Fall 1998/Winter 1999
Numbers 187 & 188


Save the Date for the 15th Annual FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies

Contracting Out: Making It Your Job

Recommended Reading on Contracting Out

Board Talk

Preservation Efforts Need Higher Priority

FLICC Moves Ahead in FY98

FLICC Working Group Spotlight

Community Is ALA President Elect's Emerging Theme

Editorial Staff

Save the Date!
Plan to attend the 15th annual

FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies
Wednesday, March 10, 1999

The Library of Congress—Washington, D.C.

Copyright, Electronic Works, and Federal Libraries:
Maintaining Equilibrium


Contracting Out: Making It Your Job

Government's current mandate for efficiency and reducing the federal workforce makes outsourcing especially appealing to agency management. While these initiatives seem new approaches to managing federal programs, librarians have been using contracting out as a management tool for yearsthrough serials agents, book jobbers, approval plans, document suppliers, cataloging utilities, retrospective conversion processors, ILS vendors, and even interlibrary loan partners. Now is the time for federal librarians to remind their managers that they have the skills needed to advise which efforts can best be contracted out and which should remain in-house, combined with the expertise to create performance-based contracts and evaluate current information service contracts and contractors.

To help federal librarians affected by outsourcing, library experts and federal librarians joined the 1998 FLICC Symposium on the Information Professional on November 13 to discuss the current context for federal contracting, to help librarians control contracts, and learn to take credit for their successes. Entitled "Contracting Out: Making It Your Job," the program explored the risks and benefits of outsourcing and its alternatives, and participants discussed how librarians might keep some activities in-house and expand their skills as contract writers and administrators.

Susan M. Tarr, FLICC's executive director, welcomed the participants and opened the symposium by encouraging participants to view contracting out not as "good or bad, but as an opportunity to make government services more efficient and economical when professional federal librarians are there to oversee the process." She then introduced Meg Williams, a FEDLINK Network Program Specialist, who led an interactive session with the audience to identify the potential risks and benefits of outsourcing in federal libraries.

Many participants were concerned that developing, implementing, and evaluating contracts create a high level of work that seems to have few direct benefits to the library, the agency, or its users. Concerned that badly written contracts or poor contractor performance may hamper the agency's mission, they also wondered what the long-term implications of outsourcing library services would be. Agreeing with the concerns of participants, Williams said, "Contractors may not be able to anticipate issues familiar to staff librarians and library patrons, and the federal agency can risk losing the expertise and commitment of in-house staff. It is critical to program work that qualified librarians can look to contracting out as a management tool, rather than a threat or a boon." Some participants voiced concern that over time, federal expertise will be leached from libraries, and that both agencies and contractors may find a smaller number of federal librarians with the expertise needed for creating proper work statements and evaluation criteria. Williams agreed with the participants, adding that "commercialism can hurt the library profession because libraries and their patrons may not always benefit if they are only viewed from a business perspective."

Cajoling the audience to identify the benefits of outsourcing, Williams reminded them that Congress has said outsourcing is worth the effort because it brings innovation to governmental processes and reduces federal spending. "It is also the government's role to stimulate the private sector, not compete with it," she said. When the participants listed few benefits, Williams balanced their negatives and concluded her session with a series of positive aspects. "The challenge of contracting out will force librarians to analyze their library operations and speed up positive changes. During the analytical process, librarians also have the chance to teach agency managers about the importance of information services," said Williams. By ensuring quality services for users and encouraging good management practices, contracting out may also encourage innovation and excellence, while simultaneously streamlining government operations.

Following Williams, Jeffrey S. Traczyk, a senior consultant with the Performance Consulting Group at Grant Thornton LLP, addressed the government mandate for efficiency, which includes the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) A-76 Circular as one route to accomplish these goals. He agreed with Williams that "government should not compete with its citizens. The competitive enterprise system, characterized by individual freedom and initiative, is the primary source of national economic strength." The purpose of A-76 is to make products and services available to the federal government in a manner that achieves economy, enhances productivity, and encourages competition. According to Traczyk, A-76 empowers federal managers to make sound and justifiable business decisions. "A-76 policy is not just a method for contracting out, but a method of making cost comparisons." Already, many of these formal comparisons do reveal that the private sector can perform efficiently and effectively.

