EPA Reports: What We’ve Learned So Far

June 26, 2008

As we’ve posted here before, EPA has spent the last several months conducting listening sessions, online “Jam Sessions,” and online comment periods as part of their National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information. The agency recently released a web page called “What We’ve Learned So Far,” which provides summaries of the various outreach efforts.

Many of the findings will not be surprising to law librarians. For example, EPA reports, “Commenters noted that even in this age of technology and Internet access, there is still a valuable and important role that libraries and communities play for providing access to information.” In addition, “Librarians pointed out the importance of the EPA libraries and the need to reopen the closed libraries.”

Also of note is the summary of listening sessions with educators, researchers, librarians, and students. EPA notes, “The critical role of research librarians was mentioned and acknowledged broadly by the group, with some participants going so far as to argue that all data or records released by EPA should include contact information for a person – or steward – who can answer technical questions or provide other informed assistance.”

These summaries provide insight into EPA’s outreach efforts and the information needs of five of EPA’s major audience groups: government officials; news media; environmental and community groups; industry; and educators, students, researchers and librarians. EPA will continue to collect comments via their discussion board and email through the end of June. Thank you to all of those who participated. If you haven’t yet submitted comments, be sure to do so in the next few days.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


Tagging Documents for the Internet Archive

June 26, 2008

The smart folks over at Free Government Information (FGI) are conducting an interesting government documents project. They’re encouraging people to upload documents to the Internet Archive’s Government Documents Collection and use the social bookmarking web site del.icio.us to tag these documents with the tag ‘IADeposit‘. They are especially interested in fugitive documents, those in danger of disappearing, or those that are especially important (like the 9/11 report).

As FGI’s James Jacobs said in an email to GOVDOC-L, “The idea of the project is to tag those documents and then we’ll upload them to the archive for preservation. Hopefully, some library(s) will then be able to catalog them for better long-term access.”

Be sure to check out FGI’s blog post about this project and join in the fun!

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


Final Agenda for the Advocacy Training

June 19, 2008

We are pleased to announce the final agenda for the Legislative Advocacy Leadership Training, to be held in Portland on Saturday, July 12! We have an exciting set of speakers this year, including special Keynote Speakers Christy Splitt, Legislative Aide to Oregon State Rep. Ben Cannon and Marjorie Taylor, Senior Policy Advisor at Oregon’s Department of Administrative Services.

If you would like to attend the Advocacy Training and have not already RSVPed, please email me or call me ( 202.662.4058 ) as soon as possible. There are still a few spaces available and we would love to have you join us!

Thanks,

Emily Feldman
Advocacy Communications Assistant
AALL

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY LEADERSHIP TRAINING:
Navigating the Advocacy Wilderness:
Tools and Tips to Become an Effective Advocate

Saturday, July 12, 2008 8:30 A.M.-Noon
Oregon Convention Center, Room B113

8:30-9:00 a.m. Registration, Continental Breakfast and Networking

9:00-9:10 a.m. Welcome, Introductions, Goals

9:10-9:30 a.m. Hot Topics and Updates on AALL’s Policy and Legislative Agenda

9:30-10:00 a.m. County Law Libraries: Facing Challenges, Finding Solutions

Moderator: Angela Baldree, Lake County Law Library

Speakers:

  • Jacquelyn Jurkins, Multnomah Law Library
  • Joan M. Bellistri, Anne Arundel County Public Law Library
  • Larry Meyer, Law Library for San Bernardino County

10:00-10:30 a.m. Key Note Address

  • Christy Splitt, Legislative Aide to Oregon State Rep. Ben Cannon
  • Marjorie Taylor, Senior Policy Advisor, Department of Administrative Services, State of Oregon

10:30-10:45 a.m. Coffee Break

10:45-11:25 a.m. Break-out Sessions (choose one)

1. Funding and Outreach for County, Court and Government Law Libraries
2. AALL Authentication Report – Next Steps?
3. How Librarians Effect Legislation: Developing and Delivering the Message – Role Playing

11:25-11:55 a.m. Group Reports

11:55- Noon Closing Comments

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


After Report, Secrecy News Dropped from State Department Mailing List

June 17, 2008

Many law librarians rely on Steven Aftergood’s Secrecy News for the latest documents on secrecy, intelligence and national security policy. AALL in fact honored Aftergood in 2006 by presenting him with our Public Access to Government Information Award for his valiant efforts to reduce the scope of governmental secrecy. So it is with great concern that we read Aftergood’s announcement that Secrecy News was removed from the distribution list for the U.S. State Department history publication “Foreign Relations of the United States” following Aftergood’s report on errors in several FRUS volumes on March 24 and 26, 2008.

