WHEREAS, permanent public access to government information, including information on Federal government Web sites, is essential to an informed public; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the Federal government to ensure permanent public access to that information; and
WHEREAS, information published by an agency, regardless of format, is a federal record; and
WHEREAS, for various reasons federal agencies removed, without public notification, information and publications from their Web sites; and
WHEREAS, many federal records removed from public access have continuing value; and
WHEREAS, federal agencies currently remove information from Web sites with no provisions for bibliographic control and permanent public access; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge Federal agencies to ensure permanent public access through a searchable archive to information no longer available on their current Web site; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge federal agencies to comply with Title 44 amendments contained in the E-Government Act (PL 107-347) and place required record schedules on their Web sites for public access; and be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urge all Federal agencies to make available to the public an inventory of documents or other information scheduled for permanent retention that have been removed from their Web sites; and be further
RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Office of Management and Budget, the United States Congress and other appropriate entities.
Endorsed by the GODORT Legislation Committee 1/27/03 Endorsed by the ALA/GIS Committee 1/27/03 Endorsed by ALA Council 1/27/03.
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich, an information management specialist at the U.S. Census Bureau's Data Access and Dissemination Office, had a long and productive career in government service; and
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich made many contributions to improving public access to statistical information; and
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich clearly demonstrated her skills to the library community as a highly capable professional, a sought-after speaker, and a talented trainer; and
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich took users' questions and concerns seriously, listened well and was appreciated for her efforts; and
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich made significant contributions in the dissemination of data from the Decennial Census, American Factfinder, the American Community Survey, the Economic Census, and Population Estimates; and
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich, raised in Mitchell, SD, was a champion high school debater, earned a Political Science degree from the University of Iowa, and lived in Minnesota and Wisconsin, working for the University of Wisconsin Demographic Research Center before settling in Fairlington, VA; and
WHEREAS, Barbara Aldrich served the U.S. Census Bureau for over 23 years, representing that agency's statistical resources to organizations and individuals nationwide; and now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED that the American Library Association honor Barbara Aldrich as an outstanding colleague and U.S. Census Bureau employee, disseminator of valuable information to the American public, and preserver of Democracy and of equitable access to government data; and be it further
RESOLVED that the American Library Association send copies of this resolution to Barbara Aldrich's sister Nancy Ament and to U.S. Census Bureau Director Charles Louis Kincannon.
Endorsed by the GODORT Membership 1/27/03.
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 its geographically dispersed system of over 1,200 depository libraries and is the primary provider of no-fee public access to federal government information regardless of format; and
WHEREAS, GPO supports the information needs of businesses, researchers, students, and the general public through the FDLP; and
WHEREAS, the needs of various users cannot be met exclusively by electronic dissemination, therefore GPO will need to maintain multiple format distribution systems; and
WHEREAS, almost 250,000 electronic titles of the FDLP Electronic Collection are available to the public through the GPO Access system which averages 32 million downloads per month; and
WHEREAS, the technology used by the GPO Access system is obsolete, is no longer supported by its manufacturer, and makes it impossible to effectively respond to user demands; and
WHEREAS, in order to maintain its award-winning reputation, the GPO Access technology must be upgraded in accordance with standard business practices; and
WHEREAS, full funding of this appropriation request would ensure current and permanent public access to government information through partnership programs with federal agencies and depository libraries, electronic government information locator services, bibliographic control of electronic government information and the International Exchange Program; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges Congress to reaffirm the government’s responsibility to provide federal government information products in formats most appropriate to the public’s needs and to ensure the permanent public access of federal information in all formats; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges Congress to reaffirm its commitment to GPO Access and the Federal Depository Library Program services and collections and to sustain critical functions, such as collecting, producing, cataloging, indexing and distributing government publications from other agencies and the continuation of the International Exchange Program; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges Congress to fund fully the United States Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents Salaries & Expenses appropriation for FY 2004 at the $30.3 million requested by the Public Printer.
