The future of government information is in peril from many economic and political forces. Free Government Information was initiated by Jim A. Jacobs , James R. Jacobs , Shinjoung Yeo , three librarians at University of California San Diego, along with Daniel Cornwall , librarian at the Alaska State Library, and James Staub, librarian at the Tennessee State Library, in order to raise public awareness of the importance of government information and create a community with various stakeholders to facilitate an open and critical dialogue. James R. Jacobs and Shinjoung Yeo moved to Stanford University Library in December, 2005 as International Documents Librarian and Communications Bibliographer/Reference Coordinator respectively. Shinjoung is currently (as of September, 2008) a PhD student in the Information in Society program  at University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.
In October, 2008, we expanded the number of FGI volunteers with the inclusion of Rebecca Troy-Horton . Rebecca was the head of the Government Information Department at the McNeese State University Library in Lake Charles, Louisiana until 2011. She is currently living in Portland, ME and looking for full-time work.
We believe that it is important to garner support for government information not just within our own community of federal depository libraries but with those organizations and citizens that actually need to know about the activities of our government in order to participate fully in the democratic process. This includes non-profit organizations, government watchdogs, academics and researchers, journalists, the business community, and individual citizens. By creating this nexus, we hope to facilitate collaboration among the various stakeholders and participate in the design of a truly robust system for the digital age where government information is freely accessible, fully functional and usable, and preserved in a distributed system of libraries.
Ceding responsibility and control of such information to those who must be held accountable with that information is unwise. While governments will continue to fulfill their role of creating and disseminating information, there is another continuing essential role for preserving and organizing that information for users and providing long-term access to and service for that information. In America, we are blessed with laws that help us ensure this, but these laws bring with them a responsibility. Libraries will abrogate that responsibility to others at the peril, not just to their own continued relevance, but to democracy itself. --Jacobs, Jacobs, Yeo. "Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program."  (to be published in the May, 2005 issue of Journal of Academic Librarianship).
Please contact us  if you would like to join in the effort to make government information a continuing reality or if you have ideas, suggestions, or comments about the site. We are available for panels and presentations at conferences, workshops, etc. Please see FGI's list of papers and presentations  for more information.
Daniel Cornwall was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He lived in California, Texas and Florida before moving to Juneau, Alaska in 1998. Daniel graduated with a Masters of Library and Information Science from UT Austin. He works for the Alaska Division of Libraries, Archives & Museums, which is not associated in any way whatsoever with Free Government Information. Daniel is currently the Head of Technology and Instructional Services, but spent seven years (1999-2007) as the federal and state documents librarian for the Alaska State Library. His full professional history can be found on his LinkedIn profile . He remains active in government information through his coordination of the State Agency Databases project  for the State and Local Documents Task Force of ALA GODORT.
When not blogging, Daniel enjoys photography, astronomy, space exploration and nearly all things science fiction. Many of these interests are featured on his Tumblr blog .
Jim Jacobs (James A. Jacobs) is Data Services Librarian Emeritus, University of California San Diego. He is one of the co-creators of FreeGovInfo.info. Jim is a librarian, teacher, trainer, researcher, writer, and consultant. He specializes in government information, providing data services in libraries, OAIS, TRAC, and digital library certification. Jim received his Bachelors degree from Oberlin College and his MSLS from University of Southern California.
Jim served as data services librarian at the University of California San Diego for more than 20 years. In other libraries, he has worked as state government publications librarian, Librarian for Instruction and International Documents, and Documents Librarian. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Public Data Users and the Administrative Committee of the International Association for Social Science Services and Technology. Since 1990, he has co-taught the ICPSR summer workshop, "Providing Social Science Data Services: Strategies for Design and Operation." He is a technical consultant to the Center for Research Libraries on matters dealing with long-lived repositories and the certification of digital archives.
Some of Jim's publications include Preserving research data  by James A. Jacobs and Charles Humphrey. Communications of the ACM. Volume 47, Number 9 (2004); Government Information in the Digital Age: The Once and Future Federal Depository Library Program  by James A. Jacobs, James R. Jacobs, and Shinjoung Yeo, Journal of Academic Librarianship, May 2005; Government Information in the Digital Era: Free Culture or Controlled Substance?  by Karrie Peterson and James A. Jacobs, Symposium on Free Culture and the Digital Library 2005, Emory University, October 2005; Government Documents at the Crossroads , Karrie Peterson, Elizabeth Cowell, and Jim Jacobs. American Libraries 32(8) (September 2001): 52-55; and "The Technical is Political," Jim Jacobs, Karrie Peterson, Of Significance..., 3(1) 2001, p.25-35 , Association of Public Data Users.
