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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.

Montana Library Association passes Resolution to fund US govt publications preservation

Bernadine Abbott Hoduski, the grande dame of government documents — she’s got a GODORT award named after her for gosh sakes! — sent me this announcement. The Montana library Association, at its annual membership meeting in March, 2017, passed a packet of resolutions including their Resolution on Funding the Preservation of Federal Government Publications (text below). The resolution calls on the US Congress to “fully fund preservation of Federal government publications housed in federal depository libraries.”

The resolution has been sent to Montana’s US Senator Jon Tester, who happens to sit on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Please consider taking this text and passing the resolution at other state library associations, especially if your state’s senator sits on the Appropriations Committee. I’ve sent the text of this resolution to CA Senator Diane Feinstein.

Thanks bernadine for all your hard work on this and through the many years!

Resolution on Funding the Preservation of Federal Government Publications

Whereas, Democracy depends upon the public’s access to information from and about the United States federal government; and

Whereas, to preserve the historic record of our country, the United States Congress established a distributed system of Federal depository libraries to safeguard government information from dangers ranging from bit-rot to fire; and

Whereas, the United States Federal depository libraries provide public access to federal government publications and information without charge; and

Whereas, Federal depository libraries spend millions of dollars collecting, housing, cataloging, and providing public access to federal government information, and

Whereas, Federal depository libraries lack enough money to preserve millions of federal government publications in paper, microform, and digital formats; and

Whereas, the U. S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) established FIPNet (Federal Information Preservation Network) as part of the “National Plan for Access to U. S. Government Information” – a strategy for a collaborative network of information professionals working in various partner roles to ensure access to the national collection of government information for future generations. FIPNet contributes to the preservation of both tangible and digital government information, and elevates the public awareness and prestige of local initiatives, specific collections of government information, and the institutions and agencies that have stewardship over them; and

Whereas, GPO is not authorized to provide funding directly to depository libraries that agree to preserve federal government publications; and

Whereas, the United States Congress can authorize GPO to provide funding to depository libraries; and Whereas, GPO needs additional funding and staff to provide on-site support for libraries in the building of an inventory and catalog of all their federal government publications in order to plan for preservation;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

The Montana Library Association urges the U. S. Congress to fully fund preservation of Federal government publications housed in federal depository libraries; and

The Montana Library Association urges the U. S. Congress to authorize the U. S. Government Publishing Office to provide funds directly to libraries for the preservation of the federal government publications (paper, microform, and digital) housed in their libraries; and

The Montana Library Association urges Congress to provide funding to the Superintendent of Documents (GPO) so agency librarians can travel to depository libraries to advise librarians in preservation activities, including inventorying, cataloging, and planning for preservation of government publications.

Adopted by the Montana Library Association Membership March 31, 2017

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1960s

Bound Congressional RecordThe Government Publishing Office (GPO) just announced that GPO in concert with Library of Congress have released another decade of historic bound Congressional Record, this time covering 1961 – 1970. The CR is now available on govinfo.gov for 1961 – 2006.

This release covers debates and proceedings of the 87th through the 91st Congresses. Spanning approximately 380,000 Congressional Record pages, this era covers historical topics such as:

  • The Administrations of Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and the first two years of the Administration of President Richard M. Nixon
  • The Civil Rights Era
  • The Vietnam War
  • The Space Program and Moon Landing
  • Legislation of the Great Society and the War on Poverty, including:
    • Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • Voting Rights Act of 1965
    • Fair Housing Act of 1968
    • Medicare and Medicaid
    • Economic Opportunity Act of 1964
    • Immigration Act of 1965
    • Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
    • Endangered Species Act of 1966
    • Public Broadcasting Act of 1967

via GPO Issues Digital Release of Historical Congressional Record for the 1960s.

Depository Library Council class of 2017 named

Congratulations to the Depository Library Council class of 2017: Erik Beck, Jane Canfield, Mary Clark, Donna James, Celina McDonald.

