Transformation of the U. S. International Exchange Service: Project Report

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Transformation of the U.S. International Exchange Service: Project Report

  • Judy Mansfield

  • Beacher Wiggins

  • Library of Congress

  • Washington, DC USA

  • August 26, 2009

Purpose of International Exchange

  • “The central idea in international exchange is that each participating country will obtain official material from its exchange partner in order to provide it directly to its own domestic users.” Johannes Metz, IFLA, 1999

Authorizing Legislation

  • United States Code Title 44, Section 1719

    • Enacted in 1968, amended in 1982 and 1986
    • Authorizes the Library of Congress (LC) to exchange government publications with foreign governments
    • Directs that up to 125 copies of all government publications be supplied to the Government Printing Office (GPO) for the purpose of this exchange

Transforming the International Exchange Service (IES)

  • Sustain the free flow of official versions of government publications in the new publishing environment

Transforming the IES

  • Modernize to reflect current publishing environment

  • Achieve flexibility to meet individual country needs

  • Improve access to U.S. digital content

Transforming the IES

  • Identify tools to ingest, archive, preserve, and provide access to digital content

  • Meet future collection development needs

Collaboration for Transformation

Assess Current State of the IES

  • Confirm the IES process

  • Verify available information on partners

  • Identify specific titles exchanged

  • Review treaties and agreements

U.S. IES Process

  • LC identifies its partners

  • LC identifies print/microform publications to be distributed to its partners

  • LC informs GPO of this information

  • GPO distributes print/microform publications

Publications Currently Distributed

  • Many titles listed in treaties are no longer published

  • Distributions, based on Federal Depository Library Program lists, are of titles currently available

  • Number of titles distributed is based on concept of approximately equal value

Publications Currently Received

  • Review what is received

  • Determine what is available in partner countries

Treaties and Agreements

  • Active agreements with 124 institutions, including thirty active treaties

  • Twenty inactive treaties

Future Directions

  • Supply authenticated digital documents for the repositories of partners

  • Assure perpetual access to digital national government publications

New GPO System

  • Federal Digital System (FDsys)

  • GPO Access

    • To run concurrently with FDSys until migration is completed

FDSys 1

  • Content Management System

FDSys 2

  • Preservation Repository

    • Follows archival system standards to ensure long-term preservation of and access to authenticated digital content

FDSys 3

  • Advanced Search Engine

    • Combines extensive metadata creation with modern search technology to ensure the highest quality search experience

FDSys Content

  • Congressional Bills (103rd Congress to Present)

  • Congressional Documents (104th Congress to Present)

  • Congressional Hearings (105th Congress to Present)

  • Congressional Record (1994 to Present)

  • Congressional Reports (104th Congress to Present)

  • Federal Register (1994 to Present)

FDSys Content (2)

  • Public and Private Laws (104th Congress to Present)

  • Compilation of Presidential Documents (1993 to Present)

  • Congressional Calendars (104th Congress to Present)

  • Congressional Committee Prints (105th Congress to Present)

  • List of Code of Federal Regulations Sections (1997 to Present)

  • Etc.

Digital Content Costs

  • All content available at the GPO Access and FDSys sites is free to anyone and downloadable.

  • Some U.S. Government information is not free, so LC will attempt to negotiate access at no-charge to its partners.

Intellectual Property Rights

  • LC will investigate international copyright issues for U.S. Government publications that may affect the partner’s reproduction and distribution rights within the partner’s country.

Metz on Perpetual Access

  • “It will not do to have Internet access to foreign material if it remains uncertain how long documents will be retained…. Even if long-term access is secured, it might still be preferable to collect foreign public documents in electronic formats in order to have an independent … collection for future historical research.”

Perpetual Access

  • To ingest, archive, preserve, and provide free perpetual access to the content of other national governments

  • To provide backup archival copies in an additional location for preservation, if agreements can be negotiated

Models for Perpetual Access

  • LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keep Stuff Safe) IEX (International Electronic Exchange) Pilot Project

  • GLIN (Global Legal Information Network)

Purposes of LOCKSS IEX

  • To test cost effectiveness and feasibility of using LOCKSS to crawl and harvest e-journals and documents from German Government publishers

  • To test a platform for long-term access and preservation

LOCKSS IEX Pilot Project Partners

  • Bavarian State Library

  • German Federal Statistics Office

  • German National Library

  • Humboldt University, Berlin

  • Library of Congress

  • Stanford University Library

  • State Library of Berlin

  • University of Regensburg Library

LOCKSS IEX Pilot Project

  • Crawls web sites of partner institutions

  • Harvests e-journal content for monitoring and preservation by the partner institutions

  • Links partner institutions in a closed network


  • Implemented by Law Library of Congress

  • United Kingdom law statutes

    • Downloaded metadata and PDF files back to 1988 to GLIN
    • Continue to add new content

Next Steps for LC

LC’s Plans for 2009

  • Cease distinction between full and partial set partners on October 1

  • Verify available information on partners and the agencies that supply materials on their behalf

  • Issue list of titles distributed by GPO on LC web site at

  • Issue survey to partners

Survey Partners

  • In what format does partner prefer to receive U.S. Government publications?

  • Does partner download and archive U.S. Government digital publications?

  • Does partner want to receive bibliographic data for U.S. Government publications?

LC’s Plans for 2010

  • Complete review of treaties and agreements

  • Begin negotiations for new agreements with existing partners

  • Continue experimenting with LOCKSS IEX model

LC’s Long-Range Plans

  • Seek to re-establish exchanges with inactive partners

  • Identify new partners

  • Determine a viable mechanism for ingesting, archiving, preserving, and providing access to digital content

Communications with Partners

  • This presentation

  • Survey of partners

  • Correspondence

  • LC web site at



  • Current state of IES

  • Future directions for IES

  • Next steps for LC

  • Follow the progress of at

Contact Information

  • Judy Mansfield, Chief, U.S./Anglo Division,

  • Beacher Wiggins, Director for Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access,


  • 44 USC 1719 (

  • Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) (

  • GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) (

References (2)

  • LOCKSS (

  • Metz, Johannes. International Exchange of Official Publications, presented at the 65th IFLA Council and General Conference, Bangkok, 1999.

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