FDLP Forecast Study Update and a Look at How GPO is Responding to Your Comments

May has been a busy month for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Forecast team. Members met virtually with FDLP regional librarians on May 1 to provide an overview of the project, the Forecast questionnaires, and the State Focused Action Plan and to find out how GPO could assist the community in participating at the state level in this important initiative. Team members met virtually with Federal depository librarians from Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire on May 9 and with FDLP librarians from Ohio on May 18. Virtual sessions for the month concluded with a session for FDLP librarians in South Carolina on May 24.

During some these recent virtual sessions, the difficulty of meeting the deadline for submission of State Focused Action Plans was discussed. Learning of the concerns expressed by community members, Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish, in consultation with the Depository Library Council (DLC), offered an extension of the deadline for submission of State Focused Action Plans to August 31. Forecast team members are standing by to assist coordinators and state level organizers to complete the Forecast questionnaires and the State Focused Action Plans. If you would like to schedule a virtual session, please send your request to the Forecast team through askGPO, by selecting “FDLP Forecast Study” from the list of categories. Please include possible dates and times of availability.

There are less than four weeks left to submit your FDLP Library and State Forecast questionnaire responses. If you have not had the opportunity to attend a virtual session or if you have questions about the study and the process that you would like to ask Forecast team members, we encourage you to attend our upcoming virtual Forecast Q&A session on Tuesday, June 12, from 1:30pm - 2:30pm (Eastern Time). This session will feature current DLC chair Shari Laster and former DLC chair James Jacobs discussing how FDLP members in Ohio and California have organized efforts to participate in the FDLP Forecast Study Look for more information on this Q&A session via FDLP-L and fdlp.gov. 

As of May 30, 2012, GPO has received 543 completed FDLP Library Forecast questionnaires, 8 FDLP State Forecasts, and 2 State Focused Action Plans. We thank all of the libraries who have participated. We are especially grateful to the coordinators for taking the time to complete the questionnaires and submit them through Survey Monkey.

In order to move forward with a clear understanding of community needs, issues, and viewpoints, we need your submissions and participation at both the library and state/Federal depository region level. If you have not yet submitted your FDLP library's responses through Survey Monkey, please do so by June 30, 2012. We know that many of you are working together on State Forecast responses in these final weeks. We appreciate your efforts and look forward to sharing our preliminary results and discussing community viewpoints at the fall 2012 Depository Library Council Meeting & Federal Depository Library Conference (Meeting & Conference).

Now let's take a sneak peek at some of the responses submitted by FDLP community members identifying the types of educational seminars or virtual meetings they would like GPO to offer. Chief among the requests is instruction on GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys). GPO staff members began work on an FDsys curriculum in 2011 that offers introductory and advanced instruction, including special sessions on topics including tracking legislation, tracking regulations, and advanced navigation in FDsys.

Staff members began offering in-person instructional sessions in November and expanded more broadly to provide online demonstrations and instruction through GPO's new virtual platform, iCohere, in March 2012. In April, GPO offered an Introduction to FDsys webinar that was so popular it was offered a second, third, and fourth time (and counting). Approximately two hundred people attended each webinar. FDsys webinars have also been sponsored by the Illinois Library Association and the State Library of South Carolina to provide introductory and advanced instruction in the best techniques to search for and access information in FDsys. GPO staff members have conducted fifty instructional sessions since November 2011, and webinar attendance since April has exceeded 1,000.

FDLP community members have been overwhelmingly positive in their comments about GPO's FDsys webinars. GPO is continuing to meet the needs of the FDLP community for FDsys instruction and will be offering more opportunities to attend virtually and the chance for hands on instruction at the upcoming Meeting & Conference.

FDLP Library Forecast responses also showed a desire for specialized instruction for new depository library coordinators. Comments indicate a need for instruction that addresses building, maintaining, and marketing collections and how to use FDLP tools. There is a strong community desire for online tutorials that address advanced instruction as well and for webinar forums on best practices, news, and trends. These comments are guiding our educational efforts.

We are responding to community needs. Now is the time to help shape the future. Strategic actions and the direction of the FDLP will be informed by responses submitted in the FDLP Forecast Study. Don’t miss your opportunity to share your experience, knowledge, and vision.