Library of Congress
Man, this week is Sunshine-week-alicious! The Sunlight Foundation has long advocated for -- along with FGI, library- and open govt organizations -- the free public access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports. CRS Reports are commonly not available to the public as CRS has this arcane and outdated rule that CRS reports are privileged communication between Congress and CRS. But CRS reports ARE available randomly online and Proquest, Penny Hill Press and other commercial publishers have long published them for a fee (I've even heard that CRS subscribes to Proquest to get access to their own reports historically!).
But this all may change. According to the Sunlight Blog, Representatives Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Mike Quigley (D-IL) have reintroduced the bipartisan House Resolution 110 "Public Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Resolution of 2013" (text not received by GPO yet so not publicly available on Thomas). The Resolution would direct the Clerk of the House of Representatives to provide members of the public with Internet access to certain Congressional Research Service publications. Easy-peasy right?!
More than 30 organizations -- including Sunlight Foundation and FGI -- have signed on to a letter supporting the resolution. Please consider contacting your Representative and ask them to support H.Res. 110!
Y'all should attend. The speaker is Abbie Grotke, who was one of our group of guest bloggers from the End of Term Archive last month. Register early. Or have a viewing party so you can share one Webinar connection with multiple people. But do it. You won't regret it!
FEDLINK invites you to the next Library of Congress Area Studies Webinar Series: "Web Archiving at the Library of Congress and Around the World," to be held on Thursday, August 30, 2012, 2:00-3:00pm ET.
Since 2000, the Library of Congress has been archiving born-digital web content documenting a variety of events and themes. The Webinar will provide an overview of the Library's web archiving program and a look at international work and collaborative efforts by libraries, archives, and other organizations.
The speaker is Abbie Grotke, the Web Archiving Team Lead in the Office of Strategic Initiatives at the Library of Congress. She came to the Library in 1997 to work on American Memory digitization projects. Since 2002 she has been involved in web archiving and the digital preservation program at the Library of Congress.
This program is FREE however there is a maximum capacity so registration is required.
The webinar will be recorded and available for later viewing if you are unable to participate.
Please register by Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GNBSWYM.
If you experience problems with the registration link - please email your name/email/library name to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get you manually registered for the webinar.
For more information or to request ADA accommodations, please contact Dr. Anchi Hoh, Program Management Specialist, at email@example.com.
Just finishing up the first Webinar hosted by the ALA Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) entitled "Lions, and Podcasts, and Videos! Oh My!" Kathryn Yelinek from Bloomsburg University did a great job in showcasing audio-visual resources available from the US Government. Check out the following:
- Library of Congress National Jukebox
- Smithsonian Folkways
- National Gallery of Art podcasts
- National Zoo Animal Cams
While tangible print documents have dominated traditional government sources, the United States government has always produced information in a variety of formats. This session is intended to introduce librarians to the rich variety of online government audiovisual material. Come and learn how
to point your patrons to folk music recordings, historical videos, and more (there might be lions!)
About the Presenter: Kathryn Yelinek received her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and her MSIT from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. For the past seven years, she has served as Coordinator of Government Documents for Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. While still a bibliophile at heart, she's becoming more aware of the educational benefits of audiovisual material.
U.S. Copyright Office Posts Two RFI's About Crowdsourcing and Developing a “Virtual Card Catalog” of Historical RecordsSubmitted by garyprice on Tue, 2012-05-01 07:25.
Yesterday, the U.S. Copyright Office posted two RFI's.
The first, is to learn more about software to build a virtual card catalog of historical copyright records.
The second, is to learn more about crowdsourcing the data capture from about 70 million catalog cards.
For those of you interested, you can find highlights, links to the full text docs, and a bit of background in a new LJ infoDOCKET post.
FGI just signed the letter below written by the Sunlight Foundation asking Congress to improve public access to legislative information by directing the Library of Congress to make their Thomas database accessible in bulk format. If you and/or your organization believe that free access to Congressional information is of critical importance, please please consider adding your name to the list of signatories on the letter. Daniel Schuman, Sunlight Foundation's policy counsel and director of the Advisory Committee on Transparency, requests that people sign on by COB on Monday April 2nd. Interested people may also email Daniel at firstname.lastname@example.org) with how they would like to be identified on the letter. Daniel thanks you and so do we!
We are writing to ask you to improve public access to legislative information by directing the Library of Congress to publish the THOMAS database online. Congress created THOMAS with the mission of making federal legislation freely available to the public. While times have changed, and technologies have changed, THOMAS has not kept up.
As a result, millions of Americans access basic information about legislation and congressional actions through online information providers like GovTrack, OpenCongress, and Washington Watch. These free non-governmental websites are forced to rely on brittle programs to harvest information from THOMAS’s complex website. This harvesting is imperfect, expensive, and time consuming. The better approach -- which has been adopted by industry and many in government -- is to publish legislative information "in bulk" in addition to other means.
Bulk access would in essence make the entire legislative database available for download, instead of requiring users to gather information by visiting hundreds or thousands of web pages. It would make it easier for third parties to build innovative new tools, and ensure that Americans have the most accurate information at their fingertips. Congress already expressed its support for bulk access downloads in 2009, but the Library of Congress, which oversees THOMAS, has not acted. In the meantime, GPO, the executive branch, and the House of Representatives are already publishing information online in bulk.
