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Annual Report 2004

Documents Association of New Jersey, Inc. (DANJ)

            The purpose of the Documents Association of New Jersey (DANJ) is “to promote the use and further access to government information in libraries in the New Jersey area.”  The primary accomplishments of DANJ toward this purpose are summarized below.

The State Documents Interest Group (SDIG)

            Deborah Mercer’s first year as Chair of the State Documents Interest Group has been very active.  Deborah Mercer works at the New Jersey State Library in the New Jersey Government Publications section and assumed leadership of SDIG last year following Susan Sabatino’s tenure in the post. 

            One of the major accomplishments of the State Documents Interest Group was the initiative to digitize older New Jersey government publications to preserve the material and make it easily accessible.  First, Deborah Mercer surveyed the New Jersey depository librarians to prioritize the documents in need of preservation.  Then, she prepared and submitted a request for grant money, $8200, to cover the costs of the imaging.  Once digitized the files will be available from several different sources – the New Jersey Digital Highway (NJDH) (a portal to historical and cultural information about N.J.), the State Library web site, and available from the DANJ web site. 

            In other business, a change in the state documents program brought e-documents, electronic documents, to the New Jersey Documents Shipping Lists.  These e-documents can be printed, downloaded, and cataloging records for the e-documents can be downloaded from JerseyCat.

            Meetings with Dan Noonan of DARM – Division of Archives and Records Management – and A. Hays Butler, Deborah Mercer, Sue Lyons, Dorothy Warner  (all of DANJ), resulted in proposed revisions to State law  amending sections 52:14-25.1 and 52:14-25.2 of the Revised Statutes.  Their discussions of digital documents and their preservation brought about the changed legislation to ensure a consistent way of digitizing documents.

            Deborah Mercer reported that the state of New Jersey has 59 depository libraries.  This is on the high end when compared with other state’s depository library systems.  So, Deborah will survey the N.J. depositories to see if they choose to remain in the program.  The N.J. state agencies who print the documents would be happy to see a reduction in the number of print copies to prepare for the depositories.

            There are two awards presented by the SDIG for 2004.  Winning the award for the best printed “State Document of the Year” is the New Jersey Dept. of Transportation’s publication, History and Technology of the Edison Bridge and Driscoll Bridge Over the Raritan River, New Jersey.  Winning the award for the best “State Internet Site of the Year” is the New Jersey Judiciary’s website “New Jersey Courts Online”. 

The Federal Documents Interest Group (FDIG)

            Under the Chairmanship of Laura Saurs, the Digital Archiving Project continues as DANJ members collect federal electronic documents that include significant content related to New Jersey.  These documents (reports, fact sheets, images, news reports, serials) are sent to Laura Saurs at Newark Public Library and will be preserved.  Some of the documents are also being submitted to the Government Printing Office (GPO) for cataloging, if they have not already been cataloged.  Dorothy Warner wrote guidelines for the Digital Archiving Project and members of DANJ volunteered to locate documents from specific federal agencies. 

            The FDIG discussed marketing and promotion of government documents.  Many websites on promotion and marketing were suggested.  The 2003 Depository Library of the Year award winner, Tulsa City County Library and the librarian there, Susanne Sears, were discussed to examine their award-winning promotion and marketing efforts.

            Also discussed this year were several new initiatives from the Government Printing Office (GPO).  Specifically, the Print on Demand (POD) proposal, the revisions to the five-year retention rule, the formation of Legacy Collections, and the formation of a Collections of Last Resort were reviewed and discussed.

            Laura Saurs has spent 2 years serving on the national level as a member of the Depository Library Council.  The Council provides advice on policy matters dealing with the Depository Library Program and offers practical options for the efficient management and operation of the Depository Library Program.  We appreciate Laura’s reports to us from the Council with news “hot off the press”.

The International Documents Interest Group (IDIG)

 Mary Fetzer, the chair of the IDIG, supported last year’s DANJ Fall Conference with the donation of her Marta Lange/Congressional Quarterly Award money.  The international documents theme of the fall conference attracted a new audience to the conference.

            Mary Fetzer is looking for someone to succeed her as Chair of the group.

The Web Page

            Wen-Hua Ren conscientiously maintained the DANJ web page until an illness this summer.  In her absence, Ka-Neng Au of Rutgers Newark stepped forward to add items to the web page as necessary.

The Continuing Education Committee

            With Sue Lyons as Chair of the Continuing Education Committee, the Documents Association has been busy promoting government resources.  The fall 2003 conference, “Breaking the Boundaries: Exploring International Documents”, brought speakers from the United Nations and those who work locally with international documents.  Those attending the fall 2004 conference, “Brush With the Law: Exploring Legal Reference” will be exposed to speakers from our area law schools and offered practical workshops during the afternoon sessions. 

            The Continuing Education Committee continued its recent practice of offering workshops at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference.  This year, four members of DANJ presented “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow? Preserving Government Information”.  The presenters were A. Hays Butler, Rutgers Law School-Camden Library, Susan Lyons, Rutgers Law Library-Newark, Deborah Mercer, NJ Collections Librarian, Dorothy Warner, Rider University, and Daniel Noonan, NJ Dept. of State, Division of Archives and Records Management.  The presenters addressed concerns about the need to preserve born-digital government information and discuss projects underway that are addressing these concerns.

            Dorothy Warner of Rider University is presently working with the National Library of Medicine for a “train-the-trainer” session scheduled on April 1, 2005.  DANJ members will receive a four hour presentation on health resources, and then in turn can present this information to community groups in need of authoritative health information.  We look forward to this opportunity of promoting health information.

The Newsletter

            Two substantial newsletters were produced this year by Dorothy Warner, who invites contributions from all DANJ members.  The newsletter has proven to be an effective communication tool for DANJ members, who appreciate being made aware of events such as the DANJ fall conference and the workshops at the New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference.


            Wen-Hua Ren served as Chair of the Membership Committee until her illness.  Geetali Basu took the initiative and stepped in to take over this committee and we are very grateful for her work both in Membership and as Treasurer of DANJ.  DANJ currently has 59 members.

The Government Documents Award

            The 2004 winner of the DANJ award for Outstanding Achievement in a Government Documents Paper is Kristen Fitzpatrick for her paper entitled, “Heard It Through the GOVDOC-L Grapevine”.  Later, Kristen Fitzpatrick donated her award of $300 toward the expenses of the DANJ Fall Conference.  Following the award ceremony, Kristen wrote, “In the spirit of the award ceremony, I would like to ‘give back’ starting immediately, and will return the $300.”  Thank you, Kristen Fitzpatrick!


            The Bylaws were reviewed and amendments proposed.  The proposed amended Bylaws will be sent via email to the DANJ members subscribing to the DOXS-NJ listserv.  Please review these bylaws and vote either “yes” to accept the Bylaws as amended, or “no” to reject the Bylaw amendments. 


            DANJ passed through another busy year of promoting the use of and access to government information.  The accomplishments of the organization would not be possible without the help of active members who play a strong role at the local, state and national level in their advocacy for access to government information.  I want to thank everyone for their contributions.  It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the Documents Association and all its members and officers.

Comments/Questions: Catherine Pontoriero (webpage editor)
Last updated: The page was created by Laura Saurs in September 1997. It was previously maintained by Wen-Hua Ren and hosted by the Rutgers instructional web server.