Though this move will not prevent Aftergood from accessing the public FRUS volumes on the State Department’s web site (see his remarks in the Comments section of his blog post), we are very dismayed with the agency’s swift reaction to deny him access to the email list and hope that the State Department’s Historian’s Office will reconsider its action.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


House Subcommittee Hearing on Information Sharing

June 11, 2008

Today, Wednesday, June 11, the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing, and Terrorism Risk Assessment held a hearing on H.R. 6193, “The Improving Public Access to Documents Act of 2008.” The bill would require the Secretary of Homeland Security to develop and administer policies, procedures, and programs to promote the implementation of a Controlled Unclassified Information Framework at the Department of Homeland Security.

The witnesses at today’s hearing included:

Ms. Meredith Fuchs
General Counsel
National Security Archive

Ms. Caroline Fredrickson
Director
Washington Legislative Office
American Civil Liberties Union

Ms. Patrice McDermott
Director
OpenTheGovernment.org

For more information on new government-wide rules governing the designation and sharing of CUI and how AALL has been involved in this process, see our previous blog posts:
AALL and Others Urge Public Comment on Guidance for Sensitive But Unclassified Information and
White House Issues Memo on New Controlled Unclassified Information Policy.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


EPA Opens Blog for Comments on Access to Information

June 10, 2008

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has opened up a blog seeking comments on improving access to EPA’s environmental information. The blog, the Partner Blog for the National Dialogue, will be open for comments this week, June 9-13, 2008.

The topics open for comment are:

Understanding Information: Putting environmental information into context for our customers.
Finding Information: Making environmental information easier to find or access.
What Works: What is working for your organization?
Building to Share: How do we leverage our collective strengths and capabilities?
Going Beyond the Web: Reaching people who don’t have Internet access.

The blog is EPA’s latest tool for collecting comments on their National Dialogue on Access to Environmental Information. A summary report on the National Dialogue will be posted on the “What We’ve Learned” section of the National Dialogue website by June 20, 2008. See our previous blog post for background information about the National Dialogue.

As before, we encourage those who use EPA materials to provide comments and share your insight.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


AALL Sends Letter in Support of New Bill to Improve Transparency of Federal Spending

June 5, 2008

On June 2, AALL sent a letter to Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) in support of their new bill, Strengthening Transparency and Accountability in Federal Spending Act of 2008 (S.3077). The new bill will help strengthen the Federal Accountability and Transparency Act (P.L. 109-282), the law that resulted in USASpending.gov, a searchable web site of Federal grants, contracts, loans and other financial assistance.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


AALL’s Third Annual Bloggers Get Together!

June 4, 2008

AALL’s Third Annual Bloggers Get Together will take place on Sunday, July 13 at the The Green Dragon in Portland. I am excited to have the opportunity to attend this year and I hope to see many of you there!

As always, if you have ideas or comments about the Washington Blawg or questions about the Washington Affairs Office, please feel free to contact me.

Here is the invitation to the Bloggers Get Together from Barbara Fullerton, DALL Blogger:

RSVP for AALL’s Third Annual Bloggers Get Together by July 1st

It’s time to mark your calendars for the AALL’s Third Annual Bloggers Get Together!

Time: 5-6 p.m. (We have a space at 4 p.m. if you would like to come early!)
Date: Sunday, July 13th
Place: The Green Dragon on 9th in SE Portland. Wireless is available. Just ask for the Bloggers!
Guest Speaker: Jack Bogdanski

Jack Bogdanski is a favorite local blogger: lawyer, citizen, rabble-rouser, and Professor at Lewis and Clark. Jack’s Blog

Come share your ideas and meet the other law librarian bloggers! Open to all bloggers and potential bloggers.

RSVP: Last year we had over 35 participants so we are anticipating a good crowd this year. For a headcount, please RSVP to Barbara Fullerton by Tuesday, July 1st to bfullerton@10kwizard.com.

Special Thanks to Laura Orr, Law Librarian at Washington County Law Library, for helping in organizing this event! Directions will be available soon!

If you need additional information, please feel free to contact me via email or 800-365-4608, ext. 4576.

Barbara Fullerton
DALL Blogger

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


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