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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.

Happy 50th to Lamar University

While surfing the ‘net I came across the news that the Mary and John Gray library at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas is celebrating its 50th anniversary as a federal depository library.

From the press release, it looks like the University is the only depository library in the 2nd Texas Congressional District.

The press release also contains this description of the library’s collection and importance to the local community that I hope is picked up by other media outlets:

The federal depository at Lamar contains more than 416,000 items, including print documents, maps, microfilm, microfiche, and electronic. Status as a federal depository is important not only to the region, it is a significant value to academic research and scholarship on campus as well. Faculty teaching courses in history and government make extensive use of the materials while undergraduate and graduate students find the resources invaluable for research as well. Patrons interested in researching their genealogy may use the genealogy link for family history research.

“As the only federal depository in the region, the Mary and John Gray Library has done its part to safeguard the public’s right to know by collecting and maintaining 64 percent of the documents available from the federal government,” U.S. Rep. Ted Poe said in recognition of the Lamar milestone on Capitol Hill. “Since 1957, this library has served as one of the vital links between students, Southeast Texas residents and the government.” Eastern district director Kristin Barrs attended the ceremony at Lamar University and read a copy of the representative’s letter there.

Recently, at least in the world of depository libraries, the headlines are dominated by other libraries celebrating their 100th anniversaries.

Hopefully, the Mary and John Gray library will still be providing valuable government information services to their community in 2057 for their 100th anniversary.

If any of the depository Centurions out their would like their library highlighted on FGI, would you either post a link to a news release or story in comments or e-mail me at dnlcornwall AT alaska.net with a description of your anniversary celebration? Thanks!

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