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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.

Help GPO distribute library catalog records

A GPO staffer has asked that I post the notice below about a pilot MARC record distribution project to “ensure the automatic dissemination of bibliographic records to FDLP libraries.” I hope libraries will volunteer to help out with this project as it seems like a significant step for gpo to take. We’ve talked for a while about collaborative cataloging of govt information; while this is primarily a “push” project, perhaps it could be the first step toward GPO opening up the cataloging workflow to depository libraries (many hands make light work right?!) and lead to other data sharing opportunities (XML, OAI, RSS, APIs etc.) both within the FDLP and with the public. This could be a significant piece of the FDLP ecosystem.

Calling all depositories! FREE Records! FREE Records!

GPO is looking for libraries who wish to take part in the Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot. Applications are being accepted now through January 11, 2010.

Federal depository libraries will be chosen to participate in this pilot program in which GPO bibliographic records will be distributed from GPO’s Integrated Library System (ILS) to these libraries. GPO will be accepting a group of 30 – 35 FDLP libraries to participate.

GPO is looking for a mixture of different library sizes and types. Of that group, GPO would like some current MARCIVE subscribers, as well as some non-subscribers. GPO is also aiming to select a variety of libraries that use a diverse group of ILS vendors.

Visit the Cataloging Record Distribution Pilot Web page for more information on the project, including details on how to apply and an informational FAQ sheet on the details of the project.

Won’t Get Fooled Again: Day 27

Interesting articles in this month’s Atlantic Monthly that talk about how the economic collapse represents a time for creation and reallocation in a knowledge economy. More to the point, the interview reveals some provocative thoughts about the distributive nature of the web and eternal attraction of living in dense places. Another term, Creative destruction, as it is called by some of the economists from the University of Chicago, is another way of looking at this evolutionary relationship between the social and economic forces of a community and the institutions they create to foster their individual and mutual purposes. I guess, in a very real sense, the combination of the Obama’s election and our deepening economic failure suggests we are in for some serious dislocation. The articles also have some visuals that relate how the recent economic activity over the last few years is “reshaping America.”

Evidence of this already appearing on various listservs as librarians from state governments on the verge of bankruptcy (in an economic sense because they can’t balance their budgets; or in a political sense because the constitutional officers can’t agree on how balance the budget) and the various state libraries are on the target list for serious staff reductions and/or closures.

As our earlier discussion about “raw power” indicated — information distribution relies just on the reach of distribution grid, but more significantly on the value added by a series of institutional players and knowledgeable individuals.

See you on Day 28.