Regional Report 2005-2006: United States

IASSIST Regional Report 2005-2006
United States
Pam Baxter
Cornell University
May 2006

Transitions, Recognitions, and Professional Activities

The 2005/2006 membership year saw several retirements among long-time IASSIST members. We hope that they’ll continue to be active in the areas near and dear to the IASSIST community.

Ann Janda retired as Social Science Data Services Librarian, Northwestern University Library, and was succeeded by Kathleen Murphey. JoAnn Dionne retired as Data Librarian at the University of Michigan Library. Jen Green, formerly Public Services Librarian at Grinnell College, began her new position as numeric and spatial data librarian at the University of Michigan Library in October 2005. Diane Garner, who played a key role in the creation of Numeric Data Services and development of the Harvard Geospatial Library, retired in March 2006 after 15 years at HCL. Diane Geraci, a familiar face in the data service community and previously affiliated with ICPSR, Binghamton University Libraries, and the United Kingdom Data Archive, became the Librarian for the Social Sciences of Harvard College Library in April 2006.

Ann Green left her post at Yale University as Director of Social Science Research Services to pursue independent consulting activities in digital life cycle research and planning.

Kristi Thompson and Daniel Edelstein, formerly Data Specialists with the Data and Statistical Services, Princeton University, have assumed positions as Data Librarian and Data Centre Manager, respectively, at the University of Windsor (Ontario). [As a very important sidenote, they also assumed matrimony in September 2005.]

In November 2005, Cheryl Stadel-Bevans became the first data librarian for the Congressional Research Service (CRS) at the Library of Congress. Before joining CRS, Cheryl at the National Archives and Records Administration, including a four-year stint as a data archivist with the Center for Electronic Records.

Ilona Einowski, data archivist at UC DATA, received the ICPSR William H. Flanigan Award for Distinguished Service at the official representative meeting in October.

Bobray Bordelon, Economics & Finance Librarian/Data Services Librarian at Princeton University, is the recipient of the 2006 Thomson Gale Award for Excellence in Business Librarianship. It is fitting that Bobray, a native of Louisiana, will receive the award at the RUSA (Reference and User Services Association) Awards Ceremony in June during the ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans.

Julie Linden is the 2006 recipient of the NewsBank/Readex/GODORT/ALA Catharine J. Reynolds Award.  This award provides funding for research in the field of documents librarianship,

Julie Linden and Ann Green published an article, “Don’t Leave the Data in the Dark: Issues in Digitizing Print Statistical Publications.” It appeared inthe January 2006 issue of D-Lib Magazine (Volume 12, number 1).

Ron Jantz, Rutgers University, coauthored (with  Michael J. Giarlo) “Digital Preservation: Architecture and Technology for Trusted Digital Repositories,” which appeared in the June 2005 issue of D-Lib Magazine (Volume 11 Number 6) 

Dan Tsang, social science data librarian at University of California, Irvine, gave a presentation on data archiving in Asia at the International Convention of Asian Scholars in Shanghai in August 2005 and a paper on the same topic at the World Association for Public Opinion Research regional meeting in Hong Kong in December, 2005. At the WAPOR conference in Hong Kong, Dan served as panel discussant on the University of Tokyo-based AsiaBarometer ( data of the 2003survey is available as a CD insert in Takaski Inogouchi, et al.) Values andLife Styles in Urban Asia: A Cross-Cultural Analysis and Sourcebook Based on the AsiaBarometer Survey of 2003, Mexico City: Siglo XXI Editores.

The Association of Public Data Users (APDU), organized in 1976 to encourage communication among data users, producers, and distributors, was restructured in December 2005.  Patty Becker, of APB Associates, has been appointed as administrator and APDU moved to Southfield, Michigan. After a one-year hiatus, the annual conference will take place in Alexandria, Virginia in October 2006.

Federal Statistical Agencies

Although the Census Bureau received funding support to continue 2010 Census planning and the American Community Survey, Census decided to cut funding for the Survey of Program Participation (SIPP) in Spring 2006. According to Howard Hogan at the Bureau, this decision was undertaken in part to spare significant cuts to other Census activities; specifically, the ACS and Census 2010 planning activities. (Early Congressional action had threatened implementation of the ASC and Census 2010 test sites but conference committee actions restored these programs.) SIPP data collection will continue through September 2006. The current plan is to replace SIPP with a new survey of income and wealth dynamics, possibly in 2009 and relying more on administrative records.

Continuing support for other major statistical agencies ran the gamut, from decline to modest increases.

Another budget-driven decision was termination of the longitudinal National Children’s Study, which experienced zeroed out funding effective the end of fiscal year 2006. It was originally authorized by the Children’s Health Act of 2000.

Developments in IASSIST Members’ Institutions

In April 2006, the Federal Reserve Board implemented Data Download, an interactive access and download application, delivering customized data sets in a variety of formats.  Data Download is the first application to deliver data in SDMX-ML,, a technical statistical data standard that is gaining support among central banks and statistical agencies. The SDMX-ML technical standard was developed by the Statistical Data and Metadata Exchange (SDMX) initiative under the governance of the Bank for International Settlements, the European Central Bank, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Eurostat, the United Nations, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. [Contributed by San Cannon]

Many projects occupied staff of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. In October 2005, it initiated RoperExpress, an on demand dataset download service for its members. About 75% of the Center’s public opinion studies conducted in the US (and many recent studies from outside of the US) are accessible via this service, and access to additional studies is forthcoming. The Center added a substantial collection of public opinion surveys conducted by Opinion Dynamics for Fox News. Plans are moving forward to secure the most recent surveys collected by IPSOS Reid on behalf of the Associated Press. A small grant from the Canadian Embassy will fund a pilot project to improve metadata for locating Canadian public opinion holdings of the Center. The pilot will be unveiled at the 2006 IASSIST annual meeting and will be made more broadly available in the summer of 2006. Under a Library of Congress funded DataPass project, the Center has uncovered possible new acquisitions from the NORC storage facilities. The DataPass project has also provided the means for a data exchange of USIA holdings at NARA and the Roper Center. Datafiles of the North American Jewish Databank have been professionally archived by the Roper Center. [Contributed by Lois Timms-Ferrara]

The National Archives and Records Administration continues to enhance its Access to Archival Databases (AAD) system, a discovery tool to NARA’s most popular electronic records available to the public over the Internet. The redesigned AAD will be demonstrated at the IASSIST 2006 annual conference. In October 2005, David McMillen was appointed External Affairs Liaison for NARA, a newly established function within the Congressional and Communications Staff (NCON). [Contributed by Margaret Adams]