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UNT libraries honored for leadership, innovation

Library of the Year

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) has recognized the UNT library system as a 2015 Library of the Year for its leadership, innovation, and commitment to providing free public access to federal government information. 

For more than two decades, UNT has worked with the GPO to digitize and preserve government documents and online information, a project that launched before other libraries began their own efforts. As part of the Federal Depository Library Program in 1997, UNT and the GPO partnered to start the UNT Cyber Cemetery, a digital repository for preserving and providing access to defunct governmental agencies and commissions' publications and websites. 

Since its launch, the Cyber Cemetery has brought the UNT libraries notable partnerships and accolades, and it's a go-to resource for faculty and students. The UNT Digital Library, which is currently ranked 9th in North America, is home to the Cyber Cemetery.

"When UNT library staff are notified that a government agency website is being decommissioned, coordination takes place between UNT, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), and the agency staff to archive the site," said Roberta Sittel, government information librarian. "Working together, they harvest the website and plan for the future of the URL, including providing access to a point-in-time snapshot of the website."

Today, the repository is open to the public, but primarily researchers, historians and students use it, and its number of users has grown. Currently, the five most popular items are:

Cathy Hartman, former associate dean for the UNT libraries, originated the plan for UNT to preserve governmental websites when they were on the verge of being taken down and lost forever. Hartman, who retired in December, put her idea into motion by preserving the website of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) in 1996 just as the Internet Archive was being created. Because of her work on the project, Hartman is recognized as a trailblazer in her field. 

Today, the UNT libraries employ government document specialists in UNT's Government Information Connection housed in the Eagle Commons Library to fulfill GPO's mission, "Keeping America Informed." Their work includes handing out pocket constitutions in conjunction with the political science department, curating and providing access to relevant information via the web, registering voters, and providing reference assistance to other libraries and people throughout the community.

For more information about the UNT libraries, visit library.unt.edu

     Jennifer Pache, University Relations, Communications and Marketing

Photo courtesy of the UNT libraries: Pictured left to right: UNT libraries staff members Jennifer Rowe, Jenne Turner, Bobby Griffith, Roberta Sittel, Betty Monterroso; Davita Vance-Cooks, 27th public printer of the United States and chief executive officer of the U.S. Government Publishing Office; Suzanne Sears, UNT associate dean for public service; Martin Halbert, UNT dean of libraries; Mary Alice Baish, superintendent of documents at the Government Printing Office. Jenne Turner holds a photo of Melody Kelly, former head of UNT Government Documents. Kelly served as associate dean of libraries prior to Cathy Hartman, who retired in December 2015.

 

Posted on: Tue 08 March 2016

Owning Excellence

Faculty and staff members have roles in transforming UNT into a nationally prominent university. Share your ideas on how you can help UNT to own excellence, keep students on track and improve graduation education.

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