ARCHIVED: Listserv Discussion to Address Permanent Public Access

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AALL members are invited to join the Professional Development Program-sponsored listserv discussion on permanent public access to government information moderated by the Government Relations Committee from May 12-16.

Titled Permanent Public Access to Government Information: Who’s Responsible, and Why Should We Care?, the listserv discussion will explore how to preserve electronic government information that often vanishes in cyberspace. As states and the federal government make more and more official information available only electronically, it is time for AALL members to educate policymakers before more electronic government information is lost.

For the purposes of this discussion, permanent public access (PPA) is defined as the process by which applicable government information that has been disseminated on the Internet is preserved for current, continuous and future access. Some of the issues intrinsic to any discussion of PPA include the following: Do librarians want to define what “authentication” means in relation to information? Do they care? Should law librarians be concerned that Web pages can and do disappear overnight, leaving them with no source documents that can be cited in court opinions? How can librarians improve the accessibility of this digital information? How problematic are current file formats, such as large PDF files, for dial-up and physically disabled researchers? What technical requirements are needed to provide for the transparency of information, making it easier for librarians to locate related documents? How can they ensure that the democratic process that the United States takes pride in continues to be served by permanent public access to official electronic government information?

Please join moderator Jerry Stephens of the U.S. Courts Library in Oklahoma and members of the Government Relations Committee for a provocative discussion among AALL, members of the Government Printing Office, and others involved in the electronic dissemination of government information.

The Government Relations Committee monitors all federal and state legislative, regulatory, and judicial developments, with the exception of copyright, that would affect the Association, law librarianship, law libraries, or the dissemination of information. The GRC also advises the AALL Executive Board and the AALL Washington Affairs Office about these issues.

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AALL recognizes major support from BNA, Inc. for the Professional Development Program.