February Issue of the Washington E-Bulletin

February 28, 2011

The February issue of the Washington E-Bulletin is now available on AALLNET. Here is the Table of Contents:


  • Join Us in Philadelphia for the 2011 Advocacy Training


  • Congress Passes Three-Month Extension of Expiring PATRIOT Act Provisions
  • House Passes Continuing Resolution with an Amendment Preventing Implementation of Net Neutrality Rules
  • Government Printing Office, Library of Congress to Digitize Historic Documents
  • February State Working Group Spotlight: FL Holds Successful “Work Day”


  • Texas Chapters Send Letter to Oppose Closure of State Law Library
  • ORALL Tracks Legislation Impacting County Law Libraries
  • NOCALL to Hold Annual Sunshine Week Event in Sacramento

FREE TIME WELL SPENT: Further Reading for the Information Policy Junkie

  • Government Accountability Office Releases New Report on Electronic Records Archive
  • Congressional Research Service Publishes Report on Open Government Initiative
  • National Archives to Release Pentagon Papers
  • Department of Energy Launches ScienceCinema Search Engine for Videos

Planning a Successful Sunshine Week Event

February 16, 2011

Next month, AALL and OpenTheGovernment.org will host our sixth annual national webcast during Sunshine Week. This year’s event, “The Road Forward on Open Government,” will feature two panels that will assess the Administration’s progress on President Obama’s commitment “to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”

The first panel will focus on the challenges and opportunities that the Administration’s Open Government Initiative have created at the Federal level. Speakers include:

  • David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
  • Steven P. Croley, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy, White House Domestic Policy Council (invited)
  • Gary Bass, Executive Director, OMB Watch (invited)

The second set of panelists will discuss the ways in which technology is being used to increase access to government data and information, and the potential limitations. Speakers include:

  • Todd Park, Chief Technology Officer U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (invited)
  • Jennifer LaFleur, Director of Computer-Assisted Reporting at ProPublica
  • Tom Lee, Director of Sunlight Labs at the Sunlight Foundation
  • Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics

AALL chapters and sites are highly encouraged to show the webcast and host programs on open government in their communities, or become co-sponsors of local events. As always, participants at sites around the country and at the live event in Washington, D.C. will be able to ask the panelists questions during the program. If you cannot show the program live, there will be a recorded version available shortly after the event.

NOCALL’s Michele Finerty, who has coordinated several excellent local Sunshine Week events, has put together a very useful guide for AALL chapters and members on creating interesting and informative programs. The guide includes sources for identifying local panelists and co-sponsors for the event, as well as NOCALL’s program description and registration form for their 2011 event in Sacramento.

If you are interested in hosting or co-sponsoring an event, please email AALL Advocacy Communications Assistant Emily Feldman.

USA PATRIOT Act Update: Calls to Your Senators Still Needed

February 15, 2011

First, the disappointing news: yesterday, H.R. 514 passed the House by a vote of 275-144 (see how your member voted here). As we explained in our action alert, H.R. 514 would extend the three expiring provisions of the PATRIOT Act until December 8, 2011 without making any amendments to Section 215 to protect the privacy of library users.

Despite this setback, we still need your help to ensure the passage of PATRIOT reforms. Please call or email your Senator if he or she is a member of the Judiciary Committee. Ask him or her to vote in favor of Senator Leahy’s USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 when the committee considers the bill on Thursday.

Here’s the list of members of the Senate Judiciary Committee with links to their Web sites. Thank you again for speaking out in support of commonsense reforms to the PATRIOT Act, and please let us know if you receive a response from your Senator.

Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Christopher A. Coons (D-DE)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Jon Kyl (R-AZ)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Mike Lee (R-UT)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Congress Considers USA PATRIOT ACT Extension this Week

February 14, 2011

AALL has posted a new action alert asking members to take action this week as the House and Senate both consider bills to extend the expiring provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act (including Section 215, the so-called “library provision”).

Please take action now to:

  • Ask your representative to oppose H.R. 514 when it reaches the House floor
  • Ask members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to vote in favor of USA PATRIOT Act Sunset Extension Act of 2011 (S. 193) when the committee considers the bill on Thursday

This important action alert includes background information, sample messages, and links to the contact information for your House representatives and Senators.

Thank you for taking action, and please let me know if you receive a response.

Office of the Federal Register Launches New Blog

February 7, 2011

The Office of the Federal Register (OFR) has started a new blog “to give you an insider’s view of FederalRegister.gov (FR 2.0) and open up lines of discussion about the Federal Register system in general.” The OFR has invited readers to offer feedback, ask questions, and offer suggestions for new features you’d like to see.

The new Federal Register site launched in beta in July 2010 in honor of the 75th anniversary of the Federal Register Act. On July 8, the AALL Executive Board endorsed a “Resolution Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Federal Register Act” to recognize this milestone.


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