|Handbook of Federal Librarianship||
FLICC Executive Board
FLICC Working Groups
FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC)
FEDLINK's Financial Management Services
FEDLINK OCLC Regional Network
FLICC/FEDLINK Education Program
FEDLINK Training Program
Additional Online Resources
by Robin Hatziyannis
The Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC) was created in 1965 as the Federal Library Committee by joint action of the Library of Congress and the Bureau of the Budget (currently the Office of Management and Budget). The FLICC Bylaws (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/bylaws.html) define both the program and its membership (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/bylaws.html#art2flc). FLICC is composed of the directors of the four national librariesthe Library of Congress, (http://www.loc.gov/) National Library of Medicine, (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/) National Agriculture Library, (http://www.nalusda.gov/) and the National Library of Education (http://www.ed.gov/NLE/)and representatives of cabinet-level executive departments, legislative, judicial, and independent federal agencies with major library programs, and is chaired by the Librarian of Congress.
FLICC's mission is to foster excellence in federal library and information services through interagency cooperation and to provide guidance and direction for the Federal Library and Information Network (FEDLINK) (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/abotfedl.html). FLICC makes federal library and information center resources more effective through professional development, promotion of library and information services, and coordination of available resources. FLICC is also responsible for making recommendations on federal library and information policies, programs, and procedures to federal agencies and others concerned with libraries and information centers.
FLICC's business subsidiary, FEDLINK, serves federal libraries and information centers as their purchasing (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmfin.html), resource-sharing (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmissue.html), and training (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmeduc.html) consortium. Library of Congress contracting officers negotiate basic ordering agreements, or contracts for services (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmcontr.html), with commercial vendors of library and information products on behalf of the federal agencies participating in the FEDLINK program. FEDLINK staff administers these contracts. Arrangements for initiation and payment for appropriate services are authorized by Section 103 of P.L. 106-481 (2 U.S.C. 182c) and are governed by interagency agreements executed by participating federal agencies and the Library of Congress, acting on behalf of FLICC.
The FEB is the FLICC governing body that is made up of 11 members consisting of the chair of FLICC (the Librarian of Congress), six people elected by the voting members of FLICC, three people selected by the chair, and the chair of the FEDLINK Advisory Council (FAC). The FLICC Executive Director serves as an ex-officio, nonvoting member of the FEB.
The FEB formulates policies and recommends program objectives, plans, and annual budgets to FLICC members for review and approval, establishes FLICC Working Groups as necessary, and keeps the FLICC membership appraised of issues related to the federal library community. The FEB also provides advice, policy guidance, and oversight to the FLICC Executive Director and formulates policies for and, through the FAC, provides oversight to the operations of FEDLINK and approves new FEDLINK initiatives.
Volunteers from federal libraries and information centers lend their expertise to the entire federal information community by serving on FLICC Working Groups, which actively support a wide range of FLICC programs. Each group focuses on an area of importance to federal librarians and information specialists, including information policy issues, information technology, education, preservation and binding, personnel, and cooperative endeavors. Standing working groups meet regularly, while ad hoc working groups are formed to discuss special issues of interest.
Current working groups are Awards, Budget and Finance, Education, Information Technology, LC Bicentennial, Membership and Governance, Nominating, Personnel, Policy, Preservation and Binding, and Survey. The FLICC Working Groups are comprised of members of the federal library and information center community. If you are interested in volunteering to serve on a FLICC Working Group or would like to obtain more information regarding current projects and activities of a specific working group, call the FLICC Publications and Education Office at (202) 707-4822.
FEDLINK is dedicated to helping federal libraries and information centers obtain the most value for their information service dollars. FEDLINK's mission is to serve federal libraries and information centers as their purchasing, training and resource sharing consortium. FEDLINK provides libraries, information centers, and vendors with cost avoidance, a centralized procurement process, an expanded supplier base for increased competition, an improved payment process, and knowledgeable and experienced staff members. Discounts earned by FEDLINK group procurement and the increased reporting and budget control FEDLINK provides directly benefit agency libraries, information centers, and other federal offices. Benefits to individual agencies and to the government as a whole include:
Participating in a procurement program coordinated closely with and approved by the Librarian of Congress.
In addition to its procurement effort, FEDLINK provides accounting support to members and regularly offers library automation and information science training for federal information professionals and their technical staff. FLICC/FEDLINK also functions as a center for evaluation and education about new library and information technologies.
The FAC has nine members who were elected by the FEDLINK voting membership. They provide advice, oversight, and assistance to the FLICC Executive Director concerning FEDLINK operations and services and inform the membership of issues related to FEDLINK services, policies, objectives, or other issues of general interest to the membership. The FAC also gives oversight, direction and assistance to FEDLINK OCLC Users Council Delegates, and prepares the projected annual FEDLINK budget. Members also suggest initiatives for new FEDLINK services, programs, objectives, and plans.
As federal agencies experience budget constraints and reduced spending, the need increases for an efficient and effective centralized operation such as FEDLINK. FEDLINK reduces the burden on agency administrative staff by establishing a simplified, centralized method for procuring information services and providing financial management services. FEDLINK has successfully provided these services to more than 1,000 government units for more than 25 years. FEDLINK offers procurement and financial/educational support on a fee-for-service basis. The FEDLINK program is designed to help federal librarians, contracting officers, and finance staff save time, effort, and money when buying and using library and information services (online systems, CD-ROMs, books, and periodicals). Through its FEDLINK program, the Library of Congress shares its expertise in library and information services and consolidates the buying power of federal agencies. Detailed information about service options, eligibility, and fees are available through the Member Financial Services (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmfin.html) section of the FLICC Web site.
