Category Archives: What’s Up Doc / Govdocs

Live Streaming from D.C.: National Library Legislative Day 2017

National Libray Legislative Day LogoThis morning, the ALA Washington Office is live streaming a few events taking place at National Library Legislative Day (NLLD).

Viewable on the ALA Youtube channel, the live stream will feature keynote speaker Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, starting at 9:00 am eastern. She will be followed by the Washington Office staff, who will provide a briefing on current legislation and review how it could impact your libraries and the communities they serve.

The focus of #NLLD17 this year will be federal library funding, and we will be specifically asking Congress to:

  • House:  Save IMLS; Fully Fund the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) and the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program
  • Senate: Sign the LSTA & IAL “Dear Appropriator” Letters
  • House and Senate: Reauthorize the Museum and Library Services Act (incl. LSTA)
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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for March 2017.  Included are titles from the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Legislature, and the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System, to name a few.

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NASA@My Library

NASA@ My Library is a national Earth and Space Science initiative that connects NASA, public libraries, and their communities.

Applications are due today, Wednesday, March 22nd.

Public libraries are invited to apply for NASA@ My Library, a STEM education initiative that will increase and enhance STEM learning opportunities for library patrons throughout the nation, including geographic areas and populations currently underserved in STEM education.

Seventy-five U.S. public libraries will be selected through a competitive application process to become NASA@ My Library Partners and participate in the 18-month project (Phase 1), with the opportunity to extend for an additional two-year period (Phase 2). Applications will be accepted from Feb. 1 to March 22, 2017. For more information or to apply online, visit

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National Network of Libraries of Medicine April Webinars : Disasters, Data Science, and HealthReach

Crisis in the Library: Are You Prepared?

Friday, April 14, 2017, 1 pm MT/ 2 pm CT

This webinar is for the library workforce with ten simple steps to take to be aware of potential hazards and serve as a guide to actions needed to be ready for any disaster affecting the library! The session is based on the 10-Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning developed by Dan Wilson at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, University of Virginia Health System. Participants will be shown the tools to assess risk, identify core services and resources at the library and what can be included in a one page disaster plan. Although the webinar is a good overview for those in health sciences libraries, all kinds of libraries can benefit from and adapt the information to their needs. For more information and to register:

Librarianship and Data Science

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 10 am MT/ 11 am CT

Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from a panel of professionals who are working in the widening world of health data. Our panel presentation will consist of a data analyst, an information specialist, an academic health sciences data librarian, and a finance data librarian. The panelists will be discussing their interest in data as a career focus, the required skills needed to practice their profession, and the services they would like to see offered by librarians to support the work they do. For more information and to register:

HealthReach: Health Information in Many Languages

Wednesday, April 26, 2017 1 pm MT/ 2 pm CT

Join us for a one-hour webinar on HealthReach, a quality multilingual, multicultural public health resource developed by the National Library of Medicine. HealthReach provides patient education materials in a number of languages and formats, a collection of tools for healthcare providers, and a collection of information on special topics, such as Emergency and Disaster, Women’s Health and Mental Health. This session will be presented by two members of the HealthReach team from the Division of Specialized Information Services at the National Library of Medicine, Laura Bartlett and Michael Honch. For more information and to register:


Annette Parde-Maass

Nebraska Outreach Coordinator

National Network of Libraries of Medicine | MidContinental Region

Creighton University Health Sciences Litrary


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Fall 2016 State Publications List Available

For those wanting to add records to their catalogs for Nebraska state documents, the Fall 2016 list of Nebraska E-Docs is now available at

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Small Libraries Ready to Create Smart Spaces

Small Libraries Create Smart Spaces is a new project from WebJunction just getting underway. More than 100 libraries applied, and 15 small and rural libraries were chosen to participate in this project, which will support them as they reimagine and reconfigure their libraries into smart spaces. The cohort of 15 libraries formally kicked off their training this month, and while they are focused on learning, let’s learn more about them! Join us on this four-part virtual road trip around the US to meet the 15 libraries and their communities—second stop, South Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota!

Read the full article here!

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Free Webinar! Privacy Literacy at Your Library

A few keyboard strokes and a click of the mouse and your personal information becomes data stored somewhere. What happens to all that information you enter online? What was in that terms of service statement you accepted? From Google search results to your library borrowing record to online shopping habits, there are real considerations to our online presence and how we share information. How do we make sense of the realities of online privacy both for ourselves and for our library patrons?

