Money will go to train librarians how to use government information
The Institute of Museum and Library Services in Washington, D.C., recently awarded Norlin Library a grant of $264,000. This money will fund a new training program to prepare librarians in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming to use electronic government information.
Ninety percent of new government documents are available now only in electronic format, making this program a must in order to keep up with the times.
Norlin currently has more than 2 million government documents from the last 300 years, and the library is one of 1,262 depositories with access to this government information.
Norlin’s current system will be a benchmark for many other libraries to follow and will lead to better-educated library professionals. Having all new documents at the touch of a button will also allow for more efficient research.
“Our librarians are ahead of the game,” said Deborah Fink, university libraries outreach librarian.
“Unfortunately, this will not affect the students directly. This is more something we are doing for the profession rather than the campus,” Fink said.
Timothy Byrne, head of the government publications department, outlined the reasons for the program and the problems it faces in a report last November. Byrne noted that the librarians must be trained to be “government-information specialists” in order to help those doing research.
Byrne said a problem librarians face is a general lack of knowledge in electronic government resources due to the small number of skilled government-publication librarians. This new program will greatly expand the number of library professionals with skills in electronic government documents.
The program is scheduled to begin this September and will continue through September 2008. Fifty to 60 government information professionals will help train librarians and other library workers in the partnered states over that time.