Access to government information is important in the daily lives of the people of the United States. During the shutdown of the federal government, paper and digital versions of government publications are either not available at all or the web sites are not being updated. Bernadine Abbott Hoduski has documented the specific impact shared by Librarians around the nation who report that they are unable to help patrons find the information they need to do research, write articles for journals and newspapers, prepare class assignments, find laws and regulations relevant to the conduct of their businesses, find information needed to file law suits, complete mortgage applications, access weather information, do historical and genealogical research, and contact government officials through agency web sites. Professors teaching future librarians, teachers, geographers, scientists, and other user communities, are unable to access web sites needed for their classes.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) are the subject of this Infographic, by Spencer Belkofer, Lumin Consulting. See also his related Infographic on the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA).
Well known graphic artists Jake O’Neil and Spencer Belkofer created this infographic out of a sense of urgency to visualize the salient information with as many communities as possible. This bill, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act of 2011, has not garnered the media coverage of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), but its high impact implications target key legal issues involving privacy and intellectual property.
Marcus P. Zillman’s guide is focused on current web sites, blogs and database sources targeted to researchers whose goal is the discovery and effective use of specific, reliable resources to track the New Economy. These sources assume added importance with the expansion in U.S. government transparency, the rise in prominence of “big data” and the public release by agencies, NGOs, public interest groups and media, of diverse databases of analytics, reports, statistical releases, and customized charts.
Scott A. Hodes contends that reducing FOIA Operations any further is the wrong way to go if the objectives of increasing government transparency are to be pursued. The actual process of searching for records in response to FOIA requests and processing those requests requires human interaction – in other words, while the documents themselves can be digitized, a person will always be required to search for and process responsive records.
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act: A Brief Legislative History with Links, Reports and Summaries
The “craft” of legislative history construction is practiced with unique and outstanding expertise by law librarian Rick McKinney. This history is designed in a streamlined fashion so as to allow users to more easily check when provisions in the law got into bill and then check for related remarks concerning those provisions. It also has links to earlier legislation related to different titles of the Act, to the Administration’s proposed legislation in 2009, to related CRS reports, and to various summaries and commentaries of the law on the Web.
Peggy Garvin has updated her directory of useful government information resources online, the e-Government and Web Directory: U.S. Federal Government Online. Her research has found that federal web sites do not change as rapidly as users believe. The content on these sites is dynamic, constantly being refreshed and redesigned. However, the sites themselves, the ones that represent so much of the work of the federal government and are selected for inclusion in the book, are fairly stable.
With the 111th Congress of the United States reconvening on September 8th, e-gov expert Peggy Garvin highlights new tools and sources that enhance and expand your ability to track and monitor the action.
E-gov expert Peggy Garvin provides an overview of the significant developments in the world of online government information this past year. According to Peggy, overall the year saw a push by individuals and nongovernment organizations for increased access to digital government information. Specifically, new official government and non-government websites came online, and existing sites developed more sophisticated features.
Paul Jenks’ commentary addresses the background of the scramble for thousands of presidentially appointed offices within the government that accompanies a new administration. The selection process has evolved over the past couple of hundred years and every position outside of the new president’s personal staff requires Senate approval.