Our mission

Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

State Agency Databases Activity Report 4/20/2014

It was a slow week for the volunteers at the State Agency Databases Project at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/State_Agency_Databases.

SOME STATE DATA SETS AND APPS AVAILABLE FROM DATA.GOV

While not in scope for our project, we wanted to note the presence of a States section at data.gov. This page links to state produced data sets, apps, state data policies and current programming challenges. It is far from comprehensive but still interesting to look through. You can find a link to this section on our main project page after the listing of state pages.

FEATURED DATABASE

Today’s featured database is from Annie Moots, who maintains the Missouri page:

Consumer Confidence Reports

This database contains yearly reports of community public water systems in each county of Missouri. Information in the reports includes assessment of the water source, contaminants and their ranges found in the water, violations of drinking water regulations, and much more. The database is searchable by county then by water system. It is maintained by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Public Drinking Water Branch.

DATABASE CHANGES

This week the only significant change was that Mark Rozmarynowski updated a few links on the Wisconsin page.

#nlw14 FLDP Edition Day 7: New Mexico State Library

We conclude our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week with the 2005 winner of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

New Mexico State Library Named 2005 Federal Depository Library of the Year

Winner of the 2005 Library of the Year.The U.S. Government Printing Office is proud to present to New Mexico State Library the 2005 Library of the Year Award. The library won the award for going the extra mile to promote the goals of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) in creative and innovative ways.

“New Mexico State Library is a shining example of what can happen when conscientious dedication and technological advances meet. This combination has ensured that access to authentic Federal Government documents is among the top priorities at this now award-winning state library,” said Bruce James, Public Printer of the United States. “The New Mexico community is served by some of the most resourceful, innovative, and knowledgeable librarians in the country and GPO salutes their achievements.”

New Mexico State Library’s programs have helped provide access to Government information to people whether living in a city or on an isolated mountaintop. Deputy Public Printer Bill Turri presented the award to library staff during a ceremony on October 16th, as part of this year’s Fall Federal Depository Library Conference. Achievements such as New Mexico News Plus, the New Mexico State Library Digital Archive Project, and Docs on Wheels provide access to Government information to the people of New Mexico.

New Mexico News Plus is a web-based information research service designed to serve as an access tool for New Mexico’s libraries, students, teachers, citizen activists, and federal/state government policy makers. Updated each morning in response to the news of the day, New Mexico News Plus provides the user with links to Government documents and agency contacts behind each story.

The New Mexico State Library Digital Archive Project provides a mechanism for the library to capture “fugitive” electronic documents from regional Federal agencies that have been identified on the New Mexico News Plus service or through local agency contacts. Many documents produced by regional offices of Federal agencies would never find their way into the program without this project.

The library also provides an excellent bookmobile service. Docs on Wheels serves four geographic regions, serving 10,000 registered customers. Many of the library’s rural patrons lack Internet access and rely on this service to participate in the regulatory process. The service gives them the ability to comment on proposed rules and regulations that impact their lives and communities.

“I commend New Mexico State Library for its pioneering work in managing public and Federal information which is reflected by this prestigious award. The Library’s approach, to make data of particular relevance to New Mexico available, is unique and highly innovative. It is an exciting and precise educational tool that can empower citizens to participate even more fully in the public policy processes that impact all of our lives,” said U.S. Senator Pete Domenici.

Library director Richard Akeroyd, regional Federal documents librarian Laurie Canepa, and their staff have shown passion and dedication to these projects and other efforts that have made the New Mexico State Library a recognized national leader in disseminating Government information.

“It is a great honor to receive this recognition from the U.S. Government Printing Office. All of us at the New Mexico State Library are extremely gratified and proud to be recognized for the dedication and commitment of our depository library staff to making government information freely and readily available to the people of New Mexico,” said Library Director Richard Akeroyd.“ We look forward to continuing our close work with the Government Printing Office, and our federal documents depository colleagues, in contributing to the on-going maintenance of a strong depository library system in New Mexico and throughout the nation.”

For more information about the New Mexico State Library, visit their Web site.

Have a story about the New Mexico State Library? Please share in comments!

We hope you have enjoyed this quick peek at nine of over 1,200 Federal Depository Libraries (FDLs). There is at least one FDL in every Congressional district, so you ought to find one near you. And if that’s not near enough, most of them have web sites. We hope you will take some time this month to visit your local Federal Depository Library either in person or over the web. They all have a lot to offer you. Much like libraries in general.

 

#nlw14 FDLP Edition Day 6: Benton Harbor Public Library

Today our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week focuses on the 2006 winner of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

Benton Harbor Public Library Named 2006 Federal Depository Library of the Year

Winner of the 2006 Library of the Year.The U.S. Government Printing Office has selected Michigan’s Benton Harbor Public Library as the 2006 Federal Depository Library of the Year. Public Printer Bruce James presented the award to library officials October 22 at the annual Federal Depository Library Conference. In presenting the award, James commended the library for providing the residents of its community with online access to authentic published Government information. “I am honored to present this award to the Benton Harbor Public Library. Our partnership with the Federal Depository Library is an example of how GPO and local libraries can help communities across the country access authentic published Government information,” said James.

“I am especially glad to see the library using the far-reaching benefits of the Web to post Federal Government documents that residents can download electronically.”

Benton Harbor Public Library is in an economically challenged area and used limited funds to ensure Federal Government resources are used to their full potential. Michigan’s United States Senators are proud of what a library in their home state was able to accomplish.

