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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.

Conference heads up: “Beyond the Numbers: Economics and Data for Information Professionals”

This looks to be a highly interesting conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of St Louis this September 29-30, 2014 for anyone interested in historic economic data. Keynote speakers include Hal Varian, Chief Economist at Google, and Neil Fantom, World Bank manager who leads their Open Data Initiative.

St Louis Fed is doing such great work in providing access to historic economic data so this is a great opportunity to discuss, learn, plan, and strategize for how libraries and the Fed can work collaboratively in this arena. Hope to see lots of our readers in St Louis!


The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is hosting a free conference to address the challenges of economic information. We are bringing together experts to share their experiences at the frontier of economic data and information, discuss problems and potential solutions, and identify ways to improve access to and understanding of economic information.Our aim is to provide librarians and other information professionals with the knowledge, competence, and enthusiasm to disseminate economic information expertise to their respective audiences.

via Beyond the Numbers Economics and Data for Information Professionals.

2013 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference in DC next week

For those of you that willl be in Washington DC next week, please consider attending the 2013 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference (RSVP required). There will be several interesting panels with House and external stakeholders like the Sunlight Foundation and the Cornell Legal Information Institute — including a panel on electronic archiving and one on “missing data” and what to do about it (“missing” meaning not effectively on-line and digital, etc.).

The 2013 Legislative Data and Transparency Conference will take place on Wednesday, May 22, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Capitol Visitor Center Auditorium. The conference brings together legislative branch agencies with data users and transparency advocates to discuss the use and future of legislative data. Topics include:

–Electronic legislative archiving
–XML and metadata standards
–Updates on beta.congress.gov

2010 iConference: “The future of government Information”

At iConference 2010 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign I organized and participated on the panel, “Future of Government Information” with Tom Bruce (Cornell Legal Information Institute), Daniel Schuman (Sunlight Foundation) and Cindy Etkin (Government Printing Office (GPO)). My slides and notes are online.

FGI speaking engagements

Below are a list of places and conferences to which FGI volunteers have been invited to speak about the future of government information.

Conference: Limiting Knowledge in a Democracy

This promises to be a very interesting conference! If you are going and will be blogging or tweeting, please let us know. (admin at freegovinfo.info)

Join award winning journalists, distinguished scholars, and policy makers to examine how the U.S. government and other political and cultural institutions distort or otherwise affect the flow of information. What limits on access to knowledge safeguard our democracy and what limits erode it?

Keynote: Seymour Hersh

Featured Speakers:
Steven Aftergood
David D. Aufhauser
Ronald Bayer
Christopher Capozzola
Julie E. Cohen
Daniel Ellsberg
Peter L. Galison
Rebecca Goldstein
Glenn Greenwald
Dale Jamieson
Philip Kitcher
Nicholas Lemann
Eric Lichtblau
Michael Oppenheimer
Daniel Sarewitz
Jonathan Zittrain

Over three days, the conference will investigate how our government and other political and cultural institutions organize, fund, restrict, facilitate, or otherwise affect the flow of knowledge, and examine how limits may support or undermine democracy. Speakers will examine the government and technological structures and mechanisms that limit transparency, the influence of private interests and government over media and the propagation of misinformation, and the host of other powerful forces surrounding policy-making that curtail our knowledge and threaten our privacy.

We will also look at other institutions that significantly affect what we can know, what we ought to know and what we should try to know, including the research community itself, as well as the implicit limits located within our culture that strongly influence what we seek to know and what we are content not to know.

And, we will discuss the role of whistleblowers and investigative journalism to uphold public accountability.

These issues will be addressed from the perspectives of government policy, political science, public health, history, science, economics, media, law, journalism, and philosophy.