Ottenheimer Library becomes first Preservation Steward Library in state

Erin Fehr, Donna Rose, Karen Russ, and Carol Macheak hold volumes of “The Handbook of North American Indians,” the historic publication Ottenheimer Library has agreed to preserve.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Ottenheimer Library is the first library in Arkansas to become a Preservation Steward Library in the U.S. Government Publishing Office’s Federal Information Preservation Network. 

To help federal depository libraries meet the needs of efficient government document stewardship in the digital era, GPO has established preservation stewards to support continued public access to historic U.S. government documents in print format.

Ottenheimer Library will permanently preserve numerous print volumes of “The Handbook of North American Indians.” This Smithsonian Institute’s publication summarizes knowledge about all Native peoples north of Mesoamerica, including cultures, languages, history, prehistory, and human biology.

UA Little Rock is currently the only institution to preserve this publication, though the U.S. Government Publishing Office would eventually like to have four institutions preserving print copies of selected publications, said Karen Russ, research and community engagement librarian at Ottenheimer Library.

“I’m happy to take part in this initiative, because I want to see future access to government information for everyone protected,” Russ said. “We have agreed to maintain historical access to the title and make sure it does not become damaged. We provide access if another library needs information and to make sure researchers will always have access to this publication.”

The Norlin Library of the University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Kentucky Libraries, the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the State Library of Ohio, and the University of Iowa Libraries also serve as preservation stewards.

“GPO welcomes Ottenheimer Library into this important program of maintaining government information in all platforms,” said GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks. “I encourage more libraries to become part of this venture of preserving valuable print collections of government information.”

Through the Federal Depository Library Program, GPO works with approximately 1,150 libraries nationwide to provide public access to authentic, published information from all three branches of the federal government in print and electronic formats.

In the upper right photo, Erin Fehr, Donna Rose, Karen Russ, and Carol Macheak hold volumes of “The Handbook of North American Indians,” the historic publication Ottenheimer Library has agreed to preserve. Photo by Lonnie Timmons III/UA Little Rock Communications. 

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