Minnesota State Depository System, 1981-2003
In 1981, the State Document Depository Program was established by a Department
of Administration Commissioner's Order. Many partners worked together under the
former Minnesota State Depository System.
- The Legislative Reference Library identified and obtained state publications,
prepared documents for filming and sent them to the Minnesota Department of Administration
Micrographics Unit for filming. Library staff cataloged documents into shared
library systems (MNPALS
and OCLC) and retained the full collection of documents in microfiche as well
as most documents in paper.
- The Minnesota Department of Administration microfilmed and distributed the
microfiche to the state depository libraries and sold selected state documents
- State agencies provided documents to the Legislative Reference Library. Individual
agencies paid the cost of filming their documents for the system.
- The State Document
Depository libraries received shipments of microfilmed documents and made
the fiche collections available for use. Microfiche shipping lists are available
from January 1999-May 2003: Minnesota
State Documents Lists ("Docs on Fiche").
The State Document Depository Program served two important functions during
its existence. First, it ensured access to agency documents at many academic and
public libraries around the state. Second, it ensured that agency documents would
be preserved and available to researchers in succeeding years.
In recent years, with the rise of Web-based information and broader distribution
of agency information, the microfiche lost value as a tool for current access
to documents. It is a not a user-friendly format, and the processing time meant
publications are not available in a timely fashion.
The microfiche distribution program was also not complete, as some agencies
simply refused to pay for microfilming and their documents were not included in
the program. Even so, the program was considered valuable by librarians around
the state as a way to ensure access to important documents in the future. In August,
2001, a group of librarians representing different types of libraries and different
areas of the state met to discuss the State Document Depository System. Given
the uncertain technical and fiscal implications of current electronic storage
methods, librarians felt that the current microfiche-based State Document Depository
System serves an important archival function, and should be continued. For detailed
background and discussion, read the following documents from the focus group meeting:
In December, 2003, DocuComm, the division of the Department of Administration
responsible for filming state documents and billing agencies, moved to a complete
outsourcing of its operations to a private corporation, ACS. With this switch,
18 months of state documents were shifted to the ACS office. Legislative Reference
Library staff members worked with the staff of ACS, who then billed the publishing
agencies for this final filming.