Government Information

Victory near in 20-year fight to provide public with CRS reports

After nearly 20 years of advocacy by ALA, Congress has recently taken significant steps toward permanently assuring free public access to reports by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Taxpayers fund these reports but generally have not been able to read them. ALA welcomes these moves to ensure the public can use these valuable aids to understanding public policy issues. What ... Read More »

New legislation would protect your right to research

"research" under a magnifying glass

ALA applauds the introduction of the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR). Reps. Mike Doyle (D-PA), Kevin Yoder (R-KS), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) introduced the bipartisan legislation as H.R. 3427 yesterday. FASTR would ensure that, when taxpayers fund scientific research, they are able to freely access the results of that research. Every federal agency that significantly funds ... Read More »

Protecting public access to earth science information

USGS logo

This week, ALA sent a letter calling for continued funding for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Library and public access to its collections and services.  USGS is a scientific agency within the Interior Department. The USGS Library bills itself as “largest earth science library in the world.” President Trump’s budget proposes to cut $137.8 million from USGS, a 13% reduction ... Read More »

Look Back, Move Forward: Freedom of Information Day

Senator Tester for accepting the James Madison Award, given to those who have protected public access to gov information.

At the tail end of this year’s #SunshineWeek, let’s take a quick moment to #FlashbackFriday (or should we say #FOIAFriday?) to 29 years ago yesterday, when the American Library Association began celebrating Freedom of Information Day. In honor of the day this year, ALA presented U.S. Senator Jon Tester of Montana with the 2017 James Madison Award for his advocacy for public access ... Read More »

Look Back, Move Forward: Five women who stood up for the public’s right to know.

ALA President Patricia Schuman speaking at the Rally for America's Libraries at the 1991 ALA Annual Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo from The American Library Association Archives.

Sunshine Week—a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information—is on the horizon (pun most certainly intended). Held on March 12 through March 18, Sunshine Week occurs annually, coinciding with James Madison’s birthday and National Freedom of Information Day on March 16. During Sunshine Week, hundreds of libraries, media organizations, civic groups, ... Read More »