Issue 47   Summer 1998


To the Members--Barbara L. Bell

From the Editor--Karen Kimber

Interagency Depository Seminar--Pamela Beadles

Federal Depository Conference--Suhasini Kumar

Instructing the Undergraduate in Government Information:
a summary of the April 20 session at the 1998 Federal Depository Conference--Heidi Good

Minutes Spring Meeting May 15, 1998

Barbara Kussow Appointed Documents Consultant at SLO

Legislative Service Commission Briefs on the Internet--Karen Kimber

The Future of Docs Prescriptions

Fall Meeting Plans

Ohio GODORT Listserv

Membership Renewals Due

To the Members:
Barbara L. Bell, President
The College of Wooster

Thank you to the outgoing officers (Kathy Webb (University of Dayton, Mae Schreiber (University of Akron) for wrapping up last year in grand style, and for laying the foundation for the newly elected officers to build on the past. We appreciate Karen Kimber's efforts in continuing with Docs Prescriptions. She is planning to return the newsletter to its quarterly status, and we're off to a good start this year!

Thank you to the Nominating Committee - Ruth Connell (John Carroll University), Jeff Wanser (Hiram College), and Nani Ball (Miami University Middletown) - for their work in presenting a slate of officers for consideration. I look forward to working with Mark Gooch, Program/Chair Elect (Cleveland State University Law Library), Nicole Eby, secretary/treasurer (Dayton and Montgomery Public Library), Karen Kimber, editor of the newsletter (Wright State University) during this next year.

I regret that because of long-held travel arrangements I was not able to attend the Ohio GODORT meeting at Cleveland State University in May. But I had a good excuse! Many of you know that in 1994 I was an American Library Association Library Fellow to Namibia. My project was to create and establish international standards for a national bibliography since Namibia's independence in 1990. The first issue of the Namibia National Bibliography was published in 1996, and the second issue is forthcoming by the end of the year. Keeping contact with the people I worked with at the National Library of Namibia is important to me, and May seemed the best time to return to Windhoek, Namibia. One of the surprises of this most recent trip is that a new building housing both of National Library and National Archives services, is now 3/4 completed. The down side is that there is also a lot staff turnover as people moved to better paying jobs. This staff mobility is a concern and does not help to create stability in the libraries.

In Ohio, I want to share a project that is progressing nicely in the 5 Colleges of Ohio Government Documents Committee. The four institutions which are part of our consortial catalog CONSORT (Denison University, Kenyon College, Ohio Wesleyan University, and The College of Wooster) have been systematically looking at the List of Classes and our current selection profiles for the last few years so that we can share responsibility for the copy cataloging and downloading of current titles received from GPO. Our goal is to get these titles into CONSORT. To date, we have divided up responsibilities for the A-HH (except C), and Y classes, and will soon have I and J done. A rewarding by-product is having the opportunity to look closely at the titles we select or do not select consortially and make some adjustments. This is working well and we are pleased to have documents titles represented in CONSORT.

We have been working on an exciting extension of this project for the last academic year in our committee. Reassignment of some Mellon funds has been approved to begin a project to catalog historical documents from our government publications collections. In 1994, the College of Wooster completed an 8 year project of adding holdings to our catalog before we became members of 5 Colleges. Now, thanks to Mellon funds, we have the opportunity for the other members of the 5 Colleges (the above listed institutions, plus Oberlin College) to begin cataloging older documents in CONSORT and the Oberlin catalog. Priorities of historical documents within each institution have been established and soon we will begin the cooperative effort of entering these historical government publications into our catalogs. For those documents not in the OCLC database, we will arrange for original cataloging of these titles. With frugality of our valued funds, we hope to make a dent in our priority lists and share our consortial strength not only on our campuses but also as members of OhioLink.

Preliminary plans for our fall meeting appear in this issue. After the officers have a planning meeting in August, we will have more details to give you. Right now, I wish everyone a safe and productive summer.


From the Editor
Karen Kimber
Wright State University

It was an exciting spring!

Everyone who came to the May meeting of Ohio GODORT enjoyed hearing our distinguished speakers from the Government Printing Office. Many thanks to Francis J. Buckley, the Superintendent of Documents, and Virginia Saunders for sharing their expertise and making our meeting a success. Thanks also to the Ohio GODORT members who worked hard to arrange the program, especially Mark Gooch, who was our host at Cleveland State.

Many Ohio librarians have been on the road attending various meetings. We were all proud of the presentations of our colleagues John Graham and Coleen Parmer as they took part in the panel"Selected Models of Depository Management" at the Federal Depository Conference in April.

Other members who have attended some interesting sessions have written accounts of their experiences to share with you in this issue. Thanks very much to everyone who contributed.