Endorsed by GODORT Legislation Committee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by COL Government Information Subcommittee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by FAFLRT, June 22, 2003
WHEREAS, improving American education has been recognized as a national priority by the Congress and successive administrations; and
WHEREAS, for more than 35 years the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) has provided extensive access to education-related information to the world; and
WHEREAS, ERIC is an invaluable resource to parents, educators, researchers, librarians, and policy makers interested in providing quality education to our people both young and old; and
WHEREAS, each year ERIC provides expert reference and referral service in response to more than 150,000 telephone calls and e-mail messages; and
WHEREAS, each month more than 10 million people connect to ERIC-provided web pages, making it the most popular federally sponsored education program; and
WHEREAS, successful implementation of the “No Child Left Behind Act” and the “Education Sciences Reform Act” requires extensive use of the full range of ERIC system resources; and
WHEREAS, on April 10, 2003, the Department of Education posted a draft "Statement of Work" (SOW) that replaces the current subject-focused clearinghouses with a centralized contractor, focuses on efficiency and mechanized processing rather than quality and usability for ERIC database production, limits the role of subject experts and thereby threatens the scope and quality of both the database and existing public outreach functions, and fails to mandate adequate archiving for continuing access to ERIC resources; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA) supports having experts serve the Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Clearinghouses and urges the Department of Education to propose a database construction method that continues to use this valuable network of proven expertise; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA believes that the current Internet environment makes expert assistance in information gathering more crucial than ever and that the service orientation of the current ERIC system and its use of high-level expertise to provide services is a core asset that provides an important complement to the role of library reference services; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA supports full coverage of education journals in the ERIC database and urges the Department of Education to continue to make use of highly qualified experts to identify appropriate individual items from other sources; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA supports the inclusive scope of the current ERIC database as evidenced by the broad interpretation of their focus employed by each of the current Clearinghouses, including the adjunct ERIC Clearinghouses; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA commends the high quality of the indexing in the current ERIC database and is concerned by provisions in the Draft Statement of Work (SOW) that might reduce the quality and consistency by using indexing and abstracting generated by authors, publishers, and computers; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA urges that new ERIC contracts require the maintenance of such user services as the digests, toll-free telephone assistance, AskERIC, and extensive web pages offering multiple modes of access to ERIC resources; and be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA urges that new ERIC contracts require the maintenance of an independent archive of documents to assure their long-term availability; and be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA asserts that the quality, scope, and consistency of the ERIC database and the expertise and service orientation of the clearinghouse network must be maintained to fulfill our national commitment to education; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA forwards this resolution to U.S. Department of Education Secretary, Rod Paige; U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences Director, Grover J. Whitehurst; and the appropriate Congressional committees.
Endorsed by GODORT Legislation Committee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by COL Government Information Subcommittee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by FAFLRT, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by ACRL, ACRL-EBSS Endorsed by LAMA Endorsed by SRRT
WHEREAS, open and unfettered access to information created and held by the government is a prerequisite for a free and democratic society, and
WHEREAS, access to information needs to be balanced with the need to live in a secure environment; and
WHEREAS, accountability of government to the people must be assured while considering security concerns; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Homeland Security has proposed regulations (RIN1601-AA 14) regarding the receipt, care, and storage of protected “Critical Infrastructure Information” (CII); and
WHEREAS, the proposed regulations provide a broader authority than authorized by Congress in Section 214 of the Homeland Security Act, including extending protected status to CII provided to all Federal agencies; and
WHEREAS, the proposed regulations provide for “protected” status for all submitted corporate information rather than relying on a prescribed criteria and guidelines for protection; and
WHEREAS, the proposed regulations in a number of cases do not provide adequate definitions and this allows for broad discretion resulting in possibly unintended restrictions on access to information; and
WHEREAS, the proposed regulations do not provide adequate discretionary powers to state and local governments for disclosure of information in order to respond to emergencies affecting the life and safety of large numbers of people; and
WHEREAS, the proposed regulations do not provide adequate protection for “whistleblowers” acting with reasonable belief of concern; and
WHEREAS, the Homeland Security Act mandates a new category of “Sensitive Homeland Security Information” that requires adequate definition and public input; now, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association encourages the Department of Homeland Security to formulate its rules regarding Critical Infrastructure Information (CII) and Sensitive Homeland Security Information (SHSI) within the legislative intent of Congress; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA urges the development of regulations pertaining to SHSI with adequate public notice and input; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA encourages appropriate Congressional committees and the Office of Management and Budget to provide strong oversight to rules concerning CII and SHSI during this time of increased security concerns; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA communicate its concerns to appropriate committees and members of Congress, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Endorsed by GODORT Legislation Committee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by COL Government Information Subcommittee, June 22, 2003 Adopted by ALA Council, June 25, 2003.
