WHEREAS, public access to government information is vital to a democratic society and the economic well-being of the nation and the American public; and
WHEREAS, the Government Printing Office (GPO) Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP), reaches the entire nation through the geographically dispersed system of over 1,300 depository libraries and is the primary provider of no-fee public access to federal government information regardless of format; and
WHEREAS, over 200,000 electronic titles are available to the public through the award-winning GPO Access system which attracts 26 million downloads per month; and
WHEREAS, in FY 2000, GPO received from government agencies in all three branches and distributed 47% of new titles to depositories in print and other tangible formats; and
WHEREAS, User needs cannot be met by exclusive electronic dissemination, thereby requiring GPO to maintain multiple distribution systems; and
WHEREAS, this request ensures current and permanent public access to government information through partnership programs with federal agencies and depository libraries, electronic government information locator services, and bibliographic control of electronic government information, as outlined in GPO’s "Managing the FDLP Electronic Collection: A Policy and Planning Document"; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge Congress to fund fully the Government Printing Office Superintendent of Documents Salaries and Expenses appropriation for FY 2002 at the level requested by the Public Printer; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association transmit a copy of this resolution to the Chairs of the House and Senate Legislative Branch Appropriations Subcommittees, other appropriate House and Senate committees, and to the Public Printer of the United States.
Endorsed in principle by COL Government Information Subcommittee, 1/15/01 Endorsed in principle by GODORT Legislation Committee, 1/15/01
WHEREAS, the American public has a right to access federal government information funded by their tax dollars; and
WHEREAS, an informed citizenry demands current and future access to government information in order to hold government accountable to the people; and
WHEREAS, the American Library Association has a long-standing record of support for a more electronic Federal Depository Library Program and for providing the public with government information in formats most appropriate to user needs; and
WHEREAS, Congress, federal agencies, and federal courts increasingly are disseminating government information in electronic formats/media while publishing fewer products in tangible formats; and
WHEREAS, there are no safeguards in place to ensure the authenticity of electronic government information or the continuous and permanent access by the public to electronic government information; and
WHEREAS, as a result of the deficiencies in the present system and the lack of government-wide or coordinated responsibility for maintaining permanent public access to electronic government information, countless electronic government information products and databases continue to disappear each day from federal web sites and are irretrievably lost; and
WHEREAS, the diffuse and decentralized nature of Internet dissemination of electronic government information makes it more difficult for the public to identify, locate, and continually access government information; and
WHEREAS, absent statutory change, current and future generations of Americans are in danger of losing access to government information, denying them a public right that is essential for a democratic society; and
WHEREAS, the American Library Association has endorsed and adopted the "Principles for Federal Government Information" that state:
The public has the right to access government information
The government has an obligation to disseminate and provide broad public access to its information.
The government has an obligation to guarantee the authenticity and integrity of its information.
Government information created or compiled by government employees or at government expense should remain in the public domain;
Therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge Congress to enact legislation during the 107th Congress that:
Establishes the affirmative responsibility of the federal government to provide current, continuous, and future public access to electronic government information at no fee to the public;
Ensures the authenticity and integrity of electronic government information; and
Improves and facilitates public access to government information in all formats/media through comprehensive identification, cataloging, indexing, locator, and verification activities that are centrally coordinated by the Superintendent of Documents; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge Congress to hold public hearings throughout this process and include members of the library community and users of government information.
Endorsed in principle by COL Government Information Subcommittee, 1/15/01.