Libraries can play a powerful role in guiding patrons to information about how their online information is used and what to be aware of when going online. This month, on March 7, Erin Berman from the San José Public Library (CA) and a Library Journal Mover & Shaker, will present the webinar Privacy Literacy at Your Library . Erin will share the resources developed through her library’s Virtual Privacy Lab that guides users through topics such as social media and security, and provide personalized tips, links and resources that enable them to feel safe and confident online. Register today and join us for this free event that can help you and your patrons!
Title: Privacy Literacy at Your Library, a webinar about the Virtual Privacy Lab, a privacy literacy resource available to all, which helps library patrons feel safe and confident online.

Date: March 7th, 2017

Time: 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Eastern Standard Time


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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for February 2017.  Included are titles from the Nebraska Auditor of Public Accounts, the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency, the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality, the Nebraska Department of Roads, and the University of Nebraska Press, to name a few.

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Doc Spot: Unicameral Update

The Unicameral Update is a newsletter produced during each legislative session by the Clerk of the Legislature’s Unicameral Information Office since 1977. The Update covers legislative activity, including floor action and committee hearings, and is available daily online and weekly in print.

To see the Update online, click on any of the highlighted links above.

To receive a free print subscription to the Unicameral Update, call (402)-471-2788, or send an email to Clerk of the Legislature.

The Unicameral Update is also available in audio to Talking Book and Braille (TBBS) patrons. For more information, contact TBBS at (800) 742-7691.


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Eclipse Glasses and Eclipse Education Kit

On August 21, 2017, a spectacular total eclipse of the Sun will be visible across the width of the continental U.S. for the first time since 1918.  Every state will have at least 60% of the Sun covered by the Moon, and lucky people on a narrow path from Oregon to South Carolina will see the stunning beauty of totality. STAR_Net’s NASA@ My Library initiative with support from NASA, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Research Corporation, and Google, is distributing over 2 million solar viewing glasses and an Eclipse Education Kit to public libraries.

Apply for Eclipse Glasses & Education Kit!

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Free Educational Resources at Can Help You!
Let show you how to find and use Census data for your everyday uses, including informing your business planning, supporting grant proposals and research projects, planning of local schools and hospitals, and much more! Whether you’re looking for economic or demographic data, we can teach you how to get what you need for your various projects.



Options for Learning
There are three main ways that you can learn to find Census data. And all of it is free!

  • Webinars – see the list below for our upcoming webinars. No registration is needed.
    We also have a network of Data Specialists who can provide training throughout the nation – these webinars require registration.
  • Video Tutorials – We have a growing number in our Training Resources Library.
  • Classroom Training – We do this when distance and staff resources allow.  Often, as an alternative to a classroom training, we can schedule a webinar for you on the topic you’re interested in!

Take Advantage of the Data Today!

Upcoming Trainings:

Feb 22, 2017    Where to Find Business & Economic Data on

Feb 22, 2017    Statistics in Schools: Resources for Teaching and Learning

Feb 22, 2017    Introduction to the American Community Survey Public Use Microdata Sample (PUMS) Files

Feb 22, 2017    Statistics for Reporters: Find the Stories that Matter in Your Community and Get them Right

Feb 23, 2017    Census Reporter

Feb 23, 2017    OnTheMap: Where are the Jobs?

Feb 23, 2017    Understanding the American Community Survey

Feb 23, 2017    Measuring and Mapping Diversity and Emerging Communities

Feb 27, 2017    Navigating the American FactFinder

Feb 28, 2017    Income & Poverty Related Statistics

Feb 28, 2017    Creating Custom Tables and Colorful Maps Using American FactFinder

Feb 28, 2017    Your Neighborhood by the Numbers: Advanced American FactFinder (Tracts, Block Groups, and Blocks)

Feb 28, 2017    Measuring America Series: Accessing County Business Patterns Data

Mar 01, 2017    Your Business by The Numbers: Census Business Builder App

Mar 02, 2017    The American Community Survey (ACS) & Your Community by the Numbers

Mar 02, 2017    Data on a Deadline: Quick Data Tools & Interactive Maps

Mar 02, 2017    Quick Data Tools

Mar 02, 2017    What’s With that Pop Clock?— and Other Insights of the Population Estimates Program

Mar 03, 2017    Map It!

