E-Government Information and Public Access: Online electronic government information and the impact of the government shutdown on public access
Crystal Vicente’s paper focuses on the impact of the dramatic termination of e-government access during the October 2013 federal funding gap that resulted in a shutdown of government processes. As she documents, the public’s access to government information was severely limited, and in some cases prohibited entirely. We now widely expect that an advanced technological society will make information available via Internet anytime and from anywhere. However, when access is eliminated, the resulting information crisis cripples the public’s interaction with the federal government. Vicente states that the shutdown and the subsequent lack of access to government information is an indicator that the information dissemination model is faulty, and reliance on a single point of access is a mistake. As a result, libraries, long charged with protecting the public’s access to information, are challenged to find a viable solution to protecting free permanent public access.