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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.

FGI is looking for a few (or many) good bloggers

It’s hard to believe we’re rapidly approaching FGI’s 9 year anniversary(!). We’d like to ring in our 10th year with an invitation to the community to become citizen documents bloggers. We don’t want to have news and information critical to the govt information community fall through the cracks — fugitive news?! — and so we need your help. Are you a news hound? Maybe you’d like to cover the “doc in the news” beat like the one we just posted. Passionate about fugitive documents? Freshen up the blog with periodic posts about interesting fugitives — perhaps ones you’ve found on the lostdocs blog. Policy wonk? You could set up Govtrack.us alerts and write about legislation of interest to libraries and the docs community.

The possibilities are limitless, but we need your help to make them a reality. Contact us at freegovinfo AT gmail DOT com if you’re intrigued.

FGI Guest blogger for October, 2012: Malcolm Byrne from the National Security Archive @Malcolm_Byrne @NSArchive

Hi everyone. We’ve got a special treat for you this month. Malcolm Byrne, Deputy Director and Director of Research at the National Security Archive at George Washington University, has agreed to take a round on the guest blogger dais. Malcolm’s main areas of specialization are U.S.-Iran relations and the Superpower rivalry during the Cold War. His latest book is Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and the Iran-Iraq War, 1979-1988 (with James G. Blight, et al) (Rowman & Littlefield, 2012). Malcolm gave a fascinating keynote talk (audio) (+ powerpoint slides!) at the 2012 Six-State Virtual Government Information Conference. But if you missed that, you can catch his upcoming talk at the Fall 2012 Depository Library Conference on Tuesday October 16 from 4 – 5:30.

Take it away Malcolm!

Welcome End-of-term-archive (@eotarchive) as FGI guest bloggers for July 2012

[UPDATE 7/2/12: I’ve added all the names of the people blogging as “EOT archive”. jrj]

It’s been a while since we’ve had a guest blogger, but this month’s turn at the podium will surely make up for it. Our guest bloggers for July, 2012 the members of the End of Term (EOT) Web Archiving project — that’s @eotarchive on twitter. Group members contributing blog posts include:

  • Andrea Goethals: Digital Preservation and Repository Services Manager – Harvard Library
  • Abbie Grotke: Web Archiving Team Lead – Library of Congress
  • Cathy Hartman: Associate Dean – University of North Texas Libraries
  • Michael Neubert: Supervisory Digital Projects Specialist – Library of Congress
  • Kris Carpenter Negulescu: Director, Web Group – Internet Archive
  • Tracy Seneca: Web Archiving Service Manager – California Digital Library

The EOT collaboration began in the summer of 2008, when the project partners, all members of the International Internet Preservation Consortium (IIPC) and partners in the National Digital Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), agreed to join forces to collaboratively archive the U.S. Government web at the end of the Bush administration. The goal of the project team was to execute a comprehensive harvest of the Federal Government domains (.gov, .mil, .org, etc.) in the final months of the Bush administration, and to document changes in the federal government websites as agencies transitioned to the Obama administration. The 2008-2009 Archive includes over 16 terabytes of data collected from Federal Government websites in the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of government and is available for public access. Partners for the 2008-2009 capture included the Internet Archive, the California Digital Library, the Library of Congress, the University of North Texas Libraries, and the U.S. Government Printing Office. Harvard Library has joined the partnership for the 2012-2013 work.

The partners are again beginning an End of Term capture for 2012-13. Additionally in 2012, a capture of elections-related websites began in January and will run through the November elections. For information about the 2012-2013 End of Term project, see an upcoming post on this blog. For an in-depth discussion of the 2008-2009 Webarchive, see the article “It Takes a Village to Save the Web: The End of Term Web Archive” recently published in DttP: Documents to the People, Spring 2012, Volume 40, no. 1, pages 16-23 (That issue is not yet online, but IS available in many libraries around the country).

Welcome End-of-term archive!

Return of the guest blogger! welcome law librarian Peggy Jarrett to FGI

It’s been a few months since we had our last blogger of the month. But I’d like to introduce Peggy Jarrett to the podium for the month of September. Peggy comes to us from the University of Washington’s Gallagher Law Library. I was able to twist Peggy’s arm even as she so kindly hosted me at the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) 2011 annual conference — which I highly recommend our readers attend, especially those in the Boston area where the 2012 conference will be held. Take it away Peggy! And as always, if you’re interested in taking a turn at the FGI podium, please contact us at freegovinfo AT gmail DOT com. That is all.

Peggy Jarrett: blogger of the month for September, 2011

Peggy Jarrett is the Documents and Reference Librarian at the Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington School of Law. She’s been at Gallagher for 21 years, and before that, spent 7 years working as a law firm librarian in Seattle and Washington D.C.

Her interest in government information dates back to the summer of 1973, when as an impressionable youth, she spent the summer watching the Watergate hearings. She is particularly interested in public access to state legal information and the intersection of reference and collection development. Her favorite part of her job is talking to students from the Law Librarianship Program at the UW Information School about government documents. She is currently a member of the Depository Library Council.