Mar 06, 2017    On the Map – Employment Dynamics

Mar 07, 2017    Quarterly Workforce Indicators @ Your Fingertips: QWI Explorer

Mar 07, 2017    Where to Find Business & Economic Data on

Mar 07, 2017    Census Data Prep for Tableau Public

Mar 08, 2017    LED OnTheMap: The Road to Local Employment Dynamics

Mar 08, 2017    Measuring America Series: Accessing Public School System Finances Data

Mar 09, 2017    Your Community by the Numbers: Race, Ethnicity, Foreign Born, and Ancestry

Mar 09, 2017    Census Data Prep for Tableau Public – Repeated

Mar 13, 2017    Veterans by the Numbers

Mar 14, 2017    Census Data Prep for Tableau Public – Repeated

Mar 14, 2017    Race, Ethnicity, Foreign Born and Ancestry by the Numbers

Mar 28, 2017    Making Sense of the American Community Survey

Mar 29, 2017    MAPLAB: Advanced American FactFinder for Tracts and Block Groups

Mar 30, 2017    Data on a Deadline: A Data Access Workshop for Journalists

Apr 06, 2017    Measuring America Series: Accessing Labor Force and Related Statistics

Apr 13, 2017    Measuring America Series: Accessing Work From Home Data

Apr 19, 2017    Using American Community Survey Estimates and Margins of Error

May 04, 2017    Measuring America Series: Accessing Industry, Occupation and Class of Worker Statistics

May 11, 2017    Emergency Planning and Response with Census Bureau Data

May 17, 2017    How to Use American Community Survey Geodatabase Files and ArcMap

Jun 21, 2017    Using the Census API with the American Community Survey

Jul 06, 2017     Accessing TIGERweb

Aug 03, 2017    Measuring America Series: Locating Data on Entrepreneurs and Related Statistics

Aug 30, 2017    Introduction to the American Community Survey

Nov 08, 2017    Accessing American Community Survey Data for Detailed Population Group

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Free Webinars from National Network of Libraries of Medicine/MidContinental Region

Tomorrow!  Discover NLM Resources and More: Resources for K-12 Health & Science Education

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 1pm MT / 2pm CT


Did you know that the National Library of Medicine has K-12 lesson plans, a resource page and twitter feed for K-12 educators, and sites designed specifically for children and teens? If you would like to learn more about these health and science resources, join us for our webinar on Wednesday, February 22. Annette Parde-Maass, MCR Education and Nebraska Outreach Coordinator, will walk through the resources, give examples on how they could be used, and ask participants to brainstorm and share additional purposes applicable to their own settings.


Breezing Along with the RML  

Topic: Instructional Design

Wednesday, March 15, 2017, 10 am MT/ 11 am CT


Do you want to make your classes and presentations more effective and engaging? Do you want to offer learning experiences that really matter? If so, then the NNLM MCR has a great session on instructional design (ID) to get you started with not one, not two, but three experts. ID is a model to help you determine why the training is needed, design your instructional strategy, develop materials, decide how the content will be delivered to learners, and determine if you met your expected results.  Participants will receive instruction on key elements that comprise the ID framework, practice those elements in problem-based virtual breakout groups, and then share the results with fellow virtual attendees.

Presenters: Lisha Bustos, Lead Instructional Designer, University of Colorado; Christine Mousavi Cook, eLearning & Instructional Design Professional, University of Colorado; Michael Kanzanjian, Instructional Design Professional, ECHO Colorado


NNLM Resource Picks: How to Make the Most of Your National Library of Medicine Traveling Banner Exhibition! 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017, 1 pm MT/ 2 pm CT


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides traveling exhibitions about the social and cultural history of medicine.  In 2016, the Pacific Northwest Regional Medical Library hosted a national questionnaire asking librarians what they would like to learn about hosting one of these exhibitions. Over 250 librarians responded with questions and ideas. This webinar is shaped by their responses. Join us to learn what your colleagues are doing to reach new audiences using NLM traveling exhibitions.