“I commend the Benton Harbor Public Library staff not only for its commitment to providing citizens with access to a wide range of Government resources, but also for presenting these resources in a manner that so directly meets the needs of the community,” said U.S. Senator Carl Levin.

Attendees enjoying cake in celebration of the Library of the Year award.“Great things are happening because of great people in Benton Harbor. I’m so proud to represent them,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. “This award is very special and very well deserved. I want to congratulate Fred Kirby, our great director of the library, and his staff.”

Michigan Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, in a letter congratulating the library on the award, noted that “the staff at Benton Harbor Public Library are showing your community how to navigate, use and ultimately leverage primary source materials where they can arguably do the most good and where — without the commitment of the library to offer such materials — they would otherwise be unavailable to many people. This award is a testament to your library staff’s passion for information and commitment to your community. On behalf of the people of Michigan, whom you serve so very well, please accept my congratulations and best wishes as you celebrate this much deserved recognition.”

Do you have a story about the Benton Harbor Public Library? Share it in comments!

#nlw14 FDLP Edition Day 5: Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library

Today our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week focuses on the 2007 winner of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library Named 2007 Federal Depository Library of the Year

  • Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library Named 2007 Federal Depository Library of the Year.

Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library, in O’Fallon, Missouri, has been named the 2007 Federal Depository Library of the Year. Each year, the U.S. Government Printing Office selects one Federal depository library for its outstanding service to the American public and the promotion of Federal Government information. Public Printer Robert C. Tapella presented the award to Deputy Director Betty Murr at the Fall DLC Meeting and Conference held in Arlington, VA.

“It is an honor to present the library with this award. The Middendorf-Kredell Library has demonstrated great leadership in the ever changing digital age by creating an online forum twelve years ago for the public to access Government information,” said Public Printer Robert C. Tapella.

A selective Federal depository library since 1990, Middendorf-Kredell Branch Library is part of the St. Charles City-County Library District. Their creativity and innovation has led to the development of various programs that readily and easily bring Federal information to a very broad base of the local community.

“A well-informed electorate is indispensable to the American form of government. You and your staff have established a standard of excellence that will not soon be eclipsed, and in doing so, you have also strengthened the very foundations of the freedoms that we now enjoy. Congratulations on your fine work!”, said Congressman W. Todd Akin.

Middendorf-Kredell was among the first Federal depository libraries to establish an online Web site to enhance their ability to reach the public. This includes their creation of “Uncle Sam for Kids”, which was the first of its kind in the country to help kids obtain Federal information for school assignments. Their Community & Market Analysis program has been successful in providing a free, customized analysis for any address for businesses interested in relocation or expanding in the area. Additionally, Anne Sylvan, information resource manager for documents at the Middendorf-Kredell Branch, developed a protocol to directly batch-upload government documents, instead of sending them out to a third party to be catalogued. Last year, the library uploaded 18,500 electronic government records. Library patrons can search the records by author, title, subject or keywords.

“We’re certainly not the largest depository, so I like to think that our recognition is tied to our strength of getting library services out to the broader community,” said St. Charles City-County Library District Director Carl R. Sandstedt. “We have tried for years to “knock” the walls out of our buildings and push services throughout the area. We are simply much more proactive in the delivery of services than most public libraries.”

Do you have a story about Middendorf-Kredell? Tell us about it in comments!

#nlw14 FDLP Edition Day 4: Law Library for San Bernadino County

Today our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week focuses on the 2008 winner of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

Law Library for San Bernadino County Named 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year

  • Law Library for San Bernadino County Named 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year.

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is pleased to announce the Law Library for San Bernardino County, California, as the 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year. The GPO bestows this honor on a Federal depository library each year for its outstanding service to meet the Federal government information needs in the library’s service area; creativity and innovation in developing community programs for the use of Federal government information; and leadership in creating public service programs that can be emulated by other Federal Depository Libraries.

The presentation of the award took place at the Fall Federal Depository Library Conference in Arlington, Virginia.  Participants in the award ceremony included Public Printer Robert C. Tapella; Richard G. Davis, the Acting Superintendent of Documents and Director of Library Services and Content Management; Lawrence R. Meyer, the Director of the Law Library for San Bernardino County; and Keith D. Davis, the President of the library’s Board of Trustees.

“The Law Library for San Bernardino County has done an outstanding job of providing the public access to the documents of our democracy,” said Public Printer Robert C. Tapella.  “For nearly 200 years, depository libraries have safeguarded the public’s right to know and are one of the vital links between the public and its government.”

With three locations, the Law Library for San Bernardino County is a selective Federal depository library that serves the largest county in the United States.  It encompasses the main library in the City of San Bernardino, as well as branches in the cities of Rancho Cucamonga ands Victorville.  The library has a lengthy record of public service and outreach.

Library staff has taken numerous steps to offer superior service to its users.  These steps include extending its hours of operation, developing a new, more user-friendly Web site, and offering a law librarian online reference service called “AskNow.”

  • Celebrating with a cake.

Also, the staff conducts public outreach activities by extensively promoting law library materials and services to both the legal and non-legal communities.  Additionally, the staff consistently surveys library users, which enables them to sustain an open relationship with the members of the community they serve.

“We are deeply honored and privileged to receive the award,” said Lawrence R. Meyer, Director, Law Library for San Bernardino County. “We appreciate its significance to the depository community and the recognition the award conveys specifically to the Law Library for San Bernardino County as well as the recognition it places upon all Law Libraries that participate in the FDLP as selective depositories or through shared housing arrangements. In particular this award emphasizes the importance of publicly accessible county law libraries to the FDLP.”

Do you have a story about the Law Library for San Bernardino County? Please share in comments!

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