Friday, May 2, 2008

My Request for Feedback--April 29, 2008

On Tuesday, April 29, I sent the following email:

I have volunteered to write up a section on standards and training for regional depositories. Would you all mind taking a moment to tell me what is most important to you in terms of expectations for regionals? If standards were to be developed and implemented, how would you like to see this done?

Any and all ideas welcome—but I need to have this pretty solid by end of day tomorrow (sorry, I also am suffering from the lack of time to actually think through some of these issues—the pressure is definitely on).


After that, I received emails from several of you and would like to share them with the group. I also posted the Draft of the ASERL Response. With Lori Smith's permission, I have copied her responses and posted them here as comments. Because I am using my own log-in to post her comments, the comments reference my name. Don't be fooled--they are really from Lori!

I am adding Ferol's and Howard's comments (with their permission)--but am adding them to a separate place on the blog. Look under the postings at the heading "Comments from You All Concerning Regional Issues."



Stephanie Braunstein said...

Things I'd like from the "perfect" Regional Depository:

* The Librarian should know GPO's rules, regulations, procedures, etc.
inside and out. It would also be helpful if he/she knew how some of those procedures, etc. have changed over the last decade or so. (e.g. Prior to the creation of "Item Lister" each depository had to maintain a file of item cards that indicated which items they selected.)

* The Librarian should be pretty well versed in GPO's cataloging practices and should know where to look up any information he/she doesn't know.

* The Librarian should have a thorough knowledge of government reference resources and should be familiar with the information needs of the population in his/her service area in order to advise selectives on weeding decisions and approve exchange lists.

* The Librarian should ensure that the Regional Depository's collection is indeed comprehensive and is maintained in good condition and correct order. That will assist the Regional Depository in fulfilling ILL or photocopy requests from its selectives.

* The Librarian should stay on top of legislation or other developments that could have an impact on GPO and the depository program. The Librarian should ensure that the selectives are informed about these things and encouraged to take action when necessary to support GPO.

* The Librarian should visit each selective they supervise at least once every other year. The visit would allow the Librarian to ensure that the selective is following GPO's rules and would allow the selective a chance to get advice on specific issues from the Librarian.

* The Regional Depository should ensure that the Librarian has sufficient time to devote to providing Regional services. Ideally the Librarian would be allowed to spend 100% of his/her time doing work related to documents. But, given that many depositories no longer have stand-alone documents units, and given that many depositories are located in academic libraries (where committee work is rampant), that likely wouldn't be possible. Still, I would suggest that no more than 20% of the Librarian's time should be spent on duties unrelated to depository operations (committee work, staffing a general reference desk, etc.).

* The Regional Depository should provide substantial, if not full, financial support to allow the Librarian to attend numerous conferences each year, to travel to local meetings, and to make the necessary number of selective depository visits.

* The Regional Depository should ensure that someone on the staff is trained to perform as the Librarian during times when the Librarian position is vacant. At the very least someone should assist selectives with ILL and photocopy requests, should check exchange lists submitted by the selectives to see if anything offered is needed by the Regional Depository, and should give the selectives permission to offer any items that aren't needed by the Regional.

GPO has to figure out a way to train new Regional Librarians, whether that's by sending someone to the Regional Depository on request, or having a few training sessions around the country each year, or doing one big training session during the annual conference, it needs to be done. The OPAL system can likely be helpful, but I think there really needs to be a face-to-face component of some sort.

Good luck with your response!


Stephanie Braunstein said...

The draft looks pretty good to me. I did wonder if you might want to mention, maybe in the section on flexibility, the pressure that academic libraries are currently under to rededicate space from storage of tangible collections to space for additional computers and group study areas. (The Information Commons trend.) Since most Regionals are academic libraries, this could be offered as just one of the many reasons the Regionals need flexibility. It also explains the need for cooperation to some extent.

Overall though, good job!


Rebecca said...

Excellent job. Kudos to both of you!