Last week I had lunch with a lobbyist. No martinis, just iced tea. (It was 100 degrees outside and I did not want to go up in flames.) I am an independent information professional, and my niche is working to meet the information needs of Washington public policy professionals. If I only talk with other librarians (which I love to do), I have no clue about what is going on with my market.
I heartily endorse the FGI mission to â€œinitiate dialogueâ€¦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.â€ Say what you will about lobbyists, they need and use government information. And this lobbyist knows a lot about government information, but not so much about what government documents librarians are up to these days (digitization, electronic preservation, web services, etc.). So much is changing in the government documents/information world that we, librarians, have a hard enough time keeping up with it ourselves. We shouldnâ€™t be surprised when those in other knowledge professions have not kept up with our changes. I have no doubt that many librarians reading FGI are engaged in getting the word out with projects far more ambitious than having lunch with a lobbyist on a hot August day. Any successes or ideas to share? Does anyone speak at conferences outside of the library sphere? Write for, or blog for, or otherwise engage those non-library stakeholders?