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Bicentennial Conference  on 
	Bibliographic Control for the New Millenium: Confronting the Challenges of Networked 
	Resources and the Web
sponsored by the Library of Congress Cataloging Directorate

Thomas Downing
Thomas A. Downing
Chief, Cataloging Branch
Library Programs Service
United States Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20401

An Initial Survey and Description of How Selected United States Government Libraries, Information Centers, and Information Services Provide Public Access to Information Via the Internet

About the presenter:

Thomas A. Downing has been the Chief of GPO's Cataloging Branch, Library Programs Service since 1992. Prior to this time he held management positions in GPO's Documents Sales Service. He holds a BA in Political Science from Western Michigan University, a Master of Arts in Hebrew Literature and Cognate Studies from Hebrew Union College, and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Simmons College. Tad, as he is most widely known, has published articles in such journals as the Journal of Government Information, The Serials Librarian, CONSERLINE, and the OCLC Newsletter. He has represented the National Cataloging and Indexing Program for U.S. Government Publications before national and state library associations and is GPO's representative to CONSER and BIBCO. Tad leads the Cataloging Branch's participation in OCLC's CORC Project and is on the editorial board of The Serials Librarian. His operational interests include identifying and evaluating the most feasible options for providing efficient and effective cataloging services and access to online publications within the context of evolving national standards.

Full text of paper is available


The purpose of this survey is to describe how selected United States Government agencies provide information to the public via Internet services. With more than 2,000 Federal library and information centers located throughout the world this effort, of necessity, is selective and findings neither represent all libraries nor do they identify all approaches currently used to present information via the Web.

An effort has been made to describe services without attributing values to particular site characteristics, e.g., bibliographic record applications are not considered superior to browse applications. Those who wish to consider evaluative criteria applicable to such an effort may consult a recently published study entitled Performance Measures for Federal Agency Websites: Final Report, by Charles R. McClure,

This report provides a brief snapshot in time of a complex and rapidly evolving world. While not definitive in scope, it is hoped that this report will provide a baseline for anyone who may wish to revisit some of these sites in the future to determine how services may have been expanded, reduced, or refined.

Library of Congress
December 18, 2000
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