These five new DLC members will serve from June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2020

Erik Beck: Digital Services Librarian, University of Colorado Law School, William A. Wise School of Law, Boulder, CO. Eric is the Digital Services Librarian and Depository Coordinator. He has been active in the AALL community and has led the development of digital collections of Government publications in his library. He has written many articles on digitization and the digital experience.

Jane Canfield: Depository Coordinator, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Biblioteca Encarnación Valdés, PR. Jane has many years’ experience as a depository coordinator and is responsible for reorganizing the collection at Puerto Rico’s Pontificia Universidad Católica from a small section of technical services to a new and thriving area which combines Federal documents with a learning commons.  She brings non-Continental U.S. geographic coverage and a primarily Spanish speaking patron base to Council.

Mary Clark: Director, Acquisitions and Access Management, Library of Virginia. Richmond, VA. She is a Charter member of the innovative Government Information Online chat references service (GPO is a partner with this service). Under her direction, the Library of Virginia has cataloged all of the state and Federal documents in the collection, and the Library has transitioned to an almost entirely digital program. Mary also has led an effort to catalog well over 250,000 pre-1976 Federal documents.

Donna James: Library Director/Federal Depository Coordinator, Valley City State University, Allen Memorial Library, Valley City, ND. Donna has been Library Director of Allen Memorial Library for over 10 years. She was instrumental in moving the VCSU collection to a mostly digital selective depository. Donna advocates for and regularly teaches workshops for school librarians encouraging the use of free Government resources in schools. Donna is a member and past President of the North Dakota Library Association and a member of the North Dakota-Manitoba Chapter of Association of College & Research Libraries.

Celina McDonald: Regional Depository Coordinator, University of Maryland, College Park, McKeldin Library, College Park, MD. Celina serves as the regional depository coordinator for Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.  She belongs to a number of committees including Regional Government Information Librarians, Government Documents Round Table Nominating Committee, and is currently the chair of the American Library Association’s Committee on Legislation, Subcommittee on Government Information.

via GPO Director Names New Members to the Depository Library Council.

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1970s

The Government Publishing Office just announced that they’ve released another decade of historic bound Congressional Record, this time covering 1971 – 1980.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1971-1980 on GPO’s govinfo system.

This release covers debates and proceedings of the 92nd through the 96th Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • The Administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter
  • Passage/ratification of the 26th Amendment (allowing 18-year-olds to vote)
  • Watergate
  • The end of the Vietnam War
  • The Bicentennial
  • Civil Service Reform Act of 1978
  • The Iran Hostage Crisis
  • OPEC and the Oil Crises of the 1970s
  • Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act

via GPO Issues Digital Release of Historical Congressional Record for the 1970s.

GPO releases digital Congressional Record for the 1980s

Back in September, 2016, we posted about the project undertaken by the Government Publishing Office and Library of Congress to digitize the Congressional Record in its entirety back to 1873. At that time, GPO released volumes from 1991 – 1998 (covering the 102nd – 105th Congresses). Today, GPO issued a press release about the next segment of the Congressional Record publicly available online, this time from 1981 – 1990. All digital volumes 1981 – 2001 are now available on GPO’s GOVINFO site.

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) partners with the Library of Congress (LC) to release the digital version of the bound Congressional Record from 1981-1990 on GPO’s govinfo. This release covers debates and proceedings of the 98th thru the 101st Congresses. This era of Congress covers historical topics such as:

  • Ronald Reagan’s Presidency and the first two years of George H.W. Bush’s Presidency
  • The Strategic Defense Initiative
  • The Space Shuttle program
  • The Iran-Contra Affair
  • The end of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act

GPO and LC released the digital version of the historical Congressional Record for the 1990s in September and will continue to collaborate on this important project and release digital versions of the bound Congressional Record back to the first one published by GPO on March 5, 1873. GPO publishes the Congressional Record in print and digitally on govinfo every day Congress is in session.

via GPO Issues Digital Release of Historical Congressional Record for the 1980s.

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