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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.

Do Not Assume PDF files are all permanent

Government information relies heavily on the PDF format. Indeed, PDF files are used so widely that it is tempting for us to assume that PDF files are, by definition, a safe way of preserving information for the long term. Would it surprise you to learn that the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) lists PDF files as “Endangered” and that even PDF/A files are “Vulnerable”?

These judgements are in the DPC’s newest list of “digitally endangered species.”

The Bit List includes 74 content types and groups them (more…)

Judiciary Creates Public User Group for PACER

Judiciary Creates Public User Group for PACER, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (June 26, 2019).

The federal Judiciary has created and is seeking members for a public user group to provide advice and feedback on ways to improve its electronic public access services. The Electronic Public Access (EPA) Public User Group membership will be selected from interested applicants who represent the legal sector, media, academia, government agencies, the public, and other entities that use the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system to access federal court records. The group will allow for the exchange of information about issues experienced by users, and it will recommend ideas for expanding and improving services….

Interested parties can find additional information and apply for membership. Applications are due by July 26, 2019….

The EPA User Group will hold its first meeting later this year. Meeting agendas, minutes, and other relevant information will be available online at https://www.uscourts.gov/court-records/electronic-public-access-public-user-group.

Digital Deposit, Good for All: Vision, Myths, Reality

As many of our readers know, Depository Library Council (DLC) recommended the creation of a working group to explore digital deposit and there was a session on digital deposit at the 2019 Spring Virtual Meeting of the DLC:

Digital deposit should be part of FDLP for the same reasons paper deposit has been for two hundred years: it guarantees preservation of the information and provides services to users of that information. Discusions of digital deposit, therefore, should focus on preservation and users and the technologies that can enable the best digital services.

Preservation

We’ve come a long way on preservation. GPO has (more…)

The federal government’s responsibilities to provide online content in non-English languages

The Sunlight Foundation’s Web Integrity Project (WIP) has released a new report with an informal review of how federal agencies meet the needs of website users who lack English fluency.

The report reviews and explains the different regulations imposed on federal agencies to provide online content in non-English languages for individuals with limited English proficiency (LEP).

WIP found that there is little agreement about the duties of agencies. The approaches of various agencies vary widely — from full translation and taglines, to ad hoc translation using Google Translate.

Examples:

  • IRS.gov has largely complete copies of the English-language site in other languages with links to the non-English versions of the site available through a dropdown in the header of webpages throughout the website domain.

  • The websites for the Whitehouse (whitehouse.gov) and the National Park Service (nps.gov) contain no resources or links relating to content or information in non-English languages.

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