Project Number: 5501486-14 PI: Minton, T
Sponsor: Department of State
Title: Enhancements to the Florida Electronic Federal Dep. Library
Start Date: 09/30/01 End Date: 09/30/02
Award Amount: $22,385.00
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Enhancements to the Florida Electronic Federal Depository Library
Citizens of the state ofFlorida will be able to use technology. to access a government
information specialist at the University of Florida via the Internet using a virtual
reference software package (similar to a chat room) at no cost; to access 2000 Census
data for cities and counties in Florida via the Florida Electronic Federal Depository
Library website (http://web. uflib. ufl. edu/fefdl/).
University of Florida and its Libraries
The University of Florida is a major, public, land-grant, and research university. The
state's oldest, largest and most comprehensive university, Florida is among the nation's
most academically diverse public universities. It is one of only 17 public, land-grant
universities belonging to the prestigious Association of American Universities comprised
of the top 62 public and private institutions in North America. Florida is among the
nation's 88 leading research universities as categorized by the Carnegie Commission on
Higher Education. The University has 23 colleges and schools and more than 100
research, service and education centers, bureaus and institutes.
The University of Florida Libraries house Florida's largest collection of information
resources with nearly 3,500,000 volumes, 4,200,000 microforms, 1,000,000 documents,
550,000 maps and images and 15,000 electronic databases in tape, diskette and
CD_ROM formats. In addition, the Libraries provide nearly 25,000 journal subscriptions
with more than 5,000 full-text electronic journals, available via the Libraries' home page.
Documents Department, University of Florida Libraries
The University of Florida Documents Department receives government publications from
nearly all levels of government and from virtually all areas around the world. The
Department also houses a Map & Imagery Library, the largest collection in the
Southeastern United States. Six faculty members and eight support staff provide
personalized reference in an effort to make this important resource of government
information and maps accessible to the University of Florida community and to the
citizens of the State of Florida.
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Federal Depository Library Program in the State of Florida
The Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), administered by the Government
Printing Office since 1895, is a partnership between the Federal Government and close to
1400 Depository Libraries throughout the United States and its Territories. The purpose
of the program is to ensure no-fee public access to Federal Government Information.
The Government Printing Office distributes publications to the Depository Libraries in
paper, microfiche and electronic format. Examples of items selected by Depository
Libraries include: Census publications, Congressional hearings, public laws, the Budget,
Agricultural Handbooks, IRS publications, and guides to Medicare and Veterans'
Florida has 40 Depository Libraries of varying types and sizes. In the spirit of true
partnership, these libraries absorb the cost of processing; space and storage; computer
hardware, software, and Internet connections; staffing; supplication and interlibrary loan
services; and providing training for accessing government publications through outreach
and instruction. Depository Libraries select Federal information based on the needs and
interests of their user communities including government officials, members of the
business and corporate communities, researchers, educators, students, and the general
Regional Federal Depository Library for Florida
The Documents Department of the Smathers Libraries of the University of Florida was
designated the Regional Federal Depository Library for the State of Florida by the
Government Printing Office of the United States in 1964. As the State's Regional
Library, it has the responsibility of coordinating the activities of 39 Depository Libraries.
The Documents Department at UF receives and keeps every document distributed by the
Government Printing Office and serves as the State's permanent archive for Federal
Services provided to the 39 Depository Libraries and to the citizens of Florida by the staff
of the Documents Department include: interlibrary loan, no-cost fax transmission, no-
cost microfiche duplication, and general reference (in person, telephone and email).
Depository Libraries in Florida wishing to discard unwanted material must prepare a list
and send it to the University of Florida Documents Department. Any items on this list
not currently held by the University of Florida are added to the collection to ensure
availability in the future. The list of items not needed by the Regional is then sent via
email to the other 38 Depository Libraries in the State and/or posted to the Florida
Electronic Federal Depository Library web site. Items not wanted by any library may
then be withdrawn from the collection.
