Action Plan Update Meeting: Government Information Services

March 30, 2009
4:00 - 5:00 pm
ACES Heritage Room

Meeting Agenda

  • Welcome (5 min)
  • Background (5 min)
  • Review of Major Recommendations for International and Area Studies (10 min)
  • Proposed Recommendation for Action Plan (5 min)
  • Feedback on Discussion Questions (20 min)
  • Open Discussion/Q&A (10 min)
  • Next Steps (5 min)


In Fall 2007, the University Library began a campus-wide discussion of the future of Library services that we have called the "New Service Models" program. As part of this program, we have held open meetings with campus colleagues, meetings with academic departments and programs, and individual and small-group meetings with faculty, students, and administrators with an interest in new approaches to the provision of Library services at Illinois. As a result of these discussions, a number of changes have been made to Library programs and facilities, including the closure of the Labor & Industrial Relations Library (Fall 2007), the integration of the City Planning & Landscape Architecture and Afro-Americana libraries into complementary Library units (Summer 2008), and the coming closure of the Library & Information Science Library (Summer 2009). Descriptions of these and other NSM projects are available on the NSM Web site at <>.

In January 2009, Provost Linda B. Katehi reiterated her support for the NSM program in a letter to the Dean of Libraries, but challenged us to undertake more substantive change efforts in light of broader challenges in the information environment and in the economy. She charged the Library to provide an "Action Plan" to her office by April 30th that would allow us "to move more quickly into a new service infrastructure that will allow us to protect our core commitments to library collections and services while also allowing us to make the best possible use of our financial, physical, and human resources."

Over the past several weeks, a planning team comprised of faculty and staff from the University Library have met to address the proposal to "integrate Government Information Services into broader [Library] service programs and initiatives." The work of this team, along with relevant background documents, can be found at <>.

Summary of Major Recommendations

The Government Information Services Team proposes that the public service functions (reference, instruction, and public engagement) be integrated with Central Reference Services, creating a new "Central Reference and Government Information Services" unit beginning Summer 2009.  Over the longer term, the Team identified strong synergies with Maps (broad subject coverage ranging from the local to the global, special formats, unique classification & access tools, and the need for specialized assistance to support user access & interpretation) and recommends integrating with that service program when appropriate space is available.

The Team also recommends the creation of a position, Coordinator of Government Information Services, Access, and Collections which will have responsibility for insuring the broad dissemination of government information to users across campus and in the community, and maintaining the integrity of all depository arrangements throughout the Library.    The Coordinator will work closely with an advisory committee, with members drawn from a cross-section of library units, that will promote and support the use government information within the context of the disciplines so that government information is widely known, integrated into disciplinary guides and tools, and available to all users in all libraries on campus.  

As per the recommendations of the Technical Services Coordination and Consolidation report, government information cataloging, acquisitions & processing will be incorporated into the central technical services workflow by June 30, 2009.

Proposed Recommendation for Action Plan

"Integrate the service programs of the Government Documents Library with Central Reference Services."

Discussion Questions

We are interested in feedback on the following questions related to the above recommendation as we prepare the first draft of the Action Plan for the Provost:

  1. "Central Reference and Government Information Services" will be a new service framework, bringing together specialists and generalists.  What new approaches to training and service delivery will be needed to support this new unit?
  2. How can the University Library best support the use and dissemination of government information across the disciplines? In an increasingly electronic environment?
  3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the model employed in this proposal?

Next Steps

The first draft of the Action Plan will be disseminated for comment by April 10th. Comments related to this meeting, or to the Action Plan, may be directed to Scott Walter, Associate University Librarian for Services and Associate Dean of Libraries <>. Comments must be received by April 15th to ensure their consideration for the final draft of the Action Plan.