini reviewed the quantitative and qualitative analytical processes being used in the Study. Quantitative data analysis is being done using SAS software. Qualitative data analysis includes line by line data analysis with a focus on the plain language used by submitters, the identification of themes, and open coding that is being done in groups. A preliminary Codebook has been developed for coding reliability.

In addition, GPO staff described the three phases of the Study and ultimately, how all phases will feed into a National Plan for the FDLP. The first phase of the Study consists of the Library and State Forecasts and the State Focused Action Plans. This phase is wrapping up now with the preliminary analysis. In the second phase, issues emerging out of the data collected in phase one will be investigated further, and GPO will undertake additional analytical methods, such as focused interviews and focus groups with members of the FDLP community. In the final phase, white papers will be developed, final data and strategic initiatives will be shared, and GPO will collaborate with the FDLP community to shape initiatives and the FDLP National Plan.

GPO’s Paul Giannini provided an overview of participation in both the State and Library Forecasts. Out of 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories, 38 eligible Questionnaires were received by the June 30, 2012 deadline. In order for a Questionnaire to be deemed eligible, it has to be completed and certified by a library official. Of the 1,201depository libraries, 775 eligible Questionnaires were received by the June 30, 2012 deadline. The focus of the quantitative analytical process is on data integrity, validity of findings, and reliability of results.

Monday’s session concluded with a presentation by GPO’s David Walls on some preliminary results from the State Forecast Questionnaires. Highlights include:

 YesNoCurrently Digitizing
Plans to digitize FDLP publications 34% 48% 18%
Usefulness of digitization guidance from GPO 97% 4%
Anticipate barriers to digital access 84% 16%
Interest in virtual training from GPO 95% 5%
Tuesday, October 16, 2012: State Forecast & State Focused Action Plans

At Tuesday’s session, GPO’s David Walls continued Monday’s presentation of the preliminary results from the State Forecast Questionnaires. Highlights include:

Plans to host digital collections 34% 66%
Plans to preserve permanent digital collections of Government information 32% 68%
Willingness to develop subject-specific collections 76% 24%

GPO staff members Robin Haun-Mohamed and Cynthia Etkin then discussed the State Focused Action Plans (SFAPs) by first describing the purpose: to document the goals and initiatives of states and multi-state Federal depository regions; to determine how GPO can best complement these efforts; and to inform The National Plan for the Future of the FDLP and Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) strategic priorities. Statistics of note include:

  • 33 SFAPs received
  • 39 states/territories represented
  • 9 themes identified
  • 132 initiatives documented
  • 691 action items put forward

The major preliminary themes identified in the analysis of the SFAPs are:

  • Access & Discovery
  • Bibliographic Control
  • Communication & Outreach
  • Comprehensive Collections
  • Digital Collection Development
  • Digitization of Historical Collections
  • Promotion/Marketing
  • Reference & Services
  • Training/Education

Examples of specific actions that pertain to each theme were presented and are available in the slides presented during this session.

A compilation of all SFAPs collected is available from fdlp.gov.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012: Library Forecasts

The Wednesday Forecast session opened up with a review of some participation statistics from Cherie Givens. Some metrics of note include:

  • 81% of regional depositories and 64% of selective depositories participated in the Study.
  • In a breakdown by library type, state libraries had the highest level of participation with 90%.

Paul Giannini, Senior Program Planner at GPO, provided attendees with a breakdown of the response rate of Meeting & Conference attendees versus libraries who did not attend. He also provided statistics on responses to specific questions from the perspective of attendees versus non-attendees. Those statistics can be found in the session presentation on fdlp.gov.

David Walls provided insights on preservation themes that emerged out of the State and Library Forecast Questionnaire responses. The comparison can also be found in the session presentation on fdlp.gov.

Kelly Seifert, Mark Ames, and Kristina Bobe then presented on several topics related to the Library Forecasts: education, marketing, and affiliations. Themes and trends noted in the Library Forecasts were shared, as related to these topics. Related to the topic of education, the Library Forecasts showed that 86% of the 775 Library Forecast respondents expressed interest in receiving training from GPO. Further, after a qualitative look at the open-ended responses, the top five training needs expressed by individual libraries are:

  • Digital & online Government information products (not from GPO)
  • GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys)
  • Marketing
  • Digitization
  • Collection development & management

Staff also provided an overview of the “FDLP Education Initiative” that is being planned to fulfill these needs.

Regarding the topic of marketing, GPO staff members examined if and how libraries are marketing themselves and also how GPO can assist in those efforts. The top five ways libraries reported that GPO can assist in marketing the FDLP are:

  • Not sure / no answer
  • Free promotional materials
  • Flyers
  • Posters
  • Media spots / TV / Internet advertising

Further, GPO staff then discussed the FDLP Promotion Plan that is being launched this year to address these needs. Find out more by viewing the session presentation on fdlp.gov.

The topic of affiliations (as related to Library Forecast Questionnaires) was then discussed, including breakdowns of what types of formal or informal relationships depositories have with other libraries to promote their collections and services and if these libraries plan to enter into new relationships in the future.

Thursday, October 18, 2012: Summary Discussion & Future Roles

On the final day of the Meeting & Conference, Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish and LSCM Director Jane Sánchez provided the big picture of the FDLP Forecast Study, including how the results will lead to the development of the 2012-2016 LSCM and FDLP Strategic Plans, as well as the FDLP National Plan. In examining what an ideal FDLP would look like to respondents, several themes rose to the top of the State Forecasts. They are:

  • Program Governance
  • Preservation, Digitization, Access, & Harvesting
  • Training and Education
  • Cataloging and Bibliographic Control
  • Item Selection and Distribution

These topics, as well as feedback from respondents and GPO’s plans and current initiatives relating to them, were discussed with attendees. We are very grateful to Depository Library Council (DLC) Chair Shari Laster for facilitating these discussions during each day’s session. Learn more by visiting the session presentation on fdlp.gov.

GPO staff will continue to keep the FDLP community informed as the FDLP Forecast Study progresses.

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