Access to Government Information

Federal, state, and local governments have a duty to create, collect, and disseminate government information and to ensure broad permanent access to official government information to the public, regardless of income level or geographic area. AALL strongly supports no-fee permanent public access to official, authentic legal information and the essential role law librarians play in accessing legal information.

Federal Agency Appropriations

AALL supports the budget requests of federal agencies that promote and provide access to government information, including the Government Publishing Office, Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Fiscal Year 2021

Fiscal Year 2020

Issue Briefs and Reports

Formal Statements

Federal Depository Library Program

AALL believes that federal government information should be disseminated through a depository and access program with central authority, Congressional oversight, and the ability to enforce agency compliance through relevant laws, regulations, and other policies. The Government Publishing Office administers the Federal Depository Library Program by disseminating information products from the federal government to 1200 participating libraries across the country that, in turn, ensure the American public has free access to the materials, both in print and online. Approximately 200 law libraries participate in the Federal Depository Library Program.

Formal Statements

Universal Citation

AALL believes that federal, state, and local governments should provide a universal citation for government information that it disseminates for citizen use. A universal (or public domain) citation system is both medium and vendor neutral. AALL recommends that federal, state, and local governments should adopt AALL’s universal citation formats, as illustrated in the Universal Citation Guide.

Other Issues

AALL works in a variety of ways to promote accessible government information as an essential principle of a democratic society and a valuable public good created at taxpayer expense, including advocating for that information should be available in a variety of formats and that information on government websites should be available free of charge.

Advocacy One-Pagers

Formal Statements