Government Information Interest Group

Mission Statement

The Government Information Interest Group (GIIG) explores current and developing trends in the delivery of government information from all levels - international, federal, state and local. The Group seeks to provide Maryland Librarians, and other interested persons, with quality programming and professional development in this fast-changing field. The Group welcomes all members of the library community who are interested in the use and dissemination of government information.


March 9, 2015

Welcome back to a new year. This year, GIIG will sponsor two conference programs at the MLA/DLA Joint Annual Conference! We have engaged two speakers from the Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship & Immigration Service. Elizabeth O'Brien and Kristianne Schotzinger will present Mission to America, on how libraries can partner with the agency to serve new and recent immigrants to our country. My esteemed colleague, Joyce Garczynski, and I, will follow up on last year's program with called Teaching to the Stuck Places. We will show common dead-ends that students encounter when trying to retrieve government data, and how best to lead them out of the thicket. See our ad in the Spring issue of the Maryland CRAB.

In addition, we are building on last year's program on Geographic Information Systems. The program is entitled Maps are Stories, Too: Getting to Know Geographic Information Systems, at the Brody Learning Commons of Johns Hopkins University's Eisenhower Library,with Bonni Wittstadt, GIS Librarian. The date is Friday, May 15th, starting at 8:30am. For more information or to register, go to MLA’s web page at

I encourage you to join us at the annual conference and at our spring program in the Ides of May.

August 13, 2014

Greetings once again to our I’ve just received the membership roster for 2014; GIIG is 43 members as of today. I’m sure you all have been very busy this summer, warming up for a busy fall. We have had an exciting year so far.

My colleague Joyce Garczynski and I presented at the Depository Library Conference, April 30 to May 2, 2014. Our presentation was on using government documents to solve real world problems, like personal health, housing, voting, travel and recreation. The conference proceedings have a PDF of our PPTX. We were well received, with several depository librarians telling us they intended to steal our show: the ultimate compliment! The proceedings are online at

GIIG also held its first training session in Geographic Information Systems ArcGIS software, at Johns Hopkins University Brody Learning Commons, on May 16th, 2014. Our speaker was Bonni Wittstadt, GIS Coordinator for Sheridan Libraries, now GIS Librarian! Our turnout was small, but we hope to sponsor the program again, along with follow-on programs for librarians, and spread GIS to libraries in Maryland. Learn more here at

Your humble Chair has rejoined the Conference Committee for the 2015 conference. Under the energetic leadership of Ms. Julie Zamostny, Western Maryland Regional Library, we are off to a fast start. The leading news is that NASA, whose new mission is education, is partnering with MLA and DLA to offer keynote speakers and conference programming. Our conference theme is “To Boldly Go...Where No Library Has Gone Before.”

More immediately, GIIG is co-sponsoring a program with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service, who are reaching out to libraries to serve immigrant populations. Things have to be getting better when the federal government supports travel again. I am still reaching out to agencies such as USGS and the Space Telescope Science Institute to bring “Science in your Library” kinds of programming to the conference; if any of you have any contacts with USGS, I would be most grateful to receive them.

Lastly, I must give a warm welcome to Ms. Lisa A. Hartman from Ort Library at Frostburg State University. She has kindly agreed to assist in keeping our GIIG web site up to date. She has already composed Google documents that are a great help in posting this message. We hope soon to have our page of web links updated and uploaded.


Carl Olson, Chairperson
Librarian III
Albert S. Cook Library
Towson University
Towson, MD

Last updated 14 August 2014.