With these results, Congress added additional rules this year that require agencies to develop detailed lists of areas and tasks that are not inherently governmental and investigate how and where to contract out these activities. "Librarians may not realize that their agencies are compiling such lists and that libraries are no doubt on them," said Traczyk. He then explained the circular's definition of "inherently governmental." Using an example of an extremely sensitive weapons manufacturing depot that was successfully transferred to contractor management, Traczyk explained that "it is extremely unlikely that libraries could win the inherently governmental argument." Instead, he reminded his audience that outsourcing larger projects works best for managers because they can demonstrate real cost savings; libraries may want to make the case that their efforts are too small to realize the kinds of savings A-76 anticipates.

Traczyk then pointed out that A-76 policy could be a success in the federal government if performance work statements would rely on what, not how, output is measured. Recent OMB revisions to A-76 also provide measures to protect federal personnel interest, offering federal employees priority consideration for any government vacancies. The revisions also call on agencies to maintain an effective placement program and offer reasonable training opportunities and relocation options, all coordinated with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). Traczyk concluded that "the real competition is between changing missions and limited resources. The winners are those that provide true requirements for the least cost; the survivors are those that can justify their missions and budgets based on merit."

Sybil Bullock, Director of the Redstone Scientific Information Center, U.S. Army Missile Command, opened the afternoon session of the symposium by reviewing the different kinds of performance measures available and the three steps necessary for contracting success: writing a good statement of work up front, keeping involved with contract staff on a day-to-day basis, and maintaining perspective. She then introduced Barbara D. Wrinkle, Director of the Air Force Libraries and Information Systems, who walked participants through the Air Force's Performance Work Statement. The Air Force's statement is a wonderful example of a successful contracting out procedure that has become the model statement of work for other federal libraries. Wrinkle distributed copies of both her performance work statement and its quality assurance surveillance plan to the attendees and reviewed their specifics. (For copies, see the resources listed in Recommended Reading on Contracting Out, below.) Her best advice for federal libraries? "Know the organization's mission, vision, and its strategic plan," said Wrinkle. "Then you will be able to identify core competencies."

Williams expanded on Wrinkle's presentation by explicitly defining performance measures, incentives, inputs, outputs, and outcomes. She urged librarians to monitor the contracting out process and the preparation of a performance work statement. "The statement defines what is to be done, not how to do it," said Williams. She said this aspect of contracting out was the most difficult, since the end, not the means, is crucial to the management of a good contract. She did share one concern about the long-term effects of outsourcing. "We must take care that over time we librarians do not lose our ability to create and monitor these contracts. Without career librarians in place, federal agencies lose access to current levels of experience and lack ways of ensuring there are future federal librarians to gain that same expertise," said Williams.

Dorothy Fisher Weed, Librarian at the Department of Labor, and Omar Akchurin, Project Manager for a Department of Labor library contract, spoke about the mutual benefits derived from governmental and contractor teamwork. Weed has seen the contracting process from both sides, consulting for federal libraries for more than 20 years, and serving as a former contract librarian with Department of Labor Library. Now she manages 11 full-time contractors and one half-time contract position. Weed explained that "the keys to using contracts creatively are to retain flexibility in the Request for Proposal (RFP) and establish a good working relationship with the contracting company." She then emphasized creating professional partnerships between staff librarians and contractors to engender teamwork. Akchurin referred to the cooperation and goodwill he encountered working as a contractor in the Department of Labor. "Flexibility and honesty between the contractor and the federal employee have a direct impact on the success of a contract and a project," said Akchurin.

