12 Pages

Government Information Today: The Dilemma of Digital Collections

The ability to electronically display, store, and retrieve vast quantities of information through the Internet presents both opportunities and challenges to institutions. Until just a few years ago, government documents collections consisted entirely of paper, microform, or CD-ROM materials. These tangible documents were received, classified, cataloged, stored, and retrieved in libraries in much the same way as other materials were. Recent legislation passed in Congress has ensured the move towards the increasing use of the Internet to house government information collections. The 1993 Government Printing Office Electronic Information Access Enhancement Act guaranteed the increase in information available free of charge over the Internet, while the Government Printing Reform Act of 1996 mandated that even more material be made available in electronic form.