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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.

#nlw14 FDLP Edition Day 4: Law Library for San Bernadino County

Today our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week focuses on the 2008 winner of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

Law Library for San Bernadino County Named 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year

  • Law Library for San Bernadino County Named 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year.

The U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) is pleased to announce the Law Library for San Bernardino County, California, as the 2008 Federal Depository Library of the Year. The GPO bestows this honor on a Federal depository library each year for its outstanding service to meet the Federal government information needs in the library’s service area; creativity and innovation in developing community programs for the use of Federal government information; and leadership in creating public service programs that can be emulated by other Federal Depository Libraries.

The presentation of the award took place at the Fall Federal Depository Library Conference in Arlington, Virginia.  Participants in the award ceremony included Public Printer Robert C. Tapella; Richard G. Davis, the Acting Superintendent of Documents and Director of Library Services and Content Management; Lawrence R. Meyer, the Director of the Law Library for San Bernardino County; and Keith D. Davis, the President of the library’s Board of Trustees.

“The Law Library for San Bernardino County has done an outstanding job of providing the public access to the documents of our democracy,” said Public Printer Robert C. Tapella.  “For nearly 200 years, depository libraries have safeguarded the public’s right to know and are one of the vital links between the public and its government.”

With three locations, the Law Library for San Bernardino County is a selective Federal depository library that serves the largest county in the United States.  It encompasses the main library in the City of San Bernardino, as well as branches in the cities of Rancho Cucamonga ands Victorville.  The library has a lengthy record of public service and outreach.

Library staff has taken numerous steps to offer superior service to its users.  These steps include extending its hours of operation, developing a new, more user-friendly Web site, and offering a law librarian online reference service called “AskNow.”

  • Celebrating with a cake.

Also, the staff conducts public outreach activities by extensively promoting law library materials and services to both the legal and non-legal communities.  Additionally, the staff consistently surveys library users, which enables them to sustain an open relationship with the members of the community they serve.

“We are deeply honored and privileged to receive the award,” said Lawrence R. Meyer, Director, Law Library for San Bernardino County. “We appreciate its significance to the depository community and the recognition the award conveys specifically to the Law Library for San Bernardino County as well as the recognition it places upon all Law Libraries that participate in the FDLP as selective depositories or through shared housing arrangements. In particular this award emphasizes the importance of publicly accessible county law libraries to the FDLP.”

Do you have a story about the Law Library for San Bernardino County? Please share in comments!

#nlw14 FDLP Edition Day 1: Newark, Olin and Buffalo

First up in our Federal Depository Library themed celebration of National Library Week are the 2012 winners of the Government Printing Office’s Library of the Year Award. Here’s the citation from the award page:

2012 Federal Depository Libraries of the Year

For the first time, the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) honored three extraordinary Federal Depository Libraries of the Year at the 2012 Depository Library Council Meeting and Federal Depository Library Conference.

One regional depository and two selective depositories received special recognition for going above and beyond to further the Federal Depository Library Program’s (FDLP) mission of ensuring the American public has free access to its Government’s information.

The three libraries chosen this year have demonstrated extraordinary levels of service to expand access to Federal Government collections and services.

GPO is proud to honor:

  • Newark Public Library (Newark, New Jersey)
  • The Olin Library at Washington University (St. Louis, Missouri)
  • The University at Buffalo Libraries (Buffalo, New York)

Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks presented the awards to the esteemed recipients, on behalf of GPO and the FDLP.


Newark Public Library
The Newark Public Library has served as the regional library for the other Federal depository libraries in the state of New Jersey for nearly 50 years. It was selected for making the best use of limited resources and continuing to provide excellent public services.

The Olin Library at Washington University
The Olin Library was selected for providing training opportunities to other depository librarians in the area and for collaborating with their regional depository to ensure the needs of the populous St. Louis metro area are served.

The University at Buffalo Libraries
The University at Buffalo Libraries was selected for maintaining several services which provide Federal depository libraries valuable assistance in processing U.S. Government publications received through the FDLP.

“I commend the Newark Public Library, the Olin Library, and the University at Buffalo Libraries for their contributions to the FDLP and outstanding commitment to serving their communities,” said Acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks. “GPO thanks all of the Federal depository libraries for playing a critical role in providing and expanding public access to Government information.”

Do you have a story about one of these libraries? Share it in comments?

National Library Week – FDLP Edition #nlw2014

Happy National Library Week! April 13 – 19, 2014 is National Library Week (NLW), a time to celebrate and honor libraries. Because we at FGI celebrate Federal Depository Libraries as key links in preserving the nation’s information products and serving as guides to the awe-inspiring mass of publications and data the feds make available, we’ll spend our NLW celebrating Federal Depository Libraries.

Fortunately the Government Printing Office has made things easy with for us with their Depository Library of the Year program. Each year since 2003, the Government Printing Office has recognized at least one library from among nominations made according to these guidelines:

Nominations should demonstrate the library’s creativity and innovation. The nominees should have implemented new concepts that are models for other libraries to emulate. For example, a nomination can detail the development of specific community programs highlighting Federal Government information, the deployment of new marketing techniques that dramatically increase a community’s use of these valuable resources, the employment of any other innovative public service relating to government documents, or collaborations with other libraries or community organizations. Any other accomplishments that greatly enhance public access to Federal government information are good points to bring forward.

When selecting finalists, GPO is looking for programs and library techniques that demonstrate:

  • Superb promotion of the Government depository collections and services to the community

  • Thorough knowledge of Federal government information needs in the library’s service area

  • Outstanding reference and other service assistance to patrons

  • Well-curated collection of Federal depository tangible and electronic resources adequate to meet the needs of the library’s service area

  • Excellent bibliographic control to enhance public access

  • Substantial cooperative efforts with other depository and non-depository libraries to share knowledge and resources with a larger community

  • Exceptional care and preservation of the depository collection

So for the next seven days, we’ll highlight the last seven years’ worth of award winners. If you’re familiar with the libraries we highlight, we’d love to hear from you in comments. If you’d like to write your own National Library Week stories, please tag your social media posts with #nlw14 or #LivesChange.

See you on Sunday!