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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.

Some assumptions about government documents

Riffing off of Barbara Fister’s “Some assumptions about libraries” in which she lists her insights and reflections on the purpose and nature of academic libraries, we thought we’d list our assumptions about government information collections and services, which can be seen as addenda or corollaries to Fister’s library assumptions:

1) Government documents are the cornerstone of democracy and are for public consumption. One of the most critical things that libraries can do for their communities is to ensure the long-term preservation of and access to government information by building their own digital and physical collections.

2) Government information and government information *librarians* enrich a library’s overall collections and services.

3) It takes a geographically distributed network of libraries to sustain this critical piece of the information sphere over the long-term. Online government information does not obviate the need for depository libraries. On the contrary, in this ever-expanding, inherently chaotic information universe, it *heightens* the need for many libraries collecting, organizing, preserving and giving access to government information.

What are your government information assumptions?

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


1 Comment

  1. Government information should be widely available for free, with the government providing the best format for users. See the section on Sharing Knowledge in Barbara Fister’s Some assumptions about libraries.
    Items like Statistical Abstracts should not be discontinued, leaving vendors to fill in the gap

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