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The Power of Selection: Comparing Selection Practices for Web-Based Government Publications in State Depository Library Programs

Chi-Shiou Lin; Kristin R. Eschenfelder

Sparking Synergies: Bringing Research and Practice Together @ ASIST '05 (ASIS&T 2005)
Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina, October 28 - November 2, 2005


This article describes a comparative case study of how state libraries capture and select Web-based state publications for inclusion in the electronic depositories. Three case sites were chosen for this study based the differences in the collection building approaches and the technological infrastructures. The article compares statutory contexts, the distribution of the selection responsibilities, and the technological features of the systems. The findings reveal two basic modes of selection practices (active selection versus passive selection) and three selection models (library selection, liaison selection, and creator selection). Also, the findings suggest the control over government publications is shifting from government agencies to document librarians in the Web environment. Drawing from the theorizing from the archives field, the authors argue for the need to include non-traditional common publications produced for lay citizens in the permanent collections in order to better preserve the historical record of a society.

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