Florida Electronic Federal Depository Library
In 1998 the State Library of Florida awarded an LSTA grant to the Documents
Department of the George A. Smathers Library of the University of Florida to fund the
creation of the Florida Electronic Federal Depository Library (FEFDL). The stated need
for this web site was: Equitable, no-fee access to Federal Government Information for all
citizens of the State of Florida. An analysis of the locations of the Federal Depository
Libraries in Florida revealed that of the 67 counties in the State, less than one third have a
Federal Depository Library within their boundaries and that one half of all the
Depositories in the State (40) are located in five counties. Citizens in counties without
Depository Libraries in Florida, most of them rural areas with a low income population,
must travel a great distance to reach the nearest Federal Depository Library, pay for a
long distance phone call, or depend on interlibrary loan from their local library.
The creation of this site, FEFDL, by the staff of the Documents Department of the
University of Florida has provided, as promised, equitable, no-fee access to Federal
Government Information for all citizens of the State of Florida. The high number of page
requests attest to its popularity. In 2000, the site averaged close to 10,000 requests per
month. (Appendix A) In addition, there is a great deal of anecdotal testimony praising
its usefulness. (see attached letters and emails)
The site provides to all citizens of the State of Florida
Access to 100% of the Federal publications distributed to Depository
Single source of links to thousands of Federal websites
Easy to use subject and Agency indexes
Clickable map of Florida to find nearest Federal Depository Library along
with a listing of county libraries with electronic contacts (email and web
pages) and 1990 Census data as well as information about cities, school
districts, online newspapers and county government
Interactive electronic services such as interlibrary loan, email reference,
and duplication requests
Federal statistical data for the State of Florida in GIS format
Recognizing that citizens expect their information needs to be met by the Internet,
the Documents Department staff has integrated the ongoing maintenance of this site into
its daily workflow. Currently three staff members update information routinely with one
staff member allocating close to 75% of her time to FEFDL.
This proposal calls for two enhancements to FEFDL, enhancements that would directly
benefit all citizens of the state of Florida and enhancements that cannot be incorporated
into the normal workflow of the department:
The addition of a software package to FEFDL that would allow users accessing
the web site to "talk" to a member of the Documents Department staff online.
This service would be free and the user would not have to disconnect the
connection to the Internet if accessing FEFDL using a modem. Documents staff
who are trained government information specialists could assist citizens anywhere
in the state.
The updating of 1990 Census data currently available via FEFDL and the addition
of more Census data for cities
The proposal also calls for a usability study to determine how people use the site and
what improvements would enhance access as well as a marketing program.
The amount of information available on the Internet has achieved overwhelming
proportions. This information is not cataloged in the traditional library sense. Users
must instead rely on the incomplete coverage of a myriad of search engines or in many
cases, dumb luck in order to meet their informational needs. The migration of
publications traditionally available in paper format to the Internet was a primary
justification for the creation of FEFDL. This trend will continue, especially in the arena
of government information. Publishing on the web is a less expensive way to deliver
information to more people. In addition, Federal agencies are required by law to
disseminate publications electronically. The Government Printing Office with its
database GPO Access has created the most comprehensive database of Federal
government information available on the web yet it still represents only a fraction of what
FEFDL represents an important first step in gathering Federal government information
under one umbrella. Librarians who use it as a tool for assisting users in their libraries
have attested to its success in this mission. But what about the remote users in their
homes and offices without the availability of a librarian as navigator? Does FEFDL
meet their information needs or are they frustrated by its complexities?
Librarians providing reference assistance are accustomed to direct interaction with users
and can therefore advise them on the most appropriate sources and the best way to find
them. The Internet's lack of this "one on one" interface is frustrating to librarians who
mount the information and presumably to users who access it.
There is a need to know how citizens use FEFDL to access information.
The Documents Department of the University of Florida has compiled statistics that
quantify the use of FEFDL. We know that there are approximately 10,000 visits per
month. We also know that librarians love FEFDL and were quick to provide laudatory
comments to support this proposal. We do not know, however, if individual information
needs are being met by FEFDL. A Usability Study is a recognized way of determining
how a web site is used. Usability is defined as the measure of the quality of a user's
experience when interacting with a Web site. The goal of a usability study of FEFDL
would be to uncover any problems that users may encounter so those problems can be
There is a need for citizens of Florida to receive immediate help from a government
information specialist at no cost and without leaving their computer.
