Library Juice 3:19 Supplement - May 17, 2000

Depository Program drastically cut by House Appropriations Committee

ALA Council discussion

>----- Original Message -----
>From: Bernadine Abbott Hoduski
>To: ALA Council List
>Sent: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 9:17 PM
>Subject: [ALACOUN:4658] Depository Program drastically cut by full House
>Appro Com
>Council Members,
>The full House Appropriations Committee voted today, May 9, 2000 to
>drastically cut the funding for the depository program.  They argued that
>the program could function as a totally electronic program.  This in spite
>of the fact that thousands of publications in the program are not in
>electronic form and will not be since many of them are maps, reports and
>other publicatins not suitable for electronic format.  This will mean that
>depository libraries will not receive paper editions of the US Code,
>Register, Congressional Record, CFR, hearings, reports, documents and many
>other publications.
>This will be the end of a permanent record of government activities and
>publications in depository libraries unless libraries buy the publications
>or receive one of the few copies that the publishing agencies may have in
>paper.  Most of these publications are not sold.
>If we learned nothing else from the recent virus attacks it is the
>of our data bases and our access to them.  The future of research and
>knowledge about our government is at stake.  Please email, fax, call or
>write your Member of the House asp.  Send info on to other list serves,
>library directors, trustees, friends of libraries, newspaper reporters and
>editors, public interest groups and anyone else who needs long term access
>to government information. The press and the public do not understand the
>meaning of this action.  It is a good guess that many of those who will be
>voting on this bill do not understand it either.  Bernadine, Godort
>Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Government Information Advisor, 100 N. Lamborn,
>Helena, Montana 406-449-9974
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From: Karen G. Schneider <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Date: Tuesday, May 09, 2000 9:40 PM
Subject: [ALACOUN:4659] Re: Depository Program drastically cut by full House
Appro Com

In order to be persuasive, it seems to me that important components of our
reply to this would include the following:

* Descriptions of those documents that cannot be preserved online given the
limitations of current technology (e.g. large maps, etc.)
* Descriptions of the shortfalls in publicly-accessible online government
documents (e.g., Federal Register archives prior to 1995)
* Explanations of the labor costs involved in producing and recon of
* Clear commitments to producing and preserving documents in digital

I'm afraid that after a little thought, anyone could respond that most
documents, except possibly for those published under rigorous preservation
standards, are not "permanent records."  Additionally, it would be hard to
convince people that we need to have multiple copies of these "permanent
records" distributed as they have been in the past.  Documents such as the
Federal Register have been available electronically for several years, and
extensive, searchable backfiles have been developed.  Even a "last copy"
program, based on paper versions of electronic documents, would involve far
fewer copies than there have been.

Can we assume that GPO has had a retrospective conversion program in place,
and that cutting this budget will eliminate the chances for moving
to newer formats?

I'm not for cutting the GPO budget--I'm for making a case that we need to
continue supporting government publications, even if that means reinventing
their publication process.  Simply asserting that we need to continue
publishing the same volume of paper documents exactly as we always have
be ineffective.

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, Clifton Park, NY

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From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4660] Re: Depository Program drastically cut by full House Appro Com
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 02:08:41 -0600

I am not advocating things as they have always been. GPO and the Joint
Committee on Printing (the committee I worked for) made GPO into one of the
largest and most efficient electronic publishing bodies in the world.  When
I started with JCP in 1974 GPO was still using hot metal and it took 20
years for us to get them on the Internet.  We passed the GPO Access Act
which has resulted in free public access to much government information.
The issue is allowing those libraries who wish to accept and preserve
government information in permanent formats to receive them in this program.
Most of the information printed at GPO is printed on acid free paper.  The
binding of the Serial Set and Record is done according to archival
standards.  The number of libraries allowed to receive the publications in
paper has been cut back drastically over the years. For example only the
regionals receive the paper Record and Serial Set.  Bills are only sent in
microfiche and electronically.  Most of the publications still sent in paper
or fiche do not have a counterpart in the electronic world.  Microfiche is
being phased out in favor of electronic versions, CDs and online formats.
For example most Dept of Energy reports now go out electronically.  The
depository program is in the forefront of providing publications
electronically and has been a stimulus to others doing the same.

