Celebrating the Past, Building the Future Together

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

Welcome to the fall issue of the FDLP Connection. This issue’s theme reflects the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Preparedness Month in September. I’m especially grateful to the many authors who contributed valuable insights into how they dealt with the destruction to their libraries by fires, earthquakes and other service disruptions. The bottom line is “be prepared,” and our authors provide expert advice on both preparing for and dealing with a disaster.

The Countdown is On: 12 More Days Until the 2012 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference (Meeting and Conference)

The superb staff of Library Services and Content Management (LSCM) have been burning the midnight oil, figuratively, to ensure that those of you traveling to D.C. for the 80th Meeting of the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer (DLC) and 20th Federal Depository Library Conference have an excellent conference. This year’s theme, “Celebrating the Past, Building the Future Together,” could not be timelier.

If you take a minute to glance through the schedule and do the math, you’ll see that we are offering 31 educational programs throughout the four-day conference. We want to express our gratitude to everyone who proposed a program and/or is participating in one. As you can see, the programs represent a panoply of interesting and timely learning experiences. We’re delighted to offer the opportunity for poster sessions in addition to programs this year, and 16 of your colleagues are preparing 11 poster presentations. The posters will be available throughout the conference in the Van Buren room, and we’ve scheduled the poster session for 1-2 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17.

In addition, the hard-working members of the Depository Library Council have been especially busy in recent months preparing programs for each of their four Working Groups—Collaboration, Education, Sustainability and Technology. These special programs, which reflect the DLC’s work and interests, are also an opportunity for Council members to hear from you. Last but far from least, we are holding daily sessions on the FDLP Forecast Study each afternoon—but more on that later.

Special Events on Monday, October 15

DLC Chair Shari Laster will convene the 80th DLC Meeting with the kick-off plenary session at 10:30 a.m. on Monday. Following her welcoming remarks, she’ll introduce Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks who is looking forward very much to her first appearance at our annual event. Vance-Cooks will talk about her strategic vision for GPO and her plans for GPO’s transition to a digital information platform while balancing traditional and digital printing. In addition, Vance-Cooks will announce the Federal Depository Libraries of the Year. For the first time this year, we had two categories for nominations: regional and selective. We are delighted to recognize these depository libraries for their commitment to the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) and their outstanding service.

In addition, Vance-Cooks is planning an exciting array of special events Monday evening at the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). We’re ending the Monday programs at 4:00 p.m. this year to accommodate a special screening of the acclaimed documentary, "Linotype: The Film," beginning at 5 p.m. in our historic Harding Hall. You won’t want to miss this 76-minute film which depicts the history of the "Eighth Wonder of the Word" that revolutionized printing and communication. GPO's Historian, George Barnum, will introduce the film and provide an overview of the unique importance of the linotype machine to the history of the GPO. George and Public Printer William Boarman both make a number of cameo appearances in the film. And, just in case you’re wondering, we will be serving popcorn to tide you over until the 6:30 p.m. reception in the GPO Bookstore.

During the reception, we’ll be offering a 50% discount on any purchases at the Bookstore, and you’ll also have the opportunity to have a picture taken holding your favorite GPO title! Photos will be available for pick-up at the conference hotel the following day. In addition, George Barnum will provide tours of the re-opened GPO history exhibit. The highlight of the evening will be a special recognition by Acting Public Printer Vance-Cooks to the crucial role our regional depository libraries serve in Keeping America Informed in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Depository Library Act of 1962.

FDLP Forecast Sessions

Each day of the conference includes an afternoon presentation of preliminary results of the FDLP Forecast Study. The sessions will be moderated by Shari Laster, and we’ve built in ample time and opportunity for community discussion. We are thrilled with the high level of participation and interest in the study and look forward to sharing our initial analysis with the community.

On Monday, we’ll provide an overview of the three phases of the FDLP Forecast Study, explain the mixed methods research design, and how qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed. In addition, we’ll provide preliminary findings of our analysis of the 38 State Forecasts that we received by the June 30th deadline. Tuesday, we’ll wrap up the State Forecast results and report on the 33 State Focused Action Plans we’ve received. They represent 39 states and territories—what an overwhelming response. Check this out—the action plans include 132 initiatives and 691 actions! Not only do they reflect the commitment of the depository library community, but they will guide us in how LSCM can better support your planned initiatives. Wednesday, the focus will be on the 775 Individual Library Forecast preliminary results, with a special look at the responses to the questions related to preservation, authentication, education, and marketing. And on Thursday, DLC Member Blane Dessy will provide a wrap-up of the key discussion from the three previous sessions. Then we roll up our sleeves and have the first of what will be many conversations with you on “where do we go from here?” LSCM Director Jane Sanchez and I will focus our presentations on how the findings of the three components of Phase 1 of the Study—the Individual Library Forecasts, State Forecasts and State Focused Action Plans—will inform the development of LSCM and FDLP Strategic Plans and the FDLP National Plan.

I also want to encourage those of you who weren’t able to meet our deadlines for the Individual or State Forecasts or the State Focused Action Plan to please submit them as soon as possible. We want your views to be incorporated into our analysis and the FDLP National Plan. When completed, the Forecast Study has the potential, with your participation, to be a watershed moment in the history of the Federal Depository Library Program.