Having the Ohio Legislative Service Commission reports available on the Web (see article elsewhere in this issue) brings to mind the struggle going on regarding the reports produced by the Congressional Research Service. There has not been any recent action on H.R.3131 and S.1578, the bills which would require that reports which are not confidential be made available to the public on the Internet. These are bills to which we all need to lend our support. See selected reports at the Web site of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration (

At the moment, of course, this issue is overshadowed for documents people by concerns about the proposed revision of Title 44, a piece of legislation whose fate will profoundly affect the future of government information. Let's keep pressing forward on that one.


Interagency Depository Seminar
Pamela Beadles
Mount Union College

I am the Documents Assistant at Mount Union College. I recently attended the 11th Annual Interagency Depository Seminar in Washington, D.C. The experience was full of information, places to visit, people to meet, tasty meals, and learning the Metro system. Personally, the entire trip was very exciting and exhausting. I left feeling that my expectations had been filled. The seminar ran from Wednesday to Wednesday giving a weekend break in the middle.

A large portion of my time is spent with the Federal Depository collection. Having a chance to visit the Government Printing Office, meeting the people, and observing the processing of the documents was probably the biggest highlight for me. Networking with the fellow participants was a wonderful opportunity. We compared situations in the different libraries, from academic to public and the east coast to the west coast. There were many similarities and some differences. I learned that the libraries in the west rarely receive items from claims if they rely on mailing the claims in. It was interesting to hear about the volume and variety of collections. The majority of the participants haven't worked with government documents for more than a year. It was nice to share some of my experience with them.

Friday morning at 3:00 am my husband and two children arrived in Washington. After three solid days of presentations, the others and myself were looking forward to the weekend. For me the vision of relaxing and taking my time sightseeing vanished, as I became an instant tour guide! We went to the White House, Post Office Museum, several museums at the Smithsonian Mall, Washington and Lincoln Monuments, Vietnam Memorial and the Arlington Cemetery. By Saturday evening my son talked us into going downtown to the Hard Rock Caf´┐Ż for dinner. Then they left to go home early Sunday morning. Wow, what a whirlwind of exploration and information gathering during my first four days in Washington.

In the second part of the seminar, I especially liked the tour of the Patent Search Room at Crystal Plaza 3 in Crystal City, Virginia. Michael White, Fellowship Librarian, was very informative and helpful with the tour. While I have never had the need to conduct a patent search, nor is our library a patent depository, I found it very interesting to learn of the seven-step strategy for conducting a patent search at a PTDL. The lobby holds an exhibit of items that have very old patents. One of the old patents belongs to Vladimir Kosma Zworykin, Russian-born U.S. electronic engineer, inventor, and the father of modern television. Eleanor Meltzer, Staff Attorney, gave an informative and fun presentation regarding Trademark Basics. She spoke of products that have a brand name that are commonly mistaken for other brands that are similar to theirs. For example, Frisbee is actually a brand name, but most people call any flying disk a frisbee. Also, Coke is often used as a generic term when referring to a cola. I found patents for sounds to be very interesting. It was especially interesting that Harley-Davidson is continuously trying to patent their engine's sound as unique.

My last place to visit was the Library of Congress. I found the presentation of the Library Home page to be very interesting and helpful. American Memory link is especially fun and informative. Along with other resources, it consists of documents, photographs, movies, and sound recordings that tell America's story. One of my favorites is looking up silent films in the collection of Early Motion Pictures 1897 - 1916.


Federal Depository Conference
Suhasini Kumar
The University of Toledo

Washington Monument, Capitol building, the Pentagon: I was thrilled by this panoramic view as the plane circled over them and made a perfect landing. I thought I was landing at the Washington Airport but the sign that greeted us read Washington Reagan Airport! My first taste of Washington diplomacy?

We stayed at the Hilton and I was really fortunate to have Coleen Parmer (from Bowling Green State University) both as a roommate and travelling companion. She took me under her wing. She introduced me to everyone she knew. Coleen arranged for our Ohio group to get together. We had an enjoyable time and dined at some exotic restaurants in town. Never mind the look on the waiter's face when we asked for fifteen separate checks; luckily he didn't attempt to garnish our entrees with something lethal!

I found the orientation program for the newcomers very useful. What touched me was the warm and welcoming atmosphere that was extended to us. Sheila McGarr, Cynthia Etkin, and Gail Snider were there to answer our questions, and we were also introduced to the Library Council members.

