GODORT Education Committee

Arlene Weible, Chair
1997 Annual Meeting, San Francisco
San Francisco Hilton, Union Sq. 14
Sunday, June 29, 1997; 2:00-5:00 pm

Members in attendence: Arlene Weible (Chair), Patricia Cruse, Amy Spare, Sherry DeDecker, Sandra Webber, Helen Sheehy (for Debora Cheney), Jan Oberla, Nancy Kolenbrander

Liaison Reports

ALA Library Education Assembly - Mary Mallory reported that the proposal regarding the hiring of an outside agency to handle evaluation of the foreign educational credentials of librarians from other countries has been dropped for now. ALA's Committee on Education has formed a task force to look into the issues and establish a long term policy. ALA staff are also investigating this matter. The Assembly also discussed a proposal from a PLA/LAMA group regarding the establishment of a LIS Professional Certification Board for continuing education activities. There will be an open hearing on this topic at an upcoming conference. When asked to describe the work of GODORT in the area of continuing education, Mary described the Education Committee's activities, such as the development of the "models" section of the Education Committee's Web page.

Federal Documents Task Force - Sherry DeDecker reported on activities that included: a presentation on the draft bill revising Title 44 that described the highlights and discussed the prospects for the bill in Congress; a resolution supporting the work of the Inter-Association Working Group that drafted the bill; advise and handouts on how to talk with Congressional representatives about the Title 44 revisions, the FDTF Web page, and the need for a GODORT liaison to the PLA committee that has been formed to discuss the BPOL program with the IRS.

International Documents Task Force - Helen Sheehy (for Debora Cheney) reported on activities that included: the resolution of the vacancy in the IDTF Chair position; correspondence with the UN regarding the status of indexing activities; a possible program for the annual conference in Washington DC that could include embassy officials discussing their web resources; the need to solicit more international document titles for the "Notable Documents" list in Library Journal; establishment of a formal liaison with ACRL-WESS; information about an IFLA initiative to support a librarian exchange program with former Soviet and East European countries.

State and Local Documents Task Force - Sandra Webber reported on activities that included: a presentation by Jean Wilkins of the State Library of Illinois on the state's electronic information policies and programs, which could be a useful model for other state depository programs; discussion of the UIUC web page for state document shipping/publication lists; discussion of a resolution to ensure access to state government information.

Old Business

Handout Exchange - Larry Romans reported that he has only received about one half of the handouts needed to produce this year's disk. He has enlisted Kevin Reynolds to help solicit more handouts from past contributors, but can also use the help of the committee. It would be especially helpful to have the task force liaisons on the committee to help solicit handouts, and to serve as "watch-dogs" for new resources in their areas, especially international and state & local. The deadline for sending the handouts to Larry is August 1st.

Web Page - The Education Committee's Web page is located at: http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~govhelp/godorted.html The basic design is satisfactory, especially since the Ad Hoc Committee on the GODORT Web Presence has decided to use it as a template for other GODORT web pages. Thanks go to Amy Spare for her work on the design.

Options for integrating the Handout Exchange resources with Web-based resources were discussed. General consensus was reached on the idea of refinement of the categories on the current Handout page, and presenting an integrated list of both handout and web resources. A more descriptive link from the Committee's Web page to the Handout Exchange site (which could also possibly be renamed) was discussed. Concern about converting Web-based resources to more generic formats could be alleviated by providing instructions on how to use software such as Word's Internet Assistant to convert HTML files to word processing documents.

Additional discussion centered around the "Models of Government Information Web Pages" section of the Web page. It was suggested that this web page might be more appropriately called "Approaches to Organizing Government Information Web pages", and the annotations should be expanded to be more descriptive as to why each site listed is a good illustration of each category. Further suggestions included: breaking out class assignments from the research guides category; adding categories for Tutorials (sites that show how to "teach" with the Web) and for Depository Home Pages. Wen-Hua Ren has done some work in developing criteria for "good" home pages, and has evaluated a large number of sites. Further discussion is needed on how to integrate her work with the current page. It was also suggested that someone from outside the committee should evaluate the overall Education Web page to make sure it is useful and clearly organized.

A Web Page Work Group will be formally appointed by the Chair to work on further development of the web page. Volunteers were solicited, and membership of the group will be announced after the conference.

Ad Hoc Committee on the Continuing Education Fund - Trish Cruse and Amy Spare reported that the committee was expanded to include representatives from the FDTF, Program and Legislation. Since the Ad Hoc Committee is only authorized through this conference, the group will continue its work as a work group of the Education Committee. Cost analysis of the methods of delivery continues, and the group is now leaning toward web-based distribution of any continuing education project.

New Business

ASCLA merger - Arlene described her discussion with the chair of the ASCLA Committee on Library Personnel and Education. Evidently, this small committee has not done much in the area of education, but has primarily served as a forum for personnel issues. Most of the committee's activities have centered around liaison activities with other ALA committees. The chair of the committee was interested in GODORT's education activities, and hoped that a merger would bring new energy and interest to the membership of ASCLA in continuing education activities.

Committee discussion centered around the GODORT Education Committee's role in a new organization. After some discussion, the sense of group was that whether the merger went forward or not, there is still a need for a committee focused on government information education. To change the scope of the committee to include broader education issues would take time away from important current activities. There was also concern about the loss of identity in a new organization. The committee feels it has done a good job of reaching out to other groups in ALA, and providing educational resources for non-documents librarians, so while there is still a need to reach out to other groups like ASCLA, the development of educational resources for government information continue to be the greatest concern. All committee members were urged to attend the open hearing on Monday afternoon to express their concerns about the merger.

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