Sunday, August 8, 2010

ASERL's summer summit

I attended the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) workshop because it was focused on the future of the government documents depository system in the southeast region. ASERL is trying to work within the system (and Title 44) to create a new model for depository libraries. The restrictions for being in the Federal Depository Library Program can be overly strict and at times archaic, but its overarching goal is valid--ensuring future access to government information.

The ASERL proposal attempts to create a regional focus for our depositories and to create Centers of Excellence (depositories that commit to collecting comprehensively in a particular agency or sub-agency). These centers would ensure that schools in the southeast have access to stronger print collections than one individual regional school could produce alone. (And I hear you asking already: "Isn't everything already online?" No, not everything is born-digital and no, not everything is being digitized. Not even all of the important stuff is being digitized. No one has the money to digitize it all, even Google). The idea is great and needed, but it will be a long process to get to that point. The group met (mostly government docs librarians and deans) to work through the report and brainstorm and collaborate on improvement. Hopefully this approach will make the FDLP system stronger! UNCG may try to become a Center of Excellence for a smaller agency or sub-agency, but more to come as we move forward.

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