Jim can be reached at jajacobs at ucsd.edu
James R. Jacobs -- not to be confused with Jim Jacobs, one of the other cofounders! -- is one of the cofounders of Free Government Information. At the time of FGI's founding in November, 2004, James was the local, state and international documents librarian at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). He has since moved from UCSD to the Bay Area and is currently the Government Documents Librarian at Stanford University Library  where he is very involved with both traditional collection development as well as digital projects like LOCKSS-USDOCS . He received his MSLIS in 2002 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign , was a 2005 Library Journal Mover & Shaker  (or CO-mover&shaker w Shinjoung Yeo!) and is a member of Beta Phi Mu .
James is very active in the library community. He is a member of the Government Documents Roundtable (GODORT)  of the American Library Association. He is former chair of GODORT's Government Information Technology Committee (GITCO) and Publications Committee -- where he started and serves as editor of the GODORT Occasional Paper series  -- and has served on the State and Local Documents Taskforce (SLDTF) and International Documents Taskforce (IDTF). He served a 3 year term (2009 - 2012) on Depository Library Council to the Public Printer , including serving as DLC Chair from 2011 - 2012. He was named 2005 Library Journal Mover & Shaker with Shinjoung Yeo  for his continuing work as founder of Radical Reference .
Besides FGI and Radical Reference, James is on the board of Question Copyright , a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that promotes a better public understanding of the history and effects of copyright, and encourages the development of alternatives to information monopolies. He has also helped to start the Stanford Open Source Lab .
On p.109 of the report "Managing and Sustaining A State Government Publications Program in California: A Report on the Existing Situation and Recommendations for Action"  (2004) there's a bar napkin kind of drawing that James did to map out what he thought the future CA state depository system *ought* to look like. This is basically the model he'd like to see for all government information. You get a picture of a distributed and collaborative model of storage, description, access and preservation, and *this* is what James is working toward with FGI.
Some of James' recent publications and presentations include:
James grew up in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and upstate New York. At one time or another he has called home the following places: NY City, Boston, Tokyo, Japan, Ithaca, NY, Eugene, OR, Urbana, IL, San Diego, CA and now San Francisco. James has always been a library rat and has called himself "librarian" since the age of 15 when he was "co-librarian" at a small public library in Homer, NY (yeah yeah, he's heard about the faux pas of calling oneself a librarian without having an MLS!). As evinced by the number of places he's lived, James took the road less travelled to being a librarian, with stints as an ESL teacher, social studies teacher, garlic farmer, beekeeper, and several technician jobs within various libraries. But, as Robert Frost wrote, that "has made all the difference." 
James can be reached at freegovinfo AT gmail DOT com.
[Updated August 8, 2012]
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Prior to McNeese, Rebecca worked in the Reference and Government Publications departments at the University of Rhode Island  and also taught courses on Information Literacy. She received her M.L.I.S. in 2005 and her B.A. in Anthropology in 2003, both from the University of Rhode Island. Rebecca fell in love with Government Documents when she took an online course with Daniel O'Mahony , whose passion for "Documents to the People" inspired her to become a documents librarian. Rebecca is a techie wannabee and is neither Gen X nor Gen Y but somewhere in between. Feel free to visit her department's blog, Gov Docs on the Bayou .
ShinJoung Yeo is a PhD student and Fellow in the Information in Society program  at the Graduate School of Library and Information Science  at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Prior to returning to school, she was Coordinator for Reference and Outreach Services in the Stanford University Library , and also serves as Bibliographer for Communication in the Social Sciences Resource Group.
Shinjoung is a founding member of Radical Reference , a collective of volunteer library workers who use their professional skills to answer information needs from the general public, independent journalists, and activists. She was named 2005 Library Journal Mover & Shaker  with her husband James R. Jacobs. She holds both a bachelors (1999) and masters (2002) degree in Journalism and Communications from the University of Oregon. She previously worked as a reference librarian at the University of California at San Diego and the San Diego Community College District Libraries, and as a news reporter for Korean-American Television in Los Angeles. In September of 2007 she and James took the Internet Archive's Bookmobile on a tour of Northern California , bringing a demonstration of print-on-demand and online library services to communities that do not have easy access to a wide variety of printed materials.