About Us

History

Established in 1974 as the Government Documents Committee, Government Documents became an SIS in 1976. Just under 100 members joined the GD/SIS in its first year; membership now numbers over 400. The goals of the GD/SIS are: to disseminate information on government documents to the AALL membership; to further the continuing education of law librarians in the area of government documents; to coordinate the activities of law librarians in representing their interests to public and private groups with regard to the publication, dissemination, citation, and use of government documents; and to work in cooperation with documents groups in other associations and organizations.

GD/SIS sponsors at least one major program at each AALL annual meeting. Recent programs have covered Federal Statistics, access to highly secret government publications, examining local government web sites and teaching legal research classes using government documents.

Members of the SIS have compiled a series of bibliographies of state publications to acquaint law librarians with documents used in researching state law and other legal issues. Commercial publications are also often included. Until 1986, the GD/SIS published and sold the state bibliographies. From 1986 to 1994, the bibliographies were available through the AALL Headquarters in Chicago. In 1994, the SIS resumed production, sales and distribution of the bibliographies through a volunteer SIS member, with all revenues and expenses associated with the series accounted for in the SIS funds. The series is part of the AALL Occasional Papers series. Each bibliography has its own number within the state bibliography series. Bibliographies for forty-four states and two Canadian provinces have been prepared. Selected revised and supplementary bibliographies, as well as new bibliographies, are issued annually.

Jurisdocs is the name of the GD/SIS newsletter. Publication began in 1978 and three issues a year are produced. Jurisdocs contains news about and from the GD/SIS and other groups and associations interested in government documents, including ALA/GODORT, the Government Printing Office, and the Depository Library Council. Substantive articles and bibliographies, annual meeting program announcements and summaries, and minutes of business meetings also appear in the newsletter.