Doria Grimes, Chief of Library Contracts at NOAA, spoke about accountability and shared responsibility between staff and contractors. She offered several suggestions to enhance job performance and reduce absenteeism. "By nominating a contract employee as an employee of the month or year, or writing letters of commendation for work well done, in-house librarians increase the sense of shared responsibility," said Grimes. She also emphasized the importance of ensuring a statement of work has performance measurements and strongly urged participants to include incentive awards for the contractor and regular reporting as requirements of the contract.

During the final session, both participants and presenters agreed that outsourcing will affect their libraries in the near future. To respond to these initiatives and to streamline and enhance their agencies' libraries in an era of outsourcing means federal librarians need to write contracts with clear performance measures. With these new tools in place, federal librarians can use these measures, in combination with their long-standing experience as contract monitors for a variety of services, as a tool of control that facilitates both their libraries and overall government economy and efficiency.


Recommended Reading
On Contracting Out

Electronic resources

Air Force

Department of Energy

General Accounting Office

General Services Administration

National Performance Review

Office of Management and Budget

Hard Copy Resources

  • Abbot, Christine. Performance Measurement in Library and Information Services. London: ASLIB, The Association for Information Management, 1994.
  • General Accounting Office. Performance Management and Evaluation: Definitions and Relationships, GAO/GGD-98-26, April 1998.
  • National Performance Review. "Serving the American Public: Best Practices in Performance Measurement," Benchmarking Study Report, June 1997.
  • Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Guide to Best Practices for Performance-Based Service Contracting, 1996.



To prepare FLICC's annual performance plan for calendar year 1999, I have drawn suggestions from FLICC members, the FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC), FLICC staff, and management. Once again, a goal members and staff repeatedly emphasize is one to increase awareness of the value of federal libraries and information centers throughout the U.S. government. During January, FLICC staff and managers will complete 1999 performance goals and develop specific action plans. Meanwhile, I want to highlight the activities the FLICC LC Bicentennial Working Group has planned that will help to increase visibility of federal libraries.

As many of you know, the Library of Congress will be celebrating its 200th anniversary on April 24, 2000. Congress has already approved a stamp and a coin to commemorate the event and LC has hired a public relations firm to promote LC and all libraries over the next two years. At its first quarterly meeting in 1998, FLICC established an ad hoc working group to determine what programs FLICC could sponsor to:

  • benefit both federal libraries and the LC Bicentennial;
  • include the entire federal library community; and
  • develop benefits for federal libraries that would extend beyond the Bicentennial year.

The first report of the working group co-chairsDorothy Fisher Weed, Department of Labor, and Mary Augusta Thomas, Smithsonian Institutionat the May FLICC meeting was reported in the spring issue of the FLICC Newsletter. Since then, the group has been working diligently to refine and develop three projects they chose from the wide range of suggestions they received from members and staff.

The working group plans to develop the following:

  • a tool kit to promote awareness of federal libraries and information centers which will include a poster, bookmarks, generic press releases, etc. (each federal library will be able to customize the materials for their unique community of users);
  • a national selection process to identify and recommend for digitizationand for inclusion in the National Digital Libraryselected historical holdings in federal libraries. The working group envisions a competitive selection process based on the LC Ameritech model, including its panel of notables who select the finalists; and
  • a Web-based almanac by and about federal libraries to share information and exchange ideas on tangential library activities and the Bicentennial celebration in general.

The working group has begun consulting the LC's PR firm to develop design ideas for the tool kit's poster and bookmarks. The consultant recommended that we choose a slogan first and then identify images that illustrate the theme.

Working group members held a preliminary brainstorming session and developed slogan suggestions including:

"National resources, local service. . .a world of information through your federal library"

"Federal Libraries: Bringing two centuries of experience to citizens of the 21st Century"

"Federal libraries and librarians. . .serving America and Americans the world over"

"Federal Libraries: Linking Information--Across America--Around the World--Through the Millennia"

If you like any of the above slogans or have your own suggestions, please send your comments and ideas to me at [email protected] and I will forward them to the working group.