There was never a dull moment at the conference. There were so many interesting programs, presentations and tours, it was indeed very hard to make a choice. I learned so much and was impressed by all the hard work GPO was doing to move toward an electronic environment. I was particularly delighted with DOE's Information Bridge, and I had the opportunity to talk about this database at the American Chemical Society's Central Regional Meeting in Cleveland in May, where I co-presented a paper. The scientists were suitably impressed and asked several questions regarding this database.

I should thank George Barnum for advising me to take the GPO tour. This proved to be the crowning feature of my visit, because all of a sudden the whole kaleidoscope of GPO's activities neatly fell into place, lighted bin et al.!


Instructing the Undergraduate in Government Information:
a summary of the April 20 session at the 1998 Federal Depository Conference

Heidi Good
University of Dayton

In addition to updates from the Government Printing Office, sessions at the 1998 Federal Depository Conference included a discussion on effective bibliographic instruction. Although the talk was designed specifically with documents librarians in mind, the points made by Elizabeth Estes and Cheryl Truesdell are well worth remembering in any instruction situation. Listed below are some of their suggestions for introducing electronic government information to undergraduates.

They suggest that librarians size up their audience, as chances are the experience levels with documents, much less electronic databases, will vary greatly; ask them how much practice they have had with both and ask them questions for feedback that denotes some level of understanding.

Explain a few sources well, they say, for otherwise there is a tendency to overwhelm them with information. Teach no more than two sources in-depth, and if possible, use complimentary databases, such as the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations. Be sure to explain Boolean and free-text search techniques, but keep instruction simple; introduce the basic search techniques that will retrieve what they need most of the time.

Estes and Truesdell recommend a combination of teaching methods (lecture, hands-on, student teaching, etc.) be used, as different students learn different ways. Although the optimum setting for teaching electronic government documents is a computer lab with a teacher workstation, at the very least be sure to include a handout that summarizes key points of the session.

Use current and relevant examples and use sources that will help students find information on their topics. Talk to the instructor beforehand, see if it is possible to procure a copy of the class assignment, anything to make the limited instruction time most relevant.

Online guides provide increased accessibility, for both students and other librarians, after the instruction session is over. If librarians do not have the time to prepare them from scratch, see if GODORT ( has a link to a relevant guide.

In addition to online guides, create at least one webpage of links to core government sources. Again, GODORT has created a template ( to assist in building a website. As students begin utilizing more electronic sources, do not forget to teach them how to evaluate Internet resources, including a check of author authority, scope and criteria for inclusion, and the currency of the data.

Be prepared for electronic failure, Estes and Truesdell warn, and count on having some kind of backup, such as handouts or show and tell.

And finally, encourage future contact; depending on library policies, they recommend distributing business cards, email addresses, or office telephone numbers.


Spring Meeting May 15, 1998
Cleveland State University

The Ohio Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) met at Cleveland State University (CSU) on May 15, 1998 in Room 224A. About 38 people were present.

Mark Gooch (Cleveland State), the host, began the program at 10:00 am. Dr. Michael Singer, Director of the Law Library at CSU, welcomed everyone. Kathy Webb (University of Dayton), President, gave an overview of the day.


The guest speakers were Dr. Francis Buckley, the Superintendent of Documents, and Ms. Virginia Saunders from the Government Printing Office.

Dr. Buckley, who was appointed Superintendent of Documents last November, gave an overview of the Superintendent of Documents Program and his advocate role for the program. He spoke both about the enormous progress the Government Printing Office has made in its transition to a more electronic Federal Depository Library Program and about the challenges that lie ahead.

Virginia Saunders, who has been with the Government Printing Office for fifty-two years, spoke about the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. She gave an overview, a history, and details about its arrangment, its numbering system and its changes.



Kathy Webb began the meeting at 1:45. The group approved the fall Ohio GODORT minutes.

Mae Schreiber (University of Akron) read the treasurer's report and it was approved.


Nominating Committee Report. Jeff Wanser (Hiram College) presented the slate:

The slate was voted and approved.

Membership Committee - standing. Members are: Coleen Parmer (Bowling Green St.), Andrea Peakovic (Kenyon), and Diane May (Kent State).

Legislative Action. It should be an ad hoc committee.

Access to State Government Information and Publications - Standing. Chair is Coleen Parmer. Members are: Melanie Putnam, Karen Kimber, and Cynthia Hall.

They will look into having the state provide reproducible tax forms to libraries so patrons can photocopy them.

Newsletter - Standing. Members are George Barnum (CWRU); Margie Powell (Wooster); Karen Kimber (Wright State), interim chair; and Heidi Good (Univ. of Dayton).

Karen would like to get Docs Prescriptions on a quarterly schedule. She invites members to submit their Federal Depository Conference experiences. Deadline for articles is June 15, 1998. Karen wants to survey members about receiving the newsletter in an electronic format instead of paper and having it up on a web site.

