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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.

1 Day to Government Information Liberation

Almost there — fewer than 48 hours until liberation. As champions of a sustainable (and open) system of government information there is still much to do. If we are to take advantage of the good will and optimism unleashed three months ago, then we must choose wisely in what we advocate and collaborate. I will be more specific tomorrow and Tuesday — but here are the main points.

First, figure out how to bulid on Obama’s community organizer roots. I think the era of great society federal programs will not return any time soon. As pointed out in so many of the blogs here on FGI, much of digital social and political tools bend toward citizen-level involvement.

Second, that is not to say that government does not have strong to play in the distribution and preservation of government information. It does. The best thing that can happen in the next four years is to undo the great damage done over the past 40 years by the mindless rhetoric that brands any government activity as a problem, not a solution.

Third, through our practice, professional education, and service in our local institutions, we have to liberate government information service from the tyranny of formats. Our various associations and groups have got to come to terms with how and why libraries will serve the public interest in a robust digital environment.
It is no longer a zero-sum game — paper at the price of other formats; centralized organizations vs. decentralized structures. Our arguments and solutions need to be more nuanced and flexible.

See you on the last day.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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