The group is also collecting "images of federal libraries/information centers" for the poster and for the almanac. Send your submissions to Gail Nicula at the Armed Forces Staff College (fax: 757-444-2053, or email: [email protected]) or to Barbara Christine, Army Community and Family Support Center (fax: 703-681-7249, or email: [email protected]).

The tool kit will also include a fact sheet on the history of federal libraries. To include your important events from the history of your library or information center on the time line, please send those to Larry Boyer, Administrative Office of the Courts (fax: 202-273-1555, or email: [email protected]).

The LC Bicentennial is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate to all of our constituents what federal libraries have contributed historically and what they will continue to contribute to effective government programs and the public in the next millennium. Please join with us as we prepare for this grand celebration.

                                                Susan M. Tarr
                                                Executive Director, FLICC


Preservation Efforts Need Higher Priority

The federal government is entrusted with the care and custody of millions of documents and artifacts of our cultural and intellectual heritage. Yet only one quarter of federal libraries and information agencies have physical security and disaster plans in place and most others practice few preservation activities according to the data from the 1994 census of federal libraries. Almost half of all libraries responding did express concern about collection maintenance, particularly wear and tear to paper materials. Sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) the FLICC report, The Status of Federal Libraries and Information Centers in the United States: Results from the 1994 Federal Libraries and Information Survey, included a formal look at the status of library preservation initiatives in the federal government.

The report compiles responses from 1,234 federal libraries and information centers that represent the full range of federal collections. Respondents included executive, legislative, and judicial librarians as well as librarians at other independent agencies located throughout the nation. The report also groups respondents by subject area to discern trends in special collections and program missions.

"The diversity of programs and shortage of funds call for innovative approaches to basic preservation activities," said Susan M. Tarr, Executive Director of the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) of the Library of Congress, whose organization collaborated with NCES on the report. "With 57 percent of our libraries and information centers reporting no preservation activities, it is time the federal sector increased its emphasis on this national priority," said Tarr.

Federal libraries and information centers vary both in size and in mission. They range from national libraries and academic institutions to technical and small specialized libraries, archives, and information centers. Offering everything from traditional hard-copy collections and rare books to electronic collections and the Internet, these libraries constitute a highly diverse and decentralized information service network serving a variety of audiences. Yet many librarians share common collection concerns while indicating preservation activities must be tailored to individual sites, collections, and agencies.

Wear and tear on paper materials and bindings top the list of librarians' concerns. "Maintaining materials for patrons is important both to the collection and to the library's budget," said Amparo R. Torres, Special Projects Officer for the Conservation Division of the Library of Congress and Chair of FLICC's Preservation and Binding Working Group. Torres noted that collection maintenance procedures and staff and patron education are two other preservation problem areas. "Preservation planning is very important when collections are a combination of paper, microforms, and electronic resources. Teaching everyone about the care and handling of library materials will make the difference," said Torres. The survey also noted other preservation concerns including wear and tear to bindings, housing, in-house repairs, environmental conditions, brittle paper, preservation funding, disaster preparedness, electronic storage, and care of nonprint materials.

"Although the survey shows that physical security and disaster preparedness are the top two preservation priorities, far too many federal libraries and information centers lack core preservation activity," said Torres. She believes the first step is to centralize efforts and information, and her working group is taking strides to offer federal librarians preservation options and resources. The FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group develops strategies for the preservation of federal library resources and has an aggressive agenda. The working group

  • champions the implementation of federal policies and regulations that support preservation programs;
  • assesses the preservation and information needs of federal libraries and of their users;
  • promotes preservation awareness through educational programs;
  • promotes development of disaster plans;
  • fosters and promotes cooperation with other national and regional preservation groups;
  • identifies funding from inside and outside the federal government for preservation of federal library resources;
  • establishes preservation information resources for federal libraries and information centers; and
  • works with the Government Printing Office (GPO) to: 1) document the range of binding requirements of federal libraries and information centers; 2) formulate library binding contracts; and 3) provide quality assurance standards.

