DLC Vision: Future Scenarios

"2021: A Depository Odyssey"

Dream up the future. What does government information look like?

Is HAL in charge of your depository library? Why, why not? Are you Dave, out in the cold? What does your service look like? Your collections? What do you do in a typical day?

For the final session of the Spring 2006 meeting of the Depository Library Council in Seattle we’d like to hear from you. What’s your “future scenario” for the Federal Depository Library Program, for government information?

Some elements to include:

  • collections - physical and electronic
  • services
  • collaboration
  • relationship with federal government - governance
  • structure of "system" (FDLP)
  • metadata - cataloging - invisible (virtual) finding aids - whatever you want to call it

Any others you can think of, or want to include.
Duncan Aldrich and Bill Sudduth have dreamed up their versions of the FDLP in 2015 or 2021. Does it look like your vision?

Please email your Future Scenarios to bselby@virginia.edu.
You can also read and comment on any Future Scenarios that have been posted.

We'll collect the future scenario's posted and discuss them at the final session of DLC, Wednesday, 10:30am, in Seattle.

So, take charge, BE HAL! Let us know what you'd like the future to be. Let us know what you think the future will be.

Monday, March 06, 2006

2021: A Depository Odyssey (Lori Smith, Southeastern Louisiana University)

In 2021 the U.S. Information Dissemination and Preservation Agency (IDPA), formed in 2010 by combining GPO and NARA, provides full-text online access to every federal publication ever issued in any format from the founding of the country to the present. This database of public documents is called "Franklin." A separate database of all currently classified documents is also maintained by IDPA. Access to it is restricted according to the security clearance of the user. Users with appropriate clearances can access the classified information produced by all branches and agencies of the government. This classified database is called "George." After the legislatively established period of time has elapsed, materials automatically migrate from George into Franklin.

A bibliographic record has been created for each publication that includes a link to the copy available on the agency web site and/or to the archived copy maintained by the IDPA. For manuscript materials, text versions have also been archived. The publications can be located and accessed by searching just the bibliographic records, or for those with more time and/or more complicated research needs, the full text of the publications can be searched.

Print copies of each publication are maintained in a public access archive in Washington, DC, and in a dark archive outside the DC area.

To encourage public access to information beyond Washington, the Information Dissemination and Preservation Network (IDPN) has been established. In a partnership between the federal government and each state government, one IDPN Partner Library has been designated in each state to serve as a mirror site for Franklin. Contents of the database are saved on the state sites twice each day. If a member of the public tries to access a document in Franklin while the database is down, the link is automatically redirected to the nearest state mirror site.

Geographically distributed throughout each state are a number of Federal Information Assistance Centers (FIACs) that are IDPN Associates. Members of the public who need assistance in finding federal information are referred to FIACs. These centers, which are most often located inside libraries, provide free access to Franklin and other online resources. Many FIACs also maintain collections of print and electronic materials relevant to local needs. In addition to assisting walk-in patrons, FIACs answer questions via phone, e-mail, online chat, etc. The centers also offer patrons the opportunity to download a free copy of any document to their own portable information devices.

The IDPA and the IDPN Partner Libraries take an active role in training the professionals who staff the FIACs. A number of methods are used to ensure that they are up-to-date on the latest information technology, changes in federal information policy, and the availability of new information resources. Those who are willing to complete a formal course of training have the option of becoming Certified Federal Information Specialists. The IDPA also uses several methods to obtain input from the IDPN Partners and the FIAC staff members on a number of policy and usability issues.

The IDPN is similar in many ways to the former FDLP, but those who remember the former program agree that the IDPN has developed into a much more effective partnership.

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