AALL GRC Seeks Nominations for the 2011 Public Access to Government Information and Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Awards

December 13, 2010

AALL’s Government Relations Committee is seeking nominations for the 2011 Public Access to Government Information (PAGI) Award and the Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award. Both awards are administered by the Government Relations Committee in coordination with the AALL Awards Committee. Please send your nominations directly to GRC Chair Stephanie Hess by February 1, 2011.

AALL Public Access to Government Information (PAGI) Award

Since 1999 AALL has presented the PAGI Award annually to recognize individuals or organizations that have made significant contributions to protect and promote greater public access to government information. The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School received last year’s award for their innovative work as a leading source of open access to legal information.

The 2009 PAGI Award went to the Sunlight Foundation.  Founded by lawyer Michael Klein and public interest advocate Ellen Miller, the foundation has developed a wide assortment of projects using innovative technologies to make information about Congress and the federal government more meaningfully accessible to citizens.

Other past PAGI award winners include OMB Watch (2008) for their more than 35 years of dedication to promoting government transparency and accountability, and Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy (2006) for his commitment to speaking out against unnecessary government secrecy.

Recipients of the PAGI award may be any individual or organization. Members of the Government Relations Office of AALL are not eligible. Judging criteria includes:

  • 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.

Please visit http://www.aallnet.org/about/award_information_application.asp for further details.

Robert L. Oakley Advocacy Award

Established in 2008, the Advocacy Award is given to recognize an AALL member or group for outstanding advocacy work contributing significantly to the AALL policy agenda at the federal, state, local, or international level. The award honors the memory of Robert L. Oakley, AALL’s Washington affairs representative (1989-2007) who received the first award posthumously.

Last year’s award honored the Ohio Regional Association of Law Libraries (ORALL) County Law Library Special Interest Group for their successful efforts to protect funding for Ohio’s county law libraries. We were very pleased that several members of ORALL attended last year’s Public Policy Update to accept the award. Previous award winners include Rick McKinney, author of LLSDC’s Legislative Source Book – an impressive publication of online legislative resources – and Robert L. Oakley, who received the award posthumously in 2008.

AALL members and groups, with the exception of current members of the Government Relations Committee, are eligible for this award. Nominees must have made a significant contribution to the advocacy agenda of the Association.  Judging criteria includes:

  • A significant contribution to the advocacy agenda of the Association. 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 been especially energetic or effective advocates of this mission.
  • The extent to which the individual or group has been an active advocate for law libraries and legal information at the federal, state, or local level.
  • The extent to which the advocacy advances the AALL mission and Government Relations Policy.

Additional details are available at http://www.aallnet.org/about/award_oakley.asp.

Both awards will be presented during the AALL Public Policy Update on Monday, July 25, 2011 at 8:45 AM at the AALL Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.  To learn more about the PAGI and Oakley awards as well as the work of the Government Relations Committee, please visit the Committee at http://www.aallnet.org/committee/govr/default.htm.


Law Library of Congress Adds More New Features to THOMAS

December 13, 2010

Implementing its final set of enhancements to THOMAS this year, the Law Library of Congress added the following useful new features:

  • All GPO Access links in THOMAS have been changed to link to FDsys.
  • The search has been improved so that the most important bill types appear first.
  • The Bill Summary & Status page will now display the Latest Action (rather than Latest Major Action) and the Latest Title (rather than the most recent official or short title).
  • Cosponsors are now listed in one column, rather than divided up into two.
  • Dublin Core tags were added for title, creator (the sponsor in THOMAS), date, identifier (the THOMAS handle), and type (bill type).

Congratulations to the Law Library for adding many new enhancements to THOMAS this year, in celebration of its fifteenth anniversary. A list of all the great new features can be found on the Law Library’s Web site.

[Posted by Emily Feldman]


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