Presenters: Patricia Touhy, National Library of Medicine; Jennifer Butler Keeton, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library; Eva Sclipa, Alfred University; Thomas Lawrence Long, University of Connecticut; Donna Smith, Palm Beach County Library System; Nicole Hughes, Palm Beach County Library System


Courses for the Consumer Health Information Specialization:

The Consumer Health Information Specialization (CHIS) provides additional expertise in the area of consumer health and keeps you current on relevant issues in the field. NNLM provides free classes for CE credit towards this specialization. Here are a few upcoming online courses:

For more information on CHIS CE requirements:

For information on MCR funding to cover CHIS certificate application:

Annette Parde-Maass
Nebraska Outreach Coordinator
National Network of Libraries of Medicine/MidContinental Region

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Health Information Resources for the 65 and Older Population

The 65 and older population will grow in the U.S. from 46 million in 2014 to 88 million in 2050 (Colby & Ortman, 2014, p. 5). During those decades, the percentage of 65-and-older population compared to the total population of the U.S. and World will also increase.

This growth will likely result in an increased need for treatment, management, prevention, and wellness resources specifically for older adults as well as their caregivers. There are already a number of sites created for older adults by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and other Health and Human Services agencies.

NIHSeniorHealth,, is a portal for older adults to search many government sites at once for health topics pertinent to them and caregivers. They can also browse topics and categories such as Bladder Health, Creating a Family Health History, and Talking with Your Doctor.

NIHSeniorHealth also has a Toolkit for Trainers for those that help older adults find reliable information. The toolkit includes lesson plans, promotional flyers for students and trainers, and a tip sheet on creating a “senior friendly computer classroom.”

Go4Life®,, from the National Institute on Aging at NIH focuses on fitting in exercise and physical activity into older adults’ daily lives. There are resources for various activity levels and abilities including videos, exercise guides, tips, and success stories.

MedlinePlus,, has a great deal of health information for all ages. Seniors may be most interested in Health Topics such as Health Aging or Seniors’ Health. If print information is preferred, sign up for a free subscription to NIH MedlinePlus Magazine. Librarians can even order the magazine in bulk. If Spanish is the primary language, try

National Institute on Aging (NIA) Publications has resources available in Spanish and a few other languages. Many of these are easy to read online, save, or print. Examples include Menopause: Treatment for Symptoms, Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease, and Online Health Information: Can You Trust It? AgePage. One that seniors and caregivers may find useful in communicating with doctors, surgeons, and other health professionals is Talking with Your Doctor: A Guide for Older People.

A document that seniors may want to have when talking with their doctors is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Pill Card. People can download this document to customize their own card for keeping track of medicines.

In addition to these online resources, don’t forget about area agencies on aging. In Omaha, we have the Eastern Nebraska Office on Aging, and other Nebraska area agencies can be found at

If you have questions about these resources, please contact me at or 402-280-4156.

Works Cited

Colby, S. L. & J. M. Ortman. (2014). Projections of the size and composition of the U.S. population: 2014 to 2060. Current Population Reports, P25-1143. Washington, DC:  U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved from

*Note: 65 and Older Population will also be referred to as “seniors” and “older adults.” These terms can also include a larger age-range and many of the resources listed here are relevant to those ages as well.

**Information provided by:

Annette Parde-Maass
Community and Global Health Librarian
Creighton University Health Sciences Library
National Network of Libraries of Medicine MidContinental Region



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CIA’s Once-Secret Stash Now Online

The largest collection of declassified CIA records is now accessible online. The documents were previously only available to the public at the National Archives in Maryland. Approximately 930,000 documents, totaling more than 12 million pages, are now available in the CIA’s Electronic Reading Room on CIA’s website.

Since 1999, the CIA has regularly released its historical declassified records to the standalone CIA Records Search Tool (CREST) system that was only accessible in person at the National Archives Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, Maryland. Moving these documents online highlights the CIA’s commitment to increasing the accessibility of declassified records to the public.

“Access to this historically significant collection is no longer limited by geography. The American public can access these documents from the comfort of their homes,” notes Joseph Lambert, the CIA Director of Information Management.

The CREST collection covers a myriad of topics, such as the early CIA history, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Berlin Tunnel project, the Korean War, and the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. The documents also extensively address developments on terrorism, as well as worldwide military and economic issues.

The documents include a wide variety of records, including collections of finished intelligence from the 1940s to the 1990s prepared by the Directorate of Analysis (or its predecessors, such as the Directorate of Intelligence), Directorate of Operations reports from the late 1940s through the early 1960s, Directorate of Science and Technology research and development files, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency policy files and memoranda, National Intelligence Council estimates, National Intelligence Surveys, Office of Strategic Services (OSS) records, Directorate of Support administrative records, and imagery reports from the former National Photographic Interpretation Center (reviewed jointly with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA)).

