SOPAG October 11, 2002 Meeting Minutes

SOPAG Task Force on Government Information

Meeting, October 11, 2002
Oakland, California

Present: Patricia Cruse (CDL), Sherry Dedecker (UCSB), Judy Horn UCI), Patricia Iannuzzi (UCB), Linda Kennedy (UCD) (Chair), Phyllis Mirsky (UCSD), Sarah Pritchard (UCSB).
The group agreed that minutes would be disseminated primarily in the form of Action items, rather than as summary or verbatim transcripts.

FYI:  the UC/Stanford Government Information Librarians (UC GILS) web site is at: Also of interest:  The Federal Depository Library Program Desktop:

Linda will forward the minutes of the recent conference call of the UC GILS Steering Committee.

Communications issues:

Task Force documentation should be posted to the SOPAG web site for this Task Force.
ACTION:  Linda will prepare a TF roster that can be posted there.  She will also develop a local campus site for minutes and drafts that can be linked to the SOPAG site.

The TF will communicate with the UCGILS Steering Group and the govinfo listserver to gather information and obtain feedback.
ACTION:  Linda and Trisha will both be attending a special UC GILS steering committee meeting scheduled for November 22d.  The TF should also make a special effort to contact campuses not represented on the SOPAG TF.

UC GILS channels will reach government information librarians directly, and we can obtain information via campus librarians and the UC GILS steering committee in order to formulate recommendations.  When we wish to obtain a campus position on a matter, Phyllis will bring the matter through SOPAG.

Status of CDL Government Information Advisory Committee: this group is in transition; the present group will be disbanded.
ACTION:  Patricia needs TF members to suggest faculty names for the Advisory Committee; she will contact them.

The following documents were identified as relevant to our charge, and distributed at the meeting:  Strategic Planning for Libraries and Scholarly Communication; Interim Report of the Scholarly Information Task Force to the Standing Committee on Libraries and Scholarly Information.  Information about the Scholarly Information Task Force is at: SLASIAC Activities and Groups

“Shared Print Journal Collection:  Issues,” prepared by Cecily Johns, September 6, 2002, was discussed at the October CDC meeting.  After a report on the CDC discussion form Patty and Phyllis, the TF agreed that it should consider drafting a similar document covering the issues we will need to address.

Primary focus of the TF is federal and state depository collections in print, microfiche and electronic formats (including online/web as well as tangible or “hand-held formats such as floppy diskette, cd-rom, and dvd).  Maps will be considered as they relate to depository acquisitions; this includes electronic map files.

Most collection fund expenditures are involved in acquiring reference tools, international intergovernmental organization documents and foreign documents.  There is scope for collection funds savings for cooperative collection in these areas.
ACTION:  Linda will raise the matter of cooperative collecting in these areas up separately with the UC GILS group.

Linda distributed various statistics, such as information from the Documents Data Miner, a collection development tool for depositories ( and from GPO reports.
ACTION:  Trisha will explore the downloading and manipulation of UC collection data from this site; she may need to call upon campuses for programming assistance.
ACTION:  Statistical needs will be further identified through today’s discussion session; Sherry and Trisha will assist in gathering data as required.

On a state level, flexibility is limited by the retention requirements outlined in the Library Distribution Act.  The act needs updating, but informal discussions with the CSL, or regulation changes, may allow UC libraries more latitude to share collections.
ACTION:  Linda will contact CSL staff re state depository requirements as they relate to what UC libraries would like to do.

On a federal level, the retention and discard requirements are very explicit, although the flexibility for individual collections is great.  The FDLP is also evolving.
ACTION:  Sherry, Judy, Trisha and Linda will be attending the FDLP conference in Washington October 21-23.  Linda will set up a meeting with the Superintendent of Documents and his staff to discuss our TF goals.

Review Charge:  It is clear that the UL’s need to demonstrate that UC libraries are continuing to make progress on shared collections.  This project is very important in that it will identify a number of the issues and strategies that must be addressed for other subject areas. The fact that the selectors for government information have a strong tradition of cooperation and the lack of copyright are strong justifications.  This type of information needs to be communicated when discussing the project.

We see the TF developing models with pros and cons, “surfacing” issues rather than resolving them.  Some of the issues:

  • prospective vs. retrospective (may vary with material)
  • Serial vs. monograph
  • Print vs. electronic
  • Repository vs. archive
  • centralized vs. decentralized

Our goal is to make it possible for local decisions to be made.

In addressing the various aspects of our charge, we can work with Patricia Cruse in taking advantage of CDL’s recent receipt of a Mellon grant to explore technological options for ensuring persistent access to government information in all formats.

The TF listed as many of the various aspects of its charge as possible in a brainstorming session.
ACTION:  Linda will combine these topics with the list included in the TF agenda for the October 11 meeting. She will forward them to TF members as soon as possible; the next task of the TF will be to organize the topics in groups that can be addressed in an approach similar to that offered by the Cecily Johns “Shared Print Journals Collections:  Issues” document.  We will also incorporate them into a matrix suggested by Sarah that categorizes print, microform and electronic issues by whether they will be addressed retrospectively or prospectively.

