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House committee approves FDLP Modernization Act

The Committee on House Administration approved the bipartisan Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Modernization Act of 2018 (H.R. 5305). The bill would modernize the FDLP and related programs that provide public access to government information.

In a statement commenting on the committee’s action, ALA President Jim Neal said:

“Through their decades-long collaboration with the FDLP, libraries help the public find, use and understand government information. The FDLP Modernization Act will bolster that critical partnership and secure the public’s right to know.”

The bill was introduced on March 15 following months of effort by the Committee on House Administration, which included public hearings with testimony from librarians. The bill is sponsored by Committee Chairman Gregg Harper (R-MS), Ranking Member Bob Brady (D-PA), and Committee members Rodney Davis (R-IL), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Mark Walker (R-NC), Adrian Smith (R-NE), Barry Loudermilk (R-GA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD).

The FDLP Modernization Act would provide greater flexibility, facilitate collaboration, streamline program requirements, and allow more libraries to participate in the FDLP, making the program’s services more widely available to the public. In addition, the bill would improve public access to electronic government information, strengthen the preservation of government information, and increase transparency and program oversight.

ALA appreciates the leadership of Reps. Harper, Brady, Davis, Comstock, Walker, Smith, Loudermilk, Lofgren and Raskin in introducing and approving the FDLP Modernization Act. We hope the House will move promptly to consider the legislation.

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Gavin Baker

Gavin Baker is an assistant director of Government Relations. He advocates for library priorities on government information and transparency issues. Previously, he worked at California Common Cause, the Center for Effective Government / OMB Watch and the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition. Gavin earned his M.S. in library and information studies from Florida State University and his B.A. in political science from the University of Florida.

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