Resolution Opposing GPO's Plan To Eliminate Important Titles in Print Prior to Establishing a Reliable Electronic System

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Endorsed by the AALL Executive Board, February 16, 2005

In response to plans announced in January 2005 by the Government Printing Office's Superintendent of Documents that all government documents with the exception of the Essential Titles List will be disseminated to depository libraries only in digital format, effective October 1, 2005, without a reliable system in place to ensure version control, authenticity, dissemination, permanent public access to and preservation of the electronic government information,

The American Association of Law Libraries has adopted the following resolution:

WHEREAS, the American Association of Law Libraries supports the distribution of the majority of government information only in electronic formats and embraces the benefits of technology to improve public access; and

WHEREAS, the American Association of Law Libraries understands the critical importance of authentic, official legal information to the operation of our Nation's legal system; and

WHEREAS, the American Association of Law Libraries recognizes the responsibility held by the more than 200 law libraries in the Federal Depository Library Program and the U.S. government itself to preserve and make permanently available authentic government legal information; and

WHEREAS, the Government Printing Office has no reliable system in place to ensure version control, authenticity, adequate distribution, permanent public access and preservation of electronic government legal information; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the American Association of Law Libraries urge the Government Printing Office (GPO) to establish a reliable system ensuring version control, authenticity, adequate distribution, permanent public access and preservation of electronic information before discontinuing production and distribution of print documents currently the only authenticated version of critical official government legal information to depository libraries; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to provide adequate appropriations to GPO and to require that GPO maintain production and distribution of authenticated print legal materials at adequate levels until such a reliable system for electronic information is in place; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Association of Law Libraries urge Congress to hold timely oversight hearings on GPO's new initiatives and changes to the Federal Depository Library Program; and be it further

RESOLVED, that the American Association of Law Libraries transmit a copy of this resolution to the Public Printer of the United States, the Superintendent of Documents, Members of Congress, the library community, and others as appropriate.