ASERL GovDocs Work Recognized with "Documents to the People" Award

CONTACT: Cheryle Cole-Bennett – – (919) 912-9486
ASERL Receives “Documents to the People” Award
ProQuest / GODORT / ALA Recognizes Innovation in Managing Federal Documents The Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (ASERL) was recently awarded the 2012 “Documents to the People” Award, presented by ProQuest, the American Library Association (ALA), and ALA’s Government Documents Round Table (GODORT). This award is presented each year to an individual or organization that has most effectively encouraged the use of government documents in support of library service.
ASERL’s Collaborative Federal Depository Program (CFDP) was selected for this award in recognition of its “achievable and sustainable plan for the development and preservation of comprehensive depository collections on a multi-state level.” ASERL’s program for managing federal documents began in 2005 to coordinate the future development of these important library collections within the Southeast region. The program seeks to create “Centers of Excellence” within depository libraries, to develop comprehensive-as possible documents collections relating to a government agency, SuDoc stem, subject matter, or format. This allows researchers to identify the best documents collections for their selected areas. The collections are also supported by expert librarians who manage the Centers of Excellence. Further development of the program was supported by a 2009 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) as well as by the Government Printing Office (GPO).
“The ASERL model for federal documents has elevated the issue of coordinating these large and underused collections within the region,” added Judith Russell, former Superintendent of Documents at GPO and now Dean of Libraries at the University of Florida. Russell helped to champion this effort and craft its expansion within the region. “Focusing a library’s efforts on a Center of Excellence helps to secure additional resources and emphasizes the importance of documents collections among librarians and library users.”
Sandee McAninch, Regional Depository Librarian at the University of Kentucky, was one of the designers of the early CFDP model and recipient of the 2010 James Bennett Childs Award for her lifetime of contributions to the field of government documents and their use in libraries. The University of Kentucky selected the Works Progress Administration (WPA) publications as one of the first test-bed projects under the ASERL program. “We’re already seeing the benefits of our early work on this project – use of our WPA collection has increased since we launched this effort,” she noted.
The University of South Carolina has also championed the ASERL model both as a participant in the IMLS grant and establishing the Center of Excellence in United States Department of Education materials. Bill Sudduth, South Carolina’s Head of Government Information, Microforms, Newspapers, and Maps believes strongly that “the collaborative sharing of resources and expertise is the strength of this model” and while “a few people had incorrect ideas about what this project does for libraries and users, I believe receiving this award will challenge us to improve and refine an already strong model for providing access to our government’s information to the people.”
Founded in 1956, the Association of Southeastern Research Libraries is the largest regional academic library cooperative in the country, with 40 members in 11 states. ASERL operates numerous projects designed to foster a high standard of library excellence through interinstitutional resource sharing and other collaborative efforts. By working together, ASERL members provide and maintain top quality resources and services for the students, faculty, and citizens of their respective communities. More information about ASERL can be found at