ARCHIVED: A.A.L.L. ACTION ALERT: U.S. Congressional Serial Set and Congressional Record

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April 10, 1997


PROBLEM: Last year, the FY 1997 Legislative Branch Appropriations Act cut all funding for the publication of the bound Congressional Record, and limited distribution of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set to regional depository libraries and one library in every state that does not have a regional. This change becomes effective with the 1997 versions. GPO was directed to produce both titles on CD-ROM, a format that is unacceptable for permanent public access because the longevity of this digital medium is not proven.

ACTION NEEDED NOW: Call your representatives in the House and Senate, explain the problem, and ask that they call the new chairman of the House Legislative Appropriations Subcommittee, Rep. James Walsh (R-NY) or the new chairman of the Senate Legislative Appropriations Subcommittee, Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT) to urge that both Subcommittees reassess last year's action.

As law librarians and documents librarians, you are in a position to communicate to your representative the value of these important historical materials--the official records of Congress itself--to the American public. Should such significant multi-volume titles be available in depository libraries only electronically, for use by only one patron at a time?

Ask that the Government Printing Office be authorized to investigate less expensive print alternatives so that both titles are available for selection by all depository libraries, thereby ensuring permanent public access.

FYI, attached is a resolution endorsed last summer by the American Association of Law Libraries that urges Congress to continue to fund these titles in the permanent print versions.

If your Representative or Senator is listed below as a member of either Subcommittee, urge him/her to reconsider last year's decision to eliminate the production and distribution of both these important titles in paper. We especially need calls to Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska who is a new member of the Legislative Subcommittee this year but is also the powerful chairman of the full Senate Appropriations Committee.

We need hundreds of calls NOW so please pick up the phone today! Thank you.

 


Members of the House Legislative Subcommittee, 105th Congress:

GOP:                                    PHONE      FAX
Rep. James Walsh (25th-NY), Chairman  225-3701   225-4042
Rep. Bill Young (10th-FL)             225-5961   225-9764
Rep. Duke Cunningham (51st-CA)        225-5452   225-2558
Rep. Zach Wamp (3rd-TN)               225-3271   225-3494
Rep. Tom Latham (5th-IA)              225-5476   225-3301  

DEMOCRATS:	
Rep. Jose Serrano (16th-NY)           225-4361   225-6001
Rep. Vic Fazio (3rd-CA)               225-5716   225-5141
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (9th-OH)            225-4146   225-7711

Members of the Senate Legislative Subcommittee, 105th Congress:

 

Sen. Robert Bennett (R-UT)           224-5444    224-4908 
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK)              224-3004    224-2354 
Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)              224-2752    228-1067
Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND)             224-2551    224-1193 
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)            224-3553    228-4056

 


RESOLUTION ON THE U.S. CONGRESSIONAL SERIAL SET AND
THE BOUND CONGRESSIONAL RECORD

WHEREAS, The U. S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record together comprise a significant portion of the official historical record of Congress; and

WHEREAS, The U. S. Congressional Serial Set has been produced since 1813 in a bound, numbered edition, and includes Senate and House documents, congressional committee reports, presidential and other executive publications, treaty materials, and selected reports of nongovernmental organizations; and

WHEREAS, The bound Congressional Record has been produced since 1873 as the official record of the proceedings and debates of Congress in a uniform, numbered edition, superseding its predecessors, the Annals of Congress (1789-1824), the Register of Debates (1824-1837), and the Congressional Globe (1833-1873); and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record are important historical materials for the legal and research communities, particularly for the compilation of legislative histories needed to determine legislative intent in interpreting federal statutes; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record have been available through the Federal Depository Library Program, providing ready no-fee access to the official version of these important titles in nearly every Congressional district; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the print bound Congressional Record, as official, authoritative records of the deliberations of Congress, are produced on acid free permanent paper to ensure their preservation for future research and scholarship; and

WHEREAS, The production and dissemination of these historically-significant titles in microfiche, CD-ROM or other electronic formats do not at this time meet required standards to ensure permanent long-term access and preservation, nor are they the official, authoritative versions; now, therefore, be it resolved that

RESOLVED, The American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to continue to fund the production of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set and the bound Congressional Record in the permanent, print versions required for long-term access and preservation; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to recognize the historical significance of these print titles as the official record of their deliberations, and to guarantee their continued no-fee availability to the American public through local depository libraries; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the American Association of Law Libraries transmit a copy of this resolution to Members of the House and Senate Legislative Appropriations Subcommittees, to other appropriate congressional committees, and to the Public Printer.

Endorsed by the A.A.L.L. Executive Board, July 19, 1996