The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

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The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

The Student News Site of California State University, Stanislaus

Signal

Stan State Honored with First of its Kind National Award

The+exterior+of+the+Vasche+Library%2C+whose+employees+designed+the+government+document+portal+which+earned+them+the+FDLP+Website+of+the+Year+Award.+%28Signal+Photo%2FGabriela+Muro%29

The exterior of the Vasche Library, whose employees designed the government document portal which earned them the FDLP Website of the Year Award. (Signal Photo/Gabriela Muro)

Named in honor of Stan State’s first president, Dr. J Burton Vasché, the Vasché Library first opened its doors to students in 1965. Throughout the years it has undergone several renovations and additions. Just recently it underwent a $58 million renovation, which included the addition of murals showcasing the farms and fields of the Central Valley.

There is now one more addition Stan State can also add: the award for the Best Federal Depository Library Website from the The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO). It is the first recognition of its kind awarded yet. 

“It’s considered a double honor to be the first recipient, this university being the first recipient and also the first time the award was given. So it’s a double honor to me,” said Dean of Library Services, Ron Rodriguez. 

To build a website at the level of the Stanislaus State website, is not easy. Rodriguez credits the hard work to two librarians. 

“I feel very good for the library and specifically for the librarians mostly involved with this, which was Lauren Hall and Annie Hor,” he said.

He continued to express that this reward is a one of a kind recognition.

“So it’s extra special to me to get this kind of recognition, especially from the government at that level, which is, it doesn’t happen every day. So I think that it is just great to be recognized and I’m glad that the work is recognized that the librarians involved because they do the hard work to put it all together and make it happen,” Rodriguez said.

Metadata Librarian Lauren Hall also found the recognition an honor.

“It’s a huge honor to be selected. Federal Depository Library Program is hundreds if not thousands of libraries. I don’t know the total nationwide that participate in this program. To be selected as the winner and not just the winner of the award  but the winner of the first time they’ve given out the award is a huge honor, I’m glad that creating this guide, building the guide, brought this award home to Stan State,” said Hall. 

According to the GPO, approximately 1,100 libraries nationwide participate in the National Depository Library Program. Stan State has been a member since 1964. 

“The California State University library’s website of plain language, clear organization and easy navigation made them a great choice for this inaugural award. I encourage all FDLP libraries to collaborate and learn from some of the examples we have seen with this year’s winner,” the GPO Superintendent of Documents Scott Matheson said in a press release. 

The award was established to recognize websites which provide a clear and organized way of making government documents and information available to the public. Information from all three branches of the Federal Government can be found on the websites. 

“You’ll find information about federal government resources and state of California government resources. So on there. And it’s separated out by level of government and then branch of government. There’s a section on California, government resources, websites, things like that, publications produced by the State of California, California data portals, things like that,” said Hall.

With so much government information just a click away, Depository Coordinator, Annie Hor, who has been overseeing the website since 1996, describes it as a gateway.

“So it is basically a long list of like doors of a gateway that you go in, depends what you are looking for,” she said.

Hor says some information could also be interesting to students.

“If students come in to look at it, they’ll be surprised how much information. Some could be pretty interesting,” she said.

Rodriguez believes the website is of big help to students due to all the information accessible through it.

“80% of the time we find that a student or whoever is coming to look for information, they have a pretty good idea of what they want. But the topic may be too big or it may be too narrow. And so that’s why we’re there to help them finesse that inquiry. So it’ll be just the right size for them, because if you’re doing a five page paper, it means one thing. If you’re doing a 20 page or longer, it means another thing. So you have to tailor it to your needs as well. And so the web page is a start to the process,” he said.

Hor says there is no paywall for government websites and information.

“All government publications are open access made available to citizens. As a FDLP library, we provide this website to everyone, and anyone can come to the library and ask for help with accessing government information. We are proud to provide this service to our regional communities,” Hor said.

Making public information easier to access for students is the hallmark of a successful website to Rodriguez.

“I think what it means to me is that if we can do anything to make student success more probable, more likely, I think that’s great because that’s why we’re here. The library’s here to help students to do the things they need to do for their classes, you know, papers, research papers, or just study for a test, whatever it may be,” he said.

“Anything we can do to help students success, That’s a plus for us, always,” Rodriguez continued.

For libraries looking to see how they can build a website offering similar resources, Rodriguez offered some advice.

“I would invite them to take a look at ours and that and they should you know, we don’t mind if people, you know, borrow from us. It’s not a negative thing, it’s a positive thing,” Rodriguez said.

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Stan State Honored with First of its Kind National Award