The View from the Other End of the Street

My name is Eileen Snyder, and I am currently the vice-chair/chair elect of GIRT. February is my month to take over the GIRT blog. I have a few posts planned about some of the great state of Wisconsin resources that are available, so keep your eyes on this space! Meanwhile, I thought I’d update everyone on some changes with the Wisconsin state-level depositories.

In January, I took over as the Wisconsin State Government Publications Librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS), leaving the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB) where I had worked for 17 years. Geographically, it is not a big move – less than a mile from the Capitol Square at one end of State Street to the UW-Madison campus on the other end. But it is a big and exciting change professionally.

As one of the 3 state-level Wisconsin Document Depositories, WHS has the most complete collection of Wisconsin Documents in the state, with the one at the LRB close behind, so while I’m encountering a lot of new things, many of the materials I’m working with here are familiar old friends in a new context. I have spent January learning the context surrounding Wisconsin Documents at the WHS, getting to know new routines and new people. The staff at WHS has been friendly and welcoming, not to mention patient, while I get up to speed.

The challenges that lay ahead are familiar to librarians everywhere and documents librarians in particular. How do we manage the continuing and accelerating change from print to electronic formats, while ensuring continuity of access between the two formats? How do we capture and store as much electronic information as possible? I look forward to continuing to work with the Wisconsin Documents Depository Program and the rest of the government documents community as we find our way forward through these issues.

I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome Keely Merchant, the new State Documents Librarian at the LRB, to the government information fold. Hopefully we’ll be seeing and hearing from Keely at Docs Day and beyond!

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