[Libs-Or] Removal of documents from libraries

Arlene Weible arlene.weible at state.or.us
Thu Jul 20 11:40:23 PDT 2017

The State Library was recently alerted to situation in some southern Oregon public libraries where a company representative asked to have older documents related to the Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline Project (also known as Jordan Cove) removed from collections. After some investigation, State Library staff were able to determine that the company documents in question remain available at the Klamath County Library (see library catalog<http://catalog.klamathlibrary.org/polaris/search/searchresults.aspx?ctx=1.1033.0.0.1&type=Browse&term=Jordan%20Cove%20Energy%20Project.&by=SU&sort=RELEVANCE&limit=TOM=*&query=MSH=%2793146%27&page=0&searchid=0>).

Additional documents related to the different iterations of this project over the years, such as draft and final environmental impact statements, can also be found in the Southern Oregon Digital Archive<http://listsmart.osl.state.or.us/pipermail/libs-or/2017-July/023580.html> and other Federal Depository libraries<http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/GRES/Pages/GovernmentInformation.aspx> throughout the state, including the State Library<https://ccrls.ent.sirsi.net/client/en_US/oslpublic/search/results?qu=jordan+cove&te=>. In addition, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission<https://www.ferc.gov/>, provides an online library of documents<https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp> related to the application process, including a record of public comments related to the project. The online library can be a bit daunting to search, so if you or your patrons have any trouble using this resource, feel free to contact the State Library for assistance.

As the current chair of OLA's DIGOR (Documents Interest Group of Oregon), I also wanted to use this opportunity to provide some general advice to libraries that are asked to provide documents for public scrutiny during a public comment period.

*         Clarify the terms of retention: It is usually a good practice to clarify the terms of retention with the agency or organization that is providing those documents at the point they are accepted. Typically, agencies provide a cover letter that indicate the reason the documents are being provided and the dates of the public comment period. In some cases, the letter may indicate the expected period of retention, but often that information is not provided. Letters typically provide either an agency contact or a web site where you may be able to obtain further information.

*         Use your collection development policy: In my years of experience working with these types of documents, I have observed that that most public and small libraries do not retain them for an extended period of time. Some libraries may choose to move this type of material into special collections related to local history. This is definitely a local decision and libraries use their collection development policy to help guide these decisions.

*         Reach out to a research library or officially designated government depository library when weeding: If you are in a position that you need to weed documents from your collection, but are concerned about public access and their potential long-term research value, I would advise you to reach out to a research library or officially designated government depository library in your area and see if they are interested in housing the material. You can find the list of federal and state depository libraries here<http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/GRES/Pages/GovernmentInformation.aspx>.

*         Contact me if you need assistance with or advice regarding government documents: The State Library continues to maintain both state and federal government document collections related to Oregon and we are always happy to work with libraries to help maintain access to these type of documents.

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions or need assistance with assessing local document collections.

Arlene Weible

Arlene Weible, MLS
Electronic Resources Consultant
Oregon Federal Regional Depository Coordinator
arlene.weible at state.or.us<mailto:arlene.weible at state.or.us> | 503-378-5020 | www.oregon.gov/osl/ld<http://www.oregon.gov/osl/ld>
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