CREST records also include large specialized collections of foreign translations, scientific abstracts, ground photo descriptions, and special collections such as STAR GATE remote viewing program files, Henry Kissinger Library of Congress files, and other miscellaneous CIA records.

The declassification of 25-year-old records is mandated by Executive Order 13526, which requires agencies to review all such records categorized as permanent under the Federal Records Act for declassification. As a result, following CIA’s review, documents are regularly added to this collection.

The CIA’s Electronic Reading room offers a full-text search capability of CREST records, and the collection can be viewed at CREST: 25-Year Program Archive.

Reprinted from CIA Press Release,, January 17, 2017.

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State Agency Publications Received at the Nebraska Library Commission in 2016

Nebraska State Government Publications 2016 is a compilation of the state publications received in 2016 by the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse, a service of the Nebraska Library Commission.  The items are arranged in two separate lists: by broad subject categories and alphabetically by title.

All documents have been cataloged, and the OCLC number is listed.  To make access to the documents as user friendly as possible, you can click on the link above, or scroll through the .pdf below and click on the URL for the item.  Clicking on the URL will take you directly to the item online, where you can read it or print it out.

For more information about the Nebraska Publications Clearinghouse and Nebraska state agency publications, please contact Mary Sauers or Bonnie Henzel at the Library Commission:


Mary Sauers | Government Information Services Librarian | Nebraska Library Commission | 402-471-4017 | Mary Sauers

Bonnie Henzel | State Documents Staff Assistant | Nebraska Library Commission | 402-471-6285 | Bonnie Henzel

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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for January 2017.  Included are titles from the Mid-America Transportation Center, the Nebraska Crime Commission, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Environmental Trust, and the University of Nebraska, to name a few.

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Bill of Rights Exhibit at the Nebraska Library Commission

The Bill of Rights and You exhibit is now on display at the Nebraska Library Commission. This new free-standing exhibit from the National Archives commemorates the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights.  Explore the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, and learn how Americans have exercised those rights through the exhibit and Resource Guide.  The exhibit is brought to us by Humanities Nebraska and the Federation of State Humanities Councils.


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Nebraska Statehood Stamp

As part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Nebraska Statehood, the United States Postal Service will issue this stamp on March 1, 2017, in Lincoln. Known for agriculture, Nebraska (the Cornhusker State), became the 37th state on March 1, 1867. Nebraska photographer Michael Forsberg set up among prairie grasses on the riverbank between the small cities of Grand Island and Kearney to capture the image shown on the stamp. In the photograph, sandhill cranes fly low to scout for shelter from nighttime predators. This mid-migratory rest for half a million birds along the Platte River is unique to Nebraska. Forsberg captured this image as winter thawed into spring around the year 2000. USPS Art Director Derry Noyes designed the stamp using Forsberg’s existing photograph.

The 5-cent stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of Nebraska statehood was first placed on sale at Lincoln, Nebraska, on July 29, 1967.

Julian K. Billings of Omaha, Nebraska, designed the stamp. An ear of yellow corn with its green husk is the background against which the artist placed a reddish-brown Hereford cow. Yellow and green were printed offset; brown was applied by the Giori press. It was issued in panes of fifty and was authorized for an initial printing of 120 million.


For those interested in other statehood stamps issued by the United States Postal Service, you can visit their website.



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What’s Up Doc? New State Agency Publications at the Nebraska Library Commission

New state agency publications have been received at the Nebraska Library Commission for December 2016.  Included are titles from the Nebraska Courts, the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, the Nebraska Legislature, and the Nebraska Public Employees Retirement System, to name a few.

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End-of-Term (EOT) Government Website Harvest Enlists Librarians, Educators, Students

As the United States—and the world—prepare for the January 20, 2017 presidential inauguration, libraries, institutions, and citizens are joining forces to identify federal government websites to be captured and saved in the End of Term (EOT) Web Archive.

The archive currently holds government web content from the administration changes of 2008 and 2012, and in July resumed collection efforts for EOT 2016 content. Government document and subject experts have been joined by librarians, academics, political and social science researchers, educators and their students, and other volunteer nominators in semester-long efforts and all-day “nominatathons” to identify URLs that are then submitted for inclusion in the EOT Archive. Those that are in-scope and not duplicates are assigned a weighted score by project specialists and given a priority level for web crawling.

