Author Archives: Jessica McGilvray

ALA seeks nominations for 2017 James Madison awards

James Madison Award logo

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Washington Office is calling for nominations for two awards to honor individuals or groups who have championed, protected and promoted public access to government information and the public’s right to know. The James Madison Award, named in honor of President James Madison, was established in 1986 to celebrate an individual or group who has brought ... Read More »

Open Data – from EO to Law

Congressional negotiators will be burning the midnight oils over the weekend to craft a final bill.

With President Obama’s imminent departure from the White House, it is essential that we make into law the important Executive Orders (EO) that he has issued.  Each president has the ability to create their own or delete a previous president’s EO.  We hope to ensure that President Obama’s EO, Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information, ... Read More »

Fourth feted with FOIA reform!


After nearly a decade of advocacy work by ALA, other activists and government officials, with the President’s signature last night we and the nation finally have a long-needed update to FOIA just in time to celebrate FOIA’s 50th birthday on July 4th. Now we can all celebrate our nation’s independence with the knowledge that our country will have an even ... Read More »

FOIA reform unanimously passed by Senate faces final hurdle

Sunshine Week:  Your Right to Know!

It’s taken just over a year for the Senate to vote on S. 337, the FOIA Improvement Act, but its unanimous approval yesterday is a wonderful way to celebrate Sunshine Week 2016! ALA and many other advocates’ attention will now be focused on clearing the final hurdles to marking FOIA’s 50th anniversary (fittingly on July 4th) with a White House ... Read More »

ALA-backed bill to make CRS reports publicly available introduced


Today, after months of behind-the-scenes stage-setting, the bipartisan “Equal Access to Congressional Research Service Reports Act of 2016” was introduced in the House and Senate. The two identical bills (numbers pending) direct the US Government Publishing Office to release CRS reports online, allowing the public virtually the same free access to these high-quality reports on an enormous range of subjects that Members ... Read More »