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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.

Our first community video

I’m to announce that Sarah Gewirtz, Reference/Government Documents Librarian at the Alcuin Library of St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict has produced the first documents promotional video I’m aware of that I didn’t put together.

Sarah’s first video is “You and Your USA”, a walk through civics pamphlets given to our soldiers and sailors in the 1950s. With Sarah’s permission, I’ve uploaded the video to YouTube and the Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network.

Sarah’s video and all the others we are aware of can be found on our videos page, along with links to the resources you need to produce your own documents promotion videos.

New Videos and Tutorials

This week we’ve updated our Audio and Videos page to include three new videos and a link to an University of Minnesota tutorial on creating streaming media.

The latest video posted is one of mine and it highlights Army resources in depository libraries:

Remember, this registration page is for YOUR videos and audio spots as well. If you are creating govdocs promotional materials, PSAs, etc that others can use, let us know. Either post the link to comments on the videos page, or send the link to admin AT freegovinfo.info.

We’re aiming to update the page once a week on weekends, and it would be great to include links to your govdoc related content.

Why can’t depositories do this?

Below is an ad made for the Fulton County Public Library. Watch this 39 second clip and then read on.

This video actually made me want to play it over and over again because the music had a good beat and because I wanted to see all the book covers and service types flash by again. It’s kinetic yet informative. So far it’s been viewed 1,737 times and I don’t think it’s been all by librarians.

My only criticism of the video is that it should have faded to both the name of the library AND its URL so people could immediately check out their site. But that is a petty criticism of something very engaging.

What’s stopping us government information specialists from putting something like this together? Other than time and a fear of movie making software that comes with nearly every computer.

What say you to changing that? If you’re intrigued by the video above and either have video experience or want to see this as a learning opportunity, please get in touch with me. Either in comments below or by e-mailing dnlcornwall AT alaska.net. I’ve got a few storyboard ideas and a digital camera that I could use to take pictures of good looking documents. And almost anyone can take screenshots of good gov’t web sites.

Once it’s on YouTube or some other video site, we could start trying to push onto local media as a PSA or maybe beg the Ad Council or someone for air time.

You don’t have to be a docs librarian to work on this project idea, just someone interested in web/library 2.0 ideas and software.

Of course, if someone else has already made a youth oriented govdocs ad, would you send us a link to the video?

And why the marketing entries lately? Because one tactic in getting perpetual no-fee access to fully functional government information is making our citizens know that the information is out there and is worth having and fighting for.

A tip of the FGI hat to Stephen Abram and SJRLC Connections for flagging this video.