A collaboration between the Library of Congress (LC), California Digital Library (CDL), University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries, Internet Archive (IA), George Washington University Libraries, Stanford University Libraries, and the U.S. Government Publishing Office, the EOT Presidential Harvest 2016 preserves federal government websites (.gov, .mil, etc.) from the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. According to the EOT Harvest website, the archive is “intended to document federal agencies’ presence on the World Wide Web during the transition of Presidential administrations and to enhance the existing collections of the partner institutions.” The public access copy of the archive is kept at IA; LC holds a preservation copy, and an additional copy is held at UNT for data analysis.


The idea for the partnership was born at the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) meeting in Canberra, Australia, in summer 2008.

“We had just found out that the National Archives was not going to do their dot-gov crawl that they had done in 2004,” explained LC digital library project manager Abbie Grotke. “A number of us sitting around the room at the IIPC meeting who were already collecting government material in one way or another at our own institutions said, ‘Well, let’s do this together collaboratively.’ And one of the big goals of that was to share a copy of the data among all the partners.”

The CDL, IA, LC, UNT, and GPO—all members of IIPC and partners in the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP)—decided to join forces to document changes to government websites during the administration change from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. “Digital government information is considered at-risk, with an estimated life span of 44 days for a website,” noted NDIIPP director of program management Martha Anderson in a press release at the time. “This collection will provide an historical record of value to the American people.”

Several of the organizations were already active in preserving government web content. LC has preserved congressional websites on a monthly basis since December 2003. UNT Libraries, as part of the GPO’s Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), created its CyberCemetery in 1997 to capture and provide access to the websites and publications of defunct U.S. government agencies and commissions.

While organizations such as FDLP have focused on collecting, preserving, and providing access to printed publications, they do not have the infrastructure to archive digital material. Government document librarians across the country had for some time been aware of the need for an organized web collection effort.

“I’ve been really active for ten years at least trying to move the documents community towards collecting and preserving digital government information,” Stanford University U.S. government information librarian James R. Jacobs, one of the original participants, told LJ. Jacobs’s website, Free Government Information, has been supporting the preservation of digital government material for more than a dozen years.


Each partner contributed to aspects of the new project, from organization to application development. The nomination tool, a simple front-end interface designed to identify, prioritize, and describe the thousands of government web hosts, was built by UNT. The content collection was performed with the open-source Heritrix web crawler, developed by IA with support from IIPC. In order to aggregate EOT content, LC developed BagIt Library, an open source Java large-scale data transfer tool, as well as a desktop version, Bagger.

Beginning in August 2008, IA began a broad crawl of government sites, supplemented with crawls by the other project partners. The URLs were collected in December 2008, and again after the January 2009 inauguration. Final comprehensive crawls were performed in spring and fall 2009 to document any final changes. Ultimately, each partner transferred their collected content to a single consolidated archive. Metadata and thumbnail images were generated by IA’s in-house tools, with CDL providing input on Dublin Core format. Once the data transfer was complete, in mid-2010, a total of 15.9 terabytes of data had been collected.

In November 2011, the EOT Harvest resumed to document changes between Obama’s two terms—this time with the help of LIS students.

After reading a post about the project on LC’s blog about the 2012 EOT Harvest, Debbie Rabina, a professor at New York’s Pratt Institute School of Information, thought that it would be a good project for students in her Government Information Sources class. She contacted Grotke, and the two developed a plan for Rabina’s students to identify government social media sites as a semester-long project.

The class used government directories to search each agency for social media accounts, such as the U.S. Government Manual and the A-Z agency list available on They eventually nominated some 1,500 accounts found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, Pinterest, GitHub, Foursquare, and others. Eventually, all 2012 EOT Harvest partners captured some 21 terabytes of data.


Four years later, in the wake of the 2016 election, Rabina felt the need to further expand the harvesting efforts’ reach. “I was trying to think about what I could do as a librarian,” she told LJ. Drawing on her previous experience with the EOT Harvest, she said, “I thought this would be a good way for me to do something.”

Rabina reached out to Grotke and Jacobs, as well as librarians from local New York organizations. The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) was to be the host of the 18th International Conference on Grey Literature—published material produced outside of commercial or academic publishing, which is often not easily accessible—from November 28–29, and Rabina proposed that it also host an EOT nominating session that week.