It is not enough to provide links and mount data on a web site. There is a need for
interaction with the citizens to be sure their informational needs are being met adequately
and accurately. The Documents Department staff proposes adding to the FEFDL site a
software package that provides a mechanism for electronic, real-time discussion space
where citizens may ask for immediate assistance. The software would create a chat
room where users from all over the state could talk online to a member of the Documents
Department staff at the University of Florida. This service to the citizens would be free.
The fact that it is an online discussion means that users connecting to FEFDL via a
modem could discuss their questions with a staff member without terminating the
computer session. This service is currently being used at the University of Florida and is
still in the test mode. The rationale for instituting this service at the University of Florida
Library mirrors the reasoning for adding it to FEFDL. In person visits to service desks
are declining while visits to web pages are steadily increasing. An examination of the
service statistics at the Document Department of the University of Florida for the past ten
years points up this trend dramatically. (Appendix B)
This software program has additional bells and whistles that will directly benefit the users
of FEFDL. Obviously, the staff is unable to provide this service 24 hours a day. During
the hours when no one is available, the user is transferred to email and receives a canned
message saying the email request has been received and is being processed. Another
feature of the software stores transcripts of the reference sessions. The transcripts can be
reviewed to determine the accuracy of responses given to citizens. The software
compiles statistics and it has the capability to incorporate pop-up surveys.
The citizens of the State of Florida need 2000 Census Data
Government officials aren't the only ones who will be using Census 2000 data come
2001. People from many walks of life in the State of Florida will need current census
data to advocate for causes, research markets, target advertising, locate pools of skilled
workers, prevent diseases and even rescue disaster victims. When Hurricane Andrew hit
south Florida in 1992, for example, census information aided the rescue effort by
providing workers with estimates of the number of people missing in each block, as well
as detailed maps of whole neighborhoods that had been obliterated.
The Documents Department of the University of Florida serves as the main contact point
for Census questions. Anyone calling the regional Census Bureau Office in Atlanta
seeking Florida data is given the phone number of the Documents Department. In
addition, anyone calling University of Florida's Bureau of Business and Economic
Research (publisher of Florida Statistical Abstract) requesting census data over the phone
is transferred to this Department for assistance.
The primary reference tool used by Documents Department staff to answer Census
reference questions is the Census Bureau web site. This comprehensive source of data is
in a constant state of flux and frequently confuses even veteran users. FEFDL provides
direct links to 1990 data on the Census Bureau web page for all counties in Florida. The
original decision to add census data on the county level conformed to the data collection
methods of the Florida Statistical Abstract. However, users most often request data at the
city or place level. The proposal to update the 1990 Census data therefore includes
adding 2000 data for cities and town as well as the counties.
The Documents Department staff of 6 librarians and 9 support staff are well equipped to
provide complete and accurate information to the citizens of Florida via virtual and email
reference. Four of the librarians have been awarded tenure meaning they have a record of
scholarly publication and service that meets or exceeds the rigorous standards set by the
University of Florida Libraries.
The University of Florida Libraries currently offers a virtual reference service,
RefeXpress. Four of the librarians in the Documents Department have been trained and
spend two hours a week each staffing the virtual reference desk. The head of the
RefeXpress service, the Interactive Reference Coordinator, has had extensive training in
the use of the software used by the University of Florida and routinely conducts training
session for interested staff.
One of the librarians, the department's Information Technology Coordinator, has strong
computer skills combined with a library background. This librarian is recognized as the
web-page guru in the library and teaches a course each semester on web page creation.
He is largely responsible for the creation of FEFDL and has overseen its maintenance for
the past two years. He has the skills necessary to direct the updating of 1990 Census data
to 2000 data no matter how the Census Bureau finally publishes it on their site.
Student workers hired for updating of the Census data will be required to have experience
in the area of web design. There will be a large pool of qualified students since courses
on web design are taught in many of the colleges at UF.
