Mary Alice Baish at Careers in Federal Law Libraries (AALL 2011)


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  • As Assistant Public Printer, Superintendent of Documents, I lead the U.S. Government Printing Office in providing public access to Government information published by the U.S. Congress, Federal agencies and the Federal courts. The division, Library Services & Content Management, is responsible for several programs that support the mission of the agency --- “Keeping America Informed”. Prior to my appointment, I served as the Director of Government Relations for AALL so I am very happy to be returning to my favorite professional organization today to speak with you. My Career Path: Started Library School at 40 thinking I would be a Children’s Librarian Director of Government Relations for AALL Worked closely with Congressional committees, the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, Federal agencies and the Administration in developing policies and legislation that promote the needs of libraries, the legal community and the American public Founding Member of (, an organization created to promote democracy and end Government secrecy. She has worked with, the White House and Office of Management and Budget in implementing President Obama’s Open Government Directive and with auditing agency Open Government Plans Past member of the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer and testified before Congressional committees on behalf of GPO
  • The U.S. Government Printing Office provides expert publishing and printing services for all agencies in all three branches of the federal government. GPO is committed to permanent and free access to Federal government information regardless of format. The 1200+ libraries around the country who agree to be federal depository libraries are our partners in the FDLP.
  • We can all support the foundational principles for the work of GPO. The public has the right to access government information. Government must disseminate and provide access to its information. Government must guarantee the integrity of the information and authenticate it. Government must preserve its information and place content in the public domain if it was produced or paid for by Government.
  • Title 44 of the U.S. Code authorizes GPO to * Manage the FDLP *Develop information systems such as the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications and the Federal Digital System, * Operate a Cataloging and Indexing program, * Oversee a publication and information sales program, * Disseminate information through By-law distribution, and support the International Exchange Program whereby the Library of Congress provides the U.S. Government’s publications to other countries in exchange for their government’s publications.
  • We will provide permanent, free public access in all formats. In the 150 year history of GPO, you can imagine we have published in lots of formats. And in the future we’ll publish in formats yet to be discovered. That content will be permanently available, migrated to formats that can be read, and permanently available. That is quite a task with technology changing so rapidly.
  • The Library Services & Content Management organization is organized under three divisions. The technical operations include the work done by content acquisition, cataloging, classifying, and indexing staff. Our next division works to develop and manage and preserve the collections. This division also ships 2,500 boxes of documents each week to depository libraries around the country and trains depository staff in those libraries. And lastly, the planning and development division operates the FDLP Desktop and helps to improve and develop services for the 1,200+ library network.
  • I hope you’re all using the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP. ( As a service for depository libraries, the CGP allows them to download up to 10,000 cataloging records per session using the z39.5 protocol. That’s a very valuable service to help ensure each library’s OPAC remains up to date with the latest government information published.
  • You may not know that GPO authenticates documents and preserves content in multiple format using multiple metadata schema. You may not realize that GPO creates a permanent URL for government publications so we can ensure permanent public access. Coordination of PURLZ and archive functions for online publications; & preparation of shipments to NARA for agency records retention requirements
  • CAVEAT: buyouts now but internships and practicums are available. I hope to be able to recruit professionals interested in law librarianship . Public Access Assessment Librarians --- outreach and education for depository staff, conduct assessments, write policies, guidance, legal requirements Program Planning Specialists --- planning and oversight of projects, business process improvement for operations, develop partnerships Content Acquisitions Specialists --- discover new resources, liaison with federal agencies Catalogers and Classification specialists -- apply SuDoc classification system, create MARC records, train in RDA Archive and Web Harvesting Specialists --- use tools to capture online content, apply various metadata schemas to digital files Preservation Librarian --- create significant resources such as the National Bibliography (all federal publications since the founding of the country) Systems Librarians --- manage the CGP, test and enable downloads by depositories, oversee 700K record enhancement of the CGP, prepare the CGP for RDA records And the agency does have a law librarian working for the Office of Counsel
  • If you’re still a student, you can add federal experience to your resume by doing a practicum. This spring, a student from the University of Washington did a “virtual” practicum under the guidance of the depository librarian, Cass Hartnett. The research provided to GPO is very useful to us. Just a few weeks ago, Jane Fisher from San Jose State visited to arrange a virtual practicum for one of her students. So you need not be in the Washington DC area to earn college credit while doing a practicum for a federal agency. I believe that there is no higher calling that working in Federal service. I have seen librarians make a positive difference for our nation. The Federal Depository Library Program is a cornerstone of our democracy, and I hope you’ll consider joining us in our mission to Keep America Informed
