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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 @ ALA annual conference ’09 in Chicago

If anyone’s going to be in Chicago July 9-13, you might consider heading over to the American Library Association’s Annual Conference ’09 for their grassroots program. All of the FGI gang will be there. Jim Jacobs, Shinjoung Yeo, and friend of FGI Gabriela Schneider will be on a panel called “Libraries and Obama’s Information Policy” on Saturday, 3:30–5 p.m. Hope you can make it!!

Libraries and Obama’s Information Policy
Saturday, July 11, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
Hilton, Lake Ontario room

The nation’s information policy is a major concern for the library community. We are facing a critical historical juncture, where libraries can raise our voices and provide a vision of information policy. This panel will provide an opportunity to identify key issues in the new administration’s information policies and discuss ways the library community can participate in forming that policy.

Moderator: Caroline Nappo, Doctoral Student, Information in Society Fellow, University of Illinois, Graduate School of Library & Information Science

Panelists: Jim Jacobs, Data Services Librarian Emeritus, University of California San Diego, Co-creator of FreeGovInfo.info; Gabriela Schneider, Communications Director, Sunlight Foundation; ShinJoung Yeo, Information in Society Fellow Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

There’s also a panel on Monday July 13 from 8-10am called “From Legacy Data to Linked Data: Preparing Libraries for Web 3.0.” None of the FGIers are on the panel, but we’re sure to be there as data is very important!!

FGI at SAA: Citizens in the Dark? Government Information in the Digital Age.

I have posted my “speaker notes” for the presentation I gave at the meeting of the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section of the Society of American Archivists Convention in San Francisco.

My thanks go to SAA and the section for a inviting me and making me feel at home.


I just got back from another fun-packed week of teaching the data services workshop at ICPSR, and next week I will be speaking briefly at the Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists on “The challenges for preservation of government information in the digital age” (Appraisals/Appraisers Section Meeting) on Friday. Stop by and say hello!

FGI on the road

Today we start a new feature, FGI on the road. From time to time we’ll post upcoming events that FGI volunteers will be attending. We’ll be doing this hoping that you’ll stop by and say hello so we can meet and talk about government information issues!

Here are places we’ll be over the next few months:

  • San Francisco Bay Area. Ongoing
    Shinjoung Yeo and James R. Jacobs put together monthly public talks and workshops for the Stanford Open Source Lab. Check the Open Source Lab blog for talk announcements. Talks are open to the public.
  • Urbana-Champaign, IL. April, 2008
    Shinjoung and James R will be participating in a brown-bag discussion with graduate students at University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science.
  • Stanford University. May 27-30, 2008
    IASSIST 2008 Conference
    The theme of the 2008 meeting of the International Association for Social Science Information Services & Technology (IASSIST), Technology of Data: Collection, Communication, Access and Preservation, examines the role of technology and tools in various aspects of the data life cycle. Shinjoung and James R (local arrangements) and James A. Jacobs will be there.
  • Anaheim, CA. June 27, 2008.
    ALA pre-conference Docs2.0: emerging web technologies for the government documents community. Friday, June 27, 2008, 9:00am – 12:30 (Event Code: GO2)
    James A. and James R. will be presenting and will be joining Amy West, Interim Head, Government Publications Library, University of Minnesota (Amy was also an FGI blogger of the month), David Oldenkamp, International Studies Librarian, Indiana University, and John Wonderlich, Program Director, of the Sunlight Foundation. Registration is open, but seating is limited.
  • Anaheim, CA. June 26–July 2, 2008.
    ALA 2008 2008 Annual Conference
    Shinjoung and James R and Daniel Cornwall will be there. James R. will be doing a presentation and leading a discussion on digital collection development at GODORT’s International documents task force. Daniel is planning a lunch or some other informal get together on the State Agencies Wiki.
  • Ann Arbor MI. August 11-15
    Providing Social Science Data Services: Strategies for Design and Operation
    This workshop covers the basics of providing services for social science data. James A. will be joining Diane Geraci, who starts as Associate Director for Information Resources at MIT Libraries in April, and Chuck Humphrey, the Data Library Coordinator at the University of Alberta. This workshop is part of the ICPSR Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research.   Registration is limited to 20.