The Department has recently hired a librarian to implement a GIS services program in the
libraries. The strong GIS and mapping skills of this individual will be a valuable
resource for this project. This librarian also has strong computer skills and works closely
with the Digital Library Center providing expert advice on the digitization of maps.
The FEFDL web site runs on a server located in the UF Libraries Systems Department.
This department has ten full time staff members, four of whom maintain the server
twenty-four hours a day to ensure that it is always up and running properly.
The UF Libraries' Public Information Officer will assist in the marketing of the Web site.
She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual arts and over 25 years experience working in
public relations, graphic design and production, and advertising.
Faculty members from the College of Journalism and Communications will assist the
Documents Department staff in conducting the usability study. They have experience in
this area are very interested in the project.
The existing network of Federal Depository Libraries in the State of Florida has a proven
track record of providing government information to the citizens of Florida. The highly
skilled professionals who administer the Depository collections are in constant contact
with each other to locate missing items and answer difficult reference questions. Several
other librarians have held offices in state and national professional associations for
government information specialists.
4. Action Plan
Purchase and install NetAgent Software on individual computers
Two "seats" of the software will be purchased. This will allow two staff members
to be available for virtual reference service at one time and make consultation
online with another librarian possible. In addition, it will allow a smooth
transition from one session to the next by providing overlap.
Staff: Documents Department Staff
Timeline: October 15, 2001
* Training Documents Department Staff in the Use of Software
Training will be conducted for all Documents Department staff by the coordinator
of the RefeXpress service offered by UF Libraries.
Staff: Interactive Reference Coordinator
Timeline: November 1, 2001
* Staffing for Census Updating
Hire and train OPS assistants to add links to 2000 Census data
Staff: GIS Librarian and Information Technology Coordinator
Timeline: November 15, 2001
* Update Census data
Staff: Documents Department Staff and OPS staff
Timeline: Completed in stages depending on release date of data ( see
Appendix C for details)
* Conduct Usability Study
Identify and select faculty member or members to work with GIS Librarian and
Information Technology Coordinator to conduct Usability Study.
Timeline: November/December, 20001
Staff: GIS Librarian and Information Technology Coordinator
Advertise in campus and local newspaper for subjects for testing
Timeline: January, 2002
Staff: Documents Department staff
Conduct Usability Testing
Timeline: Spring Semester, 2002
Staff: GIS Librarian and Information Technology Coordinator
Make changes to FEFDL as indicated by Usability Study
Timeline: Summer Semester, 2002
Staff: GIS Librarian, Information Technology Coordinator and Documents
* Marketing FEFDL site
Create packets for mailing to all public, academic and special libraries as listed in
the Florida Library Directory (735). Packets to include cover letter, poster,
bookmarks, camera-ready ads and newsletter. Printing to be done in-house.
Timeline: June, 2002
Staff: Library Staff
Hire students to stuff and mail an estimated 735 promotional packets
Timeline: July, 2002
Staff: Documents Department staff and OPS students
Post announcements on listserves and submit articles to publications such as
Florida Libraries, The Orange Seed, and The Florida ACRL Newsletter.
Announcements will inform libraries and citizens about virtual reference service
and Census updates as they are offered on FEFDL.
Timeline: January September, 2002
Staff: Documents Department Staff and UF Library PIO.
1. Number of Hits on FEFDL site
The ongoing compilation of the number of visits will indicate trends in the use of
FEFDL. These statistics are gathered by the staff of the Systems Department. An
increase of 50% is expected as a result of the marketing program.
2. Number of Questions Answered by Virtual Reference Service and
Satisfaction of Users
The software compiles the number of questions answered. Use a pop-up survey that
appears at the end of transaction to determine user satisfaction.
3. Types of Questions Answered by Virtual Reference Service
A pop-up form for librarians answering questions allows compilation of statistics by
type of question, i.e. ready reference, in-depth reference, and connectivity problems.
4. Accuracy of Answers Provided by Virtual Reference Service
The software maintains transcripts of reference transactions. A review of transcripts
allows monitoring for accuracy.
5. Number of Email Questions
The software used for virtual reference forwards questions to an email mailbox when
a librarian is not on duty. The software counts the number of email questions.