Karen Kottsy said that she has a complete set of Docs Prescriptions for the Archives.

OHIOLINK Issues. Members are: Karen Kimber, Karen Kottsy, and Mark Gooch. This committee should lend its subject expertise to OhioLINK.

State Plan. This plan is on hold.

GODORT of Ohio Email list and Homepage. Mark felt that news should not be just limited to paying members. Mark Gooch, with suggestions from Lynn Lenart (University of Akron, Law Library) and Jennifer McMullen (The College of Wooster), is running the Ohio GODORT homepage.

Ohio GODORT Constitution - Change. Evron Collins (BGSU) is the coordinator of this Committee. Mae Schreiber will send her a photocopy of the Ohio GODORT Constitution so we can discuss its revision in the Fall and vote on changes in our spring meeting.

State Library Documents Coordinator. Audrey Hall (State Library of Ohio) discussed the restructuring of the State Library Documents Coordinator position. The job description incorporated some of the recommendations that the Ohio Government Documents Round Table made, such as consultant, leadership, trainer, and advocate. (See letter of Kathleen Webb to Cynthia McLaughlin, printed in Issue 46 of Docs Prescriptions.)


Fall Meeting. Karen Kottsy will contact John Graham (Cincinnati Public Library) as a possible fall host in October. Karen Kimber suggested that a good fall program would be the Documents Data Miner; Nan Myers at Wichita State University is the contact person.


Inspections to be held at: OSU and SLO.

The group thanked Mark Gooch for hosting the spring program.

The Northeast Ohio GODORT Meeting: Joseph Straw (University of Akron) announced that this meeting will be held at John Carroll University on June 29, 1998.

The meeting adjourned at 3:00 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,
Mae N. Schreiber


Barbara Kussow Appointed Documents Consultant at SLO

All of us who have gotten to know Barbara Kussow as a member of Ohio GODORT and through the work she has been doing at the State Library will be delighted to congratulate her on her appointment as Documents Consultant at the State Library of Ohio.

Barbara says, "I look forward to working with all of you and getting to know you better. Please don't be reticent about telling me your ideas for depository services in Ohio. Two specific items on my agenda are a state plan and the development of a depository services web page."


Legislative Service Commission Briefs on the Internet
Karen Kimber
Wright State University

Kudos to the Ohio Legislative Service Commission for providing a wealth of useful information on their Web site. It was announced in June that they are now providing public access to their series of publications entitled Members Only Briefs. These are reports on issues of interest to the legislature (for example, An Overview of Administrative Law Making in Ohio and Freedom of Speech in High Schools). If you haven't seen them yet, take a look at: Also available from the LSC's Web page are recent publications in their Staff Research Reports series. The citizens of Ohio (and of course the librarians serving those citizens) salute them!


The Future of Docs Prescriptions

This issue of Docs Prescriptions is a milestone. It is the first time it has been available in an electronic version on the Web, as well as in the familiar print format. Take a look at the Web version on the GODORT of Ohio Web site at:

At the spring meeting, there was a discussion of the future of Docs Prescriptions. Should the publication become a Web-only product? Is there value in continuing to mail out print copies?

The discussion will continue at the fall meeting. In the meantime (and especially if you won't be at the next meeting), send any comments and opinions to the Ohio GODORT listserv or to Karen Kimber at (snail mail) Reference Dept., Dunbar Library, Wright State Univ., Dayton, OH 45435 or (email)


Fall Meeting Plans

The fall meeting of the Government Documents Round Table of Ohio will be held on Friday, November 6, at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. More details will be announced later, but mark your calendars now for that date.


Ohio GODORT Listserv

If you're not already on the Ohio GODORT listserv, here's how to subscribe.

To the following address:

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Questions? Contact Mark Gooch (e-mail:


Membership Renewals Due

Is there an asterisk after your name on your mailing label? If not, it's time to renew your membership for 1998-99. Send your dues ($10) to Secretary/Treasurer Nicole Eby at the Dayton and Montgomery County Public Library, Magazine/Government Documents, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, OH 45402.

Docs Prescriptions
The Newsletter of the Government
Documents Round Table of Ohio

Issue 47 Summer 1998

Barbara Bell, President
Andrews Library
The College of Wooster
Wooster, OH 44691

Mark Gooch, Program Chair/President Elect
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law Library
Cleveland State University
1801 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2403

Nicole Eby, Secretary/Treasurer
Dayton & Montgomery County Public Library
Magazines/Government Documents
215 E. Third St.
Dayton, OH 45402
937-227-9500 x306

Karen Kimber, Editor
Dunbar Library
Wright State University
Dayton, OH 45435

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Last revised 8/8/98