WHEREAS, the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) passed in 1996, as Subtitle B of the Museum and Library Services Act, consolidated federal aid programs; provided for maximum flexibility; continued the successful state-based model of its predecessor (LSCA); and, simplified purposes to include two major components: a) technology, networking, and resource sharing, and b) service to people in rural and urban areas who have difficulty using a library with a special emphasis on children in poverty; and,
WHEREAS, the Library Services and Technology Act in its first three years has played a significant role in extending public access to the Internet and the World Wide Web; has enabled libraries to forge new partnerships with a wide variety of organizations in extending library and information services; and, has been the source of significant innovation in serving the needs of people who have difficulty using a library; and,
WHEREAS, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as administrator of the Museum and Library Services Act, has played an integral part in creating an environment that fosters successful federal, state and local partnerships so vital to the continued enhancement of library services in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the national library community recognizes that there are many unmet needs in improving library services in all types of libraries; in facilitating access to resources in libraries toward an educated and informed population; and, encouraging resource sharing among libraries toward economic and efficient delivery of library services to the public; and
WHEREAS, the national library community recognizes that a lack of sufficient funding for the Library Services and Technology Act has limited the potential and promise of the legislation in consolidating federal aid as originally envisioned by Congress; and
WHEREAS, a Coalition on LSTA Reauthorization, representing major library organizations, was formed in fiscal year 2000, to develop broad-based support for the reauthorization of the Library Services and Technology Act predicated on significant increases in funding for the Act's purposes in meeting identified needs.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the American Library Association supports a timely reauthorization of the Library Services and Technology Act at not less than $500 million, to address identified unmet needs within a framework of a state-based flexible programs; enhance a framework of evaluation and accountability; and, provide increased resources to provide national leadership assistance as described in the Act; and, be it further
RESOLVED that the American Library Association affirms its commitment to work with the Administration and Congress and other interested groups expected to make recommendations concerning federal library programs towards a reauthorized Library Services and Technology Act.
WHEREAS, Sheila M. McGarr worked diligently at the United States Government Printing Office for nineteen years in positions of increasing responsibility including Chief of the Library Division before accepting a position as Director of the National Library of Education; and
WHEREAS, during her tenure at the United States Government Printing Office Ms. McGarr was a fervent advocate for the public’s "right to know"; and
WHEREAS, Ms. McGarr supports depository libraries and librarians of this nation in their efforts to promote and provide public access to government information; and
WHEREAS, Ms. McGarr has chosen to continue this advocacy with the U.S. Department of Education; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association commend Sheila M. McGarr for her dedication and commitment to ensure free and equitable access to United States government information.
Endorsed in principle by COL Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Government Information, 1/15/01 Endorsed in principle by GODORT Legislation Committee, 1/15/01
WHEREAS, Lois P. Mills was a life-long champion of Democracy and energetically worked to change policies, laws, regulations and procedures to ensure open government and "Documents to the People"; and
WHEREAS, Lois served her country during the Second World War as a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army Security Agency, and continued to serve the cause of Democracy by resuming her career after the War as an educator, librarian, and advocate for good and open government; and
WHEREAS, Lois was an active member (1952-2000) of the American Library Association (ALA) where she advocated open meetings, membership involvement in ALA policy development, and changes in the Federal Depository Library Program to assure the public's access to government information in all formats including microform, CD-ROM, and on-line; and
WHEREAS, Lois' career at Western Illinois University (WIU) began in 1954 when she was appointed as an Instructor serving as the High School Librarian in the Laboratory School and teaching library science, and in 1968 she became the Government Publications and Legal Reference Librarian, a position she retired until 1987 when she retired as a Professor; and
WHEREAS, during her tenure in the Government Publications Department at WIU, she guided a fledgling depository into national prominence, providing superior public access to all of its government information collections; and
WHEREAS, Lois was a long-time member of the Illinois Library Association and was a co-founder and first Chair of the Illinois Library Association Government Documents Roundtable; and
WHEREAS, as a member of ALA, Lois helped found the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT) of the American Library Association in 1972 and was an active member of it until her death; and
WHEREAS, Lois served on a series of ALA committees working on proposed changes to the printing, publishing and dissemination laws of the United States, and served as GODORT Representatives to the Freedom to Read Foundation; and
WHEREAS, Lois represented ALA as an alternate member of the congressional Joint committee on Printing Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Revision of Title 44 where she advocated depository libraries' access to electronic government information; and
WHEREAS, Lois testified for ALA at Congressional hearings, lobbied the Congress and other government policy makers on behalf of the depository library program, Freedom of Information, appropriations for library programs and unfettered access to information; and
WHEREAS, Lois was the recipient of the CIS/ALA/GODORT "Documents to the People" Award in 1978 and the James Bennett Childs Award in 1998; and
WHEREAS, Lois served on the Depository Library Council to the Public Printer of the United States from 1978 to 1981; and
WHEREAS, in 1979 Lois was the first woman to be named as the Annual Faculty Lecturer at Western Illinois University, and delivered an address entitled "Freedom of Information;" now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association honor Lois P. Mills for her work supporting Democracy and the public's easy and equitable access to government information; and, be it further
RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be sent to Lois's family, the President of Western Illinois University, the library staff at Western Illinois University and the Illinois Library Association Government Documents Forum.