March 24, 1998
The Honorable Christopher Shays
1502 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-9629
Dear Representative Shays:
On behalf of five of the nation's principal library associations, with collective membership of almost 80,000 individuals and hundreds of institutions, we are writing in support of your efforts to make selected congressional information more widely accessible. Provisions in H.R. 3131 would greatly enhance access by the public to timely and useful congressional information.
Since many of our members participate in the Federal Depository Library Program, a partnership program between the federal government and libraries to ensure no-fee access to government information by the public, we fully appreciate the demand for congressional information. This bill would permit our users - faculty, students, researchers, scholars, and the public - access to much needed information resources in a meaningful and cost-effective manner. We appreciate that there need to be some limitations on which Congressional Research Service products are made publicly available, and how these products are accessible to the public.
We look forward to working with you on this legislation and value your efforts to improve access to congressional information.
Duane E. Webster
Association of Research Libraries for
Robert Oakley, Washington Affairs Representative
American Association of Law Libraries
Carol C. Henderson, Executive Director
Washington Office, American Library Association
Carla Funk, Executive Director
Medical Library Association
David Bender, Executive Director
Special Libraries Association