It is not an issue of whether the information is up electronically since a
lot of it is and more will be added but a matter of having the information
available and accessible 10, 20, 100 or 400 years from now.  The experts
that I have worked with over the years do not agree that information in
electronic format is permanent and until the technology is developed that
assures that it is, we as librarians should be responsible enough to require
that information be produced in formats that are as close to permanent as
possible.  The Library of Congress and the national Archives insist on
publications on permanent paper and silver microforms as a means of
As far as conversion of older publications to electronic that is the role of
the publishing agencies, not the role of GPO.  GPO provides services for
those agencies that wish to do that.
Not so long ago as the middle 1980s we were told that you could not convert
large pubs like the Record, CFR and USC to electronic format and make it
work. We did make it work.  But again that is not the issue. The issue is
one of allowing librarians working with GPO to determine what should remain
in dual formats and for how long, not for politicians to decide based on
just saving money so they can fund their wage increases to decide for us and
for the public.
I could go on  a bit longer and I am sure that the documents librarian in
your own institution could give you a lot more history and information on
the long term struggle of who is going to decide what is worth saving for
posterity,the library community or the politicians. Bernadine Abbott
Hoduski, Godort Councilor

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From: "Karen G. Schneider" <kgs[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4661] Re: Depository Program drastically cut by full House Appro Com
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 07:08:56 -0400

Any appeal outside of the library community needs to spell out to the rank &
file exactly why we need to save the GPO, and it needs to address current
perceptions and speak to future goals.  As you say, the public doesn't
understand the issue.

Like most medium-sized public libraries, we don't have a documents
librarian. We now have access to a dazzling quantity of government documents
electronically.  To people who do not understand the breadth of documents
published by the government, it may well seem that "everything" is available
electronically. I know from having managed a federal government library that
there are significant quantities of documents that are not available
electronically... I distinctly remember drawers and drawers of special,
one-of-a-kind microfiche that if lost, oh well, there it went.  So you don't
have to convince me that documents should be published in multiple formats.
But I'm not the one who needs persuasion on this specific point.

I'm still confused about what it is we are trying not to cut.  What services
do we expect to continue?  Again, I'm definitely opposed to arbitrary cuts
in library service, but can we express this issue in three points that the
public would understand and agree with?

Karen G. Schneider kgs[at]
Assistant Director of Technology
Shenendehowa Public Library, Clifton Park, NY

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Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 08:10:56 -0400 (Eastern Daylight Time)
From: Stephen Labash <slabash[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4662] Re: Depository Program drastically cut by full House Appro Com
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>

 Although government docs aren't my speciality I'd like to comment
on some of the discussion.  Working in an academic library I can tell you
there is no way that electronic access will work as well as the print
versions of many documents even if both are available.  For example, we
circulate most of our documents which means hearings and various reports
are available for students to peruse at their leisure.  I don't think most
people will browse a 250-page document online or print it out.  Our
students think of these documents as just another part of the library. 
And don't forget the issue of students who either don't have computers or
don't have computers of high enough technical specs to efficiently use
large electronic documents.  We still have plenty of them.
 The Republicans have pushed cutting all sort of federal
information programs because they feel too many of them make a case for
programs they don't like or are critical of some of their pet projects. 
The Congressional Research Service and GAO have always had a reputation
for high-quality, OBJECTIVE research.  That's anathema to the Republicans
that want to cut governmental programs and services.  Cutting their
budgets is a way of eliminating an alternative source of information.
 This issue is no more about "saving" money or moving to new
technologies than it's about improving the quality of citizen
participation.  It's a ploy to cut back on any source of information that
doesn't come from "private" sources.  I draw your attention to the Bush's
criticism of the census long form as being too intrusive.  This data is
often used to evaluate the need for governmental programs or to evaluate
how well they work.  That's something the Republicans don't want. 
 I'm all for making a case for these programs but I think it's
naive to think that this is anything less than another political ploy to
attempt to reduce information services to the majority of  Americans.
 Don't let technology drive decisions.  Technology is only a tool. 
Goals should be set first and then we should see how technology can be
used to meet them. 