WHEREAS, the American Library Association’s Policy on Governmental Intimidation opposes any use of governmental prerogatives that leads to the intimidation of the individual or the citizenry from the exercise of free expression; and
WHEREAS, the American Library Association’s Privacy: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights describes the impact on freedom of inquiry when freedom is compromised; and
WHEREAS, in matters of national security and the preservation of our nation, the concept of Terrorism Information Awareness, (formerly called Total Information Awareness) as defined by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA), may be used in making key national security decisions; and
WHEREAS, it is the responsibility of the federal government to protect its citizens from government sanctioned invasion of privacy; and
WHEREAS, personally identifiable information compiled in a database by a government agency should be governed by the Privacy Act; and
WHEREAS, the Terrorism Information Awareness Program (TIAP) has the potential to build a large database of personally identifiable information; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges the Congress of the United States to take action to terminate the Terrorism Information Awareness Program; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association urges the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration (DARPA) to comply with all provisions of the Privacy Act; and, be it further
RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the Vice-President of the United States, the appropriate committees of the United States Congress, the Secretary of Defense, and other entities as appropriate.
Endorsed by the GODORT Legislation Committee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by the COL Government Information Subcommittee, June 22, 2003 Endorsed by the COL Intellectual Freedom Committee Adopted by ALA Council, June 25, 2003.
WHEREAS, freedom of expression and diversity of opinion are essential to democracy, and
WHEREAS, these intellectual freedom principles are the bedrock of American librarianship, and
WHEREAS, the Library Bill of Rights states: “Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues,” and
WHEREAS, America's libraries are essential to the collection, preservation, and provision of local information and history to their communities, and
WHEREAS, the mandate of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is to foster diversity, localism, and competition in the U.S. broadcast system, and
WHEREAS, the FCC on June 2, 2003, voted 3-2 to change its rules on media ownership to allow a company (1) to own television stations that can reach a higher percentage of the national audience, (2) to increase the number of stations it owns in a given area, and (3) to allow a company to own television stations and newspapers in the same market, and
WHEREAS, the FCC’s action removes safeguards against undue concentration of media ownership, inevitably reducing the number of independent voices and decreasing the amount of locally produced and locally relevant news and programming, and
WHEREAS, concentration of media ownership and production diminishes libraries’ ability to provide a wide range of views and information, and
WHEREAS, without a diversity of opinion, the ability of libraries to provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues to their communities is diminished, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA) deplores the action of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of June 2, 2003, and voices in the strongest possible terms opposition to these changes in the media ownership rules that encourage further concentration of the media, and be it further
RESOLVED, that ALA supports Congressional legislation to void the FCC’s regulatory action, including S.1046, the “Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Act of 2003,”and supports Congressional efforts to reduce media concentration in the United States, and be it further
RESOLVED, that this resolution be forwarded to the Federal Communications Commission, to Members of both Houses of Congress, and to others as appropriate.
Endorsed in principle by GODORT, June 23, 2003 Initiated by SRRT