Throughout his “75 Days to Government Information Liberation”, John Shuler has been exhorting documents librarians to look for ways to inject themselves into the transition-fueled interest in civics and citizen participation.
I think one opportunity is upon us and I call on you to join me. Change.gov has established a Citizen’s Briefing Book to give President Obama ideas from America at large. This site allows you to submit ideas, vote on others ideas and make comments.
What I think we could be doing in a non-partisan way is to provide comments on ideas that point out studies and reports (especially govdocs!) that either support or detract from the proposed idea. For example, one idea is titled School Libraries need Librarians which requests federal funding for school libraries. I did a quick search in ERIC at http://www.eric.ed.gov and found two studies that appear to show the presence of school librarians is associated with academic achievement. I then posted a comment linking to the two studies and mentioning ERIC.
So here is your mission, should you decide to accept it:
- Decide a subject that is important to you and that you have subject expertise in.
- Visit http://citizensbriefingbook.change.gov and use the search box to find an idea in your area of passion.
- Vote the idea up or down and leave a short comment pointing to at least one resource that supports your vote.
- Tell at least one other librarian friend what you have done.
Do it now. Or after work, but let’s bring some librarian and/or information activist expertise to these ideas.
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