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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.

AALL & SLA Support GPO Funding, Will you?

On May 1, 2007, Mary Alice Baish of the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) testified in support of full funding for the Government Printing Office (GPO) before the House Committee on Appropriations for AALL and the Special Libraries Association (SLA).

While readers know that FGI has its differences with GPO, it plays a vital role in informing American citizens through its publishing, the Federal Depository Library Program, and of course, GPO Access. In addition, GPO’s proposed Future Digital System (FDSys) could be a vital PART of any government information ecosystem of the future.

Like every other federal agency, GPO has been operating under a continuing resolution which held it to FY 2006 funding even though we are nearly at FY 2008. As Mary Alice points out, fully funding GPO’s request of $45.61 million for the Salaries
and Expenses (S&E) account that funds the FDLP; $109.54 million for Congressional
Printing and Binding; and $26.82 million for the revolving fund is vital for several reason including:

  • The S&E request includes necessary funds for the
    cataloging, indexing, and distribution of Federal publications in print and electronic
    formats to depository libraries and other recipients designated by law.

  • Providing money for digitizing
    pre-1976 cataloging records; cataloging documents harvested from agency Web sites and improving the GPO Access system.

  • To provide GPO with GPO with the ability publish all the important congressional documents of the 110th Congress. In addition, $5 million of the CP&B request is needed to ensure that the 2006 U.S. Code, compiled by the Law Revision Counsel, is published and distributed to members of Congress and depository libraries in a timely fashion.
  • Provide the last third of funding to bring FDSys online.
  • Helping GPO to fulfill its partnership agreements with libraries around the country.

The full statement is well worth reading and I hope it encourages you to support GPO’s funding request by getting you to write your Members of Congress polite but firm letters insisting they fund the government’s basic responsibility to inform citizens of its activities.

Thank you SLA and AALL!