Stephen Peter LaBash Maryland Chapter Councilor
Head of Reference                 "Talk is cheap because
Langsdale Library                       supply always exceeds
University of Baltimore                     demand".
1420  Maryland Avenue                        
v: 410-837-4269                             
fax: 410-837-4330                               
e-mail:  slabash[at]

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Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 07:31:53 -0700
From: Sue Kamm <suekamm[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
CC: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4663] Re: Depository Program drastically cut by full House Appro Com

The issue we should be discussing here is what's best for our public.
In the library where I work, the people looking for CFR (probably the
most-requested document) want it in hardcopy, not fiche, not online. 


Despite the broad availability of grants to buy computers, there are
STILL not enough workstations to go around for most libraries.  Until
computers become as inexpensive, easy to use,  and widely-available as
personal radios/tape players/CD players, the public will want paper
copies of information.  (Even with information available electronically,
the greatest cost in maintaining workstation is paper and toner for

Your friendly CyberGoddess and ALA Councilor,
Sue Kamm
email:  suekamm[at]
"It's a mere moment in a man's life between an All-Star Game and an
Old-timers' Game."
--Vin Scully

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From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 13:20:13 -0600
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Priority: 3
Reply-To: ber[at]
Sender: owner-alacoun[at]

Dear Council Members, The situation is much worse than even I the former
Congressional staffer could imagine.  Please read the attached for the gory
details.  It will also take away paper copies for LC and the national
Archives. That take care of Karen's question about too many copies around
the country, there will be no copies around the country.  It also transfers
Supt Doc to LC.  This is a major change to the government information laws
of this country. Done by an appropriating committee and not the authorizing
committees. No hearings have been held and it has been done in secret.
Bernadine Abbott Hodusk, Godort Councilor
-----Original Message-----
From: Baldwin, Ernest G. <ebaldwin[at]>
Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2000 12:17 PM

On May 9 the FY 2001 appropriations bill for legislative branch agencies was
reported the out of the House Legislative Branch Appropriations Committee to
the full House.  This bill includes very significant funding cuts for the
Government Printing Office (GPO) and the Federal Depository Library Program
(FDLP).  The following fact sheet highlights the impact of the proposed
cuts on GPO and the FDLP.

For additional information contact GPO's Office of Legislative and Public
Affirs at 202-512-1991.

Gil Baldwin
Library Programs Service
U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, DC  20401

202.512.1002 / fax 202.512.1432
email <ebaldwin[at]>




Total GPO appropriations, FY00:  $103.2 million
Recommended appropriations, FY01:  $77.1 million
Total reduction: $26.1 million (25.3%)
Employment impact: will require the reduction of 435 GPO employees
Other impacts: Proposed transfers of congressional printing funding and
Superintendent of Documents operations will effectively disestablish GPO's
statutory printing and distribution mission.

Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation

Purpose:  Pays for the cost of congressional printing
FY00 approved level:  $73.3 million
FY01 recommended level:  $65.5 million
Total reduction:  $7.8 million (11%)
Employment impact:  the cuts to congressional printing and printing for
depository libraries would require a reduction of 350 employees in GPO's
printing and binding operations (representing more than 25% of GPO's
production capability).

*       Provides no funding for the January 2001 COLA for employees paid
under wage agreements approved by the Joint Committee on Printing.

*       Cuts funding for the Congressional Record Index and index
the US Code; congressional serial sets; miscellaneous printing associated
with the Presidential inauguration; all numbered documents; special
treaties; Our Flag; the Capitol Magazine; telephone directories; hearings
over 3 months old; the Congressional Directory; visitors' gallery passes;
blank paper used primarily by the Senate; Senators' copies of the bound
Congressional Record and Senate distribution of the daily Record to public
agencies and institutions; all GPO details to Congress; printing for the
Architect of the Capitol; and other products and services.

*       Authorizes transfers of previously unexpended balances.

*       Transfers this appropriation to the Clerk of the House and the
Secretary of the Senate in FY03.

Salaries and Expenses of the Superintendent of Documents

Purpose:  pays the cost of 4 statutory information dissemination programs:
Federal Depository Library Program (serving 1,337 depository libraries
nationwide), Cataloging and Indexing, International Exchange, By-Law
FY00 approved level: $29.9 million
FY01 recommended level:  $11.6 million (funding for Cataloging and Indexing
and  GPO Access only, plus closeout funds for eliminated programs)
Total reduction:  $18.3 million (61%)
Employment impact:  would require the reduction of 85 employees from GPO's
Library Programs Service.