The working group already maintains a list of preservation resources on the FLICC Web site (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/wg/wg-prsv.html) and has plans to identify more preservation materials and disaster plans this winter.

"The good news is that almost 70 percent of survey respondents indicated they would support the inclusion of a specific federal preservation policy in the development of a national preservation policy," said Tarr. "With this current level of support for preservation activities and education, we are bound to see preservation become a growing priority within the federal library and information center community." The main challenge continues to be lack of funding.

As part of FLICC's participation in the Library of Congress Bicentennial celebration, the FLICC Bicentennial Working Group is planning a digitization project to highlight and solicit funding to digitize treasures held by federal libraries. The plans currently involve developing a "register" of "National Treasures" held by federal institutions. The FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group will be helping to coordinate the preservation aspects of the digitization initiative.

FLICC will also use the register to call attention to the need to preserve the historical collections entrusted to the care of the federal government. In many cases these collections are in desperate need of preservation. The register will help identify which collections are deemed "National Treasures," enabling FLICC to lay the groundwork to preserve these historical collections.

In addition, FLICC is exploring the possibility of private sector fund-raising in general as a resource for preservation needs and, if the results seem encouraging, will investigate options for training federal librarians in fund-raising techniques. Watch for more information in future issues of the FLICC Newsletter.


FLICC Moves Ahead in FY98

During Fiscal Year 1998, FLICC, in the words of its new mission statement, worked "to foster excellence in federal library and information services through interagency cooperation and to provide guidance and direction for FEDLINK." The FLICC Executive Board and the general membership developed this new formal mission statement and adopted it early in the year.

FLICC's annual information policy forum expanded on some key features of this mission by exploring how the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) affects federal libraries and how federal librarians should approach applying its principles. FLICC also held its annual symposium on the information professional, this year focusing on equipping federal librarians with the tools and expertise to create end-user training programs in their libraries and information centers.

To meet the need for developments in the federal library and information center community, FLICC also formed two new working groups, the Awards Working Group and the Ad Hoc LC Bicentennial Working Group, and reconstituted the Preservation and Binding Working Group. Other FLICC working groups (see below) developed a Web-based, real-time information assessment of federal library information technology; created new educational initiatives in the areas of metadata, law classification and cataloging, and distance learning; issued surveys to members on fees and analyzed their responses; compiled knowledge, skills, and abilities statements for federal librarians, created three new government-wide awards, planned federal library participation in the LC Bicentennial, and continued to expand access to resources through the FLICC Web site.

Beyond supporting the membership projects, FLICC staff made substantial improvements to the FEDLINK program, improved members' use of OCLC, concluded their 18-month consultative management pilot, prepared for a replacement for the FEDLINK financial system, laid the groundwork for and began testing of a comprehensive multimedia distance learning initiative, and executed a return from offsite offices back to the LC Capitol Hill complex. Staff also sponsored 36 seminars and workshops for 1399 participants and conducted 103 OCLC, Internet, and related classes for 753 students.

FLICC's cooperative network, FEDLINK, continued to enhance its fiscal operations while providing its members with $53.2 million in transfer pay services and $64.8 million in direct pay services, saving federal agencies more than $5 million in cost avoidance and approximately $12 millions more in vendor volume discounts.

Quarterly Meeting Roundup

The series of FLICC membership quarterly meetings (five meetings this fiscal year) combined highlighting various federal library initiatives with identifying a variety of emerging issues and finding pro-active responses to meet these challenges. The first quarterly meeting featured a visit to the "American Treasures of the Library of Congress" exhibition. Following the tour, Dorothy Fisher Weed (Department of Labor) introduced members to her department's treasures and rare books collections and Doria Grimes (NOAA) highlighted her agency's special collections.

