Where to Find Government Information
If you are looking for information from the government, you are not quite in the right place. The Free Government Information site is devoted to raising awareness of issues related to government information policy, especially those regarding the easily restricted/malleable/trackable digital realm.
But since FGI is run by volunteer librarians, we are happy to offer you some starting points for your government information resources:
- Places to Ask Questions
- Government Information Online – A free, real-time and e-mail service staffed by government information professionals.
- USA.Gov Question by e-mail – An offical gov’t site to take your questions.
- USA.Gov hotline and phone directories – Pick up your phone and ask a question.
- Your local federal depository library – Use this page to find your nearest Federal Depository Library, who can help by phone, e-mail or in-person with your government information needs.
- Ask-a-Librarian on the Web – Use this link to find web-based librarians waiting to answer general reference questions.
- Try your local public library – It’s always a good idea to give your own library the first crack at a question. After all, you pay for it! Use this link to find the nearest public library near you.
- Places to do your own research
- General GPO Federal Digital System – One stop access to thousands of publications from the Government Printing Office.
- General USA.Gov – Web portal with information by topic for citizens, researchers, government employees and others.
- Science Science.gov – a gateway to authoritative selected science information provided by U.S. Government agencies, including research and development results.
- Census American Factfinder – Where you want to go for population and demographic information and anything to do with Census EXCEPT Genealogy.
- Statistics Fed Stats – Numbers on nearly everything.
- Congress THOMAS – current federal legislation
- GAO Reports Government Accountability Office Topic Search – Nonpartisan reports on government operations browseable by topic.
- CRS Reports Open CRS – Brings together reports on many topics of interest done by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service.
- Directory US Government Manual – Learn more about the structure of our government and locate government contacts.
- National Security Archives Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Guide – Did you know that most government information is neither classified nor published? But you can ask agencies to provide unpublished information provided it isn’t exempted from disclosure.
- List of Federal FOIA contacts – Once you learn how to make a FOIA request, find out where to file one. Site also has links to “FOIA Reading Rooms” where you can find previously disclosed information.
- Daniel Cornwall’s guide to finding State government information.
In addition to this NOT comprehensive list of outside web sites, Free Government Information has a few pages with government resources that are only here because they represent interesting uses of free, fully functional electronic information, or they represent interesting government-to-citizen communication tools. Please see our remixes page, government podcasts page and RSS directories page for examples.
Good luck in your government information research! When you’re done, please come back and read about the issues that might make your research harder in the future!