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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.

Case Study in Historical Fact Checking

[Update 5/9/10: Thanks to Debbie Rabina for sending me a copy of her article and allowing us to post here (PDF). On a side note, how long will it be until ALA goes open access with all of their publications? Librarians should be walking the open access walk!]

I’d like to briefly commend this article from the Spring 2010 issue of DttP: Documents to the People:

Rabina, Debbie. “Ted Kennedy’s Speech at the 1980 Democratic National Convention: Researching Pre-digital government information in the Digital Age.” DttP: Documents to the People (2010) v. 38, no. 1: 18-22.

This article is notable for two reasons. It is a fine example of using current events to leverage interest in government information. The article also serves as a good “how-to” guide on evaluating factual claims past and present. Aside from these two main benefits the article demonstrates the continuing relevance of print resources while showing the usefulness of electronic resources. It rejects a “paper vs. electronic” version of the world in favor of a “both/and” approach.

As far as I can tell, this article is not available electronically, but could be acquired through interlibrary loan at your local library.

DttP: Documents to the People is aimed at government information librarians, but I believe it would be useful to transparency advocates and researchers of all stripes. Check it out if you can. I find it an important benefit of my membership in the Government Documents Roundtable of ALA.

Call for articles for DttP

Hi all. I’m forwarding this announcement for article submissions to Documents to the People (DttP), the official journal of the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT). I hope you’ll consider submitting an article! (Editor’s note: I’m currently the chair of the GODORT Publications Committee, which has oversight of the DttP editorial staff. However, there is no relationship between FGI and GODORT.)


The editors of Documents to the People (DttP) announce a call for proposals for the Fall 2009 issue.

DttP: Documents to the People is the official publication of the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association (ALA). DttP features articles on local, state, national, and international government information, government activities, and documents the professional activities of GODORT. All topics relevant to the mission of the journal and GODORT are welcome.

Brief proposals of 250-500 words are due by March 1, 2009. Notifications to authors of acceptance for the Fall 2009 issue will be made by March 15, 2009. Full manuscripts of 2,500-3,000 words are due by July 1, 2009.

Style and manuscript information can be found in the DttP instructions for authors

Please note that while this is a call for proposals for the Fall 2009 issue, we will use the pool of submissions for content of future issues – particularly Spring and Summer 2010.

Please send queries and proposals to one or both of the Dttp co-lead editors:

Beth Clausen
phone: 847-491-2891
b-clausen AT northwestern DOT edu


Valerie Glenn
phone: 205-348-4971
vglenn AT gmail DOT com