As the inauguration ceremony begins tomorrow, we can be assured that the Library of Congress and other partners in the End of Term Harvest project have captured much of the Bush administration's online presence. Many of these websites will be re-captured at later dates, providing an interesting look at how these websites will change over time, through different administrations.
On a related note, there will undoubtedly be changes in the coming days, weeks, months, that will eliminate some government agencies. We are trying to archive as many of these "dead" websites as possible in the CyberCemetery, to preserve them in their final form.
Please, if you know of a website that is disappearing, email or call me. I'm keeping my eyes and ears open, but there is a lot of content out there, and I welcome your help. After all, this information is for all of us!
Thanks, and I wish you all joy as we witness history tomorrow.
In light of all this financial upheaval, I've been trying to find good sources for learning basic economic concepts. I must admit that I haven't taken economics since high school, a class that consisted of one semester learning to balance checkbooks... and that was about it. Lately I've been reading a basic economics book, and have another on my to-read list, but it struck me that what I really needed was a series of short educational publications on specific economic topics.
Hmmm... government documents, anyone? Here are some helpful documents and websites I'm using.
- Federal Reserve Education
- Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco: Publications
- Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas: Publications
- The Federal Reserve, Monetary Policy and the Economy
- Free Enterprise, the Economy and Monetary Policy
- Everyday Economics
- Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Please comment if you've got further resources--I'm fascinated to see them!
September's gone already? Well, brief as the month was, I want to say I've really enjoyed being September's Blogger of the Month. Posting here and watching new stories come up daily has been a real treat. My thanks to the FGI folks for giving me a great venue for posting thoughts and finds! And in that spirit, here's a little mish-mash of what I've been reading the past two days.
I find it pretty telling (in a geeky way) of where the nation's attention lies, that I'm getting timeout errors in so many areas related to the Economic Stimulus Bill and the general financial hoopla. This morning, I couldn't get to related articles on Wikipedia.
Yesterday GovTrack.us posted a high-traffic-volume message to the effect of, "we'll be back when everyone chills out." Today, they've posted the Economic Stimulus Bill details at the top of the page, with a note stating, "We'll have more info here as soon as it's posted on the government website THOMAS, maybe tomorrow. If that's not fast enough, tell your representative that the Library of Congress needs the funding and a mandate to enter the 21st century for legislative information." Indeed.
And now for something completely different! I've been looking through Resource Shelf's GovDocs category lately, and made several interesting finds, including Statescape (fee-based, but includes lots of free state gov info) and an overview of the new features on Science.gov.
And a Happy Autumn to you all!
Kovacs Consulting, which holds online training for librarians, also surveys librarians' core reference tools in a variety of subject areas. And yes, there is a Government Documents section! You can contribute to the current survey or take a look at the 2005 and 2006 results.
What a great way to find some new resources, and see what everyone else is using! I also plan on using the list as I train a graduate student on our reference desk.
This past Saturday, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly ordered Dick Cheney to preserve all vice presidential records--huzzah! Read more about the case below:
- news story about the case
- Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's memorandum opinion
- the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), who filed the lawsuit
- more about the Presidential Records Act
Thanks again to Rebecca Blakeley to alerting me about this story!
I've seen a lot of good resources related to Hurricane Ike over the past week, and thought I'd compile them here.
- Images of the devastation that Ike wrought, from the USGS, NOAA, and NASA.
- Applying for assistance through FEMA.
- Hurricane assistance resources through USA.gov and Health & Human Services.
- Planning for future hurricane preparedness.
- Rebecca Blakeley has posted a list of places you can volunteer or donate at Gov Docs on the Bayou.
- I also used a recent FGI tip to stay informed! By watching the NASA tweets, I saw when this message was posted about the re-opening of Johnson Space Center on Monday.
In my department, we're preparing for Constitution Day on Wednesday--printing stickers and buttons, boxing up pocket Constitutions, creating activity booklets, updating our website. Last year, we handed out hundreds of pocket Constitutions in a matter of hours at the Political Science department, and this year we've already begun receiving requests for them. This year, we're also participating in a community event at the local Barnes and Noble, which is designed to draw grade-school kids and their parents. We’ve even got a giant replica print of the Constitution (with extra blank but “antique-looking” pages) for the kids to sign.
Here are some of the many resources available online:
- Search for great resources from the Constitution Center!
- Peggy Garvin recently posted a great summary of the purpose and origin of Constitution Day on LLRX.com.
- If you're looking for last-minute display ideas, here's a great webpage at the Minnesota State University of Mankato (recommended to me by Shari Laster, Gov Docs librarian at the University of Akron—thanks, Shari!).
- Also, here are some sources for pocket constitutions and related government publications (great giveaways!).
- And we printed our replica based on the gorgeous images on NARA’s Charters of Freedom website.
- See more primary resources at the Library of Congress website.
- The Constitution Day website also has trivia and great resources for making activity booklets, etc.
I'm interested to hear what your library has planned for the event--please comment below and let us know what you're doing, where you found resources, etc. Are you planning events at the library, on a campus, in the community?
Yesterday, the Partnership for a Secure America released a new WMD Report Card. The report gives our defenses against a WMD terrorist attack as a grade "C," a slight upgrade from the 9/11 Public Discourse Project's 2005 grade of "D." Former 9/11 Commissioners Rep. Lee H. Hamilton (D-IN) and Sen. Slade Gorton (R-WA) were present at the press conference.
In related news...
Hi to all you FGI readers! I'm thrilled to be this month's guest blogger.
As we all watch this historic presidential election unfold, there's another question going on in the back of our minds--how much of this online government information is going to change with the new administration, regardless of who's sworn in next January? As someone who works specifically with digital government collections, and whose primary job is capturing defunct government websites, this is of particular interest.
Most of you already know about the "Dot Gov Crawl" project that's been organized to address this issue. The project partners include the Library of Congress, the Internet Archive, the California Digital Library (CDL), the University of North Texas (UNT), and the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). We're working collaboratively to harvest and preserve government websites (primarily .gov and .mil domains), to form a snapshot of digital government information at the end of the current presidential administration.
The Internet Archive will be performing the comprehensive crawl, and Library of Congress is focusing on congressional materials. CDL and UNT will be performing in-depth harvests of specific government websites, gathering documents linked deep within the websites that may not be gathered in the Internet Archive crawl.
I encourage you to participate in the project. Communicate with the partner institution closest to you, and let them know if there are specific websites (or portions of websites) that are of particular interest to you.
At UNT, we're trying to focus on documents that support our regional interests, things that might be overlooked in the kinds of sweeping national topics that will be handled by the Internet Archive. We're requesting that librarians for the central United States send us things that you want captured--websites you use often, publications deep within websites that might not be captured in large crawls, topics of regional interest. Your requests will help us identify and prioritize the information that is preserved for future generations.
Please, submit any suggestions you have in the comments section below--I'll be monitoring them and adding them to our list. Thanks for your input!