  • Mary Alice Baish at Careers in Federal Law Libraries (AALL 2011)

    1. 1. Keeping America Informed Mary Alice Baish Superintendent of Documents U.S. Government Printing Office “ Careers in Federal Law Libraries” July 23, 2011
    2. 2. GPO’s Mission: “Keeping America Informed” <ul><ul><li>Expert publishing and printing services for all three branches of the Federal Government. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Perpetual, no-fee and ready public access to print and electronic Federal Government information in partnership with the Federal Depository Library Program. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sale of print and electronic Federal Government information products to the public through GPO’s U.S. Government Bookstore. </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Our Principles <ul><li>The public has the right of access to Government information. </li></ul><ul><li>Government has the obligation to disseminate and provide broad public access to its information. </li></ul><ul><li>Government has an obligation to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of its information. </li></ul><ul><li>Government has an obligation to preserve its information. </li></ul><ul><li>Government information created or compiled by Government employees or at Government expense should remain in the public domain . </li></ul>
    4. 4. GPO’s Statutory Mandates <ul><li>Title 44 of the United States Code contains the laws pertaining to GPO’s information dissemination programs, including: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Federal Depository Library Program (Chapter 19) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Access to Federal Electronic Information (Chapter 41) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Cataloging and Indexing Program (Chapter 17) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Publication & Information Sales Program (Chapter 17) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>By-Law Distribution Program (Chapter 19) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>International Exchange Service (Chapter 17) </li></ul></ul></ul>
    5. 5. <ul><li>Government information products in all formats, within the scope of the FDLP, remain available for continuous, no-fee public access. </li></ul>GPO’s Commitment to Permanent Public Access
    6. 6. Library Services and Content Management Acting Director, LSCM Ted Priebe Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish <ul><li>Library Planning & Development </li></ul><ul><li>Planning & Development </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management </li></ul><ul><li>Web Content Management </li></ul><ul><li>Collection Management & Preservation </li></ul><ul><li>Depository Distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Education & Outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Archival Management </li></ul><ul><li>Library Technical Information Services </li></ul><ul><li>Library Tech Svc Support </li></ul><ul><li>Content Acquisitions </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliographic Control </li></ul>Laurie Hall Robin haun-Mohamed Ted Priebe
    7. 7. Library Technical Information Services <ul><li>Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>LTIS identifies, acquires, catalogs, and classifies all publications, in all formats, issued by the U. S. Government. </li></ul><ul><li>Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP) at </li></ul><ul><li>Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Content Acquisitions – Acquiring all in-scope Federal publications in all formats via harvesting, riding agency print orders, and agency/library outreach </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliographic Control - Cataloging and Classification </li></ul><ul><li>Library Technical Services Support - Depository services and tools </li></ul>
    8. 8. Collection Management & Preservation <ul><li>Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Distribute tangible U.S. Government publications </li></ul><ul><li>Provide educational opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Organize and manage the physical and electronic collections </li></ul><ul><li>Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Depository Distribution – Organize, prepare, & ship Federal publications </li></ul><ul><li>Education and Outreach – Managing outreach, planning educational events, & administering Public Access Assessments </li></ul><ul><li>Archival Management – Developing specifications and standards for digitization, maintenance, and preservation of Federal publications. </li></ul>
    9. 9. Library Planning & Development <ul><li>Responsibilities </li></ul><ul><li>Serves as the planning unit for all of LSCM </li></ul><ul><li>Develops plans, processes, projects and studies that support operations </li></ul><ul><li>Manages FDLP.Gov </li></ul><ul><li>Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Content Management – Planning for electronic collections and authentication services, managing GPO’s partnerships, planning for migration of legacy systems </li></ul><ul><li>Web Content Management – Developing and administering Web sites for LSCM, including FDLP Desktop, GPO Access, Registry of U.S. Government Publication Digitization Projects </li></ul>
    10. 10. Opportunities for Careers in LSCM <ul><li>Public Access Assessment Librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Program Planning Specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Content Acquisitions Specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogers and Classification Specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Archive and Web Harvesting Specialists </li></ul><ul><li>Preservation Librarian </li></ul><ul><li>Systems Librarians </li></ul>
    11. 11. Thank You! <ul><li>Mary Alice Baish </li></ul><ul><li>Superintendent of Documents </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>
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