The second quarterly meeting was host to two guest speakers, John Cole, Jr., (Center for the Book) and Gil Baldwin (GPO). Cole addressed LC's Bicentennial planning that led to the formation of a FLICC Ad Hoc Working Group on the LC Bicentennial. Baldwin updated members on the NCLIS Assessment of Electronic Government Information Products.

The third and fourth FLICC Quarterly Membership meetings focused on federal library policy issues, including a legislative update from Glenn McLaughlin (LC-CRS), followed by a presentation from Richard Kellet (GSA) on privacy, FOIA, and electronic FOIA. General Counsel Elizabeth Pugh (LC) spoke at the fourth meeting, outlining a variety of common legal issues for federal libraries and calling for increased communication between libraries and agencies who are addressing similar issues.

A fifth FLICC Quarterly Membership meeting, held in late September 1998, reviewed the status of government information distribution policy including a report from Fran Buckley (GPO) and Mary Alice Baish (AALL) on proposed revisions to U.S.C. Title 44 and a progress report by Robert Willard (NCLIS) on his commission's assessment of electronic government documents.


FLICC Working Groups Spotlight

FLICC Ad Hoc LC Bicentennial Working Group

In honor of the Library's upcoming Bicentennial celebration, a FLICC working group formed to develop programs for the entire federal library community that will provide benefits beyond the bicentennial year. By participating in LC's bicentennial activities, federal libraries and information centers will increase recognition of their programs and link federal libraries to LC under the larger campaign to publicize the "Nation's Collections." The working group has proposed a variety of activities, including developing a tool kit complete with a press release, a calendar of events, a poster, bookmarks, and other promotional materials libraries and information centers can adapt for local use. The working group also hopes to identify federal historical holdings or other collections that could be added to LC's digital collection.

FLICC Awards Working Group

To honor the many innovative ways federal libraries, librarians, and library technicians are fulfilling the information demands of government, business, research, scholarly communities, and the American public, the Awards Working Group formed in Fiscal Year 1998 to inaugurate a series of national awards for federal librarianship.

The three awards are

Federal Library/Information Center of the Year— to commend a library or information center's outstanding, innovative, and sustained achievements during Fiscal Year 1998 in fulfilling its organization's mission, fostering innovation in its services, and meeting the needs of its users;

Federal Librarian of the Year— to honor professional achievements during fiscal year 1998 in the advancement of library and information sciences, the promotion and development of services in support of the agency's mission, and demonstrated professionalism as described in the Special Libraries Association's Competencies for Special Librarians in the 21st Century; and

Federal Library Technician of the Year— to recognize the achievements of a federal library technician during fiscal year 1998 for service excellence in support of the library or information center's mission, exceptional technical competency, and flexibility in adapting work methods and dealing with change.

The award winners will receive a certificate and a plaque honoring their contributions to the field of federal library and information service which will be presented at the annual FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies in March 1999.

FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group

The FLICC Budget and Finance Working Group began meeting in January to develop the Fiscal Year 1999 FEDLINK budget and fee structure. The group also initiated and completed a survey of the full membership on changing the fee structure for transfer pay participants. The final budget approved for 1999 reduced fees for transfer pay customers to 7.75 percent on accounts up to $300,000 and 7.00 percent on amounts more than $300,000. Direct pay fees remained at Fiscal Year 1998 levels.

Working group members first presented the budget proposal to FEDLINK and FLICC memberships and then mailed the proposal to all FEDLINK and FLICC members. The FLICC voting members unanimously supported the Fiscal Year 1999 budget proposal.

FLICC Education Working Group

During Fiscal Year 1998, the FLICC Education Working Group developed or supported 36 programs in the areas of technology development, copyright issues, technician training, cataloging and classification, and end-user training, and continued the FLICC Orientation to National Libraries and Information Centers tour program.

