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Sunshine Week 2010 shines light on government transparency

[UPDATE: Scroll down for list of library happenings for Sunshine Week]

Spring has sprung with a vengeance here in SF. And that could only mean one thing: Sunshine Week!! Yes it’s time once again to feel the warm FOIA on your cheek, to discuss and raise awareness of the importance of free and open government information, transparency and the [w:Freedom of Information Act]. Be on the lookout for editorials in your local newspaper (like this one in the Cleveland Plain Dealer), discuss FOIA with your friends and family (you’ll be glad you did :-)) and highlight it in your libraries — perhaps by having a public showing of the OpenTheGovernment Webcast!

OpenTheGovernment.org is having a Sunshine Week Webcast 12-2PM EST on Friday March 19 entitled “Building Transparency.” The Webcast will include a host of great speakers including Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, Jim Harper, Director of Information Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, John Wonderlich, Policy Director at the Sunlight Foundation, Kevin Goldberg, American Society of News Editors (ASNE) counsel, Miriam Nisbet, Director of the new Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), Melanie Sloan, Executive Director, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Melanie Pustay, Director of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Information Policy (OIP), Eric Gundersen, President and co-founder of Development Seed and Sean Moulton, Director of Federal Information Policy at OMB Watch. It should be a great discussion so hope you can tune in.

What libraries and others are doing for Sunshine Week:

  • Northern CA Association of Law Libraries (NOCALL), in association with the Special Library Association Sierra Nevada Chapter, is sponsoring 2 Sunshine Week events; one in Sacramento and one in San Francisco. Both have interesting lists of speakers and require registration for a small fee ($20 for Sacramento event and $15 for SF event). In addition, the SF event immediately precedes the NOCALL Spring Institute on information piracy, “Piracy on the Barbary Coast” which NOCALL and SLA members can attend at the NOCALL member rate, and later in the evening, a celebration of NOCALL’s 30th anniversary.
  • Freedom of Information Day at the New York Public Library. Tuesday, March 16, 2010, 10:30 – noon. Conference Room 18 on the lower level of New York Public Library (188 Madison Ave. @ 34th St.).

    This year’s guest speaker is Heather Joseph, Executive Director, the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, (SPARC), an international alliance of academic and research libraries working to create a more open system of scholarly communications. FOIA day has been held at NYPL annually since 1993.

  • California State University San Bernardino Pfau Library has partnered with the San Bernardino League of Women Voters to be a site for the OpenTheGovernment.org webinar on government transparency. This is the second year that Pfau Library has participated. You can see video of last year.
  • The web site www.TalkStandards.com will focus on open government during its monthly online forum. The forum will take place on Thursday March 18th from 8-12 Pacific / 11-3 EST / 4-8pm GMT.

    TalkStandards is an active online community where ICT developers, researchers, policymakers and other interested parties can share ideas and collaborate on the global standards system. Each month, a timely topic is chosen (last month, it was eHealth, for example).

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