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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.

Community & Social Services at State Agency Databases Project

This week’s State Agency Databases Project subject highlight is Community & Social Services, featuring 36 states that project volunteers know to have publicly searchable databases in this subject area. Three examples from this compilation are:

ALABAMA

Alabama Children Awaiting Adoption – Search children available for adoption by gender, number of children, age, race, disability, and profile activity.

MISSOURI

Show Me Home Care and Rehab – Search for home health care, hospice services, outpatient physical therapy clinics or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities by agency type or location.

VERMONT

Directory of Affordable Rental Housing (DoARH) (VT) – Searchable database of federal/state subsidized rental housing in Vermont. Can search by county, city or zip code with ability to limit to senior or disabled housing. Produced in partnership with the University of Vermont.

For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/communitydbs. If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

Check out Endangered Data Week – April 17-21, 2017

This week is Endangered Data Week, a new effort to raise awareness about publicly available data and the threats to its creation, sharing and retention. Follow along with the conversation at the Twitter hashtag #EndangeredData, check out the Endangered Data events near you, tune in on friday for the webinar hosted by the Digital Library Federation (DLF) “Endangered Accountability: A DLF-Sponsored Webinar on FOIA, Government Data, and Transparency” and definitely sign up for the new DLF Interest Group on Records Transparency/Accountability.

There’s never been such an open window of opportunity for govt information librarians to prove their metal and work together to assure the preservation of born-digital govt information in all its guises. So jump in and get involved today!

Political events in the United States have shed new light on the fragility of publicly administered data. In just the first few weeks of the Trump administration and 115th Congress, the Environmental Protection Agency was allegedly ordered to remove climate change information from its website, the USDA removed animal welfare data from its website, and the House passed H.Res.5, specifically excluding changes to the Affordable Care Act from mandatory long-term cost data analysis. The Senate and House of Representatives have both received proposed bills (S.103 and H.R.482) prohibiting funding from being used “to design, build, maintain, utilize, or provide access to a Federal database of geospatial information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing.” While researchers, archivists, librarians, and watchdog groups work hard to create and preserve open data, there’s little guarantee that information under federal control will always survive changes to federal agencies.

via Endangered Data Week – April 17-21, 2017.

State Agency Databases Project: Business, Finance & Economy

This week we are highlighting the Business, Finance & Economy 50-State guide from the State Agency Databases Project. This guide lists 47 states that are known to have publicly searchable, state agency produced databases in this subject area.

Three databases from this compilation are:

ARIZONA

Charitable Organizations System – May be searched by name, dba or purpose. Records indicate whether a charity is currently registered and provides address, contact information and purpose. Information is self reported and AZ Secretary of State does not determine whether a charity is legitimate.

 

CALIFORNIA

Publicly Traded Disclosure Search – This search allows you to search for all publicly traded corporations that have filed a Corporate Disclosure Statement with the Secretary of State, search the full text of information contained in a specific statement, and view abstracts of reported information. Searchable by corporation name, the names of officers, or an auditor name; there is also an advanced search.

 

FLORIDA

Unlicensed Search for Construction Contractor – From the web page, “will provide a listing of public complaints against persons or entities of construction contractors that, at the time of the complaint, were not licensed by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.”

 

For more, see http://godort.libguides.com/businessdbs.  If you know of state agency produced databases in this area, either comment here or use the “Email me” link on the guide to report a database, which will be forwarded to the appropriate project volunteer.

Depository Library Council class of 2017 named

Congratulations to the Depository Library Council class of 2017: Erik Beck, Jane Canfield, Mary Clark, Donna James, Celina McDonald.

These five new DLC members will serve from June 1, 2017 – May 31, 2020

Erik Beck: Digital Services Librarian, University of Colorado Law School, William A. Wise School of Law, Boulder, CO. Eric is the Digital Services Librarian and Depository Coordinator. He has been active in the AALL community and has led the development of digital collections of Government publications in his library. He has written many articles on digitization and the digital experience.

Jane Canfield: Depository Coordinator, Pontificia Universidad Católica, Biblioteca Encarnación Valdés, PR. Jane has many years’ experience as a depository coordinator and is responsible for reorganizing the collection at Puerto Rico’s Pontificia Universidad Católica from a small section of technical services to a new and thriving area which combines Federal documents with a learning commons.  She brings non-Continental U.S. geographic coverage and a primarily Spanish speaking patron base to Council.

Mary Clark: Director, Acquisitions and Access Management, Library of Virginia. Richmond, VA. She is a Charter member of the innovative Government Information Online chat references service (GPO is a partner with this service). Under her direction, the Library of Virginia has cataloged all of the state and Federal documents in the collection, and the Library has transitioned to an almost entirely digital program. Mary also has led an effort to catalog well over 250,000 pre-1976 Federal documents.

Donna James: Library Director/Federal Depository Coordinator, Valley City State University, Allen Memorial Library, Valley City, ND. Donna has been Library Director of Allen Memorial Library for over 10 years. She was instrumental in moving the VCSU collection to a mostly digital selective depository. Donna advocates for and regularly teaches workshops for school librarians encouraging the use of free Government resources in schools. Donna is a member and past President of the North Dakota Library Association and a member of the North Dakota-Manitoba Chapter of Association of College & Research Libraries.

Celina McDonald: Regional Depository Coordinator, University of Maryland, College Park, McKeldin Library, College Park, MD. Celina serves as the regional depository coordinator for Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia.  She belongs to a number of committees including Regional Government Information Librarians, Government Documents Round Table Nominating Committee, and is currently the chair of the American Library Association’s Committee on Legislation, Subcommittee on Government Information.

via GPO Director Names New Members to the Depository Library Council.

John Oliver analyzes Gerrymandering. Hilarious and disturbing

John Oliver is at it again, deeply analyzing a boring political concept in a smart, interesting — and funny — way. This time, he explains Gerrymandering, the nefarious practice of manipulating district boundaries for political advantage, named after Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry. If anyone is interested in delving deeper, you can read the new book by David Daley called “Ratf**ked: the true story behind the secret plan to steal America’s democracy.”


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