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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.

Government Agencies & Elected Officials at State Agency Databases Project

This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Government Agencies & Elected Officials, featuring 42 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:

ALABAMA

Local Alabama Government Search – Search for local officials by zip code or place name.

 

LOUISIANA

Louisiana Boards and Commissions Database – This database is searchable by the name of the commission, board or by name of an individual member. It includes names of all the members on the board or commission, a contact address and phone number, appointed date (if available), and expiration date of term (if available).

 

TENNESSEE

Tennessee State phone directory – Search for state employees or state offices.

 

For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/govdirdbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

Education at State Agency Databases Project

This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Education, featuring 43 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:

ALASKA

Teacher Certification Database – Searchable by teacher first or last name, this database will provide a list of that teacher’s current certifications along with expiration dates. This database does not list expired certifications or any personal data.

 

MISSOURI

Missouri School Directory – View public school information by county, district name, state house district, or state senate district. Information includes contact numbers for administrators and each school in the district, and the number of schools, certified staff, and enrolled students. Assessed valuation and tax levy amounts are also available.

 

TEXAS

Degree Program Search – From the website, “This tool allows a user to search by one field or a combination of fields to find a degree program(s) offered at one or more public community, technical, or state college, public university, health-related institution, Independent/Private(ICUT) Institution, For Profit Colleges & Universities Authorized by Certificate, or Other Institutions Authorized by Certificate. ”

For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/educationdbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

Help edit the “Preserving Data in Government Act of 2017”

This is a very cool idea as well as an important policy statement. Sunlight Foundation and a diverse coalition of government transparency, data innovation, scientific groups and environment defense advocates have come together to advocate for the “Preserving Data in Government Act of 2017”, which was recently introduced in the Senate. Sunlight has put the bill up on Madison, the site that allows for public collaboration on policy documents. So here’s your chance to read the bill and add your comments and suggestions to make the bill better!



This bill, which was introduced in the U.S. Senate this spring, would require federal agencies to preserve public access to data sets and prevent the removal of those data sets from the Internet without sufficient public notice. The Sunlight Foundation, a national, nonpartisan nonprofit that advocates for open government, supports the bill — but we want to make it better. You can comment on the full text of the Preserving Data in Government Act of 2017 below. Well make sure the Senate staff that drafted the bill see your contributions.

via The Preserving Data in Government Act of 2017 | Madison.

Earth & the Environment at State Agency Databases Project

This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Earth & the Environment, featuring 44 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:

ALABAMA

Alabama Drought Conditions – Enter your zip code to view drought conditions in your area.

 

MONTANA

Abandoned-Inactive Mines Database – The Abandoned-Inactive Mines (AIM) database contains over 8,000 records and includes several data tables that include information on location (latitude/longitude and cadastral), ownership (as determined from 1:24,000-scale maps, GPS, or other sources), office and field screening results, and water/soil sampling (sample-ID, location, and field parameters). Login is required but is free.

 

WISCONSIN

Wisconsin Herbaria Plant Specimen Database –  Over 250,000 records for Wisconsin’s vascular plants. Searchable by name, genus, species, location, habitat, and more. Created by the Wisconsin State Herbarium.

For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/earthdbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

NARA to offer digitized papers of Obama administration

In a press release today, The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) announced a “new model for the preservation and accessibility of Presidential records.” The Obama Foundation has announced its commitment to fund the digitization of all of the unclassified Presidential records created during the administration of President Barack Obama and NARA says that, “Instead of constructing a building to house the textual and artifact records, existing NARA facilities will house the original materials.”

In this new model, NARA will administer neither a museum nor a traditional “Presidential Library,” and will instead focus its resources and personnel on preserving and making accessible the Presidential records of the 44th President of the United States in digital format to the greatest extent possible.

…Once the records are digitized, NARA will store and preserve the original paper records, as well as the artifacts, in an existing facility that meets NARA’s high standards for archival storage.

… In addition to the paper records, NARA received more than 250 terabytes of electronic records, including approximately 300 million emails, from the Obama White House. Together, these “born digital” and the digitized materials will represent the largest digital archive of Presidential records.

Gary Price at InfoDocket has the complete text of the NARA announcement.

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