WASHINGTON, D.C.—On Friday, March 13, 2015, the American Library Association (ALA) awarded Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) the 2015 James Madison Award during the 17th Annual Freedom of Information Day in Washington, D.C. The James Madison Award honors individuals who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know how it functions.
Since taking office in 2002, Sen. Cornyn has led congressional efforts to improve the public’s access to government information. In 2007, he co-sponsored the OPEN Government Act, which reformed the Freedom of Information Act and created the Office of Government Information Services (GIS). Earlier this year, Sen. Cornyn introduced the FOIA Improvement Act of 2015, which would strengthen the GIS and would require that records be released unless there is foreseeable harm or a legal requirement to withhold them.
Senator Cornyn also has been active in the fight to make federally-funded research accessible to the public. As co-sponsors of both the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (FACTA) and the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act of 2013 (FASTR), Sen. Cornyn has spearheaded efforts to give Americans open access to taxpayer-funded research and to achieve the social and economic progress for which such access is a necessity.
"The American Library Association has long been a supporter of increased transparency in government and Senator Cornyn has stood side-by-side with us in our advocacy efforts," said Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association (ALA). "Senator Cornyn has earned this prestigious award with his actions, and we thank him for his hard work and dedication to protecting the public’s right to know."
About the American Library Association
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with approximately 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government, and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.