On December 1, ten volunteers at gathered at NYAM library to spend an afternoon identifying URLs. Rabina provided a handout with instructions for the nomination process—although it is relatively straightforward, certain kinds of content, such as PDFs or FTP (file transfer protocol), are not readily crawlable by Heritrix and need to be traced back to an originating http or https URL.

Rabina’s handout also identified areas for participants to explore, mainly subdomains of, which may be most at risk of changing after the transition; when new reports are commissioned, for example, there is no requirement to save older ones. “The law has different levels of requirements for preservation, and for maintaining versions, for different types of government information,” explained Rabina. “The ones that are afforded the most protections for preservation and retention are things from the legislative branch, like our laws and bills and budget. But the stuff that comes from the agencies… like EPA reports about the level of water toxins in New Jersey, a lot of that just isn’t retained and gets lost.”

Especially with new agency heads in a new administration, she added, “their own vision can be anything from ‘I don’t believe in global warming’ to ‘I just want to update this website because it’s ugly, so let’s throw it all out.’”

In addition, noted Jacobs, “Government agencies change their content management systems all the time. You might have a link to a document or webpage that you like or want to use for your research or have an interest in, and that URL could change.”


The 2016 harvest is projected to be the largest yet.

“The first thing to stress is that it’s not coming out of any sort of paranoia about the new administration, necessarily,” Jacobs told LJ. “This is our third go-around. We’re basically focusing on the dot-gov, dot-mil internet domain, and trying to collect as much information from those domains as we can in order to put a marker there for every four years.”

Groups at other institutions, including Simmons College and Brandeis University in Massachusetts and the University of Toronto, have also expressed interest in convening nominatathons. Rabina has put together a new handout for interested participants, with an eye to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OSHA, NASA, and the Transportation Research Board. “We’re focusing on areas where we feel that there will be leaders who will bring another vision,” Rabina told LJ, “All of the science and the environment stuff. As far as I’m concerned, Department of Defense is kind of my last priority to get to.”

The EOT Archive has asked for particular assistance in identifying Judicial Branch websites; important content or subdomains on very large websites, such as, that might be related to current presidential policies; and government content on non-government domains, such as .com or .edu.

The nomination tool allows users to submit URLs for inclusion and lets the EOT Archive filter out duplicates. In-scope web pages include those of federal government websites and social media accounts—particularly those that may change significantly or disappear during the transition. Local or state government websites, and any non-government sites including news sites and those documenting the U.S. elections, are out of the EOT Harvest scope. Each URL submitted is assigned a weighted score by project specialists, according to whether it is in or out of scope and its priority for crawling.

Volunteers are asked to submit some simple metadata, including the nominated site’s title, agency, branch, and comments. While these are not required, they help identify resources for future reference. A bookmarklet is available for Firefox, Google Chrome, and Internet Explorer on the EOT nomination tool website. Nominators can also submit via a simple Google form.

The Internet Archive will perform a comprehensive crawl across the entire .gov domain, supplemented by in-depth crawls by partners and volunteers based on the submitted lists of URLs. “We also ramp up our own collecting of government websites during this time to share with the project,” noted LC’s Grotke. “We’re already collecting house and senate sites, legislative branch content, some executive branch content…. We’re getting a little bit more in-depth coverage before and after inauguration day.”


Anyone interested in helping nominate websites for collection can email the EOT team at, or consult the EOT Web Archive site for more information.

“We would welcome any nominations of federal government websites,” said Grotke. “Nominate sites you feel are important or most at risk of disappearing or changing. We recommend including both top level (e.g. as well as subdomains ( You might want to pick a topic to focus on, but we’re happy to accept any and all nominations you come up with. One way you could do this is to do searches for topic(s) of interest and include the .gov search parameter (“environment site:*.gov”). That will only search .gov domain for that keyword and you’ll quickly find the government sites of interest to you. Don’t worry about whether your nominated site has already been nominated. We’ll de-duplicate our list of seeds.”

She added, “This time around we’re really excited by all the community engagement like [Rabina’s] events she’s holding in New York…and also there have been these self-organizing groups,” Grotke told LJ. “They’re just sort of emerging with communities…that are concerned about the subject matter or just interested in the project and nominating websites.”

Reprinted from Library Journal / Library Hotline, by Lisa Peet, December 13, 2016.

Posted in Education & Training, General, Information Resources, Preservation, Uncategorized, What's Up Doc / Govdocs | Leave a comment