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Our mission

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.

How Government Should Use Web 2.0

Mark Drapeau, a fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, writing for PBS’ MediaShift blog:

Behind every press release, web page, and social networking account is a person. But when people “hide” behind organizational brands, it reduces the authenticity and transparency that people — citizens, customers, fans — have become accustomed to seeing in the Web 2.0 world. New social tools and niche communications can empower people to connect with their audiences on a more personal level through what has been termed “ambient awareness” or ambient intimacy.

Read the whole post. Found via FCW Insider.

EPA halts library closures – 1st Amendment Center

Courtney Holliday from the First Amendment Center reports that the Environmental Protection Agency is halting its library closures plan “in response to heavy criticism from lawmakers and advocacy groups”:

“Under pressure from members of Congress and groups such as the ALA, the EPA announced in January that it would not close additional libraries until more public outreach was done, according to the Library Journal.”

So it’s not over yet, per se.

ALA Wiki on Federal Libraries Closures

Rory Litwin of Library Juice reports that ALA’s Washington, DC office and Committee on Legislation have started a Federal Libraries Wiki to cover government library closures. It’s just beginning, so it needs some beefing up, but sadly, I’m sure that content will be added frequently.

Two Updates from the DGI Blog

I recently posted the following two items on the Government Information Division blog:

New GAO Report on FOIA

The GAO released a report today on FOIA entitled “Processing Trends Show Importance of Improvement Plans.” [PDF] From the “Highlights” page:

The improvement plans submitted by the 25 agencies mostly included goals and timetables addressing the four areas of improvement emphasized by the Executive Order: eliminating or reducing any backlog of FOIA requests; increasing reliance on dissemination of records that can be made available to the public without the need for a FOIA request, such as through posting on Web sites; improving communications with requesters about the status of their requests; and increasing public awareness of FOIA processing. Most of the plans (20 of 25) provided goals and timetables in all four areas; some agencies omitted goals in areas where they considered they were already strong. Although details of a few plans could be improved, all the plans focus on making measurable improvements and form a reasonable basis for carrying out the goals of the Executive Order.