In this part of our three-part series on strategic planning for the FDLP and GPO, we offer a vision of a collaborative FDLP that will greatly enhance preservation of government information, improve access for users, and increase the value of individual FDLP libraries to their communities and to the public.
The GPO’s Office of the Superintendent of Documents released its National Plan for Access to U.S. Government Information: A Framework for a User-centric Service Approach To Permanent Public Access in February. Our colleague Shari Laster has written a really thorough overview and background of the document, so we will use this post to analyze the Plan in more detail and suggest how it can (and should) be improved. In a follow-up piece, we’ll then move from strategic planning to an environmental scan and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis of the current FDLP as it relates to the Plan, including more context of what’s in place and what we feel is missing in order to build a sustainable digital FDLP ecosystem.
Classroom Deliberation: Should the United States Senate Conduct Confirmation Hearings for a Supreme Court Vacancy in a Presidential Election Year?
As part of C-SPAN’s “Classroom Deliberations” site (produced by C-SPAN’s Senior Fellows, designed to engage students in classroom deliberations about current issues being debated in the United States) a new lesson:
- Should the United States Senate Conduct Confirmation Hearings for a Supreme Court Vacancy in a Presidential Election Year?
Following the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on February 13th, 2016, the Republican controlled Senate and leading Republican presidential candidates stated that a Supreme Court vacancy which occurs in the same calendar year as a presidential election should be left vacant until the newly elected President can make a nomination. President Obama believes the President has a Constitutional responsibility to make a nomination when a vacancy occurs.
Democratic Senators, currently in the minority, argue that no Supreme Court nominee sent to the Judiciary Committee by a sitting President in the last 100 years has been denied a hearing. Senate Republicans argue that Democrats are on record in the past as having supported the idea of not holding hearings on potential candidates nominated by President Bush in the last year of his Presidency.
Is the Senate violating its Constitutional responsibility to provide “Advice and Consent” to President Obama’s nominee?
Should a lame duck president be allowed to make a lifetime appointment in the final months of their administration?
Lots of News and Essays about the FBI vs. Apple, by Bruce Schneier, Crypto-Gram (March 15, 2016).
Bruce says, “This isn’t the most comprehensive list of links, but it’s a good one. They’re more or less in chronological order.” Indeed, it is a very good list for catching up on this important issue, or filling in the gaps, or understanding the issues. While browsing the list, see also Bruce’s article in the same issue of Crypto-Gram: The FBI vs Apple: Decrypting an iPhone
What the FBI wants to do would make us less secure, even though it’s in the name of keeping us safe from harm. Powerful governments, democratic and totalitarian alike, want access to user data for both law enforcement and social control. We cannot build a backdoor that only works for a particular type of government, or only in the presence of a particular court order.
Either everyone gets security or no one does. Either everyone gets access or no one does. The current case is about a single iPhone 5c, but the precedent it sets will apply to all smartphones, computers, cars and everything the Internet of Things promises. The danger is that the court’s demands will pave the way to the FBI forcing Apple and others to reduce the security levels of their smart phones and computers, as well as the security of cars, medical devices, homes, and everything else that will soon be computerized. The FBI may be targeting the iPhone of the San Bernardino shooter, but its actions imperil us all.
Press Release from GPO:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2016 No. 16-05
GPO CONTINUES ITS MOVE TO CLOUD TECHNOLOGY WITH LIBRARY COMMUNITY WEBSITES
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) continues to embrace technological innovation by transitioning its Integrated Library System (ILS) public websites to the cloud using Amazon Cloud Services. This move supports the Federal Cloud First policy that encourages agencies to take advantage of cloud computing opportunities. The cloud improves performance of these sites during peak traffic times, giving the user faster search results and content downloads.
• The Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP): http://catalog.gpo.gov
• The Federal Depository Library Directory: http://catalog.gpo.gov/fdlpdir/FDLPdir.jsp
• MetaLib: http://metalib.gpo.gov/
GPO recently became the first legislative branch agency to successfully move its email to the cloud. The transition creates benefits of a larger mailbox size, increased email archiving, anti-spam and malware services, collaboration tools and online meeting capabilities. GPO’s IT infrastructure has been simplified and users are experiencing greater functionality since the implementations.
Full press release [PDF].