The next meeting will be scheduled in conjunction with the UL’s meeting of December 12-13, probably December 11.  A conference call was scheduled for November 19 at 3 pm.

For the remainder of the meeting, the Task Force conducted a brainstorming session to develop the following list of issues:


  • Phased approach
  • Prospective/retrospective (will vary by format)
  • Making use of the Mellon grant to address technology issues
  • Electronic and Print approaches

POLICY AND ADMINISTRATIVE ISSUES (included here are questions about how we should proceed)

  • Who are the “stakeholders”?
  • Responsibility for public access, both as depositories and as public university/land grant
  • Legal requirements of state and federal depository library programs
  • Relationship to other national activities: NARA, FDLP practices, cooperative projects
  • Create options that enable campuses to make decisions about local collections Repository/identification of retention responsibilities offers additional options/flexibility
  • Make use of existing mechanisms for processing, access and delivery, and ongoing components as much as possible
  • Retrospective digitization/role of UC as a preservation locus
  • Tie in with CDL Mellon grant
  • Role of the California State Library as it relates to federal regional responsibilities and holdings and state documents responsibilities and holdings
  • Ownership issues: campus ownership, FDLP ownership of materials
  • Infrastructure for creating the repository, both decentralized/centralized
  • Cooperating with other depositories/building upon existing projects


  • Collection management decision-making—local control and cooperative decision-making
  • Cooperative collection development opportunities
  • FDLP has flexible structure in relation to amount of paper material acquired and retained
  • Federal/state requirements for retention and discard (federal at )
  • Weeding and deselection issues, local and cooperative: last copies
  • What are the current weeding practices?
  • Impact of local decisions (re depository status, collection decisions)
  • Making decisions about what to preserve/digitize in a national perspective
  • Of possible interest: Tennessee project to share regional responsibilities:
  • Separating out numeric files
  • Dealing with maps and map imagery files


  • Local cataloging practices: local collections which do not have electronic access (uncat or manual records; local collections with records that do not meet minimum cataloging standards, local collections which meet minimum cataloging standard
  • Local and systemwide retrospective conversion issues Special categories: CIS/Greenwood hearings, technical reports)
  • Unanalyzed monographic series
  • Shared cataloging issues
  • SCP California state electronic records
  • MARCIVE records for electronic titles
  • Unindexed serials
  • Enhancing bibliographic access through tables of  contents and other mechanisms.
  • Centralized technical processing issues—how are the journals being handled?

INFORMATION DISCOVERY, USER ACCCESS, AND SERVICE (users include librarians, students, staff, faculty, and public)

  • Reference assistance: providing effective response to specialized government information queries (as opposed to know item requests)
  • Location of object less important when have good access tools and rapid delivery
  • Communication with other librarians, faculty, users on subject related basis rather than format-related basis
  • Local access policies
  • Need to understand users and user needs.  Identify users
  • How do we make people aware of government information resources? Would a repository present an opportunity?
  • How to make a decentralized or remote collection browsable?
  • Information discovery
  • Document Delivery: existing options via CDL request, from RLFs, desktop delivery, CSDL direct and interlibrary loan, CSL electronic delivery
  • Service expectations
  • Usability issues
  • Mediated delivery options from RLFs for public users


  • Location of materials centralized vs. decentralized, combination
  • Archiving materials already in electronic formats
  • Digitizing and archiving material needing preservation or enhanced access
  • Prospective and retrospective approaches



  • State and/or federal depository library?
  • How long have you participated in the federal and/or state depository library programs?
  • What is the approximate size of federal collection and your California collections?
  • What is the strength of your collections?  (For example, do you have historical documents of note?)
  • Current paper and fiche receipts
  • Processing practices:
  • Marcive records, shipping list records, OCLC copycataloging
  • Cataloging practices for electronic titles
  • Are there any uncataloged or brieflisted collections—please describe.
  • Is your processing for documents separate or integrated with the other library processing?
  • Are your collections housed separately or or partially integrated collections; Service desks—separate or merged
  • Are materials bound or unbound?
  • How are the collections classified?
  • Do you have a weeding policy?  Have you weeded your collection recently?  If so provide detail.
  • Do you use off-site storage facilities for your collections?  Please explain.

QUANTITATIVE INFORMATION (from documents data miner (DDM) and campus data)

  • What is the campus selection rate of federal depository library materials for the past several years? (DDM)
  • What are the formats of the materials received for the past several years? (DDM)
  • What is the overlap of materials received campus-to-campus for the past several years? (DDM)
  • What is the circulation rate of your documents collections (this needs refinement) – what possibilities exist for this data?
  • Do you collect other data that represents your collections usage? (For example, do you collect reshelving data?)