August 21, 1998
Honorable John Warner
Chair, Committee on Rules and Administration
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510-4601
Dear Senator Warner:
Thank you very much for inviting me to present testimony in support of S. 2288 at the July 29, 1998 hearing before the Committee on Rules and Administration. Enclosed are my responses to the thoughtful questions that both you and Senator Ford addressed to me. I apologize that my annual August vacation prevented me from meeting your deadline. However, both Mr. Eric Peterson and Ms. Kennie Gill were very gracious in granting me an extension.
Regarding your questions, Senator Warner, three of these were also addressed to Mr. Daniel O'Mahony, chair of the Inter-Association Working Group on Government Information Policy, and I concur fully with his excellent responses. I am very pleased, however, to respond in some detail to your very thoughtful fourth question regarding the Federal courts and their full participation in this important reform of Title 44. This is an area in which the American Association of Law Libraries has a particularly strong interest. We believe that information from the Judiciary, including court opinions, should be made available to the American public at the very least through the no-fee depository library program. However, AALL would prefer to see these important publications more broadly accessible to the American public, perhaps based on the National Library of Medicine's model of no-fee public access through the Internet to the extensive Medline database.
I also very much appreciate your mention of working at the law library at the University of Virginia, and of your fond esteem for Frances Farmer. She was a very dedicated law librarian, and I know she would be proud of your leadership and personal commitment to enacting this important legislation to improve and enhance public access to government information.
Robert L. Oakley
American Association of Law Libraries
Washington Affairs Representative
Responses from Robert L. Oakley, Washington Affairs Representative for the American Association of Law Libraries, to Questions for the Hearing Record from Senator Wendell Ford, Ranking Minority Member, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration
Response from Robert L. Oakley, Washington Affairs Representative for the American Association of Law Libraries, to Question for the Hearing Record from Senator John Warner, Chair, Senate Committee on Rules and Administration