*       All paper and other tangible publications would be eliminated from
the Federal Depository Library Program (about 25,000 government
are available only in tangible format, including most congressional
hearings, so public access to this information would be terminated).

*       Except for cataloging and indexing electronic titles, virtually all
support services provided by GPO to Federal depository libraries would be
terminated, including program administration, designations, product
acquisition, classification, inspections, training, consultative services,
and permanent public access partnerships.

*       Eliminates the distribution of tangible materials in the
International Exchange Program, which is required by international treaty
and in return for which the Library of Congress receives foreign government

*       Eliminates the distribution of all by-law copies sent to the
of Congress and the National Archives.

*       Authorizes transfers of previously unexpended balances.

*       Calls for a report on transferring the functions of the
Superintendent of Documents to the Library of Congress.

Revolving Fund

*       GPO's request for $6 million for air conditioning improvements is
not fulfilled.  The revolving fund will have to be used for this project.
As a result, the costs of the project will have to be recovered through
printing rates charged to Congress and Federal agencies and publications
sales prices charged to the public.

*       GPO's FTE ceiling is set at the requested level, 3,285.

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Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 15:41:16 -0600
From: Larry Romans <Romans[at]LIBRARY.VANDERBILT.EDU>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4668] Depository Program: Sample Letter

Dear Representative Clement,

Tuesday the House Appropriations Committee passed the appropriations
bill for legislative branch agencies that included a 61 percent cut
for the Salaries and Expenses budget of the Government Printing Office
(GPO). I urge you to vote for complete funding of the S &E budget at
$34.5 million when the bill comes to the floor of the House on May 18.

As a librarian and advocate of equal access to information, I am
alarmed because this drastic cut will have its greatest effect on the
Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), which provides government
information for public use at more than 1300 depository libraries
across the country. Such a move would limit the access by the American
public to information that they have already paid for with their tax
dollars. This is information people use to find jobs, to do home work,
to start small businesses, to learn what their government is doing,
and to expand their horizons.

Some House Appropriations Committee members pushed for GPO to stop
supplying print copies of publications and to move to an
all-electronic depository program. As a Member of Congress, you have
staff who can learn how to use the various government electronic
information products, and Congress isn't cutting its own printing
budget. Yet the Committee acts as if every citizen has his own
high-speed computer, is connected to the Internet, and can figure out
how to find the information among the hundreds of thousands of
government web pages and hundreds of CD-ROMs.

Almost anyone can use a table of contents or an index to find
information in a book. Navigating your way through a maze of different
CD-ROMs and web sites with different software and search engines is a
much more complicated matter. Technologically savvy people would learn
how to access the information online; the information poor would get

Even the computer literate will suffer. Thousands of publications in
the program are not in electronic form and likely will not be--maps,
research and technical reports, and other publications not suitable
for electronic format. Books are relatively permanent; much electronic
information is not. Information available on the web often stays there
only a short time. The love bug and other virus attacks demonstrate
how vulnerable electronic databases are versus the permanent record of
government activities that print sources provide. With the proposed
budget cuts, GPO hardly will be able to insure that such information
is remains available electronically over time.

The depository program already is one of the great bargains of
government. GPO supplies the publications, but the libraries supply
the space to house them, the staff to help the public, and the
computers, photocopiers, and other equipment needed to use the

9.5 million people used the depository program last year. And GPO is
moving much of its information to the Internet at a rapid pace and in
a responsible manner.  It has developed GPO Access, the most
user-friendly one-stop site for federal government information. In a
recent month more than 21 million publications were downloaded from
the site.

So the House Appropriations Committee is moving in the wrong direction
for funding GPO.  Depositories need print copies of basic government
books and periodicals and they need an expanded GPO Access that offers
through a single site and search engine an easy way for Americans to
access their government's information.

We urge you to oppose decreased funding for GPO and to support
increased funding. GPO Access should be renamed Government Access or
Access America and should be funded at a level that will allow it to
be the primary way that the public gains access to government
information. Congress should fund the Government Printing Office and
its print and electronic programs at a high level that indicates that
your constituents' access to government information as a cornerstone
of democracy.