In November 1997, the working group sponsored "End-User Training and Support: A Role for Librarians" with speakers including: Carol Tenopir, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; John Auditore, National Institutes of Health; Jim Bradley, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command; Janie Butler, Lexis-Nexis; Cathy Kellum, Southeastern Libraries Network; Anne Caputo, Knight Ridder Information Services; Melissa Becher, American University; and Cheryl Hunter, DTIC. Seventy-five federal librarians joined together at this program to discuss practical techniques for being effective instructional librarians.

During the winter months FLICC continued its commitment to continuing education initiatives for librarians and library technicians by hosting satellite downlinks to two popular teleconference series, "Soaring to...Excellence" and "Dancing with...Change," both sponsored by the College of DuPage.

Following the success of the 1997 program, the working group held the second annual "Federal Library Technicians Institute" in August 1998. This week-long institute continued to focus on educating library technicians. Federal and academic librarians joined FLICC professionals to discuss various areas of librarianship, including acquisitions, cataloging, reference, and automation.

The newest institute, "Law Classification and Cataloging for Federal Librarians" held in late August, provided a structured presentation for cataloging and reference librarians. Participants reviewed standards, bibliographic description, LC classifications, subject headings, and legal serials.

FLICC Information Technology Working Group

In Fiscal Year 1998, the Information Technology Working Group unveiled its new Web-based survey entitled, "The FLICC Information Technology Assessment for Federal Libraries and Information Centers." This assessment will help federal librarians examine how information technology is being used in their organization and glean information about other libraries' equipment and programs. The results of this informative questionnaire are accessible through the FLICC/FEDLINK Web site and allow federal librarians to assess the level of automation in their libraries by comparing their agency's use of technology with other agencies' library profiles.

To assist federal librarians in the development of metadata, descriptive data used to classify and manage electronic resources, the working group sponsored "The 1998 FLICC Information Technology Update: Metadata 101: Beyond Traditional Cataloging." This program led to the spring follow-up institute, "Metadata 201: OCLC Institute's Knowledge Access Management for Federal Librarians," where attendees spent five days applying the latest standards and guidelines in cataloging government publications on the Web.

The working group continued its series of Internet-focused brown bag sessions in Fiscal Year 1998 with two sessions on web creation software and pricing issues between Internet and commercial databases. They also focused on ways to update federal librarians on maintenance contracts for integrated library systems and on how FEDLINK might play a role in facilitating the consortial purchasing of electronic products among federal agencies.

FLICC Nominating Working Group

The FLICC Nominating Working Group oversaw the 1998 election process for FLICC Rotating Members and the FEDLINK Advisory Council. Librarians representing 15 federal agencies agreed to place their names in nomination for these positions.

FLICC Personnel Working Group

The Personnel Working Group continued its efforts in developing sample Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSAs) statements to help hiring officials specify appropriate quality ranking factors for vacancy announcements for federal librarian positions. They intend these KSAs be used as a guide and are not associated with specific grade levels nor are they intended to be used for classifying 1410 positions. During Fiscal Year 1998, the working group formalized KSAs for public services and systems librarians and posted them on the FLICC Web site.

FLICC Preservation and Binding Working Group

The Preservation and Binding Working Group reorganized and reformed in Fiscal Year 1998, naming a new chair late in the year. The goals of the revitalized working group are to identify preservation priorities for federal libraries and information centers, discover alternative sources of funding to support these preservation efforts, and to develop and disseminate preservation information and resources in an electronic format through the FLICC Web site.


Community Is ALA President Elect's Emerging Theme

FLICC Among Co-Sponsors for Federal Librarian's Round Table Event

"The library is the heart of the community. We need to tell our story," said Sarah Long, President Elect for the American Library Association (ALA), to more than 100 federal librarians gathered at the Library of Congress in late October. Citing research findings of a surge in positive feelings for libraries and lower levels of praise for librarians, Long pointed to the disconnection, "it is a puzzle with a few missing pieces."

