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Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) | The American Library Association Archives

Name: Government Documents Round Table (GODORT)

Historical Note:

The Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) was established in 1972 (1). It replaced the Social Responsibilities Round Table's Task Force on Government Publications (2). GODORT has four purposes:

1. To provide a forum for discussion of problems, concerns, and for the exchange of ideas by librarians working with government publications;

2. To initiate and support programs that aim to increase the availability, bibliographic control, and use of government documents

3. To increase communications between document librarians and other librarians

4. To contribute to improving the education and training of document librarians (3).

GODORT is organized into task forces which allow members to participate in interest areas. Some task forces focus on specific types of documents such as state, local, federal, and international documents. Other task forces address document format or management such as education, machine-readable data files, microforms, and organization and administration (4).

Since 1972, GODORT has published a bimonthly newsletter entitled Documents to the People (DttP) (5). GODORT publishes lists of reference sources, a model syllabus for teaching state documents, recommendations for national micro-publishing standards, and a directory of government document librarians and collections (6).

GODORT has established two annula awards to recognize achievement in the are of government documents. The James Bennett Childs Award was created in 1975 to honor outstanding achievement in the field. The CIS/GODORT/ALA "Documents to the People" Award, established in 1976, grants $1,000 to the individual and/or library who most effectively encourages the use of federal documents (7). GODORT officers include a chairperson, assistant chairperson, and secretary (8).


1-Steering Committee

3-Publications (Clearing House, DttP)


5-Public Documents Round Table

30-Administration and Organization

31-Federal Documents

32-International Documents


34-Municipal Documents

35-State Documents

36-Liaison to State and Local Affiliates


1. The ALA Yearbook 1976, p. 176.

2. Library of Congress Information Bulletin 31, July 21, 1972, A114.

3. ALA Handbook of Organization, 1982-83, p. 142.

4. American Libraries 11(4), April 1980, p. 204.

5. The ALA Yearbook 1977, p. 143.

6. American Libraries 11(4), April 1980, p. 204.

7. The ALA Yearbook 1977, p. 143.

8. The ALA Yearbook 1980, p. 134.

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