Public Access to Government Information Award

Revised November 2017, Executive Board Meeting, Tab 3


A principal tenet of the American Association of Law Libraries is the right of equal access to information for all to ensure an informed citizenry and to promote a just and democratic society. Established in 1998, the Public Access to Government Information Award is given to recognize persons or organizations that have made significant contributions to protect and promote greater public access to government information.



Recipients of the award may be an individual or organization. Members of the AALL Government Relations Office are not eligible. Recipients need not be law librarians or members of AALL.

Administration of the Award

The Public Access to Government Information Award shall be administered by the AALL Government Relations Committee in coordination with the AALL Awards Committee. The Government Relations Committee shall solicit and review nominations for the award. The committee will choose one individual or group recipient each year for the PAGI Award, or no recipient if it deems none of the nominees sufficiently qualified, and will submit the winning recipient's name(s) to the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee will oversee the grant of the PAGI Award to the recipient(s) selected by the Government Relations Committee. The Government Relations Committee will handle subsequent publicity activities and any miscellaneous tasks that arise in the administration of the award.

Judging Criteria

  • A contribution that significantly improves public access to government information, thereby increasing the public's knowledge about the workings of government. The award is given in accordance with AALL's mission to provide leadership in the field of legal information and to promote equal access to government information. The award will reflect this by honoring the achievements of those who have championed public access.
  • The extent to which the individual or organization has had a positive impact on protecting and promoting public access to governmental information.
  • The extent to which the effort advances the AALL mission and Government Relations Policy.

Application Information

Download the Public Access to Government Information Nomination Form

Nominations for this award are to be sent to the chair of the Government Relations Committee, via email or regular mail.


Nominations must be submitted no later than Feb. 1 of each year. The committee will complete its deliberations and the administrative aspects of the award by April 1.

The Government Relations Committee will review the nominations and make a final decision on who will receive the award. Each nominee shall be considered individually and confidentially and will be judged according to the criteria listed above. Sources of information for the committee about a candidate include the nominating letter(s) and recommendation(s) from the Government Relations Committee. To ensure confidentiality, contact with members of AALL other than the person(s) nominating, Awards Committee members, and Government Relations Committee members should be avoided. 

Frequency and number of awards: The award may be presented annually, but there is no requirement that the award be given each year.

Award Presentation

The award shall be presented during the AALL Annual Meeting, and it will be given in the name of the Association. It will consist of an appropriate memorial to honor the achievements of the individual or organization.


  • 2010–2017


    Laura J. Orr
    Legal Research Library Consultant
    Portland, OR

    Superseded Oregon Revised Statutes 1953-1993 Digitization Project


    Florida Academic Law Libraries

    F.A.L.L. Digitized Legal Collections

    In recognition of outstanding, grass-roots cooperation to make state legal information available electronically.


    Mary Alice Baish
    Superintendent of Documents
    Government Publishing Office
    Washington, DC


    Mississippi College of Law Library
    Jackson, MS

    Legislative History Project


    Aaron Swartz, Awarded Posthumously
    Internet Activist, co-founder of Demand Progress
    New York, NY

    For his dedication to promoting and protecting public access to government information


    Michele Timmons
    Revisor of Statutes
    Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes
    St. Paul, MN

    Chair, Drafting Committee for the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA)


    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
    Washington, DC


    Legal Information Institute
    Cornell Law School
    Ithaca, NY

  • 1999–2009


    The Sunlight Foundation
    Washington, DC


    Gary D. Bass
    Executive Director
    Washington, DC

    OMB Watch


    Cathy Hartman
    University of North Texas Libraries

    University of North Texas (UNT) Government Documents Web site

    John Joergensen
    Rutgers University Law School Library

    Rutgers-Camden Law School Library Digital Project


    The National Indian Law Library (

    Steven Aftergood
    Federation of American Scientists (


    Ayn Crawley
    Maryland Legal Assistance Network (


    Senator Conrad Burns
    Michael O. Leavitt
    Senator Joseph I. Lieberman


    University of Georgia Libraries
    Athens, GA

    Georgia Government Publications.

    Virginia Department of Planning and Budget
    Richmond, VA

    Virginia Regulatory Town Hall.


    U.S. General Services Administration
    Washington, DC



    None awarded


    Library of Congress



    United States Government Printing Office

    GPO Access