Larry Romans,
Political Science Bibliographer and
Head, Government Information Services,
Central Library, Vanderbilt University,
Nashville TN 37240-0007
phone (615) 322-2838; FAX (615) 343-7451
E-mail: romans[at]
E-mail (home): larry.romans[at]

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Letter from MICHAEL F. DiMARIO, the Public Printer

May 11, 2000

The Honorable Charles W. Taylor
Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations
Committee on Appropriations
House of Representatives
Room H-147, The Capitol
Washington, DC  20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

I am writing to express my profound concern and dismay with the appropriations
cuts recommended by the Subcommittee on Legislative Appropriations
last week and agreed to by the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday,
May 9.  The cuts will mean the reduction of 435 skilled GPO personnel
and the elimination of public access to a significant body of Government
information, and could jeopardize GPO's ability to support Congress'
printing and information product needs.

Salaries and Expenses of the Superintendent of Documents.  If enacted, the
cut in this appropriation will have a disastrous impact on public access
to Federal Government information by literally dismantling the Federal
Depository Library Program (FDLP), the Government's primary and
longest-serving information dissemination activity.  Every one of the
1,337 depository libraries nationwide will feel the following impacts, as
will the estimated 9.5 million people who use these libraries every year:

  *The 60 percent reduction in this appropriation will force
our library program staff to be cut by nearly two-thirds, affecting 85
skilled information and library specialists and distribution personnel. 
Many of these employees are recognized throughout the library and
information community nationwide for their expertise in the Government
information field.  The loss of their skills and capabilities from the
public access arena will be incalculable.

  * Altogether, public access to nearly 40,000 titles, or
the majority of all titles made available through the program, will be
affected.  Approximately 25,000 of these titles are available in tangible
format only, as determined by their issuing agencies, not the GPO.  By

The Honorable Charles W. Taylor * Page 2

 all information dissemination to be in online format only, the
funding cut will terminate public access to these titles, abruptly ending
public access to numerous critically important Government information
products, including most congressional hearings.  Public access via
depository libraries to Census 2000 data that will be released in the near
future on CD-ROM will also be eliminated.

  * Another 15,000 titles are available in both online and tangible
formats, such as the U.S. Code and Supreme Court reports.  While
electronic access to these titles may continue, the public will not
be able to use the printed products, which in many cases are the official,
authentic versions of these documents.  In an age when public
access to these electronic documents is susceptible to a broad range
of problemsØfrom assurance of permanent availability to
vulnerability to computer virusesØcontinued access in tangible formats remains
absolutely essential.   And it can be done for relatively
little cost:  the FDLP prints, catalogs, ships, and provides support
services for all tangible formats for about $1.57 per copy, an incredibly
efficient performance.

* The funding cut will undermine public access to electronic Government
information products.  It will terminate virtually all depository library
support services, including program administration, designations, product
acquisition, classification, inspections, training, and consultative
services.  One of these services involves providing necessary locator
services to online Government information products.  Another involves
working with agencies to ensure that new information products are usable
by the public.  Yet another involves establishing public/private
partnerships to ensure the permanent availability of online Government
information products.  The loss of these services will be devastating to
electronic public access both today and for the future.
The cut to the Salaries and Expenses Appropriation will have other impacts
as well:

  *  It will eliminate GPO's By-Law Distribution Program,
under which certain publications specified by public law are distributed
at the request of Members of Congress and Federal agencies. Agencies
that receive statutory copies of publications under this program include
the Library of Congress and the National Archives.

  * It will virtually eliminate the International Exchange Program.
Under international treaty, this program pays for the distribution
of U.S. Government publications to 71 foreign governments that agree,
as indicated by the Library of Congress, to send to the Library similar
publications of their governments.  Without providing copies of
publications for international exchange, the Library is not likely
to receive copies of publications from foreign governments.

