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Association of Research Libraries (ARL®)

  Influencing Public Policies Contact:
Prue Adler
Federal Depository Library Program

Future of Government Documents

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Program Overview:

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is pleased to sponsor The Future of Government Documents in ARL Libraries, a two-day symposium to bring together practitioners and administrators to address this important issue.

In December 2004, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) articulated in its Strategic Vision for the 21st Century an intention to "focus [the] Federal Depository Library Program [FDLP] on Digital Content Management."

Since that time, librarians in the government documents community have expressed concern about the future of the FDLP. This concern has resulted in a variety of discussions among government documents librarians, library administrators, and GPO.

This symposium will convene key ARL library stakeholders to discuss issues and describe a preferred future for libraries' role in providing access to government information.

Over the course of the two-day event, participants will:

  • Discuss the current conditions shaping the work of government documents librarians
  • Explore new service models
  • Define the role(s) of government documents librarians for a new era
  • Generate next steps, for teams and for the group, on how to lead and influence the transition from print-based collections to electronic access

Participants will use a "customer—in" model–placing users of government information at the apex of the decision making process–for exploring the future work of government documents librarians.

Simultaneously, the group will learn strategies for managing the change process, including how-to guide, support, and reward efforts that advance organizational and community goals.

Target Audience:

Two–person teams per ARL institution are invited to register. Ideally teams should consist of the head of the government documents department and the AUL (or other high level administrator) who has responsibility for government documents; this team composition will maximize joint contributions to the exploration of issues and plans for the future at the local level.