Long began by reporting on her meetings over the last few months with ALA constituents. She sensed a disconnection between library schools and librarians "in the trenches," and believes there needs to be better communication between library school educators and library practitioners about new approaches to the discipline. Many in the field also continue to struggle with the relevance of the term "librarian" while at the same time they are adapting to new technologies and demands from customers. Long's review of hiring trends also shows that information managers and research associates who do "library-type work" are in demand and offered higher salaries than those of traditional librarians. "A great pool of people in our field no longer call themselves librarians. But the good news is that there are a higher number of people in library schools than in past years," said Long.

"There is also a growing urgency for community in our country," said Long. As the boomers turn fifty, their desire for a sense of community has become a priority. "Even in the smallest suburbs near my home near Chicago, there has been an increased interest in building a sense of community from increased local journalism to building town centers."

With flip charts ready, she urged her audience to respond. "Does this [disconnection] resonate with you?" Heads in the room started nodding as one after another participant spoke. Fielding questions and comments on issues from salaries to undergraduate library science programs, Long captured each remark urging the audience to continue to have such professional exchanges.

"I am thrilled with the ideas here, they are so like my very own," said Long. Preparing to announce her presidential theme, she summarized how she intends to make connections between these groups. "It begins with the reservoir of good feelings for libraries and builds on the new sense of community. The library can be the center of that community both physically and virtually," said Long.

Long began her career as a school librarian and has spent more than 20 years in public library service. For the last nine years she has been the director of the North Suburban Library System, an organization of 680 academic, public, school, and special libraries in the north and northwest suburbs of Chicago. She has also served as the director for the Multnomah County Library in Portland, Oregon, the Dauphin County Library in Harrisburg, Pennyslyvania, and the Fairfield County District Library of Lancaster, Ohio.

Since 1978, Long has been quite active in ALA, serving on award, election, and telecommunications committees. She is also a former Public Library Association president and chair of many of its conference, legislative, and affiliates efforts. Among her honors and awards, she counts four John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards and has been listed in Who's Who in America since 1986.

Deputy Librarian of Congress General Donald L. Scott welcomed guests to Long's presentation, entitled "Future Librarianship," which was sponsored by the Federal Librarian's Round Table (FLRT), the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC), the District of Columbia Library Association (DCLA), the Library of Congress Professional Association (LCPA), and the Armed Forces Libraries Round Table (AFLRT). "As the Library approaches its bicentennial, I invite you to join in this national celebration for all libraries," said Scott. Remarking on both the depth and scope of the responsibilities librarians and the Library of Congress share, he reminded the audience that "we must ensure that whatever vehicle transferred the written word, we must keep it, and add it to the newest vehicles."

FLRT President Andrea Gruhl introduced Long and thanked the Planning Committee of Sarah Striner, Betty Landesman, Joan Taylor, Shirley Loo, and Doria Grimes. She also thanked Anna Bohlin of FLICC for her assistance. Gruhl then thanked the leaders of the co-sponsoring organizations and recognized LCPA President Sarah Striner, FLICC Executive Director Susan M. Tarr, DCLA President Mary Augusta Thomas, and AFLRT President Katie Gillen, who was unable to attend.


Editorial Staff

The FLICC Newsletter is published by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee. Suggestions of areas for Federal Library and Information Center Committee attention or items appropriate for inclusion in the FLICC Newsletter should be sent to:

FLICC Newsletter
Federal Library and Information Center Committee
Library of Congress
101 independence Ave., SE, Adams Bldg., Room 217
Washington, DC 20540-4930
Email: [email protected]
Internet: http://www.loc.gov/flicc

FLICC Executive Director's Office
Phone: (202) 707-4800
Fax: (202) 707-4818

FEDLINK Fiscal Operations
Phone: (202) 707-4900
Fax: (202) 707-4999

Susan M. Tarr

Robin Hatziyannis

Irene Kost

Mitchell Harrison

The Federal Library and Information Center Committee was established in 1965 (as the Federal Library Committee) by the Library of Congress and the Bureau of the Budget to foster excellence in federal library and information center services through interagency cooperation and to provide guidance and direction for the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK).


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