Mr. Chairman, at a cost of approximately $30 million annually - about 1
percent of the legislative branch budget, which is itself only a small
fraction of the overall U.S. budget,

The Honorable Charles W. Taylor * Page 3

FDLP and associated programs provide the Nation's citizens with access to
the most comprehensive range of Government information available, all
under the direct control of the public's elected representatives in
Congress.  It is a well-managed program: only two years ago, the program
was characterized as "a valuable public service" in the
congressionally-directed management audit of GPO conducted by Booz-Allen &
Hamilton, Inc.  Most importantly, the FDLP is recognized both nationally
and internationally as a model of how best to keep the public informed.

The funding reduction approved by the House Appropriations Committee,
however, will destroy this program and along with it the Government's
longstanding partnership with the American library community to provide
the public with library-based access to Government information.  I implore
you to reconsider this decision and to restore our requested funding for
this essential program and its associated functions.

Transfer of Superintendent of Documents Operations.  The Committee has
directed a study of the transfer of Superintendent of Documents operations
to the Library of Congress.  Part of this requirement is to transfer an
electronic FDLP to the Library of Congress.  However, we already transfer
databases to the Library for use on Library systems, such as Thomas, so
the need for the physical reorganization of these functions is not clear. 
Moreover, GPO Access is not created by the FDLP.  The congressional and
agency databases created for GPO AccessØas well as transfer to ThomasØare
the by-product of GPO's electronic printing systems.  These are integral
processes that cannot be transferred without transferring associated
printing functions.

Other Superintendent of Documents programs that would be transferred would
be the sales and agency distribution programs, under which GPO distributes
publications, on a reimbursable basis, to recipients designated by Federal
agencies.  It is true that such a transfer was passed by the House in
1993, but only after it had been amended to transfer the right to bargain
for wages along with the Superintendent of Documents' employees. 
However, when such a transfer was studied by the Library in 1994 and again
in 1995, the Library expressed reservations due to its lack of experience
in operating large-scale publications distribution programs.  Also, the
Library had reservations about separating the publications distribution
function from GPO's production/procurement function, under which
publications are obtained for sales and other distribution programs on a
cost-effective basis with minimal administrative burden and cost.  The
removal of the distribution function from GPO could si! gnificantly
increase the cost of making Government publications available to the

Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation.  This appropriation will
be reduced by $7.8 million, or 11 percent, from the current year level as
the result of a directive not to print any products not associated with
the direct legislative business of Congress.  The Committee has
specifically recommended the elimination of the Congressional Record Index
(which will result in the abolishment of the Congressional Record Index
office, whose personnel are appointed by the Joint Committee on Printing). 
Also eliminated will be the 2000 edition of the U.S. Code and other
miscellaneous congressional publications such as the Congressional
Directory, the congressional Serial Sets, memorial addresses, and
nominations, as well as Our Flag and

The Honorable Charles W. Taylor * Page 4

engineering and agricultural reports submitted by Federal agencies to
Congress, which are printed as numbered documents.  In addition, funding
is cut for Senate distribution of copies of the Congressional Record to
public agencies and institutions, blank paper for the Senate, and GPO
details to Congress.

The elimination of funding for these and other publications "not
absolutely essential to the day-to-day operations and legislative
activities of the House and Senate" calls into question the availability
of this appropriation for related products, such as printing for the
January 2001 inauguration of the President; printing for other
miscellaneous publications, including the Pictorial Guide, Economic
Indicators, House and Senate telephone directories, and treaties; and
printing for other numbered documents such as The Capitol Magazine, the
quarterly Statements of Disbursements of the House and the semiannual
Report of the Secretary of the Senate, as well as printing performed under
resolutions (including the pocket Constitution, How Our Laws Are Made, and
Our American Government).

When combined with the elimination of printing for depository libraries
and the absence of funding to pay the 2001 COLA for GPO's crafts
employees, as provided in wage contracts approved by the Joint Committee
on Printing, these workload reductions will force the reduction of 350
production personnel, more than a quarter of our production staff, whose
value to Congress - in providing essential congressional printing services
and making electronic information available via GPO Access - has been
praised time and again by the Members and leadership of both the House and
the Senate.  Not only are their printing crafts services essential to
Congress, but these same personnel make Government information products
available online via GPO Access, which is made available for the use of
other online services, such as the Library of Congress' Thomas.  The
staffing cut that this appropriation will require could very conceivably
impact our electronic information services, especially if a RIF - which is
enormously disruptive to the workforce - is required to meet workforce
reduction goals.  Accordingly, I urge you to reconsider this funding cut
and restore this appropriation to our requested levels.

