Web helps librarians find digitized documents

Now librarians will have an easier time locating digitized collections of hardbound government documents.

Late last week, the Government Printing Office –- the federal agency in charge of informing the public about the government’s work –- added an online database to its GPO Access Web site called the Registry of U.S. Government Publication Digitization Projects. It will serve as a locator tool for identifying federal document collections that are being digitized.

Libraries, nonprofit organizations and GPO can submit entries in the online register, which will include the status of various initiatives to digitize government publications such as the multivolume Bound Congressional Record (1989-1998) and U.S. Code (1988-1993).

“A lot of these libraries that we work with are building their own digital collections,” GPO spokeswoman Veronica Meter said. “It’s a way for everybody to know who’s doing what. Basically, this registry would show who has collections in digital formats for us to use or other libraries, as well.”

Entries will include summary information about planned, ongoing and completed projects. When possible, the entries will offer links to online collections. Libraries can submit or update their entries at any time via the Web site.

So far, only GPO has contributed. The agency has submitted records for 11 projects, most of which are in the planning stages.

Anyone can search the registry by keyword or browse by category to track a project’s progress. For example, users can scan the registry’s contents by title, library, subject area or status.

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