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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.

Digital Deposit, Good for All: Vision, Myths, Reality

As many of our readers know, Depository Library Council (DLC) recommended the creation of a working group to explore digital deposit and there was a session on digital deposit at the 2019 Spring Virtual Meeting of the DLC:

Digital deposit should be part of FDLP for the same reasons paper deposit has been for two hundred years: it guarantees preservation of the information and provides services to users of that information. Discusions of digital deposit, therefore, should focus on preservation and users and the technologies that can enable the best digital services.

Preservation

We’ve come a long way on preservation. GPO has (more…)

Libraries could outlast the internet … IF …

This article is making the social media rounds so many of you have no doubt seen it — Libraries could outlast the internet, head of British Library says – Telegraph. While I completely agree with Mr Keating, the director of the British Library, he only defined libraries in terms of vagaries like “trust” and “traditional values” and “privacy.” All good terms to be sure, but what was left unsaid — and what I think is most important about libraries and which leads to trust, privacy and sanctuary — is that they’ll outlast the internet … ONLY IF libraries stick to the values that got them this far: collecting, describing, giving access to and preserving information in all its forms.

Stop worrying about whether libraries will survive the digital age, the head of the British Library has said, as he argues that they could outlast the internet.

Roly Keating, director of the British Library, said he was shocked at how many “smart people” still questioned whether libraries were still viable in the modern age.

Saying the institution had countless values worth defending, including trust, he argued that libraries could prove the most “powerful and resiliant network yet”.

“These values predated the internet,” he said. “And if we get it right may yet outlast it.”

via Libraries could outlast the internet, head of British Library says.

“Against the grain: Govt Information at SUL”: Stanford Library Advisory Council presentation

Yesterday, my colleague Kris Kasianovitz and I were lucky enough to be invited to give a presentation to my library’s advisory council about our work with govt information at Stanford libraries (Kris unfortunately had to be in LA for a family event, but we prepared together and made a fun little video of her “in the field” :-)).

Our agenda was straightforward: 1) Describe the universe of govt information in which Kris and I work (including local, state, federal, and international); 2) Talk about 3 trends in govt information and libraries over the last 10-15 years that are worrisome to us; and 3) Describe how Stanford is going against the grain, bucking the trends as it were in order to try and move the documents community forward to a better future!

Our advisory Council is made up of librarians, technologists, academics etc from around the world — like Lynne Brindley, who last year stepped down as the head of the British Library, Karin Wittenborg, from UVA, Bruno Racine from the French National Library, Elisabeth Niggemann from the German National Library, Chuck Henry from CLIR, David Rumsey, Abby Smith-Rumsey, Paul Saffo, Victor Guerra, director of IT from the Mexican Ministry for health, Roger Summitt, founder of Dialog and more. So to get a chance to let these folks know more about what’s happening with libraries and govt information was a rare honor and an important venue for getting govt information issues in front of the global movers and shakers in the library world and beyond.

NOTE: If you want to get to my notes rather than just looking at pretty pictures, click the gear to open the speaker notes.

Lunchtime listen: Barbara Fister keynote at Library Technology Conference 2014