Transfer of Congressional Printing Funding to House and Senate.  The
Committee recommends a study of the transfer of the Congressional Printing
and Binding Appropriation to the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of
the Senate in 2003.  However, it is not clear how such a transfer would be
effected.  For the past three years, the amount of this appropriation used
by the House has averaged 38 percent.  The amount used by the Senate has
averaged 26 percent, while joint and other items, such as joint
committees, the Congressional Record index, GPO's Congressional Printing
Management Division, numbered documents authorized by both chambers (Our
Flag, the pocket Constitution, etc.) have averaged 36 percent.  It is not
clear how these items would be divided between the two Houses. 
Similarly, it is not clear whether GPO would remain the Congress' source
of printing and electronic information product services under this
proposal, or to what degree Congress itself will experience inc! reased
costs and administrative burdens from the assumption of these new funds. 
Years ago, Congress created

The Honorable Charles W. Taylor * Page 5

GPO's Congressional Printing and Binding Appropriation to address all of
these issues, and I strongly recommend that you reconsider this
potentially unwieldy and costly transfer proposal.

GPO Revolving Fund.  The Committee has not fulfilled GPO's request for $6
million for air conditioning improvements.  Without an appropriation for
this expensive project, the revolving fund will have to be used.  As a
result, the costs of the project will have to be recovered through
printing rates charged to GPO's customers, including Congress.  With less
revenue coming in as a result of the appropriations reductions, the impact
of this project on remaining revenues will be more significant.

Mr. Chairman, if these funding recommendations are enacted, they will
significantly impair our ability to carry out our statutory mission, and
they will profoundly impact the public's access to Government information. 
I urge you, in the strongest possible terms, to reconsider them.


Public Printer

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From: "Bernadine Abbott Hoduski" <ber[at]>
To: ALA Council List <alacoun[at]>
Subject: [ALACOUN:4685] Killing us with kindness
Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 16:53:24 -0600

Hi Council,

The House Appropriations Committee dismembers the depository library
program, receipt of posterity paper copies of publications by LC,
NARA, Senate and House Libraries and international exchange partners
with these kind words about the rights of citizens in their report to
House. "The Committee recognizes that the public availability of
government information is a basic right of every American citizen
that must be maintained. The Superintendent of Documents performs an
important role in making government information available to the
public through the administration and operation of the sales,
international exchange, electronic dissemination, and depository
library programs. Dramatic advances in technology provide new
opportunities for enhancing and improving such programs and
activities, including their efficiency and econmy of operation. The
Committee believes that the program for which the the Supt Doc is
responsible could be performed with more cost effectiveness by making
greater use of electronic information technolgy. Consequesntly, the
Committee has reduced the amount of funds available to the Sup for
mangaging and distributing copies of government documemts printned by
or through the GPO." They then go on to say that all paper copies for
by-law programs, international exchange and depository program will be
eliminated. (By-law includes the national libraries, NARA, Senate and
House Library, other federal libraries, free copies to non-depository
libraries of paper Records, etc.) They reduce the program funding
from $29,872,000 to $11,606,00.

The other part of the bill eliminates the Congressional Record index,
the Serial Set, the Congressional Directory, engineering and
agricultural reports, memorial addresses, nominations, constituent
copies of the Record, the 2000 United States Code and other
publications not essential to the day-to-day operations of the House
and Senate.

The bill also divides the Congressional printing money between the
House and Senate with no guidance on how joint publications like the
Record and the USC will be funded. It recommends transfer of Supt
Doc to LC. Looks like LC, who is also getting cut can pick up all
the costs of distributing all govt pubs to the people. The Executive
Branch wants them to take NTIS and the Legislative branch the rest.
Of course no additional funding will be made available for them to do
the job.

If there was ever a time to honor the efforts of ALA since it lobbied
in 1895 for a viable and strong depository library program it is now.
Every member of ALA should be defending the work of our predecessors
and looking to the future. Nothing short of the public's long term
access to information about how their govrnment operates is at stake.
Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, Godort Councilor

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski Government Information Advisor, 100 N.
Lamborn, Helena, Montana 406-449-9974


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