A Time for Remembrance and Milestones

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

In Memoriam

Our friend and colleague at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Ms. Erbedine James, passed away on July 27 after a short illness. Erbedine demonstrated her strong commitment to GPO for 26 years. Her many friends in Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) and throughout the agency will truly miss her presence. She was one of the many dedicated unsung heroines in LSCM, although she always shied away from any kind of praise.

Erbedine worked in the classification section under Valerie Furino. Expert at multi-tasking and constantly loaded down with difficult assignments, she would ask Valerie at least once a week, “You look like you have a lot on your plate – is there anything I can do for you?” While quiet in her special way, she was a valued member of the LSCM team and a friend to all whose lives she touched.

While working full-time at GPO, Erbedine received her B.A. degree, as well as a Masters degree in Taxation. She was currently studying for her CPA while working full-time at GPO and as a tax consultant. Above all, her family was the world to her. Erbedine was a loving mother and grandmother. As we mourn her passing, missing her friendship each and every day, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to her family.

Update on GPO’s FY 2013 Budget Request

On August 2, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the FY 2013 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act (H.R. 5882), funding GPO at the requested amount of $126.2 million. The bill, which passed the House on June 8, was placed on the Senate Legislative Calendar. The Senate-approved funding levels are as follows:

  • $83.7 million for Congressional Printing and Binding
  • $34.7 million for Salaries and Expenses of the Superintendent of Documents
  • $7.8 million for the Revolving Fund, which includes the continued development of GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys).

New Member of Depository Library Council

Last month, Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks accepted the resignation of Donna Lauffer, who was appointed to a three-year term on the Depository Library Council (DLC) in spring 2011. Donna retired at the end of December, having served at the Johnston County Library in Overland Park, Kansas for 32 years. Donna became County Librarian in 2007. The Library was honored as the 2010 Federal Depository Library of the Year for its excellent services to the public. In addition to Donna’s strong commitment to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), she successfully implemented the Library’s award-winning civic engagement program. Donna has found retirement busier than anticipated, thus her decision to step down. In addition to enjoying time with her husband and grandchildren, she continues to pursue her leadership role in the League of Women Voters. Fortunately for us, Donna has kindly promised to continue to advise us, albeit unofficially, on issues related to public libraries and the FDLP. She will be missed.

Acting Public Printer Vance-Cooks appointed Blane Dessy, Executive director of the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) at the Library of Congress (LC) as Donna’s replacement. Blane assumed his position in June 2010 after having served as Director of the U.S. Department of Justice Library Staff since 2000. During his tenure at the Department of Justice, Blane instituted a number of innovative service improvements, including a robust virtual library, a new integrated library system, a digitization program, and special programming to reach underserved constituents. Those of you who attended the special session on “Creating Our Shared Vision: Roles and Opportunities in the FDLP” during the October 2011 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference surely remember Blane for his excellent contribution to our discussions, as facilitator that day. Blane will serve the remaining two years of Donna’s appointment, joining the class of 2011-2014.

FDLP Connection’s First Year Anniversary

We launched the FDLP Connection in August 2011, and as the saying goes, how time flies when you’re having fun! As always, this month we have an exciting and timely mix of excellent articles that you won’t want to miss. As we begin year two, I’d like to once again express my deep gratitude to everyone who has contributed to its success. It is because ofyou  that the FDLP Connection has become a successful monthly collaborative exchange of information between LSCM and our many partners. Our energetic and highly talented team of just four LSCM staff deserves special recognition for their hard work and creativity in bringing you such an interesting and visually appealing virtual newsletter each month. Join me in thanking our co-editors, Kelly Seifert and Cindy Etkin, and our creative graphic designers, Katy Davis and John Dowgiallo.

Interagency Depository Seminar

In sharp contrast to our first anniversary for FDLP Connection, we’ve reached yet another milestone this summer with our 25th annual Interagency Depository Seminar. As part of our Monday morning welcome to the 38 participants this year, I paid tribute to Joe McClane, who initiated the highly successful training event for new depository coordinators that many years ago. The annual Seminar is just one of Joe’s many legacies as a public servant. LSCM honored him last week with a lovely retirement party after more than 30 years of dedicated service to GPO. Don’t miss the feature article highlighting Joe’s many unique and lasting contributions to LSCM and the FDLP.

I would like to express many thanks to Robin Haun-Mohamed and the staff in Education and Outreach for once again planning such a great Seminar. At the end of the week, participants described the training to me as “great,” “terrific,” and “awesome!” Special recognition also goes to Kristina Bobe for her excellent leadership, organization, and hard work as the lead in preparing for the four and a half day event. And many thanks to Cindy Etkin, for coordinating the nine virtual sessions at Interagency – a first! Virtual participation for each of the nine broadcasts ranged from 30 to 68 attendees.

FDLP Forecast Study

You’ll also find a comprehensive update this month by Cherie Givens on the FDLP Forecast Study. Cherie explains where we are in the process of analyzing the quantitative and qualitative data that was submitted through FDLP State Forecasts. We are very grateful to all the depository libraries—775 (!)—that took the time to share their views of the state of the FDLP and their vision of the future. We are especially pleased that we also received 38 State Forecasts by the June 30 deadline. Our goal is to ensure that the FDLP continues to play as important a role in the digital age as it has in the tangible world since 1895, while serving the needs of participating libraries and the American public. Thank you very much for your participation in this important study. We hope you can participate this October as we join together at the fall 2012 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference to discuss the results of the data collection, and their significance.

Get to Know FDsys Trainers

I am also very pleased that this month’s “Get to Know GPO” column features the impressive training effort by LSCM staff since November 2011. Your calls for training, beginning at the Spring Depository Library Council Meeting in San Antonio in April 2011 and at library conferences that summer, did not fall on deaf ears. Stay tuned for even more opportunities in the coming year as we broaden our scope and collaborate more with you on a variety of training opportunities.

And Don’t Miss…

In addition, make sure you don’t miss DLC Chair Shari Laster’s “Council Corner” this month that summarizes the tasks and membership of DLC’s four working groups. And, last but not least, congratulations to the Newark Public Library for being honored as this month’s Depository Library Spotlight! I know firsthand what great services the library provides as New Jersey’s regional. My first position right after graduate school at Rutgers was as Documents Librarian at Seton Hall University Law Library, just down the street from Newark Public. Needless to say, the staff at the regional proved to be indispensable in helping a brand new Documents Librarian learn the ropes. Special recognition goes to Laura Saurs for her leadership as regional librarian, especially in light of the budget cuts the library has faced during the past few years. Congratulations!