July 30, 1997
The Honorable John W. Warner
Chairman, Committee on Rules and Administration
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Warner:
Thank you very much for taking time from your hectic schedule recently to meet with our delegation of Virginia librarians. We are also grateful to Mr. Eric Peterson for meeting with us on your behalf to discuss at length our concerns about the erosion of government information from the public domain, and the library community's legislative proposal for chapter 19 of U.S.C. Title 44.
We were especially pleased to hear once more your firm commitment to strengthening the Federal Depository Library Program while at the same time solving the separation of powers problem that increasingly has created barriers between the public and access to government information. We look forward to commenting on the revised legislation to reform Title 44 that Mr. Peterson expects to share with us in late August.
Senator Warner, we are especially appreciative of your support for revising Title 44 to ensure that access to information products and services that historically have not been available to the American public through the depository program, including information from the National Technical Information Service and the judicial branch, will improve. We believe that the American public, whose tax dollars support the life cycle of government information from creation to preservation, has a right of no-fee access to government information through libraries. This is indeed one of the basic tenets of our democratic society.
We applaud your efforts to ensure that the use of new technologies results in improved public access to information produced by all three branches of government. Thank you for your continued, strong commitment to public access and for your generosity in meeting with us earlier this month.
Mary Alice Baish
American Association of Law Libraries
Assistant Washington Affairs Representative