Together with the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Special Libraries Association (SLA), the American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) today sent a letter to Public Printer Davita Vance-Cooks in appreciation of the Government Printing Office’s commitment to continued public access to official, authentic government information during the recent federal government shutdown. The letter includes AALL member anecdotes, collected by the Government Relations Committee, that demonstrate the impact of the shutdown on librarians and their patrons.
While many federal agency websites were suspended during the shutdown, GPO’s website, Catalog of Government Publications, and FDsys were available and updated with Congressional information, demonstrating GPO’s critical role in ensuring the full electronic life cycle of digital content. In the letter, the four library associations urge GPO to ingest more agency content into FDsys and to continue to harvest agency websites. Unlike information on government websites, information published on FDsys is permanently available, authenticated, versioned, searchable, and downloadable. In the case of another government shutdown, we encourage GPO to highlight agency resources that have been ingested.
The Joint Committee on Printing and House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Legislative Branch have been copied on the library associations’ letter, which will serve as a valuable reminder of the critical role of agencies like GPO in providing public access to government information. If you have not yet shared your stories of the shutdown with your members of Congress, we encourage you to do so today using AALL’s Legislative Action Center.