In some cases, non-governmental entities may use FEDLINK services. Contractors working for federal agencies may be authorized to use government supply sources and may therefore be eligible to use FEDLINK. The agency must submit a letter to the FLICC Executive Director specifying why they should be allowed to use FEDLINK Services.
FEDLINK vendors (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmcontr.html) offer a variety of commercial information services. For publications acquisition, FEDLINK book jobbers or wholesalers provide a central channel for acquiring publications, eliminating the need for agencies to deal directly with thousands of individual publishers or to order from local bookstores. Document delivery services quickly locate, acquire, and deliver individual documents, including journal articles, technical reports, dissertations, theses, and other published and unpublished materials in print or electronic format.
Serials subscription (periodicals) services also improve the management of agency serials collections (magazines, journals, newspapers, etc.) by using serials subscription agents to consolidate orders and renewals for thousands of serials titles and check-in and claims processing for individual issues. Microform acquisitions suppliers provide library materials, such as back runs of newspapers, published in microfilm and microfiche format.
Among FEDLINK's library support service vendors are bibliographic utility services that provide access to member-created databases of original bibliographic records, so federal libraries can catalog their collections quickly and efficiently. They also serve as the basis for interlibrary lending and resource sharing. Interlibrary loan (ILL) fee payment services also provide an efficient method for federal libraries to consolidate and pay centrally the nominal fees that lending institutions charge to recover their photocopying or other loan processing costs. In addition, FEDLINK offers technical processing services vendors who can provide original and copy cataloging, retrospective conversion, and shelf-ready physical processing according to a library's profile.
The consortial licensing pilot is FEDLINK's new effort that to explore the establishment of consortial licenses on behalf of federal library subscribers. Those members who participate would pool their funds for subscriptions through a FEDLINK interagency agreement.
For information retrieval services FEDLINK offers both database and gateway retrieval services. Database retrieval services offer computerized access, search, and retrieval from commercial databases, either online through telecommunications connections to the vendor's host computer or through a fixed media format product (CD-ROM, magnetic tape, or diskette) mounted locally at the customer's facility. Gateway retrieval services provide computerized access, search, and retrieval from multiple online information retrieval services by providing a telecommunications link among systems.
OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center, Inc., is an international library network with 20,000 member libraries worldwide and a database of more than 32 million bibliographic records. FEDLINK is the formal support network (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/mmoclc.html) for federal libraries wishing to participate in OCLC, located outside of Columbus, Ohio.
Through FEDLINK basic ordering agreements, federal librarians have access to OCLC's cataloging service and interlibrary loan, the EPIC reference service, the FirstSearch reference service for library patrons, Electronic Journals Online, and various options for group resource sharing and retrospective conversion. They also have access to support services from professional staff at the FEDLINK Network Operations office concerning OCLC membership and cost estimates and the OCLC profiling process.
FEDLINK also teaches more than 100 OCLC-related training classes a year, in Washington DC, at federal libraries across the United States, and at national library conferences. In addition, FEDLINK has agreements that allow FEDLINK members to enroll in classes offered by other selected regional networks.
Supported by the volunteer efforts of the FLICC Education Working Group, FLICC offers a wide range of educational opportunities (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/ma/malist.html) for federal librarians, information specialists and technical staff. Event descriptions and registration are both available online. From casual brown bag lunches where librarians can ask questions of their colleagues on topics such as World Wide Web page development and contract administration, to the popular Great Escapes tours of major federal collections, FLICC educational programs provide unique opportunities for federal information personnel to learn from each other and share ideas about providing better information service.
FLICC/FEDLINK programs have covered copyright law for librarians and computer professionals, preservation of non-book materials, end-user training, MARC format integration, government information on the Internet, and the application of technology to library resources and operations.
The crowning event in FLICC's educational year is the annual FLICC Forum on Federal Information Policies, which addresses a broad topic of emerging importance to the federal information community and provides an opportunity for the exchange of ideas among the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Videos of many events are available and can be used for distance learning.
Through FLICC's business subsidiary, FEDLINK, federal information personnel can receive hands-on instruction (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/crsedesc.html#I) on the systems of OCLC, the Online Computer Library Center, for automated systems for cataloging, interlibrary loan, and reference, as well as basic and advanced Internet services. Training calendars and registration are both available online. Approximately one-half of FEDLINK's training classes are conducted outside the Washington DC area, either on-site at a particular library, as regional workshops, or in conjunction with national meetings such as the American Library Association's annual conference. FEDLINK also brings in outside specialists to teach classes on special topics, such as bench marking and a series of workshops on cataloging audiovisuals, computer files, and multimedia materials.
FLICC's Web site (http://www.loc.gov/flicc) offers descriptions of FLICC and FEDLINK initiatives, educational programs, publications, and federal library issues; links to FEDLINK member and contracting services and OCLC support; electronic fiscal reporting from the secure Automated Library Information Exchange (ALIX-FS) system on daily account balances, statement detail, and usage data.
FLICC also offers a variety of online services beyond the FLICC Web site. The listservs (http://www.loc.gov/flicc/listsrvs.html) listed below are organized by specific areas of expertise or interest and keep members informed while offering them networking and discussion opportunities
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last update 12/30/99