The time has come for action. In this year's legislative branch appropriations bill, we urge you to direct the Library of Congress to implement bulk access to THOMAS within 120 days. The Library should also immediately create an advisory committee on improving public access to legislative information composed of people inside and outside of government. Congress should ensure that THOMAS lives up to its potential of making the legislative branch more open and transparent.
For more information, please contact Daniel Schuman, policy counsel, the Sunlight Foundation, at 202-742-1520 x 273 or email@example.com
Time once again for a selection of news and new resources that we hope will be an interest to the FGI community. The following posts are from INFOdocket.com (@infofodocket) where we compile and post new items daily. The oldest item in this roundup was posted on January 26, 2012.
Library of Congress to receive entire Twitter archive, By Michael O'Connell, Federal News Radio, (Dec. 7, 2011).
The Library of Congress and Twitter have signed an agreement that will see an archive of every public Tweet ever sent handed over to the library's repository of historical documents.
...Researchers will be able to look at the Twitter archive as a complete set of data, which they could then data-mine for interesting information.
Viewshare is a free platform for generating and customizing views, (interactive maps, timelines, facets, tag clouds) that allow users to experience your digital collections.
Viewshare is available to individuals associated with cultural heritage organizations including, but not limited to, individuals associated with libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, colleges and universities.
- Get an account.
- Import your collection. (Ingest collections from spreadsheets or MODS records. Upload from your desktop or import them from a URL. )
- Generate views (distinct interactive visual interfaces to your digital collections, including maps and timelines, and sophisticated faceted navigation).
- Embed and share. (Just copy-paste to embed your interface in any webpage. Provide your users with novel and intuitive ways to explore your content.)
- Announcement: "ViewShare.org: Create and Share Interfaces to Our Digital Cultural Heritage," by Trevor Owens, Digital Archivist with the Office of Strategic Initiatives, Library of Congress, Digital Preservation Blog, "The Signal" (October 31st, 2011)
- Terms of Service
The Working Group of the Future of Bibliographic Control, as it examined technology for the future, wrote that the Library community’s data carrier, MARC, is “based on forty-year-old techniques for data management and is out of step with programming styles of today.” The Working Group called for a format that will “accommodate and distinguish expert-, automated-, and self-generated metadata, including annotations (reviews, comments, and usage data.” The Working Group agreed that MARC has served the library community well in the pre-Web environment, but something new is now needed to implement the recommendations made in the Working Group’s seminal report. In its recommendations, the Working Group called upon the Library of Congress to take action. In recommendation 3.1.1, the members wrote:
“Recognizing that Z39.2/MARC are no longer fit for the purpose, work with the library and other interested communities to specify and implement a carrier for bibliographic information that is capable of representing the full range of data of interest to libraries, and of facilitating the exchange of such data both within the library community and with related communities.”
This same theme emerged from the recent test of the Resource Description and Access (RDA) conducted by the National Agricultural Library, the National Library of Medicine, and the Library of Congress. Our 26 test partners also noted that, were the limitations of the MARC standard lifted, the full capabilities of RDA would be more useful to the library community. Many of the libraries taking part in the test indicated that they had little confidence RDA changes would yield significant benefits without a change to the underlying MARC carrier. Several of the test organizations were especially concerned that the MARC structure would hinder the separation of elements and ability to use URLs in a linked data environment.
With these strong statements from two expert groups, the Library of Congress is committed to developing, in collaboration with librarians, standards experts, and technologists a new bibliographic framework that will serve the associated communities well into the future. Within the Library, staff from the Network Development and Standards Office (within the Technology Policy directorate) and the Policy and Standards Division (within the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access directorate) have been meeting with Beacher Wiggins (Director, ABA), Ruth Scovill (Director, Technology Policy), and me to craft a plan for proceeding with the development of a bibliographic framework for the future.
We at the Library are committed to finding the necessary funding for supporting this initiative, and we expect to work with diverse and wide-ranging partners in completing the task. Even at the earliest stages of the project, we believe two types of groups are needed: an advisory committee that will articulate and frame the principles and ideals of the bibliographic framework and a technical committee that has the in-depth knowledge to establish the framework, itself.
- Read the Complete Summary and Bibliographic Framework Initiative General Plan
- The complete summary and plan are available as a PDF (10 pages)
Profiles of U.S. federal libraries from around the world are now available online. Presented dynamically with an interactive mapping tool, the Federal Library Directory displays geographic and collections data from more than 1,000 libraries. This publicly available dataset identifies members of the federal library and information center community and offers current information on their locations, collections, services and specialties.
Sponsored by the Federal Library and Information Center Committee (FLICC), with research assistance from the Federal Research Division (FRD), this virtual directory provides a comprehensive view of agency library efforts both in the United States and throughout the world. The compiled data includes details on collections, staff size, leadership, circulation and reference services.
"This directory raises awareness of federal libraries and information resource centers and the resources these organizations maintain," said Blane Dessy, FLICC’s Executive Director. "We are offering this data set to the public so that scholars can use the tool to locate government resources more easily and library researchers can access current data on federal libraries."
FRD analysts surveyed federal library programs and then supplemented the survey data received with research and outreach to compile additional data from a variety of federal library programs.
"Our collaboration with FLICC on this directory was an opportunity to engage the entire federal library community," said David L. Osborne, chief of the FRD. "With an updated directory and geospatial mapping of the results, patrons and agencies can now optimize their access to resources and target their research to meet any number of mission objectives."
The mapping software is only viewed using the Mozilla Firefox browser. Please be patient if this link loads slowly.