6. Number of Users Accessing Updated Census Data
Devise mechanism for counting access to Census data on FEFDL site.
The NetAgent software is a two-way communications program that will allow the staff of
the Documents department to engage patrons throughout Florida in real-time over the
Internet. Visitors to our web site will be able to "chat" one on one through a text interface
with a documents reference librarian from any computer, at home or in another library.
Patron-librarian interaction is immediate and the patron incurs no long distance telephone
charges. Web site visitors will be able to request this real-time, live interaction simply by
clicking a button on our web site. Once connected, the patron can ask questions for
immediate response, send us e-mail, or interactively view web pages "pushed" to them
through the software by our staff. The librarian can use online resources, in-house
resources, or refer patrons to common resources found in their own local libraries. Our
staff also will be able to develop libraries of frequently referenced web pages and
presentations to improve service levels.
Macromedia Dreamweaver is a HTML editor and web site administration tool that will
permit us to develop our site enhancements more efficiently. The FEFDL site consists of
over 600 web pages. The proposed enhancements will produce at least 20 to 30 new
pages and require changes to dozens of others. The web development team of four
currently hand codes both the HTML and java script found in our website. We have used
evaluation copies of several HTML editors and believe Dreamweaver offers the
configuration that best suits our needs. A copy is needed for each member of the
development team. We are able to purchase this software at a special educational
The funding for the Usability Study will be used to contract with a faculty member from
the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications to work with the
GIS Librarian and the Information Technology Coordinator to design and conduct a
usability study of The Florida Electronic Federal Depository Library.
The funding requested for travel will be used to attend the Capacity Building Workshop
in October, 2001. Attendees are Joe Aufmuth and Tom Minton. The amount requested
includes mileage, hotel, and food.
Addition of 2000 Census Data to FEFDL
Add STF1 and STF3 demographics in two phases as data is released
67 counties in Florida
402 official cities in Florida
At least 20 new pages will be needed (counties with more than 5 cities)
At least 938 new links will be added to the site (2 demographic levels for each of the 67 counties + 402
This is to be done in stages due to various dates of data releases from the census bureau:
Stage 1 STF 1: Estimated release Jun Sept 2001
Adding STF 1 2000 link 469 links
Creating new page for counties with over 5 cities 20 pages
o Adding census link plus moving over other demographic data link
within that category
1990 Census Information
Census 2000 Information:
County Statistical Index
Profile of Florida's Children 1997
Stage 1 time estimated: 100 hours
Stage 2 STF 3: Estimated release Jun- Sept 2002
Adding STF 3 2000 link 469 links
Moving STF 1 links to create a more logical and consistent pattern 469 links this
would only be necessary ifstfl and stf3 are put on two separate pages currently
the 1990 has both on the same page, in that case only one link would be necessary
If necessary create additional pages due to space constraints on county page 2 or 3
If STF1 & STF3 are separate links:
General Population (STF )
Social Economic (STF3)
General Population (STFI)
Social & Economic (STF3)
General Population (STFI)
Social & Economic (STF3)
General Population (STF 1)
Social & Economic (STF3)
County Statistical Index
Profile of Florida's Children 1997
Stage 2 time estimated: 170 hours
Total Time Estimated: 270 hours @ $10.00/hour = $2,700
Note. Hours needed will vary according to the methods used by the Census Bureau to
distribute and display the data for public use.
FEFDL Web Site Promotion to Public, Academic and Special Libraries
A promotional package will be mailed to all public, academic and special libraries in
Florida (approx. 735) that will include the following:
Cover letter (photocopied in-house) $ 11.00
8 V1 x 11 poster, multi-colors (copied in-house) $ 189.00
Printed in-house, two or three colors
Small camera-ready ads for public libraries to insert into local
newsletters that promote the FEFDL web site, printed in-house $ 91.00
Newsletter (11x17), printed two sides and folded to 8 /2 x 11
detailing what can be found on FEFDL site
Printed in-house, one color (avg. quality) $429. 00
9x12 manila envelopes $28.00
Bulk rate postage $310.00