FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        January 31, 2007

NORTHWESTERN LIBRARIES TO CELEBRATE CENTENNIAL

The Government Documents Department of the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Libraries will celebrate its 100th year of participation in the Federal Depository Library Program on Thursday, Feb. 15.

A 2 p.m. program will feature Judith C. Russell, superintendent of documents with the Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, D.C. A reception will follow the program. Both events will be held on the second floor of the J.W. Martin Library on the Alva campus. Everyone in the community is invited to attend.

As superintendent of documents, Russell is responsible for providing public access to Government information published by the U.S. Congress, Federal agencies and the Federal courts. She focuses on expanding the development of a new model for the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). She also provides policy guidance and strategy for GPO’s Library Services and Content Management unit and the agency’s publication and information sales unit.

Before taking her present position in 2003, Russell previously had served as director of GPO’s Office of Electronic Information Dissemination Services and the FDLP. She is the 22nd superintendent of documents and the first woman to hold the post.

A history researched by Verna Graybill, government documents librarian, shows that the Northwestern State Normal School Library was designated as a federal depository library on Dec. 30, 1907, by Elmer L. Fulton, a member of the House of Representatives from Stillwater. In Oklahoma, only the depositories at the University of Oklahoma-Norman, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater and the Oklahoma Department of Libraries (then known as Oklahoma’s Territorial Library) predate Northwestern’s participation in the program.

The first librarian to be specifically designated as documents librarian was the late Edith Gorman in 1948. Gorman played a significant role in the redevelopment of the government documents department after the 1935 Castle on the Hill fire that consumed the early day collection.

Throughout the years, members of the library staff have continued to secure extra copies of government documents from other libraries to fill in the gaps that were created by the Castle fire. The present print collection now numbers more than 165,000 items. Additionally, the staff can assist users in accessing the vast amount of electronic information that is available from the U.S. Government.

More information about Russell and the document services at the U.S. Government Printing Office can be found at www.gpoaccess.gov/jrussell.html. For additional information about the program and reception contact Susan Jeffries, Northwestern libraries director, at (580) 327-8570 or Graybill at (580) 327-8576.

The government documents program and reception are part of the 110/100 Celebration at Northwestern that will run through commencement in May 2008. Oklahoma celebrates its centennial on Nov. 16, 2007, and Northwestern will celebrate 110 years of service on Sept. 20, 2007. The university is planning a variety of special events, activities and campus grounds improvements. Information about the 110/100 Celebration can be found at www.nwosu.edu/110.

-NW-

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Steve Valencia, Director
Office of University Relations
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